Devotional Thought for Today – 04/13/2021

Comfort for the Grieving, Hurting, and Dying Series – Part X

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Over the past 9 articles, we have looked at the basics of what a Chaplain/Ministerial duties or mission is (provide compassionate care, comfort, and counsel) and the Stages of Grief. We noted the importance of understanding what stage an individual is in so that we can better minister to their needs.

Today I would like to discuss some dos and don’ts that I have gleaned over the years. As a reminder, my primary duties as Chaplain have been with inmates (and ex-mates) and veterans, of that population however quite a few have had mental health, serious physical, terminal illness, or other issues that I hope to relate to all areas of Chaplaincy.

Some of the things I find most important when dealing with individuals in the Stages of Grief, or the DO’s (I put them in alphabetical order)

  • Affirmation – reassure them that the feelings of grief are normal and support them in the process.
  • Acknowledgment– Do not try and sugarcoat the situation. I am not suggesting we be blunt, rude, or anything of that nature. I am referring to the language that Paul mentions in Ephesians 4:29, Colossians 4:6.
  • Empathize – One of the best explanations for this I studied explained it this way; Pity: I acknowledge your suffering, Sympathy: I care about your suffering, Empathy: I feel your suffering, Compassion: I want to relieve your suffering. In short, empathy is sharing feelings of Grief with the individual, while Sympathy is feeling sorry for them. No one wants you to throw a pity party for them or feel sorry for them, they need you as a professional to provide Compassionate Empathy.
  • Listen – I do not care if you have to sit there for 15-20 minutes before they say 3 words, be willing to listen. everyone has a story and 99.9% need to tell it.
  • Listen without Judgement – Folks will not talk if they think you are going to censor their speech.
  • Truth – Always be truthful, if you don’t have an answer say so, do not “wing it” folks will see right through that.

Some of the most common MISTAKES I find when dealing with individuals in the Stages of Grief, or the DON’Ts (I put them in alphabetical order)

  • AdviceMy advice to you is…, that is not our mission, they are going to get that from the Job’s of the world. Stick to the mission and use biblical counseling.
  • Assume – Never assume you know what they need, yes they need Care, Comfort, and Counsel, but I am speaking of the application of that here.
  • CichésThey are in a better place now, It was God’s will, or At least he/she is not suffering. These may all be true but are of no help especially in the initial stages of Grief.
  • Criticism – Even unintentional, saying something seemingly as harmless as, I know but you can… tells them that you think they are doing something wrong and are criticizing or judging their actions. They are suffering enough we need not pile it on.
  • Mr. or Mrs. Fix It – Never promise what you can not do. Sometimes there are individuals beyond our help that need professional counselors.
  • Pity – See Empathize above
  • Story Time – Unless directly asked keep your war stories to yourself. They only distract from the issues at hand.

I hope these are a help, when I first became a Chaplain I was basically thrown to the wolves, with no training so I made many mistakes listed above. If you have anything to add to either list please comment below.


Prayer

Heavenly Father, I pray that no unwholesome words would proceed from my mouth, but that the words of my lips and the meditation of my heart may be gracious and good. I pray that my speech would give compassionate care, comfort and counsel to those whom I meet. All the while giving honour to Your name by speaking the truth in love. This I ask in Jesus’ name, AMEN.

Modified from Source: https://prayer.knowing-jesus.com/Ephesians/4/29


Crisis Hotlines

855-FAQ-HOSPICE (327-4677) – Hospice Hotline

1-800-662-HELP (4357) Mental Health Hotline

1-800-273-8255 National Suicide Prevention Hotline

1-800-273-8255 Veterans Crisis Hotline

1-800-985-5990 Disaster Distress Hotline

Pro-Life News Updates (Various Sources)


Abortions worldwide this year:

😥 11,937,150 😪

The number of abortions performed worldwide so far this year and counting.

