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Ron Bracy: “God wants me to simply trust and obey where He leads”

Some 2,500 years after the time of the prophet Habakkuk, Lt Col Ron Bracy, USAF (Ret.), found himself asking the same question as the Old Testament prophet: “How long, O Lord, will I call and you will not hear me?”
Read more » Ron Bracy: “God wants me to simply trust and obey where He leads”

Jesus shows us 3 keys to fulfilling a godly responsibility

Christian officer, leader—how important is prayer to you? As Christians serving in the military, do we recognize what and for whom we should be praying for in our leadership roles? Godly officers and leaders pray.
Read more » Jesus shows us 3 keys to fulfilling a godly responsibility

Time, Talent, Treasure: Retirees

For Christians serving in our nation’s Armed Forces, even when their active duty days meld into retirement, God’s call to serve Him remains evergreen, for in age’s autumn years “…they will stay fresh and green” (Psalm 92:14), still bearing fruit. 

Avoid Cursor Creep in Your Life

For His disciples, God gives direction. Develop a habit of checking your tendency to slide off the course He sets. Seek and find that direction in all parts of life: personal, family, professional, and community.

Time, Talent, Treasure: Academies

Exceptionally demanding—that is the four-year journey through one of our nation’s military service academies, deliberately designed as such to forge finely tuned military leaders from out of the fires of continual challenge. Cadets and midshipmen juggle jam-packed schedules that stretch them beyond the max physically, emotionally, mentally.  And spiritually. 

Caleb Challenge Career Transition Strategies Workshop

Are You Planning a Career Transition? Looking for a Workshop to Discover “What God Has for Me Next”? Jump-start your career transition with a weekend of interactive work, group discussions, and personal exercises, all facilitated by retired military leaders with over 200 years of combined leadership and life-coaching experience.
Read more » Caleb Challenge Career Transition Strategies Workshop

Two General Orders

As we seek a warrior's ethic for today we can reasonably look back 3000 years to another man of arms—arguably the greatest soldier ever to serve the nation of Israel, David, youngest son of Jesse. The ethic of David may be seen as consisting of two general orders: Do the Right Thing and Trust in God.

A day in the life of OCF

For seven decades the living waters of Jesus Christ have flowed forth, from the heart of the ministry of Officers’ Christian Fellowship—innumerable men and women making a kingdom difference by living, loving and working with others throughout the military society. 

Chaplains share insights into serving in the military

COMMAND asked a trio of chaplains—LT Jon Uyboco, CHC, USN; CH(MAJ) Todd Cheney, USA, and CH(COL) Marc Gauthier, USA—to share some insights and experiences of serving military men and women for Christ.
Read more » Chaplains share insights into serving in the military

How to handle 5 personalities often found in small groups

People rarely intentionally derail group discussions, but there are five personalities frequently found in small groups that can ruin group interaction unless the leader can handle them smoothly.
Read more » How to handle 5 personalities often found in small groups

Share My Calling

When Rob shared his vision with me, I had been an Army wife for nearly eleven years—all of our marriage. I would have described myself as supportive of his career. I understood a fair amount about the military, had attended countless functions, and attempted to make the most out of each move. Wasn't that enough? What else did he need from me?

From Mid to Married to Mom

We’ve been through a lot in our four short years of marriage, but it’s been exciting to look back and see how God has been a part of it all, especially in the last two years. God poured out countless blessings on my husband in the pursuit of his dreams, making it through the arduous training without any major injuries or setbacks. I couldn’t be prouder of him!

When PCSing, build a RAFT for teens

When PCSing, the most common strategies teens use with one another involve simple avoidance, picking a fight to create distance so it’s easier to leave, disconnecting through moodiness or hyperactivity, or adopting the “It’s all cool” act. This is why we need to build a RAFT.

Tips for new group leaders

For those who have never led a small group, the prospect of starting such an endeavor might appear daunting and overwhelming given the busy lifestyle of those in the military. Here are tips for the new leader to consider both before and after his or her first meeting.

