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


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


Chaplin Rob


“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.

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

God Is With You

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life. Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you” (Isaiah 43:2–5, esv).

God is present. He is with His children and especially near during trials. These verses from Isaiah refer to water and fire, which are images of hardship. Waters is a general term, while rivers is a specific term. Fire is general, while flame is specific. The language distinguishes between our collective trials and my individual hardship. Sometimes we all suffer together; sometimes we feel very alone in our pain. But the take-away from these verses is that you are never alone. God is with you in your specific trials—not just throughout a year or a month or a day but in an hour, in a minute, in a second! At the precise moment of hardship, God is present.

“At the precise moment of hardship, God is present.”

According to Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Not only is He near to us, but He also specifically measures our trials. He says, “When you walk through fire” (a picture of definite hardship) “you shall not be burned.” In other words, it might get really hot, and you might feel a certain amount of pain and discomfort, but God has His hand on the thermostat. He’s watching you in the fire; in fact, He’s right there with you in it.

It’s the same picture in the water. God says, “When you pass through the waters . . . and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you.” Consider this: What are you thinking about when you’re going through a river? When you’re neck-deep in water, you’re not worried about getting wet. You’re already wet. More likely you’re thinking, How deep is the water? How long can I touch the bottom? When your feet float up off the bottom, you might wonder, How long can I tread? But God tells us, in effect, “I’m watching the water level. I’m checking the intensity of the trial.”

You can trust Him. God is present and knows exactly what you’re facing, both the depth and the heat. Your greatest fear may be that you can’t endure the trial. But as a result of God’s presence, you are strengthened—and He promises that what you face will not overwhelm you. After all, He is “the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” And He is always with you.

Lord, when I’m experiencing trials, help me to look for You and at You, rather than focusing on my hardships with fear. Help me to accept that difficulty is part of Your itinerary for me and comes as no surprise to You. I know I can’t learn to trust unless I first pass through situations where my trust is tested and strengthened. So please continue to train me in Your perfect way, Father, and thank You that You are always with me. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Chaplin Rob

What Kind of Treasure Hunter are You?


If you lived on the world’s terms, the world would love you as one of its own. But since I picked you to live on God’s terms and no longer on the world’s terms, the world is going to hate you. – John 15:19 MSG

It’s difficult to race headlong after material possessions and focus on building character at the same time. But, society encourages us to chase a long string of material possessions while paying precious little attention to the accumulation of spiritual rewards.

All of mankind is engaged in a colossal, worldwide treasure hunt. Some people seek treasure from earthly sources, treasures such as material wealth or public acclaim; others seek God’s treasures by making Him the cornerstone of their lives.

What kind of treasure hunter are you? Are you so caught up in the demands of everyday living that you sometimes allow the search for worldly treasures to become your primary focus? If so, it’s time to reorganize your daily to-do list by placing God in His rightful place: first place.

The world’s treasures are difficult to find and difficult to keep; God’s treasures are ever-present and everlasting. Which treasures, then, will you claim as your own?

Give me Your grace, good Lord, to count the world as nothing; to set my mind firmly on You and not to hang on the blasting words of men’s mouths. – St. Thomas More


Dear Lord, thank you that you are enough for me. I thank you that there is no earthly treasure or fame that is more worthy of my affections and heart. Help me to make my relationship with you more important than being popular with my peers. Amen.

Rob Dunbar, Chaplain, Maj, TN ANG

Conflicts Going To Happen- Help!

Well, read these three texts (Deuteronomy 18:15-20, Revelation 12:1-6 and Mark 1:21-28) and you will find one of two things: why people attend worship and why people don’t! These are wild and difficult scriptures but SO dramatic and so full of images. Prophets, demons, dragons! And Jesus! Some people are fascinated and respond in faith while others are repelled or afraid and stay away.

Personally I am drawn to this sort of stuff but I am also the preacher and am responsible to some extent to deal with this responsibly and faithfully. I imagine if you really like to read books, watch TV or go to movies, or just like a good story, you TOO are interested in such wild difficult scriptural stories. Plus, we hold forth that there is God’s Truth being revealed and proclaimed in scripture! I think these stories of Truth are more helpful and demanding of us than, say, some general rules and guidelines for good behavior!

Truth comes to us personally in Story. You are more likely to respond and act when you find YOURSELF in the Bible stories rather than when someone just lays out laws and rules to be obeyed. We need both but one is a more positive appeal where the other is more like a perpetual threat since, sure enough, we are “rule breakers!”

Tell me the stories of Jesus and THEN I will better understand why we need to contend against evil that inhabits people and why the universal True Story is so cosmic in nature that we hear about dragons and women and childbirth on a scale beyond our mere earthly existence!

There…..hope that gets your attention! Now go and read these texts for this Sunday’s worship and Word proclaimed. You might just turn your TV off for a while as you read the Bible dramas!

Blessings in reading and hearing God’s Word in community with your brothers and sisters this Sunday!

Pastor Barry

You Are Accountable

But each person should examine his own work, and then he will have a reason for boasting in himself alone, and not in respect to someone else. For each person will have to carry his own load. – Galatians 6:4-5

We humans are masters at passing the buck. Why? Because passing the buck is easier than fixing, and criticizing others is so much easier than improving ourselves. So instead of solving our problems legitimately (by doing the work required to solve them), we are inclined to fret, to blame, and to criticize, while doing precious little else. When we do, our problems, quite predictably, remain unsolved.

Whether you like it or not, you (and only you) are accountable for your actions. But because you are human, you’ll be sorely tempted to pass the blame. Avoid this temptation at all costs.

