The View from the Firehouse

The one thing that is universal in fire stations the world round, is usually late at night there is a deck of cards, a pot of coffee and two or three fire fighters sitting around solving the worlds problems. It’s just a shame that no one listens to us.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Have a minute?

Do you have a spare minute? You must have your reading this right now. Stacy Harp from the VOM Blog has issued a challenge.

If you've visited this blog you know that I post weekly prayer updates from the Voice of the Martyers. I now many of you have prayed, but how about taking it a step further. Go to Prisoner Alert, they have what they call a letter authoring tool, that takes just a couple of seconds to fill out. This think even translates it for you and than for the price of a stamp you can send our brother and sisters in chains an encourging note. It really is that easy.

# Posted by Alyfireman :: 10:30 PM :: |

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Prayers for September 27, 2005

Tom White shares an interrogation experience in this excerpt from God's Missiles Over Cuba:

I stopped responding to his questions and stared directly into his eyes.... I continued to pray in front of him like this for hours...
"What are you doing?" he demanded.
"I am praying for you."
His mouth dropped open.... He looked nervously around the room, then started drumming his fingers on the desk. In the next session I was surprised to see him wearing sunglasses. Evidently he didn't want me to see his eyes. God doesn't need eye contact. He deals with the heart. I continued to pray.

Thanks be to our Lord Jesus for giving the kind of love that drives His people to pray for those who persecute them! Thank you for being willing to stand in the gap and to intercede for these dear brothers and sisters in Christ!

From The Voice of the Martyrs

CUBA (VOM-Canada)
House-church leaders in Cuba are expressing concern over new government directives issued in April and due to come into effect this month. According to a September 15th report from Forum 18, the new legislation requires all currently operating house churches to register with the authorities. In recent years, some leaders attempted to register their house churches and faced such restrictive complications, that few have managed to complete the process. Under the new directives, if registration is refused, permission can never be granted to meet in that home. Church members may file an application to hold services in a different home within 15 days of the refusal. The legislation also restricts the number of house churches within a particular area and requires detailed reporting of all services and those in attendance. No signs may be displayed that pertain to the church. Foreigners are prohibited from any involvement or attendance of services in house churches in mountainous regions, without government approval. Authorities retain the right to supervise the services to ensure compliance. House churches failing to comply will be closed down and face fines up to a sum equivalent to 50 months' wages.

Give thanks and praise to God for His faithful followers in Cuba. Pray God will give wisdom to church leaders who attempt to register and make plans for the future of their fellowships. Pray the Lord will continue to grow His church in Cuba in spite of government interference.

EGYPT (Compass Direct)
Egypt's leading forensic doctor, Dr. Ayman Soda, has refuted a court physician's report against Coptic Christian Shafik Saleh Shafik. The case has prompted death threats by Muslims, where Shafik is accused of binding and beating Magda Refaat Gayed before she fled his Cairo shelter for troubled women, On September 20th, Dr. Soda testified it would have been impossible for Magda to have jumped from a height of 11 feet, as she claimed, as the ropes and chains would have precluded free movement. The Gayed family had requested that the then 16-year-old Coptic Christian girl be placed in Shafik's safe-house after she had run away from home with a Muslim man. Two weeks after she had disappeared from home, she was discovered living with a Muslim group that had promised she could marry the man as soon as she converted to Islam. The three judges of Cairo's Abbassiya Criminal Court No. 15 delayed giving a verdict until October 17th. (Click here)

Give thanks to God that the truth has been revealed. Pray the Lord will convict Magda of her false testimony and bring her to repentance. Pray the judges who rule on this October case will not be intimidated by Muslim extremists.

INDIA (VOM sources)
Radical Hindus have expelled evangelist Zacariah (24) from his village for spreading the good news. Zacariah has been working among a poor Hindu community for four years. He started his ministry with a JESUS film team and later began a small, challenging ministry among the poor Hindus. Zacariah has a small congregation of 15-20 people in a village in the Chickmaglur district of Karnataka state in southern India, where he continued his prayer meeting despite an expulsion order issued by radical Hindus. They have now threatened a death penalty for his continued refusal to accept the expulsion order. Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) is intervening to protect the life of this bold soldier of Jesus Christ. A political leader has been asked to interact with the police to extend protection.

Praise God for the bold witness of this faithful believer who continues to reach out with the love of his Savior to the poor. Pray God will surround Zacariah with His strong arm of protection. Pray our merciful and omnipotent Father will reveal Himself to the radical Hindus and bring His peace to India.

PAKISTAN (Compass Direct)
Maria Samar John was bought by her husband, Abdul Ghaffar, and forced to convert to Islam. A year ago, he disappeared with their two toddler children, then 5-year-old Joshua and 3-year-old Mariam. Ghaffar left Lahore, Pakistan, with the children and there have been no new clues to their whereabouts since October 2nd last year when a judge issued a warrant for Ghaffar's arrest. "I miss them a lot and I have been weeping for them," John told Compass as she described the past year without Joshua and Miriam. "I pray to God for their safety and safe return."

