Platt Flack

You should know that Sunday our President showed up unannounced at David Platt’s church.

Trump informed someone that the President wanted Platt to pray for him.

Platt was alerted, and he explained the situation to his congregation and prayed.

And the stuff hit the fan…

Amazing this is to me…since Scripture commands we pray for “those in authority.”

But there was enough of a ruckus; to include from within his own congregation, that Platt wrote a letter to the congregatio .

It’s worth a read; and I’d say if you are commenting on this event anywhere but haven’t read this letter you are hurting your credibility and hurting the people that listen to and/or read you.

Here it is:


June 2, 2019

Dear MBC Family,

Sometimes we find ourselves in situations that we didn’t see coming, and we’re faced with a decision in a moment when we don’t have the liberty of deliberation, so we do our best to glorify God. Today, I found myself in one of those situations.

At the end of my sermon at the 1:00 worship gathering, I stepped to the side for what I thought would be a couple of moments in quiet reflection as we prepared to take the Lord’s Supper. But I was immediately called backstage and told that the President of the United States was on his way to the church, would be there in a matter of minutes, and would like for us to pray for him. I immediately thought about my longing to guard the integrity of the gospel in our church. As I said in the sermon today, Christ alone unites us. I love that we have over 100 nations represented in our church family, including all kinds of people with varied personal histories and political opinions from varied socioeconomic situations. It’s clear in our church that the only reason we’re together is because we have the same King we adore, worship, fear, and follow with supreme love and absolute loyalty, and His name is Jesus.

That’s why, as soon as I heard this request backstage, the passage from God’s Word that came to my mind was 1 Timothy 2:1-6:

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.”

Based on this text, I know that it is good, and pleasing in the sight of God, to pray for the president. So in that moment, I decided to take this unique opportunity for us as a church to pray over him together. My aim was in no way to endorse the president, his policies, or his party, but to obey God’s command to pray for our president and other leaders to govern in the way this passage portrays.

I went back out to lead the Lord’s Supper and then walked off stage, where the president was soon to arrive. In that brief moment, I prayed specifically for an opportunity to speak the gospel to him, and for faithfulness to pray the gospel over him.

While I won’t go into the details of our conversation backstage, one of our other pastors and I spoke the gospel in a way that I pray was clear, forthright, and compassionate. Then I walked back out on stage, read 1 Timothy 2:1-6, and sought to pray the Word of God over the president, other leaders, and our country. (If you would like to see the full context of my comments and prayer, I have included the video below.) After I prayed, the president walked off stage without comment, and we closed our gathering by celebrating heroes among us, a couple who has spent the last 48 years spreading the gospel in remote places where it had never gone before they came. We then recited the Great Commission as we always do, sending one another out into the city for the glory of our King.

I wanted to share all of this with you in part because I know that some within our church, for a variety of valid reasons, are hurt that I made this decision. This weighs heavy on my heart. I love every member of this church, and I only want to lead us with God’s Word in a way that transcends political party and position, heals the hurts of racial division and injustice, and honors every man and woman made in the image of God. So while I am thankful that we had an opportunity to obey 1 Timothy 2 in a unique way today, I don’t want to purposely ever do anything that undermines the unity we have in Christ.

In the end, would you pray with me for gospel seed that was sown today to bear fruit in the president’s heart? Would you also pray with me that God will help us to guard the gospel in every way as we spread the gospel everywhere? And finally, I’m guessing that all of us will face other decisions this week where we don’t have time to deliberate on what to do. I’m praying now for grace and wisdom for all of us to do exactly what we talked about in the Word today: aim for God’s glory, align with God’s purpose, and yield to God’s sovereignty.

I love you, church.

Your Pastor,



First Jack One Nine (some day I shall actually number my jackisms): “I hate money and I hate music…no matter what you do, you’re wrong.”

BUT…I don’t think anyone will yell at me for posting this…”Discovered” these guys a few months ago…did a bit of research to make as sure as I could that they are not “whacked” (as are a few of the “favorites” these days…). They aren’t; and they are great.

And their music is saturated with the gospel; honoring to the Lord; beautiful to the ear; and encouraging to the heart.

Exhibit “A”:

So, what do you think?

Why Pray?

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Working on a message for camp(s) this summer…subject: Prayer.

Reminds me of a conclusion long ago reached: Prayer maketh no sense.

I believe God is sovereign. He will fulfill His purpose for me. He will accomplish His purposes.

So why pray?

Logically I say “no reason to pray.”

But with my heart I confess I pray for two reasons:

  1. We are commanded to pray
  2. Jesus prayed

Don’t Body-Count!

For too many, “successful” evangelism/witnessing/rescuing occurs when someone makes the decision to follow Jesus…and another notch gets cut into our “get-’em-saved” six-shooter…

But the following reminds us that “salvation is of the Lord,” and that “no one comes to the Son except the Father draws him”:

“What is success in evangelism? Is it when the person you witness to comes to Christ?

“Certainly that’s what we want to happen. But if this is success, are we failures whenever we share the gospel and people refuse to believe?

“Was Jesus an “evangelistic failure” when people like the rich young ruler turned away from Him and His message? Obviously not. Then neither are we when we present Christ and His message and they turn away in unbelief.

