Help Us Help Others

Help Us Help Others
Chaplaincy Clark County

Thursday, May 31, 2012

"This Old House con't"

Good morning, I pray that the day is finding you well.   I have a huge hole in my yard.    We are starting to fix up, “This old House.”  A bread that  I had talked to you about earlier, if you don’t recognize the title and want to read it, all you have to do is go to; and it is there waiting for you.  When we are finished we will have restored the house to its former glory; I am not sure that is the correct analogy, I am being drawn to say, “When we are finished we have restored the house to its original condition.”   You will have to excuse me, the Parents Night Out coordinator just came in………………   Ok, I am back.   I am going to be a clown for Parents Night Out.  Parents Night Out is a program that we put on at the Clark County Family YMCA, where parents of young children can bring their kids, leave them with us, and then have a few hours to themselves and reconnect without the need to parent.  The  coordinator brought in a clown nose and glasses for me to try on.  We have a wig and a hat.  There will even be silly string involved.    The kids love Parents Night Out.    The parents love Parents Night Out.   We all love Parents Night Out.   It is fun to have so many kids, just having fun at the YMCA.   When I think about how amazing the house will be when we are done, I get excited.  I know that it will take time, and I am ok with that; what makes me nervous is when there seems to be no forward motion. When I contemplate Christ, I get the feeling that He thinks the same thing about us.  How in so many ways we are like, “This old House.”  I cannot help but get the feeling that Christ views us as diamonds in the rough.  He has a vision for each and every one of us, and excited about all the possibilities.  I cannot help but get the feeling that Christ too, worries about lack of forward motion in our relationship with Him.  How much He wants what is best for us and if we just let Him show us and we listen to Him and do what He says, we can be like “This old House” and be restored to His original intent for us.   One of the reasons I love Parents Night Out is that I get to see the children who are happy, and show their love for others so willingly.    There is a story in the book of Luke, where people were bringing their babies to Jesus: 15 People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (Luke 18:15-17)   I am excited about all the possibilities for Parents Night Out.   I am excited about all the possibilities for the house Laurie and I are restoring.   I am really excited about the work that Christ is doing on my house.   As you go through the day, are you seeing the work that Christ is doing?   If you do, I would like to hear about it.   If you do not, my prayer is that you take another look.   Blessings,

Saturday, May 26, 2012

This old house

good morning, I pray that the day is finding you well. I awoke extra late this morning, I slept hard. The house that Laurie and I live in is conducive to relaxing, contemplating, and sleeping. It is an old house that someone love for a lifetime, grew old, eventually left the house to live in an assisted community and eventually died. The house has sat vacant for a number of years. There was no one to live in it and it too started to feel its age. It is in the country, next to a river, and does not have the noise that one typically associates with living in town; it is not silent though. There is the sound of the river that flows past our house, there is the sound of the breeze that rustles the leaves in the trees, there are the sounds of the birds talking. Ducks can be seen swimming along the river's banks. There are even the sounds of something living in our walls. The first time I looked at the house I thought, "nice location but it needs a lot of TLC." Laurie saw the house and thought, "This is home." As we discussed the house, I would tell her all the things wrong with the house, and she would tell me, "Look at all the possibilities." During our "house hunting" experience we looked at over 60 homes. During our house hunting experience we kept coming back to this house. To be honest, at first I was just placating Laurie. I would agree to come look at the river house because it made her happy to look at it. Over time, I started to catch her vision for the house. Over time, I too began to see "all the possibilities." I could see the houses potential. This morning, I am sitting in the house talking with you. As I contemplate this house, I am thinking about Christ, I am thinking about Satan. Satan, would be the one who would look at me and tell Christ, "Look at that old guy. He is broken, he is a mess. He is not worth the time it would take to fix him up and make him whole and strong and healthy." Christ would say, "Look at all the possibilities." As I think about this, I realize that I had the mindset of Satan regarding this house; Laurie had the mindset of Christ. Satan likes to look at all the negative things in the world and point them out. Christ, while never being blind to the things that are broken still has the ability to see the potential, the possibilities, the goodness that people have in them, no matter how hidden this goodness is. Satan likes to create noise. Christ likes to create tranquility. I am so glad the Christ was not afraid of the things that were living in my walls. I am so glad the He took the time to work on my house. I am so glad that He looks at my house as a project, a work in progress. I am so glad that Christ loves me and wants to live in me. Christ loves you too. Christ likes to live in you. Satan likes to keep things vacant, alone, unloved and delapitated. What kind of house would you like to be? Blessings,

