Stress

1stress

noun \ˈstres\

: a state of mental tension and worry caused by problems in your life, work, etc.

: something that causes strong feelings of worry or anxiety

: physical force or pressure

Hmm…major audit at work in 2 weeks.

2 Days after the audit at work, I have an Orientation class for the range. It’s fast approaching around 40 to 50 people planning on attending. And we’ve implemented a new system for identification badges. Which I haven’t seen yet, haven’t figured out how to get new members set up.

Rehearsal Dinner tonight.

My daughter’s wedding tomorrow.

Another activity on Sunday.

It’s difficult to remember that I don’t need to stress out.

John 14:27

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God

Dang Allergies

Hard to imagine how they could be acting up with it sleeting outside.

 

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But that has to be the explanation, right?

Sometimes I do have hope for humanity.

Still Around

Sorry for the silence; just been either busy, unmotivated or both at the same time.

I hope everyone is enjoying the Season and remembering the reason for it. It’s been kinda rough doing that at the Bunker this time. Lots of issues piling up with the grandkids not being here foremost. We are trying to do our best.

On to other stuff now.

I wonder how many people I see who are confused about the Duck Dynasty/GLAAD/GQ/A&E are missing the point. I’ve seen quite a few comments like “It’s just a reality show, why are people getting upset.” And to a large degree they are right but I think they are missing the larger issue which really has lead to the kerfuffle.

Many people (and most bloggers/readers I’ve seen) fully agree that Robertson had the right to say what he did, that A&E had the right to fire him, etc.

What I’m seeing is some people are missing the message that GLAAD is actually trying to send and what people are tired of hearing — That he shouldn’t have those opinions and definitely shouldn’t say them if he does. Maybe it is just me but isn’t that what GLAAD is really trying to push — not that they disagree with his opinion. Heck, they could have said that and invited him to sit down to discuss why. Of course, arguing the Bible doesn’t list homosexuality as sinful is a little difficult.

But GLAAD didn’t

GQ Magazine’s profile of Phil Robertson included some of the vilest and most extreme statements uttered against LGBT people in a mainstream publication.

Sorry but that is a little over the top especially when you take things he said in context and especially when he was talking about the attraction of certain body parts over others. Clearly a personal opinion and they are calling that vile? So much for accepting diversity eh.

I think GLAAD deliberately misconstrued Phil’s statements — he wasn’t, in my opinion, relating homosexuality to bestiality — just listing some of the many sinful things people do. Yet, GLAAD made not so veiled threats — and A&E jumped through hoops as a result

Phil’s decision to push vile and extreme stereotypes is a stain on A&E and his sponsors who now need to reexamine their ties to someone with such public disdain for LGBT people and families.”

GLAAD reached out to A&E to speak about if the network stands behind Robertson’s comments.

And that last part is where I think many people are starting to push back. My religious beliefs, like Phil Robertson I attend a Church of Christ, and many other Christians do believe that homosexuality is a sin. Like Lying and Adultery and Greed and Gluttony and Sloth and more. Not more sinful no less sinful. We are all sinners.

I’m just getting tired of being told I can’t hold that opinion if it offends people. That I can’t express any opinion that might offend others particularly if that opinion if based on my Christian beliefs. Some of the things I hear in the media is deeply offensive to me yet I will defend the right to say it.

Had GLAAD responded that way, I would have understood. Had GLAAD even said “We disagree with what Phil Robertson said and until A&E reconsiders their relationship with him, We will not watch” I would have approved — we’ve done the same thing.

But they added a dimension that took it way past that — made what many millions of Christians believe  out to be a vile thing. That is an attack on my religious beliefs; an attack that isn’t based on a twisted understanding of the Scripture. An attack taken out of context especially when you consider the following that was in the interview:

As far as Phil is concerned, he was literally born again. Old Phil—the guy with the booze and the pills—died a long time ago, and New Phil sees no need to apologize for him: “We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job. We just love ’em, give ’em the good news about Jesus—whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort ’em out later, you see what I’m saying?”

