Friday, March 20, 2009

GSA Chaplaincy Training

This week I attended the Georgia Sheriff's Association Chaplaincy POST Certification Course. It was an opportunity for me to learn how to serve better at the Tift County Sheriff's Office.

To be honest, I anticipated a bunch of boring seminars about things that I already knew. As most of you know, I think way too highly of myself. And God keeps reminding me of that. But at the beginning of the week I sensed the seriousness and depth that this course could offer, and asked God to humble me and teach me much on how to be effective at my volunteer ministry; which I do to set a volunteer example, to meet and reach people outside my church circle, and because I love people (and I am really growing to love law enforcement people).

It was a great week. There were a couple of boring seminars, but by and large they were really helpful and interesting. It was a long week, draining with all the things that we learned. I think that I gained a better perspective about law enforcement and their world--a world which I try to be a part of, but seldom succeed.)

There were three main things that really spoke to me. First was all the wonderful people that I met there. It was genuinely good to get together with 23 other men from various denominations that can restrain all the denominational distinctives and come together for a purpose--to learn better how to minister to a distinct community that needs Christ. Second was the heart-wrenching presentation on domestic violence. It really broke me and helped open my eyes to the reality that goes on outside of my little world. And it came from a woman who survived it. Third was the three hour plus talk by Dr. Bobby Smith, a LA State Patrol Officer who was wounded in the line of duty in 1986. He was phenomenal! He shared his story and really challenged us to minister to each other and our families. It was worth the whole week just to hear him. I would recommend you hear him.

So, God truly blessed me this week, and has opened a unique opportunity to minister at the Tift County Sheriff's Office. Please pray for the 115 employees of this office, and their only chaplain. Pray that I would be ready to spend and be spent for them too, and that God will show Himself mighty and winsome through me there.

Also, turkey season begins here in GA Saturday morning (tomorrow), and I am so pumped! God is so good to me to allow me so many blessings, freedoms, and joys! And especially after hearing Bobby Smith, I don't want to ever take them, or Him for granted!

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