April 1, 2014 through June 30, 2014 - Just a thought ...


June 23 - Here is an 8 minute video excerpt of the Chaplain's Commentary from our recent Badge Pinning and Promotion ceremony for Lieutenant David Hillis. The business of fire fighting is not merely a job, but a Divine Call. Welcome to the "Ministry" Lieutenant Hillis and God Bless You.



June 18 -



June 15 - Father's Day is a time to reflect on how grateful I am to be Dad to four wonderful girls (and grandfather to an amazing little boy!), Of all the accomplishments in my life nothing is as important or meaningful. Life starts going quick the older we get. Regardless of anything and everything, I am truly a blessed man - not because of material possessions or financial security, but because I am a proud and happy Dad.






June 10 - Inspiration to Serve by:  Church isn’t what we do, but who we are.



June 9 - An old photo brought back many happy memories of times shared with good friends, Sal and Mike. Back in "the day" when life was carefree and responsibilities were much less (not to mention our chest size exceeded our waistlines), we thought the good times would last forever. More than half-a-century of life is gone, but I will cherish those memories and love you, my friends, always.


June 5 -

June 3 -


June 2 - “You are everything God says you are; you have everything God says you have, and you can do everything God says you can do. The only question is what do you say?” –Pastor Gary Cortese (Inspiration To Serve by)


June 1 -


May 31 -


May 26 - I Love My Freedom. Thank you For Your Service; Thank you For Your Sacrifice.

May 23 - A friend of mine confided how angry he was returning from Viet Nam to be spat upon. He wondered why he was welcomed home with signs of protest and profanity when younger generations returning from other wars were applauded.
I can be open minded in many areas – but not this one. Do we honestly think our men and women eagerly choose war? Regardless of what is reported to have been done under the unthinkable stress of combat – no soldier should ever be spit at!
I wish there were another way to live peacefully, but the simple fact of the matter is that freedom isn’t free! No one wakes up one happy morning and decides, “I want to go die for my country.” But the reason we have the freedom to protest and voice our opinions is because someone died defending that right.
Someone might argue that war is not the answer; and we should be negotiating - not dropping bombs. Politics and policies aside, when a bully wants your lunch money, is there any negotiating? If I remember correctly, the dialogue was one sided – “hand over the money or get your eye blackened.”
This world is full of bullies who want to take things away from other people. Memorial Day is much more than parades and picnics…it’s the time to remember that our way of life under these great stars and stripes continues because the lives of so many came to a violent end.
If you love your freedom, stop by the grave of a sleeping warrior; and as you stand where they now lay, bow your head in a prayer of thanksgiving for that ultimate sacrifice lying silent beneath your feet. God Bless America.



May 15 - Twenty-five years ago I thought I knew why I love you. On May 18, 1989, when we promised to love one another for the rest of our lives I thought I understood the commitment we were making to each other. Then the storms of life came and the journey seemed a bit more difficult. Our dreams seemed to be delayed again and again; the sacrifices seemed too great and too often. My vision became obscured and the goal was no longer clearly in sight. Four beautiful girls later and an amazing grandson, we started to realize that we really are growing older. We had to say goodbye to people we loved; year after year. You showed me true love and real commitment that I could not have understood twenty-five years ago. Thank you for being the most sincere, committed, honest, loyal and real person I have ever known. Your love has meant everything to me and I cannot imagine my life without you, Valarie. God so out-did Himself when He answered my prayer thirty years ago when He brought you into my life. I still remember the first day I saw you; I still remember the day you walked down the aisle to me - you still take my breath away. Thank you for showing me what real love is. Thank you for being my Bride every single day for the past twenty-five years. I Love You Always and Forever.


