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{}   *Going it Alone* 


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Going it Alone

By Ken Pierpont

Friday Woody Shoemaker stepped into my office.   It's always a good part of my day when Woody stops in.  We have both been pastors for years and together we solve the world's problems and swap old pastor stories.  When he stepped in I was thinking about what I was going to say later that evening to the men in Grosse Pointe.  My job was to convince men who were already swamped with responsibilities that they should help form a men's ministry in the church.

"Woody," I said, "What would you say to a group of men to convince them that they should be willing to help other men walk with the Lord."

Woody served as a Navy Seal during the Vietnam Conflict.  I knew he was referring to his service as a Seal when he said, "The enemy tries to be as almighty as he can be.  They want to know everything about you.  They want to know where you are, who you are, were you are moving, and what you are doing.  Your life depends on going unnoticed."

He moved to the edge of his chair using his hands as he spoke growing more animated as I asked follow-up questions. 

"Ken, they could smell you.  We were sure not to have body odor.  We were clean but we didn't use deodorant soap or deodorant.  We ate garlic so we would not smell different then the Vietcong.  When we were walking through the jungle you wanted to be silent.  We would have one of our platoon stay back and just stand still in the darkness and listen for the enemy.

When we went out in we wanted every advantage we could get.  We each had our job and we each did it because our lives and the lives of our buddies depended on it.  Every member of the team was important."

Then, without really thinking about it or measuring his words he shifted forward in his chair and raised his voice and said, "We wouldn't think of going out there alone.  It would be suicide.   We didn't even do R and R alone.  We didn't get our hair cut alone.  If I was in the chair getting a shave a buddy would be sitting across the room with an M-16 across his knees just in case the barber slipped with the razor."

I thanked Woody for helping me prepare for the men in Grosse Pointe.  We drove to the meeting.  The men gathered and while they were introducing themselves I realized these were busy men with a lot of "plates to spin," a lot of people to please.  They didn't have time for more meetings for meetings sake.  They didn't need more programs and committees, but they did need each other.  They have a common enemy and his plans include murder, theft, and destruction. 

I reminded the men that no home is safe without a strong man, no church is vital without strong men, and no man is strong without other men.  In a word I told them what Woody said, "Don't even  think of going out there alone."

Solomon's father, David was a man of war who was surrounded by men who were legendary in their daring and loyalty.  He must have taught his son the importance of not trying to face an enemy alone.  When he died he left a gift of wisdom in his writings.  Among them was this from the Book of Ecclesiasties:

Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.  or if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Woody said they all knew that if any of them were killed by the Vietcong they would be subject to unspeakable atrocities.  "Of course" he said, "We would never leave anyone behind, even if they were killed, we would get them out."

When a demonic enemy plots to destroy and defile all that is dear to them brothers don't go it alone, they band together.  When our friends are fighting for life and defending all that is sacred to them, brothers don't stand back and watch they step in and help. 

Ken Pierpont

Write Ken and let him know your thoughts on his story!

Ken Pierpont is the Director of the Riverfront Character Inn and International Conference Center in Flint, Michgian.  He and his wife Lois have four sons and four daughters.  Ken sends the Stonebridge Newsletter, a free weekly electronic newsletter, to over 5,000 subscribers every Monday morning.  You can visit his site or e-mail Ken at

(If you visit you can see some pictures of his friend Pastor Woody Shoemaker in his Vietnam days before he had met the Lord).


Thought For The Day:

"We don't need anymore leadership training; we need some followership training."
Maureen Carroll

Verse for the Day:

"Anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me."
Matthew 10:38

Kid's Thought For The Day:

"You can't unspill a glass of milk."

Parent's Thought For The Day:

"We never know the love of the parent till we become parents ourselves."
Henry Ward Beecher

Coach's Thought For The Day:

"It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen."
John Wooden

Writer's Thought For The Day

"One of the few things I know about writing is this: Spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book, give it, give it all, give it now ... Some more will arise for later, something better. These things fill from behind, from beneath, like well water. Similarly, the impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes." --Annie Dillard

Deep Thought For The Day:

"There are two rules for ultimate success in life.
1. Never tell everything you know."


Video Imagery --Michael's Video Production Business

Dear Michael,

I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for the beautiful video you made for me! It was so special to see both of my parents in tears as they watched their children grow up in pictures before their eyes! I loved the way you made Estania's part set aside from the rest--that was the part that really got them! The music was beautiful. My mom kept blubbering, "What song is that?" I don't know how you did such a beautiful job with the video in such a short time. I really appreciate your doing it so quickly. You have a wonderful gift, and I thank God that you are using it to create such sentimental memories. I hope that I can find my niche like that in an area that I love. Your video gave us one of our most lasting Christmas memories! I hope yours was filled with moments to be treasured forever!
Silverhill, AL

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