Pray God will protect these innocent children and bring them home to their mother. Pray the Lord will reveal the whereabouts of Abdul Ghaffar and he will be brought to justice. Pray Jesus will make himself known and bring comfort to all women who suffer under the bondage of Islam.

VIETNAM (Compass Direct)
Officials in Son Ha district incited a mob to burn down the home of evangelist Dinh Van Hoang in Quang Ngai province on August 21st, because he would not sign a paper denying his Christian faith. Local authorities came to Hoang's home that Sunday morning and told him Christians were not accepted there. They warned him he would have to give up his religious faith or face the destruction of his home. Hoang, as he has done previously, replied he could not give up his faith. Soon after, a mob burned down his house containing all his possessions. Additionally, in late July authorities in Son Tinh, Quang Ngai Province, destroyed the homes of 10 Hre families because they would not give up their Christian faith. The actions came after Vietnam adopted legislative measures supposed to support greater religious freedom.

Pray Hoang will continue to trust in God, who works His judgment on all who are oppressed. Pray Christians in Vietnam will continue bold in their faith and loving witness. Pray officials will enforce the new legislation so it provides more religious freedom.

# Posted by Alyfireman :: 10:30 PM :: |

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Bible or the Axe

By William O. Levi as told by A.F. Chai

I’ll admit that when I finished reading this book, I realized it was not about what I thought it was going to be about. I thought this book was going to be about the persecution of Christians in Sudan. While this book does indeed deal with the awful treatment of south Sudan Christians by Islamic Jihadists, the heart of this book is how God delivered William Levi out of this harsh, cruel environment and used him for a greater purpose in the furthering of His kingdom.

The book starts out giving a very short but detailed history of Christianity in Africa. From there we learn that while William was a little over a year old his family decides to leave their homeland and become refugees in the Uganda wilderness. It is not until years later that William is able to return to his homeland in order to pursue his education.

As William continues his desire to receive an education things become increasing harder, until ultimately they seem impossible. Yet it when things look their worst that God begins to unveil his plan, as this book progresses things do not get any easier and at times they seem almost desperate. But God is faithful, and we quickly learn how God uses these hard, dark times to shape William so that His will can be done.

I know this has almost become a catch phrase, but this book truly touched me. I find it amazing how even though Mr. Levi is at times harshly treated, he never becomes bitter or angry toward his enemies. I have already written a little about this here.

To see how God ends up using William O. Levi please check out Operation Nehemiah. And for more reviews go to Mind and Media, who supplied me this book as a gift for reviewing it, and read what others are saying.

# Posted by Alyfireman :: 3:29 AM :: |

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Prayers for September 13, 2005

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:37-39).

From The Voice of the Martyrs

BURMA (Christian Freedom International)
Christian Freedom International received a report yesterday that the Full Gospel Assembly, a fast-growing church movement in the Kyauktada Township of Rangoon, Myanmar (Burma), was ordered by the military government to shut down. According to reports, State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) officials ordered Reverend Mung Tawng, of the Full Gospel Assembly, to cease all activities. An unnamed Burmese source urges Christians around the world to pray for Myanmar (Burma) saying, "It is a sad thing to hear that many churches have been shut down in Myanmar (Burma). Let us not forget the fact that freedom of worship is also one of the rights we have as human beings." Since 1999, the U.S. Secretary of State has designated Myanmar (Burma) as a "Country of Particular Concern" under the International Religious Freedom Act for their particularly severe violations of religious freedom.

Pray our omnipotent Father will bring peace and justice to this troubled country. Pray Christians will speak out, knowing God's Word will not return to Him void.

ERITREA (Compass Direct)
Eritrean police arrested a bridal couple along with their 18 wedding guests on Sunday night, September 4th, dragging them to jail because they were Pentecostals, authorities said. The seven women and 13 men were attending a private wedding ceremony in the home of the bride when Asmara police raided the house. Breaking into the traditional wedding tent of the groom, the police took him into custody along with his bride, the best men and bridesmaids. Jailed at Police Station No. 5 in Asmara, the 20 prisoners included two key leaders of the Hallelujah Church, Aklilu Habteab and Kashay Imbaye, as well as Zerit Gebreneguse, an evangelist in the Philadelphia Church. The church reportedly had taken careful precautions, as there was no singing or noticeable Christian activity, but somehow police learned about the wedding and arrived just as the ceremony was beginning.

Pray God will keep these prisoners as the apple of His eye and hold them under the shadow of His wings (Psalm 17:8). Pray the Holy Spirit will empower them to be witnesses of the love and faithfulness of their Savior. Pray God will answer the impassioned prayers of Christians worldwide to bring about the release of their suffering brothers and sisters.

