This transcript was taken from our daily Stand in the Gap Today broadcast originally aired 11/4/20. To listen to the entire program, please click HERE.
Isaac Crockett: Welcome to our program. I’m Isaac Crockett, and today joined with Dr. Gary Dull. He’s the executive director of our Pennsylvania Pastors Network. He’s the senior pastor of the Faith Baptist Church in Altoona, Pennsylvania. He’s one of the regular three co-host of this program that you’re used to hearing. So Gary, thanks for being on today. I know that a lot of people haven’t gotten as much sleep, but thank you for making sure you’re on with us today.
Gary Dull: Well, it’s always a delight to be here and of course to have you with us is a blessing as well. So thank you for the pleasure of your company, sir.
Isaac Crockett: Dave and Sam are unable to be with us today. Both of them would love to be on with us. They didn’t just oversleep or something like that. Both have important things that they are at and unable to be on, but we’ll be hearing more from them in the coming days, as you can imagine, but as we, and many of you are listening live or listening today, Wednesday having voted yesterday or earlier, and as all these things are going on with the voting, we want to talk through a little bit of that today. Unfortunately, it looks like this is going to be a long process.
I know Sam, and Gary, and Dave and everyone has talked about that. And some of our expert guests warned us about that. So it looks like that’s the scenario. And so I have a feeling we’re going to have a lot of that in the coming days.
So today we do want to talk some about the elections and we want to talk about hope for our country. Hope for you, if you’re listening. And we’re going to really focus on hope for those. We talk so much about freedom, isn’t free. There are people, men and women holding the line in our military and law enforcement for our freedoms, especially right now with all the unrest that’s happening, even inside of our country, as well as outside of our country.
So we’re going to talk about that. But we’re also going to talk about just facing discouragement or trauma or difficulties in life. And I think this year of 2020, we can all agree. It has felt in different ways maybe traumatic. So many things are just up in the air. So much chaos, so much confusion, so much different than what we maybe had planned for this year.
Philippians chapter 4 is a great chapter to help us as we remember to rejoice in the Lord. Philippians 4, starting with verse 4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always.” It goes on and talks about our gentleness and our patients. The Lord is at hand. And then it says to be careful for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with Thanksgiving to let our requests be made known unto the Lord.
It says that the peace of God which passes all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. It goes on to tell us, to keep our focus on good things and the things of Lord. So Gary, there’s just so much we could talk about with the election here, but we really wouldn’t get too far because there’s a lot we don’t know, but I would just love to get your opinion of what’s going on, especially in your home state, the keystone state or Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and just hear some of your input and expert ideas of what has happened and what is going on in this process.
Gary Dull: Well, Isaac, I don’t know that I’d call it expert, but at least like everybody else in this country, I have ideas and thoughts, and it’s quite interesting. I just heard before I came into the studio from the leadership in Georgia, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, and really they are no further than what they were overnight as they’re trying to count those and see what’s taking place. I will say this, Isaac, I think that more prayer for this election is needed now than ever. And I know that many Christians over the past months have been praying for this election that took place yesterday.
But if there’s ever a time to pray, it’s now. In fact, personally, I will say this, that since about 7:00 or 8:00 last night, until mid morning today, I have put more time in prayer, more earnest prayer for this election than ever up to this point, because I think that we are at the place where there could be fraud.
We are at the place where things could come awry. We are at the place where we could see the powers of evil step in and trying to destroy that, which is good. So we certainly do need to pray. I think that the way the election went surprised a lot of people. There were those who thought that there would be a great big blue wave, but that did not happen. And just as was the case, back in 2016, a lot of the polls were proven to be wrong again.
I don’t know why that is. My theory, Isaac is that many people, when they talk to pollsters don’t give all the information. As a matter of fact, I think it was yesterday, Sam and I were talking about the fact not on the air, but anytime I have been polled, I’ve not given all the information personally. I’ve restricted the amount of information that I gave.
