Stabbed in the Front – My Final Defeat in Commander the Great War

Well here we are kids – the final episode of my play through of Commander the Great War. Yes and it’s proof that if I had been in charge of the Central Powers in World War One thousands, even millions of lives might have been saved by my early defeat!


Stabbed in the Front – My Final Defeat in Commander the Great War

Carry that Weight

Boy, you’ve got to carry that weight, carry that weight, a long time…” – The Beatles

Earlier this morning I hit the road and ended up hiking 11.65 miles. That’s not a record for me but it’s close. What is a record is that I was carrying a backpack that weighed 25 pounds!

I promise you I was moving faster than that – this is near the top of the hill and my second and final turn around point before heading for home.

Mind you I wanted to carry some weight to further my training for longer hikes. But I didn’t have 25 pounds in mind. When I picked it up this morning I thought, “Whoa, this is heavy.” I figured it might weigh 10 or 12 pounds. I was shocked when I got home, weighed it and found it was actually 25 pounds!

Needless to say it was a bit more of a workout then I had planned on, but it wasn’t really all that bad. I’m more than a little surprised that I could carry that much weight for such a long distance, much of it uphill. I’ll admit feeling it as I hiked that last mile to my place which is almost all uphill, but I didn’t do too badly there either.

It just goes to show you that you can almost always do more than you think you can. It also shows how a little bit of training over a longer period of time (in my case maybe 13 for 14 months) can produce results that will amaze you!

So whatever your weight, keep on moving forward. After all it’s just one step at a time right?

By the way, here’s the Beatles song quoted above for you to enjoy!

Carry that Weight


A few weeks ago I did a Communion Meditation and thought I’d write it out for the blog. By the way, this blog was not inspired by Spock’s mind meld with McCoy in Star Trek II the Wrath of Khan, but it might have been!

On the night he was betrayed Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper, here’s part of what he told us about it: In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 1 Cor. 11:25 (ESV)

We are to partake of this supper in remembrance of Jesus and all he did for us on the cross. If you look through Scripture you’ll find many commands about us remembering what God has said to us. Remember the Sabbath Day for one, and there are lots of others.

Remember-the-MaineThrough out history we are called upon to remember. From remember the Alamo to in a generation or two remember the Maine then another generation or two later it was remember Pearl Harbor. Today we are encouraged to remember what happened 14 years ago on 9/11.

Remember, we are always being encouraged and commanded to remember. Why?

Not because it’s likely we’ll actually the fact that our country was attacked on 9/11; or that Christians would forget what Jesus has done for us on the cross. As bad as our memories may be they aren’t that bad!

We are commanded to remember because we functionally forget about these things. Sure Christians believe in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. We believe we are saved by grace and are in constant need of the grace, love and power of Jesus. But in the stress of all we do everyday and because of our ever present human ego, instead of turning to Christ we turn to ourselves. Instead of listening to the unchanging wisdom of God’s Word instead we are seduced to rely upon the ephemeral and fickle wisdom of the world.

So, to use the old phrase, I believe in God but I live like an atheist. That’s what I call functional forgetfulness. We know the facts but we fail to apply them. Instead of putting our faith into action we fall back upon our old nature and all the sin and failure that awaits us there.

Historically people and states do exactly the same thing. We know what has happened yet somehow to set that aside and follow the same old rhetoric that leads us to the same old failure.

So today, let us remember Jesus, walk with him every moment, and always seek to remember.


The Dual Nature of Sin

I just read a great article at Christianity Today and wanted to share it with you. It’s called, My Dad the Sinner and Saint and I recommend everyone read it carefully. Pay special attention to the end where the author says this…

…a young man sat on stage with his wife sharing about an affair he had had early in their marriage. He talked about being “disgusted” with himself, even as it was happening. Oprah rolled her eyes: “You were disgusted while you were having sex with this neighbor?” Her scorn was palpable. And I thought, Of course he was! That’s how sin works! As Augustine, the premiere Christian theologian on sin, wrote, “For these two can coexist in one person: both the hating it because one knows it is evil and the doing it because one decided to do it.”

