Archive for Domestic

Camino de Santiago

Alto del Perdon

Camino de Santiago (aka Way of Saint James) was one of the most important Christian pilgrimages during the Middles Ages.  Today, it is one of the most popular treks in the world with almost 330,000 pilgrims (even mix of men and women) arriving at the Pilgrimage Office in Santiago de Compostela last year.  Although there are now many routes to Santiago, the traditional trek of 500 miles across northern Spain is the one I chose, in the accompany of a good friend, Pete, and his brother, Martin.  The experience exceeded our expectations.

In A Pilgrim’s Guide to the Camino de Santiago by John Brierley, the author asks readers to ask this question: Why am I doing this?  So, I asked myself that question, reflected on it, and came up with this answer: I’m walking the Camino to enjoy the company of God and fellow pilgrims, step-by-step…  My goal was not to get to Santiago de Compostela, which takes about five weeks (I was going for three), but to enjoy the journey in good company.  Years ago, I was given a plaque with the inscription, “The Journey is the Reward.”  Although I believed that statement to be true, I didn’t live that way, and it bothered me.  So, I decided the Camino would be a step-by-step journey, not a destination.  And so, it was…

On the Camino I sometimes walked with Pete and Martin, somethings with others, and sometimes alone.  To give you a taste of my experience, I share a few selections from the journal I kept.  April 25th – The joy of hiking for me today was meeting interesting people from all kinds of places, who are walking the Camino for all kinds of reasons.  I spent a lot of time walking with Conner, who just finished a Bachelor degree in Biochemistry, and will be starting Medical School in the Fall.  Conner is walking with his mom and aunt.  Wow!  April 27th – Walking alone was a good time for me to reflect, pray and thank God for this amazing experience.  The trail was quite picturesque and pleasant with streams, pastures and woodlands.  On the way I came across some fellow pilgrims trying to get a horse unstuck from a barbwire fence.  I pitched in and we were able to set the horse free.  Great comradery!  April 29th – I connected with Julius (aka Juju, a 6’7” young man from Germany.  He shared his story, and I shared mine, including my faith.  Juju is searching for purpose and meaning in life.  He gave me a big hug when we parted, and said that he hopes we meet again.  I hope so, too!  May 1st – It’s impossible to describe the beauty and simplicity of walking trails on a lovely day that moves one leisurely from mountain to meadow to farm to woodland to wheat field to olive grove.  The views are magnificent, whether wildflowers up close or snow-capped mountains in the distance.  Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!

Each day on the Camino I had a daily word, a thought to ponder and a verse to apply.  One particular word became especially precious, because it encapsulated the entire experience, and continues to serve as a good reminder for what matters, and what does not.  The word is CONTENT. Ponder this: CONTENT is a state of being satisfied, not with things alone, but with life itself. Apply this: If we have food and covering, with these we will be CONTENT. (1 Timothy 6:8).  On the Camino I had all my worldly possessions in a 13-pound pack, enough food each day, a roof over my head each night, beautiful scenery to behold each moment, and wonderful company each step.  I was CONTENT.  I am CONTENT!

To view my Camino photo album, click Camino de Santiago – 2019

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Happy New Year!  I hope 2018 ended well and 2019 has started well for you and your loved ones.  Dawn and I recently returned home after spending two weeks with another couple enjoying a delightful time visiting lots of Christmas Markets in France, Germany and Czech Republic.  It was a wonderful adventure but, as always, it’s good to be home again!

Regarding the new year, on Sunday, January 6th, Dawn and I will open our home as a place for The Haus (German word for House) to gather.  We are following God’s call to start a house church with Acts 2 in view as our model to imitate.  Our intent comes from verse 42, which says that the people who responded to the gospel “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”  With the Lord’s help, we will put into practice the mandates of Jesus, plainly stated in His Great Commandment (Matt. 22:37-39 – Love God; Love Others) and Great Commission (Matt. 28:19-20 – Make Disciples).  This expression of church will have no paid clergy or staff, but all involved will be encouraged to exercise their particular spiritual gift(s) in community for God’s glory and the edification of all involved.  Our goal is simply to experience a loving relationship with the Lord and one another in the context of a caring community of brothers and sisters in Christ. Our hope is to reach people who are not involved in a local church, and perhaps interested in this particular expression of Christian community.

We would appreciate very much your prayers for The Haus to be all that God wants it to be as caring, loving community of brothers and sisters in Christ.

