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b/c BUUURRRRTTTTT is my favorite sound...

b/c BUUURRRRTTTTT is my favorite sound…

I’ve been thinking about “work that matters.”

I’ve even come to a conclusion that all work matters. Please, let me explain.

First off, every morning when I pray, I thank God for giving me work that matters. What I mean is, I’m thankful for a job that has me caring for other people. In particular, I get to care for men and women of the armed forces. I get to see Sailors, Marines, Soldiers and Airmen every day! I get to sincerely inquire as to how they are doing. I get counsel them. I get to provide for their religious needs. I get to be a listening ear, when they don’t think that anyone else is willing too. These are the men and women that keep my wife and kids safe at home. In this case, they are taking care of things in Central America before they reach our US southern border. I serve them out of a sense of thankfulness.

For me, this is work that matters.

There are some jobs in the USAF that people may assume has no meaning. For instance, new Maintainers may have to literally count bolts. I’ve seen them do it. This is an accountability issue. Based upon previous needs, they carry enough parts (including bolts) to fix the planes when they need a repair. While at home, if they don’t have a part, the plane will be grounded until it comes in. Sure, the pilot may not get his/her flight hours. The plane may not fly, and in that case will have to have extra maintenance done to make sure it can fly later. But, nobody loses a life because of it not flying. However, in a deployed environment, that may not be the case.

warthog2

My favorite plane is the A-10. Part of its job is to provide support for Soldiers that come under fire. So, when our guys are pinned down, the A-10 comes in to blast the enemy; saving the lives of our Soldiers. If that plane is unable to fly because we run out of bolts (or some other part), then those lives will be potentially loss.

You see, the work of a Maintainer is essential to saving lives; even if he/she is just counting bolts.

Now, what about those folks who just can’t seem to find meaning and significance in their jobs?

Maybe you are a Vegan, and the only job you can find is as a burger flipper at McDonalds.

Every time you look at those delicious fries, you just see hypertension in a box. When you look at the kid joyously ripping into their Happy Meal, triumphantly raising their new toy into the air…all you can think is, “choking hazard.”

First, please find a new job. But if you can’t, I have a question. What does that job allow you to do? Hopefully, it allows you to survive, and your life matters. I hope that it allows you enough money to hang out with your friends and families every now and then. Our relationships matter. Maybe it allows you to provide for that age appropriate toy for your own kid, and his/her smile matters.

You see, work matters because we all have meaning and significance. Work matters because we matter. Even the most mundane of jobs enables you to participate in other things that matter.

I will continue to be thankful for work that matters, regardless of how I may feel at the time. I hope that you will as well.

So tell me, what do you do that matters?

Z

Life intrudes, its what it does.

RIP Jeremy

RIP TSG JeremyCross

The world lost someone this past week, though you’ve probably not heard of him.

I hesitate to call him a friend. You see, he was enlisted while I’m an officer. We aren’t allowed to get to close, lest favoritism cloud our judgment. That is a serious thing, and people could lose stripes and bars over those sort of things. Still, if things had been different, I know that we would have been friends…even close friends.

http://www.dyess.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123467937

Though information is scarce on my end, it looks like a suicide.

You see, the Jeremy that I knew was a joy to be around. More than not, he always had a positive – “can do” attitude. He was always willing to help. Something that I benefited from on numerous occasions.

You see, as a Chaplain I was an “insta-Captain.” I joined the USAF with that rank, which others tend to need 4-5 years to earn. One of the things they told us was to find a SNCO, and let them mentor us. I was blessed to be assigned to a Group, and a have my office in a Flight that was filled with good mentors. Jeremy was one of those.

While he helped me, mentored me on more than one occasion; one thing in particular sticks out. You see, I was having problems with my PT test. That is one thing you don’t want in any military branch. Jeremy took me under his wing, and worked out with me for 2 months – 5 days a week, every afternoon so that I would pass that accursed test.

