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How Shall We Pray?

[…]peace for those who grieve, and relationships reconciled. But as I pray for those things, I pray first and foremost that the purposes of God be fulfilled and that glory be brought to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. For through God’s purposes and glory, we will be bound to the One who loves us, to love and worship Him for eternity. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither […]

OCF and Leadership

[…]leaders, or are we focusing on vision? Is the question going into an installation Pray, Discover, and Obey, “How many Bible studies do we need?” or is it,”How are we going to build Christian leaders…families…fellowships at our installation?” The first is a process question, the second is a vision-a leadership-question. Ephesians 4:11-16 talks about the leadership model of the church. God gifted some individuals to be apostles, others prophets, evangelists, or pastor/teachers. That is leadership. To what purpose? “…To prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up…” (v. 12). Our purpose […]

The Line Officer and the Chaplain

[…]the members of the congregation need your spiritual vision, commitment, experience, involvement, and prayers. Join them and contribute to the Christian ministry in your command. Together you will mature in Christ (Ephesians 4:16). Chapel congregations contain military people who need to know more of a personal walk with the Lord Jesus. Some have never made a faith commitment to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Others have never clarified and developed their faith so as to grow into mature disciples. In combat many will be open to the chaplains’ ministry who would otherwise be uninterested. In overseas duty stations a […]

Finishing Strong, in Iraq and Life

[…]personnel at home and overseas, earning him the moniker “Combat Musician” from the troops and commanders. He has released nine CDs of his varied music. Danny and his wife, Angela, live in Colorado with their three children, the oldest of whom will graduate this spring from Colorado State University and will commission as an Army […]

Leadership and the Christian Officer

[…]obstacles as challenges rather than a cause for apprehension. The commander must be able to understand and analyze problems, make firm decisions, give clear orders and then forcefully carry out their will despite difficulties. There must be that character which is willing to accept responsibility, to reason out problems, make decisions and then push them through to success. Possessing this basic trait of character, they must then prepare themselves intellectually to face the tasks which confront them. Loyalty To achieve the best results from subordinates, the commander must have their confidence and personal loyalty. One thing must be remembered-loyalty starts […]

TTP – Vision and Leadership

[…]the mission requirements we may face. Our business affairs must be in order, our families informed and prepared, and our accounts set straight so that we can focus our energies on putting forth our best effort-anytime, anywhere, on a moment’s notice. Together, we can provide exceptional service and support to all customer agencies to ensure mission success for our unit, our customers, and our nation. We will do this by focusing on training and readiness, all with our basis of performance and behaviors coming from the core values of “Integrity First,” “Service Before Self,” and “Excellence In All We […]

What you do and how you lead does matter

[…]the battle handoffs that our academy staff representatives do with training and operational commands, and the new military web portal are all tools to help keep you emboldened in your faith, falling out of habits and to find fellowship—and lay leadership—opportunities tailored to your specific needs and circumstances. After leaving the Coast Guard Academy, a newly commissioned officer arrived at his first assignment in Florida. With a vision for outreach into the local community, he wanted to help care for the homeless.  So he launched The King’s Sheep, a team of OCF members who team up with a local church. […]

Further insights from Mike and Angie Moyles

[…]in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us.” Here are some more insights shared by Mike and his wife, Angie, during their interview with COMMAND. Read the full story here. Questions for Angie Mike credits you for his return to faith and rebaptism. What did you say or do that convinced this man of science? It wasn’t really anything I said or did. He asked me out—four times!—and I simply wouldn’t date him because I knew he was not a committed Christian and didn’t go to church. […]

Laborers and Laboring as Unto the Lord

[…]practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash” (Matthew 7:26-27). All of which underlines the real heart and core of celebrating workers and their work, particularly in the greater-than eternal economy of God’s full kingdom to come, “That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe” (1 Timothy 4:10). Unlike 401(k) portfolios […]

Truth and the Christian Leader

[…]the other side. Leaders need not fear truth but must pursue it. Truth is the fabric of what we stand for and is what we as Christian leaders are called to practice.   Copyrighted by Officers’ Christian Fellowship and Larry Simpson. For personal reflection and growth. Not for […]

