Month: September 2006

Accounts from the South Tower

I will never forget that day.

I was driving to work in Burwell that cloudy fall Nebraska day and normally I listen to the radio on the way; but on this day I was listening to a worship CD when my phone rang. It was Kim and right away I knew something was very wrong, through tears she said “Are you listening to the news?”. I hadn’t been so I turned the radio on and listened simultaneously to the news and to her describing what she was seeing on Fox News.

Stunned doesn’t begin to expain how I felt. I new dozens of people who worked in those buildings. Having sold Mutual Funds for over 6 years I had dealt with people in those buildings for a long time. Even though I had only met a few of them I felt they were personal friends.

I Immediately got off of I-80 at Cozad and tried to call Oppenheimer funds in New York, when there was no answer I called the office in Denver. A somber and shaken receptionist told me that they didn’t know anything either.

Not knowing what to do I drove on to the bank wondering if there was a Wall Street, did Oppenheimer Funds even exist anymore? What was I going to tell my clients? Were my friends in the tower ok? Then as the news continued to come in I had visions of “Red Dawn”. I was so confused. This can’t be happening in America.

Stephen had since left Oppenheimer Funds as an inside wholesaler and gotten a job trading bonds at Keefe, Bruyette, and Woods on the 89th Floor. I didn’t find out that he had died until weeks later. My new inside wholesaler was telling me how that day had impacted him, his co-workers and family. Then he remembered “You knew Stephen didn’t you?”

I will never forget that day.

My feelings went from complete disbelief, to scared, to sadness, to steely resolve. When those planes hit the towers, the pentagon, and a Pennsylvania field they attacked all of us. Even in the middle of Nebraska I felt the attack in a very personal way. Even before I knew that I had lost a friend.

This is the greatest country in the world and I know we will be ok. I am confident that we will do whatever it takes to defeat this enemy, as we have all the others, and many years from now we will be stronger than ever.

I will never forget that day.

Stephen Mulderry, victim
Keefe, Bruyette and Woods
Portraits of Grief: Family and Basketball
Mr. Mulderry called from a conference room on the 87th floor, where he was apparently with about 12 other people. His brother, Peter, spoke to him. Here is his account:
I called over to his office. One of his colleagues picked up. He said, “Yeah, we’re okay, but my God.” Then Stephen came back to his desk. He said, “What’s up, brother?” — his usual salutation. “Are you all right?” I asked. He said, “Yeah, I was just over at the window, but my God, I don’t know if people were falling or jumping, but I saw people falling to their death.” I said, “Oh, my God.” He said, “They’re human beings.” Then he said, “I gotta go. The lights are ringing and the market is going to open.” In the background, I can hear the public address system, which I later learned was saying there has been an accident, the safest place is here.
[While they are off the phone, the second tower is hit; Peter can’t get through to Stephen; he calls other family members; they haven’t been able to get through either.]
I would try intermittently. My girlfriend was working at CNN as a producer, and I spoke to her, and she said, “Isn’t Stephen in that building?” It was very tense. The phone rang about 20 minutes before Tower 2 fell. He said, “Hey brother.”
I let out a real big groan of relief.
“Thank God, you’re okay.”
He said, “I’m really not.”
“You’re not out?”
He said, “We’ve tried everything. We tried to go up. We tried to get down. It’s just too hot and it’s too much smoke. We’ve found a room, a conference room, and we found a phone that works.”
There was one phone, I came to understand, and he was having his time with it.
He said, “I need Mom’s number.” My mother had recently moved to a new home and none of us had really committed her number to memory.
I asked, “Are you sure there’s no way out of that room?”
He said, “No. Like I told you, we tried everything. We’re just going to wait for the firemen to come get us. But it’s a long way for them to come, and the smoke’s really bad. Some people are talking about throwing the fire extinguisher through the window, but I know that will be the end of us. But if someone panics and does it, there’s nothing I can do.”
Then he said, “I really gotta call Mom. In case I don’t get out, I love you brother.” He wasn’t crying. I said, “I love you, too.”
He got through to my mother on her answering machine.
I haven’t heard the tape. [The essence of the message is:] A plane has hit the building, I don’t have much…I just want to tell you I love you. No matter what, I’m going to be okay.
[Stephen also called a friend and left a message on her tape.] “He got her answering machine. He told her, whatever happens, he was going to be okay. He had said all the prayers his mother had taught him and he was going to be fine.”
I think there were 12 other people in the room; it was on the 87th floor, a New York State office, and a conference room. Mainly it was men from the trading room — mainly college athletes.
I feel pretty strongly that people had passed out in the room before the end.
Stephen did say, “We tried to get to the roof.”
Interview by Jim Dwyer

