Berean Blog

Random thoughts from a Doulos Theos (servant of God)

Location: Rocky Point, North Carolina, United States

Saturday, November 26, 2005

I trust that each of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

It is also my sincere desire that you took even a few minutes to recall the intent of the day and for the abundant blessings for which you could give thanks. I think if most of us gave even a half-hearted effort to count all of our blessings, we would be enumerating them even still!

None of our regular readers were among those trampled at the Wal-Mart in Oregon, but what a tragic indictment of our society! I have to wonder if news footage of that event won’t be used for more Al-Qaida training videos to show how decadent and twisted American society is? I have to applaud that hearty soul that stayed at the door and tried to shield that hapless woman from the clueless mob streaming past (and over) her.

Speaking of clueless, Jay Leno had as a Thanksgiving night guest, the infamous Lindsay Lohan. I’ll get to her in a moment.

The entire audience was comprised of members of our Armed Forces; all five branches were represented. Jay’s opening monologue reflected how ignorant the Hollywood and entertainment types truly are concerning our military. Poor Jay had a bevy of jokes, most of which were lame, ill-timed, and borderline insulting to his guests. How wise is it to denigrate the administration and war effort when your target audience is partial to (and subordinates of) that administration, and integral to that effort? Jay’s writers seem to have forgotten to incorporate that question as they concocted those sophomoric attempts at humor.

Then came Lindsay Lohan. Jay attempted to put her on the spot by asking her to name her favorite branch of the military. Her response was, "Air Force", to which Jay countered, "Why the Air Force?"

Lindsay’s reason for favoring the Air Force? "Y’know? Top Gun?", triggering an ugly roar from her former fans there in the studio. She attempted to quell the obvious anger by going on to say, "C’mon, I love all you guys!", but I think the damage had been done at that time.

(Note to Lindsay Lohan: What the Tonight Show attendees knew, and you missed, is that Top Gun was a movie about NAVY pilots!)

In Lohan’s defense, at least she had a favorite military movie that does not have (like most of Hollywood’s portrayals) a not-so-secret agenda to show the military in the least-favorable light possible while still remaining profitable. She is still young and ignorant of the sacrifices made daily on her behalf by America’s warriors worldwide.

I have no issues with ignorance. Ignorance is simply lack of facts, and can be easily addressed and corrected. Ignorance is temporary – stupidity is permanent. Stupidity is ignorance presented with facts, and then ignored. Stupidity and outright malfeasance are the maladies that are rampant in the entertainment industry in America. How strange that the industry is populated by those that think patriotism is defined by maligning American virtues, virtues held by the majority of our society, the very ones they accuse of being out of touch!

The entertainment industry and icons simply do not understand the defense industry, no matter how they may wish to appear as doing so. If anything, I suppose that should be a comfort. It means that our armed forces are still somewhat safe from the enemies within.

Moving along to the more immediate homefront, I had the privilege of a job interview this week. Wednesday, I interviewed for a retail store manager. The woman conducting the interview was a district manager overseeing three stores, none of which need a manager right now. As a result, she is contacting her supervisor, who should be calling me back soon. The interview went well, so I anticipate that call.

There’s still no word from Illinois, but we have no fears. If Daddy wants us there, we’re willing to go. For that matter, we have committed to go wherever He may lead us. As I may have mentioned before, the pressure is not on us beyond daily submission to Him. He is the one Who has promised to provide, and what a joy and relief that is!

I wish all of you a wonderful weekend. "The LORD bless you, and keep you. The LORD make his face to shine on you, and be gracious to you. The LORD lift up his face toward you, and give you shalom." (Num. 6:24-26)

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Greetings once again to faithful readers and accidental discoverers!

I include that last part because there are occasional visitors to this blog from all over the world. This little page has had hits from various locales in the United States, and even a few from Europe! Most stay for a second or so, then move on, but a few have chosen to check back in from time to time, and to those I extend my humble thanks. I’d like, if I may, to direct a few words to you.

I truly don’t know what chord I may have struck with you, but if you have chosen to stay, I am reckoning that you are either:

(1) a believer in Christ, in which case I look forward to seeing you "at the house"

-- or --

(2) a seeker of truth, in which case I sincerely desire that you find that which you seek in the only source of truth, the One who said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."(John 14:6) He also said, "If you continue in My word, you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed." (John 8:31, 32, 36) And what a freedom He brings! To learn more, link to "What Christ is all about" in the "Links" section.