As he so often was, Augustine is right on this one and every single one of us has experienced. The Apostle Paul said it before Augustine did however:

15  For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate…18  For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19  For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing…21  So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22  For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23  but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Romans 7:15, 18-18, 21-23 (ESV) 

That’s the reality of sin in our lives. There is almost always that duality of loving it and hating it and what it does to us and other parsimoniously. I hate what being drunk does to me and my family but I take the drink. I hate what cheating on my spouse does to my kids but I do it anyway.

One of my personal biggies is junk food of course. I hate being fat, hate how it makes me look and feel and hate what it does to my health. But without relying on God’s power I will eat that crap anyway.

Every single time.

And I’ll hate myself for it as well. Which shows us just how brilliant Satan really is. Because it’s that shame that drives us to try and hide our sin, which cuts us off from the help and support we need. It also drives us to relieve the pain it brings and the way we usually do that is by returning to the booze, sex, food, lying, etc.

Physics tells us that a vacuum is filled by whatever is closest to it – thus your drink shoots up the straw as you draw the air out of it. What could be closer to me than my habitat sin? Just like the ice tea I had yesterday at lunch, it shoots right back into my life unless I have a power beyond myself to stop it.

The real answer to the shame and guilt of sin isn’t to rename it or to claim it’s not sinful any longer. The real answer to confess that it is a sin – it’s my sin – and to find the forgiveness and inner healing that only Jesus Christ can provide. 

I pray we’ll all remember this in whatever struggles with sin we’ll experience today.

The Dual Nature of Sin

Can We Get Any Sillier? Probably.

Years ago, back when people actually read things called magazines, I subscribed to several of them. One that I loved was called The Wittenberg Door. It was a Christian satire magazine and was great.

I remember they once ran a humor story about society banning the use of the word man or anything mascline in any word. So instead of person the term was perpeople.  They then went on to talk about people from Gerperpeopleland. Mailperpeople. Etc.

Hilarious and I thought it really made the point.

Obviously I was wrong because look at what the nimrods at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill have done. They have issued a “writing guide” advising students to avoid the use of the term “man” or “men.”  Here’s a short quote:

As you review your writing, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Have you used “man” or “men” or words containing them to refer to people who may not be men?
  2. Have you used “he,” “him,” “his,” or “himself” to refer to people who may not be men?
  3. If you have mentioned someone’s sex or gender, was it necessary to do so?
  4. Do you use any occupational (or other) stereotypes?

Thus another new low in stupidity is reached. I’m sorry but what else can you say to this kind of nonsense? This PC mania is reaching new lows in absolute craziness. Pretty soon no one will be able to write or say anything at all.

Let’s just be honest and admit the goal of this nonsense isn’t just to change what we write. It’s obviously aimed at how we talk and more importantly, how we think.

If you can’t say things in certain ways that changes how you think about them. Whether written or spoken words are the way we organize and express our thoughts. All this so called “gender inclusiveness” we see so much of today is not about gender at all.

It’s about controlling and changing how we think. It’s just a tactic to bind everyone up in so many rules that they’ll have no choice but to conform to whatever the PC gods want them to conform too.

Can you imagine having to pay for them to brainwash you child like this? Don’t worry, it’s coming to all of us sooner or later. Unless, as I fervently hope, it collapses under it’s own weight of stupidity.

As a Christ follower I’m reminded of the words of Paul, “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ” ( 1 Cor. 2:16 ESV) Personally I’m sticking with seeking the Lordship of Jesus over my thoughts and rejecting the whimsy of people who while claiming to wise have become fools (Romans 1:22).

At least that’s what this perpeople who’s descended from people in Gerperpeopleland thinks. 

Can We Get Any Sillier? Probably.

Play Through – Allies – Battle of the Bulge – Pt. 1

Here’s the first half of my play through of the Allied side in the brand new game Battle of the Bulge. It’s a very inexpensive game (just under $9 for the download version!) and  the game mechanics are pretty simple as well. However, don’t mistake that ease of play with not being challenging. This system makes you think through not only each move, but the order in while you take them.

