Hello my friends, and welcome to a special Prayers for the Week post dedicated to remembering 9/11. As you know, Wednesday will be the 12th Anniversary of 9/11, and today I wanted to share with you a little bit about what was going on in my life when that fateful day occurred.
I was taking time off of work to be with Sophie, who at the time of the attack was all of 12 weeks old. We were in Cindy’s rocking chair, and I was feeding her, when Cindy called me and told me to turn on the TV. I did so and watched in horror as the events at the World Trade Center unfolded. Of course, like everyone else, at first I didn’t know it was a terrorist plot, but as we watched, mezmorized, and learned of the other attacks in Washington, DC and the foiled attack in Pennsylvania, we knew that our country, and Sophie’s world — was changing rapidly, and not for the better.
That night, Sophie slept in between us in our bed — something she hadn’t done much — and we held her and told her it would be okay, even though she had no idea what had happened.
Life continued for us; I imagine that we all have a story about a loved one that we either lost or almost lost in all the chaos — for us, it was my wife’s cousin, who lives in the New York area, and worked at the World Trade Center at the time. She was supposed to be there that morning, but something happened, and she decided to spend the morning working from home, so she wasn’t there when the attack occurred. How close it was between life and death or injury for her.
September 11, 2001 was a Tuesday. That Sunday, as we were in our Church for our morning service, the Choir sang “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”, and the moment we started singing, my grief from the week revealed itself, and I was a blubbering crybaby. On September 11th I had taken care of my family; on September 16, 2001, my wife took care of me. While I don’t have the video of our Choir singing that wonderful song, I do have this video, which I hope you will watch. After that, please read on and pray for our prayer requests and praises, and thanks everyone!
- Lori had her children start school this week. Here is her prayer request: “My son starts first grade tomorrow and my daughter starts preschool. Please pray for them to be surrounded by teachers and children who will point them to God and encourage them to grow to love him more.”
- My friend Ami posted this on her Facebook account, please pray for her little dog Millie:Prayers for my little Millie please. All of a sudden she started vomiting and having bloody- looking stools. Running her to the emergency vet right now.Lord, may you provide the healing that Millie needs, and please supply Ami with a strong dose of Your Peace so that she can be strong for her special one. Thank you, it’s in the name of Jesus that we pray! Amen!UPDATE: Millie is all better. They think she may have gotten a hold of a toad, which can be really bad for dogs, so be careful out there!
- My friend Joanna needs some prayers for her parents. Here is what she wrote on Facebook:My dad is in the hospital. Had chest & back pain in the night, went to the hospital in an ambulance. Initial tests says it wasn’t a heart attack, but more tests have to be run. Mom had major foot surgery on Wednesday & is still on pain killers. Please pray for them both.Please pray with me:Lord, please look after your servants as they battle health issues. They are both in need of the healing that You can provide for them, and their daughter Joanna needs Your Peace to keep her calm and to give her the strength she will need to help her parents in the days to come. Lord, please look after them all, and give them the healing that they need. It is in the name of Jesus that we pray with Thanksgiving. Amen!UPDATE from Joanna: Dad’s home from the hospital. Meeting with a surgeon next week to remove his gallbladder. He’s feeling a bit better. Please continue praying for healing for both him & Mom.
- Please pray for the daughter of my friend Bambi. She is just 2 and may be getting sick, so please pray that God would look after her and keep her healthy! Thanks everyone!UPDATE: Bambi’s daughter is feeling much better, it may have just been a little stomach bug, but she’s better now. Thanks everyone!
- Please pray for my friend Beth’s nephew Dustin, who we have prayed over before. He is currently cancer free, but his platelets were low, and he is sick to his stomach over some treatment. Please pray for God to calm down his stomach so he can get some medications in him before a procedure tomorrow, and pray that he and his family would get a break in their fight.Also, please pray for all of the other cancer patients that exist, both pediatric cases like Dustin’s case and non-pediatric cases. Cancer is a horrible disease, please pray for an end to this horrific disease.Thanks, my friends, and God Bless you all!
UPDATE: Beth said that her nephew is doing better, that they were able to help him and that he was able to get his tests in that they needed to do. Here’s praying that he doesn’t have any other troubles while he is in NYC!
