garyleemillner

Information Security Awareness or Cybersecurity Training

 Information Security  Comments Off on Information Security Awareness or Cybersecurity Training
Dec 022013
 

Identities are being stolen everyday. Reputations are being ruined. Your money is being stolen by the bad guys. But why? Partly because of lack of training.

information security awareness or cybersecurity training

A study finds that 90% of people have had no recent cybersecurity training and 68% of people have NEVER had security training. It is no wonder that identity theft affects millions of people each year. Much of this could be avoided with the proper training.

It is my humble opinion that EVERYONE who uses a computer should complete numbers 1. and 2. below. Don’t forget to try the free anti-phishing game Anti-Phishing Phil as well.

Free Government-Grade Training
1. Phishing Awareness – select “Launch New Phishing Awareness” after click this link – http://iase.disa.mil/eta/phishing_v2/phishing_v2/launchPage.htm
2. Cyber Awareness Challenge – select “Launch New CyberAwareness Challenge Intelligence Version” after clicking this link – http://iase.disa.mil/eta/cyberchallenge/launchPage.htm

Free Anti-Phishing Games
a. Anti-Phishing Phil – http://www.ucl.ac.uk/cert/antiphishing/

b. Phishing Scam Game – http://www.onguardonline.gov/media/game-0011-phishing-scams

Review of Killing Jesus by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard

 Book Reviews  Comments Off on Review of Killing Jesus by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard
Oct 262013
 

Killing Jesus is a somewhat controversial book about the historical life of Jesus of Nazareth written by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard. There have been many negative comments about it perhaps because many don’t seem to understand that it was never meant to be a spiritual book – it was meant to be a history book.

Killing Jesus

It was a good read and only took me a few days to read it in it’s entirety. I’m a slow reader so that is a record setting pace for me. The authors did an excellent job of immersing the reader in the story – for you old time gamers out there – like the first person shooters’ Wolfenstein, Blake Stone, and Doom all did. Thus, although I have not read them, I suspect Killing Kennedy and Killing Lincoln to also follow this full immersion, first person paradigm.

The story started with Herod’s slaying of every male child under the age of two years in Bethlehem. It then takes an unexpected turn and describes in vivid detail the life and death of Julius Caesar. It also describes how Cleopatra, Octavian (Caesar Augustus), Caesarion, and others interacted with and/or succeeded Julius. I found the historical background of these related people to be very interesting and a nice touch.

While going on to tell the stories of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus, this book describes in detail the depravity of Herod Antipas. Specifically, the graphic depiction of Herod’s sexual immorality and corrupt sexual games is my only criticism of the book. This makes the book unsuitable for younger readers and even, in my humble opinion, some older readers as well. Killing Jesus would have been a better book without this negative information.

The book continues to follow Jesus through his life up until he is crucified on the cross at the place of a skull – Golgotha or Calvary.

killing jesus

One of the best parts of the book for me was how the authors proved certain events that are noted in the Bible by using external sources. For example, they reference a journal that notes Chinese astronomers who observed a long-tailed, slow-moving comet in their skies during March of 5 B.C. This additional pertinent information is oftentimes written in footnotes at the bottom of the pages and should be read in order to get the full effect of the book.

All-in-all, in spite of the colorful information about Herod’s depravity, I would recommend Killing Jesus to adult readers. My prayer is that God would use this book to prove his existance and Jesus’ divinity (he is the Messiah, the Christ, the son of the living God) to many who do not believe.

What I Really Want For My 40th

 Giving  Comments Off on What I Really Want For My 40th
Aug 172013
 

By the grace of God, I can honestly say that I don’t really need anything. God has supplied all of my needs, just like he said he would. He has blessed me with a beautiful wife, two awesome children, a place to live, food, clothing, a job, and much more.

So, what do I really want?

Earlier this year, I wrote about what I really wanted for Christmas. The list my for 40th birthday is essentially the same. As Ann Voskamp so eloquently writes, I want to Be the G.I.F.T.

giving

So, if you want to give something for my 40th birthday, might I suggest reading this first and then doing one of the following?

Purchasing something from freeset or Sari Bari or giving to one of these fine organizations?

Compassion Catalog … World Vision Catalog… Partner’s International Catalog

Gospel for Asia Catalog… Mennonite Central Committee Catalog …

Or Being the Gift as Ann so wonderfully writes about here?

Or Donating $10 via Text Message to the Red Cross?  Text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate to Disaster Relief efforts, or PREVENT to 90999 to donate to the Measles Initiative.