Friday, May 25, 2012

Are we really talking about transitive verbs?

Good morning, I pray that the day is finding you well.   We had our celebrity basketball game last night.   The event was awesome, truly amazing; in fact, it went off without a hitch.  I hear that term a lot, “It went off without a hitch.”  It makes me wonder what a hitch is?  I know of the component of a truck or tractor that is used to couple trailers to them, I know that they are called hitches.  I looked up the word “hitch” in the dictionary.  It said that a hitch is to move by jerks or with a tug.  The dictionary also mentioned that the word “hitch” is a transitive verb, which is a verb that requires both a direct object and one or more objects; the definition goes on to say that, the term is used to contrast intransitive verbs, which do not have objects, duh.  The definition actually did not have duh in it, but it should have.   Moving is the opposite of standing still.   Light is the opposite of darkness   Organic is the opposite of inorganic, which is another topic all together.   Now I know why old cowboys say, “I’ve got a hitch in my git-along.”  I guess that is easier to say than, “I am moving by jerks and tugs.”   As I was saying, the event was a success and everyone had a great time.  We raised more money so that we can scholarship more kids, which means we will teach more kids to swim, play sports, get active, become healthy.    During this process of getting healthy, we will teach them other verbs, verbs that normally we would associate as nouns.  We will teach them that Love is a verb.  We will teach them that Respect is a verb.  We will teach them that Honesty is a verb.  We will teach them that Responsibility is a verb.  We will teach them that Service is a verb.    We will teach them how Christ took these nouns, put them into action, and changed the world.   We really try to do this.    I know that I try to do this.    Sometimes it does not always go as smoothly as it could; it is as if I have a hitch in my walk with Christ.  Sometimes it feels as if I am walking with Him by jerks and tugs.  I guess at times I am a transitive verb.  I think that I would rather be a transitive verb than an intransitive verb.  It would be rather silly to be in motion with no object to be in motion about, wouldn’t it?   Life with Christ is a marathon not a sprint.    Sometimes our walk with Him seems easy, sometimes we need Him to be there and tug us along.  As we go through the day, let us never forget that we are not alone.  Christ is right there with us to help us when we need help; to hold us when we need to be held.  As Christ puts people in front of us, let us be a positive in their lives; show His love to others as He has shown His love to us.   Blessings,     Roger Chaplain  

Thursday, May 24, 2012

"Feeling kind-of Wonky."

