Jesus came to bring us out of our bondage, sorrow and night into his freedom, joy and light. Both the Bible and the news channels testify that we dwell in the midst of darkness and, even worse, that darkness dwells in us. Isaiah 9:2 testifies that “the people who walked in darkness have seen… Read more

We live in a dark and slippery world. At this time of year, when the sun is low, and daylight is short, simple walks or running may become major adventures. Our paths are often poorly lit, and our way is often covered with ice or frost. Travelers venture-out onto wet or icy highways, where s… Read more

American author and life coach, Tony Robbins reminds us that throughout human history, our greatest leaders and thinkers have used the power of words to transform our emotions, to enlist us in their causes and to shape the course of destiny. Words cannot only create emotions, they create act… Read more

Have you ever made the biggest mistake of your life? Now, we’ve all made mistakes before. But, think about the biggest mistake ever; perhaps one that you may have buried deep within your heart. Read more

One of our nation’s greatest service songs is “Anchors Aweigh.” In the song, those serving aboard the ship are commanded to pull the anchor up, secure it and set sail for distant shores. Families serving in the Marine Corps and Navy are often asked to set sail together, far away from where t… Read more

Do you dislike waiting on things? I do. I absolutely can’t stand waiting on things. Waiting to get in the Wilson Boulevard Gate on any given weekday. Waiting for a batch of cookies to finish baking. Waiting in sheer futility for my beloved Phoenix Suns to get their act together and actually … Read more

Joy, peace and love; these are three words you heard much of through the month of December, on signs, billboards and holiday cards. But joy, peace, and love are three words that cannot be separated. Read more

As children, we often asked our parents or other adults for many things throughout our lives. Never truly understanding what it took to provide those things that we wanted until we became adults. The only thing that mattered to us as children was that we expected to receive what we desired. … Read more

My wife and I are in our sixth year of marriage and our three children survive our fallible attempts to shepherd their little hearts to Christ. Being a spouse and a parent is a trying thing, full of extreme hardship and extreme joy. But the love of the family can never be compromised. Here a… Read more

As a working mother, life can be full of chaos and uncertainly as we attempt to balance the duties of service member, mom, step mom, wife, daughter or sister. The list can seem endless. We often wonder if we are performing well at work while properly attending to the physical and emotional n… Read more

Think of someone you know who is truly happy. Just being around them makes us happier as well. Now think of someone you know who isn’t happy at all. Perhaps they seem drained of energy. Perhaps they are angry or bitter or pessimistic. What is the difference between them? What distinguishes t… Read more

Humility is one of those traits which good leaders have and which takes years to hone. It’s like a good marinade on a steak. The longer you let it sit in the marinade, the better it tastes. Read more

I came across a biblical verse in my devotional reading. It struck me hard. It caught my attention. The sun almost stood still for me. I was puzzled and amazed. I had to pause and reflect on what I was reading. How this can be? How did I miss this? 2 Kings 18:5 describes about King Hezekiah … Read more

An accomplished artist living in New York City regularly contributed to the donation can of a homeless person as she made her way home from work each evening. When Christmas time came, instead of her normal contribution, she stopped and handed him a wrapped present. As he peeled the paper of… Read more

There exists in many a misunderstanding that pride and arrogance is strength, confidence and power. Going along with this misunderstanding is that humility is weakness, a lack of backbone and lack of personality. Pride seems to be our default settings whereas humility requires daily awarenes… Read more

Wisdom is an art rather than a science. It takes what people have experienced and compresses it down into a usable thought that can be planted and grown. However, wisdom is elusive. It seems to be hard to find for even the most diligent seeker. So, when I hear a story about a young person ma… Read more

There are times in our lives where we end up in a river of bad decisions. One bad choice can lead to another, then another, and so on. When considering these bad decisions, I find it helpful to use the analogy of a dam and relate it to our life. Why do we make bad decisions, what factors lea… Read more

Kindness is a gesture that anyone can practice. It is a gesture that can alleviate tension and cause enemies to reconcile. Proverbs 25:21 states, “If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink, for so you will heap coals of fire on his head, an… Read more

Are you going through some of the toughest moments of your life right now? Or maybe you have gone through rough times and can relate? Read more

Semper Fidelis takes a mindset, preparation, commitment and much more. An entire Marine culture must become habitual both in actions and thinking. Once that training has gripped a persons’ lifestyle, thought structure and habits they can say with confidence, “once a Marine, always a Marine.” Read more

