In a recent Tedx talk, Dr. Mike Haynie discuss “The Moral Obligation To Know Our Veterans.”  He tells a story of a conversation on a plane where a Vet “Tim” says he feels anonymous.  Dr. Haynie asks, “Why is Tim anonymous?” and responds “We have disconnected the cost and consequences of war from all of you (referring to his audience).”  He continues by explaining that many Veterans feel anonymous because the burden of 12 years of ways has fallen on .5% of the population.    Check out a great article from Blue Star Families.

As Chaplains, it is important to know those whom we serve and hear their stories.

It is important to understand their hurts, hopes, and dreams.

As Chaplains, we are called to connect the many “Tim’s” who we encounter with a God who knows him or her.

  • How will we as Chaplains help to heal the soul our our Military?

Many Soldiers, Families and Veterans feel anonymous.
Find a way to know them, love them, and help them: It’s our Moral Obligation!

I saw this clip and it caused me to pause and reflect.  In an interview on CBS, Actor Mandy Patinkin who played Inigo Montoya shares reflections on the classic movie The Princess Bride.  He says that his favorite and the most potent line in the film is not the one you have memorized and maybe even said, “My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father prepare to die!” but toward the end of the movie when he says,

“I have been in the revenge business so long, now that it is over,

I do not know what to do with the rest of my life.”

  • Read the line again out loud and then reflect on it.

The truth is the we have all been hurt,but how many of us have let the wound control and direct our lives?

Maybe it is about time we got out of the revenge business and begin to figure out what to do with the rest of our lives.  

Take time to read these scriptures below (click on them and they verses will come up)

  • Matthew 18:15-35
  • Romans 12:9-21
  • Deut 32:35
  • Proverbs 25:21-22

Do you have a favorite Bible passage that talks about revenge and forgiveness?

How about a favorite line from The Princess Bride?

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.  -Romans 12:21

Chaplains are a part of the lives of Soldiers on the home front and battle front.  Incarnational ministry is the core of all we do.  U.S. Army Chaplains are assigned to every battalion and go where the Soldiers go and do what they do.

The Chaplain Corps. Mission is to provide religious support to America’s Army across the full spectrum of operations.  Assist the Commander in ensuring the right of free exercise of religion.  Provide spiritual, moral, and ethical leadership to the Army.

The Chaplain Corps. Philosophy is to perform religious leader and staff advisor functions while nurturing the living, caring for the wounded, and honoring the dead.  We will always remain “Courageous in Spirit, Compassionate in Service.”

If you are interested in more information on the U.S. Army Chaplaincy check out:

Check out this recent TedTalk based on Malcolm Gladwell’s new book David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants.  Gladwell discusses a unique retelling of a familiar story.  He brings various outside resources to the ancient story to fill in some of the details and draws different conclusions about the story.

  • What do you think about the way he tells and explains the Biblical story?
  • What reactions did you have to hearing his approach or unique insights?
  • Anything that you noticed about his speaking style?
  • Is is surprising to have this topic as a TedTalk ?

Check out this insightful interview between Dallas Willard and John Ortberg from Catalyst 2010.

Dallas Willard says, what is wrong with the Church today is a skewed message of the Gospel?

He says specifically  that “The problem (with the church) is their message, What is their central message? and the inability to make touch with what Jesus says as the central message undermines all of the efforts of the Church.

  • Do you think that is fair?
  • What message do you want to preach?
  • The Gospel? The Kingdom of God?
  • What do message do you want the world to hear from your preaching?
  • How can we make our message clearer?
  • What do you think about what was discussed in the interview?

In an interview from, Fred Craddock discusses the use of humor and emotion in preaching.  There are many more preaching videos (Click here). Craddock has written several books most notable, “As One Without Authority.”

  • Do you use humor or jokes in your sermons?
  • How do you decide?
  • What are the drawbacks to using humor and emotion in Sermons?
  • What are the advantages to using humor and emotion in Sermons?
  • What did you think about Dr. Fred Craddock’s comments?

A roundtable discussion  from The Gospel Coalition about common blunders among new preachers.

In this video: Tullian Tchividjian, Russell Moore, and Voddie Baucham share personal mistakes they made and encourage those who preach to learn from them and try to avoid the common mistakes.

  • Have you experienced some of these mistakes?
  • Are there common Chaplain mistakes that need to be avoided?
  • What advice would you give to help others learn from your mistakes?