"Thoughts on War"
As a Pastor and an old Marine, (one who served under hostile conditions at our embassy in Beirut, Lebanon during the 80's) I have been most recently and constantly asked about my "thoughts on this war." I have also seen orders of my book "Beirut: God's Boot Camp" jump as well, for obvious reasons. People are simply afraid and concerned. So, this months edition of Shepherd's Pen is a "special" one.
It is a departure from our normal format of a teaching and then an update about our little ministry on Kauai that keeps the friends of our ministry updated on what's happening in our church. In return we ask for their prayers in support of the work we are doing in sharing the Gospel of Jesus. This month however, we ask you to pray for our country, its leaders and our men & women serving in our military all around the world and in whatever capacity.
Thoughts on War: Well, I don't want to see us or anyone else in a war. Unfortunately these things have happened since the creation of man and will continue until Jesus comes again. But, today while I was driving with my children to go on a little hiking trip, I heard someone on a local public broadcast radio station stating that he was a "Born Again Spirit Filled" Christian and he has some interesting things to say in regards to this situation. I assume that all true believers are born anew and filled with the Holy Spirit as the scriptures tell us, but he chose to drive this point home. I thought I would share my belief as a Pastor and a Marine.
This person stated basically how infuriated, appalled, upset he was at those Christians out there who supported the war in Iraq, our President's decision and those who tried to justify this action scripturally. I'm paraphrasing now, but I am just relaying his thoughts in my own words. He went on and on over this very liberal and very non Christian radio station stating this fact again and again that the Christians shouldn't support this action. I would be lying if I told you I wasn't upset at what I was hearing. I would also be lying if I told you I wasn't saddened by what I am seeing on the news and hearing from Americans and even some Christians in our Country.
So just for the record: I love my love my God, my Country and my Marine Corps. I love my country's Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Guardsmen who stand shoulder to shoulder along with them trying to be loyal, obedient and faithful to their country and its requests that are laid upon them. And I'm not embarrassed to say it and say it loud. And I will say it. I will not turn my back on these brave young men and women who loyally and obediently have gone forth and followed the orders of their Commander and Chief. I will not turn my back on them spiritually, socially or physically, and I pray you won't either. Nor will I turn my back on my Country and my President, especially during this time.
We always should pray that there is no need to go to war and indeed we did. Death and destruction should always be avoided as much as humanly possible in this life. No one in the church is arguing about that fact. We are not here to promote war or violence, but we are here to bring forth life and peace in Jesus. But not everyone out in this big world feels and acts the same. We do have an adversary the Bible speaks about who promotes the stealing and destruction of life.
As we battle in spiritual warfare against spiritual terrorism that takes the lives of so many people, we also need to understand that at times we as a people will have to fight physically in order to protect and prevent atrocities. We do need to be responsible as humans and act in the best interest of others to preserve life. There is much being said to the contrary and the Christians of this nation need to understand this and to get verbal in supporting our troops. When others speak contrary, we need to make our feelings known as well, not in confrontation, but in love.
The reality is, there always has been and always will be war until Jesus himself comes again. He comes by the way, with "the armies of heaven" with Him. (Rev 19) We need to remember the reality of Jesus' statement: "And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom." Matt 24:5-7
Since the time Cain killed Abel there has been fighting and wars. They will continue until the end comes. Whether this Christian Nation, which is what we were founded on, should engage in military conflict or not, is always a question. War should always be questioned. Wouldn't it be nice to never have to go to war? Sure. But that is just not a reality. There will always be some evil presence out there. Some people think it would be nice to not have a military and close our eyes and ears to that which goes on in the world around us. Just hope all the bad people of the world would just leave us alone. Think positive, right? Wrong! Unfortunately if we did do such a thing, we wouldn't have to go to war, war would come to us. Most assuredly. Only a fool would believe otherwise.
