30 November 2012

Fortress of Faith: Bible Study for Military Women- Introduction

While chatting with my dear friend, Mandi, this morning, He sent me a moment of clarity regarding the Bible Study aspect of this blog.

"Fortress of Faith: Bible Study for Military Women" will start with the foundations of our Christian Faith- bound by the love of God.  We will spend a couple if weeks covering those things that form the basis of being a Christian woman with a special emphasis on "love." 

As we progress, we will discuss the walls that build our Faith, the fruits of the Spirit, characteristics of a Godly woman, and characteristics of a Christian.  We will continue on the path of the study until we can see the Fortress our Faith in Him builds!    ((OOH!  Just got a shiver of excitement!!!  LOL))

The intent is to tie these studies into our military way of life.  No matter where we are in our life with the Military, we are sisters in Christ, and we need to bridge the glaring gaps between us.  We can learn from each other, we can support each other, and we can encourage one another.  As Christ does for us, let us do for each other!

I look forward to your thoughts as we move forward!

God bless!!!
~C. Borden

PS... I would ask you all to keep me in your prayers.  My biggest struggle is following blindly- I am a planner- but He is giving me only one small piece at a time.  Please pray that His will be done, that I am open to His call, and that I carry out His will with this blog as HE envisions, not as I envision.  

Copyright © 2012 C.H.Borden

28 November 2012

Fortress of Faith: Study One- Foundation of Love

Romans 10 versus 14 and 15 say: "How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

Good news indeed!  Then I joined the military, and was under the distinct impression that I had to curb my enthusiasm for my God and His incredible promises of love, grace, and mercy!  I had no doubt that the Lord wanted me in the military, but what I couldn’t figure out, was “why?” 

Pre-military I was on a path to go into missions.  I felt His tugging on my heart to go and help.  However, the places I imagined He was going to send me were places where the type of help needed was obvious.  Going to a third world country, helping to build a well, or a school house, or giving aid to medical workers to heal the sick- those are obvious needs.  What in His Name could I do in the military?  How could I minister to men and women who came from the same class as me, if not better?  How could I minister to men and women who didn’t struggle to keep a roof over their heads, or food on the table, or keep their babies from starving?  How could I minister to men and women who already had a purpose greater than themselves?  How indeed.

I went into the military with more questions and doubts regarding His will than I ever had with anything before, or since.  The doubts were so loud in my head that I began to get angry.  The two verses from Romans 10 beat around in my head like a bass drum, dragging me further and further into my spiral of doubt in my God who had never led me astray.  Why the doubts this time He asked me jump?  I struggled with the question of WHY He brought me to the military the entire time I was on Active Duty.  It was not until I joined the Reserves, five and a half years into my 6 year contract, that I began to see a glimmer of His role for me.

During those years on Active Duty, while I am sure I failed at every opportunity to witness to someone, to share His love with them; He certainly had not failed me.  Not once did He leave me to wander by myself, though there were periods when I am sure He was not happy as I struggled to do things my way. 

During those years, He placed people in my life who challenged me.  He placed people in my life who added to the testing of my beliefs.  He placed people in my life that helped me find the truth to my faith, the basis on which it all stands.  He placed people in my life who I would have cast out had I met them in the security of my Christian bubble back home.  Instead, those people had become friends, some as close as family, despite our differences.   Despite our opposite sets of beliefs (and sometimes moral compasses), these were men and women I served with, whom I shared life with, whom I came to truly love. 

“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command.”                John 15 verses 12-14

In looking back, that foundation of loving someone despite the differences became the truth of the foundation of my faith.  His love for me, His will for my life, His reason for placing me in the one place I never dreamt to go was to truly teach me how to love my fellow man.  In those lessons of love, I found His love to be even greater.  In those lessons of love, I found my faith to grow stronger, the foundation suddenly solid like it was meant to be.

1 Corinthians 13 speaks entirely of love.  Interestingly, it starts out talking about how if we do certain things, or act a certain way, none of it matters if we do it without love.  Could another lesson He was teaching me be that I was being a "Christian" without truly understanding what it is to "love?"  Could He have brought me into the military to serve among so many men and women who differed so greatly in every way to teach me that the love I thought I was full of was naught but an empty jar? 

Starting with verse 4, 1 Corinthians 13 states that “love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered,  it keeps no records of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”  Then finally, in verse 8, it says “Love never fails.”  

I would love to break down each section of this passage, but will save that for another blog.  For now, I encourage you to reread the entire chapter (1 Corinthians 13).  What does this chapter mean to you?  When you say you love someone, do the characteristics of that love described above match the love you claim?  As a Christian woman, you know the love of God.  As a Christian woman in or around the military, you have the daily opportunity to live that love in the community in which you find yourself, in your newest workplace, in your base community, and in your home.   Once you add this foundation, this love to your life, He can start building the walls to your faith!

Dear Sisters, do not fear the changes He brings to your life.  His will has a purpose.  His love is never ending, and His grace is sufficient.  The future may be unknown, the path may be clouded in fears, doubts, and struggles, but be rest assured He is still with you, and He will be with you. 

God bless!

~C. Borden

Copyright © 2012 C.H.Borden

Taking A Step of Faith

Greetings Dear Reader,

In 1999, I walked into an Army Recruiter's office solely to support a friend in her decision to join the Army.  I walked out knowing without a shadow of a doubt that the Lord wanted me to join the Military, something I had refused to consider on my own as I was both terrified of what it might entail and because my rebellious nature refused to consider it (something my Dad had wanted me to do.)  A month later, after much arguing and pleading with Him over His shove in that direction, I found myself at Lackland AFB for Basic Training.

Over the course of the next several years while on Active Duty, the foundations of my Faith, as a Christian woman, were rocked to the core.  This blog is another shove, though much more subtle after experiencing His shove INTO the military, from Him.  I am not completely certain of how this will play out, I only know that He wishes me to start.

I hope to share with you the challenges I faced as a young woman of Faith in the military, and how He brought me through them.  I hope to share with you my struggles with fear, doubt, anger, and confusion.  I hope to share with you how He placed me against all odds right where He wanted me, and blessed me beyond anything I could have imagined.

I also hope to share with you the challenges I have faced, and continue to face, as a Military spouse and as a mother.  The challenges brought on through separations, through TDY's, deployments, and PCS's.  The struggles as you uproot your entire family at the supposed whim of the military, which in reality is Him placing you once again where HE wants you.

I hope my experiences, as I work through particular issues I faced and continue to face, will help you as you work through yours.

I hope that He will make Himself known to you as I try to share The Word that helped me through each and every chapter of this crazy military life!

God bless you, dear reader!

C. Borden

Copyright © 2012 C.H.Borden