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Finding certainty in an uncertain world

[…]Will I make the next rank? Am I on track for the next rung of the ladder? Will my spouse find a job? What school will the kids attend? Will they find friends there? Adding to that list of uncertainties are our contemporary culture’s changes to the make-up of our military. What will the military lifestyle look like five, ten, twenty or more years down the road from the repeal of don’t ask, don’t tell and the legalization of same-sex marriage? All this begs the question, “How do we find certainty today in an uncertain world?” Examining Philippians 4:4-9, we […]

From Mid to Married to Mom

[…]six months.  Everything changed when my husband was given the opportunity to pursue his dream job. But I had no idea what I was in for. He would come home day after day, bruised and beaten up, utterly exhausted from the harsh training necessary for his job. The truth of his extreme occupation began to slowly sink in with me. Not only were the dangers very real, things would only get tougher.  The closer his graduation approached, the more I realized my need to prepare myself for what’s ahead. I felt God prompting me out of my fears to search […]

The Lord—your refuge in a high optempo

[…]in it’” (Isaiah 30:21). Whether you are newly commissioned, deployed, or in a high optempo job, your time is extremely limited. Maybe you have grown restless or you’ve lost the joy in your walk with the Lord. I encourage you to take the opportunity to attend one of our OCF conference centers or an OCF retreat. But even if it’s just for a few moments each day, even in the midst of a high operational tempo, seek a few minutes each day with the Lord by planning quiet time into your schedule. If you take time to be still before […]

The Heartbeat of OCF

[…]day/time set up, you’re ready for the next step. If the group consists mostly of peers (age/rank/job location, etc.) or specific demographics (sex/marital status/retired, etc.), you should be well attuned to needs and preferences.  Check the OCF website home page for Small Group Resources and click on Leading Small Groups for an article with excellent advice by Jon Harris. Topics include prayer, Bible study, relationships and preparation to lead.  A downloadable PDF and other related articles are also available. If your OCF group is effectively meeting the participants’ needs, you will see the evidence of growing affection for each other […]

Waging Another War

[…]of defense-with the eyes and in the mind and heart. Two such tactics were “bouncing eyes” (Job 31:1 —I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman), and “taking thoughts captive” (2 Corinthians 10:5 –-we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ). And a third perimeter was in the strengthening of their affections for, and the commitments and promises made, to their wives. This trio of tactical areas was studied in depth to develop each man’s individual battle plan. This study’s focus included single men as well, teaching them the same […]

Question Authority

[…]a similar way, a far greater reality than our own exists in the heavenly economy. As God grilled Job (read Job chapters 38-41), revealing Job’s lack of knowledge of His creation and of His divine power, Job’s only response was: “I am unworthy-how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth” (Job 40:4). Job finally got it. In the workplace we are not always privy to the larger plan. We may be in the dark, not knowing how or whether we have a role to play. It can also be that way in God’s greater scheme. […]

Reality Check

[…]was to see the temple rebuilt. As far as Israel was concerned, restoration of the temple was job one-a goal which the governmental heads and the spiritual leadership were willing to cooperate to achieve. Despite man’s best intentions and even focused passion, we are reminded that God has a divine perspective: not by might, nor by power, but by His power. So where do we, in our leadership zeal, draw the line when it comes to pushing our own agenda or totally acquiescing to God’s divine plan? Are we convinced that God has a plan, or do we “head fake” […]


[…]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, a regenerated life, and a chance to point others to Jesus. There is much we can learn from this encounter! The leader keeps in the forefront why he is doing […]

What is Required of Me?

[…]leaders rather than the doers. An OCF installation-level ministry is like this as well, where your job is to encourage others through relationships of trust in an environment of grace. “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s…” Army Rangers talk about giving “100 percent and then some.” For you as an ambassador, this means wholeheartedly accomplishing every task in ways that glorify God and taking care of all service members and families in your care. People will respect you, gravitate to you and want to be like you because you are excellent as they define excellence. “…and to God what is God’s.” Maintain […]

Ice Cream in Iraq

[…]the Army. I’m an officer so that means I have to lead other Soldiers and help them to do their job. Mostly what I do is make plans that will hopefully help our guys capture the bad guys and make them want to surrender so the war will end. 4. What kind of weapons do you carry and are they heavy?All Soldiers carry a pistol, rifle, or machine gun. I carry a pistol that is called a 9 Millimeter. My pistol is very light. Some rifles can get rather heavy if you have to carry them for a long time […]

Christian Leadership for the Junior Officer

[…]here is that your subordinates, collectively, likely already know the technical aspects of your job well and will be delighted to assist you. All you will need to do is sincerely ask for assistance and then discipline yourself to listen. Ability to Work with People. Nothing is sadder than someone who displays the required knowledge for his or her job but lacks people skills. Do learn names–first names if appropriate. Learn something about your co-workers–where is each one from? What does each one do on his/her time off? Does he/she have a family? Again, learn to listen actively. Finally, avoid […]

