D.C. jail treatment of Capitol riot defendants draws bipartisan outrage

Y’all know, well most do that as an ex-mate, Prison Chaplain and Constitutionalist I am all for law and order. I am also a strong advocate to lower the recidivism rate in the nation. So anytime we treat inmates and especially those pending convictions, even with “good intentions” (think Covid protections), inhumanly we are encouraging criminal and anti-social behavior.

JustTheNews.com

D.C. jail treatment of Capitol riot defendants draws bipartisan outrage

“It was a well-thought-out strategic plan” to transfer inmates to D.C., where they can be “mic’d in a cage,” lawyer says.

A short drive from the U.S. Capitol, 1,500 inmates are stuck in their jail cells 22 hours a day. Until last month it was 23, and they were also barred from going outside

Read More

Devotional Thought for Today – 05/01/2021

God uses unqualified people to accomplish His purposes.

The Master’s Men

“The names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; and James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax-gatherer; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Him” (Matt. 10:2-4).

We live in a qualification-conscious society. Almost everything you do requires you to meet someone else’s standards. You must qualify to purchase a home, buy a car, get a credit card, or attend college. In the job market, the most difficult jobs require people with the highest possible qualifications.

Ironically, God uses unqualified people to accomplish the world’s most important task: advancing the kingdom of God. It has always been that way: Adam and Eve plunged the human race into sin. Lot got drunk and committed incest with his own daughters. Abraham doubted God and committed adultery. Jacob deceived his father. Moses was a murderer. David was too, as well as an adulterer. Jonah got upset when God showed mercy to Nineveh. Elijah withstood 850 false priests and prophets, yet fled in terror from one woman—Jezebel. Paul murdered Christians. And the list goes on and on.

The fact is, no one is fully qualified to do God’s work. That’s why He uses unqualified people. Perhaps that truth is most clearly illustrated in the twelve disciples, who had numerous human frailties, different temperaments, different skills, and diverse backgrounds, yet Christ used them to change the world.

This month you will meet the disciples one by one. As you do, I want you to see that they were common men with a very uncommon calling. I also want you to observe the training process Jesus put them through, because it serves as a pattern for our discipleship as well.

I pray you will be challenged by their strengths and encouraged by the way God used them despite their weaknesses and failures. He will use you too as you continue yielding your life to Him.

Suggestions for Prayer

Memorize Luke 6:40. Ask God to make you more like Christ.

For Further Study

Read 2 Timothy 1:3-5, noting the weaknesses Timothy may have struggled with, and how Paul encouraged him. How might Paul’s words apply to you?

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur Copyright © 1993. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.

Devotional Thought for Today – 04/23/2021

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

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As we come to the final job area of Chaplains, a reminder we started this with describing 14 specific jobs and then breaking that down into 5 job categories.

Today’s final job area for Chaplains that of Public Safety. This category encompasses:

  1. Law enforcement
  2. Fire and rescue
  3. Emergency medical services
  4. Emergency dispatch
  5. Jail/Prisons

Public Safety Chaplains like all the Chaplains we have discussed so far work for the most part, in high-stress situations. Whether they are riding along with Police, Fire, EMS, Border Patrol, Homeland Security or maybe it is the 911 dispatch of a major city things are happening at a fast pace. Of course, there are those who choose to serve behind locked gates. where the threat of violence is very real. Having served as a Police Officer (part-time) back in the 80s and more recently as a Prison Chaplain, I have some knowledge in this area.

Psalm 82:3-4

Their job/mission like all the others is to provide those 4-C’s, Compassionate Care, Comfort, and Counsel in those environments to staff and individuals (inmates, families, and friends of victims of traumatic events) In most cases Chaplains work quietly behind the scenes sometimes advising the on-scene commanders or warden of needs of the personnel. Public Safety Chaplains are dedicated to ministering to all folks no matter their religious beliefs and always respect the beliefs of those whom they serve.

Some of the things all these jobs can have in common are conducting services (worship funeral, baptism, retirements, etc.) prayer meetings, hospital visitations, family visitations, family counseling, and of course the catch-all, other duties as assigned 😀.

I could continue to ramble on, but I will instead give some examples of Chaplain Job descriptions:

Here are the duties of a Police Chaplain as listed by the International Association of Police Chaplains:

Duties of a Chaplain (Fire) from Sandoval County New Mexico

Prison Chaplaincy Careers (Duties) from Missioui Deptartment of Corrections

Why Prison Ministry?

