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Professional Perspectives for Senior Officers

[…]he had to learn to be a leader in God’s kingdom. An accurate view of authority and service JOHN 13:3-4. Before Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, He was fully aware of His authority and position in the kingdom. John takes pains to remind us that Jesus viewed His exalted position accurately. The magnificence of His act of service comes from the fact that He did not seek His own glory, but entrusted that to the Father. Instead, He used His authority and power to serve others. Submission to Christ’s authority JOHN 13:8-9. One way Christ taught His followers to be […]
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Time, Talent, Treasure: Retirees

[…]right arm while shattering his left foot. Fifteen major surgeries and countless minor ones later, John has gone from “being unable to walk and even care for myself to going hiking and climbing in Colorado.” “John has pushed himself through pain and agony that I have never experienced, “said Joe. “Seeing him do things such as rappelling, rock climbing and backpacking during this time of his healing motivated me to give up sniveling and to persevere.” For Jeff Silliman, the personal joy of sharing with his mother “the impact of OCF’s ministry on our lives and also meet Mr. Tok” […]

Unity of Command

[…]church as having subordinate units too. Some Christians may want to identify with Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Wesley, T.D. Jakes, Rick Warren, or others. Those subordinate leaders should never get the fierce loyalty and following that belongs only to Jesus Christ. Therefore, their adherents should always see unity in the church as a primary goal over their own distinctiveness. Jesus prayed that we would all be one (John 17:21). One critical way believers live in unity is to pray for our leaders. In 1 Timothy 2:1-2 the apostle Paul exhorts us to pray for those in authority over us. […]

For All Leaders

[…]and to let their lights “shine before men” (Matt. 5:13-16). However, John cautions us in 1 John 2:15 to, “…not love the world or the things in the world.” John goes on to describe more specifically those things he is referring to. “…the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life” (1 John 2:16 NASB). Avoid these areas; but don’t isolate yourself so that you are no earthly good. Those under your command need to see your light. Don’t get trapped in the office. We lead people, not things. Do what is right […]

Six Generations: 3

[…]what I saw and that was the realness for Jesus Christ.” I knew at the time I contacted John that he was heading up a group of men at Fort Hood who were preparing to host a Central Texas-wide Christian Men’s Conference. They had planned it for 11 months and briefed the concept to the Garrison Commander, receiving his approval to proceed. When I re-established contact in April of 2002, John and his group had just completed the conference, whose guest speakers included author Stu Weber and pro-football great, Hershel Walker. His note to me: “…we just had a wonderful, […]

A day in the life of OCF

[…]a varied mix: second lieutenants, a retired Air Force general, medical professionals, and Rangers. John is at a chapel service that is just wrapping up, as part of a joint OCF-Valor ministry to the Army ROTC cadets attending Warrior Forge for field training. The voluntary chapel services are the only outreach opportunity available to the cadets, who train with no days off. The last of the sixty cadets at the 2100 service are beginning to filter out, but several of them linger behind to talk. The topic of Christians and killing often tops the list, with cadets seeking answers to […]

Superhero’s Faith

[…]going to have faith like a child.6 I’m going to be a Superman for Christ.     1 John 3:16, John 20:29 2 John 10:10 3 Michael Yaconelli, Dangerous Wonder: The Adventure of Childlike Faith, (Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2003), 58 4 2 Timothy 2:13 5 1 John 4:16 6 Mathew 18:4   Jim Freeze is a First Class Cadet at the United States Military Academy (USMA ’05) and the Cadet-In-Charge of OCF at West Point this year. He wrote this devotion to all of OCF at the beginning of the school year to encourage his fellow cadets to fall in […]

Follow Me

[…]leadership for His disciples. This redefinition came on the heels of a request by James and John to be seated on the right and left of Jesus in Heaven. Upon hearing of the brothers’ request, the other disciples became upset and began to quarrel. Jesus gathered them and said, “…’whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all'” (Mark 10:44 RSV). Serve others if you want to lead. This new concept was hard to swallow then and still is today, because of the self-focused tendency of human […]

Wrestling with Depression

[…]is the father of lies (John 8:44) who seeks to devour (1 Peter 5:8), and kill and destroy us (John 10:10). He wants us to believe we are easy prey for his schemes-that we are alone and isolated without worth, hope, or help. That spiritual battle is also within us, between our old and new natures. Our flesh always wants to be in charge, but as Christians with the Holy Spirit living within us, God gives us the power to overcome and win. Wearing our country’s uniform, or being a family member of one who does, can be stressful. The […]

Leadership Moments: Are You Leading?

