Good morning and I bid you a hearty welcome to this only day that we have to do something with, Friday, September 9, 2011. This coming Sunday will usher in the 10th anniversary of that fateful day back in 2001. Each of us remember what we were doing when we found out about the attack on the Word Trade Center in New York City. I was sitting at my work station actually listening to the BBC news from London on the radio when they interrupted to report a plane crash in New York City (8:46 a.m.), only to report the second crash moments later, (9:02). We then learned about that plane crashing into the Pentagon, (9:37 a.m.) Finally, that last plane was crashed into that field in Pennsylvania at 10:03 a.m. Bewildering. Chaotic. It was a confusing and fearful feeling as we all reeled from the blow struck by those who hate us and our way of life. Yes. It did change us all. Yes. We are still paying for it in dollars today. Yes. We will never be the same, but at the same time, we are also, by the grace of God, still standing, standing tall as a beacon for freedom, still waving Old Glory, still pledging allegiance to our flag, and still proclaiming to one and all, friend and foe, that we here in America are one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all! I pray for the families left behind who still mourn the loss of their loved ones murdered in this series of cowardly attacks. I pray for those who are still dealing with injuries suffered in the attack. I pray for the emergency response teams that faced the aftermath with not only loss of life but many injuries that carry on today. I pray for the men and women who wear the uniform of our nation who now face each day in harm's way. I pause also to remember those heroes that helped take down that flight in Pennsylvania saving countless lives in the process, in so doing, they not only gave their lives, but they exemplified the American spirit. And, finally I pray that America, we, the people, would somehow regain that flag flying spirit that led us to crowd into our places of worship where we prayed together to seek God that He would guide and protect us, through the night with the light from above. Amen and Amen.
I know plenty who will be attending special commemorative events around the country. I think that is wonderful. For us, we plan to, Lord willing, to join with our local fellowship of believers on this upcoming Sunday, as is our practice, and we will no doubt offer up prayers to God, as is also our practice. Freedom. It's not always easy and it certainly can be dangerous as we saw on that fateful day. And, we also know it isn't free. You and I are free today because of those throughout our history who shed their blood. Of course the ultimate freedom that each heart yearns for is found only in Christ. That freedom certainly was not free in that He gave Himself up for us all. It is really wonderful to live in the land of the free. But, folks, "What shall it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul?" (Mark 8:36) Coming to know Christ is the freedom that counts not only for this time but for all eternity and may God help us to share that message with a lost and dying world. Amen.
Some have expressed concerns that we might come across too patriotic in our observance of this anniversary. They think we might further provoke our enemies. It's hard to imagine that we still have folks who think we can appease our way into favor with those radically opposed to the very founding principles of our way of life. But they are among us and our freedoms allow them to have their say, and I am glad they can do that very thing, here, because they couldn't exercise much freedom at all in the lands where our enemies plot our destruction. Yes. There is a struggle here to protect our individual freedoms while taking necessary actions to guard against future attacks. That balance is precarious and it is one that is worth the time and effort because when we give up our individual freedoms we cease to be the America of our forefathers. Having that tension is a good thing and we can be thankful for those who stand guard over our liberty. We, even as a fairly young nation, are still a work in progress, but one that God has immensely blessed. We have some huge challenges on our plates right now but I believe that God can still bless our great land, and I ask that you join me in seeking Him to direct our way forward. Amen. Have a great Saturday and Lord's Day Sunday, and I'll see you next time. .....More later.