A Christian’s thoughts on the Battle of the Same Gender Marriage

Warning:  This post is controversial.  I’ve been debating whether or not to post it for some time now, but I just have to take the stand.  You will either love me or condemn me for it, and that’s ok.  My God is the one I seek approval from.  All I ask is that if you choose to comment, BE KIND.  You do not have to agree with me, but any rude or disrespectful comments will be deleted.

 

My Facebook page has exploded lately with same-sex marriage talk.   It is seriously taking up over half of my news feed.  People are changing their profile pictures to show the world they are for it, or against it.

For           Against

So far, everyone that I’ve seen post as against it…is a Christian.

People, this breaks my heart.

Do I believe that homosexuality is a sin?  Yes, according to what I read in the Bible I do believe it is a sin.

HOWEVER…

There are 2 main points that so many of my Christian friends seem to be forgetting.

The first point is that we have ALL sinned.  Lying is a sin.  Anyone tell a lie this week?   Divorce is a sin.  Some of my best spiritual mentors and friends have a divorce in their past.  Getting drunk is a sin.  College, anyone?  Losing your temper and yelling at your husband or kids in anger is a sin.  Did that one hit home?  Having sex before marriage is a sin.  Many people quote the term “fornication” in the Bible and use it against people who live a homosexual lifestyle, but that word simply refers to sex before marriage – period.  Anyone guilty?  I know I am.

I’ll be open and honest here and tell you that I lived with my husband before we got married.  I admit, I wasn’t in the right place in my walk with the Lord at that time, or I would have made a different choice.   However, it’s in the past and I’ve asked God to forgive me for it – and He has!

I realize as Christians we are to take a stand against sin.  The problem I have is that it seems like so many of my Christian brothers and sisters are forgetting that this is more than a political issue.  These are real people, with real feelings being talked about.  These are people that God created and whom He loves dearly – like you and me.

Something to think about…Are any homosexual people choosing to stop their lifestyle because of these posts and this outrage against them done by Christians? Or, are we simply pushing people further away from Christ because we are acting like their sin is worse than our own? 

Think about this.  If you had been divorced, had sex before marriage, gotten drunk, or lost your temper, how would it make you feel to constantly see people posting about how awful you were?

Wouldn’t you rather see and hear about the grace of God?  How Jesus came to die and take the punishment for ALL our sins?

If you are a Christian and believe homosexuality is a sin, then don’t engage in it.  Pray for those that do.  But, please stop rallying against them like they are hurting your children.  Why don’t we see this much effort and rage being brought up in regards to prostitution, child abuse, children being used as sex slaves, getting drunk, pornography, burglary, stealing, or lying?  Let’s change our profile pictures to condemn those things.

Some people say that homosexuality is different because they are choosing to continue in their sin, rather than repent from it.  Again, I say let’s look at ourselves.  Are we holding grudges?  Holding unforgiveness in our hearts day after day?  Getting drunk every weekend?  Addicted to anything?

The Bible wants us to stand up against sin, but God also tells us to first look at our own lives.

The second point that I’m sad to say so many of my Christian brothers and sisters are forgetting is that Jesus told us to LOVE our neighbors.

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”  Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  Matthew 22:36-40

Loving God and loving others are THE 2 most important things we can do.  Period.   Jesus is our model and He went to the homes of sinners to eat dinner and fellowship with them.  He didn’t shun them.

 

For the record,  I would like the government to stay out of this completely. It should be a personal choice, not the government’s choice.

I even saw a quote that said, “It is God, not man, who has the right to define the institution of marriage”.   The quote was being used against same-sex marriage, but I am sharing it because it is how I feel about the government defining marriage.

I don’t want the government telling me who to marry, so why would I want them to tell anyone else?  It has nothing to do with whether I think the issue is right or wrong, but that’s a slippery slope and I don’t think they need that much control.  Of course, I feel that way in regard to many issues.  I wouldn’t want it to be illegal to get divorced either, even though I have no plans to do so.

I also don’t agree with many of the arguments against same-sex marriage.

They can’t reproduce.   Neither can myself or my husband thanks to infertility.

People will end up choosing to marry their pets or children! Where will it stop?  Really? We are talking adults, people.  Consenting ADULTS.

Their marriage is unstable.  Or the sanctity of marriage will be destroyed. Really?  How many straight people do you know who have been divorced multiple times, or had marriages last less than a year?  How many great marriages do you see in Hollywood or on the TV shows we watch?  Honestly my friends, if the heterosexual Christian community had a better track record for marriages, I could get behind this.  But, even in the Christian community the divorce rate is around 50%.