Source: Accounts from the South Tower

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He’s Innocent, Guilty, Awe shucks

I have been bicycling for the last 6 years and really loving it. As a result have gotten interested in the TDF and pro-cycling in general. At this years tour Floyd Landis made me proud to be an American and a cyclist. Then the news broke that he had tested positive for testosterone at unnatural levels. My heart was broken but I believe that he is innocent until proven guilty. I have been following the story pretty closely and this morning some interesting articles turned up on the bicycling magazine website. I will link to them below if your interested. If nothing else it has been an interesting study in sociology.

He’s Innocent

He’s Guilty

And It Breaks My Heart (language alert)

I know this is off of the main point of this blog but it’s interesting to me.

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Posted by Gary in Bicycling

He "Is"

Recently I have been thinking about how we pray in terms of what we ask for. I often pray God give me something. Then I realized that most of the things I ask for I already have and I just need to learn how to use them. Like faith, grace, provision, etc. etc.

I recently realized that the bible often doesn’t say God has but more often says He is. for example:

I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward (Gen 15:1)

The LORD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation (Ex 15:2)

I am your portion and your inheritance (Num 18:20)

My shield and the horn of my salvation, My stronghold and my refuge; (2 Sam 22:3)

He is the tower of salvation (2 Sam 22:51)

He is their strength (Ps 37:39)

He is my defense; (Ps 62:2)

He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; (Ps 62:6)

He is my refuge and my fortress (Ps 91:2)

He is a shield (Prov 2:7)

The name of the LORD is a strong tower (Prov 18:10)

The LORD God is my strength (Hab 3:19)

God is love (1 John 4:8)

The Spirit is truth (1 John 5:6)

So when we pray for God to give us one of these things; we need to realize is He is, not He has, all of those things and what we actually need is to Draw near to God (James 4:8).

What do you think?

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The Amazing Invisible Worship Leader

I have always said that the first responsibility of the worship leader is to “get out of the way”.

I ran across this article today and thought I would post it.

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Posted by Gary in Worship

God’s Provision

I was just having a conversation about how we pray. I have always prayed for God’s provision and that God would increase my faith. As a matter of fact just this morning I was praying that God would put into me everything I need to accomplish what He has called me to do. Then in mid-sentance I stopped.

Ps 139:16 NLT says “You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”

and Eccl 3:15 NKJV says ” That which is has already been,
And what is to be has already been
; And God requires an account of what is past.”

and 2 Peter 1:3-4 NKJV says “His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness , through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

So let’s unpack this: if God laid out everyday before a single day passed, and if God called me, and if He has given me everything I need for life, then where is the breakdown.

I mean if that is all true, and it is, then why is there lack in my life. It either has to be me; or something I have authority over. I am either walking in doubt and unbelief, or I have something in me personally that is holding back the provision or it is something that I have authority over. (Matt 28:18, Luke 9:1, 10:19)

Gods promises are not automatic they must be appropriated and sometimes contended for (Dan 10:12-13, Gen 25:20). So my prayer now is “God please bring out those things that You have put into me, show me what I am doing or not doing that is holding back the provision in my life or show me what I need to take authority over and contend with to release what You have already set aside for me.

It’s a small difference that makes a huge difference. What do you think?

Posted by Gary in Faith

New Blog

It’s always good to make a change from time to time and it was time.

My web host Son Servers changed the whole format for me, which will allow better security more interactivity such as: RSS feeds and email notification as well as hot links and pictures.

I am starting to enjoy this medium more and more. I hope you are encouraged by some of the random thoughts.

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Posted by Gary in Personal

Born to You

Posted by Gary on August 23, 2006

I have been reading a harmony of the gospels in the morning and it has been amazing. Yesterday I began and saw John 1:3-4, speaking about Jesus

All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.

