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"Being Thankful - But to Who?"
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"This is what the Lord says: "Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, and ask where the good way is, and walk in it. You will find rest for your soul."
Jeremiah 6:16 NIV

Remembering 9/11

    911_picture  On the morning of September 11, 2001, members of a middle east terrorist group boarded four of our U.S. passenger planes and succeeded in using these planes to kill thousands of innocent American people. These terrorists believed that if their plan would work, America would crumble – but they were wrong.

     Their terrorist plan may have worked. All of their calculations and strategies of time and place may have succeeded, but they made one grave error – they underestimated the America people. Because through all the death and horror and devastation, through all the grief and suffering, through all the loss, we have become not weaker, but stronger.

     It was Ralph Waldo Emerson who said, “our greatest glory consists not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall”. And the real strength of America is not in our possession, but in our people – we the people – and our faith in almighty God.

     As a nation we have been blessed so much by God. And even though some are doing their best to push God out of our country, miraculously, thankfully, He is still here with us. After the terrorist attacks, some asked the question, “Where was God? Why didn’t he stop the attacks?” That’s a question no one can answer, but we do know this – God was there. As the passengers on those planes waited, they prayed. Some called their loved ones and prayed. Some prayed with telephone operators. And those who spoke with those passengers still talk today of the peaceful assurance that each had as they spoke - a calm only God can give.

     After the first plane hit that North Tower, there were thousands of people who were trapped with no way to escape. There are reports of one man on the 105th floor of Tower One, going from  office to office praying with people, with groups of people, giving them the assurance of God’s love, His mercy, His forgiveness through Christ.

     There are amazing stories of people who could have left the buildings but, instead, voluntarily stayed with the injured and those who could not get down the stairs. These people knew that by staying they would not survive - but they stayed anyway. Where did these people find the unbelievable courage to stay? From  Almighty God.

     One firefighter who had just finished his final training the day before, his first assignment was the 9/11 fires. He remembers, as the bus transported him  and fifty other firefighters to that horrible scene, a Chaplain was on the bus praying.  That Chaplain was later killed outside those buildings, hit by falling debris as he knelt in the rubble and chaos, giving the last rites to one dying firefighter.

     And the firefighters who bravely stormed into those buildings, literally melting from the intense heat of the jet fuel pouring down those stairwells, these brave firefighters went right into the very face of death with nothing more in mind than to help those in need.

     There are accounts of people who met these firefighters in those stairwells.  They saw their faces, their determination, their bravery.

“Keep on climbing”, says the Captain,

Up through the smoke and smell

“Keep on climbing”, says the Captain,

“I think I heard somebody yell!”

“Keep on climbing”, says the Captain,

“Alive or dead, not ours to tell”.

“Keep on climbing”, calls the Captain,

“Forget about your pain!”

“We have a few more floors to gain”.

“Keep on climbing”, yells the Captain,

“We will bring them down again”.

“Keep on climbing”, cries the Captain,

If I can so can you”.

“Keep on climbing”, orders the Captain

“Right now I need your best from you”,

“Keep on climbing”, screams the Captain,

“Forget about those sounds!

It’s just some girders twisting

And some concrete falling down”.

“Keep on climbing”, whispers the Captain,

“Climb right up to the light!

Right up to that sunshine

No smoke to smell, no fire to fight”.

“Keep on climbing”, sings the Captain

“That Angel’s hand will lead the way”.

“Rest boys”, sighs the Captain,

“You did your job today”.

“Keep on climbing”, prays our Captain,

“Eyes raised, headed for the top,

And when you’re tired and feel like quitting,

Remember them,

They didn’t stop”.

(A poem written by Langley City Fire Chief, Jim McGregor)

    “Yeah, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evel, for thou art with me”.

     Oh yes, on 9/11, God was there. To comfort, and console, to hold His dear children oh so tight, to wrap them up in His loving arms, and take them home.

     And that same God is here with us today. To comfort you if you are hurting. Here with us today, to give us in the midst of sorrow a peace in our hearts that only God can give. He is here with us today, to mourn with us in the loss of so many brave Americans – we the people.

    So during this time of mourning and remembering let us  be assured that,

 “Neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor dath, nor any creature, shall separate us from God’s love”.

May God bless you, and may God bless America!