Archive for March, 2010

In response to Hutaree, the “Christian” militia.

March 29, 2010

Response to a Fox News article: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/03/29/michigan-militia-group-preparing-anti-christ-web-site-says/

First of all, let me just start with this. What can I say if I saw this as a non-Christian? Let me just add that we’re in the years where an extremist group is already at war with us (Al-Qaeda). If I was a non-Christian looking at that same news article, it probably would’ve been the last straw for me. I would’ve begun hating Christianity in particular, since this is not just an extremist action. It is outright HYPOCRISY. I hate using that word against other people, but seeing such a news article as a Christian, offended would be an understatement.

When Christ: the Way, the Truth, and the Life, came as a human being and walked among us, he did not murder a single person, not even the Roman authorities. So why would a group that claims to stand for Jesus form a militia and kill innocent police officers? I do not know why, but what I do know is that innocents have been murdered by people who use Jesus as an excuse for their actions.

What can I say to those who have been spiritually harmed by this attack, so that they will be healed by the love of Christ? I could think of ten thousand ways to tell people that what the militia did was foolish and, dare I say, hypocritical, and not one of those ways will turn (or return) their hearts to Jesus, the One who promised LIFE to the fullest.

Many people do not see the heavenly side of Christianity. They can only see the earthly side. I have said a few times recently that I want to lead by example, that those who see me might notice that there is more to me than just me, that there is someone heavenly (the Holy Spirit) working in me. To see someone murder a group of innocents and claiming to be working for Christ rubs me the wrong way.

So, if I had anything to say directly to Hutaree, it would probably be this: you might claim to be fighting the antichrist, but all you succeeded in was giving humanity another reason to hate us. You have left a bitter taste to many people. Instead of delivering a message of love and peace, you delivered a bullet to your fellow man. Where Christ came to give life to the fullest, you assisted the enemy in stealing, killing, and destroying. As one who always desires to have a closer personal relationship with my Lord, my Friend, I am very displeased with your actions.

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Series of heartbreaks.

March 3, 2010

Things got off to a pretty rough start in 2010. I quit teaching in order to continue on in college at the end of 2009, and doing so really hurt. Then, while I am in college, a project directly involved with my teaching class bombed horribly, because it involved cooperation from another school.

Here’s how it went. I was assigned a field project where I was supposed to do a classroom observation at another school. The first school I went to gave me the cold shoulder, despite the fact that I was there once before. The second school, which was a charter school for the college I was going to (and one would expect a charter school to happily accept students from the college associated with it. Even the teacher said so.), gave me the cold shoulder, as well. The person at the office just hands me a card with the principal’s e-mail address. So, I go send the e-mail, making sure I showed that I was a student of the college, no reply since.

Another negative impact on me that involved cooperation was a group project for that same class. Over the weekend, I was the only one who contributed anything to the project. However, the other students in the group used that contribution to their advantage by rushing over to the computer lab to get copies of what I contributed, while I was unwisely thinking they would just hand a copy to me when they get back. When it came time for presentations, I was the only one without anything to talk about. I could’ve told the teacher afterward the truth behind the project, but I didn’t. The other students probably didn’t tell her the truth, either, enjoying their free points. Sorry. That moment left me a little bitter, not that I need the points anymore, anyway. I never could do well in a team. I always seem to do so much better going solo when cooperation isn’t necessary. Hopefully, someone will come around to change that mindset. I don’t like thinking that I’m much better off solo.

Seeing that I probably didn’t have a chance to redeem myself in teaching class (and the desire to continue in college plummeted to the point where I actualy got a desire to leave college), I dropped the class and tried to finish my other classes. Well, the buck didn’t stop there. I had a History midterm. I thought “Oh, I aced the quiz. The test shouldn’t be a problem,” and I did study for it. However, when the midterm came around, I was surprised at how much tougher the questions were. When the grades came back, I got a low C. Usually, I don’t run away from C’s, but seriously, that quiz gave me good expectations about the course only to be confronted with questions that can make me wonder if I even got the correct test. I just wanted to go home and try as hard as I can to forget about the whole thing.

That coming Monday, this week’s Monday, to be exact, was the killer. English midterm was today, and I’ve already lost my confidence in college. Usually, being confident with my answers in an English midterm meant a C or even a high D, but I knew I flunked it when I wasn’t even confident in my own answers. To make matters worse, I had to write my answers in pen, so I couldn’t erase what I started. My brain shut down, and I was unable to focus my thoughts the entire exam. I was on the verge of a mental breakdown, and I decided to drop out of college a second time. (I still think about that phrase “dropping out a second time”. Man, you leave college, come back, wanting to finish, and it’s like one semester, someone drives a wooden stake directly into the heart of your confidence.)