OCF Groups and You

[…]and large existing groups, such as at the military academies, with fellowship, Bible studies, and service programs for groups of generally homogenous cadets and midshipmen all under the OCF banner. Others experience OCF in the smaller venues of college ROTC programs, voluntarily led by retired, active duty, even college-age OCF members. In both instances, all the cadets/mids have to do is easily fit into the existing group, becoming consumers of OCF’s “product.” Becoming an owner means asking “What kind of OCF group needs to be at this location and what should I do about it?” rather than “Where is the […]

Professional Perspectives for Senior Officers

[…]your spouse GENESIS 2:24. (also quoted by Paul in Ephesians 5:31) Upon marriage, God looks at husband and wife as one flesh. This is the next most important relationship after their relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Marriage partners should continually reflect on the dimensions of: 1) leaving, 2) cleaving, and 3) being one flesh. This relationship needs constant attention in the demanding environment of senior leadership. EPHESLANS 5:21-33. How are we to love our spouses? This Scripture sets forth some of God’s primary commands for marital relationships, as follows: Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ (vs. […]
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Support Your Chaplain

[…]chaplain or the chapel ministry. We encourage you, as a participant in OCF, to consider carefully and prayerfully how you can be an active member of the chapel congregation at your base, post, camp, or ship. Also consider how you can support your unit chaplain’s ministry such as Bible studies or fellowship activities on the flight-line, in the ward room, or in the barracks. There are a few considerations that might cause you to worship and be involved somewhere other than the chapel. But we would hope, as you seek to be used by the Lord spiritually, as well as […]

First Bible Studies

[…]above point, this study is a great introduction for your group to have a follow-on Pray, Discover, and Obey (also see the Pray, Discover and obey Leader’s guide). The obvious next step would be to schedule a “Pray and Obey” where you would draw aside for a “season” of prayer to ask God to show you how He sees your installation (the walls of Jerusalem), and in prayer, discern His leading as you progress from a concern for others in the military, to a burden, then to a vision and finally to a plan. Leader’s Preparation In preparation for a group […]

A day in the life of OCF

[…]just taken place: a room of chatter and laughter has become a sanctuary. After the daily devotions and prayer, staff members write and mail notes of encouragement, especially to known members on deployment and their families.    1000 Hank and Betsy Teuton, U.S. Coast Guard Academy; Bryan and Sherri Burt, U.S. Naval Academy; Tom and Cheri Austin, U.S. Military Academy; Steve and Rita Wade, U.S. Air Force Academy Hank’s dual-purposed, successful plan B worked: the exhausted skunk Hank just scooped out of the swimming pool with a long net is now providing a spiritual lesson for Betsy. Just as the […]

Service Separations

[…]Don’t let them work against you; make them work for you! Marriages can grow even though husband and wife are separated by distance. If nothing else, separations force you to focus on the major good qualities of your mate, rather than his minor idiosyncrasies. When you are with a person all the time, little things like socks on the floor or newspapers scattered all over become progressively irritating. It’s easy to start taking each other for granted. Sometimes a few weeks of separation help to get perspectives back in focus as to what is really important! Once we were visiting […]

Time, Talent, Treasure: Retirees

[…]construction, we prayed for the superintendent’s family member during deployment to Iraq and prayed him safely home. The superintendent had never experienced that on any other projects.   Your advice for getting involved in the ministry of OCF? Kit Vaughn: If you want to be an authentic Christian, your first priority is spending time with Jesus every day. Once you’ve checked in with Him, look for the people most open to a relationship with Jesus: the lonely, sad, new, sick or hurt. Progress gently, patiently. Be considerate of their school schedule. Ask how you can pray for them—then do it. […]

Six Generations: 3

[…]of the clear blue he wanted Jesus in his life. We called all the men around that were there and prayed with him. I thank God every day that He can use men all around us for His glory.” Indeed He can! God began this ministry of multiplication through generations of faithful men years ago, using Jon Shine as a powerful influence on many others along the way. We don’t always know how and why He works the way He does, but we can be assured that He is in control. He took Jon Shine from this earth, at age […]

