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Sunday, November 8, 2020

The LORD Will Provide

"Abraham answered, “God Himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together." -Genesis 22:8

This weekend hunters all over the Great State of Texas are sitting in a tree or deer stand somewhere hoping to harvest a deer. It is such a blessing to have God provide "meat for the freezer," food that can feed a family. As I have seen social media posts of God's provision for my friends and family this weekend, I have been reminded that God is our provider. 

Abraham was tested by God and asked to do the unthinkable- sacrifice a son that he waited 90 years to have. So, he took his son and began to build the altar. Not aware that he was the sacrifice, Isaac asked his father, "Where is the lamb?(Genesis 22:7)" Abraham's response was, "the LORD will provide." Abraham knew the promises of God. He was loyal to the God who called him and completely trusted in Him. Isaac was evidence of the promise that God would bless the entire world through his son. Fast forward a few millennia to one of Isaac's descendants, Jesus, the "lamb of God(John 1:29)" provided to "take away our sins!"

God is always providing for us. Every meal, talent, skill, and relationship are gifts from God. Even more so, He provided His son, Jesus to be a sacrifice on the cross to provide us with His Love, Mercy, Grace, and Forgiveness. His Word, the Holy Scriptures, are full of His promises for us. What is it that you need from God in this moment? Is it healing, wisdom, strength, peace, hope, purpose, direction, a new job, a miracle, or your next meal? Whatever it is, we can be certain and have faith just like Abraham that THE LORD WILL PROVIDE. 

May the LORD bless you and keep you!
Sr Captain Bobby Delgado, HFD Chaplain

Photo Credit: Kelly Parker 

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Mourn and Rejoice Together

"Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn." - Romans 12:15
Grief and celebration are part of the dichotomy of life. This week the mother of some of my best childhood friends died. Then HFD lost another brother in the line of duty. And, a brother firefighter got to marry the love of his life. To say that life is full of highs and lows is an understatement. 

My take away this week is that no matter what we go through, we are created to go through it together. To rejoice and mourn with others is as simple a command as we can get. Both my extended family and fire family have done this extremely well. We have shed tears, lent empathetic ears, and offered shoulders to cry on. We've shared meals, beers, laughs, and memories together. 

As God's children on this journey called life, we are to come alongside each other and offer our presence as Jesus did. In mourning and in celebration we share in the human experience. We commit to being there for and with our fellow brothers and sisters. We hurt because they hurt, and we celebrate because they celebrate. There are people in our lives right now who need us to mourn or rejoice with them. When we show up for others, we demonstrate that they are loved and they matter. In doing so, we show them the love and presence of God. 

May the Lord Bless You and Keep You!
Senior Captain Bobby Delgado
HFD Chaplain

 

Sunday, October 11, 2020

More Than You Can Bear

"No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." - 1 Corinthians 10:13ESV

I wish I had a dollar for every time someone said, "The Good Lord will never give you more than you can bear." This is probably one of the most flat out wrong "truths" attributed to God and the Bible. It's not found anywhere in all of Scripture. False understanding leads to false application. You aren't allowed to go through tough times because God thinks you are a "bad a$$." You don't have a "black cloud" following you. It isn't "Karma." It is life. Maybe the only "lesson" God is trying to get you to "learn" is to totally depend on Him. (The misquoted statement is actually a misrepresentation of a verse about temptation(see verse above). We all have a choice whether we will give in to temptation or not.)

Life is full of struggles and suffering, heartache and pain. Many preachers gloss over the fact that the Bible does promise we will have trouble(John 16:33, James 1:2, 2 Timothy 1:8). There is no escaping it. Believing in God and being a Christian doesn't make us immune to the trials of life. There have been many days where I've been overwhelmed by all of the hardship this life brings. 2020 has brought more pain and loss than I could have ever imagined. Don't we all feel like the hits keep coming?

It is in times like these that I cling to the promises and truths found in the Holy Scriptures. I cling to the promise that "He will never leave us or forsake us(Deuteronomy 31:6, Hebrews 13:5, Matthew 28:20)." I hang onto the fact that in my "weakness His strength is made perfect(2 Corinthians 12:9)." When we feel the unbearable weight of this world, we must learn to rely on Christ. We must "cast our burdens on Him for He will sustain us(Psalm 55:22)." When you don't have the will, strength, or know-how to carry on, ask Him to carry you through the storm. He can handle it.

May the Lord Bless You and Keep You,
Senior Captain Bobby Delgado
HFD Chaplain






Sunday, July 5, 2020

Grace and Salt

"Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person." -Colossians 4:6
Our mothers taught us a very important lesson very early on in our lives. My mom still has to repeat it to me often: "If you don't have something nice to say, then don't say anything at all." For many of us first responders, that would mean we would be silent most if not all of the time. Obviously like Colonel Sanders so eloquently put it in Water Boy, "Momma is wrong again." We should absolutely speak up to correct lies, wrongdoings, and injustices. Your point of view matters. We have the right to share our opinion on any topic any where. That is freedom protected in the First Amendment. 

We have an ongoing crisis of people not being able to have conversations with dissenting opinions anymore. So many conversations today are fueled by emotions and personal attacks. If you don't think, vote, and "feel" like me, then you are inferior and the enemy. I don't know where we went wrong, but this has to stop.

