Day One, Year One
A Sermon in Remembrance of 9/11, Based on by Safiyah Fosua

Dedicated to Bill Spade, Findlay, OH

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Mother Wit: 365 Meditations for African-American Women



Codex Sinaiticus

New Testament:

from the famed discovery


The earliest, oldest New Testament text has finally been released to the public.  You may read the Codex Sinaiticus online - but only if you know Greek!  To read it inCodex Sinaiticus New Testament H T Anderson English English, you need the only English translation we know.  The H. T. Anderson English Translation of the Codex Sinaiticus, with the three extra early New Testament books and the Sonnini Manuscript of Acts 29 included, and the original absences of certain verses (put in there later by the 'church') is now available only at here.  

THIS IS NOT A CHEAP, SCANNED-IN FACSIMILE. This is a first edition of the text published in easy-to-read Georgia font with plenty of room between verses for your notes.2 points between verses, hard or soft cover.


The Nazarene Acts
of the Apostles

Also known as
The Recognitions of Clement

Ever wonder why PAUL and not PETER received the mission to the lost tribes?  Wasn't Peter the stone upon which the "church" was to be built?  In this new translation of the Nazarene Acts, we follow Kefa (Peter) as he itinerates from Jerusalem and up the Mediterranean coast up to Tripoli, as recorded in the journals of his successor, Clement of Rome (Phi 4:3).  Every message Kefa preached, the company he kept, and the great works of faith the the Almighty accomplished through him are herein recorded.  This 300 page volume has been 'hidden' in the back of an obscure volume of the "Church Fathers" all this time.  Could it be that, in establishing the Gentile 'church' by pushing away from Judaism, this history was purposely hidden?

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A Dangerous Book for you Baptists, and a challenge to you Evangelicals, Charismatics and Pentecostals.  You will never be the same after reading FOSSILIZED CUSTOMS.

Fossilized Customs

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Consigned to the Back of the Closet

The Acts and Preaching of Peter,
as recorded for James by Flavius Clemens

TEN CD SET + Text Vocalizations:
Ted Dornan

This Work is a Complete Apostolic Discipleship Program from the Apostles Themselves

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New York City Blues by John Mayall
Here in New York City – I can’t wait to get home.
Yeah, I’m here in New York City – I can’t wait to get home
I know my baby’s waitin’ ‘cause she called me on the phone.

It makes it not so hard – to be so many miles apart.
It makes it not so hard – to be so many miles apart.
I'll be home for supper - I know she'll satisfy my stomach and my heart.

 Ezekiel 1:1 In the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the exiles by the river Chebar, the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of the Elohim.  2 On the fifth day of the month (It was the fifth year of the exile of King Jehoiachin), 3 the word of Yahweh came to the priest Ezekiel, son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of Yahweh was on him there.

Psalm 137:1-4 {read in the course of the message}

Luke 17: 26.  As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of man.  27.  They ate, they drank, they married, they were given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.  28.  Likewise as it was in the days of Lot – they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built,  29.  but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom fire and sulphur rained from heaven and destroyed them all – 30.  so will it be on the day when the Son of man is revealed.  31.  On that day, let him who is on the housetop, with his goods in the house, not come down to take them away; and likewise let him who is in the field not turn back.  32.  Remember Lot's wife.  33.  Whoever seeks to gain his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will preserve it.  34.  I tell you, in that night there will be two in one bed; one will be taken and the other left.  35.  There will be two women grinding together; one will be taken and the other left. 


A History of Hurricanes in the Western Florida Panhandle 1559-1999

Betsy (1965),  Camille (1969),  Eloise (1975),  Frederick (1979),  Elena, Juan & Kate (1985), Hugo (1989), Andrew (1992), Allison, Erin & Opal (1995), Danny (1997), Georges & Earle (1998), Floyd (1999), Charley & Frances (2004), Ivan (2004?).

In the fourth month – On the fifth day – Of the fifth year of the exile of King Jehoiachin...

    Already two hurricanes have devastated Florida in the past month and another is headed right this way now.  Prognosticators previously indicated that this would be an active hurricane season, but who could have foreseen such damage?  Living in Pensacola, we’ll never forget 1995, with hurricanes Allison, Erin and Opal storming through, giving us the scare of our lives and damaging our properties – leaving us without water for ten solid days.  But now, this Year of the Hurricane will be the one thousands look back to as the year they had to start over.  2004 will be year one and counting.

