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CMF eZine


The online magazine of the Christian Military Fellowship.


Let Us Engage and Run Together

Let Us Engage and Run Together

Let's Engage and Run Together

… & let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus… (Hebrews 12:1-2)

Let’s Engage & Run TOGETHER!… because it’s time for a reproducible approach to discipleship.

Continuous/combat operations, frequent deployments & personnel turbulence require simple ideas, simple tools, low overhead activities, and personal initiative. Let’s tailor how we follow Christ & how we train others so it works in any environment. The enemy of our souls is looking to devour isolated soldiers/seamen/airmen & families … many get at most an hour a week of spiritual input and think they have no need for more! As we Engage & Run TOGETHER we can include them in small groups, draw them to Christ, and train them to Engage & Run Together wherever they go.

Perhaps initiated by a CMF leader or a Chaplain, small groups organize and direct themselves in cooperation with Chaplains/Pastors, … and CMF leaders. The key idea is that each participant should see, live, and learn these seven reproducibles well enough to begin reproducing them at his/her next duty station:

  • Inductive Bible Study
  • Conversational Prayer
  • Scripture Memory & Meditation
  • Excellence in all Things
  • Grow Together
  • Pray and Plan
  • Lead by Example

Future articles will briefly discuss these aspects of a self-reproducing integrated life of faith. For an E&RT overview briefing & further descriptions see http://ow.ly/qCfk30e12lm

While a curriculum is something you start, follow for a while, and finish, E&RT is a framework, a philosophy of ministry, a set of basic tools and attitudes …something to be taught by example, lived individually and in small groups; a way to help us and those we lead to press on toward the mark. After Bible Study of three sets of foundational verses and the seven reproducibles, subsequent study topics should be pray-and-planned by the group in coordination with Chaplains/Pastors and leaders.

5 Ways God Compels Us to Lead

5 Ways God Compels Us to Lead

Coming up through the ranks as a military leader there were, on many occasions, times that I was able to learn from my leaders, my peers, and my subordinates alike.  From each subset of the populous with whom I interacted on a daily basis, I began to formulate my own leadership styles at a very young age.  You see, I learned from all of my leaders, which you would think to be a good thing.  However, there were also occasions where I learned how not to lead.

Marine Drill InstrictorAs a young Sailor I learned a lot about myself.  As subordinate, I learned which traits and mannerisms of my leaders to which I best responded.  There were days that they had to be creative in order to appeal to my motivators in order to obtain the best levels of my work.  My best leaders knew what my motivators were, and managed accordingly.  There were also other leaders who didn’t seem to know or care what motivated me.  As a result my attitude, my morale and of course my quality of work waned.

SEAL TrainingIt was important to me that I was able to see a realistic path to ascend through the ranks.  I held in high regard the office of those appointed over me and endeavored to show the proper respect to those persons who held the office.  So with that, a natural tendency for me at that young age was to emulate the leader(s) that I felt had the best leadership attributes.  These attributes contributed to my daily habits as a sailor, and through my habits, my leadership character was formed.  Along the way, I learned the elements of those attributes and how to apply them in specific situations.

Through my journey up through the ranks, I began to understand and assimilate into my leadership style, those characteristics that were displayed to me not only by men and women in uniform, but by our almighty God.  In fact, when I began to “take it to the book” (the Holy Bible) did I first begin to realize how I was created, for what I was created, and the character that God displayed befor me every step of the way.  God truly leads by example!

1.  Lead by Example

Colossians 3:17 says:  “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Jesus shows us many ways where He presents the theme of leading by example as being at the forefront of His actions!  If you haven’t heard it before, you should hear it now: as a leader, in any capacity, where you have the ability to teach and mentor protégés, they are watching and learning from your every move!  Make no mistake, like little children they are learning from your mannerisms, your speech, your ethics and your values and at each step, they are internally assessing your ability to lead them, in any capacity.  We do it all the time.  How many Pastors have you “sized up” when investigating a new home church?