On September 4th, the homes of at least 14 Christian families in the village of Taybeh, northeast of Ramallah, Palestine, were torched by Muslims from the neighboring village of Dir Jarir. The Muslims destroyed a store, a farm and a gas station. They also vandalized cars and beat the villagers as they fled their homes. The extent of the damage was exacerbated by problems coordinating the Palestinian Security Forces and the Israel Defense Forces, which delayed the response by several hours. The violence was instigated by the death of a Muslim woman who was killed by relatives after they suspected that she had been involved in a romantic relationship with a Christian man. When the family found out, they forced her to drink po(VOM-Canada)
On September 4th, the homes of at least 14 Christian families in the village of Taybeh, northeast of Ramallah, Palestine, were torched by Muslims from the neighboring village of Dir Jarir. The Muslims destroyed a store, a farm and a gas station. They also vandalized cars and beat the villagers as they fled their homes. The extent of the damage was exacerbated by problems coordinating the Palestinian Security Forces and the Israel Defense Forces, which delayed the response by several hours. The violence was instigated by the death of a Muslim woman who was killed by relatives after they suspected that she had been involved in a romantic relationship with a Christian man. When the family found out, they forced her to drink poison and then buried her without notifying the authorities. When Palestinian authority decided to investigate and planned to exhume the body, the family feared the relationship would be discovered. The attack was reportedly to avenge what her family considered the dishonoring of a Muslim woman.

Pray God will protect His faithful children in this hostile environment. Pray the Lord will give them grace and courage to forgive their enemies. Pray the Holy Spirit will bring the Muslims to repentance for their inhumane treatment of an innocent girl and the subsequent attack.

Pressure continues on Protestants in the Atyrau region of northwestern Kazakhstan as authorities find pretexts to refuse religious communities registration. At least two local Protestant churches have been arbitrarily denied registration. This is a serious concern now that unregistered religious activity in Kazakhstan has been made illegal and punishable. Local Protestants in Gulsary have tried unsuccessfully to register the Resurrection Church at the Atyrau regional Justice Administration four times. A Protestant from Gulsary, who preferred not to be named, told Forum 18 that on August 6th, two officials from the Gulsary district public prosecutor's office came to a church meeting and made all the church members write statements explaining why they were taking part in the activities of an unregistered church. They warned church members that if they met again they would be fined. "Basically, they are deliberately driving us into a trap," the Gulsary Protestant complained to Forum 18. "They find pretexts to refuse us registration, and then when we meet together they accuse us of breaking the law." Officials were already putting pressure on members of unregistered churches, but now they have acquired the ability to do this legally.

Pray the Protestants will continue to meet and bring others to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Pray they will trust the Holy Spirit to give them His words when they are dealing with the authorities. Pray God will bring a sweeping revival to this Islamic country.

# Posted by Alyfireman :: 3:18 AM :: |

Monday, September 12, 2005

Reflections on 9/11

As I remember the events that took place that tragic day I’m torn in two directions. One as an American I feel a call to arms not only to defend this great nation, but also to seek out and destroy radical Islam. But there is a growing, I don’t know if feeling is the right word, maybe desire would better, I just believe it is time for me, at least to start forgiving my enemies. Not only did Christ teach us to love our enemies but He also said that hate is murder, and I’ve been harboring a lot of hate in my heart. I feel that it is time for me to let go of the hate, while still remembering the events of 9/11.

I want to illustrate my point and I happen to be reading a book that does a very good job of doing just that. The book is called The Bible or the Axe and it’s written but William O. Levi. For you to understand this illustration I’ll need to give you some background info on Mr. Levi, he is a Messianic believer from an African Hebrew tribal group he grew up as a refugee in Uganda and later returned to Sudan. These are his thoughts after a lesson from his grandfather (who was a pastor) on Ephesians 6:

He wanted all of us to understand that our earthly enemies were just people who needed God’s love. I could choose to dispatch them to eternal damnation with a bullet or a sword, or I could serve them and reach out to them with the redeeming message of the Gospel of Christ. In choosing the latter, he wanted me to know that I would have to be prepared to sacrifice my life for my enemies, just as Christ did when He died for the redemption of men who hated Him. He wanted us all to understand that the war and the corruption and the hunger and the pain and the hatred were symptoms of the disease of sin. God’s overarching plan, I would come to understand, is not about me or my comfort. It is about His redemptive plan.

To me those are some pretty strong words, while I have not finished this book, I know that latter William Levi suffers greatly for his belief in Christ, I’m very interested in seeing how he deals with this.

After reading this I began to think about my own attitude, the funny think about forgiveness , a least for me, its super easy to talk about but much harder to live out.

Below is the part of Eph 6 that William's grandfather was teahing on.

Ephesians 6

Exhortations for Spiritual Warfare

6:10 Finally, be strengthened in the Lord and in the strength of his power. 6:11 Clothe yourselves with the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. 6:13 For this reason, take up the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand your ground on the evil day, and having done everything, to stand. 6:14 Stand firm therefore, by fastening the belt of truth around your waist, by putting on the breastplate of righteousness, 6:15 by fitting your feet with the preparation that comes from the good news of peace, 6:16 and in all of this, by taking up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 6:18 With every prayer and petition, pray at all times in the Spirit, and to this end be alert, with all perseverance and requests for all the saints. 6:19 Pray for me also, that I may be given the message when I begin to speak—that I may confidently make known the mystery of the gospel, 6:20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may be able to speak boldly as I ought to speak.

