2015: Rise of the Heretic

2015:  Rise of the Heretic

 

I need to make a confession.

I am a heretic.

I thought you should know.

I have wanted to talk about this openly for a long time now, but haven’t been able to find the words to do so.  Actually, I have wanted to talk about a LOT of things for a long time now, but just couldn’t figure out how to say them properly, and with the right words, to convey what I was thinking and feeling in my heart

As I look back on my short 33 years of life on this planet, I can see that it can be defined by two epochs of time.  Before kids, and after kids.

Before Kids

2015:  Rise of the Heretic Before kids, I was theologically and politically conservative.  Think your typical evangelical.  I had grown up in church, been in ministry, and defended all the right things that needed defending.

I opposed gay marriage, prayed for revival in our nation, voted Republican, went to church every Sunday, believed that the Bible was infallible, and though that anything outside of my understanding was wrong and probably dangerous.  (Don’t judge me……..it was a long time ago.)

The only issue was that in early 2004 cracks in my ideology began to appear.

I began to question my political stances on some of the most important issues of the day.  I strayed from the party line and ended up becoming a bit of a thorn in the side of many of my politically connected friends.

My questioning seeped over into my spiritual life, and before I knew it I was questioning long held beliefs.

Of course I didn’t tell anyone, and kept everything quite, because to express doubt, or to question why we do certain things, or why we believe certain things, is just not acceptable in conservative American Christianity.

Then it happened.

My wife and I found out we were pregnant.

That is when my religious House of Cards (love you Kevin Spacey!!) came crumbing to the ground.

After Kids

2015:  Rise of the Heretic

What I thought I knew about God, Life, Religion, the Bible, Church, EVERYTHING began to change.

I began to question (out loud) LONG held beliefs that just didn’t make sense to me anymore.  I challenged myself to think outside the box on who God was and what He was really like.

Ideas like hell, eternal torture, and endless suffering from a God of Love didn’t make sense to me.  I was lost on how we, as the supposed children of God, could treat others like the LGBT community with such hate and distain.  I began to wonder if everything I had grown up believing was a lie.

I began to experience God and His presence in such ways that they can only be described as visions.  I openly and honestly spoke with the Creator on issues that I struggled with…….and He answered.  Well, more like He directed me to understanding.

I know.

It sounds weird.

But it happened.

That is when my theology began to change.  I began to see and understand the Father that Jesus came to make known.  I began to realize that the Father really was pure Love, Full of Grace and Truth, and unwilling that any should perish (Spoiler Alert:  He rescues all in the end!!!)

It was a time of amazing encounters, but also deep darkness.  (I speak about it HERE in another post.)  It was a time of deep soul searching and there were several points that I thought I was losing my faith altogether.

I came out of the valley, stronger, wiser, but also with a limp (some of you out there know what I am talking about.)  When you encounter God, and REALLY encounter Him, you don’t “walk” the same ever again!!

REJECTED!!!

2015:  Rise of the Heretic

 

I ended up rejecting many of the theological and political ideas I had grown up believing.

I rejected hell and the idea that God the Father would send anyone to hell.

I rejected the idea that God Himself murdered Jesus in order to forgive us.  I mean think about that for a moment, He commands through Jesus that we forgive our enemies, but he requires the murder of His own Son in order to forgive us?  Makes no sense when you actually think about it!!

I rejected the idea that the Bible was anything more then what it says it is……….inspired by God.  It’s not infallible, and does not demand that I believe every story in it for me to truly and deeply love Jesus.

With just these few stances I was condemned as a heretic, false prophet, wolf in sheep clothing, and blacklisted by people I loved and cared about.  I was told I was leading people astray, that I should have a mental health evaluation, and that I was just an angry boy in a man’s body (that one hurt a lot because it came from a man I considered a friend and mentor).

There were times I thought I should just go back to the way things were and abandon all I had learned.  I thought I should just repent and go back to being a good little conservative christian who believed all the right things.

But I couldn’t

That is when I just gave myself to my heretic calling.

2015:  Rise of the Heretic

2015:  Rise of the Heretic

It is with this firm conviction that I move forward.