This corresponds to approximately 125,000 abortions per day. In the USA, where nearly half of pregnancies are unintended and four in 10 of these are terminated by abortion [1], there are over 3,000 abortions per day. Twenty-two percent of all pregnancies in the USA (excluding miscarriages) end in abortion. [2]

Stats are from https://www.worldometers.info/abortions/


Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest provider and promoter of abortion.  In 2019, Planned Parenthood performed 345,672 abortions.  Only 4,279 patients were referred to outside agencies for adoptions; therefore, abortions outnumbered adoption referrals by nearly 81 to 1.  According to their 2019 annual report, Planned Parenthood received $616,800,000 from taxpayers and made a profit of $110,500,000.

SIGN THE National Petition to Defund Planned Parenthood

SIGN HERE


Abortion much more than a dollars-and-cents decision


Stand 4 Life

Will the Supreme Court Take Up Abortion Case? It Depends, Says Pro-Life Author

Democrats Are Using Misleading Claims about Abortion to Scrap the Hyde Amendment | National Review

Viral TikTok shows how Safe Haven Baby Boxes save lives

Jamie Foxx remembers late sister DeOndra Dixon on World Down Syndrome Day

Judge Prohibits Release of Undercover Pro-Life Activist’s Recordings – Washington Free Beacon

What My Miscarriage Taught Me

Undercover Videos Protected for Animal-Rights Activists, but Not Pro-Life Ones | National Review

Fetal Personhood and the Law: Some Emails | National Review

The Left Does Not Like the Supreme Court’s Recent Decisions

Michigan deputies rescue 4-month-old baby boy abandoned on creek bank, suffering from hypothermia

Wyoming Governor Signs Born Alive Act

Abortion Industry Puts Its Cruel Paws on Pet Dogs


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Pro-Life News Report

Top Stories

 Catholic Nun Claims Supporting Abortion is the “Real Pro-Life Stance”
 Joe Biden Says Taking COVID Vaccines Linked to Abortion is the “Godly Thing to Do”
 Nancy Pelosi Blocked Bill to Stop Infanticide 75 Times, This Pro-Life Congresswoman is Fighting Back
 This Pastor Went to the Supreme Court to Stop Government From Locking Down Churches. He Won

More Pro-Life News

 Democrats Lie About Abortion to Try to Make Americans Fund Killing Babies
 French Parliament Defeats Radical Bill to legalize Euthanasia
 Andrew Yang Celebrates Abortion: “It’s the Right Thing to Do”
 Supreme Court Strikes Down Gov Gavin Newsome’s Restrictions on At-Home Bible Studies

Read these news stories and more at LifeNews.com


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NRLNews/NRLNewsApril2021.pdf

Local judge invalidates Kansas law barring the dismemberment of living unborn babies

Abortionist, herself 18 weeks pregnant, feels her own baby kick while aborting 18 week old unborn baby

“Born-Alive” bills and the 2021 legislative session

30,000 Physicians Respond to ACOG claims that elective abortions are “essential healthcare”

Pro-life former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo brilliantly critiques Biden administration for paving the way for PPFA to receive tens of millions of dollars of family planning money

MIRACLE: Noah Wall, born with just 2% of his brain, celebrates 9th birthday

Behind the Abortion Industry’s Obsession with At-Home Chemical Abortions

Vermont’s terrible Proposal 5 would “enshrine” unlimited, unregulated abortion rights!

Second Chances at Life Act passes West Virginia Senate 27-6, Now Awaits Governor’s Signature

Document reveals how pro-abortion movement came up with term “pro-choice”

‘Dignity in dying’ legislation fails in France and Latvia

In buckle of Bible Belt, church called ‘high-risk’ activity

A public policy analyst has something to say about new COVID-19-related guidance in Mississippi for worship services and faith-based gatherings.

