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Summary: On April 21, 2007, a Blue Angels jet crashed near Beaufort, South Carolina. Sometimes Angels (church leaders, pastors, etc.) do crash. How to cope and what to learn when an Angel crashes.

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I. ANGELS DO CRASH

A. Blue Angels – April 21, 2007 – Beaufort, South Carolina

1. Pilot killed

2. Destruction & Injury in its path

B. Spiritually, Angels Do Crash

1. Revelation 8:10 and Revelation 9:1

a. the identity of the “fallen star” has been debated

b. what is clear is that the “fallen star” had personhood & identity

c. whoever (angel or human) it is was great

d. whoever (angel or human) it is was high profile

e. whoever (angel or human) it is had a high profile “fall”

f. whoever (angel or human) it is, their fall brought devastation in its path

2. Bible is filled with good people who made bad choices

a. Adam & Eve crashed

b. Noah crashed

c. Abraham crashed

d. Isaac crashed

e. David crashed

f. Peter crashed

g. Judas crashed

3. Modern world filled with good people who crashed

a. Jim Jones

b. Jim Baker

c. Jimmy Swaggart

d. Bill Clinton

e. each of us knows pastors who’ve crashed

4. Not Just Pastors & Leaders – but so many others

II. WHY IT GRABS THE HEADLINES WHEN AN ANGEL CRASHES

A. Purpose Of The Blue Angels

1. Recruiting for Navy and Marines

2. Popularity spiked with the 1989 Tom Cruise “Top Gun” Movie

B. We Expect The Best – We Expect Perfection

C. Angels Are Known For Their Ability To Fly In Ways Others Don’t Normally Fly

1. Maneuvers that others don’t normally do

2. Tight formations that others don’t normally do – difficult stunts - diamond rolls

D. Much Of Those Formations Represent Skill & Discipline & Finese That

1. So necessary for our national defense & security

2. Yet the little we see – we’re dazzled and entertained and marvel at

3. Wing tip to wing tip – one wrong move – disaster can strike

a. near absolute perfection required

b. very little margin for error

4. The Blue Angels fly F/A-18 Hornets at high speeds in close formations

a. their pilots are considered the Navy’s elite

b. they don’t wear the traditional G-suits that most jet pilots use to avoid blacking out during maneuvers.

c. the suits inflate around the lower body to keep blood in the brain, but which could cause a pilot to bump the control stick - a potentially deadly move when flying inches from other planes.

d. instead, Blue Angels manage G-forces by tensing their abdominal muscles.

D. Leaders & Pastors

1. Operate on a level of skill and life and pressure that others don’t

2. We celebrate it, appreciate it

3. But one wrong move – disaster can strike

E. When An Angel Crashes – It Gets Noticed

1. At the April 21, 2007 crash, more than 100,000 people had been expected to attend

2. Lots of people are watching – it can’t help but get noticed

F. When An Angel Crashes – Lots Of Destruction

1. Loss of life

a. spiritually – some people throw in the towel spiritually

b. mentally – some people lose valuable trust

c. physically – I’ve seen people spiral into chemical addictions and even suicide as a result of Angels falling

2. Terrible path of wreckage and destruction

III. WHAT TO DO WHEN AN ANGEL CRASHES

A. Prayer

1. For the angel

2. For those in the direct path of the wreckage and destruction

B. Mobilize Aid

1. For the angel

a. he or she may still be alive – something restorable

b. search them out

c. don’t give up too soon

d. in the case of some Blue Angel crashes – pilot did eject

2. For those on the ground affected

a. they need attention

b. they will need help picking up the pieces

C. Learn The Facts

1. After any incident of an aviation crash – there’s an investigation

a. to learn the facts

b. to dispel rumor

c. to perhaps prevent a similar crash in the future

2. There is value in sorting out facts from rumor

a. be slow to rush judgment

b. be slow to embrace rumor

c. be conscious that this could happen again

d. be deliberate to learn why something happened and how it can be prevented

3. Galatians 6:1-5 “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.”

D. Keep On Flying

1. Courage for the Squadron team to keep doing what they are best at doing

2. Courage to stay focused

3. Awareness that any one of them could be next

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