Or giving to Samaritan’s Purse or the Salvation Army?

“And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded.” — Matthew 10:42

Please leave a comment below or reach out to me on facebook or twitter if you give something for my birthday because I want to know and personally thank you.

The Truth About Our Emotions

 Recovery  Comments Off on The Truth About Our Emotions
Jun 302013
 

I’m writing blog entry to debunk a false teaching that has been propagating around the church. The teaching that [negative] emotions are bad… that we can’t trust them… and that we must avoid them like the bubonic plague. This is simply. not. true.

emotions

It’s understandable how this teaching got started… emotions can lie to us… lies such as I’m unloved, unwanted, not good enough, will never amount to anything, stupid… the list is endless. And, what’s worse, if we act on these emotions (lies) then bad behavior results… and that can hurt us and others.

But… how can we call something that God gives us as part of our soul (mind, will, and emotions)… bad? How can we call something that is part of being made in the image of God… bad? God has emotions, right? Let take a look at a small sampling of verses illustrating God’s emotions:

  • God gets angry. “Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them,” (Exodus 32:10).
  • God is compassionate. “As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him,” (Psalm 103:13).
  • God rejoices. “As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you,” (Isaiah 62:5).
  • God loves. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life,” (John 3:16).
  • God hates. “The LORD tests the righteous and the wicked, and the one who loves violence His soul hates,” (Psalm 11:5).
  • God grieves. “And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart,” (Genesis 6:6).
  • God expresses joy. “…Do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength,” (Nehemiah 8:10).

What about Jesus? He is God and man and He has emotions, right? How did He act on these emotions? Let’s take a look:

“In the Temple area he saw merchants selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifices; he also saw dealers at tables exchanging foreign money. Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the money changers’ coins over the floor, and turned over their tables. Then, going over to the people who sold doves, he told them, ‘Get these things out of here. Stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace!’” (John 2:14-16)

Here, we see that Jesus experienced a passionate [what we might refer to as negative] emotion (most likely anger) and acted upon it in a positive way.

So, what about us? What do our emotions really tell us?

For one thing, they are lie detectors.

Let me give you an illustration. Suppose a person goes into their job one morning only to find that their position has been terminated. How does this person respond? If this person truly believes the scriptures that read “My God shall supply all of your needs” and “I’ve never seen the righteous forsaken or his seed out begging for bread,” then they will not respond with panic, fear and worry, right?

I submit to you that if a person responds in this way, with panic, fear, and worry, then perhaps that person does not truly believe the aforementioned scriptures? They certainly do not trust that God will provide for them.

I realize that this can be a hard teaching for those who have dismissed their negative emotions as useless. Perhaps we may know cognitively of the scriptures that promise God’s provision for His people, but do we really believe that they apply to us? Do we really believe that we can trust God to provide for us even in the midst of job loss?

I could give other examples as well, but I think the point is well illustrated in the above example.

So, the next time that you experience a negative emotion, instead of just writing it off as unacceptable, worthless, and useless, ask God to reveal to you what that emotion means? Perhaps it reveals a lie that you believe about yourself or others? Perhaps God wants to show you something totally different?

I would love to hear from you! What have you been taught about emotions? What have you learned about them though your life experiences?

Jun 212013
 

[This blog entry is Part 2 of a two part series. For Part 1, please click here.]

testimony

Anxiety:  Hell is the word that comes to mind when trying to describe what generalized social anxiety disorder feels like.  It is a constant, seemingly eternal hell that must be lived through every single moment of life.  There may be short reprieves for a time, but they never last very long.  The hell of generalized social anxiety disorder is always soon to follow.

The anxiety that tormented me was so severe that even while with those whom I considered close friends, I would still experience fear and have heart palpitations.

Afraid of what you may ask?  Afraid perhaps of the following:

  • That if they really knew me then they wouldn’t like me.
  • That they wouldn’t understand the anxiety, depression, or sexual addiction that I struggled with.
  • That they would judge me because of my sin.
  • That they would reject me.

I would avoid individuals, people, crowds, and generally anyone or anything that required me to interact socially.  I would even walk a different route in order to avoid people.

Depression:  In my estimation, I have suffered from moderate to severe depression for about half of my life.  At times, the depression has been so extreme that I have even contemplated suicide.  I have often cursed the day I was born and regretted ever being born as Jeremiah does in the scriptures.  It is no fun to hate living and want to die, but that is exactly what I did off and on for many, many years.

