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  • You are here: Blogs Directory / Personal / Living In The Rockies Welcome Guest
    Living In The Rockies
          On he road to Cheley Camp, Estes Park, Colorado

    Thu, Nov 19th - 3:17PM

    Our Country Tis of Thee

      I’m amazed at the seeming complexity of our national problems.  Many people are now saying that America seems lost.  They say we’ve lost our bearings.  I bet you too, are amazed.

      Words are important because they express the heart of the speaker.  Look back at my first paragraph and focus on ‘bearings’.  Do you realize what I wrote?  Do you realize the one answer to all our complex, inter-related problems is to be found in the word, ‘bearings’. 

      So what are ‘bearings’?  Any Cub Scout will be able to tell you that in this particular application, ‘bearings’ refers to the points on a magnetic compass.  You know, one of the problems with a compass is that it tells the truth, whether we trust it or not.

      For some reason, I always lose my bearings in my own town.  Maybe it’s because so many of the streets don’t conform to reliable grids, but travel around mountains and rocky terrain, but it still seems to me that my compass is lying! 

      Every morning, I’m shocked to find the sun coming up precisely where I thought West was located.  And if I drive a few blocks, West and East seem to move mysteriously around again.  But when I look at my compass, it always points North – whether I believe it or not.  And in America, we’ve lost our bearings.  How, exactly did that happen?

       I firmly believe that America was called into being by Almighty God.  We do not have secular roots – not at all, in spite of what the A.C.L.U. wants us to believe.  History, the non-rewritten version, is very clear about this.  Our founders, under the inspiration and guidance of God, put together a machine that was only designed to function with God Himself as the spark plug.  Read what they wrote; the entire process was well documented.

      Imagine that we could solve all of our problems with just a little bit more intelligence (quite a stretch, considering our current government!).  What if we muddled through to find solutions to every one of our national conundrums – would we be any different from any other nation on the planet?  Do you really think God gave us our proud history so we could just exist for ourselves?  If you really think that, I need to ask you if you’ve had enough of the ‘hope and change’ you voted for in the last electoral debacle.

      God called our nation into being for His purposes, and we’ve become lost because we’ve forsaken our national compass.  In the Bible, Ephesians 2, verse 14, the apostle writes, “For He Himself is our peace, …”.  As a citizen of this country, how long has it been since you’ve felt at peace?

      So here’s where our country is at the current moment in time; in the book of Jeremiah, chapter 16, verse 5, the prophet quotes the LORD as saying,

       “for I have withdrawn My peace from this people”, and further down in verse 10-12 the prophet quotes the LORD again,

       “Now when you tell this people all these words, they will say to you, ‘For what    reason has the LORD declared all this great calamity against us?  And what is our iniquity, or what is our sin which we have committed against the LORD our God?’  Then you are to say to them, ‘It is because your forefathers have forsaken Me,’ declares the LORD, ‘and have followed other gods and served them and bowed down to them; but Me they have forsaken and have not kept My law.  You too have done evil, even more than your forefathers; for behold, you are each one walking according to the stubbornness of his own evil heart, without listening to Me…”.  If you keep reading, it gets worse!

      If America keeps stubbornly resisting God’s plan, we will lose our country.  We won’t lose it overnight, but we will lose it continually until we no longer have a country.  And the U.S.A. will just be another nation that once existed in splendor, only to fade away.  And you and I stand an excellent chance of being around to see it happen.  This is our turn in history, but what a sad turn it will be.

      We cannot have peace in this country until we once again acknowledge the Prince of Peace as our true ruler.  He Himself, is our peace, and if we continue to forsake Him, we cannot survive as a nation of free men – no matter how hard we try or how much we spend.  If we don’t find our national bearings again, and soon, our turn in the history of the world will come to an end. 

      Let me be very plain spoken about this – if we don’t change our priorities and seek the Lord as our true North – He will appoint another ruler for us, and we will become slaves to someone else and lose our country in the process. 

