Friday, July 24, 2009

Journal July 19, 2009

Shank July 19, 2009

July 19 – Woke up to find a hint of rain on the ground – just enough to stir up the dust. Hurried to the MWR call center and rang Lora. She was in the soaking tub at 2130 EST – good for her! I’m glad we got that set-up and going before I left. She’s really enjoying it. We talked a good deal about lots of things over the course of her day/my evening/morning: getting healthy, family, dogs, trailer repair, coming home, my work, finances, Bible, movies, books, setting up our own blog. We will use Google Documents to collaborate and write ‘all about Lora’. J

Excerpt from chapter 1 of The Purpose Driven Life: It All Starts with God –
“Contrary to what many popular books, movies and seminars tell you, you won’t discover your life’s meaning by looking within yourself. You’ve probably tried that already. You didn’t create yourself, so there is no way you can tell yourself what you were created for! If I handed you an invention you had never seen before, you wouldn’t know its purpose, and then invention wouldn’t be able to tell you. Only the creator or the owner’s manual could reveal its purpose.” So, that’s actually quite liberating when I think about it: I don’t have to figure out what my life purpose is or go through life perplexed about what I am really supposed to be doing. My owner’s manual, the Bible, lays out specifically what God, My creator made me for. I am His invention with the capacity to discern through His word and Holy Spirit, exactly what I should be doing with my life. Anything short of that can only result in dissatisfaction or malfunction. When I think in terms of machines and inventions that were created for specific purposes, I realize they can only work best when used according to that specific purpose. An invention that does not live up to its potential and according to its purpose eventually gets discarded.

Started the private blog with Lora, today: Lora and Jeff, Sitting in a Tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G

Chapel Service: Romans 8:18-25 and Genesis 3:17-19, Psalm 91:15
God works in us through hardship. Paul points out the disparity between hardship on Earth and the glory of Heaven. The ground and all around us is cursed because of sin. God uses hardship to get our attention to remind us of Him and His provision. God will be with us in times of trouble. Revelation of the day: Being with Lora is the closest thing to Heaven I will experience on Earth.

Had lunch with Chaplain Brent Sanders of Dallas, TX. Good guy. Young. Just a first lieutenant. He flies around to the ‘outposts’ or COPs and ministers to the troops, mainly through one-on-one counseling. We talked about our reasons for being here: as individuals and as a country. I gave my opinion. I disagreed that we came over here without a clear endpoint in mind. Now that we are here, we can’t just leave, at least in Afghanistan. We/the world has so much work to do here. Part of that work is building schools and educating the people. (The Taliban forbade all girls to go to school during their ten year reign.) The coalition also must essentially go village to village winning the people to ‘our’ agenda for them. Mind you, we come in peace and we come to help (infrastructure, security, freedom, democracy, apple pie.) But that message is best delivered person to person. They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

Daughters, I love you. I am hoping that you get something from my written words, kinda the way we Christians get something from our Heavenly Father’s words in the Bible. Because I have you, my children, I understand more about the relationship God wants with each of us.

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