Monday, November 9, 2015

6 Ways to Honor Veterans

1. Don't ask, "Did you kill anyone?"
Don't bring back bad memories.

2. Offer to pay for their check.
If you see a Veteran wearing a unit hat at a restaurant, you can offer to pay for their check. Even if they don't accept your payment, they'll feel honored.

3. Ask them about their service, but see #1.
Ask them about their unit or what they did for the military. It'll likely bring back good memories. Just don't ask about killing people.

4. Offer to buy them a drink, and see #3.
Offer to buy them a drink. Ask about their service. Just don't go to excess with buying them drinks. There are a lot of service members with alcohol or former alcohol-based problems.

5. Find out about the military.
Find out about the service. This will give some common ground to understand when you ask about their service. I have had people ask if the infantry took care of babies. Ugh.

6. Buy them a gift card.
A gift card, even of small denominations, will be a great way to show your appreciation and make sure the business you support is paid for their service, rather than spent on rent (or whatever).

Sunday, May 24, 2015

In memory of Edward Forrest and Justin Culbreth

This is a Memorial Day post.

I served with two fine gentlemen that were Killed in Action in Iraq and Afghanistan.

SGT Edward Forrest was in my platoon in Iraq in 2005. He was wanting to stay in the Army and be one of those lifer types. He was moving quickly towards a leader position and was a fire team leader almost immediately after we returned from Iraq. He died in 2009 in Mosul with four other men. I was heartbroken to hear about his death and bought a KIA bracelet with his name on it.

SGT Justin Culbreth was in my platoon in Iraq in 2005. I remember making jokes with him about his youth. I knew him as a young PFC and then a Specialist. He did not seem to like the Army and we complained about it together. He, later, reenlisted, so I guess he enjoyed it more than I think. He died in Afghanistan but I know less about the details of this except that it was an IED.

So, keep my seat warm for when I join you, my friends. I will be thinking about you today on Memorial Day.

Monday, May 18, 2015

On Habits

    I sit here this morning thinking about habit. There are very few things better than a well trained mind. I believe I have my emotions generally in check. This took years of meditation and generally getting angry at myself when I blew up or got excited. After this training, I am generally known as the coolest head, if not the most unemotional person around.
     Training myself started as a generally religious exercise after finding myself leaning towards the agnostic side. This, of course, occurred as a teenager when I did not find Christianity particularly applicable to my life. I was interested in meditation and self-control but thought that it was something that I did not have much to do with. I began listening to some affirmations or goals on tape. This was just a blank cassette tape and the recording button on my radio/stereo. The problem with my poor recording equipment was that I had no looping equipment. I would simply say my affirmations for a few minutes and record them onto the tape. Then, I would meditate and listen to them.
      I wanted the well-trained mind of Luke Skywalker or Obi-Wan Kenobi. The prequels to Star Wars were not out yet, therefore I supplemented my opinions of the Jedi through Star Wars novels. Particularly I read about those that I aspired to be. This method can be used in making oneself more like the Green Berets or other heroes of youth. Incorporate the advice of your heroes, yet avoid idolatry. Your goal is not to make yourself a Green Beret or Theodore Roosevelt, but to copy their habits to make yourself the best possible version of who you are.
     Besides meditation and reading for "manliness," I simply began imitating the person I would like to be. "Fake it until you make it." That quote, seemingly useless can make oneself a different person over time. You want to fake being someone like you aspire to be. Goal-setting may lead to the best vision of who you want to be. Proper goal-setting will lead the person to understand who they want to be like. Then, read about that person. Meditate on some aspirations that they have or that you wish to have. This will lead to the best vision of yourself.
     Habit-training is very difficult, yet with practice you can become the best version of you ever. I would supplement this habit training with exercise. This will make you more of a gentleman, scholar, or warrior. Or should I say "gentleman, scholar AND warrior?"
     My primary changes I would make at this point would be to make myself more of a warrior-philosopher. I have served in the US Army as an infantryman. I felt fear but faked my way through that. I was not the best firearms shot or the most physically fit. I followed orders better than any other and always executed what was asked. Skill problems are different than behavioral problems. While you cannot meditate yourself to better shooting or fitness, you can practice at them until you get there. As far as philosophy, I have been reading on Stoic philosophy from Marcus Aurelius and Seneca. I incorporate other parts of philosophy (particularly neo-reaction philosophy, hence this blog).
    I will always be improving myself. A friend of mine after I left the Army told me to always be improving my foxhole. This is not about a foxhole, but about your position. I suspect I will be improving that foxhole until I am dead. I must become what I want to be. This must be done through any means available, like meditation, exercise, hero reading, and other means.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Change of Plan [Administrative]