Paul writes to Timothy: “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.”  1 Timothy 4:12 ESV

The Gospel of John says that we’re to be an example in service to each other.

“When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.”   John 13:12-15 ESV

2.  Be a Servant Leader

“But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.  It shall not be so among you.  But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  Matthew 20:25-28 ESV

Chief among the attributes of servant leadership, Jesus compels us to put down our pride, and serve each other with grace and empathy.  We have to remember that not only are we in the business of completing well-orchestrated (most of the time) strategic missions, that we’re also in the business of shaping and molding people.  Jesus compels us to serve our brothers and sisters and that through that service, we are providing those within our charge with the best attributes of leadership possible, both morally and ethically.

3.  Lead with Wisdom

Wisdom and discernment come with time, age and experience.  As a young leader, don’t be afraid to plant your flagpole and make a decision.  Subordinates and protégés don’t always benefit from indecision.  However, be deliberate in your decision making methodology, otherwise the ripple effects of your decisions can be impactful in other potentially unforeseen areas.  Take as many factors into consideration as possible before leading the charge in any one direction.  The benefits of your deliberate decision making process will be many.

Proverbs 8:1-36 ESV states, “Does not wisdom call?  Does not understanding raise her voice? On the heights beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand; beside the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud:  “To you, O men, I call, and my cry is to the children of man. O simple ones, learn prudence; O fools, learn sense.”

4.  Have Trust

Have trust in those around you, as the camaraderie and bonds that you have formed through your traditions and training will be displayed during the most stressful of times.  In leading young service members individually or collectively, there must be trust among those you empower, to be able to carry out the orders with precision, as they have been trained to do.  Trust in each other, and trust in the Lord.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.  Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.  It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.  Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce”  Proverbs 3:5-10 ESV

As Paul again writes to Timothy:

“The saying is trustworthy:  If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.  He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?”  1 Timothy 3:1-7 ESV

5.  Lead with Love

As leaders, whether we’re leading in a military capacity, or as teachers of education, or trainers for our business or our church, or as stay at home parents; the greatest of attributes that we could ever adorn in leadership or other capacities is on distinct display by our Lord and Savior.  Of the many attributes that Jesus teaches us for how to behave and what is most consistent with the expectations that God has for us on this earth, he sums up with two very specific commandments.  They are found within the Gospels, and Matthew tells us this is how the conversation occurred:

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”  And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:36-40 ESV

The apostle Paul also gives us, in his letter to the Romans:

“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.  Love one another with brotherly affection.  Outdo one another in showing honor.  Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.  Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.  Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.”  Romans 12:9-13 ESV

Cause of Freedom

Cause of Freedom

The Cause of Freedom is a Gospel Opportunity—by Bob Flynn


A Warrior's End

"No foreign power or combination of foreign powers could by force take a drink from the Ohio or make a track on the Blue Ridge in a trial of a thousand years. At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected?  I answer, if it ever reach us it must spring up from among us, it cannot come from abroad.  If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die of suicide.”  Abraham Lincoln

When Abraham Lincoln spoke these words I doubt that he could have conceived of a day when we would have a Department of Homeland Security.  It is by design that America has NOT YET suffered another twin tower disaster! This success has been wrought at great cost!

“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan—to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”  Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

Destination Assured

“The patriot who feels himself in the service of God, who acknowledges Him in all his ways, has the promise of Almighty direction, and will find His word in his greatest darkness, ‘a lantern to his feet and a lamp unto his path.’  He will therefore seek to establish for his country in the eyes of the world, such a character as shall make her not unworthy of the name of a Christian nation.”  Francis Scott Key (1779-1843) 

“And God has given us the task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them.  This is the wonderful message he has given us to tell others.”  (2 Corinthians 5:18-19 NLT)


Destination Assured

We can ponder the significance of “A Warrior’s End” from many perspectives.  There is the look on a mother’s face that can never be forgotten when she is told she will never hug her beloved son again; or the empty side of the bed that grieves the young wife’s heart; the empty chair at the dinner table where Daddy used to sit.