Have you ever endured an event so distressing that it restarted your clock?  Perhaps it was the year of some big storm.  Maybe you had a brush with death that you look back to as a mile marker in your life.  Maybe the year you endured more pain than any other.  Some may look back a war that set their clocks back to year one.  Some have been formed by the Great Depression or World War II or the Korean Conflict or Vietnam: certain events therein mark year one.  Some may have lost homes, gone through divorces, struggled with inner conflict – ¿What’s year one for you?  Maybe you’ve had numerous occasions or opportunities to start over at ground level.  Maybe you’ve had numerous year ones.

In the fourth month – On the fifth day – Of the fifth year of the exile of King Jehoiachin...

   The prophet didn’t use the name of the Hebrew month.  Nor did he record time from the year of the Exodus as his ancestors had.  Something new stirred the lives of Ezekiel and his people that forced them to a new means of reckoning tied to an event – an event that’d stopped time and started it all over again for his people and him. 

   ¿What kind of event has the power to restart a person’s historical clock?  For many, many people, the new starting point hovers around the day that hijacked planes took down the World Trade Center in New York, damaged the Pentagon and crashed into a rural Pennsylvania field.  That happened three years ago yesterday – the beginning of our year one. 

Of the exile of King Jehoiachin, in the fourth month of the fifth year – On the fifth day – this day kicked off year one for Ezekiel the Prophet.

   Just what exactly reset his clock?  Why, he was one of thousands exiled from his homeland in what’s known as “the Babylonian (or Chaldean) captivity.”  The Chaldeans conquered Judea and took the most useful people out in several waves.  Daniel was taken with the first group in 587 B.C.  Ezekiel and king Jehoiachin were carried away with the second group.  Picture the sight for yourself – your king and his family chained to a wagon with an entourage of the best and brightest young men and women of your day.  The bloody parade of hostages reminds you that you may be next – taken away to a foreign and hostile land as a slave or left behind to fend the best you can in the throws of anarchy. 

   This is exactly what Jesus meant when he cried out to the unprepared masses of Jerusalem:

Luke 17:34b. That night there will be two in one bed; one will be taken and the other left.  35.  There will be two women grinding together; one will be taken and the other left. 

In the first wave, Daniel was taken and Ezekiel left behind.  In the second wave, Jeremiah was left behind and Ezekiel was taken away with the king.  That day became day one of year one for him.  Since, he’d been counting.   Counting . . .

In the fourth month – On the fifth day – Of the fifth year of the exile of King Jehoiachin...

. . . counting the days.  Have you ever been in exile of some type in which you could do little more than count the days? 

Waterless Days of Wondering

   Maybe you can remember a time of being without water.  I’m not talking about being inconvenienced by a broken line or impaired service due to a hurricane.  I mean being without any fresh supply of water for an extended period of time.   One missionary to Africa relates being without water frequently – sometimes for days – with no explanation and no promises.  By the third day, she looked back to when the water went off as day one.  By now she’d emptied the containers that stored water “just in case.”  By the fourth day, she started leaving water in the basin when she washed — just in case it was needed later.  By the sixth day she had to collect wastewater from others in the house to flush the toilet.  By the seventh day, the missionary went begging for water then searching the house for some possession with which to bribe a water truck driver.  By the tenth day, when the water finally came back, she was dirty, exhausted from thirst, and conditioned to being without water – conditioned, that is, to fear of her future survival.  She knew only one thing for sure – it was her tenth day without water.

   In this same way, the Judeans in exile were counting the days – to what?  Death?  Repatriation? 

 In the fourth month – On the fifth day –  Of the fifth year of the exile of King Jehoiachin...


