26 October 2008

Different

As I watched this youtube video, I thought it was funny at first.

But then I realized how true it is of our society. When we see someone different, we avoid them; we don't want to be associated with them. Why?

Jesus constantly compares us to sheep, which are even dumber than goats. Even though the goat has only a small difference, and is the same as the other goats underneath, the goats do not recognize it as one of their own. How often do we do the same.

Lord, be our shepherd.

24 October 2008

First Shirt, First Snow


A USAFA tradition: at the first snow, the freshman take their squad first shirt and toss them into the snow. Meanwhile, the upperclassmen toss the freshman's rooms. Here are the results.

20 October 2008

Lost in the Fog

New running trails are always dangerous for me: I must always see what's around the next corner, where the trail leads if I keep going. That's not a huge problem if you have time and a direction reference.

But when you only have an hour and the fog covers everything outside one hundred feet, it can be a problem. I was running south, along a high ridge, wondering where the ridge ended, and where the trail led when it did. After forty-two minutes and 3.6 miles, I'm still not sure.

But God is good: his creation, even when covered with clouds, is beautiful. Running through the pine and scrub oak, I could see and smell a bit of fall - something I've missed from Michigan. And, running towards a point unkown, I had to trust that he would bring me back safely. Night falls quickly behind the mountains.

Eventually, I found a road, and it told me which way North Gate was, giving me my bearings once again. With only forty minutes until the start of BSU, I hitchhiked back up with a man who leads a different Bible study here. After a hot shower, I changed back into blues, refreshed and curious.

I'll be running back down there soon.

16 October 2008

Dreams for another man

Went to vist the refugees again tonight. But now refugees seems like the wrong word. It's not personal enough. 

I helped Vincent with Albert's homework tonight. I don't think Albert could have done it; it was even hard for Vincent. He's got a hunger for learning, a hunger I recognize and appreciate. Helping him study English makes me realize how difficult English is - he knows what a pot is, and he knows what a home is, but the concept of the short o in pot and the long o in home is lost on him. I suppose it was lost on me at first, too.

It's easy at first to underestimate these people's intelligence. But after talking to them for a while, you realize they are very intelligent: they know the answer; they just don't know how to express it in English. It's like a genius engineering major who can't explain his design in a way the builder can understand it. But Vincent wants to explain it, and he works hard to learn how.

As I sit there next to him, with his little brother, Jackson, running away giggling from my tickling fingers, I wonder what these boys will be: engineers? leaders? Pastors? ambassadors?

They have potential. If only the rest of the world could see it.

03 October 2008

FAC Memorial

I left after first period today with Cadet E and his grandfather, headed to the FAC memorial dedication.

Cadet E's grandfather was a FAC (Forward Air Controller) over Northern Vietnam. These men flew O-1's, pretty typical looking propellor planes. They had an 80% shootdown rate.

"It was really bad until we got smart," he said, "and started flying in formation, two planes at a time, one below and one above. That way, if they shot down the one below, they knew the one above would call in fighters."

He said one of his favorite men was Karl W. Richter, an Air Force legend - he's the youngest man to shoot down a MiG in combat, completed 100 missions, and signed up for another tour. He was shot down on his 198th mission.

"Instead of going home on his leave, he'd come down and fly with us," said Mr. E.

There was also a Medal of Honor winner at the memorial - he commanded the fast FACs, I believe. He was shot down, with his arm broken in three places during ejection. He was captured immediately, but escaped five days later. Without boots or flight suit, he made it back into the DMZ on a bamboo raft. Delirious, he wandered around for several days, within two miles of a Marine position. He was recaptured, and sent to Hanoi. He never gave up - he said today that his faith saved him; he knew nothing would separate him from the love of Christ.

I talked to him briefly - he was entirely humble. It was honor to salute him, although I made a blunder and forgot to at first. He was entirely gracious.

At the end of the ceremony, four F-16's flew over. As they came across the memorial park, a wingman split from teh group and went straight up, symbolizing the men who have died in the skies, leaving their wingmen behind to fly solo.

O, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth...

02 October 2008

At the risk of sounding like a nudist

"Evolution may explain how we came from apes, but it does nothing to explain why we wear clothes." - Donald Miller, Searching for God Knows What

Why do we wear clothes? To stay warm? Yes. But what about people who don't need clothes to stay warm?

"I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid." - Adam, Genesis 3:10

In ten verses, Adam and his wife go from being naked and unashamed to afraid of God.

Why? Because the glory of God is no longer shared with them. Now, they look at themselves, taking their eyes off their Creator, who made them in His image, and they see that the image is no longer Pure, no longer Holy.

And they are afraid.

So from this point on, we cover ourselves, trying to look better in the eyes of men. For God doesn't care what clothes we wear. "The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." - 1 Samuel 16:7

So, as I sit washing my clothes in the laundromat, I read this and think about it. Why does our society require that we wear clothes? Why do we care that society requires it?

[Don't worry. My clothes will stay on.]