Food companies have long learned that the combination of sweet and salty will keep people eating more. The same can be said for sweet and spicy. The juxtaposition of these flavors often leads me to eat a whole bag of trail mix or kettle corn when I intended to just eat "some." When our words are "gracious" and "seasoned with salt," people are willing to hear more of them. In order for us obey God's command, we need to pray before and during any conversation. We should view each other not as opponents, but as equals. We must slow down and choose our words wisely- words that build up not tear down. We must not let our emotions steer any conversation. Just because we have the right to say something, doesn't mean we should. We should seek to listen for understanding, and we should find and build off of common ground. It is my experience that many of us want the same things in life. We just have differing methods on how to get there. When this isn't enough, we must agree to disagree. 

 My hope and prayer is that civility will be restored to our relationships and to this world. God can do it when we His people follow His plan for our speech. 

May the LORD bless you and keep you!
Senior Captain Bobby Delgado
HFD Chaplain




Sunday, June 14, 2020

Trust in Him

"You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you." -Isaiah 26:3

We've endured a complete change of life due to COVID-19 and the aftermath from the death of George Floyd. It feels like life as we know it may never be the same. It is certainly certain that no one is certain about anything. Experts in religion, science, medicine, government policy, public opinion, social media, and the economy don't seem to agree on anything. There is strife and division everywhere we look. Opinions on how to move forward together as a country seem to be ever changing and evolving. Even change for the better is met with resistance. With the constant change we are facing, it is easy to be stressed, depressed, angry, pessimistic, and anxious about our future.

What we all need is assurance. We all need that rock to hold onto. God promises His "perfect peace" to us if we just hold on to and trust in Him. He is immovable, unshakable, immortal, perfect, and constant. He is the only One we can count on. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever(Hebrews 13:8). He never promised us this life would be easy, predictable, or comfortable. He does promise to always be with us and give us His peace and strength to endure. It is evident to me that if I put my trust in Him, I will have peace, no matter what is going on around me. Faith in anything but Him has and will lead to disappointment. May we trust Him, and may He grant us His perfect peace.
 
May the LORD bless you and keep you!
Senior Captain Bobby Delgado
HFD Chaplain

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Slug

"Whoever is slack in his work is a brother to him who destroys." -Proverbs 18:9

"Slug" is one of those names that you do not want attached to you in the fire department. Hard work is an essential asset of anyone wishing to succeed in the fire service. While cleaning toilets as a young "tabber" at Station 12, my captain told me that I would go far in the fire department if I kept up my work ethic. My chief at Station 82 made it a point to instruct me not to be like the previous rookie, who earned the notorious label "slug." As an officer it is easy to see that the best firefighters are the ones who are always working. Hard work ensures that everything is in a state of readiness for whatever the shift may throw at you. Simply put by someone, hard work pays off. 

One of the keys to life is not being afraid of work and getting our hands dirty. We should relish the opportunity to put forth our best effort in whatever we do, "as unto the Lord(Colossians 3:23)." Every wake up call is a chance to do God's work. Maintaining relationships takes work. Repairing damaged ones, even more work. Staying connected to God does take work on our part. Loving your neighbor, yup, takes work. Loving your enemy, serious work. Racial reconciliation, you guessed it, takes work. Changing your world, a lifetime of work.  

The implications of being a slacker are related to destruction. Consider unkempt yards, dilapidated homes, failing relationships, preventable diseases, financial struggles, societal unrest, divided communities, and feeling distant from God. A slack attitude in life leads to loss at every corner and is downright sinful to those around us and to God. Start with putting in the work of knowing and loving God. In turn, He will guide you in putting in the work of loving your spouse, children, neighbor(everyone), enemy, and world. Then and only then will we see true transformation. 

May the LORD bless you and keep you!
Senior Captain Bobby Delgado
HFD Chaplain

Sunday, May 31, 2020

JUSTICE

"He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? 
To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." -Micah 6:8
The horrific public killing of George Floyd has brought about outrage and much needed calls for justice. My hope and prayer is that his killer and accomplices are punished for their crimes. Our God is a God of justice. As His children, we have been ordained by God to speak and stand against injustice of every kind. We should not just tweet, repost, and share, but we must also listen, pray, write, march, vote, give, donate, love, volunteer, hold accountable...

Being about justice isn't a one time event. It is a lifestyle. We don't get to pick and choose which injustices matter. They all matter to God. We also don't get to solve one injustice with another. Unjust acts in the name of justice are still unjust. Right after God tells us to "act justly/do justice/love justice", he asks us to love mercy. We must remember that each sin we have and will ever commit is against a Holy and Righteous God. When He offered His Son as the perfect sacrifice for our sins, He offered us MERCY. I am so grateful for His mercy every day, because I know what I deserve and never get. We must also offer mercy in the manner and measure we have received.

The only way we can administer Justice tempered with Mercy is to "walk humbly with God." Our gut reaction, apart from God, is to offer swift street justice. We want people to pay and we want them to suffer just as much. If we're honest, we want them to suffer even more than their victims. We want them to burn in hell. The more we walk with God, the more we are willing to extend mercy and grace while also holding them accountable for their actions. 

May the LORD bless you and keep you!
Senior Captain Bobby Delgado
HFD Chaplain