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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Talking Bear

" The truth of it, no, the reality of it, is one that no one wants to face, We are not afforded tomorrows forever. What you did yesterday could be what you are remembered for tomorrow. Someday soon, someone else will decide that our time is done, the final buzzer will sound, and we will be left with what ever work we have done; whether we like our work or not, it will be finished. Live life as if you are constantly in the last seconds and just maybe we can leave the field so that another may be proud of what we have accomplished" TB 10-02-07


Peajay said...

TB, your post touches the heart, soul and mind.
"Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
and things are not what they seem.
Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art; to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul."

Anonymous said...

Talking Bear- I wanted to thank you for your honesty and straight forwardness. I got your link from Mike Barrett's page where you left a comment in response to my comment! (If that was hard enough to follow!). You have a lot of integrity and some great points that help me to see the other side of things. Reading your materials I feel challenged in my faith and determined to dive into God's word. Thank you!

Talking Bear said...

Anno, Thank you for your kind words. If I read the responses correct, your reply included a comment about military service. If this is correct I want to say thank you for your service. I too have served and understand the passions wrapped up in such discussions. I am happy that this blog has allowed you to take another look ay some points of life. I try to be as honesty as I can here. I have come to realize that statements made with conviction tend to sting when the comment was based on little knowledge and truth was discovered later. I fell uncomfortable blasting the Commander and Chief about the Countries direction when I do not know what he knows. It is possible that I too would have vetoed the same bill Mr. Barrett bloged on, although I value health care deeply.

I am glad that you were challenged in your faith. Please know that I too am in a constant state of seeking to know the God of Abraham and Isaac more. I am also very saddened by the state of the Christian Church. I am starting to think that if Christ came today with His radical new style of loving each other, the church would act in the same manner as before and call for his execution. We have departed from His path and confused love with power and authority. Thanks again for your kindness.

Talking Bear said...

PJ, I do not know what happened, but I did honestly respond to your post. I love your use of Longfellow and as always you are so kind in your words. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Talking Bear! Indeed, I am in the military along with my husband. I have served 6 years so far and my husband has served 8 years. He plans on finishing his out his twenty years and then starting another career. We have a daughter and we know first hand how hard it is to be a family with the military lifestyle. Do you have a family?? Maybe my strong views come from my experiences in the military, but I will also be the first to tell you that I don't know a fraction of what our high ranking officers know. I do not know all the ins and outs of the health care bill that was vetoed but I feel like people bash on our government and our leader's actions without being in a position to know all the facts. I am not saying that President Bush is totally in the right, but I am saying I don't know everything that he knows. I think that Mr. Barrett has a lot of great thoughts and some great views on passionate subjects. Sometimes I do wonder where he gets his facts however.

I am also saddened by the American Christian Church. It seems so lukewarm and fake. While there are many amazing people that are seeking God's face in the church, there are also many members that have their own agenda at heart.

What motivates you to seek after God's will for your life?? How long have you been a Christian?? Sorry for so many questions, I am just trying to learn more about you!

I look forward to reading your future blogs and thoughts.

Twentynine Palms, California

Talking Bear said...

Em, You make me smile. The stumps sucks, but I love my Corps. Let me think back some....Range 400-400a, main side, yeap the memories are still fresh after some 2 decades.

Ok, You ask "What motivates you to seek after God's will for your life?" First of all for me, I believe that God exists and that He wants to know me. I do not want to sound preachy but this is my fundamental foundation stone. What sits on top of that stone is 6 yrs of Military service, 20 years of marriage, 17 years of fatherhood, and the sights-smells-sounds of 13 countries, and a few years invest in College (Psych-Social, Christian education, criminal justice) . We (society) get too caught up in the knowing and walk away from the feeling of God. Although that sounds way too fluffy, for me it is like a child who just knows and that is good enough. The child then seeks the warmth and security felt when dad is near. I have made several links on the blog to different sides of Christian stances for SBH readers to make their own choice. I do not think God gives a hoot about most of the issues we (church) carry on about, especially when we have forgotten how to care for one another. This is my motivation, re-ignite the caring. A tender kindness and softly spoken words heal so much in today’s world. Trust me I have done my share of ass-woopin and name taking, but I realize that although there is a time and place for such duties, I personally have been able to create more positive change with firm tenderness then with a big stick. I am in my 40s now and know what it is like to have to drink myself to sleep, or cry at the rise of the sun. Mercy and Grace are two of the biggest gifts we (church) have thrown to the pigs.

I have been a Christian since I was twelve, so let see that comes out to……31 years.

Ok my turn to ask a few. What is your MOS? Do you and your hubby rock climb, seeing how JT is so close to you? And my favorite Q, What are your three greatest fears?

I look forward to hearing from you, Semper Fidelis! TB

Anonymous said...

Dear Talking Bear,

1st of all you did not sound or come across as what you call "preachy." I respect you for all you have been through in life-6 years in the military is an achievement in itself. I can't imagine being married for 20 years, congratulations! It sounds like you are a great parent and you have a lot of life experiences to back them up.