Someone once said: "The only thing we have learned from history, is that we haven't learned from history." And its so true. Too many nations in the past have turned a blind eye to deviate regimes, kingdoms and nations only to have those entities turn on them or simply kill the masses when they could have prevented it. The reality is, with our wealth of resources, information and technology, we are responsible to help others when in need.
Picking and choosing who, what, where and when, falls to the responsibility of our elected officials. As long as our democratic system of governing is in place and working, we have the right to debate, disagree and argue points. And again, military action is something we never really want to get into, unless it is truly needed. Every Veteran will agree with that. But once that decision is made, we need to support our President, government and especially the young men and women sworn to duty in our military.
I'm not here to politicize this issue. I am here to say the decision has been made and our men and women are now in conflict. We need to pray, not protest. We need to support them and not make the mistake this country made when our boys were in Vietnam. I am a Pastor and my job is to seek peace and share the Gospel of Peace. But I am not to shirk my responsibility to others around me if I have the ability to help. Our nation as well is not to shirk its responsibilities either.
If you see someone in your neighborhood selling drugs, breaking into a house, beating someone, do you turn a blind eye? Do you ignore it? Do we just pray and hope it doesn't effect us? Well, of course not. If we do nothing, of course it will eventually effect us. Our government is not doing a popular thing, but taking action, an action I hoped we would avoid, but seems if we do nothing, something will happen. So it appears we must act. And now I need to voice my support for our troops, pray for them, our government, the Iraqi people and the quick resolution of this conflict. Not make matters worse.
The person on the radio said he couldn't find any New Testament scripture to justify war or killing. Well, I can't find any scripture in the New Testament that justifies angry protests, animosity towards our President, rebellion against our government, divisiveness and the likes. I can however, find scripture to the contrary for those who have aggressively and bitterly taken to the streets and the airwaves to protest this action.
Our President and elected officials have made a decision based upon our abilities, foreknowledge and the welfare of others. We have not turned a blind eye and although I prayed we would not have to go to war, we did and now I need to support that and those who are out there doing what their country has told them to do.
I am reminded of the parable of the "Good Samaritan" in Luke 10 where a man was beaten, robbed and left for dead on the side of the road. Both the Priest and the Levite, Holy Men, who should have done something to help, looked upon the scene and passed by on the other side, avoiding the issue entirely. It was the common man, one of compassion and mercy, the Samaritan, who Jesus praised for his efforts in coming to the aide of this man and taking care of him. He was called a "good neighbor."
In this global community we live in, America has been a good neighbor many times and has missed opportunities at other times. If you have never been in a country like Iraq, ruled with an iron fist, one that lashes out at the innocent and weak, you need to make a trip! I saw first hand in Beirut the horrors of those who would like to be in control at any and all costs. If you want to talk about innocent civilian casualties, that every war has, check your Saddam History books, he makes no distinction.
As I close this newsletter, I want to bring forth a point that I believe has been brought up before by others. Osama Bin Laden didn't consult the UN before he bombed the Pentagon or the World Trade Centers in New York. When he plots to blow up and embassy or hijack a plane he doesn't consult the UN Security counsel first. Nor does he care about civilian casualties. Nor does Saddam Hussein for that matter. Nor did he consult the UN Security Counsel when he used chemical weapons on people in his own country, the Kurdish people and killed so, so many of them. Nor did he when he attacked and used chemical weapons on the Iranian people, killing many of them as well. Nor did he when he invaded Kuwait or shot scud missiles at Israel. He is not concerned for his civilians or his enemies. Nor are they both concerned about you! Evil never is.
There were no protests or debates in Iraq when these things happened and anyone who objected openly was killed. Iraqi's don't live in freedom, they live in fear. Saddam doesn't care about you, or me, or anyone for that matter, killing his own family members is just fine. If you are foolish enough to believe that if we just left him alone and hoped sanctions would work, you've missed the last sanctions that are in place from the last conflict, that didn't deter him. If you are foolish enough to believe that, if we did not get involved, that he would live a peaceful existence, and leave everyone alone, your simply not from this planet and should go back to your own solar system.
