Even though summer is oftentimes characterized as a time for relaxation, for many it can easily morph into a hectic time with vacations to plan and accomplish, families to visit and be visited by, and filled with other activities that must be accomplished before the kids are back in school. Perhaps this summer’s activities are keeping you busy, so crazily busy that you feel like you’re on a seemingly out of control amusement park ride, holding on with all you got as if your life depended on it. If so, you can identify with a guy I heard about named Henry Dempsey.
In 1987 on a commuter flight from Portland, Maine, to Boston the pilot, Henry Dempsey, heard an unusual noise near the rear of the plane. Dempsey turned the controls over to the co-pilot and went back to check it out. As he reached the tail section, the plane hit an air pocket, and Dempsey was tossed against the rear door. He soon discovered that the original noise was caused because the rear door had been improperly latched prior to takeoff. Now the impact of his weight caused it to open. Dempsey was instantly sucked out of the tiny jet. The co-pilot saw the red light, which indicated an open door. He immediately radioed the nearest airport requesting permission for an emergency landing. He reported that the pilot had fallen out of the plane and wanted a helicopter to search the area.
After the plane landed, the ground crew found Dempsey holding on to the outdoor ladder of the aircraft. Somehow he had caught the ladder and held on for ten minutes as the plane flew two hundred mph at an altitude of 4000 feet, and then when landing he kept his head from hitting the runway, which was only twelve inches away. According to the news reports, it took airport personnel several minutes to pry Dempsey’s fingers off of the ladder!
Now that’s holding on as if your life depended on it!
You may indeed be exceedingly busy this summer, but whatever you are busily engaged in can’t possibly be as demanding physically and time wise as that which Henry Dempsey encountered. With that being said, I want to inform you of a couple of important upcoming August events to add to your summer schedule whether your summer thus far has been refreshingly relaxing or overwhelmingly taxing (just keep remembering Henry Dempsey!).
The events I’m referring to are related to Main Street’s community-wide “Back to School Bash.” This month’s Back to School Bash itinerary is as follows:
August 6th – On Saturday morning (10am-1pm) we will kick off our community “Bash” outreach efforts. There will be bounce houses, snow cones, popcorn, hot dogs, and the giving away of backpacks with school supplies. I want to give an enormous thank you and pat on the back to all who have responded to the call for the school supplies needed to fill at least 100 backpacks for children. We are going to fill those backpacks and more! Way to go! Way to go! Way to go!
August 14th – Ice Cream Supper/Movie (6pm). Since school is about to be back in session, we need to kick back and enjoy a relaxing evening of ice cream (homemade preferred!) and the marvelous faith-based movie “War Room.” Invite your friends for some good old fashioned fun, food, and fellowship!
August 15th – We will provide Subway sandwiches in the teacher’s lounges in Grand Saline and Fruitvale schools, compliments of MSBC, as a reminder of our prayers and support of teachers and school personnel.
August 24th – The biggest Student event of the year will occur during LiveWire (5-9 pm) with games, free giveaways of donated gifts from local businesses, including KVNE (contemporary Christian music station in Tyler), and participation by some local Christian bands.
Please keep these dates foremost in your mind this month for prayer and participation. Pray that God will use our efforts to help needy children in our community, to recognize our school teachers and other school personnel, to reach middle and high school students, and to build a bridge in sharing the Gospel with those in desperate need of an eternal life change.
So, like Henry Dempsey, let’s hold on and hang in there. Through our expressions of love as a church family, let’s accomplish some great ministry together during this summer month of August and beyond.
Your friend and pastor,