Category Archives: Pat Murray

If the vision for your life is not intimidating to you, it is insulting to God.

“If the vision for your life is not intimidating to you, it is insulting to God.” – Steven Furtick

Pastor Dennis Durig challenged my thinking with this quote this morning. It also gives me some comfort when I think about the scope of my vision. How may times do we KNOW what God has given us, and look at it and think “There’s NO way I can do this. It’s just too big.” Maybe it’s supposed to be. If you could do it all by yourself, would you need God? Will it be hard? Likely. Will it stretch you? Certainly. Will is stretch your faith? Hopefully.

Everyday that I look around me, His plan for me becomes clearer. I feel their pain. I hear their voices. I sense their frustration. And if you know me at all, you know who I’m talking about. I want to make my mark. I want them to know that I care, not because I need it, but because they do. Like Pastor Pat said, “We’ve got to go out there and make a mark on our promised land. If you don’t make your mark on it, it will make it’s mark on you.” I really feel that God pointed to firefighters and cops and said to me , “That’s why you’re here.” It’s a daunting task with over 800 police and 1000 fire departments across Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. And I want to provide encouragement and appreciation to as many as I can.

Exciting days are ahead. Challenging? Probably. Testing? Maybe. Rewarding? No doubt!

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:(Philippians 1:6)

Greatness is only awakened when greatness is required. – Pastor Pat.

Funeral of Deputy Sheriff Suzanne Hopper

I just wanted to write a note about today’s events. I know it’s long, but it’s worth the read.It was an exhausting day, physically but more so emotionally.

I arrived at the Miami Township Police Department and was greeted my Major DiPietro. I went to the mall with Sgt. Nienhaus and we gathered there as a group before leaving. Met up with Mike Siney over there. We had somewhere around 75 cars there from various departments all over. I was already starting to feel honored just being in these people’s presence. A group of cops grieving and doing a mission of honor for a sister, and I was allowed to come along for the ride.

When we met up at the Navistar plant, only then did I realize the enormity of the support among her brothers and sisters in blue, most of who she never met or knew. Cops from all over the state. Later I’d find out, all over the country. We left there at 9:45 and took over an hour to get to the church, just a few miles away. Here is where the community support began to be noticed. Small children waving from car windows parked along the route. Businesses “Closed to Honor Deputy Hopper”. Veterans standing at attention saluting the procession. And hundreds of people waving at us from the side of the road.

Once we arrived at the church, to see the sea of officers in support of Deputy Hopper. Here is where I saw officers from the Chicago Police, Yonkers NY Police, Maryland and the Kentucky State police. The enormity of the moment began to set in on me. The first tears came here. Sheriff Kelly spoke magnificently, and did her son, and husband.

We waited outside to begin out journey to the cemetery. I talked to some of the guys from Huber Heights and Trotwood. Good to see familiar faces at such an event. Sitting in the parking lot in a sea of cars with lights flashing as the casket was brought out and as we followed one by one was a very moving experience. I can’t explain it to you. Watching the video won’t even give you the full affect. It took more than 2 hours to get to the cemetery. The route was lined with all sorts of folks out in the cold and snow holding up signs of support for the officers. The most moving part is the graveside ceremony. I was surrounded by a sea of blue.And felt the shot from the guns on the salute. And cried as the bagpipes played amazing grace.

I never knew (or met as far as I know) Deputy Hopper.But she knew about me. You know that from my previous note. But this was closer to me. She was one of my officers. Her loss caused some pain to me. Not like that experienced by family or the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. I can’t explain it to you. I can’t tell you how it feels. But these guys are my guys. And alot of the officers in the crowd had read emails from me. They wouldn’t recognize me, but they are my officers too. Pastor Pat has talked about Ministry in such a way that you have ownership over a city. That you feel it’s pain and that you hear it cry to you at night. These officers are that to me. I see them, hear them and feel the pain and sometimes frustration they feel. And when you stand and walk among them, it’s an indescribable feeling.

So I was taken back by the awesomeness of what I saw and felt today. It was good to see the support of a community, but why can’t they see that everyday, without the grief and loss? I also pray that I will never have to see it again. Their jobs are painful enough at times. Lets pray that they be spared form the grief again.

Please distribute to all Police, Paramedic and Fire personnel – Happy Fourth of July

Distribution: Please distribute to all Law Enforcement, Paramedic and Fire personnel

First, I want to say thank you to everyone who has made it possible for me to distribute this message. I can not express my gratitude enough for your assistance.

Sacrifice. On July 4th, we honor the sacrifice of our founding fathers who pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor. It was given to the young country by men who would come to know the high cost of what they did. Men who, in most cases, paid with their very lives. We’re free today because of the sacrifice of others. From the battle in Lexington and Concord in 1775 to present day Afghanistan.

But there are others who ensure we are safe, that allow our great Nation to pursue “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. Again I’m reminded of what Dr. Pat Murray said, “Freedom was paid for by the blood and conviction of it’s citizens.” There have been over 4055 firefighters and 5942 police officers who have paid the ultimate price of sacrifice in my lifetime, and thousands more prior to that. We honor them as we hold them in our thoughts during parades and memorials. And we honor their sacrifice as we live our daily lives, trying to make the world a better place and a safer place.

But I’d like to give you some encouragement, those of you fighting the fires, saving lives, and apprehending those who intend to do us harm. So I salute those of you who are out there keeping us safe, secure, and protected every day. I don’t think that you get near the amount of gratitude that you deserve, so I do what I can. Never forget that you are appreciated. Never forget that you are looked up to by countless people. Never forget that everytime you put on that uniform, you are making a difference.

