Thursday, December 23, 2010

Road to Chaplainhood

To start off this entry and journey, I lay down at the cross of Jesus, any notion, that the projected long-term desire to serve Him is to be accomplished with my own strength and cleverness. Let me repent of all self-doubt and self-confidence. I have learned that to give of oneself to the point of emptiness and one's salvation is the just opposite self...the self is doffed and literally and virtuously non-existent. Humility - Serving others because of/for the glory of God. Marriage and parenthood, the military and even friendship, has taught me the pungency of this God-esteeming attitude.

The proper tools the Lord has filled me with have been procured by way of marriage to my dear wife and best friend, Thelma; my sweet son, Noah; and my employer, The Military - the Army to be specific. Two years ago, I switched military branches, transferring from the Air Force to the Army in search of a better career prospect. Part of this decision involved the helpful counsel of Charles Spurgeon who suggested the following:

"“Yes, I see; you have failed in everything else, and therefore you think the Lord has especially endowed you for His service; but I fear you have forgotten that the ministry needs the very best of men, and not those who cannot do anything else.” A man who would succeed as a preacher would probably do right well either as a grocer, or a lawyer, or anything else. A really valuable minister would have excelled at anything. "

Not that I have failed in everything (I have failed in plenty), but that I would be actively engaged with the Lord to thoroughly ensure that I am to become and remain a valuable minister.

So begins mine and my family's journey to chaplaincy. In the military, my spirit is especially burdened with Jude 22 & 23's exhortation to "...have mercy on those who doubt." Not only do we show mercy as ministers and believers, but we also "save others by snatching them out of the fire." Showing mercy to and snatching serving men and women who daily and willingly go into combat and other dangerously necessary endeavors.

This is my calling and so begins the process to training and becoming a military chaplain.