We are under estimating our enemy for several reasons…
1. The American military has been told that the initial firepower would be atrocious and severe (i.e. expect to die), but it wouldn’t last longer than a couple of days. Then the North would be low on artillery, rockets, etc.. and we would start decimating them with air power and artillery. So the only guys who life sucks for are those currently stationed in South Korea and the civillian population. Meaning: The war will be over soon after the first barrage of fire from the North. Not necessarily true.
2. Our media is not taking the threat seriously which hinders support from the everyday American. They need to educate the population on the history of the Forgotten War, the Armistice agreement, and the social and political aspects of the demarcated nations. If we are going to fight then tell us why we are fighting, and why its important for America to be involved.
3. Where is our President? Lead us. Where is the Commanding General for that Area of Operations? Tell us our military is prepared and ready to defend not just American interests, but the welfare of the South and North Koreans. Reassure us that our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, and fellow Americans will be empowered to do there jobs, and to come home when the fight is won. Secretary of Defense? Does he even exist?
Those are my three reasons for why this war, if it happens, is going to be a complete shock to the American people. Our reaction will tell us a lot about the direction our country is heading.
Which leads to the following questions: What is nationalism? Is it alive? Is it a good thing? Is nationalism the same as patriotism? Can someone be patriotic without being a nationalist?
We are about to answer some questions that have not been asked since the McCarthy era.
- North Korea to Boost Artillery Production (novinite.com)
- Should We Take North Korea’s Tantrum Seriously (thesexypolitico.com)
- U.S. troops ‘would die’ in N. Korean onslaught (wnd.com)
- US acts to calm N Korea tension (standard.co.uk)
- Cross hairs (cnn.com)
I was headed to the doctor yesterday when I suddenly was hit with a desire to hang-out with my great grand-father, known to me as ‘Grandaddy’. But it isn’t possible to do that at the moment, since he passed away the first week of my marriage while I was on my honeymoon.
Grandaddy and I used to go mark timber together. He only had two vehicles throughout my childhood, and both were nothing to tell your friends about. One was an old, manual transmission, brown, mini-station wagon looking thing, I think it was a Toyota. The floor board on the driver’s side was falling out of it, but he didn’t care.
The other was a truck, a pretty blue Dodge I believe, older model, maybe circa early 1980′s (It was the early 90′s by the time he got it). I think he only let the brown car go because he had trouble driving stick-shift. It was a running joke (that was to be taken seriously) that once Grandaddy was on the road then you better get off the road. Just park the car and wait til you know he is at his destination before going on your way. We all laughed…fearfully.
I remember hanging out on his porch at his house, sitting in the porch swing, everything made out of wood except the house foundational supports and the porch pillar bases. I don’t remember conversations, just the atmosphere. You just felt at peace there. I loved getting either a cold Coke bottle (one of the old small ones that were about 8 0z) or pouring a glass of water out of one of his two blue-green containers. That was the best tasting water known to man, or at least a little boy. I still like the taste of refrigerated water to this day.
He also kept JuicyFruit gum packets handy. I think the only two choices were spearmint and origional. I am not sure why he had the 25 cent packs, because I never saw him chew any. He always had a King Edwards cigar in his mouth, but never lit. I think he popped one in when first woke up each day and just chewed on it til he went to bed at night.
In my early teen years I could stop by at any time if I saw his truck home. He didn’t care. Usually he would be watching Atlanta Braves baseball on a television that was probably older than me. We didn’t say much. I would come in, pull up a chair, and just watch the game. Occasionally he would ask something about the family or inquire about something that I was up to, but not really anything in-depth, just enough to say, “Hey grandson, I know what is going on in your life and I care.”
He enjoyed seeing me any time I came home once I entered military service. I don’t remember much between getting back from Iraq and then getting married a couple of months later. I do remember heading back to Plantersville and seeing Grandaddy. He said something about how proud he was of me and that he had gotten my letter I wrote to him while deployed. No questions. Just certainty. Just Grandaddy being my great-grandfather and loving me his own way.
I miss my Grandaddy Jiggs.
What the movie made me realize that I already knew, is that Christianity is more than just morality. It is more than a way of interpreting the world around us. It is more than a social group where we can find people who think like us and act like us.
It is psychological counseling. Raw, human behavior and controlling our reactions to the stimulus that produce the behavior. According to medicalnewstoday.com, “The word “psychology” comes from the Greek word psyche meaning “breath, spirit, soul”, and the Greek word logia meaning the study of something.”