Time, Talent, Treasure: Academies

[…]Look around, see where God is at work, and join Him there. Conduct your own Pray, Discover and Obey, and be sensitive to what the Holy Spirit shows you in the ways you should minister with the military. And then do it.  Austin: Keep your contact information updated with the OCF home office so that we can network more easily. It really helps our new officers to link up at their next post with another officer in OCF.   Why OCF? Burt: As a midshipman, when I was asking questions about who Jesus Christ was and why He was important […]

Rescue on the High Seas

[…]God. I was a modern-day Jonah trying to escape the grasp of God rather than make Him my priority and obey Him. A few weeks before the pirate attack on the Maersk Alabama, my wife asked me how I was coming along in my Bible studies. To my shame, all of the Bible studies I brought with me were stuffed into a cabinet. I was resigned to leafing through the Bible from the beginning, as if reading a novel. Nonetheless, God spoke to me in my sluggishness, catching my attention with the book of Joshua, “Be strong and very courageous. […]

Some Thoughts for Christians

[…]give and take. Politics is the art of the possible and a Christian congressman may be honestly, prayerfully, and rightly voting as God leads him while accepting half a loaf rather than no loaf at all. Another danger is single issue voting. It is tempting to use a single-issue litmus test, and because we are inclined to do so, candidates for office tend to say one thing to one constituency and something nuanced quite differently to another. Christians must prayerfully weigh many VUCA issues, and have the humility to recognize that we might not be fully hearing God’s message–or that […]

Six Generations: 1

[…]memorized many passages of Scripture together and spent hours and hours in studying the Word and praying over it. We grew so very close. I am the godfather of his only child, a son he never knew. Joe was killed in a car accident four years after his graduation while getting his Masters Degree in Michigan. Joe had a broad testimony, but according to his wife, Gigi, I was the only one he ever invested his life into so intently and intentionally. My life was ignited by his love and investment…and it has never stopped. You know the rest.” The […]

The Jungles of War

[…]safe from small arms fire, but not from the bombs and napalm. These had killed the grandfather and grandmother, but left the child unhurt. My first response was horror and hurt at the infliction of pain and death in which I’d played an integral part. The fact that all our actions had been carried out professionally didn’t relieve the pain I felt, and it mattered not at all to this little survivor before me. Next came a wave of something mean and cruel in my nature: a rejection of responsibility — a denial of my role in all of this. […]

What is Required of Me?

[…]to make war in the name of the President of the United States, expected to defend our Constitution and to obey those in lawful authority over you. The values and virtues of our commission are captured in laws, codes, conventions, creeds, values and traditions. You are a Christian officer. Your Christianity is preeminent; your Christianity modifies your officership. Your challenge is to meet your military obligations in a manner which is wholly consistent with your Christian value system. The great danger to any ambassador is to “go native,” assimilating the culture where you serve, forgetting whom you serve, and becoming […]

Leadership without Coercion

[…]things up necessarily, announced, “The chaplain isn’t here yet, so Colonel, you come on up and pray.” I did. Colonels obey command sergeants major if they are smart. Although we had never discussed it, he knew I would be comfortable praying because of the testimony of my life. In each of my assignments, I followed the same script of identifying myself as a Christian as part of my introduction. I also made it a habit to let my actions demonstrate my faith rather than preach with words. It was no secret that I was involved with OCF and the chapel […]

What Are Parents to Do?

[…]least by ourselves. But we can, and do, seek God’s loving embrace of Darren and his unit, and pray unceasingly that God will grant them safety, good health, strength, courage, and success in their mission. He is truly in God’s hands now. There were so many uncertainties as Darren began his first deployment. We were unsure of the environment and the type of operations he would be involved in. Our minds were full of questions: How would he do? Would he try to be a hero? Would he stay healthy? Would he have access to email or a phone? We […]

War on Spiritual Terrorism

[…]is moral, ethical, and spiritual strength. Most soldiers don’t pray. Most young leaders don’t pray. Not until they stand up to put that snap fastener on the anchor line cable do they start to try and get serious, because when they go out the door they know it’s them, that equipment, and the Lord. Or they don’t pray until they get a contingency mission. When they get to Green Ramp, suddenly the chaplain becomes the most important officer in the unit. They all want to see and talk to him… Most soldiers who fall into this category will enter into […]