He has killed and he will kill again. He will use his own people and our POW's as shields. It is a fact he has no regard for human life and will use ANY weapon available to achieve his desires. He is ruthless and cunning, and much like his counterparts of history, if he goes unchecked, more atrocities will take place. To protest the war at this point, is to support his terroristic regime, is to come against your own men and women serving in your armed forces. As Christians we need to pray and we need to support our troops openly and verbally. I don't mean take to the streets, but when you hear someone whinning about it and our government, remind them that when they go to bed in peace tonight, watch whatever they want on TV, travel where ever they want and enjoy the pleasures of living in a first world nation, that our government seems to be working pretty well for them. If they are Christians, tell them they need to go on a missions trip to a true third world country either in conflict or coming out of one and see for themselves what oppression is like.
Finally, the person on the radio also said that he can't justify killing anyone, maybe only in the case of self defense and only on accident in that self defense. I guess the Iranians, Kurds and Kuwaiti's should have just allowed the Iraqi's to just roll in with their military and stand in the streets waving yellow flags asking them to "go home" and "leave us alone." Then, after that, they should have only fired on them to wound them. Hoping not to kill anyone in the advancing invasion as their country and people are being blown to shreds. This is not reality. This is someone who has lived a sheltered life. It seems we have lived free too long in our country without anyone knocking on our borders militarily and we have long forgotten fear and oppression that once loomed over this world only 50 short years ago. Many Americans seem too influenced by MTV, CNN, Rock Stars and Actors who don't live in the reality of the world around them.
Let me tell you from experience: Being young and in a war zone is terrifying, truly. Plain and simple. I cannot emphasize the importance of supporting our troops. They are our family. Our sons and daughters. They are frightened, uncertain, at times confused and overwhelmed. What they don't need is the sin committed against our Vietnam Vets by having their own peers and countrymen turning their backs on them. Well, I'm here to tell you, "No way, not while I'm around." And if you receive this newsletter I hope not while your around either. The majority of this country does support our President and our troops. We just need to make sure we're verbal about it. Especially us Vets.
We don't have to like war or want war, but we do have to stand behind our men and women while we are at war. And thank them and welcome them when they come home. In the mean time pray for peace and a quick resolve. Pray for both our troops and Iraqi people. Pray for Jesus to come soon. Only then will there be end to all wars and eternal Peace!
I never ask for our newsletters to be forwarded, but this one I will. I will ask you to forward this to your friends. I will ask you send it to the families of these loyal young men and women with a heavy burden on their lives right now. I will ask you to send it to they themselves who are in this conflict right now. I will ask you send it to everyone you know who will stand by them and pray for them and let them know that we love them, we are proud of them and we stand behind them no matter what the rest of the world thinks! Because we are Americans and we take care of our own.
So thank you for letting me get personal this time. If you have received this and your in our military, I salute you and thank you personally. If you are a member of our armed forces and need prayer or encouragement, drop me a response and I will respond and pray for you. There are also ministries out there like Point Man International and FORCE Ministries that are Veteran Ministries that are here for you as well. You can do a web search and find them as well. If you received this and don't want to receive it, just delete it. If you received this and your a regular on our email list and disagree, I'm sorry, we will take you off if you request. If you are new and want to be added, just drop us a response and we'll put you on. Take care and may the Lord Bless You!
Aloha and God bless,
Breath of Life Christian Ministries
Pastor Tom Iannucci
You can contact us via
or our Mailing Address:
PO Box 4007, Lihue, HI 96766
What does God Want in His Church?
by LeRoy Metzger
"Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree, and there be no divisions (male/female, race, social/economic, tongue) among you, but you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment" (1 Cor. 1:1-10).
Because if we all start speaking the same thing, nothing will be impossible to us. Now do you see why satan doesn't want us to speak the same thing? Listen; ... Where just two or three gather together in Jesus' name, He will manifest Himself right there among them. It's even better then that. Jesus said that when we actually touch and agree about anything that we ask Him, it will be done (Mt. 18:19-20). All we have to do is agree. This is a powerful truth that we all should be applying to our Christian life and teaching our family's and friends.
