VOLUME SEPTEMBER 2001 b
September 22, 2001
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength…
Isaiah 40: 31a
The grieving, the pain I feel, the intensity with which I followed all
these events beginning on September 11th, has taken its toll.
Lately I have felt so tired and weary. I keep reminding myself what Jesus said, "Let not your heart be troubled…believe
(trust ) in Me" (John 14:1.
Today my body told me in no uncertain terms that I had to rest. So this
is what I’ve been doing. I’m exhausted. I stayed in my bunk almost all day today. I slept late this morning instead
of getting up at my usual 5 to 6 o’clock. My legs have been felling like jello. I feel sluggish and weak.
This afternoon I napped on and off for several hours. I almost never take
naps. Right now I am up this early evening to make my journal entry, and then it’s off to bed. I have to rest in the
Lord and get my spiritual batteries recharged. And I need to recuperate physically.
Yes, just because I am a prison inmate, it doesn’t mean that I cannot
grieve. The loss of lives is horrible. But I know that God is in control. He will bring good things out of this tragedy. For
the families who lost loved ones, I know it will take them a long time, maybe a lifetime to heal. But God will be there for
them. And for those who were wounded physically, emotionally or both, Christ will be there for them, too.
I will never stop praying for the healing of America. Although many are
calling for revenge—and this is perfectly understandable—I do not believe bullets and bombs will change hearts.
Only the message of hope which is found in the gospel can do this.
However I pray that hearts will not become bitter or calloused. For if
this happens, then the enemy will have already killed a part of each of us.
Furthermore, I believe the best things that could happen to America after
this terrorist tragedy is that we become more loving and kind to our neighbors. That we become more sensitive to those around
us, and that we allow mercy to triumph over judgment. Also, that we become more humble as a nation, and more thankful to god
for our freedoms and for life. For on September 11th we were so suddenly reminded just how brief and uncertain life can be.
Tomorrow is promised to no one, and so one should make his or her peace
with Christ today. Truly now is the day of salvation.
But at this moment, however, I need more sleep.
September 24, 2001
PAIN AND PEACE
The Bible never said that mankind wold have a pain free and trouble f ree
life on this earth.. God never said that, in this present world man will live in perfect harmony with his fellowman. And while
Christians are encouraged to strive to live at peace with other, we should realize that even with the best of intentions this
will not always be possible.
Instead, the word of God makes it clear that everyone will have their share
of pain, heartache and sorrow mixed, fortunately, with periods of joy and good times.
Life is bitter sweet. There are moments of grief as well as moments of
happiness. During these periods or seasons of happiness we need to be thankful and take note of them, and to truly appreciate
even the simple things that are so easily taken for granted.
In the Scriptures, the wealthy and successful King Solomon is found saying
that, "There is nothing better for man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in
his labor." He then added, "This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God" (Ecclesiastes 2:24).
However, in the verses immediately before this, the wise king said that
life will also have grief and sorrow. Solomon said, "For what hath man of all his labor, and of the vexation of his heart,
wherein he hat labored under the sun? For all his days are sorrow, and his travail grief’ yea, his heart taketh not
rest in the night. This also is vanity" ( Ecclesiastes
September 25, 2001
GOD BLESS YOU, MR. BRACA
I have been reading so many different newspapers about the events that
began on September 11th. Some of the papers I quickly scan through because there is simply to much to absorb. Other times
I read a select handful of articles which capture my attention.
In the New York times for Saturday, September 22, page B-13, there was
riveting and emotional array of profiles of some of the victims who perished in the World Trade Center disaster. Most of these
profiles were very sad. However there was one which stood out and even caused me to rejoice. Not to rejoice in a death, but
to rejoice in this deceased Christian’s testimony which no doubt lives on.
His name is Alfred J. Braca. This man is a stranger to me. But what I read
encouraged my heart. This piece said that Mr. Braca had been married for 33 years and had four children; I assume they’re
all grown. He lived in New Jersey.
Then the profile told how he first met his wife on the Staten Island ferry
those many years ago. It then gave the names of his kids, and it went on to say that Mr. Braca, age 54, "…was a born
again Christian who never stopped counting his blessings."
It also said, "He worked as a bond broker for Cantor Fitzgerald, where
co-workers nicknamed him ‘the Rev’ because of his faith."
Finally this little piece poignantly closed with the fact that just last
month he walked one of his daughters down the aisle for her wedding. I cried when I read this part.
However, I have a gut feeling that this godly man may have been able to
lead others who were trapped with him to trust in Christ. That he helped many to make their peace with God until their end
I’ll bet that Mr. Alfred J. Braca faced his own death boldly and
fearlessly. In my heart I believe he was used by God in the last minutes of his life high above the streets of lower Manhattan,
to be a blessing for those who were afraid.
While a stranger to me, I am proud of this man. I am thankful for his faithful
witness to his co-workers. I’m looking forward to one day meeting this man in heaven . And I have added his family to
my prayer list.