I posted a while back about a song by Phil Wickham that I love and today I found out he’s giving away his new live album for free! Be sure and check out evadethenoise.com for the download link a little blurb I wrote. Gotta love free stuff!
It’s impossible for me to not think back to September 11, 2001 when this day comes around each year. What’s sad is it has almost become a cliché to talk or write or talk about it each year. I even hesitated writing this today because I fear of adding to the cliché, but I just don’t understand that. I know the horrible things that happened are now seven years in the past, but many people have strong memories of that day, myself included, because of the fear it struck in the heart of Americans. The kind of fear that makes people question things like safety, security, innocence, evil, eternal life, etc. It’s also the kind of fear that makes you remember. Similar to the way a person remembers vividly things from their childhood. Something so scary happened that it has been engraved in their memory, like a childhood nightmare or the first scary movie they saw — they can remember them like they happened yesterday and we can recall those kind of memories with strong detail.
Now here I am, seven years down the road and I’ve found myself thinking back to the phone call I got from my dad waking me up and telling me to turn the radio on (we didn’t have a TV) and it was the second day of my senior year of high school. After waking my mom up and getting the radio on we just started listening to what was unfolding. Without a TV, I don’t think I really fully grasped what was going on. I knew what the World Trade Center was since I had just physically seen them a few months earlier on my senior trip, but I can’t say I understood what was happening. Needless to say, I remember exactly what I was doing and where I was. My memories are recorded clearly on the film reel of my brain and there’s really no way to throw it out.
But what has happened with 9/11 is it has become such a political buzzword that we’ve forgotten what really happened. In fact, TV stations are told not to play the footage which aired all day back in 2001. I understand why they would do that. In respect to the families and those who died that day, it’s just the right thing for them to do. But Bethany and I just finished watching “102 Minutes That Changed America” on the History channel and it’s even more clear how much we have forgotten as a country. The show is real time, unedited footage (both professional and amateur) of everything that happened from the time the first plane hit until the collapse of the second tower. I haven’t watched a lot of the footage of 9/11 since 2001 and I can honestly say it was shocking. What was especially interesting was the way that people were feeling and reacting as everything was going on. People were scared, outraged, angry, and they were panicked. Some didn’t know what to think, but they all knew that something unlike this had ever really happened before.
As we watched, both Bethany and myself couldn’t help but think about eternal things. About a year and half after 9/11 we both went to New York on a missions trip together. Our team had the opportunity to meet and interact with people and families who had loved ones that died on 9/11. We were even able to go down to Ground Zero and see the hole in the ground as well as the memory board of faces, names, and letters to families and friends. During our time there the missions leader that lived and worked in New York for many years told us that he had never experienced a more open city to the Gospel. People needed answers and him and his church were there to tell them about the Lord Jesus Christ. People were now thinking about life after death and the missions workers and churches were there to tell them about eternal life with Christ. We too had that privilege to stand on the streets and tell people the Good News of Christ and the free gift of salvation only He can provide. He was the answer to their fear. He was the reason not to fear! Oh that the Lord would continue to turn around what man meant for evil for His glory. Oh that people would be reminded that there is more to this life then just this day and this world and that a loving Savior awaits to see them turn to Him. There is nothing to fear in the arms of the Savior! I thank the Lord today that I have been reminded of these things and pray that God would use this reminder for His glory.
Here’s a random sampling of what people remember seven years ago on September 11th (via Twitter):
I wanted to write a really nice blog on “sanctification” right now, but I realized 2 paragraphs in that I am in no place to be discussing it. My heart and mind are a bit distracted and that’s the honest truth. I can however say that if somehow I believed that the Christian life was going to be a cakewalk, then I have sorely deceived myself.
Last week on NBC I watched a two day special on a two families who were basically a part of this huge case of mistaken identity. The gist is that each family had a daughter in this huge car accident that were near in age. Apparently the coroner made a mistake and one daughter was pronounced dead and the other was in a coma. The problem was, each family had the wrong daughter. Essentially this meant that one family got news of their daughters death and the other stayed at the bedside of their daughter was in a coma. Five weeks in to the ordeal the girl in a coma came out of it and they asked what her name was and it wasn’t what the family expected. To make a long story short, the families realized that a mistake had been made and the girl who was now alive was reunited with her real family and the other family found out their daughter had died five weeks earlier.
That story could easily be the saddest thing to hear, but what amazed me more than anything about the whole ordeal was the attitudes of both families. In the middle of the interview Matt Lauer asked both familes this question, he said, “Where’s the anger?”. He was implying that he didn’t understand why both families weren’t more upset at the situation they were put in. But it was the response of one of the father’s the blew me away. One of the dad’s said something along the lines of, “Well Matt, we believe in a sovereign God. We knew that we would see our daughter once again, if not right now, and though our faith is meager, we trust God with our lives.”
That dad’s heart is in the right place. He has a truly biblical understanding about who God is, and it’s possible that the Lord was able to reveal this to him only because of the situation that God had allowed to happen in their lives. You see, as I think about why “bad things happen to good people” (AKA: the problem of evil), I can’t get passed that one of the main reasons is for God to reveal more of Himself to you. For these families, God was revealing something about His character that they may never have learned or seen before unless this happened to them.
Once again, I can get past the news without feeling the need to mention this.
In this article by the San Francisco Chronicle titled “Homeschoolers’ setback sends shock waves through state” we are finding out that you simply can’t home school your kids in CA, that is… unless you hold a valid teaching credential. Here’s a snippet from the article that sums it up:
Yet the appeals court said state law has been clear since at least 1953, when another appellate court rejected a challenge by homeschooling parents to California’s compulsory education statutes. Those statutes require children ages 6 to 18 to attend a full-time day school, either public or private, or to be instructed by a tutor who holds a state credential for the child’s grade level.
“California courts have held that … parents do not have a constitutional right to homeschool their children,” Justice H. Walter Croskey said in the 3-0 ruling issued on Feb. 28. “Parents have a legal duty to see to their children’s schooling under the provisions of these laws.”
Parents can be criminally prosecuted for failing to comply, Croskey said.
“A primary purpose of the educational system is to train school children in good citizenship, patriotism and loyalty to the state and the nation as a means of protecting the public welfare,” the judge wrote, quoting from a 1961 case on a similar issue.
After reading both the article and the published ruling of this case (download the PDF here), it’s my understanding that this isn’t a NEW law, but something that has been in existence since as early as the 1950’s.
I know that many people at my church love home schooling and enjoy the freedom to able to train and educate their children as they see fit. I am honestly amazed that the state of CA has that kind of power, or even feels they have that kind of authority in the home. Of course parents could seek to obtain a teaching credential, but I have no idea how long that would take. Most credentialing programs in California last at least a year and require teaching time in the classroom. This is pretty big news in my mind.
Your thoughts? Leave me a comment.
So I’m assuming that 5,000 people were hallucinating when they were fed by Jesus. Or maybe they were hallucinating when they saw a dead man come back to life? Or how about when they saw that lame man walk?
Let’s be honest, the Bible will always be under attack — it doesn’t change a thing.