I agree that God does not care about most of the issues we stress out about in the American church! That is great that you have had a relationship with Christ since age 12, I only wish I would have seen the need for it at that age. I accepted Christ about a year ago, so age 24 for me, when a good friend of mine was really sick and told me that was the only thing keeping her from giving up. I then instantly felt this need to seek out this "God" she was speaking of. Since then I have become passionate about discovering truth and what it is we as humans stand for.

My husband and I do love to rock climb. We haven't gone out as much as we would have liked to but we have been a few times this summer. We skateboard a lot and do some surfing when we get to the beach and we love white water rafting. In the winter months we go snowboarding a ton and we do a bunch of hiking.

My MOS-MP. What was your MOS and what branch did you serve in?

As far as your favorite Q of my three greatest fears, that is a tough one.

1 My husband being killed or seriously injured while serving in Iraq.

2 One of my closest friends (the friend that told me about Christ and has shown me unconditional love) is terminally ill. I fear losing her or any of the people I care about, but mostly her because she is so sick. She is very young and despite what she faces she loves God and still believes that he has been faithful to her. I question why someone that loves God so much isn't healed by God but I am learning it doesnt always work like that. My friend isn't angry or anything which I don't get.

3 Another fear that I have is failure.

Wow after reading what I just wrote I have a lot of fears. I suppose we always have room to improve ourselves.

What are your answers to your Q of fears?

Are you currently a pastor or what is your occupation? It has been a true pleasure "meeting" you and getting to know you. I look forward to talking to you more. Do you have an email address?

Semper Fi! TB


Anonymous said...

TB, if I may..
Gods will for allowing your friend to get sick, may have been to simply.. get you. If she wasnt sick, would she have told you about God, or shown you His love?
And if she did would you have fully grasped God with out seeing Him thru her?
While holding up the one puzzle piece that we have to get a better look at it, we can block out the rest of the puzzle.
I pray that God calms your fears and lets you rest in knowing that He is in control.

Talking Bear said...

Thank you FNL, and you are always welcome to post your thoughts, feelings, and insight here.

Talking Bear said...

Em, with my deepest heart felt sympathy, I feel for your situation with your friend. Losing or even the thought of losing some one close to us is always difficult. I will not comment with some weak trivial sentiment about life and death because I struggle with understanding it myself. I have lost many friends that in some way had touched my heart. The loss has, and still does, weigh heavy on my selfish heart.

My MOS…….0311, need I say more? I moved up the food chain to a 0341 and became a FO. I loved blowing up stuff. I am a proud graduate of the University of Science, Music and Culture.

TB’s three greatest fears?
1) (I used to just say failing, but I have been able to define that a bit more) That I will be unable to effectively fulfill my calling. I constantly battle with my self, the forces of nature, and my human needs in an effort to stand my post as I am needed. This however wearies me greatly, but the fear of being needed and having nothing to give out weighs the exhaustion.
2) Losing without loving. I know that loss is inevitable. But to lose without openly displaying my love for that person is intolerable. Many think weird of me because I express my emotions for them. As a man this is not the norm in our society. This may be a selfish thing, but I can let them go as long as I know I told them that I cared.
3) The loss of dreams. I fear my own compromises will cause me to forfeit my dreams, But what weighs even greater on me is that I will cause others to compromise their dreams. I believe that God plants a seed inside us. We tend to call this seed our dream. To be a part of this seed’s growth is a gift given to us that many never unwrap. I tend to want to unwrap each and every one I come across. This leads me back to my first fear.

No I am not a pastor. I tend to shy away from such positions because I am to “gruff” for most churches. I have had pastors tell me that I have too many rough edges. I tend to chew tobacco, swear, and get in faces too much. Mr. Barrett once told me, as a compliment I think, that I am all substance and no finish. I have learned that I like it that way I guess.

My current job is the same as yours, except in the civilian world. I supervise a large at-risk youth intervention program for a large agency in L.A. I do have a few email addresses, but I am not sure how to get them to you without giving them to the world. We will have to work on this.

My prayers are with your friend, and your husband. I am familiar with this place you find yourself in and I tenderly care. I truly hate the waiting in those times. TB

Anonymous said...

FNL and TB,

Thank you for your kind words. To FNL I believe it is unknown and near impossible for me to determine if I would have listened to my best friend if she wasn't sick. She is really tough so to see her be soft and gentle about something she cared so much about was different. I admire her courage and faith and wish I could be as confident in my faith as she is. I am in awe around her wondering why she isn't complaining or being mean from feeling sick. If I were her I think I would question God and question "Why me?" Everytime I ask her if she is angry she replies saying she has nothing to be angry for, she is thankful for another day with her family regardless of how much pain she is in. I would feel horrible if the only reason she is sick is cuz God wanted her to talk to me. I talked to her tonight about it and she said that if I was the only person she helped it was all worth it but she has helped so many more people than just me. I feel overwhelmed with guilt and shame that it took me watching my best start to die to see my need for a Savior. I used to think it was all lies and all just a story, needless to say I was wrong. I hold onto hope that she will pull through but if not I know I will see her again one day in heaven.

