Thursday, December 1, 2011

End of the Year Letter from Stephen Andrew Missick

I send greetings of Shalama (Aramaic for Peace-and the Aramaic equivalent of the Hebrew Shalom) to all my friends, family, loved ones, supporters and all others interested. As the year comes to an end, it is time to look back on what has transpired and look forward towards the future.

In 2008 I acquired a vision. I was going to finish seminary and Chaplain's School with the army. And then afterwards, I was going to go on a deployment to Iraq. Through a lot of hard work and sacrifices, I was able to make this dream into a reality. I finished seminary and graduated in May 2009 and then spent the summer at Chaplain's Basic Training (technically called CHBOLC which stands for Chaplain's Officers Basic Leadership Course). I was deployed to Iraq in 2009 until August of 2010. Overall, my experience in Iraq was great. I was able to visit my base, the serene Camp Slayer, where I was deployed as an enlisted-man back in 2003-2004. Camp Slayer has beautiful artificial lakes. My first deployment to Iraq was a very difficult deployment for me. In August 2010, I was back home and came off of orders. For those of you who don't know, I was originally in the Army Reserves. After a break in service, I joined the National Guard in 2006. I have enjoyed being in the National Guard.

After coming off of orders, I needed to unwind. I did rest for several weeks. I had been on military duty from June 2009 until August 2010 with scarcely a break. Being a chaplain can be very hard. A chaplain often has to deal with people in times of trial and grief.

My goals were to teach at a Christian college and get into a doctoral program. I haven't found a job teaching and have gone back to substituting. I do help out with the church my father pastors "King of Saints" Church in Cleveland, Texas. Of course, I have my obligations with the National Guard. I love being a chaplain in the military. However, I am losing faith in the United States of America. I have been reading Jeremiads. I think that America is in decline and I don't believe we are a Christian nation any longer, nor are we a free nation and we aren't even really a good country anymore. (Here are some of the Jeremiads I have read: "After America" by Mark Steyn, "Suicide of a Super-power" by Patrick Buchanan and "I Never Thought I'd See the Day" by David Jeremiah. I have read these books because these people have seen what I have seen, pardon the Aramaic expression-"The Writing on the Wall." I believe America was a Christian nation-and that was a good thing. Now America is a secularizing, atheistic, hedonistic, debauched nation in decline and hostile to Evangelical Christians.)

For me, 2011 has been a hard year. I was struck by tragedy. In March, a dear friend of mine died. She was 38 years old and died suddenly and unexpectedly. Her death has been devastating. She had Grave's Disease, which is a thyroid problem. We were falsely led to believe that the disease wasn't fatal. She and I were very close. Her death has cast a dark shadow over the whole year and I still grieve her passing.

But, positive things have happened this year. I have written several books and have written and illustrated several comic books. I decided to promote my work at a comic book convention in Houston. In May, I promoted my comics and art at the "Comicpalooza." It was mostly for exposure. It went well. I hadn't done anything like that before. I will do it again in 2012 but change things up a little so that it is a more effective promotion.

The high point of the year was my winning a scholarship to participate in an archeological expedition in Galilee. I had been to Israel before. In 1997, I visited Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Ramallah. I was in Egypt visiting Coptic Christian and I made a brief excursion to Israel. I had never been to Galilee. In June I was excavating in Bethsaida, a town of the Apostles and where Jesus performed many miracles. I was able to visit Tiberius, Magdala, Capernaum, Nazareth, Megiddo, Panias, Tel Dan, Chorazin, Beth Sheramin, and the Jordan River (plus a few other places-but all in the north of Israel). I found the Galilee to be a very beautiful, tranquil and spiritual place.

I recorded some programs discussing the Jewish Roots of Christianity entitled "The King of Israel."

Later on this year, I was able to visit the Assyrian (Aramaic-speaking Iraq Christian) community. (But many Assyrians do hail from Iran as well.) I was able to met with Mar Dinkha, the Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East. I had a very good visit to Chicago.

During the Thanksgiving holidays, we were able to have a family reunion. My mother and father were there, all six of their children and their six grandchildren were there. This is the first time all twelve of us children and grandchildren have been together in one place.

