The songs filling the air during the Christmas season cover the spectrum of human experience, words and structure capturing the expression of our heart and soul. It’s in song, as recorded in the Gospel of Luke about the events leading up to and including the birth of Christ, that the joy and wonder of what God has done for those looking for Him is expressed. It’s Mary, chosen by God to bear His Son, rejoicing in “God my Savior” (1:47), and Zachariah proclaiming “the tender mercy of God” because of the coming Messiah (v. 78) that his own son “will go before…to prepare His ways” (v. 76).
So much of Jesus’ earthly ministry centered around the dining table. He shared meals with His disciples, friends such as Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, and even some Pharisees. He also dined with various others, most notably the fringe of society, those tax collectors and sinners who the self-righteous religious leaders looked down upon (Mark 2:15-16).
Against the unapproachable perfection of God, we don’t feel holy. Our words, actions, and attitudes as accomplished sinners speak volumes to that. And we aren’t holy—that is, in our own striving outside of Christ. Holiness is imputed to us only through Christ.
This year’s annual Colorado Springs OCF community-area picnic was more than just a gathering for food and fellowship; it was also a celebration of OCF’s move from its 40-year residence outside Denver to its new location in Colorado Springs.
One thing is crystal clear from the onset, from Genesis to Revelation and all other 64 books of the Bible in between: pride is the problem, and not one of us is immune from its lofty, lying lure.
When it comes to “freedom” or “liberty,” this definition is usually listed first in collective humanity’s book: the right to be able to do anything I want to do without restraint, expectations—or sometimes even consequences.
If we could see with spiritual eyes what surrounds the unseen of those spiritual commissioning ceremonies, in our humanity we would be aghast and terrified at the spiritual warfare taking place.
We are called to persevere, persist, and keep our eyes on Jesus, “to feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation,” and “to have the full assurance of hope until the end… of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”
In Jesus, we receive eternal life because of His complete and total payment to remove the spiritual death sentence awaiting us if we died in our sin. His resurrection also set into motion the final countdown that is still unfolding toward God’s restoration of all things.
Through OCF’s Hospitality Homes program, an established yet growing network of OCF members who are passionate about the Biblical mandate to “contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality” (Romans 12:13) have signed up as Hospitality Home hosts, opening their homes to their fellow OCF members as a place to stay, offering a meal as they travel, and connecting in Christian fellowship.
Regardless of denomination, and before we can really celebrate what Christ’s victory over sin, death, and the grave means for each of us, we can never go wrong by taking a contemplative journey of repentance with Christ on His road of suffering.
The fundamentals of God’s Word must be revisited continually to readjust our stance not only for our effectiveness in the game plan Christ has established for us, but especially regarding biblical faith in Him.
It is in Christ alone that we find the identity that He intends us to operate and live in. We are made an entirely new creation, an entirely new person—not just someone refurbished or retooled.
We celebrate Christmas because God in mercy and kindness delivered on His promise to send us a Savior in His Son Jesus Christ, who will bring the fullness of salvation to all who will receive Him.
It's amazing to think that thanksgiving was in Jesus’ heart and on His tongue to His Father as He knowingly, steadfastly walked right into what it would cost Him physically, emotionally, and spiritually to procure salvation for sinful humanity. Within moments, those He had dined and worshipped God with—who He had just conferred a special place at His table and on thrones in His coming eternal kingdom (Luke 22:28-30)—would betray, abandon, and deny knowing Him.
Chaplains bear a tremendous weight in caring for the spiritual and moral well-being of service members and their families in a unique lifestyle that includes frequent moves, deployment, and combat stress. There are doors of great opportunity for God to be glorified as OCFers step out to support the chaplaincy by reaching out to their chaplains.
Unless we are focused on God and His truth, alert to the temptations we personally struggle with, and vigilant of worldly lies and lures to kill, steal, and destroy our Christian faith, we are just as vulnerable to slide into compromise and right into God’s judgment.
The lure in humanity’s fallen nature to be able to do whatever we want, whenever we want, and without restraint tends to only feed that bent of human nature we all struggle with—the “freedom” of my way.
Ten years ago, Colorado experienced a devastating series of wildfires throughout June, July, and August that included the Waldo Canyon fire on the northwest edge of Colorado Springs. It is the third-most destructive fire in Colorado history, destroying 347 homes.
Jesus’ leadership of investing in the lives of those entrusted to Him formed followers who embraced Him and His mission of eternal salvation into leaders who replicated that in others.
Spring Canyon Conference Center has long been a “home away from home,” a stable, welcoming place providing military men, women, and families a brief respite from their demanding military lives. The Buena Vista, Colo.-based conference center is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year.
For Christians, our life’s purpose involves a calling, which starts with our response to Christ’s call of “Come, follow Me.” It’s a call to a restored, ever-growing intimate relationship with Him.
Our loving Father will vigilantly chip away at the achievements, talents, positions, power, rank, status, possessions, etc., we are prone to default to for our self-worth. His goal is to hone and refine our identity into the very image of Jesus Christ.
“In order to tangibly strengthen our connectivity, we have an enormous need for members to step into the yoke with the Lord and one another. If you are willing to be spent for the Gospel, we have a myriad of areas where you can sign up to serve.”
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.
"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.”
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.
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.
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.