Preaching The Story

This is the second time I have used “The Story” series in Chapel.  First at FT Jackson and now we are beginning it at Scofield Barracks: Main Post Chapel.  It is really exciting to see so many looking at the Bible in a fresh way.  Last week I preached the Intro sermon

Tommorow begins week #1.  If you want to read along you can pick up a copy of the story or check out the (Chart_of_Bible_References).

If you are interested in doing “The Story” at your church or chapel, check out

Below is week #1 letter to the congregation:


I hope you are enjoying The Story and ready for week #1 this Sunday!

Are you beginning to see the connections between the upper story and the lower story?

It has been fun for me this week to listen to my kids’ questions as we read chapter one together before they go to bed.

You may be a bit intimidated by the Bible.  You’re not alone; many people are.  And no wonder,  its pages mention odd names like Jehoshaphat and Nebuchadnezzar.  It contains accounts from places you probably never heard of, like Sinai and Samaria.  And it seems to be made up of a lot of different, seemingly unrelated stories.  But it really is one big, exciting story.

You can see it easily if you open your Bible to the beginning and then flip all the way to the end.

The first words found in Genesis 1:1 read: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”  Then, if you turn all the way to the back of the book,  Revelation 21:1, you find, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away . . .”

In the beginning God is creating the heavens and the earth.  At the end he is creating a new heaven and a new earth.  So the big question is this: “What on earth happened between the beginning and the end of the Bible?”  If you can answer that question you will have uncovered the one seamless story of God.

Why not read God’s story with your family this year?  Studies indicate if the extent of your child’s exposure to things of the faith is a only weekly visit to church or Sunday School, the likelihood is very great that when she graduates and leaves home her relationship with the Lord will turn cold.

However, if you as a parent engage your children in the experience of reading and discussing the Bible, chances go up astronomically that they will remain strong in their faith after leaving home.  You don’t have to be an expert or have all the answers.  You just have to be willing to experience it with them.

Get involved in The Story of God.  It will forever transform your life and your family’s life. Every day God is seeking to guide you, forming sentences that flow into paragraphs that over time write the chapter of your life––a life committed to knowing him better.

Will you choose today to take your life chapter and make it a part of the Big Story of what God is doing on earth?

Reach out to the one who is reaching out to you, today.  You won’t regret it!

Here is a link to last week’s Sermon   The Story Intro

Here is another link to a video I made a few years back on the Garden of Eden Story East of Eden

Last week I didn’t have time to share this with you but I put together an Acrostic “APPLE” to help you with a few Bible study principles.

            Bible Study Tips:  talk story and reach out to the one who is reaching out to you!

  1. ?          Ask Why?                           What’s the Purpose?
  2. @        Pray                                     Cheat:  Ask God’s Spirit to Guide you
  3. *          Pay attention to details.  Something is off, look for Clues
  4. +         Look for the Cross            Intersection of Upper story and Lower Story
  5. !          Explore                               Appreciate uniqueness

Over the Next year, we are going to Read through the Bible, using The Story as a guide.  (See hand out attached)

Find your place in God’s Story!


Learning from the Commencement Address

How different people, speaking to different contexts, shape the message to connect

high school students graduates tossing up hats over blue sky.

What can we learn from the commencement address?  The graduation speech has a basic purpose: to encourage and congratulate students on the day of their graduation.  These days everything is recorded, so it is a great time to observe the oral presentations of some of the best speakers and celebrities of our day.

3 Aspects of a Speech to look at as you watch

  1. POINT:  What is the message that they are communicating?
  • Point – What are they talking about?
  • Purpose – What do they want you to do with the information?


2.  PERSON:  Who is speaking?

  • The person is part of the message.
  • As they speak, are they the hero or are they encouraging the listeners with their story?  There is a difference.
  • What do they bring that others don’t?  Credibility, perspective, knowledge, inspiration?

3.  PEOPLE:  Where and to whom are they speaking?

  • Context matters.  Are they speaking at Harvard, Liberty, or the United States Military Academy?
  • How do the speakers understand the unique context in which they are speaking?

We can look to the 2016 presidential candidates for an example.  They have each given thousands of speeches and been taught by the best.  Donald Trump (at Liberty University) and Hilary Clinton (at Wellesley College) both gave commencement addresses this year.  Both speeches are just over 3o minutes and as you watch them, look for the POINT, PERSON, and PEOPLE.

Setting politics aside, if you want to see how to bring humor into the equation, Will Ferrell’s address at USC  will enlighten you.  Pay special attention to his musical conclusion meant to bring inspiration to the graduates.

Today I watched two excellent, yet very different speeches given from different ends of the spectrum.  Both were presented at prestigious institutions by men, who themselves, have greatly excelled in their respective fields.

The first, was given by the Secretary of Defense, Gen. James Mattis, at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

The second is given by the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, at Harvard University.

What did you learn from the speeches?


  • What was the POINT being communicated?
  • How did the PERSON add to our take away from the point they were making?
  • Did the message connect with the PEOPLE to whom they were speaking?

Based on what you learned, how will it influence you as you speak?

A Message of Peace at Christmas

Can you imagine peace this Christmas?  Imagine a time of where war would cease  so that Soldiers could honor the Prince of Peace.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”  Isaiah 9:6

This is a message that needs to be heard today, as it was years ago.

A commercial came out this year, highlighting the true events of war from Christmas 100 years ago.  As you watch the ad and reflect on the story, remember to pray for our Soldiers and Families today.

Click here to see a video on the story behind the ad

What has been the favorite Christmas message you have heard or preached?

Our Chapel is using the principles of Advent Conspiracy this year, you will  find some resources (here)

Pray for our Soldiers who are often in the middle of conflict, that they will begin to know true Peace that comes from a baby born in a manger so long ago.

