Happy New Year!!! 2014, brings a lot of new ideas and plans, that are jump started by the thought of the new year. There will be vacations planned, weddings discussed, graduations, sporting event participation, new job opportunities, job promotions, new-born babies, schools and college decisions to be made, just to name a few events that may be upon the horizon this new year. We want to begin the year with a good start. We always see “new years resolutions,” fill our vocabulary as the change of the year approaches. We see good intentions, being discussed among ourselves and with our community of friends. Resolutions are challenging, and can be just the thing we need to get us past the winter doom and gloom. I would invite you to make Jesus, part of your new years resolution. I’m not talking about religion or denominational divides, I’m talking about allowing Jesus to come inside your heart, in a fresh new way, and allow Him to help you make, the resolutions become a reality.
2013 might have been a year that brought a lot of pain and adversity your way, and you are looking forward to a better year. Maybe last year was filled with less than favorable conditions for you and your family and you are yearning for positive things this year. The new years resolution for this year might be to get past the pain, and pressing forward for the God purposes in your life. God knows the struggles that we have encountered, He has seen and guided us through the tough spots in 2013. God doesn’t want the pain to cripple us, he wants us to persevere and carry on the work, that only you can do. Philippians 1 :16 Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.(NIV) The narrative suggest, Christ has started something good in our lives. No matter how things might have been in 2013, why not give Christ, the opportunity to continue his mission in your life. Christ wants to be involved in your life in 2014. Revelation 3 : 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. (KJV)
A Good Way To Address The New Year Is To:
- Make Jesus The Focus Of Your Life. Psalm 16 :8 I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. (NIV)
- Commit Yourself To Reading Your Bible. Psalm 130:5 – I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. (NIV)
- Pray Everyday. Deuteronomy 4 : 7 – What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him? (NIV)
1 Thessalonians 5:17 – pray without ceasing. (KJV)
2 Corinthians 5 : 17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (KJV)
Commit to Christ, and He will show you new things in 2014!
Isaiah 7 : 14 – Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign; The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
Isaiah 9:6 – For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Micah 5:2 – But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.
The Birth of Jesus Foretold – Luke 1:26-38 (NIV)
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[a] the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”
38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
Joseph Accepts Jesus as His Son – Matthew 1:18-25 (NIV) 18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about[a]: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet[b] did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[c] because he will save his people from their sins.”
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[d] (which means “God with us”).
24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
The Birth of Jesus – Luke 2:1-21 2 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.
4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.
The Magi Visit the Messiah – Matthew 2:1-11(NIV)
2 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi[a] from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
6 “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’[b]”
7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”
9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
It is to my great sadness to inform you that our brother Mike Blanton went to be with the Lord Tuesday morning. Please keep the friends and family of Mike in your prayers. Jennings and Ayers will be the officient site. Times are as follows, visitation will be Friday Dec. 20th 2pm to 8pm & Saturday from 11am to 2pm. Funeral starts at 2pm.
Michael Dean Blanton, age 57, born September 8, 1956, concluded an almost 3 year fight against stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer at home in the arms of his loving wife on Tuesday, December 17, 2013. They would have celebrated their 36th wedding anniversary on December 30th.
Mike was a native and lifelong resident of Rutherford County and retired in 2005 with almost 25 years of service with Murfreesboro Fire and Rescue Department. He was a member of the Westvue Church of Christ. Mike was active in Bonsai Organizations showing both nationally and internationally. He was a member of the Rutherford County Master Gardeners and local and state pond organizations.
Mike was preceded in death by his father, Truman L. Blanton Sr; brothers, Truman L. Blanton, Jr. (Junior) and Donnie Blanton and sister, Christine Blanton Horton.
He is survived by his wife, Amy Harding Blanton; his mother, Gladys Barrett Blanton; brother, Gene Blanton; nieces and nephews; father and mother-in-law, Hal and Novella Busey Harding and the special children who we were privileged to love and share as our own.
