Don’t let fear rule in your heart.

As you might imagine, I’ve received a number of emails and messages asking for advice regarding the current riots and looting throughout the country. One San Diego County resident sent me just such an email. He wasn’t sure if he should stay, go, fight, shelter in place, hide in a bunker, or run.

Since he was not the first to ask me such a question, I thought I should post my answer here:

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Thanks for the note.  I completely understand.

I posted a video yesterday about the riots.  You’ll find it here: https://youtu.be/dctDu00GtlU

Since I live in East County, I was watching the situation in La Mesa very closely as well.  What is encouraging to me is the fact that many people showed up the next day to help clean up and heal the city.  My son and some young men from our church were among them.  This morning, Nick (my son) left for downtown San Diego along with the same group of young men to help with the clean-up there. 

In my experience, there are far more good people in San Diego County than there are those with evil intent.  I have lived here all of my life.  I am a San Diegan.  By in large, San Diegans are a little different.  We don’t riot.  We don’t destroy our homes.  When somebody does those things, we come together to rebuild and heal our communities.  Now is not the time to shrink back in fear.  Now is the time to reach out, to pitch in, to band together, and to help lift each other’s spirits.

Yesterday, while Nick and his young brothers in Christ were helping to clean up the mess in La Mesa, I was producing the video I linked to above.  My wife was putting together gifts for our neighbors to encourage them.  Everybody got avocados and a jar of homemade apricot jam.  For the neighbors next door, she and my daughter put together a gift basket with baby supplies.  They are expecting a baby in the next few months.  My wife and daughter put together a similar basket for our neighbors two houses down.  Their little girl is just three months old.  We had never really talked with that couple before and didn’t even know their names.  Now we do.  This is how we build communities to make sure that nobody feels alone.

At some point, if the unrest continues, I will probably chat with my neighbors to see if they have any thoughts about how to protect our neighborhood in case bad things come our way.  For right now, it seems that law enforcement is getting a handle on it.  Our role at this point is to be good neighbors, encourage others, let Christ’s light shine through, and hope for the best even while we are prepared for the worst.

With that last thing in mind, you should always be prepared to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your neighbors.  When this started to become an issue in La Mesa, I loaded a few magazines for my rifle, made sure the home defense shotgun was loaded (with extra ammunition at the ready), and got my wife’s PC Carbine ready to go.  I installed new batteries in all of the optics and weapons lights, pulled everyone’s armor out and staged it for easy access, and made sure the handheld radios were fully charged and ready at hand. My hope is that none of that will be necessary.  Still, while hoping for the best, it is wise to prepare for the worst.

The most important thing that I can say to you is this, don’t let fear rule in your heart.  Act boldly to unite, encourage, build, restore, and protect.  In doing so you will make new friends and establish a community that will stand with you against any evil.

I hope this helps you. 

Stay safe.

Joel

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