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The Chaplain Speaks

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 KJV)

Friday, December 15, 2006

Thoughts to Ponder

Lord Jesus, help me to know when I ought to be redoing my attitudes instead of my surroundings.


Today, Lord is part of your divine design. Help me to treat it as the gift it truly is.

Lord, help me to acquire knowledge and understanding to strengthen my faith and nourish my soul.



Daily Guideposts

WILL THE REAL FREEDOM PLEASE STAND UP?

As a chaplain and seminary student, I often hear about freedom from hospital workers, and also in the media. Although many speak about freedom they have varied concepts of freedom. Freedom for some is strictly an individual thing but for others it is adequate housing, equality in education, fairness on jobs, acceptable jobs and affordable health care.

Despite promises of political and religious freedom for all American citizens in the U.S. constitution, in its original form it excluding sizable segments of the population from equal rights and the government failed to protect our God given freedom. The original constitution excluded certain people, women, African Americans, and gays because of racism and sexism and even today we don't have equal rights. It's difficult to determine who really believes that everyone should be free including clergy. Everyone is not considered a child of God and our God given freedom is denied.

You may visualize a chaplain as someone that provides comfort, I do but I also have a challenge and responsibility to be an advocate for freedom; freedom for all people. Freedom is more than an individual's protection or rights, real freedom is liberty from injustice and must include everyone. This freedom should be regardless of race, color or creed. The reality, unless everyone is free, no one is really free.

We live in a country that is prosperous, successful and flourishing but yet is comprised of so many within it's borders that are homeless, jobless or have extremely low paying jobs, and many people that are poor. As a provider of comfort, I cannot ignore the suffering of so many. What advantage is prosperity if compassion and equality is excluded?“

A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.” Martin Luther King Jr.

Friday, December 08, 2006

IS IT WELL WITH YOUR SOUL?

Psalm 23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.


Psalm 62:5-8 My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved.
In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.
Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.




Yes the soul needs to be repaired, cured and healed. There is much brokenness today, our connection and fellowship with God is part of the healing process. The operative term here is process, often it is a long process and my ministry is to journey with the broken.

The compassion I receive from God enables me to give compassion, hope and comfort to others that are broken. I am grateful God has allowed me to be a channel in which the love of God can flow through to aide in this healing process.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

God speak to each of us as God makes us,
then walks with us out of the night.

These are the words you heard
before you were sent out beyond your recall:

Embody me
Flare up like a flame.
Make big shadows I can move in.

Let everything happen to you-
Beauty and Terror.

Just keep going...no feeling is final.

Don't let yourself lose me.

Nearby is the country called life-
You will know it by it's seriousness.


Give me your hand.



-Rilke

Psalm 9:9-10 The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee. This provides strength for me because God is always present especially when I can’t feel him.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

When you take food to the poor,
that's an act of worship.

When you give a word of kindness to someone who needs it,
that's an act of worship.

When you write someone a letter to encourage them or sit down
and open your Bible with someone to teach them,
that's an act of worship.


Max Lucado

It is my prayer the I will be available physically, mentally and spiritually to meet the needs of others.
Simply because you can't put your hands around something doesn't mean it's not there. In fact, those things that are most precious to us are the things that are invisible, aren't they?
Love, tenderness, happiness, air, feelings, emotions-those things we cannot touch, but they are very real. And so it is with God's power: It may not be touchable, but it's real and obtainable.

Max Lucado

I WILL NOT GIVE UP

IT WAS ABOVE THE TIMBERLINE. The steady march of the forest had stopped as if some invisible barrier had been erected beyond which no trees dared move even in single file. Beyond was barrenness, sheer rocks, snow patches and strong untrammeled winds. Here and there were short TUFTS of evergreen bushes that had somehow managed to survive despite the severe pressures under which they had to live. They were not lush, they lacked the kind of grace of the vegetation below the timberline, but they were alive and hardy. Upon close investigation, however it was found that these were not ordinary shrubs. The formation of the needles, etc., was identical with that of the trees farther down; as a matter of fact, they looked like branches of the other trees.

When one actually examined them, the astounding revelation was that they were branches. For, hugging the ground, following the shape of the terrain, were trees that could not grow upright, following the pattern of their kind. Instead, they were growing as vines grow along the ground, and what seemed to be patches of stunted shrubs were rows of branches of growing, developing trees. What must have been the tortuous frustration and the stubborn battle that had finally resulted in this strange phenomenon! It is as if the tree had said,"I am destined to reach for the skies and embrace in my arms the wind, the rain, the snow and the sun, singing my song of joy to all the heavens.

But this I cannot do, I have taken root beyond the timberline, and yet I do not want to die; I must not die. I shall make a careful survey of my situation and work out a method, a way of life, that will yield growth and development for me despite the contradictions under which I must eke out my days. In the end I may not look like the other trees, I may not be what all that is within me cries out to be. But I will not give up. I will use to the full every resource in me and about me to answer life with life. In so doing, I shall affirm that this is the kind of universe that sustains, upon demand, the life that is in it." I wonder if I dare to act even as the tree acts. I wonder! I wonder! Do you?

Howard Thurman

Friday, November 17, 2006

MARRIAGE AND THE FAMILY

Marriages and families are being destroyed and intervention is needed. I believe the major componets are patriarchy, lack of communication, low self esteem and inadequate finances. I understand that we are all "products of our environment" and as African Americans our experiences of racism and injustice are at the "root" of our problems within the family.

My husband and I are the facilitators of a newly formed marriage enrichment ministry at our church. We have been blessed to overcome these obstacles; being married for almost 34 years and want to be available to help others in the recovery process. We want to be examples of the love and peace of Christ.

We are determined to be vessels used by God to help the people of God!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Three More Last Night!

It is sad and quite distressing to hear of and to read about another GSW victim! The ages vary and it afflicts male and female alike, old and young, and sometimes extremely young, rich and poor. There is no certain race that is affected, it can and does touch the very life's of the innocent. It happens everywhere! In the streets, in the movie theatres, in the malls, in the schools and even in the homes of children as they prepare for school! It penetrates and destroys organs, it pierces to the inner being and many times another life is snuffed out! I shudder as I think about the families that are impacted.

In the ministry of pastoral care in the hospital setting I often encounter grieving parents, grandparents, siblings, relatives and friends. I often see pastors as they come to pray with their members. I attempt to provide care for them, but I often cry within as I watch families view yet another deceased victim as the result of a gun! How many Gun Shot Wound victims will come into the hospital today? How many more needless deaths with happen?

I grow weary of this violence and I pray that it will end.
I also voted yes to ending the sale and distribution of high powered assault weapons and ammunition!


Returning violence for violence multiples violence adding
deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars ....Hate
cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.
Martin Luther King Jr.
THE CHAPLAIN SPEAKS

Monday, October 16, 2006

Torture



Slavery is a form of torture that is not often mentioned. I contend that the soul of our nation has been in jeopardy and on a downward spiral since the onset of slavery. I question how we are a nation under God and yet we fail to consider the human dignity of others! Inflicting suffering and pain on others for any reason can't be justified or condoned!

How can we proclaim that we are Christians and Ministers of love and not speak up and out against torture? Silence is consent!


Please pray for our nation that we will consider the importance of every life and that we will strive to portray a people that really believes in liberty and justice for all!