And I think that many people are like that across the country. But as it stands right now, and as you know, and of course this program has done live Eastern Time around noon, so I know different stations listened to it at different times that we’re standing right now at 238 to 213, that’s Biden, 238 Trump. 213 on the electoral college, the electoral votes.
Biden has 50.1% of the popular vote over Donald Trump at 48.3%. But you’ve got Pennsylvania, you’ve got Georgia, you’ve got Michigan, you’ve got a lot of States that yet have to count their ballots and get things settled. So it’s just quite interesting the way things have gone and are going. That’s why I say if ever we’ve prayed for this election and many of us have, now is the time to really pray.
Isaac Crockett: So true. What a great reminder to take it to the Lord in prayer. And if you or Tim, our program producer end up having information during this program, we’ll try to break it to the audience. But Gary, just in the few moments we have before our first break here, any information about the process that’s going on with Pennsylvania, that we’ve talked about different times on this program?
Gary Dull: Well, there are some concerns. We understand that in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, which is one of the largest, most populated counties in Pennsylvania, there were 2,700 mail in ballots with errors in them. So I don’t know exactly what that means. That just came across my site here probably within the last 45 minutes. And I know they are working on that. Of course, the Philadelphia area has always been a concern as it relates to voter fraud.
So I do know that our governor, Wolf has made the statement that every appropriate vote is going to be counted. And I wondered what he meant by appropriate. But it’s just something that we need to watch. And I think that we need to watch it very, very carefully here in Pennsylvania. It’s interesting, Isaac, that in Pennsylvania right now, as we speak that President Trump is up over Biden almost by 10 points.
I realized that there are about a million mail-in ballots that yet need to be counted. But you would almost think that that’s pretty close to him having the state called for Donald Trump. But as things go, it’s not, and I doubt that they’ll call Pennsylvania for Donald Trump for a long time if they do at all. I mean just like yesterday. I don’t know if you watched this last night, but down in Virginia, Donald Trump had more votes than Joe Biden, but they called it for Joe Biden very early. That’s a kind of a thing that makes me wonder about this whole electoral process that we’re going through in America today.
Isaac Crockett: That is a great point. And all of you listening, let’s be praying even while you listen to this program, let’s be taking all of our concerns to the Lord in prayer and rejoicing in the truth of God’s word. We’re going to be looking to God’s word for truth in these troubled times. We’re going to be talking with Jeremy Stalnecker when we come back from Mighty Oaks, looking at how we can bring hope to our American warriors and their families and hope as you listen today. We’re going to take a brief time out. We’ll be right back on the other side of this break.
Welcome back to the program. I’m Isaac Crockett joined by Gary Dull as the co-host for the program today. We’re about to introduce our friend, Jeremy Stalnecker from a ministry that brings hope to Americans, especially the families of warriors, of veterans, and law enforcement officers.
So the ministry is Mighty Oaks Ministry. We’re going to talk about that a little bit starting in this segment and for the rest of the program. But before we go there, I just want to bring in, and we’re going to be talking about veterans, bring in the brain of our operation, our program producer, Tim. He often comes on and tells us of different things that are going on and how to use the resources.
So many amazing resources God has given us through Stand in the Gap and we don’t always talk about them. So Tim, if you could maybe talk to us a little bit about some of what’s going on and for those listening right now, how they can use our different resources online or elsewhere to be blessed through this ministry.
Tim Schneider: Hey Isaac, good afternoon. And good afternoon, everybody. Thank you for the kind words. I don’t really consider myself the brains behind the operation. It’s a team effort. So we’re all together to make sure that everything happens around here and everybody works really hard behind the scenes to make sure this program happens. But thank you very much for the kind words. I Would like to tell you about some things that are happening around here at APN, especially if you’re not aware of them. We are on social media. We talk about this in the past, but if you’ve never gone over to our social media, we’re on Facebook, we’re on Twitter and we’re also on Instagram.
So go and find us and look for American Pastors Network or Stand in the Gap Radio on either Facebook or Twitter. On there, we have lots of great things on there. So make sure you like us or follow us. We have links to articles mentioned on the program, links to the ministries of guests we have on the program, videos of speeches by Sam and other APN hosts and lots of other things. So make sure you go over there to our Facebook page and like us or go to Twitter.
