Thursday, September 11, 2008


Today I observed my sixth Patriot Day.

I was in a middle school where most in my 8th grade math classes were very young children when it happened.

I posted 0846, 0902, 0938 and 1006 on the board. They did not recognize these as significant. I solemnly explained that these were the times that each of the 4 hi-jacked planes crashed--3 into buildings symbolizing American greatness and 1 into a field in PA. I went on to highlight the last crash as significant because the Americans on board deliberately crashed it into the ground to prevent further destruction and death.

This is also the first Patriot Day in which I paused to reflect with a Muslim. He is a student who is currently participating in the Ramadan fast. I was very conscious of my words while describing those who carried out these atrosities.

How odd, I thought, the perspective of myself and these kids on this day.

God bless the survivors and families of 9-1-1.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Emphasis needed...

We sing a variety of psalms, hymns and spiritual songs at Faith Community. One that we sing often is Sing to the King. In the second verse there is a line that I always crescendo to triple forte (VERY loud.) "we'll join in singing with all the redeemed, 'CAUSE SATAN IS VANQUISHED AND JESUS IS KING!!!!!"

I sing with that musical emphasis because I need to be reminded that evil will some day cease to be due to the consumation of Christ's rule of the universe. I need to be reminded that evil is contengent not self-existant. Goodness, because it is the nature of God, is eternal.

Last week I sat and cried with a friend who was waiting for his wife to come back from surgery. He had just made a series of medical decisions for her after learning her cancer had come back in a different part of her body. While we waited for this second of three procedures, we just cried together.

I HATE cancer. The physical pain and suffering is enough to loathe. But the emotional stress and pain is immeasurable at times. The financial burden of treatment costs and lost work is huge.

I need to know from time to time that all this evil will end. I need to remind my friends at times that all this evil will end. My heart cries out, "even so, Lord, PLEASE come quickly!"

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Re-Newed Vows

During the summer I was privileged to officiate at a wedding. And as a special treat, Lisa was able to attend with me. I always enjoy weddings in that I am called back to my dedication to Lisa as I lead the soon-to-be-weds through the covenant. It is very much like attending a baptism and renewing my covenant with the God who loves and saves me.

It was a delight to lead the recital of vows with my gal in the corner of my eye. I fell in love with her again. Fourteen years and two children later, she is the love of my life!

Afterwards, I sat with an elder member of our congregation at the reception. He began relating to me the narrative of his wife's last day of life--how they spoke lovingly to each other, how they held each other in love's comforting embrace. The recital of vows had stirred within him the actual "'til death do us part" commitment that it takes for marriage to be blessed and enduring. With tears in our eyes we celebrated marriage -- from beginning to natural end.

I left that day renewed in my determination to be a man of integrity and live with my beloved so that if ever I might sit in my elder brother's seat at a future wedding reception, I too might weep the bitter-sweet tears of a lifelong commitment.