Tag Archives: military bride

M10H The Military Bride Renders Service

The military Bride renders service by waiting

Sabaoth means to wait as a service to the Lord

Another meaning of ‘host’, or the Hebrew word tsâbâ’, is derived from the verbal root meaning to wait upon the Lord. This verb appears fourteen times in the Hebrew O.T. The general sense of the meaning of the word is that of rendering service.[1]

Sandstorms bogged down advancing troops outside Baghdad at the start of the Iraqi war. Storms were the worst in 100 years with drenching rain that followed the next day. The troops could not move and had to wait. It was reported they were in a quagmire with dire predictions.

After the storm, the Marine group mired the worst looked out at the plain they were just about to cross. What did they see? Hundreds, if not thousands, of anti-tank and anti-personnel mines had been uncovered by the wind and washed off by the rain. If they had proceeded as planned, many lives would have undoubtedly been lost. As it was, they simply drove around them and let the demolition teams destroy them.

This identical thing happened in October 1973, during the Yom Kippur War. After the Israelites safely got through the mine field, they knew it had to have been the hand of God who brought the mighty wind. It uncovered the mines and quit blowing.

******

Waiting was an action that brought victory. Waiting on the Lord is no idle pastime. It takes every ounce of fortitude and strength that only the Lord can give to keep on trusting Him. Kurt and Davi M. waited and trusted ten years for their child. Denise and Joe waited and trusted for children at least six years during which God gave them three dreams.

In the first dream, Denise saw Joe and herself in a grassy field with two children between them. One was a little girl of about six years of age with long blonde hair and a little boy beside her of about two years of age. In the second, she was holding a baby in her arms that she knew was her own; a woman was in the bed beside her who had given birth to a baby—who was to be their adopted daughter with the long blonde hair. The third dream was of Denise in a hospital bed holding her own baby. At this writing, Denise had a fourth dream that she was pregnant. Five or six weeks later, she found out she was—and it is a boy.

These people know “those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength, They will soar on wings like eagles” (Isa. 40:31). One of Barbara Watts’ rock of hope in fighting multiple sclerosis was, “Wait and hope for and expect the Lord” (Ps. 27:14 Amplified). She always speaks these encouraging words to others.

Jehovah Sabaoth Lord hosts service

The mature Bride makes her husband’s mission her mission

Scripture tells wives to “be subject—be submissive and adapt yourselves—to your own husbands as a service to the Lord” (Eph. 5:22 Amplified). Submission is merely showing respect, adaptability and placing another’s interests before self—as a service to the Lord, who rewards openly (see Heb. 11:6).

“Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?” (Amos 3:3). Francy learned this early in her marriage to Scott who had recently graduated from The United States Military Academy. His assignments created numerous moves in the states and a few moves within Germany—not always in comfortable housing.

Francy was continually forced out of her comfort zone. Depression set in with each move because of leaving friends and family and the inability to pursue her own career in the field of her Biology degree—as a research assistant. She had to start all over again—each move taking about a year to get settled. In the meantime, she took it out on Scott, blaming him, until she understood: this is what he signed up for; soldiering is all he ever wanted to do.

Francy made a decision that if her husband was to be able to do what he was called and trained to do, she had to learn to support him fully. His mission had to become her own. She believed in what he was doing and she knew the only way he would ever be happy was for her to become adaptable. Not being a natural extrovert, she learned to go out right away, make new friends and get involved in the community. She settled in faster and experienced a whole new state and/or country, which became an exciting adventure—especially when running marathons in each state became a new goal.

Francy and Scott’s marriage is not one sided. They have learned to communicate about everything—knowing what to expect from each other. Scott puts family first and considers Fran’s thoughts, including when it comes to where the next move might be. Their marriage has come through the four stages of teamwork to an interdependent relationship—one where each party feels free to “act,” or perform, in the best interests of the team, and if the other responds wrongly, communication solves the problem [co-dependency “reacts,” never acts or responds positively].

Getting to the performing stage was not easy, but worth it, especially when the more difficult time hit—Scott’s mission to Iraq when child number three was on the way. Yet, as tough as this time was, God rewarded them openly, seeming to say, I am in your future. They prayed about this child, and Francy found she was pregnant the week Scott left.

When looking at our relationship with the Lord, do we identify ourselves with His mission?

