April 1, 2013 through June 30, 2013 - Just a thought ...


June 28 -  



June 26 - In response to today's historic Supreme Court ruling concerning marriage let me remind you of something President Ronald Reagan said: "Let the Fourth of July always be a reminder that here in this land for the first time it was decided that man is born with certain God-given rights; that government is only a convenience created and managed by the people, with no powers of its own except those voluntarily granted to it by the people.
We sometimes forget that great truth and we never should." As with everything else in life, we can be politically correct or we can elect officials who will strive to be Biblically correct. The choice is and always has been ours.


June 24 - "Life can only be understood in reverse, but must be lived forward"


June 19 - You are the key. There is no Plan B. You are the difference maker. A better marriage, family, department, community, starts with you.





June 16 -











June 14 - We Italians are very big on family and our culture. For those who grew up Italian in the greater NYC metro area (or if you wish you did) here's a short video to bring a smile to your face. Enjoy! L'amore per la Famiglia (love to the family)


June 13 - Someone wisely said that everything rises and falls on leadership. I'd like to add that your organization will never rise above your leadership. For you, the leaders, here is something to remember: "It's your job to keep your passion hot, do whatever you have to do, read whatever you have to read, go wherever you have to go, to stay fired up." (Bill Hybels)


June 9 - Our words are more powerful than we realize. Every time words are spoken something is created. Our words create hope or fear, peace or confusion, strength or weakness.


June 8 - Are the people who love and know you the best also the ones who respect you the most?


May 27 - Every day is Memorial Day. We must never, ever forget that freedom isn't free. One of the great ironies of human existence is that we must fight and suffer violence to live in peace. God Bless America, the land of the free because of the brave.




May 22 - We all like to be inspired by awesome testimonies of human triumph, great courage and incredible survival but few want the test required to have a testimony. If you are in a test right now let me encourage you with this: It's important to ask what can I get out of this instead of how can I get out of this because we find the beginning of God when we reach the end of ourselves.



May 17 - The daughter of a Police Officer recently asked me if I knew the difference between a stepping stone and a stumbling block? Here's what she said: "...the only difference is the character of the person walking the path."




May 15 - Something to think about: The lowest form of character elevates itself by pulling others down.




May 11 - It's just a matter of time before your electronic device fails. Even the best of machines won't last forever. The reason you maintain your equipment and change the oil in your car is to keep them running longer. However, without regular fill-ups even the most comfortable of cars can't take you very far. The same is true for your family, your marriage and even your own soul. People and relationships are subject to failure without regular maintenance and fill-ups. Stay healthy in spirit, soul and body and you'll stay running longer.



By Pastor Gary Cortese, Chaplain – Byron Fire District

May is a busy month in our country. National Day of Prayer and Mother’s Day lead the events this month. After all, where would any of us be without the loving prayers of our moms?

There are other important events you can learn about on the Internet such as ceremonies and activities to remember our Nation’s law enforcement community, which includes (by the 1962 Presidential Proclamation) National Peace Officers Memorial Day on May 15th. Also, in May we honor the dedicated service provided by America’s EMS through National EMS Week and we observe National Military Appreciation Month which includes VE Day on the 8th, Spouse Appreciation Day on the 10th, Armed Forces Day on the 18th, and the grand finale, Memorial Day at the end of the month.

It seems appropriate to remind you that freedom isn’t free. Maintaining the American Dream, safeguarding peace abroad and within our own borders, saving and protecting lives and property from sea to shining sea continues to come at a terrible cost.

We live in a world that is neither safe nor peace-filled. Life can be very difficult and unfair. Bullies have always taken what they’ve wanted, the weak have always been preyed upon by the strong, and evil will continue to run rampant if left unchecked. But interestingly enough, Albert Einstein made this observation: “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.” Hmm, that needs to hang out there for a minute…

I think it’s also important to note something that John Quincy Adams said to us: “Posterity – you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it.”

One way for us to make good use of freedom is to never be guilty of what Albert Einstein warned – to do nothing in the face of evil.

What can the average citizen do? Well, first of all, it’s important to remember that evil exists in other forms. An effective way to destroy any organization, family or even a country is from within by , lack of vision or purpose, complacency, low morale or self esteem, defiance, disrespect and general negativity. These are all forms of evil.

Also, it’s average citizens who make up these United States of America. Every last one of us defines America. So, what we do every day matters. From the products we choose to the organizations we support, it matters. I understand there are economic factors to consider but I wonder if the Founding Fathers of our nation would display an American Flag made in another country?

Obeying the laws of our land matters, too. What kind of example are we setting for future generations when we disregard the authorities? Whether we realize it or not we are passing down attitudes, perspectives and values – good and bad.

Let’s make good use of our freedom by not taking it for granted, by valuing it, protecting it and showing appreciation for everyone in uniform.


April 19 - I recently had the privilege of addressing a large audience regarding the Bombings in Boston. The opportunities to share my perspectives on large scale tragic events are seemingly becoming more frequent. Many are sking "what's going on?" As a spiritual leader for Fire, EMS and Police Agencies my advice is simple: Get ready because it only gets worse from here. This is our "new normal." We are living the "new world order" of our post-9/11 reality. Here is the simple truth I share with every group asking to hear my thoughts: Evil exists in this world and is manifesting every chance it's given. So, what do we do? Evil is a spiritual problem that manifests through natural channels. No community is exempt. The Agencies ordained and established by God (see Romans 13:1-7) to govern, legislate, keep order, ensure peace, protect life and property, were designed to work together with the church. When political correctness and the separation of church and state are taken to extremes it creates an environment for evil to advance. While many are praying for peace in our land, we must remember that there is only One Prince of Peace ... do you know Him? We cannot give and dispense to others what we ourselves do not have. To live in our new normal we must continue to be strong, wise, prepared, equipped and diligent, but we must also be spiritually healthy as well.




April 12 - As a law abiding citizen if you're ever detained or questioned by a Police Officer your responsibility is to cooperate and be respectful. Not everyone shares this belief, however, and law enforcement officials often encounter resistance and hostility. Cops don't usually get called when everything is going great and folks are well behaved. Wearing the uniform and carrying a badge can be very hazardous to your health. The successful street cop is well prepared and on top of his or her game; he or she must stay in control and use extreme caution at all times. The tragedy is NOT in the fact that very bad and dangerous people are encountered by cops each and every shift but in the confusing reality that what keeps a cop safe and alive on the streets will also keep him or her in trouble at home. You cannot treat your spouse and kids like they are the thugs on the street. You cannot distrust and control your family all the time. You must allow the people you love (and who love you) the right to disagree with you, debate with you, and even raise their voice at you. It's not easy to maintain a balance and keep a happy home. Cops, Firefighters and EMS workers must develop personal health in the 3-pillars of human existence: physical, mental, and spiritual. Think of it this way, you are a spirit, you have a soul (mind, intellect and emotions), and you live in a physical body.



April 9 - Many of you have been waiting for my Father-in-law's next book. This is the official announcement released to the general public! I'll keep you posted as I get more details.









April 6 - I saw a message on a T-Shirt that said, "BORN TO HUNT. FORCED TO WORK." Your career is what you're paid to do. Your calling is what you were made to do. Very few get paid to do what they love. It's truly a privileged position to work a career that is also your calling. Regardless of your situation here is a profound truth: Two of the greatest days in your life are the day you were born and the day you figure out why. Do you know what you were born for?




April 1 - My oldest daughter and grandson who turns 2 in a few days. Lessons learned these past two years are simple yet profound: Life goes fast and seasons don't last - that's why we must "Due" Family First.