Showing posts from 2009

The Blessing Lady went home!

A few years ago I wrote about a lady that I used to see all the time while working out at the gym at FT Jackson.

. She would come up to everyone that she saw in the gym and ask, "Have I blessed you today?"I always said, "No! You haven't belssed me...please do!" She would then pray a short prayer of blessing. What an encouragement she was to me and many others. I got this note from her daughter today in the comments section and thought is was nice and I'd like to share it with you all.
Dear Brad, My name is Cyndi Jones. I am the daughter of "The Blessing Lady" that you met out at Ft. Jackson at the Perez Gym in b2006. I just wanted to let you know that she went home to Heaven yesterday. She hadn't been sick, she just went to sleep and didn't wake up. I used the blog that you wrote about her as part of her obituary in The State newspaper...hope that you don't mind. May God Bless yo…


Being in the Army, physical preparedness is of utmost importance, your life can depend on it. I'm always looking for challenging routines to push myself to newer levels of strength and endurance. I've been working out in one way or another since I was 7 years old, from soccer, to high school football, basketball, tennis and even a few triathlons. But I have come across a training regimen that is pushing the bounds of what I thought I could do. Its called Crossfit. It combines functional movements with short high intensity routines that continually change. SSG Russ Robinson, my phenomenal Chaplain assistant and I have been pushing ourselves to the limit. Russ is a beast and can do about 30 pull ups, which is not fair at all. If you go to the Crossfit website at you can see the workouts and follow them. There are video demos and instructions on how to do them. Best part is, the workouts are scalable to ability and age, which for me is a blessing. Some of the wor…


Its been a while since I've posted. I've been at home with my family, completely immersed in spending time with them, so blogging has not been my first and foremost concern. I head back to Iraq tomorrow. Its a sad and happy day here. Its sad because I'm leaving again, but its happy too because the next time we see each other I'll be done. I've been in the Army for almost 6 years now, a reservist (yeah right). We knew what we were in for. I've been either in a school, mobilized away from home or on deployment for 4 out of those six years. We have grown accustomed to it now. It is a part of our lives. One thing I have found out is that no matter how many times you leave your family in the service of your God and your country, it does not get easier. And to be quite honest that is a really good thing. I fear the day that I am ready or happy to walk away from my family. This feeling of dread that I have of leaving them is a blessing. It reminds me that I sit here i…
This video is from our Chapel service here at COB Speicher. We are in transition now with our brothers and sisters from 25 ID out of Hawaii handing off to our new friends from 3ID out of FT Stewart GA. Lightning Chapel as it is known now will give way to the Rock of the Marne Chapel. Both are the call signs of each division. We have a great crowd each week and I have been honored to be one of the pastors that gets to preach. I have enjoyed getting to know so many fine folks. We are finishing up a series on the Kingdom of God. And the more I study the King and the Kingdom the more He blows my mind. It has been my distinct honor to share the pulpit with CH Dave Shoffner and CH Tom Wheatley, both of whom have made a great impact on me. They have years of experience taking care of soldiers and I have watched and listened with an open heart as they have mentored me.
Our band is amazing too, led by the precocious one, SPC James Doty, from Corpus Christi TX. He'll be famous someday....I…

Stupid Story Night

Its stupid story night here in Iraq. We pull out our worst jokes ever. All done around a campfire on a roof at the men's night "Gathering"

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Prone to Forget

"We often forget the things that we thought we would never forget".

I found that quote today and put it my briefing for my commander. I had forgotten all this week. I sit here hacking this email out just a few miles from the Tigris river in the desert of the middle east. I am surrounded each day by soldiers who leave the "wire" and expose themselves to death. Just this week I was reminded again of how real all this is. At our combat surgical hospital, the choppers came in, the docs were scrubbed and ready to go to do what they do, but that didn't happen. Because there was no one to save. All three young soldiers had been killed when an explosion blew up their MRAP. So this week some Chaplain and another officer had to go to some poor woman's house and ruin her life that her son or husband was killed in action. And that was done three times this week. It was a sobering day.

I met with a soldier from that unit today. His best friend was killed in the attack. H…

God is Faithful

Welcome to all the Mcullough family and friends as Mark's participation in the Podcast has increased the readership of Gone Fishin Again to a whopping 45 subscribers. Wow! Who would have thunk it!

