The City Beautiful [Let Faith Arise] | One Year Later
(This portion was written on June 15, 2017. One year after the Pulse shooting tragedy)
One year later as I write this, the tragedy that rocked our city still feels fresh. Like an open wound that has taken forever to heal. Many have coped differently and some till this day are reliving this nightmare. My prayers will continue to go out to all that have been affected by this tragedy. Mourning is not easy and should not have a time frame. Everyone needs there appropriate time to heal.
With that said, I can't say enough on how proud I am of my city. I truly believe that this event has brought a different and genuine level of love to each resident. I also believe it has brought a different and genuine level of commitment to one another and to this city. A commitment to make the city beautiful, great again. A commitment to rise above it all in love.
On Monday June 12th, 2017, the first Orlando United Day - A Day of Love and Kindness, the community of Orlando came together to honor the memory of the 49 innocent victims of the Pulse tragedy. Clink link below.
No one wishes or wants tragedy to occur, but I believe within those darkest moments it is where we gain a new perspective and a new strength. Our city has gained a new strength and a new perspective and both have been for the better.
Will this be the first or last tragedy that our city ever goes through? I hope so, but I don't know. What I do know is that love conquers all. With sorrow comes joy. With night comes morning. With wounds come scars and we can use those scars to testify that we have overcome and that love has won.
Love always wins. Jesus won and because he won, we win.
Wherever you might be this week, stop and pray. Pray for those that are still coping. Pray for your family and your life and also pray for our city beautiful.
The article below was written on June 12th, 2016
June 12th, 2016 will be a day that myself and many Orlandoans will never forget but will also be a day that will leave a mark in history. The tragedy that took roughly 50 people, has been declared as the deadliest in U.S. history.
All my life I have seen similar events unfold in other cities and countries, but for this to take place in my own backyard has become more real than ever. Reports have said that this attack was driven by an Islamic group called ISIS. This group has been linked to many terrorist attacks in the last few years, in and outside of our country.
Reports are also saying that this radical Islamic group is targeting the LGBT community. If you were not aware, the shooting took place at a nightclub called, The Pulse. It is known to host several gay social gatherings. Also in California, another individual was on his way to the Los Angeles Gay Pride March armed with explosives and an arsenal of weapons which was known to possibly be a terrorist attack associated with ISIS. The man was caught by the LAPD and put in custody.
Do we as Christians believe that homosexuality is wrong? Yes. Do Islamic's believe that homosexuality is wrong? Yes. But as followers of Jesus Christ, our response is different from there's. We respond with love. We respond with hope. We respond with the light and good news of Jesus Christ.
This is the simple fact, that whether gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, or transgender, Jesus died for us all. He gave his life on the cross for every man, woman, girl and boy. As the famous bible verse says, "For God so loved the WORLD, that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
In writing this, I was informed that one of the victims was a friend of a friend that was part of a well known local Orlando band called, Frequency Band. These victims were fathers, mothers, sons, daughters and loved ones which lives were taken too soon and innocently. So the main question that many are asking is, Why? Why have innocent lives been taken so soon? Why this way? Why God? Why?
We all have a right to ask that question, but understand that it is not our place to know why, but to ultimately trust the God who holds our very lives in his hands. This is much easier said than done, but my prayer is that faith may arise in every heart in this city; that God will open the hearts of every individual in this city, whether directly affected by this tragedy or not. I pray that God will bring a deep desire into every heart to find strength and refuge in him.
As believers of Jesus Christ, God has called us to be the light. Light is at it's strongest point when the darkness is at it's strongest point. The City of Orlando is at it's darkest point right now but this is the time where the light of Jesus needs and must shine it's brightest. So let us not respond with just our words but with our actions. Extend a smile, donate blood, shake a hand, give a generous donation, pray for someone, invite someone to church, talk to someone about Jesus, whatever it may be; LET'S BE THE LIGHT! Let's respond with the love of Jesus.
John 13:35 “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
The message below was from the Mayor of the City of Orlando, Buddy Dyer
"Yesterday was the most horrific day in the history of the City of Orlando. And yet, I stand here today, even more proud of our community because they came together, united to support the families and friends of the victims.
We learned of the heroic acts of our Orlando Police Department as well as other law enforcement, as well as our citizens as hundreds of lives were saved throughout the night. And the medical personnel that saved so many lives that were transported to the hospital are heroes.
I cannot imagine being one of the parents or being one of the loved ones who learned your loved one was deceased.
The FBI did an unbelievable job clearing the scene. By 11 p.m., all victims were removed from the scene by FDLE.
I want to complement the medical examiner and FDLE for the work they did all night long, making identifications of victims and notifying next of kin. Forty-eight of the 49 victims have been identified. Twenty-six next of kin have been notified, with more to come.
The number to call for families is 407.246.4357. As the next of kin are being notified, we are putting the names on cityoforlando.net/victims.
We will not be defined by the act of a cowardly hater. We will be defined by how we respond, how we treat each other."
We will be defined by our response and that response is LOVE! What the enemy meant for evil, God will turn it for good.
“But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it around for good....” Gen. 50:20
Let faith arise in The City Beautiful.