Tag Archives: helicopter

Crichton Memorial Church Services

from Charlie Chaplain’s Tales


Towards the end of its days as a mental health care hospital, there were perhaps only a couple of hundred patients on site at the Crichton Royal Hospital where I delivered spiritual care as chaplain – as well as conducting Sunday Worship for users and staff at the magnificent Crichton Memorial Church.

One particular Sunday, one the patients arrived late and sat right at the front (immediately below the lectern where I kept my notes)

He’d missed the Gospel Reading around which I was about to deliver a short homily.

Just into my address, I used the word “love”, at which he interrupted me by saying in a loud voice “Would that be Philia?”

“Eh, no – it’s ‘Agape‘” I replied…. and attempted to carry on.

“What’s the difference, then?” he interjected.

So – brief explanation from me

“How about loving my girlfriend?”

(I was tempted to say, “would like to be loving your girl friend, but I’m happily married!”) but answered, “that would be ‘Eros‘”

At this point, I literally tore up my notes and a dialogue about “Christian love” as found in the NT followed

It was a splendid service and I thoroughly enjoyed my intelligent and articulate friend’s intervention.

(a description of “Love” is at the bottom of this post)


Intervention 2

Just outside the Church were beautiful lawns on which (in those days) the helicopter pad was situated.  Helicopters are used to transfer seriously ill or injured (e.g. through a RTA incident) patients to or from the adjacent Infirmary.

One Sunday morning – during the Service – there could be heard the sound of helicopter blades whirling furiously above…..  and it was discovered that just as furiously below it was one of our clients armed with an umbrella trying to  “shoo” it away from landing (shouting loudly “B*gger Off!  B*gger Off!”


The two amigos were inseparable and came to the Church virtually every Sunday – and always late.

Usually I’d be in the middle of an extemporized prayer when the side door of the Church would be thrown open – loudly – and in they would come.

S. , the more vocal of the two would stand in front of the congregation, wave to them, and say “Hello” – to which everybody, myself included, responded in like manner.  They then would take their seats.  I would try to pick up the thread of the ad libbed  prayer, would follow this with a Scripture Reading then announce the next hymn (which would be followed by the Homily).

As I began to deliver this Address, after the singing, the two guys would get up and leave – before the aforementioned S. said “Goodbye” to the congregation, waved and with his pal made a noisy exit.

(maybe they had heard me preach before?!)

Church on the Crichton Campus, Dumfries, Scotland

Church on the Crichton Campus, Dumfries, Scotland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

              The Greek word for sensual love is   Eros 
            Greek word for family love is not specifically found in Scripture, examples of it are seen throughout the Bible.
             the type of love in the Bible that most Christians practice toward each other
             Agape is the highest of the four types of love in the Bible. Jesus Christ showed this kind of divine love to his Father and to all humanity.

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July 11, 2013 · 14:23

Helicopters for Christ


A Texas megachurch pastor, whose ‘Aviation Department’ advised him that upgrading the blades on his helicopter would save his church $50,000, recently caused an uproar for asking his congregation to help finance the upgrade with $52 ‘favor seeds.’

Bishop, I.V. Hilliard, of the New Light Christian Center in Houston Texas, reportedly sent out a controversial newsletter to his “Friends in Jesus” list, telling them that if they sow a $52 transportation seed toward the upgrade they would receive “breakthrough favor” within 52 days or 52 weeks.

“Does your car need repair or total replacement? Do you have a dream vehicle or luxury automobile you long to purchase?” noted Hilliard in the opening paragraph of the letter.

“Our Aviation Department has an opportunity that will save the ministry well over $50K if we will move on it right away. My Aviation Manager stated that while repairing our helicopter they discovered that if we upgrade our blades today, it will save thousands in the days to come,” he explained.

Then while pointing to various biblical scriptures, Hilliard noted: “We have an urgent transportation need that the Lord said can be an opportunity for you to see His favor and His wisdom released to help you.”

“Scripture teaches when you give to a Kingdom need, God will raise up someone to use their power, their ability and their influence to help you,” he added.


“As I pondered and looked at the situation, I heard that still small voice of the Holy Spirit say ‘tell your special partners who have special transportation needs’ and their obedience will release favor for their needs and desires. I got excited and set down to write you!” noted Hilliard.

The Bishop’s request however stirred a heated debate online as soon as it was made public.

“You sir, are proof that SUCKERS/SHEEPLE are born every day! Give that charlatan money $$? LOL Why? So he can buy more gold rings, bigger mansion, bigger cars, hire another maid, a Helicopter??? ? All under the guise of Gawd..LOL This atheist is glad he’s an atheist!” wrote John R Costello on the Bishop’s facebook page.

Apparently upset that some people think Hilliard’s request is unreasonable, Pastor Eddie Daniels responded supportively to the controversy on the Bishop’s facebook page.

“Concerning Bishop I.V. Hilliard: Simply put, the church’s helicopter is under their maintenance responsibilities and not the sole responsibility of any one individual. Why does anyone feel coerced to be upset about the financial responsibility to spreading the ministry? Helicopters do not maintain themselves. They are not Transformers, neither Autobots nor Decepticons. Wake up church and get the world out of your affairs,” wrote Daniels.

In response to a Fox News report on the request, the New Light Christian Center, issued a statement apologizing to anyone the request may have offended.

“New Light Church World Outreach and Worship Centers, Inc. regularly make appeals to Special Partners, Members and friends of the church for the support of various programs and services,” New Light stated.

“Occasionally, it is not uncommon for an appeal to be directed toward specific Kingdom projects or specific needs. In this instance, the appeal was directed to our Special Partners and friends who are familiar with the Biblical principles upon which we base our faith. We sincerely regret if anyone was offended by this appeal in that it was not our intent.”


July 2, 2013 · 21:12

Yet Another Oldie

A religious man is on top of a roof during a great flood. A man comes by in a boat and says “get in, get in!” The religous man replies, ” no I have faith in God, he will grant me a miracle.”

Later the water is up to his waist and another boat comes by and the guy tells him to get in again. He responds that he has faith in god and god will give him a miracle. With the water at about chest high, another boat comes to rescue him, but he turns down the offer again cause “God will grant him a miracle.”

With the water at chin high, a helicopter throws down a ladder and they tell him to get in, mumbling with the water in his mouth, he again turns down the request for help for the faith of God.

He arrives at the gates of heaven with broken faith and says to Peter, I thought God would grand me a miracle and I have been let down.” St. Peter chuckles and responds, “I don’t know what you’re complaining about, we sent you three boats and a helicopter.”

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October 22, 2012 · 09:49