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Jumping from Airplanes, Death, and Christmas

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In years past, I have found that my ability to focus during this season of the year has been challenging.

Back in 1992 I was a brand-new active duty Army chaplain stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. I was assigned to an Airborne Military Police Battalion. I had not gone through Airborne School yet. The importance of those “Jump Wings” being on my uniform were underscored when a Soldier I was talking to simply asked, “When are you going to jump school, chaplain?” Fortunately, I was leaving within days. So, during the Christmas season of 1992 I was learning how to jump out of “perfectly good aircraft.” Fortunately, I graduated as a new “Five Jump Chump” and headed home. Since my family had just arrived and were living in temporary quarters, during the evenings while at Airborne School, I purchased and wrapped all the Christmas gifts. When I arrived back to my family in my old Buick, I felt like Santa Clause unloading all those gifts to the delight of my four young children.

Fast forward to just five years ago. In 2014 I was getting ready to retire from the Army when on December 7th we got word that my Father-in-law had passed. Life happens – death too. Debbie quickly departed to be with her Mom. I left a few days later and traveled to Illinois in order to conduct the funeral. As a result of an extended time in an aircraft I developed a deep vein thrombosis. Not good. Again, life happens. All the while, through hospital stays and Christmas trips, we were moving to Kansas, all during the Christmas season.

I believe that we all have stories to tell. I have mine. You have yours. For most of you who are actively leading the body of Christ during this hectic season of the year, I truly believe that you, despite challenges, are leading people to focus on Jesus as the reason for this season.

Although I am no longer leading a congregation, I want you to know that you have an ally with Family Policy Alliance of Kansas®. We are a Christ-centered organization. We encourage each other to embrace Jesus as our Lord and Savior in every area of life.

Being a pastor is challenging. If there is anything I can do to help you, pray for you, or resource you, please let me know. I am praying for all the churches, especially here in Kansas.

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