 

Fighting against same-sex marriage is not winning anyone to Christ.  Inviting the couple over for dinner and spending time with them just might.  At the very least, it would show them that Christians love people rather than hate them.  You can love someone and still disagree with their lifestyle.

Jesus does.

Star Wars Reads Day

Tomorrow, October 6, is the first annual Star Wars Reading Day where publishers, booksellers and libraries are coming together to promote literacy.  To celebrate, our local public library has a few activities throughout the week scheduled for the kids.  Check your local library to see what is going on in your area.

Today, Emily and I went to the library to watch a LEGO Star Wars short film. It was really cute!

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After the movie, the kids were able to pick up bookmarks, a Star Wars pin, and even make some character masks out of paper and wooden tongue depressors.  We took our masks home to cut out and added some lamination for durability.  Emily and Rob are huge Star Wars fans, so I have a feeling these will get some good use.

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She also picked up a coloring page and ended up spending a good part of the afternoon working on it.  Normally, she prefers to do her own art rather than such a detailed pre-drawn coloring page, but she was really engaged with this one and she did an incredible job!

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Happy Star Wars Reading Day!  Go read a book!

Where were you?

We pause today to remember the tragedy of 9/11 and to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice of their life that day.  I also think about those who have given their time, service, life or loved one in this war that we are still fighting.   I pray for their families.  That somehow they could find comfort in today.  That something today would bring them joy and a smile, even as they continue to grieve.  I pray for our troops that are currently overseas – especially my own husband, and I wish I could give him a huge hug and keep him close to me today. 

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3

You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.  Psalm 119:114

I also thank God for the lives that were spared on that day.  The husband that took the day off work a day before he was supposed to.  I wish I could find them all now, but I read story after story about people who stayed home with a sick child, got stuck in traffic, or had other delays that kept them from being inside those towers on September 11, 2001.  Yes, the number of lives lost was devastating, but it could have been so much worse if it had happened even 1 hour later.  As humans, we will never understand why certain ones were spared and others weren’t but we can trust in God’s master plan and in His love for us.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. 
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”  Isaiah 55:8-9

I remember the day clearly.  Hubby and I didn’t have any children yet, but I was at home because the company I worked for had gone bankrupt so I was out of a job.  I remember having the TV on and watching the morning news while I worked on the computer.  I saw the coverage of the plane hitting the North tower and was in shock!  Several thoughts ran through my head – “How does that happen?”, “Did they lose control of the plane?”, “Are the buildings full?”.  

I was still trying to make sense of it all, when I saw it. 

LIVE. 

The cameras were showing live coverage of the North tower so they caught the 2nd plane in action as it crashed into the South tower.

Then I knew.

It was no accident.

I was on the phone with Hubby immediately, and he came home from work.  I remember we sat for hours watching the coverage together.  We called our family to make sure they knew what was going on.  I also remember we finally took a break to drive a couple blocks to our favorite Chinese restaurant to get take-out.  We weren’t in the mood to cook that day.  Even as we stood in the lobby of the restaurant, they had a TV playing the news.  We chatted a bit with the manager of the restaurant as we were all in shock about what was going on.  What would happen next?  It was so hard to accept that this was really happening. 

I also remember saying many times to my Hubby, “I’m so proud of you for serving our country, but I’m glad you are not still in the Army”.  Little did I know God would have other plans in mind for us and would call us to just that.  God also prepared our hearts for it though, and I could not be any more proud of my husband or happy to be his Army wife. 

I remember the patriotism that rose up in the days following.  The American flags that were seen everywhere.  The perspective that it brought to our daily lives.  The grumbling and complaining seemed to die down for a while as people realized how small most of our problems really are in comparison. 

10 years later, it’s a day I’ll never forget.

Why I won’t see the movie “Change Up”

To be completely fair and honest, I had not even heard of this movie until today.  But then, I tend to get behind on movies while I watch old classics on Netflix.  However, I followed a link from someone else and came across this blog post.  If you were even considering going to see the movie “Change Up”, I encourage you to read this first, especially if you love a child with special needs.  You will be insulted.  Or at least you should be.

I will warn you – the post itself does have a couple curse words in it toward the middle, but read around them because the post is well worth it. 

The military does not cause poverty

This may not be a popular post, but I feel like writing it, so bear with me while I express my opinion.

A while back I saw a petition going around for people to sign trying to get free internet for deployed soldiers.  As people sign, they can also leave a comment.  I had trouble accepting some of the comments I read, and it just goes along with something I’ve been hearing several people talk about lately.