He didn’t just tell me what to do, he did it with me. He walked through it with me, every bitter-painful-step. And, because of him I got one of the best scores on my PT test that I had ever had.

We talked a lot. I got to know him really well, and was aware of some of the struggles he was dealing with. I know that I have a responsibility to not share what people tell me. It is one of the core responsibilities of Chaplains. We  guard the private information of those counselled  behind an iron curtain of confidentiality. But, even knowing that I wonder. Could there have been something, over 4 months ago that I could have done to mitigate against this day.

Four months ago…the last time we spoke. He was moving to Dyess AFB, and I was getting ready to deploy.  My heart now breaks for his son. He won’t be able to spend time with his loving father any more. I can only hope that one day someone will tell him how much his dad cared for him. I also pray that his means of death won’t diminish the memory of his love for his son.

Folks, our time together is short, make the most you can of it.

We lost a Good Man, a Good father, a Good Airmen this past week. We are lesser because of that loss.

Live with Hope. It is our weapon against the darkness.

Chap…

 

Mountain View

 

Good morning world!

Just in case someone hasn’t deleted me from their feed, “HI!”

I am currently “deployed” in Honduras. Notice the “”. That is because I’m in Army folks that scoff at the term. I only have a relatively short time when compared to soldiers. They refer to it as a Temporary Duty Station. Anywhich way, I’m enjoying some wonderful scenery with some great people.

I have the priviledge of taking care of Soldiers, Airmen, Sailers and Marines. It’s been great thus far!

My intent is to chronicle some of my journeys while I’m here.

I’m sorry, but you won’t hear much about WoW during this time. I’ve temporarily unsubbed. I don’t want the distraction. Though, we all know the siren call of WoW… ;)

So far, I’ve seen some beautiful things and some things that will break your heart. I am surrounded by mountains! For a guy from the coastal plain of TX, they are stunningly beautiful. Yet, I’m also surrounded by abject poverty. Honduras ranks in the lowers of 1% of poor countries.

Thankfully, part of my job is humanitarian aide. Yes, the USAF is paying me to take care of not only military personnel, but also the “least of these” that surround us.

This will be quite an experience.

Peace and Blessing,

Z

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,400 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 40 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Hello all!

It’s been way to long.  I’m glad to say that I’m still alive and kicking.  Let me take this time to update you on what has been going on.

1. I survived my 5 weeks at COT (Commissioned Officer Training).

That was an experience. Yes, there was a lot of yelling. There was a lot of anxiety, fear and frustration. I spent my first week there sick to my stomach. I threw up more than once, had no appetite to speak of.  It isn’t something I would want to repeat.  I was told that the first 10 days to 2 weeks would be the worse part of it, and that is the truth.  If you can survive the first 10 training days, then the rest is cake.

Not pie… Cake.

I might tell you more about that later.

2. I’m at my first assignment.

My family and I have been here for a week, on the nose.  This has been “in processing,” which included a list of folks to find and get their initials. At times I had to turn something in. Other times, I had to get some computer based training done (aka CBTs). Other times, it was some sort of briefing (some with power point displays, some without). I only need two more initials to complete my list, and should have those by Tuesday or Wednesday.  I don’t know where I’ll be assigned yet, but I’ll be happy wherever.  Everyone I’ve met has been great. The Chapel team is exceptional, and I’m glad to be a part of it.

I still have one more training to complete to really start things off. I’ll be gone for “Basic Chaplain’s Course” some time in August thru September.

3. In our house!

We sold our old home and signed a lease on a really nice home a couple of days ago. Timing was wonderful. The only problem is, our household goods won’t be here until July 17th.

Yeah, the 17th. :(

So, we are camping out indoors for the moment. I’m writing this from a cheap card table that we bought at Walmart a day ago.  It, and a couple of borrowed inflatable mattresses are all we have in the way of furniture.  It’s ok though. We’ll be alright.

We did get our internet! I mean, we all have to have priorities… Amirite?!