- Please pray for my wife’s Uncle Ted. He has been diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer and will be starting chemotherapy soon. He has been told that he has about 6 months if he doesn’t start the chemo and about 2 years if he does it. Uncle Ted is a strong Christian of much faith, and he is praying for God to give him 10 years instead of just 2. Of course, none of us know when our time will come, so it is in God’s hands. However, please pray healing prayers for Uncle Ted, and also prayers for comfort and strength in the days and weeks and months to come. Also, please pray for our family as well, that we would have God’s Peace descend upon us so that we would be calm, and that we will have the strength to deal with this in any way that we need to. Your prayers mean a great deal to me, and I appreciate it very much. Thanks everyone!
- Please pray for my family as we learned today that my Uncle Bob passed away from pneumonia. He was my dad’s oldest brother and he got to go visit with him before he passed away. He didn’t suffer long, he lived a good long life, he was a veteran of the Army, and he was a painter. He was 79. Please pray for his friends as well that new him best in Massachusetts as they deal with not having him in their lives like they used to. Thanks everyone.
- Also, please pray for all of the unspoken prayer requests — there are so many prayers that we don’t know about, but we know that God does indeed know all, so please pray for the unknowns as well, and thanks! It means a great deal to me that you take the time to pray for all of us! If you have prayer requests, please comment and leave them so we can pray for you too!
- So many praises, I almost don’t know where to start! First up, I would like to give praise for Cindy’s Uncle Ted. He is a strong man of faith, he knows Jesus, and Jesus knows him!
- Praises also for my Uncle Bob, who was a good man, with a good soul, and did what he could to help out his fellow men and women.
- Praises for my family, for Cindy and Sophie, for Robin and Jim and Stephanie and Brett and Leslie, for Mom and Dad. Praises for all of my family, everywhere!
- Praises for my Mom, who celebrates her birthday on Thursday!
- Praises for The Men’s Study, which starts back up on Tuesday night as we study the book of Genesis and look at Creation vs. Evolution. Praises also for the Girls of Grace monthly Bible Study for middle-school age girls. It is a blessing, and Sophie can’t wait for Tuesday when it starts up also!
- Praises for Sophie as she acolytes tomorrow at Church, and also for the girls worship dance, which starts up tomorrow afternoon also!
- Today is also the 3rd anniversary of my blog! I thank God for giving me the ability to write some musings, and thank you all for reading it!
- Lastly, I give praise to all of you, whether you be a Christian or not, for listening and reading and giving your input and for just being you. All of you mean a great deal to me!
In honor and memory of my Uncle Bob, I’m sharing with you a poem that my dad Joe wrote and will be read at Uncle Bob’s service tomorrow. Thank you for reading it.
How do I say good-bye…
How do I say good-bye to a naturalist,
One that led me on walks in the woods,
Who showed me the wonders that Mother Nature bestowed,
While telling me what is real and oh, so good!
How do I say good-bye to a sportsman,
Who liked to hunt and fish in a brook,
One who exclaimed in disgust,
When the ‘big one’ wriggled off my hook.
How do I say good-bye to a botanist?
That extolled the virtue of trees,
Who mildly cursed at Dad’s use of chemicals,
In the home orchard, including damned DDT.
How do I say good-bye to a mentor,
Who posed this question so many years ago:
Do I love her because I need her?
Or need her because I love her? (I didn’t know!)
How do I say good-bye to an artist,
Whose awesome paintings decorate my home,
They comprise a small part of his legacy,
He led a good life…Bob, truly well done!
How do I say good-bye to an author,
Whose last book was not quite completed,
Whose life could never be reduced to words,
Whose adventures will never be repeated.
How do I say good-bye to a brother,
Who showed me and told me of so much,
Who could be tough and stern if need be,
But was capable of the gentlest touch.
Finally, how do I say good-bye to a friend,
Who was all that I say he was above,
The craftsman, the dreamer, the worker,
That showered us with his love!
Rest in Peace my brother, and forgive me for saying it, but yes, I am sorry you’ve left us in spite of your
admonition not to tell you that.
September 6, 2013 on the occasion of my brother’s death, after my last visit with him the day before.
Charles Robert Ellis, Jr.
November 22, 1933 – September 6, 2013
In the end, my friends, the things that matter most to us are the things that we can’t see. While I haven’t seen Jesus in person, I have dreamed about Him, and I have seen and know what it is like to have Jesus live within in the form of the Holy Spirit. My friends, if you don’t know Jesus yet, please let us know, so that we can help you to meet Him and see that He is Good! May the Lord Bless you and keep you, may He look after you now, and forever. Amen.