Day 12 – Son Beams

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

It would be a long cold night in the field and finally the ‘Great Heat Tab in the Sky’ would come up. As that big fireball rose in the blue it’s heated beams would break their way through the trees. We would find ourselves migrating to the sunspots on the ground to bask in the warmth and shake the chill from the night before. It’s just one of those little treats that all suffering soldiers know. God’s love is a lot like that. Morning after morning we can stand in the SON beams of His love that come breaking through the circumstances of life and warm our very souls.

Day 11 – FOLLOW ME
Day 12 – Son Beams
Day 13 – Holy Airborne
Day 14 – Good Intel
Day 15 – A Little Book Learnin’
Day 16 – Pay Day
Day 17 – Even the Lone Ranger had Tonto
Day 18 – Telling It Like It Is
Day 19 – Takin’ Out the Trash
Day 20 – The Master of His Trade

Day 13 – Holy Airborne

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

I’ve said a C-130 aircraft is the best chapel ever built and being a paratrooper is a very religious profession. There are more sincere prayers offered up to God before a parachute drop on Thursday than there are in church on Sunday. Why? Because we want God’s protection. And according to this passage of Scripture He delivers. Fear is the platform on which the bricks of courage are laid and God is the mortar that holds it all together. Is something causing fear in your life? Remember, He is with you, wherever you may be. SP01

Application: List your three greatest fears. Pray about them specifically and give them to God.

Day 11 – FOLLOW ME
Day 12 – Son Beams
Day 13 – Holy Airborne
Day 14 – Good Intel
Day 15 – A Little Book Learnin’
Day 16 – Pay Day
Day 17 – Even the Lone Ranger had Tonto
Day 18 – Telling It Like It Is
Day 19 – Takin’ Out the Trash
Day 20 – The Master of His Trade

Day 14 – Good Intel

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. (1 John 5:11-13)

As a Reconnaissance Platoon Sergeant I spent a lot of time on the radio with the Battalion S2 (Intelligence Officer) and the Battalion Commander, nicknamed ‘Smoken Joe’. The things they didn’t want to hear when we called in our SALUTE Reports was, ‘I think…’ or ‘I guess…’ No, they wanted the cold hard facts and RECON was committed to getting them. You know we don’t have to wonder whether or not we are going to Heaven. We don’t have to say, ‘I think I’m going’ or ‘I guess I’m going.’ You can KNOW for sure. He who has the Son has life. Now that’s good Intel.

Day 11 – FOLLOW ME
Day 12 – Son Beams
Day 13 – Holy Airborne
Day 14 – Good Intel
Day 15 – A Little Book Learnin’
Day 16 – Pay Day
Day 17 – Even the Lone Ranger had Tonto
Day 18 – Telling It Like It Is
Day 19 – Takin’ Out the Trash
Day 20 – The Master of His Trade

Day 15 – A Little Book Learnin’

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

SFC R was a stickler for perfection. He wanted to make sure every ‘i’ was dotted and every ‘t’ was crossed when it came to tactics. He made us read field manuals (FM), books, journals, history, and Combat Lessons Learned. We read until our eyeballs fell out. But by the time his ranger instructors hit the ground they were ready to teach from a broad base of knowledge. As Christians we look to the Bible for instructions and guidance. Have you given yourself to reading about eternal things as much as career things? The Bible is our FM-1. The priority is clear.

Application: Read at least one chapter in the Bible daily. If you have been doing that for at least six months, ramp it up to two (one in the Old Testament and one in the New). If you have been doing that for at least six months, ramp it up to three chapters daily (Old, New, Gospels).

To get someone started in reading the Bible give them SWORDPOINT as a primer. Pass it On!

Day 11 – FOLLOW ME
Day 12 – Son Beams
Day 13 – Holy Airborne
Day 14 – Good Intel
Day 15 – A Little Book Learnin’
Day 16 – Pay Day
Day 17 – Even the Lone Ranger had Tonto
Day 18 – Telling It Like It Is
Day 19 – Takin’ Out the Trash
Day 20 – The Master of His Trade

Day 16 – Pay Day

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

I remember my first earned wages as a Private in 1977, $360. I thought to myself, ‘I’m rich!’ Although I managed to spend it pretty quickly it still seemed like a lot of money to me at the time. I had the opposite reaction when I learned in the Bible what my wages were going to be for all my many wrong doings. DEATH! I was bummed. But through God’s grace He didn’t leave us hanging. He gives us a gift we don’t deserve. He cancels out the debt of death through His Son’s own payment on the cross. All we have to do is endorse the check by placing our faith in Jesus Christ by following Him.

