Tag Archives: bravery

The T-Shirt Firefighter & the Bumper Sticker Christian

double-oaks-2nd-alarm-full-view-1024x768 The T-Shirt Firefighter and the Bumper Sticker Christian

It is not uncommon to see a person wearing a T-shirt that indicates they are a firefighter. In many instances, the words or pictures on these T-shirts are not pleasant and are often proclaiming actions this individual isn’t living out. This often angers firefighters who take the craft of firefighting seriously. But what about our faith? Do we take it as seriously as our place in life as firefighters? What about those who wear T-shirts or bumper stickers claiming they are Christians but live a life that is contrary to what God’s word proclaims? Shouldn’t this cause us to pause and reflect on what’s more important?

Perhaps you have heard it said: “I’m not a Christian because they are all hypocrites.” Sadly, this is true for many of us. We claim a belief that we often fail to consistently live out causing more harm to Christianity by our poor examples.

“It is an extraordinary difficulty quality to fake. It is beautiful to see demonstrated in someone’s life. However, it is equally obvious when it is lacking. What is it? It is a healthy, consistent, and balanced faith” (Stephen Arterburn).

Stephen’s word’s ring true that it beautiful to see the love of Christ demonstrated consistently in someone’s life. This in fact, is a living Epistle of God’s handiwork written before the eyes of the world for all to see that God can save, God can transform, and God can do anything in anyone’s life if they will put their trust in Him.

Make no mistake, this is not a condemnation of those who strive to follow Christ and fall down as most of us do. This writing is for those who claim merely a title and not a relationship with Christ as many of us often fall into this trap. Their belief is only as deep as their devotion. How do I know this? Because this was my life until 2006 when I felt the weight of conviction. The conviction came from the Holy Spirit, showing me that I was leading others astray by claiming a belief that I didn’t truly have.

For firefighters, we often are angered or frustrated by those who claim to be firefighters but fail to consistently train, improve, or perform well when the call comes in. Yet, we who take such a calling so seriously, often fail to live out the values of our own faith. We find ourselves in an uncomfortable place of self-conviction as we stand in front of the mirror realizing it is we who have failed.

In our faith we often fail to live out our belief in the following examples:

We claim Christ, yet we compromise truth, condemn others, criticize, all instead of living out our faith in truth and love…

We claim o be good & dedicated parents; yet the hours we invest in our careers far outnumber the time we spend with our spouses and children…

We claim to love Jesus; yet we fail to consistently do what He says. (Luke 6:46 46 “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?”

We claim to be Christians, yet our finances prove we love our possessions more than our creator. Jesus counsels us on the dangers of loving riches more than God. One such example is the counseling of the rich young ruler in Luke 18:22-23 “So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me. But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich.”

We claim to be witnesses of the Gospel, yet we share more gossip & slander than the Good News. This can be seen in our lives where we pray for someone on Sunday and then gossip among ourselves about their concern during the week. We have to remember that when others allow us the privilege to pray for their private concerns that this isn’t an opportunity for us to gossip; it is an opportunity to intercede and strengthen our own prayer life.

We claim to be saved from our sins; yet our lives reveal a different story of lust, foul language, lies, adultery and more. For myself, the hypocrisy of living a double life was a weight that I could no longer bear. I lived a very rough and perverse life while at work and then would attempt to be the good “godly” man at home. God began to convict me of this and has been slowly hammering away my old behaviors, habits, and things that kept me from being close to Him.

James reminds us that if we claim something our actions will ultimately reveal our hearts:

“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?” (James 2:14).
Jesus reminds us that if we know Him, love Him, and remain in Him our lives will be living proof of our belief: publicly and privately.
“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit” (Luke 6:43:44).

