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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

    Tue, Sep 26th - 5:29PM

    Emotional Appeal Emails



       I really think I need to object to the Emotional Appeal emails I get….

     

      It seems that every day I get email from some source trying to illicit an emotional response from me concerning terrorism.  Today, I received an email that purported to be a Budweiser commercial that only got aired once, concerning the 9-11 tragedy we are so familiar with.  At least I was warned in the rider that I might shed a tear…I guess that was the last straw for me.  You see, I continually get email concerning Patriotism and America’s Military Might, along with the emails that tell me how bad Islam is as a religion.   Why just last week I received a graphic video showing the vivid end of a terrorist struck by numerous sniper bullets – in slow motion!  Now, he was supposed to be trying to fire a weapon at our troops, but while watching his head split apart, I found myself wondering what emotional response I should have.  Should I be happy?   Should I cheer?   One down - how many more to go?

      I believe this country (USA) is thoroughly inundated with enough fuzzy thinking to go around already, without gaining more of it through email.  Fuzzy thinking, by my own definition, is not really thinking at all – just a mindless response that seems to be the flavor de jour.  We seem to have lost not only the ability, but the will to analyze and prioritize with our own brains the stimuli we are entertained with daily.   Come on, be honest with yourself, how long has it been since the nightly news merely gave  you the facts of the story and let  you analyze it? 

      In this country we are told what to think and how to think it.  Our ability to analyze always is second place to the professionals who tell us how and what to think. 

      And then along comes email to muddy up our thoughts.  Well add this up – how many times have you watched the planes crash into the World Trade Center buildings?  Why do you have to see it more than once?  Could it possibly be that way so you will be kept “in line”?  After all, you are paying for so much, in so many places, I bet you don’t even know what you’re funding.  It’s so much easier to not bother with the details.  

      Now, let’s put this into a certain perspective and see if things look differently…let’s try to view the details of everyday life from God’s perspective.  And even more radically, let’s try to do this all the time, not just on Sunday morning.  Let’s look at everything from an Eternal viewpoint.     

      When I try this, almost everything turns inside out.  So what’s wrong with this approach?  Don’t many of us go to churches all across the USA and readily give our ascent to this viewpoint on Sunday mornings?   Why would it be so radical to see things from this perspective during the rest of the week?   Can this be Lived?

      I need to be very clear on this:  I DO NOT SUPPORT TERRORISM.  And if terrorists target us or our country, and declare war on us, they need to be dealt with.  Period.  But I do not need  constant goading by militant non-participants, or their emotional emails to keep my nose to the project.

      I refuse to harbor unforgiveness towards Islamics or their way of life, regardless of the proliferation of the “We Will Never Forget” bumper stickers.   I view terrorists like poisonous vipers – we really do need to defend ourselves.  And we should resist terrorism until that happens – but I don’t feel hateful towards them.  If I did, they would have succeeded in causing me to be just like them, motivated by hate and unforgiveness (and revenge).  

      So let’s move on.  Let’s do our own thinking for a change.   Let’s do the job at hand, but without the cheers or gloating.  After all, we are talking about destroying other human beings – humans like us.  Wouldn’t or couldn’t we be in their place if we had just been born into a different society?  

      Inflammatory emails won't win the war we are fighting.  Near as I can see, they mainly serve to distract my mind onto the mainline world-view, and I believe this is at polar opposites to the Mind of Christ I should be using, every day.  As someone once asked, "What would Jesus do?"  Somehow, I can't see Him gloating over a graphic video like I received via email.....ever. 

     

      Can you? 

     

    John

     



    Comment (2)

    Tue, Sep 26th - 4:56PM

    Label Makers



      Today I want to discuss the label makers.  Not really sure where this is going, but I think something needs to be said. 

      Remember the old Gary Larsen cartoon featuring the two talking dogs?  One dog said to the other, “You better sit down.  Here comes Old Cold Nose."

      I vividly remember feeling like I was living that cartoon when I used to run a book table at Christian functions in St. Louis, years ago.  I was working for a man who owned a Christian book store and a Christian publishing firm in St. Louis County (Missouri).  The store was merely a front for his street ministry, and it could get pretty exciting.  That’s when I observed  first-hand, many of the events in the book of Acts.  Which brings me back to the cold nose experience at the book table.

