Category Archives: Daily Roll Call

The Ultimate Fireground Commander

Isaiah 43:2

“When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you.

When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown!

When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up—the flames will not consume you.”

Who is able to:

To stretch the right line, to the right place, at the right time…

To be on point, never missing a cue of a tense situation…

To stay calm no matter the chaos and provide the right words to inspire others…

To mitigate every circumstance with the proper tactic…

To be well equipped and always ready even when others fade…

To have the ladder at the window at just the right moment to make the rescue…

To reach through the darkness and make the grab..

To breathe life back into someone when all hope is lost…

To extricate from an impossible set of circumstances as if the metal couldn’t hold them…

To do all this and never boast, never seek recognition, and prepare to do it all over again…

This is the embodiment of servant leadership. This is an analogy of what God does for us each and every day through Jesus Christ.

If you will let Him, He will take command of your life. He will never lose track of you. He will never forget you. He will always be there for you. And His light will shine though any darkness.

For He has conquered death and defeated the fires of hell.

He is the Ultimate Fire Ground Commander and His name is Jesus Christ.

Will you let Him take command of your life?

The Portable Radio Analogy: A One Sided Conversation

Have you ever listened to radio traffic at an incident and thought to yourself

“How is anyone ever supposed to respond when the IC won’t stop talking?”

If someone was to transmit a MAY-DAY how would the Incident Commander even know?

I have struggled in my prayer life more than any other area of my Christian walk. I have been guilty of never letting go of the microphone. My prayers have been a way of merely reporting to God what He already knew.

If Prayer is communication with God them shouldn’t we allow Him a moment to respond?

The problem that most of us have is this:

We think we are the Incident Commander and we think we should be doing most of the talking. In reality, we are the firefighters and we should be listening to the Ultimate Incident Commander for direction and guidance.

In our lives we should all “take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak” (James) and understand that in order to hear someone speak we must not be talking.

Pray and learn to let go of the microphone as we all wait for His response. “Before they call, I will answer. While they are yet speaking I will hear” Isaiah 65:24

God will answer but are we listening? “Be still” and listen as He speaks to your heart.

A Firefighter’s Guide to Fighting the Fire’s of Life

We all will face hard times in our lives. This is a quick format to follow the next time we come upon a difficult personal time. Let’s apply what we know as firefighters through a spiritual perspective:

Step 1) Size-Up:

At every incident we transmit a size-up to the responding companies. When we face down the difficulties of life let us do the same through Prayer:

Tell God what your facing and share it with someone you trust.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 “pray continually,”

Step 2) Transfer Command to the Ultimate Fire ground Commander:

God has it under control so let us demonstrate our faith by trusting Him. At an incident we transfer command to a higher authority and trust that they are watching over us while we go to work on the problem.

Consider the battle is already won! We are fulfilling our part of God’s plan through our actions.

Romans 8:37 “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

Step 3) Follow His IAP: Incident Action Plan

Start mitigating the problem by following His plan by exemplifying our Faith in Action.

James 2:26 ‘As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.’

In your heart, you will know what to do. By praying and seeking God’s counsel He will guide you.

So let’s get started. As stated above, God has the plan so let’s get to work and trust that He will be watching over us, guiding us, and teaching us along the way.

Step 4) Report to Rehab:

We will tire but we can rest in the confidence that help is on the way. He will provide the rest, renewal, and strength that we need to finish the race.

Jesus said “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” Matthew 11:28

‘Before they call I will answer, while they are yet speaking I will hear.’ Isaiah 65:24

 

Courage Redefined:

The courage to face adversity and opposition is one of the most difficult types of courage to cultivate. Why is this so? Because often it only grows through the challenge of adversity.

As firefighters we risk our lives daily in numerous ways yet when it comes to having the courage to speak up for our beliefs we shy away from the task.

To face the enemy known as fire we take a “calculated risk” based on our training, conditions, and resources available. Yet when we are faced with a moral dilemma we should remember to make our decision based on our faith, our core values, and the truth in God’s word. 

To have moral courage is to “stand firm in the faith”.  In order to develop this characteristic, one must sincerely believe. They stand firm, not because of their own strength, but because of their hope in Christ.  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13)

The challenge lays before you and it is no easy task:

Let us be clear and speak the truth in love. When you are confronted, persecuted, or ridiculed because of your faith do not speak to them as they did to you.

Remember, Jesus is our example. When he was mocked, cursed, spit on, and persecuted He did not respond with anger but with love.

This is the mark of true courage: To respond to hate with love, to answer ridicule with wisdom, to turn the opposition into a conversation, and to lead a conversation into a relationship.

The world may hurt us, betray us, but we can have hope that Jesus didn’t let that stop Him from loving us. He loved through the hurt.

Pray that God will give us courage to love others even when they hurt us.

Prayer:
“May your words be on our lips and may your strength be in our spirit for we cannot stand on our own without you.”

We stand together in this fight with truth and suffer only because we trust in a God who has already won the victory for us.

So “as we are going” through our lives let us pray for the courage to stand firm in our faith, hold the line, and speak the truth in love. For it does us no good if sacrifice a relationship for the sake of winning an argument

Seeking His Counsel-Godly Decision Making

Seeking His Counsel: Godly Decision Making.

Have you ever struggled at the crossroads of decision? Before us lies many wonderful opportunities but only one road can we take.

As Firefighters, it is quite a paradox that we find ourselves in. We make snap judgements that instantly have profound lifelong implications on the lives of others yet here we stand unable to make a decision in our own life.

