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Answering the Call

Answering the Call

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Answering the Call

Lunghezza:
193 pagine
3 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Apr 5, 2011
ISBN:
9781456734473
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

Have you ever had a feeling that no matter what you did in your life something was missing? It wasnt until Dave suffered through a divorce and found himself alone raising two young sons that he came face to face with that something. It was at the lowest point in his life he realized that something was Jesus Christ. He had been there all the time; Dave just hadnt taken the time to truly get to know Him. This book contains stories from his life as a firefighter, husband and father. He relates how God has been there to celebrate the good times and to comfort him during the difficult. His stories show Gods hand at work in his life and prove that we are never alone. This book was written to encourage and uplift. These stories show just how active our Savior is in our lives and the miracles that surround us every day. The hope of this book is that even one person is brought to a closer relationship with Jesus. You may also come to understand the life of a firefighter a little better. May God bless and protect you.


Editore:
Pubblicato:
Apr 5, 2011
ISBN:
9781456734473
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

Dave Wisher has been in the fire service for 21 years and is currently a Captain at Urbana Fire Rescue.He is married with four children. He also serves as a Deacon at Tolono First Baptist Church in Illinois.


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Anteprima del libro

Answering the Call - David Wisher

them.

Contents

Introduction

Chapter 1

Spiritual Firefighter

Chapter 2

Putting on the Armor

Chapter 3

Command and Control

Chapter 4

Tactics

Chapter 5

Tools

Chapter 6

The Buddy System

Chapter 7

Critique

Chapter 8

Retirement

Chapter 9

Family

Chapter 10

Conclusion

Appendix 1

Appendix 2

Appendix 3

Appendix 4

Introduction

As I write this book I have been going through trials in my personal life. Along with the normal day to day issues, I feel that whenever you attempt to do something for God, Satan’s attacks increase. But what I have learned is that the blessings also increase. You just have to choose which one you want to see. Focus on the troubles and you can become depressed and overwhelmed. See the good in things and you can weather any storm.

At this point I must make something very plain. I am a Christian; I believe the Bible is God’s inerrant word, that Jesus was the son of God; that He came to earth to die on a cross for the forgiveness of our sins, giving us a chance at eternal life. I say this to let my readers know where the heart of this book comes from. If you do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ I pray you take time now or in the near future to get one. Pray that He will come into your heart and forgive you of your sins. I have done this and I can promise you that your life will be different, if you obey. Without this relationship some of the things in this book may not make any sense to you. You may still enjoy some of the fire department stories but the true value of seeing God’s hand in them will be lost.

God has blessed each one of us, He loves us. He gave His only son to die in our place. Sometimes it gets hard to see the light through the fog. If I am having trouble seeing God in my life I remember Psalm 19: The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. 3 There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. 4 Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. All you have to do is look around you at God’s creation and be encouraged at the beauty and perfection of His work. A scientist involved in evolutionary research determined after much study that it took more faith to believe our universe came about by chance than it does to believe in a divine creator. I do not believe in luck, I do not believe in chance, God’s hand is in everything. The question is do you have eyes to see?

At first, as these trials came I tried to deal with them in my own strength. More often than not I would fail, even success was short lived. Proverbs tells us to trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

As I grew closer to Him, I felt the comfort and peace that only comes through a relationship with our Savior. I also realized that if I focus my energy on helping those around me, that God seems to work things out for me. Many of those mountains in my life turn out to be insignificant. I’m not saying just let things go, we still have responsibilities. Looking past my own issues helps me to focus on how God wants me to live. It is easy to get bogged down in Satan’s distractions. Following God’s will for our lives will carry us through them.

I read somewhere that each one of us will influence at least three people each day. This can be either good or bad. We must remember that in our lives, especially as firefighters, we will meet people that are struggling. We may be the only face of Jesus that they will ever see. As joint heirs with Christ we need to take the promises of God to a fallen world. There is no other answer. By the very nature of our job, people usually associate us with goodness, hope and compassion. Do you live these out? I pray none of us ever miss another opportunity to lift someone up.

The other side of this coin is that you may be the one that is hurting. This book was generated out of a love for the brotherhood. I have watched my brother and sister firefighters struggle through marital problems, issues at work, difficulties with their children or life threatening illness. I write this to encourage, uplift and comfort. I write this to introduce them to another brotherhood, the family of God. I have seen miracles in my life, healing and guidance. I pray every day before I come to work, for wisdom and protection. I have seen prayers answered. God is there whether we acknowledge him or not and we will answer to Him. A wise man once said ‘I would rather live my life like there is a God and find out there isn’t, than live like there is no God and find out there is.’

I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I did writing it. It truly was a labor of love; it did not seem like work at all. I spent a lot of time with God on this one and I always prayed that He would use this book to ease even one life. God bless and protect you.

The following passage from the book of Isaiah is meant to encourage all of us, but has a special meaning to my fellow firefighters:

Isaiah 43:1-3

"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;

I have called you by your name;

You are Mine.

2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;

And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.

When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,

Nor shall the flame scorch you.

3 For I am the Lord your God,

Chapter 1

Spiritual Firefighter

Jude 22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 snatch others from the fire and save them.

It was early October, time for our annual Fire Prevention Week. We have several different demonstrations set up and run hundreds of children through to teach them fire safety. I was leading a group of 3-4 year olds from one presentation station to another. A four year old boy was walking beside me with his father, he kept looking up at me with his big brown eyes and his dad told me my son loves this ‘fire stuff’. We walked a little bit further and the little guy looked up again and said, I love this stuff…he paused….and he said I love you too. His comment surprised me but melted by heart. I knelt down and gave him a hug. After that every one of his classmates wanted one of those hugs. It really touched me and made me remember how I should view my career. Firefighters are a special breed and blessed. This is why we do it.

