Danny Beard

DannyFIRST RESPONDER

    My name is Danny Beard, and I’m the Chief Deputy of the Mount Pleasant Fire Department. Thank you for inviting me. I was in Tennessee when Douglas texted me. We were on vacation and I told my wife, "I think we have a doctor's appointment that day."

   She said, "You are going to cancel it." So here we are.  I’ve been with the fire department for a long time, and got into it because I didn't want to sit behind a desk which wasn’t my thing.

   My dad said the best job he ever had, was working at a lumber yard in stocking, shipping and receiving. Like my Dad, I hired on at the lumber company at the age of fourteen, I would inventory the products, unpack them, and put them out. When I was sixteen years old, that was called a glorified stock boy. I remember going home with my dad and sitting down with him; while we discussed my dream car. The absolute end-all be-all of vehicles for me at that time was a 1986 black short wide-bed Chevrolet pickup with a single cab.  

   My Dad said, "Well, can you tell me how much you are going to put down, and what your payments are?”

   I was sitting there figuring out my expenses, and said, "I've got enough.”

   Dad said. “Well, you are not thinking about insurance because if you buy that vehicle, my insurance is going to go up. You’ll need to pay your own insurance, buy your own tires, and pay for gas.”

   I realized very quickly that I didn’t have enough money.

    The gentleman I worked with, made fifty cents more an hour than I did, and he worked ten more hours a week. So being a numbers guy, I started writing it down and looked at my dad. He read the paper from cover to cover.

   He was reading his paper and looked at me. I said, "Well Dad, how does this guy afford all this other stuff when he makes a little bit more than I am? I can't even buy a truck.

   He put the paper down, looked over at me and said, "He is not" and went back reading. I sat there and Dad said, "Son, that is why you get a career." My dad said that's the best job I ever had, and this motivated me to get a career. That’s how I got in the fire service.

   I want to talk to you about seconds, we don't think about it. A number of seconds have passed since we have been in this room. There's 60 seconds in a minute; 360 seconds in an hour; 8,640 seconds in a day, 60,480 seconds in a week, and 3,144,960 seconds in a year. We don't even have second hands on our watches; we use our cell phones to tell time. We make decisions in those seconds that impact our life. I made a decision to be a fireman, not knowing the road it was going to take me down. I never imagined that I would be going to hurricanes and other disasters across the state. I couldn't fathom retirement. But it’s a decision that I don't regret. I have enjoyed it. I have made good use of my seconds, but I've also made bad decisions. We all have. One of those decisions was when I started going to church, because I decided I wanted to date a certain girl. Good decision. But later on, I discovered that she didn't really want a church boy and started in another direction. 

   That decision turned out really good because my wife that I have now would have never dated me had I not been going to church. You don't understand how the seconds affect you. I decided to get into church. I decided to start attending church and liked it. I got baptized in water and also received the baptism of the Holy Ghost. When I received the Holy Ghost, I began to study the Bible and it made perfect sense to me. I was nineteen years old and involved in a puppet ministry, and He broke it down on my level. That's the night I got the Holy Ghost through the puppet ministry. That was when I cherished my Sunday’s even more. There was a second when our son was born. He is now twenty-one years old. 

   But there are seconds that we can't get back. When Douglas sent me a speaker’s guideline, he referred me to Acts 26. Here we find Paul sharing his testimony with King Agrippa, Festus, and the court. Paul told them what he was like before Jesus; his Jesus experience; and his changed life.

   As Paul presented the Gospel, the king and Festus may have made a statement, “There's no nail prints in my hand so I'm not a judge.”

   Don't get me wrong, but if we could talk to the king there may be another King Agrippa somewhere. I wonder if we could ask him, “Would you like that second back and change your decision to accept Christ?” … then Agrippa said to Paul, "You almost persuaded me to be a Christian."

   April 11th of this year, was my twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. My wife and I went on a trip the day before and had a wonderful time. It was a great trip and we went to Austin, San Antonio, and then out to Garner State Park. Beautiful area, wonderful place, you should visit it sometime. The actual date that was our wedding day, I was not working. I was supposed to get off that morning at 7:00 AM. So I was still going to spend my anniversary with my wife. However, a little rain cloud loomed over our community and we had eight inches of rain in less than an hour.

  Your home drainage system probably isn’t designed to handle that much rain. Our Texas area creeks aren’t deep enough to contain that much water. So, we had residential areas that were flooded and had incredible erosion. There was a snake killed on a farm market road that was as long as the width of the road.

   We had to go and get a gentleman out of his flooded car. We laid a ladder from the road under his vehicle, and another firemen and I brought him back across on that ladder. This was an area that I had never seen flood like that. I've lived in Plymouth since 1982 and have never seen that much rain, with water running over the road. We took that gentleman home. God had spared him and was soaking wet. When we got to his house, he didn't have the keys to get in. His keys were in his car. We knocked on the door, and finally got someone to open the door.

   I got back in the car to get something, and we got another call. A person was trapped in another area of our town. I responded from where I was to this location. I drove down Highway 67 and turned on to Farm Market Road 1993. My grandparents lived on that road, and I have lived on that road myself. My Aunt lived on that road, and have three cousins that still live on that road. I’m very familiar with 1993, and drove on it when I was thirteen years old. When I drove past my Aunt's house, the road makes a curve. Drops down and straightens out in a bottom. There's a creek that crosses the road and that's where the vehicle was stuck. I drove through eight inches of water to get to the car.

   I drove around the corner at 4:30 A.M. and my headlights provided the only visibility over the water. A log about eighteen inches around had fallen across the road. I didn't see it, since it was lying at an angle, and I hit it. Now those are seconds that click in your mind that you don't forget. I didn't touch the brake. What are you going to do? I was running about 60 miles per hour, and it was about forty feet away. The reaction time was everything, when my vehicle rolled over it. When I came down, the left front tire was flat. The truck was at an angle, and I'm doing my best to try to control it. I’ll never forget the sound and knew what it was. I was trying to keep the truck out of the ditch and could feel the vehicle when it started to roll over. I remember thinking, what I was going to do? What's going to happen?  The truck was out of control, and I can’t do anything about it. There was nothing that was going to stop my truck from doing what it was about to do. It rolled at least three times down the guardrail that was there to keep me out of the ditch. The camper that was on the back of the truck was destroyed. We had our tools and equipment, along with my personal bunker gear in the back of it. My truck came to a stop, resting on the guardrail and I was looking at the road. 

   I felt bad because I didn't make it to the scene. But I don't regret that second that I took to put my seat belt on. I'll tell you today, the only reason I'm here is God and that seat belt. This was more God than seat belt. I provided Him an opportunity with the seat belt. The doors were open on the truck I was driving. I could have been thrown out, and the vehicle would have rolled over me. You do not want to be outside, when the vehicle is rolling over. That's two tons of force going to hit something. I've been there when people didn't survive, because they were ejected from the vehicle. I also knew God took care of me in that moment of time.

   I knew when that vehicle stopped; God had a purpose for me. I didn't know what it was, or know where I was going to be; but God had a purpose. When I stepped out of that vehicle on that county road after rolling it, I knew God was not through with me. I am glad I don't have a moment like King Agrippa had; because of what would he have done different. Think about all of the seconds that has passed in your life.

 

Danny Beard Hearing His Voice Testimony

Danny Beard Testimony