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Archive for the ‘Boot Camp’ Category

Marine Graduation

Went to a Marine graduation the last few days, hence I’ve been slow in posting on here.  Some of you may know that I served in the Marines and I’ve been out for a few years now.

The trip was sentimental but it also made me think tangent to the Christian faith and specifically with discipleship.  Here were some thoughts I found it stirred within me to continue being biblical in discipleship of believers:

1. Don’t compromise the faith and teaching the hard things of the Christian faith.  If our goal is make disciples and teach them all things that Christ want us to teach from His Word, we best not compromise.  Compromise will definitely lower the quality of the disciples we forge within the church.

2. The Goal of discipling Christians ought not be to get rid of suffering in their lives but to explain and make sense of it biblically.  If we don’t teach them to expect suffering, we should probably expect them to suffer seriously in their Christian walk.

3. We must not forget our spiritual roots and also ensure that we past them on to the next generation.  We must show them that each one of us have an obligation to not just subscribe to what we believe but pass it on to the next generation while realizing the world around us would slowly reflect values different than our own.

4. 2 Timothy 2:3-4 in the ESV is an imperative for all of us: “Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.”

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I’ve read one-liners like:

Even military.com’s newsletter, Military Insider jumped in titleling their video, “Iraqi Cadets Can’t do Jumping Jacks. ” 

Disconcerting as the video as it is, even more disconcerting is the fact that to some, it only verifies their conviction that we’ve lost the war. Though as you will see below there’s a parallel in principle of coordinating exercise and coordinating combat, I find the real humor is if someone actually used this video as premise of their argument (I doubt it but I wouldn’t be surprised if there was at least one- there’s alway one.)

But really the first thing I thought of though when I watched this video was boot camp. I flashbacked to the numerous times DI’s were yelling at us for not doing things in sync during PT. I thought to myself, “Now I know why they got so mad at us,” because we look stupid, and it’s good training.

Although some might think about the zombie-like robot-stupid killing-machine mentality of the military, I really think there’s two benfits to doing jumping jacks in sync.

First point is that coordinated exercises is another oppurtunity to become one.  In combat, being in sync and coordinated is key. If you can’t even do coordinated jumping jacks with ten people, what about a platoon? What about a company? If 10 people can’t do the same thing at the same time, why expect the same 10 to do different things, in a coordinated way, at the same time?

“My argument can only be taken so far though. Obviously a group of construction workers would be coordinated in making a parking lot, but would less coordinated doing surgery. It takes practice. But at the same time, the more a group of people become one, the more quickly the group learns to adapt and overcome different tasks. As my heavy-hat, former SSgt Hernandez said, “The platoon just clicks.” That’s the essence of boot camp. Learning that the key to succeeding and surviving involves everyone- you’re weak people, you’re slow people, you’re strong people, you’re fast people– the point is they’re all you’re people. It’s very much like how the Christian body succeeds and grows:

“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,  from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”
Ephesians 4:11-16

Success then is in the unity of the different parts, and in that unity the group will be able to overcome all.

My second point is of course survival. In a school of fish, in a herd of caribou, the one that decides to run in a different direction, or stick out in any way is the one that gets killed. Why make the job of a sniper easier? Don’t stick out by looking different.

Reiteraing what I said earlier, though it’s a useful tool for training, jumping jacks certainly is not a reliable measurement of how the war is going.

Laugh at the video, but don’t laugh too hard. Seriously.

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I’ve been listening to Grace to You’s podcasts.  John MacArthur went over the schedule in the beginning of 10/1’s podcast, saying after completing the more advanced “Doctrines of Grace” they’ll be “going in reverse,” by going back to the basics from October 8th to 17th. Then GTY will broadcast from October 18th to 19th a message called, “A Nation Abandoned by God” orginally given on the National Day of Prayer in Colorado Springs in May that received strong feedback from an airing on Focus on the Family. The message leads into “God’s Word to an Ungodly Society” from October 22 to 27, and ending October with 29th’s “Real Meaning of Christmas.” You can find all the details on GTY’s radio calendar.

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Here is a description of the New and ‘Improved’ Modified Boot Camp on the news today from an article titled, “Army Tone Down Drill Sergeants”:

That means “less shouting at everyone, in essence, which some of you may remember from an earlier generation as being the modus operandi,” he said.

The changes started about a year ago, as defense officials looked for ways to make drillmasters more effective, said Lt. Col. Mike Jones, head of Army National Guard recruiting.

(QUOTED FROM: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061010/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/nice_drill_sergeants)

For those that are afraid of being yelled at and wash out in boot camp, it might be a better thing than to go to Iraq and find bullets flying instead of Spit.

Likewise, this should be an analogy as well for our Christian faith: If we don’t follow him and pick up our cross and be willing to suffer for Christ, you have to wonder about your faith and your service to him.

One Verse sums it up:

“Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” (2Timothy 2:3)

–GIDEONRECON

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