TEAM JESUS, PRAY FOR THE FIREFIGHTERS! What we know about the country’s five largest burning wildfires

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Firefighters are taken for granted by to many people as are our Law Enforcement Officers and EMT’S! They are working everyday to protect us all! They put their lives on the line for us all everyday!!!

A Firefighters prayer…….Lord Jesus, You say You will keep me from all harm, that You will watch over my life, both now and forevermore. Lord, as I go again on a call to put out flames, I ask that You bless me. Keep me close to You so that I may do my job as a firefighter with love and humility. … I pray this through Jesus Christ, my Lord.

A prayer for our heroes….Merciful Father in heaven, look down in Your love upon all those who protect us and ours from the ravages of fire and flame. Grant them the courage and skills to carry out their duties well and safely. When they must go into the face of danger, be by their side in the smoke and flames. Watch over their families, ever reminding them that those who fight fire are also in Your loving care. This we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. Amen.

What we know about the country’s five largest burning wildfires
A total of 88 large fires are burning in the U.S. They have destroyed more than 1 million acres as of Saturday.

Read in CBS News: https://apple.news/AGpDa_PkSSUOjqGNBN5F5Bw

Are wildfires and drought the judgment of God? An urgent lesson for every follower of Jesus

Today is July 26, 2021 | Read time: 6 minutes | Read online

Firefighter car turn around as active flames reach highway 70. The Dixie fire continues to burn in California burning over 180,000 acres with 20% containment. (Photo by Ty O’Neil / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)

More than twenty-two thousand firefighters fought “extreme fire behavior” across the West yesterday as homes burned and thousands of residents fled fast-spreading flames. The largest fire in the US is continuing to grow this morning, one of eighty-eight large wildfires crews are battling throughout the country. Six new large fires were reported Saturday.

California has seen a 257 percent increase in acres burned so far compared to 2020. A fire behavior analyst blames “the critically dry weather” for good reason: scientists say the current drought is setting a 122-year record. Almost 90 percent of the western US is now considered to be in drought. The drought currently extends from the West Coast eastward into Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Is this the judgment of God?

“Heaven is shut up and there is no rain”

There is no question that God sometimes uses drought as judgment on sin.

He sent a drought against Israel in the days of Elijah (1 Kings 17:1) and “called for a drought on the land and the hills” in the days of Haggai (Haggai 1:11). Solomon foresaw a day when “heaven is shut up and there is no rain” because of the people’s sin (1 Kings 8:35).

Jeremiah 14 depicts such judgment in stark terms: “The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah concerning the drought: ‘Judah mourns, and her gates languish; her people lament on the ground, and the cry of Jerusalem goes up’” (vv. 1–2). The drought affected rich as well as poor (v. 3) and was so severe that “the farmers are ashamed; they cover their heads” (v. 4) and wildlife were suffering as well (vv. 5–6).

Jeremiah responded by confessing the sins of his people and praying for divine mercy: “Though our iniquities testify against us, act, O Lord, for your name’s sake; for our backslidings are many; we have sinned against you” (v. 7).

He acknowledged that the Lord is the one true God and thus the only one who could save them: “Are there any among the false gods of the nations that can bring rain? Or can the heavens give showers? Are you not he, O Lord our God? We set our hope on you, for you do all these things” (v. 23).

Defeating the gods of Egypt

The Bible clearly teaches that God sometimes uses natural disasters to judge sin and call sinners to repentance. In such cases, however, he warns the people first through his prophets and other representatives, as with Moses before Pharaoh (Exodus 5–12). If they will not repent, he responds directly to their sins. For example, each of the plagues against Egypt was a direct defeat of one of Egypt’s pagan gods (cf. Exodus 12:12).

It would be easy for me as a conservative Christian to blame the West Coast drought on the sins of some who live there. The immorality championed by some in Hollywood and the irreligiosity of many in Washington and Oregon are well known, for example. But the drought includes Idaho, North and South Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin—states not known for immorality or irreligiosity.

Unlike the plagues of Egypt, the current drought is not the consequence of specific sins. Nor am I aware of prophetic warnings issued by the Lord before the drought began.