I love blowing stuff up as well. One of my friends is a MOS- 0341 and he loves it. He started out as a rifleman as well and moved up the food chain. He is stationed out of Camp Pendleton.

Thanks for sharing your fears with me, it helped me to get to know you better and understand where you are coming from. I find it refreshing to meet someone that is standing for what church is all about and not sugarcoating it to savor people's feelings. It is refreshing to see truth shining through someone like yourself.

Your job sounds like a bunch of fun. Working with civilians is nice after being in combat for six years. Thanks 4 your prayers TB.

Semper Fi,


Talking Bear said...

"I feel overwhelmed with guilt and shame that it took me watching my best start to die to see my need for a Savior. I used to think it was all lies and all just a story, needless to say I was wrong. I hold onto hope that she will pull through but if not I know I will see her again one day in heaven."

Hummm....., Em, to some churched people it is all just lies and stories, that is one of the problems. Faith is worn like a cheap coat to a pizza date. You have been afforded the opportunity to see genuine faith in its finest hour. The shift in your paradigm of faith is not a reason for guilty or shame. Some would put a fancy word to it (revelation). There is a book, written by C.S. Lewis, called “The Problem with Pain”. It is a very interesting read and shed some insight for me about suffering, pain, and God’s will. It is a very difficult book to read, or maybe I am just a knucklehead. Anyway, I like it even though I had to struggle to understand most of it.

God’s timing is another one of those things that baffles me. I look back on 43 years and I am in disbelief. It is though I was making choices systematically to a metronome. The truth is I felt that I was going from one disaster to another, trying to keep my head above water. How I ever ended up here is beyond me. I have a ton of faith in God, just not much in the church at this time.


Anonymous said...

TB, Thank you for clarifying my thoughts and for your added input. I like your description of faith being like a cheap coat on a pizza date, sadly it is very true. I feel the same way, I have a lot of faith in God but not much in organized religion or the church. Thanks for your words!


Talking Bear said...

Em, Before I get to far into smashin and crashin the church, we do need to recognize that there are several churches out there trying to do the right thing. I know several pastors that are doing everything they can to keep it real and on target. That said, I can not stand the ones wearing the cheap coats. :)

Anonymous said...

I think you are right. I think there are more fake churches out there than real ones. I wish there were more churches out there that were genuine and about seeking the truth. It would be really great if more churches out there focused on God and not what humans want or are looking for.

Talking Bear said...

Anno, Intresting statment "not what humans want or are looking for". What is it that you think humans are looking for or want from church?

Anonymous said...

TB-I think that humans go to church to feel a sense of belonging and a sense that they are following God. Many people go to church on Sunday and do the "Christian thing" but only on Sunday. They then leave the church doors and go back into their daily lives not thinking about God or digging into the Word until the following Sunday. I think that in general people feel like "better" people when they attend church. They think that they are doing everything they are obligated to and devoting a whole hour or two to God every week, when in reality they should be focused on God through each and every day and seeking his direction and will in all of their decisions and actions. They should be depending on God and making Him number 1 in their lives instead of just being a "Sunday Christian!"

On the other side of that I think that churches do not want to hit on controversial issues for fear of causing a split or division within the church. There are many issues that churches stray away from discussing such as homosexuality, abortion, capital punishment, etc. People in general like to reason why certain things are okay. For example many people argue that homosexuality is not a sin, people are born that way. The Bible says differently! The Bible makes it clear so I do not understand how people can reason this issue. Another one is abortion. A fetus has a beating heart so doesn't that make it a live being. How is it right to murder them? People reason this too though and explain, well I wasn't ready or it's better to wait until we can afford this baby or the one that gets me the most. . . Oops! We weren't trying to get pregnant and we need to have an abortion so that no one finds out we didn't wait until marriage. The Bible talks about saving yourself for marriage. Why do people think that covering up a sin by committing another sin is okay? Wouldn't it make more sense to seek repentence and forgiveness that to dig the hole deeper?

Em-aka Anno (Sorry I will try to sign my posts, sometimes I miss it. I should figure out how to have it automatically post like many other people that post).

Talking Bear said...

Em, For a new Christian, your words have much wisdom behind them. You see many things very clearly. I would agree with you 100% . What is your degree in? What do humans want to belong to? Is it possible that humans are so broken, and the sermons so theoretical that when they do leave the church doors, they go without any practical way to apply any of it? What do you think should be done to change this? Sorry for all the questions, but I am enjoying the interaction.

I think the creation of organized religion was an effort to control the masses. The Roman Empire capitalized on this. The church of Acts looks, feels, and sounds a lot different then the church of today. There is a great book out that you may like. It is Called “ The Forgotten Ways” by Alan Hirsch. It calls for the post modern church to reactivate the missional church. http://sleepybearhollow.blogspot.com/2006/12/forgotten-ways-new-book-that-rocks.html Also you may like this book called “The four Agreements” http://sleepybearhollow.blogspot.com/2007/05/four-agreements-practical-guide-to.html This book in no way is a Christian book, but I think it holds some great wisdom that we can apply to our walk, especially how we deal with others. I should also give a shout out to Mike Barrett’s book “The danger habit” I really like his book, mostly because I am in it .

