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Plant City's First Baptist Church

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Daily Archives: October 2, 2017

USA Flag 1992Last week Tim and I attended a Zac Brown Band concert. Our seats were in the first two seats beside the aisle. Mid-way into the concert, we noticed the paramedics rushing a young girl down the aisle (late teens or early twenties…and appeared to be highly intoxicated), on a gurney. Her friend was hastily following her, and with panic in her voice, you could hear the friend saying to the young girl, with her eyes rolling into the back of her head, “Look at me! Stay with me!”

My heart ached, as I told Tim, “I couldn’t imagine being the parent of that girl, and receiving a phone call that my child is in the hospital due to over-consuming alcohol at a concert.”

I’ve always been the parent who reminds my children that we are not promised tomorrow. Morbid? Maybe, but truth.

This morning, I turned on the news and was sickened by what I heard and the footage I observed.

At that time, a gun-man had killed over forty people, and over 200 were injured. (At the time of me typing this, there are now over 55 dead, and over 500 injured.) These folks were attending an outdoor music concert, The Route 91 Harvest Festival. What should have been the ending of a three-day event, filled with fun and songs still billowing through one’s mind in the end of it all, was now filled with terror of gunshots and a fatal scene forever engrained in their minds.

Again, I just couldn’t imagine being the one receiving a call of my loved one being injured or killed due to the evilness and cowardness of someone.

I went into my eldest son’s room to tell of the news (which he was already informed of), and asked if he had any friends at the concert. He, thankfully, responded by shaking his head no.

With our country drawing together directly after three major hurricanes, and other natural disasters around our world, we are being tested.

I was proud of my President when he spoke to our country, shortly after this devastation. He said many encouraging words and empathetically communicated to our nation.

President Trump quoted Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

The POTUS urged us to call upon the bonds between us: faith, family, and our shared values. He called upon the bonds of citizenship, the ties of community, and the comfort of our common humanity.

President Trump mentioned, amongst many other heartfelt words, that he is praying for the nation to find unity and peace.

I sent a text to all three of mine and Tim’s children this morning which read, “In view of this morning’s tragedy, I want you three to know that I love you so very much. I’m so proud of each of you! You are a blessing to me and dad. We are not promised tomorrow. Live each day full of love and laughter. Put God first in all you do. Tell and show those you love that you do love them. Count your blessings. Serve others. Be a person of integrity. Love, love, love you!!!”

Can we please all put political differences aside, and become a unified nation?

Can we please put pride aside, and become prayerful?

Can we please put selfishness aside, and become serving?

Can we please put hatred aside, and become helpful?

Can we please put all hostility aside, and become harmonious?

In 1 Thessalonians 5:17, we are instructed to “Pray continually”. When I dropped my youngest son off at golf this afternoon, I overheard Sarah Huckabee, on my XM radio station, stating that the President, Vice President, and their spouses were leading a moment of silence in sixteen minutes. I look at my clock, and noted that 2:45pm would be the designated time. I quickly ran into the Publix grocery store to grab dinner ingredients, and informed the cashier that there was going to be a nationwide moment of silence at 2:45.

As I rushed back to my car and started driving home, an announcement came across the air waves that the moment of silence is going to now take place. The time was 2:40pm. I pulled my car over to the side of the road, and tearfully prayed for our nation, the families, and the gunman’s’ family as well. The radio station was honoring that moment of stillness too.

The point I’m trying to make regarding the times is…it doesn’t matter if you partook in a prayer at 2:45PM, 2:40PM, or 11:00PM, just pray.

I want to encourage you all to pray for the first responders (who did such a phenomenal job responding during this catastrophic event), the medical personal who have dealt with and are continuing to work to save lives, for the families and friends of loved ones now deceased or injured, for the family of the gunman who were in utter disbelief, for our nation, The President, and yourself too.

#GodBlessAmerica #PrayingForVegas #AmericaStrong #PrayingForOurNation

Blessings to you all, Stephanie

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He choose for His inheritance.” Psalm 33:12

“Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.” Romans 12:12