But the modern day definition of psychology has removed any reference to the “breath, spirit, soul” that forms the word. And this is extremely disheartening to some, but for most is trivial.
The teachings of Christianity (and most religions for that matter) deal directly with the very issues that modern psychology seeks to address, but that only comes up through counseling and not the actual study of human behavior and mental functioning.
The reality is this: beliefs change behavior. But I do not mean beliefs in the Western sense of “oh, I believe in God and stuff.” I mean from the standpoint of a belief that gives a person their worldview, perspective, and overall ability to process interactions with persons and things in the world around them.
You cannot separate psychological counseling and religion. They go hand-in-hand. I would even argue that our current system of psychological study in the academic world is failing to properly study their subjects by ignoring the impacts of religious beliefs on people. That is a sweeping statement and does not intend to suggest that ALL psychologist separate faith and psychology in their study and treatment of persons. I cannot presume to have that kind of knowledge.
Here is what I do know. I went to a “Christian” psychologist for some anger issues years ago. It was not “spiritual” as I thought it would be, and perhaps should be. I imagine it went much the same as most secular psychologist would have approached the situation. “Why are you here and what do you want the outcome of these visits to be?” That was the first question. The next series of questions revolved around my cognitive familial history. In other words, who was around me growing up that had influence over how I reacted to situations by either modeling the behavior for me or by re-enforcing the behaviors that I was acting out at the time? Then we (my wife was with me for all the visits) came back for two more visits where we learned some techniques to help me out.
When it came time to address how to handle these situations I was the one who brought up scripture. Otherwise I do not believe the “Christian” psychologist would have said anything at all. Did his tips help? Without a doubt. So why even bother with a more soul, spirit, or faith based prescription?
Here is the other key to this whole thing. If we are talking from a purely psychological standpoint of understanding the mind and how it works then I really do not believe that much “good” can come from that.
If, however, we are talking about counseling people in the understanding and application of scripture; in finding hope and encouragement from the promises of God; in teaching persons how to fight through various trials and temptations; in providing life-long healing from mental anguish as a result of trauma in someone’s life…then I am by all means in favor of such practice. I do not believe that a person has to have a degree in counseling to provide such service either, but they do need a firm grasp of scripture and its application to our lives.
Will it work for everyone?
NO!!! You have to get counsel from those who have the same beliefs as you do. Otherwise you will more than likely fail at following through with their advice.
Anyways, this did not turn out how it was supposed to. Watch the movie and you will see the kind of inspiration that I am talking about for effecting change in behaviors. Or don’t. I don’t care.
The rationale for striking American citizens on American soil is slowly creeping its way into reality. It is already “okay” for an American citizen to be taken out abroad by a drone if that American is said to be engaged in bringing terrorism to our homeland. That is the first step. I am not going to pretend to understand policy and strategic doctrine well enough to know how the dominoes have to fall for the strikes to start happening here in the States. But I can imagine what it might look like…
Tim Smith was a good ol’ boy in the classic sense of the phrase. He owned a beat up Ford F150 complete with a rusting underbody, a rifle rack with hats hanging on it behind the seat up against the back glass window, and a beat up chrome tool box in the bed loaded with miscellaneous tools and a chainsaw. He hunted boar, deer, elk, rabbit, squirrel, dove, pheasant, well, you get the picture. Tim was also an expert marksman and a college educated man with a degree in Economics and Financial Management. His insurance business had flourished over the past ten years, along with his two sons (ages 8 and 10) and their 4 year old sister. He married his high school sweet heart, inherited some property on the outskirts of town, and built his wife’s dream house – a two story ranch style with an in-ground pool, bar-b-que pit, and horse stables. He even had his own gun range off in the woods in a secluded part of the wooded 50 acres.
To make a longer story short, Tim found himself frustrated with the Federal government and their intrusion into his “bottom-line”. Then came more restrictions on gun control and when and where he could hunt. Tim had made a mistake a few years back of not knowing some of the newer regulations. He was arrested for nailing a 500 pound boar on what he thought was public use land. It turned out the land had been rezoned and was now a sanctuary for the beasts. This lead Tim into some anti-government/pro-gun regulation groups that he probably should have never gotten involved with.
He was a Libertarian at heart, state’s rights with extremely limited federal and state government interference into the personal lives of its citizens. But these groups were even past those points, almost tribal in their structure and in what their goals were for the government, both federal and state.