     I failed in my plans of keeping up with the Lectionary. My reading was sporadic for a period, yet I will be caught up by the time the Lectionary runs out. I'll literally have from May 25 to December 31 to read the OT once to keep up with my normal reading plans. So, I plan on writing in this as a regular blog. I may not post weekly, yet I will attempt to find something pretty often. Let's buckle up and go for a new ride.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Luke 20:19-24:53, 2 Timothy 1:9-4:22

Does Paul know of his future martyrdom? He writes about "being poured out as a drink offering." Even Jesus questions his future martyrdom, asking if it was necessary. It is tough to know and go willingly.

Luke 14:15-20:18, 1 Timothy 3:10-6:21, 2 Timothy 1:1-8

Adam was not deceived like Eve. Adam ate because he wanted to fail with his wife. That does not absolve him, but shows the strength of love.

Luke 9:43-14:14, 2 Thessalonians 3:3-18, 1 Timothy 1:1-3:9

In Luke, the Apostles show that they are afraid to ask questions at times. This includes when Jesus tells them that he will be delivered into the hands of men. We should not be afraid to ask questions.

This world is losing people capable of being ministers according to the restrictions on who can be officers in the Church. Even evangelicals are divorced in 50% of marriages. So it goes.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Luke 5:25-9:42, 1 Thessalonians 4:2-5:28, 2 Thessalonians 1:1-3:2

In 2 Thess. 2:15, we are taught to live by the counsel of word of mouth and letter. These letters have become books of the Bible and this may or may not be totally wise any longer. It depends on where you base your belief.

Luke 1:1-5:24, Colossians 3:16-4:18, 1 Thessalonians 1:1-4:1

Jesus' three temptations: Jesus was tempted because He knew this to be one incident where he would gain the world. He would also be saved from his future Cross, which hung over him his whole life.

As it is Valentine's Day, women are taught to respect their husbands and husbands to love their wives. This goes back to the Curse of Genesis 3. There is much wisdom between this passage and Genesis 3's curse.

Colossians 1:1-3:15

Some unbelievers believe that it is best to wait until the last possible moment to become close to God. This is illogical. First, one does not know their date with the Judge. Second, we earn rewards and gain fruit as long as we know the truth. Putting it off minimizes this.

Philippians 2:13-4:23

Do your work on earth without grumbling. The worst Cross has been taken from you.

Mark 13:30-16:20, Ephesians 6:1-24, Philippians 1:1-2:12

Sorry about the absence of posts over the last few. I went to DC with Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and had some issues with hotels charging for internet.

The Apostles had every reason to believe Jesus would return during their lifetimes. I believe a generation here has meanings we on earth do not recognize. Maybe something similar to Dispensation.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Mark 10:17-13:29, Ephesians 2:21-5:33

This passage speaks of the inevitability of going to eternal life without Jesus.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Mark 7:24b-10:16, Galatians 5:20-6:18, Ephesians 1:1-2:20

Ministering to the Hebrews did less good than the crumbs that fell to the Gentiles. Yet, because they failed to be ministered to, the Gentiles receive the Gospel.

Innocence towards Heaven to see yourself blameless.

Mark 4:24-7:24a, Galatians 2:20-5:19

If you measure by a harsh standard in life, you will be measured by the same harsh standard. Judge lightly.

The way to be away from the law is to let the Spirit judge

Mark 1:1-4:23, 2 Corinthians 13:2-13, Galatians 1:1-2:19

It is better to be in our situation than it is to be the Apostles, who believe by seeing. We believe and cannot see.