I’ve said it before and will say it until I take my last breath, you all are heroes. I don’t know how often you hear it, but I’m certain it’s not nearly enough. Thank you for all that you do. I wish a happy Fourth of July to each and every one of you.

Authentic Leadership Session 7

Tonight Pastor Pat did another great job during Authentic Leadership Session 7. Here is just a thought or two before I get to the story:

1. If you kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you would not sit for a month.
2. Self Identity – The THOUGHT I believe to be true about myself.

The biggest thing tonight was the final exercise. We have a chart of the thoughts we think about ourselves, 5 positive things on one side, 5 negative on the other. Then we discuss how those are translated into how we FEEL about ourselves.

Smart |Quick tempered/angry
Funny |sometimes clueless
Outgoing |out-of-shape
personable |prayer life
Helpful |Obsessive need to win

For me, the negative seemed to flow easier. Is that natural, or is that a product of conditioning? Then as I was thinking about it, a quote from the West Wing came to mind. Let me set this up for you. I loved the West Wing. And there were times that I am convinced that the Lord used something on the show to speak to me. And this was one of them tonight. Episode 5 “THE CRACKPOTS AND THESE WOMEN” began with a “Friendly basketball game between the president and his staff. Then when President Bartlett brings in a ringer Toby says “After you’re gone, and the poets write, ‘The Legend of Josiah Bartlet,’ let them write you as a tragic figure, sir. Let the poets write that he had the tools of greatness, but the voices of his better angels was shouted down by his obsessive need to win.”

That quote came to mind tonight. Tools of Greatness. Obsessive need to win. That was my fifth negative trait. I see it in my life. Home, work, driving, shopping. I have to win. I have to get the last word in an argument. I have to prove to the Loan Officer that I do know what I’m doing. I have to have a list with no deviations. There has to be that clear cut purchase at Meijer or Lowes. I have to win. Or I won’t play. I have the “tools of greatness”, but are the voices of my better angels was shouted down by my obsessive need to win? By my anger? By my tendency to withdraw if I feel like there’s no win in sight? If I were honest, my biggest fear is that the “voices of my better angels” would not be heard over my actions.

The show ends on an up note. When discussing it later Bartlett asks Toby if he meant what he said. And after agreeing Toby says “Tell you what though, sir. In a battle between a President’s demons and his better angels, for the first time in a long while, I think we might just have ourselves a fair fight.”

Lets hope I have that fair fight on my hands.

What can’t you stand?

A few days ago I went to our church’s Wednesday night Leader session titled, “The Leadership State of Mind”. Having been in the church for over 10 years, I’ve heard a lot on leadership. A lot of great stuff. But this one was particularly life impacting.

“When leaders understand the stakes everybody wins.”
“Leaders intercept entropy – the lack of order and predictability, the gradual decline into disorder.”
“Out of the furnace of frustration, we forge leadership metal.”

He talked about examples of leaders: men like Moses, Billy Graham and Popeye. Some of us probably grew up watching Popeye. Olive Oyl was the special girl in his life. Popeye’s demeanor was usually calm and collected. But if something happened that would potentially harm her, he exploded. He would shout, “That’s all I can stand, and I can’t stands no more!”
The he asked the question: “What is it that you can’t stand?”.

Now for those of you who don’t know me, let me say this before I continue. I think about cops a lot. When I see one, I say hi and usually introduce myself. I spend a Friday night per month riding along with one of my local departments. And when one gives the ultimate sacrifice, I post my condolences, and I always contact their department. And at a police officer funeral, I learned some important lessons about life.

So tonight was no different. Police Week 2010. My next ride along in Miamisburg. Who’s next : Riverside or Dayton? Officer suicide. Lots of things were going through my mind when he asked the questions:”What is it that you can’t stand?” “What is it that wrecks you?” At that point something happened inside me. Tears came to my eyes. My heart ached at the thought.

What is it that I can’t stand? What “wrecks” me?
I can’t stand the thought of a cop sitting lonely in their cruiser on Christmas morning.
It “wrecks me” that a cop somewhere wondering if their life matters.
I can’t stand the thought that over 30% of officers have thought about suicide.
It “wrecks me” that officers are killing themselves at a rate more than twice as high as the general public.

Before you say “Well Mike, that could be true of Army vets, or___________________”. You may be right. But I’m not sent to them. I am sent to Police Officers. I try to encourage them whenever I can. I tell them that there are good people. What I really want them to know is that someone cares. I care.

It’s my goal that no officer in Ohio or Kentucky will ever have to wonder if they are appreciated. That no officer on a beat on Christmas morning will wonder if anyone cares if they are out there. That no officer who has a 2 year marriage and a newborn who gets to spend a couple of hours on a holiday with his young family will go to work and wonder why.

God is on the job

Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job.
1 Peter 4:12, The Message.

I heard Jerry Savelle mention this verse in a sermon I was listening to and thought it was absolutely powerful. I know in my life I forget that God is on the job. Sometimes in the midst of our lives, we forget that we are a work in progress. We are not who we are going to be. And sometimes I, like most people, get stuck there. When will I get there? When will I be someone that I can be happy with?

But we tend to forget something huge…We are not who we were. There are more pieces filled in. The picture is clearer. The past has been redeemed. The Blood of Jesus has cleansed us of our sins. Victory is not obtainable, it has already been obtained.

We forget that. So we look at what we see, and let go of the promises of God. But we have a God who sings over us ! We serve a God who is not only the creator of the universe, but someone who has numbered the very hairs on our head. If we could catch a glimpse of what He sees….

“If you could see through God’s eyes the you He sees, you’d be excited about today and tomorrow.”
Pastor Pat Murray