Please, don’t get me wrong!  It’s not the petition I have a problem with.  I’m not against giving our soldiers free internet or any other privileges.  I would love for them to get free internet in their rooms!  They deserve each and every extra they get for the sacrifice they are making.  Our soldiers make up less than 1% of the population and they step up to a job that many wouldn’t do. 

I get that, I really do. 

I’m also thrilled to accept any and all military discounts that stores want to hand out to us as families.  Who am I to argue if a store wants to give me 10% off, or if the Post Office wants to give us APO boxes that are cheaper than the regular flat rate boxes.  I love free stuff!

However, I have a hard time with people acting like we don’t get anything, that being in the military forces us into a lifetime of poverty or that we can’t afford to buy groceries without food stamps, or that just because we are in the military we are automatically entitled to free handouts of everything.

I hear so many people complain that the military doesn’t pay well.  Do I think they should get paid more for what they do?  Of course!! But I think the same thing about teachers, the police, firefighters and all service workers. 

However, just because you are in the military, does not mean you have to live in poverty.  Even based on an E2 pay, assuming they’ve been in for 2 years or less, and assuming no “extra pay” like being Airborne qualified – it is possible to live with a family well above the poverty level. Especially if you live on post and don’t have to pay electric or water each month.  I did the numbers and it’s enough money to have money for tithe, groceries, gas, cell phone, cable, a little ‘fun’ money, and a little left to put in savings.  Now, that assumes no second income, but it also assumes no credit card bills or other unnecessary debt.  If you have a huge car payment, then maybe you can’t have cable or get your nails done, or save as much, but it can be done.  For those with multiple kids, they probably qualify for WIC or food stamps, which just provides extra money. 

Keep in mind, the military also provides almost-FREE healthcare (we pay a small amount each month for dental), and that includes prescriptions, and free life insurance.  Part of our paycheck that goes toward housing (BAH) and food (BAS) is not even taxable. We have guaranteed retirement if the service member serves 20 years.  There is also the free education, including not only job training but college as well.  We have a PX on post (think of a Walmart type store) and a commissary (grocery) – both of which are tax free.  We have access to several free gyms (some even with rooms for the kids to play while you work out), swimming pools, parks and playgrounds on post as well as a multitude of other recreational activities that are free or super cheap.

That’s a lot to be thankful for!

Now, before you say, “but you don’t know my situation” – you are right.  I don’t.  I don’t claim to.  I’m speaking in generalities. But I do know a bit of what I’m talking about. Hubby and I have been through our share of financial struggles – some that were our own doing, and many that weren’t.  I also know from experience that making more money does not mean the financial problems go away.  People tend to spend more when they make more.  We did learn though.  We made our mistakes and we learned from them.  Hubby and I haven’t used a credit card in 9 years.  We are a cash only family.  We’ve made a 6 figure income combined, and now we make…..well, not even close to 6 figures.  We live by a strict budget and know where every penny goes. 

If you want to learn about living on a budget and getting out of debt, I highly recommend Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.  It will change your life!

 

Now back to deployment…

First of all, for Hubby’s current deployment, our soldiers over there DO have access to free internet.  They only have to pay a monthly fee if they want to have internet access in their rooms.  While I would love for all of them to have free internet access in their rooms, and I would love to save the $65 a month that we are paying, it is not mandatory that we pay it.  It’s a choice. 

I realize not all soldiers that are deployed have the option to have internet in their rooms, or even at all.  Getting it for “free” would not necessarily change that.  Some of it depends on where they are and the object of their mission.  There is no guarantee that Hubby will have it during his entire deployment either.  In fact, even us paying for it did nothing to stop it from going down for 2.5 days.

In addition, while they are deployed, our soldiers receive extra pay.  There is hostile fire pay, hardship duty pay, family separation pay, a daily per diem, and our entire income while he’s deployed is tax free.

That extra pay more than makes up for the $65/month for internet access in his room.  Maybe a lot of families couldn’t afford the extra $65 normally, but with the extra deployment income there is no reason they shouldn’t be able to pay it.  You are paying for it with money that you normally don’t have anyway.

While the soldier is deployed there is a wealth of other free things available.  Lots of companies provide free items or discounts when a soldier is deployed, including sporting events, the circus, travel, even Disney.  There are even free summer camps for kids.  The Army itself provides us with $400 toward classes and sports for my daughter just because her Daddy is deployed. 

Cell phone companies will let you put the soldier’s cell phone on hold – saving you the monthly cell phone bill for a phone they can’t use.  Auto insurance companies will often let you lower your rates for the car that isn’t being driven as well if you are a 2 car family. 