In closing, we who claim to know Christ out to be living lives that reflect the depth of our relationship. Therefore, we should all be investing more into our time with Jesus so that when we wake up to face the world that they would see Him in us. Otherwise, if we say we love Jesus yet we act like the secular world we may hear Jesus’ words:

“Why do you call Me Lord, Lord and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46)

May we all take the time to strengthen our relationship with the One who loves us so much that “He gave His only begotten Son so that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16b).
God bless,

Andy J. Starnes

The Unappreciated

There comes a time in everyone’s life where all their efforts seem to be failing…

There comes a time when nothing seems to work out despite our valiant efforts…

There comes a time when disaster strikes those closest to us that do well, while the wicked live on and prosper…

There comes a time when leaders will abuse their authority, slander & lie, promote mediocrity, and allow certain individuals who “fall in line” to break the rules while they discipline those who do what is right with the most rigid and harsh results as if to say “Look what doing right will cost you”…

There comes a time when, we work our entire life only to be struck down by illness right as we near retirement…

There comes a time, when we begin to walk with God, and many of our relationships fall apart and they view us as hateful and prejudiced despite all of the love we have for them…

There comes a time when our efforts & accomplishments are stolen by others and they even receive recognition for their theft as the originators of the work…

There comes a time, when our spouse turns cold and demands a divorce despite all we do to reconcile…

There comes a time in our lives when we feel lost, abandoned, and unappreciated…

When one pursues righteousness, confesses their sins openly, and cares deeply for others; one would reason that they would be valued…

What then can we do when these trials and tribulations come?

Are we to give up hope as the world seems to only reward those who agree with their values?

Sadly, so many people choose suicide as the answer to their hopeless situation when in reality there lies a hope that cannot be taken from us…

Remember this: Values determine relationships….

What we value, what we cherish, what we know as sacred….

Those beliefs will determine our work ethic, our world view, and if we differ from the world we should be prepared for the storm…

Take comfort in the following words when the tribulations of this world come to our doorstep:

Jesus gave his disciples very specific and powerful instructions in the book of John. His words are for those who claim Him as Lord and Savior. This means we are disciples, which should be understood what responsibility we have and what hardships we will face as such:

“The term “disciple” is derived from the Koine Greek word mathetes, which means a pupil (of a teacher) or an apprentice (to a master craftsman), coming to English by way of the Latin discipulus meaning a learner while the more common English word is student. A disciple is different from an apostle, which instead means a messenger. While a disciple is one who learns from a teacher, an apostle is one sent to deliver those teachings or a message” (Wikipedia).

As disciples, then we are learners, pupils, or apprentices to the ultimate master craftsman…

So why do we expect those who don’t share these same values as our Master to appreciate ours?

Should we be surprised?

On the contrary, we have forgotten our master craftsman’s words and may have slowly began to become an apprentice of the world instead.

When the world tells us that all truth is relative we know:

Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6).

When we face the trouble, trial, and tribulation we remember:

Jesus said “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:1-3).

IMG_6571.JPGWhen the wicked prosper and are rewarded for their efforts we remember:

“Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end” (John 13:1).

“Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and the He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded” (John 13:2-5).

One could write volumes on just these few mentioned scriptures but for this writing we should note that Jesus knew what He was facing (the crucifixion and God pouring out His wrath upon Him) and He loved those who were His own to the very end! Remember, as He was dying on the cross “Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).

Remember and read (the book of John is a great place to start) the life of Jesus and see the Son of God, born into abject poverty in a stable where shepherds were chosen as His first messengers. Shepherds were considered outcasts and lowly in terms of societal class in Biblical times. He was baptized, even though He was sinless, and He sought out disciples who were all imperfect sinful men. His three short years of ministering to them changed their lives, transformed their hearts, and He taught, healed, and stood up for truth. Those disciples went on to change the world and they all faced incredible hardships. All of them but one died for their efforts. And they were not recognized during their lives for their efforts but they were “surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses” (Hebrews 12:1b) of those who prophets who had gone before them. They knew what they were facing and they endured to the very end. Why? Because they knew as Jesus did who they belonged to, what reward awaited them, and that their love would lead to eternal dividends in the lives of generations to come.

Therefore, will we “grow weary in doing good?”

Or will we remember who we belong to, what we WILL face, and what reward awaits us?

All of this we do out of love for the one who loved us to the very end even though even He was unappreciated by the very people He came to save. Don’t give up on this world, Jesus didn’t!

