Monthly Archives: September 2012

We will never forget

Today marks the 11th anniversary of the September 11 tragedy. Opening facebook this morning, I was greeted with countless status updates that said, “we will never forget”. It made me reflect, of course, on where I was when the attacks began. What I did in the hours, days, weeks, months that followed. But that line has always stuck out there, we will never forget. Of course, most people have forgotten as time quickly passes by. Sure, we remember on the anniversary, but within two weeks we will be focused on the hottest Christmas gift coming out, or how our favorite team failed to win that big game. But as a firefighter, both then and now, I have tried very hard to never forget. I find myself reflecting, more than I should probably – that whole ADD thing, about the day and how it must have unfolded. I can imagine the adrenaline rush each firefighter must have felt responding to that call. The initial responders must have thought ordinary emergency. Yes, unlikely, but still routine. The incident commanders must have been formulating plans of attack, rescue, etc. No one really had a clue as to the severity of the incident. But within a couple hours hundreds of these individuals would be thrust into the role of hero…a hero that had given the ultimate sacrifice. I imagine after the second plane hit the towers, it must have become apparent that this wasn’t an ordinary emergency and the stakes were very high. Yet, these individuals that continued to climb stair by stair, searching for even one person they could save. They kept climbing, knowing the chances of their survival decreased by each step they took, yet choosing to continue staring into the face of their death…because it’s what they all said they were willing to do on the day they became firemen. Commitment, honor, loyalty…faithfulness. When I hit that word faithful, I begin to think of another individual in history that was faithful to His purpose, His promise, His commitment. Jesus was fully God when he walked on this earth. Unlike these men and women in New York, He knew from the very beginning that He would come to a sin-filled world, live a life experiencing all that is human and die a vile death on the cross to fulfill his commitment and promise. So, while I try every day, or as often as I can to remember the sacrifices my brothers and sisters of the fire service made that fateful day in September, I also know that I must never forget what my Lord and Savior did to save my soul. Plain and simple, never forget His ultimate sacrifice.

“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.” 1 Tim 1:15 (NIV)

Preparing…to do nothing?

Here’s the visual…

I am a firefighter.  I have been a volunteer for the past 15 years.  I know quite a bit…almost enough to be dangerous.  While going about my day-to-day business, my pager suddenly blares it’s tones.  The distorted voice comes through with those words that make my adrenaline soar, “Structure Fire…Possible Entrapment”.  Instincts take over.  I spring into action, headed to the station.  The 7 minute response to the station seems like 7 weeks.  A million scenarios play out in my mind.  I am already formulating a plan of action.  Arriving at the station, I get into my gear, board the fire engine and out the door we go.  We arrive on scene and see the flames and smoke pouring from the home.  Our worst fear is confirmed when the frantic owner runs toward the truck, crying that a family member is unaccounted for.  We jump out of the truck…and just stand there looking at the house.  What?  You just stand there?  If that seems absolutely absurd to you, then so should this.  I am a Christian.  A believer in Jesus Christ.  I have been for about as many years as I have been a firefighter.  I read and study my Bible, attend church, fellowship with other believers.  I know a few things.  One of the most important aspects of my Christian walk is to heed the words of Christ when he told the disciples to go out into all the world spreading the good news of the gospel.  God gave me one clear-cut instruction in his word, tell others about me.  So here I am.  In my workplace, maybe just in a mixed company.  I see an audience.  I am familiar with these people.  We are friends.  There is no awkwardness  in conversation.  The Holy Spirit is tugging at my heart to share this “secret” I have hidden in my heart.  But I do nothing.  I just stand there and watch.  Why is that?  Why do so many Christians, myself included, just stand on the side-lines of life, content with being “safe” ourselves, but not willing to share what we have.  Is it shameful to let others know we are dependent on something we have never seen?  I am reminded of these words:If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels Luke 9:26 (NIV).  Imagine Jesus being ashamed of me.  The one that died for me, paid the penalty for every sin I have committed and will undoubtedly commit during the course of my life.

The point of this thought is that we as believers can’t be sideline bench warmers.  We are prepared.  Even from the very moment of understanding what Jesus did for us, the moment when we accepted His gift of salvation and gave our life and trust to Him.  We are prepared because the Holy Spirit is within us.  I am not talking about leading, and teaching someone all they need to know about the Bible.  I am talking about sharing the simple basic truth that we understand and have accepted.  So I leave you with this.  If you a believer, get in the game.  If you are not a believer than let me share the simple truth with you

Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  He came to this world to be the Savior of all mankind.  He paid a price that only He could pay for our lives.  He bridged the uncrossable gap between mankind and God.  We are sinners.  You, me, every human being that is born into this world.  For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God Romans 3:23 (NIV).  There is nothing we can do to fix this on our own accord.  No matter how good we think we are, no matter what we do that is viewed as good and righteous in the worlds, eyes, it all falls short of God’s Holiness.  As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one” Romans 3:10 (NIV).  How did I get so “rotten”?  Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned Romans 5:12 (NIV).  Because of Adam and Eve’s sin, we are all born that way.  WE ALL inherited a sin nature.  This sin nature has a price.  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life Romans 6:23 (NIV).  Our payment, deserved outcome is death and separation from God.  But He made a provision because He loves us.  But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us Romans 5:8 (NIV).  The ultimate sacrifice is to give your life for another.  God gave His life through His son Jesus Christ for all mankind.  What do we have to do then?  What can we do?  That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9 (NIV).  Are you kidding me.  That’s it?  I have to believe.  There is nothing physical that I can do, no good works?  Yes.  Friend, i share with you today that it’s that simple.  It’s so simple that so many overlook it and run from it because it is not human nature to believe that something can be that easy, or that it is all out of our hands.  I pray that you will consider these words.  Read and investigate them for yourself.

Derek’s Place…what is it?

It’s my little spot on the vast world-wide-web where I can share my thoughts, emotions, passions and so on.  Being a proud Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) human being, I have a mind that runs as fast as the wind, and as far as the distance between the east and west.  The downside to this vast running is I don’t often remember a lot of details.  But I decided I wanted a place to share those random thoughts and pondering moments.  I am very passionate about my relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  I am not ashamed to boldly proclaim my total faith in a God I have never seen, but know lives within me in the form of the Holy Spirit.  My thoughts and posts will usually reflect this relationship in some way or another.  While this isn’t meant to be my soap-box platform, many of my writings will reflect my struggle to live in a world that is running, so fast, away from faith and truth.  The uniqueness of this area will be found in my personal journey of growth in faith.  I am constantly learning and growing, but am still like an infant in my quest to understand God’s word, purpose and direction for my life.  I decided to allow commenting on my posts primarily because I seek every opportunity to engage, defend, learn and relate with others.  So welcome to my little spot on the web!