They show their physical and mental strength and determination every time they answer a call. To our children and others, they are touchable heroes who are willing to put their lives on the line.
And all they ask in return is a thank you and show of support.
Cedar Bluff Fire Chief Shawn Rogers shared a few words on behalf of first responders during a recent prayer vigil held in Cedar Bluff Town Park.
The event was arranged by Julie Farist, a 2016 graduate of Cedar Bluff High School.
“We are called to love one another and there are so many people who are living by that,” said Farist. “And it is a scary thing to know that our police who are willing to risk their lives for us are not guaranteed protection. But with God on our side we are guaranteed that he will protect us and He will give us a better home.”
“Proverbs 18:10 says ‘The name of the lord is a strong tower. The righteous run to it and Seek God and you will be safe,’” said Farist.
“On behalf of the town of Cedar Bluff and the fire department I want to thank everyone for being here,” said Rogers. “I want to start off by saying that we are thankful for the brave men and women who act as first responders in our community and across the nation. We are grateful for their commitment to serve the greater good. From you comes their great physical and mental determination and strength and our young children strive to be like them whether it be a police officer, a fire fighter an EMT or a rescue worker and they want to follow in their strong footsteps. And I pray for the nation to see our first responders today like our children do as touchable heroes. They are right around the corner ready to help. We give thanks to our first responders because they have pledged to protect us in our time of need. We stand in awe of their ability to remain calm in crisis situations and to act with determination and purpose when faced with violence, fires, accidents, disasters, medical emergencies.”
“I challenge you that if you see a first responder to go up and tell them thank you,” said Rogers. “A simple heartfelt thank you goes a long way this day and time. It may not seem like much to you but it means the world to us to know that we are appreciated. It not only boosts our morale, but it builds up our strength and courage.”
The Rev. Mark Cosby, pastor of Cedar Bluff First Baptist Church, opened the gathering in prayer and reflected on America’s greatness throughout the centuries. He stressed that America’s problem today is not racial nor political but spiritual.
“Alexis de Tocqueville (Alexis-Charles-Henri Clérel de Tocqueville) was a 19th Century French statesman, social philosopher, and in the 1830s he wanted to make a trip to America because he wanted to see why America was so great,” noted Rev. Cosby. “They were relatively a new nation. He wrote a two-volume work called Democracy in America and one of the most famous quotes in that work, many of you may be familiar with it, is where he says that America is great because America is good. And if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great. And one of the things that impressed him so much were the pulpits in America and how the pulpits were preaching righteousness and how the people were responding to the message that was being brought from the pulpits.”
“When he looked at America, he saw the Christian principles that she was founded upon and how that was in operation in every steer of life,” said Rev. Cosby. “As we go through the 1830s to 2016, we ask the question what happened? What has happened since then?”
“As a nation, unfortunately, we have regressed from where we once were,” said Rev. Cosby. “And as I said in a sermon a couple of weeks ago, the Examiner did a report in September of 2013 and in that report they did a study of the effects of the Supreme Court’s decision in 1962 to remove public prayer from the public school system and their findings were quite shocking. You can go on examiner.com and they gave statistics on how we have declined a nation. Illegal drug activity has spiked, sexual immorality spiked, teenage pregnancy, teenage suicides, incarcerated all of these things increased ever since that ruling came down and as I began to think about that, some of the truths that I think we need to remember is that government is a God-ordained institution. Therefore it should be regulated by the commandments of God.”
“The purpose of our government is to protect and to serve us and at this time I want to respectively ask if all of our first reponders, policemen, firemen, EMT workers if you would all stand because we want to recognize you for the service that you provide in our community,” said Rev. Cosby.
“I want you not only to thank them, but we need to continue to pray for them each and every day for the work they do because they put their lives on the line so that you and I can have a quality of life so you and I can live with the freedoms we have and the protection that we have,” said Rev. Cosby.
“Another thing we need to remember is this,” said Rev. Cosby. “Even though there is a separation of church and state, there is not a separation of God and state. We need to remember how God has truly blessed our nation. The Bible says Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord. And we are such a blessed people even with all of the struggles that we are going through as a nation we are still a very blessed nation and we need to remember that and to thank God for all He has done for us.”
“And we also need to remember that God will hold all of us accountable,” said Rev. Cosby. “He will hold all of our government leaders accountable for the choices they make, for the decisions they make, for the votes that they cast, and He will hold us accountable for how we respond to government authority. We never need to forget that His eye is always watching and as the omnipresent God.”
“He will hold all of us accountable and as I began to think about that, I realized what Franklin Graham said was true,” said Rev. Cosby. “He is the son of evangelist Billy Graham. He has gone on several shows and he has said this that I have treasured, it is a quote I believe in and I stand for Franklin Graham when he said this. He said ‘My hope is not in the Democratic Party, my hope is not in the Republican Party, my hope is in God and if we as a nation are going to get back to where we need to be, then our hope has to be in God and in our Lord Jesus Christ.’”
“I want to thank all of you for coming and I want to thank Tammy for helping me put this together,” said Farist. “Brother Mark and everyone who came out. I just thank you so much I just want to pray that this world gets better. I just want thank each and every one, oru police and firemen, everyone who helps and risks their lives for us.”