The OAK Weekly Letter Vol. 2 No.6
|2010 Vol. 2 No. 6|
Dear Jorge Parrott,
Last week we hosted our first gathering just for Oak Initiative members. It was an extraordinary time and I think exceeded all of our expectations. If you were not able to be there, it was all recorded and the DVD's and CD s will soon be available on our website. There are a number of these teachings that would be excellent to show to your gathering or Chapter, and should stimulate not only interchange but action.
From our perspective the most encouraging thing was to see the quality of people being drawn to The Oak. We have a national advertising campaign planned that will likely swell our ranks, but we are more concerned that The Oak grows strong, not just big. This will always be dependent on the quality of people in The Oak. We know that the ones who are gathering now, without the advertising, are doing it out of a sense of mission. As we get to know those who are gathering in The Oak Initiative we have no doubt that this will be a high impact force for the future.
Our main goal for the recent Oak conference was to address some of the issues that we think are going to be crucial in the coming times, as well as to more clearly define our purpose and strategy. Of course we also wanted to get to know some of our members better. These goals were accomplished. The initial feedback we received was that it seems to have exceeded the expectations of just about everyone by a good margin. Though it was not a part of the plan, we also do not doubt that some of the messages that came out during this time will receive very wide distribution, and may help set the agenda of issues in the coming times.
Even though we are still flying under the radar in many ways, it was not until we took up the issue of healthcare reform as a major crisis, and started communicating this through bulletins and other media sources available to us, that it instantly became a major national issue, and an uprising of citizens like this has not been seen in a long time. We obviously were not the only ones responsible for this, but many of our talking points were the talking points of the town hall meetings, and dominated the media for a time. This crisis is not completely over, but there has no doubt been an impact that has averted it in the immediate. My point is that it does not matter who or where it comes from, when the truth becomes clear, if we will respond to it and take it up as an issue, the impact can be great.
Our vision for The Oak Initiative is not just mobilizing large numbers of people, but rather uniting high impact people. In military terms this is called force multiplying. The significant tipping points in history that have changed its course have almost always come from a tiny percentage of the people, but they were committed, they were faithful, and they were enduring. If The Oak Initiative becomes as strong in the Lord as our symbol, being true oaks of righteousness, just a few hundred in each state can easily turn the whole nation. We are looking at our Oak Members like Special Forces, not just a big massive force. If just a few become the salt and light they are called to be, it will no doubt impact many more.
This is just a brief on what happened during this conference because the way it unfolded does highlight where we are at this time.
I began the conference by giving a kind of the state of The Oak Initiative, and some general perspectives on the state of the nation. Then Marc Nuttle, as usual, amazed everyone with his depth of insight into the times, as well as sharing some of the things he had received briefings about in Washington. Like few others, Marc can be both simple and profound in his presentations, and this one sobered us all. It also made very poignant just how serious our mission is.
I hope you ve read Marc s book, Moment of Truth, which is the first thing we send to all new Oak Members. Marc is himself one of the great historic examples of what even one person can accomplish with clear vision, and the resolve to hold to the course. From a mostly hidden place Marc has had a huge impact on some of the most important events of our times, such as bringing down the Iron Curtain.
Marc is too humble to ever say this about himself, but as Christians we are commanded to give honor to whom honor is due. In the Books of Life, which are God s history books that are absolutely true and accurate, that we are assured will be opened on that Great Judgment Day, we will probably all be amazed at how many faithful individuals or small groups, without any fanfare or recognition, changed the course of history. As Jesus stated in Luke 10 to those who had just returned from their first mission to preach the gospel, heal the sick, and cast out demons. He explained to them that it was even better to rejoice that their names were recorded in the Books of Life. They were making history in heaven, not just on the earth!
We have no doubt that Marc is the right man to be Chairman of the Board of The Oak Initiative, because he is one of the great examples of the kind of high impact that we believe any one of our Oak Members can have. One of our basic reasons for existing is to help prepare and equip high impact people. That is what you are called to be. Together we can do a lot, and individually we can be used to do a lot if we are strong. We will be strong.