For those of you interested in keeping up with me, I do have a youtube account. I have hundred of videos uploaded onto youtube. It is You can see videos from my deployments to Iraq and from my visit to Israel and other adventures I have gone on, along with teaching videos. I also have a blog. I t is I used to not take the blog very seriously because I thought no one read it. (I once saw a T-shirt that said, "More people have read this T-shirt than have read your blog.") But apparently people do read the blog. Most of what I post is related to Aramaic and the Bible, however, I feel very threatened by radical Islam, and the attacks on Copts and Assyrians disturb me greatly. Probably more than they do others because I have lived among Copts and Assyrians in Egypt and Syria. When Copts and Assyrians are attacked I become very angry and feel as though my own family has been attacked. I also strongly resent the Liberal Establishment in America. I feel that the radical left controls movies and television, the news media, colleges and universities, publishing, the courts and the bureaucracy of the United States Government. I also feel that they are doing great harm to the United States and the world. One example of the problem is how the Liberal establishment ignore the problem of religious persecution of Christians, especially in the Middle East. I am very passionate about these issues and sometimes that comes across in the blog. Also, I am a big supporter of the Global War on [ISLAMIC] Terror. I also see myself as a warrior. I was a combatant for about fifteen years. I have been known to go on "rants" about issues on which I am passionate about.

Let's look at my accomplishments from the past couple of years. While I was on military duty I was able to complete two projects: Christ the Man and The Hammer of God. Christ the Man is about the first year of Christ's ministry. The Hammer of God is about the lives of Judah Maccabee and Charles Martel and the need to defend religious freedom, in ancient times, in the medieval period and in modern times. Today the threat to religious freedom comes from radical Islamists and leftist hate-groups such as the so-called "American Civil Liberties Union."

In 2010, I finished the following books: The Second Adam and the Restoration of All Things, Saint Thaddeus and the King of Assyria: The Aramaic Origins of Christianity, and The Ascents of James: A Lost Acts of the Apostles.

People are now reading E-Books on their Nook and Kindle devices and application on their "Ipads" and other such things. So, technology is advancing. While I am a "bibliophile," and I don't envision books being completely phased out, I think that I should not exclude myself from a new market and a new mode of publicity. Therefore, I have published Ebooks. The Language of Jesus: Introducing Aramaic was my first Ebook-and it is also available in a hard copy. This book has sold, and continues to sell, relatively well.

This year, I have finished the following projects: A Soldier in Iraq, The Lord's Prayer in the Original Aramaic, Jesus the Poet, Christ's Language: Spiritual Insight from Aramaic. The other books I completed were The Ennead and the Art of the Ennead (The Ennead is about Egyptian Mythology and is part of my research project that I am working on about the cultural background to the Exodus Story.) and Jabez and the Rechabites (This book is basically about the Kenite Hypothesis. The Kenites are an Arabic tribe that worshiped Yahweh before the time of Abraham. Yes, I am saying that Arabs are not all descended from Abraham-but that is another story.)

As we look ahead into the future…

I turn 40 years old in May of 2012. I hope to get into a doctoral program. I haven't decided which one yet. I hope to begin my doctorate studies in the fall of 2012.

Some people (especially "New Agers" into Mayan "prophecy") look at 2012 as a time of doom. I doubt that "the end of the world" will come in 2012. However, we have already entered a very trying time.

2012 will be a good year for America if we have a change of administration at the end of the year. In 2008, many people voted for what they expected to be a post-racial and post-partisan administration. But, what they got was a far left administration. I do sincerely believe that if the American people do not vote for change in 2012, America as we know it will cease to exist. I do not believe that the USA can survive the destructive hard left policies that have been introduced unless there is change that can undo some of the serious damage that has been done to this great country in the past four years. Many chaplains are concerned about the radical leftist policy changes that effect the chaplaincy. I intend to serve as long as I can with a clear conscience. I want to serve-but I am pessimistic regarding the future-I don't want to be, but I think the ramifications of policy changes will most likely be negative.

We also need to remember the suffering church, especially in the Middle East. The so-called "Arab Spring" has been shown to be an Islamist movement. Arab countries are falling to more radical Islamist governments. Please pray for the Coptic and Assyrian Christians and that God will soon fulfill his promise to them that he made in Isaiah 19:25.

