Category Archives: Chaplin Rob

He Guides Us Through Transition

Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to Him for God is our refuge. – Psalm 62:8

Have you ever noticed the significance of the number forty in Scrip¬ture? Moses worked as a shepherd forty years before God called him to lead the Israelites from captivity. Moses was atop Mount Sinai forty days receiving the covenant God made with the Israel¬ites after redeeming them from bondage. God led His people in the wilderness for forty years of testing before entering the Promised Land. Jesus was tested in the wilderness forty days before begin¬ning His public ministry. And it rained forty days and forty nights when Noah built the ark.

As you can see, it’s not only the number forty that’s significant, but the events that this number helped to define. Each event is a period of passage and transition—in the unfolding of God’s gracious and redemptive activity.

Are you in a period of transition? We’re all living through seasons of life if not specific, shorter transitional phrases in life. It’s the way God designed it. Every end is a new beginning. Remember that God walks with us through every season, every transition. He is in control, enjoy the ride.

Expect to have hope rekindled. Expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous ways. The dry seasons in life do not last. The spring rains will come again. – Sarah Ban Breathnach

TODAY’S PRAYER

Dear Jesus, thank you for every season that I find myself in, in the winter help me to remember that your provision is coming, in the spring help me to be thankful for new beginnings, in the summer help me to relish the warmth of your grace and mercy and in the fall remind me to rejoice in the harvest. Amen

May God Bless each of you this weekend,

Chaplin Rob

Your Life is Shaped by Your Thoughts

“Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts” (Proverbs 4:23 GNT).

God is far more interested in changing your mind than changing your circumstances.

We want God to take away all of our problems, pain, sorrow, suffering, sickness, and sadness. But God wants to work on you first, because transformation won’t happen in your life until you renew your mind, until your thoughts begin to change.

Why is it so important that you learn how to manage your mind? Let me give you three reasons.

Manage your mind, because your thoughts control your life.

Proverbs 4:23 says, “Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts” (GNT). Your thoughts are powerful and have the tremendous ability to shape your life for good or for bad. For example, maybe you accept the thought someone told you when you were growing up: “You’re worthless. You don’t matter.” If you accepted that thought, even though it was wrong, it shaped your life.

Manage your mind, because the mind is the battleground for sin.

All temptation involves the mind. Paul says in Romans 7:22-23, “I love to do God’s will so far as my new nature is concerned; but there is something else deep within me, in my lower nature, that is at war with my mind and wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. In my mind I want to be God’s willing servant, but instead I find myself still enslaved to sin” (TLB).

One of the reasons why you get mentally fatigued is because there’s a battle in your brain 24 hours a day. It’s debilitating because it’s intense, and it’s intense because your mind is your greatest asset. Satan wants your greatest asset!

Manage your mind, because it’s the key to peace and happiness.

An unmanaged mind leads to tension; a managed mind leads to tranquility. An unmanaged mind leads to conflict; a managed mind leads to confidence. An unmanaged mind leads to stress. When you don’t try to control your mind and the way you direct your thoughts, you will have an enormous amount of stress in your life. But a managed mind leads to strength and security and serenity.

“Letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace” (Romans 8:6 NLT).

Blessings,

Chaplin Rob

Three Steps to Surrender, and Eight Results

“Surrender your heart to God, turn to him in prayer, and give up your sins — even those you do in secret. Then you won’t be ashamed; you will be confident and fearless. Your troubles will go away like water beneath a bridge, and your darkest night will be brighter than noon. You will rest safe and secure, filled with hope and emptied of worry” (Job 11:13-18 CEV).

The Bible says in 1 John 4:18, “Where God’s love is, there is no fear, because God’s perfect love drives out fear” (NCV).

So how do you learn to live in God’s love so that you can live free of fear?

Every day, you have to surrender your heart to God.

