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Powerful Yet Tender

When I see it—in actions, words, or formal presentation, it’s always a favorite combination . . . power with tenderness . . . When I first read Eric Blehm’s book on the life of Navy SEAL Adam Brown, "Fearless", I was struck by this description: “Known for his compassion, Adam was always the first to do something like break open a light stick for a baby to play with or give a candy bar to a terrified child. But he wasn’t the only one. In a group of men whose business is killing, the fury they release upon the enemy is rivaled only by the humanity they display for innocents caught in the crossfire.”
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S.T.A.N.D. for Your Marriage

A friend in North Carolina introduced me to “standing for your marriage” as a concept and movement. I had always known there were those who refused to give up on their dying or dead marriage—but I had never heard it called “standing”. Since then I have paid close attention to articles, books, websites, testimonies, and seminars about standing. I know in the military community the stresses on a marriage can cause either the husband or wife—sometimes both—to say, “Enough! I’m done!”
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Just a Piece of Paper?

During the debate over the pros and cons of marriage vs. living together I would often read that one party would say, “Why get married? It’s just a piece of paper. We already FEEL married.” In the military, that twisted logic just doesn’t hold up. A military marriage begins with one piece of paper—the marriage certificate. If you are not married “on paper," your relationship doesn’t count. Shortly after the official marital documentation follows the military ID card, another important piece of paper. Without that important document, there are no privileges that come with being a military dependent.
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There’s More to Success

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry.” Whatever our role, our position, our organization—we should strive to be the best. Agreed. But what if there was more . . . ? Don’t all people essentially want the same things? And, in part, don’t we all on some level deeply desire to be successful? I would say, “Yes!” When people think of “success,” we frequently assume professional development or promotion, superior financial security, nicer “stuff,” good reputation among peers and colleagues, and the quality of relationships we enjoy. I think we would agree this is a fair representation of elements of success. So you say, “Okay, Chaps, we got it. So where are you going with this?”
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“Reintegrace”–God’s Grace for Reintegration

We do not want to miss this grace—this pure grace of God that gets us from the excitement-building, heart-racing, glee-producing “Welcome Home” moment . . . through the adjustments and transitions which characterize reintegration. Hebrews 12:15 reads, “See to it that no one misses the grace of God . . .”, and reintegration done well will validate that it is God’s grace, and grace alone, that smooths the return home. His greater grace takes you from "I can't do this anymore' to 'I can do all things through Him who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13). Likewise the pure grace of God in reintegration takes us from “I didn’t expect homecoming to be anything but sweet” to “God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8). This grace is so powerful, so cleansing, so redemptive that I can only call it “reintegrace.” Indeed, God can take the strain of deployment and the uncertainty of transition and fashion it to be good because of His pure grace and mercy (Psalm 119:68).
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No Regrets!

Excellent or Praiseworthy is posted on Monday and Thursday nights. God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. — Psalm 46:1 I sought the LORD, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.…

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