And, I must admit. I was angry. I was angry at myself, and I was angry at my Lord. I’ve been angry with him before, but I was starting to give reasons to be angry, even while remembering promises from the Bible. “I asked for help, Lord. Where was it? Life is not meant to be one huge guessing game. If I’m following Your Will, why aren’t You helping me? And if I wasn’t, why aren’t You telling me?”

During that time, though at first I was victorious the first couple battles, I kept losing them afterward, due to the damage my spirit was getting everywhere else. I remember reading in Hind’s Feet on High Places, where Much-Afraid had to go down into a valley of some sort right before getting to the High Places. I think I took a nosedive into that valley after trying so hard not to get in there in the first place.

I stopped smiling after that. How could I smile when my passion to teach was killed by college experience? I could go back to being a teacher-in-training, but without a passion, I’ve lost my confidence. And even if I still had a hint of that passion left, if it wasn’t my Lord’s Will to return there, I’ll only get in the way. Nights have been very troublesome for me. My chest aches every night, and I’ve been having consecutive bad nights for about a week, where I couldn’t sleep until four hours before the alarm.

If there is anything positive to say in this blog, I’m going to Bible College next semester. I’m going after the only passion I have left: learning about my Lord. I may be down, but I am not out. The promises have not yet been proven to be broken. Maybe that will be where I meet my future girlfriend. I’m certainly going to need someone to be with if I want to get myself back on my feet again. I’ve always told myself that if my life decides to derail, my Lord will most certainly put it back on track. It’s time to test that statement’s truth value, and I am confident that my Lord will put me back on track.

The world’s forces and hell’s forces may cooperate against me, but that won’t be enough to stop me from achieving victory.

Chapter 3: Under One Roof

March 1, 2010

Now this is where I feel the story starts to get better. I also reveal plenty of new things here. Enjoy Chapter 3!