As I thought about the unmerited love of this little boy, it struck me how fortunate we are to have a Savior that loves us, love unmerited but freely given. We run into fires to rescue people and give them a chance at life. Jesus took the cross in our place to give us a chance at eternal life. We are called ‘heroes’, He was crucified. Keep in mind being a good person is not enough. We will never be ‘good enough’. The Bible says, There are none righteous, not one. It takes actively receiving Christ in your life, this is a personal act; you cannot ride anyone else’s coat tails. I have noticed that most verbs in the Bible are action verbs. The Bible also says we have been saved through faith and this is not from ourselves, not by works, so that no one can boast. Grace is a freely given gift from God, we cannot earn it. But James tells us that faith without works is dead. This is work that comes after you have been saved. God has things He wants us to do, we need to get busy.

Many people never take that action, whether it is the act of accepting Jesus or serving Him once they do. It’s like a firefighter who is a twenty year rookie. He comes on the job and does nothing to better himself over his career. Every day we should be growing, advancing. If we don’t train our skills degrade, the same is true of our faith. There is no holding pattern, we are either moving forward or backward.

Charles Spurgeon said You will never go to heaven in a crowd. The crowd goes down the broad path, the path of least resistance, or so it seems. Eventually we will have to give account. That broad path is crowded and leads to hell. Make no mistake there is a hell and it is terrible. Ignoring it doesn’t make it go away. Hell is undoubtedly full of people who did not actively oppose Jesus, but drifted into damnation by neglecting to respond to the Gospel. All you need to do to go to Hell is nothing.

The Call

As firefighters we are called to service by a dispatch system, the lights go on, tones go off and a dispatcher gives an address and nature of call. This can be any time of the day or night. We are dispatched to an emergency scene where our equipment and training are needed to save life and property. Jesus also gives us a call, a call to salvation; and we need to hear and respond to that call.

On one occasion several years ago, my engine company was dispatched on a possible apartment fire right around the corner from the station. We arrived first and noted lazy gray smoke coming from a first floor apartment. We pulled a line and entered the building, no occupants were visible but we did see that the kitchen cabinets were on fire. The flames were extinguished relatively quickly and a short period of overhaul found that the fire had not extended into the walls. Now that the fire was out, the task of doing a cause and origin investigation fell to me as the first in officer. As I began my investigation it was obvious from the point of origin and the cause of ignition that this was an intentionally set fire. I was informed that the occupant had been found and was outside, I needed to question her. As I approached her I noted a small blond woman possibly in her mid fifties. As I came closer I realized I knew her from previous calls (she was a ‘frequent flyer’). One thing I remembered about her was that she never looked up, she never did, and she never said a word. I knew she had an issue with drugs and that she had also set a couple of other small fires in her past residences. I looked at her, head down, shoulders slumped forward, aged well beyond her years, (she was only in her thirties) and I was struck by the fact that here was a woman without hope; she was just the shell of a person struggling through life. I put my hand on her shoulder and said, Tina you need to get your life together, God is here. For the first time since I had met her she looked up and locked eyes with me. I’ll never forget the look in her eyes, it was the look of someone who is drowning and sees a life raft but doesn’t know how to get into it. I believe just saying her name and letting her know someone still cared gave her, if only for a while, a sense of worth. I still pray that at least a seed was planted. I never saw her again after that night.

It all starts with our own personal call. In the book of Mark Jesus went out to call his disciples and said, Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. Do you remember the first time you heard the Gospel and how you responded? Could you feel the Spirit working in you or did your resist? I remember when I was testing for the fire department. I waited expectantly for that phone call telling me I had made it. I’m pretty sure most of us weren’t waiting like that for God’s call. I remember how happy I was when Urbana Fire called, (we should be even happier when God is on the line.)

I remember when Christ called me. I had been a good guy most of my life and thought that was enough. I knew of Jesus but had not pursued a deeper relationship with Him. I didn’t know that wasn’t enough, the Bible says that even the demons know who Jesus is. There is a difference in knowing of and actually knowing someone.

Have you been face to face with Christ and accepted Him into your heart? Have you made Him Lord of your life? In our vacation bible school we teach the children their ABC’s of becoming a Christian, Admit you are a sinner, repent and turn from your sins, Believe Jesus is God’s only son and Confess your faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. This is a very simple but necessary step in your walk with Christ. You can do this now, get on your knees and ask Jesus to forgive you.

I believe there are two kinds of callings in the fire service. One is presented by a need; we needed fire departments because things catch on fire. The other calling is on a more personal level, it touches the very depths of one’s soul. Don’t get me wrong the paycheck and security of a fire service job are nice, but they do not determine how well you will do that job. A passion for people, especially for those in need, is what separates average firefighters from exceptional ones. We are blessed to be in a profession where we can directly impact someone’s life. They can be having the worst day of their lives and we show up. What are you going to do with that? Do you just go about your business, oblivious to the pain and suffering around you? Or do you grab those family pictures off the table and take them outside to save them from the heat and smoke? Do you check on the condition of the wife who has just watched her husband be taken away in an ambulance? It does make a difference.

I remember when God was trying to get my attention. It was after my divorce that I felt like something was missing, well other than my wife. I remember going to a water ball fight with some of the guys from the fire department I was on at the time. While walking around the small festival there I found a picture of Jesus for sale. I’m not sure why but I bought it. I realize now that

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