      As a nation, we are currently getting exactly what we deserve.  Unless we repent and turn back to God, we will cease to be the U.S.A., and God will appoint the plans He had for the U.S.A. to some other people, for ultimately, His plans will prevail.

      Let me state it again: As a nation, we are currently getting exactly what we deserve.  And if we don’t turn back to the very God who called us as a nation, we will lose our country.  And we will be a part of that loss.

      We only have those two options.  There are no others.  It’s not too late yet, but with every passing day we wander farther into the darkness of history, and soon, it will be too late. 

      Only God, and those who are His, last forever.



    Comment (1)

    Mon, Nov 16th - 10:59AM

    Counting Shrimp

      This morning, while watching the sun attempt to defrost my part of Colorado, I began thinking of an officer’s club on Camp Casey, South Korea.  The last time I saw the club was in 1970.  Camp Casey was a U.S. Army base adjacent to the squalid, dirty little town of Dongducheon, north of Seoul, and according to Google Earth, it’s still there.

      The Officer’s Club was in a little, stand-alone building on base, and we would go there sometimes after work just to see a different, mostly better menu.  Miss Lee ran the place, and she would actually talk to us without trying to sell us time with her daughters, which made her a rarity among the Korean women we usually encountered.  

      Miss Lee was like a movie character.  She had an advanced PhD in human (male) psychology, and was about ten times smarter than she appeared – and whatever age she really was, she appeared pretty well. 

      Her demeanor seemed to hover somewhere close to a savvy first sergeant, a priest, a refined lady and the girl next door, with just a tinge of larceny, and she had the ability to mix up the roles with nearly every sentence.  We all liked her, and the fact that we never knew what she was really thinking about us, added to her mystique. 

      Before I get into the shrimp part of this I need to add a big disclaimer:   I have no problem with clergymen, but this story hinges on an army chaplain and in this story, he serves as a type.

      I need to mention that we could use the Officer’s Club if we wore civilian clothing, rather than our uniforms, because we were enlisted, not commissioned.  Of course it didn’t hurt that we were all Admin personnel, because no smart officer would purposely antagonize Admin or Finance. 

      I know of one arrogant little captain who antagonized both groups, and for mysterious reasons went to his next post (stateside) A.W.O.L. and unpaid!  His baggage went somewhere else entirely.  I bet he didn’t make those mistakes again!  The last time I saw him, he was red-faced, and screaming imprecations at a beaming Spec. 4 in the Admin hut.  The incident made our day!  I remember him often, especially when the term “elitist” is used.

      Back to the Officer’s Club…we were talking with Miss Lee one night, when she pointed out a gentleman eating at another table.  She said that the man was an army chaplain.  He was in civilian clothing, and we wondered how she knew he was a chaplain.  One of us asked her how she knew, and she answered, with disgust in her voice, “Because he counts his shrimp.”

      I don’t recall ever having a religious discussion with Miss Lee, and that one-liner was the only time I ever heard her make a religious statement – because it was very obvious she was making a religious statement.   

      I’ve never met a perfect person, or a perfect Christian, and there was undoubtedly more to this story than Miss Lee divulged, but the lesson stands alone:

      If you’re a shrimp-counting Christian, you have no idea what you look like to the rest of the world – and the World is watching!

      Just so you know…..



    Comment (1)

    Fri, Nov 13th - 10:46AM

    Too Much Learning?

      My wife and I were having a conversation this morning concerning a mutual acquaintance, and she astutely stated, “He may know an awful lot, but he can't translate what he knows into real life.”  Her assessment reminded me of all the people we know of whom it is said, “They’re smart, but they just have no common sense.”  I’m sure you too, know people like that.

      One of the big hurdles of the Christian life is learning how to take the information in the Bible and move it from our heads to our hearts.  If we can't learn how to get the scriptures into our hearts, God’s Word lodges somewhere in our heads, only to be replaced with more immediate thoughts as our days progress.  Then, on Sunday (or Saturday night) we head back to our churches for another “fix”. 