Here is a tool I hope will be helpful, back when I was Sr. Chaplain at the County Jail I used this as a training aid for potential new volunteers. I figured if they could sit through a 6-hour block of instruction plus the slamming (and locking) of the prison doors (some never made it past that point) they might be candidates for the Sherrif to interview also:

David Brainerd “It might have convinced an atheist, that the Lord was indeed in the place!”

American Minute with Bill Federer

David Brainerd was born in Haddam, Connecticut, APRIL 20, 1718. His parents died while he was a young teenager…

Source: https://americanminute.com/blogs/todays-american-minute/david-brainerd-oh-how-precious-is-time-that-god-would-make-me-more-fruitful-american-minute-with-bill-federer

ALSO SEE: https://fsmandfsmwo.blog/2020/01/14/today-in-church-and-u-s-history-10/

Devotional Thought for Today – 04/20/2021

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

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As we continue our series today’s job topic is Medical. I will get into the specific in a moment, but like in the Business/Corporate world, I have no “direct” experience here. What I do have is years of experience as an Army Medic, visiting countless veteran homes and VA facilities and serving as a “sitter” (someone who sits with a terminal patient).

Logos.com

Romans 9:16

Under the Medical umbrella for Chaplain jobs, I have identified five (5) distinct areas as follows:

  • Hospice
  • Hospitals
  • Long-Term Care
  • Mental Health
  • Palliative Care

All Chaplains./ Ministerial Care personnel have the same basic mission or job description that I have been stressing from the beginning; the 4-C’s; Compassionate Care, Comfort, and Counsel. It is just the environment or the conditions of the environment may change.

Hospice: is never an easy decision for an individual and family to make. Hospice care is usually reserved for those:

  • Medical care helping someone with a terminal illness live as well as possible for as long as possible, increasing quality of life.
  • An interdisciplinary team of professionals who address physical, psychosocial, and spiritual distress focused on both the dying person and their entire family.
  • Care that addresses symptom management, coordination of care, communication and decision making, clarification of goals of care, and quality of life. https://hospicefoundation.org/Hospice-Care/Hospice-Services

Hospice Chaplains are dealing with a unique situation in that patients and families know that death is eminent and that medicine has done all it can. Both the individual, families and Staff are dealing with very stressful situation. We can be a conduit between these folks and there local clergy, a shoulder to lean on and as before continually practicing the 4-C’s

Hospitals: While some larger hospitals have hospice care facilities in them I separated these, as the day to day routine of the patient is different.

Again the goal or mission is to apply the 4-C’s in a non-denominational way to provide support for changes in lives, grief, loss, and any other physical or emotional vulnerability we encounter.

In the Crisis/Disaster Devotional yesterday, I called us Spiritual First Aid and Emotional Support Chaplains. Today, we are more like Beacons, guiding patients, families, and sometimes staff through the journey of being hospitalized.

Long-Term Care: When I was a kind the common term was “Nursing Home” today we see Assisted Living, Long Term Care, or Senior Living Centers. Call them what one may the challenges here are some of what we read above but also having to deal with the added (in some cases) onset of things like Dementia, Parkinson’s, and the like. Again a quick personal story, my uncle died in a nursing home when I was a boy, I remember visiting him this once taller-than-life WWII hero, who had shriveled up to a half-man with Parkinson’s and did not even know me. That memory of the anguish in his face has never left me, nearly 55 years later. Whatever we can do applying the 4-C’s to relieve that anguish is a winner for me.

Mental Health: I have run into my fair share of Mental Health Professionals over the years who blatantly dismiss religion as a crutch and nothing more. That is unfortunate because working together we can often do great things.

Again I have never worked in a MH facility, but while serving as a prison chaplain I was often called to consult with MH patients who were unruly or agitated. Here again the non-judgemental 4-C’s approach, of calmly speaking to the individual, finding there need, (what faith is any, how it is affecting them, are they hooked up with a local church, do their spiritual views say they about getting help, offering to help within legal bounds) was effective more times than not.

It seems that my sincere approach and the fact that it was confidential (I was often asked about clergy privilege) they were willing to open up to me rather than the MH professional. This then became a great tool for their overall treatment plan as I could make suggestions to the MH folks without compromising that confidentiality.

Another rising need for MH Chaplains is in the area of Suicide Prevention. The “official” government number that we see published is 22-a-Day veterans commit suicide but that is a grossly under reported number according to most veteran groups. Prior to FB cancelling me I was the Chaplain for a few groups and would get 2-3 messages a month from folks just fed up and frustrated with life. I am not, and do not pretend to be a professional at this so I always tried to get them to the National Hotline.

