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- I remember preaching on September 11th, 2011 on the tenth anniversary of the attacks and tried to address in my own words how we deal with them. That morning, I talked about Michael Lomonaco who was the executive chef at the Windows on the World restaurant on the 106th and 107th floors of the World Trade Center. That morning, he barely escaped the attacks when he stopped in the lobby of One World Trade Center to get his glasses fixed. The first plane crashed when he was about to head upstairs, and he was evacuated from the lobby shortly thereafter. However, all 79 employees working in the restaurant at the time died in the terrorist attacks, including his chief pastry chef who was a Muslim. Elsewhere in the World Trade Center, many other members of the food service industry, including caterers, corporate dining room staff, kitchen staff, chefs and restaurant delivery people who happened to be in the buildings, lost their lives as well. A group of hospitality-industry professionals met out of concern for the families of those restaurant and dining room workers who had been killed in the attacks. Many of those who died had been entry-level workers whose families would struggle to pay rent and other basic expenses in the wake of the attacks. Windows of Hope Family Relief Fund was founded to provide short- and longer-term assistance to these families.
- "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 Todd Beamer who said "Let's roll" as he led the charge against the terrorists who had hijacked United Flight 93. Anyone who has read anything about this flight knows how brave Beamer and his fellow passengers were on September 11th. But in December we learned more fully what buttressed that bravery: faith in Jesus Christ. In an article entitled "The Real Story of Flight 93," Newsweek revealed gripping new details from the actual transcripts of the now-recovered cockpit voice recorder. "Todd had been afraid," Newsweek related. "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.
- The widow of Todd Beamer, one of those killed on 9/11 attempting to overtake the hijackers of Flight 93 speaks out about forgiving the hijackers.
- ("The families of the Mother Emmanuel Church victims have already given us an excellent example. Bethane Middleton-Brown, the sister of the murdered DePayne Middleton-Doctor said, 'I am a work in progress and I acknowledge that I am very angry. But one thing that Depayne taught me is that we are the family that love built.' Then she added, 'We have no room for hate, so we have to forgive.'...")
- (based on Twas the Night Before Christmas) (Was used on the Dr. Phil TV show.)
- On January 8, 2011, we were all stunned by the senseless shootings in Arizona. We struggle to make sense out of these tragedies but there are no easy answers to the questions we always ask in these circumstances: "why did it have to happen?", "why couldn't God have stopped it?", "why do bad things always seem to happen to good people?". The answers probably won't be there until we ask our Maker directly in the next life. For now, we have to settle on knowing that God is there, not in the tragedies themselves, which he is powerless to prevent since he gave us free will to do either good or evil, but in our responses to the evil deeds. That good is already evident in some of the stories that have emerged from the shootings...
- (Story of Cassie Bernall, a Columbine Victim)
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