What’s In A Name?

I remember when I first began to blog. Gosh I did it long before it caught on. I wanted to write about what I learned while spending time with God. Did I hope to become famous? Well yes, I did. Or at least published. Neither occurred. God took me down a different path. It had mountains, rough sea, treachours terrains, and some beautiful gardens. A little bit of everything. The one constant was me writing my blog. Although lately I tend to neglect it. The point to this is: I’ve been writing this blog since the late 1990’s. That’s a long time.

When I began writing, I sat down, and knew I needed a name for my site. I wanted one to reflect me. I came up with Hischild. That is still the name today. I love that name because it explains that I know exactly who I am, God’s child.

Why do I bring this up? Well because in the past 2 weeks there is a sudden rush to change names. This name changing is effecting: sports teams, musicians, actors and now food products. I am all for it, because the names they originally chose are offensive. The point I want to make is this. Why? Why did you choose that name to begin with? What were they trying to say about themselves that they chose that name? Now here is where we need to be cautious. Slow down and find out. It can still be changed, but let’s understand why that name was chosen. This is a part of our history. This is how this country evolved and learned to be inclusive. It’s important to understand how we got where we are. So that we don’t make that mistake again.

My advise? Well in the future when you think of a name for yourself that defines another, don’t use it. Because as we are learning names are very important. That is why I choose Hischild, and happy to report it remains.

Racism

Matthew 22:36-40  “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

We were raised in a country that wasn’t equal. Even though we had a constitution that guarantees it. We were raised in a country that thrives on personal gain and success. Climbing the corporate ladder. Claiming its now our time. Just doing what must be done to be above others. We get awards for being the best. Fame and fortune goes to the one who can solicit the greatest audience. Sure this is for everyone, but not everyone gets the same opportunities. We pay taxes each year. State, and Federal taxes. Property taxes.

Education isn’t equal.

Healthcare isn’t equal

Housing isn’t equal.

Employment isn’t equal.

Police protection isn’t equal.

We have a black and a white community. We have a black and white church. A black and white school. A black and white community programs and competitions.

This isn’t new, this is the United States of America we all grew up in. The great melting pot of the world has trained its ingredients (people) to not work together. Like putting oil and vinegar in a bottle and knowing it will separate and then expect it to mix during violent shaking.

How do we end this?

First: we confess the sin of racism which is on both sides.

Second: we stop being self serving.

Third: we open our eyes and see others, we open our hearts and love others.

The 2 greatest Commandments is to love God and love others. Loving others means we want the best for them. We want them to have all we have. We want them to be able to enjoy this life. To have a home, and a job. To raise a family. To feel safe. To feel appreciated. When we boast of living in America land of the free, it should be free for all.

Where do we begin?

I’m beginning with me.

Stoning To Death

When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”      John 8:7

 

Last night I was praying for my grandchildren. I have ten of them so it takes some time. I got to my granddaughter Trinity, and asked God to heal the scar on her face. A few weeks ago she was playing outside with a slingshot, and decided to put a rock in it. The slingshot got twisted, and when she let it go, the rock came back, and smacked her above her eye. She required stitches. Quite a scare for a young child and her mom. I got that far and my mind went immediately to the command to stone sinners for their offenses. Then my mind kept thinking about how horrible a death by stoning would be.

My granddaughter got hit by one rock. That one rock split her skin deep enough that stitches were required. A person being stoned to death was hit by many rocks. Rocks that could fit into the hands of others. Children had smaller rocks. Women would choose rocks they could hold and throw. Men could pick up a rock of considerable size. How many rocks would be needed? Goliath was taken down with just one. That was a quick and easy kill. (1 Samuel 17: 49) Stephen was hit by many stones. (Acts 7:57-60). Rocks hurt when they hit us. My granddaughter let out a scream in pain. It pierced her mothers heart to hear it. Have you ever been hit by a rock? They hurt! They break, bruise, split and crush us. We can cover our face, but in seconds of stoning our fingers would be broken. Stoning would be a slow agonizing death. What would be the offenses for stoning?

