Monday, September 26, 2011

I Live for This!

We just experienced one of those moments that causes you to appreciate why the Lord sent us to Harrisburg. I was honored to baptize my son, my nephew and one of our very dear spiritual daughters (and her daughter), this past Saturday evening.

We united with Christ Community Church in a joint baptism celebration. One of their pastors assisted me with our people, and then asked me to help him with the folks from his church.

As the praise went forth from the worship team, we were baptizing people as the congregation praised God and celebrated. I love the CCC family. They have always made us feel so welcome ever since we first moved here.

I couldn’t help but think back on the long journey that brought us to this moment. Seemingly endless disappointments and setbacks were pushed aside because I could recall many of the battles each person has faced to bring them to that moment in the water.

I felt the presence of God as this symbolic act was turned into a spiritual reality. Each person buried their past and the old man as they arose to a new life, hope and future in Christ.

In that moment, I kind of related to the sports commercial where the various athletes are shown battling through adversities and challenges on the field or behind the scenes in practices and workout. They turn to the camera and say, “I live for this!”

That’s how I feel today. The past few weeks have been filled with discouragement, grief, sorrow, and more disappointment. But standing in that baptism pool, watching people crying and embracing one another, and finally experiencing something that we have longed to do for more than six years, I can only say, “I live for this!”

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Our Hearts Were Broken (9/11 Tribute)

Ten years ago today our hearts were broken.
In horror we watched, no word could be spoken.
Time stopped; Could this be really happening?
My eyes can’t believe what I’m seeing.

Did the news flash really say what I'm hearing?
Sirens and screams in the background searing;
Cannot imagine what people are feeling,
As loved ones perish, while thousands are fleeing.

Overwhelmed with grief, sickened by sorrow.
It’ll just be a nightmare when I wake up tomorrow.
How could something so evil be unleashed on the world?
Snatching the innocence of every boy and girl.

We’ll never forget the moment the second plane flew in.
The exclamation of the commentator, "O my God, It happened again!"
And panic begin to set in as we learned the terror plot wasn’t done.
Another plane had also been crashed into the Pentagon!

We’ll never forget the thought as we watched events unfold.
Is this the fulfillment of Biblical prophecies, foretold?
Is it just the random deed of some religious maniac?
Is it the start of world war three; Is our nation under attack?

We’ll never forget the moment when those towers came crashing down.
Our hearts were crumbling with it, knowing lives were being snuffed out.
I wanted to scream, I wanted to cry, But I could only kneel down.
I prayed to God, where peace and solace could be found.

God will always avenge the taking of innocent lives.
For the husbands who left behind grieving children and wives,
For the sons and daughters who faded away with no warning,
For the brothers and sisters who did not see the next day’s dawning.

It’s taken me ten years, to put words on these thoughts.
Ten years of processing feelings of profound sadness and loss.
I don’t think I’ll ever be able to express what happened to us that day.
Except, I know we came to understand the pain on God’s face.

For ions of time He has watched mankind destroy one another.
He stepped in from the beginning after one brother killed the other.
What religious view is so important that so many lives would be shattered?
What political agenda means so much that nothing else matters?

America, America, God poured out His grace on Thee
As crying and wailing rang out from sea to shining sea.
Ten years ago our hearts were broken, but I have to wonder somehow.
Where will we be within our hearts, in another ten years from now?