Better a patient man than a warrior. A man who controls his temper than one who takes a city. – Proverbs 16:32

Let’s look at a few popular, but sad, bumper stickers:
•My kid beat up your honor student.
•Welcome to America, now get out!
•Keep honking, I’m a good shot.
•All men are idiots, and I married their King.

What do these bumper stickers have in common? The messages are dressed in humor but they’re actually about anger. While some people struggle with anger, these people are flaunting it, celebrating it, and inviting you to join in.

This type of anger–aimed at hurting or ridiculing–is obviously wrong. Yet not all anger is wrong. Anger can also be an appropriate and good response at times.

If You’re Not Outraged, You’re Not Paying Attention, is another bumper sticker I’ve seen.

Injustice, cruelty, and greed should evoke anger because they contradict what the Bible teaches. Things that are unjust or go against what God’s plan is for the world should make us angry.

I am reminded of how anger channeled the right way can transform the world. William Wilberforce, sickened with anger over the slave trade in England, devoted himself to ending slavery there.

If you don’t ever feel anger, you need to worry about your heart.

Its what you do with your anger that is important. Before you blow up, take time to think about how God would want you to handle the situation. Before you say things you will regret during anger, make sure to think about what you say and what might God has you say in this circumstance.

I realize that we all get angry from time to time and sometimes we let anger get the best of us.

My prayer for each of you is that God would quiet your spirit today. That you would feel the anger slip away. And that you will only use anger for things that matter.

Anger is never without a reason, but seldom with a good one. – Ben Franklin


Chaplin Rob


But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. – 1 Peter 2:9

Why do we so often miss the boat? I think it’s because we settle for second best. We grasp at flashy substitutes instead of taking hold of the genuine article. I invite you to surrender all of your excuses today. Be honest with yourself, and recognize where and how you need to change, grow, improve, or surrender. Change is the essence of life, and it’s worth the inconvenience, the difficulty, even the pain, because living is what God designed us to do.

Friend, stop for a moment and ask yourself if you’re diving into the life God planned for you, or merely dog-paddling on the surface. Take a moment and look at yourself and your surroundings. What skills or talents do you possess that could help to meet the needs around you? Change is the path to the full, creative, satisfying life God calls us to live.

Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are. – Bernice Johnson Reagon


Rob Dunbar, Chaplain, Maj,

The Power of Patience

The fruit of the Spirit is . . . longsuffering (patience).” Galatians 5:22

We’ve all heard the prayer: “Lord, make me more patient—and do it now!”

Why is it that patience evaporates when we are late for a critical engagement and are caught in a traffic jam? Or we rush to the “10 items or less” line at the store, only to find someone in front of us with 16 items!

Being forced to wait ratchets up the stress and shortens our fuse. When that happens, we not only fail to be patient but we undercut the Spirit’s work in our lives.

Patience is not just a virtue, it’s a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22)—which means that demonstrations of impatience reveal the sour fruit of our fallen hearts rather than the sweetness of Jesus in our lives. Since God is a patient God, when we abandon patience we miss the opportunity to show our world the glory of God through our lives.

Bursts of impatience only demonstrate that we are more concerned with our own agendas than the needs and struggles of others. So let’s all take a deep breath and turn our focus away from ourselves by patiently loving others instead of ourselves in the midst of stress.

Patience gives us the privilege of sharing the refreshing fruit of God with others.

Be patient. Show your world what God is really like.


Chaplin Rob

Controlling Your Emotions

Don’t abandon wisdom, and she will watch over you; love her, and she will guard you – Proverbs 4:6

Who is in charge of your emotions? Is it you, or have you formed the unfortunate habit of letting other people—or stressful situations—determine the quality of your thoughts and the direction of your day? If you’re wise—and if you’d like to build a better life for yourself and your loved ones—you’ll learn to control your emotions before your emotions control you.

I struggle with this almost daily. My grandmother was so filled with emotion that she was often called the “German General”. I think I inherited some of her strong emotions and propensity to go zero to angry rather quickly. I have to work on this daily.

