Friday, August 23, 2013

9/11: What I Remember


 

From Mike Huckabee on August 23, 2013: “A Kansas City-based group called the American Muslim Political Action Committee is trying to organize a “Million Muslim March” on Washington on September 11th, the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on America. They claim that 9/11 is all about discrimination against Muslims, and they intend to demand “social justice.” It’s an offensive and disrespectful stunt. But somehow, I doubt they’ll find a million American Muslims who agree with their view that they’re the real victims of 9/11. The website for the Million Muslim March shows that so far, 57 people have RSVP’ed.”
 
What I remember about 9/11/2001 has nothing to do with discrimination against anyone. I can’t imagine that’s what any of us are remembering. It’s remarkably presumptuous for this group to think our memorials are about them!  
I remember teaching middle school children that day, and when we found out what happened we turned on the TV to watch the news, but not for long. Some of the children did not deal well with what they were hearing and seeing. We had no idea how horrific the scene was. There were prayers and silent, frightened tears from the staff and students alike.
I remember not knowing if we should have parents come and get their children (Mine were in the school, and I was very glad I was with them!)
I remember watching the remains of those towers burn from a distance with my children. We stood in silence with others who watched alongside us as the pillars of smoke billowed into the blue sky.
I remember a friend who worked on Wall Street telling us his experience. He is a native New Yorker, but uncharacteristically parked his car on the Jersey side and ferried over instead of using the parking garage at his building that morning. While at work, he heard the planes hit the buildings, and when his building was evacuated, he ran to help and watched human beings fall to the cement sidewalk from the burning towers. He heard a clear voice telling him to get to the ferry immediately. He ran to get the last ferry that would leave the harbor that morning, and as the ferry was half way to the other side, the North Tower fell. Had he stayed to help, well, who knows. Needless to say, he was devastated for many months.
I remember another dear friend whose son worked in the North Tower. She told us how he had uncharacteristically left the building that morning to get something to eat when the first plane hit.
I remember the hearing that city hospitals were bringing in their on-call staff to make ready for what was sure to be many injured survivors in need of urgent care. There were so very few.
I remember the absolute dead silence of the airspace in our area in the days after the attack. And if there was a plane or helicopter, we were frightened by it.
I remember seeing a highway sign that said "All roads to NYC closed." 
I remember waking up on 9/12/2001 actually thinking it HAD TO be a nightmare. And then turning on the news again to find it was not.
I remember watching news reports as bodies began to be found and rescuers gently and respectfully honoring each who was recovered.
I remember hearing from a friend about a little girl she knew that lost her daddy in those towers.
And I remember my husband’s reaction after spending several days working as a rescuer at the site. No police training prepared him for what he experienced. He still has a hard time talking or watching shows about the attacks.
We remember 9/11 on the anniversary of the attacks because we lost precious loved ones. Most New Yorkers are much less than six degrees removed from someone who was forever taken or someone who was there. As a New Yorker, I still marvel at the fact that two impressive buildings have disappeared from the planet in a thick, poisonous cloud, taking so many innocent lives and affecting so many families. The loss was devastating. Those folks deserved to be remembered. Like it or not, we will remember them.
We still live in an age where each of us must be vigilant. Like the people of Israel building the wall in Nehemiah’s day, we work with one hand and have our weapon in the other. (Nehemiah 4:17) And we know that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but they are spiritual and mighty. (2 Corinthians 10:1-6)
That being said, the good folks at “Yes I Will Pray” are having an event on 9/11/2013. Please join this Urgent Call to Prayer. It’s time for the sleeping giant, the slumbering body of Christ in America, to wake up, humble themselves, pray, seek God’s face, turn from our lukewarm, feel-good, seeker-friendly, compromised position and take up the FULL armor and once again join the battle for the Kingdom of God, our nation, our cities, our communities, our families, and one another.
Say “Yes, I WILL pray!” Check out the link below and join the battle!
https://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/events/511446505607381/

Friday, August 2, 2013

Child Pornography and Trafficking: "If my people" Part 2.


(This blog is in desperate need of editing, but I'm posting it anyway. You'll get the gist of it, and I'll clean it up later. Thanks for your patience!)

I'm writing this with those who call themselves by the name of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, in mind. The name of Jesus is one of the only taboos in our nation. Say or do anything else, and it's acceptable. Believers are mocked and taunted, stripped of their Constitutional rights, and denied the same "tolerance" under a hypocritical, double-standard as is fought for on behalf of every other group of people in the nation.

And you, as a believer, have already done one of two things. You've counted the cost and realized that your faith and your citizenship is in heaven, not here. You've made a conscious decision to stand your ground, stand in your faith, be bold as a lion and gentle as a dove and not be ashamed of who you are in Christ. You are a doer who seeks justice, loves mercy, and walks humbly. Kudos to you!

