Navy Chaplain Leads Marines in Studying the Scripture

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ATLANTIC OCEAN (Nov. 3, 2016) Lt. Trevor Carpenter, chaplain aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Stout (DDG 55), prays during a burial at sea. Stout, deployed as part of the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group, is conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Bill Dodge)

As a Navy chaplain serving in combat logistics, Trevor Carpenter has traveled on guided-missile destroyers and served with teams scouting for air assault attacks.

But for the past several months, Carpenter’s focus hasn’t involved ballistics and helicopters as much as it has Bibles and highlighters.

“I currently have around 70 Marines and their spouses digging into Scripture each week through the H.E.A.R. journaling method,” said Carpenter, who’s stationed at Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

H.E.A.R. stands for Highlight, Explain, Apply and Respond, a Bible-study method developed by pastor Robby Gallaty, senior pastor of Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville, Tenn., and creator of the H.E.A.R. journaling method. Carpenter discovered the method in the “CSB Disciple’s Study Bible.”

“Being in the military, I’m a pretty programed guy,” Carpenter said. “So when I picked up a copy of the ‘Disciple’s Study Bible,’ I decided to go through its journaling plan as a self-guided Bible study. It became the meat and potatoes of spiritual growth for my wife and I while I was stationed [in Norfolk, Va.].”

Upon being transferred to Hawaii, Carpenter said he met six young Christian Marines and their spouses who were part of a group that had been formed by another chaplain to establish Christian community on base. The couples — who each hailed from different parts of the U.S. — asked if Carpenter would begin discipling them.

Carpenter accepted and told them about the Bible-journaling method he and his wife had been going through the past eight months.

“Because they’re military, they got out their military journals and asked how to use the H.E.A.R. method to study the Word,” Carpenter said. “Since then, we’ve been meeting in a living room every Wednesday night to discuss what we study and journal about throughout the week.”

Shortly after Carpenter met these couples, several single Marines approached Carpenter and asked for advice on how to read the Bible. Carpenter quickly formed a second discipleship group for these Marines. He also launched a weekly lunch group for Marines who live off base to allow them to get together and discuss their Bible-journaling experiences.

Gallaty noted, “Journaling through Scripture has impacted my own Bible reading through the years. I’m encouraged to learn how God is using the same H.E.A.R. journaling method to equip these Marines. I can’t wait to see how God uses them to live as missionaries wherever they serve.”

Recently, Carpenter was also asked by his pastor to teach a Bible journaling class over the summer to members of his church. Carpenter noted when he first started using the H.E.A.R. method, he had no idea it was going to spark a movement of Marines and churchgoers journaling through God’s Word in the middle of the Pacific.

“I’m now taking four different groups through the H.E.A.R. method of studying Scripture,” he said. “I have people coming up to me every week saying, ‘Will you teach me how to open up the Bible?'”

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Source: Baptist Press

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