Have we made the decision to make His mission our mission—putting aside selfish ambition? We have been commissioned by the Lord of hosts to fulfill His mission:

All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.—Matthew 28:18-20

The only way the Lord of hosts can fulfill His mission of releasing the captives (see Luke 4:18-19), making disciples, and teaching them is through us. Therefore, we have to get out of our comfort zone, place His interests above our own and go in His name—knowing He is in us, one with us.

The mature bride is performing sacred service

Jehovah Sabaoth means rendering sacred service as priests

Another meaning of ‘host,’ derived from the verb tsâbâ’, means to do sacred service as the ministry of the priests (Num. 4:23: 8:24; 1 Sam. 2:22).[2] It was the priests who took the first step into the Jordan River after they and all the people stood still to hear the words of the Lord. It was the priests who carried the ark of the covenant across the Jordan as the waters flowing downstream at flood stage stood up in a heap (see Joshua 4:13). It was the priests who stood firm in the middle of Jordan while all the people crossed over. It was the priests who blew the trumpets as they carried the ark around the soon-to-be crumbled walls of Jericho. On one special day, all of Israel finally crossed over into their Promised Land. On this day, all of Israel was prepared, armed, and ready to do battle in the land.

In one day, cadets of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, begin their four-year transformation from civilian kids to military officers. This first day is called “R” (Report) day. In July of plebe year, first year cadets begin their basic training. Their hair is shaved off and they are trained in military protocol by older cadets serving as cadre members. At the end of “R” day, parents are given a detailed drawing of all companies of soldiers so their son’s or daughter’s position can be determined as they come marching by.

Parents sit in the reviewing stand with the commandant. Everyone watches the four portals of Washington Hall that grace the perimeter of the marching “plain,” as four ranks of new cadets appear at once and merge into one long column. All cadets are divided into companies (ranks) of approximately thirty young men and women. When they arrive at the reviewing stand, all cadets’ heads turn in unison to face their commandant; then, in unison all heads turn forward again, and they continue to march around the plain.

Sacred means dedicated or set apart for service or worship of a deity, or devoted exclusively to one service or use—as cadets in training for military service. When they came in view of their commandant, they gave reverence to their leader by turning their heads in unison to face him, much like the geese turned in unison and flew directly into the “Son,” and united with the group high in the sky, or the reviewing stand “cloud of witnesses.”

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.—Hebrews 12:1-2 (emphasis mine)

On September 11, 2001, New York’s fire department’s chaplain priest was one of the first to step in for the rescue effort when the twin towers fell in New York City. He, along with 343 firefighters and policemen, lost their lives when they ran in while others ran out. The priest was the first of 292 whole bodies to be recovered—out of over 2,700 total who died. His was the first funeral service conducted at the sight where two airplanes hijacked by terrorists struck the towers.

Those who worked the recovery process asked, “God, where are you?” until they found an amphitheater-like opening with a huge metal cross inside. They called the place “God’s House” and talked about the cross from that day forward. They also felt God replied to them, “I’m right in the middle of it.” The cross, discovered on September 13, was their source of hope.

On September 11, 2001, God’s people transformed into soldiers fully dedicated to sacred service because they turned their heads, fixing their eyes on Jesus, to repent, worship and pray to the Lord of hosts saying, “We are your people, who are called by your name. We humble ourselves and come to pray and seek Your face and turn from our wicked ways. We know You promise to hear from heaven, to forgive our sin and to heal our land” (from 2 Chron. 7:14). May it continue!

As any military officer or cadet in training, we are “brethren, consecrated and set apart for God, who share in the heavenly calling, thoughtfully and attentively consider[ing] Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest Whom we confessed as ours [when we embraced the Christian faith]” (Heb. 3:1 Amplified).


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[1] Zodiates, Key Word Study Bible, p. 1767.

[2] Ibid.

M10G What Does the Performing Stage of the Lord of hosts Look Like?

Here is an example of how the performing stage can be reached

A group of Christians in Arkansas City, Kansas, decided they wanted to start an individual affiliate with Habitat for Humanity to help families in their town to be home owners. Many people who joined the group thought they could start immediately to build a house, but it was not that easy. It took a lot of paperwork and research to get the application process completed and two efforts in presenting it to Habitat for approval. These forming and storming stages— not easily defined from each other—took two years.

For six months the group went no where. Finally Wayne Short, a retired plant operations manager with General Electric, took the lead from the official president and said “We will have an agenda at every meeting, and each committee will report their progress monthly.”

