The Compass Magazine is published twice a year by QuietWaters Ministries. The May 2015 issue is on the subject of Resilience. The magazine features two articles. One is written by Dr. Hudson McWilliams and is titled One of the Great Puzzles of Human nature. The second article is written by Chaplain Jeff Vankooten. Jeff’s article is titled Pirates, Red Shirts, and Resilience.
Hud and Jeff share a common belief that resilience can be learned and developed. In his article, Hud offers us three characteristics that form the core of the resilient person. Jeff shares seven resilient tactics to engage in tough times. Please download the digital copy and feel free to share it with your friends.
The Compass Magazine is published twice a year by QuietWaters Ministries. The May 2014 issue is title Grief, Loss, and Hope. The magazine features two articles. One is written by Tricia Lott Williford and is titled Hope 9-1-1. The second article is written by QuietWaters staff counselor, Victoria Johnson. Vicki’s article is titles In Weakness There is Strength.
These two women are part of a club that no one wants to join. Their stories are tragic and heartbreaking. At the same time their resilience and faith are heartwarming.
Vicki Johnson writes, “I couldn’t sleep, eat, or function. I was at the bottom of the deep, dark and murky ocean, being thrashed by horrendous currents, rip-tides and the destruction on the ocean endures.”
Loneliness is such a common struggle and it even intrudes unexpectedly into quality relationships and supportive Christian community. Unfortunately, feelings of loneliness are often misinterpreted as an ungodly or unnecessary nuisance to be avoided at all costs, rather than being understood as an inevitable reality to be embraced for spiritual growth. In fact, the choice to embrace our loneliness can be a privileged invitation to echo the larger purposes of God.
The May 2012 QuietWaters Compass contained an article by David L. Ragsdale entitled “Compassion Fatigue.” In Ragsdale’s sixth strategy for self-protection—“create your self-care plan”—he states: “Plan that overdue sabbatical,” a recommendation I heartily endorse.
I have done it, twice! But even two sabbaticals in nearly 40 years of ministry are not enough. Many denominations now believe that pastors should be given a sabbatical every seven years.
To me that feels just about right. Sadly, most pastors never get one sabbatical, let alone two. And we wonder why compassion fatigue prevails.
A sabbatical needs to be a change of pace, a Sabbath, a time out. Even God rested from His work of Creation on the seventh day (Genesis 2:2). As you read of God’s creation in Genesis, the Hebrew idea of what a day should be is put forth. Although it is strange to us, the Hebrew day begins at sundown. “Evening and morning in day one . . .” is how the Bible puts creation. This sequence should condition us to God’s rhythm of grace. We go to sleep, and God does His re-creating work in our bodies and minds. We awaken and are called out to participate in God’s creative action. We respond, after being renewed in faith and work.
In the two passages of scripture where the Sabbath commandment appears, the commands are the same, but the reasons behind them are different.
I have been a pastor at the same church for over 20 years and, like you, understand the challenges of ministry. Pastors experience the great joy of leading people to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the gut-wrenching emotion of watching a father serve as the lone pall-bearer carrying the casket holding his infant son down the aisle and setting it at the front of the church. And then we are supposed to get up and say something meaningful.
Not long ago I stood in an Intensive Care Unit with a mom and dad whose son had been in a terrible accident. I was there when the doctors came in and told them that he had less than a 10 percent chance to live. I prayed that God would give me something to say and at the same time every emotion in me wanted to be somewhere else. I also rejoiced with that family several weeks later when they sat in church with their son.
You know the drill. Every week we are expected to lead our staff in such a way that morale is high and the church is running like a well-oiled machine. We are to provide appropriate peer leadership for our elders and deacons. We are expected to give vision talks that propel people to action. There are weddings with rehearsals and long receptions. There is always a funeral to perform. And then every weekend we stand to deliver a well-studied well-crafted message that moves people to action.