Well blasphemy against God, murder, kidnapping, adultery, homosexuality, lying with a beast, rebellion against parents and not honoring the Sabbath to name a few. God took these sins seriously, and ordered the stoning of the offenders. This would be a harsh punishment, but a good reminder to those before they sin. Think about how many times you have used God’s Name in vain, how many times you didn’t rest on the Sabbath. Jesus said to hate someone is to murder them. To lust after someone is to commit adultery. All of us are guilty and deserve a death by stones. I got this far and realized I was having anxiety over what my brain was processing. What a truly horrible death. I remembered all Jesus went through the night He was arrested. How every blow to Him with fist, whip and chains tore through His flesh. Jesus suffered a slow and agonizing death. Jesus died for my sins because He didn’t sin.

I quickly went to the story of the adulterous woman. Normally I focus on the fact that the leaders just brought the woman before Jesus. I’m quick to be offended that they failed to bring the man with her. I went past that and focused on the fact that they now have a woman trembling with fear. They toss her before Jesus like a rag doll. She is their pawn. They are using her to taunt Jesus and test Him. Jesus knows her sins, and He knows He will die for her sins. He tells the one without sin to throw the first stone. He knows all of them, He is dying for their sins too.

What happened to Trinity is a good reminder to all of us the danger of throwing a stone. Stones do a lot of damage, they hurt. They come in all shapes, weights and sizes. One rock can do us in, or a lot of rocks will slowly kill us. Agonizing pain is in store. Flesh will be bruised and split, bone will be broken and crushed. Death won’t come quick enough. That is the just punishment for our sins. Satan uses us as pawns. He drags us before God and tosses us there demanding our death by stones. He never expected Jesus to take our place. In return all Jesus asks for us to do: put down our stones and go and sin no more. The stones were thrown by the devil, and they hit Him not us. No greater love is there than this, that while we were still sinners, He died for us. (John 15:13 and Romans 5:8)

Still we insist on picking up our own stones. We will bring before God the homosexual and demand his death, while hiding our own sexual sins. We will justify ignoring the Sabbath in the name of ‘its the only day to get stuff done.’ We are quick to hate others. Quick to lust after. If we say we don’t sin, we say God is a liar. (1 John 1:10). Jesus was very confident when He said that the one without sin could throw the first stone. Confident in knowing they were all sinners. Its time we put our stones down. It is also time for us to go and sin no more. Just the reminder of the death of Jesus should convict us, knowing He protected us and died in our place. He let the stones hit Him. Just knowing that should get us to stop sinning. But it doesn’t and this is why I need Jesus everyday. Its why you need Him too.

Thank you Jesus for coming to me, and covering me so that the stones being thrown would not hit me. I am sorry for my sins Jesus. I am sorry You had to be hit. Help me Jesus live a life which proves I’ve received You. Help me to go and sin no more. This I pray Jesus in Your Name.

Amen.

 

The Name of Jesus

John 14:6

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

How do we know that Jesus is the way? I know He said it, but how do we really know Jesus is the way? Just say His Name. Just dare to pray publicly in His Name. Just go ahead and suggest He is the way….. Go ahead and try.

You can say God, Lord, and Creator. You can say Allha, but you cannot say Jesus. No, if you ever plan on ever praying aloud publicly, the Name of Jesus is forbidden. Now it will be argued that the reason His Name is forbidden is because it is exclusive. But I know the real reason. It’s because the Name of Jesus is true and that annoys Satan!

The Name of Jesus offends many. I know people who call themselves Christians and they cringe at the Name of Jesus ( I don’t get it either). Why do people allow God to be used and not Jesus?

I believe it’s because God is the generic term for any and all gods, while Jesus is specific. Anyone can say they believe in God but what God is the question. The God that allows sin? The God that encourages your lifestyle choices? The God that supports abortion and oppression? Is that the God you call on?

I call on God who is Triune. Father, Son Jesus and Spirit. I pray in the Name of Jesus. Jesus is the Way to God. That’s the God I pray to. Is the Name of Jesus exclusive? Not at all. Jesus is inclusive. He asks for all to call on His Name. Those who aren’t offended by the Name.of Jesus understand His Name is above all other names. He is God. Understanding this takes a full surrender and a daily sanctification.

Jesus said He is the way and He is: and if this weren’t true Satan wouldn’t care. He certainly doesn’t stop anyone calling on any other name. Just the Name of Jesus, and the more it offends, the greater it proves its true!

