Sunday, September 8, 2013

Opening Prayer for Texas Firewalkers 9/11 Memorial Stairclimb

September 8, 2013

Welcome everyone -- so wonderful to have such a great turn out for the Texas FireWalkers memorial stair climb. For those that do not know me, My name is Tom Harkins, I was a Volly in NY and here in  Texas. I have now dedicated my life to the Chaplaincy with the Texas Firewalkers,I am here for you. And a big thank you to Pee Wee for giving me this opportunity.

We gather today to honor those gave their lives so that others may live on September 11, 2001, and this year we also carry ,February 18, 2013 in Bryan, Tx,  April 17, 2013 in West, TX, May 31 in Houston, and June 30th in Yarnell AZ in our hearts.

In Romans 5:3, it reads:  
    rejoice in sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance, character, and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God  has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
I believe this passage sums up today to a Tee. Let us today rejoice in our sufferings.  Let us carry in our hearts the courage, and character of those we honor, and in doing so, let us feel the hope of the future.   

This is not a race , but a time of reflection on those lost.  A time to honor bravery and sacrifice.  A time to lift up and carry and hold close the friends and families of those that have given their all.  A time to share a message of endurance, and character and most importantly hope for the loved ones of the fallen.

Capt.Patrick Brown FDNY 3 Truck once  said "When the public needs help they call us, when we need help all we have is each other".  And while the path of grief is a personal one, we are proof here today the Brotherhood is still alive. That no matter how near or far, we are but one family, and we all do grieve the losses of our brothers and sisters.  

We thank the Lord for giving us these amazing men and women, and ask for continued blessings for their families, so they know they are not walking through this grief alone.I leave you wit the prayer of Fr Mychal Judge “  Lord take me where you want me to go, let me meet who you want me to meet, tell me what you want me to say, and keep me out of your way”

Let us pray:

Heavenly Father, thank you for allowing us to all be here today to give tribute to those we have lost on September 11, 2001 in New York, and all the other LODD’S across our great country.   

We ask that you bless the bodies of those about to climb and be with them every step of the physical, mental and emotional journey on which they are about to embark.

We ask that you continue to surround the families and friends of those that have entered your eternal kingdom with your unwavering love and comfort, and let their hearts be lighter for the shared sorrow we endure.

Please stay with and help lead the way for those that are fighting disease and cancer, and bless their families with the support, courage and love that will guide them through the fight. I know, Lord, that when the hours seem the darkest, your light shines the brightest, and we pray they will find strength in your light.

And I ask that you stay with all of us today, as we go forth from here. Bless us Oh Lord, and let us carry your love and strength through today, and into all of our tomorrows.

In Jesus name we pray,


© 2013, Tom Harkins, Gina Arnold
No part of this publication in part or in whole may be used without the express written permission of the authors/owners.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Missing you my neglected friends!

It has been WAY too long since we've posted an update here -- and I can't apologize enough! Tommy is in his 2nd year of remission and we continue to pray the cancer is gone for good. We're both back at work full time (and then some) now. 

Tommy has also continued his studies and is working on becoming a (non-denominational) Chaplain. I'm so very proud of him and his work to give back all the support and love he received during his cancer treatments. He has found this is a good platform, not only to spread the good word, but also to share experiences, and help the Brothers cope in especially difficult times.

 We're making plans for another milestone... His 50th birthday. Where better for the Chappie than Sin City? Wish us luck!

 Sept 8, Tommy will be leading the prayer for the Central Texas 9/11 Memorial Stair climb in Austin. The Memorial will also be honoring those lost in the West, TX explosion earlier this year. Our hearts and prayers continue to go out to the family and friends of those lost, as well as the community of West as a whole. More information on the Texas FireWalker's Page .  Tommy's son will be participating in the stair climb this year as well.   We encourage you all to come out and show your support.

Our hearts were broken at the news of the 19 firefighter deaths in Prescott, AZ at the Yarnell Fire.  An unbelievable tragedy, and send our deepest sympathies to the families, friends and communities of those lost.

As of this writing, there have already been 63 LODD's  this year in the fire service across the United States. It has been a terribly tragic year for the fire service.  Hoping the rest of the year is safer, and we don't see any more increase in that number.

Hold your loved ones close.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Video- Firefighter Cancer Support Network 2013

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