The norming stage took shape as each committee did their research and helped write their part of the application for their 401 3 C status for tax purposes.

The performing stage began before one house was built. The fundraising committee found start-up capital. The home selection committee took applications from qualifying families. The hard part was finding an electrician and plumber able and willing to donate time, but they did find them.

performing stage houses built

The result? Six houses were built in eight years—one house per year. With a $300.00 deposit, a family owned their house with a no-interest payment—less than their previous rent payment. Twenty-five children’s lives were impacted. After a family’s house was built, that family helped build the next and on and on. As revenue increases, the team will be able to build more than one house per year. All volunteers were impacted as they gave. Like the leader of the flock of geese, after the eight years Wayne passed leadership to the retired city manager and fell back, but he kept on building.

Faith was built and restored for all involved, especially the recipients. Rosene, the second homeowner partner, sent a letter to the group. She spent thirty-five years trusting and believing in the Lord, but her life spiraled downward as her marriage fell apart and divorce seemed the only option. Feeling like a failure and angry at God, one day on her porch, she poured her heart out—honestly facing her life with Him. “I want a sign! I want You to prove to me that You exist, that You really do hear me when I pray. If you can part the sea, You can give me a simple sign.”

Rosene expected a bolt of lighting, a rainbow or an angel and left it at that. About a month later, she received a phone call asking if she would be interested in being a candidate for the Habitat for Humanity organization. After her house was built, she wrote:

I worked side by side with the most wonderful people I have ever met in my life. . . God sent me not one, but a dozen or more angels—those everyday, hard working, unselfish, God-fearing people who were sent (I believe) to prove to me that there is still good in people and not everyone is asking “What’s in it for me?” I have a beautiful home to prove this, but far more important, my faith is restored and my soul is free once more.

WHAT DOES THE PERFORMING STAGE LOOK LIKE?

First three of seven dimensions of the military bride:

Jehovah Sabaoth always victorious

The military Bride is the great host of the “Lord of hosts.” The Amplified Bible gives an interesting interpretation of Psalm 68:11, “The Lord gives the word [of power]; the women who bear and publish (the news) are a great host.” The New American Standard Bible version also says women in this verse. The New International Version says company, which leaves no one out. The point is, women are taking on the role of John the Baptist who prepared the way for Jesus the first time, saying, “ Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near” (Matt. 3:2). God birthed His Son through a willing servant, Mary. He appeared to the seeking women first after His resurrection. Then and today, they are proclaiming He is alive and coming again—the men coming along beside them.

Chuck Pierce encourages women when he writes, “The Hebrew word for ‘host’ is tsaba or Sabaoth, which connotes a military group that is always victorious. Such a host should strike fear in the camp of the enemy. Imagine being marched upon by countless determined ‘shebears’ proclaiming victory with every step!”[1] These she-bears know who they are. They know the B-E-A-R facts of faith and have become determined warriors.

Jehovah Sabaoth Lord hosts performing

Hannah was one such warrior. She could bear no children “and she made a vow and said, ‘O Lord of hosts, if Thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of Thy maidservant and remember me, and not forget Thy maidservant, but wilt give Thy maidservant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and a razor shall never come on his head’” (1 Sam. 1:11 NASB).

Hannah called upon the Lord of hosts to fight for her. God heard her agony and gave her a son, Samuel, who changed history. Likewise, Michelle H. sees herself as a very ordinary woman, but her story as very extraordinary. Like Hannah in the Bible, The Lord of hosts fought for Michelle and her husband and brought them victory. They reached the performing stage.

The Lord of hosts brings Michelle H. to the performing stage

Michelle and her husband prayed about how to have a family. When an adoption opportunity came along, they jumped on it. The only thing is that they did not pray specifically about whether this particular child should be theirs. At the last minute, the mother changed her mind and gave the baby to someone else.

Devastated, and after more prayer and seeking God, they decided that in vitro fertilization was the right decision for them, but on their anniversary of December 28, Michelle received a phone call while she was at school. On December 24, a baby boy was born and they could adopt him. They would be able to pick him up right away—the Monday following Christmas when school was to resume, but God intervened with His plan—Joshua Caleb.

Five years later, Michelle and her husband decided to pursue their previous decision. The procedure worked the first time. Twins were born! Two beautiful daughters—Donna Coleen and Catherine Michelle.

