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The Air Force Chaplain Corps provides spiritual care and the opportunity for Airmen, their families, and other authorized personnel to exercise their constitutional right to the free exercise of religion.


What we strive to bring to you:

Worship Services
Diversity Programs
Confidential Counseling
Religious Studies
Crisis Response

And Much More, Ask Us!


A Word from our Wing Chaplain – “I want our Chapel experience to be filled with warmth, love, good instruction, inspiration, and of course… free doughnuts. All are welcome, see you there!” - Chaplain Crandell


“Caring is not a Religious thing or a Military thing, it is simply a human thing.” - Master Sgt. Magee, 152nd Airlift Wing Chaplain Assistant


“The Chaplains may be officers, but see them first as friends and mentors. They are the last people you should ever stray from.” - Senior Airman McClain, 152nd Airlift Wing Chaplain Assistant


"So… What Else do we do? We also do magic tricks, play music, and cook. We will even come visit you to say ‘Hi’, just call us if you want to hang out!” - Staff Sgt. Taylor, 152nd Airlift Wing Chaplain Assistant

Marriage Minute

Changing the Emotional Climate of your Relationship
By, Ch. Donny Crandell, 152nd Airlift Wing Chaplain

Gary Smalley, in his book The 5 Love Languages says, “the key to changing the emotional climate of your marriage is to express verbal appreciation for the things you like about the other person.” This might include such ideas as: Thank you for being a good provider; you look sharp in your uniform; thanks for helping the kids with their homework; you can always make me laugh; thanks for doing a great job with our banking; thank you for keeping our cars maintained; etc.

Remember what Mark Twain once said, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.” Let’s keep in mind that verbal compliments are far greater motivators than nagging words. One last idea for this Thanksgiving; brag on your spouse or significant other in front of family and friends … and you will get bonus points. 


NOVEMBER 2018 STORY

Mercy


by, Ch. Donny Crandell, Chaplain
152nd Airlift Wing Chaplain Corps

It was an historic sermon when Jesus gathered his disciples to teach them the infamous sermon called, “The Sermon on the Mount.” Paramount to that sermon are the first twelve verses, (Matthew 5:1-12).

One of the key thoughts in those verses is when Jesus said, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” How awesome would it be if you were so filled with mercy, (because of Jesus presence in your life), that it flowed out of you to: forgive others who have hurt you; empathize with other people who are hurting and motivated you to follow Christ…no matter what? That’s the blessed state that we can all live in according to Jesus.

This reality doesn’t have anything to do with outward circumstances like: getting a raise; being promoted or being complimented. Instead, we can be “sourced” with mercy by being in a relationship with Jesus Christ. The promise is that while we are filled with mercy and flow it to others we are replenished with mercy to flow it to others. Mercy in – Mercy out! Yes, mercy triumphs over judgement in the end as well.

So, if you want to be able to show mercy to others, identify with the pain of others and be motivated to go, “all in,” with God, be filled with mercy today. It’s as easy as praying, “Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner.” And He promises to fill you with himself…which is mercy.

October 2018 STORY

Spiritual Preparedness for Deployment

by SSgt Tinna Taylor

Be prepared.

Prepare yourself in advance for going overseas.  Make sure, to the best of your capacity, that you have a good solid family care plan and that whoever it is that you’re leaving behind, is well taken care of and you don’t have to worry about anything back home so you can focus on your mission while you’re there.  Be confident.  Help to educate them.  Don’t be too worried.  I’ve been overseas with coworkers who had children who spoke about how much they missed them.  This will be my first time leaving a child behind.  We have to trust that everything we need will be provided because our mission is important.

Also, you might experience a little bit of shock in the change.  Focus on your mission when you’re out there.  There may be some casualties that you may come in contact with.  We know that this sort of thing happens.  So, try to get educated on it and become familiar with it.  Reading materials are available.  The more educated you get in advance, the better equipped you will be to handle it once it happens.

Know Your Resources.

Get as educated as you can on resources.  There are many that are there to help you out.  There are the Key Volunteers, AFRC, Military OneSource, Mental Health, to name a few.  There are resources out there such as Chaplains and other resources.  The Chapel Annex is a good place to hang out during your free time.  The Chapel can also help you celebrate holidays overseas.  You could also seek spiritual counseling from a Chaplain or even talk to a friend.  If you have any work issues, use your chain of command.

Take care of your health.

Exercise, eat, and sleep well--both in transit and overseas.  If you keep physically fit, it will also help you from being more susceptible to spiritual attacks.  If you’re tired, you can’t think straight, and you’re grouchy, one thing could lead to another.  There are plenty of ways for you to work out and stay in shape.  They also try to keep you pretty well fed out there.

Maintain healthy relationships.

Make friends.  Keep in touch.  Definitely keep in touch with your loved ones.  Let them know that you’re alright.  And if you’re married or in a relationship, you should, of course, try to keep it strong by resisting temptation, keeping in touch, by being kind to each other and trying not to argue.  There’s nothing more tragic than a person who goes overseas married but then comes back divorced.

Form good relationships.  People will be anticipating your arrival and should show you the ropes when you arrive.  So make sure you form some good working relationships and make some friends so you’re not trying to deal with everything alone.  Especially develop relationships with people whom you trust.  It’s very important.  It makes the experience that much better.  You’ll find that you’ll make connections, sometimes lifelong connections when you’re out there—definitely lifetime experiences.  You’ll be surprised and amazed at how much you have in common with people from all the different work centers that you can share recreational activities with and hang out with during your free time. 

Celebrate life.

