Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Hold onto this for later)
My name is Baret Fawbush. You probably know me by “Truexodus” from Instagram. I was born and raised in Louisville, KY and while I was in high school, I gave my life to Jesus Christ and decided to go to Bible College to become a preacher. So I put in my time, got a Masters Degree, and moved to no-where’s-ville Southern Indiana to preach at a tiny country church that would easily become the love of my life. It was during this phase of my life that Jalyn and I would unite in marriage and wed a couple of years later. Soon afterwards, we’d give birth to our two wonderful children: Knox and Kierce.
I’ve always grown up around firearms. Ever since I was younger, my dad instilled in me gun safety, respect for animal life, and the need to be outdoors. I never saw firearms as a means to self-defense until something terrible happened to a couple on our college campus. Shortly after this my best friend Tom Boone encouraged me to get my CCW permit and take my first lesson. So I needed a gun and went to my local pawn shop and BOOM – there she was – a brand new Sig p226 for 500 bones and man was that an amazing gun (Don’t ask me why I sold it). After I took my first class I was hooked because I saw that this was something I was naturally good at, but also I saw great room for improvement.
So every couple of months for the next several years I was taking firearms class, practicing every week (because ammo was cheap and Obama had yet to be elected… the good ole days where Bible College students could afford ammo), and doing whatever I could to ensure that when I became a husband and a father that I would possess the ability and the attitude to defend my family from evil.
I had always carried concealed. Yea sure, I thought open carry was kind of cool, but never a viable option after I learned how people treat you when you walk about with a firearm on your hip in Cincinnati. But around 2010, I started noticing a trend in the firearms training I had received. I was going to pistol classes and “concealment” classes where people weren’t wearing clothing they did everyday, and using war belt complimented with safari land hooded holsters. Instructors would tell students “This is how I carry because I was in the military, but how you carry is how you carry.” And I’m left there thinking “But that’s not how you carry every day, is it?” My answer would be confirmed when I had heard from several instructors “This is what I train with (they’d hold up their full size pistol) and this is what I carry (holding up some sub-compact to micro compact .380).” Interesting…
And so I noticed a trend. Class after class (4 total) instructors kept demonstrating these inconsistencies. These weren’t concealment classes, these were pistol classes, being taught from combat military vets who, for the most part, were locked into the OWB (outside the waist band) mentality. Now that’s nothing against my military friends, but time after time I’ve worked with wonderful men and women who’ve served this country who had admitted had virtually zero training from concealment.
Not all of my classes were like this, especially from ex military or LEO instructors. But due to the lack of instructors in my area I was left to figure out concealment all on my own. And so I started practicing. It was during my first force on force class that my eyes were opened up to the reality of profit crimes and how close in proximity deadly force scenarios take place. And one thing that kept being reinforced over and over again was the need for the CCWer to be able to judge the situation quickly and get the gun out and on target as fast as possible after the situation could be judged.
I had learned shortly after about the 21 foot rule, the average time for the normal CCWer to put rounds on target from concealment, and why I needed to be faster (because sim rounds hurt and I imagine real bullets hurt too).
May of 2012 I decided that I wanted to something WAY outside of the box (which is my middle name if you were wondering) and host “Zombie Day” at Old Union Christian Church. The premise was developed from the fact that my town had been experiencing an abnormal amount of crime and people were worried. Being that everyone in the area owns some form of firearm, I decided to host a day where people could shoot 3d, life like zombies. I also arranged for a good friend of mine who owns a training company to come in and teach classes, along with deadly force law seminars, concealment, and rifle classes (none of which i taught at primarily). It was pretty neat idea that I thought people would enjoy and it turned out to be quite the success: 320 shooters from 8 different states came to stand in line for an hour, bringing all manner of firearms. We had caught the attention of the media and the impact was eye opening. I realized that a lot of people were coming to church from a single event because it showed “the outside” that a church was unafraid to do what was necessary to demonstrate the need to be relevant while ministering to what the community needed at that time… interesting… Let’s save that little detail for later.
