Stop it. It’s not funny. It endears you to no one.
The lame, and very much overused, attempts at humor many men use at their own expense very often work against many of their own stated (or dreamed) goals and aspirations. For men who wish to be all that God has called them to be, it’s an everyday challenge to be bold, decisive, confident, witty, and fun; especially when you don’t feel or act that way naturally. Why do you continue to say things about yourself, even if true, that are contrary to the way you want to be?
Recently, I had an encounter at work with a soft-spoken, soft-bellied, middle-aged man who approached me at the coffee machine:
Self-Deprecator: “Hey. How are you doing?”
Me: “Oh. Hi [self-deprecator]. What’s up?”
SD: “What’s up? Oh, I don’t know. No one gave me the memo.”
Me: “No one gave you the memo? Surely, you don’t need…”
SD: “… well, except my wife. She gives me a memo all time – mostly about all the stuff I’m doing wrong… ahahah. amirite?”
Oof! Wrong. You could see the very last of his soul just crackling with each word. I felt bad for him. Like a beaten dog, you could see he wanted more in life, but had just endured so much disappointment for so long. Continue reading
For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare himself for battle? – 1 Corinthians 14:8
With the arrest of three men in New York, allegedly on their way to hijack a plane in Turkey to divert it to the ISIS hotbed in Syria, we have yet another instance of the “war on terror” coming ever closer to home and on US soil. The men have also been accused of plotting to kill police, FBI agents, US soldiers, and even President Obama.
Again, most people can see the hand writing on the wall and are beginning think critically about how they will respond when a more concerted attack takes place here in the US homeland. Others, of course, have their heads firmly planted in the sand (or sometimes, a certain body orifice) and are waiting ever-so blithely for a very stern and rude awakening. It’s hard to blame them when a lot of the media discussion is around whether the President and his cabinet are using the correct nomenclature or what strategies can be used to defeat ISIS and their ilk “over there.”
Since there is no clarity of message in our national media space, and not much of a message coming from American spiritual leaders, the sound being heard today is uncertain. Without a clear and certain “sound” how can one prepare himself for battle?
Sounding the Trumpet
Please prepare your mind and spirit for the struggle of our generation. Seek God’s will in your life and ask him what He would have you do during the coming storm. Prepare for both a spiritual battle, and quite possibly, a physical one.
As ISIS beheads 21 Egyptian, Coptic Christians in Lybia and shoots up a free speech forum, and kills two, in Copenhagen, Denmark just this week (not to mention the other recent events in Europe and elsewhere), we can see two common elements in the targets of Islamic jihad: open Christians & seculars that dare criticize Islam or its followers. As such, it’s amazing that even though such elements are in ready abundance here in the US, most people do not imagine that such attacks can, or will, take place on American soil. As Franklin Graham, head of Samaritan’s Purse and son of evangelist Billy Graham, has said, “The storm is coming.” It is certainly time that most Americans wake up to this fact.
So ask yourself: How are you preparing your family and your soul for this seemingly inevitable event? Continue reading
This was President Obama’s admonition to evangelical Christians at the 2015 National Prayer Breakfast, lest they forget how complicit they were in waging 9 crusades in the Middle East between 1096 and 1270 (919 years ago!) and in the Spanish Inquisition of 1480 to 1834 (535 years ago!).
Genius he’s not, but increasingly our President is offering the intellect and rhetorical barbs of a 9th grade drop out. “Yeah, but what about the crusades? And the Inquisition?” Ooh. Ouch! You got us on that one. His level of understanding of these events does not even rise to the level of Infogalactic. Henry Kamen has made some serious headway in rebutting many of the myths that surround the Spanish Inquisitions, but even Infogalactic agrees on an execution rate by the Inquisitors of around 2%. So, of the 150,000 tribunals, some 3,000+ people were executed during this time. For the mathematically impaired, that is less than nine deaths per year (3000 / (1834-1480) = 8.47); much less than are claimed by the swimming pool or bicycle each year. Of course, more Americans were killed in a Muslim-sponsored attack, in one day, than were people during the entirety of the Spanish Inquisition. Continue reading
Before the ink could dry on my first post on wondering what life in the US will be like when jihad-inspired 4GW comes to the US homeland, news has broken this morning of the killing of three Muslims in the college town of Chapel Hill, NC.
Even as I type, the US Congress is reviewing a letter from President Obama that requests “limited” ground combat operations again ISIS/ISIL, where he says, “If left unchecked, ISIL will pose a threat beyond the Middle East, including to the United States homeland.”
Since the President is already broaching the topic of ISIS/ISIL effectively targeting the US, what do we make of this most recent killing in Chapel Hill? Most gut reactions (if you’ve spent two minutes on twitter) are that this latest incident as another example of the oppression faced by Muslims in non-Muslim countries, especially at the hands of a white, racist, Christian. In turns out, however, that alleged perpetrator is an avowed atheist and this seemingly senseless killing may have been the climax of a much-heated dispute over a parking spot.
Vox Day notes:
Perhaps it was just a parking dispute. Or perhaps it is another step towards the Clash of Civilizations war that so many experts have been expecting for decades.
Pray for peace and for wisdom.
1 a (1): a state of usually open and declared armed hostile conflict between states or nations; (2): a period of such armed conflict (3):state of war
b: the art or science of warfare
2 a: a state of hostility, conflict, or antagonism
b: a struggle or competition between opposing forces or for a particular end <a class war> <a war against disease>
From Merriam-Webster, this definition of war makes one thing immediately stand out: that war is armed conflict between states or nations. Since the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, the State has had a monopoly on war (in the West, anyway).
On a parallel track to the idea of who can call for war, who can conduct war (and for what reasons), there has also been the moral and ethical dilemma for Christians of participating in such conflict as armed combatants. For most, this idea has been settled since the idea of Just War was brought forth by St. Augustine of Hippo, and later codified by St. Thomas Aquinas some nine hundred years later. Augustine, leaning heavily on the Romans 13:1-4, gave reprieve to the Christian conscience by indicating that the State was appointed by God and was His instrument to execute “wrath on him who practices evil”, and therefore not guilty of violating the commandment thou shall not kill.
Aquinas then offered criteria for establishing Just War, which has been supplemented in the years since:
- Just Cause – a nation must have a just cause to go to war, like defense of self, or innocents, against aggressive or oppressive nations
- Legitimate Authority – only political authorities, duly appointed, may have the right to wage war
- Right Intention – war can only be to right a wrong, not for material or economic gain
- Last Resort – all possible diplomatic options must have been exhausted
- Proportionality – weighing the harms of war, such harms must be outweighed by the harms and evils of not going to war
So, for hundreds of years, Christians in the West Continue reading