Merry Christmas!

The Funeral Message & a Few Resources

CH MooreA few weeks ago, I was featured in a news article about teaching on “The Funeral Message”.  The article entitled “Chaplain Trains Civilian Counterparts” can be found here.

What we say and how we say it matters.  As chaplains we must do our best to honor God, the service of those who have served, and care for those left behind.

For those of you who want to get better at funerals, below are some resources for you:

The first is a resource put together by one of my friends Ron Fisher.


  • Dignity with Brevity – A Concise Guide to Crafting Christian Funeral Services APR 2014

The Second is the Army Manual providing guidance for Funerals.

There is also a Digital Reference that is a great resource below is a link. (you may need CAC access to view)

There are many books and manuals written to help with funerals.

Do you have any favorites or go-to resources?

Leave a comment and let us know.


FREE I-BOOK download from Nancy Duarte: RESONATE

resonate_multimedia2-1024x575Free interactive I Book from Nancy Duarte.

Resonate:  Present Visual Stories That Transform Audiences.   Download Now! 


Like having a portable story writing workshop in your hands

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Resonate Multi-Touch Book is like having a portable story writing workshop in your hands as you prepare your next presentation. You’ll learn a new presentation development methodology informed by cinema, literature, and the greatest speeches of all time.

Learning these transformative principles in an immersive environment significantly helps your retention of how to:

Create your content in a story form
Understand the business case for story
Understand the Hero’s Journey — and apply it to your audience’s journey
Address an audience’s risk, resistance, and reward
Practice rapid brainstorming to generate content
Create out-of-the-box concepts and perspectives
Embed contrast to create interest through tension and release
Construct clear turning points
Establish audience empathy
Explore the book: Resonate

Click here NOW

Chaplain Journal on Preaching

Chaplain_LogoThe Army professional journal Fall-Summer 2010,

entitled Strengthening Army Communities though Ministries of Sacred Speech

The Former Chief of Chaplains MG Doug Carver writes,

Chaplains are called upon to communicate various messages in multiple contexts. We speak in briefings, during training events, in moments of religious education, in worship, and even to open or close a Battle Update Brief. Whatever the moment, God gives us the privilege to speak for him into the hearts of hearers around our Army. From a different angle, the context of sacred communication is often in those moments when the chaplain becomes the courier of a divine message from God to the pressing needs of a Soldier’s soul. Given the plethora of spiritual needs in the souls of our Soldiers during this era of enduring conflict, it is imperative that we maintain awareness of the power of our words in sacred communications and of the impact they have, positively or negatively, in the lives of those Soldiers and on the character of our Army communities.

Check out this professional journal.  It is filled with great articles.  (Read it now)

  • What was you favorite article? Why?
  • What was most helpful to you?
  • Are there areas, topics  you would add to the discussion on Military Sacred Communications?

If you want more resources on preaching from the military, check out The Military Chaplains’ Review, Spring of 1992.

For older Chaplaincy publications browse,  The Chaplain. 

What’s Your Calling? (Part 1)

When you think about calling what comes to mind?  At Rockport, MA, I began to reflect on Simon’s call and subsiquent name change to Peter or “Rocky.”

If Jesus were to change your name what would it be?  Peter’s calling metaphor that embodied his call was “Fisher of Men,”  What would yours be?

As you think about your call?

  • What is your name?
  • What metaphor embodies your call?
  • If you have been called are you following?

What does it mean to have a call from God?

It Worked For Me by Colin Powell

it worked for me audio Colin Powell spoke at the Willow Creek Leadership Summit this year and after hearing him speak, I picked up his book and accompanying audio version. Listening to It Worked For Me: In Life and Leadership read by the author felt like I was sitting down with with Colin Powell talking about life over a cup of coffee.   The book starts with Powell’s 13 Rules and then moves through various personal reflective stories that teach, encourage, and inspire one to be a better leader.  Powell tells his formational stories in a humble, lighthearted way that entertains yet mentors one to be a better person and leader.

As a military leader, anyone of the forty-four chapters are worth the price of the book and the time it takes to go through it.  This book will stretch and encourage you to become a better leader.  If you have not reflected on Powell’s 13 rules they are worth thinking about.  Check out the video below as he explains the importance of rule #1 and #13.

The book is divided into 6 parts.

Part 1:  The Rules Powell discusses his 13 rules, how they came to be and a story or antidote associated each.

Part 2: Know Yourself, Be Yourself is autobiographical as Powell reflects on his life and personal experiences.

Part 3: Take Care of the Troops is about how leaders must care for their followers and set a positive example.

Part 4:  Fast Times in the Digital World is reflections of technology and media in government.  There is a very helpful chapter on doing new interviews.

Part 5:  Getting to 150 Percent Powell highlights principles of working with a team and the need for rest and perspective.

Part 6:  Reflections Powell concludes by discussing some events that are well known, some mistakes that he has made, things he would do different and various misc. encouraging stories.

 Check Colin Powell’s It Worked For Me out today.  You will be glad you did!

  • After you read the 13 rules which one stood out to you?
  • What are somethings you have learned from Colin Powell from this book or from other things you have heard or read?

5 Sites with Free Resources for Ministry

lightBelow are my Top 5 Picks for free Ministry resource sites.

Check them out and let me know what you think.

Open by Life Church  Find sermon ideas, series graphics and more on this site.

Church on the Move: Seeds This Church has provided videos, audio, and sermon series graphic for free download.  Free leader resources, articles, ebooks and more.

Elevation Church Resources  Various resources from past series that can be download for use in your ministry context.

Creation Swap  There are a variety of stock photos, sermon slides, and graphics that can be downloaded.

The best way to see what is out there is explore, I hope you find something helpful for use in your context!

  • Have you used any of these?
  • Do you have any that you would recommend?