Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a simple concept in and of itself.  Forgiveness implies the erasure of debt basically.  When someone wrongs you, they become indebted to you in order to make you whole again and correct the wrong.

Forgiveness implies that you count the debt fulfilled even without recompense (payment).

The last few weeks have been filled with heartache and bloodshed.  The terrible consequences of living in a fallen world echo throughout our civilization.  Despite all of our intrepidity poured into minimizing such horrors, they still occur.  Since shortly after the creation of mankind, man has shed man’s blood.  Disease takes the young and the elderly.  Accidents happen.  Atrocities occur.  Death, destruction, and evil overtake our personal worlds without warning.

Today, there are families walking about missing husbands, wives, sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, cousins, and close friends all because of our humanity.  That which sets us apart from a dog in the street, or a bird in the sky, that spark of the Divine that makes us unique with a power to create, conceive, invent, and to improve our own human condition can be harnessed for the worst of evils – to shoot, stab, bomb, abort, and destroy each other.

I have written before about the importance of Godly men and women being willing to stand up and fight such evil over, and over, and over again.

My sons are not yet ready to stand and fight at four and just over one and a half.  In our household, I stand with my gaze fixed outward at the horizon – trying to discern and classify threats.  My wife does the same, but she also must look inward and remind me from time to time that there is little we can do against some threats, but come to our knees and pray.

There is one more thing we must do though.  Those that are hurting from loss and death are usually incapable of taking this step at first as the searing pain is too great, the anguish too fresh, but those of us detached from the situation personally must take up the mantle.

Despite all of the evils done, despite all of the losses taken and the pain caused… we must forgive.  Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his elder brother could never be sufficiently punished in this life to fill the void and pain caused in so many lives (or in our collective soul as Americans).  Even if Dzhokhar faces the death penalty and is ultimately killed for his role in the Boston attacks, his life does not equal the three innocents lost and the almost two hundred permanently changed by the evil action.

Must we accept evil in this world? Absolutely not.

Must we forgive the lost souls abducted into committing gross evils among us?  Absolutely.

He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

1 John 2:2

Dzhokhar is a lost soul, just as many others.  He is as much deserving of forgiveness and grace as me.  Will he face judgment for his actions?  Yes, but they will fall short of making those hurt or killed whole again, and that is why we must forgive and turn to God in prayer so that He may make us whole again as it is He who is uniquely able.

Natural Law

An excerpt…

When governments pass laws that infringe upon people’s natural right to self-defense, they have become tyrannical; and no one who understands the divine principle of The Law of Necessity is morally obligated to submit to such laws–no more than a man would submit to the “No Swimming” law that would let the little boy drown.

Go read – this is great.

Die

I submit to you that if a man hasn’t discovered something he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Do you know what you are willing to die for today?

Is it your family? It it your home? Your rights?  Your faith?

Powerful motivators abound in this world.  A man driven to be willing to die in order to preserve something else is love in it’s most pure form.

The example Christ gave was of the God of all creation, eternal, all-powerful, and all-knowing, who laid aside His authority and power to crush the reign of sin and death completely by dying for the love of His creations.  Through this death, he drew all sin from the beginning to the end of time to Himself in that moment on the cross outside Jerusalem.

So what is it that would make you willing to die in order to preserve?

Paradigm Shift – Forget the Clutch

Those of us in the liberty movement, the patriot movement, the pro-gun camp, libertarians, Constitutionalists, conservatives, what have you… we need a paradigm shift if we are ever to fight back against the onward trudge of tyranny.  For too long we have allowed the political left to dominate the discussion by setting the terms of debate.

It is time for that to end.

I have pointed out before the fallacious term assault weapon and the misused term assault rifle in the past as have others ad nauseum.  The firearm industry has coined sporting utility rifle as an alternative, but I have stumbled upon another idea that has merit.  I like the idea of classifying a semiautomatic pistol grip rifle as a sporting utility rifle as it caters to the left’s strange obsession with not targeting “sportsmen” and “hunters,” but it still is allowing them to define the terms of debate.  Like I said, this is going to end here and now.

If the liberals get what they want, and I am choosing to just highlight one of their foci, on standard (or as they call them high) capacity magazines banned, they will put me and my family at risk.  If I have to reload after ten shots, I may find myself locked in close hand-to-hand combat with a thug intent on doing me and my family harm and while I believe myself capable of handling one such individual, two is another story entirely.  That is why standard (12, 15, 18 rounds for most modern semiautomatic polymer frame double-stack handguns such as the common Glock, Springfield XD, or Smith & Wesson M&P; 30 rounds for AR pattern rifles) size magazines are so important.  I can engage four or five attackers down the hallway of my house, with enough firepower and ammunition to resist a determined advance from all of them at once.

