Sunday, February 24, 2013

NCSC Week 2

It's hard to believe how fast time flies. This week was a great week at Chaplain School. For most of the week we had a guest lecture series on Ethics by Captain Rick Rubel. He was very thought provoking in many of our lectures and caused quite a bit of discussion amongst the class.

It was so enjoyable to be able to contemplate things that would never cross one's mind. When it comes to ethics, most people think the world is just black and white. Right is right and wrong is wrong.

But how do you decide between a good thing or a better thing? How do you decide between two equally horrible choices? Those are the types of questions that the great minds of 19 students at NCSC tried to answer. And to be completely honest, I don't think we came up with anything substantial.

The only conclusion I managed to come up with is: I hope God will speak audibly to me, when I have a tough choice to make.

Apart from class, there hasn't been a whole lot going on. The PT sessions are strenuous. Ammo can lifts, suicides, sprints, pushups, situps, pullups. All that normal good stuff. Thankfully I have survived.

On another note, the devotions the other chaplains have delivered have been fantastic. The sweet spirit that is present among all is a sight to behold.

I was sick earlier this week and I think it might be spreading through the class.

This upcoming week should be great! We have a trip to Paris Island to look forward to.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

NCSC Week 1

My head is cold. I will tell you why in a moment, but first let me let you all know that the first week of Chaplain School has been fantastic. The opportunities for ministry abound. As many people think that the military ministry is not a real ministry, or that there are no opportunities to be able to make a difference in lives of people, I want to be the first to say NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH.

The U.S. Navy Chaplain Corps is a small world. There are only 850 active duty chaplains that cover the entire U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy and let's not forget the 2 billets to the Merchant Marine.

There are opportunities to do the following as a chaplain: Preach according to your faith twice a week, lead a Bible study, perform weddings and offer marriage counseling, offer evening prayers, dedicate ships, dedicate babies, conduct at sea burial ceremonies, help those who are suffering and depressed and this is just a small taste of what a chaplain does every single day. It is exhilarating just to think about it!

I learned a few new things this week. First, I wonder how many people knew that when a ship is underway and there is a church service occurring the Christian banner (See Image Below) flies above the national ensign? What an amazing tradition that reflects the fact that God still has a place in our every day world!

Another thing I learned is that we have amazing instructors that care about their troops. I know that this may seem obvious, but I have learned that there are chaplains in the fleet that don't care. The instructors, particularly LCDR Moore, is fantastic and has given briefings that are practical, soul-stirring, hilarious and informative.

The next thing I learned is that this is not ODS! Thankfully, I have a room to myself, full kitchen, two TV's and maid service daily. I'm practically in the Air Force now ;)

Additionally, there are more things to tell about. The chaplains that are with me, though some are different (I think we have a bunch of baptists), all have a call to ministry. It is amazing to see how God has worked in so many individual lives. How He has led people through their own trials and struggles and has brought them to the place that they are in their military career. One of the cool things is that I met another chaplain who went to my high school. LTJG Chad Goddard went to PCS/PCA and is with me! Another blessing is that I was able to meet two other chaplains from that are also endorsed by Conservative Baptists of America. It is such a small world and God constantly reveals himself to me through these little blessings.

Now, the answer to why my head is cold. Gunnery Sergeant Foote wanted us to all have marine hair cuts on Tuesday when we went back to school. Well, I got a marine high and tight. Today it snowed. Lovely, my nice thick hair is no longer isolating my head. Gunnery Sergeant, seems to be a pretty nice individual. We had our first day of PT yesterday and he gave us two choices. Run six miles, or do the Gunny Obstacle Course. We chose the obstacle course. Today, my arms and neck are sore. :(

For those of you who are looking for information about chaplain school, here is the rundown of a schedule.

0730-0800-Daily Devotions with the other chaplains. These daily devotions are wonderful, you get to see how different faiths conduct some of their services. I observed the Eastern Orthodox service the other day and it was very interesting! Not my cup of tea though.

0800-1130-Lecture, "death by PowerPoint"


1300-1630-"death by PowerPoint"

On Monday's, Wednesdays and Friday we have PT lead by the Gunnery Sergeant at 0530.

Well that sums up this week! God bless, see ya next Friday!

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Reserves!

For the last several months I've been acclimating to the United States Navy Reserves. Since joining I have attached to NOSC (Naval Operational Support Center) Pensacola and am enjoying getting to know the people there. There is a great group of sailors there and the leadership truly cares about the sailors under them.

The first couple months of reserves, was just workshop success and power point presentation. I honestly think the Navy has stock in Microsoft. Power points seem to be a way of life. One of the drawbacks was that there wasn't too much for a chaplain to do in these seminars. Much of the material focused on enlisted sailors.

After a couple months of being attached to the reserves, the XO suggested that I flex drill and work with some of the area chapels. Fortunately, I know the staff chaplain at Corry Station and was able to help him out.

While Chaplain Alander was gone for two weeks, I was able to fill in for him and do the Sunday services. It was an amazing opportunity and the people at the chapel are so loving, kind and caring. They truly were receptive to the message and the Holy Spirit moved in the congregation.

Next week though, is another milestone. I head to Ft. Jackson, SC to complete all three phases of Chaplain's school. This is a bit of a nervous time period, I don't really know what to expect. I have heard horror stories, but I know the Lord will carry me through. One thing is certain, this blog should get updated a WHOLE lot more than it has been in the last several months.

We are actually all moving up there. It will be nice to have my family close by so that I can hang out with them all during liberty. Also since the apartment is only 5 mins away. I should be able to see them quite a bit.

May God bless all of you!
Chaplain Dewhurst, USNR