Saturday, June 16, 2012

Happy Friday! 

WOW!  End of the first week of CPE.  It has been an amazing week.  We were not originally scheduled to go to the floors until next week, but were far enough ahead in group cohesion that we went to the floors this afternoon.  I am continually amazed at the involvement of chaplains in hospital life.  I have learned today how to chart a patient for chaplaincy purposes.  The goal is to make sure that each patient who enters the hospital receives a visit from a chaplain.  I really loved visiting and praying with the patients this afternoon. 

Yesterday we were at John Peter Smith Hospital.  The program I am in partners Huguley with JPS.  At JPS, when we are on call as chaplains we are to respond to all Trauma 1’s as well as any other calls we receive.  We speak to families in the event of the death of their loved one.  We take family members to view the bodies of their loved one and help to put all of the persons in place if there is an organ donation issue.  We do not initiate the process, but we are there in support of the family as they work through the process. 

The other thing I am discovering is that all of this new learning at a rapid pace is exhausting!!  My prayer for myself is that I will have the stamina for this job especially with the on-call nights and working the next day.  I ask your prayers that I will continue to learn and that God will give me the strength and stamina to make me equal to the task. 

If I do not get a chance to write in the future, it will be because I have been on call all night or I am really exhausted.  But I promise to continue to pray for you and please continue to pray for me.  I never understood the depth and necessity of prayer for pastors until now!!

Prayer:  “Good morning to the One who is both crucified Savior and risen LORD! Today I begin this day as one who is so very grateful for an old wooden Cross that stood somewhere just outside an ancient Jerusalem gate some two-thousand-plus years ago.  I thank You, precious risen Lord, that I have responded to the message of that Cross and now live in its shadow daily.  Today I pray that You will crucify me with You on that Cross that I may die to all that would keep me from Your will.  May I live in such a way that I always reflect Your glory. Amen.”

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
1 Corinthians 1: 18

Every faith has some sort of visual symbol that brings recognition.  Christianity uses the cross, but not just any cross, but the Cross of Jesus Christ.  This symbol of salvation is unique as it allows us to come before it and lay our sins beneath it and go beyond it to have relationship with God who sent Jesus so that we might know Him.  In Christianity there are no other options for salvation.  I love crosses and tend to wear them as jewelry. When I enter certain areas of the hospital I will have to tuck it away for safety, but each time I put the cross on I am reminded that I have been saved by the very power of God.  Any maybe, just maybe, if I wear it around my neck and act on it in my heart someone who does not know about the sweet salvation given freely by God through Jesus will want to know more.

Take joy in the journey.  Wear comfortable shoes and get some sleep.  Count your blessings and say your prayers.  Love you all and thank you so much for all of your prayerful support, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am only moved by what I believe and I believe God.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Happy Wednesday! 

I am learning so much in my CPE class!  Tomorrow we go to John Peter Smith but today we toured the nursing home where I will be assigned.  The nursing home is on the hospital campus.  It is a beautiful facility with residents who were very active and very friendly.  The staff is wonderful; very friendly and upbeat and very spiritual. 

My CPE group meets for worship each morning before beginning the work day.  Today we met all of the department managers who all are committed to the mission of the hospital, “Furthering the Healing Ministry of Christ.” 

Today in our group time our teacher asked, “What is your greatest fear about CPE?”  I told them I did not like the word fear because fear is not of God.  But my greatest point of tension is the possibility of being lost in the hospital when called for a patient or family and I won’t get there fast enough.  I will learn my way around I just hope I can do it quickly enough to help those I am called to help. 

Another point of concern for me is will I have the stamina to pull the all nighters at JPS?  There is a sleep room, but I will have worked all day at Huguley and then go to JPS at 6:00 pm for the all nighter until 8:00 am, then back to Huguley to work until noon.  I remember that I chose this, but I am very much in need of your prayers to be able to serve as a chaplain.  Please, pray, pray, pray!!!

Prayer:  “Father, I pray like Jehoshaphat facing the evil coalition: “We have no power…nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You” (2 Chronicles 20: 12). Father, may Your Holy Spirit teach me what to pray for and how to ask.   I place a “Help Wanted” sign over my heart.  In Christ’s name, Amen.”

“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weaknesses.  For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”
Romans 8: 26

How great is our God who would bring me to His Word when I am in need of an answer.  “The Spirit helps us in our weaknesses.”  I have a weakness for directions.  God will help me find my way and I must remember to pray for help and not panic.  I will also pray for strength beyond myself to keep up the energy needed to sustain the rigors of the night and help those who are in need. 

I feel like I am in need of a mountain of prayer. In our weakness we can pray.  The problem is that some of us do not pray until we are really sick or nearing death.  The good news is when we are overwhelmed with so many things to pray about or things so devastating to pray for the Holy Spirit comes to our side and takes the prayer load for us.  The Holy Spirit interprets our prayers to the Father and God will back to us in a way in which we can understand. Right now that sounds like really good news to me. 

To command this type of prayer we must pray in the authority of the name of Jesus and the blood of Christ, praying for the Holy Spirit to interpret our prayers and direct them into the will of God.  We must pray for the cleansing of our souls and the forgiveness of our sins so when we wake up we can experience the assurance that in our weakness it is the opportunity for God to reveal Himself in our prayers and in all aspects of our life.