Chapter 3: Under One Roof

“Animus, you have performed well in your faith. Despite that you stared the horror of defeat in the face, you put your fears aside to pray for a victory. Your team has been blessed with a new home, where you can all live under one roof and exercise teamwork in ways you never experienced before. Now, enjoy your new fellowship with your friends.”
“Animus, Dirk, Mentivis! Breakfast is ready!” Animus woke up to the sound of Melina’s voice and the smell of breakfast. He got up, put his clothes on, and proceeded towards the door. He pressed a button beside the door, and the door slid open, revealing a large room with two couches, two recliners, and a table. There was a very large TV screen embedded to the wall. On the far end of the room was a dining room table with four chairs. Animus walked over to the table to find Dirk and Mentivis waiting for him.
“Not much of a morning person, are ya?” Dirk grinned at Animus. Mentivis was silent as he usually was. He never was without something on his mind. Animus was a bit tired to respond and just sat down next to Dirk at the table, giving a faint smile as he did so. Melina came out of the kitchen carrying plates of food on all four arms.
“I made a big breakfast today to celebrate our first full day in our new home! We have plenty of sausage, hash browns, eggs, pancakes, bacon, and biscuits to go around!” Melina said with a smile.
Mentivis’s silence broke from the smell of breakfast. “Wow, Melina! You’ve sure outdone yourself! This food looks awesome!”
The warriors gave thanks and enjoyed a nice big breakfast. After breakfast, Dirk and Mentivis went to different areas of the base. Animus stayed behind to help Melina with washing the dishes. Not long after, Dirk returned to the kitchen to speak with Animus.
“Hey, Animus. You should see what I made for the team!” Dirk said with excitement. Animus followed Dirk up the stairs to the second floor of the base. In a spacious room stood large machines and two gyroscopic chambers. Overlooking those chambers was a control room with buttons and switches, as well as screens.
“So, what’s all this, Dirk?” Animus asked, puzzled.
“Wear these and climb into one of the chambers.” Dirk handed him special gloves, ankle braces, goggles, and a headband. Animus put them on, still puzzled by their use, and climbed into the chamber. Dirk strapped him into the chamber, making sure everything was secure. After the preparations were complete, Dirk left the room and entered the control room.
“Hey, uhh, Dirk? What’s going on? Am I being a guinea pig for some sort of experiment?”
“You could say that. Just relax. This machine will help us train through a special simulator.” Dirk then turned the machine on, and Animus suddenly found himself in the midst of a vast grassy plain. He looked around to find an end to the sea of grass but could not find any. Just then, he saw that he was no longer in a machine but can move around freely. Out of the clear blue, a familiar foe appears in front of him. It was Atraledo, the demon who once killed his teammates!
“You! I’ll make sure there’s nothing left of you!” Animus shouted. However, the demon made no response except getting into a fighting stance. Animus unsheathed his sword and quickly lunged at the demon. As he attempted to use a downward strike, the demon suddenly raised his own sword and countered the downward strike with a powerful uppercut, sending Animus flying a few feet away.
“(Crud. I didn’t expect that one at all. I’ll need to find an opening,)” Animus thought to himself. “(Let’s see how he responds to a few energy shots.)” As Animus began firing energy shots, the demon jumped straight up into the air and started dodging each shot.
“Ok, you asked for it.” Animus put his left arm out and held onto it with his right arm as a ball of tightly-packed energy began to glow from his palm. “CLUSTER BLAST!” Animus fired the powerful energy shot at the demon. The demon, however, did not attempt to make a move and got a direct hit from the powerful blast of energy. As the smoke cleared, the demon was still in one piece, except his sword was now broken, and some of his armor fell off. Animus quickly charged after the now-vulnerable demon and prepared another downward strike. The demon attempted to counter with another uppercut, but the broken sword provided no defense against the resulting strike. Animus cleaved the demon in two, which resulted in an explosion. All of a sudden, the field disappeared, and Animus found himself back in the gyroscopic chamber in the base. Dirk came into the large room to release Animus from the chamber.
“Pretty good job, Animus. I was able to watch your progress on the monitor,” Dirk said.
“How were you able to see what I was doing?”
Dirk replied, “This headband you were wearing can detect brain patterns. Using technology that I discovered, I could take those brain patterns and send them wirelessly to a computer, where a near-perfect image can be displayed. Before I started the simulation, I was able to download your experience against the most powerful demon we’ve encountered, so far. I still need to work out a few details, though. Although the broken sword was detected, I realized that the demon did not adapt to a different strategy. I’ll have to fix that, later. Oh, also, I registered the demon as “Difficulty Level 2″. Aside from enemy difficulty, I can also adjust the number of enemies of that type to be displayed. However, it can only go up to four, right now.”
“So, what’s Difficulty Level 1, then?” Animus asked.
“Oh, that is the normal, run-of-the-mill demon that we fight quite often. Oh, yeah. I plan to make the difficulty go up to 10, but I may need more data if I want to make tougher battle simulations.”
All of a sudden, Mentivis’s voice came out of nowhere. “Attention. All team members report to the War Room in the basement. I repeat. All team members report to the War Room in the basement.”
“Intercom?” Animus asked.
“Yep.” Animus and Dirk then proceeded to the War Room. The room was mostly dark, save for a couple of lights on the ceiling. There were a table and four chairs in the center of the room. A huge monitor, showing a map of the world, was on the wall. Mentivis and Melina were already sitting down. Mentivis got up and greeted the two warriors.
