A Change In Perspective

On a recent range trip I finished what I wanted to accomplish pretty quickly and so I was just basically hanging out with a buddy. It was a good time and I got to shoot some cool guns I haven’t shot before including a Smith & Wesson target .22 from between the wars, a 1980’s era Colt 1911 and a surplus Beretta 92FS. I was also helping him dial in the red dot he had mounted on his new .44 Magnum Ruger. As I was hanging out I noticed a number of folks that needed a little assistance.

Some folks were obviously struggling with making accurate hits that some simple advice on stance, grip or technique could addressed.  Others were struggling with manipulating their firearms and could could also have benefited from a few helpful hints. Still others were having issues with their weapons; some that could have been fixed easily on the spot with something I had on hand and others for whom a recommendation on a good, honest gunsmith would have been a big help.

I see this all the time and in the past I would have been helping any of them who were willing to accept it. This time I was in no hurry to help and thinking back on it, I haven’t been overly eager to assist others at the range for a quite a while now.

I pondered this for a bit and I realized something that really disturbed me. I was subconsciously categorizing those around me at the range. Not as 1911 people or revolver people like I have all along. No, I was categorizing them as friend, foe or undetermined. To say it another way, I was weighing which would be most likely to be shooting at me or alongside of me when things turn ugly (uglier).

As the US heads further down the slope towards a violent split between the Left and Right I have already started thinking in terms of friend or foe. On the drive home I also realized I have started thinking of my neighbors in the same way. I have started to think of those who had Beto signs in their front yard as a possible source of risk to me and my family.

I doubt that many of them would attack me directly but I suspect (hopefully incorrectly) that they would be more than happy to point out the local conservatives to those might be willing to do so. I don’t know if this is founded in reality or in the propaganda spewed by partisan news media. Regardless, the fact that I have started looking at people this way is disturbing. I talked this over with a few folks and, apparently, I am not the only one thinking this way.

One buddy strongly suggested ignoring the feeling and remaining open to assist those anyone at the range. In his mind even if this was an Antifa soldier in training it would show him the better side of conservatives and gun people. I get that. I really do but I can’t help wondering how many Germans knew a Jew who had been kindly and helpful but turned on them anyway. I am sure there were some Hutus in Rwanda with positive experiences dealing with Tutsis but that didn’t stop the slaughter. I read an article by a survivor of the siege of Sarajevo who was close to people on both sides of the conflict but within days of the first minor skirmishes his friends had turned on him and he was on his own.

It is a scary time we live in and and increasingly tough time to love your neighbor as yourself…

God, I pray You would help heal the divisiveness in our nation. Help us to overcome our differences and join together as one nation, one people, under God.

Take care and God bless.

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Fake Christianity (#003)

Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.

Acts 20:30

As I have stated before, it is critical for everyone who counts themselves as a Christian to know and study the Bible. I came across another example of why this is so critical last week. A leftist pundit, Cenk Uygur, said American Christians were being lied to and misled by political leaders (big surprise there) and their clergy.

“You’re wrong about your Bible. You’ve been misled, you’ve been lied to. Your religious and political leaders have kept you in ignorance. The Bible is actually pro-abortion; that’s a fact.

To justify this statement he draws from The Old testament book of Numbers:

Citing a New International Version translation of the verses, Uygur said, “‘The priest shall bring her and have her stand before the Lord. Then he shall take some holy water in a clay jar and put some dust from the tabernacle floor into the water. … If you have gone astray while married to your husband and you have made yourself impure by having sexual relations with a man other than your husband’ — here, the priest is to put the woman under this curse — ‘may the Lord cause you to become a curse among your people when he makes your womb miscarry and your abdomen swell. May this water that brings a curse enter your body so that your abdomen swells or your womb miscarries.’”

On face value and presented out of context, some might see this as supporting his position. The first section of this book details commandments from God on how the Israelites should count their numbers, they way they should travel through the desert (their order of march)and even how their camps should be arranged during their travels. The first section also contains several several commands to ensure the purity of the people of Israel in their camps. These rules helped prevent the spread of disease and conflict.