2 Corinthians 10:11-13:1

Paul talks about being nearly killed for Christ several times. We must be willing to go but one lash further and die.

2 Corinthians 7:3-10:10

The weapons we use as Christians are not very powerful and should be used sparingly.

Matthew 24:27-28:20, 2 Corinthians 2:12-7:2

While sharing is good, do not be the one to give your salvation away to another. Share the gospel, but do not lose sight of Home.

I believe 2 Corinthians 6:2 is talking about the crossing time between two ages. I need to read more on this.

Matthew 19:1-24:26, 1 Corinthians 15:55-16:24, 2 Corinthians 1:1-2:11

Marriage is good, divorce is worse, and staying single for Christ is better.

As with children, it is always better to be innocent. If you can't then marry.

Jesus never fell into a trap. Learn body language and to read faces.

Sorry about the late posts. I have been on vacation to Disneyland with my family.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Matthew 12:38-18:35, 1 Corinthians 14:24-15:54

I know not whether we will be judged for our merits or our pitfalls.

Matthew 18:10-11 speaks of a pre-existence or Guardian angels like Catholicism.

Matthew 7:19-12:38, 1 Corinthians 11:21-14:24

More of Jesus' command of the supernatural is covered here.

On tongues: Every gift is seen as the same. There is no prevalence to those who speak in tongues.

Matthew 1:1-7:18, 1 Corinthians 8:7-11:20

I believe I spoke about the differences in Matthew with the record from Josephus and the other gospels. Josephus never spoke about the murder of infants. The issue of Quirinius makes someone wrong or Jesus was born ten years give or take from where we normally think.

I believe Jesus speaks about putting a hedge around the law and our code of ethics when he talks about removing the hand that offends you.

I do not wish to understand the articles I've read about head covering and pubic hair and what that all means.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

1 Corinthians 5:11-8:6

As the Temple, I think we are to become empowered over it. We should become fit and keep it that way. Use it as long as we can rather than lettering it fall to waste.

Sex is best if one can do without. If you cannot, then marry.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

1 Corinthians 1:27-5:10

Paul's distinction between Malice and Wickedness is from the word Truth. It appears that we are to keep malice and wickedness away. But we should still tell the Truth. I guess that does not need to be said, but in Ministry, we must make sure we are not erring towards malice when telling the Truth.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

John 17:1-21:25, Romans 15:16-16:24, 1 Corinthians 1:1-26

Jesus' overarching goal was the glorify the Father. He did so by dying on the Cross. These goals are joined together.

Pilate asked "What is Truth?" when he had Truth, Himself in front of him. I feel Pilate is a tragic character in this parts of the Gospel.

"It is finished!" is the last words of Jesus in the life of Jesus in John's Gospel. It is also something written on a prisoner's debt form when his sentence was paid in full. We are the prisoners.

Monday, January 26, 2015

John 12:18-16:33, Romans 11:32-15:15

Jesus is in the likeness of the Father. We'll all have our guess what that means. There are several choices. Trinitarian, binitarian, and oneness people.

Jesus is teaching passive-aggressiveness or teaching us how to harm our enemies in the afterlife, when he says by doing good to our enemies we heap coals upon their head. Hmmm?

Sunday, January 25, 2015

John 8:29-12:17, Romans 9:4-11:31

Those who are "born in sins" can still become a believer. The inclusiveness of the Gospel frightens me sometimes, yet I see other religions as inclusive with a different message.

Jesus seemed to never be where His persecutors wanted Him to be until the Cross. I do not know if this was natural (running) or supernatural.

Paul, as  a Jew, makes a convincing argument late in our Romans passage about the Jews and their not being rejected. That is true, even if they are immediately blinded until later.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

John 5:23-8:28, Romans 6:21-9:3

I wrote a sermon about Bread from Heaven and John 6:41. I should get to posting that online.

Romans is a book I've tried to stay away from. Maybe I should fix that.

John 1:1-5:22, Romans 3:18-6:20

Religious institutions should not become businesses. I go so far as to discourage new churches from taking non-profit status. They should not become institutions that bow to governments for tax breaks.