You may even want to have a going away.  You’re going to be missing some holidays and some birthdays.  It’s okay.  If you know which ones are important to you, and it’s almost that time to celebrate it, celebrate it early.  I’m going to be missing a birthday, so we’ll just celebrate it early before I go. 

Stay busy.

Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.  Participate in wholesome and constructive activities.  Help others.  Getting into good habits is a good practice.  Praying whenever you have any questions or need any spiritual guidance.  One way to prevent temptation from getting into bad habits is by keeping yourself occupied with productive, constructive hobbies while you’re there.  There should be many things provided for you to do recreationally.  I know for a fact that I will not only be enjoying working at the Chapel, but also hanging out and doing some other activities.

Find things to do.  If you have time, you can work on self-improvement goals such as going to school, working out, or volunteering.  Some of us have that opportunity to be able to do volunteer activities such as humanitarian work.  Some places even give tours.  Believe it or not, even though it seems like the long hours may not allow for after work activities, people tend to make a way.  One thing that I’ve learned is that the busier you are, the faster it will go, and I know that through experience.  Time flies and before you know it, you’ll be home.  But it’s a great experience for broadening your horizons.

Do not fear.

One of the feelings you might be feeling is fear.  If it’s your first time, don’t be afraid.  Read inspiring passages like: “You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day…” -Psalm 91:5.  Study it, read it over and over again, memorize it.  Trust in your God.  Lean on your salvation.

Be thankful always in all things.

Accept blessings and help.  One thing to be thankful for is just the little things—air conditioning, laundry service, etc.  Be thankful for Tricare and financial stability.  Be thankful that you have the support that you need at home so you don’t have to worry about it when you go.  When you call or Skype your loved ones, thank each other and be thankful for each other.  Also, there are total strangers that put together care packages and some free things for you.  You should feel free to grab those.  It’s their way of thanking you for serving their country.  Be thankful that you live in and serve a free country.

Always remember.

Even though you’re in a strange place, remember who you are and why you’re there.  Remember what you’ve learned.  Stick with the Core Values.  Keep in mind why you’re there and how important the mission is.  You’ve been called to serve your nation.  When you come back, you may or may not have a welcoming committee, but no matter what, don’t forget that what you’re doing is for a noble cause.  Thank you for your service.

Decompress and reconnect.

So when you start getting ready to come home, you’re going to have to prepare to reconnect.  It’s one of the things you’ll want to look forward to.  To prepare, you may want to explain to whoever you’re returning to that you need a little bit of time to readjust and to decompress.  Of course, you’re going to experience some jetlag and things like that.  You’ll have some extra time that they’ll give you for that kind of stuff.  Make sure you make good use of that time.  Balance it out.  There are people that are going to miss you.  There are some changes that are going to have happened.  So, prepare yourself mentally for whatever changes that might be.

June 2018 Story

How Jesus Saved My Marriage

By Tech. Sgt. Tinna Taylor
152nd Airlift Wing Chaplain Assistant

As I write this message to all the other married couples with tears of joy streaming down my face, I have to give all the credit to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

When I first met my husband, I was not looking for a romantic relationship.  We were both taking a break from romantic relationships at the time, so we just started out as friends.  I was at a low point in my life where I was questioning my faith.  My friend at the time, James, invited me to church.  I was open to hanging out with him and his Christian friends, and it wasn’t too long after that I said the Sinner’s Prayer and was baptized in a Baptist church.  Eventually, we figured out that God had called us together to be more than friends and we ended up getting married on a beach in Spain and had a romantic European honeymoon.

But once the honeymoon was over, we learned that, contrary to popular belief, married life was not always a bed of roses.  We were both young when we got married and still had a lot of growing to do.  Who am I kidding?  We still have a lot of growing to do.  No one ever really stops growing.  We’ve both made mistakes along the way.  But thanks to the grace of God, we’ve grown closer together.

With the help of surrounding ourselves with good godly counsel, we’ve not only grown closer together but have each grown closer to God at the same time.  It helps to fellowship with a community of believers who support marriage.  We have a biblical view of what marriage should be based on what Jesus says.  A fellow believer once drew us a diagram similar to the following:

 

He explained that, as each spouse grows closer to God, they also grow closer to each other in the Lord.  Another good piece of advice that someone once told me is “A family that prays together, stays together.”

I have also received bad advice and bad counsel from people who are negative and have recommended giving up.  Don’t ever listen to those people.  Distance yourself from those people.  Whether it was on purpose or not is irrelevant.  Sometimes, people may have good intentions but are doing harm.  Even parents sometimes will side with their child over their spouse.

I also recommend the books “Boundaries,” “Power of a Praying Wife,” and “5 Love Languages.”  They used “5 Love Languages” at a marriage retreat we attended years ago.  We learned a lot about each other.  The book was also used at our most recent Strong Bonds event.

I highly recommend attending Strong Bonds events because they help you get away as a couple and grow physically, socially, mentally, and spiritually together.  And, it’s completely free of cost to you and your spouse.  As a Chaplain Assistant, I have been honored to help facilitate these events.  Nothing warms my heart more than to hear reports about people’s marriages getting saved or even just enriched.

My husband and I recently celebrated our 14th year anniversary.  If there is one word of advice I have to share with you on making a marriage last, it’s forgiveness.  Forgiveness is the key.  If Jesus is able to forgive and love your spouse unconditionally, so can you.  I have spent time alone with the Lord talking to Him about my marriage, and this is what He says.  So, don’t forget to grow as an individual also.  My hope is that this advice helps benefit your marriage too.