A chapel service will be Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 2:00 PM at Jennings and Ayers. MFFA Chaplain Lee Douglas, Kirkland Mason and Rick Duggin will officiate. Burial will be in Roselawn Memorial Gardens with Fire Service Honors. Friends and family will serve as active pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers will be active and retired members of Murfreesboro Fire and Rescue Department.
Visitation will be Friday, December 20, 2013 from 2:00-8:00 PM and Saturday, December 21 from 11:00 AM until time of service at 2:00 PM at Jennings and Ayers Funeral Home; 820 South Church St., Murfreesboro, TN 37130; 615-893-2422. Please leave condolences at www.jenningsandayers.com.
Amy would like to thank Mike’s doctors and nurses at Vanderbilt Medical Center and Alive Hospice for their kindness and compassion in caring for Mike.
There has been a lot of debate in the past on whether to use 10 codes or common terminology (plain language.) People have their own personal preference. 10 codes was a part of our vocabulary for so long, I find myself still wanting to use them. It is hard to break a habit. 10 codes are simple, if you’re aware of what the code means, but if you are called to multi-jurisdiction incident, or to mutual aid, its best to use common terminology. 10 codes, for one department, may not have the same meaning, for another department. “10-8” en-route, may mean something totally different in another department’s language. For example, 10-8 could mean “en- route”, or “out of territory.” It would be like speaking a different language, thinking we know what the other department is saying, but totally missing the meaning.
Common terminology or plain language is a national wide trend that is recommended to emergency responder departments. Common terminology (plain language) is advised by the NIMS, National Incident Management System. Communication is vital in a life or death situation. It is vital in managing resources to the maximum output. I was in a class many years ago, that had a session on communication. The one thing I remember is a class exercise we did as a team of two. We were instructed to pear off in two’s, and listen to the teacher’s instruction. The instructor advised the class to put two chairs together, with the backs to each other, so we could not see one another, nor see the instructor. The instructor would give us a sheet of notebook paper. He then would instruct us, on what to do with the paper. He said to hold up the paper in front of you and tear off the top corner. Next fold the paper in half. Then tear off the opposite corner to the corner 1st torn away. Next cut out the center of the paper with scissors about the size of a quarter. There were several other directives he advised us to do with our sheet of paper. Finally unfold the paper and turn your chair forward and share the artwork with your partner and see if it matches theirs. My paper did not match my partners. You see the instructor did not say how to hold the paper (by length or width) before tearing off the edges, but we interpreted what he said, different than was meant. If you didn’t start right, it didn’t end right. So even when we use common terminology or plain language, we have to know what we are trying to say. The instructor held up his paper and showed us what he wanted from us. I’d say most of the class didn’t hear what he was trying to say. There were all kinds of different designs crafted by students that day.
Case Study: Adam and Eve.
From the very genesis of time, people have had trouble communicating with one another. We all are familiar with the account of Adam and Eve. I’ll give you a little update. God created man and woman and they lived in the Garden of Eden. God gave Adam and Eve instructions on what to, and not to eat. It was clear and precise information, which was understandable to say the least. God instructed Adam, you can eat of any tree in the garden, but you must not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die. (Genesis 2 v 16 & 17 ,NIV.) That is very clear. If someone says, “you do this you die,” I understand that clearly. Then came the enemy. The serpent was on the scene, and he tempted Eve to eat of the fruit forbidden by God. The serpent told Eve, Did God say, you must not eat of from any tree in the garden?”(Gen 3v1 ,NIV) The serpent took Gods words and twisted them to fit his own plans to tempt man to fall. Adam and Eve perhaps was half listening to Gods instruction fell as; we all do, at times, to the schemes of the devil. (Gen 3v6, NIV) says she gave the fruit to her husband and he did eat as well. The narrative, gives us the insight that perhaps Adam was with Eve during, the temptation to eat, instigated, by the serpent. This is the penalty that we all have been sentenced to DEATH. The Garden of Eden was said to be, by a famous 20th century evangelist, “Paradise Lost.”
