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July 22, 2016

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Chaplains Corner

Birthday and History

I just recently celebrated my daughter’s birthday. She was born July 16, 1959 at 11:05 a. m. at the old Pikeville Methodist Hospital.   It is commonly referred to as “up on the hill. ”  She was looking around so bright eyed as the nurse brought her to show me.   I thought, “What a girl. ” I think now of how she has grown and the growth of the hospital. Camilla today is a speech pathologist for Pikeville Medical Center. She loves her patients, and they love her. Pikeville Methodist Hospital, now known as Pikeville more on this story...  

The Journey

In 1775 Daniel Boone and his axmen developed a path known as a Buffalo Trace that would later be known as the Boone Trace. Much of that path is now a U. S. highway known as the “Wilderness Road”. In March 2015 I peddled my bike along a large portion of Boone Trace, a total of about 164 miles. It was no easy journey, but I had some wonderful experiences along the way. It was a great feeling when I finally saw my destination but the best part of the trip was more on this story...  

My beloved son

Our newborn son had to spend some additional time in the NICU of the hospital while my wife was discharged.   We were saddened by this event but knew it was better for our child and for us.   Looking at him in the NICU, before we left the hospital, we knew that the staff and God was watching over him and us.   Although, we had to leave our child, we knew God would never leave us or forsake us.   After staying an additional day, our baby boy was more on this story...  

Stress Less

My grandmother used to call me a “worry wart. ” Anyone else? It is reported that over 75 percent of society experiences physical symptoms caused by stress. We all have stress at times. Stress is natural, and can even be positive. But our reactions to a stressful situation can actually increase our stress. We often imagine the worst possibilities which likely never happen. If we pause to observe our reactions to stress, we can reduce it. The next time you feel overwhelmed by stress, stop for a more on this story...  

A Matter of Focus

During a hospital stay, I grew fond of my grandmother’s roommate. One day while she was napping, I noticed on the stand beside her bed she had propped up a strip of needle point with an odd design on it. Later, when she was awake, I asked her about it. “A friend made that for me. Can you see what it says,” she asked. I shook my head. “What do you mean? It’s some foreign language, isn’t it?” “No,” she replied with a wide grin. “It’s a word you’ve more on this story...  

Voices will soon cease

While there were many attractions at Hillbilly Days this year, one particular attraction was the dunking booth. There was a weird and somewhat annoying voice followed by an obnoxious laugh coming from a small man dressed as a clown. Anyone who got close enough was most likely going to be ridiculed by this character. I watched as many, many people lined up to lay their money down. This clown would continually insult people and some would argue with him and continually pay their money to try to more on this story...  

Super Heroes

There is currently a comic-book craze emphasizing fictitious super heroes battling the forces of evil with their own respective ‘super powers. ’  It seems as though there is a thirst for good conquering evil in the perilous times in which we live.   These are nice fantasies, but what about true heroes who actually fought the genuine forces of evil?    My father, Marvin Thacker, is among the last surviving soldiers of World War II.   He enlisted in the autumn of 1942 at the age of 17 and fought in battles such as Normandy, the Battle of the more on this story...  

Christ is alive He has risen

The good news for Christians today, is that we serve a Risen Lord, the tomb is empty. We learn in the Gospel of St Matthew Chapter 28 that Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were on there was to the tomb to prepare Jesus body for final burial, and they were wondering who would roll the stone away.   Verse two and behold there was a great earthquake and the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. more on this story...  

Spiritual birthday

The day that I am writing this article marks twenty-one years since I accepted Christ as my Saviour; therefore, it is my spiritual birthday.   Everyone who is saved has one and amazingly, most can remember the exact moment Christ came into their heart.   Many whom I talk with shed tears when reflecting on their salvation but it is tears of joy.     Many people; however, put off salvation thinking there is some long arduous process involved or they feel they must clean up themselves before coming to Christ.   Sadly, many feel their friends or loved ones more on this story...  

A gift for lent

Lent is usually associated with giving up something.   But this year I received a surprise. I wanted a new devotional book for Lent.   But, trying to carefully budget, I decided to just use one from a previous year. The day before Ash Wednesday, I received a package in the mail.   In it was a small Lenten devotional from a Christian publisher and a letter encouraging me to enjoy this Lenten season.   I was delighted by the little gift, especially since it was so perfectly timed and seemed to come especially from God. more on this story...  


