The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Category Archives: Military & Law Enforcement (MLE)

The Mindset of Trauma Rehearsal: Trying to Acclimate to the Unbearable

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

Trauma is initially created by a lack of debriefing.  It wasn’t just that you experienced something overwhelmingly negative—it was that you were prevented from being able to emotionally depressurize immediately afterward.  It is the absence of debriefing or processing which turns upsetting experiences into crippling traumas.  Heather and Kim are  good examples of this.  Both women had terrifying drowning experiences when they were girls.  But in Heather’s case, she was able to run to a caring mother, cry it all out, and receive both sympathy and help in gaining a new perspective of her experience.  While she was being held underwater, unable to breathe, Heather was terrified.  Her mind was leaping to all kinds of overwhelming conclusions, such as the brother who she trusted was maliciously holding her under.  As Heather’s mother talks her through these feelings and helps her understand that her brother was not trying to harm her, overwhelming fears are put to rest, and Heather is able to quickly recover.  Read more of this post

Loved Ones in Danger: How to Benefit from Your Stress

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

Your husband is a cop and he’s out trying to stop a gang fight.  Your wife is a spy on a mission that she can’t talk about.  Your brother is a federal agent who is tracking down some dangerous criminals.  Your fiancé is a fireman trying to rescue people from a burning skyscraper.  Your sister has been kidnapped.  Your kid is in a coma.  Your partner was gunned down on the field and the surgery isn’t going well.  When our loved ones are in danger, the minutes feel like hours as we sit by the phone anxiously waiting for news.  When we’re sick with worry, we can’t eat, we can’t sleep, and we can’t concentrate on anything else but all of the awful “what ifs.”  So is this our only option in life—to sit around getting ulcers while we hope and pray for our loved ones to be returned to us safely?  No, this is not our only option.  We have much better choices available to us—choices that can greatly benefit our souls.  But first we have to decide that we want to mature, and unfortunately most souls won’t make this choice.  Read more of this post

God & Patriotism: Guarding Your Priorities

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

Patriotism is a strong emotional and psychological bond to one’s country.  When humans feel strongly attached to something, they become willing to make sacrifices to protect whatever it is that they feel attached to.  Once feelings of patriotism grow strong enough, you become willing to compromise your personal comfort physically, emotionally, psychologically and even spiritually for the sake of benefiting your country.  In other words, you put your country above everything else in value, thus you feel it is right for you to be willing to kill,  lie, cheat, steal, or even die for your country if that’s what your country wants. Read more of this post

Monster in Uniform: Recovering from Your Own Immoral Acts (Help for Christians in Law Enforcement & the Military)

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

When you are not the one who has been assigned the task of finding and stopping a serial killer who is on the loose, then it’s very easy to see where the moral lines of interrogation tactics lie. But when it’s your friend’s wife who just got raped and slaughtered by some psycho on a bender, and you are now in a room with a smart aleck who obviously knows some critical information that could help you find and stop the killer, suddenly it seems totally justifiable to start putting the screws to him. When it’s your city that has been chosen for a terrorist attack and you’ve been told that it’s on you to keep the people safe, it suddenly becomes very hard to keep your cool when you’re questioning a known member of the terrorist cell. When it’s your officer who is being held hostage, or when it’s your soldier who is getting tortured somewhere, then suddenly time becomes something that you can’t afford to waste. And since it is a well-known fact that pain is a very useful way to extract information from people, suddenly you see yourself crossing lines that you never thought you’d cross. In the heat of the moment, you’ve got the moral excuse to justify your merciless behavior. But once the crisis is resolved and you have time to think about the depths to which you sank, suddenly you start feeling really disturbed about who it is you became. Read more of this post

Overcoming the Guilt of Failing to Protect

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

Maybe you are the mother who looked away for a moment and your child was kidnapped. Maybe you are the father who was forcibly restrained by thugs and made to watch while your daughter or wife was ravaged. Maybe you are the coach who failed to act when one of your kids was trying to tell you how bad things were getting at home. Maybe you are the older brother who lost track of your sister at a party and didn’t realize she was getting raped in a back room. Maybe you were the leader of a military op that went south and now some of your guys are critically wounded. Maybe you are the law enforcement officer who failed to give your partner the cover he needed. Maybe you are the fireman who got distracted and didn’t see the debris bury your partner. Maybe you are the father who didn’t pick up on the signs that your daughter was getting molested by her teacher. Maybe you are the bodyguard who got nailed from behind and the person you were supposed to protect was dead by the time you woke up. Maybe you are the babysitter who was rocking out to music and didn’t hear your young charge calling for help until it was too late. Whatever the details of your particular situation, failing in the role of protector can result in some very intense, life stopping, health destroying guilt. If this is where you are at, then you are in a crisis, and that crisis needs to be dealt with. God does not want you to spend the rest of your life stuck in the past. He doesn’t want you clinging to the lies that you can’t get past this, or that it’s wrong for you to stop feeling bad, or that the people you’ve hurt have now become your masters in life. So let’s get into it. Read more of this post

Repentant Sinners: Is it wrong to stop feeling bad about the past?

