Thursday, December 29, 2011

Time to Leave

Ok, so I am currently sitting some where in Kuwait waiting for my flight home. Unfortunately I am only going home on R&R and not permanently. Oh, well it is what it is. I should be home sometime Saturday afternoon to evening. Please keep me in your prayers as I travel.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

Mithras or Christmas?


First, I want to say that I am aware of the many different blogs that have posted something like this, especially around this time of year. I am not trying to copy those blogs, rather I am trying to spread information that loves to be looked over and twisted by our modern culture (which seems to me to despise Christianity.)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Emergent Churches


This blog post was written in response to a thread over at OC.net called “Who’s To Blame for the Emerging Church Movement (Hint: Evangelicals)". The thread was actually a reply, in part, to a blog post of the same name located at Theoblogy that discussed how the author felt that certain attitudes with in Evangelical youth groups lead to the Emerging Church Movement. Please read both if you feel like you need more background.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving


I just wanted to wish a Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American readers. Please remember to be thankful today as well as every day, and go ahead and immerse yourselves in prayer thanking God for all He has given us. Have a blessed day and if you are interested I have added some links to the history of Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Internet Censorship

I was browsing the internet over here earlier trying to dig up some sources for an idea I have for a blog post. Mostly it was smooth sailing aside from the internet being slow due to so many people being logged onto the same server; but while trying to navigate to a certain site I got this error message,

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Occupation of Iraq coming to a Close

Some of you probably know that the Occupation of Iraq is coming to a close very soon. The soldiers still in Iraq are supposed to be home by the holidays, according to the President.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

On Halloween

Yes, I am jumping on the Halloween bandwagon, but I am going to try to keep an objective view of this so called holiday.

First of all, what does Halloween mean? Everybody should know by now that Halloween is a shortened form of All Hallows Eve which was an old way of saying All Saints Day Eve (yeah, I can see how Hallowe'en stuck). Now then, according to the Western Liturgical Calendar (the one the Roman Catholics, some high-church Protestants, and the Western Rite Orthodox use) All Saints Day is November 1st - this by default makes All Saints Day Eve October 31 - the date we all know now as Halloween. All Saints Day is the day set aside to commemorate, obviously, all the saints. It should be noted that in the Eastern Rite All Saints Day is the Sunday after Pentecost.

The first All Saints Day I can find mention of in the West was in AD 609 or 610.
"In AD 609 or 610, Pope Boniface IV consecrated the ancient Roman Pantheon as a Christian Church. (This, like the Orthodox Holiday, really was a co-opting of something previously Pagan.) The new name was St Mary and All Martyrs and the anniversary of the consecration, 13 May, was a feast celebrated in all the western Church. This was the beginning of All Saints’ Day in the West. It’s important to note two things: (a) this happens after the coming of St Augustine to Canterbury; and (b) it doesn’t happen on 1 November. These are important because of the claim (sometimes offered in error on these pages as well) that Augustine merely baptised a pagan feast day he found in England and that it came back to Rome. Nope. Sorry.
About 100 years later another Pope, Gregory III, dedicated another All Saints’ chapel – this one in St Peter’s – on 1 November and began to commemorate the feast on that day. The next Pope Gregory made that feast (on 1 November) of universal practice.
All of these Christian dates are very important because these dates mean the festival of All Saints (and thus the Vigil the night before) is a feast of the pre-Schism Patriarchate of Rome. It’s Orthodox. 31 October/1 November is not a Pagan festival."
(from raphael.doxos.com)
There is a reason I start off my treatise on Halloween with a Christian holiday, but more on this later.

Now then, the main objection one always hears about Halloween is the Pagan connections, the most commonly and over-used is Samhain, an old Celtic feast the was supposed to take place every year on October 31. Anybody who has done any kind of research on the Celts should know that there is a problem with this belief; the Celts used a lunar calendar, not a solar one (in fact it was a very complicated lunar calendar that tried to reconcile both solar and lunar calendars: see Celtic_calendar).

The problem with a lunar calendar is that the days don't always match to a solar calendar. So Samhain could have been celebrated on October 31 according to the Celtic calendar, but would have been off by a few days according to the Church calendar being Julian (at the time, and no I am not going to get into Old vs New Calendar in this post). This will always be a problem with lunar and solar calendars.