Jesus' speaking to the Samaritan woman is a distinct event in which he tells the truth to a non-Jew. Her faith should be seen as important and is the beginning of gentile faith.

Romans 4:6 uses a verse from Psalms equating to "Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account. Interesting.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Romans 1:1-3:16

Through the ministry of the Jews, the gentile believers became apostate due to the example of the Jews. It is better to be the best example than to give the best sermons.

2 John 1-13, 3 John 1-15, Jude 1-25

Children are sometimes the best followers. Not overly zealous, except in the figurative meaning of the word.

Jude is full of references to 1 Enoch. One is the reference to the Angels who did not keep their own domain in Jude 6. The second is a reference to curses in Jude 12-13, such as the wandering stars and hidden reefs. I made a point that most of these have to do with navigation being taken from man in my first Bible class. I still think that is spot on.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Luke 20:19-24:52, 1 John 3:9-5:21

I personally wonder if the man who prepared the upper room for the Last Supper did it under prearrangement from another disciple as a surprise or whether he is a manifestation of the supernatural.

Luke says that Jesus tells us He is the Son of God. The historical Jesus workers tell us he did not say that. I don't know what to do with that.

There will be five scars in Heaven. Those born or who become disfigured will not be that way. Jesus will bear His scars, however. This is as a testimony to His sacrifice.

Love is not only God, but godly. Love.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Luke 14:16-20:18, 2 Peter 3:2-18, 1 John 1:1-3:8

You cannot serve God and the world or money. One will become the first leader while the other falls by the wayside.

Jesus was rejected, but he becomes the "chief corner stone" of heaven and the Kingdom of God.

Our passage in 2 Peter speaks to those who do not believe in God and mock Him. Especially, 2 Peter 3:4.

I wrote a sermon on John 1;1-1:3 once. Heady stuff. I confused my preaching class and was warned to stay away from the heady by my Prof.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Luke 9:43-14:14, 1 Peter 5:8-14, 2 Peter 1:1-3:1

Be grateful that the Lord has created homes. Be grateful to be able to work for it. The Son of Man had no home, so be grateful for it while it lasts.

The Adversary seeks to devour. Be careful and only be boastful where appropriate.

2 Peter's passage here speaks about appropriate virtue and the fall of the false prophets. These are together for a reason.

Luke 5:25-9:42, 1 Peter 2:12-5:7

Be careful to point out the SJW or White Knight if you struggle in the same manner. This is a way of avoiding embarrassment and keeping oneself in the appearance of right.

Faith can move mountains and allow one to walk on water. Fake it until you make it.

Peter keeps speaking about humility. It has it's place.

Luke 1:1-5:24, James 4:5-5:20, 1 Peter 1:1-2:11

I've written elsewhere about the timing of Jesus' birth and how difficult it can be using the whole of the Gospels. Luke's dating with Quirinius as governor of Syria seems to be of a different opinion from Matthew.

Luke's birth story starts with the birth of John the Baptist. John really was the last Old Testamant prophet, though he is written about only in the New Testament.

Man can forgive, but blasphemies can only be forgiven by God.

It is better to be humble, as James says, but one may find himself boasting in order to use Game against his wife or girlfriend. It is simply better that way. To yourself, be humble. To others, walk as if you can do nothing wrong.

Peter 1:24-25: Flesh will be destroyed. Fall for the person, but enjoy the flesh while you still have it.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

James 1:1-4:4

The Church has the problem it has always had. We fight and kill for what does not easily and readily come to us. See Ch. 4:1-4. We become adulteresses and idolaters when we covet. Especially when we covet enough to act on it.

Oh, James. You confuse me. I am not a systematic theologian. You seem to contradict Paul many times. I'll just leave that where it is.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Acts 27:3-28:31

Paul's arrival through the storm, to Malta shows his faith. He believed what had been told to him. Namely, that he would arrive to see Caesar. While I would be personally frightened to offend any important person to his face, he was to see the ruler of the known world and teach to him about Christ crucified. Ballsy.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Mark 13:30-16:20, Acts 24:21-27:2

More than money, more than even serving the hungry comes those who will accept the Lord as theirs. I know that the perfume nard was used to prepare people for death, yet Mary did not understand that he was going to die.