# Posted by Alyfireman :: 1:15 AM :: |

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Never Forget, but working on forgiveness

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343 Firefighters Answer Their Last Bell ~ September 11, 2001

Joseph Agnello, Lad.118

Lt. Brian Ahearn, Bat.13

Eric Allen, Sqd.18 (D)

Richard Allen, Lad.15

Capt. James Amato, Sqd.1

Calixto Anaya Jr., Eng.4

Joseph Angelini, Res.1 (D)

Joseph Angelini Jr., Lad.4

Faustino Apostol Jr., Bat.2

David Arce, Eng.33

Louis Arena, Lad.5 (D)

Carl Asaro, Bat.9 Lt.

Gregg Atlas, Eng.10

Gerald Atwood, Lad.21

Gerald Baptiste, Lad.9

A.C. Gerard Barbara, Cmd. Ctr.

Matthew Barnes, Lad.25

Arthur Barry, Lad.15

Lt. Steven Bates, Eng.235

Carl Bedigian, Eng.214

Stephen Belson, Bat.7

John Bergin, Res.5

Paul Beyer, Eng.6

Peter Bielfeld, Lad.42

Brian Bilcher, Sqd.1

Carl Bini, Res.5

Christopher Blackwell, Res.3

Michael Bocchino, Bat.48

Frank Bonomo, Eng.230

Gary Box, Sqd.1

Michael Boyle, Eng.33

Kevin Bracken, Eng.40

Michael Brennan, Lad.4

Peter Brennan, Res.4

Capt. Daniel Brethel, Lad.24 (D)

Capt. Patrick Brown, Lad.3

Andrew Brunn, Lad.5 (D)

Capt. Vincent Brunton, Lad.105

F.M. Ronald Bucca

Greg Buck, Eng.201

Capt. William Burke Jr., Eng.21

A.C. Donald Burns, Cmd. Ctr.

John Burnside, Lad.20

Thomas Butler, Sqd.1

Patrick Byrne, Lad.101

George Cain, Lad.7

Salvatore Calabro, Lad.101

Capt. Frank Callahan, Lad.35

Michael Cammarata, Lad.11

Brian Cannizzaro, Lad.101

Dennis Carey, Hmc.1

Michael Carlo, Eng.230

Michael Carroll, Lad.3

Peter Carroll, Sqd.1 (D)

Thomas Casoria, Eng.22

Michael Cawley, Lad.136

Vernon Cherry, Lad.118

Nicholas Chiofalo, Eng.235

John Chipura, Eng.219

Michael Clarke, Lad.2

Steven Coakley, Eng.217

Tarel Coleman, Sqd.252

John Collins, Lad.25

Robert Cordice, Sqd.1

Ruben Correa, Eng.74

James Coyle, Lad.3

Robert Crawford, Safety

Lt. John Crisci, H.M.

B.C. Dennis Cross, Bat.57 (D)

Thomas Cullen III, Sqd. 41

Robert Curatolo, Lad.16 (D)

Lt. Edward D'Atri, Sqd.1

Michael D'Auria, Eng.40

Scott Davidson, Lad.118

Edward Day, Lad.11

B.C. Thomas DeAngelis, Bat. 8

Manuel Delvalle, Eng.5

Martin DeMeo, H.M. 1

David DeRubbio, Eng.226

Lt. Andrew Desperito, Eng.1 (D)

B.C. Dennis Devlin, Bat.9

Gerard Dewan, Lad.3

George DiPasquale, Lad.2

Lt. Kevin Donnelly, Lad.3

Lt. Kevin Dowdell, Res.4

B.C. Raymond Downey, Soc.

Gerard Duffy, Lad.21

Capt. Martin Egan, Jr., Div.15 (D)

Michael Elferis, Eng.22

Francis Esposito, Eng.235

Lt. Michael Esposito, Sqd.1

Robert Evans, Eng.33

B.C. John Fanning, H.O.

Capt. Thomas Farino, Eng.26

Terrence Farrell, Res.4

Capt. Joseph Farrelly, Div.1 Dep. Comm.

William Feehan, (D)

Lee Fehling, Eng.235

Alan Feinberg, Bat.9

Michael Fiore, Res.5

Lt. John Fischer, Lad.20

Andre Fletcher, Res.5

John Florio, Eng.214

Lt. Michael Fodor, Lad.21

Thomas Foley, Res.3

David Fontana, Sqd.1

Robert Foti, Lad.7

Andrew Fredericks, Sqd.18

Lt. Peter Freund, Eng.55

Thomas Gambino Jr., Res.3

Chief of Dept. Peter Ganci, Jr. (D)

Lt. Charles Garbarini, Bat.9

Thomas Gardner, Hmc.1

Matthew Garvey, Sqd.1

Bruce Gary, Eng.40

Gary Geidel, Res.1 B.C.

Edward Geraghty, Bat.9

Dennis Germain, Lad.2

Lt. Vincent Giammona, Lad.5

James Giberson, Lad.35

Ronnie Gies, Sqd.288

Paul Gill, Eng.54

Lt. John Ginley, Eng.40

Jeffrey Giordano, Lad.3

John Giordano, Hmc.1

Keith Glascoe, Lad.21

James Gray, Lad.20 B.C.