“Animus, Dirk. Go ahead and take a seat. We’re about to talk about the new War Room and how it will benefit us in our fight against the demons.” Animus and Dirk went to the remaining vacant chairs and sat down. As Mentivis sat down in his chair, four shining medals suddenly appeared and dropped onto the table, in front of each warrior. Suddenly, there came a familiar voice.
“For successfully joining together as a team, you are all awarded the second Great Deed medallion. You will soon face dangers greater than the last ones, but do not be discouraged. Together, you will be successful.”
“The last medal we obtained was after the battle against Atraledo, the demon who nearly defeated us. I hope we don’t get any more moments like those. That death was pretty darn painful,” Dirk spoke.
Animus responded, “I’m not going to let that battle discourage me. We’re going to face more tough moments, but we are not going to be defeated.”
“That’s easy for you to say! You didn’t get killed!” Dirk replied, aggravated.
Mentivis stepped in, “Calm it, Dirk. Whether or not we’ll face death in battle again is not within our knowledge. We’ll need to stay faithful and press on. The enemy wants us to get discouraged by the difficulty of battle. Out of all the weapons the enemy has, there are few greater than Fear. As long as we continue to defend ourselves against Fear, we can surely overcome any other weapon they throw at us. Now, we need to discuss this War Room. We used to use the television to figure out when a demon attacks. However, when there is a demon attack, the alarm will go off throughout the base, and we will meet up here to see where the demon is striking. We can also meet here to discuss strategies, whenever the need arises.”
Dirk questioned Mentivis’s strategy discussion idea. “What do we need strategies for? We just go in, kick their butts, and…”
All of a sudden, the alarm went off. On the map, eight symbols representing demons appeared in various places.
Dirk, turning red with embarrassment, suddenly changed his tone. “So, uhh, what’s the strategy here, Mentivis?”
“According to the data on the monitor, the demons are around our skill levels. We’ll choose two demons to fight and split up to engage them.”
“So, how did you get their skill levels gauged, Mentivis?” Animus questioned.
“Dirk and I discovered that Diathesium can detect spiritual strength. Using a special device, we gauged our own spirit levels, and we used 1,000 as a number to represent our strength. These demons have been calculated to have a spiritual strength of 800-900. That means we are slightly stronger. Anyway, we can talk more about this, later. We need to get moving.”
The four warriors quickly exited the base and approached the locations of the demons. Animus traveled Northeast of the base, preparing to engage the demons near Terto City, his former home. When he arrived, he noticed that the two demons wore the same armor as the others he has previously defeated.
“The Knight! Get him!” one of the demons shouted.
Animus said nothing in response. He unsheathed his sword and dashed toward the demons. As he clashed swords with one demon, he held the other back with energy shots. After a couple minutes of fighting, Animus began to retreat. As soon as they say this, the demons followed, but Animus managed to gain enough distance between him and the enemy.
“All right, let’s see if this helps. ENERUGI!!!” Animus stood with his hands held high, as he gathered energy for his attack. The demons continued to pursue Animus, attempting to stop him from launching the attack. However, just as the demons nearly got close enough for an attack, Animus lowered his hands and moved them forward. “KOUSEN!!!”
Within seconds, both demons got caught in the blast and were annihilated.
“Time to return to base to see if Mentivis got his two demons.” Almost immediately after, thoughts began to appear, but these thoughts weren’t his, nor was it the celestial being’s. These thoughts came from Mentivis!
“(Animus, I need you and the others to return to the base. The demon attack was only a diversion, and a large army of demons began to attack the base!)”
“(Mentivis, if you can hear me, are you at the base, now?)”
Animus’s thoughts received a reply: “(I can hear you, as long as I am communicating with you, telepathically. I’m not near the base, yet. I have a device that emits a signal to me whenever the base is attacked. Meet me at the base for further instructions.)”
“(Crud. They’re already after our base. They really want us destroyed. I’d better get going.)”
Animus returned to the base to find Mentivis and the others fending off demons near the base. However, the base fired special weapons in response. Despite this, the demons still had the advantage in numbers. Animus quickly joined the fight and slew the demons attacking the team.
“What’s the plan, Mentivis?” Animus quickly asked.
“You and Dirk fend off the remaining demons. Melina and I will act as support. She will provide healing and defensive barriers, while I survey the battle to find some advantages. If you get tired, come back to me, and we’ll switch places until you two can catch your breaths.”
Animus and Dirk proceeded to attack the demons, while Mentivis and Melina watched from a safe distance.
“Come get some! I’ll take you all on!” Dirk shouted as he approached the demons. Without hesitation, the demons dashed toward Dirk, who was standing still with his claws guarding him. All of a sudden, he makes his move.
“Feel the power of the dragon’s roar!” Dirk opened his mouth wide and let loose a huge beam of energy, vaporizing the approaching demons and those behind them. He then proceeded to attack another group of demons nearby.
Animus continued to slice one demon after another, until he was deep within enemy lines.
“(Animus, look out! Pincer attack!)” Mentivis warned telepathically.
“Oh, snap. Time to take to the skies.” Animus launched himself upwards into the air as the demons attempting to flank him from the sides dashed toward his position. They immediately propelled themselves upward, as well,chasing after Animus.
“Ok, time to resort to the Cluster Blast.” Animus put his right hand on his left arm, and he aimed his left hand downward toward the fast-approaching demons.