Paul's appeal to Caesar sealed his fate to meet the emperor. Jesus' submission sealed his fate to the Cross.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Mark 10:17-13:29, Acts 21:39-24:21

Jesus was sometimes very harsh and frank with people asking Him to heal them. I guess we'll have to be in the other side to understand why. Sometimes it was due to their being non-Jews or just asking him.

The Fig Tree continues to baffle me, unless it was simply to show Jesus' power over the supernatural.

No one, except Jesus, ever had enough faith to cast mountains into the sea. It makes it difficult that we all know that we come short in God's eyes.

The "render to Caesar" passage is difficult. Maybe money was never for God. We are to render Caesar what has his likeness on it, yet we were commanded not to make graven images of God. Makes one think?

Jesus and Paul bow down to earthly leaders, and so should we.

Mark 7:24b-10:16, Acts 20:28-31:38

Once again, we see that man doesn't drive out demons in Mark 9:29 and the preceding verses. God can drive out demons, and prayer can. Man does nothing without allowance from Providence.

The warnings of Mark 9:38-50 are incomprehensible and make little sense in my mind.

On it being more blessed to give than to receive, we do not see this verse in the Gospels, but only in this one verse from the writings of Luke.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Mark 4:24-7:24a; Acts 19:3-20:27

Acts 19:5- People were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. This is a testimony that tells different from the threefold testimony of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Oneness believers could use this as a flag to stand beside. The Trinity does not wholly make sense to me. Call me what you will.

Paul has a little struggle with the Craftsmen that make idols. This has been interesting to me. The Craftsmen are literally more worried about a loss of revenue than they are about someone saying God was against their work.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Mark 1:1-4:23, Acts 17:3-19:2

John the Baptizer appeared to make the path to God straight. His primary mission was to baptize men and make the path to Messiah quicker. Jesus' mission was to the sinner, to teach them a better way.

No one fixes a good item, but a broken one. However, the truth is that we are all broken.

We as evil ones, do not cast out Satan. We cast him out in Jesus' name. This is the only way it works.

Paul uses syncretism to convert the men on Mars Hill. We must be careful in using it, but follow that example.

Paul's conversion was the best for God. He used a critic to prove him own point. There was little way that a constant believer would be listened to. Always be on the lookout for the person on the other side to prove your own point.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Acts 15:4-17:2

On Acts 16:14-21, Paul was doing what is right, which is not always what will be popular. We know this. These people were using a woman for fortune-telling. This was rendered impossible by expelling the demon(s) from her. Even the demon(s) were telling the truth about the two speaking for Christ, Paul and Silas. This truth from them I know not the nature of it. Do not go of the way of the Social Justice Warrior. They strive to be right and popular.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Acts 13:12-15:3

Do not flee your native religion. For you can be a light to other gentiles (Acts 13:47). So many flee their religion due to boredom with the faith of their fathers. It is the state of the Church that this happens. We need a way to make the faith relevant and powerful to our children.

Paul was called Hermes and Barnabas was called Zeus. This is probably because of the authority with which the two men showed. Why do we idolize every person that shows authority today? We like the powerful, the rich. It is time to return to a time to where everyone spoke with authority and truth.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Matthew 24:27-28:20; Acts 10:43-13:11

On the parables of the ten virgins: We are told to trim our wicks. Even if God returned in 70 AD, then keep prepared as if he were going to attend dinner tomorrow at your house. Stay alert. You never know when you will entertain an angel.

Mostly, though, you will be dealing with those that believe that are better than you and are making themselves last.

Matthew 19:1-24:27; Acts 10:19-42

Divorce is to be avoided. Christians have a poor track record of being better than the world as far as divorce goes. I am divorced, yet was secular at the time and knew not of Red Pill behaviors. These help even in keeping the wife interested. My ex cheated.

Matthew 19:30; Those who are last on earth will be first, those who are last on earth may well be first. God decides.

