was successfully added to your cart.

PICKING A FIGHT

By | sacrifice | No Comments

In the movie Braveheart, change didn’t occur in Scotland until the hero, William Wallace, forced himself into the midst of the “nobles.” These men loved their titles, wealth and prestige, but they had no will to fight. Every time the tyrant English king wanted to take more freedom from them, they responded by making a truce. Their problem was they loved the status quo more than a life of victory.

But, as is often the case when week men rule, God raised up a real man. William Wallace, a man of no nobility, rose up in their midst and called them out on their weakness. One day while facing the British army Wallace and his men took to the front lines. Their only mission was to fight. And while the weak nobles were only there to increase their lands and titles, Wallace and his men knew that as long as evil was left unabated, the people would continue to be oppressed. Wallace galloped into the “negotiations” and onto the battlefield and PICKED A FIGHT!

He was not a man of compromise because he had learned a powerful lesson. Peace cannot come through truces but only through victory! While the nobles were perfectly happy making truces with the enemy, Wallace determined that he would never accept a truce with the tyrant king, Longshanks – no matter how outmatched he was in battle!

One man’s courage caused those who loved compromise to fight like they were supposed to. One man with a heart for freedom raised the bar for everyone around him. Wallace’s heroism brought the fight back into the Scottish people. It gave them hope and a reason to live. It caused them to regain their dignity and honor.

Questions: What status quo do you have around you needing a hero to expose? Are you willing to be the one who picks a fight? Are you willing to lead the way?

This is the story of Christ. He came to this earth to free men. But to do so he had to pick a fight with men who loved the status quo, as well as the author of compromise, Satan. He then led the way to true freedom.

World View

By | Mission Force | No Comments

In the past couple years, I (along with my wife and family) faced some unimaginable tragedies. Dealing with each of them, I was faced with a decision, to move forward and stay in the fight, or close my eyes to the world and the responsibility I have to reach it.

Jesus commissioned us to go into all the world. This call NEVER came with a promise that in doing so we would be protected from loss, pain and suffering. But it did come with a promise, repeated over and over again. A faithful man will abound with blessings. There is something supernatural which happens when we “go.”

We simply won’t be satisfied in our faith without the whole world in our view. In the past two years I have traveled to Ukraine three times; Israel five times; the borders of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, France three times; London 4 times; Ferguson, MO; Cambodia and Nepal. Each of these trips were made in times of war, disaster, riots and poverty. If I learned anything in my numerous trips, it is we are never to be out of the fight. The BEST place for us to be is in the fight. And this is among the suffering, wounded, and those hungry for the true God. This is where our lives and faith can carry the only hope available to the world.

With this mindset, we may take a hit or two as the enemy fires at us. But the heart of the warrior stays with us whether we are conscious or not. All of us are God’s voice to a world hungering to hear Him. We have a duty to carry on with the mission declaring defeat to the enemy by saying what God says. We carry the sword of the Spirit and must run to the battle and fight. That is the mission. That is the call.

On the mountain of transfiguration, a Voice came from heaven and said, “Hear Him.” Our mission is to hear, and then boldly and in faith declare (to both our community and the entire world) what God has to say.
Today I pray that your eyes would be opened to what God has on His heart. May we replicate the fire that began at Pentecost and fan those flames into an all-consuming fire.

Manhood

By | sacrifice | No Comments

We do not have to look too far into history to see an example of what real manhood is. In World War II, men from their late teens to their forties flocked to protect a nation and fight tyranny. Boys from farms to the big city didn’t have to be convinced or coerced to join the military forces and fight. They willingly left weeping parents and ran to the fields and waterways of war. It was not in their DNA to do anything else. And so many died a good death in that war, giving it all so that others could live. But something began to happen to men after that. In the decades since the World War I and II, most men have become acclimated to activities that keep them from engagement in righteous conflict. And technology has helped them.

When a person gives their soul to fantasy, they effectively surrender to ineptitude. Video gaming companies make billions of dollars producing visuals intended to occupy a person’s God-given need to fight evil.

Imaginary wars control the lives of millions of men. Sitting at a computer and losing oneself in fantasy roles have become a favorite pastime. “A questionnaire asked gamers found on video game websites what they got out of the gaming. They got a huge number of respondents: over 1,600. The survey justified stereotypes: Participants were 87 percent male.”

The apostle Paul said, “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child: now that I have become a man, I am done with childish ways and have put them aside.” 1 Corinthians 13:11 (AMP).

