A satanist tried to kill Craig Groeschel

Ok, calm down. If you’re a Lifer, everything’s fine. No reason to freak out. :)

I recently found a relatively new (1 year old) blog post that’s really cool and quite honestly, scary. It was a review of a book written by a former Oklahoma city satanist. One of the satanic tasks, among others, that he tried to accomplish is trying to kill Craig Groeschel. For those of you who do not know Craig, he’s the founding pastor of LifeChurch.tv, one of the fastest growing church in America, and probably the biggest. He is also well loved teaching pastor among the 150 NetworkChurches across the United States and the world, where LifeChurch Makati is part of.

Here’s an excerpt of his story:

One night when Leehan was home alone, he heard strange sounds emanate from his master bedroom, including scratching on the walls, guttural groans, and then chanting. “The demonic sounds from the unholy choir directed me to the living room,” where he was engulfed by an evil presence that overpowered his will.

Mission to kill

He felt an indwelling which seemed to be an angel of death. “This spirit gave me a mission: ‘Kill Craig Groeschel.’” The satanic spirit explained that another man had been give the task but had backed down. Leehan was the chosen one to complete the assignment.

Groeschel founded Life Covenant Church in 1996 in a suburb of Oklahoma City, and it had grown to become the largest church in that area and one of the largest in the U.S.

For a year, Leehan stalked Groeschel with a 9 millimeter Glock and two clips, which he hid under his shirt as he sat in the foyer of the large church and studied the church’s security arrangements. Leehan never ventured inside the sanctuary, because of his hatred of worship and the people of God.

(Spoiler alert: if you plan to read Leehan’s riveting book, stop here.)

On the day he decided to kill Groeschel, something unexpected happened. As Leehan sat and listened to the reading of God’s Word, the praises of His people, and the message of the gospel, it pierced his heart. The stone wall Satan had erected around his heart began to be dismantled, and the light of heaven began to work.

When an usher came over to him, Leehan confessed what he had been planning to do. The man stood there speechless, his eyes wide with shock and horror.

Leehan quickly left the church with his girlfriend, but the next week, his photo was plastered in the staff rooms of every LifeChurch around Oklahoma City. A caption beneath his photo read, “If you see this man, call security or the police.”

When he went back to the church the following Sunday, he forgot his weapon. As he sat in the foyer once more, an armed deputy sheriff confronted him, and Leehan was taken into the main offices. When Leehan was searched, they found no weapon on him.

“Why are you here?” one asked. “Is it to harm a certain staff member?”

“I’m done with that,” Leehan replied. “I think I am seeking freedom from the life I’ve been living for so long. I think I’m seeking your God. I’m just not sure what to do next. I just need some time… and a little space.”

Surprised by grace

Somewhat perplexed by this strange turn of events, the staff decided to let Leehan go, they informed him. They would talk among themselves, seek God’s will, and decide what to do next.

“I was amazed I was allowed to leave the property…and they didn’t have me detained and arrested,” Leehan recounts.

The next day, Chris Spradlin called him from LifeChurch. “I want you to know you are welcome at LifeChurch at any time. On one condition: you need to text John Ziegler (head of security) on Sunday morning and let him know which service you’re going to be attending. John will be watching you…you will need to sit in the same place every Sunday and conduct yourself in a way that would be pleasing to God. That’s all we’re asking.”

“If you need anything from me, don’t hesitate to ask. God bless you, Mike,” Spradlin added.

Leehan couldn’t believe it. They were welcoming him back without any pressure or forced meetings. The conditions seemed completely reasonable, considering he planned to kill their pastor only days before.

The grace shown to him began to melt his heart. “I had never seen that kind of love before,” Leehan says. “I kept on going back because they let me go.”

Over the next three months Leehan attended the church, but Satan would not give up his possession without a fight. Leehan found himself engulfed in an intense spiritual battle for his allegiance.

You can read his story on this blog post.

Christian bloggers’ meetup?

Hi Christian blogger,

I’m playing with the thought of having a mini-Christian bloggers’ meet-up this Friday night. I’m not an event organizer or anything like that, so I really don’t know what I’m doing. :D Nonetheless, I have a couple of reasons why I need this to happen:christianblogger.jpg

1. I need to see the faces behind those avatars. Let’s admit it, we know a lot of people online, but very few know each other personally. It can be a great time to fellowship and shake the real hands, you know what I mean.

