According to the Barna Group, a market research firm specializing in studying religious beliefs and behavior, as of 2015 only 17% of practicing Christians said they meet regularly with a spiritual mentor.
Do you sense God calling you out, asking you to do something that is outside your comfort zone? In your intimidating assignment look for encouragement through a prayer partner, a mentoring relationship, or participation in a workplace Bible study.
When circumstances turn from desirable to undesirable or when the task ahead is greater than one’s resources, it is common to want to know our importance to God and whether He is with us in our labors.
Take a minute and evaluate the presence of the fruit of the Spirit in your life. Which fruit is most abundant in your life right now? After reflecting on the abundance, think on the fruit you sense needs to be growing in you.
Consider that our leadership role is not always one of preventing another from his determined path. In some cases, the correction or consequence that follows will have the greater impact on a person’s decision to walk with integrity.
Have you made an error in judgment by insisting things go your way? Perhaps you are presently in the midst of unintended consequences from a rash decision. If so, follow David’s example.
Whether in a personal relationship or in the workplace, Jesus’ admonition to forgive remains. As servant leaders, how we forgive and restore is a mark of obedience to Christ’s commands.
Little by little, in God’s time He performs His purposes. Some leaders, thrust into positions of greater responsibility as a reward for a job well done, fizzle in their performance because they lack the wisdom that seasoning and time bring.
How does one keep focus when distractions and discouragement come? Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Keep focus on the big picture and ask His help. Remind yourself that what you do is for His glory.
God does not abandon us in the face of weighty circumstances and pressures. Consider God’s prevailing truth and rely on His presence during your times of need for deliverance from nagging circumstances.
Paul’s admonition to “show tolerance for one another in love” is not a call to disregard others’ immoral practices, but to be ready to show compassion and to sow seeds of right thinking and being.
Are you seeking clarity from God on a matter but are uncertain that you are hearing correctly? Do not ask for something for yourself but ask that His will in that situation be done and earnestly desire to be part of the answer.
What is God speaking to your heart regarding the application of justice, loving kindness, and humility? God’s preferred sacrifice is a “broken spirit and a contrite heart.” He rejects self-justification but embraces compassion.
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.
Cleansing and restoration has everything to do with the integrity of who God is. As God completes His refining process, we must be mindful that if we want God to forgive us, we must be willing to forgive and help restore others.
The unexpected need not derail us as we lean on Him, for it is God who guides and helps. The one whose confidence is in the Lord has no weakness a foe can take advantage of. May the Lord be our guide in all circumstances, and may He daily strengthen us to be suited for whatever comes our way.
Cornelius seamlessly integrated his faith with his profession and availed himself for God’s use. This “devout man” pleased the Lord and received His commendation. What about you? How are you consistently availing yourself for Christ’s service?
What does Jesus want from you? That your faith not fail, that you keep turning to Him, and finally, that you lead by encouraging and strengthening others who face similar circumstances. Be encouraged, Jesus stands by you.
“God will supply every need of yours” whether it is a financial concern, effective time management, or dealing with disgruntled people. Jesus is the resource for all our needs. As faithful followers, ours is to approach Him confidently for grace and help.
Faith and leadership are more appropriately modeled through keeping sight of how to achieve God’s purposes in and out of the workplace through godly influence, using softer tones, quieter approaches and direct resolve to see the mission through. Simply acting or reacting is not necessarily an effective leadership quality.
Are you discerning God’s voice when you find yourself speaking to many, a few, or one on one? Just as Jesus spent much time in prayer and solitude with God, the basis of our responses may be proportional to the time we spend with God in study of the Scriptures.
Positive influence on others requires full obedience. I am impressed that Noah’s influence over his sons was greater than the negative influences around them. Noah honored God, and his sons followed suit.
When faced with matters that seem insurmountable, revisit the full text of God’s mission for Moses, move ahead in faith, and walk confidently in the assurance of God’s presence in demanding circumstances. Courageously strive to fulfill His intent.
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.
Faith, like any muscle, requires exercise. Faith enlarges our leadership effectiveness, enables us to achieve the mission, and makes us more capable of serving others. Those who follow your lead will note your faith in action and prayerfully glorify God.
