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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 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.

Living Before The Face of GOD

Posted on February 4, 2019 at 9:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Walking Your Faith

Romans 14:7 “For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself.” NKJV

Loved Ones,

We all know how kids imitate what they see around them. I will never forget one time, when I was driving in traffic, and someone cut in front of me. From the back seat of the car I hear, "Idiot." My kids were riding in the back seat of the car with me. Where do you think they learned that? They learned that through observation, of me, no doubt. It would be great if it were just our kids, but it goes deeper than that. Your friends, co-workers, neighbors and even people you don't know are watching your reactions. When they see a follower of Jesus who is sold out for Christ, living free of legalism and bondage to the world, they are drawn to Jesus. When they see a follower of Jesus living for 'self' and the world, they have no problem rejecting Jesus because it allows them to play the hypocrite card.

Our lives affect people in ways we may never know. The words we speak, the places we go and the things we watch all reap something. What is the harvest of your life?

Walking your faith? Our lives influence others, so we should not just do whatever we please. Shalom!

ABBA, Father God,

Thank You for loving me. Thank You for Your grace and mercy. Sovereign Lord, I am sorry for the times I have not used good judgment around friends or family. Grant me the wisdom and discernment to live my life as a disciple of Christ. Help me be the hands and feet of Your Word. May I represent You in all the things I say or do. In Jesus' precious name. Amen.

Living Before The Face of GOD

Posted on February 2, 2019 at 1:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Walking Your Faith

Micah 4:2 “Many nations shall come and say, 'Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.' For out of Zion the law shall go forth, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” NKJV 

Loved Ones,

In the last years of his life, Michelangelo was said to have scribbled "Ancora Imparo" in the margin of some of his work. These two words are translated as, "I am still learning." This shows that even a brilliant man like Michelangelo still desired to learn more. These two words should also be part of any Christian's life. No matter how long we have been a believer or studied Scripture, we should always desire to learn more.

If we really think about it, all of us desire to learn more than we know now. We may desire to learn a new trade or technique to help in our career. Maybe we desire to learn how to better parent our kids or love our spouse. So the question isn't, "Do you want to learn," but rather, "Do you want to learn about Jesus?" It's in our knowledge of Him that we find the way of salvation, the way to peace and the way to an abundant life. Friends, as you crack open your Bible and search the Scriptures, God will reveal Himself to you and you will never be the same. Are you ready to learn?

Walking your faith? God desires for us to be actively learning about Him. Shalom!

ABBA, Father God,

Thank You for Your Word and for making it available to me. Thank You for the men and women who died so that Your Word was kept safe throughout the years. Sovereign Lord, grant me a desire to read and know the Bible above everything else. Teach me so that I may be used for Your Kingdom. In Jesus' precious name. Amen.

Living Before The Face of GOD

Posted on January 22, 2019 at 9:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Walking Your Faith

Genesis 37:18-19 “Now when they saw him afar off, even before he came near them, they conspired against him to kill him. Then they said to one another, "Look, this dreamer is coming!” NKJV

Loved Ones,

The brothers of Joseph had a deep-seated hatred for their brother. They had allowed this bitterness to take over them spiritually, mentally (sins of their hearts and minds), and now into the physical. They were at a point where action rooted in emotion was taking place; giving birth to overt sinfulness.

It is so important to keep our hearts moldable and mendable and free from bitterness, envy, and hatred. Those seeds will lead us to places that no one ever needs to go. We live in a culture where it is encouraged to dislike this or disagree with that, and where disagreements are the focus. But what does God tell us to do?

Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things.” NKJV

Other translations in this verse tell us to, "fix our thoughts", "dwell on", and "think about" the things that are pure, lovely, and of good report. No matter what is going on in your workplace or in your home, we are encouraged to meditate on good things. Today, ask God to help you to think of these positive things and take away any bitterness you may have. He is the good Father, loves you, and wants you to love others. 

Walking your faith? Meditate, fix your thoughts, dwell on, and think about things that are... true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, worthy of praise, of good repute, honest, just, good reports, and anything with virtue. 

ABBA, Father GOD,

Thank You for the reminder of Your Goodness. Thank You for Your Forgiveness. Help me to forgive others as You have forgiven me. Show me in my own heart where there may be bitterness and then grant me the strength and courage to get rid of it. In Jesus precious name I pray. Amen.

Living Before The Face of GOD

Posted on January 20, 2019 at 2:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Walking Your Faith

Titus 3:9 “Do not get involved in foolish discussions about spiritual pedigrees or in quarrels and fights about obedience to Jewish laws. These things are useless and a waste of time.” NLT

Loved Ones,

One of the songs we love to sing in our chapel ministry fellowship is titled, "They'll Know We Are Christians By Our Love". This song sums up how the world "should" view us as followers of Christ. Unfortunately, the world is more apt to recognize churches these days for their disagreements and backbiting, rather than their love.

Yes, as followers of Christ, we must stand up for the Truth and present the primary issues of the Scriptures with boldness and power. Issues like the virgin birth, salvation by grace alone through faith alone and the inerrancy of Scripture are all key doctrines that must be upheld. Yet, we also must not be overwhelmed with secondary issues & foolish debates that lead to division. So, you like pipe organ and a choir for worship? That's cool. Does that mean you can't fellowship with a guy who likes electric guitar & drums? Of course not! If he loves Jesus and you love Jesus, then fellowship together in Christ.

Once we all quit wasting time arguing over the foolish things and begin loving one another, this world will take notice. Then we can point them to the One who loved us first.

Walking your faith? Don't waste time arguing about stuff that does not matter. Shalom!

ABBA, Father God,

Thank You for Your love. Thank You for Jesus who showed that love by dying on the cross for my sins. Holy Lord, help me to look beyond petty issues and foolish arguments so that I may show Your love to those around me. Fill me with Your Spirit so that I will be ready to stand for Your Truth and to share the love of Christ wherever I go. In Jesus' precious name. Amen.

Walking Your Faith

Posted on January 12, 2019 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (0)

John 4:4 “But He needed to go through Samaria.” NKJV

Loved Ones,

In John 4, we see our Lord travel through Samaria.This may not mean much to us, but in that time, the hatred between Jews and Samaritans was legendary. Despite the cultural issues around Him, Jesus continues His journey through Samaria because there was a 'need'. What could be so important that Jesus had to go through Samaria? Why would Jesus walk through hostile territory? Simple. There was a woman in Samaria who was burdened with sin and shame, and Jesus had the answer to her problem. Friends, this should be our hearts desire - to be like Jesus. We should be willing to face possible hardship in order to reach others with the Gospel and God's Living Water.

Matthew 28:19-20 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen. NKJV 

The action of sharing our faith is not an option for those who claim Jesus as Lord. We are told in Matthew 28 to 'go' and there is no exception found in that verse. The ultimate goal of any believer is to serve our Master and spread His Word, and as we do, we may see this world changed one soul at a time. Pray today that God would bring someone to you who you can share His love with. It may seem like an impossible task, but as you step out in obedience, God will take you where you need to go to share with someone who needs to hear.

Walking your faith? Sharing your faith is not an option, it is a command. Shalom!

ABBA, Father God, 
Thank You for forgiveness and grace. Father, help me to not only admire Your goodness, but to share it with a world in need. Grant me opportunities to share with my family, friends and others around me today. Grant me Your words and guide me by Your Spirit. In Jesus' precious name. Amen.


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