Communication is vital in this fast paced world. There are computers, I pads, and fancy phones that take an instruction manual, just to show us, how to dial a number. These are instruments that we need to read, on how to operate the phone, before we can be effective with it. The most basic form of communication is talking one to another. A successful Marriage is hinged on communication. Our relationship with our kids should be communication based. Communication with our co-workers is key to harmony in the workplace. Our relationship God is one of the most important relationships we can have, and it is related to communication.
- Listening is also part of the Communication process. If we fail to hear the rite street address, it can lead to loosing valuable response time. If we fail to hear what our spouse is saying, it can hurt a marriage. If we fail understand, how to hear from God, it can cause us to become anxious with life’s problems. Communication is a big part of life. Finally as someone once said “ Speak, use words, when possible.”
Scenario: Its midnight and we are all tucked tightly in our beds at our respected fire stations. We are awakened by the tones, and then “all stations, stand by for a call for a house fire with flames visible.” That alone will get your adrenaline flowing, plus the stress of waking up from a sound sleep. From 0 to 100% is where we go to in this situation. By now we’ve seen the computer training video about, performing a 360 size up, on our arrival to the scene. We’ve know what to look for when we approach the scene. Are there any vehicles in the driveway, what time of day is it? Are there any signs of children’s toys for example, bicycles in the yard? All clues of, is there anyone at home, or in the structure? Firefighter safety, Primary searches, Fire Suppression tactics, RIT operations, Utilities, EMS, exposures, do I have enough units enroute, just to get started. But what about when we enter, into the structure? What if I, or one of our brothers of sisters get into a bad situation. I mean what if we encounter a situation, were we have perhaps, lost our hose line, and we are on the second floor of the structure, and fire is impeding into our personal space. We have to react! Suppose we have to use the EZ-Scape integrated self-rescue belts. We’ve all been trained on how to initiate the escape belts and use a window for our route to safety. I pray we never have to use the escape belts in real fire scenes. Well enough of this scenario, and to points of interest. To my understanding the belts are designed for one use only, if used in an emergency situation. If during a fire, the device is deployed, NFPA standards mandate it must be removed from service and replaced after it is used.
I read an article that says for training purposes, it is recommended that belts that are designated for training only, are not to be put in service, on the pumpers. Those belts can be used for up to 35 bailout training exercises provided they pass inspection after each use.
Case Study: Mark 2 v 1-12 “The Paralytic man” To get out of a bad situation, we sometimes have to “bail out” to get to a better environment. I am reminded of when Jesus was teaching in Capernaum, inside a house, someone who was a paralytic was carried to the home by 4 men. The men once they got to the house, could not get to the front door because of the crowd of people there, listening to Jesus. So the 4 men, in a perhaps desperate situation, decided to climb on top of the house, carrying the paralytic on to the roof with them, and then, scripture tells the 4 men dug through the roof until it opened, and they lowered the paralytic man down to Jesus. Jesus saw the faith, of the 4 men that had lowered their friend, and his mat to Him, and said “Son your sins are forgiven.” Mark 2v11 Jesus said “I tell you, get up, pick up your stretcher (mat) and go home.” (12) Immediately he got up, picked up the stretcher (mat), and went out in front of everyone… HCSB version
Application for you and me: Don’t be afraid to bail out to Jesus. He is always there waiting for us. Sometimes it’s difficult to stand in our own strength, and we allow pride to keep us from Jesus, and at times, we have the “I can get thru a no win situation, on my own, attitude.” Ephesians 4 v 2&3 Be completely humble, and gentle, be patient, bearing with one another with love. (3) Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. Allow the Lord to work thru your situation. Sometimes He will allow you to stand and endure, and other times He will give you a way of escape. Bailing Out is not a bad thing, especially if you are in danger. The paralytic man and his 4 friends had faith enough, to bail off of a roof, to where Jesus was at. Bailing out of a window in an emergency situation, is a bit frightening, but think about the alternative.
God bless you this week!!!