Submitted by Bart Physioc, Director of Disciplers International

GET REAL

What’s your favorite scheduled event in any given week?  Think about what you look forward to most, and what always leaves you wanting more.  For me, it’s my GET REAL group of guys.  The four of us started meeting just a few weeks ago, but have already become a close-knit band of brothers, in spite of the fact that the three men I invited didn’t know each other previously.  How can this be?  The answer is as simple as it is personal, purposeful and practical.

GET REAL was born out of a growing awareness that people in general, and men in particular (myself included), are looking for intimate relationships that are deep, personal and meaningful.  I’m not talking about physical intimacy, but spiritual intimacy.  In a nutshell, GET REAL is about getting real with God and one another in small groups (3 to 4, but no more).  Before kicking things off, I preached a sermon entitled IN-TO-ME-SEE to convey openly and dramatically the need I think all of us have for intimacy, both with God and one another.

I’d like to introduce you to the three guys in my GET REAL group (five GR groups are meeting at this point).  Lee is married with two small children, and lives in my apartment complex.  Lee is a Marine, who teaches Leadership to Midshipmen at the Naval Academy.  Jon is married with four children, and reported just six months ago to the Naval Academy, where he serves as a Battalion Chaplain.  Lee and Jon graduated from the academy where they now serve.  Rush is married with two children, and works as a business executive.  Rush served in combat as an Army officer previously.  Our military backgrounds are as diverse as our personalities and life experiences.  What we share in common is our faith in Christ, and a strong desire to know Him more intimately and to serve Him more faithfully.

The four of meet at my place from 6:30-8:00 a.m. on whatever day works for all of us.  Dawn provides a delicious breakfast, so we’re always off to an outstanding start (food always enhances fellowship!).  We begin by sharing our stories (backgrounds, life experiences, challenges, etc.) at the breakfast table, one at a time.  The honesty and transparency coming out of our story-telling time has been impressive and refreshing!  After breakfast, we gather in the living room to ask each other four questions that relate to a chapter in the particular book of the Bible we selected.  The depth of insight and intimacy that results from asking and answering the questions is amazing.  Our time together, which passes too quickly, always concludes with heartfelt prayers for one another based on what we shared in confidence.  It’s what I need.  Perhaps it’s what you need, too.

To know more, click GET REAL

Submitted by Bart Physioc

Down Memory Lane

Whether you’re going down memory lane for the very first time, as in the case of my sister and her daughters, or for the umpteenth time, as in the case of my wife, memories are precious.  After living in Germany for six years, Europe has become our favorite destination and, in many ways, a home-away-from-home for us.  Our Hospitality Haus in Heidelberg, Germany, became a home-away-from-home for military service members, who spent a lot of time at “The Haus” and exploring other European countries with us.  Although we left Germany in 2005, Dawn and I return to Europe almost every year, just the two of us, until two weeks ago when Dawn went without me, but not solo.  In celebration of a new decade of life (I won’t say which one!), Dawn and my sister, along with Beth’s two daughters, Katie and Meggie, decided to take a trip to Europe together.  Since her traveling companions had never been there before, Dawn planned a trip to some of our favorite places in Germany, France, Belgium and Holland.  What follows are some of the highlights taken from notes Dawn jotted down on her flight home.  If you want to learn more about the charming towns they visited, click the hyperlinks while going down their memory lane….

Day 1: Heidelberg (“I left my heart in Heidelberg”) and Schwetzingen (home from ’02-‘05).  First stop was Gino’s on the Hauptstrasse for the best Doner Kebabs in the world.  After shopping on the strasse, we explored the castle before checking into the Hotel Alder, and then crossing the street to walk the beautiful Schwetzingen Gardens, and then enjoy a hearty dinner at the Brauhaus – Delicious!

Day 2-3: Drove to Strasbourg for lunch at Petit Francais and a walking / window shopping tour of the city, then down the Alsace Wine Road to Riquewihr, a romantic walled city that is the epitome of charm.  Visits to local towns like Ribeauville and Colmar enhanced the charm factor, and being there in peak wine season was a plus!

Day 4-5: A long, but scenic drive to Ghent, Belgium, via Luxembourg.  Ghent is a fabulous city with so much to see and do.  Although we couldn’t do it all, we did a lot, including a day trip to Bruges by train and a boat trip through the canals.