Consider this statement:

Firefighters spend countless hours mastering the craft in order to perform when the call comes but in our own lives we have failed to train for the tough decisions of life.
“To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from The Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue.” Proverbs 16:1
If we are not careful, our hearts can lead us astray. In moments of success we can begin the slow drift away from kneeling before God to making ourselves a god.

What can we do?

Do we stand paralyzed by indecision and miss all of the opportunities laid before us?

Or do we pray earnestly, seek wise counsel, and step out in faith?

The Application:

“Commit to The Lord whatever you do and He will establish your plans” Proverbs 16:3

We must first align our hearts with His will. We must pray and ask His guidance.

Some of the most godly men in the Bible bore great pain when they failed to ask God for guidance. Let us learn from their examples.

Step 1: Is the choice we are about to make in line with God’s truth?

Step 2: Are we doing this for God or for ourselves? Be Honest, He knows our hearts…

Step 3: If we fail, will our faith remain? Is our faith only strong when things aren’t going wrong?

Step 4: We must act!

“Faith is confidence of what we hope for and assurance of what we do not see” Hebrews 11:1

A step forward in faith is better than one who fails to share the gifts that God has given them. In other words, “trust God as if everything depends upon Him while working as if everything depends on us.” NIV commentary

Pray, Seek Him, And Act according to His will. He will direct our steps.

The Be-Attitudes of Brotherhood #2

The Be-attitudes of Brotherhood By Brother Stone

Be attitude #2

Be selfless-
This is probably the most important mark of true brother. It is the very essense of being a firefighter.

We willingly place ourselves in danger to help complete strangers. How much more should we do for those we live and work with?

Every great firefighter and leader lives by this trait. We should strive to suppress our own desires for self advancement and TRAIN ourselves to think of others FIRST.

Perhaps a quote from the best selling book in history can sum it up…

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” John 15:13.

If you apply this one Be-attitude great things are guaranteed for you and your career; but like anything of great value it is not easy.

Stay strong brothers and do the right thing, one day at a time!

Keep brotherhood alive through you!

The Be-Attitudes of Brotherhood #1

The “Be-attitudes” of #Brotherhood

By Brother Stone

The “be-attitudes” are a list of attitudes that define what brotherhood is all about. The be-attitudes are inspired by and loosely based on the biblical principles, along with a few other character traits that define the American Firefighter in the public eye.

  1. Be-attitude #1: Be honest.

‘And my honesty will testify for me in the future’ Genesis 30:33

“Honesty is the best policy” right? Yes indeed it is. When you are honest in your dealings your conscious remains clear. No need to “watch your back” or recall details of previous conversations.

Honesty is something that is not only expected from the public we serve but is a vital trait of a brother and a leader. If we strive to be honest in our dealings we will earn the confidence of our peers as well as our bosses. Honesty builds a reputation that is solid as a rock. People will always depend, go to , and confide in the one who remains faithful to the calling of honesty.

 

 

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.
Why?
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.
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!

Facing Hard Times? Help is on the way:

Facing Hard Times? Help is on the way:

“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character, and character hope. “ Romans 5:3

How do we glory in our sufferings?

Not many of us look at the problems of life as something to be happy about. As firefighters, we solve problems for others but respond differently when they affect us.

Why is this?

As a firefighter, we understand this concept better than we would like to admit.

We understand that in order to be a better, stronger, and more disciplined that we have to endure many hardships.

Training, education, and exercise are some of our disciplines. But what about applying those disciplines in our own lives?

In our actual service we see tragedy, illness, death, and loss almost on a daily basis. This can carry over into our personal lives and cause us to cope in unhealthy ways that are destructive to those around us.

Let us pause for a moment and ask ourselves:

Do the hard times we face in life make us weaker or stronger?

Each moment and each experience is an opportunity to produce “perseverance, character, and hope”

These moments and experiences are not meant for us to internalize and let them destroy us from the inside out.

They are meant for us to share, draw on each other’s comfort, and to use them in the future when we face even more difficult moments.

We are not meant to carry these burdens alone. Remember that!

“Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

This is a brotherhood and that means we carry one another’s burdens together! We do everything as a team so why should one of our brothers/sisters have to face a personal crisis alone?

These moments can define us or destroy us. Through Faith and Fellowship they can be a source of strength.

The Application:

As we face hard times in life we must remember to share our pain with others. It is not a sign of weakness, but a sign that we are human.

Without others calling for help, the fire service would not need to exist. With that in mind, begin by calling out to God and to our brothers/sisters for help.

Consider this tactical benchmark check list for our lives:

Size-Up: Pray! Tell God what your facing and share it with someone you trust.

Transfer Command: On an incident, the higher ranking officer takes command upon arrival. In our lives we don’t have to wait on God’s arrival. He is always there. Let Him take Command.

Follow His IAP: Immediately Apply Principles- God wants us to do our part; which demonstrates our faith (trust) in Him. Start mitigating the problem by following His plan.

Report to Rehab: As we work on the struggles we face we will become weary.

This is where we are to radio Command: “God, I am tired and weary”

And Jesus replies “Come to Me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

Remember as a firefighter, when we arrive at an emergency what do we do?

We go to work resolving the problem. Why?

Because we have confidence in our training and in knowing that help is on the way.

“Before they call I will answer, while they are yet speaking I will hear” Isaiah 65:24

So Pray and remember that our confidence is directly correlative to our dedication to God’s word. Our ‘training’ is our study and application of God’s word.

Then we are get to work on the problem knowing that help is on the way.

In closing, hard times will come but it is how we choose to respond to these moments that will impact our lives and the lives of those around us.

Let us practice the principles of God’s word as the ultimate training for the problems we will all face.