Our soldiers can send letters home free of charge.  Packages cost money, but they can send letter envelopes for free.

No amount of money can replace having my husband at home, but I just have a hard time coming up with something to complain about in the money department.  I’ve talked to Hubby’s grandmother about when she was an Army wife, and realizing how far we’ve come puts it all into perspective for sure.  They didn’t get a clothing allowance each year.  They didn’t get issued several uniforms and pairs of boots.  They didn’t even have the option of the internet.  The soldiers then had to wait months and months to *maybe* get a letter from home. 

We have nothing to complain about. 

If your own financial choices are making it impossible to pay your bills each month, then make different choices, but don’t blame the military.  Seek help, learn to live on a budget, do without some extras for a while, shop at thrift stores, embrace frugality, get creative.  You can do it!

What happened to personal responsibility?

This morning I was listening to a local Christian radio station when I heard something from one of the DJs that bothered me.  He was discussing the Atlanta public school cheating scandal.  If you are unfamiliar with it, here is a quote from the article I just linked to:

The product of a two-year investigation, the report concluded that systematic cheating occurred within Atlanta Public Schools — which had been lauded for its quick testing gains — including at least 44 of the 56 examined schools. The report implicated 38 principals, noting that 178 educators pled the Fifth Amendment when questioned. Eighty-two other educators confessed to various forms of cheating, including erasing wrong answers on students’ multiple choice exams and then replacing them with the correct ones.

In order to raise the scores of the 2009 standardized tests, the teachers were erasing the wrong answers and putting in the right answers for the students after the tests were completed.

That is cheating. Period.

This past Friday, the 178 educators that were implicated in the cheating received an ultimatum – resign, or be fired. Here is that article.

What irritated me this morning as I listed to the DJ was where he put the blame.  He said,

“We can’t blame the teachers because they were told by their supervisors that they would lose their jobs if they did not comply.  The fault here really belongs to the higher ups that demanded the higher test scores.  The teachers were just trying to ensure the school received funding so they didn’t lose their jobs. The teachers were just doing what they were told.” 

WHAT? Are you kidding me?

Since when does being told to do something excuse the behavior? Like many of us were told as children, “If your friend told you to jump off a bridge, would you do it?”.

Yes, I agree that the high level educators have a great deal of responsibility in this case and they most definitely share the blame and must face the consequences for pressuring the teachers and ordering them to lie & cheat.

I also agree that the teachers have a hard job.  They are trying to teach a classroom full of students every day and to educate them enough to pass the tests for that grade.  They are forced to teach “to pass a test” rather than teaching the kids to enjoy learning.  They are dealing with a wide range of learning abilities.  They have parents who are not educated enough to help their kids with homework, or who simply don’t care to.  The teachers end up being teacher, counselor, parent, and friend to many of the kids. 

They work HARD.  They should be paid more for all that they do. However, that does not give them the right to lie and cheat.  No matter who told them to do it.

I realize that it’s hard to stand your ground, but we’ve got to stick to our beliefs even when it’s hard.  In the Bible, Daniel was told to comply with the king’s wishes and stop praying to God or be put to DEATH.  He did not comply and the Lord saved him.  Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to bow down to King Nebuchadnezzar and they were thrown into the FIRE.  God saved them too.  Paul and Silas were thrown in jail for doing what God commanded them.  Jesus was crucified. 

Who are we to say that we can’t do what is right because we might lose our job?  Find another job.  Don’t tell me it’s not that easy.  Life isn’t easy, but I’ve seen our God do some amazing, seemingly impossible things!

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)

Tornadoes in North Carolina

The plural version of tornado just looks funny to me with that “e” in there, but evidently it’s correct. 

Anyhoo…

We’ve had a tornado scare before when we were living in Texas, but this time we had one much closer to home.  As most of you know, the Fayetteville/Fort Bragg area was hit hard with tornadoes this past Saturday evening.  We were very blessed and suffered no damage or injury, but there are many, many in the area without homes now.  The last report I read said that over 167 homes were destroyed completely and almost that many more were damaged.  Depending on the article, I’ve read that only 1 or 2 people died in this county.  While I know it is devastating for those families, it is also incredible that number isn’t higher given the amount of damage and devastation.  The number is higher (around 17) when you include the other counties statewide that were affected by this same storm.  Locally, an entire neighborhood was destroyed.  Some are still without power.  An entire Lowe’s hardware store was wiped out. That store was about 20 minutes or so away from us. This was incredibly widespread!

Here is an article from the local newspaper if you want to read more about it.

