Participants: Cheri Peters (Host), Cheryl McGuinnes
Series Code: CLR
Program Code: CLR00037B
00:13 You know, I am going to recap a little bit about what we
00:16 talked about the first half because for some that have
00:19 just tuned in, or to just kind of set this up again.
00:23 Your husband was a pilot Tom McGuinness, who was the
00:29 first plane that was flown into the
00:31 World Trade Center during 9/11.
00:33 So we talked about, even you guys before then.
00:36 And I love the fact, sometimes I think Cheryl,
00:40 somebody talks about you, I hear your name mentioned.
00:42 When I hear about the event, it's as if
00:45 you just kind of existed from 9/11 on.
00:47 You guys had this incredible life before then,
00:50 and God has really poured into you since then.
00:53 Umm go-ahead - - He has.
00:56 And he brought me really, brought me from a beautiful
01:01 life to really having my life turned to ashes.
01:05 Now He has raised up something in me, something entirely
01:09 new out of the ashes of my life and taken me beyond what
01:14 I could think or imagine.
01:15 And you have joy in your life again.
01:18 I have joy in it is truly unstoppable.
01:21 Isn't that amazing.
01:22 I want you, because I think what God had
01:26 show you and to teach you from the very beginning
01:29 of this whole thing.
01:30 The beginning of your healing process is how do you
01:32 forgive and you were saying, I have to forgive terrorists
01:35 who literally changed the country, murdered my husband,
01:39 trashed my immediate family, but changed the country.
01:42 And I have to learn forgiveness.
01:44 I really want to ask you, what did that look like and
01:47 how did you learn that?
01:48 Because it is not something simple.
01:50 No, it isn't.
01:52 I had to come to the point of realizing that
01:55 forgiveness is not something that I can do.
01:59 Myself in my own strength.
02:01 I'm not going to muster it up from within me.
02:03 No, it's not like I can say, I'm going be strong
02:05 today and I'm going to forgive them.
02:07 It wasn't like that, it was every day after I had a
02:12 renewed experience with Christ.
02:17 I said, Lord help me to forgive the terrorists
02:20 for what they did, help me Lord so that
02:22 I can serve You more fully.
02:24 It was at that point that every day I would pray,
02:28 just Lord help me to forgive the people who did this.
02:31 Lord help me to forgive the people who did this and I
02:33 would just say it over and over.
02:35 Pray that, cry out to the Lord.
02:37 Cause just let me ask you, and I hope this doesn't
02:41 stunt you because what came in my head just then
02:43 that during that process you are looking at continued
02:50 terrorism, they are holding hostages and
02:52 sawing heads off on screens.
02:55 You know, what I mean is that this was an incredibly
02:58 violent, vicious time for this country.
03:02 You know what I mean, and it literally has
03:04 kind of stayed with us.
03:06 And the reason I want to ask you specifically how
03:10 you dealt with those images is because, when I first
03:12 heard you speak, and I first heard your talk about
03:14 forgiveness, you started making my dysfunction in the
03:19 past, that I was molested since,
03:21 I was three months old.
03:22 Homeless by twelve - thirteen.
03:24 You started giving me hope that maybe God can
03:27 teach me how to forgive.
03:28 So I don't want anybody to trivialize what
03:35 God brought you to as where you could say,
03:38 I do forgive.
03:40 Literally, it is my first thought now,
03:44 not my last thought.
03:46 It was a process for me and I can't say that there
03:50 was step one, two, three, four that I did.
03:53 But I do know that something happened in my head,
03:58 that said, Lord, I will forgive but help me.
04:02 Help me to be able to do this, and as I prayed out,
04:06 and as I cried out to the Lord -
04:08 Every time those feelings came up.
04:10 Every time I either saw an image, or every time I
04:13 would go back down into that pit.
04:16 Every time I would get angry or a root of bitterness
04:20 started to kind of take hold of my heart.
04:23 I'd say Lord, please I give this to You.
04:26 Help me to forgive them.
04:27 Help me Lord, and that is all I could say.
04:30 I didn't have any really biblical scriptures to
04:33 say over and over.
04:35 All I could say, because this was a year or two
04:38 after the tragedy happened.