I spoke at "Big Church" this morning at what is known as Lightning Chapel here on COB Spiecher. The message was from Exodus 3 and Moses' encounter with God at the Burning Bush. God's faithfulness is the source of my faithfulness. I saw four things emerge from that text and from the context and thought I might share them here for you all.
God is Faithful to Follow us- God had been following Moses since his unlikely salvation from death as a baby. God had followed and provided and watched over Moses through his childhood, even into his adulthood as a warrior and then even as he committed murder and ran from the charges. You can rest assured that God does the same in your life...He is faithful to follow!God is Faithful to Find us- Moses had been wandering the desert in his s…

Heart of a Soldier: Rabies Awareness Podcast

Under a Gibbous Moon its a podcast from the heart, including crazy captain guy and the rabies awareness run and more shout-outs!

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Heart of a Soldier: Podcast Four!

Its been a while and we're glad to be back! Mark has been to Baghdad to see Flintstone Village and Brad has been infected and is highly motivated at all times!

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Another Podcast is on the way!

Don't worry, we've got another podcast in the can and it will be up here soon. We know all of our 17 listeners can't wait! Hang in there, its coming!

Highly Motivated at All Times!

Some people have mottoes that they say, you know "The buck stops here" and "I did it my way" and other life mottoes that people spout off. Most of the time they are really just words. Words that have no real value attached to them because the words are not accompanied by any such action. But when you come across one of those rare individuals that has a motto and then lives by it, now that is something to take notice of. Then you find a guy with one of those mottoes that is so high above the standard, so far from the norm and then that guy lives by it, brothers and sisters, you find out what makes that guy/gal tick and you get some of that. Now, my friend Jeff Pugh would be appalled if he knew I was writing this. Because guys like him don't seek the spotlight.

Jeff is Major in the Army. He's a commander. In the civilian world he's a police officer and a commander. He has a commanding presence and no he's not 6'3" and built like Arnold. He…

Heart of a Soldier Special Podcast: James Doty

Mark took the day off to make sure people can communicate with each other and Brad interviews James Doty. James is the worship leader for Lightning Chapel at lovely COB Spiecher. He'll be famous someday!

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My Iwo Jima

This picture was taken outside a little village in Iraq. As our MRAP was coming through this check point the antenna got hung in this gate and tore it loose. So being the kindhearted American soldiers we are, we set about fixing it. I got to hoist the thing into place and our combat cameraman caught the action and the result was this photo. Enjoy!

Heart of a Soldier: Movie Night Podcast

Brad and Mark after movie night discuss, fobbits, battle rhythms, the eye of Sauron, crack houses, GI Moke and Chinook Helicopters....Enjoy!

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Roof Top Podcast!

Brad and Mark philosophize about life in the desert, dust storms, and over eager Ugandan security guards!

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Pics from Work


Heart of a Soldier Debut Podcast

The first podcast by Brad and a few army friends. Introducing the Heart of a Soldier Podcast!

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Isaiah 58:11

"And the LORD will continually guide you, And satisfy your desire in scorched places, And give strength to your bones; And you will be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.

Its hot here! Its dry, dusty, arid, and any other descriptive term you can use. I was walking across the compound the other day saying "This place is devoid of life!" I could not have been more wrong. Did you know when the rains come in January in Kuwait the entire desert springs forth life? Flowers and green plants come popping up everywhere. It often seems that where there seems to be death that life is just waiting under the surface to explode. According to God's Word this is a spiritual fact as well. I have been experiencing in this land a bit spiritual dryness. I find myself as a Chaplain feeling marginalized and unimportant. its the nature of things in the military, no one thinks of the Chaplain until something bad happens.

Just when I thought there could…

A soldier dispenses his views!

I get to meet and make friends with some hilarious people in the Army. Many could have sob stories that are truly legitimate then others just seem to make the best of things and their situations. My friend Mark was out of the Army in the Individual Ready Reserve for over 12 years. That means he was out, like not ever putting on a uniform. He had a great job, a great wife and a gaggle of kids. But in December he gets a letter in the mail saying, "Welcome back! And oh by the way its involuntary, you are going to Iraq" (my paraphrase).
Instead of ducking the mission, instead of griping and complaining, Mark chooses to laugh and make others laugh. I thank God for him and others like him in these trying times. I hope you will as well! the way, its really hot in Kuwait in case you were wondering!