Operation Iraqi Freedom

[…]dining facilities, and a pool!  What an opportunity to meet together as Christians to worship and pray openly from the middle of a Muslim country (Saudi Arabia). A group of us read through the book of Matthew and just discussed whatever stood out to us. It added a new perspective being this close to where all the events we were reading about happened. For example, it’s cold at night in the middle of winter there. I’d always wondered if it were really cold when Jesus was born, being so near a desert and fairly far south. If He really were […]

Professional Excellence (Durfey)

[…]reading letters from the Apostle Paul. As Christians, we have clear directives to serve, love, obey, and worship the Lord. Notice the acrostic formed from the first letter from each of these directives, “S-L-O-W.” One can gain much more from any experience if “extra” time can be taken. Food shared at the wardroom table with friends in conversation is much more of a meal; an inspection of the spaces interspersed with small talk with those who did the cleaning is much more productive. Commuting on a bike, one will see things never seen from a car. Leaders must force themselves […]

Six Generations: 2

[…] said, “Hi Barry, I’m Jon.” Hesitating but happy and relieved, I raised his right hand and firmly grasped Jon’s and our eyes met and a bond was formed that day that only the few who have experienced it can comprehend. But that wasn’t the end of the Special Inspection. Jon then opened and held out his left hand, which had been grasping a dulled-silver dollar, a rather old vintage coin that held some significance to Jon. He explained its significance to me. Jon had received the silver dollar from a graduating cadet when he was a Plebe, at a […]

Follow Me

[…]of this recognition, he starts every day with a time of quiet meditation over the scriptures and prayer, seeking the will of God and not the desires of men. Seek Jesus as a Role Model The third aspect of Jesus’ leadership style deals with the world’s idea of leadership. The world’s view on leadership today has not changed much since the days of Jesus. Many leaders in the world seek positions of leadership in order to exercise authority and esteem themselves as better than the people they are leading. These attitudes can be seen in how they interact with others […]

The Role of Faith

[…]crisis. In the media coverage during recent missions, there were constant public references to prayer and looking to God for help. Faith gives people the hope and courage they need to get through trials. The realization that you have no control over your circumstances may draw you to God for the first time, or possibly back to God. “The power is in the Person to whom faith clings. . . . The great things that come about through crisis are not the result of ‘great faith’ but of faith, even a small and flickering faith, in the greatness of God’s […]

For All Leaders

[…]men and women in the defense of our nation. The following TTPs are humbly offered with the hope and prayer that something included might help you bring glory to our Lord as you serve. Pray for wisdom. Your leadership will affect lives. The Bible tells us, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5). Don’t miss out on this indispensable asset for your kit bag. We all need it! Make quiet reflection alone each day a priority. It allows you time […]

Home Front Holidays

[…]help, yes. As families who have faced this holiday scenario, here are a few lessons we learned: 1. Pray, pray, pray. Pray that the Lord will sustain you and that your heart will be drawn to your Savior and your spouse in a new way. Pray for all of the deployed service men and women, and for their families. Search the Scriptures and claim God’s promises for your children, your spouse, and yourself. 2. Be realistic about what you can do. A perfectly planned and executed holiday does not automatically make it a happy one. Do your best to make […]

Share this spiritual gift with your teen

[…]Colorado Springs and a visit to the AF Academy. Later, we attend Mass in the Cadet Chapel, kneel and pray together. We spend some time just talking about things. Later, Brian and I talk about the week. “We need to do this again, Dad. This was fun, and it was……special. I really did enjoy this,” he tells me. Yes, we both did.   Lieutenant Colonel Phil Tilly, USA, is an OCF member. He leads the University of Cincinnati Army ROTC Battalion. He and his wife, Jeanne, also have a daughter, […]

Spiritual Battle Plans

[…]and Supplication (ACTS). Also, make your prayer list realistic: split it into multiple parts and pray over one section per day. Ask God questions about your military leadership and everything on your heart; it reminds us to listen. When He answers it enables us to see His relevance in the practical aspects of our life. Journaling Capture God’s answers to prayer and His revelations of truth (Proverbs 29:18). This is how we actively listen, pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17), grow, and demonstrate to God that we can be trusted as faithful stewards of His insights. Additional, Intentional Steps toward […]