You see, my rifle is not an assault weapon, an assault rifle, a killing machine, a weapon of war (yet), or a sporting utility rifle.  My rifle is a FAMILY DEFENSE RIFLE.  With it, I can put up a wall of lead to shield my sons and wife.

So the next time someone asks me why I need so many shots in one magazine, my answer will simply be because I love my family and will always possess every advantage necessary to defend them.

 

Protection

Due to recent events nationally, I have focused more on the world than on God as of late and for that I apologize.  One of my stated purposes for this collection of short essays and thoughts is to throw the truth and the Truth out there.  While I have focused much on the events in Connecticut from one week ago, I have tried to keep it balanced with my desire to ensure that the Truth is heard.  In light of that, I will close my thoughts on the matter today because while it is easy to focus on evil, to dissect it, to prescribe cures for it, it is impossible to eliminate for me, for you, or for anyone else because it is a force beyond our comprehension.

How do we protect against evil if we cannot understand it?  How can we protect against more slaughterings of children in schools if we cannot understand why someone would target the most innocent amongst us?

Discretion will protect you,
and understanding will guard you.

Proverbs 2:11

So what is this understanding that we need to have in order to be guarded?  The pat answer is that we need an understanding of God’s saving grace and the Holy Sacrifice made by Christ.  Beyond that though, what is the understanding that we have to come to?  My take on it is that evil resides in the world and that no action of man will ever halt evil from striking where you think you are safest, or in this case, where people believed their children to be safest.

Why?  Isn’t that the significant question we always ask after any tragedy?

To that question, I say that there can be no answer that you will understand on this Earth.

I’m at war with the world

And they try to pull me into the dark

I struggle to find my faith

As I’m slipping from your arms

It’s getting harder to stay awake

And my strength is fading fast

Skillet, Awake and Alive

When I first wrote on the atrocity and the outpouring of hate in a world that we want so desperately to be filled with love, it was with the distant observation of someone familiar with the love one feels for their children and how such a sudden traumatic blow would shake me to my core.  This was the killer’s objective – to not strike at the children, they were merely his targets, but to strike at that fundamental love that we share for our children.  Evil used that wonderful Godly blessing of love as tool of destruction within us.  It threatens to destroy more of us too as the post-atrocity time-frame focuses on how to prevent the next atrocity, which is foolhardy to believe that we, as humans, have any capability to do as the ways of evil come easy to us on this fallen world.

How does one protect from an atrocity of another?  It is as difficult to stop a mass murdered intent on a high body count unless you are willing to open your eyes to the evil at work throughout the world.  If you can perceive it and recognize it for what it is, then you have a vital tool at how to protect yourself from it.  Notice I refuse to consider the concept of prevention as I firmly believe that no preventative steps we take will ever be enough as the gross majority of mankind will follow the rules, play within the boundaries, and not go to extremes in order to maintain a stable world in which to live.

You can station armed guards and metal detectors at a school.  They themselves will become the first targets of opportunity as they are limited in number and can be overcome, especially in the event of a planned multiple attacker event such as Columbine or Beslan.

You can ban guns entirely and try to confiscate them, but the knowledge of how to make them remains.

You can lock up everyone who ever made an idle threat or anything construed as an idle threat, but at the cost of a free society and any semblance of personal liberty remaining.  This alone will not stop an atrocity as the rational person would just remain quiet and not broadcast their intent beforehand.

You can go so far as to search every person entering the building, station  tactical response teams on site at every school, and regulate firearms out of civilian ownership and yet, atrocities will happen.  They will happen with knives, swords, and bombs.

In the end, no preventative steps we take can prevent evil.  It always gets to take the initiative, while we must be ready to respond anywhere it could feasibly strike.

How best, can I as a father, protect my family in the face of these threats?  Despite what the world tells you, the responsibility is mine and mine alone.  I am ultimately responsible for my children and my wife and will answer God in regard to the discharge of my duties.  Will I say that I turned a blind eye toward evil?  Will I say that I looked evil in the eye and told it to keep back?  Will I say that I surrendered the tools of the mind and the body to provide for their safety and security to someone who ultimately is not responsible for my family’s safety?  Will I abdicate my rightful role as the guardian-redeemer of my family?