After Marc, we briefly addressed some of the other pressing issues of the times, and then moved to what we think is going to be possibly the next major issue after healthcare reform immigration reform. We are resolved to never shy away from the other important issues, regardless of how controversial they are, but we will seek to propose biblical and workable solutions to them. So I asked Samuel Rodriguez to address the issue of illegal immigration, which he did brilliantly.
Samuel is the leader of over 25,000 Hispanic churches in the U.S., and is one of the most quoted leaders in the country on this issue. To have understanding we do need to stand under the situation of the ones we want to understand, and I thought Samuel knew this better than anyone. His presentation galvanized and unified the entire assembly on this issue in a most remarkable way. It was one of those words of wisdom that just could not be argued against. Throughout the rest of the conference I did not hear a single person say that they disagreed with what he said, and many said it had completely changed their perspective on it.
Samuel began by highlighting one of the most important political issues in any national election Hispanics now compose about forty million voters in the U.S. These are citizens, and since they tend to vote as a block, it is not likely that anyone will get elected on a national level without their vote. The perception is that this will only benefit the Democratic Party, and liberal causes, but that is not at all true, at least it does not have to be.
Most conservatives seem to be ignorant of the fact that 90% of Hispanics are pro-life and pro-traditional family, and in almost every way are conservative and side with Republicans on issues. The reason they have tended to vote for Democratic or liberal candidates is because the Democratic Party reached out to them, and the Republicans have demeaned them, or been insensitive to them. This is a huge political mistake, and could be catastrophic if not corrected.
Think about this Europe is likewise being flooded with immigrants, but in Europe the immigration is almost entirely Muslim. In the U.S. we too are having a great influx of immigrants, which by the way our economy needs, and even our population needs just to be sustained, but almost all of the immigrants to the U.S. are strong pro-family and pro-life conservatives.
As Samuel so powerfully presented, Hispanics are not for illegal immigration, but probably more than anyone else are the victims of our insecure borders. No one considers that amnesty should be the answer, as that has been tried and did not work. However, sending all of the illegal immigrants back is no longer a solution either if we want groceries in the stores, or some other devastating problems. As the City of San Diego declared, most of the restaurants in the county would have to shut down if illegal immigrants were deported. So what can be done?
First, the Department of Immigration needs to be fixed, along with the rest of the government that is so bogged down in useless regulations and such red tape that it can no longer function. The overwhelming majority of illegal immigrants in this country would have very much preferred to have come in legally, but it is not possible with the incompetence of our government. We have top professionals from Canada who are waiting 7 to 10 years to be processed when it should not take any more than 7 to 10 days. With the technology we have today, background checks can be done while someone is standing in line.
Our government is seriously broken, and the answer our congress has had for most of the problems is to add regulations! We need to have a law passed that for every law added at least 2 have to be taken off the books. Legalese should be outlawed and plain English required by our government, not just immigrants!
We cannot blame poor bureaucrats and field agents for this maddening incompetence on the part of our government the source is how far Washington has lost touch with reality. At the rate our government is melting down into this mire, we will soon here about truckloads of U.S. citizens being caught trying to sneak into Mexico!
Of course the illegal immigrants who commit crimes make big news in the U.S. but this is a tiny fraction of the whole. Statistically illegal aliens are far more law abiding than any other group, though maybe out of fear of being caught and deported and except for the human and drug trafficking, they tend to be very well behaved. It is also hard not to find an employer who does not think they are some of the best workers and best neighbors we can have.
If you are concerned about the taxes they are not paying, consider this most are paying the same taxes we are on false Social Security numbers, so they will not likely be able to collect their Social Security, so they are helping in this even more than citizens. Of course, for those who are being paid illegally in cash, this is not so, but if the laws we had on the books that penalized employers for this were enforced, this would not be a problem.
Almost all of the crises we are facing now are rooted in broken government. Even the illegal immigrants are not asking for amnesty or an easier pathway to citizenship, but just a guest worker status so they can stay and work while they go to the back of the line to seek legal status, but just let it be a line that actually moves.
What Would Jesus Do?