04:40 It took that long to even - to get to that point.
04:43 It was a long process to even get to that point that I
04:46 could really feel like you know.
04:49 Maybe I have forgiven.
04:51 And I remember sitting in a hotel room and doing my
04:53 Women's Ministry, I was finishing a Woman's Retreat
04:56 that I was doing.
04:57 I remember I was in my Bible reading something that
05:02 took me even deeper, and showed me there were levels
05:05 of forgiveness, and levels of healing.
05:08 And I remember there saying to the Lord, Lord.
05:12 I can forgive them, but I also remember the Lord
05:16 showing me, Him saying something to the effect of;
05:21 I needed you to forgive, so that I could
05:24 use you more fully.
05:26 Because if you didn't forgive, then you would have a
05:30 hardened heart and bitterness and anger all
05:33 built up inside of you.
05:34 How could I use, you to go out and share the good
05:37 word that I have for you.
05:39 How could I use you to go show the world that there
05:43 is a light inside of you that is glowing,
05:46 that is filled beyond belief.
05:49 How can I use you if that bitterness takes hold?
05:52 And when you say that what is really interesting to me
05:56 is that I think a lot of folks think that God caused
06:00 this so that you could learn this.
06:01 And I so believe the Bible when the Bible says,
06:04 I plan evil for no one.
06:05 I am not that kind of God.
06:07 What God says is unfortunately there are
06:10 people that are trying to deal with these kinds of
06:12 tragedies with NO God.
06:14 I can't imagine that, God said; you know when the
06:17 Devil hits you or the world hits you with these
06:19 things as God I will walk with you.
06:22 I will yoke up with you, I will teach you to step
06:25 into the human waters coming right from the throne
06:28 room of God, until you get this.
06:30 And that is where our hope comes from, not that
06:33 we don't get hit.
06:34 That's exactly right-when I do get hit-that's exactly right.
06:37 And what God showed me with the whole forgiveness thing
06:41 that I had to go through, is that first of all when I
06:45 was praying; it was Lord help me so I can heal me, help me!
06:49 But then as time went on, and I received His healing power
06:54 through His Holy Spirit, I realize that there was
06:58 another level of healing.
06:59 It was more of me being able to reach out to others
07:04 and help them heal through their own tragedies.
07:07 As you see their tragedies in their eyes, when they are
07:09 stuck, don't you see it?
07:11 I see it, I see that if they don't forget they will
07:13 not go beyond their tragedy, their hurt,
07:16 and they're pain.
07:18 Can you do me a favor and just look at the camera
07:19 and tell someone that.
07:20 The importance of that.
07:21 It is absolutely critical beyond a shadow of a doubt
07:25 that you must forgive whoever it is that hurt you.
07:28 One way to do that is to reach out and help others
07:31 and to pray out to God; say, God and help me so that
07:35 I can help others.
07:36 And God will miraculously come in, and heal you
07:40 through the power of His Holy Spirit, so that you
07:42 can reach out to others, and help others heal.
07:44 And it becomes a cycle, a good cycle, a positive
07:48 cycle of one person helping another person through
07:52 the strength and the power of the Lord.
07:54 And it is hard to explain to somebody
07:58 how incredible that is.
07:59 It's freeing it is I am not held captive with the
08:03 terrorist, wanted to not only killed three thousand people
08:05 on September 11, they wanted to take down the families, the
08:10 nation and cause chaos, and fear.
08:14 Fear did not only didn't grip me, it didn't grip my children.
08:19 We were brought to our knees for while, but through
08:23 the power of forgiveness, through the power of God's
08:26 love, we were taken to a whole new place.
08:29 And now we are able to reach out to others in amazing
08:33 ways that can give encouragement.
08:35 And now, I tell you know -
08:37 Because you do Women's Retreats, you go and speak to groups.
08:41 Every time you go out, I am sure you see people
08:44 locked in that bitterness.
08:45 There are people out there my story touches.
08:49 Not only, I would say that the people that were
08:52 touched by 9/11, there were so many because it struck our
08:56 nation here, but there are people that are hurting
08:59 out there from addictions, from being abused, from broken
09:05 marriages, to tragedy that strikes, one after another.