If I love my children and my wife with all of my heart, how can I not take every step available to me including that of taking up arms in their defense against the evil of the world?  Other men may look at me and scorn my decision to take that stand, so be it.  I answer to God, not men.

My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.

John 17:15

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

1 Corinthians 13:7

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Galatians 1:10

Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

1 Timothy 5:8

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”

Surely he will save you
    from the fowler’s snare
    and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
    nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
    ten thousand at your right hand,
    but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
    and see the punishment of the wicked.

If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
    and you make the Most High your dwelling,

no harm will overtake you,
    no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
    you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
    I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble,
    I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation.”

Psalm 91

What do we do in the face of inspeakable evil?  Ride out and meet it.

Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.

Nehemiah 4:14

What More Can We Do?

I have tried to focus on persecution this week and hope to have sufficiently shined a spotlight on how the modern church is not immune from persecution, but rather that it has evolved and adapted to attack the church effectively, but not necessarily violently as is the most easily recognizable form of persecution.  I think this is an often neglected topic because of how depressing it can be to see fellow believers, fellow humans, suffering at the hands or words of other human beings who either believe in a different religion or none at all and choose to attack the faithful.

As a man who lives in the freedom and liberty of the United States, I have the opportunity to look out at the world and see these atrocities, and like Peter, am prone to think first of the “sword” rather than God when I hear of them.  Rather than trusting God and having faith that His will is being played out, I think of protecting those that cannot protect themselves.  While this is not Biblically wrong as we are called to offer ourselves as a shield of protection for those that are unable, my myopic view fails me often.  I, aside from prayer, cannot impact what happens in Nigeria, Iran, or Malaysia any more than they can directly impact the persecution that may befall believers here in the United States.

I want to bridge the gap from the spiritual to the practical now.  Prayer is the best weapon to combat persecution as we hope to turn our persecutors into believers themselves and may need to suffer in order to accomplish this goal.  That is great in theory, but from a day-to-day perspective, we need to heed other teachings of Christ as well.

Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

Luke 22:36

And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.

Luke 22:38

We are not called to sell our lives cheaply.  We might be a speck in terms of all things, but we are precious to God, which means we should consider ourselves as precious to Him.  This is where the concept of moral, lawful, and rightful self-defense originates.  Christ did not preach pacifism, nor militarism, but something contrary to both.

So back to the upper room, when Christ asked if there were swords present.  Christ, as God incarnate, knew there were swords there.  Now you could extend the story out to include the events at Gethsemane when one of the disciples used, presumably, one of those swords to sever the Priest’s servant’s ear so Christ could admonish them for it, but if you look at the context of the command, He is directing them to arm themselves if are not already armed.  By indicating that two swords were enough for their small group, you could also extend that out into modern thinking as not a force of arms (which would be the case if all were armed), but rather as a deterrent against force.

Now let’s take this scenario and fast-forward it to the modern day.  Your church is a ripe target for persecution in the form of a religiously-targeted attack.  When I wrote this, I cited statistics which show that religiously-targeted attackers are on the rise in the United States and violent crimes within churches as an whole are on the rise as well.  We need to be aware of this growing threat to our fellow believers and take deterrent measures, as I explained above.

Credit: Oleg Volk

What those measures are lie with you, your family, and your church.  Some may carry concealed as they are permitted, some may elect for pepper spray, some may reconsider where they attend church based on the neighborhood, some may ask their church to consider starting a security team or if there is already one in place.

Christ called the believers in His time on Earth His flock, implying sheep.  He is the Good Shepherd.  To steal a Toby Keith lyric, “when the wolf growls at the door” sometimes you need a sheepdog to scare the wolf away.

This mindset may be uniquely American, but by virtue of being an American and having the liberty to be that sheepdog for not only my family, but also my church, and the community at large, I can look out at the world and recognize the very real threats.  The very real persecutions just waiting to happen, but they will not happen needlessly or without cost.  We should not sell our lives cheaply for our faith.  The price for our lives is high, it is Christ’s blood.

Deterrence is the art of producing, in the mind of the enemy, the fear to attack.

Sterling Hayden

 

When the Hard Times Come – You Are On Your Own!

You are on your own.

Let that sink in for a minute because it’s a hard truth.

When the crap hits the fan, can you count on your neighbors to help feed you?  They’ll be worried about keeping themselves fed and warm.  I don’t blame them and they need to be able to take care of themselves first before trying to help others – this is human nature.