If together we could introduce each one of these young men and women to the Gospel before the crisis, their destination will be changed for an eternity!  For those who return wounded of heart, there is one immutable fact: warriors talk only to warriors about warrior things.

Would you consider partnering with us in this effort to carry the Gospel to those yet unsaved and hug the wounded?

These are the needs:

  • Local Representatives (that’s you) who are willing to facilitate fellowship groups at their location.
  • Prayer warriors (that’s you) willing to pray daily for the concerns of the troops, their families and this ministry.
  • Financial support (that’s you) for the ministry. Our general fund still lags behind the expenses. Please consider becoming a regular giver.

Our Dream:

  • To have an active CMF fellowship group at each and every military installation, Veterans Hospital, and Active Duty or Reserve community in the world.

Enemy Lines - Harvest

Enemy Lines - Harvest

Living Behind Enemy Lines—Lord of the Harvest

In the two previous articles in this series, Behind Enemy Lines: Situational Awareness and Understanding the Mission, we said that, as believers in Christ, we are living “behind enemy lines” and that as followers of Christ, it is our mission to share the Gospel and make disciples for the Kingdom of our Lord. Now we'll see how God provides all we need to accomplish our mission by:

  • Equipping the messenger,
  • Preparing hearts for the message, and
  • Connecting the heart to the message.
Equipping the Messenger.

“When he (Jesus) saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36).


SGM Dan Cartwright, USA (Ret),
Chairman, Board of Directors

Jesus was moved with a deep compassion for people, comparing the multitudes without a savior to helpless sheep without a shepherd (infantry squad without a squad leader).  The Holy Spirit of God, living inside the believer, will give us the same gut-wrenching compassion for our loved ones, friends, co-workers, comrades in battle, and even those who mistreat us.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

“When they (Jewish religious leaders and the Roman ‘feds’) saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13).

The Holy Spirit, who lives inside the believer, providing assurance, comfort and guidance, also provides power to be an effective witness to the gospel.  Peter and John were common fishermen who hung out with Jesus for a few years, listening to His teaching. When the Holy Spirit came in power on Pentecost, the head knowledge became heart knowledge.  They couldn't help but talk about what they had seen and heard!

Preparing hearts for the message.

“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:44).

At the same time God is preparing messengers, He is busy preparing hearts to receive the most important message they will ever receive!  It might be a family member, friend or co-worker, or the soldier by your side in a firefight.  Sometimes opportunities to share God's message come knocking loudly at your door, but more often they just “happen.”

I remember a lot of those ─ the medic on the SF “A” team who “happened” to be dating a Christian girl, who “happened” to be talking to him about spiritual stuff, resulting in his “happening” to ask me about the things she was saying!

Connecting the heart to the message.

There's a great story in the New Testament where we see the process at work.  Acts 8:26-40 tells of Phillip, whom God had prepared as the messenger, an Ethiopian man who “happened” to be reading one of the prophets, and, a “divine” appointment.  Phillip ended up sharing the good news about Jesus, and the Ethiopian received the message in his heart, was baptized in a convenient pool of water and went on his way rejoicing.

So What?

Although the story of Philip and the Ethiopian was a bit more spectacular than we see in our normal everyday life as Christians, the process is the same.  There is an equipped messenger, a prepared heart, and a connecting that impacts eternity.  The architect of the process is the Holy Spirit of God.

Jesus Christ is the Lord of the harvest! He told his disciples:

“The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field” (Matthew 9:37, 38).

God has a plan and doesn’t need “Super-Christians” to make it work.  All God wants is workers. Look in the mirror and see one of God’s harvest workers.  Now that you are available, the Lord of the Harvest will do the rest.  Remember, harvest workers are always behind enemy lines.

