So today I was having a discussion with my Brother Robbie Grayson. I as some of you know am a high school drop out. I have my GED. I like to call it my Good Enough Diploma. I’ve never been to college, so I never pledged to a frat. However I did join a Fraternity. I am a combat veteran. I am proud of what I have done as a professional Soldier. God has blessed me in abundance with it even through all the adversity I have endured. But right now I want to explain the difference between my frat and yours and to hopefully erase the lines between us.
     In my frat we will do anything we can to help a brother or sister out. You will in yours too! The difference is simply this. We will stand between the barrel of a gun for our brothers and sisters. LITERALLY! We have been trained to move past fear! to not allow it to be a contributing factor in our decision  making process. We have done it, We will do it again. This is the only difference in our fraternities.

     There are a lot of times where we seam as if we don’t trust anyone other than fellow warriors. That’s not honestly the full truth. It’s more of we have become so indoctrinated into the Military life stye that we no longer know how to trust someone who isn’t in the Fraternity with us! Don’t take it personal. Just be patient and give it time, It’s really only two things that we desire from you. Your friendship and patience. We know it will be hard for you to understand. So, we wont ask for that.

So, thanks for reading, and listening to my rant.

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Forgiveness, Why is it so hard to accept forgiveness? It is freely given and should be freely accepted. There is an adage in the army that goes like this, “the best way to learn something is to teach it.” And to be honest, there has never been a more true statement. Think about it for a second. In order to teach anything you have to research and study it from all angles. You need to become a subject matter expert so that when you teach the subject you are sharing, you can be well informed and be able to field questions knowledgeably. The same principal can be applied to forgiveness. In order to be able to accept forgiveness you have to be able to give it first. Christ said “But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:15. So it ties together don’t you think. If you cannot or Don’t forgive others for the things have have done against you or someone else, Your Father (God) will not forgive you. It doesn’t say he might not forgive you. it doesn’t say it’s not likely he wont. It says your Father “will not” forgive your sins. So we need to learn how to accept forgiveness not just from God, but from our brothers and sisters as well. We need to humble ourselves and accept it when someone says “I forgive you”. Now, just because they forgive you doesn’t mean they will forget that it happened. Of course they are still going to be gun shy to and extent. It’s to be expected. But what is the definition of Forgiveness? “to cease to feel resentment against: to forgive one’s enemies.” So if you cease to feel resentment, that means you can’t hold it over their head to make them feel guilt once it’s been forgiven. SO in order to Accept forgiveness we need to be able to give it freely. Which anyone can tell you that it can be one of the hardest things ever done. But it’s not like (as a Christian) it is an option. It’s a requirement from God handed to us By Jesus.

 

Now the last note I wrote was on the Lord’s Prayer. It’s not hidden in the text of the outline Christ gave us. It’s straight forward no matter what translation of the Holy Bible you read. Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. God forgive me of my sins, and acknowledge my forgiveness of the sins committed against me. are you sensing a reoccurring theme here. I hope so. Now just so you know I’m not trying to browbeat anyone or talk like I think that anyone is stupid. I just feel moved by the spirit that this is something we all need some work on. So seek forgiveness from anyone you feel you have hurt or wronged. And make sure to forgive anyone who you think has wronged you. It is that forgiveness that will lift us and make us stronger.

 

Control, is it just an illusion? Do we have any real control over our life when there are so many rules to being a Christian? Ummmm, in a small word, Yes. Once you give you life over to God, there should be no confusion over who is in control over our life. There really shouldn’t be. You voluntarily gave your heart to Him. The Creator of all things. And when you do that you “Chose” to allow God to influence and for lack of a better word control. But if you choose to Let God Have the ability to direct your life, wasn’t that you taking control and making the conscious decision of God having the control? It was a choice you mad to give Him control. Does that make sense? It is so difficult for some of us to grasp. We chose to follow God. We chose to let Him lead. In that we chose to follow His two commandments. “Love the Lord your God, with all you heart,mind and soul.” and “love your neighbor as you love yourself”. If you follow those two commandments, You will never brake any of the “multitude” of Christian rules…Sorry for the sarcasm. But it needed to be done. So remember even though we asked God to take control over us, to Lord over us. We are in control because we made that decision to let Him be. Here’s another quick example on that topic. We need to retain a lawyer for some reason. Once we pay the retainer we allow Him or her to take control over that situation. No different with God. But guess what, He paid the retainer with the sacrifice of His son.