      I’m not against education, quite the contrary, and I admit to a certain amount of envy when I listen to highly trained and educated pastors – wish I knew all that stuff – but I feel deeply sorry for those who have too much learning at the expense of knowledge. 

      Unfortunately, I think it’s all too common in our times for us to place learning and research over knowledge and living.  It must be very frustrating for the doctors of divinity when they have to spend their lives dealing with dummies like me, because I have no need of their insights unless they are coupled with real life applications.  I listen better when I know they have actually experienced the lessons themselves.

      The questions I struggle with always seem to work that way; thanks for the information, but how do I make that work in my daily life?  And I find that just learning more information doesn’t necessarily help.

      I remember a conversation I had with a man many years ago.  Although an avid researcher of world religions, he just couldn’t dump them and commit to Christianity.  During our conversation he ran circles around me with all his facts about other religions.  He really enjoyed trouncing me with all his learning.  His head was securely hidden in a cloud of pride.  I told him there was no need to keep searching after finding the thing searched for.  He reminded me of the scripture in 2 Timothy 3:7, where it says, ‘...always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.’  Talking to him was like running my head into a solid wall!  He was only able to commit to searching.  He was unable to find what he needed.

      One of the meanings of the root word for ‘knowledge’ in 2 Timothy 3:7 is “to be thoroughly acquainted with”, and in my mind would border on the intimate.  The verse denotes people that prioritize ‘learning’ more than ‘knowledge’, and reminds me again that anything, taken to excess, is wrong. 

      For instance, being an expert debater turns poisonous when used only as a mental technique, because it places the technique over the object of the debate.  The Apostle Paul was a great debater, no doubt trained in the exercise, but he used the technique as a means to an end, not the end itself.  In this he was at fundamental odds with the scholars of his day.  Logic, without truth, is the food of fools.

      I’m not a debater, and I’m probably an easy/fun target for those who are – but I know (intimately) the One I trust and serve.  They may win the debate with their so-called education, but I’ll settle for knowing the One they can only learn about.  I may have missed divinity school, but He enrolls me in His classes, and I learn the lessons through living them.

      So keep learning, but don’t stop there.  Let learning drive you into knowledge, and knowledge into Him.  We will never reach the end of Him.  There’s always more.




    Comment (0)

    Mon, Nov 9th - 2:32PM

    In Sight - Out of Mind


      One of the things I do best is NOT see stuff; stuff like dirty bathrooms, dirt on rugs, various and sundry litter around the house – according to my wife, who sees all things.  I can't remember a time when I realized the sheets needed changing, besides, how can sheets ever have “needs”?

      The garage is my domain, and my wife generally stays out of it or silent about it, so it came as a shock to me the other day when I finally got fed up about walking around something in the middle of the garage.  I got so fed up with it that I moved it out of the way – then went on to clean up the garage (a little), not that anyone else noticed!

      But here’s the way things like the garage incident happen to me, and they happen to all of us…we get so used to seeing things wherever they are – things in plain sight, that we stop seeing them at all.  I think I could park an elephant in a big room, and stop seeing it after awhile!  We seem to all come equipped with a mental mechanism that erases things we get used to seeing in our lives.  And presto – problem over!

      Fear is like that.  People are fearful (i.e.: full of fear), and in these times we are getting worse, not better.  Fear is a real epidemic, but we fail to see it for what it is.  Even the way we use our English language reflects our pervasive fear.  How many times do we give a negative answer by saying something like, “I’m afraid not”, or words to that effect?  We all do it without thinking – we are all afraid.

      We are also being trained to fear, more all the time, and in many different arenas.  Our children don’t need their parents to be their “buddies” – they need parents who will lead and guide.  They’ll get the right sort of buddies if they are led into right values by non-fearful parents.  Our schools need to be staffed by non-fearful professionals who view their role as educators of future leaders, rather than government stand-ins for parents. 

