Greetings friends and family
I haven't written in a while, mainly because we've been busy over here, but also because it's become harder to do so. When I first arrived here I could pull up the main page for the service that we use to create our family blog and log on to post, but I could not actually see the blog itself. All blogs are blocked by the base Internet security program. I was really looking forward to keeping up with all of you not only by posting on this blog but also by reading your blogs. That is not possible. It could and has been a lot worse though. The first deployment I did in the Navy, all we had was letter mail. So, I won't complain too much. So from now on I will have to email my posts to Candace, starting with this one, and she will copy and paste them onto the blog for me. Hopefully this plan will work.
So, not much has changed. Long hours hot weather. It feels cooler to me, though I know it's not. I guess that means I'm getting used to it. There is one thing I don't think I can get used to though. Up in the cockpit of the aircraft, when we have to do work up there, is like an oven. The cooling air inside the aircraft doesn't work until the engines are running. Sometimes we have to go up there and do work that does not require the engine to run and sit for long periods of time. During the hot part of the day with the sun beating in the widows and no AC in can get over 200 degrees. Yes, we measured it. Just sitting there, you can be drenched in your own sweat in no time.
On a cleaner note, I made a DVD of myself to send home to Candace and the boys. At the library here, they have a room set aside with a video camera and a recliner and lots of children's books. I recorded myself saying hello and goodnight to the boys and reading them a few books. Candace and I were nervous about how they would react to the video. It turned out to be a good thing, especially for Brendan, Candace tells me. He really enjoyed seeing me. I tried to make it interactive, asking questions and talking to them. I guess I'll have to do that more often.
This last part will be written for those of you who are members of our small group, though it will probably have relevance for most readers. Before I left we had a discussion about washing feet. This is something that has been brought up in bible classes and discussions many times just in my short life as a Christian. I know that many of you have been a part of services or gatherings where this has been done. I never really understood what meaning this could have in our society today. never really saw the relevance. I do now.
I guess I understand a little more why it was done in the time and place that Jesus lived more since I've been here. In our off time we wear our PT uniform, which is a grey T-shirt with an Air Force symbol on it and matching blue shorts. Normally the foot wear for this uniform is white socks and running shoes. An exception has been made at the base I am currently at because of the climate, and we are allowed to walk around the non operations side of the base where we all live and "play", in sandals. There are sidewalks and roads to walk on but all the unpaved ground is rock and sand. The sand is everywhere, including the sidewalks, so no matter how you try you're going to get some on your feet. We don't have to wear sandals, but after having your sweaty feet in combat boots all day, it's nice to be able to let them air out.
So, the point I'm getting at is, I can see how this tradition of washing feet came about, literally see it every time I look down at my feet. People in this part of the world wearing sandals would no doubt have washed their feet as often as possible. And, as a sign of hospitality, offered guests water to wash their feet or washed their guests feet themselves. I'm sure that this was done by servants or slaves of more wealthy people. This is clearly why the apostles in John 13 protested when Jesus washed their feet.
It's hard to accept that God would give his son for us even though we don't deserve it. Just like it was hard for the apostles to let Jesus, who they knew was the son of the living God, wash their feet. But he told them that if they did not let him then he had no place for them in his kingdom. And if we don't accept that the one and only son of God came to give his life for us personally, and for all of us collectively, then I think he has no place for us in his kingdom. To me that means people that we think don't deserve mercy or grace, we should still give it. Pray for those who despise you. They don't deserve it, but neither do we. Pray for your enemies. I do.