Monday, September 28, 2009
Without watchfulness, deception will win. Your prayers help guard your heart and mind against the deceptions of the world. Without thankfulness, prayers re worthless. The Heart of Worship to God is expressed with acknowledgment that "God is good" and the humble response of "thanks."
Paul also instructs the church to pray not only for themselves but also to pray for other believers, specifically for open doors of opportunity and the clear presentation of the gospel. If Paul needed prayer, then so do we!
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Sunday, September 6, 2009
The LORD’S PRAYER on Sept. 11, 2001
Todd Beamer’s Faith (Sept. 11, 2001)
"I don't think we're going to get out of this thing. I'm going to have to go out on faith."
It was the voice of Let's roll" as he led the charge against the terrorists who had hijacked United Flight 93, the one, you will remember, that crashed in the Pennsylvania countryside., the passenger-and Wheaton College graduate-who said "
The whole world knows how brave Beamer and his fellow passengers were on September 11. But this week we learned more fully what buttressed that bravery: Faith in Jesus Christ. Todd died as he lived, a faithful evangelical believer.
In an article titled "The Real Story of Flight 93," Newsweek reveals gripping new details from the actual transcripts of the now-recovered cockpit voice recorder. "Todd had been afraid," Newsweek relates. "More than once, he cried out for his Savior."
After passengers were herded to the back of the jet, Beamer called the GTE Customer Center in Oakbrook , Illinois . He told supervisor Lisa Jefferson about the hijacking. The passengers were planning to jump the terrorists, he said. And then he asked her to pray with him.
As Newsweek relates, "Todd Beamer kept a Lord's Prayer bookmark in his Tom Clancy novel, but he didn't need any prompting. He began to recite the ancient litany, and Jefferson joined him: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name."
As they finished, Beamer added, "Jesus, help me." And then, Beamer and his fellow passengers prayed a prayer that has comforted millions down through the centuries-the prayer that David wrote in a time of great anguish: The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want . . . Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.
And then the famous last words: "Are you guys ready? Let's roll." We now know from the cockpit voice recorder that Beamer and other passengers wrestled with the hijackers and forced the plane to crash into the ground, killing themselves but foiling what was believed to have been the hijackers' plan to fly Flight 93 into the Capitol or the White House.
As Christians, we know that God can bring good out of evil. In Todd Beamer, the world witnesses a faith that held up in the extremity of fear. A faith that is even now, comforting his widow and two young sons.
Todd’s wife, Lisa Beamer, told NBC's Dateline, "You know, in the Lord's Prayer, it asks us to forgive our trespassers as we forgive those who trespass against us." As Todd prayed this prayer in the last moments of his life, in a way, Lisa said, "He was forgiving those people for what they were doing, the most horrible thing you could ever do to someone."
It wasn't Todd Beamer's job to fight terrorists. He was just a passenger who along with several others did what he didn't have to do but foiled a terrible evil that might have been done to his country.
As Flight 93 hurtled towards destruction, Todd Beamer could not have known that his quiet prayers would ultimately be heard by millions--that the story of his last acts on earth would be a witness to the Lord he loved and served and a lasting example of true heroism.
Todd Beamer's Call from United 93 Changed My Life Forever
Hello, my name is Mrs. Jefferson," I spoke calmly into the headset. "I understand your plane is being hijacked?"
I couldn't believe I was asking this question during what had started as a typical day on the job as a Verizon Airfone supervisor. Around 8:45 a.m. on September 11, 2001, I walked to the Call Center , where a representative stopped me, clearly traumatized. Apparently the caller on her headset had told her he was on United Airlines Flight 93 bound for San Francisco from Newark , NJ —and that their plane had been hijacked.
"I'll finish the call," I told her after I contacted the Airfone Operations Surveillance Center (AOSC) to inform officials a plane had been hijacked. Then I put on her headset.
Terror in the Air
"Can you tell me exactly what's taking place?" I asked the caller.
"Three people have hijacked the plane," he calmly replied. "Two have taken over the cockpit and are flying the plane."
At our office, I overheard someone say, "These are suicide attempts; they're intentionally taking those planes down!" Then I learned two planes had crashed into the World Trade Center Towers .
Fear rose in me. I prayed silently, not knowing what to ask God as I realized this hijacking was linked to the New York tragedy.
"I've notified all appropriate authorities," I told the caller, and finally asked his name.
"I'm Todd Beamer from Cranbury , New Jersey ," he said. As we exchanged small talk, the plane began flying erratically. Todd raised his voice, then I heard raw panic: "Oh my God, we're going down! Jesus help us!"
Spiritually, I remained calm; I knew God was with me and with Todd. But physically, I felt ill and powerless; I wanted to do more to help. I prayed silently as I heard profoundly disturbing sounds coming from the plane's cabin. I finally realized they were the bloodcurdling screams of the passengers aboard Flight 93 crying out for their lives. I'll carry those sounds to my grave.
When things calmed down, Todd returned to the phone. "I think we're OK now," he said. Then he asked me to say the Lord's Prayer with him.
"If I don't make it through this, would you tell my wife and family how much I love them?" Todd asked.
"Of course I'll do that for you, Todd," I replied, and offered to patch her through on another line.
