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Archive for Chaplain’s Corner

Taken at “faith” value!

When people, especially military, are given an objective, there is one thing that separates one unit from another.  It is a simple word that has huge ramifications.  That word is “faith.”  The fighting forces must have faith in the decisions of the commanders and the commanders must have faith in the training and strength of the fighting force.  It’s that one thing that spurs soldiers and others to do things that they otherwise could not do.  They “believe” that they can do it.  Faith defined in your Bibles is “believing in things not seen as though they were.”  It is the  knowing in your spirit that you can accomplish the task.  God’s armies throughout Bible history relied entirely on the faith that God was with them because He told the prophets of old that He would be.  The whole nation of Israel was formed because God said so.  It is also the same faith that we stand in to believe Jesus is who He said He was and that God’s promise of salvation is true because God says so in His Word, and the Holy Spirit testifies to us that it is true.

God be with you all,
Roger

Timely Gifts

We sometimes admire and other times question why people in leadership fill the positions they are in.  First, we must understand that the same God who created us also gave different gifts to each of us.  Some of those giftings are in leadership and others are in differing capacities of serving.  Then, the next understanding must be that some of those giftings are for a length of time (season) and some of them are on-going.  We often don’t understand why others don’t step up to fill positions, when they are simply not given the same giftings.  A big mistake can be when a leader’s season has ended but refuses to step aside for the next peson with the appropriate giftings to fill the position.  This often leads to organizational corruption or disfunction.  This process is as old as people on earth and is demonstated all through the Bible as God’s way of order and organization for His people.  We, like those of old, are given the giftings we have for the benefit of others.  We are to offer them and fill appropriate positions until God brings forth another whose giftings are better or timely for the position to be filled.  When we do things God’s way, there is peace, unity, and progress.  Otherwise there is confusion, discord, and stagnation.  Obedience to God’s will is blessed.  Let’s walk in His ways.

God bless us all, Roger

Memorials

We, as a people, set aside days of the year and build monuments for extraordinary events or people such as the 4th of July, the Lincoln Memorial, Veteran’s Day, etc.  We do these things so that we will remember, but just as importantly, so that future generations will also remember.  I believe that these memorials and days serve a two fold purpose.  Not only do they remind us of the price that was paid for the life-style with its freedoms and rights we enjoy, but they serve as a warning as well.  We always need to weigh out the cost that comes with the actions we take as a nation.  Is it the right thing to do for its people.  The price of blood is extremely costly.  We do these things after the example of God’s Word.  Each time He did something extraordinary, such as hold back the Jordan River for His people to cross on dry land, He commanded His people to set up altars for worship or memorials that the next generations would not forget.  Many of us take the cross on most churches for granted.  This also is a memorial to remind us of the shed blood of God’s own Son to pay for our sins.

God bless you as you remember His reminder, Roger Papka

“No one left behind”

Even though there is little written, if any, about it, we who have served in the military have known a basic principle concerning our brothers and sisters.  That principle is “no one left behind.”  Many a medic or buddy was wounded in the effort of going back to get someone wounded or killed for that very reason.  If you ask any of those who did, they would all tell you that it was worth it because they knew their buddy would do that for them.  They cared enough to give up themselves for a brother or sister.  In civilian life, there are those who have had misfortunes as well.  We don’t need to know the circumstances, but simply that they need help.  That call of “no one left behind” should apply to the here and now as it did in the time of service to our country.  This is altogether fitting because in God’s Word, we are to share God’s love and blessings with others, as well as His promise of eternal life.  Remember, your actions say much more to your fellow man than your words do.  When you see an opportunity, step up to make a difference and let your brother or sister know that they matter and are not left behind. God bless you with opportunities and provisions to fill them, Roger

Teach your children well!

As survivors of conflicts and wars, we must realize that we have a responsibility to those who come after us.  In Bible times, one of God’s mandates to His people was to teach the children to the third and fourth generation about God and His laws for life.  We also must teach our children and grandchildren about what we did and why, for them to understand what freedoms and rights they have and what the price was paid for them.  When we think of how to do this, we must consider that the example of the way we live our lives has a much greater impact on people than our words do.  A hypocrite says one thing and does another.  We don’t have the luxury or the right to mislead the next generations, but have the responsibility to stand for what we believe in respect to our country, and more importantly to the values that God has established through His word.

Live in integrity and blessing,

Roger

What (or who) to revere (or honor)

Nearly every veteran will be the first to show reverence for the American flag, or the Star Spangled Banner, or taps out of respect for our country and for what each of those things symbolize.  It is altogether fitting that we should do that because we have all fought to preserve the freedoms and way of life of our families, friends, and fellow soldiers.  Those who didn’t come back home would also be among the first because they died for what they believed.  It is also fitting that we should show even more reverence for those things of God (His Word, His ways, and His direction for our lives) that we often overlook.  Deuteronomy 32 in your Bible says that God gives us life, and it is God who takes it away.  No one can deliver from His hand.  So, we can thank God that he brought us home, and those He didn’t, served a higher calling than we know or understand.  God, indeed deserves all the reverence and thanks that we can offer.

May He bless each of you, Roger

Stand up!

This great land of ours has privileges and freedoms that are found nowhere else on earth.  It was designed by our forefathers to be a land where we are not forced to follow the mandates of a king or dictator, but the power of accountability rests in the hands of the people.  When we are complacent or apathetic about our freedoms, we are shirking our citizenship.  That citizenship not only gives us the right to vote to remove those we don’t want in office, but it also gives us the responsibility to question our elected officials through our freedom of speech.  Citizenship in our country demands action on the basis of God given right and wrong; or if we don’t, I assure you that someone will take those rights and privileges away from us.  That would truly say to our fallen brothers and sisters that they died in vain. God has blessed our homeland, and we need to do our part to stand up for what is right.

Blessings to you, Roger

The Cause

Throughout the history of our country, US military has had one factor in its favor that is above all other means for engaging in warfare.  We are notably the best trained, best equiped, best organized of all the military personnel around the globe.  But the one thing that sets us apart from all the others is the “cause.”  Our belief in our form of government, and our rights and freedoms, is the biggest difference of all.  We don’t serve a dictator’s orders or for the glory of a crown, but for the way of life that we believe is the only right way to live.  It is the “what we believe” that makes a soldier willing to give his or her life to protect it.  The extra measure of effort that is required to accomplish the mission, whatever it might be, comes from belief in the “cause.”  This is not a new concept however.  God’s armies in Bible times also believed in the promise of God to deliver their enemies into their hands.  Because they believed God, they fought with unyielding faith that they were going to succeed.  Does that sound familiar?  Yes, they had a “cause”.  Much of our military and, for that matter, our daily lives are modeled after God’s examples in your Bible.  We, as veterans, need to live our lives by the same “cause” as we did when we served in the military, but also as is exampled by God through His Son, Jesus Christ.

May God bless you with His insight in your life,

Chaplain Roger

“For God and Country”

Roger’s Letter April 6, 2012