Category Archives: Chaplain Rob

His Strength in Your Weakness

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. — 2 Corinthians 12:9

I haven’t always had an easy road in life. As many of you know I have had a number of struggles and made mistakes in my past.

But I can look back on my past today and instead of moaning about it, I can say, “I went through that, and now I can comfort others and God can use my story to help others.” It has become a tool to help others.

I wouldn’t want to go through that again, of course. Nor would I want anyone else to go through the same thing. But I’m thankful that God can take my past and use it for His glory today. I’m thankful that He can take that hardship and use it for His glory. He can do the same for you.

Maybe at this time in your life, you’re going through some hard times, and you’re wondering why. God will use it. It’s hard to believe now. But just remember that it won’t last forever.

As 1 Peter 1:6–7 says, “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (NKJV). Trials don’t last forever.

I’m reminded of a sign posted at the end of an airport runway that reads, “Keep moving. If you stop, you are in danger and a danger to those who are flying.”

You can take that same statement and apply it to the Christian life. Keep moving. Don’t give up. Don’t abandon hope. You are going to get through that valley in your life.

There will be an even greater mountaintop beyond it, with great lessons you have learned as God demonstrated His strength in your weakness.

Blessings,

Chaplain Rob

I Am God’s Masterpiece

What are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them? Yet you made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor. – Psalm 8:4-5

All of us long to feel like we matter, like we have value. But so many of us struggle with feelings of being unworthy. That’s one reason we spend so much time trying to make people like and respect us. We think that helping others or winning success will fill in the holes in our sense of self. But life doesn’t work that way. We’ll never get an accurate picture of our own worth through another person’s eyes. For that, we need to see ourselves through God’s eyes.

David addresses this issue in today’s reading: He basically asks God, “Why are we important to you?” And he finds his answer in the way we humans were created. God made us only a little lower than himself and crowned us with glory and honor.

That’s where true self-worth comes from. It’s an internal realization that God, whose “majestic name fills the earth” (Psalm 8:1), gives each of us glory and honor just for being who we are—his beloved creation.

Ask Yourself
Where do you tend to find your sense of your own value? Do you tend to rely on outside sources (such as other people) or on internal attitudes?

All through today, personalize and ponder the words of David: “God has crowned me with glory and honor!”

Ask God
Creator God who made me, forgive me for disrespecting your creation. Help me adjust my attitude and my behaviors to reflect how much you value me.

Blessings,

Chaplain Rob

Pray and Let God Worry

Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? —Matthew 6:27

When I was younger we used to have a little bird feeder on our back porch. It was my job to keep it filled with birdseed every day. Each night I would fill the feeder and in the morning the birds knew breakfast would be there. They would cruise in and eat the seed, or they would get the seeds off the ground or the vegetation. I loved watching them come and I was reminded of Jesus words.

Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount in the region of Galilee, where all around Him were birds chirping away and beautiful wildflowers growing. He drew on that backdrop to make a point: “Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” (Matthew 6:26–27 NLT).

In other words, look at what is before your eyes. Have you ever seen a stressed-out bird? Birds wake up every morning and sing away. They’re simply happy. No bird has ever been promised eternal life. No bird has ever been given the hope of Heaven. Yet they sing away, every day. Jesus wasn’t saying that birds sit by idly and wait for the food to come to them. They take action.

I like what Martin Luther said: “Pray and let God worry.” That is really the secret. Philippians 4:6–7 says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus” (nlt).

The next time you are gripped by fear and worry, the next time you start thinking, “What if this happens? What if that happens?” turn it into a prayer. Look to the Lord and let Him give you His peace. Let God do the heavy lifting when it comes to your worries.

Blessings,

Chaplain Rob

The Secret to a Worry-Free Life

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. —Matthew 6:33

There are many things you can seek to live for in life. You can live for a lot of things. You can live for your physical appearance. You can live for a successful career. You can live for pleasure. But here is what Jesus said: “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need” (Matthew 6:33 NLT).

With those words, Jesus gave us the secret to living a worry-free life: Instead of worry, put God and His will first in your life. Among a number of options, put God in the number one position.