In the past, I have tempered myself on this blog.  I tried to keep away from addressing the controversial topics that have come to dominate my life, convictions, and standards.  I didn’t want to rock the boat.

That ends this year!!  That ends tonight!!

Moving forward this blog will be exactly what the title says it is “The Life of Shawn.”  My life, my thoughts, my observations on faith, family, freedom, and anything else that tickles my fancy.  You will read posts on things I am thinking about, working on, experiencing, and more.

Nothing will be off limits, and I will fully express my thoughts on the matters at hand to the best of my ability.

I am sick of holding back for people who will be offended if I share what is on my heart.  Honestly, if you are offended I don’t care.  Know that your desire to not be offended keeps you from experiencing freedom.  Freedom of thought, of life, of conscience, etc.

I am going to talk about everything!!! 

Faith:  Let’s talk about it!!

Politics:  The Republicans are WORSE then the Democrats!!

Freedom:  Who cares who marries another?  Just as long as no one is forced by government to go against their conscience.

Football:  Cowboys will always suck!!!

The Rise of the Heretic is here!!

You will hear about the cool things I am working on with one of my best friends, the brand we are building, and how you can be a part.

You will be able to connect with me in new ways through different outlets like:

Date Night in a Minivan:  The blog my wife and I started talking about marriage, kids, and family life.

The Ringpost Report:  My personal Pro Wrestling Blog

New websites, an upcoming eBook, and video/webinars.

2015 I give air to the many things my heart wants to share with the world.  It will be fun, controversial, inspiring, a little upsetting, and always passionate.

I hope you will join me.

Until next time,

Much love,

Shawn

2015:  Rise of the Heretic

 P.S.  Be looking for the upcoming eBook “My Marriage Tune Up,” and if you want to learn how to make $500 a week with a blog just like this CLICK HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Top 10 Tips for Balancing Work and Family Life

Top 10 Tips for Balancing Work and Family Life

 

 

We’ve all been there……….that moment of decision where we have to decide, do we go to the kids game or date night with our wife, or work late to secure that deal?  It’s not an easy decision.  However, if we set up the right expectations, the right system, and the right mindset we can make the balancing act a little easier.

We all know that we have to work to provide for our families.  We also know that we don’t want to spend every waking moment in the office.  So what do we do?  How do we truly balance the need to work and provide for our families, while also having the time to go to our kids soccer games, take our wives out on a date, or just get some time to rest and revive ourselves?

Some of the best things we can do to create balance is to take the systems we use at work and apply them to our lives overall.  Things like being organized, planning, communicating, setting limits, and delegating our lives and activities can GREATLY improve our ability to balance the time we need to stay at work with the time we must be engaged with our family.

Here are the 10 Tips for Balancing Work and Family Life that I have found most effective.

 

Top 10 Tips for Balancing Work and Family Life

 

1.)  Don’t feel Guilty

The work/life balance is hard.  Sometimes you will succeed and sometimes you will fail.  Whatever you do DON’T walk in guilt.  Do your best and when you fail, learn, and try again.  There will be times when you need to work late and other times where you need to be with your family.  That is okay!!  Don’t feel guilty.  Be where you are supposed to be, when you are supposed to be there and be present in that.

2.)  Have support

Communicate clearly with your wife and boss about your roles.  Let each know that there will be times when you must be with the other, and that you faithfully execute your duties with each.  Having people that can hold you accountable so that you don’t swing to far to one side will help you stay balanced.

3.)  Establish Boundaries

This is KEY!!  You have to set reasonable boundaries where work cannot interfere and vice versa.  If you are at all of your kids games, but on the phone for work, you are defeating the purpose.  If you are at work and constantly trying to put out fires at home, you are going to frustrate yourself and possibly your employer.

Have boundaries where the one cannot cross over into the other.  Sure, I understand there will be times where cross over is needed but that should be the exception, not the rule.

4.)  Set your own Standards

Setting your own standards and sharing them with your family and boss will help you stay balanced.  If you communicate with your spouse, family, and boss about what you can and cannot, or will and will not do, you will have more success in maintaining the balanced life you are looking for.