09:10 People come and hear a message of hope,
09:13 of how God worked in my life.
09:15 And I am able to say that God will do the same thing
09:18 in your life as well if you will first trust Him.
09:22 To let Him show you the way to have the fullness of life.
09:26 When you say, you said during the break, that one of the
09:31 things that you love to speak on is the forgiveness; when a
09:37 prisoner even says, how can you forgive me?
09:41 I know somebody that literally raped and stabbed to
09:44 death this child and the mother is standing there
09:47 saying I don't know how to forgive them.
09:49 And the prisoner is saying, I don't know how you can
09:51 forgive me, talk on that.
09:53 All I can say to that is that I can't forgive the person
09:59 that's stabbed or did what they did to my person.
10:04 But I know that there is somebody bigger,
10:06 and that person is Christ.
10:08 And Christ can forgive and through me, I am the skin, I am
10:13 the hands and through the power of Christ, I can forgive
10:17 you for what horrible thing that you did to me, to my
10:20 children, and I can forgive what you did to our nation.
10:23 Because I know - - in that sense beg you to accept
10:27 that forgiveness and go to Christ yourself.
10:29 Yeah, amen!
10:31 You know, I know that you have, your children have
10:38 healed, they are in college.
10:40 Talk about just that process of standing back up and God
10:44 just pouring joy into your life.
10:45 You know, we are talking about this whole thing again,
10:48 which put you back in that place,
10:50 but you are just one on fire woman.
10:53 Do you know what I mean, and full of joy and life,
10:57 your family has been restored, so let's talk about
11:00 that a little bit and then I want
11:01 to open it up for questions.
11:02 All I can say is that I love the Lord.
11:06 I truly love the Lord, and when I know that the
11:11 feeling deep in my heart is to serve Him, then it
11:16 gives me strength to share the story of my past,
11:18 but I go beyond that as well.
11:21 My children see because I am doing well, they truly
11:26 have a joy in their heart knowing that
11:29 I am set free from any past pain.
11:32 It doesn't mean that as a wounded healer.
11:34 You're not, you don't feel that pain, because every time
11:38 I open my heart up and tell
11:40 that story I, do feel the pain of it.
11:43 But I also feel the joy and the thankfulness and the hope
11:48 that I have because of my relationship to the Lord.
11:51 And that takes precedence over anything that could
11:55 possibly happen to me in this world.
11:57 So my children - and when God says, even in Scripture.
12:00 When God says, you know, all things turn out for good
12:03 to those that love God.
12:04 In the middle of the tragedy, you are thinking what does that
12:07 mean, what does that mean?
12:08 Yeah, it means that when you are in the middle of a
12:12 tragedy, now I know that in all things
12:16 God works for His good purpose.
12:18 I guess I had to learn truly with that scripture meant.
12:22 And now I know, and the next time I come into a trial.
12:26 I think it will be easier for me to gain even more strength.
12:31 But in the beginning - but you know that God is right there.
12:34 God hasn't forgotten me, that even though I've been
12:37 hit, even though I can't even stand up, I know that there is a
12:40 God that cares about me.
12:42 And loves me tremendously, yes.
12:45 So as you're standing up, you're standing up, your
12:47 daughter and your son, the healing that has happened
12:49 in your family, things are quieting down,
12:52 people aren't so much at the door.
12:54 New normalcy is evolving slowly over time.
12:58 Whom you are as a woman of God.
13:00 I am just discovering that God made me not to be
13:03 Not to be My 9/11 widow forever.
13:08 God made me to be His servant.
13:11 To love him, He made me as a woman full,
13:15 independent, kind, generous.
13:18 He made me the way that I am full of joy, and I needed
13:23 to except that and to get to that place fully healed
13:27 before, I was ready for the next step.
13:30 Whatever that next up was going to be I had
13:33 to get to that place.
13:34 And it was a journey out of the ashes to get, to be,
13:37 and realize that I'm God's creation, and He loves
13:40 me just the way that I am.
13:41 And you know, what is interesting to me is that God,
13:44 I mean, you fell in love with someone.
13:47 I did - what is that in who was that.
