Thursday, July 18, 2013

Firefighter's Rules For A Successful Marriage

Firefighters Rules For A Successful Marriage

I’ve been a firefighter for many years and these underlined rules below are on the wall at the station (and also in my bathroom…LOL)  They are critically important commandments for safe and successful fireground operations.  One day I was looking at them and realized how they could parallel successful operational rules for marriage.  So, here are the fire rules with their parallel in marriage.
  • Size up your area of tactical operation
What kind of person is this that I intend to marry?  Are we suited to each other in outlook, character, values, beliefs and interests.  Appearance, popularity, sex among other things can be serious risks to be aware of and avoid.
  • Determine the Occupant Survival Profile
Take a good long look.  Do I think this is the kind of person that I will get along with and be with for the rest of my life?  Am I just attracted to one of those pitfalls in the tactical area of operation and there is no chance of success.
  • Don't Risk Your Life for Lives or Property that Can't Be Saved; Extend LImited Risk to Protect Savable Property
 Once you decide to marry, you will have to make decisions and will find yourself arguing over issues.  Guess what, not every argument is winnable.  Sometimes you might actually be wrong.  If you have differing opinions and arguments, as all couples will, leave room for saving face and compromise.  Know when to give in to your partner’s way of looking at something.  Put on your “big boy” and “big girl” pants and realize that not everybody gets their way all the time.
  • Extend Vigilant and Measured Risk to Protect and Rescue Savable Lives
If you have a strong position on your relationship itself and don’t see a potential compromise, keep an open mind about how significant the issue is and be prepared to re-evaluate your stand on it.  Time may show that you want to abandon your position…in other words, don’t be blindly bull headed, stupid!
  •  Go In Together, Stay Together, Come Out Together 
Marriage is a team sport…spend a lot of time doing things together that bring joy to your time with each other.  Date nights, alone time just talking, doing chores together…you know what I mean.
  •    Maintain Continuous Awareness
Don’t just assume that because he or she promised to be yours forever that they will.            Stay on top of problem areas and seek resolution, communicate and serve each other’s needs.  Marriage takes work!
  •   Monitor Radios
Pay attention when he or she tells you something…there may be a bigger message there than you think.  Communication is a two way process.  There needs to be a sender who is clear and a receiver who understands and acknowledges the message.
  •    Report Unsafe Practices That Can Harm You
Eventually, one or both of you will want to do something that will damage the relationship.  It may be inappropriate friendships, too much alcohol, lack of satisfying sex life, or any number of other problems.  Be self-aware and other aware.  You need to know how what you do will affect your relationship and take action to mitigate that…and no, keeping it secret is not the way!
  •   Abandon Your Position and Retreat
When you find your plan isn’t working, retreat to the basics.  Men generally thrive on respect, women on love.  Find out what love language your spouse gets the message with.  For further details on that, read Gary Chapman’s “Five Love Languages.”
  •   Declare a Mayday As Soon As You Think You're In Danger

Seek good counsel from a minister or professional counselor to help you deal with issues.  Outside evaluations can often open up lines of communication and resolve problems that have grown cancerous.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Get Ready America -- Coming To A Street Corner Near YOU!

Get Ready America -- Coming To A Street Corner Near You


Freedom of speech laws in England are a good bell-weather for what will be happening in America, after all, we are following the Europeans in health care, and financial irresponsibility and most everything else.  In particular, we know we have a federal administration committed to the gay and lesbian agenda, liberal definition of marriage, abortion, etc. and so the following is likely to show up in the United States very soon.


“Tony Miano, a retired deputy sheriff from Los Angeles County, Calif., was arrested in London, England, earlier this week for preaching on abstaining from sexual immorality, both heterosexual and homosexual, in downtown Wimbledon. He was found to be in violation of Public Order Act Section 5, for "using homophobic speech that could cause people anxiety, distress, alarm or insult,"  This quote was taken from the Christian Post put out by Biola University, you can actually watch the encounter on YouTube.


Apparently, Mr. Miano was preaching from Thessalonians when the cops came and said preaching was OK, but that he couldn’t preach from that specific section and subject matter in public.  So, now the government gets to decide which parts of the Bible are permissible and which parts are not.

Miano was very clear to the police that he doesn't hate homosexuals and that he was talking about all types of sexual immorality.   What makes this chilling is that it’s just another step in the process of the State taking away the right of freedom of speech.  We have seen this process in action from the very beginning of our constitution, and the progression has been accepted by most people as being handled well by the court…so far.  Learned Hand’s opinion from the Supremes on “yelling fire in a crowded theater” when there is no fire being the shining example of how free speech can be limited logically by the government.  So, with that precedent we see a descent into value judgments of what could happen if you are allowed to say anything you wish.

Theatres and street corners are just the beginning.  The definition of “public speech” can be interpreted any way the court wishes, and you can rest assured that a Godless liberal court majority will define it as broadly as it can.  It’s not a big step at all to define speaking against abortion, marriage, union organization rights, or even practicing Satanism as hate speech.  Once things become emotionally charged, just about anyone can say it’s hate speech.  The next thing you know, one political party in power says speaking out against their policies or candidates is hate speech.

Get ready America.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Character Versus Nacissism

Has your life been spent on putting most of your efforts on improving yourself on the inside or the outside?  Is your workout routine for your health or so you can flex those massive pectorals.  Do you spend time reading and thinking about “right actions” or just scanning the entertainment section for the “right night club.”?