Palliative Care: If you had asked me a couple of years ago what Palliative Care was I would have given you that black dumbfounded stare. Then a friend’s daughter was diagnosed with Leukemia and has spent many days weeks and months in the hospital. This led me to research Leukemia and an article on Palliative Care. Their site says it is:

Palliative care is specialized medical care for people living with a serious illness. This type of care is focused on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of the illness. The goal is to improve the quality of life for both the patient and the family.

Palliative care is provided by a specially-trained team of doctors, nurses, and other specialists who work together with a patient’s other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. Palliative care is based on the needs of the patient, not on the patient’s prognosis. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness, and it can be provided along with curative treatment.

Palliative care teams focus on the quality of life. They treat people suffering from the symptoms and stress of serious illnesses such as cancercongestive heart failure (CHF)chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)kidney diseaseAlzheimer’sParkinson’sAmyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), and many more.

In closing, you are probably wondering why I did not comment at all on todays’ Bible verse, Romans 9:16. I wanted to finish then make this observation. Our job is not to “play god” no amount of faith can change the outcome that God has preordained from before the foundation of the world. What we can and must do is be that committed, compassionate individual who applies the 4-C’s in such a manner that f0olks just naturally want to open up to them.

Devotional Thought for Today – 04/19/2021

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

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I apologize for the delay in continuing this series. Between doctors and other appointments Thursday and Friday last week I just never got caught up. I know I have often said the maximum effective range of an excuse is zero meters 🤨 but please forgive me.

So last time we began looking at specific Chaplain jobs and we began with the business or corporate field of which I honestly have no experience. Today however I want to look at Chaplains in the area of Crisis and Disasters of which I have considerable experience.

https://scontent.fmem1-2.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t31.18172-8/24173022_307826759717564_9070340403907634681_o.jpg?_nc_cat=104&ccb=1-3&_nc_sid=cdbe9c&_nc_ohc=EFus2UTe0xkAX9OmIL6&_nc_ht=scontent.fmem1-2.fna&oh=15d6a87c4965754c11e0cabbf7f0c6c5&oe=60A2A797
Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico Nov 2017
Near Mt. Juliet, TN Tornado, March 2020

First, let us say that anyone going through any traumatic situation is experiencing a personal crisis, however, that is not necessarily what we are addressing here. A crisis for this devotional implies a personal disaster, ie. a single home burning down. The term disaster implies a natural disaster as in a flood, hurricane, tornado, etc.

Depending on where you are called to work in a disaster situation you can be in for some pretty stressful scenes. I have been working on Earthquakes, Flood, Hurricanes, Wildfires, and the like since the ’70s and have seen some very ugly sights. One of the hardest things to see and deal with is the desperation on folks’ faces as they deal with the TOTAL loss of everything they own.

I can not stress enough the mission of Crisis/Disaster Chaplains is to provide Spiritual First Aid and Emotional Support. It is that same 4-C’s; Compassionate Care, Comfort, and Counsel just in a very difficult environment.

Another “Disaster” that has become more prevalent in recent years is the man-made kind. Think of mass shootings, riots, and the like these can not be classified as “personal” because they rarely affect just one individual or family. Most often they affect an entire community.

Chaplain MUST identify the victims of any disasters. I say this because It has been my experience that some people are not victims and will try and milk the system and con you for all they can get.

The Southern Baptist Convention Handbook for Disaster Chaplains list three types of victims:

  1. Direct victims—those in the immediate area of the destruction who have suffered losses
  2. Indirect victims—those who are not directly impacted by the disaster, but are somewhat affected by the resulting annoyances and inconveniences or have close relationships with direct victims
  3. Hidden victims—those who respond to the disaster as first responders and relief workers, including law enforcement, emergency medical services, disaster relief chaplaincy, and disaster services
Luke 6:36 You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.  | New Living Translation (NLT) | Download The Bible App Now

Luke 6:36

Once Identified it is incumbent upon the assigned Chaplain to be ready to apply not only the 4-C’s but also to identify the needs of the community. I am not much on Phycho-Bable but I do remember studying Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs back in college years ago and have used it many times since.