Let’s take your career for example. Is your career choice, your line of work, really for God’s glory? Are you seeking Him first in what you’re doing?

You might say, “Rob, you’re a pastor. It’s easy for you to seek God first. I work in the real world with real people.”

I understand. But here is what your goal should be: to honor God in everything you do. Here is what you need to ask yourself: “As I’m doing this thing, what is my goal?” If your goal is just to make money no matter what it takes, you have the wrong goal. Your goal should be to honor God, give honest work, and have personal integrity and a good testimony in the workplace.

When the day is done, you want to have a good name and a good reputation. Proverbs 22:1 says, “Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold” (NLT).

Seek first the kingdom of God. If you want a life free of worry, anxiety, and fear, then put God’s kingdom before everything else. Seek Him first, and He will take care of you.

Blessings,

Chaplain Rob

Freedom is a Choice

Choose you this day whom ye will serve . . . as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD…. Joshua 24:15

In America, every year July 4th brings with it festivities, fun, food, family and friends, and fireworks—all as a celebration of national freedom. But even with all the celebrating and fun, many Americans are still caught in the web of bondage on a mental, emotional, relational, financial, vocational or spiritual level. Most often, we ourselves create the chains that bind us by making poor or sinful choices.

The longer I live, the more convinced I am that life is a series of choices, each choice has a consequence, and we must live with the consequences of our choices. In order to have true freedom in your life, then, you must make wise choices.

Will you choose good over evil (Psalm 34:14; Romans 12:21)? Obedience over rebellion (Proverbs 10:8; Hebrews 13:17)? Truth over deceit (Colossians 3:9; Proverbs 12:22)? Kindness over dishonor (Ephesians 4:32; Proverbs 14:2)? Every day you make hundreds of choices and these form the basis for your lifestyle.

Seek God’s wisdom in all of your decisions, not the wisdom of the world, the flesh or the devil (James 3:17). Take the sometimes difficult step of saying, “I’ll do it God’s way!” even though it may mean avoiding the easy road. In the long run, the freedom that comes with making godly choices is definitely something to celebrate!

Lord, we lift to You our praise and adoration for the blessings You give us each day as we choose to walk Your way.
I hope each of you have a happy and safe 4th of July!

Chaplain Rob

The Path to Personal Peace

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! —Isaiah 26:3

If you want to overcome fear and worry, then you need right thinking. In other words, think about what you think about.

We’re told in Philippians 4:8, “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (NLT). If you want personal peace, this is where it begins.

Why is the mind important? It’s command central. With our minds we reach to the past through memories, and we reach to the future through imagination. We need to learn how to think properly and biblically. As 2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ” (NLT).

The next time you’re troubled, you might try talking to yourself. We need to tell ourselves to think biblically, because it doesn’t always come naturally. For example, we see the writer’s despair in Psalm 42: “Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad?” But then the writer continues, “I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—my Savior and my God!” (verses 5–6 NLT).

Many of the Psalms are songs and prayers. They are honest. And as we read some of them, we may think, “I dare not pray that.” But go ahead and pray that. Go ahead and say, “Lord, I am hurting right now. . . . I’m in pain right now. . . . I don’t understand this right now. . . . I’m struggling with this right now.”

The next time you’re feeling down, the next time you think, “I don’t know how I’m going to get through this situation,” quote the Bible to yourself. Remind yourself of the truth of God’s Word. That is what it means to think biblically.

May God bless you today!

Chaplain Rob

God Will Guide Us

The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand. – Psalm 37:23-24

We’ve all watched a mom walking with her toddler, holding his hand. Suddenly something catches the little guy’s attention, and he pulls his hand away. More often than not, he quickly gets into something he shouldn’t. He might even stumble and land flat on his face—something that would never happen if his mom had his hand.

What a great picture of the way we are with God. He seeks to hold our hand and guide us, but we are stubbornly determined to go off on our own. Instead of letting our loving Father direct our steps, we toddle off and get ourselves into trouble.

