News from our Chaplains

Chaplain Joe Martin – Balance in Ministry

The battle for our attention between our ministry and our family is a brutal reality for the Lord’s servants. The Scriptures inform ministers to rightly divide the word of truth (II Timothy 2:15), to study their life and teachings (I Timothy 4:16), and to be an example to others (I Timothy 4:12). The public ministry of preaching, teaching, and counseling (among other activities) must flow from a life well lived for God in the private times of the minister’s life. However, the family of the minister is not to be neglected, but rather embraced. Providing physical support alone is not sufficient; we must also enable them emotionally and spiritually if the family is to be spiritually nurtured.  Any isolation of the wife or children will cause them to become hard-hearted toward the minister as well as the Gospel. Bickering, numbness, solitude, and bitterness will fester inevitably.

Only from the depth of our ministry at home can we expect to develop spiritual maturity in others. Charles H. Spurgeon spoke persuasively on the home in one of his famous lectures to his students. He adamantly believed that the effectiveness of their ministry to others swung on the hinges of the spiritual health of their home. He advised:

“We ought to be such husbands that every husband in the parish may safely be such as we are. Is it so? We ought to be the best of fathers. Alas! Some ministers, to my knowledge, are far from this, for as to their families, they have kept the vineyards of others, but their own vineyards they have not kept. Their children are neglected, and do not grow up as a godly seed. Is it so with yours?”

The critical component for maintaining ministry – both public and private – is gaining balance.

Imbalance results in catastrophic consequences. A sorrowful example is found in
David’s life. Without a doubt, David was a great king. Sadly, he was also a poor father. One of his most glaring failures was with his son, Absalom. Among the many things that David did wrong, one of the primary catalysts to the downfall of his family was due to David’s distraction regarding his assignments (II Samuel 13:1-3). His desire to show honor to Jonathan, David’s greatly beloved friend, resulted in the heartfelt and gracious treatment of Mephibosheth, the only remaining son of Jonathan. David was affectionate with Mephibosheth, but not with his own children. He prioritized his ministry over his family and, as a result, division was created within his home. David failed to realize that despite his success in the kingdom the misdeeds within his home would wound him deeply and enduringly. From David we must learn that the family must become a serious priority.

It’s time to level the scales.  In order to overcome the pitfalls of imbalance, we must turn to the Scriptures for guidance. First, ministers must address the needs of their spouse (Ephesians 5:22-23). A wonderful opportunity exists within marriage to learn about the precious person with whom we are sharing love, life, and ministry!  Those families who have been blessed with children can know a special joy as well.  Though many couples try to simply endure their children’s years of development, their time in our homes is critical to their development of their Christian identity and worldview (Ephesians 6:1-11).  By joining with the Lord to build our homes, we will have a family that is established on the Rock, but many marriages are ravished by Satan and selfishness and end up “dashed upon the rocks” (Ephesians 6:12-20).

Your home is the platform for all other ministries.  All ministry matters, but we prefer to think that our public ministry is separate from our home.  This is simply false.  The ministry of the home is a mirror of ministry in the church. It is foolish to expect our families to simply accept the fact that we must spend time with others when we neglect to spend time with them.  A burden for the welfare of souls begins with our homes and then radiates to other families.  the minister must ensure that both are set on a course to pursue holiness (I Timothy 3:2).

Through the power of the Spirit, the family can be a unified home under the headship of the Lord Jesus Christ and serve one another in love (Galatians 5:13-18). By solidifying his family’s pursuit of holiness, the minister will be liberated to invest liberally in the spiritual well-being of other families.  Through the eternal and indwelling Spirit we can experience victory in each area of our ministries despite being pull in this dynamic tug-of-war of ministry!

American by birth. Soldier by choice.
Lt. Joseph Martin

Endorsed by All Points Baptist Mission, serving in the Army

Chaplain Joel Britton – The Price of Freedom

The Price of Freedom

Acts 22:27-28 “Then the chief captain came, and said unto him Tell me, are thou a Roman?  He said, Yea.  And the chief captain answered, with a great sum obtained I this freedom. And Paul said, But I was free born.”

In our passage, the chief captain was about to scourge Paul, but it was unlawful for a Roman citizen to be scourged.  The chief captain asked if he was a Roman citizen and Paul says yes.  At this point in history, Roman citizenship could be purchased and the chief priest said that he obtained his Roman citizenship by paying a great price.  Paul said I obtained my citizenship freely.  However, someone had purchased and paid a high price for Paul’s freedom as well.  The price of freedom is not cheap and it has never been an easy purchase.    

There was a great price paid to purchase the freedoms and liberties that we enjoy today.  Of course one of the greatest statements of all time given by Patrick Henry, “Give me Liberty or give me death”, was a statement of conviction.  The conviction that obtaining freedom and liberty is worth the highest cost a person can pay.  The signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776 drafted by Thomas Jefferson was the document that declared the freedoms we enjoy today.  We enjoy the freedom to choose how we live and who or what we serve.  We also enjoy the Liberty to pursue a life of happiness and purpose.

Everyone that was born in the United States of America was free born to the freedom and liberty that embodies our nation.  Many times we don’t think about the price it cost to live in
the Land of the Free.  The cost continues to increase with each generation.  American Soldiers are paying the high price for the freedom and liberties that everyone in America is enjoying today.  I am continually amazed by the effort, work and service that the American Soldier gives each day.  As a volunteer and without the desire to be known or rewarded our Soldiers go to bed worn out, and energetically get up the next morning to do their part in defending our freedoms.  They have become part of the history of men and women who have honorably served and sacrificed for our Nations freedoms.  There is not a greater group of Individuals to have been entrusted to defend the Liberty and Freedom that was declared back in 1776.  Just as important and as high a price are the costs that the families pay that are faithfully serving at home.   The sacrifice on the home front doesn’t go unnoticed. 

Let us also remember the freedom that comes from knowing Christ.  As an Army Chaplain, I have been called by God and have the total freedom to share the Gospel message.   This message of freedom that comes through Christ was purchased at a greater price.  Therefore, Paul said in Galatians 5:1 “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”   We can’t even fathom giving up the freedom and liberty we enjoy in America.  However, we continually give up the freedoms and liberties we enjoy In Christ.   There is liberty and freedom to love, serve and support God and each other.  We don’t have to be in bondage to depression, bitterness or anger.  Come to Christ and stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ can make you free…

Grace From Above!

Airborne!

CH (CPT) Joel Britton