Saturday, September 27, 2008

Crosswinds in the Military

Our country has been involved in the war in Iraq since 2003. This war and our military are constantly on the minds and hearts of the American people. It has also been a topic of debate during this presidential election, revealing just how strongly Americans disagree about the war.

Even if we may disagree about the war, we all agree that our service men and women have done a magnificent job and we are indebted to them for their service. And though we are aware of the duty they are performing and are glad to hear of their many successes and are pained by the too many losses of loved ones; I think we, too often forget the intangible personal costs and struggles they are experiencing, such as those involving spiritual issues.

Being in the military, especially in an active conflict, probably heightens one's awareness of such issues. Also, we shouldn’t forget our soldiers come from a country that developed out of a Christian culture and now serve in a theater were the religion of Islam is predominate. Surely, this must bring its own spiritual struggles.

That is one reason we have our own military expert serving with us at Crosswinds. Don Malin who serves with our staff, is a military chaplain. In January he will be deployed to Afghanistan for his second tour of duty in the Middle East. While there Don will help us to have a better understanding of some of the spiritual issues our service folks face while serving in the Middle East. He’ll also be able to address some of the spiritualities he encounters there.

While in Afghanistan, Don will also provide reports to us through our blog, Crosswinds in the Military (http://christianmilitarychaplain.blogspot.com/), and through our website. Hopefully, he will also be able to occasionally post video for us. I encourage you to check out Don’s blog and if you have friends in the service, send them a link, as well.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Got Some Cheetos? Blog Me!

It has been a few weeks since I opened a bag of Cheetos (a must have for bloggers according to Joe Scarborough), got out my computer and wrote on my blogspot. It’s not that there hasn’t been anything of cultural importance occurring during the past few weeks (quite the contraire); I’ve just been tied up with other writing and organizational projects and plans.

For example, I have been asked by the Alabama Baptist to write an eleven week series of articles on pseudo-Christian religious groups and worldviews. The series includes how to recognize and respond to such groups and includes articles on: Scientology, Mormonism, Christian Science, Atheism, New Age, Jehovah's Witnesses, Agnosticism, Word-Faith Movement, Wicca and the Occult. The series begins next week and can be read online the following week.

In addition to this, the front page of our website is now online so you can view it. I am furiously in the process of writing content so all the links can be activated and in the next few days you’ll start seeing content appear. You can view it at: www.crosswindsfoundation.org

One other thing we have devoted a lot of attention to the past few weeks is developing a presence on Facebook. We have been amazed at what an effective tool this is for communicating with others. If you have a Facebook account visit our group and sign up at: http://www.new.facebook.com/group.php?gid=38535861146

Our associate staff member, Scott Shoop is overseeing this project. Right now we are discussing the recent Pew Research Report finding that a high percentage of Americans, including Evangelicals, believe there are many paths to eternal life. This includes a discussion of what is shaping such beliefs.

By the way, all of our staff also have individual Facebook pages. If you want to add them to your friend, just search for: Ron Carter, Don Malin, Scott Shoop, David Grubbs, and Bob Waldrep.

So, there is a quick update on some of the things we have been doing, in addition to speaking and counseling, and an explanation of our seeming disappearance from the blogsphere. We're back now, and don't worry, we have lots to talk about. Oops, just ran out of Cheetos!

Blog you later!