      In those days, since I wore no label and actually tried to avoid classification, folks would come up to the table and begin a conversation.  The purpose of this conversation was actually an inquiry into what I personally believed.  Bear in mind that my only function was to sell Christian books, not push my beliefs.  If the inquirer discovered I shared like doctrines, we had a conversation – if not, a debate was almost always attempted in an effort to make me “see the light”.   In short, if I let someone learn enough about me to affix a label, they wouldn’t have to face the fact that they might learn something new, and they could do their Christian duty in trying to “fix” me.  Well, really….

      This cold-nosing got so odious to me, I finally dreaded running the book tables.   Someone once told me there would be no Catholics in heaven…or Presbyterians, or Baptists, etc.  They said the Bible only refers to ONE church.  I checked, and that is correct. 

      If the labels won't matter in heaven, can't we cut down on their importance here?   I was able to learn this:  if we have truly invited Jesus Christ into our lives as Lord, and if we know Him as God, why on this earth, should I try to self-righteously affix a label on another believer that has no meaning in the next?

     

     

    John

     



    Comment (0)

    Wed, Sep 6th - 2:00PM

    Who Are You? Really?



       Several years ago my wife and I watched the movie, Passion of Christ, and we were stunned into silence during and afterwards.  Arriving home, my wife asked me what I was thinking, I guess because I hadn’t spoken since the theater and was sitting on the edge of the bed with a shocked look on my face.  My answer surprised me: “Why on earth would He do that for me”?  You see, I thought I knew myself pretty well, and I just couldn’t imagine anyone loving me enough to consider that kind of suffering worthwhile.   

      Several days ago I reconsidered my answer to my wife’s question, and I think I actually made some progress towards understanding my answer.  You see, I’ve always had a mental image of myself that I’ve believed and carried around in my head since childhood.  That image has always established my parameters, as a human.  I feel I know what I’m able to do and not able to do, based on that image.  It contains a list of skills I have, and a much longer one with the skills I don’t have.  

      For instance, my dad was a whiz in math.  He could solve problems in his head that other folks would find a challenge on paper.  And he’d do the math in a flash.  When I got to grade school I had big problems with math, and I honestly felt I had no aptitude for it.  By the time I was in high school I had proven myself totally inept in any kind of math – with the strange exception of geometry.  I loved geometry, and was really good at it, but I never understood why.  Any kind of memorization and foreign languages totally threw me.

      In short, I had severely limited myself by believing I couldn’t succeed in some areas.  I was truly afraid to venture outside my comfort zone because of my perceived limited aptitudes.

      Now my parents never, ever conveyed to me a lack of love.  I was not abused in any way, and even because of this I was more than ever convinced that my shortcomings were just inherent weaknesses on my part.  My self image (sorry for the modern terminology) has always been short on skills and long on shortcomings.

      So just the other day it occurred to me that all my life I might have been believing a lie.  Radical thought!  I began to wonder if Jesus saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself – not the me I’d always known, but the true me that He created for good works; the me worth dying for.  And then another thought – who am I, really?

      You know, it never made much of an impact on me (another perceived shortcoming) that Jesus loved me, because the me I knew was pretty unlovable.  It’s really impossible to believe God loves me if I really don’t see how that could happen.  I’m told that our faith enters the picture here, and we’re just to accept His love as a fact, but it’s been impossible for me to bridge the gap between the unlovable me I know to the invisible God who says He loves me.  One of us must be mistaken.  If I’m mistaken, I have to face another shortcoming in me, if God’s mistaken…well, that couldn’t be true, could it?  So now what?

      Well here I am, age 60, trying to discover who it is that He saw/sees in me.  Who is that person?  I suspect that there is a little person deep inside of me that is beginning to struggle for freedom.   

      I have no ability to force that person up and out of his hiding place, but like all spiritual endeavors, there is my part and God’s part in the process.  I get into trouble because I can’t make it happen, no matter how hard I try (all I do then is fail), and I am unable to do God’s part.  

      So here’s my thinking today – I can only exercise my free will and continually express to God my willingness to undergo his “surgery”.  Only He can bring forth the person He died for, and only I can allow Him to do it.  But it’s not for the timid!

     

      How about you?  Who are you, really?  Do you even know?  Would you like to know?  Here’s my challenge to myself first, and also you:  let’s dare to think outside the box – the box we’ve constructed all our lives, and the lies that live within it.  Let’s discover the complete, worth-dying-for persons we always have been.  Let the little, stunted person He died for, come out.



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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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