MAY 2018 Story

15:17 to Paris - Movie Review
Editorial by, Staff Sgt. Tinna Taylor
152nd Airlift Wing Chaplain Asst.

Background
In the moments leading up to the big event, three friends decided to take a trip around Europe.  When they got on this train, it was just a typical, unsuspecting train ride.  The trip was almost over.  They just decided to hit one more place, which was Paris.  That’s when the attack happened.  That’s when they performed their acts of bravery and made international news.
Since this has already made international news, I don’t really feel like I’m giving away any spoilers today.

Valentine’s Date
The first time I heard of 15:17 to Paris was when I was looking for a movie for my husband and I to watch for Valentine’s Day.  Actually, we saw the movie the day before Valentine’s Day because it was the only day that we could get childcare.  But, we do appreciate our new-found ability to get away after having hired a nanny.  We didn’t have very long to go very far or anything, and it had to be during a certain time, so we just had enough time to see a local movie.  I looked up movies at the local IMAX and at the descriptions of different movies that were showing at that particular time.  I looked up their trailers on YouTube.  I had found out that this movie was directed by Clint Eastwood who is one of my favorite people in Hollywood.  I also I enjoy true stories.  I had heard about the story of these three kids, some of which were in the military off duty, that were on their way to Paris and became international heroes because they had stopped a terrorist who began attacking people on the train.  I think I first saw one of them appear on the Tonight Show.  I thought it might be a good movie.  My husband agreed.  As my husband and I watched and held hands, we reminisced about the time that we were stationed in Europe.  In fact, we had met and gotten married in Europe and had a European honeymoon.  So, we were familiar with a lot of the places that they had traveled to in the movie, which was filmed in those locations, and the train rides that took them there.  It kind of took us back, so that actually ended up to be very fitting for an early Valentine’s date.

Critique
I highly recommend this movie.

I was very fascinated the whole time at the fact that the people playing these young gentlemen were actually themselves.  I’ve never seen a movie quite like this.  I thought it was very unique and intriguing.  The only suggestion I would make to change it is to add a little bit more dramatic music.  I always appreciate when a movie has that added touch.  And, it makes a huge difference sometimes to the quality of one’s viewing experience.

This would be called a “slow burner,” I believe, because it took time to build up to the big event.  It started out kind of slow, explaining the backgrounds and the childhoods of these three best friends growing up.  They were a bit of trouble-makers and outcasts.  Another thing they shared in common is they liked to play war.  So, when a couple of the kids came of age, they decided to join the military.

For those who are young and are in the military, I feel that they would have an appreciation in seeing this movie.  The three friends would be sitting and having conversation somewhere like Venice and eating a meal.  My husband and I were in the military around the same age doing the same thing that they were doing, which goes to show that they were just normal people that had all of these events happen to.

Spiritual Lesson
You could see how God was leading them on their particular paths and paving the way toward this event, in particular the leader of this group, Spenser Stone.  Amazingly, he had run into some hard times while trying to join the military.  He did not qualify for his dream job, which was Para-rescue, due to lack of depth perception.  So, he went to SERE training (he didn’t even know what it was), and he failed miserably.  But, while he was receiving that training, he received the skills that he needed in order to face that danger that lay ahead.  He later received medical training that helped him save one person’s life.  One comment that Stone had made as he was talking to his friends before their historic train ride was that he felt that everything so far in his life was leading up to something big.  As children, they attended a Christian school.  One thing that stood out in this young man’s mind was a prayer that went something like this:

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace; 
Where there is hatred, let me sow love; 
Where there is injury, pardon; 
Where there is doubt, faith; 
Where there is despair, hope; 
Where there is darkness, light; 
And where there is sadness, joy. 

O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console; 
To be understood, as to understand; 
To be loved, as to love; 
For it is in giving that we receive, 
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned, 
And it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life. 

Amen.

In the scenes where it would show him reciting this prayer, I recognized it from when I had grown up Catholic.  It was the Prayer of Saint Francis.

One thing I took away from this I want to share with you that’s of value and is relevant to spirituality and resilience is the fact that Stone was able to remember the words of his prayer that he had been rehearsing all his life.  Combined with the fact that he believed that he had a purpose and trusted in the path that he was given and took it seriously, this led him to be prepared and to be resilient.  He went from someone who was known as a trouble-maker and someone who was rejected to being someone who was used by God and is now revered as a hero.  This could have happened to anyone, but at the right moment and at the right time, faith and resilience are what helped him prevail.

april 2018 story

Putting a mask over the heart
Editorial by, Senior Airman J. McClain
152nd Airlift Wing Chaplain Asst.

Have you ever been to a funeral, or a memorial and forced on a straight face, or even a slight smile, trying your best to not shed a tear? Over the course of the years, I’ve been guilty of wearing the mask many a time, both voluntary and in a required manner. Hard as it may be, it’s a bad habit to be the ‘strong one’ when your emotions reach out and are contained.

Throughout my life, I’ve: faked the smile working a retail store, dealing with some ridiculous characters, held my bearing under the intimidation of military training instructors, laughed at ludicrous jokes, and frozen my emotions cold in the most despairing of atmospheres for the remembrance of the fallen. It’s called ‘bottling it up inside,’ and eventually, it will shatter.

The chapel staff has brought to light how important it is to be honest with not only others, but myself as well. So many personalities come through our door--some doing alright, some at their best, and some, unbeknownst to me most of the time, fighting the hardest war inside that they’ll ever have to fight. They, who endure, tend to endure alone, not reaching out to an ally to help them weather the storm.

