MIDWEEK MESSAGE #74
Hello and welcome to MM #74. Thanks for taking the time to read this. With the holiday on Monday, which already gives a shorter week than normal, and my day off on Friday, which makes it even shorter, I had considered not writing a MM this week. In fact, I told Diana this Tuesday morning that I would probably not do one this week. I think she was surprised. Or maybe that was delight in her eyes since she is my editor and corrector of “all things made right” for the MM. 🙂
But then I sat here in my office and started thinking about it. Since it is late being written and since Wednesday morning will be busy with a staff meeting, and it might not be ready to send until Thursday, maybe I could call it “Late Midweek Message.” But that sounded…well…not too smart so I nixed that. So here I am, late Tuesday afternoon and soon to be heading home for supper.
Why the change of mind?
Well, you could say it is the way of a somewhat jumbled old man and I might agree with you a bit. At least today. 🙂 You could say I received a sudden burst of inspiration from “on high” but I’m not sure that is exactly correct.
So…why the change of mind?
I started thinking about what has happened the past couple weeks and what took place Monday, on the lawn of the courthouse here in Spencer. Jo, Tami, and I went to the memorial for the 13 fallen soldiers in Afghanistan where Ryan White led the memorial service. It was moving. I had never been at a roll call before.
Then, this afternoon, I started thinking about Saturday. The anniversary of 9/11. You know…that incident we said we would “never forget” but so many have? I can tell you exactly what I was doing when it happened. I was living in Sandusky and three of us men were heading to another city a couple hours away for a seminar on church finances. We talked all the way down oblivious to what had happened. Until… Until we arrived for the seminar and they had it on the big screen. They kept it on as the seminar was taught. I have to admit I remember N-O-T-H-I-N-G from the seminar. But I still remember the images of the planes and the buildings. You know what is sad? I had NO clue what the Twin Towers were at the time. I was oblivious to their significance. I learned soon enough. I sat by the TV for hours in the evening the next day or two hoping and praying they would find people alive. I changed my sermon that Sunday morning and spoke from my heart, and then one year later spearheaded a memorial service at one of the local school auditoriums which involved pastors and churches from all over Sandusky. I cried on 9/11. I cried one year later. I still tear up when I see the planes hit the towers and see them crumble. I am not ashamed to admit that. I tried hard not to cry yesterday at the memorial. There are moms and dads, aunts and uncles, sons and daughters, etc. all over our country crying for their loss.
And here’s the thing: For all its faults and missteps, this is still the greatest country to live in. IMHO if you don’t like it here go elsewhere and see if you can say and do what you are now saying and doing and get away with it.
- MUST. NEVER. FORGET.
We must never forget 9/11 and the ugliness of hate, especially hate in the name of religion. I realize it would be unfair to categorize all Muslims as hate-mongers, just as it is unfair to categorize all Christ-followers as hate-mongers because we oppose false religions or sinful lifestyles.
To be totally honest, it does bother me that we have tended to forget 9/11. I’m not saying that we mourn and weep and wail, but we should stop and not forget there were nearly 3000 innocent people who died because of hate. I knew none of them. But I also know I will see some of them someday when I get to heaven and they are there.
This Saturday at the courthouse there is a memorial service to remember 9/11, but to also remember one of our own soldiers who lost his life in Afghanistan. The 10th anniversary of Brett Wood’s death is Thursday, the 9th, but he will be remembered with a special ceremony on the 11th. I can remember that Sunday morning when his casket was escorted from Bloomington by police and motorcycle riders. We stood outside of this building on that morning waiting for the motorcade. His brother, Nikk, accompanied him. Nikk will be deployed (again) on Monday for a year. Nikk is one of our own. He attends OVCF with his family. I have been asked to participate in the service on Saturday. But that is not what is important. What IS important is what I am asking you to do: please make every attempt to come to the service. It will be held at the courthouse by the Doughboy statue starting at 11:00. Show your respect for those who lost their lives on 9/11; for Brett; and your support for Nikk and all our service personnel.
Let’s not be a community or a people who forget. I look forward to seeing you there.
I am proud to be part of a community like Spencer that remembers its fallen and a church who wants to be part of that. I love you all. Thanks for listening this week.
P.S. (totally unrelated) We have an elder’s meeting next Monday. My next MM will be giving you some more information about the upcoming OVCF anniversary in October, “17 on the 17th”. Look for it!
Midweek Message 09/08/2021
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