Joseph Grzelak, Bat.48

Jose Guadalupe, Eng.54

Lt. Geoffrey Guja, Bat.43

Lt. Joseph Gullickson, Lad.101

David Halderman, Sqd.18

Lt. Vincent Halloran, Lad.8

Robert Hamilton, Sqd.41

Sean Hanley, Lad.20 (D)

Thomas Hannafin, Lad.5

Dana Hannon, Eng.26

Daniel Harlin, Lad.2

Lt. Harvey Harrell, Res.5

Lt. Stephen Harrell, Bat.7

Capt. Thomas Haskell, Jr., Div.15

Timothy Haskell, Sqd.18 (D)

Capt. Terence Hatton, Res.1

Michael Haub, Lad.4

Lt. Michael Healey, Sqd.41

John Hefferman, Lad.11

Ronnie Henderson, Eng.279

Joseph Henry, Lad.21

William Henry, Res.1 (D)

Thomas Hetzel, Lad.13

Capt. Brian Hickey, Res.4 Lt.

Timothy Higgins, S.O.C.

Jonathan Hohmann, Hmc.1

Thomas Holohan, Eng.6

Joseph Hunter, Sqd.288

Capt. Walter Hynes, Lad.13 (D)

Jonathan Ielpi, Sqd.288

Capt. Frederick Ill Jr., Lad.2

William Johnston, Eng.6

Andrew Jordan, Lad.132

Karl Joseph, Eng.207

Lt. Anthony Jovic, Bat.47

Angel Juarbe Jr., Lad.12

Mychal Judge, Chaplain (D)

Vincent Kane, Eng.22 B.C.

Charles Kasper, S.O.C.

Paul Keating, Lad.5

Richard Kelly Jr., Lad.11

Thomas R. Kelly, Lad.15

Thomas W. Kelly, Lad.105

Thomas Kennedy, Lad.101

Lt. Ronald Kerwin, Sqd.288

Michael Kiefer, Lad.132

Robert King Jr., Eng.33

Scott Kopytko, Lad.15

William Krukowski, Lad.21

Kenneth Kumpel, Lad.25

Thomas Kuveikis, Sqd.252

David LaForge, Lad.20

William Lake, Res.2

Robert Lane, Eng.55

Peter Langone, Sqd.252

Scott Larsen, Lad.15 Lt.

Joseph Leavey, Lad.15

Neil Leavy, Eng.217

Daniel Libretti, Res.2

Carlos Lillo, Paramedic

Robert Linnane, Lad.20

Michael Lynch, Eng.40

Michael Lynch, Lad.4

Michael Lyons, Sqd.41

Patrick Lyons, Sqd.252

Joseph Maffeo, Lad.101

William Mahoney, Res 4

Joseph Maloney, Lad.3 (D)

B.C. Joseph Marchbanks Jr, Bat.12

Lt. Charles Margiotta, Bat.22

Kenneth Marino, Res.1

John Marshall, Eng.23 Lt.

Peter Martin, Res.2

Lt. Paul Martini, Eng.23

Joseph Mascali, T.S.U. 2

Keithroy Maynard, Eng.33

Brian McAleese, Eng.226

John McAvoy, Lad.3 T

homas McCann, Bat.8

Lt. William McGinn, Sqd.18

B.C. William McGovern, Bat.2 (D)

Dennis McHugh, Lad.13

Robert McMahon, Lad.20

Robert McPadden, Eng.23

Terence McShane, Lad.101

Timothy McSweeney, Lad.3

Martin McWilliams, Eng.22 (D)

Raymond Meisenheimer, Res.3

Charles Mendez, Lad.7

Steve Mercado, Eng.40

Douglas Miller, Res.5

Henry Miller Jr, Lad.105

Robert Minara, Lad.25

Thomas Mingione, Lad.132

Lt. Paul Mitchell, Bat.1

Capt. Louis Modafferi, Res.5

Lt. Dennis Mojica, Res.1 (D)

Manuel Mojica, Sqd.18 (D)

Carl Molinaro, Lad.2

Michael Montesi, Res.1

Capt. Thomas Moody, Div.1

B.C. John Moran, Bat.49

Vincent Morello, Lad.35

Christopher Mozzillo, Eng.55

Richard Muldowney Jr, Lad.07

Michael Mullan, Lad.12

Dennis Mulligan, Lad.2

Lt. Raymond Murphy, Lad.16

Lt. Robert Nagel, Eng.58

John Napolitano, Res.2

Peter Nelson, Res.4

Gerard Nevins, Res.1

Dennis O'Berg, Lad.105

Lt. Daniel O'Callaghan, Lad.4

Douglas Oelschlager, Lad.15

Joseph Ogren, Lad.3

Lt. Thomas O'Hagan, Bat.4

Samuel Oitice, Lad.4

Patrick O'Keefe, Res.1

Capt. William O'Keefe, Div.15 (D)

