A Friend and Hero

My friend Robb is one of the most industrious and hardworking men I know. He’s also one of the most entertaining, too, but that’s for another post. Back in Omaha Robb somehow balances his life as a police officer, a fireman, a godly husband and father, and a respected deacon in his church.

This morning I awoke to read that on Friday morning Robb saved the life of a 5 year old boy from a burning home.

Here is the article running in today’s Omaha World-Herald:

Fireman’s blind grasp rescues boy

Seconds before flames entered the bedroom, Omaha Fire Capt. Robb Gottsch handed an unconscious 5-year-old boy to the safety of another firefighter. Gottsch, a 16-year-veteran, and Anthony Brummett, a firefighter candidate, passed flames on their way to the boy’s smoke-filled room early Friday.

They couldn’t see ahead of them in the bedroom, but Gottsch reached onto the bottom of a set of bunk beds and felt a leg.

Pulling 5-year-old Shakir Parnell into his arms, Gottsch turned with Brummett to head down and out of the house at 2827 Laurel Ave. The fire had spread, though, and the way out was blocked.

Gottsch heard glass break, and the smoke cleared a bit. Another firefighter, Adam Ostergaard, had knocked out the bedroom window — a way out.

Gottsch passed the boy through the window to Ostergaard. Firefighters shut the bedroom door to keep the flames from rushing in.

“I hope I gave that kid a chance,” Gottsch said Friday.

Shakir and Demarion Station — a 2-year-old who was carried out of the house before firefighters arrived — were taken in critical condition to Creighton University Medical Center.

They were expected to live, fire officials said.

“It was a frantic search,” Gottsch said. “I just wanted to get the boy out of that smoke-filled environment as quickly as possible. If anyone’s thankful, it’s me.

“I was just the one who found him and handed him out the window.”

Shakir was unconscious the entire time, Gottsch said. The fire captain said he saw no obvious burns to the boy’s skin, but that the boy might have had burns in his airway from the smoke. Demarion appeared to have suffered burns, officials said.

Gottsch stayed behind in the house after handing out Shakir; he thought a man who had gone into the house to try to save the boy still was inside. … Gottsch later learned that heavy smoke had prevented the man he was worried about from going upstairs; he was safe. … Gottsch said he and his crew didn’t do anything “spectacular,” just worked as a team.

Nice work brother!

Carson: Making Sense of Suffering

Last month I told you about the D. A. Carson conference at Omaha Bible Church on the topic of suffering. The audio is now online:

  1. Making Sense of Suffering – Part 1
  2. Making Sense of Suffering – Part 2
  3. Making Sense of Suffering – Part 3
  4. Making Sense of Suffering – Part 4 (Gospel Reflections on Trials and Tribulations)

HT: E-Ray through JT

Don Whitney conference in Omaha

Attention friends and readers in the beautiful city of Omaha, NE. Coming up on Saturday, October 20th, Omaha Bible Church will be hosting author and professor Dr. Don Whitney. The one-day conference is titled Sharpening Your Spiritual Focus and the cost is $15 per individual and $25 per family. For more details click here.

Pastors are invited to Whitney’s evening session, Disaster Proofing Your Ministry. Click here for more.

I spent the first seven years of my Christian life at OBC and benefited greatly from the excellent speakers that were brought through. Past speakers include Don Carson, John MacArthur and Kris Lundgaard. If you’re in the area, be sure to check out the Whitney conference. It will be a good one. And bring your friends, too!

The best church in Omaha, Nebraska

Frequently I am asked to recommend churches in Omaha, NE. And for some reason these questions typically come from people who are simply not going to church at all. So first let me first exhort you on the importance of the local church.

The local church is God’s plan for the message of the Gospel to go forth into culture and its the place God has chosen for the growth of Christians. There is no way around the importance of the local church (read Ephesians 4:11-16). A faithful local church protects Christians, equips Christians and grows Christians together as the body of Christ. Any search for a local church must begin by understanding the importance of the local church. There are no substitutes.

On to the church I recommend in Omaha:

Omaha Bible Church, a place my wife and I served for over seven years. They are a church centered around the expositional preaching of the Bible with an emphasis on the New Testament and especially the Pauline texts. The preaching style is very similar to expositor John MacArthur. I doubt any preacher in Omaha more clearly defines the biblical gospel than Sr. pastor, Patrick Abendroth. They have a well developed children’s ministry and nursery. Services are held on Sunday morning and evening and there are a number of activities throughout the week. Authors are frequently invited to speak (D.A. Carson, James White, John MacArthur, etc). Affiliations: The Master’s Seminary and John MacArthur. If you like the style and content of MacArthur you will like Omaha Bible Church.