5.)  Be Flexible

There will be times when you have to switch up what you are doing and it will interfere with family time or vice versa.  That is ok.  If you know those types of time are coming tell your boss or family.  If they are sudden, clearly communicate that to those who need to know and work to make up for it later.  Being inflexible will hurt what you are trying to accomplish, which is balance, because we all know that there are times when we have to work late, the kids get sick and we have to run them to the doctor, or some other thing in life that causes us to have to be flexible.

6.)  Communicate CLEARLY

This is HUGE!!  IF you will communicate upcoming or sudden changes with your boss or family, you are likely to get an “That’s okay, no problem, we can try another day,” or something to that effect.  However, if you never tell your wife you are coming home late or never tell your boss that you need to drop off your daughter for school because one of the cars broke down, you may run into a wife and boss who is not pleased with how things are going.

CLEARLY communicate where you stand on working late, changing schedules at the last minute, etc to both your wife and boss and STICK WITH IT!!!  Don’t just say it……DO IT!!!  Once your boss or family knows what’s going on and can plan accordingly it will make the relationships better.

7.)  Make Time for Yourself

You MUST have personal down time!!  This is a major deal!!!  Personal down time will allow you to relax, clear your head, and unwind.  I know what it is like trying to put food on the table, working a few jobs, and tying to spend time with your wife and kids.  I’ve been there.  However, if you CANNOT neglect time for yourself.  Even if that means stopping by a Buffalo Wild Wings before going home to get some wings and a beer.  Doesn’t matter, just take some time to rest.  It will help you balance life and stay healthy.

8.)  Family Time

Take some time and play a board game, go for a walk, go to a local community event, or something that will allow you to break away from the grind and spend time with your family.  This will allow you to connect and decompress.  This is KEY to building your families relationship together.   While you are at it, turn the phone off when you do this.

9.)  Get a sitter for the kids and go on a Date Night with your spouse.

Take some time to get away from the kids and be with your spouse.  Remember, you married your spouse because you wanted to spend the rest of your life with them.  Date each other.  Write notes to one another.  SPEND TIME ALONE TOGETHER.  Enjoy each others presence.  This will add value to your work life by keeping a healthy relationship strong.

10.)  Integrate Life

Allow yourself to create harmony between work, kids, spouse, and friends.  Take time with each but prioritize.  Don’t miss the games, take her out for a surprise dinner and movie, go our for drinks, rest, blow that project up and impress your boss.  Whatever you do and however you do it, don’t neglect what’s important, when it is important.

 

Did this blog resonate with you?  Please share it on your social networks and comment and let me know your thoughts.

 

Are you looking for something different?  Something that will help you balance your work life and your family life?  CLICK HERE NOW and learn how hundreds of people are quitting their jobs and making a FULL-TIME income from home.

 

Until next time.

Much love,

Shawn

Top 10 Tips for Balancing Work and Family Life

P.S. Seriously, if you are looking for an opportunity to leave the 9-5 grind and take control of your life and time, CLICK HERE NOW and learn more. You won’t regret it.

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7 Things Your Kids Need To Hear From You As A Dad.

7 Things Your Kids Need To Hear From You As A Dad.

 

 

I stumbled across this GREAT little blurb in a Facebook group I am a part of earlier today and had to share it!!

This advice is SOOOOO important to establishing lasting relationships with our children not only now, but also in the future!!  These 7 phrases is said OFTEN will help establish a STRONG bond between you are your children while also solidifying your child’s sense of self worth, self importance, personal responsibility, and general disposition.

I wanted to share my thoughts via video and also breakdown these 7 phrases a little more.

First check out the video:

 

7 Things Your Kids Need To Hear From You As A Dad.

 

1.) I Love You!!

These words should be said to your children EVERY SINGLE DAY OF THEIR LIVES!!! Many times a day!! This is water to your child’s soul, spirit, and emotions. Say it over and over again with sincerity!! Be genuine!! Express your love for their life!! Tell them often how much you love them, what they love, and how they are growing and learning!!

Remember what it was like to first hold them in your arms and the love you felt at that moment!!  That is TRUE emotion!!  Remember the times you rocked them to sleep and thought of their futures!!  Express that love to them with hugs, kisses, and the words I love you!!  This will build them, you, and your future together.