Source: In buckle of Bible Belt, church called ‘high-risk’ activity

Long-Term Declines in Church Giving and Membership can be Addressed

Fewer folks have attended church in the past 12 months than ever before. This however is not something we can blame solely on the increases of Video Church since Covid came along. An example, I was speaking with a friend the other day about why they didn’t go to church. Their answer was ‘I get the same experience watching at home relaxing.This is BAD doctrine and that come from BAD teaching from pulpits all across America. Church is not about and “experience” it is about fellowship, glorifying and worshipping the triune God with like minded believers. – Mike

CHAMPAIGN, Ill., April 13, 2021 /Christian Newswire/ — Recent survey data from Gallup points to a decline in church membership in the U.S. For the first time in over eight decades of surveys, Gallup found church members were less than half of the U.S. population…

Source: Long-Term Declines in Church Giving and Membership can be Addressed

Every Black Life Matters Writes an Open Letter to MLB

SAN JOSE, Calif., April 12, 2021 /Christian Newswire/ — This weekend, Co-Founders Kevin McGary and Neil Mammen of Every Black Life Matters(EBLM), a Christian alternative organization to BLM, released an open letter to the MLB questioning their strong history of supporting civil rights after last week’s decision to punish Georgia by withdrawing the All-Star games from the state. We’d like to take a quote directly from the MLB website:.

Source: Every Black Life Matters Writes an Open Letter to MLB

Turning Chemicals into Code

You could sub-title this man’s continued quest to play God – Mike

BreakPoint Daily

Back in January, at a meeting held at the Royal Society in London, a team of scientists and investors announced the largest prize ever offered to solve a scientific mystery. Organized by engineer and business consultant Perry Marshall, the whopping prize of $10 million (ten times the Nobel Prize payout) will be given to any person or team who can “arrange for a digital communication system to emerge or self-evolve without…

Source: https://breakpoint.org/turning-chemicals-into-code/?

Devotional Thought for Today – 04/12/2021

Comfort for the Grieving, Hurting, and Dying Series – Part IX

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When we started this series back on March 31st I had initially thought I would take a Psalm a day dealing with grief and apply it to Chaplain/Ministerial care. Obviously, this has taken on a whole different look.

We have just finished looking at the 5 Stages of Grief, and I could leave well enough alone, but more and more today folks are expanding upon these stages and I think it prudent to look at these models.

Researching this I found two modern models a 7 Stage and a 12 Stage. We will only concern ourselves with the 7 as it closely relates to the material we have already covered.

Basically in the 5 Stages of Grief; Shock/Disbelief and Denial are combined just as Bargaining and Guilt are also combined, whereas in the 7 Stages they are spelled out. Here is an example of the 7 Stages:

The 7 stages of grief

The seven stages of grief are another popular model for explaining the many complicated experiences of loss. These seven stages include:

  • Shock and denial. This is a state of disbelief and numbed feelings.
  • Pain and guilt. You may feel that the loss is unbearable and that you’re making other people’s lives harder because of your feelings and needs.
  • Anger and bargaining. You may lash out, telling God or a higher power that you’ll do anything they ask if they’ll only grant you relief from these feelings.
  • Depression. This may be a period of isolation and loneliness during which you process and reflect on the loss.
  • The upward turn. At this point, the stages of grief like anger and pain have died down, and you’re left in a more calm and relaxed state.
  • Reconstruction and working through. You can begin to put pieces of your life back together and carry forward.
  • Acceptance and hope. This is a very gradual acceptance of the new way of life and a feeling of possibility in the future.

As an example, this may be the presentation of stages from a breakup or divorce:

  • Shock and denial: “She absolutely wouldn’t do this to me. She’ll realize she’s wrong and be back here tomorrow.”
  • Pain and guilt: “How could she do this to me? How selfish is she? How did I mess this up?” How could she leave me because of my faith?
  • Anger and bargaining: “If she’ll give me another chance, I’ll be a better boyfriend/husband. I’ll dote on her and give her everything she asks.”
  • Depression: “I’ll never have another relationship. I’m doomed to fail everyone.”
  • The upward turn: “The end was hard, but there could be a place in the future where I could see myself in another relationship.” I need to pray for her soul and not be bitter.
  • Reconstruction and working through: “I need to evaluate that relationship and learn from my mistakes.”
  • Acceptance and hope: “I have a lot to offer another person. I just have to meet them.” If God wills I will He will show me, my true helpmate.

