With the secular decorations of the holidays filling stores, members of the Fort McPherson community were provided an opportunity Dec. 10 to experience a more spiritual side of the season at the U.S. Army Garrison Chaplains Office holiday prayer breakfast.

The breakfast, which took place at The Commons on Fort McPherson, provided a place for people to focus on the spiritual aspects of the holidays amid all their distractions and holiday activities, said Chap. (Capt.) Fred Wendel, Catholic chaplain, USAG Chaplains Office.

"It was timed as an opportunity to step aside and reflect on this time of year, no matter what our faith group or personal beliefs," he said.

Col. Deborah B. Grays, USAG commander, reiterated the good that could come out of the holiday no matter what religious belief followed.

In her remarks, she spoke of how during the holidays, while taking time to celebrate with friends and Family, all can learn to recognize the divine spark in human beings that gives us all worth.

Grays also reminded people of the Golden Rule - to do unto others as you would have them do unto you - and encouraged those in attendance to live the holiday spirit by helping take responsibility for someone else.

While Grays called for audience members to help others, the guest speaker, Chap. (Maj. Gen.) Douglas Carver, U.S. Army chief of chaplains, encouraged attendees to seek help for themselves in God.

"There are a lot of strong things in this world, but there is nothing stronger than almighty God," he said. "Expect God to be strong enough for any challenge." Carver, who is an ordained Southern Baptist minister, said it is important to expect God to fulfill designs.

"I don't know what God's going to do with your life this season, but pray and expect God to do four things: be strong enough for you; sustain you; be your security; and to satisfy your needs," Carver said.

He also challenged people to examine their faith, much like the Army does with the equipment it gives to Soldiers.

"Do you know (if) you got faith and (if) it works'" he said.

Wendel said he deeply appreciated Carver's message. In recognition of his contributions to the event, Carver, an avid reader, was given the book, "Fourth Star," by Greg Jaffe and David Cloud.

His wife, Sunny, was also presented with a Fort McPherson afghan blanket.

Wendel also gave thanks to the many people who helped behind the scenes to create the event. As for everyone else, other than the good food, Wendel said he hoped all took away a message that lifted their spirits and was an encouragement to them in their personal Families and their Army Family.