This is my weekly email to friends and family of  Life Connection Church in Euless, TX

Dear Friends and Family,

I hope you will take a moment out of your day to pray for all the people who have been hurt due to the most terrible events that occurred on Sept 11, 2001.  Wikipedia reports that including the hijackers, 2,993 people died as a direct result of  the attacks on America that day.  Including the war that followed and many other incidents that were directly or indirectly caused by the attacks, who knows how many people have been killed or are suffering from the pain of 9/11.  We all have friends fighting in the war and they need to be prayed for whenever you think of them or their families.

Most people remember exactly what they were doing when they heard the news eight years ago today.  I remember my daughter yelled from the living room that a plane had just crashed into one of the buildings and I walked into the living room just in time to witness the second attack.  I stayed in front of the TV for the rest of the day and it was hard to think of anything else.

I remember something that struck me pretty hard that day was a reminder that we have so little control, or maybe no control over life and what comes at us from anywhere at any time.  As a counselor I had counseled people for years that the only real control they have is what they think, how they respond, or the attitude in which they face life situations that are thrown our way.  Planes running into a couple of the tallest buildings in the world being driven by religious extremists willing to die for their god, at that time, was about as far from the minds of normal Americans as anything that could possibly happen. 

The Apostle James wrote: Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1:2-4

Ok…So I have heard and used that Scripture for years in dealing with loss of jobs, illnesses, grief…..but airplanes being used as weapons against innocent Americans earning a living for their families in tall office buildings…….

James teaches that when, not if, troubles come your way they are an opportunity to grow in your faith.  What kind of growth comes from our testing?  The kind of growth that teaches us to endure and become completely dependent  on the strength and the hope that comes from our relationship with the true God who we know through His Son Jesus who was went to earth to reconcile our relationship with our father in Heaven.  And since we have no real control of what comes our way, it only makes sense to have faith in the One that does know.

So what can we control?  Our commitment to God.  Our commitment to faith.  Our commitment to trust and to obey in the face of anything at anytime and from any where.  The more we develop our endurance, the more perfect and complete we become.  What does that mean?  It means we need nothing but Jesus to have joy in the face of all opportunities.

How committed are you?  Are you committed when things are going well?  Are you committed when life is a little hard?  Are you committed when you are desperate?  True commitment is not partial commitment.  It is an all in commitment and you can only have that if you commit up front.  Decisions made under pressure are usually not good commitments.  Make your commitment now.  And live it every day.

When you roll out of bed in the morning.  Pray, Lord, I have no idea what is coming my way today, but I do know, no matter what it is, I am committed to walking through it relying on your strength and not my own.

How can you help your friends to deal with tough life situations?  Live out your commitment in front of them and invite them into a life changing, life saving relationship with The God who provides your hope and strength and provides you with joy from the inside out no matter what situation life gives you.

Invite a friend that needs to know to church.  If you are part of the LCC family or are looking for a church home I hope to see you this Sunday.  I will be teaching the last section of “ONE Community”   This Sunday we will be looking at how God uses the church to carry out His mission of changing and saving the world.  It will be an exciting Sunday.  It is also a baptism Sunday and we will be celebrated new life with several who will be showing their commitment to Jesus through baptism. 

Choose to commit today and choose joy over worry.

He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing what is right.  Titus 2:14 NLT

Your brotha from anotha motha