A Message from Ken Larson
In 1970 the Apollo 13 mission to the moon was interrupted by a tragic ex-plosion that was marked by those famous words, “Houston, we have a problem.” The crew of the spacecraft was supposed to land on the moon but had to cut the mission short and make an emergency dash back to earth. As the Apollo 13 crew was on the verge of re-entering the earth’s atmosphere after they strapped into a crippled command module, Commander Jim Lovell turned to his two friends and crew members Jack Swigert and Fred Haise and said “Gentlemen, it’s been a privilege flying with you.”
They ripped through the atmosphere at over 35,000 feet per second, a ball of fire in their tiny capsule. The entire world was praying for the three men to return home safely. No one knew if they would make it. NASA team members worked day and night to do everything possible to get the men back to earth. When they splashed down into the sea, millions cheered the victory. They were home safe and sound.
Many would never forget the triumph of that day, but only the crew members would know the real price they had paid to get back. If not for their own persistence, courage, and brilliant actions, all would have been lost. They had no choice but to play the key role in their own rescue. It was the only way they could make it.
The Gateway is in a very similar situation. Even though we are not in grave danger of losing our lives, we are at an important turning point. We must play the same key role in determining our own future. As we say goodbye to our beloved Pastor Jerry, we also must commend him for his leadership and guidance. We hate to see him go, but we must honor his choice to take a new path. To him, I say, “It has been a privilege flying with you.”
All the members of The Gateway must now call them-selves into action. We are going to get through this, but it will be because of our persistence and courage that we make it to the other side in one piece. Together we will press through this unsure time into the new and exciting tomorrow that God has for us. We must resolve that we will not give in to the enemy’s attempts to push us apart or drive us away.
We are The Gateway, called to serve here in Benicia, now, to change this city by bringing Heaven to earth. Let’s move forward together. Let’s make up our minds to get there safely and in one piece. Join me in this adventure. In Christ, we can do all things!
Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35, NKJV). What does it really mean to love one another? I ran across this verse in my reading:
“By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:16-18, NKJV).
We talk a lot about love, but it’s clear that talk is not enough. It doesn’t do us any good to feel spiritual and have warm feelings toward each other, but not demonstrate that love in practical, tangible ways. For others to observe our love for one another, the love has to be…observable.
Love has to begin in our minds and result in a change of thinking, acting, and speaking that honors and values others. Even when speaking about difficult issues, we must never dishonor or demean each other. Remember these words:
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. list of sites . It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. domain info . Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” 1 Cor. 13:4-7, NLT)
This is the standard by which we measure all that we do in engaging one another: patient, kind, humble, not rude or irritable. Yes, it is challenging! Let’s demonstrate that we love one another by the way we communicate and treat each other, especially in times of difficulty. Let’s demonstrate love with our words and our deeds.