Remembering our strength and our safety: Fifteen years after

Bob wrote a great piece today. We would all do well to look back and remember.

Doctor Bob's Weblog

We will never forget

It has been fifteen years since the heartrending, gut-wrenching events of September 11, 2001. Every time I come across a photo or a video from that terrible week, I feel the same pains that I felt back then. Those events left a deep impact on me. I am not aware of any personal connection to any of the individuals who lost their lives in those unspeakable acts of terror: my personal connection was actually to the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. But that’s another story.

Since that awful day, we have seen many pictures, many memes, and many quotes. Two in particular are very problematic to me. The first is “We will never forget;” the second is “United we stand.” Allow me to explain why these are bothersome.

It has only been fifteen years, and it appears that we have forgotten. Immediately following the attacks, Americans turned to…

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Take the Lead in Preparing

In the event of a disaster, it is good to know what to do in advance: Plan, Train, Delegate, Prepare, Keep Up to Date.

People Who Lead People


Disasters, either natural or man-made, pose a year-round threat to most of us. A good leader will prepare for the unexpected in order to be ready to guide his team through a disaster.

Potential disasters will vary from one region to another. In my area, the greatest threat is posed by earthquakes or human-caused disasters. Wildfires and flash flooding are also potential threats. Hurricanes and ice storms are highly unlikely for us. While we can’t adequately prepare for every possible disaster, we can take basic steps to ensure that we are ready.

There a several steps a good leader can take to help his team be prepared.

  1. Plan

A leader must have a general emergency plan in place. In 30 years, I have experienced two significant earthquakes while at work. This taught me what I need to do if it happens again. Risk assessment is important. I have surveyed each office I have…

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Saint John Chapter Seven Review

The Gospel According to St John: John Chapter Seven: Please open the following link to read chapter seven:


The worldy, or even most of us as humans, seek recognition. If we do something great, or seemingly great in our own eyes, we want to make it known; we seek validation; we desire praise.

Not so with Jesus. He only sought, and still seeks, to do His Father’s will.

So when His disciples urged Him to make Himself known to the world, He answered, “My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready” (vs. 6).

Because the Jews hated Jesus and sought to kill Him (see vs. 1), and because even his own family didn’t yet believe in Him, or they found shame in Him (see vs. 5), He did not go to the Feast of Tabernacles openly, sending His disciples only while He remained in Galilee (vs. 1-9).

But when his brethren were gone up, then went He also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret” (vs. 10). Jesus did not want to enter with fanfare, but quietly.

Though Jesus had not been taught as the scribes and Pharisees, yet He knew His Father’s doctrine. How is being taught by the Spirit of more value to us than merely obtaining a secular education?

Jesus only sought His Father’s glory. Verses 15-18:

Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and taught. And the Jews marvelled, saying,

“How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?”

Jesus answered them, and said,

“My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me. If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.”

The people saw His wisdom, witnessed His miracles, felt something special; but still there were those who chose not to believe. Just like today.

Jesus explained that those who chose to believe in Him would later be given the Gift of the Holy Ghost. It would be given after He was gloried (see vs. 38-39).

Some then counted Jesus as the Prophet, others as the Christ, and still others said that no one worthy of any notice would ever come out of Galilee. Nicodemus spoke up in favor of their law and of Jesus (see vs. 40-53).

Saint John Chapter Six Review

The Gospel According to St John: John Chapter Six: Please open the following link to read chapter six:

Great multitudes followed Jesus because of the miracles He performed.


Jesus blessed and broke food,

They following Jesus and His disciples into a mountain. Jesus asked a question of his disciples, not because He needed His disciples answer, or because He didn’t know what to do. Jesus knew that He could feed the multitude. He asked His disciples the question to prove them or test their faith (see vs. 6).

Philip stated the obvious. They did not have enough money to buy food for the multitude (see vs. 7).

Andrew pointed out that a boy had a small amount of food, but not nearly enough to feed a great multitude (see vs. 8-9).