Singing the Blues

   Ezekiel ended up with exiles encamped beside one of the chief rivers in Babylon, the site of one of Nebuchadnezzer’s famous canals he was building with forced Judean labor.  Imagine!  It was horrible enough to be taken away and resettled in the swamps of a river – more horrible to have to dig there.  The only real advantage was the abundance of water.  But even with that, there were the swamp flies.  Considering the situation, the despairing words of Psalm 137 are even more painful to hear:

By the rivers of Babylon — there we sat down and wept when we remembered Zion.  We hung up our harps on the willows.  For there our tormenting captors gleefully asked us for songs, saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”  How could we sing Yahweh’s songs in a strange and hostile land?  (Psalm 137:1-4)

   Actually, this lament is a song – that’s what psalm means – song.  Can you guess the song’s style?  It’s nothin’ but the blues.   The blues is someone’s pain and misery set to music.  Since the music’s always the same, and is repeated over and over, the series of chords becomes a permanent fixture in the mind.  Everybody knows the blues.  The blue person only needs to supply words from some wretched situation to make others blue too.  It seems like the constant rhythmic repetition, the redundant melody and repetitive, doleful lyrics actually make the blues more bearable somehow.  The mood of this blues psalm, like all others, is clear – these people are miserable, enslaved, flee-bitten and homesick, longing for the past, disavowing the future.  Everything changed on day one of year one, didn’t it?

   In the Congo, people sing ma-ma-ma-ma-ma when someone dies. This isn’t much different from singing mah-oh-mah-oh-mah!  Some folks in the south shake their heads and mumble umm-umm-umm.   That’s a form of the blues, too – usually our first official act (after crying, ‘O, God!’) when something shakes down our world, displaces or uproots us, restarts our clocks, makes us so distracted that we can’t see anything else. 


Then It Happened

   I’m certain that Ezekiel was numb for awhile then sang the blues for awhile.  But when the numbness wore off and the blues got old, he began to seek out the deeper meaning of the catastrophe.  There must be more than conquest – something’s behind it all – a bigger picture – a plan – there must be!  There just must be! 

   Then it happened.  Ezekiel tells the story:  “I was among the exiles by the Chebar canal and I SAW YAHWEH!”  While others continued in numbness or blues singing the – but Ezekiel sees visions from the Almighty.  Had he gone overboard?  Had the hardship and humility been so overpowering that he was delusional?  Or was his vision truly insightful? 

   One writer suggests that faith is daring to dance to the melody of the future (Brazilian author Rubem Alves).  Ezekiel dances to visions of Yahweh’s providence for the future smack in the middle of more trouble than his clan had ever experienced – ever.  At the worst possible time, while all others were looking back at the past, Ezekiel gazed ahead – far ahead.


A Little of His Vision

   He saw a black hurricane coming in from the north with tremendous lightnings and thunderings – great dark clouds with fire flashing forth continually.  Then Ezekiel envisioned four of the most fantastic creatures imaginable – even in these days of Hollywood wizardry.   The creatures looked like giant people but they had four faces on their heads – like a man’s face in the front, like a lion and an ox on the sides and like an eagle on the back of their heads.  The creatures had six wings.  Beneath these wings there were arms and hands – six of each – and feet as calves feet.  There were burning lights – they were extremely brilliant – blinding.  The creatures moved in perfect tangency in the blazing light – one pair of wings outstretched and touching the others – and wherever the wind (spirit) would go, they’d go with it, to and fro.

   Then Ezekiel spied the famous wheel within a wheel on the earth – gleaming, covered with lights that the prophet called eyes.  This craft took off from the ground and wherever it flew, the four creatures followed alongside, for the wheels generated the wind that made the living creatures rise.  Above these, he saw a great solid place in the sky – a firmament – and upon it a sapphire throne with a gigantic, fearsome entity upon it – and still above the entity was a glorious, multi-colored rainbow – the sign of the most ancient of covenants.  All was brightness and awe and power and magnificence. 

   Understand that Ezekiel hadn’t experienced anything in his life with which to compare these objects and creatures.  He hadn’t the vocabulary to describe them.  He knew nothing about science fiction.  He’d never seen even one episode of StarTrek on TV or one installation of the Alien series of movies.  But he knew what he saw anyway.  Ezekiel cried, “this is the Shekinah Glory of Yahweh.”  Then he fell on his face as he heard a commanding voice from the throne.


Son of man, stand upon your feet, and I will speak with you. (Ezekiel 2:1)

Then the Spirit entered into me and set me upon my feet; and I heard him speaking to me. 

 Listen to the story from EloHymns (high speed connection suggested).  Click here - wait a few seconds.

