We few, we happy few

"You hid in that ditch because you think there's still hope. But Blithe, the only hope you have is to accept the fact that you're already dead.  The sooner you accept that, the sooner you'll be able to function as a soldier is supposed to function: without mercy, without compassion, without remorse. All war depends upon it." ~ Ronald Speirs in the HBO mini-series, "Band of Brothers".
This past weekend one of the cable channels was having a Band of Brothers marathon.  I have never seen the entire series.  I've barely even seen a complete episode (there were ten in all), but i do know that i would enjoy it in its entirety. The accomplishments of the men of the 101st and Easy company are well documented.  I admire the men who fought in World War II, but in the end this quote stuck with me not because of them men who fought in that war but because it struck me about how i live my life.  I keep living my life afraid to give up things in my life.  There are times i fear death.  I fear that God may require of me to actually have me give up my home, my job, the luxuries (because, let's be honest... the fact i have more than one pair of shoes/jacket/pants/etc., i have TV when i want it and i can go out to eat fairly often, i live in luxury compared to a vast majority of the world) i enjoy.  But when in the service to Christ can't i already consider myself dead to sin?  Yes, i struggle in the flesh... with the vain hope that i can continue in my sin with impunity, but if i am in Christ i should see myself dead to sin, dead to self.  Just like any warrior who struggles with fear though, i continue to struggle with sin.  I have taken encouragement from Paul's continuing struggle with a "thorn in the flesh" (2 Cor 12:7-9), Job's trials (the entire book of Job), and the fact that not only i am to forgive others seventy times seven, but that i am confident in God's grace and forgiveness.  That does not give me license to go on sinning however, merely encouragement that when i am weak He is strong.  For all my talk, i continue to struggle to march on my knees and to work out my ongoing sanctification.  I am already dead, and i do need to function as a "samurai" of the Lord Jesus Christ... i need to function with mercy, with compassion, and with remorse of my own sins, but where i need to function without compassion, remorse or sorrow is in regards to my pursuit of self discipline and the war against my own flesh.

For several months i have been searching for an artisan to recreate the Eldar Pathfinder Rune for a pendant.  Since i tend to fixate on all things grace/samurai/elvish i had wanted one that was similar in design and material to that of a cross that i have.  My cross is crafted out of simple masonry nails and fused together in more of a craftsmanly fashion, rather than that of a jeweler.  When i say months, i literally mean months.  When i first started my search i really didn't think it would be all that difficult to find.  I was pretty sure that it was not difficult to do and the materials not all that expensive.  I tried several variations of Google searches until i finally just performed a search for "jewelry made with masonry nails".  Somewhere in there i found a listing at Bizrate.com, and there at the top was the type of work i was looking for.  A Rugged Celtic (hard C) Cross Nail Pendant.  Once i found this i found a way to contact the artist directly.  Brad Goodell was very prompt and courteous in getting back to me.  I explained to him what i was hoping to get crafted, we went back and forth on material, etc. and once i had adequately conveyed the idea he went to work.  Only three total days later he sent me pictures of the product to verify it was what i wanted.  In my opinion - amazing since i am sure this was not a high end item for him.  Now, i know it is not a highly polished and smooth finish that the Eldar would probably produce or wear, but then... i am not an Eldar, despite my desires, LOL.  Besides, i wanted it to have a beaten and weathered look to it.  Here are the results of his work:
I am happy enough with the results that i am already considering commissioning a samurai kanji (侍 ) pendant from him.

The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (Extended Edition + Digital Copy) [Blu-ray]Speaking of Elves, not long ago (last week probably), i lamented about not having any desire to get the Lord of the Rings trilogy on Blu Ray.  I mean, why bother!?  It was the theatrical versions.  But then i got word of the Extended (or Director's cut) edition of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy being released of Blu-Ray in a single boxed set.  Now, it does not have cool collectibles like my Gollum statue, but it does have a lot of behind the scenes stuff included.  I know i already have the set on DVD... but i am pretty sure i know what i am going to be using my Amazon.com Christmas gift card on.

Late last week, on the residual "high tide" of my recent writing attempts i got a bur in my saddle to continue the story line of one of my older characters, Ian.  When last i left him he had gone against Dyrke and his wishes in regards to my current active character, Jakob.  I was not really sure how to move his story line forward but i had an epiphany and have been able to run with it.  I am almost 800 words into it, and probably only 1/3 to 1/2 of the way to where i think his story line is now going.  I hope to post and share it soon.

Well, i missed both of my regular Monday blog offerings.  Microfiction Monday and Music Monday.  Susan at Stony River: a Writing Life has actually been busy with a new full time job, which is awesome in my opinion. You see, she is a double hero in my opinion.  She is not only a mother of an ASD child, but she is also a single mother working hard to provide for her family.  So, with her "distractions" and not being able to post a new photo each week, i have an excuse.  But, in regards to Music Monday, i have no excuse.  That recurring theme is one of my own choosing and self motivating.  This week's offering stemmed from an area of my walk with Christ that i am wrestling with, and after a long night after being called in, the song come on the radio and spoke to me.  Which has happened to me again this morning in regards to this same issue.  While it is no where near as epic as Jacob's wrestling with an Angel, it has been something God has been walking me through and refreshing to my soul on how He reached down to my soul through the radio.

Desperation Band

You are the source of the life
I can’t be left behind
No one else will do
I will take hold of You

I need You Jesus
To come to my rescue
Where else can I go
There’s no other name by
Which I am saved
Capture me with grace
I will follow You

This world has nothing for me
I will follow You
This world has nothing for me
I will follow You

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