I’ve never liked hearing someone say to me, “I don’t want to be a bother, or a burden,” when turning down my offer of help or a gift. And yet, I often catch myself saying something similar to others. Or I’ll say to myself, “I’m strong, I don’t need help.” I once read a story by Stephen Donal… Read more

I recently took some leave days and went to Florida for some family time and relaxation. When you have children, you are bound to end up in Orlando and go to one of the entertainment parks. This time around we settled for Universal and, being teenage children, they of course wanted to ride t… Read more

The holidays are joyful for most. After all, we are given extra time off work. Sweets and special foods are served. Gifts are often exchanged. But the thoughtful will also experience emotions of longing, a desire for something more. This feeling is given ritual form in the Christian calendar… Read more

A Marine I served with in Iraq in 2007 told me this story. In 2006, he was in Afghanistan in the Korengal Valley, where his Forward Operating Base was constantly under indirect fire. Anytime he or his Marines were outside of their hardened positions they had to wear their flak vests. Read more

What is the worst thing you have ever done? Have you experienced God’s forgiveness? Or, in contrast, do you fear that God will not forgive you? I invite you to consider the example of Peter. You may remember that though he was one of the twelve disciples, he denied Jesus three times, even in… Read more

One of my children’s favorite shows is based on two siblings who love nature, animals and various creatures. One of the recent episodes that I had a chance to watch with them was concerning spiders. It was really fascinating to see how spiders use their webs and how powerful their webs can b… Read more

The Butterfly Effect is defined as a phenomenon where local minute changes eventually lead to large effects elsewhere. History is a rife example where small insignificant events eventually lead to dramatic changes. One such event occurred 50 miles south of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune on a… Read more

How are you doing? Holistically—mind, body, emotions, spirit — are you well? As a Chaplain, one of the most challenging things I deal with is overworked Marines and Sailors. There are men and women all around us who are one bad day away from falling apart. Today, we understand burnout better… Read more

Well, it is that time of the year. From the grocery store shelves to the coffee shops, everything is coming up pumpkin spice. From breakfast to dinner, with even dog treats in between, we could eat pumpkin flavorings all day long. My wife offered me a taste of her pumpkin beverage the other … Read more

In his book “Choosing to Live the Blessing,” John Trent tells the story of a Hassidic rabbi who was approached by one of his students. As the rabbi was reading, the student, with a burst of enthusiasm said, “Master, I love you!” Read more

The Atlanta Journal Constitution had an incredible story in 1987 about a rock collector named Rob Cutshaw.He owned a little roadside shop outside Andrews, North Carolina. Like many in the trade, Cutshaw hunted for rocks on the weekends and would then sell these rocks to other collectors or j… Read more

A few months ago I had the privilege of writing an article entitled, “Spiritual Mooring Lines.” In this article, I shared how the mooring lines of a naval vessel ensure that the ship remains pier side until it is time to get underway. In other words, these physical mooring lines ensure that … Read more

I’m finishing up my tour here on Camp Lejeune and I’m headed to the blue-side, Naval Station Mayport. I thought it would be fitting to wrap up this green side tour by running the Marine Corps Marathon this fall. Injury prevented me from running last year, so I’m doubly motivated to train thi… Read more

Rest is one of those things that we’re not very good at as Americans. “Work hard, play hard” is the motto in many of our subcultures. We go through life with this idea that we’re always supposed to be moving. But part of being spiritually fit is engaging a sense of rest for our souls. Read more

“What would you like to change? Maybe you’d choose to change your appearance or have better-behaved children. Perhaps, you’re seeking one more step up the career ladder or maybe just to get onto a career ladder. Maybe you’d like to be more confident and witty or maybe less angry or depressed… Read more

Apple pie has been a part of our American culture for as far back as anyone can care to remember. Most of us would argue that “my” grandmother made the best apple pie and would also be willing to defend her cooking with our life. Some of you may recall your grandmother saying, “An apple a da… Read more

I’ve officially been a “cake cutter” for the past few Ball seasons…which means I’m O-L-D. That also means I’m supposed to be wise too. I’ve learned most of my life lessons from the good old-fashioned school of hard knocks. Out of my old-man-cake-cutter-wisdom I’ve learned that there are five… Read more