Good morning, I pray that the day is finding you well.   There was a flurry of activity this morning when I got to the YCMA.  Now things have quieted down.    A funny thing happens when life is a flurry; it takes a while for me to regain focus.  I need to sit for a bit and think, meditate really.  I have to re-center myself with Christ.  I can always tell when I am feeling slightly out-of-kilter with Him.  I do not feel at peace.  I do not like it when I feel this way.    We have a big event tonight at the YMCA.  We are going to be expanding the Clark County Family YMCA.  The reason for the expansion is not to build a bigger facility, just so we can have a bigger facility.  The reason for the expansion is so that we can offer more services to our community.    Times are tough and we are here to help.   We are hosting a celebrity basketball game with the proceeds going to the strong communities campaign; tonight will be fun, today is busy though. When we look at our community and see the needs, what we in the YMCA actually see is opportunity.  We see areas in people’s lives that we could positively impact, areas of need that currently are not met, but could be if we had the resources.    I was in our break room the other day.  I was eating my oatmeal; I am told it is healthy so I eat it.  I wish cake were healthy I enjoy cake much more than oatmeal.   Others started to come in and as usual, a conversation arose.   A friend’s husband of one of the staff works for one of those big box fitness facilities.  I cannot remember which one he works for; it is either the one that has a big city in its name or a number.  He was in a meeting.  The head cheese of the meeting stood up and said; I must confess that I am getting this third hand or somewhere in that vicinity so the actual quote is lost but it goes something like this, “We are about profits people, not about people; if you care about people, go work for the YMCA!”   As I sit here talking with you I am feeling re-centered on Christ.    Lord, let me not forget that you cared about me enough to die for me; let me not forget that even though I may feel wonky at times, you are right there with me.  Let me not forget that you love me.  Let me not forget that I am yours and you will put people in front of me so that you may help them.   Let me not forget that You are all about people and since 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Gal. 2:20  I am all about people too.   If you happen to be free tonight and want to see a fun basketball game come on out, the game is at 6pm at Club Green Meadows 7703 ne 72nd Ave Vancouver, Wa.   If you cannot make it to the game, can you please take a moment and pray for us.   Blessings,   Roger Chaplain      

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Tree of Life and streams of Living Water."

Good morning, I pray that the day is finding you well.   I awoke extra early this morning.  The rain was making its music on the trees, in the river, and on my roof.  I made my coffee, which amounts to pushing a button since my wife had set everything up the night before which is an act of love that I truly appreciate.  Abe was excited to go outside, but he quickly remembered that he does not like rain very much and the bed was calling, he went in and went back to sleep.    I was sitting by the river; my house is on a river, something that I find very appealing and restful.  As I was saying, I was sitting by the river and I found myself looking through the branches of a tree at a portion of the river that was upstream.  My mind started to wander and my thoughts became filled with two things: The Tree of Life Living water It was not the normal “Tree of Life” stuff nor was it the normal “Living Water” stuff; although they both had streams within my thoughts.   As my eyes focused first on the tree and then on the river, my thoughts went with what I was focusing on.   As I focused on the tree, I saw ants scurrying up it and down it.  Some were carrying things others were not; ants are very busy creatures, they are always in motion.    As I watched them, I thought how busy they are.   As I watched them, I thought how our lives mimic the ants.    As I watched them, I thought how hard it is to see Christ, to see God in the busyness of our day.  Then my eye caught something.   My eye caught the space between the branches and the leaves.  My eyes left the ants; I no longer could see the work that they were doing.  What I could see was the river upstream.  I could see the water.    I began to ponder on the things of Christ.  How He commands us to love one another, to help those who cannot help themselves, to be in relationship with Him, to pray.    To remember what it is to follow Him.   As I looked through the tree, I could see the life giving water that flowed passed my house.  My thoughts went to, “How I have to look past the Tree of life to see the Living water.  I sat contemplating this for a long time.   We held a strategy meeting at our YMCA recently.  We are in the beginning phase of doing an expansion.  As we brainstormed and thought and brainstormed some more, we discussed at great length different programming and what the YCMA could offer.  During the session, we started to think in terms of, “If we do this, we cannot do that.”  After a while we started to ask the question, “Does it have to be an either or proposition, or could we look at it as an, and also?”    Our focused changed and we were able to see the possibilities that we could become something much bigger, something much more impactful; we started to think outside the box.   This morning as I sat by the river, my focus began to change.  Suddenly I was able to see both the Tree of Life and the Living Water at the same time; I no longer had to spend time focused on one area, than shift my focus to another.    I was able to focus on both at the same time.   Isn’t that what Christ is asking us to do?  Isn’t He asking us to not compartmentalize our relationship with Him but to get to the point where we can see Him in the monotony of our day?   The Tree of Life and streams of Living Water.   Blessings,   Roger Chaplain