Thoughts on the Fifteenth Anniversary of 9-11

244959Each year on Pearl Harbor Day, my mom and dad remembered out loud where they had been and recalled the events of that terrible day. I understood the facts. Still, I couldn’t share with my parents their feelings—the gut-wrenching grief, anger, and surprise that changed America on December 7, 1941. I wasn’t alive then. It would be sixty years before I could fully comprehend the deep emotions connected with Pearl Harbor.

This Sunday marks the fifteenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on America, my generation’s Pearl Harbor. I had watched it unfold on television, detail by frightening detail. The crooked imprint of Flight 11 where it smashed into the World Trade Center North Tower. Flames leaping out from the building’s glass and steel frame red hot against the bright, blue sky. Flight 175 slamming into the South Tower. Men and women jumping from windows, gravity pulling them swiftly down through the billowing black smoke to the concrete below. The Pentagon hit by Flight 77. South World Trade disintegrating into a pile of rubble. White dust racing through the corridors of Manhattan. Thousands running for their lives. World Trade North tumbling down. Rumors flying. Utter chaos . . .

1wtc_eveningviewfromwhotel_mediumFifteen years later, we again find ourselves observing Patriot Day, a resolution signed into law by then President George W. Bush to honor the memory of the 2,977 people killed in the September 11 attacks.

Today, those in their late teens and early twenties are too young to remember the events of 911 with any clarity. The oldest of those born since September 11, 2001 are high school sophomores today. This is the post-911 generation. Their America is different from the one I knew prior to that fateful day, and so very different from the America my parents knew before Pearl Harbor. Some things haven’t changed though. We still hope. We still have faith that America will survive. God hasn’t changed. He continues to hold the world in the palm of His hand.

If you are old enough to remember September 11, 2001, then this Sunday do something to honor and celebrate the almost 3,000 people who lost their lives—live for them! If you are too young to remember, then take time this weekend to learn about Patriot Day and what it means. And no matter how old you are—Pray. Pray that our America will never again suffer through a Pearl Harbor or a 911.

Just pray . . .

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Why You Should Care About the Presidential Conventions

. . . Paris, Orlando, Michigan, Baton Rouge, Dallas, Nice. We’ve had a rough summer. Add to that—politics.  It’s time for the Presidential conventions. Will you watch? This is why you should:

God wants you armed with knowledge. He says in Hosea 4:6:

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Maybe you have always voted Republican or Democrat and you can’t imagine crossing over to the other side in the upcoming election. Maybe you have judged the candidates based on their personalities, words, and your ideas about their backgrounds and beliefs. Dig deeper. Watch the conventions with the idea of plowing through the rhetoric and zeroing in on both parties’ platforms—their contracts with the American people on the issues.

Watch and listen carefully. Take what you glean, and apply it to biblical principles. Think about which platform as a whole comes nearer to those principles. Then pray, and ask God to help you decide what to do in November.

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4 NIV

i-wont-vote-forMaybe you’ve said:

“I’m too busy to take the time to make an informed vote, so I’ll just vote along party lines as I have in the past.”

“I’m disillusioned by the whole political process, so I might not vote.”

“Both parties and both candidates are corrupt, and as a Christian I won’t vote in this election.”

Republicans, Democrats, Independents—all of us are sinners.We live together in a world rife with sin. Our politics are often sinful. But, thank God, in this sinful world He’s set us in a country where we have the freedom to choose. There is no perfect candidate or platform, but each vote cast will help push America a little closer to or away from Jesus.

There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:22-24 NIV

Consider these thoughts from philosopher and statesman, Edmund Burke:

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.

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Watch the conventions.
Arm yourself with knowledge.
Pray seeking God’s will.
Then, do something:

Vote.

[Comments are open, but please no comments about a specific party or candidate.]

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