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Leadership:

Good leadership is critical to mission accomplishment and the general welfare of those involved in reaching worthwhile organizational goals and objectives. Effective organizations invest heavily in leadership training. Professional research shows the dynamics of good leadership. Its traits, principles and practices! So why when we survey the spectrum of politics, education, business and social systems, do we observe so much failed leadership objectives Corruption, graft, greed seems to be the order of the day. What is missing in America? The clear answer: Christian morality. Our society has turned its back on God and is going it alone. The Bible is clear about the outcome. A coming destruction! I used to get so upset at bad leadership. But the Lord pointed out to me a fact I was ignorant of: The people deserve the leaders they get. Matthew 15:14 says this: “Leave them alone, blind guides leading the blind and both will fall into the ditch.” We need to separate from such people. Believers are responsible when a people are heading toward a cliff to separate ourselves from them. We live in such times. “Be in the world but not of the world.” Followers have a responsibility to not “blindly” follow immoral leaders. We are exhorted to “prayer for our leaders so God can bless us through their administration.” Prayer has been removed from our public schools, and the Bible from the teacher’s desks. It is clear that most no longer ever think to pray for those over them. We live in the “end times” spoken of in scripture. We have the “blessed hope” to look forward to in these increasingly “wicked times” we live in. So, ”look up for your redemption draws nigh.”

Love:

One hears this word a lot around Christmas. However, it is not a word used much by most military men in the course of their daily lives. Is real love necessary for genuine success inside military organizations? This is an important question. Is this not what should also motivate the VFW? Many share the conviction fear is the best tool to motivate the common soldier, sailor, airman or Marine. This might be true for most armies. But it is not what I saw men rally to in the Marines. Love is the true motivator behind many of the great victories across history. Victories require sacrifice. The devil is certainly in control of most systems of men. The Bible tells us he is the god of this present world. The way many use this word it is cheapened. Sacrificial love is displayed in the raising of exceptional children. Some become military leaders. Love may not be as evident in military success as it can be in families, but dig a little deeper and you will see it is crutial and explains much individual and team success especially in our great Republic. Without sacrificial love at the root of a man’s motivation it is near impossible to have any kind of a normal life in or out of the army. Men are attracted to the promise of adventure. That might explain their joining up. But more leave service than stay in. If you want marriage and children it is a major task to find a good woman willing to put up with the rigors of army life. Challenges faced in this profession with its mission first requirements puts heavy strains on family. So genuine love, especially higher up in the chain of command, is a requirement; and also for the women standing behind such men. What does the Bible have to say about love in the context of war? John 15:13 tells us: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” While most are probably motivated by fear in combat, thank God, we have the occasional man who rises up in the face of great fear with an act of great love as an example. The recent movie about such a man, a true story is Hacksaw Ridge. We find love mentioned 472 times in scripture. The first use is in Genesis 22:2  where there is the foreshadowing of the greatest act of love ever: Jesus taking our deserved punishment for us as our substitute. Otherwise we are eternally damned for all have sinned against God. God is love! Christmas is the time we celebrate his birth. But it was his sacrificial death (burial, resurrection and ascension back to heaven) which offers us who believe the divine power that can transform our lives. Have you truly accepted what he did on the cross? Are you going to live more fully for him in 2017? I hope so.

Loyalty:

A personal quality or trait that is admirable when based in integrity and truth. It is an allegiance, faithfulness, devotion, dedication or commitment to what is seen as right and good. But what if this loyalty is not bathed in good discernment and defends a false system of lies and distortions mixed in with the truth? Does not such a loyalty do harm to others and society at large? Loyalty is an important quality to organizations good and bad. But we are seeing in our generation that many are deceived and essentially blind to real truth. This begets the question what is truth? We hear the statement by many: “Well that is your truth not mine.” Truth must be a concrete fact or it is sinking sand. So what source people look to is critical. For me that source is the Bible; the Word of God. Many in America no longer look to this source as their guide to life. That is the main reason for our political division. Is there any other source in this age of political correctness that is reliable than what God has to say about a matter? The Bible predicts that in the “end times” people will believe lies over the truth. Loyalty in our age is a growing paradox. Division is rampant in our nation. it does not bode well for our future. If one is loyal to the wrong person and cause this is not good. When you find yourself being drawn into an allegiance you need to know what the bottom line belief system is. I like what Joshua had to say concerning this concept. “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15

Dave Winecoff
Chaplain