We’re also on Instagram. So make sure you check us out if those are some things that you do. Also, another social media place we’re at is YouTube. We have three great YouTube channels, American Pastors Network, Stand in the Gap Radio and Stand in the Gap TV. So if you go and check us out over there, you’ll see, Stand in the Gap TV programs, speeches to conferences and other things that Sam and some of our other hosts do, also posted over there and lots of other great content. So make sure you search and subscribe to benefit and be notified when new content is posted. It’s a great thing to have a great resource.
Also, I encourage you to pray for the ministry. Obviously, we understand the importance of prayer. Pastor Gary was talking about in the last segment, how prayer is so important. We need to be praying and be praying for ministries and things like APN. We encourage your prayers and we ask that you would pray for us. Also, if you would like to give financially to us, please consider doing that to ministry.
Unfortunately, it costs a little bit. Prayer is obviously free and we covet those prayers, but ministry does cost. And if the Lord has blessed you and you’re able to, please consider giving financially to this ministry so that we continue to do the things that we need to do. So I’m going to go back to you, Isaac. Looking really forward to today’s program and the topic that you have. So back to you.
Isaac Crockett: All right. Thanks so much, Tim. All right. Well, Jeremy Stalnecker, first of all, thanks for making the time to be with us and for working all this out. So thanks and welcome to the program.
Jeremy Stalneck…: No, thank you. I really, really appreciate all that you guys are doing. Thank you for having this conversation. It’s so important. And hope is something we all need right now.
Isaac Crockett: Well, let’s talk about that. Bringing hope to folks, everyone listening right now, but especially you have a ministry that focuses in on those who have fought for our freedom, who are working to keep us free and veterans, military veterans, especially, and even law enforcement. Could you just walk through what Mighty Oaks Ministry, what it is, and let our listeners know if they haven’t heard of you, some of them have maybe heard of you from WallBuilders or other groups, or just been introduced to you and because of their own background. But for those who don’t know about your ministry, could you introduce us to that?
Jeremy Stalneck…: Yeah, for sure. And again, I do appreciate the opportunity. We are the Mighty Oaks Foundation. All of our information can be found on our website and there’s a ton of stuff there. Mighty Oaks Foundation or mightyoaksprograms.org. Either one will get you there. We serve basically three communities. We serve the veteran community, the active duty service member community, active duty military community, as well as our first responder community. And we’re blessed to be able to serve all of those.
We also do our best to support families and support the spouses of those who are serving in those areas. And we focus primarily in one area and that is toward trauma. Trauma either related to military service. When we started 10 years ago, a lot of folks were coming back from combat after many years of war and didn’t have an option outside of the Veterans Administration. Didn’t have a nonclinical option to find hope, and find healing, and find purpose again. And we were born out of that myself and our founder, Chad Robichaux, both served in the Marine Corps and are Christians, and understand that the path forward really is a path that understands we were created by God who has a purpose for our life, and we can enter into that.
So that’s how we approach this. Since 2012, we’ve had the opportunity to serve just over 4,000 folks through our week long programs. And we have four locations across the country where we bring men and women too, and we spend a week with them, really helping them understand trauma, what it is, what it isn’t and how it does not need to have a hold on our lives. How there is hope, there is purpose, there is direction.
We spend a week doing that. And again, we’ve had about 4,000 folks come through that program. And then on the other side, we speak and again and again, we’ve had the doors open to speak to the active duty military community on spiritual resiliency, living a spiritually resilient life on suicide, suicide prevention and a lot of those other topics. So God has given us a tremendous open door and we’ve seen him do some amazing work through that. Again, I love the word, hope. It’s what is being offered or presented to those who in so many cases feel very hopeless.
Gary Dull: And Jeremy, it is true that what people need today is hope. And as it relates to this concept of PTSD, it is so widely experienced. I’m just looking at your website here in which you say 70% of adults in the United States have experienced some type of traumatic event at least once in their lifetimes. About seven or eight out of every 100 people have had PTSD. About 8 million adults have PTSD during a given year. And the statistics just go on and on and on. It’s a very serious situation.