That’s what we at the chapel are here for. We’re those who help shield you from the storm. The chapel family is small, but our doors are always open. This shelter is always warm--inviting and encouraging anyone having troubles to come in. We’ll listen, and we’ll stand by your side to help weather the storm, determined to get you through it safely. It can be an incredible challenge to let another help at times, many don’t wish to drag another into their storm, or to show what might feel like a weakness, I’m telling you now that it’s not.

Being part of the chapel team and voluntarily working with Chaplains for almost 6 years now has broken down my own walls, and brought to light how much internal emotional conflict I suffered by weathering my own storms. This team, Chaplains and Chaplain assistants alike, are some of the kindest people to offer a helping hand to those in need. Taking that hand takes weight off of ones shoulders, and brings a true smile back faster to all those I’ve seen in their care.

This isn’t to say that is isn’t appropriate, at times, to use this mask. However, I encourage any and all, unleash your honest feelings, and take the mask off. I’ve long had firsthand knowledge of how it feels to weather the storm alone. I say to anyone who is under a mask, pressing through the storm, or just needing a kind, cheerful prayer, that the Chapel and our Chaplains are here to help, they bring the warmth of God’s light to all. 

“God is never blind to your tears, never deaf to your prayers, and never silent to your pains. He sees, He hears, and He will deliver.”

MARCH 2018 STORY

What I don’t know
Editorial by, Master Sgt. Laura Magee
152nd Airlift Wing Chaplain Assistant


Four years. That’s right ladies and gentlemen! It’s been four years since I first pulled Chaplain Gregory aside and eagerly asked him how I could join the Chaplain Corps. Four years since I embarked on an adventure that would challenge me, stretch me out of my comfort zone, and ultimately force this stubborn, headstrong woman to grow.

Now, it’s with bittersweet anticipation that I depart from my chapel family to embark on my next adventure. As I prepare to meet the challenges and lessons awaiting me, I reflect back on my time in the chapel. I realize I didn’t learn what I thought I would learn, didn’t accomplish what I thought I would accomplish, and most notably, didn’t walk the path I thought I was going to walk. After all, I began as a Christian, walked through my time in the chapel as a Muslim, and conclude my time there as a woman who is still confidently seeking wisdom and truth-her eyes now open just a little wider.

My crusade when I first entered the doors of the chapel as a fresh, green Chaplain Assistant, was to have an impact on people, to inspire change, to teach and preach and feed the masses, both spiritually and physically. As a Christian, I felt the conviction of wanting to share with people the kindness and love taught by Jesus. I carried that same enthusiasm into Islam; wanting to show everyone the beauty of a religion that suffered a lot of bad press over the years. Much to my surprise, there’s one specific area in which I instituted the most change, caused the most growth, and overall had the most impact: my own self. While I’m proud of the impact I had as part of the chapel staff, I have to admit, I think my time in the chapel did far more for me than I did for anyone else. As such, I decided I would write on what I learned (about myself) during my time in the Chapel Corps.

I’m an instigator. I don’t like to conform to norms and I don’t accept facts or knowledge handed to me without asking the hard questions: Where did it come from? Where’s the proof? Why is this more valid than that? My presence in the chapel was, at times, shaky--as I would challenge the way we’ve always done business or play “devil’s advocate” when asked how I felt about an idea or a program. I dare say, it was a necessary challenge that had to be faced, not only by our own little chapel and its team, but most especially by me personally.

I was able to play an important role in growing the diversity in our chapel, and I believe my voice contributed to some very profound changes. I learned some hard lessons in reality: humility vs. pride, debate vs. argument, and how to just stand up and be a voice without needing to have all the answers.

I have a lot left to learn. I recently saw a Confucius meme that said “True wisdom is knowing what you don’t know.” Twice, on my path to spiritual growth, I thought I knew the unequivocal truth. In learning about Islam, which I daresay would not have happened if not for my time in the chapel, I learned there’s so much more than just the world view I had been handed. Not just spiritually mind you, but culturally and historically. Having received the opportunity to learn another perspective so similar, yet so culturally different from my own, I found it impossible to stop there and proclaim, “I know the truth! Here it is!”

After four years in the Chaplain Corps, several years of study into Christianity and Islam, and lots and lots of prideful, arrogant attempts at owning ultimate truth, I find myself at the beginning. I’m just starting to reflect on and ponder the deep, abiding truth to that simple statement attributed to Confucius. Whether I’m seeking spiritual enlightenment, knowledge about our vast and complicated world, or skills to improve myself as a military leader, wife, or mom, my newly--found goal is: to never get to the point where I say, “I’m good. I’ve learned all I need to learn.”

As I leave the Chaplain Corps to discover what the National Guard has in store for me next, my prayer for all of you is that you’ll continue to learn something new, discover a truth, stumble upon a lesson, have your perspective challenged and to have your comfort zones stretched. It’s only when we are faced with something new that we’re able to grow, and my prayer for all of you, as well as myself, is ongoing and perpetual growth.

strong bonds - marriage retreat

A strong bonds marriage retreat is planned for YOU on July 13-15. This is an exciting opportunity to bond with your spouse for a fun-filled, relationship strengthening weekend. Please respond to the contact information on the flyer if you're interested in attending. Chaplain Gilliam and Religious Affairs Airman Taylor will be leading this retreat. The theme of this weekend retreat is Marriage Links (Lasting Intimacy Through Nurturing, Knowledge, & Skills).We have room for 25 couples, so please sign up ASAP to secure your spot. This retreat is especially timely for the members who will be deploying in the next 12 months.The event will start at 1800 on Friday July 13 ending 1200 on Sunday July 15. Besides your travel to and from the location, all expenses will be covered. Child Care will not be provided.



