Firefighters- What’s your foundation?

Firefighters-What is your foundation?

The foundation of a house is the most important part. Without a proper foundation the house will collapse. Your future, your family’s future, and the future of the fire service are dependent on building upon a solid foundation.

Ask yourself these questions:

What foundation is currently being laid for the future houses of fire service leadership?

Or are they building without a foundation at all?

What principles, morals, and values do they hold fast to?

“But the one, who has heard and not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of the house was great.” (Luke 6:49).

Why is this important?

An intelligent leader who doesn’t have a solid moral foundation will ultimately fail the organization, their family, and those around them personally and or professionally. They will be found manning the life boats alone while the entire organization goes down with the ship.

Anyone can learn to be competent in their profession but to be exemplary is to be the one standing up for truth, caring for others, and leading by example (at home and at work).

How do we do this?

“Seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).

Integrity is a word that is often misused. It means to hold fast to your beliefs and values no matter the circumstance, the consequence, or the audience. In other words, you consistently apply your beliefs and values day in and day out no matter what. This requires a greater courage than facing down the flames of the greatest inferno.

Have we become so politically afraid due to the media that we dare not speak up for our beliefs anymore? St Francis said “In all things go and preach the gospel and if necessary use words.” Our very lives, actions, and behaviors should speak volumes about our beliefs long before we ever speak a word. Your dedication to God, your family, and to your calling as a firefighter should all be a part of this visible ‘witness’ to the world.

In a profession that prides itself in team work, sacrifice, service before self, camaraderie, integrity, courage, and honor we should be about the business of maintaining these foundations. Where is it that the traditional fire service values originated from? Where they from man? Where they from a government?

Consider this:

“The character of Jesus has not only been the highest pattern of virtue but the strongest incentive in its practice and it has exerted so deep an influence that it may be honestly said that a simple record of three short years of active life has done more to regenerate and soften mankind than all the dispositions of philosophers combined”

These words were not written by a pastor, a theologian, or a journalist. They were written by an Atheist, W.E.H. Lechey, who recognized the greatness of Christ and His influence on mankind. If a non-believer understood this by studying the life of Jesus, how much more should our lives be making an impact in the world around us?

How much more as believers should you and I take to heart the teachings of Jesus? We should be moving mountains in His name and sharing His love every day.

The mountains that we move are the mountains of negativity, immorality, despair, hopelessness, and the unbelief. You make a difference each and every day by standing on the rock of your foundations in Christ.

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Brotherhood- A Re-Introduction

#Brotherhood A Re-Introduction:

Let us begin…

There once was a noble profession known as firefighting and then those who loved it most fought for it the least.

Their once unstoppable passion for the calling was replaced with the search for fame, recognition, and authority.

Division replaced unity, bitterness replaced brotherhood, the calling became a career, and firefighters became employees. All the while politics and policy makers saw this as an opportunity to continue to divide us.

For if we are divided searching for our own success, our focus is distracted, and our strength is diminished due to our loss of the greatest tradition in the fire service:

Brotherhood

This is not a fictional story. This is the slow erosion of our values and beliefs right in front of our very eyes.

We choose to ignore it, and not believe that it is true but think for a moment about the following questions:

Are you tired of the negativity in the fire service?

Have you noticed the increasing trend of our brothers and sisters struggling?

Do you believe that we do a great job of helping others but fail at helping one another sometimes?

Have ever felt this way?

Has your once passionate desire for the fire service been diminished by others?

Do you feel abandoned?
“For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion, I will bring you back” Isaiah 54:7

Let’s bring it back, by taking the first step towards redemption. We must choose to lift others up and continue forward no matter the environment.

Jesus is out model, our brothers are our ministry, so let us begin…

Cliche’ words of comfort

Cliché words of comfort:

Have you ever suffered greatly? Have you ever been struggling with something so bad that you desperately needed someone to talk to?

Then in your brokenness, you seek out help, and you cry out to someone who is a Christian. In the midst of your misery, you are pouring out your heart, and then the cliché advice begins to be shared. This person begins to slowly invalidate your entire existence. Each answer that they produce makes you feel small, and ultimately makes you feel like you’re that you don’t matter.

They say words like:

Their advice: “It could be worse.”
Your response: It will be if you keep talking, let me show you…

Their advice: “Be thankful for what you have.”
Your response: “I am but you don’t know what I lost.”

Their advice: “At least you don’t have that person to put up with any more.” Your response: “I never wanted to quit putting up with them”

Their advice: “It’s going to get better.”
“One day, it will all get better.”When one door closes and another one opens.”Your response: “How long is the hallway to the next one?”

Does any of this sound familiar? Sadly, many of us who are believers tend to forget where we came from. The pain of yesterday is forgotten by the prosperity of today. We are either in a fire, coming out of a fire, or about to enter another fire in our life. With this in mind, we would all do well to be more compassionate, less judgmental, and more merciful.

People in this world are hurting. We are to be the hands and feet of Christ to them. This doesn’t mean that we are to fix their situation with a mere few words. It means we are to exemplify Him in our actions:

We are to show up, when everyone else leaves.
We are to listen and love on them and not say a word.
We are to cry with them, pray with them, and lend a hand.
We are to give of ourselves in such a way that God is glorified.

As firefighters, it is our job to bring a sense of normalcy back to a chaotic situation. We stabilize the situation but we do not heal the pain that remains. Our acts of compassionate service may ease the burden temporarily but the process of healing, mourning, and reconciliation takes time. It is heartless and thoughtless to expect someone to get over their situation instantly.