4. So, when is Z gonna be back in WoW?

To be honest, I’m not sure.  I think that I might be back sometime this month. However, that might be just in time for me to then leave for my next training. I’m fairly certain that I’ll start playing again once I get back from my training. WoW is still one of the best values you can find when it comes to hobbies.  I’m looking forward to resubbing and goofing off with the Frostwolves.

One thing I do know is that my play times will be different. I was able to play at least a couple, if not three mornings a week before. That will definitely change. Now, I get up for PT and then head straight into work. The nice thing is that the schedule is 7:30 am to 4:30 pm (most of the time). Sure, there will be times when I get out way later, but that seems about normal. So, it looks like I’ll be heading back to the 9pm-11pm play time.

This makes me sad, because that means I won’t be able to play with some of my Aussie friends in those early mornings. But, there is still a group of folks from down under who are on around my evening times, and I’ll be able to contribute to the guild as I had been able to do in the past.

So, I’m looking forward to getting back into things. If not before my next training, then afterwards.

5. I missed y’all.

I don’t want to be all sappy, but I did miss y’all. I have much in my Feedly to catch up on. So many blogs, and so many weeks that I wasn’t able to read your wisdom, insights, and WoW related ramblings. I may not comment, but know that I’m using this time to read all of your previous posts!

Z

WoWScrnShot_042514_142347

I want a new title. I want:

“Helper Zwingli”

Now, the title I’m wearing “Farmer Zwingli” is highly appropriate.  I can honestly say that I spend most of my time farming up veggies, hunting up the meat, and making the Pandaren Treasure Noodle Carts.

Now, for those interested, there are purely mercenary reasons for doing this. The Frostwolves use an ELPEKGDLP…Some sort of thingy that allows raiders to gain points. Based upon their number of points they have access to special items AND they can use spend these point on LOOTZ!!!  One of the way you gain these points is by getting raid materials together, and the aforementioned carts are one of those items that we can turn in to gain points.

There’s only one problem…

I’m not a raider!

I’m sitting here with the most point of any person in the guild, and I’M NEVER GOING TO TURN THEM IN!!!

“What a waste of time,” you may say.

I think not.

You see, here’s the thing.  We all play for our own particular reasons.  Some play to raid. Some play to rp. Some play to socialize in /gchat.

I would guess that there are as many reasons to play WoW as there are players.

For me, it’s all about helping.

I’m not saying I’m being altruistic. It doesn’t mean that other’s aren’t helping.  It means that this is the way that I’ve found that I can add the greatest value to the guild that I can.  While I’m a solo player, I really want to be a help to my guild.

What do I get out of it?  I’m glad you asked.  I get my strokes from it.

1) It feels good.  Please understand, this is a pretty nice reward in and of itself. I feel like I’m adding something positive.

2) I get a kick out of Navi mentioning it in vent. I’ve asked about giving my points to other raiders, but she put the ka-bosh down on that idea quickly.

3)  It gives me a reason to log in, even if it is just for a few minutes to harvest my crops.

And, 4) if by some random chance RNGesus allows me to raid, get a normal Garrosh kill, and that beautiful BOA Bow drops (heck, I’d be happy with the Flex version)…I’m sooooooo spending all of my points on it!

Again, I think we all have our reasons why we play. For me, I want to help out my guildies as best as I can, given the play time I have.

What about you?  Why do you play?

Z

P.s. Please send your prayers and kind thoughts my way. It’s only a month before I report to COT for my 5 week introduction *cough* to USAF life as a Chaplain.  I’m giving my 4 weeks notice at my job (yes that’s a thing), selling our house, trying to get into better shape (10min mile, here I come!) Things are winding down here at an atomic pace.  This will be the first time I’ve been separated from my family for any length of time. I just want everything to go as smoothly as possible.