As a smart individual Tim was quickly pulled into helping out with the business aspects of the group. He found himself, after a couple of years, being the right hand man for the leader, a charismatic individual who could get people to do things that they otherwise didn’t have the courage for. They had been involved with lobbying their Senators and Congressmen, but to no avail. The National Rifle Association had lost its clout in the political arena too. Tim didn’t necessarily agree with all the things said by his friends, but he understood their frustrations and agreed with them in principle. He knew that some of them were saying and planning things that they shouldn’t be doing, but he wasn’t sure how to go about discouraging their actions so he kept his mouth shut.
One day Tim went to pick up the leader in town to head out to Tim’s place for some target practice with their AR-15s, an outlawed gun that neither wanted to give up and that Tim kept stashed on his property in a heavy duty armory that he had constructed in the woods near the firing range. Tim took his little girl with him to grab his friend.
On the way back home, once they had cleared town and just before the T-intersection that lead to Tim’s driveway the little girl pointed out the front window, “look, Daddy.” Both men looked up in time to see the missile just before it slammed into the cab of their truck and their lives ended.
The justification used by the State Department was that the leader of this group and his second in command were together in the truck for a rare shot that would crush this group of terrorist who had been meeting and plotting against the Federal government and American people. The little girl’s death was seen as an acceptable casualty and even merciful to her, since she wouldn’t have to grow up without her father. The bottom line to those making the decisions was that America had to be kept safe and this was the best way to keep American’s from experiencing another 9/11 or Oklahoma City bombing.
Due process was completed behind the scenes via a committee that approved the targets for these strikes, as well as the acceptable collateral damage such as Tim’s little girl. In the absence of committee guidance on time sensitive targets, the committee appointed on scene commanders to follow established policies in determining the validity and necessity of the attacks. There had only been two questionable incidents in the five years since the program was legalized by the United States Supreme Court. Those incidents only resulted in two commanders being fired. No other action was taken.
And the world kept turning, the Constitution kept evolving, and the United States of America was no longer seen as the land of the free and the home of the brave by its citizens or those abroad. Just the home of the brave.
- US Government Says Drone Striking Americans Is Legal (earththreats.com)
- Who’s next on Obama’s drone hit list? (washingtontimes.com)
- Drone Spying in U.S. Skies Prompts Privacy Plans Slowing Flights – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- The U.S. Government Is Preparing For War Against The American People! (politicalvelcraft.org)
So our political leadership is looking into stricter gun control laws. Hmmmm. Just a hunch, but it will NOT stop the violence. Here are some of my reasons:
1. Take away all the guns and you do not remove a person’s ability to kill, only of them killing with the guns you took away.
2. Take away the guns and you will start seeing suicide bombings in America (kind of surprised this hasn’t happened already). When you remove the ability to do mass violence with guns, then other options become more acceptable to the delusional.
3. This is the big one. Guns do not make decisions. People make decisions, and people are depraved and in need of being filled with goodness, mercy, and love. Until we get our thinking right about man’s ability and willingness to do meaningless violence then these bandage solutions are going to fail.
4. The gun debate is part of the growing movement to do two things: undermine the U.S. Constitution, and gather further intelligence over those who have guns that might be able to use those guns to overthrow the government. Therefore, gun control is not the issue at stake, rather Constitutional authority at the Federal and State levels.
Whether it is restricting the magazine size from 30 to 10, creating a national database that every buyer is scanned through, pairing the background database with mental and criminal records, or banning semi-automatic rifles, I am not a supporter. The database and scanning of mental/criminal records are the only two that make sense, but my point is that it is not going to stop the violence.
Now for my Christian readers out there. I have friends who own guns, lots of them (not lots of friends, lots of guns). I have friends who never owned a gun in their life now rushing to the nearest dealer to get some sort of protection from the uncertain future. My own wife wants a gun to help protect her from the crazies out in the world (not a bad thing in and of itself, but the motives need to not be out of fear, and proper, on-going training is essential for any gun totting mama or grandma). Regardless of what I think about owning a gun for whatever reason here is the bottom line:
We as Christians seem to be thinking that owning a gun is going to protect us from what is to come. We are quick to pursue protection for ourselves, but slow to fire the most effective shots that can be heard around the world – telling others the good news of Jesus Christ.
Some people might scoff at me for saying that, but it is really how I feel. I am not living it myself to the fullest extent, but I want to live it and I am growing in my faith to live it out each day. If you desire to protect yourself from what is to come then solidify your relationship with the Maker of the Universe.