When you wake up every morning, before your feet hit the floor, you have to say, “God, before I even start this day, I surrender my emotions to you. I want you to be Lord of my feelings. I want you to control my mind and my emotions. I surrender my heart to you. I want you to fill me with your love.”

Job 11:13-18 says, “Surrender your heart to God, turn to him in prayer, and give up your sins — even those you do in secret. Then you won’t be ashamed; you will be confident and fearless. Your troubles will go away like water beneath a bridge, and your darkest night will be brighter than noon. You will rest safe and secure, filled with hope and emptied of worry” (CEV).

There are three commands and eight promises in that Scripture. God says you do this, and then he’ll do that. Every promise has a premise.

First, he gives you the commands: Surrender your heart to God every day. Turn to him in prayer. And give up your sins, or confess your sins to God.

Then, notice the eight benefits: You won’t be ashamed, you’ll be confident, you’ll be fearless, your troubles will be like water under the bridge, the dark night you’re going through is going to be brighter than noon, you’ll be able to sleep well because you are safe and secure, you will be filled with hope, and you’ll be emptied of worry.

Wow! Who wouldn’t want to experience those benefits? You ought to write that verse on an index card and put it somewhere you’ll see it throughout today and this week. Let it remind you to do those three things — surrender your heart to God, turn to him in prayer, and confess your sins — so that God’s love will fill your life and cast out all your anxiety and fear.

Try it this week, and then watch how God fulfills his promise as he fills you with his love.

Blessings to each of you!

Rob Dunbar, Chaplain, Maj

Only God Can Provide

“Since he did not spare even his own Son for us but gave him up for us all, won’t he also surely give us everything else?” (Romans 8:32 TLB).

The major cause of stress in your life is worry. You worry because you wonder if you will have what you need when you need it. But anytime you expect other people to meet your needs instead of God, you’re going to be frustrated and disappointed, because nobody can meet all your needs.

Only God can do that.

If you want a cure for stress, you need to learn to look to God to meet your needs.

Some people find their security in their job, and when they lose their job, they lose their peace of mind.

Others put their security in their marriage. Then their spouse dies or they go through a divorce, and they ask, “Who am I? What is my identity?”

Or maybe they put their security in their money. There are a lot of ways to lose money.

I recommend that you never put your security in anything that can be taken away from you. You can lose your job, your health, your reputation, your spouse, and your mind. But you cannot lose your relationship to Christ.

When you put your security in that promise, you can trust God to meet all your needs.

Romans 8:32 says, “Since he did not spare even his own Son for us but gave him up for us all, won’t he also surely give us everything else?” (TLB).

If God loved you enough to send Jesus Christ to die on the cross, don’t you think he loves you enough to take care of every other need in your life? Yes! Of course he does.

Every time you start to get stressed out, pause and say, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1 ESV).

God’s going to provide. He’s going to take care of you. Instead of stressing out, look to him to meet all your needs.

Blessings,

Chaplain Rob

Unwrapped Gifts

God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will. – Hebrews 2:4

If you’re a Christian, you have spiritual abilities . . . and it may be the case that you have some spiritual abilities that you’re not aware of—unwrapped gifts just waiting to be opened. The Bible says God’s given some people a gift for declaring His truth with power and clarity. Some possess the gift of encouragement—the ability to provide comfort and cheer, even in the worst situations. Some have the gift of giving; what fulfills them is sharing what they have to bless others in need. Still others have the gift of mercy; they enjoy helping people in hardship or trouble without blaming or judging.

When these gifts are used and developed, the church/ Christians becomes a dynamic place where lives are transformed and God’s Kingdom is built. When you find and use your gifts, you’ll see God’s love and generosity more clearly, and you’ll feel fulfilled like never before. Discover your gifts, and use them!

What is your Gift? Are you using it today?