The leader whose commander is the Lord knows who controls his destiny. The tug of fleshly desires is weakened when I take my mind off my own interests and focus on God’s interests. When I do that, I am, in effect, denying myself.
When I am suddenly arrested by God’s word, it becomes immediately apparent that God is commanding my attention. He is redirecting my swayed focus to sharpen or to compel me to obedience. God sometimes invades my private world because I have lost sight of Him.
How do you respond to shaping? I mean the kind of shaping that causes you to conform fully to the one doing the shaping. As leaders, do you reflect the positive image you desire to see in your followers?
While our salvation is a one-time occurrence, the work of sanctification (or being set apart and refined to be more Christlike) is an ongoing process that we experience our entire life on Earth.
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” God by developing our plan then devoutly asking His blessing?
Today, you’re going to hear the story of Midshipman Isaiah Walker, he’s a senior in the ROTC program at Ole Miss who has struggled with isolation and the challenges of integrating faith and profession.
Who around you needs your tutelage and encouragement? Let’s imitate what Paul did for Timothy. Don’t ask for volunteers, but encourage others to fulfill their calling or act of service.
So should we question God’s authority? Regardless of how righteous the question might seem, we would be wise to consider the Holy Scriptures and to pattern our questions and concerns after Jesus’ response while here on earth.
Today you're going to hear the story of Joshua and Lindsey Bowen, both captains in the Army. And, while their story contains a few themes, such as mentoring, leadership, and spiritual growth, the one common thread throughout their story is the small group fellowship and the importance that fellowship has played in their lives...going all the way back to when they first met.
Have you ever been invited to do something only to wonder…why did I agree to that? My guest today went through something like that, and ultimately, it might have saved her life and the lives of her children.
What brings leaders to the point of task overload—the belief that only we know what’s best, perhaps distrust of others, or possibly personal ownership? How are you doing in your pursuit to invite others with similar heart and vision into your area of responsibility?
Have you ever known anyone who’s been passed over for promotion? Maybe it’s your name that wasn’t on the promotion list. COL McRae talks about identity, motives, and what success looks like in the eyes of God.
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.
We need much wisdom from the Holy Spirit to bear His image faithfully. As an image bearer of God, may your identity in Christ motivate you to be a worthy representative of our Father to all who see Christ in you, the hope of glory.
By what do we choose to be mastered? Men and women who have committed to serve in the military might easily, if jokingly, identify the military as their master. Do Christian military personnel see this in a different light?
As Christ followers one of the questions we must consider is “Do we find it hard to show mercy?” In striving to live out one’s faith in one’s profession, Christian leaders must rightly handle this issue.
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.
The third and final encore episode comes from episode 27, with LTC Todd Plotner, USA (Ret.), who talks about leadership lessons for young warriors. The conversation was based on an article he wrote for Command magazine back in 2013 when he was the Army ROTC Professor of Military Science at Washington State University.
This encore episode harkens back to episode 9, with guest LT Ryan Menicucci, USA. There were three things we talked about: first, we must have faith in something that is worthy of our faith; second, we must know who we are in Christ; and third, we must be prepared to fight the good fight, as we engage in spiritual warfare.
In this special encore episode, we're going all the way back to episode 2 and the story of Coast Guard Lieutenant James Rader. 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 James Rader as he took part in search-and-rescue efforts during Hurricane Harvey.
What do you think of when I say, “Military Sisterhood”? That was the question Kristin Goodrich posed to about 50 women at the beginning of a weekend retreat last March at OCF's White Sulphur Springs Conference Center. One West Point cadet’s response stood out amid the varied responses, "Sisterhood? What sisterhood?" We'll answer those questions and more.
First Class Cadet Brigit Jogan, a senior at the United States Coast Guard Academy, hiked the summit of Mount Antero in Colorado’s Collegiate Peaks during her time at Rocky Mountain High this past summer, and it was during that physical climb to the mountaintop that she experienced the Spirit of God moving in a mighty way. Today, Brigit is going to talk about that experience as she shares her story.