Day 11 – FOLLOW ME
Day 12 – Son Beams
Day 13 – Holy Airborne
Day 14 – Good Intel
Day 15 – A Little Book Learnin’
Day 16 – Pay Day
Day 17 – Even the Lone Ranger had Tonto
Day 18 – Telling It Like It Is
Day 19 – Takin’ Out the Trash
Day 20 – The Master of His Trade

Day 17 – Even the Lone Ranger had Tonto

For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them. Matthew 18:20

One of the things drilled into me in Ranger school was always having a Ranger buddy. No matter what you did, you always did it with your Ranger buddy. Heaven help you if a ranger instructor caught you in the chow line, cleaning your weapon, or even running to the latrine by yourself. The benefits are obvious. But in the faith there is the one additional benefit of having your buddy with you, the presence of the living God. It doesn’t mean He’s not there when we are alone. But there is some added experience of His presence when we are with brothers and sisters in the faith. Don’t be the Lone Ranger.

Application: Get with your spiritual ranger buddy once a week and ask these three questions; How are you doing? What are you getting out of the Word of God? Who are you helping to grow in the faith?

Day 11 – FOLLOW ME
Day 12 – Son Beams
Day 13 – Holy Airborne
Day 14 – Good Intel
Day 15 – A Little Book Learnin’
Day 16 – Pay Day
Day 17 – Even the Lone Ranger had Tonto
Day 18 – Telling It Like It Is
Day 19 – Takin’ Out the Trash
Day 20 – The Master of His Trade

Day 18 – Telling It Like It Is

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (James 4:7-8)

My squad leader in the Ranger Battalion didn’t pull any punches, he just came right out and told me I was messed up. Then he proceeded to tell me how I was going to fix it. Throughout my career I’ve had several men whom I’ve respected for telling it like it is. They were men who could gave it to you straight. No beating around the bush, just laying all the cards on the table. James is like that. He goes right at the center of the issue. I think we all need straight shooters in our lives. We need someone to call a spade a spade, even in the areas of our spiritual life.

Application: Do you have someone in your life who will tell you what you need to hear rather than what you want to heat. If not, start praying that God will send you that kind of friend.

Day 11 – FOLLOW ME
Day 12 – Son Beams
Day 13 – Holy Airborne
Day 14 – Good Intel
Day 15 – A Little Book Learnin’
Day 16 – Pay Day
Day 17 – Even the Lone Ranger had Tonto
Day 18 – Telling It Like It Is
Day 19 – Takin’ Out the Trash
Day 20 – The Master of His Trade

Day 19 – Takin’ Out the Trash

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:8-9

One of the challenges of our deployment to Kuwait was the enormous amount of garbage a Heavy Task Force can generate. Mountains of refuge. Thousands of empty water bottles, MRE packets, package wrappings, and a heaps of other stuff. And man oh man, the smell! But the S4 had a plan for even the garbage. Big trucks were contracted to haul the stuff away before it became a stench in the whole camp. God has a plan for the garbage in our lives too. It’s ironic that the base of Golgotha where Christ was crucified was nothing more than smoldering garbage dump. That’s where He took on the sins of the world. And we are encouraged to take our trash out by personal confession. Remember to take out the trash daily.

Application: Do a quick inventory of things in your life that you know displease God, confess it right now before you move any further.

Day 11 – FOLLOW ME
Day 12 – Son Beams
Day 13 – Holy Airborne
Day 14 – Good Intel
Day 15 – A Little Book Learnin’
Day 16 – Pay Day
Day 17 – Even the Lone Ranger had Tonto
Day 18 – Telling It Like It Is
Day 19 – Takin’ Out the Trash
Day 20 – The Master of His Trade

Day 20 – The Master of His Trade

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:13-14)

I sat on the hood of my Humvee and watched the M1 Tanks refuel. As each one passed by, I’d give them a friendly chaplain’s wave. One Tank Commander, covered with dust, peering through shaded goggles, gave me a confident thumbs up with a half cocked smile. I marveled as I thought about the master of his craft riding high on his iron beast. I marveled still more as I began to think about the Master who made him and gave him the gifts that translated into a proficient warrior. It’s amazing to think that God has created each one of us with special gifts, talents and abilities so that we may glorify Him in our specific purpose. Live your purpose to the fullest!

Application: List five ways you are using your gifts, talents, and abilities for the Kingdom of God.

1. My military career – Writing SWORDPOINT
2. Speaking – Teaching SS on Sunday
3. Mentoring – Met with 3 men today
4. Leadership – Talked ministry stratagy with co-laborer
5. Friendliness – Invited several people to Sunday’s chapel service today

Take Your Instructions from the Tower

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’ (Isaiah 30:21)

‘Are we ready on the right? Are we ready on the Left? The firing line is no longer clear…Firers, watch your lane.’ Don’t you wish that God’s instructions were as loud and clear as the Range NCOIC’s voice from the tower? Well, actually, they are! I have found the more time I spend in the Bible, reading His Word, the more I hear those words coming back to me all day long. 99% of life’s instructions are outlined right there in the Scriptures. And for the other 1% we have the Range Safety (the Holy Spirit) right behind us quietly giving us guidance.

Application: As you are reading the scriptures use this acrostic to find applications, SPECK, Sin to avoid, Promise to claim, Example to follow, Commandment to obey, Knowledge to gain.