 

2.)  I’m Proud of You!!

This needs to be said WAY MORE then it is.  For some reason Dad’s have a hard time saying this.  We are more accustom to saying, “You got a 99%?  Great, but that’s not 100%,” or “You scored that goal, but you could have had two if you caught that pass!!”

There should be NO buts in our praise for our children.

“I’m proud of you no matter what!!”

That is what needs to be expressed and said often!!  This builds self worth and self esteem.  This helps our children believe in the gifts and talents God has instilled within them.

Say this often!!

 

3.)  I’m Sorry.

Dad’s we have to be humble enough to admit when we have been an ass or have been rude, wrong, or just plain jerky.  Our kids need to see men who can apologize and own up for their actions when they are wrong.

I know so many relationships right now that could be repaired just by a simple, “I’m sorry.”

It’s time we stepped our game up as Dad’s and say “I’m Sorry” when it is warranted.

 

4.)  I Forgive You.

Besides love there is nothing more powerful then forgiveness and our children need to know that when they have screwed up, messed up, and just plain f’ed up that we will forgive them.  That doesn’t mean their won’t be consequences, just that we forgive the offense and want to repair the breach in the relationship.

 

5.)  I’m Listening.

In today’s culture it is so easy to get distracted by phones, tablets, computers, ESPN, hunting, fishing, football, etc. etc. etc. that we don’t take the time to really listen to our kids.  Our kids want to know that we are listening to them and that they are being heard.  Sure, if you are like me, the majority of the time what I am listening to needs to be translated, but that doesn’t mean my child still doesn’t have a need to be heard.

We MUST take the time to LISTEN to the needs, cries, and desires of our children because they will go looking for someone who will listen to them if we don’t, and that person could be a local gang banger, drug dealer, or pimp.  Time taken today could save your child’s life tomorrow.

 

6.)  This is Your Responsibility.

This statement is key to building a sense of purpose and responsibility within our children.  When we tell them it is THEIR responsibility to pick up their toys, cloths, clean their room, etc. we are helping them to become independent and good citizens of their community.  In our culture it is fashionable to blame others for our laziness and expect the government, our employer, or someone else to do something that is really our own responsibility.

Teaching kids while they are young about what their responsibility is will cause them to grow up to be responsible citizens as well.

 

7.)  You’ve got what it takes!!

This is HUGE!!

Our kids need to hear from US that they have what it takes to be all they can be in every area of life!!  They need to hear our encouragement in their endeavors.  Our kids want to know that we think and believe that they have what it takes to succeed in life.

In my years working in Youth Ministry I have seen parents who never told their kids they had what it took to succeed and in so doing their kids struggle with success, self worth, and in maintaining a job.  While it isn’t all the parents fault a great deal of it does rest on the ones bringing the child up.

The Bible says;

Train a child in the way she should go and when she is old she will not depart from it.  Proverbs 22:6

This is NOT just for religious instruction but in life principles.

If we train up our children to respect others, have personal responsibility, be kind, loving, etc. etc. they will NOT depart from those ways and will grow up as a blessing to the world around them instead of a curse.

 

Dads,

Our children are going to find someone who will speak life into them.  They will fins someone who will believe in them, tell them they are proud of them, listen to them, etc.  Will it be YOU or the pimp, drug dealer, gang banger down the street?

It’s up to us!!

 

Until next time.

Much love,

Shawn

7 Things Your Kids Need To Hear From You As A Dad.

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If THE INCREDIBLES Was A CHRISTOPHER NOLAN Film

I love viral videos and every once in a while I come across videos that just need to be shared, and this is one of them!!  Bobby Burns does an INCREDIBLE (pun intended) job at making movies look like something else.  Check out this video I found earlier today and shoot him a like and comment.  He does great work!!

I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did. Check out some of his other videos too. There are some REALLY good ones!!

Until next time.

Much love,

Shawn

If THE INCREDIBLES Was A CHRISTOPHER NOLAN Film

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3 Things Dad’s Can Do To Connect With Their Kids.

3 Things Dad's Can Do To Connect With Their Kids.

 

 

Being a Dad is NOT easy.

