Friday, October 27, 2023

Sacrifice, Redemption, and Restoration.

In military warfare, personal sacrifice is a core principle. Soldiers, driven by a commitment to a higher purpose, willingly risk their lives for the greater good. From historical battlefields to contemporary conflicts, countless individuals have displayed courage and selflessness in the service of their nations.

The Bible also contains stories of personal sacrifice. Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac at God's command is a notable example. This narrative underscores themes of obedience and trust, echoing the dedication of soldiers who follow orders despite personal risks.

Warfare often inflicts deep psychological and emotional trauma on soldiers. The scars of combat, loss of comrades, and moral dilemmas linger long after the battlefield. These experiences can lead to conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder, commonly referred to as PTSD.

The Bible portrays profound trauma as well. The suffering of Job, enduring unimaginable hardships, exemplifies resilience in the face of adversity. Similarly, the Israelites' captivity and their yearning for freedom represent collective trauma.

Both military service and biblical narratives confront individuals with moral and ethical dilemmas. Soldiers grapple with questions of right and wrong while committing to acts of sacrifice. Similarly, biblical figures often wrestle with questions of divine purpose and human suffering.

For soldiers, faith and spirituality can provide solace and guidance amidst moral uncertainty. Many biblical stories emphasize faith and trust in God's plan during times of adversity, aligning with the human capacity to find strength in moral and spiritual turmoil.

The stories of sacrifice and trauma in military and biblical contexts share a common theme of redemption and healing. Soldiers often embark on journeys of recovery and find renewed purpose in helping others who have faced similar trauma. Biblical narratives often follow suffering with stories of redemption and restoration.


Consider the narrative of Joseph, who endured betrayal and slavery but ultimately rose to power and reconciliation. His story mirrors the resilience of veterans who seek positive change in their communities despite their own suffering.

The parallels between personal sacrifice and trauma in military warfare and the Bible offer valuable lessons. They emphasize the importance of empathy and support for those who have sacrificed and suffered. They highlight the power of faith and spirituality in navigating difficult times. And they inspire us with the human spirit's ability to find redemption and healing amidst profound trauma.

As we honor the sacrifices of our servicemen and women and reflect on biblical wisdom, may we find strength and inspiration to navigate life's challenges with courage, compassion, and faith.


Friday, October 13, 2023

Leadership and Servanthood

Leadership and servanthood are two fundamental concepts that have shaped human societies throughout history. While they may seem paradoxical at first glance, they are closely intertwined in both the military and biblical contexts. 

Leadership in the military is often associated with authority, command, and decisiveness. Military leaders are entrusted with the responsibility of making crucial decisions that can impact the lives of their subordinates and the success of missions. While these attributes are important, effective military leadership goes beyond merely giving orders; it requires a deep commitment to serving one's troops.

One of the key principles of military leadership is leading by example. Servanthood in the military context means that leaders should not expect their troops to do anything they would not do themselves. This principle fosters respect, trust, and unity within a unit. A leader who is willing to endure the same hardships, risks, and sacrifices as their subordinates earns their loyalty and admiration.

Furthermore, military leaders are responsible for the well-being and development of their troops. This duty extends beyond the battlefield to include training, mentorship, and ensuring that the physical and emotional needs of the soldiers are met. Effective military leaders understand that their success is closely tied to the competence, morale, and welfare of those under their command.

In the Bible, leadership is often depicted in a different light, emphasizing humility, servitude, and selflessness. A prime example of biblical leadership is Jesus Christ, who is often referred to as the "Servant King." His teachings and actions underscore the importance of serving others as a mark of true leadership.


In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus tells his disciples, "Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all." (Mark 10:43-44, NIV) This message emphasizes the idea that greatness in leadership is achieved through selfless service to others.

The Bible also highlights the concept of stewardship, where leaders are seen as stewards of the resources and responsibilities entrusted to them by God. This perspective encourages leaders to be accountable for their actions and to use their authority for the benefit of the community they serve.

While the military and biblical perspectives on leadership may seem divergent on the surface, there are significant points of convergence that illustrate the universality of certain leadership principles.

Serving Others - Both contexts emphasize the importance of serving others. In the military, this means prioritizing the welfare of soldiers, and in the Bible, it means selflessly serving the needs of others.

Leading by Example - Effective leaders in both realms lead by example. Military leaders who share the burdens of their troops earn respect, while biblical leaders who embody humility inspire others.

Accountability - Stewardship and accountability are fundamental in both contexts. Military leaders are accountable for the well-being and success of their units, just as biblical leaders are accountable for their stewardship of God's resources and guidance.

