Strange how great friendships work. I've seen my friend Chuck only a handful of times in the past few years. Since 2004, we've gone to Jordan and Panama together, and it seems that our paths cross only when one or both of us is traveling.
Building up men is the keystone of Chuck's ministry. When I was in Panama for business in May, he was coincidentally there to lead a men's retreat. I met with him in a small Panamanian church, where a small circle of men had gathered to pray for the weekend event. He humbly asked God to work in spite of his weakness, and he specifically requested that God shake the men of the church from passivity and awaken them into the fierce battle for which they were called. The prayer was refreshing for a variety of reasons. For one, it was in English and I could understand it. Also, as I listened, it touched me with its candor and relevance. Men, including myself, too often allow the tides of the world to carry them and lose the dominion and life that God offers through that strange combination he requires: personal fortitude and reliance on him.
Chuck despises the idea of passivity and does his best to live by design, insomuch as his plans fit into what he believes are God's purposes for him. Usually, his thought process yields some dangerous adventure that make you want to thank God for safety and pack your bags at the same time. Last week, for example, Chuck passed through Atlanta en route to Dubai, where he'd catch a rickety plane bound for war-torn Afghanistan. He's reporting on the war effort, and gathering material for CBN features and possibly another book with Oliver North. North's first book with Chuck as editor, "American Heroes in the Fight Against Radical Islam," recently hit stores to great success.
I caught up with Chuck for a meal during his layover. While asking blessing for the food, he asked God to remove every semblance of passivity from my life. He prayed that God would allow me to lead my family with the strength he provides. Chuck's words are often powerful. He makes his living through speeches, articles and books. But he'll be the first to tell you that they're nothing without the influence of the Holy Spirit. For me, his short prayer was a whisper from God, calling me back into the adventure he's mapped out.
To check out the one God has mapped for Chuck in Afghanistan, visit his blog here. Check out his "Boots on the Ground" CBN news blog for the most recent updates.