 

I pray that you all are blessed in the love of God and that he grants you all wisdom and favor.

 

Ralph

So most days I send out a text message to almost everyone in my phone asking what I can pray for them for that day, and a couple days ago I received a message that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about. “Please pray that I didn’t make a mistake in choosing this job as a career path”, or something to that effect. It made me think really hard. I have been beating myself up for a while now for having chosen to do what I am doing as a Soldier because of the strain it has caused my family. I know we all do this. We give advice to those who ask it but never take our own advice! Yeah, it’s not just you. I am retarded too!

But it made me think a lot about the paths that we as people, Christians, Soldiers, Head of our families and more choose. If it goes wrong, is it truly a mistake? Or is it a lesson learned? I don’t think there are a lot of things in this life that we should consider a mistake, unless of course we don’t learn anything from it. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. So if you or I make a choice, and it doesn’t work out, I feel as long as we learned from it, we then grew as a person! Therefore it isn’t a mistake but a lesson.

My point is this. Just because something doesn’t work out the way we planned, doesn’t equal mistakes made. They are lessons in life that we use to grow. So stop beating yourself up for making a choice that you think didn’t work out, when it actually did. It’s not truly a mistake! So I am no longer going to beat myself up over the choice to re-enter the military which caused two deployments. I ended up with PTSD, and lost 28 months of time with my wife, sons and daughter. Because I know God will heal those wounds. And I know that I am a better person today than I was 7 years ago.

Thanks for reading and stop beating yourself up over the small stuff. God bless you!

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I wrote this one a while back, but it still applies

What exactly does it mean in the constitution when it says Freedom of Speech? Let’s look. I went and copied it word for word.

First Amendment

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Or prohibiting the free exercise thereof! Are you serious? Then why, I ask again, why are people in America being arrested simply for preaching in public? Don’t believe me? I will post a couple of videos proving it. But please by all means go and Google it yourself. YouTube it. Research the heck out of it. Look when the pilgrims came here and established the colonies in 1621 it was to be free from persecution of how they wanted to worship God. The Christian God. Now when they wrote the constitution they decided not to label it as a one religion nation. So the just used the term religion instead of Christianity. Now knowing this…..the following should make total sense whether you agree or not. Regardless of what religion you practice, or don’t practice, you should be allowed to discuss it in public without harassment by law officials. The police are designed for truly only one purpose. To keep the peace. If you are in a public place and are doing nothing more than talking they should have no reason to bother you, regardless of what you’re talking about. Here are a couple of small examples of videos that show this being violated by local law enforcement! From nowhere in particular.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iqk4fMBdC5I

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYuaOenys60

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FruQO8qaw9c&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QV0-OhihAUo

So the next time you think you truly have the freedom to speak about your Faith. Think again. God Bless you! Read your bible. And fight the good fight!

Thanks for reading and God bless you!

So I am about to step out on a limb and go off for a moment. Now at the bottom of this blog I will place to links. One, to an article written about a presidential executive order, and second to the actual text of the EO itself. But first I must explain a couple things so that everyone knows what we are discussing. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) You can have one without the other or have them both. PTSD is the body’s reaction to living through a Visually, Physically or Mentally Traumatic experience. Watching someone die, being shot at, and hearing explosions, IED’s, RPG’s, Combat, being robbed at gun point and more. TBI is having a physical jolt to the head in such a way that it damages a portion of the brain. A TBI can cause hearing loss, memory loss, severe head-aches and more.

Not every veteran who suffers from one or both of these is a violent individual! I will say that again. Not every veteran who suffers from one or both of these is a violent individual! Just because we have PTSD, TBI or both doesn’t make us dangerous. There is of course a select few who are the exception to this rule. But the majority is not that way. Do me a favor! Do all veterans a favor! Do not help to perpetuate the stereotype that all Soldiers have PTSD and that all People with PTSD are violent and should be feared.

The elected officials in this nation feel that there is a need to have a national database where anyone diagnosed with PTSD or TBI should be registered. Gee thanks a bunch. I thought we were trying to make it where it was no longer uncomfortable or fear of your career or how you would be treated if you seek help. That seems to be counterproductive if you ask me. I see a lot of brothers and sister who will be needing help in the future afraid to get it yet again! Thanks!

