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  Chaplain Thomas Stackhouse, OCM - Pennsylvania Military Veterans Outreach

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CORAM DEO ( Living Before The Face Of GOD )

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Chaplain's Blog

Posted on March 17, 2019 at 7:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Chaplain’s Blog - Walking Your Faith 

Ephesians 4:26 “Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath,” NKJV

Beloved in Christ,

Ephesians 4 is packed with so many treasures. In fellowship, we memorize the last two verses, Ephesians 4:31-32 "Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you." NKJV

The words 'you' and 'your' are used many times in Ephesians chapter 4, so it is speaking to 'you' as a believer. It says "don't let the sun go down on your wrath." Now, this could be your anger, which is the main and plain meaning, but if you don't ask for forgiveness for things, then your sin works to separate you from God. So whether you need forgiveness, or you need to forgive somebody in obedience to the Lord and forget your wrath, do it before sundown.

Are you nursing any wounds? Are you holding on to any unforgiveness? Bitterness? Offense? Did you get offended by someone and instead of putting the offense down, you are carrying it around? You can't do that. It gives place to the devil in your life.

This world is getting worse, day by day, and you can't be tied up and weighed down by the past. The Bible says 'don't let the sun go down on your wrath'. Now here's a cool little nugget. How do we count our days? Well, we say that it goes to midnight and then the next day starts. Man came up with that. It's not in the Bible. Actually in the Bible, in Genesis Chapter 1, verse 5 and many other verses, it says "the evening and the morning were the first day," "the evening and the morning were the second day," "the evening and the morning were the third day."

The biblical day ends at sundown. At sundown you begin the next day.

The verse says don't let the sun go down on your wrath, anger or unforgiveness. Ask God to forgive you, and forgive others, before this day ends and before you start your next day. Do it everyday. Because of God's grace and Jesus’ death on the cross we can be forgiven! And as we walk in forgiveness we are empowered to forgive others.

Yom Tov! That's Hebrew for good day. Shalom!

Walking your faith? GOD “provided” His Son Jesus to deliver us out of His wrath and anger, and the consequences of it.

ABBA, Father God,

I ask that You please forgive me for holding on to offenses, for letting the sun repeatedly go down on my wrath. I'm sorry. Thank You for Jesus and the forgiveness I have in Him. Father, show me any place where I have allowed a root of bitterness to get established in my heart and remove it. I promise to trust and obey. Help me to forgive others as You, in Christ, have forgiven me. In Jesus' precious name and for Your glory. Amen.

Chaplain's Blog

Posted on March 9, 2019 at 10:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Question: "Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?"

Answer: We live in a world of pain and suffering. There is no one who is not affected by the harsh realities of life, and the question “why do bad things happen to good people?” is one of the most difficult questions in all of theology. God is sovereign, so all that happens must have at least been allowed by Him, if not directly caused by Him. At the outset, we must acknowledge that human beings, who are not eternal, infinite, or omniscient, cannot expect to fully understand God’s purposes and ways. 

The book of Job deals with the issue of why God allows bad things to happen to good people. Job was a righteous man (Job 1:1), yet he suffered in ways that are almost beyond belief. God allowed Satan to do everything he wanted to Job except kill him, and Satan did his worst. What was Job’s reaction? “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him” (Job 13:15). “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised” (Job 1:21). Job did not understand why God had allowed the things He did, but he knew God was good and therefore continued to trust in Him. Ultimately, that should be our reaction as well. 

Why do bad things happen to good people? As hard as it is to acknowledge, we must remember that there are no “good” people, in the absolute sense of the word. All of us are tainted by and infected with sin (Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:8.) As Jesus said, “No one is good—except God alone” (Luke 18:19). All of us feel the effects of sin in one way or another. Sometimes it’s our own personal sin; other times, it’s the sins of others. We live in a fallen world, and we experience the effects of the fall. One of those effects is injustice and seemingly senseless suffering.

When wondering why God would allow bad thing to happen to good people, it’s also good to consider these four things about the bad things that happen:

1) Bad things may happen to good people in this world, but this world is not the end. Christians have an eternal perspective: “We do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” ( 2 Corinthians 4:16–18 ). We will have a reward some day, and it will be glorious.

2) Bad things happen to good people, but God uses those bad things for an ultimate, lasting good. “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” ( Romans 8:2 ). When Joseph, innocent of wrongdoing, finally came through his horrific sufferings, he was able to see God’s good plan in it all (see Genesis 50:19–21).

3) Bad things happen to good people, but those bad things equip believers for deeper ministry. “Praise be to . . . the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:3–5). Those with battle scars can better help those going through the battles.

