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February 5, 2016

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February 5, 2016
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Chaplains Corner

Life’s storms

I have enjoyed a great deal of time on the water and consequently am drawn to Psalm 107.   The Psalmist declares, ‘They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep.   For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.   They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths:  their soul is melted because of trouble.   They reel to and more on this story...  

New Year, New You

Did you make any New Year’s resolutions this year? How are those going? The most popular resolutions made every year involve bodily care: eat healthier; lose weight; stop smoking. All these are good choices and beneficial to one’s body. How about your spirit? Have you ever made a New Year’s resolution to strengthen your spirit? What might that look like? Schedule some time every day to read God’s Word. Make worship and prayer a regular part of your day. Be involved in a local church. Discover ways to serve others, more on this story...  

It worked for Saul —why not us?

In the Old Testament, we read about the power and therapeutic value of beautiful music. In particular, harp music.   Saul, an ancient king, was troubled by an evil spirit.   He was advised as follows. “We’ll find a good harpist to play for you whenever the tormenting spirit is bothering you”.   The harp music will quiet you  and you will soon be well again.   I Samuel 16:16. Stories come sown to us about how skilled the ancients were in using music as a healing art. Likewise, today we can rediscover more on this story...  

A Christmas Rhyme

Long ago, shepherds watched their sheep at night, And saw a star shining high and bright. Angels proclaimed that a Saviour was born! The shepherds made hast to see in the morn. To a town called Bethlehem, full of danger, A small babe lay in an humble manger. Later, three Wise Men came from the East, Riding on their desert beasts, Bearing gifts of frankincense, myrrh, and gold, more on this story...  

Waiting in Joyful Hope

Living in Houston, I regularly retreated at a local convent, a wonderful old place like a castle on the city’s edge.   The sisters were Irish, retirement age but still working diligently for the Kingdom.   One nun, Sister Adeline, gave me a Christmas lesson for life. The nuns described Advent as “waiting in joyful hope” to celebrate the coming of Christ.   One retreat during Advent, I saw Sister Adeline in a glorious purple velvet gown.   I asked her why she was adorned thus.   She said, “I am waiting for my King. ” As we prepare more on this story...  

Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day is a national Holiday in the United States — commemorating the harvest of Plymouth Colony in 1621. The event followed a winter of great hardship. For the real meaning of the word, Thanksgiving, Christians look to one person, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Because of Him, Thanksgiving is more than a day on a calendar, or more than a day with turkey and trimmings. Because of Him, we cry out with praise and worship. “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift. ” more on this story...  


We are blessed here in Kentucky to have such mild weather.   Yesterday it was so warm that my father and I took our boat out on Fishtrap Lake.   The sun was very bright and the temperature was about 82 degrees.   The only thing that came to mind as I looked around at the potpourri of colors as though they came from an artist’s brush and the large fluffy clouds reminiscent of cotton fields was “Thank you, Jesus!”        It is amazing to think of God’s creation and the perfection involved.   Cares more on this story...  

Mark’s vision

As we continue to remember former Chaplains here at Pikeville Medical Center, I want to share some things about my friend Rev. Mark Walz. Mark was a good Chaplain, and he loved the people he worked with. Mark provided patients and staff with spiritual care for more than 10 years. Mark played an influential part of fulfilling the hospital’s mission, “to provide quality, regional health care in a Christian Environment. ”  Mark participated in patient visitation, prayer groups, bereavement counseling, praying for the sick and rejoiced at a new birth. Mark was also active in many more on this story...  

Our friend Troy

Our October theme of sharing stories of pastors/chaplains who have been an inspiration to us in our community, one comes to mind; Troy Tackett. He was the first pastor to welcome me to Pikeville in 1998. I appreciated his friendship and encouragement over the years. Troy was not only a fellow pastor but also a chaplain at Pikeville Medical Center. He was always a source of much encouragement to patients and staff alike. A smile, a song or a chuckle were never far away. At all times a servant of Christ helping others. One of the more on this story...  

Do not pass me by

During a recent family meal, my eldest niece was planning an adventure walk with me.   Her little sister stared at us across the table with quivering lip and pooling eyes and said, “Don’t forget me.   Don’t leave me. ”  It nearly brought me to tears. We all suffer fear of rejection sometimes.   Genesis 27:38 says Esau begged, “Bless me, even me also, O my father!” and wept aloud.   A popular hymn pleads, “Savior, Savior, hear my humble cry:  while on others Thou art calling, do not pass me by!” It is vital to remember more on this story...  