Of course, I’ve dealt with it with people in my circle over the years. So it’s a great ministry. My question to you is how did you get involved with this ministry and does your history in the military have any connection as to why you got involved with it?
Jeremy Stalneck…: I’ll give my brief bio because that’s my story. I was raised in a pastor’s home, which perhaps many of your listeners can relate to. I always joke, and it’s only half joking that the one thing you learn being raised in a pastor’s home is that you don’t want to be a pastor. So that’s a joke, I feel very connected to. My dad and mom started a church when I was young. Man, I love them. I love what God was doing. And in observing that and the faithfulness, I was very proud of them and thankful for them, but knew that’s not what God had for me.
So I talked to my dad and said, “Hey, dad. I’d like to be not in ministry.” He said, “Son, do whatever God wants you to do.” I said, “I think God wants me to be in the Marine Corps.” He said, “God can not possibly want you to do that.” But he supported me through it and ended up as a commissioned officer in the Marine Corps. I served as an infantry platoon commander with 1st Battalion, 5th Marines. A lot has happened there, but the biggest part of that story, we deployed to Kuwait in January of 2003. And then we’re part of the initial invasion into Iraq in March of 2003.
Our infantry battalion was the Marine infantry battalion that breached the berm between Kuwait and Iraq. First KIA of the war was one of our Marines, Shane shoulders. And then we marched to Baghdad. The Battle of Baghdad was also our battalion. So that was my combat experience.
I talk about not wanting to be in ministry because through the process of going into the Marine Corps and while I was doing that, getting plugged into a great local church, God worked in my heart and my wife’s heart to leave the Marine Corps separate from the Marine Corps and go into full-time ministry.
So what that meant practically was we came home or I came home from Iraq in June and 30 days later, I was out of the Marine Corps and working on a church staff, which was a rough transition. It seems like it would be a good one. It was a very difficult transition for me to the point that I was causing so much chaos at home, and even in my job. My kids didn’t want to have anything to do with me. My wife, I’m thankful the grace of God in her life, that’s the only thing that kept her with me.
Then my pastor who I was working for, and I was trying to serve on a church staff. He called me to his office one day after about a year and said, “This isn’t working. You’ve got to figure out what’s going on. And if you can’t figure it out, I’m going to have to help you find another job.” Up to that point, I blamed everyone else for what I was experiencing. I felt I had done something important and that something was coming to an end. But through that process, God showed me that I needed to take responsibility for myself.
As I did healing began to come and I was able to repair many of those relationships by God’s grace. And from that point forward, stopped looking back over my shoulder, stopped looking to my military service and got very involved in what God had called me to do. Eventually I pastored a church. I was a senior pastor of a church in the San Francisco area. And through all of that, through all those experiences, God then brought me to a place where I met Chad Robichaux, who was our founder.
As he was founding the organization, he said, “You’ve got both ministry and military background. I need that. I don’t know exactly how to pull all this together. Can you help me?” That was in 2012 and we’ve been working on this ever since. I like to share that story for a lot of reasons, but one is to say, whatever it is you’re involved in right now, if God has you there, God’s going to bring all those pieces together for his purposes as his will.
Isaac Crockett: Amen. What a wonderful testimony. We’re going to talk more with you about that and the hope that God has for every one of us, including those who maybe have been through very traumatic situations and you maybe don’t even understand what has happened because of that trauma. We want to talk more about this and hopefully have you back on the show to go even deeper into this sometimes. We’re going to take another break. We’ll be right back, Jeremy Stalnecker.
Welcome back to the program. I’m Isaac Crockett and my co-host today is Dr. Gary Dull. We’re glad to have you listening. And if you’re just now tuning in, as we broadcast live right now, it’s about 12:30 here in the East. And so we still don’t know what’s going on with the elections. We do believe it’s probably going to be a bit of a longer drawn out scenario, and we thought that that was very likely going to be the case. It, again, has proven that the, what some call the fake news, what I think may be more accurately could be considered in some cases direct propaganda was wrong again. The polls and different things again were wrong. So it’s making it very difficult to know what has really happened.
