Hey Bobby, How's Iraq?
Well, there are some things that I'm not going to talk about on the internet, because it puts my battle buddies in danger when you give out too much info, but I'll give you what I think is generic enough to be safe.
We're on a base up in Northern Iraq, and it's actually very much like California here. There's a lot of dirt and gravel, a few trees, and the temperature is hanging out in the high 80's during the day, and the low 60's at night. We're near the Tigris River Valley (for those of you that know Bible history about the Tigris and Euphrates, that's where I am). It's really neat to think of all the Biblical stories that took place here in this very area. The Babalonians used to run this whole area, and this place has been fought over since the beginning of mankind. Most people think that the Garden of Eden wasn't terribly far away from here. Isn't that fantastically cool!? Just thinking about the FACT that our religion is based on history and not myth. Those places do exist.
In more recent history, I'm on a base that was once a Ba'ath Party Outpost. At the beginning of the war, our soldiers came and conquered this post and now it's ours.
Being here has gotten me thinking about the history of our religion. It got me thinking about why we fight here.
A man two thousand years ago came and started teaching some radical stuff, and ever since, our half of the world has been changed.
A man fifteen hundred years ago came and started teaching some radical stuff, and ever since, this half of the world has been changed.
What is the difference? One man came and told the world, that there was only one way to heaven, and that was through the our actions, we can earn our way to heaven, and that anyone who disagreed should be hurt or killed and conquered.
One man came and told the world that, he was the way, the truth, and the life, and that the work is all done. We don't have to do anything. He has already conquered the things that need to be defeated-- sin and death, and that it is only our joy and jubilation in Him that causes us to do good works. Grace is such an amazing thing, don't you think?
Other updates: The food here is unbelievable. In all honesty, your taxes are going to very good things here, because in my adult life, I have not eaten this well. It's unbelievably delicious, and I have a ton of options about what to eat. The only thing I could still go for is perhaps some home-made cookies, cause the cookies here are kind of a joke. So... hint...
Our equipment is top-of-the-line. We are very well equiped.
Our living arrangements are good. I share a trailer with only two other guys, and have my own little space, I'll try to send pictures at some point.
I'll admit, I logged back on here, kind of frustrated because I wasn't sure anyone was actually reading this, and it is a big time chunk to update, and you all wallopped me with comments. Thank you so much for caring.
For the first time in my life, I understand what Paul meant when he said, "It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart, for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God's grace with me." (Phil 1:7) I know I'm not imprisioned, but you are here with me daily while I deal with the spiritual, emotional, and physical aspects of this deployment. I love you.