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As the old Christmas song says

As the old Christmas song says, “Christmas make you feel emotional”, it does me.  When I was an EMT a long time ago my wife, and I made a deal.  If I had my option to work one of the holidays it would be New Years.  I am happy to report that deal worked in my case but many EMS workers, Fire Service, Law Enforcement and public servants don’t have holiday time off.  Some one said it’s only a day and that is correct.  Thanksgiving occurs every time you walk through the door to your home.  Christmas occurs every time you receive the gift of another day, and every time the sun rises above the eastern sky.  It is truly a Happy New day.

It is the time we spend with our love ones that count, maybe it’s not December 25 but the 26 when you get off shift, time is time.  I do love this time of the year.  We can remember the good of the past year and embrace the dreams of the new.  I get a great reward when I see my children and grandchildren open their gifts I have worked so hard to find.  Yes, and even sometimes I fool my wife.  Presents are great, but that special time with our families is what counts.

Most of us know the Bible version of the first Christmas found in Luke 2.  A young pregnant family traveled to a town because of a government census.  They arrived in this small town to find that there was no room in the inn.  Forced to find shelter they made the best of this bad situation and took shelter in an area designed to keep livestock.  During the night she gave birth and name the boy Jesus.  There was no room in the inn 2000 years ago and today we have to ask, does He have a room in your life?  Everyone has heard John 3:16, For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. But I find the next verse one that blesses me, John 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

During this Christmas Season please make room for Him.  He came to save the world and all we have to do is accept Him as our Savior.  Some get caught up in the babe in a manager, but we need to know that He came to Earth to die on an old rugged cross 30 years later.  But his death was not senseless, He was the perfect sacrifice for our sins and the completion of the God’s plan for man’s salvation.  The message is clear.  Make room for him because he has made room at the foot of the cross for you.  Stay safe!

If you need to talk give me a call, 870-688-3595 everything is confidential.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Words from our Chaplain – What’s in a Name?

I want to start this devotion off with an apology.  I have been missing for a few months but I have been in a time of reflection.  It started a few months ago when my wife was getting ready for work and put on her name tag.  Then it struck me I had no name tag.  I felt like I had no identity, I was feeling I had no direction.  I had to search my life to find myself again.  I have always been a support person, as an EMT I supported my partner.  As a Paramedic I supported my medical director’s protocols to treat my patients.  As an educator I supported my students so they would be successful.  As a program director I supported my institution to be a place of quality education.  As the AEMTA President I supported the membership.  As an NAEMT Board member I supported EMS on a national level.

Now with retirement, all that’s gone!

I felt like I had no direction or no one to support.  In life we place a huge emphasis on titles and the letters after our name.  We are recognized by our ID.  The one we wear on our uniform but is that who we are?  It took a trip to a Stronger Man’s Conference to find my support, my ID and direction in my life.

The old gospel song “A new name in glory” written by C. Austin Miles goes,

“There’s a new name written down in glory,
And it’s mine, O yes, it’s mine!”

In God’s Kingdom we are the name that God has written in his book, The Book of life.  None of my titles are there, not one of my awards are there only my new name given by God’s Lamb, Jesus.  In Isaiah 62:2 “…. thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name.”  The only thing in this life is that you know Jesus as your personal savior.  The ID on our heart should be Christian!  Which means Christ Like.  Me be like our Jesus?  Yes, we should try, He said in John 13:34 – 36, “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

Pretty plain. We must know Him and love.  Those are acts of kindness to everyone.  Try to walk in love this month.  What can it hurt? It might lead you to a new name.

God, I pray that you keep our emergency responders safe as they work in this world.  Guide them in their walk with you.  Grant them wisdom to do a job that you called them to perform.  Let them walk in love this month and until they enter into their eternal home.  Amen.

Stay safe!


My heart is heavy today

My heart is heavy today thinking of the people who died in natural disasters in the past few months.   As I write this, the deaths count stands at 139 people. I am speaking of the fires that ravaged entire neighborhoods in Paradise and other California towns, and the hurricanes, Florence and Michael that caused destruction in South Carolina and Florida.  These people were warned and for whatever reason they choose not to head the warnings.

In 2005, I was with a group of students from Northark College on Dauphin Island when tropical depression Cindy approached from the Gulf of México.  As I was not a native of the gulf I asked if we should evacuate the Island.  Local’s all told me, “No, it would be a little blow.”  I stayed in the house I had rented on the western end of the island.   It started raining and the wind started to blow around 9 pm by midnight the house was shaking and the wind was roaring.  I went out to move my vehicle and it was hub deep in the Gulf.  I looked water in the front of the house and water in the back, no dry land to be seen.  When the morning came, the island residence that I had asked was not home but during the night they had evacuated.  If I ever find myself on the coast and they say storm I’m heading inland!  I learned two valuable lesson.  Don’t trust the local’s an if the officials say go, GO!

As Christians we have an obligation to warn others that destruction is coming.  You can read about it in Ezekiel 33  New International Version (NIV)

33 The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, speak to your people and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning and the sword comes and takes their life, their blood will be on their own head. Since they heard the sound of the trumpet but did not heed the warning, their blood will be on their own head. If they had heeded the warning, they would have saved themselves. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes someone’s life, that person’s life will be taken because of their sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood.’


The Message is simple, Jesus is coming soon and I warn you to get your hearts and minds under his saving grace.  As sure as our EMS License expires every two years, Jesus is returning for his people.  Please head this warning because if you are not ready you will be lost.  I love you and you have been warned!

Stay safe!



Words from the AEMTA Chaplain “Falling into the rut of ritual”










In our life we can fall into the rut of ritual.  We wake up at the same time and get ready for the day.   We might turn on the news and see what’s happening around the world.  Then we eat a bite and out the door to work.  Every day it’s the same old thing.  If you think about it, it can become mundane, just plain boring.   I have noticed that I have some rituals in my life.   Let’s look a typical Sunday at my house.   I get up, have breakfast, and contact my Son or Daughter-in-law to check to see if the grandsons are going with Papaw to church.  Breakfast and a cup of coffee, out the door to pick up the boys then Sunday school.  That is followed by rushing them to Kid’s Rock and then into the sanctuary for musical praise and preaching.  Then the big discussion comes after the final amen when we decide where we are going to eat lunch.  A big ritual!  It could be scripted but every time we do something over and over it can become a ritual.  We go through the motions without thinking about the consequences.   When I read Exodus Moses was given a whole list of rituals in the wilderness.  It was the Mosaic Law.  It was all laid out for the Jewish people.  All they needed to do was follow that ritual and God would bless.  In the Old Testament, person after person tried to follow the law but they could never measure up.  God had a plan to shake up this world.   Go back to the beginning when it was simple; God would have a relationship with each person.  In Genesis 3: 8 we readAnd they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day:  God was in the garden walking and looking for his creation Adam and Eve.  The cool of the evening I believe would be the end of the day when our work is done.  God would simply drop by for a visit to commune with his people.  He wants to be in a friend relationship with you.  In Revelation 3:20 God says 20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 

Not rituals just open the door of your life and let him in, just think about a relationship with God, that’s all he wants.  Stay safe!