13:49 I did, I did - He must just be awesome.
13:52 You know, when I got to a certain place in my life,
13:56 after 9/11, I in the most ordinary way, God brought the
14:03 most extraordinary man into my life.
14:06 My car was broken, and this man, Doug, was the
14:15 manager of a body shop.
14:17 I took my car to the body shop with all of the fear
14:20 that I was going to get taken advantage of, because I
14:23 don't know a thing about cars.
14:24 And I start talking to him
14:26 and I was literally stuttering about what's wrong with my car.
14:30 He said well tell me what it's doing and he's
14:32 saying tell me if it's like going burr burr burr,
14:35 and what noise is it making?
14:37 I'm trying to imitate the noises,
14:38 and explained the problem.
14:40 And guys really want hear the noise.
14:41 They do and you feel like such a, you know, a weirdo.
14:46 Well Doug was extremely charming
14:49 from the very beginning.
14:50 I explain my car problem and he fixed it.
14:53 From there, I think seeds were planted inside of
14:57 him that he said that he thought I was kind of cute.
15:00 I didn't find that out until years later.
15:03 It was that sound you were making.
15:04 Yeah, it must have been, Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!
15:07 It must have been.
15:08 So little while later you end up falling in love.
15:13 A little while later, a couple years later,
15:15 he asked me out, he would call me periodically just to say how
15:20 is your car running and I thought nothing of it.
15:22 I thought, what a nice guy to ask me
15:24 how my car is running.
15:25 Then after time went on, when I was ready,
15:30 he asked me out on a date.
15:34 I said okay and I was so excited
15:36 I felt like a little kid.
15:37 I was so excited that I thought wow,
15:41 he's really different, and he's really unique,
15:45 and he's a nice charming man.
15:48 I thought yeah, I'd like to and I felt as
15:50 nervous as a little kid.
15:52 I felt like I was, - I don't how old I was at the time,
15:55 I must have been forty five.
15:59 Forty five years old, I felt like a little
16:01 kid all over again.
16:03 With butterflies and excitement that I was going to get to
16:06 go out on a date.
16:07 It was kind of weird.
16:10 You guys got married shortly after that.
16:12 We got married, probably a year later.
16:16 Um yes - and you know, I want to introduce him, because
16:20 to me, I think the most incredible thing that God does,
16:23 is let me take what the devil planned to
16:26 just take you out with.
16:28 An I am going to bring you all way around,
16:30 restoration you are going to fall in love.
16:34 You're going to stand up and your
16:35 kids are going to heal.
16:37 All is kind of things you don't even think about.
16:39 It is so far beyond what you can imagine.
16:41 And then this incredible guy comes into your life.
16:44 And even Doug, I want to just say God bless you.
16:46 But when you met her what was your first take
16:49 on her as a woman.
16:50 She was a very lovely woman -
16:52 she is adorable - she is.
16:54 She really is, I was very blessed.
16:55 But it didn't start off so well, when I first
17:00 asked her out, she dropped the phone.
17:01 So, that kind of got me a little tongue-tied,
17:07 but it turned out great.
17:09 She is a wonderful woman, God loving woman,
17:12 and she's very strong.
17:14 She is a full woman for sure.
17:19 And you were like a race car driver.
17:20 I do, Yep!
17:21 I think that is the coolest thing ever.
17:24 It is wonderful, she travels with me and
17:27 I travel with her.
17:28 We spread the word around the world,
17:30 and it is just wonderful.
17:32 You were thinking about putting a race car together to
17:35 work with at risk kids.
17:36 Tell us a little bit about that.
17:38 Yes, we'd like to put a car together and cater to
17:42 children that have a need, that have desire, a wish to
17:46 be involved in some sort of racing.
17:48 And what is really interesting is a lot of at-risk-kids
17:52 they don't have a lot of men in their life, they are not doing
17:54 something that cool.
17:55 And just the fact that you offer this to them is
17:57 going to bring healing at a level that a lot of
17:59 people are not going to understand.
18:01 We are hoping it will bring a lot of blessings
18:02 to a lot of children.
18:03 How cool is that.
