It has been a really, really, REALLY long time since i last blogged. Life has just sort of shifted gears and my free time is even more limited than usual... not sure how frequent i will be able to post in the near future, but i wanted to post something to say that i have not completely given up on this little endeavor. If there are any return readers out there... thank you for your patience.
Ok, this is sort of an impromptu meme. The problem is... i do not really have a whole lot of questions to ask... or maybe it would be more accurate to say, i am not sure how to form them into good questions... which i think is the true appeal of meme's but.... anyway... if you participate please place a comment here for myself and others to see what you have to say about yourself, and feel free to tag up to five of your friends.
So here is the catch. You have to pick twelve (12) words that describe you. You can do it in less if you get stuck, but no more. Also, single words only, but then you have to take a few sentences to describe how/why it applies to you because what is red to one person is maroon to another. Ok, here are mine.....
Christian - I am first and foremost a person who believes in, and follows Jesus Christ. I am not always a good disciple, i am not always perfect... but in the end it is by His grace, by His life, by His death and His resurrection that i have placed my faith. We all believe in something that is at the center of who we are, that guides our thoughts/emotions/actions, and for me it is Christ.
Samurai - I know, this one is probably a complete shock to you reader, but i hope that this is a word that does indeed describe me. I have, from time to time, outlined my thoughts on the matter. You will find them in the side bar to the right here. The word samurai is derived from the Japanese verb saburau, meaning “to serve"
Sergeant - When anyone enlists in the military your first line supervisor is always an NCO - a Non Commissioned Officer. In the Army that is the Sergeant. Within the ranks officers come and go, they are usually not involved in the day to day interactions with the 'privates/airmen/seaman'. The one to whom they look up to for direction, for support is their NCO's first. My first enlistment was the shortest possible stint i could get, but i remember thinking how great it would be, to be a Sergeant. Somehow, this High School drop out and kid who could not keep a job for more than three months at a time, managed to be promoted to Sergeant just before the end of his first enlistment. That turned my life around and i re-enlisted for six more years. I never expected it to last twenety two. The word sergeant from Old French sergent, from Latin serviēns, literally: serving, from servīre to serve. Over time my Beloved will ask if i am going to lay down my jacket for someone to cross a street or if we have another name for the Christmas card list. I am most at peace in my walk with Christ when i am serving someone, or something or group in the church.
Fundamental - In some social circles this is considered a bad thing. I consider myself a "Fundamentalist" because i believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ - i believe that before the world was formed Christ was and He choose to lay that down and become man. I believe in the inerrancy of scripture - across all available sources of text there is a greater than 95% agreement, better than the works of Plato or even Shakespeare, and that while the translations are not always linear between the modern English translations, they all use the same "baseline" (if you will). That is why it is important to understand (in my opinion) the translation philosophy of the Bible one reads. I believe that Christ was born of a virgin - and her name was Mary. I believe that Christ's death on the cross was a propitiation, or payment in full, for my sins past, present, and future. I also believe that He then rose from the dead on the third day and thus defeating death. I believe in the miracles of Christ - I believe he fed the 5,000 and walked on water and healed the Centurion's servant and raised Lazarus from the dead. I believe that Christ will someday return to the earth the same way (but in reverse obviously) he ascended.
Pentecostal - I believe my life is transformed by the Holy Spirit. That i am not the same person i was before the day i accepted Christ into my heart and life, and although i continue to struggle with sin in my life, the Holy Spirit is here with me to help me continue to walk out my ongoing sanctification. I believe that the Bible is the definitive source of authority in my life concerning my faith.
Reformed - This word does not always bring about a good mental image either. I feel this describes me because i see it as how we should walk out our faith is akin to the early church. We need to live out our "church experience" as a dedicated body of believers, committed to the local church - whether that is the group of believers that meet at the church building on corner, or few families that meet in a basement of a house. We need to live lives that are intertwined with other believers where we can speak into each others lives and help share one another's burdens. I also do not believe that traditions can ever form a basis for my belief, instead the "Word of God" (aka The Bible) is my ultimate source.