Or you have given in to the hype. You think that grace covers you and you've fallen to the idea that God loves you and everyone, so anything is okay, He forgives it all. You wouldn't have an abortion, but you think it's okay for others under certain circumstances. You think that love is a personal issue, and that decision is made by individuals, and it's not your business. You go to church every week and do your duty, but your Bible is as dusty as your morality. You know you've been taught differently but chalk it up to a new day and a new age your teachers and maybe even the Bible doesn't really understand.

What does this have to do with child pornography and trafficking, you're wondering? You didn't come here for a lecture. You came here because you're concerned about this horrific national blight against our kids, and thought maybe you could learn what you could do about it. GOOD! Bear with me a moment. It seems like I'm getting off topic, but I'm making a point.

The stats you just read are beyond alarming. They should be sending off bells and whistles in every avenue of American society from families, schools, churches, and local municipalities right to the White House. Every segment of our society should be fighting tooth and nail against this plague. It effects all of us and puts all of our children in danger.

However, if the deep roots of a tree-killing weed are not dug up in their entirety, they continue to suck the life out of the tree until it dies. Child pornography and trafficking are symptoms, not the illness itself. Think about how far we've moved from our healthy roots. No, they may not have been perfect, but in my day, the climate in America fostered unity; growth; neighborliness; and a moral standard that hardly exists today except in the few who are unmoved by the bullies that taunt them for upholding it. There was a wholesomeness about American life that has become more like American caricature than history in the minds of those who never experienced it.

Isaiah 5:20-21 says, "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight!"

It's everywhere. Every dark and evil thing is relished in our culture. Movies with increasingly satanic themes smash the box offices; people fight for the "right" to kill the unborn; people fight to have all reference to God removed from our country--which is the very foundation upon which it was built. If you pull the roots of the tree up, guess what happens to the tree?

We are dead set as a culture that the weed is to grow up healthy and strong while the tree is destroyed. And you who call yourself a believer have an active role. You are either pulling at the roots of the weed or the roots of the tree. Which is it?

 2 Corinthians 13:5 tells us to "Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves!"

Before we can point a finger at anyone else, each of us has to take stock and examine ourselves. Are we truly in the faith or have we compromised to the tremendous pressure that is daily exerted upon us from the world? No doubt in the least, it's getting harder and harder to stand. But that should not come as a shock to anyone of us. But the way to stand firm is to DIG IN to the Solid Rock. He is a sure foundation, and there is none other!

Back to the title issue. Child pornography and trafficking. They are symptoms of a diseased culture that has for decades, attempted to throw God out of every facet of our society and has embraced every evil, calling it good. It's a slippery slope. Each of us feeds either the tree or the weed, and as we do so, it effects our personal lives as well as the community around us.

Here are just a couple of examples. In the 70's, the movies we now rate as PG-13 were rated X. What does that say about what we are feeding? What was strictly forbidden on TV back then is not only acceptable, it's in animated form for our children.

While sex was hardly more than innuendo in the music of my day, it is now blatant, violent, and depraved. Listen to the "lyrics" of the music your children are listening to. Much of it is nothing less than what I call "auditory porn." And believe me. They know every word!

Our children are being groomed by our society to engage in intimate relations...as children. People are fighting for children under the age of 15 to purchase over-the-counter Plan B, and in most states, minors can have an abortion without parental consent.(http://parentingteens.about.com/od/teenpregfact/a/abortion_laws.htm) Pedophiles are actually fighting for their rights as those with a different "sexual orientation!" (http://www.greeleygazette.com/press/?p=11517)

Porn can become an addiction that is easily fed via online sources.(http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3050060/) Our children are being trafficked across the nation to the tune of 100,000-300,000 annually, pimped out to men who pay to rape them. (http://www.polarisproject.org/human-trafficking/overview). Our children are being taken through coercion, force, or fraud and made sex slaves for thousands of men who have first fantasized with child porn. (http://sharedhope.wordpress.com/2010/12/15/from-child-porn-to-child-trafficking-%E2%80%93-a-devastating-trail/)

So it's big and ugly, isn't it. What can you do about it? First, examine yourself. If you are a believer, and you realize you have been feeding the weed and chopping down the tree, you're not alone. And it's not too late.

2 Chronicles 7:14 tells all of us TODAY..."If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

There's HOPE. For you. For me. For our children. For our nation. But the time is short. Before one more child is subjected to the nightmare of being trafficked for porn or fulfilling the fantasies of others, let's all commit to doing what 2 Chronicles 7:14 declares is that hope for our nation. Let's kill the weed and feed the tree of life.