   Can you imagine Ezekiel later struggling to share his vision with his co-exiles? 

And then they fly all around the wheel within the wheel!

And did I tell you they had six wings and six arms and six hands?

And did I mention the throne that sparkled like sapphire and the rainbow?

Did I tell you that the Spirit entered me? 

And what the magnificent voice said to me?

Did I tell you?  Did I tell you?

Security and Vision

   Friends, the world’s hungry for visions of the future, even more so since our nation endured the first-ever military attack on our soil – the worst single tragedy we as a people have ever experienced – a calamity that literally reset our clocks – and the clocks of the world – to measure time from September 11, 2001.  Since day one of year one, the entire world has been and is being shaken, terrorized and destroyed.  How, in the midst of all this, may WE see a vision of the Almighty Creator Yahweh who, in his own words, is

Exodus 34:6b,7.  compassionate and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,  keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation.

    Helen Keller, a woman who’s pitiable story is known so well, said that the most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight but no vision.  What vision is Yahweh offering to us in these post-9/11 years?  What vision of future purpose have we received that’s worth sharing with others?  Have we even seen a vision?  Have we cared to try?  Have we attempted to call Yahweh to account?  Can we not see how the world has completely changed since day one of year one?  Or is it just business or lifestyle as usual, as in the time of Lot? 

Luke 17:28b,29. They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built, but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulphur rained from heaven and destroyed them all.

 May I suggest that the present condition of the world is either at its worst – or that Almighty Yahweh is offering to US covenant partners the greatest opportunity since the beginning of creation?  Can you see my vision?  Can you see the devil and his minions of evil spirits, terrorists and hellish apostates carried off into exile, never to plant another bomb, kill another child, or send another girl to her death in a suicide bombing?  Can you see the world totally conquered by Yahweh, Commander of Armies?  Can you take ownership of that?  Or have you retired from his service?

Were You There?

   Let’s go back to day one, year one.  Where were you when the towers came down?  I was staying at a minister’s house in Georgia after preaching a homecoming.  Late at night on September 10th, I was telling my host about what I’d said at the revival – that six thousand years of salvation history had just come to pass, and that we should expect some cataclysmic event any day that would change the world.  The next morning, the world changed.  I saw the live telecast of the second plane flying into the World Trade Center Tower.  We watched in numbness as the events of that day unfolded.  I need not recount them again.  You’ve heard plenty about day one, year one. 

   Maybe you didn’t know that pastors of many different groups in Manhattan put on their clergy robes, opened the church doors and took to the streets to offer the afflicted a new vision of the Almighty!  Many in the rubble were aided and comforted: folks found prayer partners among the devastation; sanctuaries were made available for supplication.  Soon, church members and caring volunteers appeared with water, blankets and supplies for the displaced.  Like us, it was Yahweh’s bunch – those who are compassionate and merciful – in the streets serving as visual reminders that the Almighty Father could make his presence known and seen, even in the midst of destruction and dispersion. 

   Undoubtedly, the apparition of fully robed ministers, roaming the dust-covered streets of a Manhattan destroyed, was every bit as profound to those suffering as Ezekiel’s vision of Yahweh was to him.

Our Plan!

   As we plan for ministry in these passing post-9/11

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years, may I suggest that, especially for this congregation, it’s absolutely vital that YOU turn YOUR attention away from the past to your future.  What is Yahweh’s vision for the new world to come?  What is to be your part in that?  Are you all to become a memory or monument, like the grassy little park that now stretches over the site of the World Trade Center?  Is this to be a place where people return to reminisce about a happy childhood?  Or will YOU decide NOW to offer a fresh, vibrant, and true vision of Father Yahweh to YOUR neighbors who, lately, have been presented with so many false visions?   

   I’ve already made my decision as to what I’ll do.  I’ve seen the future, have you?  Or are you still counting the days?  You must come to a decision which way you’ll look NOW!

   Let’s see . . . In the years after 9/11 . . . will we hang our harps by the willows, substituting the blues for glory of praises . . . lamentations for songs of victory?  Like the captives of Israel will be ever counting back?

In the fourth month – On the fifth day – Of the fifth year of the exile of King Jehoiachin . . .

Yes or no?

Jackson Snyder, September 11, 2004

Based on by Safiyah Fosua