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September 11, 2016, 12:00 AM

From Your Pastor's Heart - September 11, 2016

Good Morning Family,

          Fifteen years ago this morning, those of us who are old enough were all stopped in our tracks. Fifteen years ago, we felt the shock of pain and disbelief at what our eyes were taking in on our television screens.

          I had just arrived at the office after running a few errands before going to church for the day. It was a Tuesday morning, sunny out like any other September Tuesday before. I walked in and the receptionist asked if I had any news yet that morning. So, I went back to my office and turned on Fox News. The first WTC Tower had been hit and the rest of the staff began gathering in my office. We sat wondering what had happened how a plane had managed to hit the building. In just a few minutes after my arrival, we suddenly knew exactly what was happening as we all saw the second plane hit on live television.

          Next to fall was an entire wall at the Pentagon and then Flight 93 going down in Shanksville. Our phones lit up as our people were calling to make sure we were aware of the news. That night, as the skies above us became eerily quiet and completely free of jet streams, we opened up the church for community prayer. People came in and out of a dimly lit sanctuary all evening long to kneel at the altar and pray and cry together.

          This was the kind of thing that changes a nation. However, each of us have had 9-11’s in our personal lives as well. An event comes in from "left field" and we don’t see it coming. Then suddenly, our life is brought to a screeching halt. Nothing really matters, but the trial or the loss, or the tragedy. Everything else goes on the back burner and people become the important thing, not things. God becomes the focal point and not jobs or money or possessions. All we know is the dark walls of the valley that rise up on either side of us in the "shadow land". That is all we can see with our spiritual eyes. Yet, those who trust in the Lord can know His presence in the valley. Sometimes it takes walking on ahead a bit to see that He was there all the time.

          How do I know He was there with me all the time? I see the evidence of His presence. It was He that sustained me when I had absolutely nothing left. And the reality is that even if I perished, He would have been there too; with me all the way home to Him.

          For maybe days or weeks or even months after, we may still be in a fog wondering if it all had really happened. We wonder how long will the pain remain? Those of us who have been through personal 9-11’s know the pain and know of the lasting effects that can follow us the rest of our days in one form or another. Pain changes us. It crafts us. This morning we will ask the question, "Where is God during these times?"

          As always, my prayer is for you to, "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth." II Timothy 2:15


Humbly Yours,

Bro. Steve

Dr. Steven Gann

Your Shepherd



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