Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Home and Reintegration (06 DEC 11)

Well, I've been home now for about four months. Though being away from my family for a year was one of the hardest things I have ever done, being home with them is also difficult. God is showing me how much I need to rely on Him every day to make this work! My wife and kids are doing great and we are slowly but surely creating our new normal. I am thankful for such an understanding wife and wonderful kids who consistently surprise me. Thank you, Lord!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Got my Passports in the mail (15SEP10)

I spent almost four hours today helping SFC Turner "clean" and organize the medications at the local national's clinic. We had some laughs and made the place look pretty good compared to what it looked like before we started.

Another mail day! We got packages from the Greenville Methodist Church and Vineyard Publishing. I was excited to hand out the Passport books at Bible Study, and we had a good discussion about prayer, intimacy with God, and vines and branches.

Also got to talk with Sheri, Ellie and Asher on Skype. Eleanor heard my voice and ran across the house yelling "daddy!" Asher told me "Corban is at school."

Day in a nutshell (14SEP10)

I stayed up late last night watching movies and ditched PT this morning (it's nice being the commander). Met a fellow Red Sox fan in line at the laundry; he is from Little Rhodie. We talked for a while about home.

Started reading a pretty good book by John Piper called "Don't Waste Your Life." It's about finding purpose in two things: enjoying God and bringing Him glory.

Not much else going on today, just want to keep in the habit of journaling.

Productive Day! (13SEP10)

Worked on a short talk for my Skype appointment with Corban's kindergarten class, got two steps done on my sermon, and delivered four bags of goodies to different units on the FOB. Prayed with a Soldier after he shared with us about losing his faith. He is from Haiti, and he lost 5 cousins and 2 uncles in the earthquake this year.

Played a game of dominoes with some of the guys in the SECFOR, which was a lot of fun. While we were playing, the ANP were training in combatives. It was interesting watching them and seeing how much like American privates they are.

Gave three haircuts tonight, MAJ Czeladzki (sounds like Cheladski) is my most regular customer, and has come to the office twice to have tea and talk in English.

After haircuts, I got on Skype and talked with Sheri before talking with Corban's class. I got to share most of what I had prepared based on an email from his teacher. Corban looked awesome in his Scottish prince costume for Castle Day, and Tanner had a cool "page" outfit.

Soul depth with my sweetie (11SEP10)

Got up early to talk with Sheri; I love talking with her! We are such good friends and we are blessed with soul depth in our relationship.

It was a quiet Patiot's Day, thanks be to God!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Is it Right to Burn a Quran? (10 SEP 10)

Had an interesting (and good) talk with Peter about Pastor Terry Jones' plan to burn Qurans tomorrow in protest against the evil of Islam and, more specifically, the calculated construction of a mosque near Ground Zero scheduled to open on the ninth anniversary of 9-11. While I do believe that Islam is a perversion of the true faith perpetuated by the Enemy, and I do value free speech granted by the 1st Amendment (also the Amendment that guarantees freedom of religion, interestingly), and I am offended at the insensitivity of a mosque built at the site of radical Islamic terrorism, I do not see anywhere Jesus teaching that we as Christians should respond to an insult with an insult (see Matthew 5:39). Nor do I believe that burning what another person esteems as holy to be an act of loving your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 5:44).

Ultimately, I believe that God has given men a choice to make, and I will espouse another person's right to choose a false religion if it means I also have the right to follow my faith and share my understanding of Christ's forgiveness without fear. God never told the Israelites to try to convert the Philistines (though I do believe He would want them to love the Philistines and live a life that reflected the righteousness of God) just to make sure that they didn't follow in their idolatrous practices.

Missed My Family Today (09 SEP 10)

I got to talk with everyone on Skype before they went to school (even little Ellie started preschool today!). When they hung up, I stayed on and watched them getting ready for a few minutes.

I got an email back from the USO today. My request for USO2GO resources was approved! I just need to send them back a form saying that I will be responsible for the equipment and sending in the monthly sign up sheets they require. They are sending a Wii, X-Box 360, and PS3 with controllers and games, portable DVD players and 100 DVDs, a guitar with strings and music books, a keyboard with music books, and a bunch snacks amd toiletries. I think it will be a fun day when that shipment comes in!

I purposed today to reach out, and I had a good conversation with SSG Cheatwood about Bible Study last Wednesday and playing guitar.

Another Good Haul (08 SEP 10)

Best mail day yet! We got 11 boxes from a bunch of people I had written to: Military Ministries, Operation: Care & Comfort, Ranger Rosary, RGB Ministries, Adopt-a-Chaplain, & Greenville Methodist Church in Alabama.

I got to talk with Eleanor on Skype; she is getting more talkative in the last few days. Also got to see Asher identify a blue truck from a red and a green truck!

Another Ordinary Day (07 SEP 10)

I went walking around the FOB today and had a couple of cool encounters. I prayed with a platoon of Sappers on their way to Kandahar after I hung out with them for about 15 minutes. Their LT was telling me about how God had redeemed him and saved his marriage, and we had a good time of fellowship talking about God's goodness!

On my way back from the "North End," I stopped into the PRT motorpool and had a good time chatting with a few Sailors. I am especially hoping to talk with on Petty Officer (I can't remember his name, though!) who opened up a little while I was there.

Sheri and I talked on the phone for a while tonight; God really matched us well. Sometimes it is a little weird how much we think alike. Weird, but very cool! I can't wait for our "date night!"

Labor Day (06 SEP 10)

I have never seen such a big deal made over Labor Day! The DFAC was decorated with streamers and posters, there were three cakes, two ice sculptures, three kinds of BBQ, and ice cream! I organized a clean up day in the morning and there were about 20 Soldiers who came to help out. In about 45 minutes we probably picked up 40 bags of trash!

After getting some work done, I gave Houde a half day off. I stayed at the office and set up our SIPR and CENTRIXS computers and finished watching a movie.

Had a couple of good conversations this afternoon! One with SPC Trejo from the new RCP (Route Clearance Package); he seems like a really good guy and he was comfortable talking about his faith with me. The other was with Mark, an Afghan interpreter for the Polish who is from the US and who doesn't practice Islam. He asked me some questions about communion and the difference between Catholics and Protestants. I believe he is interested in these things because he is searching, and I always talk about the Gospel when he and I have these conversations (this is the second time he has asked me questions about Christianity).