Category Archives: Chaplain Rob


Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. – Colossians 3:12

Most of us desire to be compassionate people, don’t we? But do we know what compassion really is?

Henri Nouwen once wrote:

“Compassion is hard because it requires the inner disposition to go with others to the place where they are weak, vulnerable, lonely, and broken. But this is not our spontaneous response to suffering. What we desire most is to do away with suffering by fleeing from it or finding a quick fix for it. As busy, active, relevant. . . [people] we want to earn our bread by making a real contribution. This means first and foremost doing something to show that our presence makes a difference. And so we ignore our greatest gift, which is our ability to enter into solidarity with those who suffer.”

Showing compassion goes against our daily grind and our drive to achieve. It’s selfless, time-consuming, and often not pleasant. But it’s one of those double blessing things, you’ll bless another with your act of compassion, and you’ll be blessed in the process. As leaders, and followers having compassion for others is paramount to living your best life. I hope and pray that you will find time this week to practice compassion and understanding with the people that you meet.

The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others. – Albert Schweitzer


Chaplain Rob


So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God. – Romans 14:12

Nehemiah, the great rebuilder of Jerusalem, is a great example in the Bible of leadership, faith, and unshakable commitment. He didn’t let the huge task of the long-delayed restoration of Jerusalem discourage him. He realized that it was never too late for God’s people to begin the process. He took direct and forceful action. His faith, wisdom, and courage kept him focused on his goal. He was determined to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. He faced foreign opposition and discord amongst his own people, but the wall was completed in just fifty-two days. An incredible feat!

Soon after this victory, Nehemiah directed the people toward a second phase of restoration. He called upon the great teacher Ezra to lead the people in a study of the Scriptures. Confronted by God’s word, they were soon in tears because they could see the truth of how far they’d strayed from God’s law. They confessed their sins and the sins of their ancestors. They accepted responsibility for generations of unfaithfulness on the part of their people and grieved openly before God.

When Nehemiah returned to Babylon, however, the people returned to their sinful ways. Nehemiah found himself once again putting the Jews back on a right path. This example of short-term restoration shows how prone we are to drifting away from what’s right if we’re not held accountable. The encouragement: it wasn’t too late to rebuild the wall, and it’s not too late to rebuild your life. Begin by doing the next right thing!

Heroes may not be braver than anyone else. They’re just braver five minutes longer. – Ronald Reagan

May God Bless each of you this week,

Chaplain Rob

A Treasure, a Gideon, Share!

Genesis 29:15-28, Romans 8:26-39 and Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52

Jacob falls in love, is himself tricked and winds up with two wives and a 7 year work commitment! Jesus speaks in parables about the greatest thing to see or to find. And Paul gives us the utmost confidence in God’s everlasting commitment to us in Jesus Christ!

This Word of God is to be shared and that takes people and print. This Sunday the sharing of God’s Word continues in worship and how that same Word can be found in hospitals, schools, hotels, workplaces, chapels, foreign countries, and hundreds of other locations. Our Gideon friends will be with us to share their laity driven ministry of getting the Word in print into all the world. The stories of Jacob and Paul and above all Jesus are ever fresh and lifesaving! How we share these stories is important and creative and involves the ongoing act of distribution.

Bring your own Bible this Sunday, the one you read daily, maybe the one you have marked and underlined for years! It could be a Gideon Bible! It could be a detailed study Bible. KJV, RSV, NIV, NLT or another translation. But, whichever one it is, I am sure it has and still does make a difference in your life. Feed upon the Word for good health for your soul! Break bread with others!

See you Sunday in person or “on line!”


Pastor Barry

Never Give In And Never Give Up

What, then shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? – Romans 8:31

World War II ravaged through Europe for more than two years. The Axis forces looked invincible. England had suffered massive air raids by German forces in late 1940, and again in the spring of 1941.

On October 29, 1941, Great Britain’s Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, visited the Harrow School for boys, his alma mater-to speak to its students. What message did the times demand? What could Churchill say to these young men in the face of the Blitzkrieg that seized Europe, leveled London, and cast their lives and futures into a thick fog of uncertainty? His words were simple, moving, and unforgettable: “Never give in—never, never, never, never, never give in.”

Are you tired, have you grown weary from the “Blitzkrieg” in your life? Are you weary from the COVID-19 situation or the political unrest that seems to be in our news every day? Are you personally struggling with something that has worn you down? Well, There is hope at the cross for you. God is in the business of turning hopeless situations around. Remember, Lazarus had been in a grave for four days, his family was in mourning when Jesus showed up and called him back from the place of the dead.

