Saturday, June 30, 2012

 Happy Saturday! 

I am not on call this weekend and  I am enjoying spending time with the family.  I did some shopping today and had lunch with Bruce, Geni, Travis and a guest.  It was really wonderful. 

Prayer:  “Father, help me walk in truth by sharing the truth that Jesus is the only way to God.  In His name I pray, Amen.”

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
John 14: 6

Sometimes the truth is hard to come by.  As I have surfed through the channels on the TV I am amazed at the programing that is offered with theme or “reality” shows.  I am not a reality show watcher because to me it is simply “wrestling” dressed up to look like something else whether in a beauty shop or someone’s home.  I have some trouble believing that the “reality” portrayed in these programs is truth.

The scriptures tell us many things and the New Testament tells us one great truth: Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. The only way to the Father is through Jesus.  In this amazing verse we are assured that we have been created for eternal fellowship with God.  The only way to experience this fellowship with God is through a relationship with His Son, Jesus.  God poured His very essence into the person of Jesus creating “God on foot” -  creating Him fully human and fully divine so that we might know Him and the Father.  

While we were separated from God by our sin God made provision for us providing forgiveness and righteousness through the death and resurrection of Jesus.  In order to fellowship with the Father we MUST have relationship with His Son.  When we enter into relationship with Jesus we need to remember to give thanks to God for giving us Jesus as the Way, so we do not get lost, the Truth so we can believe and the Life, so that we might begin eternal life from that moment until we are united with him in this life and the next.

Take joy in the journey.  Wear comfortable shoes and get some sleep.  Count your blessings and say your prayers.  Thank you all for your wonderful prayers as I am journeying through CPE.  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.
owever the scriptures Hllmmm…However;;       Ho

Friday, June 29, 2012

Happy Friday! 

I have now pulled two all-nighters at JPS.  I seem to be okay during the time I am at the hospital.  The next day recovery, though, is really hard.  It takes all day and all night following the all-nighter for me to recover.
I really love the patients and the staff.  Sometimes the situations are hard especially in the Trauma bays, but it is fascinating to watch the docs, nurses and all who participate in patient care including the police officers, ambulance drivers or helicopter pilots.  They all have one purpose: to do all they can to quickly assess the patient’s needs, set up tests and x-rays and save the patient.  The trauma team sees the great need for chaplains and seem really glad when we are on the floor. They know that we not only pray for the patients but for them, also.
Prayer:  “Father, I do not want to fear the wonderful practice of witnessing for You.  It is an honor to testify of Your grace and greatness.  Help me to depend daily on the power You provide to be an effective witness.  
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Acts 1: 8

I was on call at JPS from 6:00 PM Wednesday evening until 8:00 AM Thursday morning.  My shift began with the same issue; the death of two patients.  At 6:00 pm, I received a call from Labor and Delivery to minister to a mother who had delivered a stillborn child. Upon my arrival the mother and the baby were in the bed together.  The mother was silently mourning the loss of this beautiful baby girl.  The baby was dressed in a little white dress and wrapped in a tiny pink blanket as if she was about to be presented at church.  The little one looked perfect and simply appeared as if she was sleeping.
My last call of the shift came shortly before 7:00 am to the bedside of a woman who was born in 1922.  Her appearance was not perfect.  The color changes that occur in the death process had taken over and this dear lady looked like an email I once read.  The email was told by a woman who said, “I want to die feet first, sliding into heaven raising dust, body all used up, coffee in one hand and chocolate in the other.”  After speaking with the patient’s children I found that this woman had done just this.  She had a rich life with many stories to tell.

Here is the interesting part, both of these bodies were no longer able to sustain life and yet both of these souls are safely and joyfully being held in the arms of the Father.  The tiny one will never know her earthly father, but will be raised and taught by her Heavenly Father.  The elder woman will have stories to tell to that same heavenly Father, giving thanks for her life on earth, for the children she treasured and for being welcomed into heaven as a believer. One never saw her earthly home and one left her earthly home with the same destination.
As difficult as it was to walk into these two rooms I realize how important it is for me to rely on the power of God and to simply be the vessel through whom He will begin to comfort these tender hearts.  There are no words of comfort for these folks, but being a silent witness for God allows for the Ministry of Presence to what families in these situations need.  Sometimes witness in the power of the Holy Spirit requires words and sometimes it calls for a few or even no words, letting these families know that God understands because He has suffered grief and loss Himself.

Take joy in the journey even when it is hard.  Wear comfortable shoes and get some rest.  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.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Happy Thursday!  

I had a JPS on-call last night.  I have come to find out that I am not as young as I used to be.  I seem to be okay while on call with enough coffee, healthy snacks and coffee (did I mention coffee?), but the next day is tough concerning getting enough rest to go to work the following day.  Please, pray, pray, pray for me.  The work at the hospital is wonderful and the need is so great.  I have had some extraordinary experiences.

Prayer:  “Father, I surrender completely to You.  May Your Spirit fill me and may I be further transformed today into the image of Your Son.  In His name I pray.  Amen.”

“Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Acts 2: 38

Repentance is a turning away from sin, but turning away from sin is not possible without turning to faith in Jesus.  When we confess our faith in Jesus as our personal Savior, we are baptized in Jesus’ name and have submitted to Him as our personal Lord and Savior.  The result of repentance and faith is the forgiveness of sins.  When we are forgiven from our sins we are declared not only forgiven, but we are declared righteous. 