      Our city governments desperately need non-fearful leaders who view themselves as servants working in the best interests of the majority of citizens, rather than an agenda driven, tax-based interest group.

      Our state and federal governments are presently working overtime by pumping out agenda based legislation that they say will stave off the fears they are working so hard for us to have – so they can legislate against it, and get more control over the lives of constituents. 

      And finally, we’ve come down to it – everything we see in the news is about CONTROL, and Fear is the handmaiden of the Controllers.

      Using Fear, our controllers are having a field day with a large civilian population who have ceased to see, much less deal with, their own fears.  We are turned to jelly over fears about swine flu (this is so stupid, it’s hard to even list), health care (healthy or not, we’re all going to die anyway), insurance (when is enough, enough?), and let’s not forget our fears of “not being cool” (Oh, that’s a mind-bender!) by how we dress or talk, or what we say we know (or who we know). 

      Like lemmings, we trudge towards the edge of the cliff of life, never questioning who is leading, and we are “trudging”, rather than running, because we are loaded down with burdens of Fear.  Unable to learn the Truth, we drag our feet as we trudge, hoping to buy time, so we can waste it in desperation and vanity.  We die like beasts because we can’t figure out how to live like men.

      Jesus Christ is Himself, the answer to this.  In Him, life is a gift extended to men from God – in Whom all real life exists.  Anything less is mere existence – a waste of time, space and oxygen.  And sadly, deep within ourselves in the dark places of our minds, we know this already, but we hide from it, and hide it from ourselves.

      So here’s some truth you can take to the bank – if you are not loyal to Jesus Christ (fully both God and Man) – you are simply taking up time, space and oxygen until you return to dust as a wasted life.  And no government health care plan, however intrusive, can change that one bit.

      A very large percentage of Americans are in the group I would describe as, “Forever investigating; never investing”.  Leave the past where it belongs and move toward the Light of life.  He didn’t die to make your life better; He died to give you a new life – His, and you’ll never be able to leave your fears behind without moving forward with Jesus.





    Comment (0)

    Sun, Nov 1st - 2:57PM


      I can truthfully say that I’ve never written anything for anybody, without including myself.  No brag, just fact, because none of us can escape being fully human, no matter what our egos tell us.  Adding to that a bit, I most usually see something in myself first, and it triggers thoughts about what everyone else experiences, which I always picture similar to my own.  I do hope that’s correct!

      I have noticed in my brain what I would term “disconnects”, and I would think they’re common to many others.  I read in 1 Corinthians 13:12(a), the well-known verse, ‘For now we see in a mirror, dimly,…’, and I acknowledge it as true – but I immediately fail to apply it to my heart, and instead it just lodges in the “Religious” section of my brain until I hear it again.  And when I hear it again, again I miss the impact of the statement and think instead, “Well, yes, I’m familiar with that verse….”

      I feel this verse is true 100% of the time, but I usually fail to apply it to ME.  But if the verse is true, should I ever be satisfied with seeing ‘dimly’ – I don’t think so.  I prefer to challenge my own religious comfort, and desire to become unsatisfied with my dim view, and that is not comfortable – like exercising…”No pain, no gain”.

      Thank God, Jesus Himself is the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation, and I can, and should ask for more.  But when I ask for more, He often directs my attention to areas of problems in me that need to be opened – so the wisdom He then gives actually is of benefit, and has a home in me.

      Right now, I feel just like I did the day I got lost in a wood-lot.  I never meant to get lost, and didn’t really feel I even could get lost – but I did.   I wouldn’t blame you for asking, “What did he mean by any of that?”  Really, I’m not naturally obtuse…

      My human natured brain automatically disconnects me from the reality of God’s Word – and I don’t even know it when it happens.  I not only see through a ‘glass dimly’, I probably spend most of my life living dimly, and the only way for me to break free is to ask Jesus to reveal my dimness to me, and for that, I have to ask myself the ugly questions I usually avoid.  There, that’s simple enough, isn't it?