Day 6-7: A relatively short drive to Haarlem, Netherlands, which is lovely city to walk and shop and shop and walk.  So much history to experience in Haarlem, and so much charm!  We took a day trip by train to Amsterdam, where we visited the Rijks Museum and toured the Heineken Brewery.

Day 8: A night in the college town of Utrecht, a city of countless canals and bicycles!

Day 9: Just a night in Cochem, Germany, on the Mosel River.  Not sufficient time to bike the Mosel, but just enough to hike through a maze of vineyards to the enchanting castle, taste some fine wine at Pieter Koll Winery and take a nice, long stroll along the bank of the Mosel.

Day 10: Our last night was in Mainz, where we walked the Altstadt (Old City), visited the Gutenberg Museum and enjoyed dinner at Heiligeist (Holy Ghost) Restaurant.  As they say, “It was all good!”

Submitted by Bart Physioc

Footprints in the Sand – Revisited

Before Darlene left the house on June 9th, just two days after their 37th wedding anniversary, Michael spoke grace and favor over her in the name of the Lord.  As they walked to Darlene’s Jeep they laughed, kissed and said they loved each other.  Darlene then drove off to an appointment, and Michael returned to his “quiet place” in the backyard.  Suddenly, their lives changed…

Moments after turning left out of their neighborhood, Darlene collided with a man driving a pick-up truck.  Time stood still as Darlene’s Jeep violently crumbled around her and spun around one and a half times.  In that same moment, Michael’s quiet time ended with the awful sound of vehicles crashing into each other.  His first thought was, “Wow, that is a bad accident;” then, it occurred to him, “THAT WAS DARLENE!!”

After running through the house and racing down the street, Michael saw Darlene in shock and encased in her crumbled Jeep.  As she regained consciousness, Darlene saw Michael running toward her.  An eye witness, Sally, called 911 and encouraged Michael not to move his wife.  A neighbor, John, encouraged the same as he stood with Michael, supporting him as he remained by his broken, dazed and confused bride.  A friend, Pete, was also there quietly praying, like Sally and John, and calling other friends asking them to spread the word to pray for both drivers.  Traffic was halted by the local Sherriff, EMT’s cared for both drivers and firemen cut Darlene from her Jeep.  The driver of the truck was taken by ambulance to a local hospital as Darlene was flown there by a “Nightingale” helicopter.  Both Darlene and Michael are confident that their Heavenly Father never left their side for a moment, and both are comforted knowing that He is carrying them in His strong, caring arms.

Looking back on the terrible events of that day, Darlene and Michael see three sets of footprints as they laughed, kissed and assured each of their love in their front yard.  Minutes later they see only one set, pressed deeper into their sandy path.  As they journeyed through the accident, two Emergency Room visits, four surgeries, time spent in the Intensive Care Unit, the Trauma Ward, a major infection, more than two weeks in acute rehab and many weeks of Physical and Occupational Therapy at a Skilled Nursing Facility, they see Jesus carrying them.  His are the arms of family, friends, sheriff’s, EMT’s, firemen, pilots, nursing care partners, nurses, social workers, therapists, doctors and so many others.

Two months after the accident, with Darlene now walking 230 feet without stopping, they see four sets of foot prints, along with the impressions of her walker, belonging to Jesus, Darlene, Michael and Jane (her Physical Therapist).  Just like those who are helping Darlene use her arms and learn to walk again, Jesus holds them close as He helps them walk beside Him again, so they can provide others with the same comfort they have received from Him (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

Submitted by Michael Weiss

D-DAY Revisited

My grandsons, Simon and Oliver, are big-time military history buffs, especially WWII history.  So, when their mother decided to spend the better part of this summer with her three kids in Europe, I thought it would be a great opportunity to interrupt their trip with a separate trip – i.e. me taking Simon and Oliver to the Normandy coast for a few days to revisit D-Day 73 years later!  Some context first…  My Navy son-in-law, Will, currently stationed in Coronado, CA, goes to the Pentagon for his next assignment, but not until October (Dawn and I are thrilled, because Will, Carly and our three grand-kids will be living in our vicinity soon!).  Although Will’s move is months away, Carly decided to “move” early by taking Simon, Oliver and Penelope on a seven-week European adventure from Ireland to Wales to England to France to Belgium, and then back to England before moving into the house they will rent in Arlington, VA.  With D-Day in view, Dawn and I planned a French Connection by booking an apartment in Paris.  Arriving a day early, we made the most of the moment by seeing as much of Paris as we could before Carly and the kids arrived.  As they say in France, it was Magnifique!  The morning after they arrived, Simon, Oliver and I headed up to Normandy for our first stop in at the War Memorial Museum in Caen, France.  The 2.5 hour trip took us 5.5 hours, but that’s another story.  This story is all about D-Day Revisited…

