Tuesday, December 8, 2009

a 'help' for keeping perspective

Thought i'd take a brief hiatis from the commentary on my firefighting journey and share this video with anyone who actually reads this :) Just given some good perspective from my BIC (brother in Christ) Matt Chandler in this vidoe he posted just before going in for his brain surgery.  Strange to be asking the same kinda questions he must be asking of God, but about vastly different things.  Harder to struggle under not getting a job yet when he is struggling under if this is where he 'sheds this mortal coil' and meets his Lord and Saviour.  May his final statement about where his treasure truly lies be mine and yours as well: that whatever our hopes and dreams may be for this life, "they are not better than Him".   Solus Christus.
Here is the link:

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Survey says ... not here or now.

So, after much waiting and wondering, I get "the e-mail" in the inbox that stops the party before you even open it with the subject "Thank You No Interview".  I mean, at least let me open the thing first to find out i didn't get it; let me have some time to ease into it before the bucket of water drops ;)
In case i haven't made it clear, i didn't get the interview for Vancouver, and now i get to work through that messy emotional response vs. theological response.  It's not right to pretend i don't feel disappointed or angry but it is also irresponsible and foolish to ignore all that i know from Scripture of God's sovereign dealings with us.  This, apparently, is what gives God most glory right now and so (like it or not) i must learn to be content whatever my circumstance.  I don't have to "see it"  or "get it" - just trust that He is faithful and good.  Ok.  So?  Where to now?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

on this eve

On this eve of waiting and wondering, i have this peace that whatever comes tomorrow, He is in it and so it will be good.  That, of course, doesn't mean the answer will be 'yes, you get the interview', but it does mean that what comes will be what gives Him most glory and is best for me ultimately.
I thought of that verse today that says, "Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength", and while there are many applications to that verse, one thing God brought to light was simply how tiring it is when you don't wait for Him.  I think of an image of pushing with all my might against the thick, iron gate of tomorrow (which i am, of course powerless to even budge) and how much energy i waste in doing that.  Then i think of setting up camp beside the gate, building a fire for warmth and eating and taking rest - waiting on the Lord -who already dwell sin tomorrow as He dwells in today, and how renewed and refreshed i feel from doing that.  IT's so silly to think how we can read God telling us "with out Me you can do nothing!" and somehow hearing that as ,'without me, you can't do some really big, challenging things, but for most other things you should be fine.'  Tomorrow and each day after Father, 'increase our faith.'

Monday, November 23, 2009

first step complete

So, yesterday , i did the written testing for Vancouver Fire & Rescue; a long day to be sure and filled with so much more weight for me than just 'do i go on in the process or not'.  This is really the last FD process we'll go through here in Vancouver before packing up and moving somewhere smaller, apart from a very clear indication from God otherwise.  Once again, i find what i know of God literally forbidding me to get all "worked up" and nuts over this time of waiting.  There are pros and cons to both sides of course, and, surely, God would have us be wise in our decision-making.  But i was reminded last night of how little account our decisions are in light of the sovereignty of God when i read,
"In Your book were written for me, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them." Psalm 139:18 [emphasis mine]
It's as i've been taught to say, "if God does not want me to be a firefighter in Vancouver, there is nothing i could do to make that happen, and if He does want me to work here, there is nothing anyone else can do to prevent it!"
In this Vancouver process, and in everything else that comes before me, my prayer remains that of the disciples in Luke 17, "Lord, increase our faith."    

Thursday, November 19, 2009

of volunteering and motivations

Had an interesting thought last night as i drove home from the orientation session for 'Habitat for Humanity'; i wondered if i could quiet the pace and noise of all that's going on and look into my heart.  And, doing that, i wondered: what is my reasoning behind all this volunteering? 
I do believe it comes out of a transformed heart that wants to serve God by helping those less fortunate around me, however i could also see this selfish desire there that was solely about serving myself and getting volunteer work that will "look good on a resume" and nothing more.
How wicked is my heart still?  God forgive me and may He use, even these mixed desires, for His glory and the benefit of those i serve in these volunteer efforts.

You can check out what H4H is doing currently at this address: http://www.vancouverhabitat.bc.ca/

Friday, November 6, 2009

My 'Firefighter's prayer'

I lift up my eyes unto the hills - where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip -
He who watches over you will not slumber;
He who watches over all firefighters will neither sleep nor slumber.

The Lord watches over you -
the Lord is your "hand tool" at your right hand;
The smoke will not harm you by day, nor the fire by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm - He will watch over your life;

The Lord will watch over your coming and your going both now and forevermore.


(adapted from Psalm 121)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Vancouver begins

There have, of course been many beginnings - seven before this one to be exact - and there are many questions that surround this one in particular viz. if God did grant me this position, where would we live? (we want our girls to have a yard someday)   how likely is it that i will get on w/ a dept. that is notriously difficult to get into?  how many guys are you up against in a city this size?  and on and on.
   And yet all these questions get immediately swallowed up in, "Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations,I will be exalted in the earth!" Ps. 46:10, or "Now therefore stand still and see this great thing that the Lord will do before your eyes." I Sam. 12:16  Comforting and utterly humbling words all at once to an axious, prideful heart:  'be still.  stand still.  you're not in control of this or anything else, so ... what are you freaking out about again?'   It is still not automatic or completely natural yet, but i do find it much easier these days to release anxiety and rest in the things i know to be true about my God; what D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones called, 'talking to yourself instead of listening to yourself.'
    I can tell Christ has done a work in my heart though b/c, along with the possibility of getting on and at last stepping into this part of my calling as a husband and a father and a man, i love the fact that i was told by the Firefighters for Christ guy that there are like two or three known Christians in the entire dept. - and my heart just leaps and longs for an opportunity to shine for Him AND have the best job in the world! 

  We'll see what He has in store for this: while God is perfecting TRUST in my life, PATIENCE to wait for Him is still nowhere near as far along ;)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Intake graveyard?

Interesting and a bit melancholy looking through the forums - some of which i began myself - about the various intakes i've been involved in in these past months.  Hard in a way to watch others proceed in while i sit and wait for the next opportunity.  Be easy to become discouraged or bitter (which i've seen some guys do on these forums) if God did not give me eyes to see a larger plan at work.  All my hopes and desires for this job could so easily become an idol; any 'thing' that i pursue over Him, even if it is for a good end of serving and providing for my family.  God grant me faith, as i stroll through this 'graveyard', to trust in Your sovereign plan and wait for the position You have for me.
 "... having been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will."  Eph. 1:11

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The beginning:

This is not the 'beginning' but it is the beginning of this blog anyways.  i'm learning so much these days: 
 - about what it means to love my wife and two daughters well
 - about a God who is much bigger then the one they teach you about in Sunday school
 - about what following that 'big God' looks like in life and practice
       and, the impetus for this blog
 - about all that the process of becoming a firefighter truly involves.

There's more, of course, but these are some of the biggies.  Looking at this list above, i could write pages about how each of these lessons are both individual and also linked to one another. 
For instance:
   got another 'no' today - that's a part of what it means to pusue this calling to be a fireman.  following God in life and practice means that i don't just ignore all that i've been learning about this very big God simply b/c i'm disappointed in circumstance - a God who is sovereign over all things, and so, is sovereign over this 'no' as well.  and in this 'no' i've also got this wonderful wife who supports me and grieves with me which makes this 'no' so much easier to bear.  and on, and on, and deeper i could go.

God is good - i know this to be true in so many ways - and so i seek His voice above all and wait for His 'yes' which will just happen to come through the mouth of the fire chief in which He puts it.