Saturday, June 23, 2007

Somebody Pinch Me!

After doing so much to qualify, I have finally received the official notification: “Congratulations on being selected to serve as a Chaplain in the active component of the US Army!”(Chaplain Accessions Officer)

It feels so surreal. It was the answer I have been praying for, yet when I received the news it seemed too hard to believe. I give thanks to God for His faithfulness for making it all happen.

As I look back at all the steps that I had to go through to be where I am at now, it has been a long journey. There was being ordained by my denomination, complete a Master’s degree from seminary, complete dozens of forms, and to lose 85 pounds.

Now, a new journey begins on a different path. It is the excitement of ministering to Soldiers and their families, being a light of hope in the midst of darkness. It will also have many times of difficulties and struggles. I think about the changes that my family will have to go through, the separation from my wife and my children, but through it all God will be with us and see us through. That is why it is amazing to see and remember the breakthroughs God has provided. It is the assurance of His faithfulness to take us through the rest of the way.

It is an honor to serve both my God and my country. I am looking forward to seeing the glory of God manifested in my family’s life and the lives all around us. Praise the Lord!

Are you ready for a breakthrough?

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


Today, as I was reading the Bible in Psalm 6, I couldn't help but think about King David's "passionate" prayer for his enemies to be put to shame. His pray was that of groaning, tears, and grief. King David wanted his enemies to be disgraced.

As I meditated on this portion of scripture, I started thinkng about the war on terror. The war has begun to grow weary on various groups of people, especially for the families of our troops. I can't help but think that the enemy of our lives is the evil in our world.

The evil in this world could be very influential on humanity causing it to do things that are thinkable, such as taking one person or a group's life even when they are brothers of the same nation. King David saw such civil war and that "evil" was what he prayed would be disgraced. He knew this quite well because he was being pursued by his countrymen.

Wouldn't it be great to see this evil reduced in our day? It is my prayer that there would be a reduction of casualties among our troops and terrorists, a reduction of insurgents, and a reduction of terrorism. In addition, that there would be an increase of peace in the land of Iraq.

I pray for such a change with a passionate prayer. Meanwhile, it is the peace of God's presence in our lives that will sustain us while we wait for this amazing miracle. How about it? Let's passionately pray for another BREAKTHROUGH!

During June 19-20, the United States Army Chaplain Commissioning Board will be meeting, at which time they will be reviewing my packet. I ask for your prayers that the Lord would continue to show favor, wisdom for the members of the board, and peace for me and my family as we wait for their response.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Love Mercy

In the last few days leading up to the final interview, there has been a number of events that have caused me to think about “mercy.” For instance, the other day I read a passage of the Bible that talked about mercy. In the gospel of Luke, Jesus is teaching the importance of mercy by saying, “Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.” The lesson is not only about giving mercy, as an action; but also being merciful, as the state of being. It is one of various characteristics of God.

Breakthroughs occur not on account of our good deeds or we have appeased God in some way, rather they occur due to His very nature, He is merciful. Out of His deep compassion for us, the Lord reveals Himself to us as the sustainer of our lives. From the depths of His love for us flows affection and compassion, which translates into mercy.

I am so undeserving of all that God given me, all that He is currently giving me, and everything that is to come. I am referring to the blessing of His presence in my life. Rather than receiving His judgment and condemnation for all the sins I have committed He has demonstrated mercy. I am so grateful for that mercy. I am so grateful that His very nature is mercy. It is this wonderful nature that is being cultivated in us by molding us into the likeness of Christ.

Today, again, I experienced the mercy of God. I experienced His favor by receiving a favorable interview with the senior chaplain of the U.S. Army. The senior chaplain did acknowledge at the end of the interview that he was going to recommend me to the commissioning board, which will be meeting mid June. I must say that I felt the presence of God during the full course of the interview. I was able to learn a lot from Chaplain Pace. He had so much wisdom and insight to give.

Jesus teaches us, “Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice’” (Mt. 9:13). This lesson is just a reiteration of an Old Testament principle of loving mercy. It should be our desire to show and extend mercy, especially to a world that can be unmerciful.

In my heart, as I have been experiencing the mercy of the Lord, I know that I now need to extend mercy and to be merciful. Therefore, as a recipient of the mercy of God, I must now love mercy and extend it to those around me.

This journey to chaplaincy has been teaching me how great is the mercy of God and how much I need to be more and more like Christ by extending mercy to those around me.