You can sign your post under “other” and type in a name, or you can create a blog and it will do it for you when you log in, this will turn your blog name blue like mine.

Em said...

Talking Bear-

I appreciate your kind words and encouragement. I am a double science major.

I believe that humans want to be accepted by their fellow peers. They want to be in the "in crowd." I think you are right that some humans are so broken that they can't apply the practical knowledge of the sermon. I believe their is also a group of people that go to church just to look good and be apart of something. I think that it is an act to them and they have no intention of being a Christian during the week. Many people are scared to stand up and claim Christ because they fear they will be judges, which they may. I think the greatest way to solve this is to do more small groups and bible studies outside of Sunday church. In a small group people serve as an accountability system to one another. They can help each other from stumbling and falling into the temptations of this world. It is also just a great thing to have the fellowship with fellow Christians.

I don't mind all your questions, I like being interactive.
I tend to ask a lot of questions also.

Thank you for clarifying the beginning of church and organized religion to control mass.

I have Mr. Barrett's book that a friend of mine from Oregon gave me just a couple days ago. I hope to start it soon. Where are you are in the Danger Habit? Are you close friends with Mr. Barrett?

Talking Bear said...

Em, Let me throw something out regarding your first paragraph in the last post. Try this on, You said "humans want to be accepted by their fellow peers.....They want to be in the "in crowd.".....people that go to church just to look good and be apart of something” Ok, I can accept that, but what if you looked at it from another point of view? People, all people do not want to be rejected. This one simple fear is threaded through all of your groups in your statement. Their level of fear determines their level of commitment to avoid it. The issue may not be with acceptance, but rather rejection. Some would say that it is the same thing, but if you take a close look at it, it is very different. So, with in a church environment, who do we fear rejection from?, and how does that fear play out in our behavior? If I fear God will reject me then I am going to try harder to earn his acceptance. My motivation however is not be rejected. Here is a big problem with church. God’s love is not about fearing him. I want my children to obey, but I do not want to create fear of my rejection in them. My goal is not rejection as a father, but love.

Mankind has used fear to build their tithing masses. More money, more power. More power means less Love. Why are priest not allowed to marry? Originally we were taught that it was about purity, BS. It is because the church grew stronger and wealthier that the king of the region. So the kings started to have the priest’s families kidnapped and ransomed in an effort to regain regional power. The church came back with…..No families for priests. Fear has dominated the church for centuries. If your bad then……turn or burn……and so on.

I think your are right on target with the small group concept. Greater accountability with caring relationships. Less anonymity. Hence the church of Acts.

I can not remember where I am at in Mike’s book. I will have to get my copy down and look through it again. He tells of a story of a friend facing evil, that’s me, and then he quotes me from an exchange we had on one of his posts. The quote is about defining ourselves through life’s challenges. OK, you made me get my fatbody up…Pg 85, 95-96 and the last one is more telling of my job so you will just have to find it…LOL. Yes Mike and I go back for around 20 years. We have pissed each other off, we have laughed, cried, climbed, and hiked together over the years. Although we have very different positions on most everything, we both love God and will do what needs to be done. We once had a dream of starting a revival. Mike was a DJ for a local radio show and I was a young carpenter. Anyway….He is the reason I started to blog, he encouraged me so here I am.

What rank are you? What types of science are you majoring in or majored in? What’s your favorite Napa Valley wine?

Em said...

You opened my eyes to a different thought that people are probably fearing rejection even more so than they are looking for a sense of acceptance. What you said is very true and something I hadn't given any thought to.

I agree that the Catholic church not allowing priests to be married is a load of BS! There is nothing wrong with having a family. I think that the Catholic church feared that married priests weren't putting enough into their ministry since they would also have to be putting time and energy into their family! I didn't know that their had been problems with family members being kidnapped. It seems cowardly to me that instead of facing this problem the church just eliminated it.

I am glad to hear you also think that small groups are a positive thing. I have talked with some people that think it is a stupid idea and that it just becomes a social gathering. I believe that accountability is vital and it allows people to open up and be real with each other. It can be a group of people that have the same interest of following Christ and they are able to help each other through hard times and be encouraging to one another. I do not believe that a person has to go to church or be Bible studies or small groups to be saved but I think that it is a major asset. It helps to strengthen and expand our relationships with Christ and also fellow Christians.

I need to dig deeper into Mike's book and I will. I can't wait to read the section about you. I have never met Mike but I have heard a lot of great things about him. That is great that you and him have so much history and you push each other to deepen your relationships and beliefs. I for one am glad that you started this blog, I have learned a lot and have found another Christian to befriend, lol.