God can make something of the ashes that we bring to Him—Isaiah 61:3 tells us that “He will give us beauty in exchange for ashes.” We need to stand firm in our faith and never give up or give in to the belief that He cannot redeem us or the situations we find ourselves in.

Perseverance—it’s born of faith, it’s nourished by hope and it’s a sure sign of strength of character. What role does it play in your Christian life?

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. – Galatians 6:9

The greatest glory in living lies not, in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. – Nelson Mandela

May God give each of you strength today. May God bless your journey and remind you that you are never alone.

Praying for each of you today,

Chaplain Rob

Trusting God With Your Tomorrows

But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” – Psalm 31:14

Do you recall an advertisement that captured your attention?

No matter which medium . . . television, radio, print, or the web, advertisements are created to arrest our attention. Recently, I was caught off guard with a newspaper ad. It pictured a gray-haired senior citizen in a wet suit. The woman was holding up her surf board along the edge of the beach. The ad began, “No matter where life takes you, your health care coverage goes along.”

The ad was designed to have you think about your future. No one knows what crisis tomorrow may bring. The life of faith involves living each day trusting God to guide and direct your future. That doesn’t mean that you are naïve and ignore things like health care coverage. But for the bigger picture of life, you can trust God. In the unexpected events of life, you can trust God. The Bible describes faith as “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

You may not know where your life is taking you. But you can be sure that tomorrow, God has something prepared for you that you can’t see or imagine. That’s why we need to learn to trust God each day, no matter what the day holds.

Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God. – Corrie ten Boom

God’s promises are like the stars; the darker the night the brighter they shine. – David Nicholas

. . . it is presumptuous of me to wish to choose my path, because I cannot tell which path is best for me. I must leave it to the Lord, Who knows me, to lead me by the path which is best for me, so that in all things His will may be done. – Teresa of Ávila

May you and your families have a blessed week.

In grace,

Chaplain Rob

Why Do We Experience Setbacks In Life?

And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. – 1 Peter 5:10

Do you ever think that your level of success in life is minimized by the problems and setbacks you experience along the way? Well, it’s just not true.

Our problems and setbacks don’t determine the shape and direction of our lives. What problems and setbacks do, however, is reveal character. They show us how we respond to fear, disappointments, and failure. They reveal what level of resilience we possess; whether or not we’re content to play the role of a victim; and whether we’re willing to take a risk again after initial failure. In other words, they diagnose our shortcomings and call us to positive change.

Problems and setbacks are the crucible of character formation, and they give us perspective as we pause and evaluate what’s truly important in life. So don’t be discouraged when troubles come your way, instead hang on to your faith, See the obstacle as possibly the way forward. Remember God’s word and ask yourself, “what can I learn from this”. Trust that the God who created you and in whom you place your faith and trust will carry you through your setback or trial.

Strong people are made by opposition like kites that go up against the wind. – Frank Harris

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved. – Helen Keller

Blessings on your journey,

Chaplain Rob

Stay the Course (and let go)

Because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.——James 1:3-6

I have always had trust issues. When in the depths of despair with my anxiety overtaking me, more times than I wish to admit, I’ve relied on myself. Like James 1:6 states, I became a person “who doubts [and] is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” I saw myself being in control as more important than trusting God because I thought I knew what was best for me. For a while, it seemed okay. Nothing Earth-shattering happened. I continued to live my life, but loneliness and anxiety slowly crept in.

Anxiety for me doesn’t happen at once. It’s like a barely-dripping faucet. “Was that the right decision?” Drip. “Why did I do that?” Drip. “Where should I go from here?” Drip. “Am I doing the right thing?” Drip. And eventually, those tiny, questioning thoughts lead to one big panic attack. The foundation I built upon myself completely unravels, and I, too, feel like I am tossed by the wind.

Nothing is worse than feeling alone when you are full of insecurity and doubt. During one of my quiet times, I began reading James and discovered the verse mentioned above. What this verse shows me is that I have to stay faithful because when I take over and believe my way is correct, that is when the foundation breaks, and I am left more anxious and alone than if I stayed steadfast in him. The timing and the plan may be different than what I want but God is in control.

Once I relinquished control, I realized how free I could be. I didn’t have to let so many anxious “drops” constantly invade my mind (even though sometimes I still sneak a few in there every now and then). Above all else, it wasn’t as lonely. I can rely on someone I know will never fail me and always has my best interests at heart. He makes me stronger, and I can persevere through the hard times because those are the ones that grow my relationship in Him.

As many of us struggle with control, anxiety, and loneliness during this season, we need to stay faithful. I know it can be hard. I know sometimes all we want is normalcy. I know sometimes we think our plan is better, and we’re going to want to disregard precautions. I know some might not see an end in sight. But we need to remember our God is good and he has a plan. By continuing to build our foundation in Him, we can grow towards a place of less doubt and anxiety and remain faithful. For Ecclesiastes 3:11 states, “He makes everything beautiful in its time.”


