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  • You are here: Blogs Directory / Personal / Mel's Odd Stuff Welcome Guest
    Mel's Odd Stuff
          Just a bunch of odds and ends. Life is strange sometimes, so this will probably be strange, too...

    Wed, Nov 22nd - 9:53PM

    Dropping out a small thought...



    Why this spins out from "A Work in Progress", I cannot say.  But upon visiting there, I think it was when she said:

    This verse may have been something that was obvious to everybody else from day one, but it just really stood out to me last night.

    I am compelled to share this again:

    The Prayer that I had answerd the quickest was only two words:  "Enlighten Me!"

    I had struggled with something that was moving in monumental ways in my life.  Thundering, crashing calamity was very much a threat and forefront on my mind.  I poured all of my energy into seeking a solution, a way to see my way clear through what I saw as a minefiled fraught with incredible danger of extreme personal loss.

    I could not see the answer.  I was indeed blind.

    In exasperation I raised my eyes and hands in frustration and said those two words.  I knew my answer almost as soon as I asked for it!  I saw what I had been blinded to.  I had clear direction.

    So why did God answer that irreverant and informal prayer so quickly?  I have pondered it.  I am not sure.  My speculation covers this:

    1.  I was acknowledgeing my failure in the purest and most undeniable form.  I was powerless on my own and I knew it.

    2.  I acknowledged his supremecy.  Maybe not vey respectfully, but I was calling for help and acknowledging in a simple way that I had no answers and I expected He did.

    3.  Simply put, it was not full of frills and distractions.  It was to the point.

    4.  Faith maybe?  I mean I was saying this in almost a conversational way, as I would if I was sitting on the floor and you were standing over me and I were talking to you. There would be no thought of you/God might not be there.  It would be an automatic assumption.  Is this a little strange way to think of it?

    5.  God Chose to.  For me to wonder why is really not the point.  Who can know the mind of God?

     

    Yeah, this rambles with no pure direction.  I am still pondering this one off and on again...

    In Truth,

    Mel



    Comment (5)

    Mon, Nov 20th - 8:02PM

    Just something that needs to be said...



    Acts 10:9-11:18 (NIV)

     

     

     9About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 12It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles of the earth and birds of the air. 13Then a voice told him, "Get up, Peter. Kill and eat."

     14"Surely not, Lord!" Peter replied. "I have never eaten anything impure or unclean."

     15The voice spoke to him a second time, "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean."

     16This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.

     17While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision, the men sent by Cornelius found out where Simon's house was and stopped at the gate. 18They called out, asking if Simon who was known as Peter was staying there.

     19While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, "Simon, three men are looking for you. 20So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them."

     21Peter went down and said to the men, "I'm the one you're looking for. Why have you come?"

     22The men replied, "We have come from Cornelius the centurion. He is a righteous and God-fearing man, who is respected by all the Jewish people. A holy angel told him to have you come to his house so that he could hear what you have to say." 23Then Peter invited the men into the house to be his guests.

        The next day Peter started out with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa went along. 24The following day he arrived in Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence. 26But Peter made him get up. "Stand up," he said, "I am only a man myself."

     27Talking with him, Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people. 28He said to them: "You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with a Gentile or visit him. But God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. 29So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection. May I ask why you sent for me?"

     30Cornelius answered: "Four days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me 31and said, 'Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and remembered your gifts to the poor. 32Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. He is a guest in the home of Simon the tanner, who lives by the sea.' 33So I sent for you immediately, and it was good of you to come. Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us."

     34Then Peter began to speak: "I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right. 36You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. 37You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached— 38how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

     39"We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a tree, 40but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. 41He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. 43All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name."

     44While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. 46For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.

       Then Peter said, 47"Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have." 48So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.

    Acts 11

     1The apostles and the brothers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. 2So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him 3and said, "You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them."

     4Peter began and explained everything to them precisely as it had happened: 5"I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. I saw something like a large sheet being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to where I was. 6I looked into it and saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, reptiles, and birds of the air. 7Then I heard a voice telling me, 'Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.'