If I remember correctly you were in the corps too right? I thought I remembered you saying you were a 0311 and 0341. I have friends that have that MOS. My MOS is 5811. Why did you leave the corps or I guess a better question is why did you opt to not re-enlist? You said you do the same thing as me in the civilian world? Are you an officer or deputy? When I finish my twenty years I intend on working in civilian policing.

You asked what rank I am. . . I am currently an Captain (O-3) in the Marine Corps. I enlisted in the Marines and served as a soldier/marine grunt. I then finished my bachelor's degree and went to OCS (Officer School). I have served in Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) and Opertation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq). I have been on two tours to Iraq and am preparing for a third. When I first was in the marines I was as a grunt. In between my deployments I was working on base and as an honor guard helping with funerals of my fallen brothers and sisters in arms. That was really tough. It was an honor to be able to be there and support my fallen heroes but I prefer working in the field.

My degree is a double major in microbiology and chemistry with a minor in Spanish and physchology. I was a pre-med major which is where I met my best friend from Oregon who was also a pre-med major. She is the one I was telling you about that is sick and is from the Oregon Coast. She used to go to Mike Barrett's church and she is the one that lead to me Christ. I wanted to be a doctor until my brother-in-law was killed in Iraq earlier this year. My husband I decided to stay and finish our careers with the military since it is something we strongly believe in and want to be apart of. We mourn the loss of our brother but our proud to continue serving the country that he loved so much and laid his life down for. I have done a lot of things with the influence of my best friend. She was accepted into medical school but wasn't able to attend because her illness is at the stage that she just couldn't handle it. Since she can't work, she went back to school to keep her mind occupied. She was in a program that studied psychology on why young people get involved in criminal activity. I am not sure what the major is called but it in Juvenile Delinquency and Psychology. She was telling me about what she was studying in class and it sounded like something I would really enjoy learning. After the death of my brother and I decided to stay in the military I decided to get back in school and I am now studying terrorism prevention and a masters program on psychology. It is online so I will be able to finish regardless of how many times my family is moved. I want to understand where terrorists are coming from and what they are thinking. I have been studying the Muslim faith to gain a better understanding of what they are going through. My ultimate goal is to prevent terrorism from occuring especially in the United States. I do not want another tragedy to occur on U.S. soil and I will devote the rest of my life to trying to prevent that. My first choice would be to be apart of FAST. It is the United State Marine Corps Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team. Once I am out of the corps I will be in some type of law enforcement. I am not sure how much I want to be in the field since I have spent so much time in combat. I think working for Homeland Security would be a blast and an incredible experience.

My best friend that I have been telling you about lives in Northern California not to far from the Napa Valley actually! :) My favorite Napa Valley wine is white zinfandel, what is your favorite?

I am glad I met you, you have a lot of great insight and I learn a lot from you. You have a lot of knowledge and great thoughts and you challenge me in my faith and relationship with Christ. Thank you so much. What is your name??

Semper Fi Talking Bear,


Talking Bear said...

Em, First let me give my condolences to you for your loss. I have yet to lose a family member, knock on wood; my dad turns 90 this week. I have lost really close friends and that hurt enough. I thank you family for your brother’s service and the high price of that service.

Humm....My favorite wine is Chateau St. Jean’s Cinq Cếpages ( a cabernet blind). Pre 1996 is best, but I am to poor to but it by the case any more. Some one told them that is was good and they raised the price. My name is Talking Bear….LOL ( I keep my given name secretive for a reason) People would just goggle it and next thing you know I am getting calls at work ( yep, it has happened). Yes I was a USMC 0311/0341. My ego drove me away (although I do not think I really have an ego, but my wife reminds me of some facts from time to time). I just can not handle incompetent egotistical people.

Thank you for your kind words. You are quit the smart little busy bee. I hope you continue on your journey all the way to PhD. I am sure there is no pressure to make Major.

I have on my wall an American flag flown in my honor on Feb 13th, 2005 over the HMM 268 HQ, Al Taqaddum, Iraq. This gift is a huge kindness some of my fellow Jar heads did for me. I guess I share this with you so you realize that I am in constant touch with several Marines working in the big sand lot. Some I am very close to.

As we get more aquatinted, I will be happy to talk about what little I know about law enforcement ;). You mentioned trying to understand Muslims and their faith. Extremist is not unlike anyone else. You just need to ask the right questions. And questions about this topic have gone un-asked for centuries. There are extremist in this country that use the Bible to justify their hate. ALL hate is rooted in FEAR. So what do they fear? An ignorant man’s fear is much more basic in nature. Think Maslow!

Em said...

TB- Thanks for your kind words towards my brother in law. We miss him but we are actually doing really well. We know he died doing what he loved and we will see him again one day in heaven. You have been very blessed to very have to go through a family death. Cherish the time you have with them cause you never know when they can be taken from you.

I can't believe someone actually called you at work, people are really stupid sometimes! I would keep my name a secret too if I had those types of issues. My email address is semper_fi11@hotmail.com.

You couldn't be more right about "no pressure to make Major." I hear it constantly, guess it's a good thing I want to climb the ranks higher.