I believe that it is necessary to wage warfare against radical Islam. Throughout history, the only way Christians have been able to withstand against Islam, has not been through interfaith dialogue, but by taking strong defensive action. This is sadly a historical fact. However, we should try to pursue peace. There is only one way forwards toward peace. We must support Moderate Muslims and in doing so we must clearly define what moderate Islam is. I call this the Four Principles of Moderate Islam.

  1. Muslims must renounce religious violence. This is a total rejection of Jihad.
  2. Sharia law must be only a personal lifestyle choice. Any attempt to legislate Koranic law must be rejected.
  3. Muslim and Christians must be totally equal before the law in all Islamic countries. A moderate doesn't endorse discrimination or persecution. A moderate believes in freedom of religion and freedom of speech.
  4. Any Muslim anywhere has the right to convert to any religion he chooses to.

Any Muslim who does not hold to all four of these principles is not a moderate but is in reality a dangerous extremist. Since radical Islam is a global movement, what they believe and teach does effect non-Muslims, as we see in the streets of Cairo, where Coptic Christians are being slaughtered like animals. Soon, unless we take a stand now, we will see Islamic violence against Christians in Europe and America. (It already has started on 09-11-11.) We have the right to defend ourselves. If beliefs Muslims have are motivating them to kill Christians, we have not only the right but the duty to challenge those beliefs in order to preserve life and peace.

What I intend to do in 2012:

  1. I need to get certified to teach. This will take a year or so and cost me probably about $5,000. I will see if I can get military tuition assistance. I need to have qualifications to engage in a secular career if needed and I like teaching.
  2. I will go on a short week-long mission trip to Uganda-probably in January.
  3. I have my military obligations. Perhaps I will go to my Captains Career course this year.
  4. I will promote my comics at the 2012 Comicspalooza in Houston in May.
  5. I hope to get in a doctoral program in 2012 and hopefully begin with the program. If I fail to do this I will be very disappointed with myself.
  6. I want to start dating. I want to marry and have children.
  7. I may go on a Silk Road expedition. My first published paper was on the spread of Assyrian ("Nestorian") Christianity along the Silk Road. Unfortunately, Islamic radicals effectively wiped out Christianity in Central Asia-but ruins have survived of old abandoned church buildings, Syriac Christian Scrolls and monuments. I would also like to go back to Egypt. I am working on my Exodus project so I want to research ancient Egypt again-and see my Coptic friends. These are things I would like to do-not things I have firm plans of doing.
  8. I will write and publish more books. I have another "Hammer of God: The Hanukkah Story" comic book coming out soon. Here is what I want to finish this year:
    1. "Restoration of the Lost Ark" I believe that due to recent archeological discoveries that it is possible to make an accurate replica of the Ark of the Covenant.
    2. "The Mighty Crusaders" This is going to be a brief history of the story of the longest war-the war of Islam against Christianity that began in 632 and continues until today. This book will be in the spirit of Rodney Stark's "God's Battalions" which I strongly recommend.
    3. Continuing with my Exodus research, I want to write a book on Canaanite mythology. (According to the Book of Joshua, while in Egypt, the Israelites were worshiping Egyptian gods-and the Egyptians were worshiping Canaanite gods-such as Anath and Baal. Knowing the Canaanite myths helps clarify certain Bible stories.)
    4. I am thinking of writing a short book about the Iraq war and the chaplaincy. But I consider this a less important concept that others that I am developing. I have other concepts in development as well.

I intend to send everyone who has received this holiday letter a booklet entitled "An Introduction to the Aramaic Roots of Christianity" that I have written.

List of Publications by Stephen Andrew Missick

Comic Books (Available from

The Assyrians: The Oldest Christian People

Chronicles: Facts from the Bible

The Hammer of God: Character and Historical Reference

The Hammer of God Coloring Book

The Hammer of God Mini-Comic

The Hammer of God: The Battle for Religious Freedom

ARTICLES (Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies

The Assyrian Church in the Mongol Empire, Mar Thoma: The Apostolic Foundation of the Assyrian Church in India, and Socotra: The Mysterious Island of the Church of the East which were published in the Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies (Volume XIII, No. 2, 1999, Volume XIV, No. 2, 2000 and Volume XVI No. 1, 2002).

The Words of Jesus in the Original Aramaic and other books that I have written are available through

Contact Stephen at PO Box 882 Shepherd Texas, 77371 or

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