“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
- spoken by Jesus as recorded in Matthew 28:18-20, and I noticed that Jesus didn’t say anything about “and arm yourself with weapons of your choosing to protect you from the wicked nut jobs of this earth”
And lastly, we should all memorize this passage out of Colossians 1:15-23. 15-20 is a creed of the early Christian church. 21-23 is Paul explaining what this means to those who believe. Gun control is not the answer to our problems in this world. Teaching the Truth, the Way, the Life is. Our laws reflect our beliefs surrounding morality. When the people change, the laws change.
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation; because by Him everything was created, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and by Him all things hold together. He is also the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He might come to have first place in everything. For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile everything to Himself by making peace through the blood of His cross – whether things on earth or things in heaven.”
“And you were once alienated and hostile in mind because of your evil actions. But now He has reconciled you by His physical body through His death, to present you holy, faultless, and blameless before Him – if indeed you remain grounded and steadfast in the faith, and are not shifted away from the hope of the gospel that you heard. This gospel has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and I, Paul , have become a minister of it.”
As Christians, we should strive to be able to replace Paul’s name in the last sentence above, with our name. God is your gun, Jesus is your bullet, and the Holy Spirit is in charge of what happens before, during, and after you fire your gun. Lock and load. Be praying for a victim to shoot this week.
Questions for our wayward America that will come up during this time of year, and links to answers for you. Please pass this on to anyone who might be asking some of these:
Where did Christmas, the holiday, originate and is it cool for Christians to celebrate it? What about all the things like, Santa Claus, gift giving, Christmas trees, etc…; where did all that stuff originate? (This is a long article, but fairly thorough on the topics listed, plus more. Well written too.)
Why are Christians the most bitter people I know? I know this is a bit off for a question, but during the time of year when Christians should be joyful, caring, concerned, sacrificial, loving, and just down right pleasant to be around, I have found that some Christians get more bitter during the thick of Christmas. The link above is about a guy who has encountered another Christian via a blog who puts down the other guy. It is two different people, both claiming to be Christians, and shows a little about why some Christians are just bitter. In the end, it comes down to communion with God Almighty. The more time we spend in God’s presence, the more like Him we will be – gentle and humble at heart; loving people without receiving any love in return.
Well, that should be enough for now. If you think of another question, let me know. I might update this as the week goes on with anything I hear while at work.
- Merry Christmas? Happy Holidays? Seasons Greetings? (crankygiraffe.wordpress.com)
- Day 224: How Fort Bragg Army Base Beat the Grinch and My Thoughts on Santa (bluerosegirl08.wordpress.com)
- 10 Remarkable Origins of Common Christmas Traditions (listverse.com)
- Santa and Jesus Christ (urstrulie.wordpress.com)
As a Christian I am ashamed of myself. Here is reality:
1. Everyday in your community a child is being raped, beaten, psychologically tormented, and otherwise destroyed.
2. Everyday a wife in your neighborhood is getting subjected to the torture of herself and her children at the hands of the one person who should be protecting them.
3. Everyday someone on your street is trying to escape their depression through any means at their disposal – alcohol, drugs, self-inflicted mutilation, etc…
4. Everyday an inmate at any one of our prisons wonders if his or her life is able to be salvaged or if society will ever give them a second chance. They wonder how they can change when nothing has changed for them.
5. Everyday a foster child and teen wonders if this world is really all their is with its hate, pain, suffering, and neglect.
6. Everyday a gang member depends on their gang family to fill their needs of love, loyalty, trust, and respect.
7. Everyday a child, teen, mom, dad, grandparents, etc… wonders how they will feed themself and those that depend on them.
The list goes on.
Everyday I fail to give my all to search out and find those in need. I fail to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and visit those in our prisons. I fail to look after the widow and the orphan. These are not nice “ideals” from the Bible people. These are commands. Commands with a promise – if you love Jesus you will obey what he commands. What happens if you obey? Reality: You validate your beliefs which confirms your salvation. You don’t get to leave this world of suffering and pain to experience no more tears without validation of the heart through your works. Faith without works is dead.
As Ecclesiastes says, fear God and obey what He commands.
I am ashamed of my lack of deeds. Not because I want people to see me as some righteous sage, but so folks will see my good deeds and glorify my Father in heaven. I want them to experience the love, reconciliation, and fear of God that gives true meaning to why we are here and what to do about it.
But the reality is this: I will wake up tomorrow a chicken again. I will be afraid to share what I believe is truth to the random stranger or the endeared friend. I will fail again to search out the orphan, widow, homeless, abused, and neglected among me. I will continue to live my life how I think it should be lived.
And then what? People are going to suffer and die all around me without hope.
Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Cor. 13
Maybe, just maybe, I will wake up and still desire to make a difference and then act on it.