Prayers that changed the course of history | Episode 020

In this episode, COL Doug Mastriano, USA (Ret.), and his wife, Rebbie, share their story of prayers that changed the course of history, which takes place during his deployment to the Middle East during the first Gulf War in the early 1990s.
Read more » Prayers that changed the course of history | Episode 020

The View from the Top

On my RMH adventure I had a close-up encounter with God and great fellowship with other Christians in stunningly beautiful scenery.

Communicating hope beyond suffering

Authentic leadership deals with life's real issues of pain, trauma and suffering while pointing beyond to a life in Christ. As Paul reminds us, our present trials are but a means to an end; particularly for the Christian leader, hope is the final reality of life.

Allow God to heal the hidden wounds

We leaders often cope with stress by trying to survive our wounding rather than allow God to heal and refresh us to fully live. God doesn’t want us to simply survive. God’s mission field, after all, is your heart and mine.

Worrying or waiting?

Life in general is complicated. Life in the military is extremely difficult and challenging and carries with it an increasing amount of angst with the operations tempo, separations, threats to life and limb, and the increasing challenges from within our own nation.

Calling All Daniels: Do You Know God?

The world desperately needs to hear about Jesus, and we’ve been called to share Him. I encourage you to become competent in your knowledge of Him. Draw people through your professional excellence. Be prepared through your life and words to shine His life-saving light.

Winter Sports Retreat II

Nehemiah was a “transformational leader” who was able to inspire God’s people to accomplish more than they ever dreamed possible. But Nehemiah’s ultimate goal was not the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls; it was the renewing of God’s people. As we explore the book of Nehemiah this week, we’ll discover some of the crucial ways God builds up and renews His people, and how He uses godly leaders in the process.

Spring Canyon—Summer Celebration Week 1

Become equipped, enriched, and renewed in your homeschooling journey with an exploration of the classical model of education. Learn how to work in concert with God in this educational paradigm most completely reflecting the image bearing nature that He created in mankind.

White Sulphur Springs—Allegheny Outback! 1

It’s a busy world. For teenagers, school, sports, homework, and tweaking out time with family, friends, and with God all make it hard to chill long enough to really consider their place in His plan of creation. AO! combines thrilling outdoor activities with periods of biblical introspection to help teens develop a deep relationship with their Creator.

White Sulphur Springs— Allegheny Outback! 2

It’s a busy world. For teenagers, school, sports, homework, and tweaking out time with family, friends, and with God all make it hard to chill long enough to really consider their place in His plan of creation. AO! combines thrilling outdoor activities with periods of biblical introspection to help teens develop a deep relationship with their Creator.
Read more » White Sulphur Springs— Allegheny Outback! 2

White Sulphur Springs—Allegheny Outback! 3

It’s a busy world. For teenagers, school, sports, homework, and tweaking out time with family, friends, and with God all make it hard to chill long enough to really consider their place in His plan of creation. AO! combines thrilling outdoor activities with periods of biblical introspection to help teens develop a deep relationship with their Creator.

White Sulphur Springs—Allegheny Outback! 4

It’s a busy world. For teenagers, school, sports, homework, and tweaking out time with family, friends, and with God all make it hard to chill long enough to really consider their place in His plan of creation. AO! combines thrilling outdoor activities with periods of biblical introspection to help teens develop a deep relationship with their Creator.

White Sulphur Springs—Allegheny Outback! 5

It’s a busy world. For teenagers, school, sports, homework, and tweaking out time with family, friends, and with God all make it hard to chill long enough to really consider their place in His plan of creation. AO! combines thrilling outdoor activities with periods of biblical introspection to help teens develop a deep relationship with their Creator.

White Sulphur Springs—Allegheny Outback! 6

It’s a busy world. For teenagers, school, sports, homework, and tweaking out time with family, friends, and with God all make it hard to chill long enough to really consider their place in His plan of creation. AO! combines thrilling outdoor activities with periods of biblical introspection to help teens develop a deep relationship with their Creator.

White Sulphur Springs—Allegheny Outback! 7

It’s a busy world. For teenagers, school, sports, homework, and tweaking out time with family, friends, and with God all make it hard to chill long enough to really consider their place in His plan of creation. AO! combines thrilling outdoor activities with periods of biblical introspection to help teens develop a deep relationship with their Creator.

