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Tuesday, September 11, 2001

Personal

Today is not only Jen’s birthday, but it is perhaps the strangest and most spiritually intense days I have yet experienced. Last night, God gave me a really good night of sleep. I woke up in the middle of the night and thought that I wouldn’t be able to get back to sleep, but a few seconds later, my alarm was going off and I had slept through the rest of the night so soundly that it felt as if no time had passed at all. I had planned on getting into the office early today so that I could have a good amount of time in prayer before beginning the rest of my day, but I fell back asleep and didn’t wake up for another hour. After telling myself I would hurriedly get ready for work, I still took a little while to get ready. In fact, I watched the rest of “Arthur” on TV with Charlie after he finished his breakfast and Jen was in the shower.

In some ways, that was all providential because after Arthur, Jen usually turns on the news to find out the weather for the day. Since I finished watching the show, I turned to the news and to my amazement found that every major network was showing live coverage of a fire in the first building of the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center. They told how at 8:50 am EDT, a plane had crashed into the side of the building, and I could see a gaping hole on the 90th floor where the plane entered the building. I was dumbfounded as I watched the news broadcast describing the horror of the moment, smoke billowing out of the top of the tower as if it were one gigantic chimney. Then, right during the broadcast, at 9:05 EDT, another plane entered the view of the TV camera and proceeded to smash into the side of the second tower as the cameras were broadcasting live video.

I watched the broadcast for an hour there as the newspeople were describing the events and the interpretation of them. Eyewitnesses confirmed that the two planes were commercial jets and likely passenger jets. The government enforced a no fly zone around New York. Federal employees were being evacuated from Washington, DC. And then, the news came that American Airlines was confirming reports that one of their planes had indeed been hijacked after leaving Boston. That plane was the one that hit the second of the two towers.

Then, while coverage was continuing and the news stations were continuing to describe the rescue efforts underway, the second tower buckled and collapsed. The ENTIRE TOWER just fell straight down to the ground like when large buildings are demolished with explosives. The top part buckled, and then fell destroying the rest of the tower underneath it. That happened at 10:05 EDT, but within another 30 minutes the first tower crumbled as well. Within such a brief period of time, both World Trade Towers were completely demolished! But the story wasn’t over. At about that time, it was reported that a third plane had crashed into the side of the Pentagon, and a fourth plane had crashed outside of Pittsburgh (apparently on its way to a more strategic target). All in all, two United airplanes and two American Airlines airplanes were hijacked this morning for this dramatic act of terrorism. Four commercial, passenger jetliners totaling hundreds of people, were hijacked and used by suicide bombers to destroy the Twin Towers, damage the Pentagon, and kill many more people in a field in Pennsylvania.

There is just too much information to try to process all of it now.

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004-01 — Party with a Pagan

004 Seeking the Lost

SCRIPTURE: Various

Jesus led an amazing ministry. He continually confused people with how he lived. What was it about his ministry that drove him forward? In this message we see how a party with a pagan revealed the core of Jesus’ ministry.

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003-17 — Getting Started Again

003e Conclusion

SCRIPTURE: Nehemiah 4; 6:15-16

Sometimes we can get halfway through a job and then just lose all motivation. We may face opposition or discouragement and want to quit. What can we do at those times? How can we press on to see the work completed? Perhaps Nehemiah can help…

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003-15 — Pay It Forward

003d Ministry

SCRIPTURE: Various

Personally, I think it would be great if you could make an investment that was guaranteed never to lose value. No investment is ever that guaranteed. The market can rise and fall, and inflation makes cash lose its value. But there is a way to store up treasure in a totally safeguarded account. Are you interested?

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003-14 — Calling All Workers

003d Ministry

SCRIPTURE: Luke 10:1-8

Imagine what would have happened if Jesus was all ready to feed the five thousand, but there were no disciples to pass out the food. What would it have been like if the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost to find no one in the room? God is calling for people who are willing to work in His kingdom. Is He calling you?

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003-13 — This Is Only the Beginning

003c Growth

SCRIPTURE: Various

I don’t mean to burst your bubble, but God’s work in any church is NOT MEANT FOR THAT CHURCH ALONE! If God does something here, He intends for it to only begin here. If God begins to move here, it’s because He wants to begin a movement here. Are you ready? You won’t want to miss this motivational message.

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003-12 — Is Bigger Always Better

003c Growth

SCRIPTURE: Various

Nowadays when you meet someone new and tell them you go to Church X, they say, ?Oh, I don’t know much about that church. How many people go there?? Or sometimes, you’ll hear them ask, ?What kind of programs does your church have?? Our world thinks that bigger is always better (SUV mentality). Well guess what! When it comes to church, bigger and better relate in ways you may not have thought.

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003-11 — The Back-Door Approach to Growth

003c Growth

SCRIPTURE: Deuteronomy 26

Everyone’s looking for an easy way to do things, and I’m no different. I want straightforward, easy things to do that will bring me spiritual growth. In basketball, the easiest baskets come from what’s called taking the ?back-door.? All it means is that you do something your opponent doesn’t expect so that you get an easy basket. In this message we learn three unexpected things we can do for personal growth.

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003-10 — Evolution Is Possible

003c Growth

SCRIPTURE: James 1

Do you believe in evolution? I do (in one respect). I am a firm believer that God wants His people to be constantly evolving, changing, growing, but sometimes I feel like something is preventing me from growing like that. Come back next week to find out how personal evolution can be a reality in your life.

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003-09 — Do You Have the DNA for Growth

003c Growth

SCRIPTURE: Luke 2:52

Are you entirely satisfied with your life? Is everything exactly the way you want it to be? Of course not. I’ve never met anyone like that. We all want our lives to be ?tweaked? in some way for the better. That’s because God created us to grow and develop throughout our lives. In this message, Pastor Jeff describes what kind of DNA we need for personal growth.

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003-07 — The Earthly Family

003b Community

SCRIPTURE: Genesis 1:26-3:20

It’s impossible to spend a month talking about community without thinking of the first community God ever established: the family. God made families to be the primary expression of community on earth. That’s why it’s so sad that today’s family is so fragmented. Listen to hear about God’s plan for families.

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003-06 — The Divine Community

003b Community

SCRIPTURE: Various

One of the most foundational truths in all of Scripture is that God exists in Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. However, it is also one of the most difficult to grasp. ?One God . . . Three Persons? it doesn’t seem to make sense. Listen to see if Jeff can make sense of this incredible mystery, but more importantly, discover how it can make a real difference in your life!

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003-05 — The Worshiping Community

003b Community

SCRIPTURE: Various

For many of us, faith is a private thing. We would prefer to worship God in the comfort of solitude rather than in the context of other people. However, that’s not how it’s supposed to be. If we want to know true worship, if we want to know true spirituality, we must be part of a community.

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