Location:
Renaissance Downtown Reno Hotel
1 S Lake St, Reno, NV 89501

POCs: Ch Shay Gilliam (775) 750-9008/(775) 788-8785 or Fred Barton (775) 
788-4585/(775) 287-4768

Sincerely,

Chapel Staff
DSN 830-4651

february 2018 story

Worry Free Wednesday
By Senior Master Sgt. Paula Macomber
152nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Wednesdays at the Nevada Air National Guard base are not what they used to be. Since its inception (a few years ago), every other Wednesday is “Worry Free,” thanks to the efforts of Ch. Maj. Donny Crandell of the 152nd Chaplain Corps and Ms. Randee Hill, the 152nd Airlift Wing’s Director of Psychological Health (DPH). Originally, this event was started by Ch. Col. Tim Gregory when he was the 152nd Airlift Wing Chaplain, later, Ch. Crandell carried on the tradition, including the DPH for added expertise. They’ve teamed up to discuss, in an open forum, common issues for Airmen. The snacks they provide help facilitate discussions.

Some common Wednesday topics are: “Events, issues and hidden issues” and “Gratitude Can Change Your Life.”

“Events, issues and hidden issues” was a topic out of the “PREP 8.0 guidebook” and it opened up a lot of discussion.

“Discover the Hidden Issues in yourself and those with whom you live, work and play. Everyone received a take-home tool listing the "Top Ten Hidden Issues" in people.  The more we learn about those with whom we work and live, the better we can communicate with them when issues arise.”  Crandell said. The “Issues” booklets are materials used in the “Strong Bonds Marriage Retreat” series.  “I don’t like to see things go to waste, so we often use some of the materials left over from the Strong Bonds Marriage Retreats in our Worry Free Wednesdays,” Crandell added.

During the “Gratitude Can Change Your Life” Wednesday, members discussed their use of a “gratitude jar” and “gratitude journals” to help have a more positive outlook on life.

Ch. Crandell said that, “Gratitude strategies can change your life for the better, help you have a better outlook on life and make you over all a better person. The more time we spend being grateful of what we have, the less time we have to be negative.”

He even offered this strategy, “Let’s say that your spouse is going to be deployed sometime—take a few minutes each day to write on a small piece of paper what you were thankful for that day and put it in a jar. Then, wouldn’t it be a nice gift to them to hand them the gratitude jar as they step onto the plane. Tell them to open the jar each day of their deployment and take out one of your handwritten ‘notes’ about what you are grateful for?”

For more information on the next “Worry Free Wednesday,” contact Ch. Crandell. He says, “It can change your life for the better!”

january 2018 story

The Case for Christ – Movie Review

Editorial by Staff Sgt. Tinna Taylor, 152nd Airlift Wing Chaplain Assistant

The best-selling book entitled “The Case for Christ,” by Lee Strobel is not new. It’s been around for a very long time. But I first heard about it not too long after I became a born-again Christian in 2003. There was a documentary that came out regarding this book. It featured Lee Strobel giving his account which gave an added personal touch being able to put a face to the name.

I’ve owned the book and the documentary for years. There was also another book that came out entitled “The Case for Faith” as well as another documentary. I later found out that those are just two in a series of materials that are available that Lee Strobel has released. I’m now considering doing a Bible Study based on his materials because I’m teaching a mostly apologetics-based Bible Study at my church. Apologetics is the type of study that helps people be able to answer tough questions and share their faith.

I recently was surfing through Netflix, and I noticed that there was a Pure Flix movie that came out in 2017 about Lee Strobel’s story called “The Case for Christ.” This time it wasn’t a documentary. It was by the same makers who made “God’s Not Dead.” It was a feature-length film based on a true story. The actors aren’t really that well-known. As far as the two main characters, the man who play Lee Strobel and his wife are a pretty good-looking pair of actors.

Lee Strobel was an investigative journalist. He was a skeptic. He and his wife were not believers. But during the Jesus Movement, his wife first became a believer, and it caused a little bit of turmoil in their marriage because, as the Bible says, people should not be unequally yoked. In other words, if your faith is too much in a different place, it can cause trouble. So, he started challenging her faith. He wanted to bring her back around but he realized that it was sort of an uphill battle. Either the marriage was going to end because they were never going to see eye-to-eye again, or he could disprove her faith by doing his own investigation and using the hard evidence that he’s gathered to convince her that she was making a mistake. Or, least expected of all to him, he was going to prove that it was all true. He goes on this journey, and he starts questioning these credible sources. The guy’s a journalist. He’s recognized as being very professional. He works for a major newspaper—The Chicago Tribune. If he didn’t know how to use credible sources, then he couldn’t have become as successful, and it could damage his career and ruin his reputation. He finds all these credible sources—historians, experts, even a medical doctor at one point to try to disprove the Resurrection.

As far as the actual movie went, I saw the trailer first and I was excited. It was a good trailer. After I saw the movie, I realized that it wasn’t one of those trailers that hyped up the movie so much that when you saw the movie you were disappointed. It was fair. It gave just enough information to catch your interest. But the mistake I made was when I saw a movie review before having seen the movie and it gave away a little bit too much. But, when I finally started watching the movie, I appreciated little things they did. I watched some of it partially through and re-watched it again. I think that it’s one of those movies that you could watch multiple times and still get enjoyment out of it, especially being on Netflix. I liked the music. I liked the way the scenes were laid out. The acting wasn’t bad. There were a couple of times when it made me feel like crying. There were things I hadn’t realized about Lee Strobel’s life. It was good to see it portrayed from the perspective of people instead of just reading the information from a book. If you’re into nerdy details and things like that, then you may have a better appreciation of the book. One thing I can tell you, immediately when you start reading it, is that you’ll realize that it’s pretty well written. You’ve got to keep in mind that he was a journalist, so it makes sense that it would be well written.