4) Bad things happen to good people, and the worst things happened to the best Person. Jesus was the only truly Righteous One, yet He suffered more than we can imagine. We follow in His footsteps: “If you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. ‘He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.’ When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:20–23). Jesus is no stranger to our pain.

Romans 5:8 declares, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Despite the sinful nature of the people of this world, God still loves us. Jesus loved us enough to die to take the penalty for our sins (Romans 6:23). If we receive Jesus Christ as Savior (John 3:16; Romans 10:9), we will be forgiven and promised an eternal home in heaven (Romans 8:1).

God allows things to happen for a reason. Whether or not we understand His reasons, we must remember that God is good, just, loving, and merciful (Psalm 135:3). Often, bad things happen to us that we simply cannot understand. Instead of doubting God’s goodness, our reaction should be to trust Him. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5–6). We walk by faith, not by sight.

© Copyright 2002-2019 Got Questions Ministries. Guest Blogger, Dr. Keith Sherlin, Th.D, LLD

Chaplain's Blog

Posted on March 2, 2019 at 9:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Walking Your Faith

Romans 5:1-2 “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” NKJV

Beloved in Christ,

Peace is mentioned over 400 times in the Bible. The Hebrew word for peace is Shalom, which means wholeness and health in every area of life. The Apostle Paul used an interesting salutation in most of his letters: "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." I have never met anyone who claimed they had enough peace in their life. All of us want more peace, but sadly enough, most are not willing to go to the Source, which is God. If you are not at peace in your life, the fault lies squarely with you. No one has the power or authority to take away your peace. You have to give them that power; you have to give them that authority. Whether it is the difficult boss or the unexpected bill, giving your peace away is, quite frankly, your choice; of the dubious “questionable benefits” we profess as “our free will”.

John 16:33 “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” NLT

Matthew 11:28 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” NKJV 

Indeed… how wonderful is the peace of grace? You can lay your head down on your pillow at night because you have peace with God. How incredible is that? You cannot find that anywhere except at the cross. In Jesus, there is grace and peace. In the world, there is tribulation. Which do you choose?

Walking your faith? Jesus gives us peace. We can give our peace away or we can keep our peace. Shalom!

ABBA, Father God,

Thank You for providing me grace and peace. Forgive me for times when I have turned my peace over to frustration or anger. You love me and You have forgiven me. My peace is secure in You. In Jesus' precious name and for Your glory. Amen.

Coram Deo

Posted on February 28, 2019 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (0)


Question: "What happens after death?"

Answer: Within the Christian faith, there is a significant amount of confusion regarding what happens after death. Some hold that after death, everyone "sleeps" until the final judgment, after which everyone will be sent to heaven or hell. Others believe that at the moment of death, people are instantly judged and sent to their eternal destinations. Still others claim that when people die, their souls/spirits are sent to a "temporary" heaven or hell, to await the final resurrection, the final judgment, and then the finality of their eternal destination. So, what exactly does the Bible say happens after death?

First, for the believer in Jesus Christ, the Bible tells us that after death believers" souls/spirits are taken to heaven, because their sins are forgiven by having received Christ as Savior (John 3:16, 18, 36). For believers, death is to be "away from the body and at home with the Lord" (2 Corinthians 5:6-8; Philippians 1:23). However, passages such as 1 Corinthians 15:50-54 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 describe believers being resurrected and given glorified bodies. If believers go to be with Christ immediately after death, what is the purpose of this resurrection? It seems that while the souls/spirits of believers go to be with Christ immediately after death, the physical body remains in the grave "sleeping." At the resurrection of believers, the physical body is resurrected, glorified, and then reunited with the soul/spirit. This reunited and glorified body-soul-spirit will be the possession of believers for eternity in the new heavens and new earth (Revelation 21-22).

Second, for those who do not receive Jesus Christ as Savior, death means everlasting punishment. However, similar to the destiny of believers, unbelievers also seem to be sent immediately to a temporary holding place, to await their final resurrection, judgment, and eternal destiny. Luke 16:22-23 describes a rich man being tormented immediately after death. Revelation 20:11-15 describes all the unbelieving dead being resurrected, judged at the great white throne, and then being cast into the lake of fire. Unbelievers, then, are not sent to hell (the lake of fire) immediately after death, but rather are in a temporary realm of judgment and condemnation. However, even though unbelievers are not instantly sent to the lake of fire, their immediate fate after death is not a pleasant one. The rich man cried out, "I am in agony in this fire" (Luke 16:24). 