"No," he replied. "She's expecting our third child in January, and I'd rather not upset her with any bad news."
Suddenly Todd blurted, "Oh my God, we're turning around!"
After some confusion, I told him, "I'm still here, Todd, and I'll be on this phone as long as you are."
After another silence, he said, "A few of us are going to jump the guy with the bomb." At this point, we both hoped the plane could land without incident.
I held the phone line open approximately 15 more minutes. I constantly called Todd's name, but there was no response. Then came the news: United Flight 93 had crashed in Pennsylvania . I felt unable to breathe. I knew that the brave man on the other side of the phone had perished.
My husband, Warren, and I work in the same building. He'd been glued to the television in his third-floor office, unaware of my phone conversation. I was removing my headset when he arrived at my side. Tears welled in my eyes; I walked zombie-like into my office. Warren stayed with me, giving me silent support.
Soon after, FBI agents called. They asked scores of questions, and told me they were grateful for my vivid recollections. My husband and I went home from work early.
I knew Psalm 126:5, "They who sow in tears shall reap in joy and singing," but right then I couldn't imagine anything good coming from the suffering of the family members of those who perished aboard United 93.
I didn't go to work the next few days. I was bedridden, escaping my pain through sleep. When I wasn't sleeping, I couldn't stop crying. I was afraid of the phone, afraid of the doorbell ringing, afraid of Warren leaving the house.
An FBI agent, a U.S. attorney, and a representative from the New York Terrorist Task Force interviewed me at a local police station. They told me I'd eventually be called on to testify in the Zacarias Moussaoui trial. Talking to the authorities about homeland security issues was frightening in itself, but they were also concerned about our security in the fearful climate following 9-11. They advised us to install an alarm system, which we did.
Talking with Lisa Beamer (Todd’s widow)
A couple days after September 11, I wrote a letter informing Lisa Beamer I had a message for her from her husband. We faxed it to the United Airlines grief counselors working with her.
The next day, she called. "I understand you spoke to my husband?" she asked timidly, obviously crying.
I recounted the entire conversation. It had been four days since the tragedy. Talking about it was difficult but cathartic for us both.
I could hear her crying, and I wondered how I'd feel if I were bearing her pain. As we talked, I discovered Lisa's a Christian. I know without question God ordered our connection. I couldn't possibly console Lisa Beamer with anything other than hope from God's Word. Thankfully, because she's a believer, she was able to receive God's comfort.
"Thank you for being there for Todd. You're a pillar of strength," she said.
At Lisa's request, I spoke with a newspaper reporter from Pennsylvania . After that article ran, I received calls from reporters all over the world.
I returned to work after several weeks, but life was far from normal. Seeing me in tears all the time, my husband and supervisors suggested I get some help. I went to therapy for six months. I grieved Todd Beamer's loss as if I were a family member. I was stressed about the media attention and the prospect of testifying at the Moussaoui trial. I hadn't asked for any of this!
In conjunction with my therapy sessions, my pastor also counseled me. We prayed together, and our church rallied around me. I slowly began to understand God used me in the midst of this tragedy. I came to see the strength I exhibited on the phone with Todd came from God, that he'd placed me in the Beamers' lives for such a time as this.
Though I was nervous at first to speak with reporters, with each subsequent interview I became bolder. I told journalists about my faith in God, how I believe he scheduled my "appointment" with Todd.
In October, producers from the Oprah Winfrey Show asked Lisa and me if we'd consent to a live television interview. So the two Lisas finally met face to face. We embraced and cried, neither of us able to speak.
When I went through counseling with my pastor, I was moved when he said God is more concerned about our availability than our ability. He grants us skills and talents, but mostly he wants us to say, "Lord, here I am—ready!"
Through my availability on September 11, 2001, God transformed me. He showed me that if he has work for you to do, he'll equip you to carry it out. He used me to speak peace and comfort to Todd, even as he approached the end of his young life.
But beyond that, I saw God fulfill his promise: When we believe in him, he'll be with us to the very end—even in death. From my conversations with Todd that day, I believe God kept that promise to Todd. I know when my time comes, he'll keep that promise for me, too.
Lisa and I still try to keep in touch. She's busy raising her three babies, and I'm busy traveling around the country speaking about serving God and recognizing our significance—even as "ordinary" men and women.
God can use us in myriad ways—when we lift someone at her wit's end, when we feed those who are hungry, and sometimes, when we simply show up for work and let God encourage someone through our words and availability.
Adapted from Called. Used with permission from Moody Publishers. © 2006 by Lisa Jefferson and Felicia Middlebrooks.
Copyright © 2006 by the author or Christianity Today International/Today's Christian Woman magazine.
Today's Christian Woman.
September/October 2006, Vol. 28, No. 5, Page 60
Saturday, September 5, 2009
I am still not breathing properly, stress or not stressful, i m not sure. I just surrender them to the Lord... He is the Healer and our Provider.
Just now during worship practice, there is this song.. He is our creator.. He is our healer.. He is our strength and our comforter... Jesus Lord and King, I worship You...
Ok, going to church now for the evening service. Tonight is the Holy Communion, once again, I want to thank our Lord for sacrificing His life for the gift of salvation through eternity to us all..