Child Evangelism

[…]on his or her maturity level. 3. Don’t use terms like “take Jesus into your heart,” “dying and going to hell,” and “accepting Christ as your personal Savior.” Children are either too literal (“How does Jesus breathe in my heart?”) or the words are too trite for their understanding. 4. Deal with each child alone, and don’t be in a hurry. Make sure he or she understands. Discuss. Take your time. A Few Cautions 1. When drawing children to Himself, Jesus said for others to “allow” them to come to Him (see Mark 10:14). Only with adults did he use […]

Lead Your Child to Christ

[…]on his or her maturity level. 3. Don’t use terms like “take Jesus into your heart,” “dying and going to hell,” and “accepting Christ as your personal Savior.” Children are either too literal (“How does Jesus breathe in my heart?”) or the words are too trite for their understanding. 4. Deal with each child alone, and don’t be in a hurry. Make sure he or she understands. Discuss. Take your time. A Few Cautions: 1. When drawing children to Himself, Jesus said for others to “allow” them to come to Him (see Mark 10:14). Only with adults did he use […]

It Didn’t Surprise God

[…]reassured them (and ourselves) of God’s goodness, answered their questions, read the Bible, and prayed several times. Zac, my six-year-old, assumed the worst and asked me straight-up if I would remarry when Mom died. I don’t remember my response, but I remember how that question captured my fears. And so began a journey of rich blessing for our family. Skipping forward thirteen months, Heather’s doctor told us that he could see no remnants of cancer. Glory to God! I skip forward because I prefer the BLUF (bottom-line up front) over suspense. But skipping forward neglects the many blessings we experienced […]

From Mid to Married to Mom

[…]Your love and peace to shine right throughThe dark times when I’m feeling lonely,Missing my husband and wishing that only; While he’s gone that time would fly,And when he’s home that it’d creep by.I look to You Lord, set me free,From all my worries enslaving me. For I know and trust that Your plan is best,You’re my fortress, my stronghold, and in You I rest.I thank You Lord for blessing me with suchA wonderful husband who loves me so much! It’s for him I bring these requests before You,And for him I pray, his strength be renewed.Though my flesh and […]

Time, Talent, Treasure: ROTC

[…]was with ECU cadets at a regional retreat. One of the female cadets from our group openly and candidly shared why, as a single college student, she was maintaining her purity and devotion to the Lord.  Her honesty and sincerity spoke volumes—especially since 80% of the attendees were males.   Enos: Immediately following morning formation, a campus dining hall is packed primarily with cadets for breakfast. Praying for an opportunity to share Christ with someone, He led me to a freshman, and we began talking. He was very open and completely engaged in the conversation, strongly desiring to talk about […]

Members: Cast your vote now for OCF Council

[…]up but never knew the Lord. That changed my senior year of college through the efforts of my grandparents and friends. I am still growing in my knowledge of the Lord and I thank Him for His abundant mercy and grace. What is the biggest challenge you see currently facing OCF right now? The current generation of leaders is more connected and inundated with information and secular viewpoints than any previous generation. How does OCF equip future leaders so the thorns of the world do not choke what is of eternal importance? Nominated by: LTC Tom Austin IV, USA (Ret.); […]

Unity of Command

[…]for individual commanders to make decisions. This builds trust up and down the chain of command and produces freedom and flexibility throughout all of the force structures. Let’s apply this spiritually by looking at the Trinity and the Body of Christ. In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus stated that all authority was given to Him. He also said in the Gospels that He always obeyed the Father–doing nothing on His own account. In the next step down the chain of command, Jesus said He would send the Holy Spirit, who would guide His followers in all truth. He would not speak on […]

What Works for New Officers?