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

Let’s say you do something bad—really bad. You knew better, and you had plenty of resources to resist the temptation, but it was one of those moments where you just said, “Shut up, God, I’m doing this.” So you did it. And it was bad. And now some other people are really messed up because of what you did. But then you reached the point of sincere repentance. You stopped with the rebellion and you are now back in alignment with God, sincerely wanting Him to have His way in your life. There are now consequences for what you did in your life and in the lives of others. And in the midst of those consequences, you feel really terrible. You just feel perpetually awful about what you did. Well, isn’t this how you’re supposed to feel? After all, you sinned intentionally. So if you did something super bad, isn’t there supposed to be some limit to how joyful you can ever be after that? If you just go skipping forth in joyous freedom, isn’t that another form of sin? This is what many Christians believe: they think that once someone does something bad enough, it’s wrong for that person to ever make a full recovery, let alone soar to epic heights of soul peace and freedom. Well, what does God say? Read more of this post

Help for Murderers: What To Do When Your Victims Are Haunting You

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

You took a life. Maybe it was accidental. Maybe it was on purpose. Maybe you were trying to help. Maybe you were being malicious. Either way, the aftermath of such events can be far worse than you ever expected. Some murderers are plagued with horrific nightmares in which their victims play a central role. Others see ghosts of their victims in their waking hours. Others keep having flashbacks from the murder sequence. You walk into a room and see the woman you killed lying there with your knife in her back. You’re trying to make dinner and suddenly those tomatoes are the bloody remains of the baby you aborted. You’re driving and that little boy you killed suddenly appears standing in the road in front of you. You’re standing there trying to think and you feel your buddy tap you on the shoulder—the same one you turned around and knifed because you thought he was someone else. You’re in bed at night and you hear a voice saying she’ll get back at you for what you did. You fall asleep and have terrifying dreams of your victim leaping upon you with vengeful hate. What does all of this mean? Are you losing your sanity? No, you’re not, but there are definitely some issues that need to be dealt with. Victim hauntings are terrifying things and they will send your stress levels soaring through the roof and stop your ability to function until they’re dealt with. So how can we get the dead to stop hounding you? First we need to clear up some false beliefs you have about the dead. Then we need to talk about you and God. He has positive reasons for letting this whole terror package happen to you, and once you get aligned with His program, you’re going to find yourself in a much better place. So let’s get started. Read more of this post

Help For Murderers: Finding Peace With A God Who Loves You

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

You took a life. You murdered. Maybe you killed just one person, maybe you killed several, maybe you killed many. Maybe your victim was still in the womb and not even born. Maybe your victim was very young, very old, weak, or in some way defenseless. Maybe you assaulted them first.  Maybe you tried to make them suffer as much as possible.  Maybe you knew them and they trusted you. Maybe you killed to get accepted by someone or prove your courage or defend your country or get revenge or find peace or protect yourself or save your reputation or make some money. Maybe you told yourself it was okay to kill at the time because you were trying to be merciful, or because you were righting the scales of justice, or because you were just doing your duty. In this world, the circumstances and motives for murder vary widely. Some kill by accident, some kill intentionally. Some act on impulse, others carefully plan their movements far in advance. Some actually do the killing, while others play assisting roles. Whatever your particular role was in the murder you committed, the question now is: how do you get right with God? Does God forgive murder? Is there any way to get out from under the brick load of guilt, or have you fallen under some kind of Divine curse which will prevent you from ever experiencing soul peace and joy?

Of course God forgives murder. And if you find within yourself a sincere desire to be pleasing in God’s sight, then there is great hope for you. You are not lost, nor are you cursed. You are standing at a fork in the road, and there is a choice you need to make. One path leads to peace with God, the other leads to bitter despair. God is calling you down the road that leads to Him, and in this post, we’ll give you the information you need to respond to His call. Read more of this post

Military Christians: The Spiritual Benefits of Being a Soldier

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

God created you for the purpose of having a close, personal relationship with Him. Since God is not a human, learning to relate to Him will require a whole lot of learning and adjusting on your part. God doesn’t think like you think, and He doesn’t act like you act. But He is so keenly interested in relating to you, that He simply won’t leave you alone. He’s always in your business—micromanaging your life, and setting up countless experiences which are all designed with one goal in mind: to draw you closer to Himself. When you joined the military, you entered a world that is fraught with fabulous opportunities to grow closer to God. The key now is for you to recognize what those opportunities are and decide that you are going to make the most of them. Read more of this post

Overcoming Shame

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

When humans feel deeply ashamed, their instinctive response is to separate and isolate themselves from all others. Often physical isolation isn’t practical. You have to go to work to pay the bills. You have a spouse and kids living in your home. But though you feel forced to physically be around other people, you can still emotionally isolate yourself by refusing to engage. Your wife asks what’s wrong and you give her that indifferent shrug. When she presses you, you stonewall her with, “I’m fine,” or “I don’t want to talk about it.” And for the person drowning in shame, talking about their misery does seem pointless. After all, words can’t change the past. No, they can’t, but they can save your present and future, and that is far more important. Read more of this post