18:04 You know what I know that you have brought so much joy
18:09 into Cheryl's life and thank you for that.
18:11 Thank you, she is a wonderful lady with a great
18:14 sense of humor and full of it.
18:16 Way fun, how cool is he.
18:17 How cool is he Cheryl?
18:19 So we has more questions Pastor Aaron,
18:21 you had a question.
18:22 Yes I did.
18:24 When you were describing God speaking to you, asking you
18:27 to forgive when you were at the crash site.
18:29 What had gone through your mind about forgiveness,
18:32 up to that point.
18:33 Was that really the first time that
18:35 that idea had come into your mind?
18:37 That is a great question.
18:39 It really is the first time that I could even fathom
18:43 thinking about forgiveness.
18:45 I, before that I, no I wasn't there.
18:50 I was just thinking how the world am I possibly
18:52 going to rebuild - how can I survive this.
18:55 My life, how can I survive it.
18:56 Yeah, I didn't know, I thought, what am I to do now?
18:59 What I was doing at the foot of the cross was saying,
19:02 Lord, what do I do now.
19:04 What am I supposed to do, and that is when He said;
19:07 for you to do anything you need to forgive.
19:09 For two reasons 1. you have to heal.
19:12 And 2. if you don't heal, I can't use you to go do the work
19:17 that I plan for you, long, long ago.
19:19 What I got to say pastor is, cause you are pastoring in
19:24 churches, congregations working with have that kind
19:27 of bitterness and unforgiveness.
19:28 So do you come across that, I mean, because she is
19:32 talking about how difficult it was for her to even say God,
19:35 what do you mean forgive.
19:37 Do you come across that in your churches?
19:40 Yes it is amazing when you are dealing with someone
19:43 and they tell you if you don't know where to look,
19:45 look for bitterness and look at forgiveness.
19:47 It is amazing how in our lives, we are trying to get
19:51 restoration from someone who can't give it to us.
19:54 Until we realize that Jesus is the only One who can
19:56 give it, even myself falling into that trap.
20:00 It is amazing to realize that truly freedom
20:04 does come through forgiveness.
20:06 I do run into a lot of people who deal with.
20:08 How do I forgive.
20:10 And I get asked that a lot.
20:12 People say, and they will tell me these
20:15 tragedies have happened.
20:16 I have had these awful things, horrendous
20:19 things happen to me.
20:20 But they say, I just can't get to that point.
20:23 I say, I know I couldn't do it either on my own.
20:26 But it was through God, through His Holy Spirit
20:29 that He gave me the strength to do it.
20:31 And it was nothing that I could do.
20:33 Truly is above what we are capable of
20:37 wrapping our mind around.
20:39 I could not comprehend, it in fact, I was afraid
20:41 to talk out publicly about forgiving the terrorist
20:45 for what they did.
20:46 The very first time I did it because I thought that
20:48 people are going to look at me like I have two heads.
20:50 But that was kind of how God used me to figure out
20:56 what forgiveness was all about,
20:57 was to speak publicly about it.
20:59 As I did that, the more I did that,
21:03 the more I understood about His power.
21:06 It is His grace, it is not what we did, not what we
21:10 deserve, but it is God working through us and giving
21:14 us what we can't give to our self.
21:17 I didn't have the strength to forgive the
21:19 terrorist for what they did.
21:20 And it wasn't up to me.
21:22 God paid the price when He did what He did for us on the cross.
21:27 So when I take my focus off of whatever it is that happens to
21:31 me here, then I put my focus on Christ and that eternal
21:36 prospective and I say God You are the Lord, not me.
21:41 I am Your servant, and when I got that relationship
21:44 right and understood that fully,
21:46 then I could say God is not up to me.
21:50 But it is You working through me, that will give me the
21:53 strength and power to forgive.
21:54 So please help me do that.
21:55 Was there ever a point where you just felt absolute
21:59 joy at the level of forgiveness He poured into you?
22:02 I did, I did, I could sit in an airport after I would
22:06 speak, and all chaos could be breaking out around me.
22:12 I would have this incredible feeling of peace and joy,
22:15 thinking I just served my God, my Lord.