If GLAAD wants to argue theology; fine. Let’s discuss that but don’t try to shut us up; people are getting tired of hearing that. That is what the kerfuffle is about in my opinion.

Please join the discussion.

 

 

Scripture and Self Defense – About Judgment

WordPress.com has a great feature that shows different blog posts based on a tag you pick. That is how I found Tim’s Blog – Just One Train Wreck After Another (that’s the name) and his post “Killing Kids and Why I Still Don’t Carry A Concealed Weapon

After a little misunderstanding on my part; we had a great discussion in the comments. The general tone, set by the movie quotes he chose, was about being able to judge another person’s heart. Whether or not they were a ‘bad person’ or not. It’s been bugging me every since then and I couldn’t figure out exactly why. After all as Tim notes we are all sinners. This morning I finally realized what the issue was; the focus of the judgment is wrong. There is no way I or anyone else I know personally that could judge what is in another person’s mind in the brief time a crime takes place.

Tim’s talking about trying to judge the actions of the criminal; I think we should be focusing on our own judgment.

I think God calls everyone to exercise discernment regarding their ability/capability of dealing out violence. If a person isn’t willing to harm someone then trying to defend yourself or others is going to lead to problems. It is better to adopt a strategy of avoidance and retreat. On the other end of the spectrum are those who are not willing to stop doing violence once started. Most people are some where in between but everyone should examine what they believe, what they are willing to defend before the situation arises.
I also think we are called to use our judgment in preparing as best as we can to confront violence. I believe that each person has to look at their life choices, their fitness levels, their commitments and decide the best approach to self defense. For some, that may be a life long journey in armed and unarmed combat. For others, it may be a 4 hour unarmed self defense class or a 8 hour pistol class. This differs for each person because no two of us are exactly alike. This is why I oppose mandated training; what works for the single guy with disposable income may not be possible for the single dad with 2 kids, a mortgage/car payment, etc.

Next, I think we need to exercise  judgment in our security arrangements; both at home and out in public. It would be incredible easy (just expensive) to install massive amounts of home security. I think God wants us to harden our homes, as we can afford, without hardening the hearts of the people living there. We shouldn’t let safety concerns out weigh the mental health of the people living there. Creating a safe zone without creating a bunker mentality is an exercise in judgment, don’t you think?

I think that control, exercising judgment in knowing what we can control or not is important part of the equation. It does take discernment to know when to worry or not, it takes a value judgment to decide if an errand is worth the risk. Most of the time this is easy; for others it is a constant struggle to balance the concerns. When I read the Bible, I’m always amazed at Jesus’ ability to do this; there are times where He confronts dangerous head on and others when He avoids them. Aren’t we called to exercise judgment like Jesus? Avoiding what we can?

I also believe we need to judge what security measures will stop most people; those not seeking to harm us can be easily stopped by a firm voice command or outside lights being left on. Those with less pure motives may be deterred by our situational awareness or a display of force/intent. This isn’t a judgement of the person’s heart but an awareness of the nature of people. The Bible doesn’t say we have to be perfect (just work on perfecting ourselves) so if we make a mistake regarding keeping people out or away; we can always apologize. But for the most part anyone approaching after being warned/inside our locked house; we can assume is either a dedicated burglar or has harmful intent.

And being able to differentiate where possible is another area of judgment. Is the person approaching drunk and harmless, drunk and harmful, pretending to be drunk/begging/friendly and harmful, etc? We have a brain for a reason, God expects us to use it. The more we can recognize the signs and signals of approaching violence or criminal intent; the better we are in how we deal with other people.  We have to balance our security with our desire to be charitable.

And the last and for me, the most important area of personal judgment is knowing God’s Word. This is where I have spent a lot of time. To be a Christian is to be “Christ-Like”; I have to use what wisdom and discernment I have to work out what the Bible says and how that applies to me; in all areas of my life. I have to exercise judgment in selecting people when I seek out their opinions and compare it to mine. It would be easy to cherry pick those that only agree with me point by point. One of the reasons I read Tim’s post was to see if he had insight or perspective that differs from mine.  As Christians we should have friends who hold us accountable for our views, deeds and understanding. I’m not an expert on the Bible; just a regular guy trying to muddle along as best as I can. I do have people who I trust, people who have greater knowledge, perhaps deeper understanding that have checked my views on Scripture and Self Defense to be consistent.

