Sunday, November 30, 2008


So I'm struggling to find something to tell you all about. I know, I know, Bobby never has a hard time finding something to talk about. But one of my goals in every note is to be able to encourage, enlighten, empower and anything else that starts with "e" that is cool. More or less, I don't want blather about myself, but make sure the focus is always on God. Well, as we boil down into this holiday season, it's a little tough at times to remember why I'm here. Not here, like sitting at a computer, or in a FOB in Iraq, but it's hard to remember why I'm here on earth. It's not so much like I'm depressed. I don't get sad and torn up over missing the holidays. I love my family and miss them very much, but this isn't the first time I've missed out on being with them for the best time of year. Instead, I forget why I'm here on earth: to glorify God by enjoying Him forever. And because I'm forgetting that, I'm cold to the world. It's like I'm shutting of all of the emotions that could be there and just not allowing any types of emotion in. I'm not letting good or bad affect me so that I can go on with what has to be done.

Have you ever felt that way (or I guess a better way to put it is, have you ever not felt that way?)

I'm sure you have. This isn't the first time I've felt it, and the nice thing about writing it down, it is makes me aware that I'm feeling this way, and it's time to once again go to God and ask Him to help me remember! I want to remember why I'm here and remember that He's good.

Could you please pray that my spiritual life will be enlivened, and that I will be able to have spiritual food poisoning, just puking joy on everyone around me?

Alright, well that's all the time I've got for disgusting metaphors. I love you all.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Less than good day.

Ok, I'll admit, not every day is a good day. Due to our mission tempo, I wasn't able to go to church the first few weeks here in Iraq, which as you can imagine, is really frustrating. It's something I certainly take for granted every week until it's missing. I really missed that recharge time.

Since we've been here, I've got a completely different schedule than my Christian friend and encouragement and we haven't had a chance to spend any time together.

Also since we've been here, I haven't had a good schedule to get spend quality time with God. I miss Him terribly, but there doesn't seem to be much I can do yet. It's really hard to make time to spend with Him.

Well, this past Sunday, I finally got to be on post during a service, and I finagled my way out of a meeting so that I could go to church. Well, I was pulled to the side a few times to set stuff up for the next day, and I missed my chance to catch the bus, so I had to run to church. As I was running, I got really really sick, and had to spend some time in a porta-john (details edited out here). I have no idea what made me so sick. I had to sprint to church, and when I got there, I was sweaty, really really stinky, sick and completely misearable because I didn't feel any better. At the end of the service, I had to sneak out to go spend more time in the porta john. A half hour later, I was walking back to my chu (that's our word for trailer-house dealy that I live in), and I felt fine again. Except I was angry.

"Why do I feel this way after church, God? Didn't you know I needed this time with You? Why pick this time to make me so sick? Why can't I be encouraged and my heart lit aflame again?

Part of me would like to resolve this story with some fantastic end that God swoops in and makes it all better because He can see the bigger picture, but in truth, He didn't. Or I haven't listened yet.

Will you please pray for me and for my friend and for the testing that we're going through. When I back-up, I know that I can end this note with hope and anticipation because I know that my God has always answered my prayers, and will answer again. Will you watch and wait with me while we pay attention to how God works?

Thank You for your prayers.
I love you.


Monday, November 3, 2008

Well, I guess now I get to answer the original question.

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.