Sunday, January 01, 2006

Notes From a US Army Chaplain

There is a list of links I've placed in the left-hand column of this blog and I've never commented on them. I just let them sit there for anyone who has an inkling to explore them. Among the personal ones are my brother's web site and the blog of Jeff Spry, the current minister of education at my church.

There's a new link that I've just added to the list. Brad Borders has gone to my church longer than I have. It's a large church and we've never been more than acquaintances. However, he's doing some significant ministry with the men and women who are going through Army Basic Training in Fort Jackson, SC. Most of the recruits he ministers to will be deployed to Iraq within the next 6 months as other units rotate out.

I've not included my military background as a basis for this blog. It's not that it's not been significant to my ideological formation, but it just doesn't come up much. I joined the Marines under the command of President Reagan and played trombone in the Second Marine Division Band at Camp Lejune in NC for most of my active duty. We reverted to a special security unit when the division was deployed to Saudi Arabia during Desert Shield / Desert Storm. Afterwards, I joined 'D' Company, Eighth Tank Battalion, Fourth Marine Division (the reserve division) stationed in Fort Jackson, SC, while I went to college. I left as a Sergeant (E5) while under the command of President Clinton.

I joined the Marines after having partied my way out of my first year of college. I was confused and depraved. In Saudi Arabia, during what I consider my own wilderness wanderings, God removed the distractions of everyday life in the US and sent godly men who involved me in a Bible study there. God began to draw me back to Himself.

It is because of this that I recognize the ministry that Brad has as an Army chaplain. I encourage you to visit his blog and learn about him and the soldiers to whom he ministers. Mostly, I encourage you to pray for his ministry. Pray for his family. He gets to see them a couple of times a month. Also, they are dealing with some health issues that I'll not disclose here. Pray for Brad who has the difficult mission of girding up the part of each soldier that is wounded the easiest - their soul. Pray for the soldiers who are part of deployment rotations to Iraq. Pray for their safety, but especially that they will be strengthened spiritually. Pray also for their families. Brad shared with our Sunday School Class that many families are being broken over the deployments of soldiers. Pray for fidelity in the marriages of those deployed.

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