What an honor you have to have a flag flown for you in Iraq, that is awesome. I have a glad that came from Iraq when I was over there. It was being switched out with a newer flag and my flag is in a case in my home. That flag means everything to me, that is the flag I fight for strive to protect. That is great that you still remain friends with your Marine brothers.

It sounds like you know a lot about law enforcement, that is really cool. I don't know much about civilian policing but I have several friends that are officers.

I think it is important to attempt to understand a group prior to judging them. I would like to understand why people do the things they do, why radical Muslims feel the need to destroy and kill others, why they are so violent, why they can't interpret their religion as a religion of peace and love. I want to help these people and show them what the true loving God is all about. Obviously if they choose not to listen and threaten the US it is a different story but I would like to be able to understand the Arab world better. I think that many of them are hurting people that know no differently. They don't really know what they believe but they are expected to be Muslim so they are.

Anyway I gotta head to the gym with the hubby.


Talking Bear said...

Em, sooner or later you are going to realize that there are those out there who need no reason, no cause other than feeding the big black hole of hate inside themselves. Some stand behind religion, some behind some earthly morality.

I have a good friend who recently returned from the sand lot. He has one of those “S2 shop” jobs that don’t exist. Anyway, he advised me that most of the people in the region he visited could not read any thing. They have one person in their village that reads the Koran to them. So what ever this person says is in the Koran, guess what? We are witnessing the same kind of events that occurred during the Crusades. Except it was the Catholic Church last time controlling the written words. Study history, because it repeats itself often.

Psychopathic behavior has no rhyme or reason. It is as random of a thing this world can produce. Often times feed back ignorance and arrogance. It’s alive and well here in America and abroad. The question is how much of it does society want to tolerate?

Do not forget who the prince of this world is. As you study the Bible I hope you discover one of the biggest lessons in it. The evil one can reproduce many things, even angels of light. There is only one thing he can not reproduce. It is the only thing that could, if ever allowed, change the world. What do you think that one thing might be?

Em said...

TB, It is sad that there are people out there that are like that. It is sad that certain people feel the need to hurt and destroy others. They must be really hurting inside to be that angry. The ones that stand behind religion are brainwashed into being a warrior against innocent people. It doens't make much sense to me. Most religions teach to love and to help, not to kill and destroy. Our God tells us to witness to others and share His love, not blow people up and hurt others.

That is so sad that many of the Iraqi people are unable to read or write, that sure makes it had to be successful.

I think that society tolerates way much more than it should! Psychotic behavior is very dangerous and destructive.

I don't know what the answer to your last question is. What is it?? I do study the Bible and I know that Satan can reproduce many things. I am a little confused because I don't completely understand the thought here so please explain!

Talking Bear said...

Em, There are about, four, in depth issues for me to chat about in your last comment.

1. “Brainwashed.”
2. “Our God tells us to witness to others and share His love, not blow people up and hurt others.”
3. “successful”
4. What is it that satan can not reproduce of God’s kingdom?

Before I go into the issues, I am going to make a clarifying statement. I am posing questions to stimulate discussion. When it comes to terrorists and the like, I am not very Christian. My family motto is “if not peace then war.” My family comes from Danes, Norsemen, and highlanders. Over the centuries we have become very peaceful (German Mennonite Baptists), too peaceful for little old me. I think I am a throw back from the ages past. So, the questions I am throwing out are important for me to struggle with, probably more than you. And, I do not wish for the following to sound flowery and soft, but I am sure that it will.

So, I guess I will start with number one. What occurs when one is brainwashed? While I was attending Cornell, a professor made a statement about my service in the Marine Corps. He used that same word, brainwashed, to describe how the Corps can repeatedly produce outstanding leaders. Have you read any of my post about beliefs, or belief structures? When we change, or realign one of our beliefs we call it a paradigm shift. When we change several in a relatively short period of time, we call it brainwashing. Our brains are kind of like a computer. We get to input our values, morals, principle in such a way that we form beliefs, convictions, and traits of character creating our belief structure. One of the big issues with this process is that we do it without conscious thought. In fact all of us formed our foundational beliefs from authority figures in our early years (Charles Cooley, 1902, “Looking Glass Self”). All of this input is constantly weighed with the feedback we get from our environment, kind of like submarine pinging sonar off of stuff. Based on our “belief structure” and the feed back we choose an action or behavior. The Corps has a habit of rewriting many of our original beliefs and gives us a radically different view of ourselves and the environment we live in.

This leads me into number two. If our God tells us to witness to others and share his love and not blow people up and hurt others, then why do we do just that? One could argue defense and make a strong case. But what happens to the “turn the other cheek concept?” Why is it safer in Baghdad than on our own streets here in America? Have we created the issues that we are now at war with? Has our secretive foreign policy reflected the values we think we hold as Americans? Have we conducted ourselves above reproach for actions we condemn others for doing?

Number three; what is success? Is it a state of mind? Or, have we been brainwashed to believe that it is achievement, wealth, or position? Why is it that some of the most influential persons in history were poor and with out authority? (Ghandi, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King. Ect.).