Wheels Up

I'll be wheels up soon as we head to Iraq for our mission there to button up this conflict and get all my soldiers home safe and sound. Once I clear everything with public affairs, I'll continue to update this blog and keep everyone abreast of how I and my soldiers are doing. We had a predeployment service last night, it was awesome to get together and sing songs, read God's word, pray together and to experience the presence of an almighty God. Today is frenetic and busy as we load trucks and prepare for the flight line. I have a great sense of anticipation watching and waiting to see what God will do over the next 10 months. Much love to you all. I will be in touch. Tammy, Tori and Jack....I love you with all my heart!

Strength and Courage

Joshua 1:9

Double Bull Podcast

Turkey season wrap-up, the Double Bull Blind story, Lord of the Spring, and Brad is home for a few days before heading to Iraq!

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You never know what is going to happen as you rise from bed each day. Every day of our lives God provides junctions of obedience opportunities. I got up Thursday at beautiful FT Dix for an exciting day of Dr's appointments...woo hoo! My task was to get a ride off post to a civilian doctor to check my hearing....for the 3rd time, good grief. I was picked up here on post in 15 pack van by a big ol jolly guy named Dave. As we left post I found that Dave was the talkative type, just me and him in this van cruising the NJ countryside. The drive was about an hour. I didn't feel much like talking, I had the doctor's eval on my mind. But, I found out some info about Dave that would come in handy on our return trip. Dave is 62 years old and his job is to take soldiers to physician appointments. It seems that Dave loves to talk to other drivers while he know the type. I also found out that Dave's wife died just a year and a half ago after a 14 month battle with …

5 weeks in!

Its been 5 weeks since I left home for the lovely confines of FT Dix New Jersey. Our time here is fast winding down. It won't be long before we board our plane for the middle east. In that time our unit has been trained up well by the cadre here and we have grown together as a unit and as friends.

Now we are in the medical screening process. It is a nerve racking time especially for us older guys. One thing in the medical screening can get you taken off a mission and health issues are more prevalent as one tips the calendar after 40.

I am not immune to this. I have failed a hearing exam. I am now classified on profile for moderate to sever hearing loss. Its frustrating, because there is little I can do about it. I have worked all my life around power tools and weapons. I should have worn ear protection but never did. I am praying that the docs will allow me to go with my troops in spite of this. Funny thing is, I can hear people when they talk to me and I can hear a deer in the woo…

Good Morning 1st SGT!

Back in the 80's there was a great Army commercial that showed all these high speed Army guys jumping out of a C-130, landing gathering up chutes, and having coffee afterwards. The tag line was,"we do more before 9 am than most people do all day!" The commercial ended with some bubba saying, "Good morning 1st SGT!"

Well, my new 1st SGT has taken that to a new level. He likes to get up every morning at 3 a.m. This morning he told me that he did more before 5 a.m. than most people did all day. And I believe him.

I'm writing to you all from lovely FT Dix New Jersey. Its not really that lovely. It has been cold and wet and then it gets wet and cold. Luckily we have been issued some really good wet weather gear. As you can see from the photo that body armor is required for all training. It weighs about 40lbs. And a ruck sack and you are toting from 40-70 lbs and that is without ammo, because as a Chaplain I don't carry that.
Will, our battalion XO hates the bod…

Podcast: Turkey Fest in God's Country

The HOS fellas head to God's Country Outfitters in Albemarle, NC and meet up with Virginia State Turkey Calling Champion, Ricky Higgins. Shortly after our interview, Ricky walked away the winner of yet another calling contest - listen and you'll even get to hear one of the calls that helped him win the championship. ALSO - this will be the last podcast for Chaplain Brad as he will be heading to serve our country over in Iraq next week. God Bless Brad and God bless America!


The great tug of war

Publish Post
Last Saturday my son, Jack, and all his buddies from church participated in the AWANA Olympics. AWANA is a church program that incorporates games and Scripture memory. Jack loves the games! Jack is a big bruising kid so he doesn't get the speed events, but he does get the strength events. He slapped his gloves on and off he went. The goal is to pull the rope and get hold of a bean bag laying on the ground. Its called the 4 way tug, but in this case it was the 3 way tug. They didn't win, but that didn't matter!