Then Jesus performed the miracle of feeding the five thousand, with twelve baskets full of fragments remaining after everyone had eaten (see vs. 10-13).

The multitude believed on Jesus, because they saw a miracle that day, that He was the promised Messiah. But they did not understand His mission. They wanted to make Him a king (see vs. 14-15).

Jesus’s disciples left for Capernaum before Jesus did. The sea rose boisterously because of the wind. Then Jesus came to them walking on the water. He calmed the sea and calmed their fears when He said, “It is I; be not afraid.” The were then glad to receive Jesus into the ship, and they immediately reached their destination (see vs. 16-21).

Interestingly, the people whom Jesus had taught knew that He hadn’t entered the ship with His disciples; but since they couldn’t find him, they got into their ships and headed for Capernaum to look for Him (see vs. 22-24).

The exchange between Jesus and the multitude who sought Him is very telling. They asked, “Rabbi, when camest thou hither?” To which He responded, “Ye seek me, not because ye desire to keep my sayings, neither because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loves and were filled. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting lie, which the Son of man shall give you: for Him hath the Father sealed” (vs 25-27, JST).

For what purpose do we seek Jesus? What are our reasons for following Him? We should interview ourselves now, before we bear the chastisment of His interview in the coming day.

They asked Jesus a good question. “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?” His response: “This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent” (vs. 28-29).

But then they showed their lack of faith which resulted from their own wickedness and yet carnal state, asking, “What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? What dost thou work” (vs. 30)?

Jesus taught the multitude that He is The Bread of Life. Jesus came to do His Father’s will. Because He did so, He will inherit eternal life. His Father’s will is that Jesus save us all. If we believe on Jesus and seek His face, we will also be lifted up by Him in the resurrection of the just at the last day (see vs. 31-40).

Of course, there were those who were offended in that day when Jesus told them that He is The Bread of Life and The Living Water; and there are those who are offended today. But we know that the manna that was fed to the Israelites in the wilderness, or the bread that Jesus fed to the multitudes as recorded in this chapter did not have lasting power to give life eternally. But Jesus did and does.

Do we trust more in earthly treasures or heavenly ones? If we have our daily portion of physical food, is that enough for us?

Many foresook Jesus when He told them that they must eat His flesh and drink His blood. How important is it that we partake of the sacrament, The Lord’s Supper, that we have this communion with God? We can only understand spiritual things through the gift and power of the Holy Ghost. Hopefully, we will not turn away from Him in offense, because He has offered us everything if we accept His gift. Hopefully, we can be like Peter and say, “Lord to whom shall we go? And we believe and are sure that thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God” (vs. 41-69).

Saint John Chapter Five Review

The Gospel According to St John: John Chapter Five: Please open the following link to read chapter Five:


At the Pool of Bethesda, Nathan Greene

Jesus healed a man at the Waters of Bethseda on the Sabbath day. Can you image the anguish that the man must have felt in his desire to be healed.

Jesus asked him, “Wilt thou be made whole?”

His answer, “Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me” (See vs. 1-7).

Here was a man who desired to be whole, so much that he continually tried putting his misplaced faith into practice, only to find that he fell short, that he couldn’t make it on his own.

Indeed, we all might feel just like that man. In our own illnesses, shortcomings, sins, and failures, we might feel as if there is no one to help us, no man to lift us, no man to make us whole.

But Jesus tells us differently.

Jesus said to this man, “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.”

And immediately the man was able to do so, even at Jesus’s word. He was made whole and he carried his bed away (See vs. 8-9).

Of course, the Jewish leaders were again angry; pride has a way of producing anger in us. They were angry that Jesus healed on the Sabbath, and they were angry that the man who was healed was carrying his bed through the streets. But this time (not having seen Jesus perform the miracle), instead of confronting Jesus, they confronted the man who was made whole:

It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed.”

He answered them, “He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk.”

Of course, the leaders wanted him to identify Jesus, but he couldn’t at that time.(See vs. 10-13).