Michelle’s story of how Jehovah-Sabaoth, the Lord of hosts—who fights for her and is always performing for her—does not stop there. She is still on the front lines of battle. After three years, she applied for a high school teaching job. The decision to go back to teaching was difficult, but her husband told her, “If God wants you there, he’ll open the door; if not, you won’t get it.”

Michelle applied for a computer technology job (her master’s degree), but was encouraged to apply for the newly open math position. As it turned out, daycare had two openings for her girls, and she was hired to teach Algebra 1 to at-risk children who don’t want to be in school. She did not know what to expect. Her first class was children with downs syndrome who were not ready for Algebra.

She and other teachers in her public high school met to pray and intercede for their students. The Lord told Michelle, “You need to serve all these kids just like the ones you served at church in the youth group. If you don’t care for them, who will? They need to know that somebody cares about them.”

Michelle started writing notes, “Thank you for your hard work.” She mailed them to their house. The students came up to her and said, “I got your note!” One student followed her all afternoon wanting her to read that note to him. He had never gotten a “good” note from anyone before.

Michelle put her faith on the front lines with her family and at work. Proclaiming victory with every step, she said, “I had to step out first.”

The military Bride is the mature bride performing on 100% commitment, not necessarily ability

The Navy Seals provide a training program called BUDS, “Basic Underwater Demolition School.” During “hell week,” the trainees get about four hours sleep in five days, which allows the trainers to determine the degree of the students’ commitment. Trainers don’t look for just the best in everything done during this time, but to see if each individual is putting out everything 100%. Complainers are not tolerated.

BUDS’ unofficial motto is: “The only easy day was yesterday!”

Rolf Garborg, founder of Successful Living, Inc. Christian book distribution network in 1966 said, “God is not fired up about our ability or inability, but about our availability.” He is looking for individuals willing to put in everything from their heart twenty-four hours per day.

The military Bride is the mature bride who is performing on intelligence from headquarters

 

Capt. Matt in performing stage of service
Capt. Matt with little girl that was taken for an Iraqi newspaper

Captain Matt’s job with the 101 Airborne Division was Army intelligence in Iraq. On July 22, 2003, in a regular phone call he said, “We don’t know how reliable our intelligence is, but we think we have Saddam and his sons cornered in Mosul. Please pray.”

Matt’s mother immediately asked for prayers of all the Christians with whom she worked. One hour later, it was announced on the radio that a fire fight rendered victory over the evil sons of Saddam in Mosul.

Likewise, our regular contact with the Lord of hosts will let us in on the intelligence of headquarters  (in heaven) ahead of time, and in the present—when we are 100% committed and make ourselves available to Him.

Linda B. was especially hurried to get on the road to see her grandchildren after work one day. When she got in her car, she found her mind confused and could not remember where she was going! She circled around the parking lot trying to remember what she was doing. She found herself at the local Wal-Mart, bought something she did not need, and ran into a young person on the way out. Conversation led to the reality of the individual’s desire to commit suicide. Linda spoke hope to her and, with the help of others she got involved from her church and community, pointed her to Jesus Christ. Linda’s prior commitment to the Lord put her in contact with the One who directed her steps to meet the need of that young person, and Linda was glad she was a part of a team that day.

Jehovah Sabaoth Lord of hosts performing

On another day, after a season of trusting God with her daughter and son-in-law to have a child, Linda watched her daughter walk by. When she saw her, she heard the Spirit’s voice, “Keri’s pregnant.”

“Keri’s pregnant?” Linda repeated out loud. “Thank you, Lord!”

Unknown to Linda, her son-in-law was standing behind her when she said those words. He told Keri; she went to the doctor and found the words to be true. When they called Grandma and Grandpa to make the announcement, Linda said, “I know.”

The mature military bride in battle has intelligence from headquarters: “See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you” (Isa. 42:9).


[1] Pierce, “Women,” p. 16.

M10F Lord of hosts is Assembling His Military Bride

The military Bride is a great host performing in partnership with Jesus Christ here on earth, as well as when we get to heaven

God’s character name of Jehovah-Sabaoth [The Lord of hosts] demonstrates that His love has a soft side and a hard side—He woos and romances His Military Bride as opposed to being Supreme Commander of the universe.

In the book, Two Sides of Love, John Trent and Gary Smalley express the importance of understanding and creating a healthy balance between love’s hard and soft sides in our relationships. This chapter examines the more hard side of our companionship with the Lord of hosts—the military, yet loving, side of this amazing partnership and what it takes to arrive at the “performing stage” of maturity.