As a result, I do not view the current drought as God’s active judgment against the western US but as a consequence of living in a fallen and broken world (Romans 8:22). We see such tragedies daily, as with the sandstorm yesterday in Utah that caused a series of car crashes, killing at least seven people, and the heavy rains that flooded subways in New York early this month.

However, I am convinced that God wants to use the drought and wildfires to teach us a vitally important lesson.

“Night is coming, when no man can work”

Early Christians lived with urgency born out of reality. Life expectancy in the Roman world was half of rates today. Christians were especially in peril—more than a million died for Jesus in the first three centuries of the Christian era.

But their urgency was not just a product of their circumstances. They knew that “salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed” (Romans 13:11), remembering Jesus’ admonition, “Night is coming, when no man can work” (John 9:4). Their Master warned them, “Stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming” (Matthew 24:42).

The disasters we have discussed today should remind us that our lives are no more certain than theirs. With all our scientific advances, we cannot stop droughts or prevent wildfires. With all our medical expertise, we cannot yet end the present pandemic or forecast the next one. We may live longer on average, but none of us are guaranteed another day.

However, I do not sense true urgency among many Christians in America. We may believe theologically that Jesus could return tomorrow or we could die today, but we need to translate this belief into practice. The more urgent our faith, the more earnestly we will share the gospel, stand courageously for our Lord, and live ready to stand before him one day.

Sharing Jesus in ICU

We’ll close today with a crucial example.

Please join me in praying today for Jonathan Lotz, the son of Anne Graham Lotz and grandson of Billy Graham. Jonathan is in ICU with COVID-19; Anne asks us to pray that he will not have to go on a ventilator and that he will be fully healed. “Fifty years ago, I could hold my son in my arms,” she said in a post Saturday. “Now I have placed him in the arms of Jesus.”

Last night, she updated her Facebook page with her son’s condition, noting that he sent this text earlier Sunday: “I am physically exhausted yet spiritually overflowing!” He added, “I have had the privilege of sharing Jesus with the ER & ICU staff! What a Savior! God is so good.”

With whom will you share Jesus today?

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The picture is of me and my Dad, Wally Moede. He served faithfully for many years on the Windom, Minnesota Fire Dept. Grandpa Chris Moede did the same in the early 1900’s. My cousin John Moede also served. I served on the Osceola, Indiana Fire Dept. back in the 80’s for 3 years. This picture had to be taken in the early 80’S.

A Fireman’s Glove

A fireman’s gloves hold many things
From elderly arms to a kids broken swing
From the hand they shake and the back they pat
To the tiny claw marks of another treed cat
At 2am they are filled with chrome
From the DUI who was on her way home
And the equipment they use to roll back the dash
From the family she involved in that crash

The brush rakes in spring, that wear the palms out
When the wind does a 90 to fill them with doubt
The thumb of the glove wipes the sweat from the brow
Of the face of a fireman who mutters What Now?

They hold an inch and three quarters flowing one twenty five
So the ones going in, come back alive
When the regulators ring; then there isn’t too much
But the bypass valve they eagerly clutch

The rescue equipment, the ropes, the C collars
The lives they saved never measured in dollars
Are the obvious things a fireman’s gloves hold
Or so that is what I’ve always been told

But there are other things those gloves do touch
Those are the things we all need so much

The hold back the rage on that 3am call
They hold in the fear when you’ve lost the wall
They hold back the pity, agony, sorrow
They hold in the desire to do it tomorrow.

A glove, just a glove till it’s on a firefighter
Who worked all day just to pull an all night’er
And into the fray they charge without fear
At the sound of help they think they hear.

Off comes the gloves when the call is done
And into the pocket until the next run
The hands become lonely and cold for a bit
And even shake just thinking of it
They’re not so brave now; their hands they can’t hind
I guess it just means they are human inside

And though some are paid and others are not
The gloves feel the same when its cold or its hot
To someone you’re helping to just get along
When you fill them with love, you always feel strong

And so when I go on my final big ride
I hope to have my gloves close by my side
To show to St. Peter at the heavenly Gates
Cause as we all know, Firefighters just don’t wait

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