One Pastor's "translation" of verse 20 says, "If two or three of you ever get together, I'll come to see it Myself"!
The enemy is determined to keep us apart, and he will create all kinds of confusion just to keep us separated. Many times he focuses his efforts on our fears of rejection, whispering slander and lies in our ears, "They don't like me. In fact, they never did like me. Well, that's okay, because I don't like them either."
Did you hear about the mother that woke up her son one Sunday morning and said, "It's time to go to church, son." He said from under his covers, "I don't want to go!" The mother answered, "But you have to go. Get up" He said, "No, I don't want to go." Finally the mother said, "Give me two reasons why you shouldn't go. " He said, "I don't like them, and they don't like me. Now you give me two reasons why I should go. "She said, "Because you are 40 years old, and because you are the pastor of the church."
Too many of us move through life with a paranoia that "people just don't like us." Let's stop thinking wrong about people and just get together in the Family of God. Get connected, build good relationships. What is church? A treasure chest of good friends blessing God together.
Can the church be reconciled to itself? Can we start loving one another as God wants us to love one another? The bottom line is that our common life in Christ is greater than any difference that exists between us! God is giving us no room for excuses. He just says "Love One Another". He expects us to model Christ's life for the world. They need to see us fellowship, pray, and play together in genuine love. We can make a difference if together we'll display the grace and glory of God as one body.
This reminds me of the time a friend had a old heavy up-right piano that needed to be moved. No way he and I alone was going to move that old piano. So we got six brothers to catch the same vision, to agree, and we move that big old heavy piano. As a result, what would have been a massive effort for a two guys became a very easy and quick task for six guys.
God wants to bring us together. He says, "I want you to be more than a candle. I want you to be a city set on a hill that cannot be hid". See Matt. 5:14.
In the book of Genesis, humanity said, "Come now, let us build a tower," and they built a big monstrosity to elevate themselves to the heavens (see Gen.11:14). In our generation, we must say, "Come now, let us work together to lift Jesus higher until the whole earth is covered with His Glory and the islands become a praise unto Him."
For when one says, "I follow Paul," and another, "I follow Apollos," are you not mere men? What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe--as the Lord has assigned to each his task.
I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.
The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building. -NIV 1 Cor. 3:4-9
Cleansing Stream Ministries
Cleansing Stream Alumni:
We are inviting you to attend the Cleansing Stream Ministries Retreat on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 21 & 22 at Thy Word in Hanamaulu.
Please pre-register by Nov. 7.
Call Ann Nolan at 742-9141.
Come and be refreshed and renewed.
There is no charge to alumni and lunch will be served.
Looking forward to again "Press toward the goal".
Here's a witness...
The Hanamaulu-Kapaia Cleanup and Beautification Project is slowly coming together. Several hours have already been put into this project and we're beginning to get some positive responses from businesses, residents and the government. We hope to be a testimony unto Jesus when we're through.
Christian witness needs to take place in the Market Place. The world will not turn to Jesus until they see Christians practicing what we preach.
A novice wanted to learn the preaching techniques from St. Francis of Assisi. He asked Francis if he may go with him and watch him preach. They went from the monastery down to the village and market place. They returned to the monastery without Francis' preaching to anyone. The confused novice asked Francis, "When are you going to preach?" Francis replied, "We did. Our mere presence in the community was a sermon."
It's good for Christians to get out of our comfortable pews and pulpit to be in the community where the people live and work. Elderly Mrs. Iwamoto saw me cleaning and beautifying the area in front of her home in Hanamaulu. She was very pleased to see a transformation in the making. She thanked me for cleaning and beautifying her neighborhood. Then, she offered me tangerines and water for the plants. Island Truss sent two men to weed whack the weedy hillside. Sheila from the neighborhood Shell Station donated a 100 feet of water hose. Wal-Mart also donated water hose to our project. Sign Art has donated two banners announcing our Labor Day Cleanup and Hukilau. The State and County have donated plastic trash bags for the rubbish. Outdoor Circle helped buy trees for two of Hanamaulu neglected parks and potting soil for planting. More grants are forthcoming because we have taken a pro-active stance!