It requires a lot of time, growth, and patience, among other things like an iron stomach, LOTS of hand soap, and access to bandaids and healing ointments.  Most of all it requires LOVE.

I have been a Dad for going on 6 years and over those 6 years I have learned that above the toys, shows, and craziness of life, there is just one thing kids really want to do, connect with Dad.  Our kids want to feel connected to us.  They want to know that they are important to us and that they matter more then the stress of life, bills, and the things that constantly distract us and demand our time.

With that said I wanted to share 3 Things Dad’s Can Do To Connect With Their Kids.

3 Things Dad’s Can Do To Connect With Their Kids.

1.) Date Nights/Evenings

3 Things Dad's Can Do To Connect With Their Kids.

 

 

Date nights with your kids can be a lot of fun if you let it.  They don’t have to be fancy, just you and one of you children going out for dinner, a snack, or an evening of bowling (or some other fun event).  I have implemented this in my life and I can say it has been extremely rewarding.  Just spending time with each of my kids, just them and I, once a week has not only helped me to connect with each of my kids, but it has also helped them to connect with me.

2.)  Personal Conversations

3 Things Dad's Can Do To Connect With Their Kids.

 

 

Take some time each day to have a conversation with your children, individually.  This is SOOO important!!  There is nothing like connecting with your child on their level and allowing you to speak into their life concerning the things they are facing and dealing with.  Kids have a whole different world they live in compared to adults, and they want to talk about it.  Whether it is Minnie Mouse not being nice to Princess Peach, or the disappointment of not unlocking the next character in Mario Kart, your kids want to talk about it.

Let them.

Let them share their victories, defeats, and struggles.  They are looking to you for strength, advice, and as someone who will listen to them, so take the time to do that.  They need it, you need it, and you will learn more about them and they you in the process.

 

3.)  Doing something they want to do.

3 Things Dad's Can Do To Connect With Their Kids.

 

 

My son Truett absolutely LOVES Mario Kart!!  No joke, he talks about it all day, has dreams about it, and tries (on the weekends only) to unlock the next character, in his quest to have all the characters available.  His mission in life is to conquer Mario Kart.  That’s why the other day when we had our “Man Date” I asked him what he wanted to do.  He said “Can we go to the tv store (Best Buy) and play Mario Kart 8?”  The answer?  Yep.

I wanted to do something HE wanted to do.  Why?  Because our time together on our “Man Date” was about him, not me.  If going to Best Buy to have us play the demo of Mario Kart 8 (because we have an original Wii and the original Mario Kart) is going to bring him joy, and make him feel like we did something meaningful to him, then I am ALL IN!!

We only played two rounds each and he talked about that time all week and will still come up and ask me, “Dad, do you remember when we went to the tv store and played Mario Kart?”  Yeah buddy I do!!  I sure do!!

 

Dad’s one of the best things you can do for yourself and your kids is to take some time and connect with them.  Whether that is a date night, a simple personal conversation, or doing something they love.  The time spent doing it will sow seeds of blessing and joy for years to come.  Continue to do it and you will reap a harvest of a lifelong and lasting relationship that will bring you more joy then you could ever hope to have.

 

====>I am working on a NEW eBook soon to be released about “Tuning Up” Your Marriage. You can CLICK HERE to read the blog on it.

Until next time.

Much love,

Shawn

3 Things Dad's Can Do To Connect With Their Kids.

P.S. Are you and your family looking for a way to make extra money? Learn how I and many others are bringing in $100, $500, $1,000 and even more every month online!! CLICK HERE NOW to learn more!!

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Does your Marriage need a Tune Up?

Does your Marriage need a Tune Up?

Marriage is NOT easy!!

It takes work, work, work, Love, some more work, Grace, more Love, Forgiveness, work, some more Forgiveness, more Grace, more Love, work, and Love.  Oh, and some hope, kindness, gentleness, mercy, and about a BILLION other qualities you didn’t think you would ever need in life.  Oh, and algebra………..you know…………in order to balance that check book and make ends meet when there is no possible way they can.

Are you getting the picture yet?

Marriage takes WORK and it isn’t easy, but man is it worth it!! 