22:19 And that is just an incredible experience
22:23 having that this peace that transcends
22:26 understanding and thinking wow.
22:28 What I just did is unzipped my heart publicly
22:32 and shared about a terrible tragedy, but I served God.
22:35 Now I am filled with a peace that is
22:39 almost ill-repressible it's like this joy that is just,
22:43 I've got to talk about it
22:45 because I thank God.
22:47 It heals every fiber of your being,
22:49 as you're doing it heals.
22:50 You know that I have sat there in that place in every
22:53 part of your being just feels like God is washing again,
22:56 that healing waters, over every part.
22:59 And He really did bring me to the still waters,
23:01 that He talks about in the Psalms 23 where He says;
23:06 know that I will take you to those still waters -
23:09 Though you walk through the valley of the shadow of death.
23:10 Yeah, and He really did show me that He is the One that
23:17 calms the storms and brings us to those peaceful places.
23:20 And when we walk through those valleys that He is the
23:24 One that is going to pull us up without fear.
23:27 It is His strength when He reaches down and says I will
23:31 heal you, I'm the one that will heal your broken heart.
23:33 I will never leave you, even though earthly people will
23:37 leave you under different circumstances, I will never
23:41 leave you or forsake you.
23:43 I am the One who is going to heal your broken heart.
23:45 I thought God, I will put my trust in you every day.
23:49 I know that in your strength and your power, You will
23:54 give me all that I need.
23:55 You will give me the provisions that I need.
23:57 And God has provided in amazing ways for me to go
24:00 out and serve Him and tell others about the hope
24:03 that we have in Him.
24:04 You know when you say that, if somebody hasn't seen
24:08 your presentation, the first time I saw you I just
24:10 couldn't believe, I am listening to this story.
24:14 I am, was into this tragedy.
24:16 Yet I'm watching even through the story and you're telling
24:19 about this joy that comes out and I feel healing
24:22 happening in my own life.
24:23 But I know you are seeing that in my eyes
24:25 that healing is happening to you too.
24:26 It is, it is!
24:27 And I think how cool is that.
24:28 That is so cool and even today it is a contagious thing.
24:34 I don't how to describe it, except that I am able to
24:37 use my story, the life story that God Almighty
24:41 planted inside of me long ago.
24:43 When I can use that and lift and encourage
24:45 somebody else, by listening to them sharing their pain
24:49 in their own life story.
24:52 I am so lifted because I can then say and join with them
24:56 by saying; praise God for what He did in your life, for
25:00 what He did my life, lets go on together, praise God!
25:02 So, we are ending this show right now.
25:06 So I'm going to first say, God bless you for coming and
25:10 thank you for coming.
25:11 I want you to say to someone who hasn't spoke out loud,
25:15 yet, any of that kind of stuff yet, the importance
25:17 of speaking out loud.
25:18 Speak it!
25:19 It is so important to speak it to share the story that
25:22 God gave to you no matter how broken that story may
25:25 feel at some point share it and give God glory through
25:29 it because God will truly heal your broken heart when
25:33 you look to Him and trust Him with all your heart.
25:35 And as you speak; what is really interesting, is that
25:38 even in my story, which is so different than yours, is
25:42 that saying it out loud all the sudden you realize
25:44 that somebody else has a story.
25:46 That something else has gone through a struggle,
25:48 and somebody else.
25:49 All of a sudden, we are united in this journey,
25:53 but more than that.
25:54 We are blessed by this God that says
25:56 I will stand you up.
25:58 I will Yoke up with you, you are not going to have
26:00 to go through this alone.
26:02 But when we don't speak it.
26:03 We just kind of let all that fester and it kills us.
26:05 It kills what's inside of you yes.
26:08 There is power, in talking about your life journey
26:11 that God gave to you.
26:13 Looking to Him, there is power in that.
26:16 I am so lifted by hearing your story and all that your
26:20 are doing around the world.
26:22 I just praise God that He is the One that causes and
26:27 uses all that we give to Him.
26:29 So cool to have you here.
26:32 We are going to go ahead and have a break, but you stay
26:34 with me, because there is some important stuff we're
26:36 going to come back and just go over just real quick.
26:38 Real quick. Stay with us!