Not everyone suffering from this is on drugs. I take medication to help me sleep and to help me from having a panic attack in public. I pray that someday God will bless me with being able to control all this without medication. But just because a Soldier or veteran is on medication doesn’t mean they are a risk or a hazard to the community and should have to register themself or that their doctors should be forced to register them! You know what almost all of us with PTSD and TBI want? Understanding that we have these conditions doing what less than 1% of the nation is doing. Serving! Patience with us as we are re learning how to function around non-military people. Believe it or not, there is a huge difference.

Thank you all for reading. God bless you and here are the links on this issue.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/08/31/executive-order-improving-access-mental-health-services-veterans-service

ingodweshould

I really, really don’t get it! Look, I’m not a fan of the current political peoples in power. Personally I wanted to vote for Ron Paul. For those of you who have been following this bog you know I suffer from PTSD. But you know what I am getting really tired of? Do you? I am sick of people spreading propaganda! It is starting to tick me off to no end. You know what 90% of us who have PTSD want? We want to be understood. Yeah we have a short temper, but it doesn’t make s all crazy vets who are to be feared! Oh no, He signed an Executive Order (EO)! And now I am going to paraphrase everything in it and stretch the truth to have it fit my agenda! HELLO! Now you are the main stream media!

Seriously, stop spreading the bull crap and the lies and twisting things to meet your own personal agenda! How about do the freaking research! Study it and then post or write about it objectively! Otherwise, shut up! You are wasting your and all of our time. I’m not defending the current policy makers. But man, if you are twisting facts and making things up your no better than what you are trying to tear down!

Here is a good example for most of you. A recent CNBC headline and short story said the following.
“House Democrat Serrano tries to alter Constitution, end presidential term limits”

Does this tell you how many times Congressman Serrano has tried to do this? Every two years since 1997. It’s not like he is on the payroll. This isn’t something new. My point is, if you are not part of the solution or in other words, trying to help make things better for your fellow man, then you are part of the problem. Thanks for reading.

God bless you

 

ooops

Wow, do you ever just zone out? One thing that I am so tired of is walking into a room and having no idea why I am there.  That wouldn’t be so bad except it happens like 3 times a day. I have friends right now that are coming home from Afghanistan and others who just got there or are still there. This is the first time since I have been on active duty that I am not deploying and it feels really weird, almost like I have let my brothers and sisters down because I am not there with them.  I will be retiring soon and the army will go on without me. But the friends you make at war are a different breed of friends. There are a choice few that I have made since I have been in the military that will be family to me for the rest of my life. This isn’t to take away from the friends I have made outside the military. It’s just different. But I know that if it wasn’t for God surrounding me with the people he has, I wouldn’t be who or where I am today.

My wife and my three children are the biggest blessings I could have ever asked for! There is no doubt about that! We all need mentors as well. Sometimes we choose them and sometimes they choose us. And there is a time where I believe it is a divine appointment. Neither one of us chose each other; God placed us there for a reason. When I first joined the National guard in ’94 I was assigned to Charlie company 1/293rd Infantry, 1st platoon. I was the only medic for the entire company for almost two years. My platoon sgt swept me up and gave me no choice about the fact he was my mentor. I owe him more credit than he will ever know.

Let’s not forget the fact that we can mentor each other without even knowing it. Two of my best friends Ranger and Airborne, were instrumental in mentoring me when I transitioned into the infantry. And it seemed we held each other up and mentored each other the entire time without even knowing it! But we as Christians forget about mentoring each other as spiritual leaders or followers. This is where I feel the divine appointments come in. One of my best friends is a pastor, musician, husband, father, business owner and all around awesome dude! I thank God for the fact I have had the honor of being mentored by him. I don’t even think he knows how much I have learned from him.

What are we giving back? Are we taking the knowledge we get from our mentors, our friends and passing it on? Are we doing what we can do make our small parts of the world a better place? Some of us are. But sadly enough, the majority of us are not. I have seen a huge change for example in the military in leadership. We have been a nation at war for over 10 years. That has caused for rushed promotions to fill voids. When you rush that along so does the mentoring! It in a sense stops once they get promoted. Now the military isn’t the only place this happens, it’s just a personal example and where I have the most experience.  So start spreading the knowledge. Start teaching without forcing. Lead by serving!

God bless you and thanks for reading!

 

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