A New Purpose; A New Attitude; A New Direction

A change is coming to The OYL and I want to explain it to those of you who follow my blog.

Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.

—Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Yesterday, a Face Book friend of mine caused me to confront the message in Bonhoeffer’s words.  My friend announced he was leaving Face Book because all people do on there is complain, and complaining only serves to divide us and tear us apart rather than unite and build us up.  I understand his position, but I’m conflicted as to whether or not I can agree with his decision.  You see, there have been times when the things my friend posted on his Face Book page did help me.  Sometimes they caused me to examine the intentions behind my actions; other times, they gave me comfort and inspiration.  Now, i my friend helped me, how many more has he helped without ever knowing it?  This is what brought me face-to-face with Bonhoeffer’s warning.  I have realized that, if my friend leaves Face Book, the voices of unrest will still be causing division, but there will be one less voice to counter those voices of division and unrest.  In other words, if my friend leaves Face Book because he sees evil, then he will be silent in the face of evil.  I pray he changes his mind, but — if nothing else — my friend has caused me to make some changes in how I will act.  He has convinced me to stop adding my voice to the chorus of division, and he has changed my motivation for blogging. 

I have been struggling with my blogging for a while.  Like my Face Book friend, I had realized I was not doing the best I could to build up those who read my posts.  I have been harsh in some of the things I have said, and this is not who I want to be.  At the same time, I know how many people are reading this blog, and have heard from many who have told me my posts do help them understand what is happening in the world.  There was a time when this would have been enough to motivate me to keep blogging, but that time has long passed.  I am much more humble now than I was just a couple years ago.  I no longer think much of myself.  Now I worry about you, and I pray constantly that I do not lead you astray.  In fact, I have been so troubled by this concern that I had been considering whether or not I should just stop my blogging all together.  However, my Face Book friend changed my mind.  What’s more, I believe God used my friend to show me what it is He wants me to do with my blog pages (The OYL and The Road to Concord).

A few years ago, I finally surrendered to God’s will.  Since that time, He has been teaching me so much so fast that I can barely keep up with Him.  But He has also blessed me because, for the first time in my life, I understand why the Lord made me the way He has.  The norm in our society is to specialize in our field of work, but I never did this.  Instead, my interests took me into so many fields that my closest friend once told me I had:

“Learned so much about so little that I now know everything about nothing.”

My best friend said this to me when I was still in my twenties, but, back then, I was still too arrogant to understand what my friend was telling me.  Today, I look back and I see that I can understand and talk with some competency on cooking, needlepoint, sewing, politics, history, science, engineering, religion, philosophy, literature — even quantum mechanics,  astrophysics and string theory.  In short, my friend was right: I had become a modern Renaissance man. However, I had not seen the importance of who the Lord had made me — until I read my Face Book friend’s post.  Then it all came into focus, and the best way I can explain my revelation to you is by asking you to consider the character of Forest Gump.

Most of us would not think of Forest Gump as a ‘smart man,’ but he was wise.  I never understood the difference until after I surrendered to God’s will.  Now I understand that intelligence is just a tool, but wisdom is needed to use it properly and with skill.  Think of intelligence as a weapon.  Someone like Stephen Hawking may be so intelligent, we can think of his weapon as a machine gun.  But wisdom is our ability to aim that weapon.  In this case, Hawking has demonstrated that he cannot aim his machine gun, so he seldom hits his target.  On the other hand, Forset Gump had great wisdom, so even if his weapon was a BB gun, his ability to use that BB gun allows him to hit the head of a needle, and as we all know from that Christmas movie, you can put your eye out with a properly aimed BB.

Now, you may think I am rambling, but here is the point: the reason those who know them consider the men who founded this nation to have been wise is connected to their broad breadth of learning and understanding.  But it is also directly dependent on their willingness to surrender themselves to God’s will.  Those two things are what leads to wisdom, and without them, no one can be wise.  And this explains the lack of ‘wise men’ so many of us lament today.  We do not have men of the same caliber as our founders because we no longer study in such depth while seeking and surrendering to the will of God.  If we did, then there would be more of the leaders many of us now seek to help us keep ourselves on the proper track.