Human emotions are highly variable, decidedly unpredictable, and often unreliable. Our emotions are like the weather, only far more fickle. So we must learn to live by faith, not by the ups and downs of our own emotional roller coasters.

Sometime during this day, you will probably be gripped by a strong negative feeling. Distrust it. Rein it in. Test it. And turn it over to God. Your emotions will inevitably change; God will not. So trust Him completely as you watch those negative feelings slowly evaporate into thin air—which, of course, they will.

I may no longer depend on pleasant impulses to bring me before the Lord. I must rather respond to principles I know to be right, whether I feel them to be enjoyable or not. – Jim Elliot


Heavenly Father, You are my strength and my refuge. As I journey through this day, I will encounter events that cause me emotional distress. Lord, when I am troubled, let me turn to You. Keep me steady, Lord, and in those difficult moments, renew a right spirit inside my heart. Amen

Blessings on a safe and relaxing weekend,

Chaplin Rob

God? Let Me Suggest This

The season of forty days before Easter is Lent. We are challenged to prepare during those forty days with both renunciation of some habit or pleasure or earthy good as well as “take up” some new practice or at least renew an old discipline e.g. specific daily prayers.

It’s an agreement we tend to make between ourselves and God. It’s a “mini-covenant” so to speak. It reminds us of the ongoing experience of covenant making with God. From Abraham we see the offer from God of a covenant to bless Abraham and Sarah and countless generations afterwards. Jews and also Gentiles inevitably fail on their end of this agreement!

Jesus brings a New Covenant and, just like Abraham, faith is the requirement. And once again, even when we fail God does not fail us! Peter in Mark 8 is the perfect example of all of us asserting our resistance to God’s way and thus “acting like the Devil” to go in the way WE think! It’s the old old story which hearkens back to that Serpent in the Garden, the same Tempter in the wilderness of Jesus, and the same Adversary in the End in Revelation.

The same voice of Peter as Satan that comes at us during our Lenten commitment: “Hey, you don’t need to keep your discipline” and again as the Accuser, “Hey, you failed didn’t you!” The answer is always, “Get behind me Satan!” Or even better, sing the words Keep Your Eyes Upon Jesus! Ultimately, it really is the work of God in Christ….in you….through the power of the Holy Spirit! God, who began a good work in you, will see that it gets finished!

Have faith~~†

Blessings in Lent!

Pastor Barry

The Giants Between You and Your Dream

“Everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!” (1 Samuel 17:47 NLT).

In the story of David in 1 Samuel, he actually had to fight four other giants before he got to Goliath. They weren’t physical giants, but they were giants in his mind.

You are far more likely to have to face those giants than a Goliath, but they can be just as big and intimidating, and they can keep you from becoming who God wants you to be and fulfilling the dream that God has put in your heart.

The first giant in facing your dream is delay.

No dream is fulfilled instantly. God gives you the dream on one day, but he doesn’t fulfill it the next day. It may be years before you see the fulfillment of your life dream. There is always a waiting period.

In David’s case, his dad held him back from the dream. After Samuel anointed David as king, Jesse told David to get back to tending the sheep!

When God’s plan contradicts somebody else’s plan, there’s going to be a delay, and people are going to try to hold you back — sometimes even the people who love you the most. But God is faithful, and he will complete his work in you in his time.

The second giant you may face is discouragement.

Goliath created a climate of fear in Israel, and everybody was convinced they were going to lose the battle.

Who are you listening to who says it can’t be done? Who is putting down your dream, saying it won’t ever happen?

Sometimes you just need a fresh voice — a kid from the village with fresh eyes who says, “This guy’s nothing. We can take him down.”

The third giant standing in your way is disapproval.

In David’s case, his own brother questioned his motives and disapproved of him going after Goliath.

When other people are afraid of your God-given dream but you go for it anyway, you will be misjudged, maligned, and misunderstood. You have to decide what matters more to you: the approval of other people or the approval of God.