A Band of Brothers

By | Mission Force | No Comments

“The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you!’ (I Corinthians 12:21)”

It is possible to live, work, and play among many people and still be alone. I know this because for many years I was that man. From the age of 12 when my mother died, I made an unconscious decision to need no one and could do everything on my own. In my mind, I had two choices- live as a victim and whine about my difficult life or get through life on my own. The problem was, for many years I wasn’t aware of this mindset until God revealed it to me, required me to face it, and, by His grace, overcome it. Being healed from that mindset was a life-changing experience.

Many people today attend church and do the “Christian thing”, but they don’t want anyone to get too close. They manipulate their lives in such a way leaving an excuse to keep others at bay. While we all have the choice to live this way, it is not the way we were created by God to live. Additionally, living that way guarantees we will not reach our full potential as an individual.

Whether we like it or not, we need others to be complete, especially if we accept God’s call to be warriors in this life. We are created this way. We are a part of the Body of Christ. When we find our part, life for us will change for the better, and we will be more fulfilled than we can imagine.

PTSD

PTSD, Re-acclimation and Understanding our Heroes

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Re-acclimation from combat to civilian life is very difficult both for those returning and those welcoming them. As I travel and speak I am often asked why PTSD and other problems exist today with military personnel when it seemed absent before Vietnam war. This is a difficult question to answer. But my usual response confronts the speed of the return from the battlefield to home. From World War One to Vietnam, it often took months for the combatants to return home. This gave them time to sit and talk about their experiences with those who shared them. Men haunted with visions of war could debrief in an environment where there was no judgment, total acceptance, and freedom to release pent up emotions. This debriefing would not erase the memories; it would just help bring them into a manageable place before arriving home. This was important because the families would then not have to deal with a traumatized returnee. This is not to say that those returning to civilian life didn’t struggle. Combat is a life altering experience. It affects all the senses. The taste and smells of war, the sights and feelings of war, and certainly the sounds of war all lead to a life change. And there are triggers which can cause each one of these to appear throughout the soldier’s lifetime. These flashbacks can lead to panic attacks and hyper-vigilance, which is the perpetual scanning of the environment to search for sights, sounds, people, behaviors, smells or anything else that is reminiscent of threat or trauma.

Today, a soldier can be in brutal combat one day, and at home the next day. This creates the potential for serious problems which can be seen in the rise in suicides and divorces among those who have served in war. That’s the problem – so what is the answer?

First, as civilians, we must educate ourselves to help. And everyone can be part of making life better both for those returning and those welcoming them home. The most important thing is to learn to listen. Listening is the act of hearing both what is said and that which is unsaid. A good listener is adept at reading those communicating and speaking only when they have a well thought out response. Secondly, it is important to provide an environment where it is safe to open up. This is exactly why Mission Force has centers which operate around military installations. We provide the environment for openness and camaraderie for the warrior and families. When possible, we purchase properties which have rivers and lakes, streams, fire pits and walking trails. These are helpful when attempting to mitigate some of the tensions warriors have.

Bottomline: As civilians, we owe those who serve in the military. Whether you agree with the situation surrounding their service or not, our nation is free because of them. My encouragement is that you engage in the battle for those who give us our freedoms. Please don’t believe the lie that you can’t do anything — because you can.

Something to think about: “The hardest part, by far, is to make the bad pictures go away.  In war time, the world is one big long horror movie, image after image. If this is anything like Vietnam, I’m in for a lifetime of wee-hour creeps.”

 — Tim O’Brien, Vietnam Veteran.

Greg Wark, Executive Director Mission Force

To learn more about Mission Force or to donate to our rebuild campaign, please visit  https://missionforce.org

About Mission Force: 

Since 1996, Mission Force has helped service men and women across America successfully transition to civilian life so that they can truly come back home —  body, mind and soul.  We offer a variety of programs, what we call “Warrior Reintegration” which includes:  Transition Assistance,  helps veterans convert their military training, skills, and talents into valuable skills that can be applied to civilian life; Emergency Crisis Support, addressing the everyday battle that some of our service members face once returning home; Marriage and Family Development to strengthen marriage and families;  Equine Therapy, which encompasses a range of treatments through activities with horses. Donations welcome! https://missionforce.org/product/donation/

 

Intersection of sacrifice and freedom

Lincoln Letter

By | Mission Force, sacrifice | No Comments

Abraham Lincoln took it upon himself to write the following letter to the grieving mother who lost all five of her boys – she and they offered up the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of a young nation.

The letter is as follows:

Executive Mansion,

Washington, Nov. 21, 1864.

Dear Madam,

I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle.

Read More

Leadership Is Serving

By | Mission Force | No Comments

Most of us think of leadership as being in front. The idea is that to lead one must be in the first position, so others can see you as forward progress is made. But as we will see in the example of Christ, leadership is oftentimes about humble actions toward those with whom you intend to lead. Read More