Note: the above is from https://www.healthline.com/health/stages-of-grief#7-stages and modified to have some Christian thoughts by me.

As you can see during our previous articles we covered all the key subjects under each of the 5 Stages. Again some things to remember is that this is not a cut in stone chronological order. Some folks skip stages altogether, some go back and forth between stages before reaching Acceptance and Hope.

2 Timothy 3:14-17

As Chaplains and ministerial folks, providing compassionate care, comfort and counsel is our number one priority, and having an understanding of the stages of grief, and which one the people we have been charged with serving are in will go a long way to fulfilling that mission, v.17 so that the [a]man of God may be complete and proficient, outfitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work.

News to Ponder (Various Sources)

As always; these are opinion and news pieces mainly from a conservative constitutionalist view and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, doctrine, and views of this ministry or any individual associated with it. They are provided for and intended for individuals to be able to read and form their own opinions and views on issues at hand. (Sad that we even have to explain this!)


LifeZette

Kevin McCarthy Blasts Vaccine Passport Mandate As ‘Something You’d Expect In Communist China’

Gretchen Whitmer Begs Michigan Residents To Avoid Indoor Dining For Two Weeks

West Virginia Attorney General Threatens To Sue Biden For His Gun Control Executive Actions

Biden Considers Sending YOUR Money To Pay Illegals To Stay Away

Sunny Hostin Claims On ‘The View’ That GOP Is Losing Moderates Because They’re ‘Embracing White Supremacists’


Blaze Media

Rep. Dan Crenshaw reveals he is going ‘pretty much off the grid’ after emergency surgery

David Hogg quits progressive pillow company he founded to compete with Mike Lindell, Twitter reacts

White House answered fake reporter’s questions for weeks before press corps exposed her to be ‘Lego’ video gamer

WATCH: Christians tear down fences around shuttered Canadian church, the government sends in 200 riot police

US Navy ripped for adding face mask to bald eagle logo: ‘China, Iran, and Russia are laughing at us’

Pelosi, Sanders move goalposts on massive infrastructure bill, claim it’s about ‘human infrastructure’

Harry Reid warns Democrats against packing Supreme Court with liberal justices: ‘Be very, very careful’

Portland rioters barricade door and set fire to ICE building with federal agents inside: ‘Burn the precinct to the ground!’

Capitol Police send cops to podcaster’s home because someone else replied to his tweet with a threat toward AOC

Video shows Chicken Express employee launch out of drive-thru window to assault customer over alleged discount dispute

Did Joe Biden tell America to stop praying?

Los Angeles Times gets torn to shreds for claiming that mispronouncing Asian names is ‘casual racism’

Gun rights advocates raise alarm over Biden ATF pick, who was agent involved in Waco massacre case

Top Whitmer aide travels to Florida despite Michigan governor issuing spring break travel warning


White Lives Matter Protesters Clash with Counter-Protesters in Huntington Beach

Antifa Sets Fire to Portland ICE HQ With People Inside

Full Blown Crisis: Biden Admin to Begin Housing Migrants at Internment Camp

Let the Gun Grab Begin

BLM Founder Branded “Fraud” After Buying Million-Dollar Home

Biden Is Radically Transforming America Far Faster Than Obama Dreamed

Supreme Court Blocks California’s Restrictions On In-home Religious Gatherings

In Saturday speech, Trump OPENS door for 2024 and DeSantis is at the entrance.

Biden to send kids to former Japanese internment camp site


The Mendacity of Joe Biden and the Ruling Elites

US Supreme Court: Gun Licensing Fees Are Unconstitutional

Fixing Racism by Being Racist?

