Sunday, February 26, 2012



My favorite song this week is titled “Shelter”, which is by one of my all time favorite bands Jars of Clay.  It wasn’t until last night while texting Melissa before I relaxed my eyes for the night that I realized how much I miss Christian fellowship.  Right after my desire to be at the side of my wife, I would say I miss Christian brother and sister fellowship the most!  I have done a good bit of reading of the Word and prayer on my own while deployed.  However, I recently realized this huge void in my life of fellowship and growth in Christ with others.  It’s not to say there are no guys out here in our little camp that believe in Christ, but either I failed to start deep conversations, or perhaps it was a lack of interest from others not to ask more questions when I have spoke up about my faith.  There is truly something special in a church family of heart full believers, and I can’t wait to get back involved.

If you listen to some of the words to this song it amplifies the importance of having fellowship.  “We will never walk alone…In the shelter of each other, we will live, we will live.”  I now truly understand the importance and truth to the words of this song.  Even though I am on the other side of the world I know I have family and friends that are continually praying for me and Melissa as we have this time apart.  We have done fine, and we are both amazed of how endurable it has been considering the circumstances of our distance!  What can’t be done is face to face fellowship, and worship of the love of Christ with other men and women.  Church truly is a great idea!

To add into my emptiness (if that is possible, literally speaking), I currently live and work in a Muslim country.  On top of that, I am a member of the armed forces, so I am not allowed to talk about my faith to citizens of the deployed country.  So that counts out any chance of sharing my faith with others we see working in the dining facility or in the airfield area.  Furthermore, five times a day Kuwait has Muslim prayer time.  The standard prayer is played in all areas on loud speakers, and on every radio station.  For Muslims the world should stop at prayer time, and it’s known as one of the moments throughout the day for the scripted prayer to Allah.  This is one approach to their works righteous belief system, but for some reason it’s frustrating to me.  More than once I awoke at 5am to hear the Arabic prayer being played on a stationary loud speaker in the area.  I have also heard the prayer outside of the dining facility during the predetermined time of day.  If you’re lucky, while driving a truck or van, you can seize the right moment to the Muslim prayer on all radio stations.  It’s frustrating because the people of Kuwait get their time (even though it is programmed) to express their religion with others because they are home.  I am not home, and I don’t really have the option here unless it’s me, myself, and I.  Yes, there is a “Chapel” and Chaplains at the nearby air base, which is about a 45 minute drive, but our schedule does not favor that commute.  At times I feel like I walk alone with Christ in our little world of the construction project in Kuwait.  The guys here are my family unit for now, but I sure do miss my brothers and sisters in Christ physically at my side to read, study, pray, and fellowship.

Enjoy the song; it’s what I have enjoyed all week.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Pumped up Kids


My favorite song this week may seem a bit odd, but just give it a try because it is so catchy!  I apologize now if it’s one of those songs you can’t get out of your head for a week or so.  Pull some time aside and listen to “Pumped Up Kicks” by the band Foster The People.  I really took a liking to this song while riding in our sweeper truck toward the end of one of our long work days this week.  The time of day and location was a perfect mix for this song on the radio.  It was already dark outside which followed some of the gloomy lyrics, and the lights on the airfield taxiway and parking apron were bright and colorful to go along with the instrumental beats.  I and another guy were just cruising along in the truck at a rapid 3 mph sweeping up any mess we may have made throughout the day.  As we cruised we were jamming to this song, just about blowing the speakers out of the government vehicle!  It was a nice end to a long day in the cool strong desert wind to say the least.

The song talks about a kid who finds a six shooter gun, who basically has it in mind he wants to shoot the gun at some people :(  It’s not known if he wants to shoot in retaliation and anger toward one person, or possibly a group of kids that are giving him a hard time.  The chorus goes, “All the other kids with the pumped up kicks, you better run, better run, out run my gun…faster than my bullet.”  Yes, very crazy and dark I know.  I feel guilty for liking this song, but then again, when haven’t each of us wanted to retaliate against someone for something they have said or done to us?  Some people obviously have a higher form of revenge than others, but the ideas in our heads are the same right?  Basically some person hurt me, so I want to hurt them more!  I have not been struggling with this myself lately, but I know there are a few guys deployed with us that are feeling some of these frustrations towards other guys, but not to the six shooter level!  

Morale of the story, before you go “Punisher” dark superhero on people for revenge and instant self gratification remember what Jesus taught about forgiveness.  We are not so perfect ourselves, so don’t be too hard on those that have wronged against you.  Who knows, one day you may even be the person who better be running with the Reebok pump shoes on!  Try to forgive, and realize the act of forgiveness does not come instantly all the time, but is more of a process in your heart.  Recall Matthew 6:14-15, “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”  How great is it that if we forgive others that sin against us, then we too will be forgiven by our Heavenly Father of our continued sins!

Enjoy the song, it’s what I have enjoyed all week.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow


Yes, it has been over two weeks since I have put together a post, but who is counting?  It’s not like I’m counting down weeks until I get to go home or anything like that!  January has been fairly uneventful, other than the breakthrough of getting WiFi connection in our tents.  Weather has been a little chilly, just above freezing temps when the sun is hiding, but lately we have been in the high 60s during the work day.  I don’t have much news to report on the project, but we are almost complete with section six of seven, yay.  It will be nice to have this project finished so we can think more about how to palletize all the equipment to send out of here.  But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves, ha.

This week’s favorite song comes from one of my favorite movies, O Brother, Where Art Thou?  You have probably heard it once or twice before performed by the infamous Soggy Bottom Boys, a song titled “I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow.”  I like the song this week mainly based on the title; lately I have been feeling a little sorrow everyday as I continually miss home and my second half, Melissa!  However, as sorrowful I may feel the upbeat guitar and twang country voices automatically puts a smile on my face.  The routine out here in our camp is getting old to say the least.  Mainly the living conditions with 30 plus, some quite messy, guys.  And since I am not yet a Staff Sergeant, I and twelve other “airman” have had the extravagance of cleaning our bathroom every day since mid December, with April being the end in sight.  Joy.  The dining facility has pretty good food, but I am simply burnt out of eating the food here three times a day.  Thanks again for all that have sent snack food; it has really helped break up the tastes out here!  My time at the gym, watching movies, and TV shows has increased this month.  The effect has been a decrease in my time relaxing with music and reading.  I have been enjoying a book from Jama, titled the Resolution for Men, and I plan on reading through it again at home so I can put some of the wisdom into use :)  The author speaks a lot about how men need to lead a spiritual life within their families, and the importance of inspiring faith in their children.  Again, I dream of my wife and our families…sigh.  I can’t wait to be home.  Until that day I take comfort in a verse Melissa gave me to hold onto while I am away.  Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  I may be a man of sorrow, but at least I’m not a man of CONSTANT sorrow, ha.  Praise God for instilling courage and faith into our hearts wherever we go!