Later Jesus saw this man in the temple, and he spoke these words to him, “Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee” (vs. 14).

What does that tell us about turning from God to sin? He who forgives sins and has the power to make us whole, cannot keep us whole if we continue in sin. To be whole, our very natures need to changed. We cannot claim God’s mercy just because we repented at one time. We need to be seeking to do His will all of the time.

The man left the temple and found those who had questioned him. “He told them that it was Jesus, which had made him whole.” In response to this knowledge, the Jews persecuted Jesus and sought to slay him. John’s record says that it is because he healed on the Sabbath day. I believe that there is more involved.

If someone had the power to heal and do good works, would we as mortals think that we should confine that power to our own mindset and time-frame? Who knows? Maybe we would be like the Jews, too caught up in the legal customs of the day. Would we not recognize the true Lawgiver? I think that pride and envy have always had a way of limiting our vision.

Jesus answers the Jews concerning His good Sabbath day works, “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work” (vs. 17). This enrages them further.

Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because He not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God” (vs. 18).

Jesus testifies of His Father and of His own divinity. The Holy Ghost also bears witness of the Father and the Son. (Please read verses 19-38. These are important verses concerning the mission of Jesus Christ, who is our Savior, as given to Him by God, who is our Father.)

After Jesus teaches the Jews about His own mission and about His Father, and reminds them about John’s mission in preparing the way for the gospel of Jesus Christ, he says to them, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” (vs. 39).

Here are men who are supposedly well-versed in The Law and in The Prophets; but they’ve missed recognizing the Lawgiver and coming of the Messiah in fulfillment of the prophecies.

In the remaining verses, Jesus lets them know that their own unbelief will work to their condemnation, because they have not only rejected the Lord in person, but they’ve rejected Moses also to whom Jesus delivered His words. We must be careful that we don’t choose to be like these hypocritical Jewish leaders by choosing the things of this world over the things of our God.

“How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only” (vs. 44).

Saint John Chapter Four Review

The Gospel According to St John: John Chapter Four: Please open the following link to read chapter four: 



At this point in John’s record, Jesus’s disciples were baptizing more people than John’s. As the Pharisees became aware of this, it further put Jesus’s safety in danger.

As Jesus traveled through Samaria, he encountered the Woman at the Well (Jacob’s Well). Surely Jesus is the One who renews us and gives us life. He is as a well of water that will never run dry (See vs. 6-15).

Jesus knows all of us. He knew the woman’s history. It doesn’t matter so much where we’ve been as where we decide to travel now. It doesn’t matter so much where we worship as how we worship. “True worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth” (vs. 23). It doesn’t matter so much who we are currently as who He is and whom He can help us become. Jesus declared to the woman that He is the Christ (See vs. 16-26).

At this point, Jesus’s disciples came on the scene. They’d returned from buying food. The woman left to bring back an audience (See vs. 27-30).

The disciples bade Jesus to eat. Just as He had told the woman that He is the Water of Life, He then told His disciples that He is the Bread of Life. Our we not all spiritually fed when we do God’s will? He indeed is the Bread of Life. (See vs.31-34).

Jesus came to do His Father’s work. What is God’s work? “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39). Jesus’s disciples are also called to this work: to bring souls unto Him and to extend to them an invitation to partake of salvation and exaltation (See vs. 34-38).

Many Samaritans believed on Jesus because of the woman’s testimony. They then listened to Jesus and gained a personal conviction that Jesus is the Christ (See vs. 39-42).

Jesus returned to Galilee (See vs. 43-45).

Jesus healed a nobleman’s son. This father wanted Jesus to come with him to his son to heal Him, but Jesus required that the man exercise faith to believe his son would be healed without witnessing the miracle (See vs. 46-54). How important is it for us to be believing without seeing? Do we trust that God’s words will come to pass, in His time and in His way? Do we exercise our faith in Jesus Christ and in His mission to heal and to save us?