I Miss You

I Miss You

I keep seeing different posts about things people miss. Some miss social events, others miss school, a few miss jobs, a lot miss sporting events. Me? I miss you. I miss holding you in my arms. I miss giving you kisses. I miss holding your hand. I miss your smiling face. I miss sharing meals with you. I miss going places with you. I miss laughing with you. Most of all I miss your hugs. I’m not missing sports or any other material thing. I am just missing you. I am staying quarantined not because I’m afraid of getting Covid 19, but because I’m terrified I will some how pass it on to you. So I will endure missing you because I know my missing you means you will get to live to see another day.

This is for my husband Gary who is in a nursing home, and for my granddaughter Kayden who is immune compromised.

When Did I See You?

Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?  When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’’

Matthew 25: 37-39

I was walking down the main hallway in the hospital, I’m a Chaplain and was making my rounds. When I saw an elderly man, bent over at the waist. He was leaning on a walker. Shuffling his feet, and barely making any progress. He didn’t even see me, but I did see  him. I quickly prayed to Jesus to have mercy on him. Then I walked up alongside him and said hello. He took one look at me, (I am wearing the Chaplain Lab Coat) and said, “I hate God.” That made me stop. I smiled at him and said, “You hate God? Would you mind telling me more about that?”  He leaned on his walker and gave out a heavy sigh. Then he told me to let him find a seat. I walked slowly behind him as he made his way to a chair. As he sat down he motioned for me to take the seat across from him. In true Chaplain form, I was praying for wisdom and asking God to be with me and give me the words to speak. 

He began, “Do you hate God?” So I responded, “Sir as I said hello to you, you looked at me and stated you hated God. I’m wondering if you want to talk to me. It can be about God or anything else.” He smiled at me and then slowly asked again if I hated God. I answered with a no, and was about to talk again, when he asked. “Do you love God?” 

Now given the fact that I’m a Chaplain isn’t always proof of faith. Chaplains come in many faith traditions, and some are humanists which means they are agnostic or atheists. So his question was fair.

I said, “Yes I love God with all my heart, all my soul and all my might.”

He asked, “Who is Jesus?” I replied, “Jesus is the Son of God, Jesus is God.”

He then asked, “How do you get to heaven?” I said, “Jesus is the way to heaven.” 

Then there was silence and he just looked at me. I sat there quietly with him trying to figure out this meeting. Then he said:
“I don’t hate God. I love God. I always say I hate God when I meet people because I want to hear where they are at in their journey. A lot of people will respond back that God is no good, or they hate him too. Some will say they don’t like him but hate is a bit harsh. I get all kinds of answers when I say that. That’s my opening line to get them to talk about God. When I first saw you coming I put my head down to avoid you. I figured you loved God. Then I heard Jesus say to me, ‘stop looking with your eyes.’ so I thought maybe you didn’t love God. Then as you answered the questions I heard Jesus again.” He stopped there and then reached out for my hand and took it and said, “I have called you, chose you and you are Mine.”

Minutes later as I walked into the Chaplain office some of my peers were there. All of them fellow Christians. I had a tear streaked face and quietly took my seat. They were looking at me and I said, ‘I just met God in the main hallway.’ There was a reverent silence in the room. No other words need to be spoken. Another child of God, knows and understands. 

Stop looking with your eyes-good advice for all of us. Stop judging by race, religion, status, gender, or anything else. Begin to see people through the eyes of God. I saw an elderly man who I thought needed assistance, and in truth, he was there for me. This is how much God loves us and takes care of us. Beginning a conversation with “I hate God is a bit unconventional.” However, if he had just said hello back, I would’ve kept on walking. Thinking I did the least of these for him, instead of learning when I see Him.

Did we ask for this?

Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of the Lord, and when he heard them his anger was aroused. Then fire from the Lord burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp. When the people cried out to Moses, he prayed to the Lord and the fire died down. So that place was called Taberah, because fire from the Lord had burned among them.