Thanks…

Becoming One

Disclaimer: Sex is part of this post. If you, even remotely, have the capacity of being offended, please don’t read.  I believe that most will find this mild by most standards. While for me it is a stretch; I’m more of an old fuddy-duddy than most.  Just saying, be forewarned at the potential discomfort; and possible offense that one might find.

Z

_______________________________________

Khesed had had sex before.

It wasn’t a taboo subject in Blood Elf culture as it was in others. He even remembered one of the first time his dad brought it up.

He was about to go out with this fine looking Huntress. She was a sight to behold in her tight leathers. Pulling her bow taught, he could see her finely tuned muscles rippling. Her animal companion was some sort of big cat she tamed in Darkshore. He was never really interested in the cat, just her.

Dad said, “Son, I want to talk to you about something. I know you’re going out tonight, and I know you’re probably going to find yourself in a position to copulate with the young hunter.”

Dad was a mage. It was always embarrassing when he used stuffy words like “copulate” instead of something more main stream. At least he didn’t say, “whoopi or wanka-wanka”

Khesed said, “I know dad. We already went over the protective enchants to make sure no diseases pass, and to keep her from getting pregnant. Gah!”

“Yes son, but I wanted to talk about your expectations.”

“What? What do you mean by that?” Khesed actually looked interested in the conversation.

“Well son, it goes like this. I don’t know one Blood Elf male that doesn’t believe his is the Nether’s gift to Maiden kind. He mistakenly believes that he’ll ‘go all night,’ ’till the break of dawn,’ ‘rock her soxors,’ ‘ride her hard and put her down wet’ and other such nonsense.

Let me tell you now, you’re gonna have the stamina of a wet noodle.”

Khesed turned a bit red, but respectfully continued to listen.

“It’s kind of like that cannon ride at the Darkmoon Faire. You know the one, where they shoot you out, and you try to land in that floating circle in the water.

You wait and wait and wait, to finally get in. There is this initial explosion of excitement, BAM off you go. You’re flying high for a moment, not able to believe the heights of exultation you’re experiencing…and thirty seconds later…there’s a splash and it’s over.”

The younger Khesed rolls his eyes.

“Son, you need to hear this. I don’t want you and/or her embarrassed by the end of the night. You need to learn a little bit about foreplay. I know your mother likes it like this: start off slow, maybe do a little bit of…”

“DAD! OH MY GOSH! WOULD YOU SHUT UP ALREADY!”

Khesed remembered bolting for the door to get as far away from that conversation as possible. Some things a young man just should never hear…much less get a mental picture of.

To his dad’s credit. He was right.

He knew he was in trouble when the young hunter brought out a bull whip and said, “The safe word is ‘Whoa Nelly!'”

He tries not to think very often of that experience.

Then there was the Priest…or, he should say the Shadow Priest.

They were definitely having sex, almost violently so.

He could never be sure, but he always thought that she Mana Tapped him during every climax she obtained.

To say that he was drained at the end of the experience was an understatement.

But, Alienna was something different. As he would later reminisce, this was the first time he had ever truly made love.

They were slow, but not because it was planned. They just enjoyed every inch of each others bodies. He didn’t want to forget anything. He drank her up with his eyes and with his lips. He wanted to remember every part of her, from the tip of her horns to the edge of her hoof. He was oh so gentle with her tail, knowing it to be a rare pleasure for any male to be able to caress it.

She returned the favor, making the night a long and pleasurable experience for both of them.

They acted as one in every movement. Their bodies collided, not violently, but in a melody of sublime intricacies. Every move was in sync with the other. Every rise and fall a heavenly cadence.

There was no taking, only a giving upon the part of each other. Each desiring to serve the bodily needs of the other. They were so in tune with each other that as they climaxed together, they no longer could tell where one person began and the other ended. They were one.

That night, Khesed knew that he had fallen in love with Alienna. Not a Draenei, not an Aldor, definitely not a Spacegoat. A man and a woman, finding completeness in the arms of the other.

Khesed was willing to do anything to be with her from that day forward.

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