Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Chaplaincy Studies Lesson 4

Thank you for this great overview of military chaplaincy. I do not know any military chaplains personally but I can only imagine the types of challenges  that must accompany being sheppard to a flock that is engaged in warfare. There were a couple things in the lesson that I found thought provoking and had not previously considered.
If you are a representative of a particular religious group you are not expected to perform ceremonies in a way that is not consistent with your religious beliefs. I found this to be a comforting thought, not only because it takes a burden off the chaplain in regards to maintaining his own integrity, but it would also ensure that the nuances of each ceremonial act are done properly by someone who understands the spiritual significance of each action. By way of example: I was raised as a Lutheran and taught that communion was given by the pastor to you as an adult after you had gone through instruction regarding the meaning and significance of this very important act. I would never go to a Catholic priest and expect that I be allowed to participate in the act of communion because I have not fulfilled Catholic requirements regarding the Eucharist. I am glad that a Catholic Chaplain would not be forced to give in to such a request and has the power make decisions based on the governance of their individual faith.
The enlightening moment this lesson brought out for me was the role of the chaplain in the command structure. The chaplain not only has the responsibility of seeing to the spiritual needs of his flock under stressful and even life threatening situations, but he provides counsel to those in the command structure as well and brings a moral compass to decisions which I am sure are sometimes difficult to make without that additional support. I never considered a chaplain to be an advisor in major decision making, but this lesson covered that nicely.  
The thing that I found most appealing about this overview was the concept of a chaplain as a teacher. Some of the best pastors I know have had the hearts of teachers and it was one of the many things that designated Jesus in his ministry. It is my hope that I will come away from this overall experience a more gifted teacher and someone who can connect and bring others with me so we can learn together.    

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Master of Chaplaincy Course Lesson 2

This was an inspiring look at the workings of the Holy Spirit and acknowledging the calling of the Lord.  I have seen this often in others and I have been told that others have recognized in in me although I am sometimes can not discern the path God would have me take.
I provide the answers to the lesson questions below:
1. Describe someone that you know that has the Divine Mark. What set them apart?
I would give two examples of people that I am sure have the Divine Mark of God plan on them. My pastor is an amazing Sheppard to our congregation at church an never stops trying to increase his knowledge of Gods word. He is devoted to not only taking it all in, but being able to pass it on to us as well. You would almost say he has the heart of a teacher as he takes us through a bible study on Wednesday night. He becomes excited as he relates new ideas to us and creates an atmosphere that is akin to taking us on a journey together. Sometimes I imagine myself listening to him at night in a field or on a hilltop and I can almost transport myself back in my mind and feel what those followers of Jesus must have felt as he preached the gospel to them.
My  daughter is truly amazing. She is kind, compassionate and has a love for God that is so strong that it comes through in everything she does. She volunteers to do work with the church without complaint even when she is tired and is almost aglow when she describes how much the church she attends is growing and reaching more people. There is something that radiates off her that is unmistakably special and you can tell that it is the presence of God in her life. I believe she is destined for greatness.
2.  Has has anyone observed the mark in you. Write down what they said?
Yes, I have had co-workers periodically tell me that I have a gift that needs to be shared and I should consider taking up a ministers duties. One of the things has always been that I am easy to talk to and I seem to make people feel comfortable. I have been told if I spoke to people about my faith and shared my feelings that I would change peoples lives.
3.  Describe your calling    
I feel that God spoke to me back in 2009 in a big way telling me to get educated, that he had a job for me and I would find out more when I was ready. I finished my AA degree in 2011 and am always finding ways to learn more. I have taken individual classes in different areas of Holistic Health including Herbalism, Homeopathy , and Aromatherapy.  
I feel that part of my mission is to help those in need and have dedicated the next 9 years to learning all I can about Natural Health Holistic Healing and Faith Based courses based on the Chaplaincy, Metaphysical Principles for Healing, and classes regarding Spiritual Counseling. I am being driven to get the skills to address peoples need for healing regardless if the need is physical or spiritual in nature.
In undertaking this journey I believe that I have become more familiar with issues that I need to address in my own life to be successful and appreciate these classes because they allow the opportunity for introspection  and reflection that will help me evolve and make positive change as needed.