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The picture is from: http://oliverdailynews.com/

This morning I can not help but think about the men and women that give their time and energy to keep us safe. In my town last night the high school caught fire and burnt to the ground. Our volunteer fire department responded and at this time is still working hard to put the fire out and clean up the site.

As the crowds of people come to look at the scene of destruction and mourn the lost of a historical building, that really was a central piece of our town culture, the police are there, directing traffic and maintaining safety.

The flashing lights and general chaos of the location of a major fire is the current workplace for our paramedics. There are ambulances on sight, and I hope and pray that they are empty, not being used to care for firefighters who risk their lives to protect us from spreading fire.

I am sure that the hospital is ready, that the doctors and nurses are prepared for someone to come through the doors with burns, cuts, smoke inhalation or any of the other things that could happen.

I do not know what we would do without these brave men and women who are ready at moments notice to leap into action, to protect someone who may not even give them a second thought. Let’s not forget the troops that are all over the world, working to restore peace, working to create for us an environment where we can live, work and play without fear.

Know that I appreciate you … I have a support our troops magnet on my car … I need to change it to include the rest of you: firefighters, police, paramedics, doctors, nurses as well as soldiers.  Thanks for doing your job … my life is better because you are willing to risk yours!

As a pastor, I can not help but think about John 15:12-13, Jesus talks about being willing to lay down our lives for others … and how that is a great expression of love for others. Today I am thankful for those that are willing to lay down their lives for me, even if they do not know who I am!

John 15:12-13 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”

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