[…]protective gesture, Jesus healed the servant’s injury and told Peter to put away his weapon (John 18:10-11). Jesus could have responded to the arresting entourage with a show of His mighty power or through a simple appeal to his Father and the thousands of angels standing by for Jesus’ use. Instead, He identified Himself as the one they sought (John 18:5).  A good leader leads best with actions reflecting decisions arrived at through calm, calculated, inspired thought rather than reckless displays of power. Jesus command to Peter reveals that leaders who use overwhelming displays of power are not always effective […]

Making the ‘no greater love’ sacrifice

[…]that, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13). Four WWII chaplains, who had studied and served together, put into practice one February morning in 1943 what they preached. They gave their lives so others might live. The USAT Dorchester was a converted troop ship taking 902 souls from New York to war in Europe via Greenland. Anyone who’s ever been aboard a troop ship as a passenger, with troops huddled in every nook and cranny of the ship, knows it’s not a Princess Cruises excursion! The sights and smells of huddled […]


[…]food,’ said Jesus, ‘is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work'” (John 4:34). What happens when the Christian leader stays true to the task and maintains focus despite signs of indifference or rejection? He finds satisfaction in a job well done and his efforts benefit those he is called to serve. The courageous leader who stays true to the task ultimately helps others become better people. From a close reading of John 4 Jesus models leadership that bridges cultural divides and does not quit at signs of rejection. The Samaritan woman received salvation, […]

Six Generations: 1

[…] our priorities, all other necessary and needful things in life are generously provided (see John 16:33). But when other things push God and His priorities aside, then one’s perspective becomes temporal and shallow–well-meaning as it may be. When compared to an eternal perspective on life, all other perspectives simply pale and fade into insignificance. Jon Shine’s perspective on life was eternal. He surely thought and felt earthly, temporal, and physical thoughts and emotions. But the thrust of his life was eternal–how could he please the Lord and help others see their need for the Lord. This outlook was shaped […]

The Line Officer and the Chaplain

[…]Believers working together in a chapel program can proclaim the essential teachings of the gospel. John 17:21-23 tells us that all Christians are united in Christ. This includes Christians in all denominations, of all theological shades and spiritual persuasions. In the chapel the focus tends to be on the essential doctrines of Christian faith rather than on denominational distinctives. We need each other for growth as well as fellowship. The Holy Spirit has sovereignly distributed spiritual gifts to a variety of believers. We need one another’s gifts in order to live properly as the Body of Christ. How wonderful and […]

Why We Serve

[…]to reach those who have yet to accept Him as Lord and Savior. As Jesus spoke in the Gospel of John. Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him (John […]

Child Evangelism

[…]Pray with faith, believing. Be concerned, but don’t push. The Plan 1. God loves you. Recite John 3:16 with your child’s name in place of “the world.” 2. Show the child his or her need of a Savior. Deal with sin carefully. There is one thing that cannot enter heaven–sin. Be sure your child knows what sin is. Ask him to name some (things common to children–lying, sassing, disobeying, etc.). Sin is doing or thinking anything wrong according to God’s Word. It is breaking God’s law. Ask the question “Have you sinned?” If the answer is no, do not continue. […]

Do you have a PCS sponsor—to heaven?

[…]a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:2-3). This Savior and Lord—our “sponsor” in this life and as we PCS into the next—will one day stand to welcome and greet us at death before the Commander in Chief of the universe and in the communion of saints. Today is the time to make sure Jesus is your spiritual sponsor for that coming day.   Marine Corps: As a sponsor…you provide initial important contact [and] first impression of our unit. Jesus provides the connection […]

How does the Lord see you?