The Normandy region of France is enchanting, with one tiny farming town followed by another, all constructed with stones collected from hard land now cultivated.  When we pulled into our stone-walled farm B&B, the castle-like home, which had been in the family four generations, was Magnifique!  Oh, the stories that house could tell of events from the 20th century.  After unloading, we immediately drove to Omaha Beach (a few minutes away) to a restaurant situated by the stunning memorial dedicated to over 10,000 American soldiers, who gave their lives there – June 6, 1944 – on a broad sandy shore.  After 73 years, the American flags flying everywhere show that the French in Normandy are still grateful for the gift of victory given by a foreign country.  For three days we experienced all we could by revisiting D-Day at places like Pointe-du-Hoc (where Army Rangers scaled cliffs), Ste. Mare Eglise (where the 101st Airborne “jumped” into combat), Utah Beach (the museum is a must see), the German and American Cemeteries (both quite moving in their own ways), Arromanches (where Port Winston was constructed in days to bring hundreds of thousands of men and machinery to the European continent), Juno Beach (where the Canadians sacrificed many men for success), etc…  A highlight for Simon was discovering a monument on a rural road to his hero, Captain Dick Winters, of the 101st Airborne, made famous in the miniseries, Band of Brothers.  D-Day revisited was a most-memorial experience I will never forget.  I think Simon and Oliver feel the same, which makes it extra special for me.

After returning to Paris to share stories of our “boy” adventures in Normandy, we were met with stories of “girl” adventures in Paris.  Most notable was the Musee des Arts Decoratifs.  Dawn and Carly said it was the best museum experience ever, with the most amazing display of fashion dresses.  They went on to say that I would have hated it, which is probably accurate.  What I loved was spending the next two days with all six of us in Paris, strolling down Champs-de-Elysees, marveling at the Eiffel Tower, climbing the Arch-de-Triomphe, exploring the artisan community of Montmartre and dining at outdoor cafes along the way.  All was Magnifique!  But best of all was being together as family.

Submitted by Bart Physioc

Meet George – My Mentor

George is one of those special people you meet in life, and never forget.  He is wise, experienced and accomplished, yet one of the most humble and unassuming individuals I ever met.  George is pushing 85, but is as engaged and excited about life as a young man in his 20s.  Although he pastored for almost four decades, growing a small home group into a very large congregation, George is a learner, who conveys a childlike faith and a love for God and others that makes one want to have he has.  He says that I mentor him, but that’s just because George is quick to listen and learn from anyone.  His humility humbles me.  The fact is, George is my mentor, and this is why….

In June 2016 I plunged into the C.S. Lewis Institute (CSLI) Fellows Program, a rigorous year-long discipleship training experience that focuses on the integration of heart and mind in a small group context.  The program includes monthly themes, reading and writing assignments, lectures, group discussions and more, but all with one purpose – to become more like Jesus.  At the close of our kick-off retreat, new Fellows, like myself at the time, were given the opportunity to select a mentor from those available.  George was not there, so I didn’t pick him as a possibility.  The CSLI Annapolis Director knew me well enough by that time to say, “I have the perfect mentor for you.  His name is George.”  When we finally met, and in the months that followed, it was clear that Jim made the right choice for me.  Throughout my entire career in vocational ministry, which dates back to 1980, George is my first “official” mentor.  For one who has focused attention on mentoring others through the discipleship training process I designed, it was a unique experience for me to have my own mentor.  I like the experience, but mostly because I like George!

Besides meeting with a mentor, all Fellows also meet monthly in small groups to connect personally and discuss what they learned from the preceding month.  As with any group, whether it “clicks” or not is determined by those involved.  Thankfully, as with George, my small group clicked.  Although different in many ways, Kevin, Lloyd, Jim and I found common ground in Christ immediately, and have learned so much from one another.  Kevin is a pastor with a heart for people recovering from addictions; Lloyd just retired at 70 something from work as a prison guard; Jim is a mechanical engineering professor at the Naval Academy.  So, as you can see, we are a real mixed bag of backgrounds and life experiences.  But we all love the Lord, and all desire to grow deeper in our faith and serve Him more effectively.  When we meet, it’s amazing how fast we can go from serious discussions about spiritual matters to uncontrolled laughter about something silly.  I love it, and I love them.  Although we have now finished the program, we will keep meeting together.