God doesn’t call the qualified; He qualifies the called. – Unknown

Your spiritual gift tells you what to do for Christ; your passions tell you where to do it; your personality tells you how. – Jim White

Rob Dunbar, Chaplain, Maj,

The Great Mandate

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. – Colossians 3:13

The Bible’s central theme is God seeking and saving those in dire need of forgiveness. Jesus willingly died on the cross for you and me, even though we often don’t feel a need to be forgiven. And even though you and I all too often continue to exhibit a rebellious nature. Through faith in Jesus, God forgives us in spite of ourselves.

But there’s more. God’s forgiveness is a creative force. It spills out to you when you receive it and affects every one of your human relationships. You see, forgiveness is both a gift and a command of God. It’s God’s gift to us that allows us to have everlasting life; at the same time, God tells us He won’t extend that forgiveness to us if we’re not willing to forgive others.

Remember . . . we don’t deserve God’s forgiveness, and neither should we expect others to deserve ours.

To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you. – C.S. Lewis

TODAY’S PRAYER

Dear Heavenly Father, my own sinful nature makes forgiveness so hard but your Holy Spirit who lives inside my heart empowers me to let go and forgive. I depend on you Lord to help me to forgive those who have hurt me. Amen.

Blessings,

Chaplain Dunbar

Living In Excess

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. – Philippians 4:12

Do you think that our lives are out of control?

Economists have repeatedly warned that Americans have become addicted to spending and shopping, and at the same time they are crushed by debt all in an attempt to attain lifestyles beyond their means. Doctors and nutritionists speak regularly of the rising obesity rate and the danger it represents. Educators, pastors, and child professionals have long testified that generations of over-indulged American kids are growing up seriously lacking in discipline, direction, and conviction.

The common denominator here is excess. It’s become our way of life, and to put it bluntly, it’s destroying us.

I don’t think the question can any longer be: do we know? We must ask ourselves an even tougher question: do we care? The apostle Paul said that he learned to be content in all circumstances. We can take a lesson from him.

We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have. – Frederick Keonig

TODAY’S PRAYER

Dear Heavenly Father, help me to find contentment and fulfillment in you. Forgive me for living a life of excess. Help me today, my Lord to take honest stock of the things in my life that are excessive. Amen.

Rob Dunbar, Chaplain, Maj,

Beyond Failure

Success, success to you, and success to those who help you, for your God will help you. – 1 Chronicles 12:18 NIV

Mary Pickford was “America’s sweetheart” in the early days of motion pictures. And along with Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, and D.W. Griffith, she formed United Artists Corporation, a Hollywood powerhouse.

Miss Pickford had a simple yet powerful formula for success: She said, “This thing we call ‘failure’ is not falling down, but staying down.” Miss Pickford might have added that every time we get back up, we build character.

Life’s occasional setbacks are simply the price that we must pay for our willingness to take risks as we follow our dreams. But even when we encounter bitter disappointments, we must never lose faith.

Hebrews 10:36 advises, “Patient endurance is what you need now, so you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised ” (NLT). These words remind us that when we persevere, we will eventually receive the rewards which God has promised us. What’s required is perseverance, not perfection.

When we face hardships, God stands ready to protect us. Our responsibility, of course, is to ask Him for protection. When we call upon Him in heartfelt prayer, He will answer—in His own time and according to His own plan—and He will do His part to heal us. We, of course, must do our part, too.

And, while we are waiting for God’s plans to unfold and for His healing touch to restore us, we can be comforted in the knowledge that our Creator can overcome any obstacle, even if we cannot. Remember that failure isn’t permanent . . . unless you fail to get up. So pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and trust God. He will make it right. And don’t forget: the best time to begin again is now.

The difference between winning and losing is how we choose to react to disappointment. – Barbara Johnson

Blessings,

Chaplin Rob

Don’t Be Anxious

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. – Philippians 4:6

I don’t know if you all know but I struggle with anxiety on a regular basis. I guess I am your typical worry wort. I worry about the past, I worry about the present, I worry what the future may be. Maybe you struggle with anxiety at times. Don’t worry you are not alone. And the promise from God is that we don’t have to stay there. Today, We live in a fast-paced, stress-inducing, anxiety-filled world that oftentimes seems to shift beneath our feet. Sometimes, trusting God is difficult, especially when we become caught up in the incessant demands of an anxious world. When you feel stressed to the breaking point—and you will—return your thoughts to God’s love and God’s promises. And as you confront the challenges of everyday living, turn all of your concerns over to your Heavenly Father.