Well, for better or worse, God has shown me that I am one of those who now passes for ‘wise’ in our society.  Again, there was a time when I would have reveled in this idea, but no longer.  I have been fighting any admission of this because I know and accept that I am a poor substitute for those who I consider to have been truly wise.  However, I believe the Lord has been telling me to share what I have learned with those who will listen and leave the rest to Him and His Holy Spirit.  So that is what I am going to dedicate myself to doing.  From now on, I will strive to keep my voice out of the chorus of division, and focus on writing posts that educate and help explain the connections between Biblical Scriptures, history and Islam.  If you find value in my work from this point forward, please help me spread the word by telling your friends and family about my blog pages  (The OYL and The Road to Concord).  I would also ask you to please comment: ask questions.  I do best when I am in a give-and-take environment.  It allows me to know how well I have explained the material I have presented, and what I need to explain better.

From now on, I will be writing to serve those who seek the information I have to share, but I need you to tell me how I can best serve you.  On the other hand, if you disagree with my posts, then either post your objections in a respectful manner so we can openly discuss them, or be kind enough to just stop following my blogs.  I have no desire to be part of tearing people down: from now on, I want to be a part of building people up.  SO, if you disagree, I am begging you to help save me from myself by leaving me to write for those who do find value in my humble attempts to educate.

Thank you, and God bless.

14 responses to “A New Purpose; A New Attitude; A New Direction

  1. Joe,

    This is what we are all called to do. I to fall into the trap of looking through the lense of man centered lower reality and have to correct myself through prayer for being so unwise.

    We need to lead people to look up to God’s higher reality and understand why he created each and everyone of us. Most do not know the basics of why God needs us to accomplish his ultimate objectives to have a love (agape) relationship with created spirit beings through our free will and remove sin from his creation once and for all so it will never rise up again in his Eternity.

    Great post.

  2. Don’t really understand what you’re getting at.

    However, I also believe FaceBook is Evil and that is a reason enough to leave it……BUT to remain silent….well….. we all know what the outcome of that is. And we all know that the Progressives and the muslims WANT us to remain Silent.

    That is their largest Goal towards total control. And “Truth” and Information are amongst the Best and most important tools ( weapons) to combat that.

    As to building people up versus “complaining” …. perhaps I am misunderstanding….or not at present in possession of the “special” understanding needed to discern between Tough topics and “dividing people”, but focusing on dialogue which avoids uncomfortable feelings has the danger of retreating into banality and irrelevance, AT BEST.
    At worst it serves to further Divide people into those who are men of action ( today they are the Evil ones) and those who bury their heads in the sand while saying they “love everyone”….. thus in tyhe end serving the “men of action”.

    But then again….. as I said I am not one of the “special” ones with the ability to “build up” the good while simultaneously trying to defend them.

    • Don,

      Have you ever known me to back away from a tough subject? I hope the answer is no. That said, I am happy to admit that there have been too many times I should have and could have tackled those issues with much more tact than I did.

      This post was written to explain much the same thing you just said, but in a way that — I hope — will reach a different audience. I do not think it is wise to abandon any field to the enemy (i.e. evil), but then, I have to make sure I am not defining evil according to my understanding, but by God’s definition. And by God’s rules, I am to address tough issues with love (agape) for all.

      In the past, I did not see or understand that, and I tried to catch flies with vinegar. While I am not going to start trying to catch them with honey now, as I feel that is just as wrong, I am going to try to use a bait that is a bit more alluring — kindness. And I am urging all who read my posts to consider doing the same.

      I hope that helps. Unfortunately, I suspect you might think I have ‘gone soft’ on you. I hope not, because that would mean my posts today are meant for you, and I would like to think otherwise of my friends 🙂

      • It is more than fine to us me as a “foil”…… :- )).

        New Purpose…. ??? Still to convince and enlighten it would seem…so again ???
        New Attitude ??? Never felt that your attitude was any different towards the “progressively” ignorant …. to help them “see the light”.
        New Direction ..??? As is a G Beck / Lady Gaga attempt at “common ground” ???

        I would remind you that both Vinegar and Honey are effective at ” catching ” flies. And that when protecting the Picnic Ham is the goal …. any port will do. And protecting and preserving the “Ham” is what we are interested in ….. Puller or McAuliff both apply .

        Also, there are two very different efforts which are comprised in protecting the ‘picnic’…. Teaching the Choir to sing and bolstering the Righteous argument…. versus, trying to convince the “flies” that their quest is wrong. Flies don’t, as a general rule, entertain any deviation from Free Ham.

