The Psalm A Day Challenge

There are 150 psalms with Psalm 119 having 22 sections. Why not read a Psalm A Day for the first 171 days of 2019?

On Sunday, 30 December 2018, I had the privilege of delivering the worship message to St Aidans Takanini, Auckland, New Zealand. The message ended with a challenge:

In preparation for the congregation celebrating their 30th anniversary, why not collectively read through the Psalms?

The challenge was received with excitement and reservation. Most have never committed themselves to systematically read through an entire book in the Bible.

Why the Book of Psalms? Because finding peace through forgiveness, perfection (that’s holding your tongue) and thanksgiving is encouraged by the Psalms. The Psalms will teach you, motivate you and enable you to find the right heart attitude that leads you to peace.

There are 150 psalms for the first 150 days in 2019. However, as many are aware, Psalm 119 is particularly lengthy. We agreed to take 22 days for that chapter.

The challenge is read one Psalm for each day in this new year. After 171 days, St Aidans will be commence celebrations of its anniversary.

Want to join in?

OPEN HERE FOR
PSALM A DAY CHALLENGE

Subscribe through the church’s website for your daily reminder. You will be sent a link to read each Psalm on-line along with 4 thoughts to consider.

Whatever your resolutions, remember routine is your greatest friend. I wish you peaceful blessings for 2019!

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Mission Enabler

On 6 May 2018, I was commissioned as ‘Mission Enabler’ for St Aidan’s Presbyterian Conifer Grove/Takanini Church in South Auckland, New Zealand.

By God’s grace, I am blessed by a full return to ministry.

It is a story of redemption, restoration and forgiveness. God is a God of second chances.

Last January, I began a full-time role as a chaplain in an aged-care facility (hospital). It enables me to assist a struggling church who can only fund part-time leadership.

It is an incredibly blessed time in my life. I am very happy and very, very thankful.

Thank YOU for encouraging me along the way. It has been an incredible journey!

St Aidan's Commissioning

 

 

Pastoral Care Trichotomies

The essence of ministerial interventions is spiritual. However, aspects of the spiritual strategies are manifested in the body and soul. Specifically:

  • Agapic Care is the essence of ministerial interventions
  • Pistosic Care is required for spiritually-rooted physical actions
  • Elpistic Care is for spiritually-rooted emotional expressions.

In the context of Pastoral Care, ministering to the human spirit means employing strategies to produce the relevant spiritual outcome (see Table 2). The desired outcomes are measured against Fructus Spiritus. Ministry toward the desired outcomes is based on Relational Theology. Relationships are the foundation for all Pastoral Care.

table-2.png

The spiritual condition of an individual relates to others. Pastoral Care ministers to the interconnectedness of humanity through the Trinitarian Model. This is the Christian concept of God as a single Entity expressed through three Personalities.

  • The Father is a Spirit shared by Son
  • The Father is the Son in Body
  • The Son is the embodiment of the Father’s Soul and Spirit.

This single Entity cannot exist in isolation. The crossover in the relationship between Father & Spirit and Son & Spirit is the basis of spiritual care. No human spirit can be well in isolation. Spiritual well-being is relational. That means the human trichotomy of spirit, soul and body is “whole” when in relationship with itself, with others and with God.

Figure 2

Pastoral Care strategies are centred on the Triumvirate; spiritual conditions are managed by Fructus Spiritus; ministries work within the related level of fulfilment. The “fruit” of holistic well-being is associated with three levels of association (see Table 3).

Primary fruitfulness in one’s being is the foundation for fulfilment. This is one’s relationship with Authority, represented by the Father in the Trinitarian Model.

Secondary fruitfulness is transitional. This is one’s relationship with Family, represented by the Son in the Trinitarian Model. Family in the context of Pastoral Care is not limited to blood-relationships. It includes all those closest to the individual as well as the individual itself.

Tertiary fruitfulness is fulfilment. This is one’s relationship with Society, represented by the Spirit in the Trinitarian Model. However, the relationship is reflective of inner peace. To be at peace with others is only possible if one is at peace with their Self.

table-3.png

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Pastoral Care Strategies

Recently, I responded to the challenge of defining Pastoral Care. Working within the Aged Care Services sector, the challenge was applicable. Since that time, I have been developing an overview of care strategies and management of spiritual conditions. It is still work in progress! However, I’d like to share some of that work with my readers in this week to come.

Ministerial Intervention is the work of Pastoral Care to manage a spiritual condition. Effective engagement uses the strategies from the Spiritual Triumvirate: Faith, Hope and Charity. The three care strategies for spiritual management (see diagram below) are:

  1. Pistosic Care (faith-based)
  2. Elpistic Care (hope-based)
  3. Agapic Care (charity-based).

Each of the care strategies are used to guide the intervention. Each strategy contains different types of intervention. The different types, in turn, have spiritual resources unique to their ministry. The table below illustrates the relationship between care strategies, management ministries and spiritual resources.