As a Crisis/Disaster Chaplain Maslow’s bottom, two needs Psychological (food, water, warmth, rest) and Safety (security and safety) are the two I most commonly dealt with. I can tell you how many cases of water we handed out in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, but just walking down the streets with bottles of water got people talking. In major large-scale disasters/disruptions Chaplains would also get involved with helping find or direct folks to finding loved ones (3rd need).

One last thing, this is not an opportunity to proselytize or try and force religion on someone. It is an opportunity to provide those 4-C’s in a non-judgmental manner offering the hope that faith in Christ brings.

Devotional Thought for Today – 04/17/2021

God’s Providential Blessing

Romans 8:28

Y’all are probably wondering what in the world a little trailer has to do with a daily devotional. Well, welcome to the latest addition to the FSM/FBM arsenal. For some time now I have been looking for a lightweight trailer or camper to pull behind the bike for whenever we (the wife and I or on cross country trip my grandson and I) are riding together. I need one to put the additional clothing, camping gear and secure my LARGE medic bag.

With the Heartland Heroes Tour coming up in just a few short weeks I must admit I was getting a little concerned I would not be able to find one that was suitable and we could afford. Then of course GOD stepped in. He had this planned way in advance, my daughter saw this on Facebook (irony) messaged the folks, I go and look at it, of course, we get to gabbin (it’s a southern thing) I explain all about #Mission M25 Ministries, #RFTW, #Tribute to Fallen Soldiers, and the other ministries we are involved in, being a Chaplain/Medic and a church building counsultant and all. So get around to price, they were asking $500.00 which was not unreasonable, when I go to pay them, they hand me the title and say put it to good use in the ministry for the glory of God, no charge. What? I am sure I had the dumbest look on my face.

I promised after I cleaned it up and get all the stickers off and add the ones we want, I would run it by and show them. We exchanged cards (felt like I was in Japan 😉) and agreed to stay in touch. Can you say HUGE BLESSING!

As always God is in total control, His great concern over our daily lives causes causes all things to work together…according to His plan and purpose. That is Divine Providence, it makes our wisest plans look dumb by comparison and our best endeavors weak.


Grace Gems

Our wisest plans and best endeavors!

(Letters of John Newton)

We are disciples – Jesus is our Master. The world we live in is His school, and every person and event is under His management, designed to forward us in the great lessons which He would have us to learn – such as . . . self-denial,  a distrust of creatures, and   an absolute dependence upon Himself.

In this view,
 afflictions – are mercies,  losses – are gains,  hindrances – are helps, and all things, even those which seem most contrary – are working together for our good.

Creatures smile upon us – or frown upon us; caress us – or disappoint us; friends grow cool – and enemies become kind – just as His wisdom sees most expedient to promote our spiritual progress.

Where we look for most blessing – it often comes to little; where we look for nothing – we often obtain most benefit.

Our wisest plans and best endeavors at one time produce great troubles! At another time, what we do at random, and what we account the most trifling incidents – are productive of happy, lasting, and extensive consequences.

It is well for us if, by a long train of such changing, checkered experiences – we at length attain to some proficiency, and can say with David, “My soul, wait only upon God; for my expectation is from Him.”

The heart possession of two maxims of Matthew Henry, is well worth all that the acquisition can cost us:
  1. Every creature is to us – only what God makes it.
  2. We cannot expect too little from man – nor too much from God.


In this school I am placed – and these lessons I am aiming to learn. But I am a poor scholar and indeed any master but He who condescends to be my teacher – would turn me out as an incorrigible dunce!

Yet I sincerely wish to be willing to be what, and where, and how the Lord would have me be – to cast all my cares simply upon Him, and to be always satisfied in my mind that He assuredly cares for me!

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

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.

Devotional Thought for Today – 04/09/2021

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

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Today we continue our series by looking at the last stage of the 5 Stages of GriefAcceptance.

Many times as Chaplains and Ministers we never see this stage as the individuals we are dealing with have gone home or moved to another facility. That does not make it any less important to understand, mainly because it is the goal or end mark of the grief process.

If I may use an analogy (I hope it is not to bad of one) I think of this stage like getting ready to move. Being retired military and a missionary we have moved many times over the years, to many to remember. Each time it gets harder to seperate from friends and family. Yet, that is just what we must do seperate the old and prepare for the new. As in moving we pack up our old memories and prepare to make new ones. That does not mean we forget them, never, we just pack up and prepare to move on from them.

Another caution is that someone showing signs of acceptance DOES NOT always mean a wholesale transformation out of Grief. Folks can slip back into “lower” stages easily, especially those prone to depression and other mental health issues. Restrained encouragement, can go a long way here when someone reaches out and shows the beginning signs of acceptance.