Therefore, after death, a person resides in a "temporary" heaven or hell. After this temporary realm, at the final resurrection, a person's eternal destiny will not change. The precise "location" of that eternal destiny is what changes. Believers will ultimately be granted entrance into the new heavens and new earth (Revelation 21:1). Unbelievers will ultimately be sent to the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15). These are the final, eternal destinations of all people"based entirely on whether or not they had trusted Jesus Christ alone for salvation (Matthew 25:46; John 3:36).

© Copyright 2002-2019 Got Questions Ministries. OCM Guest Blogger, Dr. Keith Sherlin, Th.D., LLD

Coram Deo

Posted on February 27, 2019 at 11:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Walking Your Faith 

2 Corinthians 4:6 “For God, who said, "Let there be light in the darkness," has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.” NLT 

Beloved in Christ,

The Christian life is a life of darkness and of light. At one time, our hearts were darkened, but through the grace of God, they were enlightened. In essence, we move from being people of darkness to people of the light. This is not because we are special, but because God so loved us that He planned a way for us to be transformed through the work of Jesus Christ on the cross; the Bible teaches us He did this ‘before time began’. 

Sometimes as lights, we forget that we were once in darkness, and we begin mocking those who are still blind. Too many “Christians” are just cursing the darkness and standing around talking about what is wrong with the world, with the lost, with believers and with the church. They are unwilling to help change things. Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:14 that we are "The light of the world." That's us, the church. We are the "city on a hill" that is shining out into the darkness. The world is messed up because of sin. We are not called to curse the sinners, but we are called to light a candle. Today is the day. Light a candle of God's love. Show kindness, love and grace to someone today. With one candle at a time, we will accomplish His Great Commission on our lives.

Walking your faith? Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. Shalom!

ABBA, Father God,

I am sorry if I have spent more times cursing the darkness and less time lighting candles. I believe You are the Light and have called me to shine. Grant me the power to serve, give and love like You do. Help me so that I may be filled with more of Your light and less of the darkness. In Jesus' precious name and for Your glory. Amen.

Chaplain's Blog

Posted on February 21, 2019 at 10:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Walking Your Faith - Coram Deo 

1 Corinthians 14:12 “Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel.” NKJV

Beloved in Christ,

You've researched the best running methods, worked out with specialized techniques and even purchased the best shoes needed for running. You're pumped and ready for the race, but there's a problem. This is a relay and you have yet to practice with your team and in all the excitement, you have missed an opportunity to equip them all for the race. While this may be a far-fetched idea, many of those inside the church are running a relay race by themselves. They are excited about the race and are equipping themselves in every way but miss an important part of running with Christ, helping others run.

In 1 Corinthians 14, the church in Corinth was excited about the gift of tongues. They were pursuing this spiritual gift with great passion and zeal, but had missed the purpose of the gifts which is the edification of the church. As followers of Christ, we are to walk in the Spirit and be zealous for spiritual gifts so that we are able to edify the church and share the Gospel. Gifts are not simply for our benefit but for the benefit of those around us. When we understand this and begin desiring gifts for this purpose, we will find the race much more fulfilling and the prize at the end all the more incredible. 

Walking your faith? Your faith walk is not just about your winning, but about helping others to win and excel. Shalom! 

ABBA, Father God,

Thank You for the opportunity to run this race. Because of Your love and grace, I am forgiven and free to use my gifts for Your glory and the benefit of others. Teach me to use them wisely and to desire them for the benefit of the church. Use me to help others in their walk with You. In Jesus' precious name and for Your glory. Amen.

Chaplain's Blog

Posted on February 18, 2019 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Walking Your Faith - Coram Deo

1 Corinthians 14:33 “For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.” NKJV

Beloved in Christ,

Peace. That one word is sought after by billions all over this world. Peace of mind. Peace from worry. Peace in the midst of suffering. All of us long for peace; unfortunately, many people miss the source of true peace.

Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” NKJV

Many years before the coming of Jesus, the prophet Isaiah spoke the words above. He was proclaiming the coming Messiah who would be the Prince of Peace. The peace that He brings is true Shalom and means far more than our concept of comfort and rest. Shalom describes safety, well being, health, blessing, peace, rest and wholeness. Shalom is what Christ came to offer. Through Christ, we can find rest from having to work for Heaven. We are made whole in our relationship with God and have security in our salvation. We also have a peace that is available to us in the middle of life's storms as we learn to trust and walk in obedience to our King. Are you without peace? Seek the Prince of Peace in every area of your life and you will find His Shalom waiting for you in abundance.

Walking your faith? God is the God of Shalom or peace.