        • No, Don,

          I think Beck is wrong about that “common ground” thing. His approach would find him holding hands with the likes of Hitler and Mao: praising them for making the trains run on time while saying he disagrees with their harsher policies. That is a foolish notion.

          Rather, the change I see coming form me is to sharpen my focus and resist the urge to hammer out posts about things that amount to little more than squirrels and rabbits. While it is fun to chase them I end up sounding like nothing more than a baying hound.

          I think you found your way to where I am heading in the last part of your reply. I plan to ‘teach’ more than I ever have. I also plan to tell the flies they are wrong, and why. Then I plan to explain to the ‘choir’ why it is not only OK to part company with the flies, but it is their duty to do so — IF they want to be on the right side of wrong, that is.

          Now, does that make things clear for you, my friend? 🙂

  3. “To the German Commander.

    NUTS!

    The American Commander”

    By Brigadier General Anthony McAuliff
    Battle of Bastogne
    22nd of December (1944)

    Joe, chhelo,
    This quote comes mind as I consider where we God loving Americans are at this time in history. We are surrounded on all sides by the enemy of truth and righteousness. We will never surrender and will not fail.

    • High 5 Texas !!!!

    • Texas,

      Funny, I was thinking more along the lines of Chesty Puller in the Chosin Reservoir. When asked about retreating, he replied that since they were surrounded and heavily outnumbered it was an ‘advance’ no matter what direction they went.

      Gen McAuliff just sat tight and waited for Patton to pull his arse out of the fire. Chesty not only got his people out, but he brought those the Army left behind with him. I see a much more applicable parallel in that image, don’t you? 🙂

      • I like your analogy. I know a marine veteran of the frozen Choisin. He lives here in north Texas.
        He has an amazing spirit.

        We are also surrounded and not surrendering our positions in the face of unending attack.

        I think both apply.

  4. Hi Joe,
    I will start by saying, I love your blogs! You have and do help me learn and want to learn more. With the Facebook subject, I deleted mine for some of the same reasons as he is speaking. I see it like it consumes our thoughts and gives some of us a need to see more (addiction), which in a way is damaging (was for me anyway). I was convicted about it and ignored that conviction, making up excuses why not to delete (family in other states, lifenews, ray comfort, etc) but still seeing so many negative things along the way that wasn’t healthy for me to see. I would even delete or unfollow certain people so I didn’t have to see their stuff. There were so many I unfollowed but didn’t delete because maybe if they saw one thing I posted about Christianity it would plant that seed for them. However, I was still convicted and knew facebook wasn’t helping me in my walk.

    • Summer,

      I understand. If we allow something to become an idol, then it is destructive. Face Book is one of those things that is very difficult for most of us to keep in the proper perspective — myself included. So I know where you and my friend are coming from, and it is why — though I plan to keep my Face Book account — I also intend to focus more on my blogging and much less on FB.

      The goal is for all of us to keep our eye on those things that have eternal consequence, and not to become consumed by that which distracts us from that goal. So your comments are well received, thank you 🙂

    • Summer,
      Facebook is an odd phenomenon. I’ve caught myself “running circles” in it at times, and watch as others continually run in circles.

      I purposely didn’t install Facebook on my smartphone. When I ignore Facebook, it’s programmed to email you and suck you back in.

      “We” now know Facebook has conducted its own experiments on the users directing opinions. Facebook will also completely censor your posts if it doesn’t like what you post. You will never be notified you have been censored, but none of your friends will be permitted to view your posts.

      Facebook manipulates it’s users without informing them by purposely censoring the news feed.

      Facebook is the modern incarnation for propaganda; look at who is on the board of directors to realize it’s goal.

      I wonder, if one can inform the indoctrinated by way of a judicious comment, that spawns curiosity, on others’ posts? I support others questions and comments that are not politically correct since godly and constitutional viewpoints are not given a voice in the propagandist media.

      I have stayed on facebook as a potential way for others who might want to find me easily and I don’t allow strangers to “friend” me.

      • Yikes !
        Being Texted on your Phone by some website.

        I’ve never been on FaceBook. The kids are and my wife has one so as to be able to Skype with the kids away at college. But it sounds AWFUL. And what I’ve seen of it looks frenetic when looking at the kid’s, whatever they’re called, “pages”.

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