From a Christian perspective, which should be the first way that we see everything, in the Parable of the Sheep and Goats one of the distinguishing characteristics between these two groups was the way they treated Jesus when He came to them as a foreigner. One of the main reasons why America has been so blessed has been the way we have welcomed the persecuted and oppressed from just about every nation. We are a nation that is made of immigrants except for the Native Americans.
For the most part, the illegal immigrants are fathers who love their families so much they risk their lives to come here and try to support them, while in America we do have a big and growing problem with fathers deserting their families. They also tend to so appreciate their jobs that they do work far harder than others, for far less pay. We may think this is driving down wages, but almost all of the jobs they hold are jobs that most Americans do not want to do, and do not do very well.
There is more to this issue than I can cover here, but there are also workable solutions that can satisfy just about everyone. However, like almost all of the issues facing us now the solutions are going to require leadership not just politics.
The Black-White Divide
Larry Jackson, another Oak Board Member, who is well known for being one of the popular speakers in the Promise Keepers movement, was then asked to address some of the major reasons for the continued separation between the white and black church. This session will also likely go down as one of the Oak classics. It is another must-see by our Oak members, and everything we re doing to circulate Sammy s presentation we will do for this one as well. This too is a serious issue on our heart, and one that we hope will be an issue for every Oak Member, as in Christ there are no such racial divisions, and we want to be a reflection of the heart of God, not men.
There was much more covered in this conference, but this letter would have to be a book to cover it as it deserves. Throughout the time Nicholas Papanicolaou, Cindy Jacobs, Bob Weiner and I contributed, who were the other Oak Board Members present. Then, on the last morning, Lt. Gen. (ret.) Jerry Boykin put the icing on the cake with his presentation of the Nine Principles of Warfare, and how they could apply to what we re doing in the Oak, right down to the Chapter level. Some said that this was the most practical, workable strategy they had ever heard, and could apply to everything from church planting to running a business. It was brilliant, and many saw how and why the church is called to be an army. This too will be developed and initiated by The Oak Initiative.
The First Oak Convention (August 26-28, 2010)
We are planning our first Oak Initiative Convention this coming August 26-28, so you may want to set aside the dates now. In this Convention we will have some high profile general session speakers, but we will also break up in caucuses and states. The caucuses we have planned so far are:
We will have more than these, but we want each one to be led by someone with a calling in this area, who is also a part of the Oak leadership from Chapter level or above. We should note that all of these are people oriented, not just issue oriented. We don t think we can accurately understand the issues except from the human perspective. This is where a big part of the disconnect with our government has come before we can really understand the consequences of laws we need to look at how they will impact people.
We are also planning during this convention to begin building a special fellowship within our Oak chapters around each of the seven mountains of the Seven Mountain Strategy. This is a major strategy that has been embraced by Christians around the world, and we think is one of most practical ways that we can be connected in a true grassroots way, and have a national, or even international impact.
We will let you know more about the plan for this convention as it unfolds, but please set these dates aside. This is likely to be a very historic meeting, and you will not want to miss it.
I said that after the first of the year I would begin sharing some practical considerations for starting Oak gatherings and Oak Chapters. It is still after the first of the year, and this will be a focus of our future communications. The reason I have not begun yet in a systematic way is because we are gaining so much knowledge and wisdom about this from those who have already begun that we just needed to process it a bit to present it in the most effective way.
One thing is for sure The Oak Initiative is getting increasing traction, and it is going to be a major force in the times to come. It has been very encouraging for us to see not only how many people are starting Oak gatherings and Oak Chapters now, but the quality of the leadership being raised up. The innovative ways that people are being gathered, and how these chapters are being built with such vision and strategy does make us feel that the Oak symbol of our organization is most appropriate. This is going to be a force of both depth and strength, with very extensive branches.
Thanks for being a part.
In His Service,
Evolving Unemployment Maps (Pray With details)
MorningStar Haiti Relief
Click Here to download the free Adobe PDF Reader
For Membership Information click here.
For Leadership and Organizational Details, click here.
For Email Subscription Details click here or here for a mail-in form.
For General Information: Call our Offices at 803-547-8217 or email firstname.lastname@example.org