Is your business success and wealth worth more than your integrity and concern for those you serve?  For that matter, have you found time in your life for regular unpaid service and volunteering and “other-mindedness,” or are you mostly focused on yourself? 

These are questions only you can answer about the nature of your character, and you may have decided that they are not important--you are perfectly happy with who you are.  I would offer that they are very important questions to ask, and I suspect at least at the end of your life you quite likely will agree.

Senator Dan Coats once said, “Character cannot be summoned at the moment of crisis if it has been squandered by years of compromise and rationalization.  The only testing ground for the heroic is the mundane.  The only preparation for that one profound decision which can change a life, or even a nation, is those hundreds of half-conscious, self-defining, seemingly insignificant decisions made in private.  Habit is the daily battleground of character.”  The senator was likely thinking in political terms, but his statement has value for our personal lives as well.  What are your habits that define your character?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013



Jesus, when asked how many times someone should forgive, said forgive 70 times 7.  He was a frequent user of hyperbole and symbolic answers.  In this case it is clear he didn’t mean that 490 times was the limit to forgiveness.  Forgiveness is tough for us humans, but it is vital to our well-being.  Holding on to pain and resentment will eat you alive.   And remember in the Lord’s Prayer how it says “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”  You can use the word “like” instead of “as” in the simile there to bring it home better.  Forgive us like we forgive others…if we don’t forgive others well and completely then it appears God has a right not to forgive us either.  I’m not sure I’m ready for that…

I always looked at this passage as one telling me that I should forgive everyone every time they did something to me, and though that’s true, in reality I think He was saying that every time you remember the hurt of a single act done to you…forgive it again in your mind.  We hold on to our memories of hurt and we need to continually forgive and re-forgive until we don’t remember.  Holding on to hurts just hurts us!!!  Forgive when you continually are reminded of the pain they caused you.  Forgive when they do something else to hurt you, too.

God grants us forgiveness for our sins, but nonetheless, even forgiven, there is a consequence to all sin.  Sometimes it’s financial, sometimes legal, but there’s always a consequence that we don’t get to avoid in spite of being forgiven.  We lose friends, wives, and jobs as a consequence.  We might even go to jail as a consequence, which brings me to another line of thinking.  Consequence is a societal “discipline” to learn by the prison sentence/parole/counseling etc.   Theoretically in America we rehabilitate criminal behavior.  So how does the death penalty fit in with the idea of rehabilitation and forgiveness?  It doesn’t seem to…perhaps the real rehabilitation is to keep them in prison to do nothing all day for the rest of their lives but think about how their crime affected them and the victims.  The death penalty deters but doesn’t serve as a “rehabilitative learning” experience in the world of the living after the crime has been committed and adjudicated.  How do I reconcile that with my long held belief that the death penalty is right and follows the Biblical “eye for an eye” Old Testament mandate?  I’m not sure I know the answer.  What do you think?

Sunday, July 7, 2013



There’s been a lot in the news these past few days about the tragedy of the 19 wildland firefighters killed outside of Yarnell, Arizona when the fire overtook them and burned them horribly.  Firefighters train for these kind of events, and it’s a thing not one of them ever wants to go through because survival is so uncertain.  The black humor during training each year with the reflective fire shelters is that we call them “shake and bake” tents.  The dedication of these men to their community, and their willingness to put their lives on the line in uncertain circumstances is commendable beyond what mere words can describe.

Firefighters aren’t the only ones who are willing to make sacrifices.  Soldiers fight wars in which the probability of death or serious injury is always present.  Often these wars are of doubtful political value, and pit innocents against innocents in a test of political wills of the elete…yet they serve their country and sacrifice with honor to protect what they deem to be in jeopardy.

Then there is the passerby who sees another person in serious danger and leaps to the rescue in spite of the danger.  It is often done for someone they don’t know and circumstances they can’t evaluate.  Unprepared, they wade in to help…sometimes suffering injury or death as a result.  That is a pretty amazing person, but usually one who expects to live to tell about the experience.

All these are admirable examples of selfless sacrifice.  You can probably think of many more, but ultimately they are all done for those we care about and who care about us in return at some level.  Usually, though not always, we expect to survive.  The soldier jumps on a grenade for his buddies, the passerby helps and innocent, the firefight saves a grateful community.

What greater sacrifice could there be?

I offer this one.  Suppose you had the opportunity to sacrifice yourself for some lowlife murdering politician or businessperson who hated you and was trying to kill you?  Just turns out that another scum businessperson or politician wants him dead.  Perhaps he’s the man who stole all your money and your wife.  You have the opportunity to step in front of the bullet.  You will die and you know the person you save will go on with their life of crime and laugh at your sacrifice.  Would you make that sacrifice?  Who would be willing to make that trade for someone who wouldn’t appreciate the sacrifice?  It’s not something you’d expect to see.  Sacrifice for those who hate you and disrespect you is not in the cards, so I wouldn’t count on it if you are in a jam!

Yet nevertheless, one person did that.  Hated and reviled he died for those who killed him.  Now, you all think “yeah, OK, you’re talking about Jesus” but it doesn’t count, ‘cause he was God.” 


Why does that make a difference?  Why should he die for you?  Do you think it was easy?  Do you think it didn’t hurt?  Jesus was fully man.  Tempted and subject to pain, he went through with all of that degradation and torture at the hands of his enemies…for them, and for you who he didn’t even know.  What greater sacrifice could there be? 

That sacrifice demands that you think on it.  Your life depends on it.