This last photo is a group shot of almost all the Fellows and several mentors on graduation day.  The CSLI Annapolis Fellows Program has been a terrific experience for me, and has opened the door for continual growth in my faith through authors and speakers, but especially through those I have met on the way.  Knowing and serving God is a lifelong spiritual journey that happens best in a community of brothers and sisters in Christ, who are Loving, Learning and Leading together!

Submitted by Bart Physioc

Roots & Branches

Memorial Day weekend, Darlene and I were blessed to attend a “Lord Family Reunion,” in New Iberia, Louisiana.  Darlene’s father, Chaplain (Colonel) Retired Bill Lord, was raised in New Iberia, and in celebration of his 60th wedding anniversary to mom (Bettye) and their 82nd birthdays.  Bill wanted the family, now scattered around the globe, to have an opportunity to develop and renew relationships with one another.  Family came from Louisiana, Texas, Colorado, North Carolina, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Florida and Holland.  Some we had not seen in 25 years or more; some we never met before.  It’s quite an extraordinary thing to be in the midst of the diverse histories and binding traditions of four living generations.

New Iberia’s best-known attractions are Avery Island, where McIlhenny Tabasco Sauce is made, as well as Shadows on the Teche, the antebellum mansion of the Week’s family, now on the National Register of Historic Sites.  While touring Shadows, Darlene and her parents had a conversation with a grounds keeper that was quite illustrative.  They were admiring the beautiful live oak trees whose sprawling canopies have given shade to the grounds for more than 200 years, and marveling that they have survived so many tornados, hurricanes and floods.  The grounds keeper told them that live oak tree’s tap root only supports the tree for about three years, then the lateral roots take preeminence.  These lateral roots spread wider than the branches of the tree.  So, the broader the branches, the wider the root system has to be to support the branch’s growth.   He also said the roots “reach out” in search of roots from other nearby oak trees so they can mingle together.  It’s this interlacing of root systems that allows the live oak tree to withstand the harshest of nature’s storms.

What an appropriate picture that paints!  The roots provide strength so branches can grow, and be able to withstand storms.   We were there to connect the branches of William Thomas Lord, Jr’s family tree.  W.T. Lord had eight children, one of whom was Darlene’s grandfather; our granddaughter, Abby, who is the fifth generation of W.T.’s, was also in attendance.  A line that has seen wars, disease, hunger, and experienced great joy, prosperity and success.  The branches of this tree are wide, and its roots continue to endure for new generations.  This is also a wonderful illustration for the family we have in the Body of Christ, especially, those serving in the military.  We are often far away from our familial root system, but we gain stability and are encouraged to grow when we connect with our brother’s and sister’s in Christ.  We can withstand the harshest challenges of military life because of that interconnectedness, and we can support one another because we share the same foundation.   This reminds me of the Colossians 2:6-7 – Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.

The live oak tree’s root system is not as deep as some other tree’s, but doesn’t need to be, because its strength comes in the breadth and connectivity of its roots.  The tree’s foundation is supported by its relationship to and with the trees within its purlieu.  I wonder if W.T. could have imagined that his lineage would include doctors, lawyers, farmers, teachers, artists, oil workers, ship captains, soldiers, entrepreneurs and these four newest editions to the Weiss family tree.  I marvel at the “great cloud of witnesses” from this family that are rejoicing in heaven today, and am grateful to be part of an earthly family whose roots endure, and whose branches are strong,  And, with Paul, I will continue to bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant [us all], according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in [our] hearts through faith; and that [we], being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that [we] may be filled up to all the fullness of God (Eph. 3:14-19).

Submitted by Darlene and Michael Weiss

Transitions…

Transitions in life are like the chapters of a book.  Some you want to read again and again, but others you want to tear out and throw away.  I remember a time early in my military career when I suddenly deployed to the Middle East shortly before the first Gulf War.  No return date was set, so my family was left waiting and wondering.  Several months into my deployment I got a letter from my eleven year old son, in which he questioned his faith in God, because his prayers for me to come home went unanswered.  After reading his heart wrenching letter I recalled how much Luke liked to read, and then responded by describing how books contain many chapters, with each one telling just a small part of a much bigger story.  Sometimes you like a particular chapter so much that you can’t wait to read the next one, while other times you want to stop reading altogether.  I closed my letter to Luke by encouraging him to read on, trusting that God has already written a happy ending to the story.  What follows are two significant transitions (or chapters, if you will) for two significant people in my life…

