MY BRIEF TESTIMONY

BRIEF 5 min. PERSONAL TESTIMONY - BARRY BALLARD

On a warm summer day in Washington D.C., I sat in a small movie theater listening to a re-broadcast of a Billy graham crusade that had been previously given elsewhere. I was attending with a Christian group who ministered on the air force based where I was stationed, "Andrews Air Force Base". At the conclusion of the presentation, there was an invitation given to receive Christ and counselors were standing up front to pray with those who came forward. The house lights went up and I went forward and prayed to receive Jesus Christ into my life. This was not the moment of my true conversion, this was "preparation-of-heart", part one.

On a humid pitch-black night in 1969, my plane touched down on the Saigon airfield that was currently under rocket attack. Black-out conditions were in effect and we were rushed to trucks and then transported to our barracks and its inclusive bunker for protection. I was assigned an m16 rifle, two clips of ammo, and given a helmet and flack-vest. I spent my first night in Saigon standing in the bunker, wondering "why?" I was even here. I understood none of it, except that supposedly it had to do with communism and we were protecting democracy. But, I just felt abandoned to the most bizarre and remote assignment I could imagine. I worked "support", so I do not want to give the false impression that I was "combat"; but I did serve some time in the jungle. Only one man died in our group during the year I was there; and he told me beforehand that he wanted to die and never return home. He had received his divorce papers in the mail about a week before my arrival. He was shot down in a helicopter "one" day before he was to return home. My one year in Saigon was a lesson in the deterioration of the human spirit and soul. Eventually, I also learned to hate myself and "living" and could care less about what might lie ahead. I was returning to the states with a crushed human soul, devoid of all optimism. This was "preparation-of-heart", part two.

On a humid gray-dusk-like-evening, I found myself, in 1970, driving through the main gate of Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth, Texas. I soon settled into my tasks of working in the 7th bomb wing headquarters, in support roles again as usual. I also served on the honor guard for special occasions for fallen veterans funerals, or award ceremonies. Even though my personal psyche was "wasted“; I was considered an admirable employee and respected for my abilities. My inner life however was an absolute disaster that I did not "share" with anyone. Strangely enough; I was visited by representatives of the "Navigators"; the same Christian organization that had approached me in Washington D.C. I began attending bible studies two nights a week and felt a little better about life by receiving this follow-up. I'll call this "preparation-of-heart", part three.

During my term of service at Carswell, I met my wife to be, Beverly, who invited me to her church in River Oaks, "Trinity Baptist Church". They had a young pastor, John Hatch, who was just finishing his doctorate at Southwestern and the atmosphere attracted me. It was in 1973, “4” years after that initial "preparation-of-heart"; that I made an honest commitment to Jesus Christ and immediately followed that with baptism.

From there, the road did not get any smoother, but my “soul” began a healing process that eventually went from healing to true "Wonder and Discovery". The first thing that was revealed to me was my spiritual gift, which is "Teaching". While at Trinity, I ended up writing three commentaries: James, Colossians, and Philippians. All three helped me grow in my commitment to Jesus Christ.

True conversion was preceded by three moments of "preparation-of-the-heart" in my case. Over a four year stretch of time, God never gave up on me. I think the strength of my testimony must be given to the strength of God's loving patience; to lead me along the final path that would secure my faith. Thank You.

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

BRENTANO: TRUE FATHER OF PHENOMENOLOGY

click link:  http://www.mediafire.com/listen/frw5mc55fwc6jaa/brentanopm.mp3

BRENTANO: TRUE FATHER OF PHENOMENOLOGY:
For post-modern thought, we would situate Franz Brentano between David Hume’s empiricism and Edmund Husserl’s phenomenology. With what he labeled “Empirical-Psychology”. The concept of phenomenology had not emerged yet, but basically empirical-psychology equals “phenomenology”. Husserl, in an act of true recognition, stated that his thought directly evolved out of the work of Brentano. That’s a powerful recommendation.
In essence, rather than taking Hegel as the supplier of the psychological-structure for post-modern thought; we should give that honor to Brentano. Hegel contributes to it later.
Brentano’s work was criticized for being inaccessible and abstract, but we have the luxury of years of additional dialogue. For any serious student of post-modern thought, this manuscript should be quite accessible. I thought it read “smoothly”; actually easier to assimilate than I had imagined.
The huge benefit from Brentano will be the steps he articulates leading up to the copying of the thought-picture to the cognitive-consciousness. He inserts Aristotle’s dokounta-threshold as a mediation prior to copying which is important, and neglected by almost all other post-modern writers (except Beaufret).
Brentano also includes the moment of “counter-blow”, or the fringe contribution of previous cognitive work, used as a filter when considering sensory phenomena. He says this is the “static-body-state” as applied in an imaginative way to sensation in order to create the first feeling-percept phenomena.
From there we pass through the recollective act of considering prior thought-representations of the logic-of-causality, in order to move on to forming a preliminary thought-picture. This is when we form “mental-phenomena” from “physical-phenomena” by addressing the “intentional” content of objectivity in its “presentation”.
From here, we take the important step of approaching the dokounta-threshold and engaging in the work of “partitioning” categories and “measuring” the intensive-magnitude of phenomena. The thought-picture evolves to deeper significance. Then it is copied to cognitive-consciousness.
The overall triad is simply: sensation; imagination; and cognition. And the overall methodology is simply: “induction of unconsciousness”; “deduction of cognitive work”; and “verification of posited result".

Easily "5" stars; and highly recommended; remember Husserl's recommendation.

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