A light in the darkness

I took my wife to a trendy restaurant recently but was shocked at how dark it was. The lights were dim and the tables were illuminated by a single romantic candle. I struggled to read the menu but soon my eyes adjusted and I could see well enough to order. I told my wife that it was amazing how quickly that we had adapted to the darkness. It occurred to me that we as a society seem to get acclimated to the darkness more quickly than any previous more on this story...  


The role of the shepherd is important. He watches over the sheep and is responsible for their wellbeing. The Bible refers to the role of a shepherd on several occasions. Jesus himself even made mention of His role as a shepherd. In Psalm 23 David writes of his own childhood experiences of days in the field caring for his sheep. He compares our relationship with God with the little shepherd boy whom the sheep are completely dependent for provision, guidance and protection.   God too cares for us in the same manner. He lives with us, feeds more on this story...  

Fruits of our labor

Many who planted gardens are now enjoying the satisfying taste of new onions, lettuce and peas. The mystery of a seed’s growth has taken place producing the anticipated harvest. Jesus compared the kingdom of God to seeds sown in the soil. The seed is planted and while the gardener labors or rests it sprouts and grows even though he doesn’t know how. The soil produces a crop by itself; first the blade, then the head then the mature grain in the head. (Mark 4:26 – 28. ) Jesus compares more on this story...  

The cross

The small cross on a chain around my neck is very light. In fact, after many years I hardly notice it’s there. How appropriate and fitting to carry such a symbol. It was Jesus who tells us to “deny yourself” and “take up our cross daily” and it is also Jesus who calls us to give him our burdens and he will give us a burden that is “light. ” So, this light little cross around my neck is a reminder of the daily call to take up my more on this story...  

Daily Bread

My wife loves to put bird feeders in our yard.   Recently, I noticed that she was filling them more often.   One morning while watching the birds, I spied a small ground squirrel climbing the pole and then scurrying away with several seeds at a time. This went on for several days with both of us keeping vigil. My wife finally had enough. The thief had to be stopped.   She sprayed the pole with cooking oil and we stood and watched the effort put forth in trying to more on this story...  

Mommy’s Day

I once stood at the bedside of a man who was dying. Drugs and alcohol had ravaged his life. His lifestyle had finally caught up to him, and he was near death.   Sitting beside this man was a woman who was alone and broken.   She saw lying before her, a man who once was her little child for whom she had great expectations.   As I stood there and prayed with her, a thought resonated in my mind.   No matter the circumstance or where our journey takes us, more on this story...  

Become planted with God

Planting time is right around the corner. Over the long winter months you have poured over seed catalogs as you planned your garden or flower beds. Now you’ve made your purchases and wait to plant them in the ground. You know the handful of seeds you plant will yield a return many times greater than what was planted. Seeds packed with potential. Consider for a moment that you are that seed. Locked in you is a person prepared to thrive and bear much fruit. By giving yourself over more on this story...  


Holidays of remembrance, love, and celebration dot the calendar. Valentine’s Day is important because it shows love to someone you love, but my favorite is Easter.   It holds a special place in my life.   Why Easter you may ask? Easter is the fulfillment of biblical prophecy.    We celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the beginning of the Christian faith.   This day is why I call myself a Christian and celebrate who Jesus is and what he did for me on a lonely hill called Calvary. more on this story...  

Prevailing Love

One of my favorite passages of Holy Week is Luke 19:37 – 40. As Jesus enters Jerusalem that fateful week His disciples begin to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles they had seen. “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord; Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” This upset the Pharisees and they said to Jesus, “teacher, rebuke your disciples. ” But Jesus answered, “I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!” God’s great plan of more on this story...  

Bring others closer

Have you found a way to connect to the Divine? If you have, it probably did not happen in a vacuum. I would venture to guess there were other people involved in connecting you with God. I hope you can take a moment to recall one or two of these people in your life. These folks became a bridge that let you safely move closer to God. Just as we have those who have helped us connect with God, there are also people who distract us from thinking about or pursuing a relationship with the more on this story...  


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