Numbers 11: 1-3 -Please read Numbers 11

In this story the people of Israel were tired of eating the manna. This is the bread God provided for them. He had it appear Sunday through Friday, every morning. Friday God put more down for them to collect for Saturday, their Sabbath. Now if they tried to save the manna any other day it spoiled. Only on Friday did God preserve the manna for the next day, thus providing every day. This is how detailed God is in providing for them. Yet they complained. They wanted meat. They were tired of eating just manna. Now why would God get mad at them for that? Well it wasn’t because they were human. Let’s face it, as humans any of us would tire of eating the same thing. God was angry because they weren’t simply asking for meat, they were doubting God could provide sufficiently for them. God gave them what they wanted and as a result they gagged on what they were eating they were so sick of it. This is what they wanted and this is what they got. Did they ask to gag? No, they asked for meat. Why did they gag? Because God was showing them that the sin wasn’t in what they wanted, the sin was in their doubt of His provision. We don’t have to complain to God or mistrust Him. We should thank Him for His provision and if we feel we want something more, ask Him with full belief that He can provide and has the right to refuse. This is what God was looking for in their obedience and in ours.

Did we ask for the Covid19 virus? Of course not, but….many have lived the past several years self absorbed and addicted to social media and phones. We could walk into a store, restaurant, business, school and even playground and see people looking down at the phones in their hands. For years there has been one meme after another stating we don’t need to interact with others. We are fine alone and in quiet. We have complained about going to Church. Children have complained about going to school. A lot have complained about going to work. Grocery shopping was a chore. The biggest event in our lives was sitting on our couch and playing on social media or streaming a show. We have complained about all this and preferred our phones. Even when we had people sitting next to us we preferred our phones. Covid19 hits and suddenly we have to sit 6 feet apart. We can’t touch and are told to stay away from others and in our homes.

Suddenly we can’t move around freely. Children are home from school. Daddy’s and mommy’s are home from jobs. Movie theaters and restaurants are closed to the public. Churches are streaming services on line. Our phones and social media sites are gagging us. We don’t want just a phone. We want to go out, be with people and have fun. We want to interact and be social in person.

Did we ask for this? I think we did. I think these past couple of years that we have made hundreds of friends on Facebook and none in our neighborhood is finally showing what we did wrong. How do we fix this? We wait until it is safe for us to be out again. Then we put our phones down and we go out and make real friends. Friends we can sit and talk with. Friends we can walk and dance with. We thank God for what we have. We have work, school, restaurants, grocery stores, all kinds of entertainment to share with others. We remember that all this is provided to us by God through others. We never take this provision for granted again. We should start there.

Father forgive us, we knew not what we were doing. We got so swept up in technology that we forgot about one another. We are learning the value of human contact and communication. Please restore us, I pray in Jesus Name.

Amen.

Memorial Service

Before I begin today I would like to share with you two verses

The first one is from the Christian Bible,

The Book of Revelation 21:4

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

The second is from the Jewish Scriptures

The Book of Psalms 34:18

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

I chose them for today because I think it is a good reminder for all of us to know that God is close to us when we mourn and God is here to help us and even wipes away our tears.

On behalf of all the Chaplains that are here today I would like to say to all of you, thank you. Thank you for sharing with us your loved ones. It is truly our honor to be here, and we cannot thank you enough for allowing us to share this memorial moment with you.

There are two times in every person’s life when an abundance of love is being shown and shared and it is all centered on them. The first time is at a birth. From the moment their impending arrival is announced the excitement starts to build. On that big day when the baby arrives, everyone gathers around and oohs and ahhhs. Pictures are being taken with siblings and other family members. Everyone takes turns holding the new arrival. The baby’s birth sets in motion a new beginning. This new beginning means there is a different way of doing things and adjustments have to be made. This is a moment full of love.

The other time there is an abundance of love is when we say good bye to a family member. In that time, the family gathers once again. Distant relatives come around. Friends join us in the room. Everyone is happy to see whose there. Memories are being shared. Tears mingle with joy. These are tears of sadness and anxiety. Our lives are about to change and adjustments will need to be made. A new way of living will need to be learned. This isn’t a moment we anticipated, planned for— or invited. Even if we have a family member in Hospice we are not prepared for the final day. But then again nothing can ever prepare us to say goodbye to someone we love.

Love is once again what is experienced and love is what we Chaplains see as your family and friends gather around. As the rooms fill and there aren’t enough seats. As we try to weave our way around the room we can feel the warmth of your families love.