Eric Olsen, Lad.15

Jeffery Olsen, Eng.10

Steven Olson, Lad.3

Kevin O'Rourke, Res.2

Michael Otten, Lad.35

Jeffery Palazzo, Res.5

B.C. Orio Palmer, Bat.7

Frank Palombo, Lad.105

Paul Pansini, Eng.10

B.C. John Paolillo, Bat.11

James Pappageorge, Eng.23

Robert Parro, Eng.8

Durrell Pearsall, Res.4

Lt. Glenn Perry, Bat.12

Lt. Philip Petti, Bat.7

Lt. Kevin Pfeifer, Eng. 33

Lt. Kenneth Phelan, Bat.32

Christopher Pickford, Eng.201

Shawn Powell, Eng.207

Vincent Princiotta, Lad.7

Kevin Prior, Sqd.252

B.C. Richard Prunty, Bat.2 (D)

Lincoln Quappe, Res.2

Lt. Michael Quilty, Lad.11

Ricardo Quinn, Paramedic

Leonard Ragaglia, Eng.54

Michael Ragusa, Eng.279

Edward Rall, Res.2

Adam Rand, Sqd.288

Donald Regan, Res.3

Lt. Robert Regan, Lad.118

Christian Regenhard, Lad.131

Kevin Reilly, Eng.207

Lt. Vernon Richard, Lad.7

James Riches, Eng.4

Joseph Rivelli, Lad.25

Michael Roberts, Eng.214

Michael E. Roberts, Lad.35

Anthony Rodriguez, Eng.279

Matthew Rogan, Lad.11

Nicholas Rossomando, Res.5

Paul Ruback, Lad.25

Stephen Russell, Eng.55

Lt. Michael Russo, S.O.C.

B.C. Matthew Ryan, Bat.1

Thomas Sabella, Lad.13

Christopher Santora, Eng.54

John Santore, Lad.5 (D)

Gregory Saucedo, Lad.5

Dennis Scauso, H.M. 1

John Schardt, Eng.201

B.C. Fred Scheffold, Bat.12

Thomas Schoales, Eng.4

Gerard Schrang, Res.3 (D)

Gregory Sikorsky, Sqd.41

Stephen Siller, Sqd.1

Stanley Smagala Jr, Eng.226

Kevin Smith, H.M. 1

Leon Smith Jr, Lad 118

Robert Spear Jr, Eng.26

oseph Spor, Res.3

B.C. Lawrence Stack, Bat.50

Capt. Timothy Stackpole, Div.11 (D)

Gregory Stajk, Lad.13

Jeffery Stark, Eng.230

Benjamin Suarez, Lad.21

Daniel Suhr, Eng.216 (D)

Lt. Christopher Sullivan, Lad.111

Brian Sweeney, Res.1

Sean Tallon, Lad.10

Allan Tarasiewicz, Res.5

Paul Tegtmeier, Eng.4

John Tierney, Lad.9

John Tipping II, Lad.4

Hector Tirado Jr, Eng.23

Richard Vanhine, Sqd.41

Peter Vega, Lad.118

Lawrence Veling, Eng.235

John Vigiano II, Lad.132

Sergio Villanueva, Lad.132

Lawrence Virgilio, Sqd.18 (D)

Lt. Robert Wallace, Eng.205

Jeffery Walz, Lad. 9

Lt. Michael Warchola, Lad.5 (D)

Capt. Patrick Waters, S.O.C.

Kenneth Watson, Eng.214

Michael Weinberg, Eng.1 (D)

David Weiss, Res.1

Timothy Welty, Sqd.288

Eugene Whelan, Eng.230

Edward White, Eng.230

Mark Whitford, Eng.23

Lt. Glenn Wilkinson, Eng.238 (D)

B.C. John Williamson, Bat.6 (D)

Capt. David Wooley, Lad.4

Raymond York, Eng.285 (D)

# Posted by Alyfireman :: 12:00 AM :: |

Friday, September 09, 2005

Sex and the Supremacy of Christ Review

What’s the picture you get when you say sex and Christian in the same breath, or for that matter sex and marriage? To most people I think it’s safe to say they see boring. Even when I showed this book to a Christian friend of mine, he kinda of mumbled under his breath “I wonder if it says missionary position or nothing. And is it any surprise with this day and age teaching if it feels good do it. And don’t get married until you’ve sowed your wild oats. The concept of virginity is mocked and down right hated in some corners.

What this book does and does extremely well is begin to untangle sex from the twisted knot of sin, and restore it to its rightful place as a gift from God to be enjoyed by husband and wife. I can not begin to do this book justice with my own words, so what want to do is allow the book to speak for it’s self as much as possible with out giving away too much.

While this book is edited by John Piper and Justin Taylor, it has quite a few contributors. It is broken down in five parts. Here I think it would be easier for me to just show you:

Part one: God and Sex
Sex and the Supremacy of Christ: Part One
Sex and the Supremacy of Christ: Part Two
John Piper
The Goodness of Sex and the Glory of God
Ben Patterson

Part Two Sin and Sex
Making All Things New: Restoring Pure Joy to the Sexually Broken
David Powlison
Homosexual Marriage as a Challenge to the Church: Biblical and Cultural Reflections
R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

Part Three Men and Sex
Sex and the Single Man
Mark Dever, Michael Lawrence, Matt Schmucker and Scott Croft
Sex, Romance, and the Glory of God: What Every Christian Husband Needs to Know
C.J. Mahaney

Part Four Women and Sex
Sex and the Single Woman
Carolyn McCulley
Sex, Romance, and the Glory of God: What Every Christian Wife Needs to Know
Carolyn Mahaney

Part Five History and Sex
Martin Luther’s Reform of Marriage
Justin Taylor
Christian Hedonists or Religious Prudes? The Puritans on Sex
Mark Dever

Justin Taylor lays the foundation for this book in the introduction:

The genesis of this volume and its attempt to answer that question was the Desiring God National Conference (2004), entitled “Sex and the Supremacy of Christ.” We wanted to approach the topic with frankness and reverence, with the supremacy of Christ as both our foundation and our aim. What do sex and the supremacy of Christ have to do with each other, and what implications should this have for our everyday lives?

