Greetings OCSBA family!
What a joy it continues to be to serve as your Director of Missions. I have made so many new friends who are pastors, members, and ministry leaders in different churches throughout our association; what an incredible bunch our 149 churches truly are. It all makes me want to fight harder through the changes and gives me a resolve to encourage us to come together to serve in the name of the Lord.
September is a special month as schools start up again, but for those of us in our 30s and older, it is a reminder of the nation changing events that happened on September 11th, 2001. I remember exactly where I was, as I was getting up after staying up all night to study for my medical school exams. I had fallen asleep with the TV on and the images that I saw on the TV I thought were part of a movie. When I changed from channel to channel, I was dumbfounded that every channel was playing the same thing. As it began to set in that what I was watching was real, another plane crashed into the south tower, and before I knew it the building was coming down. I remember the feelings of confusion as to how this could happen.
This is the great country of the United States of America. In the 1980s we had hijacked planes, and hostages taken around the world and the occasional mentally ill extremist but how could they take down our highest towers? I watched and listened to reports as they canceled all our exams for the week, the stories of first responders trying to help get people out of the building and giving their lives for the sake of others. I couldn’t believe it. This was not how it was supposed to be, not in America. I watched the movies. America always wins in the end. Hulk Hogan proved that at every WWF event. Every movie showed that from Die Hard, to Blood Sport, to Rocky. Yet in these moments it didn’t feel like we could win. Then the voice of the president came over the radio as I sat in front of my friend’s house, and he gave a speech calling the nation to pray. We gathered that night with Jews, Christians, and everyone that wanted to pray together for our nation, for the families who had lost someone, and for each other. There was comfort in prayer. There was comfort in giving blood to those that needed it. There was comfort in trusting that God was on the throne and that he would make it right. As we live our life, these moments have been burned into the frontal lobes of our brains. Each time we remember these moments, they can make us feel a certain way. But hopefully we remember that through all of it, God was with us and did not forsake us.
The season that we are in is even harder than the one before. It is similar to returning to the gym and realizing that the muscles you once had atrophied, and you can't lift or do as much as you once could. Yet the same resolve that built those muscles in the first place is still there. Hopefully you realize that through our association, there is even more family to help spot you, encourage you, and teach you new techniques to make you even stronger than you were before. In life, these tragic events are guaranteed, and they will affect us all in different ways that will be crippling in some cases more than others. But if you can build the reflexes to reach out and join hands with your brother as we all kneel to our Father in heaven, we will form a phalanx that will not only survive the night, but stand for Jesus until the day of His return. This year we celebrate 70 years of ministry together as Southern Baptists in Orange County. It is going to be a great time of celebration! I hope you will mark you calendars for Saturday, November 12th and ready yourselves for a celebration like no other. Thank you for your continued hard work in service to our Lord. Thank you for your commitment to fighting alongside me in our association to the glory and honor of Jesus Christ.
May God Bless you.