White Sulphur Springs—Allegheny Outback! 8

It’s a busy world. For teenagers, school, sports, homework, and tweaking out time with family, friends, and with God all make it hard to chill long enough to really consider their place in His plan of creation. AO! combines thrilling outdoor activities with periods of biblical introspection to help teens develop a deep relationship with their Creator.

White Sulphur Springs–Winter Retreat, Week 2

The coming of Jesus was God’s forever proclamation that He can be and desires to be known. We will be challenged and encouraged in our pursuit of a more complete knowledge of who God is and how to deepen our understanding of and love for this knowable God.
Read more » White Sulphur Springs–Winter Retreat, Week 2

Passion for Leadership

The godly leader is indeed a powerful witness for Christ. When we follow Christ's example—and let Him take the reins of our leadership—we will experience a calling that is fulfilling beyond measure, and one in which the results are undeniable.

Perspectives on servant leadership

The term “servant leadership” evokes a varied range of impressions as to what that really means, looks like, and how it plays out in real life. At first glance, the seemingly incongruous servant leadership concept appears especially contrary in business settings or military circles where typically bosses lead, employees serve.

How ya doing? Do you really care?

Who will you meet today in an unexpected encounter, whether in a combat area, passageway, flight line, or on drills and maneuvers? And what will you say—and hear? In your command, how will you show Christ in your servant leadership?

4. Faithful Leadership

From a leadership perspective, I must ask: What enables Christian leaders to maintain the charge when all around us say, “Give up?” Oaths, contracts, and legal agreements bind some to the task, but that which binds the Christian and Christian leader is God’s demonstrated faithfulness.

One question will shape how you view what freedom means

Does God really exist? Our answer to that question shapes how we think about freedom. After all, if He does not exist, then we are free to pursue as much self-gratification as possible before death. However, Christians recognize that freedom means we have freedom from fear of judgment as we seek to glorify Him and gladly submit as servants of Christ.
Read more » One question will shape how you view what freedom means

The Scars of Moral Injury | Episode 014

Former OCF director of field operations LTC Tom Schmidt, US Army (Ret.), sat down with COL Dave Batchelor, USA (Ret.), in the faculty lounge of the US Army Command and General Staff College, where COL Batchelor shared the candid story of his personal struggle with moral injury.

46. Can you be a Christian and serve in the military?

May a Christian serve in the military? When it comes to taking the life of an enemy combatant, how does someone reconcile that with Jesus’s command to love your enemy and to pray for him? COL Chet Arnold, USMC (Ret.), joins me to answer those questions and more, coming up on episode 46.
Read more » 46. Can you be a Christian and serve in the military?

Living the military life together

Small group Bible studies have been part of the DNA of OCF since the ministry began in 1943. Within these small groups, there is spiritual growth, an increased understanding of what it means to be a Christian, and a resilience developed for all of life—especially life within the military.

Valentine’s Getaway

During this year's Valentine's Getaway, read Scripture, observe the Word, make applications to our lives, and get excited about praying together as couples during sessions led by speakers Doug & Michelle Orsi. Join us for a weekend of encouragement, fellowship, and activities like a date night banquet and WSS Newlywed Game. A children's program is provided while adults participate in the speaker sessions.

Spiritual Success

As you develop your leadership skills and responsibilities, consider making the following habits a part of your daily routine.

The Challenge of Distress

Life is full of disappointments, difficulties, and distress. It comes in many ways: relational conflicts, job issues, financial concerns, illness, injury, tragedy and a host of other predicaments. It is challenging, even as a Christian, to respond positively to these trials.

We Honor Them

General Don Rliey reflects on how we welcome home our fallen heroes.

What you do and how you lead does matter

Congratulations to the OCF Class of 2012! We who have gone before welcome you to the profession of arms and the start of your great race the Lord has set before you. Crossing the threshold, you now carry two commissions simultaneously: one conferred on you from our Commander in Chief and one from the King of kings. 

Caregiver of the Soul

Since returning from my tour, I am continually reminded of something I once heard, freedom has a taste to those who have fought for it, and almost died, that the protected will never know. Since the earliest days of our nation, every generation of Americans has answered the call to duty in times of peace and war.