      And with regard to the “real world”, I had no idea how dark it was until I reached out to the Light.  The entire limit of what I can do is to keep reaching, and never let myself settle for the status-quo.  And if I don’t limit the Light, He will take care of the rest…but I have to be honest with myself, and sometimes it hurts.

      So ask yourself the hard questions – feel the pain as it cuts into your own darkness, and let Him unpack those areas in yourself that we all have – and need healed.

      He allows bumps in our roads so we won’t be comfortable enough to go to sleep.  Isn’t He good?!



    Comment (1)

    Sun, Nov 1st - 9:34AM

    Hope or Faith?

      Let’s be very honest today.  We don’t have to admit anything to anyone else, but let’s be scary-honest with ourselves.  Agreed?

      Let’s ask ourselves some uncomfortable questions:

    • When we pray, do we pray in hope, or in faith?  (There is no “both” answer allowed)
    • Are we supposed to pray in hope or faith?  (ditto)
    • Where in the Bible does it say ‘Without hope it is impossible to please Him’?
    • On a scale of 1 – 10, where would I place my personal level of unbelief?
    • Did Jesus, our eternal example, pray in hope or faith?  (What did He say as He began His prayer outside of Lazarus’ tomb?)

      I think that’s good enough for openers, don’t you?  If we are really honest with ourselves, we answered the first question, “Hope”, didn’t we?  My main point with this essay is to point up that hope without faith – Hope that isn't first created from Faith, is Unbelief.  Isn't that a nasty little secret?

      One of the things I do periodically is to lead corporate prayer during our church worship service.  Having been involved in this activity several times in the last few months, on a rotating basis, I find myself grappling with the issue(s) raised by my questions above.  This morning, facing another bout of prayer leadership in about 45 minutes, I feel trapped, guilty, critical, potentially rejected by my peers as a complainer and yes, angry.  All these emotions are flowing through me like hot, mixed oil, and I’m trying to find a path through to the other side – and do it all in 45 minutes!  Frankly, I don’t have a lot of Hope I’ll find the path this morning, and here’s some of the reasons why:

      I believe prayer is vital – I can't stress this enough, but I also believe we usually say it’s vital while secretly, perhaps even unbeknownst to ourselves, find it an odious burden we don’t really like or understand.  Lip service to the importance of prayer runs rampant through most congregations, and ultimately will be a stunning indictment of that body.  Let’s face it – do we understand what prayer is, how important it is to God and us, how to do it, and very importantly – how NOT to do it?  I have to admit, I’ve usually seen nothing to indicate a “Yes” answer to any of those questions.  What I have seen is: HOPE. 

      I know this is coming across as harsh, but then, so is pain when it tells us something’s wrong.  When we pray for a sick brother to be healed from a deadly disease, how much Hope will cause God to answer the prayer, when a ‘grain of mustard seed’ Faith will move mountains, much less cast the burden of the disease off our brother?  He doesn’t need our Hope – he desperately needs our Faith.  And from God’s point of view, should He prioritize our Hope and heal our brother, or should He try to teach us a vivid lesson about praying in Faith, while He takes our brother home?  I don’t know, it’s always risky for me to ask a question about God’s point of view, but I don’t think He minds it when I do.

      So let’s get to the summary, because my 45 minutes is running out:  HOPE COMES FROM FAITHNOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND. 

      According to the Bible we say we believe – We are the ‘Body of Christ’.  That’s right – you and I are His body.  So when’s that gonna start?  Shouldn’t we be praying like He did – right now? 

      So where on earth is our FAITH?





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    About Me

    Name: John Miltenberger
    ChristiansUnite ID: jmilty
    Member Since: 2006-08-22
    Location: Estes Park, Colorado, United States
    Denomination: Born-again believer
    About Me: Retired from Overland Park, Kansas and now living in Estes Park, Colorado. Another escapee from the Midwest!! Email: jmilty@q.com

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