God has given me a life full of exciting experience, and it reads like a suspense novel. It started as a political journey when I was a young man elected to the local and state government. At the age of 29, I was then elected to the U.S. Congress and served three terms. President Reagan later appointed me as an Ambassador to the UN; but looking back, I must confess, that even in those positions of influence, very little was accomplished.
As a congressman, I am embarrassed to say that at the time, I used every tactic possible to divide and/or defeat my political enemies. Slowly it became evident that this behavior was hypocritical, especially for an evangelical Christian. My actions reflected a posture of hate towards democrats, communists and yes even Muslims. I was a half-breed believer...loving God completely, but hating my “neighbors.”
My flawed strategy combined with our broken political system began to spark within me a spiritual awakening. I desperately needed to adjust my strategy in order to align with the teachings of Jesus. As a disciple of Jesus, I found a new peace; one that came from fulfilling the greatest commandment...
Sure “love” sounds great, but is it really practical in real life? To find out, we began to apply this idea with the enemies of America. Through practice, we discovered that there is a very clear and consistent way to resolve conflict. Whether this conflict is with a Muslim extremist or with your own child...The Bible reveals how we should respond.
In short, this Jesus-centric diplomacy has worked, helping to stop 6 wars and release over 50 persecuted Christians held hostage or in prison; it has even helped to end a genocide. These results were nothing short of amazing and honestly I take very little credit for them. But I am convinced that we have discovered a systematic way to open hearts while simultaneously opening a door for God to perform the heavy lifting.
The real secret is...this same TRAC5 strategy that has worked around the world can have a transformative impact on your day-to-day life.
Weeks after 9/11, General Wesley Clark revealed that leaders in the Pentagon had secretly decided to overthrow the governments of 7 countries. While unknown to me at the time, I was working hard to make peace with the regimes in 4 of these 7 countries. Our efforts were producing tangible results with leaders like Muammar Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein and Omar al-Bashir.
To undermine our peacemaking efforts, I was accused of terror funding, money laundering and conspiracy. These falsified charges were later dropped, but the damage was done. A new interpretation of the patriot act also stated that providing verbal advice to any country on the State Department's list of enemies would constitute a material support of terrorism. It did not matter that my “verbal advice” was used by leaders in Sudan to stop the Darfur genocide. Our genuine peacemaking efforts had to be stopped.
Feeling overwhelmed after years of legal battles and facing financial ruin, my family was falling apart. Former Attorney General Ed Meese and others advised me that my best option was to work out a plea bargain because the Patriot Act could be used against me for our peacemaking efforts in Sudan.
The government prosecutors insisted that I was guilty of not registering as a lobbyist. Although I was sincerely not acting as a lobbyist and truthfully expressed as much to the FBI, my inevitable and forced plea bargain would also included “lying” to the FBI. What should have been probation turned into a year and a day prison sentence. My time was not served in a prison camp, as would be typical; but rather among the general inmate population, from low to maximum security prisons.
While in prison I applied this same TRAC5 model with skin-heads, gang leaders and yes, even Muslims. I witnessed 100’s of inmates coming together to pray and talk about Jesus. Having seen God work in even the most hopeless of circumstances, I feel called to share this redemptive story with you.
This TRAC5 model works to overcome; It transforms the hearts of people, opens doors and impacts real world conflicts. And I want to invite you on this journey... Your life will never be the same!