The Warriors Challenge

The Warrior’s Challenge Discussion Guide is a collaborative effort between The Warrior’s Journey (TWJ) and SOF Missions. 
TWJ is an extraordinary resource as they aim to equip veterans, families, and leaders.

About The Book

Each session begins with a session overview that’s designed for use in a small group setting. It introduces the group to the challenge that will be the focus of the discussion and later individual work. Each challenge is introduced with a short video and/or related article. Group members should view the video and familiarize themselves with the related article before they engage in the group discussion. The group leader reads through the session overview and answers any questions from the group. As part of the session overview, the leader also introduces the growth objectives that are listed for that particular session. The objectives are tailored to the session’s challenge. The leader responds to any questions related to the session objectives. In subsequent sessions, the leader has the option to conduct a brief review of the previous session and allow for sharing of personal reflections from the previous session.

The WARRIOR’S CHALLENGE Discussion Guide is designed to prompt and generate discussion around challenges relevant to the spiritual needs of service members, veterans, and their families.

Providing relevant Scriptures and probing questions, the guide encourages group interaction and individual reflection to promote understanding and spiritual growth.

All Warriors face challenges that
test their character, their commitment, and their faith.

What’s inside

The twelve sessions contain five subsections:

^

Session Overview

Each session begins with a session
overview that’s designed for use in a small group setting.

^

GROUP DISCUSSION

Group discussion focuses on the
videos and articles.

^

PERSONAL REFLECTION

Each member of the group is given an opportunity to further reflect on the material covered in the group session.

^

Key Scriptures

Relevant Scriptures are listed for each
session and are used to enhance group discussion and aid in
individual work that’s conducted between sessions.

^

AFTER-ACTION REVIEW

This section is designed to
summarize the group session, capturing the major lessons learned, and way ahead for members of the group.

INTRODUCTION

It was one of those days. I was exhausted from working all day and I couldn’t wait to get home and do a good workout. Once I arrived home, I put on my gym clothes and headed to my garage. I had just purchased a ton of CrossFit equipment and established my very own garage gym. I had everything set up, picked my favorite rock music, and pressed play. I was amping myself up for a tough session. Suddenly the phone rang. No way! I thought, “No one is going to keep me from my workout today.” I was not going to let anything get in the way of my workout. However, for some odd reason I felt compelled to answer this call. I fought the desire to pick-up, debating in my mind whether to answer the phone.  I answered: “Hello?”

“Hello” said the voice on the other end of line. “Is this FN?”

“Yes, who is this?”

“My name is KA and my friend SJ said I should call you before I do anything.”

“Go ahead, what’s going on?”

For two hours I listened to KA rehearse his life’s journey. He told me everything, holding nothing back. It was heart wrenching.  I intently listened as he shared his disappointments, frustration, anger, bitterness, and deep sense of hopelessness. KA was in a state of panic. For all intents and purposes, the enemy, Satan, had been conducting multiple ambushes on him and KA was about to break— literally!

The enemy used a myriad of weapons that heavily influenced KA. What were these weapons? They were Challenges Satan had orchestrated in KA’s life.  They were tests.  I thought of Job who was challenged by Satan, tested to the brink of insanity.  I wondered if my friend could withstand the onslaught of the enemy he was facing?  As I listened to his story, I noted the following:

1. There was a tremendous amount of Deep Loss;
everything he had owned was lost.

2.  There was an overwhelming sense of Fear; every day was a struggle and he didn’t know what to do.


3.  There was a great burden of Moral Injury; there was a lot of killing and it was difficult for him to reconcile that in his mind.


4. There was an extraordinary feeling of Insignificance; one day he was a Special Forces operator, the next day he was
homeless and feeling dejected.


5. There was an incredible sense of Isolation.  He had burned his bridges and was now quite alone.    

These Challenges led KA to feel absolutely hopeless—to the point of taking the final step of suicide. After he was finished talking, I asked him, “Do you know Jesus?”  I have never been so blatantly direct about my faith, but at that moment I had no choice, I had to tell him.  It was a matter of life or death and time was running out.  The line went silent…for a second I thought he’d hung up. Then finally, he said, “I’ve heard of him…”


SESSIONS

PAGES

When the enemy is defeated, all areas of isolation become opportunities of hope.

The Warrior’s Bible

About the TEAM.

Dean Bonura is a retired Army chaplain with over 30 years of military service including two combat tours and several deployments to the Middle East and Bosnia-Herzegovina. He has ministered to Service Members and their families at military installations in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East, and has served at several levels of command from battalion to installation. He is the recipient of the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star, among other awards. He also is the author of Beyond Trauma: Hope and Healing for Warriors (2016) and holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Corban University, Western Seminary, and a doctorate from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Denise, live in
Memphis, Tennessee.
Damon Friedman is an elite Special Tactics Officer and leader in special operations with four combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is the recipient of 3 Bronze Stars (one with valor) and the Combat Action medal among other awards. In 2011 He started SOF Missions, a non-profit organization aimed at helping veterans. He is the executive producer of the film SURRENDER ONLY TO ONE which creates awareness of the PTSD and suicide epidemic among the veteran community. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Lewis University, University of Oklahoma, and a doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary. He, his wife and two kids live in Tampa, Florida.

DAMON FRIEDMAN, D. Is.
Special Tactics Officer (LtCol), U.S. AIR FORCE
Editor, Author

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