November 23, 2014. Does that date ring any bells for you? For my guest this episode— Col Rich Tatem, USAF (Ret.)—that date will forever be etched into his memory as the day his son, Brennan, committed suicide.
My guest today is Pastor Keith Peck. He has over 40 years of pastoral ministry experience, and recently retired as pastor emeritus of Broadneck Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Annapolis, Maryland, where he served for 27 years. Keith offers his insights on the application of wisdom.
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.
Today, you’re going to hear from Major Tim and Kimberly Tormey, USMC (Ret.), as they share a story of God’s goodness and kindness to them. Their story centers around part of Tim’s difficult deployment to Iraq in 2014 that ultimately ended in tragedy.
In this episode, we chat with Commander Brian Haggerty, USN, and he’s going to talk about biblical leadership using the analogy of tools you might find in a toolbox. These tools are based on an article Commander Haggerty wrote for Command magazine a few years ago.
In this episode, we’re going to talk about worldview as we continue our conversation with Dr. Bill Brown, senior fellow of worldview and culture at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. How would you define your worldview? Would you say that you have a biblical worldview? How do you know?
If I were to tell you that as a follower of Christ, it’s important for you to engage with the culture, what would engaging the culture look like to you? Dr. Bill Brown of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview says Christians typically will fall into one of three patterns when it comes to engaging with the culture.
The purpose of this study is to describe the concept of calling and its relevance to the military professional of the 21st century, preparing to “fight the next war”—especially to the vast majority of American officers who identify themselves as Christians.
CH Darren and Heather Turner share the details of their struggles surrounding deployment individually, spiritually, and as a couple. It’s a compelling story— especially if you or a loved one have been deployed.
In this episode of Crosspoint, we talk with Planting Roots Director Kori Yates about deployment and tactics for dealing with this season of life when your spouse is deployed.
Anne Borcherding talks about what it means for a military spouse to embrace the calling of the spouse who is serving in uniform, and she candidly shares the struggles she and her husband faced in the early years of their marriage.
In this episode, we chat with Dr. David Kim, a physician, founder, and current CEO of Beacon Christian Community Health Center in New York, and discuss the emotion-fueled train vs. the truth-fueled train; the effects of social media on both of these trains; 3 questions every Christian should able to answer, as well as learning more about how Dr. Kim’s ministry model at Beacon Health relates to integrating faith in all areas of your life as a member of the U.S. Armed Forces.
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.
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.
Recently, Crosspoint hit the road to interview COL Doug Mastriano, USA (Ret.), for a two-part episode. In part 1, COL Mastriano and his son, Josiah, talk about “Men God Used to change the Course of History” during World War I.
There is no greater example of a transformational leader than our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In this episode, LTC Gil Jacobs, PhD, USA (Ret.), walks us through six ways to be a transformational leader like Jesus.
Col Waring unpacks each one of these three characters—the soldier, the athlete, and the farmer—and tells us what we can learn from them and apply to our lives.
This episode focuses on coping with transition, not just from the perspective of military families, but specifically, from the perspective of military kids, or third-culture kids. Our guest for this episode is Dr. Dave Sanders—a Christian Ministries Professor at Judson University.
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.
In this episode, we focus on how to ask the right types of questions for your next Bible study, class, or seminar by sharing a pitfall question to avoid, and then offering a solution to help ask the right type of question.
Life moves fast. And in the high-tempo, transient lifestyle of the military, do we really have time to pour into someone else and answer the call to make more disciples? The guest for this episode is COL Scott Kelly, USA, and he’ll share his insights on the topic of discipleship.
In this episode, we chat with 1LT Ryan Menicucci, USA, about what it takes to be a leader that God can use. The context for the conversation comes from a weekend ROTC retreat at OCF's White Sulphur Springs Conference Center in 2017. 1LT Menicucci recalls three important lessons learned that weekend: 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.
"So help me God." It's the final four words in oaths for both officers and enlisted. Have you thought about what the phrase means, or what it implies? Our guest today is Col Richard Toliver, USAF (Ret.), and he’s going to unpack those four words—what he calls "a sacred covenant.”