Archives for posts with tag: Faith

     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

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!

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!

 

braclet

Hello! I hope you are all having a blessed and awesome day! Mine was pretty good. Spent time at work with some cool people, and came home to an awesome wife and kids. In case you haven’t all noticed this blog is more of a place for me to vent, ponder and clear my head. It will be very random at times and will probably drive literature teachers bonkers. But hey, that is the honest and real me. I don’t regret the 16 years I have served in the army. Some were good and some of course sucked, but, as my dad always said, not consecutively. But there are a few things I do regret. I regret what it has done to my body and my mind. I regret the time I have lost with my family, and I regret the wedge that was driven between me and my oldest son. You see, it has made me a forced extrovert. I bet you never thought you would hear that!

You see, to everyone I seem like an outgoing guy. Yeah, that’s not me, not the real me. I would rather sit at home watch the world pass by on the news and facebook. If I never had to leave my home or pick up a phone ever again I would be fine with that. I get agitated every time I go to walmart or the mall or the store. I don’t even like picking up the phone to call people. Ask my moms. I come from a slightly complex background. In short I was raised by one mom birthed by another and I love them both. The rest of that one is for another day. So, this has caused a serious rift between me and my oldest son who lives with his mom. I haven’t been as available as I should be due to deployments and then the aftermath. I think the hardest part about it is the fact that I stare at my phone wanting to call or test him and I get a feeling in my gut like he wouldn’t respond or answer if I did. I love my kids, all three of them. But we Gaskin men have a way of alienating the people in our lives who are not right in front of us. My grandfather did it. My father did it and now I am doing it.

It makes me feel like I am staring down the barrel of a generational curse. How the heck to you break something like that? And just so you know, I’m not drumming for sympathy. I’m truly not. I mean what the hell is wrong with a dad who can’t pick up the phone and call his mom on a regular basis. Who can’t text or call his son? This is probably, to me, the biggest battle I face right now. With my temper the way it is, my anxiety and nightmares, all of them together are nothing compared to what it feels like to stare at a phone and not have the will to dial or text. So, if any of you know what I can do or have some advice, please let me know. I’m begging you. So I feel like I might start drifting into something else from here. But I will say it here one last time. I love my wife, Paige! I love my Children and am so proud of them, Brandon, Colin and Solaya! I love my family and friends. So please be patient and understanding with me.

God bless you all and thanks for reading!