Friday, February 27, 2009


Matthew 5:14 says, "You are the Light of the World."

So, what if I feel like a penlight instead of a headlight?

The other day I realized a little bit about some of those Bible analogies of light. We had gotten a new truck, and one thing about Army trucks is that the headlights that come with them are super lame. This truck happened to be at the front of our convoy, and while we were on a base, we got totally lost. This truck took a turn down the wrong road, because the crew couldn't see very well. They curved down a road that bottle-necked, and suddenly the truck got stuck in a position where the whole convoy had to somehow back up. It took forty minutes to extract all our trucks out of the bottleneck.

When we got back, we immediately installed a whole bunch of more powerful brighter lights, so that would never happen again.

We live by our ability to see. The more we can see, the more we can prevent bad things from being able to happen. In the military, even when it's dark, we use night vision, so that we are never blind.

It makes me think about whether I am really a 1,000,000,000 candle super-powered city on a hill type light like I want to be , or a pen light. I want to be able to make people wear sunglasses because I am so in love with God, and it just radiates like no-body's business.

Lately I've been frustrated with myself because I'm not sure that I'm any different from nice non-Christians. I want to be different.

I suppose the key to that is the other light analogy God uses in Psalm 119:105, "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path."

So God and His word is my light, and I am everybody else's light. I don't want to be the one to break the chain on either side. I've got to get my light word, and reflect it so that the people around me have light.

God, please be the light to my path, and help me light up the world. Sometimes it is really hard to keep Your standard. I constantly fail, and disgust myself. Help me to not get too hung up on stomping on the snake of my sin, and forget to look the path you've lit, trip and fall, and fail to light the path for others. I don't want to distract myself. I want to love You too much to fail You.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I know how to abound. Philippians 4:12

I love this idea. Spurgeon once wrote, "Many... when they are set upon the top of a pinnacle their heads grow dizzy, and they are ready to fall." Naturally, when I am suffering, I now go to God with my problems, but when He blesses me, I forget Him and drive on to do whatever I want to do.

In the Army, we are taught to perform Battle Drills. These are certain actions that we rehearse to do in certain common situations so that without communicating, we all do the right thing. Everyone knows what everyone else is going to do. So very often, we are taught to not think on our own. So, we joke around about people who "do whatever they want." "Oh... you want to be an individual." "Do your own thing." On second thought, that's probably not very funny if you're not here. Well, anyway, it's to make a point. So just go ahead and believe me, it's funny. Anyway, the point is that very often a Christian's Battle Drill is to go straight to God when there is a problem, praying fervently that God will bless him. But we forget our Battle Drills and just do our own thing when we are blessed, unstressed and successful.

Friday, February 13, 2009

We free.

I got the opportunity to hang out with an interpreter this week. I'll code name him Butch. He is the biggest Iraqi I've ever met. He could easily be a bouncer. But he is quiet unless you ask him a question.

He told us all about Iraq. He explained the difference between Shiite and Sunni. He told us the difference between Arabic and Kurdish. He showed us the difference between different cities, who was friendly and who was hostile. He was fantastic.

Well, I was asking him questions, and something that he said really stood out to me. He was explaining to me the difference between Iraq now and what it was before the Americans came. He said to me, "The Iraqi government sucks. I say Iraqi government sucks. We free. When Saddam is in charge, I don't talk about the government. If I say government is bad, two days later, I gone. Nobody asks where I go or they get in trouble. Now I say the government is bad. We free." Probably twenty times this week, he said, "We free." It was ironic because he didn't care about how bad the government was, all he cared about was how he was free.

He was the best interpreter I have ever had. When we needed him, he jumped out of the car enthusiastically. He helped us every chance we get.  He was absolutely fantastic.

He understood what freedom was.

Freedom is not easy life. It's just freedom. I'll let you do your own interpretation.