While you follow his story, it’s almost like an unveiling. If you like suspense type movies or if you like things that challenge your mind, I believe that it would be fulfilling to follow him on his journey and have questions answered along with him. Of course, there’s always two sides to the story, and in the end, you need a little measure of faith in order to come to a conclusion. In the end, I still had some questions and I went back and looked up some stuff myself.

One good resource for finding information, believe it or not, is Google. I had a question about the 500 witnesses who saw Jesus after the Resurrection. So, I simply Googled “Jesus appeared to 500 bible.” You can also look up a variety of Bibles online and commentaries as well. If you want to look up the book online without purchasing it, although I’m sure it’s on Kindle, you can actually go to Google Books and then type in the title and author of the book. It’s not going to be the complete book, but you’ll get to see a preview of most of the writings. I went and took a look at the 500 witnesses section. What I found interesting is that he mentioned that there was a source who was just naming off witnesses of the resurrected Jesus off the top of his head. One of them was a group of disciples, and I realized that people who aren’t really familiar with the Bible may not know that there were twelve Apostles, but even those who do, if they haven’t studied the Bible a whole lot, they may not realize that there were actually thousands of disciples. So, it is quite possible for 500 of them to have seen Him.

Long story short, whether you’re a skeptic or a believer or somewhere in between, it’s very relatable since it’s based on a true story. If you want to have some questions answered about Christianity, or you want to reinforce your current belief, whatever it may be, or if you want to find something that could challenge you mentally, especially if you’re not familiar with the story, I would encourage you to see the movie. It’s actually a pretty well-made movie. There’s a lot of content in the story in and of itself. It’s going to open up a lot of interesting discussion. I don’t personally feel that there’s anything about religion that could ever bore a person. There’s just so much history and questions about life that can be answered by searching out one’s spirituality.

I hope this gives you a good idea of what the movie is like and encourages you to watch it. Anytime you would like to discuss its content, just give us a ring over at the Chapel: 788-4651.

Why This Story Appeals to Me

I used to work on Precision Measurement Equipment (PME). In that career field, it’s imperative that you pay attention to detail. It made me a little more OCD than I already was. Let’s put it this way, one thing that my husband and I shared in common before we got married was the fact that we both got Room of the Quarter. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s when airmen living in the dorms compete with hundreds of other occupants in order to earn the best white-glove inspection.

They say the devil is in the details. It’s true. There are so many people who try to pick apart the principles of Christianity and get it wrong because of details that they’ve missed. Some of those details are quite crucial. Because there’s a spiritual battle going on and there are those who try to attack the faith, one reason for a Christian to ask questions about their own faith is to be able to help find answers for others. The obvious reason for those who do not yet subscribe to a faith to ask questions is so that they can find answers. Throughout my lifetime, having been raised Catholic, then later having struggled in my faith and asking questions, that’s how I was able to find answers. After becoming serious about my faith over the years, I’ve become able to ask and answer some really tough questions. And now that I’m enrolled into seminary, I’m required to answer even tougher questions which continue to challenge me mentally and help me to grow even stronger in my faith. It takes a lifetime to study the Bible. If you would like to understand the Bible more, I’d encourage you to start studying now.

What You Need to Know About the Resurrection

The Resurrection is one of the major components of the Christian faith that is very important for people to understand. The whole Doctrine of Reconciliation pretty much hangs on the Resurrection. Basically, mankind was meant to live forever with God. But sin came into the world, and so it resulted in the curse which led to death and suffering. But in order for the curse to be lifted, God came down to this earth in human form to make a sacrifice of Himself, and by Him being resurrected from the dead, it lifted the curse of death. Therefore, we are able to be reconciled with God and live eternally. The Resurrection is a historical event that actually took place based on the overwhelming evidence that Lee Strobel gathered.

DECEMBER 2017 STORY

Focus on the Positive

Editorial by Ch. Donny Crandell, Chaplain
152nd Airlift Wing Chaplain Corps

Every day that we live, we get an opportunity as to what we will focus on. Will we focus on the positive or on the negative? The reason why this is important is because we will find ourselves becoming like what we focus on.

The holiday season is a great opportunity to focus on love, joy and hope. In the Christmas story, the angel joined the shepherds on the hillside and said, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” (Luke 2:10). The angel was encouraging the surprised shepherds to replace fear with hope. It was a call for them to put their thoughts, emotions and actions toward a positive outcome that was soon to come…the birth of Christ. The shepherds could have focused on worrying about the future, but all they needed in the moment was the hope of a good outcome.

It’s important to envision a good outcome in whatever future event you’re focused on. It will bring immediate relief to your spirit, positive perspective to your mind and hope in your heart. But, it all starts with our thoughts. Our thoughts lead to our emotions and then what we feel will come out in our speech and actions.

So, as we go into this holiday season I encourage you to replace your future fear with present hope. Envision the best outcome for your future instead of the worst-case-scenario. Find the positive in yourself, others and your situations and then focus on it. Like the shepherds on the hillside who heard the promise of “good news” soon to be fulfilled, your attitude will switch from gloom to joy in an instant…when you focus on the positive.