May 10 - My mom is being held an unwilling prisoner to the evil and cruel Alzheimer's Disease. Her husband, children and grandchildren have been mercilessly forced to watch her slip away. Slowly, painfully and helplessly, this strong, outspoken and bold woman has been silenced. On this Mother's Day I WISH I COULD TELL MY MOTHER that I miss the sound of her voice and hearing her say "I love you" at the end of every conversation. I miss her prayers for me and my family. Iwish I could thank her for all of the habits she instilled in me that make me a better husband to my wife. I would tell her that I so appreciate the way she doted upon her grandchildren. I wanted more time to tell my mother that I admired the way she stood up for her beliefs and proclaimed her faith without fear. I wish I could tell her that I'm so grateful for all of the cards and letters she wrote and mailed to me and everyone, and anyone else. My Mother pleaded with God and interceded on my behalf while I ran from my call. She was a rock of support and my biggest fan. I miss the way she bragged about me. I would tell my mom that her unwavering support and belief in me helped make me who I am today. Thank you, Mom. I love you more than I ever expressed - I wish I could tell you that now. Happy Mother's Day.



May 9 -

May 5 -


May 4 - Thank you to my 14 year old daughter for sharing this with me. Something for us all to think about.

Thank you to my 14 year old daughter for sharing this with me. Something for us all to think about. 


May 1 - Our Mission at First Due Family is to provide faith-based support to Fire, EMS & Law Enforcement to change corrosive behavior patterns and eradicate dysfunction and failure in marriage and at home.



April  30 -


April 28 -



April 26 - Rocky Balboa's lesson on life: "...let me tell you something you already know, the world 'ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently, if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it 'ain't about how hard ya' hit, it's about how hard you get hit and can keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward...But until you start believing in yourself you 'ain't gonna have a life."

April 22 -

Last month Fox News reported that Atheists want an iconic 17-foot cross removed from the 9/11 museum, citing the violation of the Constitution's separation of church and state. You may recall the cross-shaped beam was discovered in the smoldering wreckage at Ground Zero and instantly became a rallying point for first responders, a symbol of comfort and hope after the unbelievable devastation on September 11, 2001. According to the report, "...the group American Atheists says the cross is a part of religious history and is challenging its inclusion in the new National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum which opens in May." This is disappointing on many levels. The particular item in question is a part of our history now - like or not, believe it or not. It's not a violation of anyone's civil rights because its display in a Museum is not a requirement to worship the Jesus of the Cross. We cannot pick and choose what parts of history we want and don't want. The un-silent minority of non-Believers have been bullying the silent majority of Christian Believers for far too long. Just what do these United States stand for anyway? Freedom from religion? Or the freedom to pursue your religion? We are a better nation because of our faith, and in times of national tragedy we come back to those roots. It's woven into the fabric of our society. I am entitled to my opinion and my faith. I am free to pursue and worship God as I see fit. I do not require anyone else to believe as I do. I do not judge or criticize anyone for not sharing my faith. The separation of church and state is not an eviction notice to keep God out of government, but an order of protection to keep the government out of the church. As long as it remains profitable to some and provides an international platform for others we will always have these ludicrous and absurd lawsuits. God forgive us for tolerating this insane nonsense. And GOD BLESS AMERICA - because IN GOD WE TRUST.

April 21 - Simple but true ...

April 18 - There are 3 things God wants you to know this Easter: 1) You were so worth dying for; 2) Your past is powerless to hold you captive; 3) You can NEVER do anything so bad that He will stop loving you. Happy Easter.

April 15 - This photo, captured by a passerby and sent to the #NYPD, was taken as the police officer walked the woman two blocks to her destination. The individual who snapped the photo expressed how kind New York City police officers are on a daily basis and was happy to be able to capture one of the many moments.

April 14 -

April 12 -

April 7 -

April 5 - "...because He Who is in you is greater than..." (1 John 4:4) No matter what you are facing or dealing with, The God Who lives in you is GREATER THAN...just fill in the blank...and start acting like this is true, because it is!

April 4 - "In the necessary business of mitigating the abnormal, it is vital to maintain some sense of normal to prevent the decay of your own soul." Chaplain Gary Cortese.

 You can maintain "normal" by maintaining (or beginning) a personal journey of faith; nurturing relationships outside of work; become a better spouse, parent, son or daughter; learn the source and purpose of your authority and responsibility, and have a heart to heart talk with this Chaplain who is committed to reducing dysfunction in your life!