Later in the introduction he quotes’s Al Mohler:

Christians have no right to be embarrassed when it comes to talking
about sex and sexuality. An unhealthy reticence or embarrassment in dealing with these issues is a form of disrespect to God’s creation. Whatever God made is good, and every good thing God made has an intended purpose that ultimately reveals His own glory. When conservative Christians respond to sex with ambivalence or embarrassment, we slander the goodness of God and hide God’s glory which is intended to be revealed in the right use of creation’s gifts.

In Chapter one John Piper went a step further when he said:

Let me therefore sate again the two points that fly as a double banner over this book. 1) sexuality is designed by Christ as a way to know God more fully; and 2) knowing Christ more fully in all his infinite supremacy is designed as a way of guarding and guiding our sexuality. All sexual corruption serves to conceal the true knowledge of Christ, and the true knowledge of Christ serves to prevent sexual corruption.

Ok I’m now going to skip all the way down to Chapter 4, because this was were my eyes stared to be opened on just how much sin has stained the joy of sex. By far this was my favorite chapter. Not only does it talk about the “big” sins of sex, but also those “little” sins that easily get sweep under the cover as not hurting anyone. Mr. Powlison doesn’t just stop there but goes on to explain how Christ can begin to heal us:

You can hardly bear to put a name on what some people do, or on what happens to some people. Is your sexuality misshapen and misdirected? Sexual evils are among the dark things that pour forth from within our hearts. Jesus bluntly indicts a roster of sexual wrongs (Mark 7:21-23)-and offers costly mercy to the repentant. Has your sexuality been harmed by others? Some people experience terrible suffering at the hands of predators, users, misuses, and abusers. Jesus fiercely curses those who trip up other (Matt 18:6-7) - and offers safe refuge to sufferers.

On the one hand, sex becomes a complex darkness. On the other hand, sex becomes a garden of simple, pure delights. Which picture represents you?

It’s not really a fair question. You probably can’t answer either-or, because most likely you’re somewhere in the middle. This chapter is about making new, about long restoring of joys to the broken and dirtied. In other words, it’s about the process of change. It’s about moving along a trajectory away from the dark and toward the light. It’s about knowing where you’re heading while you’re still somewhere in the middle.

For the sake of time let me conclude with this, this book touches every major aspect of what sex should mean to a Christian. Like I said before, this book takes a giant step in the right direction towards restoring the true nature of sex, and how we should not, as Christians, be ashamed of using it to bring glory to God. After all it’s His gift to us, and we should enjoy it, not fear it.

This book truly has something for everyone. I’ll admit this book took me longer to read than others, not because it’s complex or hard to understand, but for the shear fact that there is so much information in its 270 pages, and is a must have.

For more reviews go to Mind and Media, who supplied me this book as a gift from Crossway publishers.

# Posted by Alyfireman :: 6:48 AM :: |

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Prayers for September 6, 2005

"Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.
Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations."
(Psalm 100)

It is a joy to know that we serve a God who never changes and is worthy of our praise! Please pray that as these precious brothers and sisters in Christ face various trials that they would be shining examples of God's mercy and truth. Thank you for praying this week!

VOM Web Team

From The Voice of the Martyrs
The Voice of the Martyrs Visit:

Pray for CHINA
CHINA (ASSIST News Service)
Two recent news releases from China Aid Association (CAA) document a shocking escalation of persecution in China. There seems to be a direct correlation between increasing Russian-Chinese-Central Asian solidarity and growing persecution of unsanctioned Protestant Christians in those states. China is systematically strengthening its assault on "cults" (which includes house churches.) On July 7th, Pastor Cai Zhuohua faced court in Beijing charged with "illegal business operations" for printing more than 200,000 Bibles and other Christian books. (As they were given away and not sold, there was no "business.") He is in prison awaiting sentence. Two women, Ms. Gu Junging (38) and Ms. Ren Daoyun (60) are still in prison following the detention and interrogation of two American students and 43 Chinese believers whom Ms. Ren Daoyun had hosted in her home. Mr. Song Jun, Mr. He Jiangwei and Ms. Liang Fanglan are still held incommunicado following a house-church raid in Xinjiang province on August 7th. On August 15th, five American church leaders were arrested in Jiangxi province along with 27 house-church pastors. The group had simply been enjoying Christian fellowship together. Where they are being detained is not known, but God knows, therefore, we will confidently and dependently approach his "throne of grace" (Hebrews 4:16).