The same God who created the universe will comfort and guide you if you ask Him . . . so ask Him. Then watch in amazement as your anxieties melt into the warmth of His loving hands.

So often we pray and then fret anxiously, waiting for God to hurry up and do something. All the while God is waiting for us to calm down, so He can do something through us. – Corrie ten Boom

TODAY’S PRAYER

Lord, sometimes this world is a difficult place, and, as a frail human being, I am fearful. When I am worried, restore my faith. When I am anxious, turn my thoughts to You. When I grieve, touch my heart with Your enduring love. And, keep me mindful, Lord, that nothing, absolutely nothing, will happen this day that You and I cannot handle together. Amen

Blessings,

Chaplin Rob

Always

“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6, ESV).

For dark days and even darker nights, for stretches of hardship that seem never to end, for the everyday problems of real life, we need to cling to this truth:

God is always with us.

More specifically, God is always with you. Now say it to yourself, “God is always with me.”

“Is your heart breaking today? God is rushing toward you.”

We see this clearly in Moses’ pep talk to the children of God. “Be strong and courageous,” Moses exhorted them. “Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6). Whoever the “them” is in Deuteronomy 31:6, “they” don’t stand a chance. Let’s get the context.

Moses and the second generation of the post-Egypt children of Israel were standing on the border of the Promised Land. Moses knew he was about to die. Thirty-eight years before, all the parents and grandparents of Israel had camped on this very spot, but they had doubted God was with them and would protect them when they entered the Promised Land. The verdict? No faith—no conquest, no homeland, go wander. All of that generation had died in the wilderness. God was now going to give to the children what the parents wouldn’t trust Him for. So Moses, standing on the exit ramp to heaven, delivered these marching orders (summarized in my words):

“As you go up to face those giants in the land, you might think they are too strong for you, as your parents feared. But keep in mind—God is with you. You’re going to battle some violent opposition; you might be tempted to retreat. But remember—God is with you. You’ll face overwhelming odds; you’ll be incredibly outnumbered. Fear would be your natural response. But hold onto this—God is with you. This fight is not going to be over in ten minutes or ten weeks; there’s no quick solution. When you think it’s taking too long, remember—God is with you.”

“Be strong and courageous,” the weathered old leader said. “Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” I can imagine Moses adding, “Haven’t we learned this to be true in these forty years? He never left us while we were in the wilderness. He never forsook us but always provided what we needed. Why on earth should you fear now?”

Now as then, the worse the days get, the more God is with you. The harder the trial, the closer He moves toward you. Are you feeling crushed? He is rushing toward you to stand by your side and help you. When you’re going through hardship, or when you’re heavyhearted and burdened, God rolls up His sleeves and moves toward you in a way that’s unlike any other time. It doesn’t matter if you can see Him working. His approach may not cause you to feel any different. But it’s the truth—God is right there with you. The harder the days get, the closer He leans in so you can hear His voice. Sometimes it feels like God backs away from you when you hit hard times, but that’s not true. “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18). Is your heart breaking today? God is rushing toward you. He is always with you.

Pray
Father, for all of us who daily need to renew our confidence and faith in You, help us now to lay hold of Your promise that You will never leave us nor forsake us. Help us to speak and live fearlessly because we are aware we are in Your presence. Lord, You are with me. I am never alone. Is there any greater assurance that I should not fear? Your promise stands, spoken over and over again in Your Word and satisfying Your followers throughout thousands of years—You are with me. I commit this truth to my heart right now. In the powerful name of Jesus I pray, amen.

Rob Dunbar, Chaplain, Maj, TN ANG