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CLB Remembers 9.11.2001

Pastor Warren Geraghty

From the beginning, that day was different.

You see, normally, I would avoid church on that day.
It was my day off!  My day of needed Sabbath rest.

But that Tuesday was different.
As soon as I woke up I knew I was supposed to go to church.

“What? Go to church, Lord?”
So, what do I do now that I’m here?  

Scripture was read.
Prayer was had.
Church needs covered…OK, what now Lord?

I took a quiet walk through the sanctuary.
Listened.
Loitered.

I returned to my office, peered out the windows as I said, “I’m here, Lord, I just don’t know what this is about.”

Suddenly the phone rang (it was a little before nine).

“Pastor!  Are you watching TV?”

Calmly, I said, “No, I am in the office at church.”

The quivering voice continued, “A plane just flew into one of the Twin Towers!”

I listened in bewilderment, not knowing what to say and then closed with prayer.

Fifteen minutes later, I heard the front door of the church open discreetly. Another anxious parishioner seeking care. Then another, and soon another. Throughout the day many came for talk, for a walk, assurance and prayer.  

9/11.
September.
Ten years ago.
I’m still feeling like it was yesterday.

Thank you God for Your leading and provision and comfort that day.  Also, for today. You still are our refuge and strength – a very present help in times of trouble!   

— 2 years ago with 6 notes
#Pastor 
Pastor Tony Karlik

Ten years ago, I was serving at Bethany Church in Staten Island and was faced with one of the greatest challenges of my life and ministry. What began as a normal day would soon turn into a horrific historic event. What we faced as a congregation was like nothing before or anything since. Our hearts were filled with fear of what would follow and worry for loved ones not yet found.  By evening, our church was filled with people seeking shelter from the pain and fear they were experiencing and hoping to find God’s protection.

As the evening past God’s Word gave us strength and brought us hope. As we heard the Psalms our hearts began to rest and with Jesus’ invitation we could find peace for our souls. 

Psalm 46:1-3
God is our refuge and strength, 
  an ever-present help in trouble. 
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way 
  and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 
though its waters roar and foam 
  and the mountains quake with their surging.

Matthew 11:28-29
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 

It’s now been ten years since that event and many this Sunday will gather together at various locations to remember  9/11 and those who were lost. What I will remember is a church full of scared people turning to an all powerful and almighty God who would never leave us or forsake us. Who would take our fears and give us His peace and allow us to find shelter under His wings. I think many have forgotten that part but I haven’t. Our Lord has always been and always will be faithful to His people. 

So I ask that this Sunday as you remember the events of  9/11 you would include remembering how our Lord faithfully got us through it. To God Be The Glory for the Great Things He Has Done.

Sincerely in Christ,
Rev. Tony Karlik 

— 2 years ago
#Pastor  #Scripture  #Faithfulness 
Pastor Todd Anderson

Many seemed to think that the events on 9/11 would lead to a large influx of people into our churches.  The effect lasted perhaps a month and for many of us who at the time were serving smaller churches it was barely a blip on the screen.

Joe (his real name) often did discounted printing for our church because of a relationship he had with one of our elders. I continued this relationship even after this elder moved on. I saw Joe the week of 9/11 and he said, “I want to hear what you are going to say on Sunday.”

It has never worked, and other pastor can attest, to try to target a message for one person, but the pressure was on.  Joe had not responded to a single invitation to church for many years; he was very political and opinionated.  What message would he hear?

I wondered how Jesus had handled questions about current events, especially large man-made or natural disasters. I didn’t have to wonder for long when I read Luke 13:1-5:

Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way?  I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.  Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

This was not the message Joe wanted to hear, but the one we all needed.  He wanted to hear me condemn the men who did this to our great country, he wanted to hear how we should avenge these “innocents” deaths.  Instead I pointed out that there were no innocents, we are all born in sin and in need of a Savior.

I will be preaching the same text this September 11, with the same message; the same message I will preach each and every Sunday while God gives me breath.

In His Grip,
Pastor Todd Anderson

— 2 years ago
#Pastor  #Scripture