So if we find anything out during the show live, we’ll try to let you know, but we’re talking today about hope and about what God does and how God brings true joy into our lives. And we’re talking with Jeremy Stalnecker from the ministry there at Mighty Oaks, and they deal with those who are active duty military, those were veterans of the military and first responders. They focus on what happens to those who have been through trauma. As we were talking off air earlier today, Jeremy was saying, “But this is for all of us.”
And Gary was reading us some of the statistics from their website about how prevalent trauma is, and even post-traumatic stress and different things like that, how prevalent it is in our country at this time. How do we deal with that? So Jeremy, you opened up and got very personal with us telling us your own personal story, growing up in a pastor’s home. I did too. You see the good, the bad, and the ugly to borrow from the old Western movie as a pastor’s kid. But you said, “I’m going to go to the Marines.” You got quite a difference from church growing up in the church maybe, but while there God called you into ministry, and then the trauma that you had gone through in combat overseas, you dealt with it and you talked about finding Chad with Mighty Oaks with all of these things coming together, God’s sovereign plan just working this out in your life.
Could you maybe pick up from there and talk to us about how important… And I’ve worked as a pastor and in counseling, and even as a social worker, there are more and more people finding out about trauma and post-traumatic stress and things, but there are a lot of people, even Christians addressing it from a worldly point of view. Of course here, we’re looking at everything through the lenses of a biblical worldview. Can you talk to us either personally or just through what you’ve seen in the ministry, how important it is that a biblical worldview is applied even to things like traumatic situations?
Jeremy Stalneck…: Yeah, absolutely. I think that is exactly right. In fact, Isaac, you and I talked about this a few weeks ago, but I often have conversations with pastors and people in ministry, even counselors who will say something like this to me. They’ll say we know how to counsel. We know how to apply scripture to what people in our church or ministry are dealing with, but we don’t know how to counsel or work with those who have served in the military or those who are dealing with combat trauma.
I get the apprehension, but really it’s applying a worldview from the Bible that helps us to understand that trauma is a human condition, not a veteran condition, not a you have or have not been to combat condition, but a human condition. And scripture applies regardless of how the trauma entered into your life.
We have the opportunity through our ministry to serve those communities because we have been in those communities. One of the challenges of serving the veteran or military community, even the first responder community is that those in those communities are very guarded. So we have the opportunity, all of our instructors, all of our team leaders through our program, those folks who are leading in the Mighty Oaks Foundation are all coming from the same background. We have a military background. So we’re able to say, “Look, I know where you’ve been. I know what you’re experiencing because I’ve experienced that.”
Those who serve with us have all come through our program. They came as students and through a long process of what we would recognize as discipleship get to the point where they’re paying it forward. They’re turning around and trying to offer the hope that they found to others.
So we have a unique opportunity to speak to that community. But I say that with this caveat in mind, for those who are listening, that aren’t working with veterans, or aren’t used to working with veterans, we apply a creation model. We say this, “God is… He created.” If he created, he has a plan and we can have a relationship with him and enter into that plan. So much of what we deal with is identity issues. Those are the same issues that all folks struggling with trauma are dealing with. We have to understand although there’s hopelessness, and I like to, in my mind, it’s the Romans 7, Romans 8. There is the, “A wretched man that I am. Who shall deliver me from this body of death?” At the end of Romans 7. Well, Romans 8:1 answers the question and tells us there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. And that’s where the hope is.
So the way that we deal with trauma in the context of our program is the same way that I believe trauma should be dealt with, wherever it’s found. It is indeed a human condition. It’s crazy to me people say, and I used to say this years ago, trauma or post-traumatic stress is not found in the Bible. But you start looking through some of the great stories of the Bible, right? I mean, imagine Noah and that story, and we like to paint pictures on our kids’ nursery walls. But think about what it is to build a boat to be locked inside by God. And when the rain comes and the water starts to rise to hear the screams and the cries and maybe the banging on the door of your friends and neighbors, the people who wouldn’t listen to you and being helpless to do anything about it.