Acceptance doesn’t mean someone is okay with the loss, illness, injury, situation, etc. it just means they have or are beginning to accept it as reality. The pain, anger, depression all seem to lessen and they can move on with life, albeit in a new way. One of the greatest tools in someones tool box is PST, Positive Self Talk. If they say it they can start to believe it. Here are some examples of this:

  • Death of a FriendI was so blessed to have many years with them and will always cherish those memories.
  • Job or Financial LossI will recover from this and find an even better job.
  • Terminal IllnessI will have an opportunity to get my affairs in order and spend time with friends and family
  • InjuryOkay, so I can’t climb ladders and work construction anymore but I still can ride my trike

Once again I think it prudent to state the mission of Chaplain/Ministerial personal is to provide Care, Comfort and Counsel for the Grieving. In this the Acceptance Stage, we need to be that encourager, God’s cheerleader if you will, reminding them of all He promises and the hope for tomorrow, The Lord God is my strength [my source of courage, my invincible army];

Habakkuk 3:17–19 (ESV) - Habakkuk 3:17–19 ESV - Though the fig tree… |  Biblia

Habakkuk 3:17-19


Additional Information/Resources:

Acceptance: Case Study

Kübler-Ross and Kessler use the story of Keith to illustrate the acceptance stage of grief.

Keith’s son was randomly shot by a gang member while walking home from a sports arena. In the months that followed his son’s death, Keith and his wife were consumed with anger as they spent their days and nights investigating their son’s murder.

A well-meaning friend tried to tell Keith that he needed to “move on” and “accept” his son’s death, which only further angered Keith. While Keith could acknowledge the reality of his loss, it was unrealistic for his friend to think that Keith should have found some peace with it so soon after his son’s death.

After the killer was caught, Keith became consumed with the trial. After the trial was over and the killer was convicted, Keith had to contend with his grief and emptiness. There was no longer a trial to distract his attention.

In the 5 years that followed, Keith found acceptance, or so he thought. He felt the acceptance drain out of him when he heard that his son’s killer was up for parole. By the time the parole hearing rolled around, Keith was once again filled with anger. He attended the parole hearing and was struck by how quickly it was over. He saw the tears of the killer’s father when parole was denied. For the first time since his son’s death, Keith realized that there were other victims of this crime.

And for the first time, his anger was replaced by curiosity. Keith approached the killer’s father. He wanted to learn about the killer and what had led him to this place. Over the next few years, the two fathers formed an alliance to help gang members stop the violence. They visited many inner city schools to share their story.On Grief and Grieving, pgs. 27 & 28, Kübler-Ross and Kessler write: “Keith’s acceptance was a journey that was deeper than he ever expected.

“And it happened over many year, not many months or days. “Not everyone will or can fully embrace those who have hurt us, as Keith did, but there is always a struggle that leads us to our own personal and unique acceptance.”

5 Tips For Dealing with the Acceptance Stage of Grief

  • Understand that acceptance is learning to live with your new norm where your loved one is no longer here. Understand that you will never be okay with the fact that your loved one died. {or that you have a terminal disease, life changing injury, etc.} Acceptance is a process that we experience, not a final stage with an endpoint.
  • Be patient with yourself and don’t expect yourself to reach the acceptance stage of grief quickly. The process could take years. You could also ebb in and out of the acceptance stage.
  • Keep a gratitude journal and write in it daily. Make a note of anything that gave you even the briefest moment of relief from your pain. As examples: a memory of your loved one that made you smile; a visit from a neighbour to see how you are doing; a beautiful sunrise or sunset. Keeping a gratitude journal will help you look for things in your day that are positive, no matter how small they may seem to others. As you read back through your gratitude journal, you may find yourself growing in your “gratitude attitude”. Remember, acceptance may simply be having more good days than bad. {Write a prayer journal, keep promises fulfilled by God, think of Glories seen and known}
  • Find ways to commemorate the life, love and legacy of the person that you miss. {memorials are one thing, just be cautious not to “enshrine” someone to the point of idolizing}
  • If a year has passed since the day your loved one died {or life changing event occured} but you still feel “stuck” in your grief—your mourning still feels intense—see a professional therapist.

The above with my adds, from: 5 Stages of Grief & How to Survive Them


How can we learn to trust God like the prophet Habakkuk (Habakkuk 3:17-19)?