Number four; LOVE! However, we do not understand it either. We have one word to describe how much we like a good hamburger as well as that deep emotional feeling towards another. Cor. 13 talks about it. It is listed as the GREATEST Gift of all, but people would rather act like they can speak in tongues. We just do not get the depth of that word, or its real meaning. We confuse it with lust and like. We belittle it. We most certainly do not know how to use it to help save some one. In fact it is so powerfully that God has not allowed satan to even remotely clone it in any shape or form.

Ok, I wrote way to much for one response. So I will stop for now. Please understand that I am on a quest to understand and see these issues as clear as I can. I, in no way mean to give the impression that I have all of this wired.

Em said...

Don't worry about sounding soft or flowery. You are just being real, that is a great quality to have. I agree with what you are saying about either peace or war. My views on this aren't far off. I do however want to try to understand where they are coming from because if I can understand what they are thinking that it will be easier to come up with potential solutions.

Yes, I have read a large portion of your posts on beliefs and other issues. The Corps does have a tendency to rewrite people's views.

I think our country is full of problems and if Baghdad is a safer place than some cities in the U.S. that is a problem! We need to put a bigger effort into making a safer America. Part of the reason why we are at war right now is to keep this country free and free of terrorism. I know the bible says to turn the other cheek but as a human that hates terrorism I can't say that. I think if they mess with us they will die. If they kill or aid in killing any American they better run and hide because we will come after them and we will kill and destroy them. They need to leave the innocent people of this country alone. None of the people killed on 9/11 wanted to be apart of this terrorist attack.

Okay your next paragraph.....I haven't been a Christian very long. I don't know much of the stuff you speak of but I am trying to understand. I have been in a church once when people were speaking in tongues and I found it to be very scary. I saw it once before I was a Christian and it scared me to the point I used it as all the more reason God couldn't be real. I think that from what I have ready in the Bible it appears to be a spiritual gift given from God for use in an individual's private one on one time with God. It is something they should be doing in silence and if they do it during chuch their needs to be an interpreter. When a non-Christian sees this it is terrifying and very hard to understand which is one of the biggest reasons why I think it needs to be private.

I am also here to gain understanding and answers. I know you don't have them all but you bring up thought provoking questions and topics. I enjoy stumbling through with you to find the answrers or something close to the answers.


Talking Bear said...

Em, There are three "sets" of gifting given by God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. God's gifts are given when we are made in the womb and deal with personality traits. The gifts we get from Jesus are primarily for the development of the Body (Church). These gifts are found in Ephesians. And last but not least, there are the gifts of the Spirit. These gifts are found in Corinthians. The gifts from the spirit are to help the church with difficult problems. The gift of tongues is one of the spirit gifts. It was first seen, or heard of, during the establishment of the church of acts and was done by Peter as he spoke to a multi-national group. Nothing real flashy except that everyone heard Peters talk in their own language. The gift has been intermingled with other gifts like prophecy. What most people do not realize is that prophecy is simple the gift to give direction. Anyway, the Bible states that the greatest gift, is the gift of love. I do not believe that we are talking about the love we know. I think it is much much much more than we have ever realized. Any, and all gifting should be conducted in a fashion and timing that uplifts, or builds the church body. It should never be done to make an individual look or sound spiritual.

Whether the gifts are still around or not is a water shed issue within today’s fragmented church. It all boils down to a passage in Corinthians. The Bible uses the term “the perfect”. When the perfect comes we will know in full and the gifts are done is basically the idea. The argument is whether the perfect is the Bible or the second coming of Christ. The gifts have been displayed with the maturity of a child playing with a loaded gun, in my opinion. In reference to our conversation, I feel people have acted like they have one of these gifts in order to stave off the feeling of rejection because there is some perceived idea that people with gifts are more accepted. True gifted people do not like to bring a lot of attention to themselves because that is not what the gift is for!

Em said...

TB, thank you for your insight and information on spiritual gifts. I am still a "baby Christian" in a sense so I am thirsty for new information. I love learning anything that I can and understanding more about what I believe. I don't have a lot of information on spiritual gifts but I have been in an church service where they were speaking in tongues before I was a Christian and it scared me really bad. I went with a friend to a service when I was in high school and they were rubbing oil on people's head, speaking in tongues, and laughing hysterically. It was one of the reason's I would not step foot into a church and didn't want to have anything to do with God. I think naturally people fear what they don't understand. I still believe that it is wrong to speak in tongues in a large setting because it is impossible to tell who in the crowd is comfortable with that and who isn't. I think it would be okay for a small group that are very close and they are all okay with that type of worshipping.

I think you have great insight on why people pretend to have these gifts. I believe that people don't want to feel rejected and also they feel closer to God or more spiritual if they are one of the blessed people with that gift. People that are truly gifted should be using it in their private prayer lives when they aren't in a large crowd of people. I enjoy going to church but there is nothing that can compare to alone time with God. I feel so much more comfortable when I am at home in my pajamas digging into the Word and praying.

