Friday, August 31, 2007

Ministry of Presence

He appointed twelve--designating them apostles--that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach (Mark 3:14)

One of the great things about being a chaplain is that you enjoy the privilege of going to work with your congregation. Sometimes the work environment is less than desirable (dirty, smelly, far away places where you can be shot at) but being with the troops is always pleasure. I really think that’s the kind of ministry Jesus modeled for us. You should note that He didn’t just hang out in His office waiting for folks to come to Him. He went to the people. In fact He chose 12 guys to hang out with Him so He could give them more intense training. The focus of ministry is not buildings, institutions, or programs. The focus of ministry is people. Meet them on their turf.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Dead Sacrifices

For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings. (Hosea 6:6)

‘But I’m making sacrifices for my country. At least I signed up. I’m doing my part…’ This was the ‘patriot’ card being played by one of my privates as I was counseling him on his poor performance. I had to remind him that the true sacrifice was in performing his duties not in sponging off American’s tax dollars and wearing BDUs. Sometimes we play the ‘patriot’ card with Jesus. ‘But I go to church, give when the offering plate comes by, I pray before meals.’ Jesus is looking for our true allegiance in two areas; Do we really love Him and do we love people. The answer is not in our lifeless traditions; it’s in our sincere day to day relationship with Him and others.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Passing it On

And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others. (2 Timothy 2:2)

For the last 27 years, I've been mentoring men. I know a lot of you do too. Just one guy at a time, one day at a time. I’ve shared the tips of the trade both professionally and spiritually. From time to time I link-up with my friends and I hear how well they're doing. Of course, I've only had a small part in their success but I’m a part nonetheless. God has allowed me to make an impact their lives. But notice what kind of men the Apostle Paul directs Timothy toward. “Faithful men who are willing to invest in others.” When we look for men to mentor, we should pick men who are willing pass it on. To me there is no greater reward this side of heaven then to see men growing in their faith and investing in others.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit. (Judges 21:25)

I’ve been in units where the leadership at one level or another was conspicuously absent. Very little direction, guidance, or instructions. I happen to like environments with very little supervision (I don’t like being told how to suck the egg) but I am equally apposed to leadership through the willy nilly. People need a compass and a map. They need vision. When it’s not given they simply do what they see fit (and sometimes its not so fit). Be the leader that points the way but takes on the risk of allowing people to figure out how to get there. Guide, Encourage, and Coach. God has placed you in your unique role for this place at this time. Seize the Moment.

Friday, August 24, 2007


As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you. (1 Samuel 12:23)

One of the first things you learn as a Platoon Sergeant is that if you don’t coordinated for food and water for your troops, no one else will. It’s one of those levels of leadership that you find out ‘that’s my responsibility.’ It’s a very painful experience when you’ve been so mission focused that you forget to requests the essential items that soldiers need to keep going. And let me tell you, a hungry or thirsty soldier in not a happy soldier. You only make that mistake once. The same goes for leaders praying for their people. Whether you’re an Officer, NCO, Mom, Dad, Sunday School Teacher, etc… it’s an daily essential. Don’t let ‘em down. Pray ‘em up.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you. (1 Samuel 12:24)

I invested over 29 years of service to my country. As I reflect on the years, I realize I am a very blessed man. My career had been filled with more grace than one person deserves. Jesus has watched over me and given me the desires of my heart. I’ve been blessed with a wonderful wife and to great boys. Yes, God has done great things for me and I want to take this opportunity to thank Him publicly. Thank you Lord, for taking a young high school drop out to a position of usefulness in Your kingdom.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Eyes Wide Open

And Elisha prayed, ‘O LORD, open his eyes so he may see.’ Then the LORD opened the servant's eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. (2 Kings 6:17)

We were walking through the woods in our tactical formation and suddenly a bush started talking to me. Scared me so bad I almost came out of my skin. I had walked right up on a turkey hunter with incredible camouflage. I think the ol' country boy got a kick out of foolin' the army guys. We can often fail to see spiritual things right in front of our face as well. Sometimes the camouflage of this physical world can cover up the spiritual. We need to have our eyes wide open, always looking for the spiritual developments around us. Pray that God will open your spiritual eyes and ears to the things He's doing all around you.

Monday, August 20, 2007


He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. (Revelation 22:20)

I always loved when we would call ENDEX (end of exercise), especially when we knew we would fly back to the rear in choppers. It meant we didn’t have to road-march to the rear, which was particularly painful when you were dead tired. We wouldn’t have to hump that heavy load in our rucksack. All we had to do was get on the bird and relax because we were going home. One day God’s going to call an ENDEX and we will fly away to our heavenly home to be with Jesus Christ. Some say it will be soon. I’m looking forward to not having to trudge this weary old world with my rucksack of imperfection. But until then we have to Charlie Mike (continue the mission). But, be encouraged by this, ENDEX is coming.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened. (Jonah 3:10)

Some times in order to get back to where you are going or to figure out where you are, you need to determine a back azimuth. So, if your original azimuth is less than 180 degrees you need to add 180 degrees (STAY WITH ME NOW, IM TRYING TO MAKE A POINT) and if your azimuth is more than 180 degrees you need to subtract 180 degrees. And if you do all that, you will head the exact opposite direction from where you were heading. Sound confusing? (to some it’s child’s play but to others, gobligoop) Well let me assure you that repentance is a lot easier to figure out. If you are not heading Christ’s way, you are heading the wrong way. Turn around.

Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. (John 14.6)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Wiz Bang War Toys

All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD's, and he will give all of you into our hands. (1 Samuel 17:47)

When first Gulf War kicked off there was a lot of conjecture about the war and its outcome. I can remember listening to some friends talking about how our technology would ‘save the day.’ I felt very uncomfortable putting so much trust in something we see fail us everyday. Whether it’s the ‘blue screen of death’ on our computers or an answering machine that seems to be possessed, I’ve just seen too many ways for technology to go south. I’m a techno geek at heart and I think its great, but even so, I think I’ll do a little more praying in times of war.

Friday, August 17, 2007


He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and walked in all the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left. (2 Kings 22:2)

What would you do if you fired your weapon and the bullet took a hard left before it hit it’s target. You might check the sights, maybe your firing technique, and then squeeze off another round. Now the bullet takes a hard right. What’s up with these bullets? It’s like they have a mind of their own. You’d be ticked. ‘I shot that bullet dead center and it executed a right flank on me.’ Well, bullets don’t have a mind of their own, but we do. We have a choice to fly true to course or deviate and go our own way. By the degree we stay on course is the degree by which we demonstrate our loyalty to the Master, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Times of Trouble

He replied, ‘You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?’ (Job 2:10)

I was praying for a young Canadian Infantryman in Afghanistan. I came into contact with him through a prayer request from his wife. I learned that his life was spared when a bomb dropped by one of our aircraft hit their position and four of his comrades were killed in this friendly fire accident. My first thought was one of great relief that my new friend was safe. And then I wondered why God didn’t spare the lives of the others. I was like Job’s wife asking why bad things like this happen. Job is wise enough to acknowledge that we wont always have all the answers. But one thing is for sure; we will have to trust God in the good and tough times. Let trouble push you toward God, not away.