Robert L. (Bob) Vernon told his story on radio broadcasts of Focus on the Family. It describes just how much God was involved in the details of his life and career.
At age twelve Bob Vernon became a Christian. As he matured, he prayed and asked God, “What do You want me to do with my life?” Psalm 37:23 says, “The steps of a man are established by the Lord, and He delights in his way.” Several years passed, and he had not received a specific direction to follow. Then it came time for him to choose a college, and he wasn’t sure what do there, either.
One day his mother mentioned Biola University, which would offer a biblically-centered education. It wasn’t long before his sister also mentioned Biola University. Then a short time later his best friend also suggested Biola and offered to give him a ride to the university on his motorcycle. Perhaps God was trying to tell him something! Bob Vernon completed his undergraduate work at Biola.
He was drafted into the army. Not wanting to be in the infantry, he volunteered for the Air Force. He passed the physical and written tests, but a psychiatrist flunked him on the mental test because Bob professed he was a Christian. As a result, he was released from the military. Bob felt God was telling him he should not be a pilot.
When Bob returned home, he applied to be a policeman with the Los Angeles Police Department. His dad had been a policeman for twenty years with the LAPD. Bob passed the oral, written, physical and medical tests. There was just one more test to go. Again it was the psychiatric test. The psychiatrist asked him about his spiritual life. Bob considered not saying anything regarding his Christian beliefs, but decided instead to profess that he believed in Christ. To his amazement, the psychiatrist said it was great for someone to know what he believes.
Bob rose in rank to become the Assistant Chief of Police of the Los Angeles Police Department, a position he held for ten years. He served under Chief Darryl Gates and had many experiences with high-profile crimes. As Assistant Chief he was in charge of all departmental operations for Los Angeles’ eighteen police stations, supervising three thousand civilian workers and 7,800 officers. He retired after thirty-eight years of service. He also received a Masters in Business Administration from Pepperdine University and graduated from the University of Southern California’s Managerial Policy Institute and the FBI’s National Executive Institute.
Because of his skill in management and his ability to foster a team spirit among the officers, he was often asked to speak to civic groups, schools, companies, etc. He authored many books on leadership and always based his presentations and books on biblical principles.
Since the late 1950s he has been involved with Hume Ministries, serving at one time as director of the high school camps. In 1994 he founded the Pointman Leadership Institute (PLI) under the Hume Ministries umbrella. Leadership training by PLI is based on biblical principles, and their highly- qualified instructors present character-based, ethical leadership seminars. They have reached attendees in more than seventy countries through 850 seminars involving more than seventy thousand military, government, police and business leaders. PLI has offices in California, Colorado, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Bolivia.
Whenever Bob Vernon accepted an invitation to speak, he stated up front that he would speak only if he could base what he planned to talk about on the foundation of biblical principles. As an author of books and articles, Bob Vernon traveled across the United States speaking of the need for change in the moral fiber of our nation. His message, based on the Christian ethic, was well received by both secular and religious groups.
One time he was asked to speak to a group of very influential millionaires in Chicago. He told them he would agree to speak, if he could share Christ. They agreed. here were two hundred fifty millionaires in the audience. After he spoke, fifty of them became Christians.
Truly, God answered his question about what he should do with his life.
For further information on Pointman Leadership Institute, see: http://pliglobal.com