I love yelling for him when he is competing. Being a father is a great job. Even when he doesn't win I'm proud, proud that he competes and that he is great little guy. I was praying for my children this morning and facing a year away from them, it got very emotional. God spoke very clearly to me though. As the pain of missing events like this swept over me, the missed time, the instruction in life that I'll miss with Jack and Tori, God spoke. &…

Grace in the midst of the mess

I had an opportunity to give a class on suicide awareness and intervention last night to a Celebrate Recovery class at a church nearby. It was a group of about 20 people. The group was diverse both in race and gender. There were old and young alike. Celebrate recovery applies the 12 step recovery process but is specifically Christ centered. It has brought hope to literally thousands of people around the world. In this little group I met two people that really struck me. During my workshop I deal with what you should do when a person is dangerously close to suicide and has a weapon. I talk about removing the weapon from the person. As I was doing this portion I noticed this lady break down and sob. I obviously knew that this had touched a chord with her and apologized publicly for opening an old wound for her. She came up to me after the lesson was over and shared with me why she became so emotional. It seems that 14 years ago her daughter had a friend who was suicidal and had a gun in…

Podcast: Treeing Walker Days

All the fellas at the 35th annual Southeastern Treeing Walker Days (That's coon hunting for those that don't know) festival at the Rowan County Fairgrounds.

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Here we go again!

Well after almost 2 years at home (except for 4 months training at FT Bragg) its time to once again put the uniform back on for another mission. My last tour was 27 months at FT Jackson as a Chaplain for basic training soldiers. This next one will take me half way around the world to Iraq as a Chaplain for a Civil Affairs unit. It'll be a long year away from my wife and kids but it will also hold many opportunities to bring the light of the Gospel in many different ways. I'll be updating my blog hopefully on a regular basis so that you all can keep up, with pictures and stories from the front. I hope you will continue to support us as a family in your prayers as we enter together a new season of ministry. Tammy is doing well as we face this term of being apart. She is a strong woman and totally committed to the ministry that we both have been called to. I would ask you to pray for her. Its still a few weeks before I leave, so I'll be updating again soon. Keep an eye out fo…

Podcast: Live From I-85

Podcast live from I-85 as the guys make their trip home from Westover Church in Greensboro, NC.


God's Containment System

My pastor, Mack Jarvis, gave an awesome message this past weekend on suffering and how to deal with it. I wish I could take credit for his brilliant opening illustration, but I can't. The weight loss drug ALLI is an over the counter pill that causes your body not to metabolize the fat that you take in. If you don't metabolize the fat obviously it comes out of your body the old fashioned way. ALLI however has side effects, uncontrolled flatulence and bowel movements and they company has renamed them "treatment effects". Even to the point that if you take ALLI, make sure you keep dark clothes with you just in case! That is classic!

Mack went on to say that there are also side effects with life, discouragement, job loss, broken relationships and the like. we've all experienced these things. Many times believers go through "treatment effects" in our relationship with God that we just don't understand.

Mack talked about the different …

The Heart of a Sportsman: The Road Less Traveled

Great article from my ministry partner Jeremy Harrill. Enjoy!

The Heart of a Sportsman: The Road Less Traveled

Superbowl 2009

"Old People!"

Tammy and I are in Gatlinburg TN this weekend. I'm teaching at Crossroads Winter Conference. There are about 800 High School and 300 college students at this event (
I've been teaching at these events with some of my best friends in the world for the last decade or so. I'm almost 4 years past 40 and find that I keep getting advanced in my years and the kids all stay the same age. Tammy and I went out to lunch today and decided to come back to the fabulous Edgewater Hotel and get a bit of rest prior to teaching time. We headed up the elevator and a young man about 14 years old, dripping wet from the swimming pool joined us. I asked a stupid question, "You been swimming?". He was very polite and said "Yes, it was awesome!" Then he inquired, "Did you bring your trunks?" I told him..."No, we thought we'd just take a nap." He snickered and in an exasperated voice said, "Old people!" The doors opene…

Power in a life lived well

A friend of mine sent the following link. Its sort of a video diary of Penn Gillette of the comedy/majic team of Penn and Teller. Penn is an avowed atheist, but a very thoughtful man. If you've ever seen their act or heard him speak, he's quite brilliant and a great entertainer. Take about 5 minutes to view this and think long and hard about what he has to say. For those of us that follow Christ he has some profound things to say. Enjoy!