God Bless,

Andy J. Starnes

 

This is My Fire House

Welcome to my fire house, it is like no other…
 
Here we answer the call of the needy, the hurting, and bring calm to the chaos…
 
This is my fire house, a place of provision, security, and accountability all in one…
 
Here we eat together, pray together, play together, and share our burdens…
 
This is my fire house, it is like no other for only here can we be real with one another…
 
Here we fight, argue, and occasionally have times of discord….
 
This my fire house, four walls that house those who go out to serve the world…
 
Here we ventilate, open up, extricate, and bring life back to one another…
 
This is my fire house, where training isn’t optional it’s a part of our life…
 
Here we read, we discipline, we exercise, and we practice to be prepared…
 
This is my fire house, it is like no other, for I am responsible for those under its roof…
 
Here we watch over one another, we take care of one another, and our daily actions are the proof…
 
This is my fire house, it is like no other for we have good times, dark times, and experience loss…
 
Here we shed tears, we shed blood and sweat, and remembering those that we have lost…
 
This is my fire house, a place of solace and peace for those that are blessed to dwell…
 
Here we speak of heaven, praise God, and together we have been through hell…
 
This is my fire house, a place of rest for the weary and a place to come home to…
 
You see this isn’t a fire station filled with trucks and equipment…
This is my home with my wife, my daughter, and the love that fills it…
 
You may have thought of the fire house with those that you love…
And that is a special place as well, but first remember what we have been given from above…
 
Remember your family, your spouse, your children and how we respond to them…
 
Remember their desperate calls for help when they need their dad, their mom, and their friend…
 
Remember how you train, how you work, and how you would give your life for them…
 
Remember how no matter when the moment strikes you will always answer the call…
 
For this is your fire house, the one given to you from above and it should be placed above all…
 
God has given you a family, those under your care that you are to fight for…
 
This is our greatest blessing, our greatest calling, and the reason we train so tirelessly for…
 
This is my fire house, and I will fight the fires of life with those entrusted to my care…
 
We will train ourselves up in the way we should go and always be there….
 
This is my fire house, a place of shelter, protection, provision, and peace…
 
Those that dwell here will respond to each other, to others, and the last, lost, and the least…
 
For Jesus is our Commander in Chief and we seek his direction daily…
 
We may fail, we may fall down, but He walks with us through the fires ever so bravely…
 
He will never leave nor forsake therefore we will stand together through it all…
 
Knowing that this is my fire house, that He has equipped those within it to answer the call…
 
God Bless,
Andy J. Starnes
Bringing Back Brotherhood Ministries.

In a Battle? Time to Get to Higher Ground!

In the midst of the storms of this life, have we considered how well we are communicating with the One who controls the winds and the waves? In the middle of the firefight when the flames are raging, how well are we communicating with the Ultimate Incident Commander?
“Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me for in you my soul takes refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed. I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills his purposes for me” (Psalm 57:1-2)
 
There is a battle raging right before our very eyes. Police are being targeted and killed, religious freedoms are being removed, innocent unborn children are being murdered, terrorism is on the rise, and the importance of morals & values are being diminished by many leaders in society. Yet there is an even greater war going on….
 
“For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens” (Ephesians 6:12).
 
The Bible clearly tells us that there IS spiritual warfare going on all around us. For those who believe, we see its effects clearly around us. Yet we also fight a battle within ourselves against our sinful nature. We fight against our own lust, lies, anger, hypocrisy, idolatry, greed, and so on.
 
“For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want. But if you are led by the Holy Spirit, you are not under the Law” (Galatians 5:17-18).
 
So how do we fight against this invisible foe along with our sinful nature? Paul reminds us in Ephesians that we should “put on the full armor of God, so that you can be ready to take you stand against the devil’s schemes” (Ephesians 6:11). However, are we truly ready for battle? The issue isn’t the armor of God in many cases; but whether or not we are communicating and in relationship with the One who is leading the battle.
 