And then this morning I was reading in Luke 2 the story that we have all read and heard a thousand times and one word jumped off the page at me. “you”. Luke 2:11

For there is born to “YOU” this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

Just stop and think of this for a minute… Selah……

Through Jesus all things were made and without Him nothing was made, in Him is life, the life is the light of men and He was born to YOU! not to the world, not to the privelaged in this life, not to those called to the oracle gifts, but to “YOU”!

Yes Jesus was born to the world to reconsile the world to Himself, and to bring freedom and forgiveness to the world but He was born to “YOU”. The maker of the Universe (big things) also created the cells that make up life (small things). You are His beloved, His desire, His passionate pursuit. I am so blessed to know Him but even more blessed that He knows me.


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Posted by Gary in Intimacy W/God

Catching the Spirit

Posted by Gary on August 14, 2006

We just had the desperation conference here and Hillsong united lead the worship at a couple of sessions. The comments are all a variation of “wow they really brought something”

I love those guys. They are great musicians and song writers and very gifted at the skill of leading worship. But there are lots of gifted people who are skilled at the craft of songwriting, musicianship, and worship leading. What is the difference? What do they bring that isn’t as strong in other teams, or leaders?

I can tell you these folks work hard at the craft of what they do and they pursue excellence but there is something more that can’t be shortened or substituted.

There are some rehearsal nights when Ian Fisher would lock the door and we would get on our faces and seek the face of God.

If you want to be a good songwriter, worship leader, preacher, father, etc. etc. Work at it, pursue excellence, be the best. But don’t stop there.

If you want to be the best at something pursue the presence of God. Don’t forsake your own personal worship time. Jealously guard your time with God. In other words:

Pursue God practice your craft.

I Samuel 30:6
II Samuel 12:20
I Chronicles 15:22
I Chronicles 25:1
I Chronicles 25:7
II Chronicles 16:9
II Chronicles 26:5
Psalm 27:4

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Posted by Gary in Practical

Serve With Gladness

Posted by Gary on May 8, 2006

I just got back from a weekend with John. Three great churches in three different states. 5 services over the weekend.

I am so blessed to be able to see how different churches do church. I can almost always tell what the church is going to be like within 5 minutes of meeting the person that picks us up.

The churches are full of people who live Psalm 100:2. They “serve with gladness”. I believe that it all starts with great leaders. Leaders who model a glad servant heart. Leaders who love what they do and are always full of life, joy, and gladness no matter the circumstance.

Sorry not very deep but something that is becoming more and more obvious every time I travel.

Love you all.

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Posted by Gary in Practical

Faith is the Fuel

Posted by Gary on April 7, 2006

As I used to think about faith I would look at Hebrews 11:1, now faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen, and think, ok, faith is substance, faith is evidence, but what is it? What does it look like?

Then I read Mark 11:24, Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

As I was considering this whole concept it hit me. Faith is. Both, FAITH is, and faith IS. When you are standing in faith for something and someone says “I thought you were believing for healing, why are you still sick?” you can say “my faith is the evidence.”

I know it’s a hard concept and one you have to get personal revelation on. I have been thinking about this for years. Maybe I’m just thick headed.

Here is another way it works:
You can put money in the offering or you can sow a seed.
You can say something nice to someone or you can speak life into their soul.
You can speak words into the air or you can pray the prayer of faith.

The difference is when we add our Faith.

Darlene Zschech once said “the faith journey is not cross your fingers and hope for the best. It is real, the fullness of Christ locked into us that we can use.” You see faith is not the shallow “hope” something good will happen. Faith is being fully convinced and persuaded of a thing. No doubt.

James 1:6-7
But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;

You must settle in your heart that the very DNA of God is generosity and faithfulness and that he wants you to have good things. Romans 8:32

Mark 11:23
I assure you that you can say to this mountain, ‘May God lift you up and throw you into the sea,’ and your command will be obeyed. All that’s required is that you really believe and do not doubt in your heart.

In my mind it all comes back to two things. II Corinthians 5:17 and Romans 12:2 I’ll let you look those up and think about those two things for awhile.

Thank you again for your consideration. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

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Posted by Gary in Faith