Monday, June 1, 2020


By David Bragg
    At 10:48 on Sunday morning, February 7, 1904, fire was reported near the heart of Baltimore, Maryland. The effort to bring it under control would eventually take 1,231 firefighters from Baltimore, surrounding communities, and even fire units from out of state. Each crew responding to the fire brought along their own equipment, primed and ready to assist. As these various units converged to tackle the rapidly spreading fire they stumbled over a nagging barrier that hindered their efforts: "the lack of national standards in firefighting equipment" (Wikipedia). Many of the firefighting units that responded to the disaster could offer little actual assistance because the couplings on their hoses didn't fit the connections on Baltimore's fire hydrants.
    When the fire was finally tamed over 1,500 buildings lay in ashes. Before long the National Fire Protection Association adopted national regulations requiring standardized equipment for all firefighting equipment, especially hose couplings and hydrant connections. The “Great Baltimore Fire” ranks within the top five of our nation’s greatest fire disasters.
    Just as we rely on standardization to make life easier, God recognized the same need long ago. While some bristle at any restrictions, we need the dependable guidelines God’s word provides. These provisions carry the promise that, if embraced and adopted, our life will be more meaningful and our eternal life enjoyed in the presence of God. Jesus spoke of this when He said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). Most importantly, you will avoid the FIRE!

 - David Bragg serves as one of the ministers at the Northwest Church of Christ in Greensboro, NC and is co-editor of BulletinGold. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: or his blog:

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