We must boldly then pray “For through Him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit” (Ephesians 2:18) and know that “In Him through faith we approach God” (Ephesians 3:12). This can be hard for many of us. For myself, I feel that my prayers are often hindered not because of God but because of me. I feel unworthy to approach him because of my sins. I forget the great price that was paid for my own sins by Jesus Christ. I have to come once again, boldly yet broken to the foot of the cross and cry out to My Lord having the full confidence that He will hear me not because of what I have done but because of what Jesus Christ has done for all of us.
 
We can then pray as Paul did that God would “strengthen you with the power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted, and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s Holy people to grasp how wide and long and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:16-20).
 
So are ready for battle? Are we willing to put the time in as a good soldier of Jesus Christ? Time in prayer, Time in studying His word, and Time in showing God’s love to a hurting and lost world even if it costs us?
Remember, a solider expects to be attacked, they expect their enemy will come at them. Let us then boldly pray and pursue a deeper relationship with Jesus knowing that He will fight our battles if we will remain in Him.
 
God Bless,
Andy J. Starnes

The Shortest & Most Powerful Verse

The Shortest & Most Powerful Verse:

“Jesus wept” (John 11:35)

As firefighters, we don’t like to admit that we often hurt. Not just a physical pain from our work but an inner torment. We often push down the emotions from the things we see, the struggles in our own lives, and the stress we experience. Then in one moment, we erupt as if our emotional pressure relief valve gives up. The tears come and they fall like rain. Perhaps, in this moment we could take the time to remember that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ also shed tears.

Jesus experienced the same emotions that you and I feel. Every one of us has shed tears, tears of joy, and tears of sadness.  We will face trying times and some of these moments will seem impossible for us to deal with.  And as a follower of Christ, the more that we work for Him, the higher position we rise to, the greater the opposition we will face. It is a certainty that has been foretold by Jesus and lived out by Him and all of those who have followed Him.

“If you want to be my follower you must love Me more than your own father & mother, wife, and children, brothers, sisters-yes more than your own life.” (Luke 14:26)

In John 15:18-25 Jesus predicts our coming persecutions:

18 “If the world hates you, understand that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own. However, because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of it, the world hates you.20 Remember the word I spoke to you: ‘A slave is not greater than his master. ’If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will also keep yours. 21 But they will do all these things to you on account of My name, because they don’t know the One who sent Me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin.  Now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 The one who hates Me also hates My Father. 24 If I had not done the works among them that no one else has done, they would not have sin. Now they have seen and hated both Me and My Father. 25 But this happened so that the statement written in their scripture might be fulfilled: They hated Me for no reason.

Many of us have fallen away when we have suffered for the sake of Christ but we must remember the words in 1 Peter 4:12-19.

“Dear friends, don’t be surprised when the fiery ordeal comes among you to test you as if something unusual were happening to you. Instead, rejoice as you share in the sufferings of the Messiah, so that you may also rejoice with great joy at the revelation of His glory. If you are ridiculed for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.  None of you, however, should suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or a meddler. But if anyone suffers as a “Christian,” he should not be ashamed but should glorify God in having that name. For the time has come for judgment to begin with God’s household, and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who disobey the gospel of God?

 

And if a righteous person is saved with difficulty,

What will become of the ungodly and the sinner?

So those who suffer according to God’s will should, while doing what is good, entrust themselves to a faithful Creator.”

Every person that we can read about in the Bible struggled, suffered, and wept. Yet, do we realize there is such a thing as tears of joy. The actual chemical composition of tears of sadness and tears of joy are actually different. So when we feel the emotions flood our hearts let us not suppress them let us embrace them and remember:

God counts every one of our tears:

“Thou numberest my wanderings: Put thou my tears into thy bottle; Are they not in thy book?” Psalm 56:8

God Himself has shed tears:

“Jesus wept” John 11:35

God will wipe away our tears:

“4 and he shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more; neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain, any more: the first things are passed away. “(Revelation 21:4)

The tears of joy and sadness in life will come but let them fall knowing that God the Father counts every one, God the Son has shed tears, and God will wipe away every tear from our eyes one day. We can take comfort Jesus was “made in every respect like us, His brothers and sisters, so that He could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. Then He could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people. Since He himself has gone through suffering and testing, He is able to help us when we are being tested.” (Hebrews 2:17-18)

We are to remember that this world is the training grounds for heaven. We are made for a higher purpose, predestined for good works, and He will use all things to work together for our good and His glory if we will yet trust in Him. Hold the line, don’t let stop fighting the fires of your life, and remember He is with us though it all.

