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Lessons from… September 11

September 11, 2009

Today is the anniversary of three of the most incredible moments in my life as a Pastor. You will have to bear with me a touch as they won’t be listed chronologically, but rather in order of impact on my life.

Obviously, today marks the 8 year anniversary of 9/11. Sitting in a staff meeting on a Tuesday, we were all rejoicing over the amazing weekend we had at this church. The 9th was our community open house, and literally thousands of community members came to our church for food, fun, tours, games and gave us the opportunity to open our doors and begin the long re-creation of who we were as a church in our community. Now, the morning of the 11th, those new forged relationships were proven to be not only timely, but powerful. Our church was filled with people, folks came by to pray, to talk, to cry. My eyes were opened to the wonder of God’s timing, on the 11th day of my pastoral career.

Today is also the 7th anniversary of the 9/11 memorial service we did here at Calvary. What began as a small-scale pipe-dream turned into a huge event, almost 1800 people. We saw EMT’s, police, firefighters, volunteers and professional alike, file into our auditorium to sit under the preaching of God’s Word. It was a powerful service that forged many connections with our emergency personnel in the community. To this day, names of emergency personnel are listed in our prayer bulletins for our people to pray for. My eyes were opened to what God could do with 5 loaves and 2 fish.

More importantly, it is the 8th anniversary of the ultra-sound where I got to see my youngest son. My wife and I had the privilege to go to the hospital, see the faces of the people we had seen 3 months earlier under traumatic and emergency circumstances, and enjoy the smiles that spread across their faces as they saw our little “tank” in the womb, Luke. You see, it was these same people who 3 months earlier were questioning if my wife would survive, forget the 8 week old baby in her womb. I was told by a number of the doctors and nurses that night that this was the craziest thing they had ever seen, and I should be grateful that my wife was going to make it. I was told by the first surgeon, who saved my wife’s life by calling for a second surgeon, that there was little to no chance Luke would survive.

Yet there we were, looking at him fidgeting, wrestling, bouncing around on the ultra-sound, and being able to praise the goodness of God in all things. My eyes were opened to how wise, powerful and in control God is.

Today, those very lessons are what I need to be reminded of most. If I offer Him my all, though it’s only 5 loaves and 2 fish, He will accomplish some amazing things. I just need to trust that He is all-wise, all-powerful and in complete control of everything, including the timing of events in my life.

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