What Will You Leave Behind?

What will you leave behind along your journey?

What will you leave behind along your journey?

Stages in Israel’s (Your) Journey       Numbers 33: 1- 55

1Here are the stages in the journey of the Israelites when they came out of Egypt by divisions under the leadership of Moses and Aaron. 2At the Lord’s command Moses recorded the stages in their journey. This is their journey by stages:

3The Israelites set out from Rameses on the fifteenth day of the first month, the day after the Passover. They marched out defiantly in full view of all the Egyptians, 4who were burying all their firstborn, whom the Lord had struck down among them; for the Lord had brought judgment on their gods.

5The Israelites left Rameses and camped at Sukkoth. 6They left Sukkoth and camped at Etham, on the edge of the desert. 7They left Etham, turned back to Pi Hahiroth, to the east of Baal Zephon, and camped near Migdol. 8They left Pi Hahirotha and passed through the sea into the desert, and when they had traveled for three days in the Desert of Etham, they camped at Marah. 9They left Marah and went to Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees, and they camped there. 10They left Elim and camped by the Red Sea.b 11They left the Red Sea and camped in the Desert of Sin. 12They left the Desert of Sin and camped at Dophkah. 13They left Dophkah and camped at Alush. 14They left Alush and camped at Rephidim, where there was no water for the people to drink. 15They left Rephidim and camped in the Desert of Sinai. …32 more verses cite places they’d left

50On the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho the Lord said to Moses, 51“Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you cross the Jordan into Canaan, 52drive out all the inhabitants of the land before you. Destroy all their carved images and their cast idols, and demolish all their high places. 53Take possession of the land and settle in it, for I have given you the land to possess. 54Distribute the land by lot, according to your clans. To a larger group give a larger inheritance, and to a smaller group a smaller one. Whatever falls to them by lot will be theirs. Distribute it according to your ancestral tribes.

55“ ‘But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land, those you allow to remain will become barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will give you trouble in the land where you will live. 56And then I will do to you what I plan to do to them.’ ”

  1. What have you left behind along the way during your journey with God?

 

 

  1. What did He give you as a reward for your obedience?

 

 

  1. What might still be giving you trouble?

 

 

  1. What’s the value of keeping a journal, as God had directed Moses to do?

 

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If they can do it to ______, they can do it to anybody

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Every Effort

2-peter-1_5-7

Pulverize my self-righteousness into true goodness.

Electrify blindness into beams of knowledge.

Cauterize my flaunting into steely self-control.

Liquefy resignation into fuel for perseverance.

Pressurize my worldly pursuits into gems of godliness.

Transform jealousies into streams of mutual affection.

Reorganize my fears into galaxies of love.

But first!

Strengthen the bedrock of my faith.

 

2 Peter 1:5-7

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.

 

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Prayer

A “squatter” who’d lived in my brother Eric’s basement for years, and left in Feb. is causing me concern.
Dear God, Please protect my brother, Eric, from Vince whose mind is ruled by Satan. Do not allow Vince (or anyone acting on his behalf) to contact my brother or me any more to continue to lie, steal, destroy. Please protect my brother and me from any and all emotional, physical or financial damage intended to be inflicted by Vince. Please do not allow Vince to come near Eric, Eric’s apartment, me, my house or anyone else to do harm. I also pray that Vince sees the Light NOW and becomes a new man. In Jesus’ name, I and my friends of Your church, pray and thank you.
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Conversion Story of Pilot who Led Attack on Pearl Harbor

“Wounded Tiger” A Nonfiction Novel

wounded-tiger“Wounded Tiger” is chiefly about Commander Mitsuo Fuchida, the pilot who led the attack on Pearl Harbor. This ambitious story opens on December 1941 in Tokyo, where Emperor Hirohito is described as falling weightless from a cliff’s edge, a metaphor for his decision to establish Japan’s dominance over the Pacific and East Asia.

Fuchida is well developed. We see this proud, talented military leader being challenged, disillusioned and transformed: “[H]e… observed the soot-covered poor carting off grotesque corpses, the veil of the elegant theories of war was torn away to reveal the hideous reality of a people enduring unimaginable suffering.”

T Martin Bennett excelled at finding the balance between conveying facts and demonstrating creativity. Authors writing in the hybrid category of nonfiction novel can flout some conventions of either or both genres. I would have appreciated meaningful footnotes or endnotes, an index and a bibliography to bolster nonfiction content. I would have liked a stronger spotlight on narrative arc to find this completely satisfying as a novel.

It’s evident that Bennett amassed a mountain of researched material, and the main story in this, his first novel, is overwhelmingly compelling enough to be an important movie on a par with “Letters from Iwo Jima.” For that to happen, ruthless editing and disciplined script writing is necessary, especially considering standard movie runtimes. (In fact, Bennett first wrote “Wounded Tiger” as a screenplay.)

Enough material exists in the more than 450 pages of the first edition of the nonfiction novel to be reshaped into several books. As it is, “Wounded Tiger” tries to be too much – biography, history, conversion story, saga, creative nonfiction, novel – in one package. For that reason, I believe “Wounded Tiger” would be of interest to WWII enthusiasts, and have limited crossover appeal.

At times, it seems as though Bennett threw in scenes not to move the plot forward, but rather to remind readers about some of the other characters’ existence. For example, he included short scenes occurring at the Andrus farm in Oregon, where the family of an Air Force pilot who participated in Doolittle’s raid and becomes a POW, copes with the agony of not knowing where he is or if he’s alive.

The half-page final chapter, set in 1950, is given to the young woman whose forgiving nature inspired Fuchida’s conversion to Christianity.