There is NO OTHER place I would rather be in life then next to Kaitlyn all of the time!!  I love her more then I tell her………..and that is the purpose of this post.

You see, I have been married for 10 years!!  Kaitlyn and I have had a good run.  No major issues, we barely fight, and overall our marriage has been pretty easy.  We never had those “terrible” first couple of years (I really have no idea what people mean when they say the first years are the hardest.  We have had a GREAT marriage and even the first couple of years went smooth.) and in all honesty our marriage has been the ideal.

However, there is something I have noticed lately that has been bothering me.  Something that if not addressed could lead to some serious trouble down the road.  It’s nothing major (yet) but just those little things that go unsaid or unnoticed that end up causing a crash down the road.  What am I talking about?

Our marriage check engine light has come on:

Does your Marriage need a Tune Up?

I noticed it this week when shopping for Kaitlyn’s birthday and I couldn’t remember what cake she liked or what were some of her favorite stores were.  I drew a blank on what I was going to get her for her 32nd birthday and had no idea were I was going to take her to eat.  NOT A GOOD THING TO HAVE HAPPEN!!!  We talked about it a little a few nights after her birthday (it wasn’t a wreck) and it got me thinking.  When is the last time that we as a couple sat down and tuned up our relationship?  When was the last time we “updated” our tastes, likes, etc with one another?

I couldn’t remember.

That is when the “check engine” light came on.

When I realized that I was “shooting in the dark” when it came to really knowing what Kaitlyn’s tastes, likes, dislikes, etc. were at this time in our marriage, I KNEW I had to take our marriage in for a tune up!!  I sat down and put a game plan together of how to get us up-to-date on each other because the fact is that my tastes, likes, and dislikes have changed over the last decade too and I am pretty sure I haven’t expressed that as clearly as I could have to the woman of my dreams.

So, we talked about it.  We committed to setting some “us” time and tuning up our marriage.

I have a question for you:  Does your Marriage need a Tune Up?

That is NOT a bad thing if it does!!

Do we get mad a our cars when they need a tune up?  Why would we get mad if our spouse things we our marriage might need one?

The fact is that our marriage is WAY more important then our cars, and when our marriage “check engine” light comes on we BETTER take it in ASAP!!  It could mean the difference between a minor fix up or a complete and total overhaul.  The longer you wait the more expensive it will be to fix in the end.

I know what it is like to have kids, a full time job, working to make ends meet, car breakdowns, little sleep, etc. etc. etc.  I know what it’s like to be too tired to talk about the deep things of marriage and relationships.  I know what it’s like to be frustrated and wondering where life is taking you because you feel you can’t make it go where you want.  I know that there are dry seasons in marriage and times where love is much more a choice then a feeling.

All of those things are okay.  Everyone experiences those times.

However, how you deal with those times and how you act when the marriage “check engine” light comes on means the difference between a marriage running on all cylinders, and a marriage broke down on the side of the road.  

Which do you want?

The choice is yours.

If your marriage “check engine” light has come on, take some time to update your marriage.  Talk about what is going on and how you are both feeling.  DON’T GLOSS OVER THIS!!!  Don’t think that the light being on is just a glitch, even if it is not noticeable a check engine light comes on for a reason!!  Your marriage “check engine” light will come on for a reason too!!

How you handle that when it does is up to you!!

Take some time this week to not only tell your spouse you love them, but to tune up your marriage.  Update each other on your likes, dislikes, tastes, favorite places to eat or get a drink, favorite places to shop, 5 favorites things you can buy as a gift that they will love no matter what, etc.

The key here is not to argue when and where the check engine light came on, but to communicate about how to make your marriage run better then it ever has before!!

Until next time.

Much love,

Shawn

Does your Marriage need a Tune Up?

 P.S. If you or your family is looking to make extra money THIS MONTH then you need to CLICK HERE and see how hundreds of others are making real money online with the iPAS2 system!!

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How should we deal with ISIS?

How should we deal with ISIS?

 

 

Whether we like it or not, this question is one that is going to have to be dealt with by America and her leaders in the coming days, weeks, months, and years.  Sure, we are already bombing ISIS targets in Syria (mainly because that is our go-to default when other nations or people don’t do what we like) but is bombing people really the answer to dealing with an ideology?

