Well, here we go, my first attempt at a blog. I decided to look up the definition of a blog, and it is “a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style”. Hmmm… I can definitely handle the informal style, but I am not sure how good I will be at regular updates. That is a tough task for a person with ADHD. LOL I will do my best to blog once a month and keep y’all updated on what is happening in the world of First Responders 1st.
I am sitting at my ‘make shift’ office (dining room table) while awaiting the conversion of one of the rooms in our house to an office space. There are lots of things swirling in my mind, and so much has happened over the past few months. It is hard to believe that God has led me to start my own non-profit ministry. That is one of those things that I said I would never do because it does not fit my gift set. Well, God had other plans. It has not been easy road, but it has been a rewarding journey. It is amazing to look back over the past few months and see all that God has accomplished, in spite of me. He has surrounded me with some amazing people and a group of personal mentors who have been invaluable. I want to thank each of you who have been praying and displaying your unwavering support for my family and me in the past few months. It is humbling.
We have First Responders 1st up and running, and God has been bringing us many opportunities. I went into this next phase of my ministry career asking God to give me an opportunity that would allow me to have maximum impact for the Kingdom, and He is doing it! Relationships with first responders have been developing way quicker than I could have imagined, and God has given me some incredible opportunities. I would like to share a couple of them with you.
During a recent ride along with a local police department, an officer said that he had a question for me. He wanted to know what God thought of him because he had to kill a person in the line of duty and the 6th commandment says, “Thou shalt not kill”. I have to admit that no one ever asked me that question in my 17 years of NASCAR chaplaincy. I quickly asked God for wisdom and started sharing. Basically, I let him know that the commandment is better translated “thou shalt not murder,” and there is a huge difference between justifiably killing someone in self-defense and murdering someone. The conversation continued, and a bond was sealed between an officer and a police officer.
Shortly thereafter, I had the privilege to deploy with the Billy Graham Response Team to Parkland, FL where the Marjory Stoneham Douglas High School shooting had taken place. I traveled there not exactly knowing what to say to the first responders, students and community members. I have learned that when a person is in shock that we need to just listen and have compassion and have no other agenda. I had many conversations throughout the week, and did a lot of listening. My heart broke as I heard the first hand accounts of that horrific Feb. 12th event. One young man told us about how his fellow classmate, who was standing right next to him, was gunned down. He welcomed the comfort from us praying with him. I also remember spending time with a young man who was good friends with his football coach who had been killed. The student was distraught and in disbelief and crying uncontrollably. I stayed there with him at the small cross that they had been erected in memory of his coach. When he calmed down I just listened to his stories, and then had a short time of prayer with him. The student and his girlfriend were appreciative and thankful.
There are many other ‘God stories’ that have been happening lately but I need to close. I want to thank each of you for your friendship and support. Also, thanks for partnering with FR1 so we can provide emotional and spiritual support for those on the front lines that are serving and protecting our communities. Our first responders need for us to tell them how much we appreciate them. Please continue to lift up FR1 and also your local first responders in prayer.
All Out, <><