Take joy in this new journey.  Wear comfortable shoes and get some rest. Count your blessings and say your prayers.  Love you and give thanks for all of your help and support, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am only moved by what I believe and I believe God.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Happy Monday! 

Geni just left to spend her first night in her apartment.  We gathered in our living room after dinner and gave her our blessing and sent her on her way with the reminder that her key still fits our door. 

From Jesus Calling, June 11 “Trust Me and don’t be afraid for I am your Strength and Song.”  I told my family to look at my face tonight because in a short while they may not see it very often.  I have hospital and CPE Orientation for the next couple of weeks and then the race is on. 

I am currently assigned to the Nursing Home (there is a nursing facility on the campus) and overflow floor for the Progressive Care Unit (a step down unit from ICU as patients get better). I have a weekday “on-call” at Huguley and John Peter Smith.  I am doing my weekday on-call duty on Wednesdays.  I will do Huguley on one Wednesday and JPS the next Wednesday beginning June 20 and ending on August 15.  I will have weekend on-call in both hospitals also.  At Huguley the weekend on-call is 8:00 am to 10:00 pm.  JPS is 6:00 pm until 8:00 am.  When I am not on call I do my regular assignments at Huguley. 

There are ten people in my CPE group. They are of different ethnicities, genders, ages and denominations.  Some members of the group are residents and some are interns.  Residents are chaplains assigned to these two hospitals for a year. Those people receive a salary.  Interns work for 10 weeks and earn credit hours.  They are all very nice people and lots of fun. 

Prayer:  As I awake this morning, O Lord, I give You praise for another day of life.  Thank You, Father, that I can live for You because Your Son, Jesus died for me!  May my life be a living sacrifice for You, and may my actions glorify Your name. Amen.”

“But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.  Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.”
Romans 8: 9

The apostle Paul had been trained in the formalities of the Law.  But it was not until Paul’s Road to Damascus experience that he understood the presence of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Paul wrote “if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation because he no longer lives in the flesh, but in the newness of God’s Spirit.”  Paul knew that before a person can be in Christ that they must be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Take joy in the journey.  Wear comfortable shoes and get some sleep.  Count your blessings and say your prayers.  Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am only moved by what I believe and I believe God.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Blessed Sunday to you all! 

I am tired!  After two worship services and taco lunch at church I shopped with Geni the remainder of the afternoon.  Our first stop was WalMart to outfit her bathrooms and her kitchen.  As you can imagine she was shocked as to the things she needed to get started in her new home.  I must brag a bit as she planned for this expense and handled the cost well.  Then we went to Kroger.  We walked up and down every aisle so that she could pay attention to where things were and again she was really surprised as to the number of items in the grocery store that she would need to get started.  I probably said at least a dozen times, “Remember, there is only one of you,” as she tended to purchase multiples of certain items.  I purchased a couple of chickens and some salad and we went back to her apartment. 

After putting all of the food away we had her first meal with all of us present in her living room on the coffee table.  It was somewhat reminiscent of the carpet picnics Casey and his friends would have in his hospital room. We had a great time.  She is not sleeping there tonight, but maybe tomorrow.  There was a problem with an air conditioner leak in her upstairs bathroom, but the HVAC repairman came out tonight and made the necessary repairs.

I begin CPE tomorrow morning at 8:00.  Please offer a prayer that I may stay focused on the things that are important.  Thanks.

Prayer:  “Lord, as I bow humbly in Your presence, speak to my heart. Lord, remind me of Your goodness and mercy.  Fill me with the power of Your Holy Spirit.  Open my eyes to the needs and hurts of those around me.  Guide me by Your Spirit to those who are in desperate need of the Savior.  Use me as Your vessel to make a difference.   Grant this prayer, O Lord, Amen.”

“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
John 3: 8

I know how to go into a hospital room and pray with folks, listen to them and anoint them with oil for prayer and blessing.  But I still have everything to learn about how to work in a hospital.  I am glad that through scripture God revealed that I have a teachable heart.  I know I am capable of learning the skills and knowledge to meet the calling placed upon me.  The old saying about “God does not call the equipped.  God equips those who are called according to His good purpose.”  This is the equipping process. 

I must tell you a story.  I have shared with you that I will be working at Huguley Hospital and John Peter Smith.  John Peter Smith is a Trauma 1 hospital.  Almost 25 years ago I delivered Geni at Peter Smith.  At her delivery the nurses thought they heard a heart murmur and she went directly to NICU (Neo-Natal ICU).  I spent the next full week visiting her 2 or 3 times per day driving from Arlington to the hospital in Fort Worth.  In my week long time there I saw a lot of babies in that NICU, but what I did not see were many of their mothers coming to visit.  These babies were so sick.  The one that broke my heart was a tiny perfectly formed baby named Victoria who was in an enclosed isolet.  On the outside of her isolet was a message to her mother.  It read, “Please help my Mommy to visit me, to give me a bath and to hold and rock me.”  I decided at that moment that when I had finished raising my family I was going to hospitals and rock babies.  Perhaps God’s calling was on me even then, because I am going back to the place where I first made a solemn call to a ministry.  God’s Spirit is the supernatural force that speaks truth that transforms each of us sometimes in the silence of words and sometimes in the message written on the isolet of a tiny baby. 

Take joy in the journey.  Wear comfortable shoes and get some sleep.  Count your blessings and say your prayers.  Love you all and thanks for everything, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am only moved by what I believe and I believe God.