It should also be noted that the earliest references of All Saints Day being on November 1 (and thus Halloween on October 31) go back to the 8th century, but the earliest references of an Irish festival (Samhain) are not found until the 10th century (Samhain and All Saints Day).

It seems to me that October 31 was never really THE day that the Celts celebrated Samhain, being on a lunar calendar it would have been hit or miss given the year (although it could completely be miss by now the way the Old Calendar celebrates Christmas on our Jan 6/7 and the New Calendar celebrates Christmas on our Dec 25 - that's it for the Church calendars, I promise!), it was probably just the closest date for Samhain to be celebrated when the Celts started using the Church (or Roman, or Julian) calendar.

Halloween became very popular in the US as the Irish and Scottish migrated across the sea. They brought with them the acts of guising (dressing up in costumes) and pulling pranks. Most of the traditions that we get from Halloween are from Samhain practices - since the two all but merged with the changing of calendars - are actually for warding off evil spirits, not communicating with them or encouraging them to come around (Gaelic folklore).

Contrary to what Jack Chick (The Devil's Night) and people like him would have you believe, trick or treating did not originate with the Druids coming to your door and asking for food and if you refused them they would take your child for a sacrifice. Rather trick or treating developed as children would go guising they would perform tricks (such as singing and dancing) in return for treats (food, coin, etc). An older form was people who would go begging door to door offering to pray for that family's dearly departed on All Souls Day (November 2 the day after All Saints Day) in return for food (Trick-or-treating and guising).

In conclusion, Halloween was not another Christian holiday with pagan overtones so the Church could get more converts. Samhain was never exclusively set aside for the night of October 31. That people do use Halloween as a night of darkness to commit horrible acts is not evidence that Halloween started as a pagan celebration, but evidence that we let the media and card companies (and Sears the first company to market Halloween costumes) take over yet another Christian holiday and that we failed to hold onto another sacred day. Halloween never started off as a pagan celebration, but a Christian one to commemorate all the saints, but the folklore of the surrounding area integrated with the Christian holiday (as oft-times happens, and more on this later during the Christmas season); so go out there and celebrate this Christian holiday with the knowledge that those neo-pagans sacrificing unicorns and kittens are posers and thieves who can't even invent their own proper holiday but have to steal one from us, and then accuse us of stealing their holiday!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Update from the Sandbox

Ok, so I have been in Iraq for a little over a week now. Living conditions are much better that I was led to believe, and I have internet, so yay.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Boots On Ground

Ok, so I have landed in Kuwait. We landed here at 12:00 AM on the 25th after leaving the night of the 23rd.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

FRAGO

A FRAGO is an acronym that means Fragmentary Order; it is used to change an existing order.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Update from New Mexico

I apologize for the lack of an update, but this has been the first real down day that I have had and also had internet to use.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Almost Time


In more or less than a week I will be flying out to my MOB station for my final training before my deployment. To all of my family that I will not be getting to see, goodbye, and I hope to be seeing you sometime after my return. I will miss all of my friends and family that I must leave behind as my duty doth demand of me.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Art of War


I was in Iraq when I first read The Art of War and I immediately loved the book for its many insights into military tactics and strategies. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the advice given in that book still applies today – even in the unconventional operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. I saw how the terrorists used tactics that were almost straight from the ancient book with their ambush styles and setting of IED's [1]; I believe this helped discern where trouble may be when I was out and about.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Wonderings of a Parent

As the time draws near for me to deploy I am left with a slight problem: how do I explain to my two year old daughter that I have to leave for a very long time and may never come back? How do I explain to her that I am not leaving her because I don't love her any more? And how am I going to take being away from her for such a long time?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Autistic Kid and Saving Lives



So this past weekend I had a Combat Lifesavers Course through the Army. It is a course that teaches you battlefield first aid and what not to potentially save lives in combat. Many soldiers have been saved because of the Combat Lifesavers that come out of this course.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Intro/About Me

tl;dr An Orthodox Christian serving in the National Guard introduces himself and explains what this blog will be about - religion and service to one's country.

Hello, and welcome to my blog! I am Commini (pronounced Co-mmeeny) and this is my first post. I would like to take some time to talk about myself and what this blog will probably contain.