The fourth giant you may have to face is doubt.

Nobody was a greater expert on war than King Saul, and he told David he was crazy for thinking a boy could fight a warrior like Goliath.

Maybe the expert is saying you can’t do it, either. That’s enough to make you start doubting yourself.

The reality is that God has powerful and unique plans for your life. Make sure to stop today and begin discerning what those plans are.


Chaplain Rob

Spiritual Warfare

Therefore, submit to God. But resist the Devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, double-minded people! – James 4:7-8

This world is tough and maintaining one’s integrity is hard. Temptations are everywhere, and the devil (evil), it seems, never takes a day off. Your challenge is to see those temptations for what they are: dangerous and destructive.

In his letter to Jewish Christians, Peter offered a stern warning: “Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8 NASB).

What was true in New Testament times is equally true in our own. Evil is indeed abroad in the world, and it continues to sow the seeds of destruction far and wide.

All one has to do is turn on the news to see a litany of evil actions that are carried out on a daily basis.

In a very real sense, our world is at war: good versus evil, addiction versus moderation, hope versus suffering, praise versus apathy.

As Christians, we must ensure that we place ourselves squarely on the right side of these conflicts: God’s side. How can we do it?

By thoughtfully studying God’s Word, by regularly worshiping with fellow believers, and by guarding our hearts and minds against the subtle temptations of the enemy. When we do, we are protected.

It’s out there, and it can hurt you. Evil does exist, and you will confront it. Prepare yourself by forming a genuine, life-changing relationship with God. There is darkness in this world, but God’s light can overpower any darkness.

There is nothing evil in matter itself. Evil lies in the spirit. Evils of the heart, of the mind, of the soul, of the spirit—these have to do with man’s sin, and the only reason the human body does evil is because the human spirit uses it to do evil. – A. W. Tozer

Light is stronger than darkness—darkness cannot “comprehend” or “overcome” it. – Anne Graham Lotz

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. – Edmund Burke

Dear God, thank you that greater is He who lives inside me than he that is in the world. Thank you, Lord that at your name demons flee. In my times of trouble and temptation help me to remember that there is power in Your name.

Rob Dunbar, Chaplain, Maj,

Noah, Spirits in Prison, Angels, and Temptation

Lent has begun. A journey of Forty Days heading toward Good Friday and Easter. We all know the End of the Lenten Season is Good News. It’s the getting there that can be a bit rough, a bit less-than-good. No sooner than I was marked by the ashen cross on my forehead last Ash Wednesday service, I was ready to wash it off! No more reminders of how bad I can be! Or what I am made of and where I will wind up~~

But it’s not just about me! It’s about the whole sweep of the Bible story that includes old man Noah, Angels, Spirits in prison, Water rescue, and being tempted. Christian or not, all people, if they are honest, know they are tempted! Tempted to the bad in life. Tempted to give in, give up in all the rough spots in the Journey before they get to the safety of Easter Home.

So, Lent’s 40 Days is a miniature of each and everyone’s life: ashes to ashes, dust to dust, but Good News in spite of being marked by a ashen cross on your forehead! Who hasn’t thought “it’s Friday…but Sunday’s coming.” Actually it’s more like “it’s Monday…can’t wait til it’s Friday! Weekend is coming!”

However we count the days it’s a spiritual journey from the point of view of the Bible. And that point of view is ultimately full of Light not all of Darkness. It’s a struggle as our texts show us; but whether from The Genesis or Mark or Peter text the message is Good News: God IS at work to bring us through!

There are a lot of “players” in the journey. Let’s get to know more about some of them this Sunday in worship! Don’t be “tempted” to skip out just because it’s supposed to rain(!). Remember, Noah got through a whole lot more water than we’ve had lately! Jesus made it through temptation! Peter’s fellow Christians made it through their trials. So, if the “creek don’t rise”…..see you soon!

Pray for each other~†

Pastor Barry

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


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).


Chaplin Rob