[…]avoid controversial issues, and focus on simple truths for effective Christian living. Include prayer and praise. TIP: You can facilitate a study with those who are of higher rank than you. Just stay disciplined, and keep it professional (2 Tim 3:16, 17). 5. Set a GOOD EXAMPLE morally. Live in a way that is right. Treat people fairly, give respect to everyone, and listen to all ranks carefully. TIP: Improper language doesn’t cut it. What we say is what we are. Jesus talked about this in Matthew 12:34-37. Unless someone holds you accountable, you will pick up words you wish […]

Leadership by Example

[…]to train and then to adapt that expertise to new situations as we are doing in Afghanistan and Iraq, and they do it well, the best in the world I might add. And, if they do not, then, it goes without saying that the Army will not contribute militarily to subduing the insurgencies in those two locations. But it takes far more than tactical competence to fulfill your obligations as an officer. It takes, secondly, moral character of the highest sort in every commissioned leader, particularly as our Army fights the dirty battles of urban warfare as initiated by terrorists, […]

Staying Up Late

[…]the guard said. “Always love it when you pray for us.” I put my arms around their shoulders and prayed for them. I asked that God would be with them throughout the night and help them stay awake and alert. I prayed for their families. And as always, I prayed that all of us would make it through this deployment safely and return home to the ones we love. We all said, “Amen” and with that, I climbed back down the ladder, and headed towards my hooch. As I was walking back, I was reminded of the famous scene in […]

The Heartbeat of OCF

[…]lives are changed and love and service to one another are practiced. You gather for fellowship, prayer, and to hear the Gospel. The Bible is read, studied, and applied. And mutual compassion and support through the many trials and heartaches of military life is rendered with love, understanding, and compassion. Starting and Becoming an Effective Group The important thing is getting a group started so there is a safe place where you can encourage one another to acts of love, service and Christian maturity.  As commissioned officers and Christians in the Armed Forces of the USA, most every one of […]

Two Greedy Institutions

[…]our role as a military spouse. Recognizing that the officer’s service is a God-given calling and demands much of him/her, it is critical to the spouse that the officer at the same time show the spouse that she/he and the children are also a top priority. Some ways to do this include: Focused time, in which both the head and heart are engaged. These times need to be frequent, though not necessarily long. Including the spouse in decision making. Being a part of what is going on in the family, and sharing the burden of parenting, not just “That’s you’re […]

Getting Intentional in Your Marriage

[…]or husband’s need, goal, or point of view Commit to caring for the other’s concerns Catch, pray for, and cooperate with God’s vision Serve each other with proper motives Following an interactive session, a young spouse asked us, “So how do you grow together spiritually?” Our response was to start with these basics of good communication: Routine spiritual pulse check. Safeguard from serving on an empty tank. Weekly calendar merge. Share, know, and be involved with what each other is doing. Inquire about what your husband or wife is learning through personal quiet time and study. How can I pray […]

Impact Your Military Community!

[…]had twelve people (half of which were the chaplain’s family) and the service was dead. My wife and I prayed through an extensive list of changes we wanted to see in the chapel. Item by item, God began to answer, and within a few months He transformed the chapel. He raised up a handful of dedicated Christians in the congregation and brought in a chaplain who wanted to reach the military for Jesus. It was not long before the congregation grew to over 100. From these, God raised up a ten-member praise band to lead worship, a full-fledged choir, and […]

Time, Talent, Treasure: OCF small group fellowships

[…]during lunch, OCFers come together in Christ’s to support and encourage each through Bible study and prayer.   Navy submarine lieutenant Mark Treen believes God has given him a rare opportunity to be a missionary to those he lives, works and eats with in the ocean depths, an environment where the difficulties crew members face are more acute. The challenge, he says, is “letting Christ’s light shine when you feel like you’re surrounded by darkness,” and instead trusting in Christ’s promise that, “the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say” (Luke 12:12). And just as […]
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Implicit Trust

[…]and, springing into the path of the frightened animal, seized the bridle, brought the horse to a stand and replaced the reins into the Emperor’s hands. In recognition and reward for the soldier’s devotion, Napoleon said, as he secured the reins in his hands, “Thank you, Captain.” Without hesitation the soldier came to attention, saluted his imperial master and inquired, “Of what regiment, sir?” Charmed by the soldier’s complete faith and unquestioning confidence in his word, the Emperor responded, “Of my own guards,” and then, turning his mount, he rode away at a gallop. Immediately the soldier lay down his […]