The trauma of that, I think we see in part played out in Noah’s behavior after the flood and some of the events that took place there. We can go back to the first family, Cain killing his brother Abel. I mean, the trauma that was introduced to that family that Adam and Eve had to deal with, certainly that great warrior in scripture, David was dealing with trauma. Many of the Psalms came as a consequence, a result of him pouring his heart out to God.
“I flood my bed with tears. My bones are dry and brittle. I have no hope. My enemies have overtaken me.” These are the words of someone who’s experienced trauma. So we understand that the human condition, that being the case, we also understand that the Bible has the answer and an offering of hope. I think we sometimes get caught up in the definitions and in my world dealing with folks, who’ve been to the VA and dealing with a more clinical setting, there is a very clinical definition for post-traumatic stress and post traumatic stress disorder.
But really, I think when we look at trauma, we have to understand that trauma, that word, it comes from a Greek word, which means a wound and trauma is an event or a series of events perhaps that cause a wound, an injury to our mind, our emotions, our spirit to what make us who we are. So when we’re dealing with trauma, what we’re dealing with are those events that push a person beyond their ability to cope. They push a person beyond their ability to cope.
Now, if I back that up into, again, my context, so much of what our military folks are dealing with are the traumas of childhood and the traumas of family life that they brought into the military with them. And then they experience a combat scenario or just service in the military or in the first responder community. And it exacerbates that trauma that was there, those things they’ve never dealt with. They become hopeless, so many of these men and women because they don’t know what to do with that. And that’s where we…
Gary Dull: Jeremy, I’m going to jump in here if you don’t mind, because we’re about out of time in this particular segment. But it’s interesting to note from your website that women are nearly twice as likely to have PTSD as men at some point in their particular life. That’s an interesting observation. But you are mainly involved with military there, correct, at Mighty Oaks? Do you help other people? Can other people reach out to you, even though they may not be in the military?
Jeremy Stalneck…: Our programs are only for those in those categories, veterans, active duty service members or first responders, or their spouses. And we invite their spouses to come to any of our programs. Beyond that we don’t have programs for those who are outside of those communities. But we do provide as many resources as possible through our website, through our YouTube channel. We’ve written several books on these subjects and we make all of those available for people regardless of where they’re coming from.
Isaac Crockett: Jeremy, could you give us that website again and then maybe talk through some of the titles of the books that are out there because I haven’t looked through some of those. They’re some very, very helpful information for everyone and particular those American warriors, but for everyone listening today, if you’ve gone through a traumatic situation, some of the videos, as well as books that you all have are just very helpful and very biblical.
Jeremy Stalneck…: Yeah. The website again is mightyoaksprograms.org. That’s our website. We have a YouTube channel and we have hundreds of videos there. Some are testimonials, some are interviews that we’ve done all related to this topic. Just go to YouTube and look for Mighty Oaks programs or Mighty Oaks Foundation. You’ll find us there. And great materials there, video. And then we’ve written a handful of books, two books that have been especially helpful to folks. One is called The Truth About PTSD. And The Truth About PTSD is that you’re not disordered or broken if you’ve encountered trauma, you just need to figure out how to move forward. And God has the answers for that. So that’s that book, The Truth About PTSD. The other one is called the Path to Resiliency and that’s dealing specifically with spiritual resiliency.
Isaac Crockett: Well, thank you. That is very helpful. If you’re listening right now and you have questions about that, please go to mightyoaksprograms.org. mightyoaksprograms.org and you can find links to this different information. You can go and find the YouTube channel. Then, as you said, Jeremy, hundreds of videos out there and then several books, including these two, The Truth About PTSD and then the Pathway To Resiliency. Lots of good information. We’re not quite finished with the program. We’re coming upon our last segment, but we want to go back to Jeremy and get some follow-up from him here in our last segment. We’re going to take a quick timeout. But after this break, we’re going to go back and hear a little more from him. And then we want to pray. We want to pray for our nation, with decisions and the issues going on with the election and everything else hitting us this year in 2020 with all that we’ve had going on.