Sacrifice - Sacrifice is a common theme. In the military, leaders may need to make personal sacrifices for the mission, and in the Bible, leaders are often called to make sacrifices for the greater good.

Despite these similarities, there are also notable distinctions between leadership in the military and biblical leadership.

Authority - Military leadership often relies on hierarchical authority, whereas biblical leadership emphasizes moral and spiritual authority.

Purpose - The purposes of leadership differ. Military leaders aim to accomplish missions and objectives, while biblical leaders seek to fulfill divine purposes and lead people towards spiritual growth.

Context - The military operates in a secular context, whereas biblical leadership operates within a religious and moral framework.

Leadership and servanthood are dynamic concepts that take on different forms and meanings depending on the context. In the military, effective leadership requires a balance between authority and servanthood, with leaders being willing to make sacrifices and serve their troops selflessly. In the biblical context, leadership is defined by humility, moral authority, and a commitment to serving others in alignment with divine principles.

The convergence of these principles illustrates that effective leadership transcends specific contexts. Whether on the battlefield or in matters of faith, the essence of leadership lies in the ability to serve, inspire, and make a positive impact on the lives of others. Leaders who understand the interplay between leadership and servanthood are better equipped to navigate the complex challenges of their respective domains while leaving a lasting legacy of influence and integrity.


Wednesday, October 11, 2023

...and he called her Woman

God takes rib from sleeping Adam to make Eve, Lorenzo Maitani carving, Duomo, Orvieto, Umbria, Italy

A 2005 paper published in the National Library of Medicine studied 1840 ribs in 392 patients and found that the ribs regenerated in an average time of 3 months. (

"... but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. 

And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." ~ Gen 2:20-23

Sometimes, God will have us give up what we think we need in order to meet an actual need; in the end, only to have what was taken restored and our lives more full and abundant.

Photo: God takes rib from sleeping Adam to make Eve, Lorenzo Maitani carving, Duomo, Orvieto, Umbria, Italy


Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Biblical Manhood

The Bible provides profound insights into various aspects of life, including the concept of manhood. When considering what it means to be a "real man" in biblical terms, the focus is less on societal norms and physical prowess and more on character, responsibility, and spiritual depth.

Leadership and Responsibility: One of the principal ways the Bible highlights manhood is through the role of leadership and responsibility. Adam, the first man, was given the task of naming the animals and taking care of the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:15-20). Men are frequently reminded of their duty to lead their families in righteousness. Paul writes in Ephesians 5:23 that the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. However, this leadership isn't about dominance but is about love, protection, and self-sacrifice.

Strength and Courage: The Bible showcases many stories of men displaying great courage. From David confronting Goliath (1 Samuel 17) to Daniel in the lion's den (Daniel 6), biblical manhood involves facing challenges with faith and courage. However, this strength is not only physical. In 1 Corinthians 16:13-14, men are exhorted to "Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love." Strength here is closely tied with steadfastness in faith and love.

Humility and Repentance: A real man, according to the Bible, is one who recognizes his faults and seeks forgiveness. King David, a man after God's own heart, is a prime example. After committing grave sins, he deeply repented, showing true humility (Psalm 51). Proverbs 29:23 teaches, "A man's pride will bring him low, but the humble in spirit will retain honor."

Purity and Integrity: In a world that often associates manliness only with conquests and bravado, the Bible presents an additional viewpoint. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus emphasizes the importance of purity, stating, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God" (Matthew 5:8). Joseph's refusal to succumb to Potiphar's wife's advances (Genesis 39) demonstrates that true manhood respects boundaries and maintains moral integrity.


Service and Sacrifice: The ultimate model of biblical manhood is Jesus Christ. Evan as the Son of God, He chose to serve others, washing his disciples' feet (John 13:1-17) and ultimately laying down His life for humanity's salvation (John 15:13). His life illustrates that real strength is found in putting others first and sacrificing for the greater good.

Wisdom and Discernment: The Book of Proverbs is replete with guidance on acquiring wisdom, a trait highly esteemed in biblical manhood. Proverbs 4:7 declares, "Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding." A real man seeks knowledge, understanding, and the discernment to apply them rightly.

Emotional Depth: Contrary to some cultural norms that associate manhood apart from emotion, the Bible showcases men who are not afraid to express deep emotions. Jesus wept openly (John 11:35), and King David penned many psalms that reflect the breadth of human emotion, from anguish to exuberant joy.

The Bible's perspective on being a real man is multi-faceted. It moves beyond physical attributes and societal roles to emphasize character, spirituality, and relational depth. By turning to its teachings, one gains a more holistic understanding of what it means to be a man in the eyes of God.