Never Forget: Paying Tribute to the victims of 9/11 and their families

Remembrance. It is an important thing. A thing that puts things in perspective. A thing that allows us to look back on where we have come from. Today we do that in honoring the victims of 9/11 and their families. 

If you were alive at the time, you remember where you were and what you were doing when you got the news. I was in Mrs. Kleinpeter’s fourth grade class in Savannah, Ga. Another teacher from a neighboring class came in and shared the news with our teacher, who then shared the news with us. 

I didn’t really understand the magnitude of the situation until I got home that afternoon. But what I saw on the tv was devastating. The destruction was immense. The lives lost continued to mount. People were shocked and moved immensely by the tragedy. My ten year old brain had trouble processing what I was seeing. I remember watching the tv long into the night. 

9/11 shook us as a country to our very core. It shook us as individuals. We were America. Land of the free and home of the brave. Who would dare enter our turf? But now we were vulnerable and insecure. We needed hope in a time where hopelessness and confusion were ramped. We needed God now more than ever before. 

And God was with us. He was binding us back together both as individuals and a nation. He brought back unity. He brought back prayer and a desperate yearning for answers. He brought us heroes to cheer on. He made us strong again. 

To the families of the victims: I cannot understand your pain. I did not lose a loved one that day, and I was not directly impacted by the events. So I will not try to empathize with you for protection against trivializing your pain and your grief. One thing I can offer you is hope. Hope that comes through Jesus Christ. He is with you and your family and He understands the pain that you are shouldering. He desires that you come to Him and open your eyes to His love and grace. Only then will you find peace amidst the difficulties of this day and of this life. 

To the first responders, police, fireman: Thank you for your service and sacrifice. Some of your brothers and sisters lost their lives saving others, and for that we are eternally greatful. Thank you for giving us something to hope in during this difficult time. 

To the armed forces: Thank you for protecting our freedom. Thank you for responding to the threats against our country. Thank you for fighting so that we can have freedoms. 

9/11 taught us a lot. It will continue to teach us a lot. It changed our way of thinking. It changed our way of living. 

May we always remember. May we never forget. The Bravery. The Courage. The Sacrifice. The Compassion. The Lives Lost. The Lessons Learned.  

God bless America.

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Jesus: Our Comforter

Heartaches. Dissapointments. We all face them. And when we do, we usually turn to someone or something to bring us comfort. We look to others for encouragement. We try to numb our sorrows by distracting ourselves. But usually each one of these things falls short. The bottle runs out, the friends leave, and the distractions don’t work anymore. Who can really bring us the comfort and peace that we desire? Jesus. He is our comforter. We can trust Him. We can lean on Him and know that He is with us. 

To be honest, this is the hardest blog post I’ve ever had to write. Last night me and my girlfriend mutually ended our relationship. I seemed fine with it, feeling as though I knew where God was leading us and feeling peace for the first time in weeks. Mom warned me though that it would get tough. And it did. I struggled to sleep, crying, and feeling alone, questioning what was happening and the reality of the situation continuined to hit me. 

Waking up this morning, I felt similar. I felt no energy to move and no care about what my responsibilities were for the day. I got in the shower and turned on some music. The song that came on my playlist was “Abide with me” by Matt Maher. These were the words that I heard. 

“Abide With Me”

I have a home, eternal home

But for now I walk this broken world

You walked it first, You know our pain

But You show hope can rise again up from the grave

Abide with me, abide with me

Don’t let me fall, and don’t let go

Walk with me and never leave

Ever close, God abide with me

There in the night, Gethsemane

Before the cross, before the nails

Overwhelmed, alone You prayed

You met us in our suffering and bore our shame

Abide with me, abide with me

Don’t let me fall, and don’t let go

Walk with me and never leave

Ever close, God abide with me

Oh love that will not ever let me go

Love that will not ever let me go

You never let me go

Love that will not ever let me go

Oh You never let us go

And up ahead, eternity

We’ll weep no more, we’ll sing for joy, abide with me

Those words hit me so hard. Falling to my knees, I laid my head on the floor, praying through muffled sobs that God be my comfort in this time. I just wept and laid there. 

But there He was. I was not alone. I was His and I was loved, and He would be my strength and grace to make it through this difficult time.  I had nothing spiritual to say, or even words to offer up. All I did was sob and ask the Lord through my hurt to stand. 

4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. – John 15:4-11

Jesus’s words to us: Abide in me. 

What an amazing comfort it is to know that Jesus is with us. That He abides with us. That He comforts us. That He strengthens us. That through muffled sobs with no strength to stand, He is there. That He guides and directs us through it all.

Who or what are you seeking comfort in? Who are you abiding in?  Jesus desires to comfort you and heal you. Come to Him. Abide in Him. Know that He is plenty able to handle your baggage, your failures, your questions. 

I know I have some hard times ahead. There will be times of loneliness and fears that will try to creep in, but I know that in those times, I will never be alone. God will be with me. He is abiding with me. 


Thank you for abiding with me always, but especially this morning. 

I know you are with me and this brings great comfort to my life. 

Help me to continue to abide in you, as you abide in me. 

Strengthen me. Uphold me. Love me. 

In Jesus name I pray,