In fact, the section this person refers to is called by some as “the ordeal of the bitter water” or “the ordeal of jealousy.” To prevent jealousy from creating strife in an environment as dynamic and disorderly as a nation of people migrating through the desert God decreed a way to resolve such issues quickly and thoroughly. If a man suspected his wife from cheating on him he could bring her to the priests and, once the appropriate rituals were completed, the wife would take an oath that she was not guilty. If she lied the curse would automatically fall on her and she would suffer the physical impacts of the curse; her abdomen would swell and she would lose the ability to have children.

The more literal translations of this ancient test say it this way:

…her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot…

The bottom line is that this is not a “pro-abortion” statement in the Bible. In fact, Exodus 21 gives the same penalty for someone who causes the death or injury of an unborn child as for someone who causes death or injury for anyone else

But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

Unless God considered an unborn child the same as one outside the womb why would the laws for injuring one be the same?

It is fairly easy it is to take something out of context and twist it. Those who do so are promised justice in the end and I believe they will receive it but we owe it to ourselves to have enough knowledge about our faith to know when our adversaries attempt to distort the truth for evil. How else can we, as  Paul said, “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist” unless we know what that truth is?

Take care and God bless.

 

P.S.

Paul, I know I still owe some answers to your questions. I will get there…

My Christmas Tree

The Bikes and Bullets Tree

I used to call this my Harley tree but as time has gone by it has changed. I now call it the Bikes and Bullets Tree and it is up and decorated ( a few days later than I had hoped or planned).

About 15 years ago a coworker gave me the first ornament that put the idea for this tree in motion. He was an awesome individual and a good Christian who knew how badly I wanted a bike. He even knew which bike I wanted because he had heard me mention it on several occasions. He also knew that money was very short and I couldn’t afford any bike much less the Harley I wanted. So, for Christmas that year he went out and found an ornament of the bike of my dreams and bought it for me. He has since passed away but the tradition he inadvertently started remains to this day.

We even carried on the tradition last year, after the flood. This was the only Christmas tree we could put up. The downstairs was still under construction and the upstairs was little more than a storage unit with just enough space for Wonderful Wife and I to work, eat dinner, watch TV, and sleep. So this tree was the entirety of our Christmas decorating last year.

I even managed to add a new ornament last year and that was the ornament that overwhelmed the little tree. With the new addition the ornaments were too heavy for the tree and it fell several times. In the chaos that was our home at the time the only thing we could find that was heavy enough and small enough to weigh it down and prevent it from toppling were some bullets I had sitting on my reloading bench. That is now part of the tradition as well and why the tree is now the Bikes and Bullets Tree. It symbolizes a lot about our lives over the last few years.

When I started this tree we were in debt up to our eyeballs. We couldn’t afford a motorcycle. Heck, we would have had a hard time affording the ornament I was given. We had dreams of a better financial situation and we knew we needed to dig ourselves out of debt to make those dreams a reality. With determination, hard work and God’s blessing we made those dreams come true.

Last year the flood waters came and nearly wiped us out but we were strong. We faced our struggles and with the faith, hard work, some ingenuity and more of God’s blessings and we overcame those challenges too.

We are determined and can make our dreams come true (God willing) and we are strong and can overcome what the world throws at us (with God in our side). This is what the Bikes and Bullets Tree has come to symbolize to me.

Merry Christmas God bless.

Thanksgiving…

The turkey is in the oven and the dressing is on the stove. The house is quiet (for a little while) and I have a few minutes to reflect on all I have to be thankful for; God’s love for me, Jesus’ sacrifice to pay for my sins, a nation that is still, by comparison, a safe a prosperous place to live, an amazingly wonderful wife, kids I couldn’t be more proud of, and grandkids that bring renewed light and laughter to my world, a parent and grandparents who raised me, loved me and did their best to teach me well. We, as a nation are truly blessed and I, as an individual, am even more so.

Dear Lord, thank you.

Happy Thanksgiving and God Bless.

I Don’t Think That Means What You Think That Means…

I received an email this morning from Ruger advertising a discrete carry backpack. The price was a good bit less than some of the others I am currently thinking about so I clicked the link.

What is discrete about a backpack with a Ruger logo right there on the back for everyone to see?

Either Ruger doesn’t understand the word discrete or their idea of discrete is a whole lot different than mine…

Take care and God bless.