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ER || Chaplaincy

I've been meaning to watch this clip for a while. I didn't get to see the original airing of the episode of ER, but had heard about the next day during my CPE time. It's a very powerful presentation of actual needs that people have during their pain.

Speaking out of my own chaplaincy experience, I haven't been in such a situation as the above. It's hard, though, to know when to stop asking clarifying questions, leaving people to deal with their own theology and when to come forth with Gospel-centered, Jesus-saturated truth. Knowing when those moments are is difficult and if you miss them, in the words of Donnie Brasco-- Fugget about it.

I was pushed to that point last Tuesday when I went to visit a single mother who was about to lose her baby at 17 weeks, who, again, was conceived out of wedlock. Her poignant question came about an hour into the conversation. We were talking about whether the loss of this baby was punishment for having sex outside of marriage-- which she rightly understood as sin. She asked, "But isn't there punishment for sin?" "Yes, yes there is. But for those who are in Christ, that punishment has been paid by Jesus on the cross." It wasn't the time to ask what she thought; it was time to offer her hope in the midst of her pain and loss. It was time to offer her the Gospel.

Just before I saw the above clip I saw the below one. In it John Piper offers a much different picture of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Beginning of the End

Today is the first day of my last semester of Seminary. It marks not only that end, but the, at least for a time, an end to my academic career which has spanned over the past 22 years of my life.

It was rather surreal sitting in class as I was thinking about this twice over Odyssey of mine. The end finally in sight, praying about what I'm going to be doing in the future. At the current moment I'm praying about moving to Kansas City in June to plant Redeemer Fellowship. A two year prospectus was sent to me about 2 weeks ago from Kevin Cawley and Kris McGee. It appears to be exactly what I want to do, but I'm trying to take my time making that decision-- something I'm not normally known for doing. I hope to have a decision in the next 2 weeks.

Until then I have the following classes to focus on during my last semester:

  • Christian Ethics and the Church
  • Living Responsibly in the Realm of God
  • Embodiment

The final requirement is my Chaplaincy at Northwestern Memorial Hospital (CPE). It takes up around 30 hours a week altogether. It has been much better than what I thought it would be though. To best illustrate how I've enjoyed it, I thought I'd give a top ten.

Top 10 Things I've enjoyed about CPE so far:

10. Cute nurses
9. Commuting via the EL
8. Waking up very early (surprising I know)
7. Talking with patients
6. Cute nurses
5. Praying with patients
4. Moving my understanding of Scripture from an academic knowledge to a pastoral wisdom.
3. Practicing Dual Citizenship
2. Cute nurses
1. Being there for people in times of hurt and need