Table 1All three strategies overlap. The distinction is given for emphasis on management of spiritual conditions. The overlap illustrates the interconnectedness of being human and is faithful to the holistic mode for care:

  • Body – Medical Treatments
  • Soul – Therapeutic Treatments
  • Spirit – Ministerial Treatments

There have been numerous studies conducted over the past 50 years that show a person’s health and well-being benefits when his or her spiritual needs are addressed. Some benefits include:

  • shorter hospital stays
  • improved pain management
  • improved experience of the stay
  • improved motivation to complete the tasks of healing
  • improved management of cardiovascular needs (e.g., heart rate, blood pressure)
  • improved sense of well-being.

The overlap of Pastoral Care strategies mimics the overlap in other fields (see Figure 1). Medical treatments yield positive effects on Soul and Spirit; therapeutic treatments effect the Spirit and Body positively; and, as previously noted, ministerial treatments produce positive consequences for the Soul and Body.

Figure 1

(To be continued)

Previous Related Post: What Is Pastoral Care?

 

What is Pastoral Care?

The physiological aspect of healing is connected to the body’s five senses.

Medical and therapeutic healing is rooted in the understanding of these five senses. That is why I call this “sensual” wisdom. This wisdom is limited to only the five senses and the world-view is materialistic.

I’ve been involved with pastoral care for more than 30 years. I always looked at my work as supplemental to doctors and therapists. Pastoral care is not in opposition to the medical model of care. It is actually a part of that model.

Recently, I’ve been challenged to explain the relevancy of pastoral care in a medical environment. It has been a thought-provoking challenge!

My belief system of human composition is rooted in ancient scriptures. One text in particular sparked a 3 year research into soul healing:

And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Wholeness for a human being is manifested by peace. This peace is demonstrated by a readiness for future events. The holistic balance is not just between body and soul, i.e. medicine and therapy; it is inclusive of one’s spirit.

A person’s spirit is just as much in need of ministry as the body and soul. That is why the New Zealand Ministry of Health endorses holistic care: care that incorporates both body and spirit. Care givers that specialize in spiritual care are called pastoral care workers.

Instead of sensual wisdom, pastoral caregivers use spiritual wisdom. Spiritual wisdom is the understanding of how one’s spirit interacts with its physiology.

According to the University of Canberra’s website, pastoral care workers are trained to minister among “the elements that make up a person’s sense of self, his/hers inner resources, resilience and capacity to cope”.

The inner world may be invisible to the five senses, but it is still experienced. Because the sensation of an inner world is not experienced by sight, taste, sound, touch or smell, it requires a “sixth sense”.

Persons are able to perceive something different than the five physical senses. Pastoral care professionals encourage individuals in the science of reception. Reception is all about perceiving the inner world—that reality that exists outside of the five senses.

It has been my experience that care for the inner world of an individual affects their physiology, providing comfort and peace not experienced with medicine or therapy alone.

Life’s Fourth Stage

Here is what I have learned from working with precious persons in Life’s final stage.

Working with those at Life’s end reaffirms my Hope.

Those who have read 56 Notions of Success are familiar with my near-death experience. I shared the story in my most recent publication, Finding Hope: How I rebuilt my life after it fell apart.

Laying on a hospital bed, feeling life depart, only 20 years old: I chose to live. I had to fight for Life. I had to pray for Life. I had to work for Life. But it was a choice.

Fourth Stage – what is that anyway?

Perhaps you have not heard of the end of life as a fourth stage? You probably are familiar with other ‘fourth stage’ situations.

  • Giving birth to a baby is said to be in stage 4 during the first 2-3 hours after birth.
  • Teenagers are the fourth stage in a child’s cognitive development. That is when the teenager begins to think about moral, philosophical, ethical, social, and political issues.
  • Cancer is said to be in stage 4 when it has spread far away from where it started (metastasis).
  • Cruelty is the fourth stage in the life of fictional character Tom Nero. The classic image below by William Hogarth shows a public dissection of the infamous character’s dead body.

Cruelty4

In each of the above examples, the fourth stage is referred to as the last stage. There is no fifth stage.

Stage 4 is final.

Hogarth’s image depicts the fear many have when contemplating the fourth stage in life.

Hope awaits you even in Stage 4!

Here is what I have learned from working with precious persons in Stage 4: it is an opportunity!

  • To finally shed all the guilt, burdens and care you have carried through the years.
  • To prepare for the transitional chapter in your book of life.
  • To enjoy the enlightenment you have been dancing around for so long.

I know when I was faced with death when just inside the second stage of my life, I was totally prepared. I felt peace, calm and tranquility.

Passing that threshold gave me confidence in my Faith and chosen Lord. Returning to service gave me purpose and fulfilment.

There is Hope even at death’s door.

Long Road to Recovery

VOA video describing conditions in Chin State after widespread landslides.

Here is a video produced by Voice of America. It describes the physical conditions in Chin State. In November, I’ll be there with Thomas, Director  of National Partnership Missions.

The Partnership is not funded by any particular church and rely heavily on the contributions of individuals like you.

I’m raising $9,000 for their orphanage and newly created Institute where local leaders are being trained how to minister to a hurting people.

If at all possible, please help. Every $10.00 counts!