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Warrior Weekend: A Three Day Retreat for Soldiers and Their Families.

Screen Shot 2013-01-29 at 2.11.41 PMPsalms 31:9-13

Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am in distress; my eye is wasted from grief; my soul and my body also. 10 For my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones waste away. 11 Because of all my adversaries I have become a reproach, especially to my neighbors, and an object of dread to my acquaintances; those who see me in the street flee from me. 12 I have been forgotten like one who is dead; I have become like a broken vessel. 13 For I hear the whispering of many — terror on every side! — As they scheme together against me, as they plot to take my life.

The Bible is different than any other religious writing for many reasons. The most obvious is that it proclaims there is only way to heaven and that is through Jesus Christ. Another important but often overlooked detail is that the Bible is the only religious writing that totally blames mankind for sin and at the same time totally exempts mankind’s efforts as a means to get to heaven. In other words Christianity is the only religion where your good works will not get you there. Finally the Bible is the only religious writing that totally exposes the failures of it’s heroes. There is a subtle point being made here. There are no hero’s save one in the Bible … yes, you guessed it: Jesus Christ is the only true hero.

Speaking of “heroes” there is an unlikely man in the Bible that we often only know a couple of stories about. His name is David. I am taking a guess here but I bet that the average Christian maybe knows 5 or 6 things about David. He committed adultery, he counted when he shouldn’t have, he had a bunch of mighty men, he killed Goliath, he was the King of Israel, maybe that he is in the bloodline of Jesus, and that he is a man after God’s own heart.

I wonder how many people know that the Bible tells us that God made him to be a mighty warrior? In Psalm 144 it tells us that God trained his hands for war and his fingers for battle. I wonder how many have considered that God made him a warrior and that he was a man after God’s own heart?

This is important on so many levels that I don’t have time to discuss today, but what I do want to point out is that David was a warrior made by God and approved of by God and that as a warrior he killed thousands and thousands of other men.

Probably a little know detail comes from Psalm 31 (and many others) that David probably struggled with PTS. I am not a doctor so I cant diagnosis this, but as I read the Psalms and some of the things David says it sounds like many of my friends who struggle with this as well.

When you read his story in Psalm 31 he is in a long state of despair, his health is wasting away, he has been forgotten, a broken vessel, and there is terror on every side. Unfortunately this isn’t only David’s story. There are Americans struggling right now with some of these same feelings.

America has been in a global war against terrorism and Islam for coming on twelve years. We have fought in Africa, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and before it is all done probably Egypt, Syria, Iran, and Algeria. In this twelve year war it is estimated that somewhere between 200,000 and 250,000 American soldiers struggle with PTS(D).

Fort Campbell, KY is the home of the 101st Airborne Division. They have been in the thick of this fight since its beginning and I have friends who have been deployed for five and six years of the last twelve years. The damage to their families and their own lives is heart breaking and destroying their very ability to live the life God gave them.

In Clarksville, TN three churches said “enough is enough”. God has the answer to PTS and God is the answer to PTS. In 2012 Grace Nazarene, Xtreme Christian Fellowship, and Freedom Church joined together to serve those who have served us by sacrificing their families, health, and many their lives by creating Warrior Weekend.

Warrior Weekend is three-day retreat to Camp Garner Creek where these soldiers bring their families and get away from the world. There is no Internet, no TV, no distractions, just their families, facilitators, and God Himself. One of the things I love about Warrior Weekend is that we help these soldiers connect with God for absolutely free. We pay for their lodging, food, and childcare.

During this time we bring in national comedians such as Brad Stine, Johnny W, and others. We have a shooting range for husband and wife or as we saw at the last event many fathers teaching their daughters to shoot. There is hiking, zip lines, and other great activities.

However this event isn’t free to us. Each event costs us roughly $15,000. We would like to ask you to help us. Pray about serving these men and women who have served you with their lives. If you feel led to give you can either write a check to Freedom Church with Warrior Weekend in the memo and send it to 1235 Northfield Dr. Clarksville, TN 37040; or go online to
warrior-retreat-weekend/. All donations are tax deductible and we would be more than happy to provide you with a letter.


John Renken

A self proclaimed “scrapper” since childhood, John Renken grew up with a burning interest in physical challenges and a strong competitive spirit which has led him to develop quite an impressive reputation in the professional fighting community. Reaching the pinnacle of his career, Renken now has over 68 professional mixed martial arts and boxing matches under his belt and many first place titles spanning three different continents. A former Satanist, Renken’s life has taken many interesting twists and turns along the way to redemption. He now pastors a church called Freedom Church and writes about topics of interest in our country.