Charismatic - This was a popular group of Christians in the mid to late 80's, but they kind of lost their 'edge' as more and more people came into the 'fold' but never took it beyond the superficial. I believe that my relationship with God can be experienced in my response to His Word. My emotions can be a valid part (but not THE only part, and they can be manipulated or deceived) of my experience in the worship of Christ. I also believe that the gifts of the Spirit are for today. I acknowledge my agreement with these statements with the following caveat: It must be tested by the Word of God. Finite man can't possibly be the final authority in regards to the relationship with the Infinite. Even though we know our experiences better than any other our flesh is corrupted and we can feign an outward appearance in order to deceive the world... and a lie told often enough will eventually be believed by the liar. The same can be said of the gifts of the Spirit. I think this "label" is the most often rejected by others because it is so easily abused and misused. But how can my emotions not be affected as God reveals His glories to me? How cannot i despair and fear when i see the depravity of my soul without Christ? As for the gifts of the Spirit how can one deny the healing of the sick, or "words of wisdom" spoken by an unknowing commenter that say just the right thing at the right time? But, do not allow these things to be the final authority in your life.
Hedonist - because i feel that the ultimate goal of my life is to glorify Christ. For me John Piper is my hero in this regard. As a human being it is only natural to desire to seek out what is best for me. To seek out things for my best interest. I want comfort, peace, security. I want prosperity and i want what is best for me! As a Christian gets to know Christ you slowly begin to realize that all of these things are ultimately found in Him! If we live our lives for Christ he provides us with everything that is indeed best for us! Therefore it can be said that by dying to ourselves we live in Christ. God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. He is our joy, our peace, our security, our prosperity (if you will). The best thing for us, the thing that is in our best interest, is to be found in Him.
Eldar or Elf - For me, the romantic view of the Tolkien Elf is pretty cool. and maybe this is just a 'wishful misplaced longing', but the Elves of Tolkien's vision are good. They seek to protect and to learn. They engage themselves in the learning of things and the various dimensions and aspects of what they endeavor to learn. It is a similar sentiment heard in the movie 'The Last Samurai', (as spoken by Algren, the self appointed Western Historian), "They are an intriguing people. From the moment they wake they devote themselves to the perfection of whatever they pursue. I have never seem such discipline." There are so many things (music, writing, history, wood working to name a few) i long to pursue, but our life upon this Earth is way too short. Sometimes, i think the pursuit of such things can also be a distraction - when they are pursued for selfish reasons, or for the knowledge of whatever in and of itself. Ultimately i desire, and i truly hope this is a pure desire, to pursue them for the glory of God. After all, i (all humans) were made in His image, to include desires of His pursuits (which ultimately is the proclamation of His glory and Holiness). I do not know how we will be praising God through the ages in Heaven, but there is a small part of me that hopes it will be in similar endeavors. I am sure that no matter what/how... i will be ok with it though. I love that the original English meaning is a Hebrew first/last name meaning "God resides. For me that kind of bundles it up nicely.
Nerd/Geek - an intelligent but single-minded person obsessed with a nonsocial hobby or pursuit - n. an earnest student; a hardworking student. (Usually objectionable.) - To be honest, i do tend to be single minded and my tastes do not follow the 'norm'. Take the game Necromunda, or the music i like - Celtic Folk music. I do not recall a single time that being "normal" ever really mattered to me.
Redleg - Ok, this is NOT in regards to a term to refer to 'poor white people' in the Caribbean. For me the definition is "Redleg", a US slang terms for artillery personnel. The "redleg" term in the U.S. military comes from the red stripe down the trouser seam of the dress uniforms of US Army artillery types. The best years of my military career was as a "Redleg".
Panther - Ok, i was desperate to round out the 12th word... i saw a "Blog Thing" question deal. Where you answer questions and they tell you what color you are, or what kind of girl you should marry or something that silly. Well, this one was in regards to "Big Cats". So i did it and it came back as "Panther" - LOL, "You are unemotional and downright stoic. It's hard to ruffle your feathers. You have an amazing depth to you. You have layers upon layers that no one else has seen. You are confident about your place in the world, and you've happily carved out your own niche. You live primarily inside your own mind. You happily spend a lot of time thinking."