     8"I replied, 'Surely not, Lord! Nothing impure or unclean has ever entered my mouth.'

     9"The voice spoke from heaven a second time, 'Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.' 10This happened three times, and then it was all pulled up to heaven again.

     11"Right then three men who had been sent to me from Caesarea stopped at the house where I was staying. 12The Spirit told me to have no hesitation about going with them. These six brothers also went with me, and we entered the man's house. 13He told us how he had seen an angel appear in his house and say, 'Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. 14He will bring you a message through which you and all your household will be saved.'

     15"As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning. 16Then I remembered what the Lord had said: 'John baptized with[c]water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.' 17So if God gave them the same gift as he gave us, who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could oppose God?"

     18When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, "So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life."

     

     

    Romans 14:19-21 (NIV)

     

     19Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. 20Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. 21It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall.

     

     

     

    And if this is not enough, read Hebrews.  The whole book.

     

    In Christ,

     

    Mel



    Comment (5)

    Wed, Nov 8th - 4:17PM

    Just some things to ponder...



    What did these people die for?

    http://icasualties.org/oif/

    2839 American service members, as of this point, for the action that has been going on for a while over there.  Were these pointless sacrifices?

    http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/medicalnews/a/traffictoll.htm

    16,694 Alchol-Related Fatalities on American highways in 2004 alone.  What purpose do these deaths serve?

    http://www.areaconnect.com/crime/compare.htm?c1=New+York&s1=NY&c2=Los+Angeles&s2=CA

    New York and Los Angeles (the core cities, I might add) had 1,088 homicides in 2004.  Most of the vocal opponenents of Iraq live right in these areas, where more americans died than our servicemembers died during the same time period serving everywhere overseas.  Where is there public outcry to this travesty in their own back yard?

    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00000841.htm

    Who is bearing the brunt of this, do you think?  Is it a racist plot on the part of Hollywood to thin the minorities by not dealing with these serious problems close to home?  Maybe not, but the effect of their blind eye and Political Flavor Du Jour is very real.  They are not any kind of heros in my book, just tag along bandwagon wanabees.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compton,_California

    Read about the crimes rates here, and you might rather live in Baghdad.

    Stop bashing our soldiers senseless, folks.  They are trying to do what is right, not steal someone's coke or meth stash.  There is a purpose in them being there.  I am not saying we are doing it as best we could, but at least we are dealing with a real problem in a real way.  I want their deaths to not be in vain.  I want their sacrifices to not be in vain.  You can object, but don't be so callous as to condemn.

    In Truth,

    Mel



    Comment (1)

    Thu, Nov 2nd - 2:38AM

    A soldier's message for election day...



         I have been asked many times ‘How can you be a Christian and be a member of the military?’ At first my answer was simple. In the New Testament, a soldier who was asking for help for his servant confronted Christ. Jesus did not berate the centurion, a soldier that in that day represented oppression of the Israelites, God’s chosen people. The opportunity was there to denounce the man’s profession, but instead, he is praised for his faith. Again, in Acts, Cornelius, a centurion, sent for Peter. Again, the opportunity was there for the scriptures to have denounced the profession of arms, but it was mute on that point. If my understanding grew no further, that simple answer would suffice, even though it was not enough to convince anyone without my faith. However, my understanding is no longer that simple.

         The best place to start is to discuss that age-old question: ‘Why am I here?’ In Ecclesiastes, the answer is in the end of the book. Well, I am fearfully put together. What I am truly here for (the small details, not the big overall purpose) is still a mystery. However, of this I am sure: Circumstances have put me where I am today, and that a purpose is in the place I occupy. Just what, who among us is so very sure? Now then, we all have loyalties. Some of us understand what they are and how we think we prioritize them. Others don’t. However, we still choose what to serve and what to oppose. We choose what to love and what to hate. We obey and defy. We always choose what to do. That is what we were designed to do. The liberty of choice is our God given right, for that is how we were made. Sometimes we choose to do what we think is the best, and it doesn’t go so well. Other times we choose stupidly, and it works out great. I’d be surprised if you can’t relate to that. Still, we should choose to do good. We don’t always do well at that, but that is the beauty of Christ and the grace he bought for us with his suffering, his blood, and even shown through every step of his life. The next choice we make is not predicated by the guilt of all of the bad choices we made before. We can pick up from this moment, and all the good we can choose to do is not tainted by all the bad choices we made in the past. And I am very grateful for that, trust me. Paul speaks of a thorn in his side, but honestly, I often feel like a prickly pear turned inside out at times. Still, I fight with it and press on, more like a staggering drunkard at times than a runner in a race with his path to run clearly in front of him. But I digress.