See, in my thinking, very little of a self defense situation involves sitting in judgment of another person’s heart.I do have to be able to discern a person’s actions to a degree, I have to know and understand God’s Word and Will for me as best as I can, I have to understand myself and my reasons for doing something. The other person’s reasons; not mine to judge — the immediate problem and probable outcome is something I have to evaluate.

I don’t think God is calling me to judge another person’s life; that is HIS job.

The wonderful thing about the entire situation is knowing God’s nature. Knowing there is grace (getting what is not deserved) and mercy (not getting what is deserved); not just for me but also the other person also.

Please join the discussion.

 

 

Drifting

Every notice how solid things seem in memories?
Rock solid foundations of our childhood (1st, 2nd and current for some of us) often aren’t a deep as we remember. For years, it was Thanksgiving at our house; usually a handful of G.I.s that couldn’t go home for the holidays joining us. Then later it was Thanksgiving at Aunt Mary’s house; with a huge crowd of family around. And so it goes, change. For years now, Thanksgiving has been at Nana’s house; with a huge crowd of family around.

For years it was running around with the cousins, getting into trouble, playing video games and eating too much. Then for years it was watching the kids running around, trying to get them to stop playing video games and eating too much. Lately, it was watching the kids chasing the grandchildren around, trying to keep them out of trouble, from playing too many video games and still eating too much.

This year things were a lot different at Thanksgiving. We went out to eat. Yes, we were one of those families. 16 of us at Cracker Barrel for lunch. And I’m sure this Thanksgiving will provide lots of memories.

Of people getting there at 10:00 a.m. to get on the waiting list…
Of being told until all the members of the party are together, no one gets on the waiting list….
Of waiting…..
Of a very crowded store area; full of people waiting to be seated…..
Of getting everyone together and being told of a 45 minute wait for a table….
Of waiting a while longer…
Of getting our table — oh, wait tables !  Not all of us are sitting together; 12 at one table 4 at another….
Of mediocre service..

And most importantly

Of how little any of those really mattered.

Nana was out of the hospital and moving around.
Family gathered together and talked.
A meal was blessed and a family blessed by the meal and companionship.
People were missed; family was scattered about the state and country but they were on our minds and in our hearts as we gathered.

We weren’t alone; Cracker Barrel — much maligned retail establishment open on the holidays — provided lunch and dinner to a huge crowd. Even more they provided a huge service; a holiday meal for those who couldn’t or didn’t want to cook. A place to gather with a few or many, to realize they aren’t alone in the world or their situation.

I saw people waiting patiently and politely (how much different from the crowds on Black Friday in some cases).

Will this be the new normal or will we gather again at a home; I don’t know. I do know the location isn’t as important as the company. And the company isn’t as important as the attitude; it is about Thanksgiving after all. While some things may drift, I hope to be steadfast in the important things; faith and family.

(Might want to watch your volume on the video)

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Sometimes it is tougher then others to be thankful….but it is well; as tough as it is to say some days.

 

Scripture & Self Defense: Live By The Sword

In an on going series (Bible and Self Defense Part 1 and Part 2, Thou Shalt Not Kill Part 1 and Part 2), let’s discuss what the Bible really says about self defense. This time I want to focus on one of the primary scriptures used by gun control advocates and pacifists – Matthew 26:52.
(All scriptures cited here from Biblegateway.com and the New International Version)

52 “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.

 

One of the problems that happens often, on both sides of any argument, is taking a scripture verse in isolation. I urge everyone to read the appropriate passages in full  — Matthew 26 , Mark 14, Luke 22, and John 18. So to make sure we have proper context; let’s back up a bit. I’m sure most people realize that God had a plan for Jesus and His time on Earth was drawing to an end. Jesus was well aware of this:

Matthew 26:17-18

17 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”

18 He replied, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.’”

Jesus knew the details; every detail of what was going to happen; who was going to betray him and when.

