Karen Diefendorf was selected as Director of Chaplain Services for Tyson Foods, Inc. She will be relocating to Headquarters in Springdale, AR.
Chaplain Rolf Holmquist
Christian Chae and Rolf Homquist were selected for Lt. Colonel (05). Below is a note I received back from Rolf.
Please join the entire Air Force Chaplain Corps team in congratulating these chaplains selected for the rank of Colonel and Lieutenant Colonel. May the Lord bless their coming years of leadership in support of religious freedoms for our great American Airmen, joint warriors, and their families!
I am in good company with Christian Chae. May we continue to Glorify our Lord with one voice. I thank God for our brotherhood and my excellent bride Lori whom is by my side and continues to labor in the ministry fields with me.
Chaplain Christian Chae
Chaplain Stavlund is able to minister to our troops in Mosul Iraq. Here are pictures and a note from Nick.
All is well here. Acting as Brigade Chaplain-FWD for 2BCT, 82nd ABN in/around Mosul and northern Iraq. The Lord has been good to us in ministry. Attached is a picture of me cutting down a noose hanging outside a Mosul church where Christians were martyred for their faith by Daesh. Our guys secured the church with a patrol, we cut down the noose, and a few of us did a prayer walk through the church praying for the citizens of Iraq. Also attached is a post-chapel picture from inside a safe house in Mosul. Lots to be in prayer for; lots to be thankful for.
I signed waiver letters for Chaplain Nick Stavlund and Jordan Henricks to attend Army Ranger School. It is a honor for their Commands to request them to attend.
About a year ago, Cindy and I sent our first applicant packet to the Commissioners for a vote. Last week the Commissioners voted to endorse the 21st packet. We are thrilled to have twenty one more Chaplains in service in the Kingdom.
We attended the annual Conferences in DC in January.
Association of Religious Endorsing Bodies
Chaplains Ministering in Specialize Settings
Endorsers VA Conference
National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Forces
Armed Forces Chaplain Board
Pictured left to right, Chaplain John Ault, Executive Director, Kal McAlexander and Chaplain Christian Chae.
By chance, Cindy and I were able to share dinner with David Keller of the American Bible Society. David is also a reservist. After an evening of sharing, David ask me to do some blog writing for ABS. The first installment is enclosed below. This is my first attempt at blogging. Please feel free to offer suggestions on ways to improve.
I recently attended a series of conferences in Washington DC for Chaplaincy Endorsing Agents. The focus ranged from hospital chaplains to chaplains serving in specialized settings to military chaplains. A common theme of the guest speakers was a topic referred to by number of different titles but were basically talking about the same thing. They called this thing moral injury, spiritual pain, fear, guilt and shame. Because we were in a pluralistic environment the speakers identified the problem and talked about the symptoms but did not address the cure. My faith group, the Christian Churches and Churches of Christ, would say that the cure lives in Jesus Christ and is explained in His word. We call ourselves the people of the Book and so we should look to it for answers.
As they spoke I was reminded of the last DOD Suicide Prevention Conference I attended. A speaker from the Rand Corporation gave a report out concerning a two-year study they had done on suicides in the Army. After two years of looking for a common denominator or a new risk factor, all they could conclude is that the only common denominator was an overwhelming sense of guilt and shame. Their unsolicited conclusion in a room full of mental health professionals, social workers and chaplains was that the military should hire more chaplains. They felt chaplains were the only ones who could adequately deal with guilt and shame.
The first passage I began to use years ago in my counseling was Psalms 32. I made it a practice to get out two giveaway Bibles and as we talked through this scripture, highlight the passage and dog ear the page so that when the counseling session was over the individual could take the Bible with them and refer back to it when they needed reinforcement. Psalm 32 was written by David after being confronted by Nathan for adultery and murder
Versus one and two talk about how blessed it is to be forgiven, not have your sins counted against you and how great it is to have them covered over.
Verses three and four talk about how David was feeling and I would ask individuals if they could identify with David’s description. David said “when I kept silent my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me and my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer”. I would also ask what the modern description of this feeling was. The answer I was looking for was clinical depression. In many cases the counselees would identify with the feeling and the modern-day diagnosis.
First five says “then I knowledge my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity, I said I will confess my transgressions to the Lord and you forgave the guilt of my sin”. I would ask the counselee to take special note of the wording you forgave the guilt of my sin and explain to them that God not only wants to forgive of the sin but to take away the guilt.
I believe many Christians cognitively understand that God forgives sin. But, unfortunately, they still carry around the guilt and shame. This passage makes it clear that God not only wants to forgive the sin, but take away the guilt and shame. The guilt and shame reside in the emotive part of who we are. Our people need to understand both sides cognitive and the emotive. They need to embrace the forgiveness and release the guilt and shame.