“CLUSTER BLAST!” Animus fired the condensed ball of energy into the group of demons chasing him. A huge blast followed, destroying the demons who were chasing him.
“Ahh, crud. I need to stop doing that so much.” Animus continued to hold his left arm, as it went numb from the force of launching the ball of energy.
“(Mentivis, do you hear me?)” Animus thought in his head.
“(Need a break, Animus?)” was the thought that returned.
“(Yeah. I’ll be right there.)” Animus quickly moved towards Mentivis, who then went off to fight the army of demons to relieve Animus.
“Are you ok, Animus?” Melina asked. “Quick, let me heal you.” Melina placed her hands on Animus and released special energy into him, healing his wounds.
“Thanks, Melina. But, I’m still kind of tired from the fighting.”
“Just stay here, for now. Mentivis will take your place until you can catch your breath.” Melina put her arm around Animus, and Animus put his arm around hers, in response.
“With you right next to me, I forgot we were in a battle, for a moment. It just feels so peaceful being with you, Melina.”
Meanwhile, Mentivis assessed the battle while picking off demons, one by one. “(Dirk, there’s only a few of them left. How are you holding up?)”
“(You kidding me? I could do this for hours! I could finish the rest of these guys all by myself.)”
Mentivis, irritated at Dirk’s ego, replied, “(Don’t get overconfident! We haven’t fought the leader, yet! Look, there are eight demons remaining. You finish off the three you have in front of you, then go rest. I’ll take care of the remaining demons.)”
“(Hey, no calling dibs on the leader. I’m going to be the one to fight him!)” Dirk brashly thought, in response.
Mentivis sighed to himself, “(Fine, Dirk. Just don’t get yourself killed.)” Mentivis prepared to face the five demons in front of him, his bo staff charged with energy. Three of the demons suddenly lunged at him.
“FIREGRA!” Mentivis’s staff glowed red and began to shoot fire-charged energy at the demons. However, they were impervious to the attack.
“(Oh, of course. That wasn’t a smart move on my part. I should’ve remembered where these demons came from.)”
“ICEGRA!” Mentivis’s staff glowed bluish-white, and began to fire energy charged with ice. Immediately, the demons were stopped in their tracks, in pain from the freezing temperature of the energy. The two demons that were waiting suddenly began to charge.
“Let’s see how you like this! ENERUGISUPIN!” Mentivis let out a sprialling ball of energy that flew like a boomerang, hitting the two demons who were behind the three who were preparing for a second charge. Mentivis brought his hands together, focused into his hands, creating a ball of energy.
“MENTIKOUSEN!” All of a sudden, the ball of energy became a powerful energy beam, destroying three of the five demons in the center. However, the beam began to sway to the left, killing one demons, and then swayed to the right, killing the other demon. The energy in the beam came from Mentivis’s mind, so that he could control the angle at which the beam fired.
Meanwhile, Dirk destroyed the remaining three demons. “Ok, time to take down the boss!” Dirk quickly lunged toward the leader of the demons, who quickly dodged the oncoming attack and kicked Dirk downwards, sending him falling to the ground.
“Dirk, I told you not to get overconfident!” Mentivis shouted. Melina quickly rushed to Dirk to heal him as Animus proceeded toward the demon leader.
“State your name, demon,” Animus demanded as he and the demon stared each other down.
“My name is of no importance to you or your friends, knight. I shall make sure you are slain by my blade for meddling in our affairs,” the demon replied, sternly.
Animus rolled his eyes in disgust. “What is with you demons? The only way I can get a name out of you is if some other demon says it by some coincidence. I can understand getting a response like that from the first demon I slew, but about a few dozen battles or so later, I’d at least expect some sort of nickname, or something.”
This only made the demon angry. “Your arrogance will bring you a slow and painful death!” The demon, with a claymore in his hands, lunges towards Animus. Animus quickly flew upwards, firing energy shots toward the pursuing demon. The demon quickly deflected each energy shot back at Animus, who attempted to dodge the shots, but was hit by a couple of them.
“(Mentivis, can you hear me? I need someone to distract him, so I can move in to attack.)”
Mentivis responded to Animus’s thoughts by firing energy shots of his own from behind the demon, then switching to Icegra shots. As soon as the demon turned back to attack who was firing at him, Animus made his move. He raised his sword to prepare for a downward slash, as he approached the distracted demon. However, the demon quickly turned back toward Animus and grabbed him by the throat.
“Animus!” Mentivis moved in toward the demon, but the demon kept him from approaching by launching fiery darts from the palm of his hand. The demon then turned his attention toward Animus, now gasping for air.
“May eternal fire consume your soul.” As soon as the demon said this, he was impaled by Dirk, recovered from his wounds.
“You, first,” Dirk replied.
Animus’s neck was now free from the now-deceased demon, whose body has now dispersed into a dissipating black mist.
“Whew. That was way too close for comfort. Thanks a bunch, Dirk,” said Animus, still recovering from the choke.
“Yes. Thanks, Dirk. That was quick thinking, there. I feared the worst when I saw that demon grab him by the throat,” replied Mentivis, walking toward the two alongside Melina, who healed his wounds after the battle.
Suddenly, four shiny badges appeared right in front of the warriors.
“You four have done well as a team. By demonstrating your teamwork against an army of foes, you are awarded the third Great Deed Medallion. The enemy is stunned by your valor, and it will be a while before they will attack as a large force again.” The familiar voice disappeared, and the four badges dropped into each warrior’s hands.
“So, who’s up for pizza, soft drinks, and video games, tonight?” asked Animus as the warriors returned to their base.