“We need to learn that sharing the gospel is successful evangelism. We ought to have an obsession for souls, and tearfully plead with God to see more people converted, but conversions are fruit that God alone can give.

“In this regard we are like the postal service. Success is measured by the careful and accurate delivery of the message, not by the response of the recipient. Whenever we share the gospel (which includes the summons to repent and believe), we have
succeeded. In the truest sense, all biblical evangelism is successful evangelism, regardless of the results.”

Donald Whitney

First Draft of the Preface

If you had no clue about my book writing venture, READ THIS FIRST



I am not a “trophy of God’s grace.”

I do not have an “exciting” testimony.

Well, actually, I am and I do!

But so do you if you are a follower of Jesus!

For over four decades I was constantly told I should write a book.

I resisted for the first twenty or so years because I knew in order to be publish I’d have to write 20 chapters of my pre-salvation life and a chapter at most about conversion and growth.

When self-publishing came, I still avoided writing because of the time factor.

Until the proverbial straw broke my back of resistance (more on that later).

So you are about to embark on a look back…not for the glorification of sin, not for the entertainment of sin (because, after all, sin is fun); but – prayerfully – for example, for encouragement, for edification.

But if you picked this up hoping for sordid details of my experiences in crime, Vietnam, drugs etc you will be disappointed. Those things don’t exist anymore, and I need to be careful not to rehearse and rehash that, ah, stuff.

I’ll tell the truth about my 26 years as a child of the devil (if that phrasing offends you, it comes from Jesus); but the ride will be brief.

We’ll slow down tremendously as I share how the Lord Jesus captured my heart without human help.

You will learn a bit about my first years in Christ as a guest of the state of Oregon. You’ll meet a lost-as-an-easter-egg chaplain, and a black inmate who put his hand around my shoulder and discipled me…though neither of us would have used that word.

You’ll meet a couple who read a story in a newspaper which led them to write to a man known as 36403…and I’ll explain why that gesture revolutionized my life.

Stick with the book and read of some amazing “coincidences” that directed me to a now non-existent Bible school shortly after parole.

Then we’ll speed up and observe the reality that God “opens doors that no man can shut, and shuts doors that no man can open.”

How did I get to do hundreds of school assemblies? Host a radio call-in show..Me? How many others have spent – when you add up the weeks – over four years bragging on Jesus in the context of summer camps?

In all this you’ll meet my bride and our four children – two the old-fashioned way and two adopted. You may hear the echo of laughter as well as the residue of tears. An unwelcome guest – seasonal depression – shows up.

We’ll slow again as we take a curve into observations – positive and negative – garnered over four-plus-decades of what is called “vocational ministry.” What’s it like to preach in hundreds of churches? To interim-pastor four churches and to help birth another?

Once I made the decision to try this, my prayer has been and continues to be that when you are done with the book you don’t think, “Wow, this dude had a crazy life” or “God sure gave Jack a bunch of ways to minister” or somesuch.

My prayer is that throughout the reading, at the end, and in the days, weeks, months and years following you will think “Wow…God and God alone is awesome!”

The “Outline”

Woke at 2am, put this together, back to sleep at 2.45am:outline-non-fiction-book-700x406

May 16, 2019

CAPTURED BY GRACE (outline – very tentative) (disregard rather whacky formatting; hey, it was 2am!)

  1. Introduction
  2. Chapter 1 – Hatched – birth and the early years
  • Chapter 2 – Dysfunctional before it was trendy
  1. Chapter 3 – School
  2. Chapter 4 – Early Crime
  3. Chapter 5 – Military (Korea 2 years, Germany 2 months, Vietnam 11 months)
  • Chapter 6 – Coming Home
  • Chapter 7 – Crimes and stupidity
  1. Chapter 8 – Payday – arrested to be set free (conversion testimony)
  2. Chapter 9 – Doing Time without Time Doing Me
  3. Chapter 10 – Parole and Coming Home – Act 2
  • Chapter 11 – “Minister of Sanitation” – and God’s call to vocational ministry
  • Chapter 12 – Bible School
  • Chapter 13 – WHAT? I gotta raise support? I’ve been robbing people all my life; now you want me to what?
  1. Chapter 14 – Ministry – the early years
  • Chapter 15 – Jane
  • Chapter 16 – “He opens doors that no man can shut”
  • Chapter 17 – The Book of First Jack (isms that I’ve coined over the years)
  • Chapter 18 – The Good Stuff of Ministry
  1. Chapter 19 – The Bad Stuff of Ministry
  • Chapter 20 – If I had it to do all over again
  • Chapter 21 – And, in conclusion

Welcome to “Rough Draft Central”

A couple weeks ago I published a post indicating I was (finally) going to start working on a book.


I’ve been thinking how that is going to happen; and have arrived at a conclusion.

I will make entries here. Thus I’ll have a central location, automatically saved, and open to editing ideas and other input from people like you.

The entries will not be chronological; and may often be “stand-alone” in that a particular post may be a “chapter” in the some-day-completed book.’

You’ll note the title of this blog is “”

If you stay tuned, you will certainly no more about Jack and what I believe about a variety of subjects, as well as what I have observed and learned in over forty years of vocational ministry.

So, again, welcome to “rough draft central.”