Summary: Text from a 911 service

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911 Hope

In a time of economic uncertainty and personal insecurity, couples around the country have defied the pessimism and decided to have a child. Many of these couples say they were influenced to do so because of the events of September 11. They saw the towers burning and when they got home they said, ’You know, it’s never going to be the right time. We should start now.’ While having a baby in such an unstable time may seem to go against the grain, parents who’ve chosen to say they did it out of a need for togetherness, healing, and patriotism.

People are still reeling from the September 11 tragedy, school shootings, summer fires in the West, summer flooding in the Midwest, or crises of a more personal nature, Today we need to allow God to soothe and heal raw nerves and emotions.

What do we hope for?

What do we hope in?

Prayer? use the word "petition" when people are suffering,

Death no longer has the last word!

Heb. 6:19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain.

1. Christian Hope is Deeper and Stronger than Mere Optimism.

But blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they go right on producing delicious fruit. ~Jeremiah 17:7?8 NLT

2. Christian Hope Believes we have a Glorious future

Col. 1:5 Your faith and love are based on the hope you have. What you hope for is stored up for you in heaven.

3. It Is our Joy and Hope that Attracts Others to Jesus Christ.

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. ~ 1 Peter 3:15

Tested By Fire by Beth J. Lueders

On September 11, Lt. Col. Brian Birdwell watched the television in his boss’ office as a second hijacked airplane slammed into the World Trade Center. The Army officer had no idea that minutes later madmen would ram a Boeing 757 into the Pentagon, just three windows away from his own office in the outermost ring.

At 9:40 a.m. Brian was stepping out of the men’s room as a massive explosion hurled him to the floor. Instantly a fireball engulfed him. He could not get to his feet and agonized that he would never again see his wife, Mel, and 12-year-old son, Matthew. Brian screamed, "Jesus, I’m coming to see you!" and collapsed to the floor.

But within seconds, an overhead fire sprinkler sprayed cooling relief on his charred wounds. Brian stumbled down the hallway and fellow Pentagon workers carried him to safety.

Meanwhile, both Mel and Matthew were watching TV and saw the damage to the Pentagon. "I knew right away Brian’s office could not have survived that impact," Mel reflects. Mom and son tearfully prayed together for Brian to have been out of his office at the time of the crash.

Burns seared 61 percent of Brian’s body--41 percent third-degree (arms and hands); the rest second-degree, scorching much of his face, ears, legs and back. Inhaled smoke and jet-fuel vapors clogged his lungs. Heavily sedated and clinging to life, Brian didn’t open his eyes for two days. "That was an awesome moment to see those little green eyes again," Mel says. The same day President and Mrs. Bush visited Brian and the rest of the survivors, known as the Pentagon Seven. When President Bush greeted the bed-ridden Brian with a salute, the soldier painstakingly attempted to raise his heavily bandaged arms in a return salute. No eye was dry in the room.

The next 12 weeks were the longest of Brian’s 40 years. Infection gnawed away at the remaining flesh on both arms. Brian endured excruciating dunkings in chlorine and iodine baths, while nurses scrubbed away layers of decayed skin and infected tissue. He required nearly 20 surgeries to cleanse wounds and graft on fresh skin.

Brian is not focusing on what he lost through the attack, but what he has gained.

"My living through all this is one of God’s many miracles," Brian adds. "This testing by fire, so to speak, has strengthened our marriage and faith. My priorities of Mel, Matt and the Army have not changed. I’ve just learned to relish and appreciate these priorities more readily."

Of those endless days and nights at her husband’s bedside, Mel says, "Now I don’t take things for granted as much. Your priorities change. The things that used to bother you in life, you now see that they are really not that important. You just change your focus, and right now, that focus is to get Brian well."

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