One Who Serves – The Servant – Warrior in all of us

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ray-gano-med

  • Red Sun
  • A Knight’s Tale
  • The Last Samurai
  • Excalibur
  • Shogun
  • The Three Musketeers
  • Dances with Wolves

These are some of my favorite movies. If you have seen all of them, you probably recognize the running theme.

That being the Servant-Warrior.

All my life I have seen myself as a warrior at heart.

In fact, there is that servant warrior in all of us. Men, women, young, old all of us have servant-warrior inside us,

Being a bible believing Christian means that you also have that servant-warrior inside you. That is without a doubt.

Over the years though something very sad has taken place, that servant-warrior has been lost in all of us.

red-sunSomewhere Integrity, Character, Loyalty, Virtue, Honor, Courage, Honesty, Courtesy, Humility, Right Thinking, Self-Reliance, and even true Friendship has been lost.

What has replaced that is self-centeredness, greed, covertness, back stabbing, lying, cheating, haughtiness, and the list goes on.

It is these negative traits that are the norm today, even with many Christians who claim to know the Lord.

I am reminded of the following…

Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

We live in days where the world is turned upside down. Right is being called wrong, what used to be good is now bad, evil is now the norm and righteousness is considered a joke to the masses.

Somehow we have got to go back and reignite the servant-warrior in all of us.

We are living in days where it is vital that we do so.

Where Are We Today

Recently a 17-year-old girl was caught carrying around a dead baby in a shopping bag while she was in a Victoria’s Secret.

When a “temporary system failure” caused food stamp / EBT cards to stop working in 17 U.S. states “mini-riots” started to break out at at Wal-Marts and other stores that rely heavily on food stamp users.

Self centered and obscene actions being conducted by many in society is incredible. Things taking place today that were unimaginable 30 years ago. The drive for self-glory, self-satisfaction, and self-escape have risen to new highs and continue to go up.

In fact, I was reading about a new drug that has hit the US called “Krocodile”

Ever wonder why so many people find crystal meth so addictive? After reading about the list of ingredients used to make meth, you may find the phenomenon even more puzzling:

  • Lye
  • Ammonia
  • Iodine
  • Red Phosphorus ( matches)
  • Ephedrine
  • Drano
  • Brake Fluid
  • Lighter Fluid
  • Hydrochloric acid found in batteries

The extremely addictive injectable opioid is called krokodil (pronounced like crocodile) or desomorphine. It’s so named in part because users report black or green scaly skin as a side effect. Krokodil causes serious damage to the veins and soft tissue infections, rapidly followed by gangrene and necrosis.

Codeine mixed with many of the same chemicals that are used to make meth are also used in this deadly cocktail.

It is then cooked off and injected into the veins of the user.

The high is said to be a euphoria a hundred more time intense than regular heroin.

After a while the skin and muscle starts to literally fall off exposing bone. The people do not feel the pain and continue to remain in this state while their bodies rot away.

If you go to Google image search and type in krocodlile you can see the havoc that is ravaged on the human body. It is totally unbelievable that people would go to this extent of destroying themselves all for self-satisfying high.

This is a direct result of the moral bankruptcy taking place in our country and also in the world.

Evil truly is good and good is seen as truly evil.

We must find the servant-warrior in all of us and stand for righteousness. The failing to do so causes us to have a less than a meaningful life and lacking true purpose in Christ.
Icowboy-kids Started Young

As I stated before I have seen myself as a servant-warrior at heart, even when I was a young boy. I remember making wooden swords and using the garbage can lid as a shield. Slaying those evil dragon trees and bushes, fighting for what is right and true.

The whole “good guy in the white hat” started very early for me.

I remember when I was a kid I had a cowboy hat, vest and chaps with real leather tassels as well as a set of cap guns, holsters and a real leather belt.

Back when I was a kid they still made real leather cowboy outfits and I lived in mine every day.

My mom tells me that she used to get phone calls all the time from our neighbor who would find me in their back yard playing with their dog at 6:00 AM in the morning dressed in my “t” shirt, my underpants and all my cowboy gear on.

To me this was being fully dressed. “Pants… I don’t need no stinking pants.” I got my gun belt on, hat, chaps, and vest and I am good to go.

Later, I imagined myself to be a spy working for U.N.C.L.E or being on loan to England as the next 007.

All my life I have fought for the good side always retaining that servant-warrior spirit.


I Found The Sword

One day we were at my Grandparents house and my grandpa was out working in his garage. Grandpa’s garage was always a cool place. There was all kinds of neat tools, nuts, bolts and other things to get dirty with. I loved the times I spent in that garage with my grandpa.

One day we were over at my grandparents’ house. I was something like 12-13 years old and like always I was playing around in my grandpa’s garage.

That is when I saw it.

Up in the rafters covered with dust looked something like the end of a sword. I never paid much mind to look up there before. So when my eyes saw it, I had to stare at it.

