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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.

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

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

Leaving a legacy of faith

by Larry Simpson, Colonel, USAF (Ret)   "And fixing his gaze on him and being much alarmed, he said, 'What is it, Lord?' And he said to him, 'Your prayers and alms have ascended as a memorial before God." (Acts 10:4)   WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE REMEMBERED FOR? On Memorial Day we remember Fallen Veterans and others who were dear to us. Memorial Day is a time for reflecting and honoring heroic actions of many who lived out their convictions and a day to demonstrate that their sacrifices were not in vain.  The Scriptures give various accounts of…

Spiritual Success

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

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 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.

What supporting the chaplaincy looks like | Episode 021

CH(COL) Marc Gauthier, USA (Ret.), shares his story of how God called him into the military to serve as a chaplain, how to encourage chaplains outside the Christian faith, a story of what it looks like when a leader integrates his faith and profession, and his thoughts on who the two loneliest people are in the military, and why.
Read more » What supporting the chaplaincy looks like | Episode 021

Is spiritual warfare real? Episode 35

Today, we’re talking about spiritual warfare, and our guest is MG Kurt Fuller, USA (Ret.). MG Fuller served 26 years as a paratrooper, 12 years in the Ranger Regiment, and 6 years in combat, including Grenada, Panama, Desert Storm, Haiti, Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

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.

Courageous Command: Beyond Battlefield Boldness

Only by trusting God and His plan for our lives can we lead courageously in our duty as both officers and Christians. It’s time to build a strategy that calculates the risks of leadership minefields and faces them with a moral courage that matches the bravery of those we lead on the battlefield.
Read more » Courageous Command: Beyond Battlefield Boldness

Fellowship through ‘practical action’

OCF has provided transitory military Christians with two static places—Spring Canyon in Colorado and White Sulphur Springs in Pennsylvania—for abundant opportunities of Christ-centered fellowship, programs and fun. The ideal end result: being equipped to reach others for Christ throughout the military society—and form lifetime friendships.

Finding certainty in an uncertain world

We live in a hurting world of people desperate for answers. As a Christian, you already have the answer—Christ in your heart. If you have successfully guarded your face, heart and mind, when uncertainty strikes those you lead will look to you and find comfort and confidence. And they will also be curious about the source of your peace.

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!

God’s restoration for the wounded soldier, healing warrior

Since warfare in and of itself is ultimately the warfare of our soul and spirit, we have the choice of allowing our healing to proceed through our spiritual maturation instead of succumbing to substance abuse to mask problems. Ultimately our ability to be healed, or at least cope with our issues, is based upon spiritual healing.
Read more » God’s restoration for the wounded soldier, healing warrior

Keys to integrating faith and profession as a leader

Congratulations on your commission! As you embark on the next phase of your journey, let me recommend competence, courage, and commitment as keys to your blueprint for successfully integrating faith and profession as military leaders.
Read more » Keys to integrating faith and profession as a leader

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.

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.

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?

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. 

Time, Talent, Treasure: Warrior Forge

Before Army ROTC cadets can be commissioned as second lieutenants, they must successfully complete what is now known as the Leader Development and Assessment Course (LDAC), a training event developing their leadership skills while evaluating their officer potential. Once held at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington, LDAC —Warrior Forge—now takes place at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

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.

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. 

Will you embrace the Christ of Christmas?

  Soon, Christmas nativity scenes and all the Christmas season trappings will be packed away into storage for another year. But the unopened package-the Christ of Christmas-remains for the taking, offering lasting hope and future beyond our often dreary, heart-breaking world.  

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?

Families should develop a support system

Take time to examine your own support system, or if you do not have one, get started now. The health of a marriage can often hinge upon the strength of the support system that has been established.

Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God

How does a faithful walk with Jesus give life, context, and direction to the exercise of military leadership? What opportunities do I have for doing good for others’ welfare and for God’s glory?

Stewardship is our goal; leadership is our method

Including stewardship in our leader lexicon may put our responsibility and authority in proper balance. The goal of a Christ-like leader will remain Christ’s goals; the methods, means, and accompanying perks will then better honor Christ in practice
Read more » Stewardship is our goal; leadership is our method

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.

Growing your affections for Christ | Episode 007

LTC Tom Schmidt, USA (Ret.), chats with CH(MAJ) Mark Winton, USA, on the topic of “affections for Christ.” Our affections are typically rooted in our answer to this question: “What are our heart longings for?” As CH Winton suggests, our answer ultimately shows what drives our hearts and where our affections lie.
Read more » Growing your affections for Christ | Episode 007

OCF ROTC Leaders Conference

Join OCF and ROTC leaders from major universities to build and sharpen your ministry to cadets and midshipmen.

Butler

Local Leader:  CH(1LT) Matthew Lower, USAR Email: [email protected] Phone: (607) 742-4200 Please contact me for fellowship details. I am an Army Reserve Chaplain  and C&MA pastor here in Butler. Feel free to stop on by for prayer, fellowship or if you want to chat over coffee, this is the place to go! Would love to host you!

Introduction to ‘Leader, Draw Near’ weekly podcast

Introducing "Leader, Draw Near," a weekly podcast devotional for your pursuit of God. Each episode is fashioned to prompt reflection on a specific topic, and ends with a few Points to Ponder, which are perfect for personal reflection, or for use with a mentor or in a small group setting.
Read more » Introduction to ‘Leader, Draw Near’ weekly podcast

Fort Knox

Contact: Chaplain Thomas Brooks, USA, Email: [email protected] What: Come enjoy an hour of worship, prayer, and fellowship, Who: U.S. Army Cadet Command Cadre (Cadre only – includes GS employees), When: Tuesdays @ 1930 to 2030 , O'Neill Chapel Fellowship Hall. Groups and Fellowships for Cadre: https://army.deps.mil/army/cmds/USACC-HQS/Chaplain/SitePages/Home.aspx and on the closed group Facebook Page “USACC Chaplain Corner”.
 
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