Hanamaulu may become an example and model for you to initiate pro-active activities in all the communities on Kauai and restore our island to truly become a "Garden Island!"
On September 11 (9/11, 1992), Hurricane Iniki devastated Kauai. The call to 911 brought National Civil Defense and the State workers to help us recover from the worst natural disaster ever to hit our Garden Island.
Again, on September 11, 2001 (9/11), our nation came under a surprise terrorist attack on the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. and the World Trade Center in New York City.
This time around, our 911 call is to God to help us in this crisis. This terrorist attack has brought our nation to our knees to pray for forgiveness to those who have caused many deaths of innocent lives.
What happened to our nation today is a wake-up call for Gods watchmen (intercessors) to be at our post around the clock watching and praying in behalf of our nation.
The word of the Lord came to the prophet Jeremiah, who as shut up in the court of prison, saying, Thus says the Lord who made it, the Lord who formed it to establish it (The Lord is His name). Call to Me, and, I will answer You, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.
Our God wants us to call: JER 33:3, heavens telephone number, not just when we are in a crisis, but all the time. Hello, hello, is this 911?
May Gods prophetic promise to Jeremiah be appropriated for America during this time of sorrow and mourning in the tragic terrorist attack of the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. and the World Trade Center in New York City.
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
Mahaloha to Fenton and Winona Lee of Hawaiian Classic Desserts for their generous gift to Kauai Island Ministries. In conjunction with the Kapaia-Hanamaulu Cleanup, Julie Yukimura of Kapaia Stitchery made a generous donation to KIM. Pastor Alice Morikawa has been a regular monthly giver to the ministry of KIM.
KIM welcomes churches, businesses and individuals contribution to our non-profit, tax exempt organization via checks. Mail to:
Kaua`i Island Ministries, Inc
3184 Unahe Street,
Lihue, HI. 96766.
KIM now has the capability of accepting gifts via credit cards. Please call (808) 742-1505. Mahalo for supporting KIM with your prayers, participation and your gifts.
Words from C. H. Spurgeon,
"Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field ... let us see if the vine flourish."
-Song of Solomon 7:11,12
The church was about to engage in earnest labour, and desired her Lord's company in it. She does not say, "I will go", but "let us go." It is blessed working when Jesus is at our side! It is the business of God's people to be trimmers of God's vines. Like our first parents, we are put into the garden of the Lord for usefulness; let us therefore go forth into the field.
Observe that the church, when she is in her right mind, in all her many labours desires to enjoy communion with Christ. Some imagine that they cannot serve Christ actively, and yet have fellowship with him: they are mistaken. Doubtless it is very easy to fritter away our inward life in outward exercises, and come to complain with the spouse, "They made me keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept:" but there is no reason why this should be the case except our own folly and neglect. Certain is it that a professor may do nothing, and yet grow quite as lifeless in spiritual things as those who are most busy. Mary was not praised for sitting still; but for her sitting at Jesus' feet.
Even so, Christians are not to be praised for neglecting duties under the pretence of having secret fellowship with Jesus: it is not sitting, but sitting at Jesus feet which is commendable. Do not think that activity is in itself an evil: it is a great blessing, and a means of grace to us. Paul called it a grace given to him to be allowed to preach; and every form of Christian service may become a personal blessing to those engaged in it.
Those who have most fellowship with Christ are not recluses or hermits, who have much time to spare, but indefatigable labourers who are toiling for Jesus, and who, in their toil, have him side by side with them, so that they are workers together with God. Let us remember then, in anything we have to do for Jesus, that we can do it, and should do it in close communion with him.
Spurgeon, C. H. 1995. Morning and evening : Daily readings (May 9 PM). Logos Research Systems, Inc.: Oak Harbor, WA