Spiritual R&R

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)

Military folks work some long hours. There is no such thing as overtime and during deployments you can work 16-hour days (and more). Some of us have gone months without a single day off and have been dog-tired. But life can run you into the ground too. Relationships, disappointments, illness, defeat, and trials can beat us down and we get flat out whupped. Jesus says ‘Come to me…and I will give you rest.’ Take it to Him, spend some time in prayer and the Scripture and get a little R&R.

Application: Take a knee, drink spiritual water, for seven minutes in the morning and at night.

Too Many Bosses

‘No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.’ (Matthew 6:24)

We have all had it happen to us. ‘I don’t care what he said, I told you to do it my way.’ Two supervisors at odds with one another and you’re stuck in the middle like a human ping pong ball. Well fortunately the lines are clear in the spiritual chain of command. You either serve God or the world. We get to choose.

Application: Who are the voices in your life? Does God’s voice trump all others? Pray and ask Him to open your ears to His voice above all others.

The Secret

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:11-13)

I’ve figured out the secret to being happy as a soldier. (And we know being happy as a soldier can be a challenge at times.) The secret to being happy is being content and the secret to being content is realizing my strength to overcome any obstacle comes from following Jesus. God knows exactly what is going on in our lives. And He is able to get us through every circumstance. Whether its 130 degrees in Kuwait or a Manchurian cold front in Korea, I have the strength to be victorious.

Application: Think of the circumstances that you have faced in the past and how you got through them in the strength of Christ.


For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23)

I think I have the record for the number of tries for the Expert Infantrymen’s Badge (EIB). It took me eight times to finally get the coveted award. It was kind of humiliating as an E7 being told by an E4, ‘Sergeant, you are a NO GO at this station.’ Failure can be a bitter experience but we all have tasted it. The Bible says, ‘You are a NO GO at this station called life.’ But where there is no mercy with the EIB there is with God. The Bible also says there is forgiveness for those who acknowledge their shortcomings and trust in the work done on the cross. Thank God for mercy through Jesus Christ!

Application: Got a pet sin? Stop it, Confess it, Get over it (because God has…1 John 1.9)

The Only Thing You Missed was the Boat

While Jesus was saying these things, one of the women in the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore You and the breasts at which You nursed.” But He said, “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”

(Luke 11:27-28)

…That’s a great idea Ranger, under normal circumstances, except for the fact that you are all ready poised to attack the enemy’s rear. To flank them in this situation, would be attacking their strongest point… Aggressive actions, poor judgment. So right but so wrong. Has that ever happened to you spiritually? Have you ever thought; surely God thinks this way or that. Only to discover, oops, I need to do a 180 on that one. (I remember as a baby Christian, praying that God would give me more iniquity until I discovered what the word meant.) The key is a constant, progressive, thorough reading of God’s Word so we can really get to know Him better. This could save us from some very embarrassing circumstances.

Application: If you have trouble being consistent in your daily Bible reading, try this: Go to the shortest book in the New Testament, read one chapter daily (the shortest is only one chapter!) Then go to the next shortest and so on. When you finish the New Testament email me and I’ll give you a strategy for the Old Testament. Charleswood1@gmail.com


“Nor do people put new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wineskins burst, and the wine pours out and the wineskins are ruined; but they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.”

(Matthew 9:17)

I loved new Privates. They come into your squad or platoon all bright-eyed, anxious to learn, ready to be molded into a part of the team (I also felt the same way about brand new Lieutenants). They were raw, a blank slate just waiting for you to make that lasting impression. As we start the New Year, let’s present ourselves as new privates or LTs to God, ready and willing to learn new things, effectively integrating ourselves into Kingdom-oriented teams, eager to follow His next command.

Call to Action: Pray that God will give you a fresh desire to love and serve Him.

LT – A lieutenant (abbreviated Lt, LT, Lieut and similar) is a junior commissioned officer in the armed forces, fire services, police and other organizations of many nations.


Ten Things I’m most thankful for in 2006

An incredible year of learning about Jesus

God has developed several key laborers

God has developed several new staff

The ministry has grown in breadth and depth

Over all Army work advances

New cooperation with other ministries

The Bible Study on Helping vs Training

Friends who have generously supported the ministry

God protecting my friends who are deployed

My family

Ten Things I’m praying for in 2007:

Apply the ministry and leadership style of Jesus

Strengthen Team Benning by developing laborers

Developing ministries on new Army Posts

Strengthen the synergy of the Branch Work

Begin training three new staff

The richest time in the Word and prayer ever

Friends and Family will experience more of Christ

Communicate effectively thru verbal and writing

Protection for my friends and family who are deployed

Peace and Salvation for all Nations in Christ

Blasting Cap Religion

…a wise heart knows the proper time and procedure.

(Ecclesiastes 8:5)

It’s a little unnerving the first few times you do it but after a while, you get the hang of putting a blasting cap into an explosive charge. This is one of those soldier tasks that require the right procedure at the right time. Mix them up and it could ruin your day. There are some things in a disciple’s life that have proper timing and procedure as well, like praying first. Ever make a decision only to have it go south, and then reminded yourself, “I should have run that by Jesus first.” Or have you struggled through days of anxiety and then finally remembered to pray in Jesus name? Remember this sequence and procedure; Pray first in Jesus name.

Call to Action: List three major decisions or worries and pray in Jesus name for the next week.

Blasting Cap – A blasting cap is a small sensitive primary explosive device generally used to detonate a larger, more powerful and less sensitive secondary explosive such as TNT, dynamite, or plastic explosive. Blasting caps come in a variety of types, including non-electric caps, electric caps, and fuse caps.

A New Man

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

I can remember walking down the steps of the barracks as a brand new private in a squared away uniform. As a newbie in the 82nd Airborne Division, I was on cloud nine and a very different person. The Army had changed me and I was a new man. But there is nothing that can change us like when we come to faith in Christ. We are regenerated into new men and women spiritually. We experience a new attitude, new actions, and new motivation to live for God. Are you a New Creation?

Application: If you haven’t experienced this new life I’m talking about, take some time right now to pray and ask Jesus Christ to change you, commit yourself to get to know Him and follow Him. Ask Him to come into your life as both Lord and Savior.

Every Man and Woman a Conqueror, The Desire to Win

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.

(Romans 8:37)

It wasn’t the toughest obstacle course I had been on but I would soon learn to hate it. We were training with the SEALs on Coronado Beach and my Commander decided to show off a little in front of our Navy friends. We ended up going through the obstacle course 4 times to prove we were the better warriors. Not sure that really proved anything (except for a lot of bruises and barely being able to move the next morning). We are competitive beings by nature. I believe God wired us that way for a purpose, to be winners. Unfortunately, we have made a total mess of the thing with our sin. But He intended the Conqueror Spirit to be used for good rather than evil. In fact, in Christ, we are made overwhelming conquerors. Through Jesus, we win in a big way. We just need to learn from the scriptures how to win God’s way.

Call to Action: Write down 3 things you think God wants you to conquer. Try to find a verse of scripture for each goal.