Give thanks to God for these courageous Christians who know God is in control and will work all to His glory. Pray the Lord will grant them mercy and grace in their time of great need. Pray the supernatural grace of China's persecuted believers will convict their persecutors and the Holy Spirit will bring sweeping revival to all of China

INDONESIA (Compass Direct)
On September 1st, Indonesian judges sentenced three women to three years in prison for allowing Muslim children to attend a Christian Sunday school program. Rebekka Zakaria, Eti Pangesti and Ratna Bangun received their sentence after judges found them guilty of attempting to convert children under the Child Protection Act of 2002. The Sunday school teachers had instructed the children to get permission from their parents before attending the program, and those who did not have permission were asked to go home, according to Jeff Hammond of Bless Indonesia Today. The three women were relieved they had not been given the maximum five-year prison sentence but were devastated at the prospect of being separated from their children, who range from 6 to 19 years of age. Before the trial session, Islamic extremists took over the courtroom and made murderous threats. (Click here)

Give thanks to God the lives of these faithful believers were protected from the violent mob in the courtroom. Pray God will comfort these faithful believers with the assurance He will protect their children, providing Christian friends to care for them with sympathy and tender love. Pray when this case is appealed in the Supreme Court, the fact the Muslim children had their parents' consent to attend the meetings will be emphasized and bring about their release.

Pray for IRAN
IRAN (ASSIST News Service)
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has flooded the Majlis (parliament) with former Revolutionary Guards while Ayatollah Khamenei has made key changes in security structures and strategies to entrench the Revolutionary Guards' hegemony over all law enforcement agencies. Now that Iran has begun to enact a policy of zero-tolerance toward breaches of the ideals of the Islamic revolution, it does not require much imagination to see how much pain and trauma Christians, other non-Muslims and freedom-loving Persians are destined to experience as Ayatollah Khamenei and President Ahmadinejad forcefully advance their Shi'ite vision of a pure Islamic state. Under orders from their new police chief, Iran's police have commenced a crackdown on "models of corruption," or in other words poorly veiled women. (Iran Focus August 27th) Iran's new Minister of Justice vowed on Saturday August 20th, that "being improperly veiled and not wearing a veil are no different. When it is clear from the appearance of a woman that she has violated the law, then the crime is obvious and law enforcement agents can take legal measures against her." He has also made it clear members of the para-military Bassij and the notorious Ansar-e Hizbollah, government organized gangs of hooligans, are regarded as law enforcement agents in clergy-ruled Iran. (Iran Focus August 25th) (Click here)

Pray God will raise up Christian prayer warriors worldwide to stand in the gap for His witness in Iran. Pray the Lord will empower the few Christians with a holy boldness to continue faithful to Jesus. Pray for the Muslim authorities who need to know the reality of our loving heavenly Father.

Pray for MEXICO
MEXICO (Compass Direct)
Huichol native mobs in Jalisco state have driven Christians from their homes and threatened to burn them to death, according to news reports. Beginning August 14th, the first wave of 70 Huichol refugees from the village of Agua Fria, near Mezquitic, fled on foot across the state border into Tepic, Nayarit, beginning August 14th. The total number of refugees was expected to reach more than 300. Most arrived ill from the 20-hour walk. The refugees took only one change of clothing per person. They left behind some 250 acres of land, along with bean and corn crops, cattle, horses, burros, chickens and houses, plus personal possessions. Town leaders insisted that if the Huichol Christians wish to return to Agua Fria, they must renounce their faith and return to native traditions and rites-such as drinking liquor and using hallucinatory peyote-which are practiced alongside Roman Catholic customs.

Pray these believers will remain firm in their faith during this time. Pray they will live out the words of the writer of Hebrews, "But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them" (11:16).

Pray for VIETNAM
VIETNAM (Compass Direct)
On August 30th, as part of Vietnam's National Day amnesty, Rev. Nguyen Hong Quang, a Mennonite pastor convicted of resisting officers doing their duty, was released from prison. The Vietnamese Mennonite Church leader had faced severe pressure to sign an admission of guilt. Rev. Quang, convicted on November 12, 2004, has been held in five different prisons. According to area Mennonites, at times he was abused by fellow prisoners who were rewarded for doing so by the authorities. His health deteriorated considerably during hard labor at a prison in Dak Lak province, and he suffered frequent fainting spells.

Praise God Rev. Quang was released from prison. Ask God for his complete healing-body, soul and spirit-as well as eternal fruit from his time in prison.

# Posted by Alyfireman :: 12:54 PM :: |

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Katrina prayer request

If your a christain by now you've prayed in one form or another for the people down there. But today I read an dehearting article. When the people we look up to save us are having a hard time dealing with stuff, you know things are bad.

I know alot of the time police and fireman, are looked at as heroes, but the turth of the matter is we are human. And when your around the dark side of humanaity, it can get hard to cope. So as your praying remeber to pray for the rescuers, that they whould be givien the abilty to deal with the death and descution that they are dealing with. And if your a blogger please do me a favor and pass this along.

# Posted by Alyfireman :: 11:22 AM :: |