11/26/2010: M16 Range
Today, our battalion went to the range to qualify on our M16A2! Wow, praise God! I haven’t shot a gun for over a year now and I’m unsure how I would do. When I qualified using paper targets on a 25 meter range, I got a 31! And that is despite the fact that my last two rounds wouldn’t fire. To give a quick overview, there are two ways to qualify a M16A2. The first way is to qualify using pop-up targets. You would need a vast field to do that. Green silhouette’s as targets will pop up at various distances, usually every 50 meters. So, there will be a 50,100,150,200,250, and a 300 meter target. If you hit it, the target automatically goes down. A shooter has to shoot at least 23 of 40 targets to pass. Paper targets, however are different. It is used when space is limited, such is the case in Camp Arifjan. All the targets is on a large sheet of paper 25 meters away. The targets will be of different shapes and sizes depending on the distances. To pass this method, you would need to hit 27 of 40 targets.
But, before you can qualify, it might be a good idea to zero your weapon first. Zeroing is basically like calibrating. Since every shooter sees differently through the sight picture, every weapon has to be adjusted to the shooter. I had a hard time zeroing my weapon, but praise God, the extra time spent shooting means I get more practice! I’m not there to pass, but to learn. I know that the horse (me) is made ready for battle, but the battle belongs to the Lord (Provb. 21:31). I think going to college should also be the same. I’m going to college not necessarily to get a good grade, but to learn and grow to help others. I will write the essays not to satisfy man, but to satisfy God.
I’m happy, despite the fact that my life is hard and I’m tired. 主的喜樂是我力量! The joy of the Lord is my strength!
A lot of things has happened in the past few days, but I want to keep my journals short and simple.
It’s easy to let the pleasures and entertainment of life to diminish writing my life story. Like yesterday, I was going to write but my bunk mates decided to watch <i>Avatar: The air bender</i>. Or, I would sometimes check Yahoo news before I write my discoveries (my term for journal writing) and find that my life just isn’t that interesting or urgent to write anymore. <b>I let the news, events, and pressures of the world diminish my own life.</b>
These past few days has been trying for me, but, it seems God always finds a way to help me, even when I feel hopeless that God actually will help me. My two old worries surfaced again: college and my dad. To deal with them would be too difficult and too much for me right now. I’m already under extreme pain and hardship (for me). I can’t fight anymore. I know that all I really need is to call my dad and everything should be okay. My dad still misses me and wants to contact me. My college? After I check the my truthful situation, I should be able to call them and ask for a second chance. But, the problem is, I know what to do, but I just can’t do it. There’s too much pain and trouble involved. There’s too much fear involved.
You know, sometimes I feel, and I think other people sometimes feel this way, that I just can’t take any defeat anymore. I am already under tremendous stress. Any defeat I receive will be too painful and horrible for me. As long as anything I try has a chance of defeat, it is not worth trying.
I want God to go before me, to grant me victory. I want God to go forward, completely wipe out my enemies and I just come and occupy the land.
<i>¶While he was still talking to them, the messenger came down to him. And the king said, “This disaster is from the LORD. Why should I wait for the LORD any longer?” ¶Elisha said, “Hear the word of the LORD. This is what the LORD says: About this time tomorrow, a seah of flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.” ¶The officer on whose arm the king was leaning said to the man of God, “Look, even if the LORD should open the floodgates of the heavens, could this happen?” ¶“You will see it with your own eyes,” answered Elisha, “but you will not eat any of it!” ¶Now there were four men with leprosy at the entrance of the city gate. They said to each other, “Why stay here until we die? If we say, ‘We’ll go into the city’—the famine is there, and we will die. And if we stay here, we will die. So let’s go over to the camp of the Arameans and surrender. If they spare us, we live; if they kill us, then we die.” ¶At dusk they got up and went to the camp of the Arameans. When they reached the edge of the camp, not a man was there, for the Lord had caused the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a great army, so that they said to one another, “Look, the king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to attack us!” So they got up and fled in the dusk and abandoned their tents and their horses and donkeys. They left the camp as it was and ran for their lives.</i>
2 Kings 6:33 – 2 Kings 7:7 (NIV)
I know that I need to focus on the Lord of the Battle and not on the battle, for it is the Lord who grants me victory.
And also about the girl I love….
I have been very horny lately (of course, what do you expect from a bunch of guys living together with no female contact?). And, I have been letting these evil desires control my thought life again. It’s like the cancer. I have even made plans to alter my leave destination or plans so I might be able to indulge my sinful, guilty pleasures. Praise God, one way or another, and more due to hardships in my life, I was able to promise Him that even if I chose to kill myself, I will not sin against God. It’s not easy making that promise; I have to sacrifice so much, but I have to do it because my life and my body belong to the Lord.