OCF and Leadership

[…]hit the ground running as leaders of soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, or coastguardsmen. Every job that every commissioned officer does is a leadership position. True, some officers want to be technicians and hide from responsibility, but the fact is that they are all commissioned to lead. From platoon leader to battalion supply officer to Chief of Staff (and equivalents for the other services), every officer is a leader. Are we communicating the right message in OCF? Are we focusing on process in training leaders, or are we focusing on vision? Is the question going into an installation Pray, Discover, and […]

The Jungles of War

[…]ominous days of the Cuban missile crisis brought no particular strain on me personally. We did our job; we returned home. Then came an assignment in 1965 as a battalion advisor with the Vietnamese Marine Corps (VNMC). The VNMC was an element of the “fire brigade” troops for the South Vietnamese government. They were well-trained, loyal and effective combat troops. Because of these factors they were moved into all four Corps areas, wherever the enemy was active, throughout the war. As soon as things cooled down, they were moved to another hot spot. All this made for an interesting, challenging–though […]

What Right Looks Like

[…]schools but should occur daily. Thus we are able to apply that acquired knowledge to our current job and also pass that awareness on to others. Demonstrate What Right Looks Like Second Thessalonians 3:13 says, “…never tire of doing what is right.” Service in the military is a 24-hour job. People are always looking at us to be the model of integrity, professionalism, and honesty. Is this not even more important in today’s global environment? With the ability of the media to reach out to all corners of the globe and to report on the conduct, or misconduct, of soldiers, […]

Six Generations: 3

[…]very discretely met with him after normal duty hours for several weeks before I changed jobs within the battalion and helped him learn a few spiritual ropes. Jon Shine’s influence was taking hold, motivating and inspiring me to follow in his footsteps…and as Jon would have observed, more importantly, follow in the Lord’s footsteps. More Generations of Reliable Men The next or fifth “generation” of believers will pick up with Timothy Mallard, a young man I met and worked with when stationed in Panama. Timothy is now a Chaplain in the United States Army and on fire for the Lord […]

Leadership and the Christian Officer

[…]confidence the commander must be confident. Leaders must firmly believe that they can handle the job, seeing 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 […]

Financial Responsibility for Children

[…]lawns and did other work for people so he had a source of income as well. In college each one held jobs which paid for the luxuries of college life, and in their last two years of college they helped with their rent and food costs with that income. The Financial Manager When our oldest was a sophomore in high school we decided to take a Big step. We delegated the management of the family finances to each child for a period of two years each. I got a checking account signature card for the new financial manager. Some may […]

What Works for New Officers?

[…]specific time to pray for coworkers, commanders, subordinates, and issues. 7. KNOW and DO your job well. Only then will you earn the respect of your peers and the right to be heard (Col. 3:23, 24). Be reliable and take the initiative when opportunity arises. TIP: Avoid complaining. A common tendency in any workplace is to complain. Do your job as unto the Lord (Phil. 2:14, 4:11). 8. Decide now what kind of SPIRITUAL COMMITMENT you will require of a future mate. Will he or she have the same vision for ministry as you? After coming to know Christ, choosing […]

Share this spiritual gift with your teen

[…]that night. Each dad has spent a lot of time in preparation for this. Rick is doing such a fine job of leading us all along this path to arrive at this destination. Powerful fellowship that evening. What a powerful way, a spiritual way, to culminate this week. Praise for Rick and the Lord working through him. Last day, heading out. Brian does well in getting ready, packing his stuff. No hurry to rush, plenty of time. Great breakfast, wonderful prayer. Brian and some of the boys have befriended some of the camp volunteers. Good kids, clean cut, wholesome, helpful, […]

Stretchmark Sorority

[…]to my children, “Because I said so, that’s why!” Moms have a very important job teaching safety rules. It is our responsibility to impart eternal truths to our children because they, in turn, have the burden of passing these “truths” on to their children. For example, every child must be warned that if you cross your eyes, they will sooner or later stick just like that and stay crossed for the rest of your life. Children need to learn at an early age that clean underwear is a must, in case they are in an automobile accident and have to […]

Service Separations

[…]be seeing and the faraway places he gets to visit, but that’s actually a very small part of his job. Most of it is just plain hard work. Don’t forget, husbands get lonely too! In some respects the husband may find it harder than the wife. She still has the same home. If they have children, they are there to keep her company. She may be continuing in a familiar job; her friends and neighborhood all remain the same. By contrast, her husband has neither his wife nor children around; and, he’s in an unfamiliar part of the world. When […]

The Role of Faith

[…]because those are the times I fully put them into the Lord’s hands. When we move out in the job that the Lord has called us to do, He will take care of our families, especially if His call requires separation.”8 Worry about the family back home is one of the greatest concerns military service members face, but many families find that sharing in letters how faith is active in their lives helps ease that concern. Finding things to thank God for helps keep attitudes positive. Remember that God is with you anywhere you go, even in the most isolated […]
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