Shame and Self-hatred:  I felt that I was unworthy and unacceptable.  Totally.  It was not as if a few seams in the garment of myself needed stitching; the whole fabric was frayed.  Everyone else was okay except me.  I was flawed beyond repair.  Because I believed that “I” was unacceptable, the natural response was to hate myself.

Anger Towards God:  I had many “good” reasons for being angry with God.  I was angry with God for things that had happened to me in my past – rejection, emotional abuse, etc.  I was angry with God for the present struggles that I had – fear, anxiety, depression, lust, etc.  I was angry with God because I believed that His character was something it was not.  For example, one major thing that I had to overcome was the belief that God was a task-master or slave-driver.  This is the belief that God is not interested in us for who we are but only for what we can do for Him.

I may have even projected my earthly father’s character traits onto God – my heavenly Father.  My earthly father was physically abusive, had a problem with anger, and rarely if ever told me that he loved me (He now tells me that he loves me quite frequently, thanks to God’s healing and restoration power).

I was also angry with God for not giving me certain things, in my timing, that I felt the Bible promised to believers.  For example, I have low frequency hearing loss that resulted, at least in part, from poor choices that I made during my late teenage or early adult years.  This has caused me much emotional pain.

Anger Towards People and Unforgiveness:  I had incurred deep emotional wounds and there were many specific individuals who were, at least partially, responsible.

2nd – My Experiences and Changes in Working through CR

Working the 12 steps has helped me in many ways.  I learned that denying my sins and emotions by keeping them hidden was a bad thing.  I learned that “Secrets keep you sick”.  I learned that I was not alone in my struggles.  Perhaps the greatest lesson that I learned, though, was the importance of accountability.  It was here that I met my two best friends and accountability partners.

What I needed the most was to be loved and accepted unconditionally by another human being, whether I deserved it or not.  I got this unconditional love and acceptance from my accountability partners.  For the first time in my life, I began to truly understand God’s unconditional love and acceptance of me because another human being modeled it to me.  From here, God began showing me His true character – His loving, forgiving, and accepting nature.  I began to discover that God was not the task master or slave driver that I had once thought Him to be, but instead a loving Father.

 3rd – The New Me

With regard to anxiety, I no longer have heart palpitations while in the presence of friends.  I believe that God has set me almost completely free.

With regard to depression, God has worked a miracle in my life in this area.  The down feelings no longer turn into depression.

With regard to shame and self-hatred, after feeling loved and accepted by God and others, I am now learning to love and accept myself.

With regard to anger towards God, I rarely curse God or take His name in vain in my heart anymore.  There are occasions where I want to blame God, but He has been gracious to show me that it isn’t His fault.

With regard to anger towards people and unforgiveness, I have forgiven most, if not all, people who have wounded me.  I have learned that forgiveness is extremely difficult but well worth the effort.  I have also learned that it is a continual process because there will always be people who offend you.

 4th – Outreach

The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 3-4:

“ Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”

Rick Warrens says that “the area of our greatest pain is the area of our greatest ministry”.  Isn’t it ironic that God uses what the world sees as our weakness to actually be our strength?  Perhaps the Lord is calling some of you here tonight to the recovery ministry.  If you have suffered any sort of pain and been comforted by God, then God has uniquely qualified you.

Obtaining the total freedom in Christ that He died to give us is a process.  It does not happen overnight but instead comes overtime as we continually renew our minds and become more like Him.

Please keep this in mind as you are putting the steps in this program into practice.  Inevitably, like learning to ride a bike or learning to snow ski, you will fall down.  So, don’t be surprised if you don’t get it exactly right the first few times.  Most people fall a few, several, or even many times before getting it right.

Get up, brush yourself off, confess your sin to the Lord, accept His forgiveness, grace, mercy, and love, and try again.

“For though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again…”

Proverbs 24:16

Eventually, with Jesus Christ as your Higher Power, you will be victorious.

I will leave you with one of my favorite scriptures, it is Isaiah 42:6-7 (NLTv1):

“I, the Lord, have called you to demonstrate my righteousness.  I will guard and support you, for I have given you to my people as the personal confirmation of my covenant with them.  And you will be a light to guide all nations to me.  You will open the eyes of the blind and free the captives from prison.  You will release those who sit in dark dungeons.”

Thank you.

### The above text was taken from our new book #SlayingLifesDragonsandBeasts and sanitized to make it more appropriate for this blog. ###

[This blog entry is Part 2 of a two part series. For Part 1, please click here.]