The sons of Zebedee's mother asked for her sons to be sitting on the outside of the Messiah. This kind of promotion not coming from God is wrong. Allow God to find you first, and you can be.

I really wish I understood the Fig Tree section of  Matthew 21:18-22. I have heard many explanations in my Christian studies courses, yet I am lost there.

Money: pleasing to man. The Church may use it, yet God looks after the heart. Render to Caesar what is his.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Matthew 12:38-18:35, Acts 7:48-10:18

Jonah is a type of the three days and three nights that Jesus died. Some have even speculated that Jonah died in the belly of the great fish. I don't really know how I feel about that. It seems to me to be syncretism with science today.

Matthew 15:8-10; Do not heed the way of those who would honor Jesus in words only. That includes the prosperity preacher, the local hypocrite, and the SJW. Those will go the way of the goats at the last judgment. Some choose to honor Jesus without committing to Him. They will find their just rewards.

The Sadducees and Pharisees were especially criticized by Jesus not because they were outside of the realm of right and wisdom. Instead, they were especially criticized because they were so close, yet so far. They honored the Messiah with words, yet did not recognize Him in front of them.

An interesting note on Matthew 16-27; Men will be repaid according to their deeds. Is this because of what good they did or what ill they did.

Matthew 18:10 refers to "the angels" of the little ones. Is this a reference to Guardian Angels? Do each of us have one?

I wonder if Saul had some official position from the context of Acts 8:3. Saul put the early Christians into prison. How? Was this a debtor's prison or something very similar, or was this the official prisons of the Empire?

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Matthew 7:19-12:38, Acts 5:19-7:48

This section of miracles in Matthew reflects Jesus' command of the elements, supernatural, and diseases. He sent the demons into swine, which killed themselves. He healed the sick. Jesus' command is the ultimate power in the Universe.

Stephen's martyrdom speaks of Israel's failure to do things on the first try. The sons of Jacob had two chances to accept Joseph and did it on the second chance. Israel accepted Canaan on the second attempt. On the same note, Israel will accept Jesus at His Second Coming and did not do it widely on the first. Family of mine accept that Israel is beginning to accept Jesus now, as He is preparing to return.

Matthew 1:1-7:18, Acts 3:3-5:18

Starting in Matthew there are some very curious things that lead to the disagreement about the dating of Jesus' birth. Quirinius is governor of Syria and Judea. Yet, Luke dates the birth of Jesus during the reign of Herod the Great. Matthew simply says "Herod the king." Quirinius did not rule over Syria until ten years after the death of Herod the Great. These are somewhat contradictory, leaving many to believe that Luke was simply wrong and writing in hindsight. These trouble many of those wishing to decide on inerrancy, yet I see no problem. The Bible was written by men.

The mass bloodshed of the infants in Matthew 2:16 is not recorded in the writings of Josephus nor in any other record of the time period, though it is typical of the bloodshed that would commence with the reign of Herod.

The judgement of what is good in Matthew 7:18 tells one about the nature of things. Evil begets evil. Violence begets more violence. Happiness brings more happiness. Good begets more good. In this day and age, what is called bad is not always bad. People may find more benefit from doing what is not politically correct in order to be pleasing to God. The story in Acts 5:1-10 reflects this.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Acts 1:1-3:2

     The Apostles still have not abandoned their outlook for the eschaton at this point. Even though Jesus rose and taught for forty days after that, that time is now, but not yet. Jesus allows the furtherance of the eschaton, but Jesus said that it was not their time to know. This is the nature of all predictions. While trends can be measured, that does not guarantee catastrophic events do not happen, barring things. Only God knows.

     I was recently reading I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi. In it, he speaks about the impossibility of beating the market (unless you are Warren Buffet). Everyone has their systems, but Buffet has looked for valued stocks that are underpriced. That does not render him Deity, however.

    Mr. Sethi also speaks about the impossibility of wine tasting, and how some professional wine experts misdetected white wine as red wine when the white wine was colored with simple food coloring.

     The end is now and not yet, because the beginning of the end is occurring now. We have seen the death of ideology and the blending of the two main parties in the American two-party system. Lord, come quickly.