The second edition, according to one of Bennett’s websites, includes 276 photos – there are none in the first edition. The newer edition includes more maps – the rudimentary maps in the first edition add nothing to readers’ understanding of situations that isn’t adequately explained in the text. The second edition boasts 10,000 more words than the first edition. One hopes that typos littering the first edition were fixed before the second edition was published.

Overall, I liked the first edition and extend kudos to Bennett for his monumental achievement. Nevertheless, the book could have been better if it were shorter.

Wounded Tiger

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Liberal Tired of Her “Tribe”

The article comes from Secularist Liberal Tired of her “Tribe”

 

Amazing letter today from a reader. I’ve hidden a bit to protect her ideman-198961_640ntity:

I’m a secular/agnostic Californian and longtime reader of your blog. I’ve enjoyed your books beginning with Crunchy Cons, and have valued your insights over the years.

Though you don’t know me, I feel like I know you and your family. And I want to share with you, from the liberal bastion of Northern California, that I am officially tired of the type of people who have surrounded me my entire life. In the wake of Trump’s election, I am experiencing “tribe fatigue.” I’m not tired of The Other, Detestable Tribe. I’m tired of my own.

A bit about me: I am a [deleted] with two young children. My parents were non-religious Democrats, and my ex-Catholic mom loathes organized religion to this day.

So I was raised a secular liberal. My college professors were secular liberals. During my journalism phase, my newspaper colleagues were secular liberals. My law school professors and peers were – in the vast majority – secular liberals. Almost everyone at my corporate law firm was a secular liberal. My California neighbors and friends are secular liberals, as are my colleagues. My mother, siblings, and their spouses are all secular liberals.

By all rights, I should be a member in good standing of their tribe, “liking” their Facebook posts and joining their candlelight vigils against the evil Trump Administration. But November 8 and its aftermath revealed to me that I am just so tired of these people. I can’t be like them, and I don’t want my kids turning into them.

I am tired of their undisguised contempt for tens of millions of Americans, with no effort to temper their response to the election with humility or empathy.

I am tired of their unexamined snobbery and condescension.

I am tired of their name-calling and virtue-signaling as signs of supposedly high intelligence.

I am tired of their trendiness, jumping on every left-liberal bandwagon that comes along (transgender activism, anyone?) and then acting like anyone not on board is an idiot/hater.

I am tired of their shallowness. It’s hard to have a deep conversation with people who are obsessed with moving their kids’ pawns across the board (grades, sports, college, grad school, career) and, in their spare time, entertaining themselves and taking great vacations.

I am tired of their acceptance of vulgarity and sarcastic irreverence as the cultural ocean in which their kids swim. I like pop culture as much as the next person, but people who would never raise their kids on junk food seem to think nothing of letting then wallow in cultural junk, exposed to nothing ennobling, aspirational, or even earnest.

I am tired of watching them raise clueless kids (see above) who go off to college and within months are convinced they live in a rapey, racist patriarchy; “Make America Great Again” is hate speech; and Black Lives Matter agitators are their brothers-in-arms against White Privilege. If my kids are like that at nineteen, I’ll feel I’ve seriously failed them as a parent. Yet the general sentiment seems to be these are good, liberal kids who may have gotten a bit carried away.

I am tired of their lack of interest in any form of serious morality or self-betterment. These are decent, responsible people, many compassionate by temperament. Yet they seem two-dimensional, as if they believe that being a nice, well-socialized person who holds the correct political views is all there is, and there is nothing else to talk about. Isn’t there, though?

I am tired of being bored and exasperated by everybody. I feel like I have read this book a thousand times, and there are no surprises in it. Down with Trump! Trans Lives Matter! Climate deniers are destroying the planet! No cake, we’re gluten-free!

These are good people in a lot of ways. But there has got to be a better tribe.

That leads me to . . . drum roll . . . the Christian Right. It is no small feat, switching tribes. It feels stressful and weird to abandon your tribe for the Detested Other Side.

Since November 8, my husband and I have been taking the kids to church. (He is politically conservative with a religious bent, so no argument there.) I have come this close to buying a giant poster of the American flag for the living room. I may do it still.

Right now, I am struggling to accept the basic Christian doctrines (virgin birth, resurrection, second coming) because I feel the Christian tribe may be the right tribe for my family. We just finished watching a BBC miniseries about the birth of Jesus, which was so beautiful and moving compared to secular TV. My nine-year-old really enjoyed it. I want to prepare my kids to live according to some unchanging truth, not subject to every passing trend, and this felt like a start. But I worry that an inability to believe in the supernatural aspects of the faith will limit my ability to be a “real” Christian.

Last Sunday’s sermon mentioned 1 Peter:18-19, “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors.” This may be obvious to you, but secular liberalism does seem empty in some way, despite all the things my educated, middle-class tribe has to be grateful for. If that’s what’s been handed down to me, I want more, especially for my precious kids. I’m trying.

I plan to respond to this reader privately, but she said I could share this letter as long as I protected her identity. What a courageous person she is. God bless her on her journey.

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Mercy Killing Question

 

My friart-photo-pennys-cat-sleeping-perfectend’s kitty has cancer. Kitty is really sick. Friend has decided not to do chemo treatments or other serious measures.

Friend might have to decide whether or not to put kitty “to sleep.”

Euthanizing, aka mercy killing a fatally sick animal seems, well, merciful.

Euthanizing people is, according to many, including Christians, murder.

So, why does it seem OK to put animals to sleep, but not people?

Is it because we are stewards of animals and have dominion over them, plus animals don’t have spirits?

 

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