Happy Thanksgiving WEEK everyone! What a glorious week this is going to be, a week where every American takes pause to spend time with family and to look at all we have to be thankful for in America. All the finer details we usually take for granted. The ability to take a hot shower in the comfort of our home. The simplicity of running to the grocery store to buy whatever you can afford to cook whatever creative meal we saw on Pinterest to delight and over stimulate our taste buds. We really live in the greatest country in America and this country was made great by many individuals decades ago.
So I just came back from a short little ten-day exercise (where I was unable to do those luxuries listed above) with the Georgia Army National Guard. I am in an interesting unit at an interesting time in my life. I don’t want to bore you with the details of my Guard story, it’s always available at My Testimony page. But this unit I am is unlike any other unit in the entire military. Main Command Post Operational Detachments (MCPODs) were created after the 2010 draw down to give an operational element in the Army National Guard and Army Reserve for every Division in the Active Army Component. In 2010, when the military started downsizing they correctly started at the top and decided they were way too heavy with senior Officers. The Guard and Reserve created MCPOD’s that would house all these Officers who would always be ready to deploy at a moment’s notice to facilitate any need of their Active counterpart. The 3ID MCPOD that I am part of is Officer heavy, which is incredible because it gives me the opportunity to sit down with Majors and Lt. Colonels and listen to their insightful leadership. Here are men and women that command hundreds of soldiers in the field, working side-by-side with me as a lowly E5 Sergeant.
That’s one of the many reasons I stay in the MCPOD (plus it is the first time in my Guard career I live just thirty minutes away from the unit I drill with). Our entire mission is to support the Headquarters element of 3rd Infantry Division. It provides amazing opportunities for us lower enlisted to gain the attention of some pretty important military figures. For example, the only lower enlisted in my entire platoon (lower enlisted is anything under Sergeant rank), our beloved Private First Class (PFC), who works as an Air Defense Battle Manager, was able to pinpoint and coordinate attacks on over thirty enemy aircraft and four Forward Air Refueling Points during an extensive virtual war we fought for five days. The 3ID Commanding General, Major General Aguto, was so impressed by our PFC he presented him with his personal Coin (click here to read about the significance of challenge coins in the military) and I am under the impression this little NG PFC is going to be featured in the Post Newspaper.
Anyway, that was the highlight of the exercise for me, plus I helped this young PFC pass his Army Physical Fitness Test for the first time in three years so he could get the proper awards for what he accomplished during the training. I also gave my devotional to our Company’s Readiness NCO, the man who has gone above and beyond for me during my time with this unit, which opened up a great exchange between us about faith and religion. And of course, like any time I am at Fort Stewart, I talked to God. There’s something about the hallowed grounds of The Rock of the Marne division that really stirs my spirit.
But I’ll tell you all about that tomorrow. I know I have taken a lot of your time today already. God bless y’all and have an amazing week of Thanksgiving!
10So when I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, spreading malicious nonsense about us. (3 John 10)
John’s third letter is another extremely short epistle. This one is written to John’s dear friend “Gaius.” John opens this letter up with praise for his friend walking in the truth, and then praises him for his hospitality to strangers. Then John goes on the offensive over an individual named “Diotrephes.” Diotrephes seems to be a major influencer to whatever early Christian church John is writing to and he is doing a lot to sabotage the church, at least in John’s eyes. I chose to highlight these verses because it is such a stark contrast to what John usually writes, and is a bit vindictive to come from someone of such Christian stature as the Apostle John. It is a reminder that we are all human, we all have emotions, and as much as we want to always be peaceful, releasing doves and rainbows of promise, sometimes we have to stand up for what is wrong, especially when the wrong is damaging to the Christian church.
Reading plan: Old Testament only
Deeper reading plan: Habakkuk 3:1-10
Prayer and meditation: Today we thank God for our teachers, guidance counselors, principals, professors, janitors, cafeteria workers, and all those who love the children of this country and give them the greatest opportunities to succeed in this world. Pray for peace, pray for calm. Pray the revival in your heart overflows to all those around you.
Fitness challenge: Day 84-84 reps each:
- Hand-release Push-up
- Jumping squat
- Leg lifts
Run: Monday-resistance running day. Whatever you used last week, get after it again. This week, perform 16 sprints with whatever resistance you can come up with, add a one-mile warm-up and one-mile cool-down.