My understanding of this issue is obviously not as clear as that of yours. I thought that the Bible made it clear that speaking in tongues was not to occur without the presence of an interpreter. Am I wrong or did I misread that passage?? If it is clearly stated then how can a organized religious organization reason allowing this in their facility??

Talking Bear said...

Em, here is a link to the passage that refers to tongues (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%2014:2-28) , You are correct in your understanding. The confusing I belief happens when someone does not understand the purpose of the gift. There is a huge difference between tongues and prophecy. Some folks try and mix the two publicly and problems arise. What good is it to “Babel” something and no one knows what the hell you said? The whole reason we have different languages is because of man’s disobedience to God. It would seem to be a clever ploy for satan to use such a thing against the church. I have NEVER felt comfortable with anyone speaking, or doing, anything off the chart or “freaky”. Different denominations have different foundational beliefs. An example is the Foursquare Church does not believe you’re saved unless you have spoken in tongues. I have never come across scripture that address or support this belief, not even in my theology classes at college. I think Paul addresses this issue of tongues well in the passage I included above.

It is my belief that hyper spirituality often is a smoke screen for other serious issues under the surface. I do not trust men who feel the need to get “getto fabulous” with their faith. The old “your healed now send money” does not sit well with me. I have had some great in depth discussions with long time pastors that I trust, and the verdict on the whole thing is still out. For me, I stick with the basics. I do believe that the gifts are still available for a mature church body. The problem is that I have yet to meet such a church body. The amount of wisdom and understanding to wield such gifts supersedes what the Church has today, or at least that is my opinion.

I sent you an e-mail, but since I have not received a reply, I am not sure you received it.

Em said...

TB, I looked at that passage that you cited and it answered my question more clearly. It had a lot of great information on it. I didn't realize that the reason there are so many languages in the world was from disobedience to God. I just thought it was always like that. I also didn't know that the Foursquare church teaches you have to speak in tongues to ensure your salvation, that is scary. I don't really know what I am talking about but I would think that is pushing someone on people that not everyone will have. The gift of speaking in tongues is not granted to everyone if I understand correctly so that makes some people unable to meet the requirements for eternal life. I don't believe that God ever intended it to be that difficult.

I think your opinion is accurate of today's churches. Unfortunately there isn't a lot of maturity within churches today. I have attended many churches that often seem to have their own agenda at hand rather than God's agenda. Some churches are all about making money and pushing that people tithe instead of letting people give as they feel convicted by God and trusting God that he will meet the rest of the needs of the church. How can a church expect a church body to follow God's will and trust Him completely when they are not even doing so?

Talking Bear said...

Thas is a great question Em. You have spot lighted an issues that many have with persons leading many churches.

What do you think the "process" is for God imprint His conviction onto our hearts? what does that look and feel like? How would, or shoud, we teach this avenue of our faith?

Em said...

I am not spiritual genius in this matter but my opinion is that God uses the Holy Spirit to imprint His convictions. He works through the Holy Spirit to guide us and direct us in His Word. I am not sure what that looks like but someone who is completely selfless and just seeks after the will of God might be a good place to start. I don't know a lot of people that look like this. I know for sure I don't look like this despite my desire to fully turn my life over to Him. I think that the church should be guiding people and teaching them to rely on God for all things. Sometimes in churches they seem to tell you to lean on each other during hard times. While I agree that it is great to have fellow Christians to lean on and be supported by in difficult times, it is more important to be fully leaning on God. I don't really know what I am talking about, but that is what I think.

Talking Bear said...


you said "God uses the Holy Spirit to imprint His convictions. He works through the Holy Spirit to guide us and direct us in His Word"

this is a good answer, but it is kind of the packaged answer we hear all the time. What does this mean? Although it uses comedy, the movie Evan Almighty showed us a funny prespective of how this occurs, at least I think so.

The bottom line is how can I live my life with conviction if I do not really understand how God is talking to me? What are God's convictions? Does God need the Holy Spirit to help guide us? If not then why is the Holy Spirit even in the mix? Or, is the Holy Spirit just another one of God's personalities. Kind of like when I am the Father who directs and discplines opposed to Dad who get out and plays with his kids? The church has made our faith so heavenly that most of us can not relate or even dream about achieving such a life style. I am seeking to define my faith in such a way that a child can get there.

Em said...

TB- I haven't seen the movie Evan Almighty but I think I saw the first one, Bruce Almighty. It was a funny movie.

I agree that the Holy Spirit guides us through the Word of God.

I am not sure what God's voice sounds like. I don't have a clear answer to this. I think that the convictions we have are from God. I think that we base our morals and standards on what we believe God is asking from us. I don't think God "needs" the Holy Spirit neccessarily. I don't think he needs anything. He is all knowing and all powerful so he can do whatever he wants however he wants. I don't think there is any way a human can determine how God should conduct himself. For whatever reason God feels that the Holy Spirit is the best way to work through people. I trust he knows what he is doind and I have no clear idea on why he uses the Holy Spirit to help him with his mission. That is the best I can respond to that as I am not real sure of what the correct answer is.

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