I had fun, will post the second half tomorrow hopefully and also hope to play through as the Germans soon. You can go here for more information.

Play Through – Allies – Battle of the Bulge – Pt. 1

Listening to the Little Ones

This is an indirect response to a post from my good friend Chris Elrod on his blog a little over a week ago. He talked about all the conferences that are available for Pastors and church staff today. He’s going to make a list up of ones he thinks are good and maybe overlooked and I’m looking forward to it.

I too have been to a lot of conferences. Unlike Chris I’ve never spoken at one and given my record as a Pastor there’s good reason for that. But I’ve heard and seen enough to know that our leadership efforts at conferences, in books, on podcasts, etc. are being influenced by our culture in ways that aren’t good.

The whole emphasis on bigger is better and we need to be listening to and copying what the Mega Church Pastors are doing isn’t good. Why is it that we usually only hear from people with big churches or big selling books or big TV/radio/internet ministries?

Don’t people in small places doing small but faithful ministries have anything of value to say to us?

If Jesus or John the Baptist came back would they even be considered as speakers at most conferences?

I don’t know, but I wonder. Now I’m not saying this because I’m angling to get a speakers gig. That doesn’t need to happen and I’m well aware of that. But I am saying that there are a lot of people doing great and yes even “innovative” (to use a buzz phrase) ministry that are reaching and helping a lot of folks out there.

We’ve never heard of them because they don’t meet our cultural criteria for success. And if you aren’t “successful” then it’s very hard to be heard above all the big noise.

I for one think that’s a shame. Why not learn from and listen too what I’m calling the Little Ones. Faithful men and women who are faithfully and effectively bringing people to Jesus in places most of us will never go?

This would be good for the American Church. Let’s hear from the big guys, but let’s not ignore the Little Ones either.

If we really believe Scripture then perhaps we ought to remember that “when I am weak then I am strong.” That might lead us to listen to the little but faithful and effective ministries all over this country and the world beyond.

Listening to the Little Ones

14 Years & Counting: Remembering 9/11

It’s hard to believe that in a few hours we’ll hit the anniversary of 9/11/01. Like everyone who was anywhere near adulthood then I clearly remember where I was, what I was doing, and how I felt on that horrible morning.

world-trade-center-twin-towers-911-attack-new-york-city-secondI was awoken by a phone call from one of my sisters, telling me to turn on my TV because something terrible was happening. Back then I had a TV in my bedroom so I grabbed the remote on the nightstand and clicked it on. I was just in time to watch the second plane slam into the second tower.

It was apparent even in the moment that the pilot did it deliberately with the intent of causing as much death and damage as possible. It also didn’t take a genius or a bigot to guess this had to be handiwork of Islamic Extremists. At that time I had no idea who Bin Laden was, but clearly suicide attacks were a trademark of Muslim Terrorists even then.

Since then much has happened and much of it not good at all. Today the Middle East is in complete turmoil with several countries all but evaporated. Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Syria and Lebanon are “countries” in name only. More than half a million refugees are on the march, ISIS continues their slaughter, while most of the world seems to slumber.

Frankly we don’t have much to celebrate today. But we do have a lot to remember. That of course is what a lot of folks won’t want to do. I suspect we’ll hear a lot of people saying we have to “move on.” Doubtless they’ll be a lot of “it is what it is” thrown in as well to try and sound vaguely profound.

Vague, empty, vain ersatz “profundity” is just about all our worn out, satiated, sick culture can muster now days.

We’re going to “move on” whether we want too or not. But if we don’t remember and somehow find the courage to draw the right lessons from what’s been happening over the last 14 years then it’s just going to happen all over again.

Today would be a great day of national renewal and revival. Instead there’s going to be a lot of chest beating, self recrimination laced with generous dollops of politics of course.

I am not optimistic but I am not without hope either. Because I do not but my trust in chariots, political parties, personalities or pontificating either. Instead I put my trust in the Lord, I’m trusting God to bring about His plan for this sad and sinful world. In Him I trust and in Him and Him alone will I continue to trust.

Perhaps that’s the real lesson of 9/11 after all.

14 Years & Counting: Remembering 9/11