2. LifeChurch Makati, the church we’re launching in May, said we’re willing to sponsor the coffee/drinks for this event. So, that’s free Starbucks for those who’s coming. :D To be transparent about it, not only that we’re excited to meet Christian bloggers, we also what to know if you guys can help cover the event on Sunday (March 21) as we have our 2nd preview service at Glorietta 4, Cinema 4. Details during the meet-up.

So, if you’re a:

– Christian blogger, or

– Christian twitter (wow, new English term, eh!)

and if you’re available this Friday, 7 pm, we’d like to have you for this Christian Blogger mini-meetup. That’ll be held at Starbucks Glorietta 4. Please confirm your attendance here. If I’ll have even just 4 bloggers to sign up, we’ll proceed. If you have questions, please email me at arnold[at]lifechurchmakati.com.



Breaking the rules

Breaking the rules — not the moral or the civil laws of the land — but the rules that dictate the way we do things. The box where we are all in. Craig Groeschel, in his book “It”, page 98,99, says:

Most of the greatest spiritual innovators throughout history were people who broke the rules… When you try something new in ministry most people will tell you that your idea will never work… Innovation by definition will not be accepted at first. It takes repeat attempts, endless demonstrations, monotonous rehearsals before innovation can be accepted and internalized by an organization. This requires courageous patience. If you have a God idea, you must be brave enough to go with it. Break some rules.

This Sunday marks the start of “breaking rules” for LifeChurch Makati. We’re going to break some rules in doing church here in the Philippines. If you’re interested to know what it is, check us out on our first preview service at Glorieta 4, Cinema 4 this Sunday, February 21. You’re invited to observe and experience.


The story behind Grace Place and LifeChurch Makati

For those who know me, you know that I’ve long been involved with a church called Grace Place. It’s been a great 3 years. God has been leading us all throughout, teaching us what to do and what not to do. Sometimes, we’re hard headed. But when we follow His leading and focus on what matters most, great results happen.

So, we’ve been making noise about a new church called LifeChurch Makati in Facebook and people were asking, “There’s no more Grace Place?”logo_final_black.jpg

The quick answer is, “Yes. There’s no more Grace Place.”

The longer and more accurate answer is to explain that technically, the people behind Grace Place are the same people that will launch LifeChurch Makati. Only, LifeChurch Makati has:

  • a different approach in doing church
  • a different Sunday experience
  • a different location
  • a different partner

LifeChurch Makati is powered by LifeChurch.tv, an innovative church in the US lead by Craig Groeschel. We’re going to have a preview service on February 21, 2010 at the new location in Glorietta 4, Cinema 4. It’s a different Sunday experience, I promise. You’ve got to see it to believe.

And if you’re a follower of Christ and wants to serve, you’re welcome to be part of the launch team. Here are the details.

The Powerful Pacman

I’m not going to make a sports analysis of the up coming Manny Pacquiao mega fight this Sunday morning (Saturday night Las Vegas). There’s plenty around the blogsphere. What I’m planning to do, though, is to show us what is already obvious — that Manny Pacquiao’s power and influences goes beyond the ring.Manny-Pacquiao-fighting-Miguel-Cotto.jpg

– Over the weekend, a battalion of lawmakers will migrate to the US to catch the Pacman. That means, there will be no quorum to vote for bills and the impeachment complaint against the ombudsman.

– Everything will stand still Sunday morning.

– Even criminals on the streets will take a break.

– Restaurants, cinemas and even hotels will be packed not by customers who want to eat or watch a movie, but by people who want to catch the Packman live via satellite feed. They are willing to pay P500 to P800 for this experience.

– Speaking of hotels, we’re even displaced from Tiara Oriental Hotel where regular services of Grace Place take place every Sunday. All function rooms will be occupied for the show of the day. We have no choice but to move the services to 2 pm to give way to the Pacman.

– And, yes, speaking of church services, as Steve Murell often says, churches will be full packed in the afternoon services. Why? Do the math, dudes.

The Pacman’s power will be felt all over the country this weekend. Let’s just all enjoy the moments, then slip back to exactly where we are at right after. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad, in any case, that’s exactly what it is anyway.

Good luck, Manny.