The following is a collection of the writings of SGM Dan Cartwright, USA (Ret). They are meant to foster encouragement to those engaged in Christian life within the military. Just an old retired soldier sharing his heart with those who serve us. Dan Cartwright is a 28-year veteran of the Special Forces. He also serves as the Chairman of the CMF Board of Directors. You may download a complete copy Special Forces using the button below.
Special Forces: Day One
Basic Training: Unit One
One thing I learned from serving in the military was the art of decision making. It was a subject that appeared at every level of leadership and career development training in the Army, at least before this guy retired. I am certain that decision making is among the hottest topics at schools in the other military branches as well. We had the decision-making process down to a science; define the problem, develop solutions or courses of action and analyze each one, determine the best course of action, make a decision and go for it. Decision matrixes were even developed to assist in the process in which different courses of action could be placed along with their good and bad points, numeric values could be assigned and a decision adopted based on the sum of values. To crusty old noncommissioned officers like me, much of it seemed to be common sense, but it was also good to have a process articulated so that it could be taught to those younger soldiers who were on a career path and not just doing their 'time'.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16 (NKJV)
We can apply the same process to just about everything we encounter in our daily lives. The challenge many times is in sifting through all of the possible solutions to apply or directions to take. There are times however, when it is pretty clear. Take the familiar Bible verse, John 3:16. I was first exposed to this great verse as wee one in Sunday school and also from the stories told to me by my Mom. There are probably a lot of folks who heard this truth in the same way. There are others who might have just seen it flash by on a billboard at a sporting event in a stadium - perhaps just seeing the reference and not the words. No matter how one might have been exposed to this truth, one thing is certain, it presents a clear choice that requires a decision.
The Choice - Life or Death
The basic assumption here (the military always has a set of basic assumptions) is that this is a true statement. I can't remember not believing in God and have always accepted the written Word as truth. Having said that, notice the simple choice presented here - 'perish' or 'have everlasting life'. Without getting into what 'perish' or 'have everlasting life' really mean, everlasting life seems the logical choice. So how do I receive this everlasting life?
First of all, everlasting life is available to 'whoever believes', meaning that no person is on the ineligible list just for breathing, being a certain color, being of poor character or reputation, or having a bunch of Article 15's. Not even serving a life sentence in Leavenworth makes a person ineligible. So what's the decision here? You can either believe in Jesus, or not believe. To believe in Him is life, to not believe is death.
It's easy to be so involved with all the decisions to be made just to make it through the day that we forget about the single most important decision we can ever make - what to do with the claims of Christ. To not confront the issue is to passively choose to perish in eternity. Think about it. To believe in Christ and choose to follow Him provides the opportunity to live an abundant life in the here and now and spent eternity with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
"The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." John 10:10 (NKJV)
The decision of what to do with Christ is the most important decision you will ever make and will effect your entire life now and forever. Have you made your decision?