Can you count on the government (FEMA, DHS, National Guard, etc)?  I think the awful response in the face of a hurricane, which moved along a predictable track and smacked into NYC, New Jersey and the mid-Atlantic coast, has proven the fallacy that the government will step in and help out is false as well.

When the world comes crashing down around you, you are own your own.  It is up to you to be ready.

This fundamental truth holds true in the face of natural disasters, civil unrest, or the Second Coming.  Truly.

Poverty will come on you like a thief
    and scarcity like an armed man.

Proverbs 6:11

Look, I come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed.

Revelations 16:15

TheSurvivalPlaceBlog

Earl Griffin

There has been a lot of attention paid recently to the activities of those individuals and families who believe in taking responsibility for themselves. Often they are called “Preppers.” Sometimes they are called “hoarders”, or “crazies.”

Funny; when things go south it’s not often you see those people on television crying, screaming, and pulling their hair because the government isn’t there to help them. That is because they helped themselves before it hit the fan.

I remember when Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. I recall the anger that I personally felt because of the seemingly unmitigated suffering of the people in the aftermath of that storm. Each day the smoldering rage I felt because of the government’s apparent inaction burned hotter and brighter.

Its been several years since Katrina – things still haven’t gotten back to normal in New Orleans. “Those dang Republicans,” I thought, “callous…

View original post 522 more words

Revolution

Have you ever seen a piece of fiction that seemed to almost be prophetic?  I am not normally one to be attached to any TV show as entertainment is a luxury when one has an almost four year old and a one year old.  There are simply more important things to do with my time.  I would rather by lifting weights, running, taking care of things around the house, cleaning guns, or any other number of things.

I am glad that I’ve taken the time to watch the first two episodes of this interesting show called Revolution.  The show is about a world where suddenly everything electrical simply stopped working.  Suddenly every car, airplane, refrigerator, air conditioner, television set, radio, a digital watch stopped working.  Nothing was exempt. 

How in the world would we cope with that today?

I, as much as anyone else, am reliant on electricity in order to function normally.  Within the first few minutes of my day, I have been awaken by an electrically power alarm clock, turned on my electrical lights, taken a shower in electrically heated hot water, and begun to construct breakfast for myself, my wife, and my sons from our electrically cooled refrigerator with the help of my electric stove or microwave.

I drive to work in a computer-controlled car listening to the radio or talking on my cell phone.  At work I sit at my desk with a telephone and a computer.

If the world suddenly was devoid of electricity and technology was forced to fall back to what was common at the time of the American Revolution, my life would change.  None of my life would remain the same, but for one thing, hope.  My faith is not in any of these trivial things.  They are meaningless toils under the sun and devoid of worth ultimately.

Would I be able to provide for my family?  To take game?  To farm? To stand ready to fight for them against raiders and outlaws?

Would I take in my neighbors or travelers?

The most challenging question to answer is, would I remain faithful to Christ if my entire world was dashed in an instant?  Would I stand tall through that trial and fight with human pride and arrogance or turn to Christ and fall to my knees fully humbled?  What would you do?

In a word, my brethren – though the worst should come – though we should be deprived of all the conveniences and elegancies of life – though we should be cut off from all our usual sources of commerce, and constrained, as many of our poor brethren have already been, to abandon our present comfortable habitations – let us, nevertheless, “Stand Fast” as the guardians of liberty – And though we should not be able to entertain the Heaven-born maid, with such affluence and splendor, as we have hitherto done, let us still keep close to her side, as our inseparable companion, preserve her from the violence of her adversaries, and, if at last necessary, be content to retire with her to those peaceful, though homely retreats of rural life, in which she was first entertained by our venerable ancestors – determined to contend to the very last for such an illustrious prize, and never to part with her, but for the more sure and complete enjoyment of her blessings in a world of glory.

Rev. Jacob Duche

Heavenly Father, I am human… I am weak… my fears and inadequacies cripple me… I kneel before You now and will continually do so until You call me home.  Buttress me and fortify me against the evils of this world, in the face of all of the trials and temptations I have yet to encounter, and of the world unseen that I might stand fast in the same way as my forefathers.  Seal my heart and spirit with the blood of Christ so that no trial or temptation may strike me down.  Allow me the honor of defending Christ here and forever.  I ask all of this in His name and professing the Glory of God forever.

Where do you place your trust: in the eternal power and majesty of your Creator or in the things that make your life easier to live?

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