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Archive for Chaplain’s Corner

New location of “Note”

The newest “Chaplain’s Corner” comments can now be found inside most newsletters as “Note from Chaplain Don” at the “Chapter Newsletters” tab.

It is with a heart of gratitude that we should see the blessings that we have. Many of us have issues with physical conditions or emotional problems, but we don’t have to look very far to see others who have much worse things to deal with than we do. I believe that veteran service organizations do not exist for notoriety of individuals, but for the combined efforts of the members for the greater good of the many. Your Bible says that we need not seek to be exalted. God will exalt those He chooses for His purpose. When we serve our fellow man, we also serve God. We don’t need money to be a blessing to others. Even a kind word can be helpful for someone who is struggling with issues that we know nothing about. I encourage all of us to share what we have to show someone that we care about them.

God shine His light through you,
Chaplain Roger

Ostracized-Avoided-Shunned

These terms are familiar to most of us who have served especially in combat. Most of the time we don’t think about them but we have all experienced what these terms mean. Combat changes people–our outlook, our priorities, our sense of right and wrong, and our sense of honor and duty. The common label that is put on the repercussions of this is called PTSD. Our families, our friends, as much as they loved us, did not know what to do with us when we returned. They didn’t know what to say and they didn’t know how to interact with us because we changed. That is another casualty of war. Knowing this, my brothers and sisters, I encourage each one to step up and do every thing that you can do to reach out and include veterans in our Vietnam era or any other era and connect with them. The last thing any of us would like to feel is to be abandoned. It is our responsibility to be a brother or a sister to every vet.

May God give us strength to be an instrument of His grace and peace,
Chaplain Roger

We have been given so great a blessing from God for Him to choose to have us born in this great country where we have the right to speak our piece about our laws and rules.  With privilege however, comes responsibility.  If we don’t like the laws, we must speak up to our elected representatives.  Your Bible says that God determines who are in authority.  Sometimes we don’t agree with them, but that is where our rights to disagree and be heard come in.  If we don’t act on our privileges, then we should also not complain.  We must remember that the laws apply to the whole of our population, not just individuals.  We all know that there are problems in our government, but it is the best one there is.  Not only that, we served our country to protect our way of life, which includes our laws.

May God give us all strength and wisdom to stand for what we believe.
Chaplain Roger

Brothers and sisters,

No one knows for sure when our Lord Jesus was born.  Therefore, I ask that you consider this time a season of Christmas, the celebration of our Savior’s birth.  The gift of God’s Son to us should be an example of what we should do for our fellow man.  Many of us are affiliated with a religion, but by definition, your Bible says that true religion is for us to care for widows and orphans (James 1:27).  I believe we need to carry this concept further to anyone who is in need.  If we look around us, there are many random acts of kindness that we can do to bless people.  The fact of the matter is, there is always a two-fold blessing in it.  Those who receive and those who give are both blessed.

May you see God’s presence in your life this year,
Roger Papka

Any of us who have been in combat know first-hand that there is something inside of us that is so powerful and yet inexplainable.  We all have a sense that any wounded or killed fellow soldiers must be retrieved and brought back to a place where they can be treated and accounted for. The wounded, of course, are to try to save their lives, but the KIA’s have a different reason that is just as intent.  The emotional bond between people who fight together with their lives on the line becomes so strong that leaving them would be like leaving a part of us there with them.  I believe that our Creator God has instilled in us that “love of brothers” that no one can explain.  Your Bible talks about this in connection with salvation.  One of the few times in God’s Word that is specific about God’s Will is the scripture that says “none would be lost.”  Just as we must bring back our brothers to a safe place, I believe that God’s Will for us is to reach out to our brothers and sisters with the Gospel to offer them all a safe place in Glory with Jesus for all eternity.

May we all be an example of Christ,
Roger

If you consider the reality in life, brothers don’t always agree on things. That doesn’t mean either one of them is wrong, simply that they don’t agree. Throughout history in your Bible, brothers have had different opinions about the “how to” of handling situations. When they were attacked or others tried to invade their territory, they came together for the common good. Our forefathers also did not agree, but came together to fight for the right and form this country. Our history is full of things like Pearl Harbor, 911, etc where we set aside our differences and fight for the “common good.” Each service organization has its own way of doing things, but we are much more powerful when we keep our eyes focused on helping other vets, no matter what their affiliation may be. We are all brothers of the same flag.
Roger Papka

Your Bible says that God’s Word is a two-edged sword.  Not only can God’s truth save you from eternal hell, but it can also condemn you if you refuse to accept it.  It cuts both ways, and in the Book of Revelation, Jesus will come again in glory to judge by those standards.  Our Constitution and laws are designed by the inspiration of God’s Holy Spirit to follow that same premise.  Our laws are to protect us from those who would harm or steal from us, and at the same time, protect others from us harming or stealing from them.  The two-edged sword is what makes our laws apply to everyone without exception.  Rather than bend our laws to see what we can get away with, we should make every effort to uphold our laws as an example of integrity and honor, the very things our brothers and sisters died to protect.

God bless you with His truth,
Roger

Throughout the history of our nation, we have seen numerous times of situations where we, as a country, stepped in to protect and defend those who could not help themselves.  This may have been through ignorance or the inability of people to have enough strength to defend their people or their way of life.  The focus of our military has been to defend ourselves and others, not to seize territory or nations for our own benefit.  Our way of life is to protect the freedoms that many of our brothers and sisters were willing to fight for, and if necessary, give their lives.  We support those who are willing to stand up to the tyrany of dictators and bullies who force people to live under their control.  This is as old as the scripture in your Bible.  God gave His people {even though they were often many times outnumbered} the strength and guidance to overcome His enemies.  If you look at why they were His enemies, very often the same dictatorial reasons surface.  God’s way is to freely worship Him and live in such a way as to protect that freedom.

Live in freedom with God,
Roger

As we approach the time of year for celebrations and Memorials, let us remember what our brothers and sisters did over the years of our history. But, just as importantly, let us remember the why. In doing that, we should have grateful hearts because they were willing to do whatever it took to protect and preserve our way of life and the freedoms we enjoy. We should consider it a privilege to vote, speak our minds, choose our way of worship, and the pursuit of happiness we enjoy. Let us not celebrate, then walk away forgetting what we just heard or felt. Your Bible calls this being double-minded. Much like the person who goes to church and then forgets what he just learned about God. We need to be influenced in our lives by what we hear and celebrate. Otherwise, it is in vain. Let us be one of those who continually give some. In our faith walk and Memorials we celebrate “the some who gave all”.

God bless you,
Roger Papka