We want to pray for you if you’re listening and your family. And we want to pray for our American warriors, our heroes, first responders, veterans, and active duty service members who are fighting in many cases some very difficult battles. So we have a lot to go through in this last segment. Please stay tuned.
Welcome back to the last part of our program. I’m Isaac and Gary is with me today as my co-host. We’re talking about hope. And some of you right now maybe need that encouragement that our hope is in the Lord. We rejoice in what he has done and what he is doing, and in his sovereign hand. And yet at the same time, there is a lot of anxiety and worry going on in this world. A lot of changes, a lot of chaos, a lot of confusion, a lot of uncertainty in this year of 2020 and the election, presidential election so far has proved to be no different.
So as we talk today with Jeremy Stalnecker from Mighty Oaks, and we look at the ministry that they have dealing with people who are dealing with trauma and just the prevalence of trauma in our society. Jeremy, I just want to kind of pick up you had mentioned growing up in a pastor’s home, I’ve grown up in a pastor’s home, and it’s interesting how many people who have gone through trauma gravitate towards churches and how many pastors are dealing with this, whether they realize it or not. But you talked about when you left the marines and things started falling apart for you.
It wasn’t really so much the trauma of the major combat that you had been in, but it was the change of the transitioning, this identity that you were no longer a Marine, your assistant pastor, a pastor, and all of these different things that came with it.
I think a lot of people can relate to the change in their lives. I know as a parent, when we lost a child, it was extremely difficult. And you say, “Well, God’s grace and I’m going to trust God, I’m a pastor. But when I’m walking through it with my wife, it was different. They say when you lose a child, you’re losing your future. And then a few months later, I lost my father. And they said, “When you lose a parent, you’re losing your past.” There were a lot of struggles.
Even though we knew, “Oh, he’s in heaven and we know it’s the Lord’s will.” That transition is difficult. Could you maybe as we wrap this program up, talk to people who are dealing with transitions, who are dealing with a different identity than they thought they would. Maybe this year they’ve lost their job or something else that was so important to them. And I’m sure you can relate to that with what you went through and you can relate because you’ve seen so many people come through and maybe just whatever direction you want to go. I’d love to just hear you give any kind of words of encouragement or final wrap up, and then if you would maybe close in prayer as well. And if we have time, hopefully we can even have Tim and Gary also close this program in prayer.
Jeremy Stalneck…: Yeah, for sure. Briefly on that, and again, I said on the last segment, there’s a lot to say on this. Please go check out our resources. I would say this with the books too, if you need a book and you can’t afford it, let us know and we’ll send it to you. We want to make sure you have what you need. Identity is so important and trauma often is the vehicle that causes an identity crisis in people’s lives. For me, I had wanted to be a Marine since I was 14 years old. My entire life was pointed at that. Trained for it, went to war, came back, stepped out of the uniform and I was completely lost. I had no idea who I was. I felt like that was the highlight of my life. That was as good as it would ever get. And now I’m working at a church trying to convince volunteers to do what they signed up for Saturday night.
That was really my struggle. I was just completely lost in that. I couldn’t get away from who I was or what I did. And it’s important to understand that the things that we do aren’t who we are. The things that are happening to us, that’s not who we are. And that’s why we need to find our identity in Christ. Christ gives us a new name and gives us a new identity, and we’re walking in that. So as things happen in our lives, they happen and we have to deal with them. But our identity is solidly fixed in Christ who does not change. And that’s how we’re able to move forward. And I believe really that’s the source of hope as we do move forward.
To me, hope is understanding that outside of the circle I draw around myself, there’s something bigger. There’s something someone transcendent and that someone is God. And that is the hope that we find. That’s where my identity needs to be. Understanding that allows us to deal with so many of the ups and downs of life. My identity is not… Even in an election. As much as I want it to go one way or the other, it’s in Christ and what he has for me.