You know my struggles, and you know my fears. Sometimes, I let anxiety and doubt overrule my judgment but I am grateful you give generously to all without finding fault. During this season, Lord, please help me to continue building my foundation in you and understanding that you have a plan. Through you, I am never lonely, never shaken, and I am strong. Trust is hard to give, but I know that trusting in you is the greatest reward.
In Jesus’ name,


Chaplain Rob

Serve Well

If your gift is serving others, serve them well.” – Romans 12:7

I hope you had a great weekend. Thank you all for the things you continue to do for our State and community. I am honored to serve with each one of you and I am thankful for the sacrifice and servant leadership you practice each and every day. Below is a short devotional I wrote about service. I hope and pray that God continues to bless each of you and uses your gifts to impact others.

Some time ago, I was actually at a fast-food restaurant getting some food with my daughters.

I placed a rather complicated order and couldn’t help but notice how well the employee handled it all.

Then she said, thank you for your order and please pull around to the next window and I will be happy to serve you.

As we talked a little ( the line was short), I found out she was a Christian and a single mother of two.

Then I understood even more why she was so cheerful and polite. I asked her if she liked her job.

“I love my job,” she said.

I thought, “That’s how we all should be.”

Whatever you’re doing, whether you’re working at a fast-food restaurant, serving in response of COVID 19, working across the Air and Army National guard, whatever you are doing today I admonish you to serve well.

Here’s the mark of a person whom God has called to serve: they recognize a need and then jump in and do something about it.

On the other hand, I think some people have the gift of complaining. They just seem content with finding fault—all the things that are wrong in the world.

But people with the gift of serving see a need and then meet that need because they want to help out.

Has God given you this spiritual gift? What a wonderful gift it is. So, if you’re checking on your neighbors and praying for them, that is great, and if you’re picking up the groceries for them, that is great too. If you are offering people a smile, a kind word, and a promise of hope, that is outstanding.

Because whatever you’re doing to serve, it matters.

The Bible says, “Do not neglect the spiritual gift you received” (1 Timothy 4:14 NLT). Or, as The Message puts it, “Keep that dusted off and in use.”

Be faithful in the little things, and God will open up greater opportunities for you. Because, as Warren Wiersbe has said, “You can never be too small for God to use, only too big.”

My prayers go before you this week as you serve others. Remember, God has called you to such a time as this! Serve Well!!!

Chaplain Rob

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

During this COVID-19 time I have had some focused time to re approach spiritual things that I often struggle with. For me forgiveness is sometimes hard. It is often difficult to move past the feelings of anger to the practice of forgiveness.

However, 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.

If I do not forgive everyone, I shall be untrue to myself. – Albert Schweitzer

Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it. – Mark Twain

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

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.


Chaplain Rob

The Lord is my Light, Whom Shall I Fear

You, LORD, are the light that keeps me safe. I am not afraid of anyone. – Psalm 27:1

When Queen Elizabeth II visited Nigeria in 1956, she laid a wreath at the gravestone of a Scotswoman, Mary Slessor. Mary, however, did not go to Africa under the authority of the British Crown — Mary served a different King.

The child of a violent, alcoholic father and a devoutly Christian mother, she learned survival skills in the slums of Dundee, Scotland. As a young girl, Mary read her Bible faithfully. Because of her earthly father’s violence, she was terrified of speaking in front of males. But she never doubted the unconditional love of her heavenly Father.

When she heard of Dr. David Livingstone’s death in Africa, she was deeply moved by his plea for someone to carry out his work. In 1876, she sailed for West Africa. Many fears, the results of her traumatic childhood, haunted her. But one by one she overcame them, and she made herself a part of the African community. She cared for abandoned children, stood firm against abuses, and loved the African people wholeheartedly. When she was awarded the Maltese Cross, she kept it secret. After her death, believers sang “Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow” in memory of Mary Slessor, who had found the power to overcome her nightmarish childhood and to reach out to other abused boys and girls.

Instead of working through fear, we sometimes divert ourselves with activity or deny that we are afraid, even to ourselves. Faithful people are encouraged to fear God–in the sense of awe, respect, and obedience. But we are not to be afraid of anything or anyone else. Overcoming personal fears is a lifelong process.

It is possible only in the knowledge that love is greater than fear and that God loves us deeply and dearly.

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. – Nelson Mandela

Dear Lord, please help me to conquer and overcome my fears. Teach me to be patient with myself and with you as I work through the process of conquering my fears. I confess Lord, that through you I can do all things. Amen.


Chaplain Rob