Remember these verses the next time you are confronted with another who is hurting:

When they have lost someone: “Jesus Wept” (John 11:35)

When they are alone: Jesus cried out “My God, My God why have you
forsaken me” (Mark 15:33)

When someone betrays them: All of Jesus’ disciples abandoned Him and
no one spoke up for Him while He was on the cross except for a condemned criminal named Dismas.

When someone has hurt them deeply: “When they hurled insults at Him, He did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead He trusted Himself to Him who judges justly.” (1 Peter 2:23)

When others do wrong while you do what is right: “abstain from sinful desires that wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they may accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us.” 1 Peter 2:11-12

In closing, remember your words, actions, and very life can be a means of comfort to another but there is a cost. It will not be comfortable. It will not be convenient. It will require sacrifice and your heart will be heavy. It is the cost of discipleship.

It is by His strength that we are able to come along side our friends and “carry each other’s burdens, and this way you fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)

Remember what He has done for you and go and show His love to others. He didn’t wait for you to ask forgiveness before He died for you. He died so that we may live. Let us not forget that in our ministry to others.

The Firefighter Rescue Plan Part 2

The Firefighter Rescue Plan
(A firefighter’s adaptation of the Roman Road):
Part 2 The Incredible Power of Choice.

In Step 1 We discussed how we are all in need of Rescue. It is the defining moment in our lives when we recognize this and call out for help.

Step 2: The Incredible Power of Choice- Firefighters understand the cost of making a hasty decision on the fire ground combined with a lack of training and complacency; this can or will lead to someone’s demise.

But if the Firefighter chooses “the way” they are successful but even the most skilled and knowledgeable firefighters have lost their lives on the fire ground.

Is there a choice that a firefighter can make that will guarantee their life will be spared?

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” Romans 6:23
We have many choices that will be laid before us in our lives but none more important than this:

Do you believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?

Firefighters- Among the Broken

Among the Broken:

Jesus said “Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27b
Have you ever heard the phase ‘birds of a feather flock together?’

Firefighters, do you ever wonder why we seek out others who are like us?

It is not out of prejudice or piousness, it is out of the desperate desire to feel as if you can relate. We want to be able to share through a bridge of common ground. Yet the world seems destined to divide us all into groups that are pitted against one another. All the while this accomplishes discord rather than unity. It causes us to lash out against each other focusing on our differences rather than the one thing that we all have in common:

Brokenness

Each and every one of us is born with a desire, an inner longing, and a passion to be fulfilled. Some call it ‘self actualization’ but take a moment and consider this one common characteristic from another perspective.

Every individual, whether rich or poor, healthy or ill, struggling or prosperous, will all battle with this one problem in their life at some point. It is the problem of feeling ‘incomplete’.
We each will strive to be complete through accomplishments, relationships, unhealthy coping mechanisms, power, and or wealth. After each one of these moments is achieved, we seem complete for only a temporary time and then the feeling returns. The thought continues to echo through your mind:

“There has to be more to life than this..”

There is indeed more to life than working to reach another goal. It comes when our hearts reach the point that we understand what we were truly made for. We were made for relationship.

We were made for each other, to serve one another, to love one another, and to glorify God through our faith lived out in our daily lives. Not by pious lifestyles or hypocritical words without meaning but by true brotherhood.

We are all linked together because we were all made by the same creator, Almighty God! It is when you come to this understanding that you begin to see the world as He does. You feel compassion for those who hurt you; you pray for those who persecute you; you give to those who could never repay you; and you sacrifice without thought of recognition because you love.

Why?

Because we are all among the broken and it is our calling to come along side one another and share the one true hope that will bring us eternal comfort. This hope is the hope of Jesus Christ.

Believe again and know that there is more to life than what the world offers you.
So much more!

The Firefighter Rescue Plan Part 1

The Firefighter Rescue Plan Part 1

The Firefighter Rescue Plan:

Part 1: Recognizing our need to be saved.

“A firefighters interpretation of the Roman Road to Salvation”

Every firefighter wants to save a life. It is not any firefighter’s wish that anyone should die. So it is with God, He doesn’t want anyone to perish…

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord isn’t slow to keep his promise,…not wanting anyone to perish but all to change their hearts and lives.

When a firefighter rescues someone, they do not refuse being saved. Why then do people refuse the saving message of God’s love through Jesus Christ?

As human beings we tend to believe we are relatively good. The problem lies in our perspective. We think we are good enough but…

Everyone is in need of Rescue:

“All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)

Each persons definition of good if based on their own standards will always vary and be different.

How then do we know whose definition of good and truth should determine our worldview?

Until Part 2, take the time to think about the definition of good and truth.

Is anyone truly a good person by their own merit?

“It isn’t often that someone will die for a righteous person, though maybe someone might dare to die for a good person.” Romans 5:7

#Firefighters How do you deal with discouragement?

BringingBackBrotherhood

Dealing with Discouragement:

The roles & responsibilities of a firefighter aren’t easy. The ever increasing demands on our knowledge, skills, and abilities causes one to feel as if you most know everything, be prepared for anything, and can never take a breath.

One who is passionate, dedicated, and has a love for the calling of a firefighter can become weary when the following occurs:

All of your efforts are not appreciated and the mediocrity is rewarded.

Your family situation suffers

And the organization that you call the greatest job in the world makes you feel worthless.

How does one reignite the fire that once burned in their soul?

How does one reconcile their sacrifice and dedication with worlds constant lack of appreciation?

The answer is simple but the application is beyond difficult.

Our hope, Our joy, and Our significance cannot be based on the appreciation or lack there of from…

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