We are privileged to be able to spend these last few precious moments with you and your loved one. This time sadly your love is bringing with it grief. In fact, it is your love for those who are passing that brings about such deep sorrow and grief. We’ve all experienced a loss so we understand how overwhelming the feelings are and how desperately our minds try to sort it out and find a balance. Sometimes we get mixed messages.

It is popular in our culture today to think of grief as something we get over. That we have 5 easy stages to go through and then we are done. But this isn’t my experience with grief. And so when I am in the room with my patients and their families, I like to tell them this:

Be patient with yourself and be patient with grief. We grieve our loved ones, because we have loved them so much. That is why grief is a shock — we weren’t done loving them. Death took them way before we were ready for them to be taken. I’m asked a lot how long do I think grief will last and my answer is always the same: how long will you love them. If it is your intention to always love them, then grief will remain. But I don’t want you to think that is a bad thing because it isn’t. The grief we feel is the reminder of our love.

So learn to welcome grief, learn how to embrace and be friends with grief. So on the days when a memory comes around, and you feel a tug on your heart, you can rest in the knowledge that it is the love for them that remains. Feel safe in that space and hold onto the moment. Allow the memory to fill you. Tears and joy will once again be mingled. If we learn how to embrace grief and look at it through the lens of love, then we won’t be in a hurry to wish it away. Grief will then be our reminder that we still love them. And looking at grief through the lens of love brings us peace. That, to me, is a lot better than trying to resolve it in stages.

I have a little snippet from a Book called: No Matter What, and it is written by Debi Gliori and I think it sums up perfectly and brings a good end to what I’ve been saying:

Small said: “But what about when you’re dead and gone? Would you love me then? Does love go on?

Large held Small snug as they looked out at the night, at the moon, in the dark, and the stars shining bright and says: “Small look at the stars-how they shine and glow. Yet some of those stars died a long time ago. Still they shine in the evening skies….love, like starlight, never dies”.

We Cannot Lose God!

There have been a few Christian artists and leaders that have publicly proclaimed that they no longer believe in Jesus Christ. Some say they lost their faith due to circumstances, others claim to just stop believing. So let me just say for the record, none of them where true believers, and I will prove to you using the words of Jesus, what I just said.

Jesus is with His a crowd, and His disciples, along with  others who were following Jesus and helping support His ministry. They were traveling from town to town and proclaiming the good news about the Kingdom of God. While the crowd was gathering around, Jesus tells them the parable of the Sower. Then His disciples ask Him to explain it. This is what He said:

Luke 8:11-15

“This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.  The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.

Jesus begins by explaining the seed is the Word of God. Some will hear the Word of God, and never believe. Satan steals the seeds. Some will say they believe and act joyful about their new found faith. But their belief is shallow and has no root. They only like the idea of Jesus. The warm, fuzzy, loving and forgiving idea of Jesus. They don’t want to know about the ‘pick up your cross and follow Me Jesus.’ So when it’s time for them to pick up their cross, they refuse to follow Jesus. Then there are the ones who hear the Word of God, but let life choke what they believe out of them. So in their case, riches, pleasures and worries are all bigger than Jesus. Jesus is teaching us that some will hear His Word, and it will appear as though they are His, but they are not. The word never takes root in them. These are the ones who claim to be followers of Jesus and then gave Him up and walk away. Satan uses them for two reasons:

  1. He wants the children of God to think we can lose God, or that one day God will walk away from us.
  2. He wants the rest of the world to doubt God and know that God isn’t for them or holds onto them.

Now there are some who hear the Word of God and take the Word to their heart and retain it always. The proof of our faith is found in our fruit. We grow as children of God, and as we grow, we share the Word of God. When something bad happens, we cling to God. When something good happens, we thank God. When something worries us we pray. We are the true believers of Jesus Christ. We are the ones who were planted in good soil. So allow me to address the two points from the devil.

  • We don’t doubt God because as our passages for today teach, the Word of God landed in good soil. We don’t have to doubt Jesus; every Word He says it true.
  • We can’t lose God, We cannot lose our faith. His Word is true. He will not leave us ever!

 

I am sorry that some are now saying they lost their faith, or gave up their faith. They never had faith. They only had an impostor. They didn’t belong to God. Those who belong to God do not lose Him, nor do they ever give Him up.

 

It is apostasy to say anything different!

Romans 8:38-39

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.