The Lord of hosts is assembling His military Bride

The Hebrew word tsâbâ’ (Sabaoth) for ‘host’ is derived from a verbal root which means to amass (an army or servants), to assemble, to muster (soldiers, 11 Kings 25:19; Jer. 52:25), to collect, to fight, to perform, to go forth to war, to wage war (Num. 31:7: Isa. 29:7, 8; 31:4. Zech. 14:12) to do military service.[1] The Supreme Commander has one military bride of many individuals divided by denominational walls. Until now, she has only been practicing her role in small denominational groups, but she will soon be giving the performance of her lifetime.

We will look at the big picture of how unity can be attained in order to get to this performing stage, what the military bride looks like at performing stage and how the walls between groups can come down—where they had not already done so.

What Does this Military Bride Look Like?

Lord of Hosts - what does the military bride look like? Forming, Norming, Storming and Performing Stages

 

 

 

The Military Bride is One Team Performing in Unity

One day, the Lord of hosts showed me what the military bride looked like when the walls come down. It happened on a clear, beautiful fall day in October, 1994. I had just finished taking a teamwork class taught by my husband Jim. He used the analogy of geese in flight to teach teamwork dynamics. I also learned that eagles are solitary, self-sufficient and strong, but that scientists discovered that geese have a 71% greater flying range than eagles. Why is this?

  • To fly from north to south and back again, geese need each other. Each goose depends upon the upward gust of air from the bird ahead to give his wings a push. The wings of the goose behind grab the air that causes another upward lift for the next bird behind.
  • The head goose will fall behind and take his place at the rear, while the next in line will apply his strength to take the lead.
  • Their “V” formation facilitates communication and allows the birds to maintain visual contact with each other while energy efficiency is doubled.
  • The honking of the geese encourages the lead goose that they are right behind him.
  • When one goose falls ill and out of line, two others stop their forward progress to stay with him until he is well again. PLUS, geese mate for life!

military bride geese

I was driving home to Arkansas City, Kansas, in my van filled with books from a day of servicing racks in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Halfway between Pawhuska and Ponca City, in the beautiful, rolling flint hills, suddenly, just outside my left driver’s window, I saw one lone V of about five geese flying a couple feet from me. I immediately pulled to the side of the road so I could watch. I hoped to see the head goose fall to the rear while another took his lead. My heart was pounding hard—another reason I knew it was the Holy Spirit getting my attention.

By the time I had stopped, the one group had crossed over to the right and met up with a large flock of geese in mid-air. None were in formation and going nowhere because they were flying in all directions. The outward perimeter of the hundred or so geese resembled the shape of a large coffee can in the sky. As they were joining together they bumped into each other, each squawking in loud protest. I repeated out loud what was happening so I could hear my own voice and hopefully remember what I saw.

Finally, it was as though each goose figured out which direction the other was going and one by one it started flying in the same direction. As long as the geese were struggling to fly in different directions and bumping into each other, the complete cylindrical group was at a standstill. Slowly, very slowly, one long continuous skein of geese began to form as one goose after another spiraled straight into the atmosphere—following a goose who took off as leader.

Just when I thought the geese would leave my range of vision, they leveled out, group after group falling into ranks—in one huge “V” with several, perfectly arranged, smaller v’s within—of about seven in each. It was the most amazing and beautiful sight I had ever seen!

I thought, they should be able to go a long way like this. But, so very soon they fell out of rank. From the opposite direction, a new flock of geese flew into view. I could not hear them, but I could see them squawking and honking at each other, just as though they knew each other.

Suddenly, both groups turned in unison and flew directly into the sun. At that moment, cars stopped to see what I was looking at, but unfortunately, the other drivers had missed it, and there was no way I could tell them what had just happened.

Blinded by the sun and filled with an incredible joy, I jumped into my van and took off. My thoughts went immediately to the parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25. When the bridegroom arrived at midnight it was too late for the five foolish ones to buy oil for their lamps. Like the ones driving by, they had missed the opportunity of their lifetimes to go to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. It was then I knew what Jesus meant when He said, “Behold, I come quickly” (Rev. 3:11; appears six times in KJV Revelation).

Later, I discovered the verse that says, “But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief” (1 Thess. 5:4). Jesus tells us that two men will be in the field; one taken and the other left; two women will be grinding; one taken the other left. (see Matt. 24:40-41).