Happy Hanukkah,
Happy Holidays,
Merry Christmas,

Chaplain Crandell

OCTOBER 2017 STORY

Strong Bonds Marriage Retreat…A local success
Editorial by Ch. Donny Crandell, Chaplain
152nd Airlift Wing Chaplain Corps

On September, 22, twenty-five couples joined together to enjoy, learn and build a stronger relationship together. The weekend retreat was held at Whitney Peak Hotel in downtown Reno. The food was fantastic, the rooms were great and the Laugh Your Way material, very entertaining and practical.

Anytime we can get 50 traditional and full-time members together with one purpose in mind, it’s a great experience. In my opinion, Strong Bonds retreats are one of the greatest benefits available for military members.

It’s free to the members and it provides an opportunity for couples to focus on each other: No kids; no dishes to do; no T.V blaring in the background, just husband and wife investing in each other for a whole weekend.

One of the anonymous comments on our survey said, “I appreciate these workshops so much. I liken these workshops to taking my car to the shop for a tune up. Everything was fantastic.”

Another attendee responded like this, “The information truly related to a couple’s relationship. Everything was fantastic! Great hotel! No distractions! Hotel staff was very attentive and professional.”

I would wholeheartedly agree with both of these comments. I believe healthy marriages make healthy families and healthy families are the foundation of a healthy country.

pray for God’s goodness, guidance and strength for every marriage on this base. If I can ever be a source of prayer, inspiration or resources, please let me know. And thank you United States Air Force for the benefit of Strong Bonds for our military members.

SEPTEMBER 2017 STORY

Similarities between Abrahamic Faiths
by Staff Sgt. Tinna Taylor, Chaplains Assistant
152nd Airlift Wing Chaplain Corps

What is an Abrahamic Faith?  An Abrahamic Faith is a faith which can be traced back to the monotheistic faith of the biblical figure known as Abraham.  Abrahamic faiths include Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. What are the similarities between the Abrahamic Faiths?

My first experience with religion was being raised Roman Catholic. We were taught things about the Trinity (the belief that God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are one entity), and we would observe certain dietary restrictions on certain days.  For instance, on Good Friday, we were only allowed to eat fish if we were allowed to eat anything at all.  I remember the priests wearing robes and they would always lift up the Bible.

Later in life, I converted to Protestantism because a friend, who is now my husband, shared with me the Evangelical perspective.  My initial fellowship was with the Pentecostals. The Pentecostals that I was around were quite charismatic. They would pray in tongues, and they preached with attitude.

After my time with the Pentecostals, I spent time with a non-denominational Christian group, just fellowshipping, doing Bible Study and playing songs of praise.  After that, I started attending a Baptist church.

Similarities with a Baptist service and Catholic service: they both have pews for people to sit in, they would sing hymns, and the sermon would contain a Gospel message. Except in a Baptist service, it wasn’t as formal as a Catholic mass. The Baptist church I attended had a little bit more casual of a setting.

After my time with the Baptists, I ended up becoming Messianic.

A Messianic Jewish congregation really is a synagogue that believes that Jesus is the Messiah, or as they call Him in Hebrew, “Yeshua.” There are a lot of similarities with the way that they hold services as well. My congregation actually gathered in a Christian church on a Saturday. They had pews. They started out with worship songs. The one difference I noticed, and I know that it’s not just with Messianic churches, but other churches will also dance. Some don’t believe in dancing but these guys danced. They would hold up the Torah Scroll in a similar fashion as the Catholic priests would, except they wore their own prayer shawls. And when they would read from the Bible, they would recite it in Hebrew and in song.

Another tradition that is similar amongst Christians and even amongst Middle Eastern belief systems is the covering of a woman’s hair. It actually does say in the New Testament that a woman should cover her hair when she prays. In the Jewish tradition, the woman covers her head with a shawl when she prays during the Sabbath (Friday night).

In the Catholic tradition, nuns wear habits. They also wear a wedding ring, which symbolizes their marriage to Christ.

One of the similarities between Jewish and Islamic faiths are their dietary restrictions. In the Old Testament, it restricted God’s people from eating pork and shell fish.  Islamic faiths can follow similar restrictions. 

For more information about any of the faiths in the world, please feel free to stop by and visit the 152nd Airlift Wing’s chapel.

AUGUST 2017 STORY

Forgiving Yourself
By Maj. Donny Crandell
152nd Airlift Wing Chaplain


“Be at peace with yourself and then you will be able to bring peace to others”
– Thomas A Kempis

When it comes to the issue of forgiveness, one of the most overlooked aspects is forgiving one’s self. Many of us live with a degree of personal anger toward ourselves because of wrongs we have done, worldly desires, selfish pursuits, hurtful responses, acting carelessly, foolishly or irresponsibly. As Gary Chapman says, "Often, falling short of our own expectations can provoke self-focused anger. Our guilt, regret and shame can sometimes haunt us, even though things may be going well in our lives." So, what can a person do to forgive themselves? Gary Chapman lists five good ways to be angry at yourself:

1.    Admit your anger. Write down or share with someone you can trust, the thoughts and feelings that accompany your anger. Say them aloud to yourself and say them in a prayer to God.

2.    Examine your anger. Definitive anger at myself means that my anger grows out of an actual wrong that I have committed. Distorted anger means that my anger has arisen from a perceived wrong rather than a real wrong. Guilt, shame and embarrassment for violating moral principles is real, brings definitive anger and must be processed… which brings us to the third way.