God Bless,

Andy J. Starnes

Bringing Back Brotherhood Ministries

 

 

Answering the Call

As one soldiers on in sharing the love of Christ with others in the fire service there is a consistent theme in all humanity that we encounter. It is the encounter of the wounded and broken soul who has built walls around their heart in defense of the hurt in this world.

Their eyes seem to cry out the Psalmist words “My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, but I find no rest.” Psalm 22:2

Their mannerisms and behaviors bear the scars of worry and anxiety. Anxiety has damaged their health, disrupted their productivity, causing them to negatively treat others, and has ultimately reduced their ability to trust in God.

This is the place where we meet others on the broken road to Christ. Unfortunately, many do more harm to them than good. Many people, offer short quick fix answers to their life long problems of pain and struggle. Many say they are willing to help but walk away when it becomes too personal.

The Fire service is in desperate need of encouragement. Disciples of Christ are needed to rise up and “answer us when we call.” (Psalm 20: 9) Men and women are broken, hurting, suffering, and in our traditional mentality we think that pride means we should not ask for help. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

In the fire service, we do nothing alone. Every aspect of our lives is based upon team concepts whether it be stretching a hose line, performing CPR, to taking care of our daily duties; we do these things together! Why should one who saves others who now finds themselves in desperate need of help suffer in silence?

Have you been in such a place? Are you there now? Would you like to do something about it? Whether we realize it or not our painful experiences do not invalidate us they have prepared us to help others. As a firefighter, you are given another unique opportunity: To save other firefighters!

No one else is more qualified than you. No one else will be welcomed into the inner circle of trust. And No one else can understand the things that we see than another firefighter. As a firefighter, you can break down the walls of bronze that our built around another’s heart through God’s love and mercy. He has divinely prepared us for this position and has been training us all along the roads of our lives.

“For He breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron.” Psalm 107: 15-16

If you are ready to answer the call of Christ and reach out to your brothers and sisters in need there are many ways to do so. Contact us at bringingbackbrotherhood@gmail.com for more information. We will counsel you on ways to encourage others, connect you to organizations that are currently helping firefighters, and if you so desire you may become a part of our team.

Brotherhood is more than a word; its a belief that what we do is a calling placed inside of our hearts by God and we will answer that call by being there when no one else will. Will you be a part of it?

God Bless,

Andy J. Starnes
Bringing Back Brotherhood Ministries
Founder
704-507-7156
bringingbackbrotherhood@gmail.com

The Firefighter Rescue Plan: How to call for help?

The Firefighter Rescue Plan: How to call for help?

Let us consider each part of this scenario as one who has become lost in the ‘fires of life’:

A sudden and unexpected calamity occurs in our life and we rush in to prevent any further harm without thought of a back-up plan.  Then the situation takes a turn for the worse and the world “collapses” around us. In this moment, we feel “pinned down” by the weight of this problem.  Our thoughts turn to anger and our pride prevents us from calling for help.

The situation seems hopeless; every effort to save ourselves only worsens the problem.
Anxiety begins to weigh heavy upon our heart. The circumstances have paralyzed us and we fall upon our knees as we cry out in desperation to God: “Please save us!”

Take a moment and think about this:

What if someone knew that in the future we would need to be rescued?

What if they knew that no matter how many people tried to save us that we still would refuse their help?

What if they knew that the only way to save us was to give up their own life for ours?

Even though at that moment, we would have never asked for their help or admitted our need for their help, this person still chose to give up their life for us. Why would anyone do such a thing?

Because He loves us more than you could ever imagine.

