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Hello again friend! Remember about a year and a half ago I asked everyone to pray for me as I embarked on a new adventure. I was beginning an online Emergency Chaplain course and had no idea where it would take me. Then, I pretty much disappeared from the world of blogging. Sorry about that. It was harder than I expected to add a class to my routine and I completely underestimated the amount of mental exhaustion it would cause.
Thank you to everyone who prayed for me! Your prayers gave me courage to walk into the unknown, trusting that God would be there every step of the way, guiding me and helping me through the Holy Spirit. Your prayers helped me to be in the moment, seeking God where I was, not worrying about what I was to do with what He was walking me through. Your prayers helped me focus on all the information given to me, without many distractions…..SQUIRREL!
I began the journey of studying to become a First Responder Chaplain because that’s what my husband is. He was a paramedic before I met him and a Deputy Sheriff when we met. I thought it would be nice to come along side him to help the spouses of the First Responders he assists, especially because I have been one for 18 years.
God has not chosen to use me in this capacity, yet, but wow, has it given me some great perspective. I believe God used this part of my chaplain training to teach me compassion for my husband and what he does. I was seriously lacking in this area. I have always believed that his ability to help others as a Chaplain was a gift from God, but now I have a deep love and respect for him and what he goes through each and every day, regardless of the pain and agony it may cause him.
If you have any interest in becoming an Emergency Services Chaplain, I highly recommend this online program run by Robby Jernigan.
Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. ~Hebrews 13:20-21
Let me back up a bit. I had my first taste of Chaplain training in February of 2016 when my husband suggested I take a 3-day class taught by icisf (International Critical Incident Stress Foundation), which was being sponsored by KLOVE at no cost. It was on Assisting Individuals in Crisis and Group Crisis Intervention. I really didn’t think I belonged there amongst all the Nurses, Fire Fighters, Police Officers and Counselors, but found the information extremely helpful with everyday interaction with people. I’m not a Counselor, Nurse, Fire Fighter or Police Officer and I come across broken hurting people everyday.
July of 2016 is when I began the Emergency Services Chaplain Training courses. I studied Emergency Services, Christian Chaplaincy, Emergency Services Chaplaincy, Death Notification and Related Issues (this is what my husband does quite often), Psychological First Aid, CISM (Critical Incident Stress Management) and Ministry to a Suicidal Subject. There are many more classes offered through this training center that will take you deeper into the life of a Police Officer, Fire Fighter, etc. but I hear enough first had from the work my husband does, so I didn’t go any further.
Then in January of 2017 I took an online class through FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), an Introduction to the Incident Command System. Why? I honestly couldn’t tell you, but I did find it very interesting.
As I was busy processing all of this information and trying to figure out what I would do with it, if anything, God opened a door, for more training! I signed up for a Church Compassion Team Chaplaincy Class put on by Educational Ministries in Rocklin, CA. This class was once a week from 6:00 – 10:00pm for 8 weeks followed by a Graduation Ceremony. This class was about an hour away, but I signed up with a friend, so we made it into a weekly fun and educational outing. We took turns driving, which was nice, and started each trip with dinner and dessert before heading to class. Dessert was the highlight of each trip, oh and of course the silly conversations that would come about each week.
for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. ~Philippians 2:13
I’m thankful God has given me the opportunity to train as a Chaplain and trust God will enable me to use this training when He sees fit. It was an amazing and fun experience bulking up my brain. More importantly, it’s helped me gain a greater respect for all First Responders; Police Officers, Fire Fighters, Paramedics, Dispatchers, Nurses, Doctors and Counselors. They have extremely difficult jobs and are on high alert 24/7 with your well being in mind. If you know someone in one of these positions, please find a way to express your appreciation of who they are and what they do.
My prayer for us today ~ Father God, thank you for the amazing men and women you call into the roles of First Responders. I pray we would see them through Your eyes and treat them with respect, compassion, kindness and love, Amen.
Over the past few weeks we’ve been doing a lot of celebrating at our house. First we celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary. Then, the 1 year anniversary of Robert’s kidney transplant. Just the other day we celebrated my birthday. I am now 44 years young. 🙂
Soon we’ll be celebrating my 5th birthday. My rebirth. The day I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior and invited God into my life.
Five years ago I was a crazy mess. I was overwhelmed with my circumstances and didn’t know which way was up. My heart was empty and broken. I didn’t know how to love my husband or be the mother my children needed me to be.
Before I was married with children my focus was always on myself. What I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it. Then when I got married it was about my husband. Well, actually, that’s not true. It was still about me. It was about how my husband needed to make everything about me. Then when I had kids it became all about them and how I needed to do everything for them and give everything to them. Through all of that I became lost, confused and empty.
God helped me find myself. He helped me understand it was important to take care of myself. I was no good to anyone feeling lost, confused and empty. He taught me how to take care of myself without being selfish.
My 40’s have been filled with the hardest struggles of my life. My 40’s have also been the best years of my life. The blessings I have received from God being a part of my life far out way the difficult trials. My family and I have truly moved mountains with God.
….if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. Matthew 17:20
As I recently told a friend, “God has taken me so far out of the box, I can no longer see the box”. I have to admit, stepping out of my comfort zone and into change has been scary at times. Knowing and believing that God will equip me to do all He calls me to do turns scary into exciting! Out of the box with Jesus is where I choose to stay.
I have found the ‘Fountain of Youth’! God. We are each a child of God. Some have just been here on Earth longer than others. Some have invited Him into their lives and some have not. The more we seek after God and build a relationship with Him, the more He fills us with child like love and joy, that only comes from God the Father, our Creator. Through Jesus, the son of God, we can have eternal life in heaven.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
My prayer for us today ~ Lord, I thank you for the peace and joy you give us when we seek You. I pray we take time throughout each day to listen for Your guidance and will for our life, Amen