3.    Confess wrongdoing to God and accept His forgiveness. (I John 1:9) is a beautiful promise of God’s faithfulness in forgiving us when we confess to him. True repentance of sin is always accompanied by a desire to admit our wrongdoing and to make restitution to those against whom we have sinned.

4.    Choose to forgive yourself. Forgiving yourself is much like forgiving someone who has sinned against you. You choose to no longer hold the sin against them. Forgiving ourselves does not necessarily remove the pain, the hurt, or the memory of wrongdoing. But it does open the door to healing with ourselves and those we may have hurt.

5.    Focus on positive actions by learning from your failures. Take positive action in loving the person you have wronged.

 A great way to follow up with step 5 is to pray a prayer like this:

“Father, help me to learn the lessons I need to learn from my past failures”

 Most of this document are excerpts from Anger, Taming a Powerful Emotion, Gary Chapman 

Have a great drill High Rollers!

JULY 2017 STORY

A Post Father’s Day Message
By Maj. Donny Crandell
152nd Airlift Wing Chaplain


In a recent book entitled, “Hero, Being the strong father your children need,” pediatrician Meg Meeker says about fathers, “Every day that your children see you, they’re shaped by you. And equally important, they’re also shaped by your absence when you’re not there. So be very careful. You are the giant in their lives. For good or ill, you are not only great, you are larger than life. When children look at their father they want to see the kindest, smartest, strongest, greatest man on earth who loves them and respects them and is interested in them; that is part of your greatness.”1

I think Meg Meeker is right! We live in a fatherless generation. Although mothers are invaluable, I also believe that the God-given role of fatherhood is invaluable. In the quote above, we find that fathers have the awesome opportunity and responsibility to: love; respect and be interested in their children’s lives. There is no adequate substitute for the time, love and investment that a father gives to his children. But, it’s no small task living in a world of busyness, complacency and broken relationships. Single parenting is higher than it’s ever been. I’m grateful to my parents who have now been married for 53 years. They stuck together and worked through hard times so they could be an example to my sister and me. My dad’s investment of being my little league coach for 5 consecutive years, are years that shaped me forever. Father’s also play a pivotal role in the lives of their daughters. When daughters receive healthy love and affection from Dad, they’re less likely to look for it in inappropriate ways. Of course, not even perfect parents are guaranteed to have perfect children. But, why not tip the scales toward our children’s success by being an engaged father who loves, cares and makes his children a top priority. Dad’s keep up the good work and never forget, “time spent with your children is always time well spent.”

1. Meg Meeker, Hero – Being the strong father your children need (Washington DC: Regnery Publishing) 2017

JUNE 2017 STORY

From outside to within the Chapel Corps
By Senior Airman John McClain
152nd Airlift Wing Chapel Corps

Five and a half years ago, I enlisted as an aircraft maintainer working on drones. Every step of the way, I have worked with and around the Chapel teams getting to see the outside view right up until I cross-trained to be part of their team and play on the other side of the fence.

During basic training, freedom to get out from under the T.I.’s boot was rare and sought after by any and every trainee. I initially participated as a Chapel Guide only as a way to escape myself for several hours on Sunday to assist with the services provided during training. The longer I had done so, the more it became noticeable that the services were a colossal stress relief for all both with time to sit down and relax, free from the T.I.’s gaze, and the freedom to casually chatter with others. It was indeed a sanctuary for the participants and volunteers like myself.

All the while officers of any rank intimidated almost everyone. It was a relief that an individual could see a Chaplain as more of a friend than a fear-provoking rank. A final thing I noticed during basic however, and arguably one of the most important, was that many trainees never had been separated from their families and friends for so long. It gave realization to some, myself included, that God was the one friend that couldn’t be separated from us.

Such observations remained true during the venture through tech school. Students could escape and relax at Recreational Centers, many of which the chapel team sustained. The proverbial leash may have loosened here, but instead of constant instructors watching you, a trainee had their academic scores to create the stress. Kicking back to read a book or play a game or two helps ease the mind off everything. Once in a while, I’d even noticed the commander come in and play games with trainees! Unbelievable, but an amazing boost to know even an O – 6 wasn’t completely terrifying.

Skipping ahead, I continued to volunteer and help the Chapel Corps in various ways until palace chasing and re-enlisting under the 152nd AW as a Chaplain Assistant. Recently returning from tech school, I can’t complain all that much. I don’t get to see dozens of Airmen on a day to day basis as I would on a training base. The activities I partake in aren’t always a breeze or always fun, but even the day-to-day is dedicated to the Airmen and their families. We at the Chapel Corps have one of the most unique jobs available and one of the best. We get to put on all the fun stuff, see a majority of the base smiling, and bring light to the few that need the smile restored. We are the people that care for the people. That is the mission I couldn’t see from the outside, but had been doing all along.

Chapel Team

Chaplain Crandell
Chaplain Gilliam

Staff Sgt Taylor
Senior Airman McClain

Office: 775.788.4651

Worry Free

WORRY FREE WEDNESDAY!!!

The 152nd Airlift Wing Chaplain, Ch. Donny Crandell periodically brings in guest speakers for our Worry Free Wednesday.

These discussions are provided free of charge--and you may even get to partake in some doughnut eating!

Join us on Wednesdays in the Wing Commander's Conference Room for Worry Free Wednesday.

worship schedule

Saturday:
Catholic Services
Confession: 1400      
Mass: 1430

Sunday:
Fellowship and Prayer
0715
Christian Services
0900
LDS/Mormon Services
1145
Islamic Prayer
1300 Saturday & Sunday