Fast forward to Father’s Day of May 2013. My wife bought me a shot timer. A little box that made a beep and recorded your shot times and so thus began my love/hate relationship with this little device. I had spent years being trained how to hold the gun, line up the sights, breathe, press the trigger, and track my sights. But never had I trained myself to better my speed while not sacrificing accuracy.
And so the journey began to increase my speed. While I was trying to do this, I noticed that consistency was a big factor. Sure I could shoot fast, but I wasn’t coupling accuracy and the consistency of speed everytime time. In an effort to better myself I did whatever I could to make my draw and my shooting like my golf swing – fluid and the same. Every. Single. Time.
And the rest, as they say, was history.
It was around 2014 that I decided to start putting stuff on the Internet. I can’t honestly communicate to you why. But quickly, I recognized that I could advance the Kingdom of God through social media and shooting guns. But being in this small town (with a whopping 1.5 meg Internet connection) what I could upload to YouTube and Facebook became extremely limited (because online video games won’t play themselves). And then I was turned on to Instagram where I was encouraged to post 15 second videos. In April of 2015, my wife and I were jumping up and down in the living room because I had broke 1,000 followers. Less than 8 months later I had 100,000 followers and sponsors. Sponsors? People giving me guns and ammo to shoot… for free. What a humbling thing to experience.
And so here I am. I’m still a preacher except I don’t just get the privilege of ministering to my congregation and reaching my town of 1,000 residents, but instead – God has blessed me to reach millions throughout the world. And it’s all for one purpose: to Advance God’s Kingdom here on earth.
People want to know why I do what I do and it’s very simple. I’m a minister – and you can’t remove that from who I am. And so social media has allowed me to do the things I love, like: 1) I love praying with people over the phone. I love hearing the difficult times people are going through and their susceptibility to feeling the nearness of God. 2) I use Instagram to post entertaining videos that draw people in to the fact that I’m a preacher and I’m not your average preacher. This does a pretty good job of tearing down and preconceive notions people may have about what it means to follow Christ. 3) I teach firearms classes. Part of the money that I raise go to charities we support or to support my family so that I can ease the financial burden upon my church in order that it may continue to thrive. Aside from this, I get to meet people when I travel and build relationships, which lead to amazing conversations. 4) I broadcast sermons via Periscope. Periscope is an app a person can download to their phone where they can watch live broadcast of whatever I am broadcasting.
Jesus said it best. “Seek first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you.” (Im glad you held onto that) Seek. Pursue. Strive after. Long for. Chase the Kingdom of God and make it your goal. And when you do that all the things in our life come together and surround the only thing that matters – the Kingdom and His righteousness.
What does that mean exactly? Well the Kingdom of God was the heart of Jesus’ message and in Mark 1:15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the Gospel!”
What an interesting thought. That God’s Kingdom has come near. Near to what? Us? Earth? Is Heaven invading earth like aliens invade earth in those movies?
Jesus preached and taught that the Kingdom is the range of God’s effective rule: a reality where people believed that God was King and they submitted to the rule of his Kingdom. People mistakenly think that the Kingdom is the heaven you go to when you die and this is true. But what people don’t realize is that eternity can be lived in now, it can be accessed now. In order to do this, one must submit to Jesus as their Master and become his apprentice. People need to learn how to live life according to how Jesus tells us to and when we follow Him and do this: we essentially place our faith in a world that He said was coming: a world without crying or pain. A world where evil no longer prevailed, the naked are clothed, the hungry are fed, and the hurting have no more hurt.
This is the Gospel. That Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection secures this promise for us through His blood for sinners like you and I because of God’s great love for us. This is the message I carry to the Internet through shooting. This is why I travel and teach, this is why I partner with sponsors. This is why I do all of this.
God is good. He has allowed me to grow very quickly my influence throughout the world and for that I am grateful that He allows me to do what I love to do to tell others about the Kingdom that is near and to live it out in every aspect of my life.
“For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.” 1 Corinthians 4:20