I am on the receiving end of several daily, weekly, and monthly email devotional and spiritual messages. These regular messages are a great resource of stories that are the foundation of my ministry work. I received one such message recently that I’d like to dedicate to a guy who recently hit another annual life landmark. It comes from a group that I’d gladly give credit, but since I’m doing this without permission, I’m not sure they’d want responsibility. I’m not sure who wrote it, I’d give credit if I knew, but rest assured I didn’t (although I wish I had). Needless to say, prayers are good and this one is worth repeating, especially for that guy I mentioned above. I hope he reads it and learns from it!
A PRAYER FOR THOSE GROWING OLDER
Lord, Thou knowest that I am growing older.
Keep me from becoming talkative and possessed with the idea that I must express myself on every subject.
Release me from the craving to straighten out
Keep me from the recital of endless detail.
Give me wings to get to the point.
Seal my lips when I am inclined to tell of my aches and pains; they are increasing with the years and my love to speak of them grows sweeter as time goes by.
Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally
I may be wrong.
Make me thoughtful but not nosy; helpful but not bossy.
With my vast store of wisdom and experience it does seem a pity not to use it all. But Thou knowest, Lord,
that I want a few friends at the end.
Take Care, Pastor Dan
(Oh, and by the way, Happy Birthday… to ME! I especially like the “Give me wings…” verse!)
I heard a new song last night while pursuing the spiritual depths of my soul (ok, I was watching NCIS on TV). At the end of the show they played a song I’d never heard before and it just stuck. A little research this morning led me to the song “Nothing More” by The Alternative Routes. Now, I receive nothing by sharing this song, but every once in awhile you hear or read something that touches you, touches your spirit, touches your soul… and it did mine. This is a simple song, (with the kind of music that I enjoy) and lyrics that express ideas that our ministry promotes for personal and professional health when working in the public safety professions. You can find the song and video on You Tube, as well as a short video with some background on song. And as your spiritual fitness exercise (fit spirit exercise) for the day listen to the lyrics and find one that tells you something. Mine… “Heroes don’t look like they used to, they look like you do.”
This past week I’ve spent some time in Rice Lake Minnesota, a township that borders the north side of Duluth. It is a sad time for the community who lost their Fire Chief, Matt Frantz, in a tragic death on Monday. (click here for his obituary, and here for a local news story broadcast). I ventured north on Wednesday, as chaplain for the Minnesota Fire Service Foundation, to assist and support the initial funeral planning efforts, and again yesterday for the procession from the funeral home to the church for the visitation. There was wonderful attendance from many family, friends, community members and fire service professionals. The funeral will be held this morning at 11:00.
As I’ve said before, I spend a lot more time dealing with the deaths of our public safety professionals that I expected when I started Public Safety Ministries. Unexpected work, but so critical to promoting the spiritual health and fitness in our professions. Lots of emotions come out in these hard times, but by far the most prevalent, is a feeling of sadness. Sadness for the loss of those who dedicate their lives to caring for and protecting our communities, our families and our selves, just as Chief Matt Frantz has done. So as difficult as it is as we mourn our loss, let us always remember to celebrate the blessed life of the one we lost. Matt’s spirit will live on forever in the lives of the Rice Lake Fire Department, as well as in the entire community.
MCPA CLEO Academy Day 5, a very full week of learning, a long (and cold and snowy) week away from home, but a very productive and positive week for law enforcement leadership in Minnesota (and a few representatives from North Dakota as well).
As I write this post I’m listening to Major (ret) Mike Asleson, MN State Patrol, give his presentation on “Leadership Legacy” (The last of 25 professional presentations shared this week). I’ve heard the presentation several times and his is one that I always attend. It’s actually more of a commencement address to a wonderful academy experience than a training class. I also love to watch the class and see their responses as they consider what their leadership legacy will be as they enter the world of police command responsibilities. Mike gives a presentation that really reflects upon the “spirit” of the profession, of the job and of ourselves.
As I prepare to leave today I give thanks for the best thing i bring home from this experience… 18 wonderful new relationships. Relationships are the foundation of positive spiritual health. This group in this room today is a positive light source for the darkness that all to often overshadows what truly is a wonderful world.
If you are looking for details of Day 3 activities you’ll have to stand by for a day or two. I’m not at Camp Ripley today because I came back to the cities to attend a couple other commitments (A LEMA Board Meeting and the annual HCCPA Retiree Luncheon). The best I can do for an update is to share the Day 3 Schedule: Human Resources, Data Practices, Why Chiefs Get Fired, Budgeting and Media Relations. A very full day. I’ll be back on the trail tomorrow to Morrison County for the last two days of the academy (and you’ll get the latest on snow conditions in central Minnesota).
NOTE: I had some technical difficulties with a photo in yesterday’s blog post. The picture of the CLEO Academy welcome sign displayed sideways in the mobile device and the email versions of the post. But the photo was correct in the computer website display version. So I am reposting the photo here, not because it is important, but because I’m trying to figure out what went wrong. If this is information you find unnecessary, don’t waste your time reading this note…oooops… too late!