I share Paul’s sentiments to the Corinthians, "As the truth of Christ is in me, no man shall stop me of this boasting" (II Cor. 11:10), because we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth (II Cor. 13:8). Many who come to this page may not like what they see, but "Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?" (Gal 4:16)

If you are in the first category above, you know that we are in the times of the signs (II Tim. 4:3-4). I trust that you are studying the truth of the Word (John 17:17) to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that doesn’t need to be ashamed, because you are rightly dividing the word of truth. (II Tim. 2:15). You can stand, having your loins girt about with truth (Eph. 6:14), and join with the Beloved disciple (I John 1:5-10):

"This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and
to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us."

"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come." (John 16:13)

If you haven’t read the first chapter of Ephesians lately, I highly recommend you pick it up today; stop reading this if you have to – nothing I say could match its beauty and uplifting comfort! Go ahead, I’ll be here when you get back!

I hadn’t intended to share any of this, but once I started, it just came. I won’t apologize – perhaps one of you needed it (or just me). At any rate, I pray that it blesses you.

I had a wonderful night out with my dear Rib last night. Dennis Swanberg was in town, and we had been given two tickets. The Arrows suggested that we leave them at home, and with only slight hesitation, we did so!

Dennis is a wonderful speaker – if you ever get the chance to hear him, live or recorded, do not miss it! We also had the joy of encountering his wife purely by accident (unless you don’t believe there are any accidents!), and she is a true gem.

We sat behind a brother who may have caused quite a scene in some fundamental churches. He looked the stereotypical biker, complete with grizzled beard and ponytail. He was dressed in black, complete with a t-shirt that read (front) "Satan Sucks" and (back) "Jesus Saves". But what a Spirit-spark was in his eyes!! We had the privilege of speaking to him briefly, and even discovered that we had some mutual acquaintances. It was a wonderful night, and we even got back to a peaceful house!

I have had some inquiries about employment; I have nothing to report as of yet. I’ve applied to over twenty positions (and we’re still hoping for the position in Illinois), but still awaiting any responses.

Yesterday marked a new step, since I finally received my final severance pay. I don’t know this for a fact, but apparently the corporate office wasn’t informed that we were separated with any kind of bonus. We had been told that we would receive an additional two weeks salary, plus any accrued vacation. So, for the past two weeks, I’ve been receiving a regular paycheck (albeit with medical and dental deductions, which I rather resent), and yesterday received my vacation pay.

I know that YHWH is my source and not the company for which I worked, but that doesn’t completely stop the new sense of uncertainty that accompanies the knowledge that money is no longer guaranteed from a known source. Yes, unemployment benefits start next week (at a rate half my former salary), but this is a heretofore un-experienced (if I may coin a word) sensation.

Nevertheless, I view it as an opportunity for Abba to build our faith. Besides, He has been miraculously faithful thus far. I value your prayers and look forward to sharing more with you as the circumstances develop.

I close by going back to my opening thoughts with one more passage (I John 5:6-13):

This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.
For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father,
the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and thesethree agree in one.
If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is
greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.
He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.
And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

Aren’t you glad we can know??

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Happy Birthday to the world’s finest fighting force – the United States Marine Corps (or Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children – or Urine Samples Make Civilians, as some have discovered over the years!).

Yes, 230 years ago, in Tun Tavern in Pennsylvania, the mysterious breed known as Leathernecks, Gyrenes, Devil-Dogs, and Jarheads (for internal use only, thank you!) was birthed. Many a conflict has come and gone, and Marines have continued to distinguish themselves as the premier first to fight, expeditionary force in readiness. Semper Fidelis and happy birthday to my brothers-in-arms.

In light of this encouraging occasion, I find it difficult to be morose. To be further blessed as a child of the living G-d, what reason could I find to be discouraged?

Of course, by the time most of you read this, it will no longer be the tenth. So in that case, Happy Veterans Day! "If you love your freedom, thank a vet"; or better yet, "have you hugged a vet today?"

It may be a surprise to regular followers of this invective (first of all to see a post after such a prolonged time, but…) I will not make any gloomy observation or attempt any poignant proclamation. My heart is light, my spirits are buoyant, and I will leave well enough alone!

I will sincerely apologize for the scarcity of posting as of late. I have taken note that some of you have been faithfully checking in with this site, and a few have even emailed me to ask what has been happening. I have stayed offline for the majority of each day to keep the phone line open, and in the evenings, my time online has been limited to the job hunt.

I have applied to several openings, and have yet to receive any word yet from any of them, but I know this is to be expected. There is one in particular that I have my heart set upon, and am praying for earnestly; I won’t detail it in any fashion, but the good news for some of you is that it is close to the frozen tundra that I formerly called home. That’s all I’ll say for now, because it may not be in Abba’s will.

I know that this is short, for which I am truly sorry. May our Father bestow upon each of you His richest blessings until we meet again, or pass from the land of the dying to the land of the living…