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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.
I would like to introduce you to Terry Morgan. He’s an ordained minister and currently the Chaplain/Executive Director of Gold Country Chaplaincy and Press4hope. My husband, Robert Duvall, met him at a Chaplaincy Recognition Dinner in Sacramento. Terry’s passion is teaching various ministries how to help their own parishioners through critical incidents, crisis, and traumatic events, while exercising good stress management techniques and preventing compassion fatigue or burn out in their ministers. I asked Terry to share about his passion and journey writing.
The Chaplain’s Role – the Birth of a Book; By Terry Morgan
My first book is called “The Chaplain’s Role how Clergy can Work with Law Enforcement.” It took about ten years to write. There have been two more since then, “Life Celebrations”, a handbook on conducting funerals, and “When Grief Kidnaps Your Soul”, a book on dealing with various kinds of grief.
When someone asks me why I write, I answer, “I write because I need to write”. My first book bounced around in my head for years before finally being released onto paper. It was like the idea for this book was trapped in my head and needed to get free. Putting the thoughts and words on paper offered a huge release. It was no longer pent up inside, and now it has a life of its own. This was similar to the experience with my other two books. The thrill of birthing them is still the same, but it has gotten a lot less painful.
The inspiration to write the Chaplain’s Role was partially from my life experiences and training as a law enforcement chaplain. The passion to serve law enforcement and the community was a big driver for me. Training is one of my passions. At the time of writing this book there was no books to be had on the subject. There was and is a real need for the material.
My greatest challenge in writing this book was committing to do the work. We all live very busy lives, and quite often, this book would be put on a back shelf to collect dust. A few months later it would be picked up again, only to be re-shelved a few days later. A good friend of mine and Christian counselor, Martha Smalley encouraged me to finish the book. I had to set aside a few hours every week, and commit to writing in my spare time. It really surprised me how fast it came together after that.
The cover was a bit of a challenge in itself. Another friend of mine is police officer who also happens to be a really good graphic artist. I explained to him I wrote a training book on how to do chaplaincy and he agreed to help with getting a cover that would pop. We vetted several cover ideas. When he showed me the “simple” photograph of his gun, badge, and the cross, I knew immediately that was the cover.
My advice to other aspiring writers is to write on a subject you know a lot about, you are very interested in, and you enjoy writing about. That is probably the key for anyone who wants to write a book but doesn’t know where to start. Start with something you love. Then commit to writing at least a few hours every week.
You can find out more about Chaplain Terry Morgan and all he has to offer the community and Law Enforcement at http://chaplainmorgan.wix.com/chaplainsrole. You can also find his books there as well as in bookstores.
My husband, Robert Duvall, has been a public servant for many years. He was first a Paramedic in Contra Costa County, CA. He then became a Deputy Sheriff for Contra Costa County in 2000. In 2009 he was injured on the job and medically retired in 2011. For a few years, because of his health, he was forced to stay home and take care of himself. His days were filled with many doctor visits, ER visits and many hospital stays. In 2012 he had 2 massive surgeries. In June he had a stint put in his heart along with an oblation done. In October he received a Kidney Transplant. Thanks to the God Almighty he’s now doing well. Not quite 100%, but pretty close!
During Robert’s health trials he felt God tugging at his heart to become a Chaplain. So with the support of our Pastor at church he signed up for Chaplain training as soon as he recovered from his Kidney Transplant. He’s completed his class and put in all the hours and is set to graduate in September. I am so proud of Robert and all the time and energy he has put into this. It’s so exciting to see God working through him.
The Servant page is for Robert to share his stories. He’s experienced many things over the last 25 years. So please check back often to read them.
Please click here or click the Servant tab at the top to read Robert’s first post.