The other part of this passage that is special is the fact that God delights “in every detail” of our lives. It’s like the loving grandfather who listens to his little grandchild prattle on about something that happened to her. He may know all about it, but he still enjoys listening. Why? Because she’s his and he loves her dearly.

Ask Yourself
Describe some times when you pull your hand away from God. What typically diverts your attention?

As a child, did you know anyone who delighted in every detail of your life? How does this affect your ability to experience God’s love?

Ask God
Lord, it’s hard for me to believe you are interested in the details of my life, let alone that you delight in them. Help me to understand that and to spend more time talking with you about everything. And remind me always that my life goes better when I keep my hand in yours.

Blessings,

Chaplain Rob

Do Something Different

If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. – Matthew 16:25

In this Matthew passage, Jesus expresses a profound truth as a paradox—a seemingly self-contradictory statement that proves true upon further examination. Jesus is saying that if we hold too tightly to something, we will lose it.

We are all too familiar with the paradox that sometimes the harder we try to change our lives, the more stubbornly they refuse to change. In such situations, instead of just trying harder, we must be willing to try something different.

This doesn’t mean giving up. It just means trying a new tactic—maybe even doing the opposite of what we’ve been doing.

Try that the next time you encounter a familiar but uncomfortable situation. Instead of reacting the usual way—lashing out, clamming up, or pretending to be all right with something when you’re not—try to take a mental step back. Take a deep breath. Say a little prayer. Then deliberately do something different. Walk away. Speak up. Say no.

Try it just this once. For a change.

Ask Yourself
Is there a stubborn issue in your life that seems to resist every effort at changing? Brainstorm some different tactics for responding to this issue.

What internal arguments hold you back from trying something new in response to a painful stimulus?

Ask God
Lord, I need you so much in this process of breaking free from reactive patterns in my life. Help me loosen my grip on old habits and trust you enough to try something completely different. Help me better understand why I do what I do, and deliver me from my reactive lifestyle.

Blessings,

Chaplain Rob

Reality Can Hurt

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. – 1 John 1:7-8

Discomfort, pain, conflict, spiritual warfare-these are aspects of reality in a fallen world. Healthy faith recognizes them as biblical realities. Healthy faith has you look to Christ for help when you’re in the midst of them.

Having a healthy faith certainly doesn’t mean you’ll always like reality, or that you should become complacent or indifferent to the darker side of life. But it does mean you’ll recognize the way things are. You’ll be able to admit you’ve failed, that you’re a sinner, and you’re stumbling along the way. But you can choose to walk in the light, and enjoy the companionship of family, friends and Jesus Christ himself.

Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. – Winston Churchill

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me face my realities with faith and hope with the understanding that while today might not be all I hoped it would be, tomorrow and all my tomorrows are in Your hands. Thank you, Lord for your faithfulness! Amen.

Blessings,

Chaplain Rob

The Art of Acceptance

Come to terms with God and be at peace; in this way good will come to you. – Job 22:21

Sometimes, we must accept life on its terms, not our own. Life has a way of unfolding, not as we will, but as it will. And sometimes, there is precious little we can do to change things.

When events transpire that are beyond our control, we have a choice: we can either learn the art of acceptance, or we can make ourselves miserable as we struggle to change the unchangeable.

We must entrust the things we cannot change to God. Once we have done so, we can prayerfully and faithfully tackle the important work that He has placed before us: doing something about the things we can change . . . and doing it sooner rather than later.

Can you summon the courage and the wisdom to accept life on its own terms? If so, you’ll most certainly be rewarded for your good judgment.

Surrender to the Lord is not a tremendous sacrifice, not an agonizing performance. It is the most sensible thing you can do. – Corrie Ten Boom

He does not need to transplant us into a different field. He transforms the very things that were before our greatest hindrances, into the chief and most blessed means of our growth. No difficulties in your case can baffle Him. Put yourself absolutely into His hands, and let Him have His own way with you. – Elisabeth Elliot

Ultimately things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out. – Barbara Johnson

My prayer today is that all of us will be able to accept life on life’s terms

Chaplain Rob