How do others see you?

How do others see you fulfilling your dual commissions? Do they see a leader who cares for them with the heart of Jesus, who is humble, grace-filled and selfless, and who ultimately serves the One and only Lord? As you serve your nation and serve your Lord, you will have ample opportunities to shine the Light of Christ through your love and service to others.

Making the ‘no greater love’ sacrifice

The Four Chaplains, also referred to as the "Immortal Chaplains" or the "Dorchester Chaplains," were four United States Army chaplains who gave their lives to save other civilian and military personnel as the troop ship USAT Dorchester sank on February 3, 1943, during World War II. They helped other soldiers board lifeboats and gave up their own life jackets when the supply ran out.

Community as taught by minions

Just like the silly banana-eating Minions, each of us was created with an innate desire to belong to a community in fellowship. It’s not just a group of people with similar interests, but a body of believers united for a common purpose.

Kingdom work can happen anywhere

As a relational ministry where genuine biblical fellowship is essential for spiritual growth and sharing the good news of Jesus Christ, the very heart of the ministry of Officers’ Christian Fellowship remains small group fellowships.

Is God calling you to lead a small group?

We reached out to two OCF small group leaders, LTC Tom Matelski, USA, and Lt Col Jim Wamhoff, USAF, and asked them to share their insights on starting and effectively leading a small group.

Being a Leader That God Can Use

To be a leader God can use, three things must happen: We must have faith in something that is worthy of our faith; we must know who we are in Christ; and we must be prepared to fight the good fight, as we engage in spiritual warfare.

Calling all Daniels: Stand firm in the faith

What does that look like today? How are you courageously standing firm personally and in your family? Are you modeling an integrated life of faith, family, and profession to your family, those around you personally, and in the workplace?

Becoming a Christ-like military leader first starts with thinking of others

By surrendering their spring break of relaxation to instead labor for the impoverished, the mission field experiences help cadets and midshipmen hone skills of selflessness and sacrifice that are essential to becoming effective Christ-like military leaders.
Read more » Becoming a Christ-like military leader first starts with thinking of others

Navigating the Storms of Life | Episode 002

Sometimes the storms of life can be metaphorical, such as a difficult deployment, move, or career transition. However, there are those times when the storms of life refer to literal storms. Such was the case for our guest today, LT James Rader, USCG, as he took part in search-and-rescue efforts during Hurricane Harvey this past August.

Understanding Religious Rights | Episode 004

What are your rights as an American in uniform? Is it permissible for a chaplain to pray in Jesus’s name? Can you have a prayer breakfast on a military installation? What about sharing my faith—can I do that?

The Theological Implications of Addiction | Episode 23

What does scripture say about addiction? Can a Christian have an addiction? What does a biblical approach to recovery look like? Isn't Jesus enough? Our guest is Dr. John Thorington—a licensed professional counselor and is also certified as a Sexual Recovery Therapist by the American Association of Sex Addiction Therapy.
Read more » The Theological Implications of Addiction | Episode 23

20. Big-Picture Perspective

Jesus said He “did not come to destroy lives but to save them.” If one’s tendency is to write people off when there is disagreement, might this have the same effect as “commanding fire” or wishing another dead, spiritually dead that is. The gospel message is for all people and the servant leader does not withhold the message at the first sign of personal rejection.

When faced with an overwhelming transition, how do you respond?

Christians worship God through every transition that He brings into our lives, both in and out of the military. Some are painful transitions, others are exciting and fun, but each one comes from the hand of God.
Read more » When faced with an overwhelming transition, how do you respond?

Doing Ministry in a Box

Hollywood squares. Brady Bunch. Tic-tac-toe. Whatever you call it, OCF largely is doing fellowship in a virtual box so far in 2020 because of COVID-19. This digital frontier has not been without its share of challenges and disappointments, but amid the uncertainty, there are stories of opportunities found and unexpected blessings received from among the membership.

2018 Eastern OCF Leaders Retreat

You work hard, serve well, and pray faithfully as you lead inside the OCF military community. Come away for a time of refreshment. Time for learning, relaxing, connecting with your fellow servants.
 
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