[…]gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Once we grapple with and ultimately grasp that eternal truth, we begin to realize He calls us to serve Him, going where no man or woman has gone before in His power, to reach out to others with encouragement and engage in their lives. One of my favorite stories of obedient servants boldly stepping forward to answer God’s call to serve is the biblical account of the prophet Isaiah. He accepted the Lord’s commission to warn Judah about impending Babylonian […]

Implicit Trust

[…]faith would live. Those who refused to take the Lord at his word, died. In the New Testament, John 3:14-15 (KJV), we’re told, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” Just as Moses raised up the brass serpent upon a pole, so Christ was raised up on a cross. There Christ bore the full judgment of our sin. He suffered, bled, and died in your place and in mine, the Innocent One dying for the […]

Lead Your Child to Christ

[…]Pray with faith, believing. Be concerned, but don’t push.   The Plan: 1. God loves you. Recite John 3:16 with your child’s name in place of “the world.” 2. Show the child his or her need of a Savior. Deal with sin carefully. There is one thing that cannot enter heaven–sin. Be sure your child knows what sin is. Ask him to name some (things common to children–lying, sassing, disobeying, etc.). Sin is doing or thinking anything wrong according to God’s Word. It is breaking God’s law. Ask the question “Have you sinned?” If the answer is no, do not […]

Leadership and the Christian Officer

[…]keep in perfect peace of mind one who fully trusts Him, regardless of circumstances (Is. 26:3; John 14:27; Phil. 4:4-8). Finally, in this life the Christian is a witness to the world that Christ saves one from sin and transforms one’s life. Others will scorn our Christian testimony unless our lives exhibit true Christian character. Therefore, the Christian officer should strive to be the very best professional officer possible, and should do this with Christian faith and conduct. Lieutenant General William K. Harrison Jr. Lieutenant General William K. Harrison Jr., retired in 1956, after forty-four years in the Army. In […]

Leadership Came Naturally

by John A. Knubel For Tom Hemingway, leadership was a natural result of who he was. He was a committed Christian, who lived his faith and wore it as naturally as he did his clothes. It determined his leadership style as a family man, Marine and minister of the Gospel. We would do well to understand his style, and as God gives us grace, emulate it. I first met Second Lieutenant Tom Hemingway, USMC, in the OCF bookstore in the fall of 1961. Located just outside Gate Three at the Naval Academy, the place was a haven for Middies trapped […]

Question Authority

[…]said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me” (John 11:41-42). I had a friend who, in response to matters he did not understand or was reluctant to accept, would say: “I am content to leave this in the hands of a sovereign God.” What a great response! As we walk and lead by faith, fulfilling God’s mission, may we entrust our ways and life’s circumstances to Him.   Copyrighted by Officers’ Christian Fellowship and Larry Simpson. For personal reflection and growth. Not for […]

Share this spiritual gift with your teen

[…]AWESOME! Picture time. Tonight’s lesson: reject social and spiritual passivity. “Chicago” (John) gets the chicken! Later that night it rains and the tent sounds like a cathedral. I listen to my son’s snoring sounds. So grateful for this time. Good breakfast, packed gear, drove to our camp site. Pitched tents, staff is fired up, everyone is fired up. The boys go exploring for a bit. Young warriors, fearing nothing. Later, the staff takes most of the group up into the mountains to a trail. Andy leads us on; beautiful country here. The trail parallels a small stream. Beaver dams near […]

TTP – Vision and Leadership

[…]what we say, and do the right thing even when no one is watching. From verse 13 of chapter 15 of John’s Gospel, Jesus tells us, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” That illustrates service before self for all time. We pledge to lay down our lives for our friends, our nation. That’s what we do. In addition, according to Paul in his epistle to the church at Ephesus, chapter 6, verse 7, “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men.” Yes, excellence in all we do-giving […]

War on Spiritual Terrorism

[…]serve our Lord and Master in this world, we are living and working behind enemy lines.” In 1 John 5:19, we are assured that we are under God’s protection, but reminded too, “…that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.” The Bible’s message is clear–we operate in an environment of spiritual terrorism. As military leaders we must recognize and commit ourselves to train and lead our personnel in both operational environments–the physical domain of direct action, and the domain of unconventional spiritual warfare. True Strength While physical training strengthens our bodies, and battle drills build the […]

What Right Looks Like

[…]Right Looks Like Also important is the ability to see what right looks like. I’m reminded of John 10:32 as Jesus says to the Jews, “…I have shown you many great miracles from the Father…” Jesus Christ showed the entire world what right looks like. Through his daily walk with God, the example He set constantly, He showed exactly how we should act. In 2 Corinthians 6:3 Paul says, “We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path so that our ministry may not be discredited.” Like Paul, through our walk with Christ, and our demonstration of our faith to others, […]

You Are Commissioned

[…]But in spite of any crisis you encounter, as a Christian, you should have hope. The apostle John says, “…for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” As a family member or military member, you were “commissioned” in our Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard to do the work of our Lord as professional military servants, as a family, and as ambassadors of Jesus Christ. The crises in […]
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