I knew I had just witnessed the Rapture where we will meet our loved ones, who have already died, in the air and then we will all turn to see Jesus face to face in the air:

We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him [the second group of geese]. According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive, and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.—1 Thessalonians 4:14-18 (emphasis mine)

military bride at rapture

The Military Bride  Must Move Forward in the Four Stages of Teamwork

While witnessing this phenomenon, I was thinking about the four stages of teamwork that I had just learned in that class and how they relate to the Church and denominations. The purpose of the geese was to find a way all individual birds could rise high enough in the air to gain altitude needed to fly to their next landing place. For that to happen, they had to find unity by learning how to work together as one whole. The walls between them had to come down.

The stages of team dynamics can help us understand how this can happen if we have unity as our goal. Members have to learn how to work out personal differences, find strengths on which to build, balance commitments to the goal against demands of everyday jobs, and learn how to improve processes. In contrast, a team that fails to build relationships among its members will waste time on struggles for control and endless discussions that lead nowhere.

As a team matures, it will go through fairly predictable stages. As the Church sees herself as the Bride of Christ, and that Christ can only do His work through a mature bride, she will be willing to persevere through these four stages to her military hard side–through forming, storming, norming and performing.

Stage 1: Forming stage of the military Bride – This is the stage of transitioning from individual to group status, and of testing the leader’s guidance both formally and informally.

Forming includes feelings of excitement, anticipation, optimism, and pride in being chosen for the team; initial, tentative attachment to the team, suspicion, fear, and anxiety about the job ahead. The analogy of an orchestra helps to picture these stages. In this forming stage, there is great excitement in being chosen for the “performance.”

So much is going on to distract members’ attention in the beginning, the group accomplishes little. Most discussions or practices lead nowhere. It is difficult to identify relevant problems. This is normal, The most successful team spends more time in this stage which allows them to get to know each other better.

Stage 2: Storming  stage of the military Bride– This is the most difficult stage. The task seems more different and difficult than imagined; persons become testy, blameful and overzealous. Members argue about just what actions to take, and they become impatient about the lack of progress. They are inexperienced and try to rely solely on their own personal experience, resisting any need to rely on other member’s wisdom and/or experience.

The feelings of those in the storming stage include resistance to the task because it is different from approaches used in the past. Fluctuations arise in attitude about the group’s chances of success. They may argue even when they agree on the main issue, become defensive and compete, choose sides, have unrealistic expectations with disunity, tension and jealousy.

All the above leaves little energy for progression, but individuals are beginning to understand each other, just as the geese gained an understanding of each other and started flying in the same direction.

Our leader as the Lord of hosts, our Supreme Commander, can also be seen as the head conductor of an orchestra. This is a stage of starts and stops, that He initiates, as we practice for our big performance—a most frustrating experience. Just as it seems the music will flow uninterrupted, it happens again. Over and over, the same piece of music is practiced very slowly in order to get it just right. Practice is all a necessary part of the end product— the big picture.

Military bride of geese going no where
Military bride going no where. Storming and Norming stages.

Stage 3: Norming – Finally, team members come to accept each other’s individuality and their roles in the team. They are learning to work together. Emotional conflict reduces to a cooperative approach. In other words, the team realizes they just might make it.

A new ability arises when each person sees where their contribution fits. There is a relief that everything is going to work out. Attempts are made to avoid conflict. There is a sharing of personal problems and trust is strengthened. All have a common spirit and goal.

Team members are working out their differences and finally there is more time and energy to make significant progress. The task at hand becomes worth the time and effort it will take to be successful.

Members of an orchestra meet in small group settings according to instrument, or gifting, and help each other with the hard parts. Finally, when all members come together they make the most amazing music.

Military Bride geese one huge V
Military Bride in Formation and Performing

Stage 4: Performing stage of the military Bride– In order to perform, the mature team has developed relationships and expectations of each other. They have discovered each others strengths and weaknesses, have accepted them and learned what their role is—where their seat is in the grand orchestra and who their neighbor is. They are playing in concert and giving a grand performance.

The team elicits these behaviors: constructive self-change, the ability to prevent or work through group problems and a close love and attachment to each other. The group is now one cohesive unit. One can tell when this stage is reached because a lot of work is accomplished. Progress is made. People want to be a part of this group and volunteer to fill the empty chairs.

 

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[1] Zodiates, Key Word Study Bible, p. 1767.