I have been thinking about finding a girlfriend (it has to be, of course, a girl who loves God), but then I began to wonder if my promise with the girl I love to God is really valid. I remember myself on my bed, telling God that if He were to give her to me, I would dedicate my life and my firstborn (or all my children, not sure) to Him. I remember when I was in the field, in desperation (I just declared my love to her via Facebook and she blocked me), I opened my Bible to a random page. At the same time, my battle buddies in the tents were questioning me about my girlfriend and my desire for one. What I read in the Bible shocked me. The first heading and verses I read were about Jacob and his fourteen years of toil to get the girl he loved.
<i>Jacob was in love with Rachel and said, “I’ll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel.” ¶Laban said, “It’s better that I give her to you than to some other man. Stay here with me.” So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her. ¶Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife. My time is completed, and I want to lie with her.” ¶So Laban brought together all the people of the place and gave a feast. But when evening came, he took his daughter Leah and gave her to Jacob, and Jacob lay with her. And Laban gave his servant girl Zilpah to his daughter as her maidservant. ¶When morning came, there was Leah! So Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? I served you for Rachel, didn’t I? Why have you deceived me?” ¶Laban replied, “It is not our custom here to give the younger daughter in marriage before the older one. Finish this daughter’s bridal week; then we will give you the younger one also, in return for another seven years of work.” ¶And Jacob did so. He finished the week with Leah, and then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife. </i>
Genesis 29:18 – Genesis 29:28 (NIV)
So I told my tent mates “Even if she blocks me and has no interest in me, I will still try to love her.” I then tried telling them about the story of Jacob and Rachel and how I should not give up. I forgot if they were still attentive to me. Afterwards, I felt so inspired, I wrote a draft I was going to post on Facebook titled “Seven Years.” Obviously, I hope you know what that means.
Yes, I would be sacrificing so much. I need a companion. I need someone who loves me and whom I can tell all my troubles and feelings to, and I would do the same for her. It’s wonderful to have a spiritual battle buddy, and especially if it’s your would-be wife!
I am already socially isolated. I don’t have any close friends of any sort (spiritual, hobby, personal, etc). I don’t have a close friend whom I can tell all my trials and troubles to. I do have a few good friends, especially in my platoon, but even to them, I can’t tell everything. I don’t feel a complete connection with them. Maybe that’s why I use Facebook so much, lol. <b>To go thought life alone without a friend who provides unconditional love, help, and comfort is a great handicap.</b> A lot of people would pay somebody to be their unconditional friend, but once his money is gone, his friend is also gone. It’s hard for me to find a unconditional friend in this world and it’s even harder in this day and age, when everybody’s living for the moment.
The only friend I truly have and He is my greatest asset is Jesus. It is Jesus who keeps me alive. I have already gone way beyond my capacity to endure. It is Jesus who keeps me living. It is Jesus who keeps my heart pumping. It is Jesus who gives me help, hope, and comfort every day. Many times, He gives me just enough, but, praise God, it’s just enough!
It’s okay. I don’t know where my life is leading me but I know <b>who</b> is leading my life. And He knows and understands more than everything about me. In this world, it seems, I can only trust in God.
I feel a lot better now. I praise God that my Christian family back home cares about me. Even through my replies are one-sided and probably even boring, it doesn’t matter. I’m glad to know that what matters is that I trust in God. That the battle belongs to the Lord.
I should not be afraid of being unpopular or boring. That’s not important. What’s important is that I serve the Lord. I don’t know how often I should give updates to my church. Every week? Month? At will? Probably at will. I will choose at will because God’s timing is perfect. What can I say? I will just say or write what God wants me to say or write. I will write about my experiences, any hardships, but it will all be from God’s will.
Still, even if I don’t update my church, I will still keep them in my prayers. I am not trying to impress or gain anything, but to worship God. He will guide me and help me find a way.
I could write a lot if I have the time to write but sadly, I don’t. I need to trust in God, I need Him more and more. If I trust in God, even if I lose every battle, I will still win the war. “The horse is made ready for battle, but the battle belongs to the Lord (Psalms).” But recently, like the past few days, it’s been trying. I always get tired, not getting enough sleep, and making too many man mistakes. But I still know that God will protect me. Praise the Lord.
I have been eating “Daniel’s” diet for a few days now and everything is alright so far. I am going to do my best to have faith and continue the diet as long as possible. Other soldiers see me doing this as a sign that I’m becoming vegetablian. No, I am now. I love eating meat, but I choose to abstain from meat to give God glory. Because all glory belongs to God. “For thine is the glory and the power forever and ever, Amen (Matthew).”
“The Lord and everything in it belongs to God.” Sigh, I know I am weak, I know I have many weaknessess, but I will do everything within my ability to give God glory. Again, with God, I can lose every battle, but still win the war. Forgive me God, for being a bit angry and jealous. You are the God who “fearfully and wonderfully made me.” Give me strength Lord, give me strength.