Leadership Excellence

[…]it are sometimes immense. While we tend to discount the toil, leadership remains yeoman’s work and demands absolute dedication, focused effort, and most importantly, great strength of character. Leaders must understand that the profession of arms is an altogether unique endeavor, a true “calling” and, in many ways, a spiritual undertaking. They must recognize the true nature of the enterprise, acknowledge the spiritual dimension of their service, and appreciate the motives and expectations of their subordinates. Service members are generally distinguished by their deep conviction and sense of duty, and by their confidence in the integrity of the organizations to […]

Whose Arm Doth Reach

[…]floor Dive with our men beneath the sea Traverse the depths protectively Lord, hear us when we pray and keep Them safe from peril in the deep. Its hauntingly beautiful melody gave me my first inkling of the risks involved in sea service. The second was when Dad began taking us to the aquarium…where it first occurred to me that there were places in the ocean so dark that the creatures living there possessed their own bioluminescence as a substitute for sunlight.… We learned that there were many strange creatures in the deepest, uncharted parts of the ocean where no […]

Three Words

[…]that Jesus is Lord in your life will give you confidence to handle the weight of combat command and the courage to face death. This does not mean that you may not be killed. Jesus was Lord as much in my brother Jon’s life as he was in mine, but God allowed the North Vietnamese machine gun bullets to cut him down after only a few weeks in battle, while I survived fifteen months there with only a few scars. Nor does your faith mean you will never feel fear. It is part of our humanness–often a necessary and helpful […]

Ice Cream in Iraq

[…]like ours where we are free. 13. Have you ever gotten hurt? I have not been hurt so far and I hope and pray that I won’t get hurt during my time here. I want to come home the same way I left. And now for the most asked question of all… 14. What do the bad guys look like?This is a hard question to answer because the bad guys look very much like the good guys on the outside. They wear the same type of clothes, speak the same language, and live in houses and drive cars just like […]

We Honor Them

[…]the plane, moved to the flag-draped transfer cases, and the chaplain offered a prayer. The Commander and I then returned, in step, to the tarmac where the Army Honor Guard was waiting. As we all stood at attention, the Honor Guard moved to lift each case. At this time the Commander and I saluted (ceremoniously-a slow, three-second move) as they moved the case to the open doors of the hearse. We did this for each soldier being honored. Then one last salute as the hearse started to drive away. We all then followed, in step, the slow moving hearses back […]

Through A Glass Darkly

[…]sneakers and sticky fingers were exchanged for bubble baths and storybooks, we all got together and prayed for us and for Daddy. And then each of the girls would kiss goodnight the picture of their uniformed dad. So many nights I fell exhausted into bed. Sometimes I cried myself to sleep for want of a partner to help me raise these little ones. I refused to entertain the thought of his not coming back. There was always that chance, but I prayed for the strength for each day, and each day brought enough to be concerned about. I did get […]

Leadership Came Naturally

[…]helped and sympathized, but never lost sight of the reality that every organization both gave to, and demanded from, the individual. That was the condition of his servant leadership style. Specifically, a commitment to the goals of the organization and willingness to serve. He was a man of faith whose self-reliance was based on a combination of his developed capabilities, but primarily a belief that even in combat God was in control. He was a builder, not only in ministry for OCF but also physically. The month he died he had just finished supervising the construction of the second house […]

Soldiers of Faith: Washington

[…]should have beaten them. Much has been written about Washington the hero, Washington the commander, and Washington the President. Unfortunately, historians have often missed the mark on why Washington possessed such strong qualities of leadership and character. His Christian faith was the most potent force in his life and yet, to read modern history, one could never learn what truly set Washington apart from his peers. Some revisionist historians today even suggest that Washington was a deist, though there is no scholarly evidence to support such a claim. These historians further claim that it was Washington’s luck, combined with Yankee […]

Situational Awareness

[…]with information regarding your unique situation. My prayer is that this will expand your understanding and increase your effectiveness as military leaders, spouses, and ambassadors for Christ. Others may want to read along to increase their knowledge of this gap.The Gap Described Culturally you are a pivotal element in our society. By chance of birth you live in the gap between the modern and post-modern eras. The modern era existed from 1500 a.d. until about the time you were born. The industrial age reigned supreme. Truth was determined by the scientific method. Life consisted of laboratory-like certainties. Biblical laws were […]