No.  It isn’t.

Don’t get me wrong!!  There is NOTHING I would love to do more then this:

This group of barbarians have murdered men, raped women, and brutally killed children. They have massacred Christians, and are bent on a holy war against anyone who disagrees with them. You would think at some point liberals would talk about how these monsters mistreat woman, gays, and minorities, but getting a liberal to say anything of value is incredibly difficult. But I digress.

But how should really we deal with ISIS?

Should we bomb them into the Stone Age?  Should we send troops into every nation that harbors ISIS factions and kill them all?  Should we publicly behead their members when we capture them?

All good questions, but all in the end lead to us becoming like them.

ISIS WANTS death.  

They want to steal, kill, and destroy!!  That is their calling in life, and the only way to change someone’s calling in life is to give them a new calling!!

Think about this for a moment:

There was a man who was passionate about his religion.  As a matter of fact he was so passionate about it, he rose to some of it’s highest positions.  He studied and learned his faith to the point that no one knew more then he.  It was at this time a cult appeared.  A cult that threatened his religion by claiming that the faith he loved so much was actually doing everything wrong.  So, this man began to capture, imprison, and even kill the members of this new cult.  He personally saw to the stoning death of one popular member of this cult in a public square in the city of Jerusalem.  He would later repent of his ways and end up joining the cult he fought so hard against, becoming it’s most celebrated member.

That man of course was Saul of Tarsus, who would later become Paul the Apostle.

Think about that for a moment.

We are living in a ver similar time for something like that to happen again.  I know most of us are looking at the rise of ISIS as purely political, but the fact is that the Christian faith in the Middle East has been growing like crazy for several years.  As a matter of fact the Middle East is experiencing some of the biggest growth within the Christian faith outside of Africa and South America.  That place is on fire with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Which is why we see the attacks on Christians in Iraq happening.

What is really going on with ISIS (and America as well) is not a political event.  Sure, there are some political outcomes taking place but make no mistake about it, what is happening with ISIS is a DIRECT result of the Christian faith exploding within the region.  The Christian faith threatens the power structures of Islam in the Middle East, it gives a voice to women, children, and the marginalized, and is opening up the eyes of the people to see that they have been living under a tyrannical religious system for thousands of years.

So, how should we deal with ISIS?

The very first thing I would do is STOP BOMBING PEOPLE!!

Our bombs are doing nothing more than helping ISIS recruit new members.  If someone was bombing American cities I would too would join a group who are fighting to stop them.  This is not rocket science.  The reason many Muslims don’t like us is because we are ALWAYS meddling in their nations, bombing and killing, and telling people how they should live in their own countries.  Would you want someone to do that to you as an American?  So, why do we think we can do it to others?

The second thing I would do would be to send in humanitarian and relief supplies into the different areas where we have bombed.  I would send in food, medical equipment, etc. to help with the people.  While I know many Muslims don’t want those from the West messing around in their nation, I think many would welcome relief and humanitarian workers.  This could open the doors of goodwill and trust.

The key to defeating ISIS isn’t by bombs or more “Shock and Awe.”  It would be what the founders believed in when it comes to foreign policy:

“Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations — entangling alliances with none.”- Thomas Jefferson

Imagine what the Middle East would look like if we open the doors of trade and friendship with them instead of invading them and stealing their resources (oil).  Imagine if America worked toward building trust and commerce with this region and how it would affect the global community.

Can it happen?

Well, most Conservatives will say no, but that is a lie, of course if could happen.  It will just take America humbling itself enough to realize that not everyone wants us to tell them what to do or how to live.  It will take us being respectful toward other nations and cultures, and being a “shining city on a hill” example of freedom and liberty, instead of being an overaggressive bully who demands their way all the time.

Will this position win me friends among neoconservatives?  NOPE.  But if we are to understand what we are dealing with, we must realize why ISIS has risen to power and what is causing their anger.  Then and only then will we be able to deal with them effectively.

Until next time.

Much love,

Shawn

How should we deal with ISIS?

 

 

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