With My Shield or On It

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Continuing with our series, The Armor of God, next is the shield of faith.

And today’s post is gonna be a little different.

~Ephesians 6:16: Above all, taking the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.~

Today, I’m not going to throw gems of truth at you that I’ve dug up.

 I won’t be setting goals to strive for.

You won’t get some rousing speech to get you all pumped up for battle.

Today, you get my guts on this page, even more so than usual.

With My Shield or On It

Faith is a tricky thing.

You can have a little, or a lot.

It can waver or it can stand strong.

It can ebb and flow, just like the tide.

You have to trust what you cannot see. Reach for what you cannot feel. Listen for what you cannot hear.

~Hebrews 11:1 – Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.~

Faith works much like a physical shield. It can be offensive or defensive. With it, you’re protected from various projectiles. You can use it as a weapon, smashing the enemy over the head or using it as a battering ram of sorts. It can protect you from the elements. It can also help protect your fellow warriors.

It is said that Spartan mothers would hand their sons a shield before battle, and tell them to come back with it or on it. Either dead or alive, they returned a hero. If they returned without their shield, they were branded cowards who had dropped the defenses and run.

Right now, my faith is pretty dinged up. There’s a hole here, a gouge over there, and most days I can’t even seem to get the thing up off the ground, let alone carry it in front of me.

I can believe for the small things, sure. No problem. That’s easy.

I can even have faith for others. Every other person that I pray for, I have no problem envisioning in my mind what God’s gonna do for them as I pray.

But when it comes to myself and something I need? Yeah. That’s where things get jacked sideways.

Case in point: I have a degenerative spine condition. Slowly, painfully, the things I love to do are slipping off my approved activities list. As bad as I would love to be healed, to have that pain go away, most days, it’s hard to believe it’s ever going to happen.

I’ve seen miracles. I’ve experienced miracles. I’ve watched things happen that left no doubt there is a God above and He hears us. He answers us. So why do I have such a hard time having faith for my own healing?

I have no idea.

Maybe it’s because I’ve had this condition for years now. Maybe it’s because I’m in my own way, blocking my healing or rejecting it in some manner that I haven’t figured out yet.

I know my God is bigger. I know God can do anything. I guess if I’m honest, I struggle with, “Why would He do this for me?” And those old thoughts of punishment, retribution, and getting what I deserve come crashing back into my head with shattering glass and twisted metal. Even though I know that’s not how God works.

Now, why would I be telling you all of this? Aren’t I supposed to give some great revelation about faith, how to get it, how to use it? Shouldn’t I be amping you guys up for a fight and sending you out to take the enemy out at the knees?

That’s exactly what I’m doing.

The battle’s not just about you

If you’ve ever seen the show Firefly, you’ll know this quote:

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It’s not just about you.  And it’s not just about me. Soldiers don’t go out on the battlefield alone, they storm the gates with their fellow warriors. Somebody’s got their six.

You’ve got someone to depend on, who will carry you back home if they have to.

Just like it’s easier for me to have faith for others, sometimes it’s easier for them to have faith for me. This doesn’t mean that I give up. Or that I never try to grow my faith or work on whatever it is that’s holding me back. What it does mean is that I have people surrounding me that have faith for me until I do. I have friends and family that will carry me when I can’t even crawl. Until I can run again.

We all must seek out and surround ourselves with people who not only bolster our own faith, but have faith when we don’t. Those we can trust who have our back, no matter what. We build a circle of faith. That friends, is the strongest shield you will ever find.

Have you ever lost faith, or had difficulty believing for something in your own life that you’d like to share? Or, tell us about your band of soldiers that strengthen one another.

Do you lack a strong squad around you to lift you up and carry you when you need it? Contact me here, at Facebook.com/AmyBrockMcNewauthor, or at AmyMMcNew@att.net.

Keep Your Head In The Game

Welcome to Fight Friday!

As promised in Monday’s post, today is all about the helmet.

Monday, we talked about why every suit of armor should start with a sturdy helmet. (You know, so you keep your brain intact inside your cranium. Otherwise, well, not good things will follow.)

Our primary focus was not a physical helmet, but the helmet of salvation.

Today, we get to take a peek at some helmets through the centuries. And, okay, some from fiction as well. I don’t go into a lot of detail, since this is really just a fun post.

~Ancient Warriors

When we think ancient warriors, most of us probably think of Spartans, Romans, Persians, etc. Have you ever really taken a good, up close look at their gear? It’s pretty amazing when you think about it. No technology as we know it, yet they came up with some astonishing ways to keep their skulls protected.

3ce0c2c6bdc5da8b0066d0f94e29d39cThis is a rather ornate early helmet. Surprise, it’s Spartan!

fc152c55b4cd6730db49ec9e7e975f60This one is said to be early Viking.

e55da8c9507733bec195d1999f177c35Here’s an ornate piece. It was found in the ruins of the ship of a seventh century Anglo-Saxon King. I’m going to guess this probably didn’t see much battle.

~Knights and Dragon Slayers

The following are what probably pop into your head first when you think armor.  I’ve got to say, I’m not sure how they held their heads up to fight! These look heavy.

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I’m putting the Samurai Warriors in this section. Their battles were fought over centuries, with not much changing in the way of their armor. Beautiful pieces, and strong, despite being made mostly of leather, bamboo, and bone, sometimes different metals.

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~19th and 20th Centuries

f96b56dd73d6f181c6abb60b4c12517eAn American soldier, circa World War II. This guy was especially happy to have his helmet.

ef09d5c1facdc4cf1bbc952c3e58ef0eLate 18th Century, British.

3e7219e53d1784e87cd4142fdecf2a9cThis one is Russian, these particular helmets worn by commanders. How did they get this to stay on?

~Modern Warfare

Now, we get into the really cool stuff.

c89c8788043fd526d757b907ea79b81dModern tactical gear is a thing of beauty. Not only designed to maximize protection, but also communication, and visualization. Many have cameras mounted to them, so those back at base can have immediate sitrep. 46797b15d33f94b405af46a31fb32814

This one is my personal favorite. The head gear of a fighter pilot.33be83876cc3471b3bfc939d55e380ad

~Art Imitates Life

And now, for some rather well-known helmets.

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And, of course, a little homage to the man who is the inspiration for my character “Ryland” in REBIRTH. 7c137a66c824b606fed2249422698018

So, to close today’s post, I leave you with a word of advice. This bit of wisdom can be used in both spiritual and physical battles.

DON’T9930f441a96980f95b9b6db565d50236 BE THIS GUY!