I looked, rubbed my eyes and looked again and sure enough, sitting up there with all the fishing rods, a boat paddle and other “long” things people put up high and out of the way was a scabbard to a sword.

sword-1

I could not believe what I was seeing, was it true? I tried to peer between the fishing rods and such to see if it really was a sword, but all I could see was the end of the sword scabbard.

OK.. I had a new mission in life. I had to see if that was a sword or not.

So I found a ladder and positioned it to where I could get to all that stuff.

I was slowly trying to free the scabbard from all the long junk it was mixed in with. As I pulled on it, I could see that it was inside something like a canvas fishing pole bag.

I finally had hold of the scabbard inside the long canvas bag and slowly brought it down from its spot in the rafters.

Getting it down, I slowly pulled the bag off. See it was pretty bug eaten and was almost falling off the scabbard.

Slowly, gently pulling the bag off reviled to my surprise a WWII Japanese military katana sword.

I put my hand on the handle and tried to draw the sword, but it was stuck. The years of oil or grease caused the sword to be stuck. I wiped some of the goop away with a rag and this time used a little more force.

SSHHHWIIINNNNGGG, the sound of the sword being pulled from the scabbard was incredible.

I could not believe it. I had in my hand a Japanese Katana (samurai sword) in wonderful condition. No rust and the blade was still sharp.

I stood there for what seemed like hours just admiring the sword’s lines, its beauty as flashed in the sun. I slowly swung it left and right. It was heavy in my hands but it felt good.

Then the idea came.

Behind my grandpa’s garage was some bamboo growing. I put 2 & 2 together, put the sword back in the scabbard and took it behind the garage.

Pulling it out again, it made that wonderful ringing noise and I focused on a thin bamboo stalk.

sword-2

I swung the sword and it cut the bamboo like it was cutting through butter.

I stood there again admiring the blade, chopped a few more stalks and took it back into my grandpa’s house.

Walking into the back door my grandma saw me as I entered the kitchen. Yep, she saw what I was carrying.

She spoke in a not totally loud but need to get your attention grandma voice “ Ray… come see what your grandson got out of the garage.”

My grandpa’s name is Ray, he is who I am named after.

Anyways, I walk out of the kitchen and meet my grandpa in the living room.

He looks at me and says “So you found it, heh?”

He reached out and I gave him the sword. He told me to go sit on the couch and he proceeded to sit in his Lazyboy rocker.

“Son, this is a real Japanese sword that was taken off of a Japanese soldier who almost killed one of my best friends.”

japanise-soldierThe story goes that my grandpa’s friend was fighting in the pacific on one of those islands. It was pretty crazy doing battle. There was a lot of enemy contact and the Japanese had tunnels and foxholes all over those islands.

One day his friend was on patrol and he swatted at what he thought was a fly.

He then heard gun fire and hit the dirt.

As he was waiting for the all clear he spotted a Japanese sniper up in a palm tree. He then realized that it wasn’t a fly he was swatting at, but a bullet grazed his head and took off part of his ear off.

He took aim, fired and shot the sniper causing him to fall out of the palm tree. When he came upon him he saw that he was dead, and had this sword attached to his belt.

My grandpa’s friend took the sword as a war trophy and was then pulled to the rear to have is mangled ear looked at.

Years later my grandpa helped his friend somehow. He may have given him a job or helped him with a mobile home. My grandpa was the owner of a successful mobile home sales lot in San Jose California at that time.

What ever happened, my grandpa’s friend gave him that sword as a token of his appreciation, at least that is how the story goes.

Sitting there on the couch that day my grandpa handed me the sword and said he wanted me to have it.

Well that did not sit well with my mom at the time, and all she needed was some teenager with a live samurai sword chopping who knows what in her home.

So, my grandpa said that he would hold on to it for me. Every time I went over to my grandparents place, I was able to get the sword out and I would just sit there and look at it, wipe the blade and apply new oil.

It was on my high school graduation that my grandpa finally gave me the sword to take home.

I guess he had talked to my parents and they must have said yes. He devised a lock for it and gave me the key. He told me to keep the key safe so that my younger brother and sister did not get to the sword.

I still have that sword today and it is hanging on my wall. It is one of my most prized possessions, although it isn’t worth a lot of money, it is something that I will never part with.

It is that sword that has been a reminder all my life of that warrior spirit that is in each and every one of us.

There are times I have been asked to speak at churches and such and I will take my sword with me and use it as a prop and I teach about the armor of God.

When I teach, I will take that sword and give it to someone in the congregation, I ask them to pull the sword, but be careful with it, because it is a “live” sword and it can cause a very nasty cut very quickly.

Most people I do this with are very nervous. They look the sword over and I ask if they could defend their lives with it. Most people say no, some say they would give it a try, but none agree that they can weld that sword effectively.

My grandpa’s sword has been a part of me for a very long time.

It has been a reminder of that warrior quest that I have had almost all my life.

We are living in dark days and these days are going to get darker.

It isn’t till recently that I finally realized that the servant-warrior needs to remerge.

