Ruth 1:18 (ESV) – And when Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more.

Jumpmasters in the Army conduct and lead in airborne operations. For Jumpmasters it is all about safety. Everything follows a script to ensure that the jumpers know what to do and when. That way, jumpers are all on the same sheet of music. 

Jumpmaster School is hard. I’m a good student,  but I went to the Army’s Jumpmaster School three times. I failed twice. I was frustrated that I didn’t pass various tests of skill and knowledge. 

Looking back on those first two failures, I realize I still had things to learn and skills to develop to keep jumpers safe. I went back a third time and passed. When I passed the infamous JMPI (Jumpmaster Personal Inspection) test I yelled out “Praise the Lord.” Everyone knew that the chaplain had passed!

I was determined to contribute to airborne operations as a Jumpmaster. I could have simply given up the possibility. I believe that God led me through the failures and the success. 

The story of Ruth is a story of determination. Ruth, as a Moabite, really had no reason to return with Naomi to Bethlehem. Instead, Ruth made her famous statement just prior to the one above verse, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.” Ruth was determined.

I continue to face challenges. Right now, there is a vote on a constitutional amendment in Kansas. Debbie and I have travelled across Kansas and shared information at churches. But there is opposition. The opposition is defacing churches, signs, and are telling lies. It is discouraging. 

But then I realize that God is on His thrown. Results are not my responsibility. I am responsible to God for being obedient. When I do that, I know that my determination is based on the strength that God has given me. I can and I will go on. I am determined.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, as I face the many challenges of this life, I commit to submit, to You. As I do, I know that my determination will be firm and that You will receive glory.

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