God demonstrated His great love in this:
“While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

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. The imagery is powerful, realistic, and it is true. God chose to save us before we asked. He answered the call of our heart that we refused to make. Many of us, including myself, only chose to call out in a moment of desperation. This is where many of us meet God. When there is no one else to save us, no back-up plan, no emergency fund, and no one to call.

The plan from the very beginning was to save us all. As a firefighter, you understand the plan of redemption even if you aren’t a Christian.  One who calls for help is saved by another that he or she has never met, and never can repay what has been done for them.
Sound familiar?

Each and every moment is a gift. God has made a way home, a personal rescue plan, just for us. His name is Jesus Christ. He will reach through our darkness, give us the breath of life, and bring us through the fire into the safety of His arms.

Many have become lost on their journey in the fires of life. It is not God’s plan for anyone to be lost but to be rescued. He is actively searching for us. His love pierces through the deepest darkness and his light shines through the most turbulent smoke.  If we would but call upon his name we will be saved. 

Romans 10:13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Every citizen is taught from an early age how to call for help. They are taught to call 911 and they know that help is on the way. In our lives, we should not be afraid to call upon God to be saved. We should not be afraid to call out to Him for help and we should realize that He has placed a wonderful support group in our presence if we would merely ask.

James 4:2 states “You have not because you ask not.”

Each of us will face moments in life that will be more than we can bear. It is not meant for us bear the load alone. In firefighting, we go in together and we fight together. We overhaul together and we get back in service together.

It is not a sign of weakness to ask for help. It is a sign of strength. Take the time and consider this:

“Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” 1 Peter 5:8-9

Notice something? “Your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” If those around us, that we place our trust in, are undergoing the same kind of sufferings than who better to talk to, to lean on, and to ask for help from?

Our rescue plan has been defined, the team has been deployed, and they are standing at the ready to help. In Part three of this series, we will begin to how to “End the trend” of firefighters not receiving the help they so desperately need.

Until then, start by asking God for help, and leaning on our brothers or sisters around us. Lawyer's rd 4 alarm fire

#Firefighter Testimonies-The Power of Your Story:

Have you ever noticed that when a teacher uses a story (an experience from their life) that the material they are presenting becomes more relevant?

The student or audience becomes more engaged especially when the story relates to their background, their culture, and their area of expertise.

In the Bible, Jesus taught using parables. A parable is a comparison, illustration, or a juxtaposition. Jesus applied scripture to a story that drove home the point.

This method of teaching preserved the interest of the hearer until the spiritual application could be made.

Jesus said “This is why I speak to them in parables:‘Though seeing, they do not see;though hearing, they do not hear or understand.” Matthew 13:13

As firefighters, we seem to be born story tellers. We fellowship together and remember our experiences through the power of story telling. By telling our stories others can better understand what we are trying to convey.

Consider this:

What if someone heard your personal story?

What if someone is struggling with the same burdens we have already faced in our lives?

What if they believe their is no hope and they have given up on life?

What if by reading or hearing our personal story they would be encouraged by it?

Bringing Back Brotherhood is seeking firefighters who feel led to share their stories.

God has places others in our lives for divine purposes and we are to minister to one another.

We are praying that a few of you would be willing to email us your testimony so it can be shared with the world.

If you feel led to so or you have faced great adversity in your life: don’t waste it! Share it!

Consider this:

The Dead Sea is dead because a mighty river flows into it but nothing flows out of it.

If we allow life and our experiences to be absorbed they can become a cancer to our soul. But, if we would step out in bravery to share our Firefighter testimony we can help others, ease our own burdens, and bring hope to those in dark places.

And after all, isn’t that what being a firefighter is all about: Helping others? We can share a page of the book of our lives and know that God’s word says:

“You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book” Psalm 56:8

God knows our pain and what we have been through, yet we stand today as living proof that He has brought us through the fires of life.

Why not share your story of hope and encouragement with others?

If you are ready to encourage others with your story Email us at: BringingBackBrotherhood@gmail.com

God Bless You All!

Bringing Back Brotherhood Ministries

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