         My loyalties, though I have problems staying true to them, are something I am still trying to understand. But I do think I have a glimmering of what they are. First is God. Then is Liberty, which is something God has given to me. This is natural, in line with that defiant and willful part of my personality, which by the way, I can see so very clearly in my eldest child, reflected back more clearly to me than any mirror ever could. After that is my family, which many would put before other things like liberty or even God, if they were to be honest with themselves. Beyond that is the constitution of my country, which I have willingly sworn to defend against all enemies, foreign and domestic. This is a natural progression for me, since Liberty is what it is trying to represent, even if less than perfectly. Simply put, the defense or service of Liberty is what I am about and the direct approach of serving in the military is my way of expressing that. It is an integral part of me.

         Now then, up until recently, I thought that because I dealt in the use of coercive force, I was more important and that my integrity to what I served was more important than that of my ‘common’ fellow man. A somewhat recent experience was instrumental in showing me that such thinking was petty and so far from the truth.

         I have served for many years, and am a relatively senior NCO. I am very used to taking orders and giving orders along the lines of rank. As an aside, having children helped me learn how to give orders more easily. I still dislike giving orders, but it is not so hard to do any more. So then, I, a crusty old soldier, was put into the distinctive situation where I was basically telling commissioned officers, who all outranked me, what to do. Simply put, I was giving them orders. Needless to say, this was far from comfortable for me. However, the authority with which I made these sometimes arbitrary and possibly even unfair assignments was equally clear to me. I operated under the authority vested in me by the commanding officer, with his full confidence that I would do my best, a faith I tried hard not to betray. Then it came to me: the church I associate with calls itself a member of the ‘Great Commission’ churches. I also saw, that in a way, I was ‘commissioned’ by an authority higher than what resided in myself to do the job before me. Suddenly, it was clear. Although, in truth, there is one great commission, there are all sorts of other commissions we get from God, all equally important, I believe, and for which we are each so uniquely suited for. This ‘commission’, which I see as my overriding purpose in life, is no greater nor smaller than that given to my fellows. I am humbled to finally understand this.

         Let me state this clearly: If your drive and desire is such that you are ideally suited to the nurturing of children, you are in no small measure as important as the greatest soldier. Christ said we were all to come to him like little children, so possibly the one nurturing children could fall into the same trap as I did, and I could not fault them. Likewise, a person who is gifted in the way they make things or fix things is equally important, but not more so. It is important to use the gifts that God gave you, and you will understand your gift when it gives you great joy to use it even when it causes you pain. Choose good. Seek out what your true gift is. That is the end of the matter. In that you can fearfully serve God.

         Christian or not, I have one small favor to ask of you. As Americans, I think we tend to vote our comfort over our conscience. I serve so that you and others might have the ability to make your choice however you see fit, but I implore you: try to do good with that choice. Bad choices do tend to have bad consequences. I do not care if you do not see every issue as I do. Just by choosing to vote and exercise the liberty that many others have made sacrifices, large and small, to secure for you, makes their effort more worthwhile. If you care, speak out. If you have a passion, follow it in good conscience. That is the American dream. God bless America.



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    About Me

    Name: Mel Miller
    ChristiansUnite ID: lylejr
    Member Since: 2005-09-28
    Location: Aurora, Colorado, United States
    Denomination: Christian
    About Me: I've been a christian for some time, but squandered my time and talents 'in a foreign land' I have been in the military (active and reserves) for 33 years. (now retired) I have two lovely daughters, and life seems to often be strange to me.

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