Isaac Crockett: Would you close our time with you in prayer now and then I think we’ll have time for Tim and Gary to also pray. We just really enjoyed having on the program and our thanks a lot to you and your whole ministry there.
Jeremy Stalneck…: Well, I appreciate it. Yeah. Thank you so much. Let’s pray together. God, we do thank you just for the opportunity even to talk about these things and in the midst of a country that’s really in turmoil right now, I thank you that we can come together and make a statement like we need to see everything in the world through the position of the Bible. A biblical worldview is what guides us and directs us and unpacks these things for us. I thank you for your grace. I thank you for our savior, Jesus and the new life that comes in a relationship with you through Christ.
I pray God for those that are listening that may be dealing with various traumas that you would encourage them, that they would understand that there is hope and that hope is found in you who have created everything, who doesn’t change, who is sovereign overall and has a plan for their lives. And I pray that you would continue to encourage them. I pray that you continue to bless this ministry and Lord everything that they have the opportunity to do through the platform that you’ve given to them. I pray that many, many folks would be encouraged to the words that are spoken here. Thank you for who you are. Thank you for your love in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Isaac Crockett: Amen. Tim, would you also close this segment in prayer as well?
Tim Schneider: Sure. Gracious and heavenly father, we just thank you Lord today for being the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords for knowing, Lord, that you’re in control of everything. You’re sovereign. Lord, nothing is happening right now that is out of your knowledge, Lord. And we take refuge in that, Lord. We thank you, Lord, that you’re a warrior. We thank you, Lord, that you fight for us. And we just ask you right now, God, for all those warriors that have put on a uniform, Lord and that are currently serving our country, God, and even those that are no longer with us, God, we just ask for you to continue to lead them, guide them.
May they serve the Lord with honesty and integrity and character and morals, God. May you just be with them, may you give them comfort and peace, Lord, and just may you help them have wisdom, Lord. May you surround them, Lord with good solid people around them, God. And particularly for Christians, God, I just asked that, Lord, may they have solid chaplains, Lord that are not afraid of your word and will preach the word of God, Lord in the full counsel of God with boldness and Lord, just to be able to continue to minister as our warriors, God fight for the freedoms that, Lord, we take for granted here, Lord, in this country, when we continue to remember to pray for them.
Also, want to remember and to include our law enforcement, God, our firefighters, our police officers, those first responders, Lord, those that are on the frontline serving God and just pray that you protect them, God, especially during the unrestful times in our country right now, please be with them, help keep them safe, God, and just help them all, Lord, to continue to uphold the law, preserve freedom, God, and ultimately understand the source of our freedom, God. I ask in your name.
Isaac Crockett: Amen. Dr. Gary Dull, would you close this program? I don’t know if you have any final thoughts and if you close in prayer, you said we need prayer today, more than ever. And so let’s close this time in prayer.
Gary Dull: Well, I’m certainly glad that we had Jeremy on today and I would encourage people to go to their website, mightyoaksprograms.org. Mightyoaksprograms.org and learn more about their ministry. But trauma is something that’s very serious, and I want to remind people, and Jeremy related to this earlier, Romans chapter 7 and Romans chapter 8 are two great chapters to refer to. And particularly the eighth chapter of Romans reminds us that we are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us, and therefore in the time of need, we can turn to the Lord and he is our hope.
Father, we thank you for the fact that we have a hope that is far beyond anything that this world can offer. It’s you. As the old hymn says, “My hope is in the Lord,” and truly that’s where our hope is. And hope in you is not just, “Well, we hope something happens,” but it’s a certainty that through you, having faith in you, depending upon you, we can face everything and we can be brought through it by your strength, by your power to the point of victory and spiritual growth.
So thank you, Lord for that reality. I pray, father that you’ll take this program and use it even beyond the closing moments here for your glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Isaac Crockett: Amen. Thank you, Gary. And Jeremy, thanks so much again for being on this program with us. We’ve been so glad to learn about your ministry and what’s going on. Tim and Gary, thanks for being on today too.