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Daily Boost

  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


 

Daily Boost

Aug. 24, 2010 - Softening Hearts

By Gary Rogers

I was a fireman in a medium-size metropolitan city for a number of years. There were approximately 600 on the department, and during the decades of the 70s and 80s that environment created tremendous challenges for me as a Christian fireman. During those decades, men were to be tough and rough and never show emotion. Language was expected to be crude with a number of descriptive, four-letter, gutter-filthy words. Guys openly discussed their infidelities, getting drunk or high, and the parties they planned to attend during the next shift off.

Our shifts were 24 hours. We worked on duty for 24 hours, and then we were off 48 hours. For those 24 hours we ate together, slept in the same room together, played Ping Pong or pool together, cleaned the station and truck together, and, when the alert tone hit, we responded to an emergency together. If personalities meshed and life outlooks were similar and values didn’t clash, everyone got along pretty well. But add a strong personality with very concrete opinions and a passion for Jesus, and things could get very tense.

Exodus 5:2 tells us about the heart of Pharaoh: “And Pharaoh said, ‘Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, nor will I let Israel go’” (NKJV). Can you hear the defiance in Pharaoh’s position? He openly declared that he didn’t know God and that he had no intention of doing what the Lord wanted him to do. On our fire department, there were men who shared this position. Some had never been to church. Some had never heard a simple explanation of the gospel message. Others had a very distorted perspective of Christianity. A high percentage of them just didn’t want anything messing up their party life.

As a rookie fireman, I learned early on I would do well not to spout off an opinion about everything. Yes, as a rookie I got caught throwing away Playboy magazines. You would have thought I had burned the American flag. There were a few fights, disagreements, and visits under the truck washing the undercarriage with kerosene. Under the truck was where the rookie went when he caused trouble. I became very familiar with the underside of a Ford and American LaFrance fire truck.

I learned many things as a rookie, but possibly the most important was to wait until the Holy Spirit opened the door and then to go through. After surviving my time as a rookie, my witness for Jesus became more productive. A Bible study on Sunday shifts became a trademark. Prayer over meals became a request from the whole company. On one afternoon a fire truck from another station came by and parked out front of our station because the captain wanted to come in for prayer. Volunteers filled in for me and held over for me while I preached and taught classes. One man later told me that he felt his ministry was to help me do my ministry. In time, Jesus really honored all those times I had smelled like kerosene.

Don’t let anything put out your light, but let wisdom through the Holy Spirit guide you in the most productive times to shine it into hard-hearted souls and soften those hearts toward eternal truth.

— Gary Rogers is senior pastor of First Assembly of God in Coweta, Okla.

 

 

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