Around the World of Woke in 80 Days

Pete Buttigieg called out by Chris Wallace (!) on lies about phony ‘infrastructure’ bill

VP Harris is hiding because she’s got nothing to say

Americans slouching toward Gomorrah

Another, Clearer Take on the Chauvin Trial

Russia and the New Middle East: Russia’s Predicaments both Foreign and Domestic

Red States: Our Last Bastion of Defense

Guns of April and Global War

Our Honesty Crisis: How We Talk about Race

Leftists will say anything to keep people masked

Biden’s planned gun control actions do not pass muster

The high school girls continue to be in charge of the military

Under Biden, the redistribution of wealth is back

Crime is up, and Democrats still blame guns


Conservative Freedom Network

A Political Power Grab: Biden Creates Commission To Study Packing The Supreme Court

Hundreds Of Sheriffs Call On Biden To Finish Trump’s Border Wall, Stop Gangs, Guns, Dangerous Drugs Entering U.S.

Trump, Other Potential GOP Contenders, Gathering At Major Retreat

Meet Joe Biden’s ATF Head: He Wants You To Register Your Rifles

Tennessee The 20th State To Abolish Concealed Permit Requirement

Biden HHS Spending $60 Million Each Week To House Migrant Children


ICYMI: Supreme Court Punted on Protections for Religion in Workplace. Justice Gorsuch Wasn’t Having It.

Heritage Explains Biden’s Gun Control Agenda

9 Things You Need to Know About Biden’s ‘Infrastructure’ Spending Plan

Eliminating the ‘Gender Pay Gap’ Would Do More Harm Than Good

Biden ‘Environmental Justice’ Appointees Equate Energy Production, Fossil Fuels With Racism

Left Is Using Supreme Court Commission to Change Court’s Decisions, Not to Improve It

Coca-Cola, MLB, and Everyone Spreading Lies About Georgia Voting Law Should Be Ashamed of Themselves

Biden’s Appropriations Budget Proposal Is Unreasonable, Irresponsible

How Conservatives Can Reclaim Narrative on Environment

Prince Philip Was an Inspiration to the British People

Your everlasting treasure, and your unchangeable Friend!

Grace Gems

Your everlasting treasure, and your unchangeable Friend!

(George Everard, “Up High!” 1884)  LISTEN to audio!  Download audio

(You will find it most helpful to listen to the audio above, as you read the text below.)


“Thus says the Lord:
  Let not a wise man glory in his wisdom,
  and let not the mighty man glory in his might,
  let not a rich man glory in his riches.
But let him who glories, glory in this—that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises loving-kindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things!” Jeremiah 9:23-24

Glory in Christ—and in Him alone!

Glory in Him as your Faithful Shepherd, who will care for you, and guard you, and restore you, and keep you even to the end.

Glory in Him as your Unfailing Physician, who will heal your soul-wounds, and bind up the bleeding, broken heart.

Glory in Him as your Great High Priest, who ever lives to plead your cause before the Throne of grace.

Glory in Him as your Omnipotent King, who reigns over the events of Providence, and will make all things work together for your eternal good.

Glory in Him as your Mighty Redeemer, who will deliver you from every enemy, and make you conqueror over sin, death and Hell.

Glory in Him as your Everlasting Portion, remembering that when all else shall take wings and flee away—when the home is broken up, and dear ones die, and means grow less, and health decays, yes, when everything on earth fails you—He will be your everlasting treasure, and your unchangeable Friend!

And let this glorying be seen by your entire resignation to His will—and by choosing His path rather than your own.

“Not I, but Christ!” Lord, choose for me,
 And make me love what pleases Thee.

“Not I, but Christ!” His will be done,
 And mine with His be merged in one.

Myself no longer would I see,
But Jesus crucified for me.

His eye to guide, His voice to cheer,
His mighty arm forever near.

“Not I, but Christ!” Lord, let this be
 A motto throughout life for me!