Samurai – One Who Serves

Over the years, I have had an interest in the samurai and thier ways. Guess it is that way when your grandfather gives you a live samurai sword from WW II.

ken watanabe-samuraiFor those of you who do not know, the word Samurai literally means, “one who serves”. This is something that I did not know until recently when I was doing some study on warriors of the bible.

The knights of Europe as well as the samurai of Japan both had a code of honor that they held to.

Honor – a good name and reputation, self-respect

Virtue – valor, merit, and moral righteousness

Loyalty – faithfulness, allegiance to master and cause

Rectitude / right thinking – moral integrity and correct judgment, trustworthiness

Righteousness – sense of obligation and duty Unselfishness

Athletic Skill – strength and power

Military Skill – weapons and strategy

Unselfishness – willingness to serve and give to others

Justice – fairness in dealing with others

Benevolence – charity with tenderness

Politeness – courtesy, observing the cultural amenities

Fearlessness – courage

Veracity – honesty

Sincerity – open and genuine

This is what made up the servant-warrior, this was the code with which they stood upon and they gladly served their lord and master, even unto death.

They did not balk, they did not ask why, they did not argue with the Lord. Chivalry and the code of honor did not allow for such misconduct. These servant warriors worked to always try to do what was good and right in the service of their Lord.

These warriors of old were not just some blood thirsty thugs who went out and drew blood, raped and pillaged.

These men were “Masters at Arms” they were the protectors of the people, the land and the Lord.

In service to the lord, they were often given whole cities to be stewards over. To protect and to serve the people. Most were noblemen or made noblemen.

Now ladies, this is not a men’s only issue. Being a servant warrior also includes women.

As a Christian who serves Christ our Lord, all of us, men and women alike are called to service as a servant warrior.

In fact there are many great women warriors throughout history.

Joan of Arc

tomoe gozenClaiming divine guidance, she led the French army to several important victories during the Hundred Years’ War, which paved the way for the coronation of Charles VII of France.

Tomoe Gozen

It is said that Tomoe was especially beautiful, with white skin, long hair, and charming features. She was also a remarkably strong archer, and as a swordswoman. she was a warrior worth a thousand, ready to confront any enemy mounted or on foot. She handled unbroken horses with superb skill; she rode unscathed down perilous descents. Whenever a battle was imminent, Yoshinaka sent her out as his first captain, equipped with strong armor, an oversized sword, and a mighty bow; and she performed more deeds of valor than any of his other warriors.

Arachidamia

The Spartan princess Arachidamia is said to have fought Pyrrhus (of the phrase “pyrrhic victory”) with a group of Spartan females under her command, and killed several soldiers before perishing.

From scripture we are reminded of great women warriors.

Deborah

Deborah was a prophetess of the God of the Israelites, the fourth Judge of pre-monarchic Israel, counselor, warrior, and the wife of Lapidoth according to the Book of Judges chapters 4 and 5.

The only female judge mentioned in the Bible, Deborah led a successful counterattack against the forces of Jabin king of Canaan and his military commander Sisera, the narrative is recounted in chapter 4.

Judges chapter 5 gives the same story in poetic form. This passage, often called The Song of Deborah, may date to as early as the 12th century BC and is perhaps the earliest sample of Hebrew poetry.

This poem is also significant because it is one of the oldest passages that portrays fighting women.

Jael

The account of Jael, the wife of Heber, a Kenite tent maker is mentioned in this poem. (Judges 5:24-31)

Jael killed Sisera by driving a tent peg through his temple as he slept. Both Deborah and Jael are portrayed as strong independent women.

It is believed that the poem may have been included in the “Book of the Wars of the Lord” mentioned in Numbers 21:14.

The Servant-Warrior is Needed Again

We are living in the last days of the last days. Many pastors have dropped the ball and because of that many have forgotten what it means to be a true and loyal servant-warrior of our Lord Jesus Christ.

It is my goal over the course of several months to look at and delve into what it means to be a servant-warrior as well as how can we re-awaken the servant-warrior in each and every one of us.

The focus will be the warrior code that is clearly found in scripture.

For once we know and fully understand the warrior code, we know our duties and tasks that we are responsible for.

Not only that, but when adversity does come at us, we know how to properly handle this in a true servant-warrior way.

Wars on Facebook

One of the reasons I am taking this topic on is what I have been witnessing on Facebook.

I am a huge Facebook fan and there are many good things about Facebook.

But with all the good, there also comes some bad.

One of the bad’s that I have been seeing is how Christians lash out at other Christians. I have to admit that I am even guilty of this as well. We are not being good examples nor are we being good ambassadors for the Lord. This is just one of the many reasons why I feel so convicted to conduct this study and series of articles.

We need to return to being the servant-warrior learning how to handle things firmly and yet with compassion. People lash out due to ignorance. They no longer know what it means to be a person of honor, righteousness and valor.

Most people just act on instinct, self-preservation & ego.

This has to be relearned so that we can return being the rightful servant-warriors once again.

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