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Devotional Thoughts

 Devotional Thoughts
 The Spiritual Side of Our Website

This part of the site features monthly devotional thoughts by the Association's Chaplain, with the goal of encouraging Signal Corps OCS Graduates to be exceptional in their lives and to live life at a higher level. Our current Chaplain is of the Christian faith, so naturally, his devotionals are fashioned around his Christian beliefs. Your comments and suggestions are welcome and can be offered directly to the Chaplain by eMail at:

by LTC (R) Max Holt, Class 02-67

January 2016


LTC (R) Max Holt - TodayLTC (R) Max Holt

We just finished celebrating Christmas and now we will celebrate the New Year, January 1st…right? Not so fast; I just discovered that January 1st is actually January 14th! Who knew? Actually, January 1st on the Julian calendar is really January 14th on the Gregorian calendar…the one we use every day. Until I did some research I didn’t realize that the WAR, about which calendar to use, has been raging since about 46BC. Earlier than that, pretty much every country, province, city, town and even settlements had their own way of determining calendar dates. Major countries (or empires) listed dates using regional years; basing dates on the reign of a monarch or king. Examples in the ancient nation of Israel would be; “In the Tenth Year of King David”…or… “In the Fourth Year of King Solomon.” Of course, that system required an accurate List of Kings to be available for all dating of events and documents. Adding to the problem was war; when one group conquered another, they forced their calendar on the defeated group. A similar problem existed with the dividing of the length of a day into measurable units. But, that is research for another day. 

You can imagine the calendar confusion when the Roman Empire began to spread across most of the civilized world. The Romans, being the most powerful and most organized during their hey-day, mandated the Julian calendar (of Julius Caesar fame) in all of their territories beginning on January 1, 46BC. Prior to Caesar’s brilliant idea the Romans had used the system… A. U. C., (also listed as AUC, or a.u.c.); also called "anno urbis," in which dates were determined using the founding of Rome as the starting date.     

I couldn’t find a verifiable reason that the birth of Christ was chosen as the event to divide the Old Time from the New Time.  Some important guy in the 6th century decided that the Julian calendar needed to be reorganized around Christ’s birth. He computed back those hundreds of years and used that event to set a new starting point for the calendar…Year 1, calling it A.D., anno domini (meaning “in the year of the Lord”—the year Jesus was born). The problem was that his calculations were off by several years. Also he did not set a Year Zero. Historical records and the Bible tell us that Herod was King when Jesus was born (Luke 1:5). And, according to the New Testament (Matthew 2:16) Jesus was about two years old when the wise men got to Bethlehem to deliver their gifts. Well, since history records that Herod died in 4BC and he was still alive when Jesus was two years old, that means Jesus was most likely born in 6BC or maybe a little earlier. 

Having said all that let me address January 1st vs January 14th. Well, Julian astronomers thought the changing rotation of the Earth around the Sun caused the time to lose one day every 128 years. However, when astronomers checked the readings again in later centuries they discovered that time loses one day, only every 3,236 years. That meant that the Julian calendar guys had added too many leap years to try to correct their dates….actually 13 too many. So, on January 1st on the Julian calendar you need to add 13 days (January 14th) to be on the correct day on our current calendar. I guess a less-confusing way to say it is…on our calendar's January 1st the Julian calendar date would only be December 17th.

The calendar today, in 99% of the world, is the Gregorian calendar. It is today's internationally accepted civil calendar and is also known as the "Western calendar" or "Christian calendar". It was named after the man who first introduced it in February 1582: Pope Gregory XIII.  But, what Pope Gregory and all of those scientists before him failed to do is help us figure out what important stuff to put on our calendars and what really doesn’t matter. Imagine all of the fighting, arguing and even some blood-shed over what calendar to use and still we have a general apathetic attitude about the importance of time and how to use that precious commodity. We know that we only have so much time left on this Earth. We often say that we don’t have time for this or that. We see people who seem to accomplish so much in their life and we ask, “Where does he find the time?” 

In the Old Testament we find the record of when David was King of Israel. In his later years he sensed that time was slipping away from him too. He prayed this short prayer in Psalm 90:12, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” So, that is my prayer for all of you, that in 2016 you will have WISDOM and consider the time you MAY have left and use it more wisely than ever before. I encourage you to use it to make a difference in someone else’s life, to make memories with your family and to leave a legacy, confirming that you left your mark on this Earth…that your life mattered. 


Have a blessed 2016.
Max Holt, Class 02-67, Association Chaplain


To turn off music, click music player below...

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What A Happy Time (Live) - Kingsmen; Length: 2:08

Prior Month Devotionals
May '11 Jun '11 Jul '11 Aug '11 Sep '11 Oct '11 Nov '11 Dec '11 Jan '12 Feb '12 Mar '12 Apr '12
May '12 Jun '12 Jul '12 Aug '12 Sep '12 Oct '12 Nov '12 Dec '12 Jan '13 Feb '13 Mar '13 Apr '13
May '13 Jun '13 Jul '13 Aug '13 Sep '13 Oct '13 Nov '13 Dec '13 Jan '14 Feb '14 Mar '14 Apr '14
May '14 Jun '14 Jul '14 Aug '14 Sep '14 Oct '14 Nov '14 Dec '14 Jan '15 Feb '15 Mar '15 Apr '15
May '15 Jun '15 Jul '15 Aug '15 Sep '15 Oct '15 Nov '15 Dec '15 Jan 16 Feb 16 May 16 Apr 16

Click the picture below to listen to The Lord's Jukebox... a compilation of all of the devotional music posted since May 2011:

The Lord's Jukebox

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