Two years ago, my daughter-in-law, Heather, started working on EMBA (Executive Masters of Business Administration) financed by her employer.  It was an ambitious endeavor that took much time away from her husband, but Heather excelled, and graduated with honors.   Dawn and I were there with Luke, and we could not be more proud of her.  It is worth noting that just last year Luke completed his MSW (Master of Social Work) in two years, right after completing his bachelor’s degree.  So, this transition out of student status for both of them opens an exciting new chapter of married life that is not encumbered by school work.  It was so good to spend precious time with them in Kansas City for a few days, and to celebrate a major accomplishment.

The other significant transition involves my mom, who turned 91 years old last month.  She is a fiercely independent woman, who has struggled in recent years, first when she had to move to an apartment in a “Senior Living” community, and then when she had to give up driving privileges.  Recently, my mom broke her foot.   That limitation compounded by progressive short-term memory loss has led her five children to make the decision she wouldn’t make for herself, which is to move again, but this time to a “Memory Care” facility.  It’s a difficult transition for her, but one that we pray opens a chapter of life that is meaningful.  Dawn, my two sisters and a sister-in-law spent several days working around the clock to get mom situated into her home.  It’s a house in a neighborhood that accommodates six residents, each with a private bedroom and common areas for social activities and dining.  The staff is amazing, both professionally and personally.  I thoroughly enjoyed time with my mom while in Kansas for a few days, especially our road trip, with me pushing her wheel chair on a beautiful Mother’s Day afternoon.  She is, and will always be, the Queen Mother of the Physioc Phamily.  All the best to Bette in this next chapter of life!

Submitted by Bart Physioc

40 Years Ago….

My life changed from the inside out 40 years ago when I arrived on the island of Guam as a brand new ensign in the U.S. Coast Guard.  Joe, the officer I was there to replace, picked me up at the airport at 4 a.m. and drove me to the Navy BOQ (Bachelor Officer Quarters) where a room awaited me.  In the process of getting acquainted, Joe mentioned his church, and I responded, “Can I go?”  I’m not sure what prompted me, because I had not attended church regularly for years, but I distinctly remember asking the question.  Sunday was the following day, and I was ready to go when Joe came by.  He gave me a Bible, which I immediately began reading it for the first time in my life.  I started in the New Testament with the Gospels, digging into the Word each evening in my BOQ room.  I was captivated by the person of Jesus, what He said… what He did…  Easter came on April 10 in 1977, within a month of my arrival, and I was already well into the Epistles of Paul by then.  Everything was happening so fast, like turning on a bright light in a dark room, but no one was pushing me.  Instead, it was as if I was being pulled by God to God.  I happened to be on Saipan Island with Joe on April 25th when I made the commitment to give my life to the One who gave His life to me.  Just 10 weeks later Dawn made the same decision while visiting me in Guam, almost simultaneous with me proposing marriage.  Like I said, it all happened very fast.  That was 40 years ago….

Now, 40 years later, I find myself serving as Chapel Pastor at the U.S. Naval Academy after a long career as an Army Chaplain.  I could have never predicted how things have gone for me and my family along the way.  One thing is certain: God has led the way and continues to lead the way, in spite of my attempts to lead the way!  It was Sunday on the 40th anniversary of my arrival in Guam, and I happened to be preaching at the Academy Chapel.  Joe, who lives in the Washington D.C. area, attended at my request, so it was a real treat for me to reconnect with the man God used to lead me to Christ.

Holy week this year has been wholly busy for me with several appearances by Simon Peter.  Ever since 1993, when I first presented The Passion of Jesus while deployed to Egypt, I’ve been stepping into the Apostle Peter’s sandals each year at this time to do the same.  Peter opened with Palm Sunday A.D. 33 at the Naval Academy Chapel Service, followed with “The Crucifixion” presented to Academy Midshipmen at a special service during the week, and culminated with The Resurrection on the Naval Academy waterfront during the annual Easter Sunrise Service.  It was an amazing week for me that brought to life once again the meaning of that most familiar verse about God loving the world so much that He sent His only Son, so that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  I connected personally with that verse for the first time 40 years ago, and have been learning and appreciating its meaning since then with each passing day, all because…. He is Risen!

Submitted by Bart Physioc