Matthew 26:21-24

21 And while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.”

22 They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, “Surely you don’t mean me, Lord?”

23 Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him.

Remember that phrase ”The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him”; God had been foretelling His plan for a long while. Think about that; Jesus had all eternity to think about what was to befall his physical form; a body that felt hunger, tiredness, aches and pains. Even knowing why it was necessary didn’t make it easy to face.

Matthew 26:37-39
37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” 39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

Another phrase to keep in mind “if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.” He was facing a time of such agony that few of us want to contemplate, much less experience in part. Luke describes his physical and mental state

Luke 22:44

44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

A rare condition surfacing where people are facing incredible stress – Hematidrosis.

That brings us up to the time of his betrayal by Judas and sets the stage for consideration on the focus of His thoughts and views. Everyone knows the start of the story; Judas with his 30 pieces of silver leads the thugs and guards to the Garden of Gethsemane; betraying Jesus with a kiss.  In response, one of the Disciples reacts:

Matthew 26:50

50 Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.”[d]

Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. 51 With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.

And that is where Jesus responds and most pacifists stop:

52 “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. 

Ignoring the next several verse  completely:

53 Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?

So why would a ‘pacifist God’ even think in terms of “legions” – a Roman military definition or be willing to put Angels to the defense of Jesus? But let’s skip that small matter and move onto something that really means something; just who was Jesus talking about.

Not talking to. Most people realize that Jesus was talking to Peter and in extension the soldiers and guards sent to arrest him but was the focus of the comment really about them. Or was it about Jesus?

What most Jews of the time expected in a Messiah was a military commander, a King or leader who would establish God’s Kingdom (remember the Jews were a conquered people) on Earth.  The Jewish people had seen several other “messiahs” who lead revolts ; for the most part it didn’t end well for them.  The Roman Legions were very, very good at putting down revolts and rebellions; few survived the experience.

And that is who Jesus was talking about — Himself

Matthew 26:54

54 But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?” 55 In that hour Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me. 5But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.”

Look at how John recorded it:

John 18: 11

11 Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”

It wasn’t pacifism or rejection of self defense that motivated Jesus, it was love and acceptance of what needed to be done. He had to freely and willingly accept the full measure of the bitter cup that was awaiting him.  That cup He prayed so desperately to avoid; that He was sweating blood had to come to pass and He knew it. Jesus was not going to let anything or anyone interrupt His destiny. To die on the point of a sword as just another  rebel, another false Messiah wasn’t His Plane. He came to die on the cross for our sins as the perfect sacrifice; our true Savior.

Please join the discussion.

 

 

Just One Rock

Was listening to a local Christian station (94.9 KLTY) and heard members of a band talking about many different things. One of the lines someone said really stood out.

And remember, David only needed one rock to change the world.

Of course he was referring to the story David and Goliath from 1 Samuel 17 and unfortunately like many people who do not understand arms, he was wrong.
True, David needed only one stone to kill Goliath during the battle.

The reality is behind that one stone there were hundreds, probably thousands of others.

Think a boy watching over sheep in the wilderness just sat around playing the flute or harp; not a chance. He practiced slinging stones thousands of times. The skill needed to strike a person on the head covered by a helmet came from long familiarity with the Sling.

Not all of David’s skill with the Sling came from practice  1 Samuel 34- 35

 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it.

Even when God calls a person to a particular task at a certain time and place; it appears that being prepared is often a part of that of that calling.

So when someone tells you “Just Trust in God, you don’t need to carry a firearm” remember that sometimes carrying and practicing with that firearm is possibly part of God’s plan for you.

Also point out that David didn’t come to that camp prepared to battle Goliath that day. He came as he usually went around  — armed with the weapon of his choice.

38 Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. 39 David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them.

“I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off. 40 Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.

Carry your firearm, never mind the naysayers – they won’t be there for you when you need them.

Please join the discussion.