ABBA, Father God,

I praise You for the love You have shown me and the peace You offer me. Heavenly Father, help me to seek You in everything and to trust You with every area of my life. As I do this, I pray that I would experience Your Shalom. In Jesus' precious name and for Your glory. Amen.

Chaplain's Blog

Posted on February 17, 2019 at 5:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Walking Your Faith - Coram Deo

Isaiah 29:16 “Surely you have things turned around! Shall the potter be esteemed as the clay; For shall the thing made say of him who made it, 'He did not make me'? Or shall the thing formed say of him who formed it, 'He has no understanding’?” NKJV 

Beloved in Christ,

Imagine... the God of the universe who spoke stars and galaxies into existence is the very one who formed you into the person you are today. Your eyes, nose, hands and feet were all created by the One who holds the oceans in the palm of His hands. I don't know about you friends, but that is a humbling image. What great comfort to know that the God of all things created me the way I am and yet, He still desires to mold and make me more and more like His precious Son Jesus. 

Of course, this process is tough and quite messy. There's a lot of molding, cutting and carving that seems painful at the time, but in the Master's hands, we become a masterpiece. When we fully surrender our will to God, He is able to take hardened clay and bring new life to it by wetting it with His Word and Spirit. He then begins shaping us into the image of His Son by scooping out the excess clay that is weighing us down. He then prepares us for His service and writes on us His Name because we now belong to our Master. Friends, if you find yourself enduring hardship or trials, know that our heavenly Father is molding you into a vessel that He can use. It may be difficult, but we can trust His hands because He loves us and knows what's best.

Walking your faith? We are the clay and God is the potter. Shalom!

ABBA, Father God,

Thank You for the forgiveness of sins through Jesus. Thank You for saving me and changing my life. Holy Lord, I pray that You would take this broken ball of clay and make it new. Mold my life into what You desire. Help me to see the hardships in my life as the Master's hands shaping me more into the likeness of Jesus. Use my life for Your world and Your glory. In Jesus' precious name and for Your Glory. Amen.

Coram Deo

Posted on February 6, 2019 at 9:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Walking Your Faith - Coram Deo

2 Corinthians 3:9 “For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory.” NKJV

Loved Ones,

The law of God was never meant to be the final destination for humanity. Unfortunately, too many people stop there. They read the Ten Commandments and become depressed because they realize they cannot do them all. They see the list of "do's and don'ts" and realize that they cannot justify the lost sinner or give forgiveness. While this is true, the law is great at what it does.

Imagine coming into the house after working in your garden. You head straight for the bathroom, look in the mirror and stare in horror at what you see – you're a dirty mess. This is the purpose of the law. When we look at the law of God, it acts like a mirror showing us our sinfulness. The important thing is to NOT remain there. Yes, see your sin for what it is but then look to God who can forgive that sin through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Walking your faith? The law reveals the flaws of humanity; only grace can declare us righteous. Shalom!

ABBA, Father God,

As I look at Your law, I realize that I am imperfect. I have lied, stolen, lusted and am in need of a Savior. Thank You for sending Jesus to save me. I trust in His death and resurrection as the payment for my sins. Fill me with Your Spirit and use me to point others to Your amazing grace. In Jesus' precious name and for His Glory. Amen.

Living Before The Face of GOD

Posted on February 5, 2019 at 9:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Walking Your Faith

1 Corinthians 14:17 “For you indeed give thanks well, but the other is not edified.” NKJV 

Loved Ones,

God has created the church to function in an amazing way. Each person is at a different level of spiritual maturity. Some are new to the faith and are in need of spiritual sustenance. They desire the milk of the Word and need time to learn and grow in Christ. Then there are those who are well equipped with God's Word and who have endured trials and tribulations with Jesus by their side. They are able to pour into others and help equip them for the journey. This is a beautiful part of the body and an important relationship in the church.

As more and more people are filled and equipped, we must be diligent to not become spiritually selfish. It is a blessing to sit and hear the Word of God and to be filled with understanding, yet if we are not pouring out into others, we are missing part of the equation. Just like a bird bath will become stagnant, we too can become that way if we are not pouring out into others. And friends, don't worry about running out of water. Our Lord promises fountains of living water that will never run dry, but the key is to share the water so that others can experience the life-changing message of Christ.

Walking your faith? Don't worry about running out of water. Read Proverbs 3:5-6. Shalom!

ABBA, Father God,

I am grateful for all that You have done for me. I thank You for the living water of Jesus that flows into me. Help me to pour out my life for Your Name's sake and to help equip others to follow You. In Jesus' precious name. Amen.


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