Jean Fleming in her book, “Pursue the Intentional Life,” writes of “Snowflake Bentley. ” Bentley was a New England farmer born in 1865 who loved photographing snowflakes.   For 40 years he trekked in the snow catching snowflakes on chilled slides, photographing each one, seeking to preserve their beauty for others. Each snowflake was a masterpiece of frozen crystals, all unique.   During his lifetime he photographed more than 5,000 snowflakes numbering and keeping notes on each one. “Number 785 is so rarely beautiful. ” Snowflake Bentley would have enjoyed the snowflakes this past week. They more on this story...  

The New is Here

By the time this goes to press a transformation will be nearly complete. Our 60-year-old kitchen has been gutted and rebuilt. “The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Cor 5:17). A small army of talented craftsmen have transformed this important corner of our home into something greater than even the computer aided drawings could let me imagine. I am grateful and reminded in the process that God is the ultimate contractor/remodel expert. We are made new through the reconciling work of Jesus Christ who grants more on this story...  


As we reminisce on the year’s happenings, we are determined to do better in the coming year. We set goals and know that they may fall short of our expectations. Our focus is to have more family time, a healthier lifestyle and a little less stress in our lives. As you brainstorm for your goals for the coming year, let me encourage you to think about your relationship with Christ.   He tells us in Revelation 3:20:  “I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, more on this story...  

Advent Hope

The words of “I heard the bells on Christmas Day” have been and remain a source of encouragement for me. The words of this carol were penned by Henry W Longfellow on   Christmas Day 1864. His life was shattered by the accidental death of his wife and a Civil War dividing a nation. The third verse of this song reveals his personal sadness and of the nation shattered by war: “And in despair I bowed my head, there is no peace on earth, I said. For hate is strong, and mocks the more on this story...  

The True Light

The shaft of light was not much bigger than a pencil lead but it wielded great power. Piercing the night like a Star Wars light sabre it offered a great deal of comfort to me. It was not a Laser nor a night light, but lamp light that poured through the keyhole of granny’s guest bedroom door. To a young boy the light gave comfort and hope. Darkness and fear pressed in from every side, but a small shaft of light from an old skeleton key lock shattered the darkness. more on this story...  

Thankful and blessed

On September 16, 1620; 1,102 people left their home to go to a new country. They did not know what was in store for them, but they did know it had to be better than being under the tyranny of the Church of England. They faced hardships, trials, starvation, and for some, they faced death. No matter what they faced, they knew God was with them. Next week we’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving.   Let us never forget the sacrifices these individuals made so they could come to a place where they envisioned a more on this story...  

God at work

“Pray as though everything depends on God. Work as though everything depends on you. ”  I am not sure of this famous quote’s origin as it has been attributed to various saints; but I did get a hardy taste of its message recently. I have invited several musicians to play for patients at the Cancer Center.   Schedule conflicts continue to foil our efforts.   Yet God seems to randomly provide musicians on His own time! One day an EMT who arrived with a patient sat down at the piano and began to play beautifully.   Another more on this story...  

The Great Shepherd

When meditating on the 23rd Psalm, instantly the name Roger Howard comes to mind. Roger was my shepherd and was present at a pivotal point in my life. When I first heard God’s call to ministry, I was confused, nervous and doubtful that God could or would use me. Roger never tried to discourage me but provided encouragement that only a Shepherd could do. He led me to scripture, protected me when doubt arose and was there to embrace me when I was fearful. Most of all, he believed in more on this story...  

Remembering Gene

During the month of October we will be sharing stories of pastors, chaplains, etc. , who have been an inspiration to us and or our community. We hope you are inspired by those who have brought us a little closer to God.   We begin this recollection with a thank you to one of Pikeville’s sons of encouragement. The name given to Joseph of Cyprus after his conversion to Christianity was Barnabas. It means “son of encouragement. ” Our pastor today could have just as easily been renamed Barnabas, too. You all knew him more on this story...  

Waiting rooms

Have you found yourself in a waiting room lately? Do you feel grumpy and inpatient? Waiting is typically something we don’t do well. We don’t like to wait for anything anymore. I am as guilty as anyone. I have to tell myself to relax. I remind myself waiting rooms are a great place to reflect, catch your breath and realize your Dr. is near. The hardest and yet most rewarding thing we do as Christians is wait for the Lord. more on this story...  


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