Problem-solving builds character. Every time you straighten your back and look squarely into the face of your problems or challenges, you’ll strengthen not only your backbone but also your spirit. So, instead of looking for someone to blame, look for something to fix, and then get busy fixing it. And as you consider your own situation, remember this: God has a way of helping those who help themselves, but He doesn’t spend much time helping those who don’t.

It is easy to hold other people accountable, but real accountability begins with the person in the mirror. Think about one specific area of responsibility that is uniquely yours, and think about a specific step you can take today to better fulfill that responsibility.

Though I know intellectually how vulnerable I am to pride and power, I am the last one to know when I succumb to their seduction. That’s why spiritual Lone Rangers are so dangerous— and why we must depend on trusted brothers and sisters who love us enough to tell us the truth. – Chuck Colson


Chaplain Rob Dunbar

Let Jesus Guide The Way

I have come as a light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me would not remain in darkness. – John 12:46

Is Jesus the cornerstone of your life . . . or have you relegated Him to a far corner of your life? The answer to this question will determine the quality, the direction, the tone, and the ultimate destination of your life here on earth and your life throughout eternity.

Thomas Brooks spoke for believers of every generation when he observed, “Christ is the sun, and all the watches of our lives should be set by the dial of His motion.”

Christ, indeed, is the ultimate Savior of mankind and the personal Savior of those who believe in Him. As His servants, we should place Him at the very center of our lives. And every day that God gives us breath, we should share Christ’s love and His message with a world that needs both.

When we are in a situation where Jesus is all we have, we soon discover He is all we really need. – Gigi Graham Tchividjian


Dear Jesus, You are my Savior and my protector. Give me the courage to trust You completely. Today, I will praise You, I will honor You, and I will live according to Your commandments. Amen

Rob Dunbar, Chaplain, Maj, TN ANG

Holding Onto Hope

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast.  – Hebrews 6:19 NASB

Once again we here at the 118th are facing a furlough and going home early without pay. For many of us ( including myself) this brings up all kinds of emotions. This is a time where we worry about paychecks, jobs, bills, and what is next for each of us. Just like in 2013 when the government shut down, we worry about when the government will begin again and what that means for each of us.

All this chaos got had me in prayer this morning. During my prayer time I began thinking about what it means to have hope in difficult times. What does it mean to have hope when the future looks uncertain.

Throughout my ministry, I have found there are few sadder sights on earth than the sight of a man or woman who has lost all hope.

In difficult times, hope can be elusive, but those who place their faith in God’s promises need never lose it. After all, God is good; His love endures; He has promised His children the gift of eternal life. God has promised to be with us no matter what may come. And, God keeps His promises.

Despite God’s promises, despite Christ’s love, and despite our countless blessings, we frail human beings can still lose hope from time to time. When we do, we need the encouragement of Christian friends, the life-changing power of prayer, and the healing truth of God’s Holy Word.

It was Jesus who promised, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” ( John 16:33 KJV). This world can be a place of trials and tribulations, but as believers, we are secure. God has promised us peace, joy, and eternal life. And, of course, God always keeps His promises. Always.

If you’re experiencing hard times, you’ll be wise to start spending more time with God. And if you do your part, God will do His part. Keeping holding onto hope and never be afraid to ask—for a miracle.

I think that during this difficult time we can still find reasons to hope. If we take a moment to stop and reflect, each of us are extremely blessed. Although we don’t know about the future we know that God has given us more than we could ever imagine. Even though we are worried about what will happen next, we have the promise from God that his love goes before us no matter what may come.

So I invite you during this difficult time to have faith. I invite you to trust that God will take care of each of you. I encourage you to spend some time in prayer for our country, for you colleagues, and for yourself. I hope and pray that each of you may find hope in the midst of the chaos.

My prayer for all of us is that no matter what may happen in Washington and beyond, that we will find hope and assurance that God will take care of it all. My hope today is not in people, or institutions or governments. Rather my hope is in a loving a compassionate God who goes before us and carries us during uncertain times.

May you find that hope today!!!


Chaplain Dunbar

What Does it Mean to Be Real?

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body. – Philippians 3:20-21

Being ‘real’ is the result of being transformed by the love of God. It’s not about wealth, or beauty, or power. Heck, most of the time it’s suffering, failing, and waiting. Maybe that’s why we sometimes miss it. I think the wise old horse in the classic children’s story The Velveteen Rabbit says it well. As he explained to the stuffed bunny:

‘It doesn’t happen all at once, you become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.’

Be real. Be true to who God created you to be. Be transparent and open yourself up to God and His transforming power.


Chaplain Rob

Urgency! Patience! Both?

The snow and cold are coming! Urgent preparation! Patience when they arrive lest your foot slip on snow, lest you brake on black ice!
Patience in the NFL Playoffs as you run your game plan; but urgent in 4th quarter if you are down by double digits! Urgent demand to lose those Winter pounds….but patience to lose it a pound a week to make it last!

Jesus calls to first century fishermen: “Follow me!” The same call today to us in 2018? Urgency of the eternal moment upon us?! Live as if this world is passing away, says Paul in I Cor 7:24-31. Yet, the Psalmist counsels “waiting.” Waiting in silence my soul is to seek God alone. Psalm 62:5.

Urgency and patience. They are not contradictory but rather can come each day, each season, and flow forth from each life. Wisdom is in knowing when each one is required. The Christian hears Jesus call us by name each day to “follow.” We take Paul at his word that we should consider living “as if” this world, this age and its earthly demands are “passing away.” We believe the Psalmist when we are counseled to “wait in silence for God alone.” Yes, when the call comes we can respond with steadfast urgency or….we know we can “wait upon the Lord.”

What is the Word for us, for you, for our congregation this Sunday…for the week that follows? Trust and obey for there is no other way~~~+

Blessings in 2018 as it continues to unfold before us in both snow and in sunshine!

Pastor Barry