My Early Christmas Gift

[…]out his name.  Ignoring it he stays on course for his favorite swing.  The voice is louder and closer, and now unmistakable.  But how could that be, how could his father be here?  Finally, a well kept secret is revealed as his father stands there with open arms next to his smiling mother as tears stream down her face.   To the little boy, all the fears and concerns he’d had melt away as his Christmas gift has come early! While this scene plays out numerous times across our nation, this particular scenario played out 44 years ago to the month, […]

Stretchmark Sorority

[…]raising children to know and love and walk with our Lord. We share with our mothers and grandmothers the experiences of nursing our children’s fevers, cheering their accomplishments, and constantly kneeling before our God in their behalf. Our Lord cares enough to give us this sense of family, tradition, and connectedness as we seek to walk with him and to be the godly mothers of our own generation, alive with the encouragement, consolation, praise, and laughter of one another. Yes, it is a wonderful sisterhood indeed! “The counsel of the Lord stands forever, The plans of His heart from generation […]

Superhero’s Faith

[…]easily so I never wanted to fly like him, but I always dreamed of being as strong and bold and fast and cool as Superman was. Most of the time, I felt like the dorky Clark Kent instead, but the boy in me longed to be Superman. For the majority of my childhood, I felt like a weak little pip-squeak with nerdy glasses, but sometimes I would put my “blanky” around my neck and run around the house like Superman. I loved having fun like that. But then I got older. I stopped using my imagination. I let the pressures […]

Wrestling with Depression

[…]For me, even though I was adopted as an infant and raised by wonderful parents, the rejection and abandonment of my birth parents still hurts. My thoughts are, I’m afraid that who I’m supposed to be and what I’m supposed to do will not be good enough. And the most important people in my life will reject me and my efforts, leaving me all alone with no hope. Even after his great victory over the 450 false prophets of Baal, when hearing that Jezebel was after him, Elijah prayed that he might die, saying, “I have had enough, Lord…. Take […]

How Should a Christian Live?

[…]a philosophy major, and as you can assume, I love reading anything from C.S. Lewis and Sproul to Rand and Nietzsche. I am compelled to point out the flaws in the arguments that are presented, which makes me ask a lot of questions. Additionally, I am an Augustinian; I tend to binge on pleasure and then retreat to an almost monastic existence, but it is difficult for me to maintain either state for too long. I have been pegged by some as fickle and by others as just plain unbelievable and insincere. Consistency is a problem for me, as is […]

Interview with Chaplain Beach

[…]a friendship and maintain contact with the chaplain regardless of differences in theology. Pray for and with one another when you can. Find positive ways to express and discuss your differences. Make OCF or personal ministries part of the Command Religious Program by staff procedures that show you are acting openly in accord with military customs and regulations. Participate in the chapel if you can. If God leads you to a local church, try to find ways to serve and ways to participate in events at the chapel. Adapted from COMMAND magazine 1982. At that time, Chaplain Beach was commanding […]

Christian Leadership for the Junior Officer

[…]and the technical systems you will use. Communications systems alone will require reading and hands-on practice. For a time, put away the books on Generals Patton and Lee and the “bulletproof superhero” novels and focus on the technical aspects of your new job. Every type of unit will have high expectations of you. An airborne unit will expect you to attend Jumpmaster School. An artillery unit will expect you to pass the Gunnery Safety Exam. An Air Assault Unit will want you to graduate from Air Assault School. There are similar expectations in every service. The good news here is […]

Keep the End in Mind

[…]back together. We envisioned long walks, picnic lunches with the children, standing on the beach and holding hands as we marveled at God’s handiwork, silently and verbally thanking God for our reunion. This looking ahead perspective had its practical side, too. As we purposed to begin with the end in mind, we had to decide what that looked like in pre-deployment, mid-deployment, and post-deployment. This minimized the emotion of departure and separation for both of us. It exposed the frightening unknown. Practically, looking ahead meant several things. Preparing for Deployment First, we would keep life as normal as possible. Attending […]