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.
Becky’s story is one of battling through anxiety and self-worth. It’s a story that tells of her journey to be in a right relationship with her Heavenly Father even when it seems like life sometimes has more valleys than mountaintops, even when it seems like God just doesn’t care.
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.
What parables has God given to you through the simple circumstances of your life that you can share with others? Too often Christians do not share with others what God is teaching them and doing in their lives, things that can encourage other believers and make them sensitive to God’s moving in the world—and even in their own lives.
We can know pure joy in our struggles when we allow God to do His work in us. He gives and takes away as He works in and through us and this broken world that we may know and trust Him.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jeff Struecker's book, "The Road to Unafraid," is the centerpiece for today's conversation. Although several perspectives or themes can be found in the book, Jeff and I focused on trusting in God. In the face of fear and uncertainty at certain times throughout his life, I asked Jeff to talk about how God asked Jeff to trust Him and what that looked like in his life, particularly his military career.
Michelle Qureshi's story of military life at the intersection of faith, family, and profession is one that deals with such topics as stress, hardship, and discouragement, but more importantly, it’s a story of how she has experienced what she calls “incredible hope amidst suffering.”
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.
In this episode, Crosspoint host Josh Jackson chats with pastor and author Chris Plekenpol, who recounts an incident with a suicide bomber in Iraq and also talks about God's word, God's spirit, God's people... finding God's will.
In this episode, pastor and author Dr. Gary Phillips discusses a topic he has titled “Basic Training for the Family: Biblical Principles for Navigating Cultural Minefields.”
Whether you’re in the group who has never heard of the Great Commission, or if you know the Great Commission backwards and forwards—while reading it in Greek—stick with us today as our guest, CH LTC Dan Holcomb, USA (Ret.), talks about how the Great Commission relates to what he calls “Disciplines of a Warrior.”
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.
In this episode, Chaplain Bill Appleton is going to focus on the life of Nehemiah and the leadership qualities we need to pay attention to today, and he'll also share the story of how he became a Christian.
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.
Major Will MacKenzie and Major Derek Brown, USA, discuss several topics during their conversation with LTC Colin Wooten, USA.—friendship, being a Christian in the military and killing an enemy combatant, serving in the military as Christians, and what it means to actively live out your faith and integrate your faith in all areas of life.
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.
Today's guest is LTC Todd Plotner, USA (Ret.), who wrote an article titled “Four Lessons In Leadership for Young Warriors” back in 2013. We'll take a deeper dive into the points he made in that article.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What comes to mind when you hear “Acts of Service?” How about “Words of Affirmation” or “Quality Time?” You might recognize them as 3 of the 5 love languages from the popular book first written by Dr. Gary Chapman back in 1995. In this episode, OCF managing editor Karen Fliedner chats with Jocelyn Green about Finding Your Love Language…at the intersection of faith, family, and profession.
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.
When the pressures of the military life and life in general seem overwhelming, who's your support system? Do you have a person or group that, like you, is running this most difficult of races, that you can rely on, and who in turn can depend on you when times get tough?
The story of Army Master Sergeant William Crawford, a Medal of Honor recipient whose job as squadron janitor at the Air Force Academy, inspired Col James Moschgat to pen 10 lessons in leadership.
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.”
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.
The topic of today’s show is character, and our guest for this episode likens character to a muscle that must be continually developed if we’re going to conduct our lives as Christians in a way that pleases and honors God.
When it comes to the various parts of your life—family, military profession, friends, relationships with others, and your relationship with God—should you be striving to find a balance among all those things? Or should you learn to thrive in the unbalance?
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?
You must pursue God and live out your faith while on active duty. It’s easy to get caught up in the cyclical training and deployment grind to where your faith comes out only on Sunday—if at all. Stay engaged. Find a spiritual battle buddy—someone to hold you accountable. Commit to a daily devotional. Be an example in both word and deed.
In this episode, OCF Managing Editor Karen Fliedner chats with Col Art Athens, USMC (Ret), about amazing grace—specifically, the four-part message Col Athens shared at a weekend retreat at White Sulphur Springs in 2004
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.
Interview with Brig Gen David Warner, USAF (Ret): "We are made up of men and women in the military. That's our center of gravity. That's how we do ministry."
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?
I long to do great and noble things, but God reminds me it’s in the humble things that He can be extraordinary through me. Ultimately, I desire to be like Helen Keller: to do humble tasks as though they were great and noble.
It’s not unusual to hear people ask, “What is OCF?” or “What does OCF do?” They may wonder if OCF is a club of officers like-minded in their Christian faith, or just the local Bible study fellowship they attend.
As a servant leader being the hands and heart of Christ to others in life’s tragedies, TSgt Padgett suggested that helping others is as simple as being aware of the ways you can do so.
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?
So much of today’s culture dwells on victimhood, on wounds that seem resistant to heal. Christ-followers don’t deny the wounds but come alongside the struggling wounded to offer the salve secured by the scarred, yet now Risen Lamb’s victory over sin and death.
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.
Every planner for ground tactical combat operations knows the value of seeing the area of operations from above. Looking down on the terrain, you see risks, opportunities, and new ways to achieve your objective that cannot be seen from the ground.
A particularly effective leader sees the ends amidst the overwhelming hubbub of the present. Opposition, complexity, danger, and distracting opportunities threaten to paralyze or draw the leader off course.
One simple request from a platoon leader in one small group at one location on a single evening. But when multiplied over the weeks and miles of hundreds of Christian fellowships, just consider how the Spirit might work!
We all have hitches in our giddy-up. Most are wounds within our soul: bitterness, deceit, fear, shame, guilt, and others. They hinder us; they limit us in our service with and leadership of others.
If you are a leader, perhaps you are the one God appointed to initiate and lead a local fellowship, or you may be the one leader Christ has chosen as His ambassador in a unit or staff.
Men and women of authority, education, and influence are particularly susceptible. Their gifting, potentially so helpful in service and leadership, spills over to coat the heart with ill-placed personal pride and assurance.
No, we cannot redeem this fallen world and its deathly power on our own, but the One who can has asked us to partner in His work with what we can do. He simply asks us to “take away the stone.”
We all could use a Sherpa when facing new and formidable challenges. Junior leaders and young couples with their abundance of zeal and energy, but with limited experience, particularly benefit from a seasoned guide as they break new ground in life.
Also essential for Christian leaders are the daily development of subordinates; team building for unit cohesion and performance; setting of standards of respect and performance; and seasoning the unit culture with the aroma of Christ.
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
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.
Traditionally, Christian small-group activities are more positive, edifying, less contentious, and less confrontational than their secular or non-Christian counterparts.
Small groups and Bible study may take place in a variety of settings, from foxholes to comfortable homes. Only one book is essential to the study—the Bible.
While we may be accustomed to defining the essence of our Christian faith in other ways, Christianity involves not only a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, but also an entirely different outlook on life that is grounded in the hope we have for all that God has promised.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Those who have laced up boots or buttoned an Armed Forces uniform in service to our nation know all-too-well the difficult and tough terrain of the transitional military life they lead.
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.
As our culture continues drifting further into a post-Christian neo-pagan worldview, Christ-followers may be tempted to spiritual panic attacks. Especially for those of us striving to integrate faith and biblical worldview into our military profession, how can we remain faithful to our call when policies and programs appear to oppose higher principles and priorities?
When he was diagnosed with cancer in 1999, Mike says he worked through the usual questions and doubt—why me? what did I do?—but it was the continued struggle through multiple rounds of chemo, radiation, and surgeries that caused him to take a deeper look at the testimony God was preparing him for.
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.