Two other gifts we receive when we confess Jesus as Lord are the gift of salvation and the gift of the Holy Spirit.  These gifts are not for just some set apart group, they are for ALL who believe.  The Holy Spirit unites us, transforms us and empowers us through saving faith in our personal lives.

The good news is that this process is new for us each day and lasts for the remainder of our lives.  Our agency in this continuing process is  daily surrender to God’s will in our lives, daily service in His name, continuous contact through prayer and continuous thanksgiving for the transforming power of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

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.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Happy Tuesday! 

When I work on-call I get some comp time.  So, in trying to work out this whole self care thing, I am doing another on-call at JPS tomorrow evening from 6:00 pm until 8:00 am on Thursday.  Following the on-call I return to Huguley for worship and debriefing and then I can go home again.  I love working with the patients, but the over-nighters are kind of a bear and I am still wrestling with the physical recovery following the on-call.  I realize that this is sort of an extended intensive study class and an extraordinary training ground, but I am not used to pulling all-nighters!! In short, I am still prayerfully discerning God’s call for me in the area of pastoral care and the avenue in which I am to serve. 

Prayer:  “Father, my time of prayer is often filled with personal desires.  I pray that one of my greatest desires will be to fully enjoy the gift of the Holy Spirit.  May I desire His influence over my life more than any possession, practice or probability. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.”

“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”
Lamentations 3: 22-23

This morning I led worship at Huguley.  We begin each day with a brief worship.  It is a great way to begin each day and the worship sets the tone for the day. I thought tonight I would share my devotion from this morning.

The movie Joyful Noise, starring Queen Latifa and Dolly Parton, is not a great movie, but the music is off the chart.  In part of this movie, Queen Latifa experiences great brokenness in her life and tries to control her surroundings to the point that she finds herself in control of nothing. There comes this very poignant moment when she takes all of her brokenness to the church, sits down at the piano and sings the plaintive old Negro Spiritual, “Fix Me Jesus.”  I began our worship with this piece of music.

When patients come into the hospital they are broken in some way.  They believe, whether they are wheeled, ambulatory or carried in, that the people who are skilled in the science and art of healing will do all they can to “fix” the patient’s brokenness. The patients bring themselves to the highest place, a hospital.  These folks surrender themselves over to strangers trusting that the strangers have the skills and compassion to fix whatever is wrong.

We, who have good physical health, can still carry brokenness around with us.  This brokenness cannot be detected by a lab draw or an x-ray or CT scan.  This brokenness can only be “fixed” by the Master Healer.  We must surrender ourselves to the highest place; the feet of Jesus.  Whether we step into His presence or crawl through our own muck and mire of sin or someone gently carries us, we can go before the Father who sits on the mercy seat. He grants forgiveness, mercy and compassion to all who come before Him, no matter what we lay before Him.  We make the same request as the patient in the hospital; to be fixed in Jesus name.

Take joy in the journey.  Wear comfortable shoes and get some sleep.  Count your blessings and say your prayers.  Love you all and keep praying! 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.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Blessed Sunday! 

(Note: this is being submitted on Monday evening)

I made it through the 24 on-call at JPS.  I had fifteen calls and got one hour’s sleep.  I met calls in Trauma I (highest priority) and Trauma II (next highest priority). People have a variety of reasons for finding themselves in a trauma unit or an Emergency Room and the one thing they want is a word of assurance and hope that God is with them (whether they are strong believers or not).  Those who enter these units, whether by helicopter, ambulance or car, are frightened and sometimes alone.  I held hands with young and old and prayed with them, for the doctors and for all who are part of patient care. I prayed for God’s gifts of healing to work to perfection. I prayed for the patients’ restoration to wellness and gave them the assurance that God is with them out of His great love.

Prayer:  “Father, I need the anointing presence of the Holy Spirit to fill my life.  I want to be effective for You today.  Therefore, I surrender completely to Your control.   Fill me, Lord! In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, ‘You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.” 
Luke 3: 22

When one of my CPE teachers went around the group and asked what we wanted out of CPE I answered, “I want to make a difference.”  I am not sure where this calling of pastoral care is going to lead, but my answer is still the same, “I want to make a difference.”  Another way of saying that is I want to be an effective servant for God.  I have asked God to use me to make an impact on the people around me.  I do not mean to make the impact, but I ask God to impact others through me.  When I walk into a patient’s room I pray to be transparent so that who they see is God.  The only way I know to be transparent is to put my own agenda aside and ask the Holy Spirit to manifest itself in me.  As a child of God I don’t need for the world to be impressed with me, but to be impressed with God under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. 

I have written in the past that when I reach heaven and I stand before God I want Him to say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”  While still here on earth I want to please God. I know any works I do for my own glory will not please God, but if I remain under the control of the Holy Spirit then whatever God desires will be effective.

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.

PS. Thank you for all of your prayers. I made it home around 9:00 am and have had two long naps.  I am now in bed for the night.  Please continue to pray for me as I continue to adjust to this schedule.  I have another on call at JPS this Wednesday night from 6:00 PM to 8:00 AM and then back to Huguley.  Thank you. Peace, gc