Me and CMF

Me and CMF

CMF and Me


SGM Dan Cartwright, USA (Ret)
Chairman, CMF Board of Directors

Where do I begin?  It’s been a long journey, about 30 years now.  I guess I should start at the point in my life when God snatched me out of ODF status (Out Dere Flappin’) near the end of ’76, a few months before our first son was born.  In terms of this life, I had it pretty well made — I was a young Staff Sergeant on a Special Forces ‘A’ Detachment, had met and married a wonderful woman (just had our 34th anniversary, BTW), and my lonely past seemed over.  However, I had left the Savior of my youth in the dust, so to speak.  About ten years earlier, I had decided that organized religion was a fake and struck out on my own — ODF big time, but happy as a pig in mud with my life at that point.

The story around how God snatched me back from ODF status stands on its own and is too long for this venue.  But snatch me back He did!  We became involved in the Chapel system on Ft. Devens, Massachusetts, including a mid-week lunch time Bible study at the Special Forces chapel, which is how I found out about CMF.  At about the same time, the thought of full-time ministry in the military surfaced, and I considered becoming a chaplain.  That thought was fleeting however, when I discovered it would take about eight years of schooling outside of the military before I could re-enter as a chaplain.  But I could see there was plenty of “service for God” in uniform that needed attention right away!

So there I was, plugged in to chapels and Bible studies, learning and growing, and along came Ernie Miller, who was at that time leader of the CMF ministry.  He visited the Bible study I attended and presented to us the concept of the CMF ministry: a network of believers in uniform, focused mainly on us enlisted types.  Sounded good.  When Ernie talked about this worldwide prayer network, my ears really perked up, considering all the different time zones around the globe and a prayer request being presented before the throne of grace around the clock on a given day! Ernie also talked about the structure of the network of believers: CMF Christian contacts, along with local and area-wide CMF representatives, plugged into the small home office in Denver. I was hooked — this was the ministry for me!

That was then and this is now, thirty years later.  Until I retired in 1996, I had the opportunity to be a Christian contact and CMF Local Representative anywhere I went, on permanent or temporary assignment, a paid “missionary” in uniform, funded by Uncle Sam!  My marching orders in our Lord’s Army? Acts 1:8 — “BE” a witness for Christ — not preach, wear Christian “stuff,” or carry a CMF flag everywhere I went.  I was to be available for whatever specific task God had waiting for me.  I was just supposed to be a well cared for “tool” of the Master, ready, willing, and able for “divine appointments” whenever they presented themselves — which was usually without my knowing that God was setting these appointments.
 

How often was God “setting something up”?  Probably far more often than I will ever know!  The times I can remember and realize it was God at work could fill a small book of their own.

What part did CMF play all those years?  Well, I already mentioned being plugged into a worldwide network of Christians in uniform, the monthly prayer “Battle Plan,” and the opportunities for service as part of the CMF ministry on the ground.  I didn’t however, mention the training and logistical support CMF provided.  They didn’t just have ministry positions that needed people in place; they also trained and equipped me for service in each position I filled.  Then, on virtually every shelf in my office there’s something I received, without cost, from CMF — books by theologians and giants of the faith, long gone to their eternal reward, books by living pastors and teachers, even good study Bibles.

The most cherished CMF-provided item resides inside a large 3-ring binder — a set of Christian growth lessons called Discipleship Training Objectives (DTOs) — that by themselves need only about a half-inch wide binder!  You see, I have been through those lessons several times now, first with just a Bible and a concordance and small Bible dictionary.  Each successive time through the lessons, as a set in a small group teaching role, or just in whatever has served as a place to study alone, I have added “stuff” I have learned/gleaned from a multitude of sources about each and every lesson.  So, now I have one 3-inch wide binder — that might end up as three binders, one for each major section of lessons.

Well, there you have the “big story” of an old retired soldier and CMF.  Why did I even tell it in the CMF Newsletter?  There’s only one reason — to encourage Christian men and women serving in our Military Forces to take up the challenge of being unashamed of the Gospel, being missionaries in uniform, lights in the darkness, salt of the earth, and taking the Good News of Jesus Christ to places no chaplain will ever be able to go!


Christian Military Fellowship

An Indigenous Ministry • Discipleship • Prayer • Community • Support
Encouraging Men and Women in the United States Armed Forces, and their families, to love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ.

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