 

How our day went:

Our Saturday started normally.  There was a post-wide yard sale, so I got up early to hang out with some girlfriends and look for bargains.  All morning, there was a threat of thunderstorms, but we only got sprinkled on a couple of times.  After I returned home, things started to get ugly.  We were watching the weather and keeping up with reports on Facebook.

(Don’t you just love social media where you can follow in real time what people all over the place are seeing/experiencing? It was very handy in this case especially because that’s how we learned that a tornado had touched down right outside one of the gates to post.)

That’s when we moved to the closet!  We have an extremely large closet under the stairs, so we pulled out a bunch of stuff and made room for 3 adults, a child, and a cat! Actually, we put the cat in her crate so we wouldn’t have to go hunting her just in case.  We brought in a dining chair for Granny so she wouldn’t have to sit on the floor, and then Hubby, Lovebug and myself found a seat on the Army green duffle bags.  We had snacks, an iPad to keep Lovebug entertained & distracted, and our cell phones for following the news.

At one point, Lovebug was looking a little nervous and we talked about how God made the storms, He controls them, and He directs their paths.  She knows that, but like all of us, sometimes needs a little reminder in the middle of the storm.  We prayed and knew that no matter what, God was in control. 

I can’t remember how long we were in there, but once we had confirmation that the storm had passed, we came out.  While we were in the closet, we lost power – that was around 3:30 pm.  We stayed inside until it was clear out, and then we ventured out.  We got in the car and drove a bit around post to see how things were and to find out what was open. 

The sky was clearing, and just as quickly as the storm came it was gone.

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Thankfully we were able to find one gas station running on generators and were able to put gas in one of our cars (both of them were very low).  It wasn’t long before even they were out of gas.  Nothing was open.  Nothing on post had power. 

We came home and ended up hanging out on the driveway watching Lovebug play until it was dark enough to try to go to sleep.  I am SO thankful it is Spring, and not Summer!  The temperature in our home was comfortable.  I was a little warm because I’m used to sleeping with a fan, but nothing I couldn’t handle.  Lovebug wasn’t so sure about going to sleep without her music on, but I told her it was just like when we go camping and even she managed to get a decent night of sleep.   I know so many didn’t have a bed to sleep in that night, so we were truly thankful for what we had. 

From the moment the power went out, we didn’t open the fridge or freezer.  Once you do, even for a second, the temperature gets much warmer.  We left it alone in the hopes that we’d be able to safe our perishables.

Sunday morning, we still had no power along with the rest of post.  The surrounding areas were in the dark too.  Once again we were reminded of our blessings! We have a GAS stovetop, and a GAS water heater.  In our past homes, these have been electric and we would have been without hot water as well.  Since we had kept the fridge closed, and the temperatures were mild, our food in the fridge was all still plenty cold.  We lit the gas burners and were able to cook breakfast, make coffee, and take hot showers!  Something that on any other day, we would have taken for granted…but not on this day!  Since we go camping a lot, we already had a camping coffee percolator (that Hubby is planning to take to Iraq…in fact he just bought a stove to go with it!)

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After 20 hours, our power was finally restored and in the end we didn’t even lose any groceries.  We are so blessed, and so incredibly thankful!

Please, please pray for all of those families in the area.  So many without cars or homes.  Others dealing with injuries, or even loss of a loved one.  Even with the best insurance, we know it will take a long time to get their “normal” life back. 

Be thankful today.  Content, even.  If you have a bed to sleep on with a roof over your head, you are blessed.  If you have clean water to drink and have had at least one meal today, you are blessed.  If you have a choice of clothes in your closet, you are blessed. 

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Phil 4:11-13)

What would you miss?

I read this story this morning about 97 military families losing their household goods due to a warehouse fire in Germany.  I can’t stop thinking about them.  These are families that are currently in transition from one home to the next.  They are starting a new life in a new place, a new country.  Now they have lost absolutely everything.  Everything they didn’t take with them on the plane.

Thankfully these families weren’t hurt in the fire, and hopefully they will get some help setting up a new home, but the fact remains that they just lost some incredible memories.  I think about my own child and I know how important it will be to keep things consistent when we move.  For her to have her same “stuff”.  It’s part of what we use to sell our kids on a move.  “You’ll get to take all your things with you!”, we say.  I wonder how many kids tonight are grieving the loss of their things.  How many people are regretting not packing “that thing” in their luggage they took with them to keep it safe.  I think about these families and imagine them sitting around trying to make a list of all the things they will need to replace just to create a home, and also talking about all the things they will never see again.

I wonder what was most important to them?  A piece of furniture that had been in the family for years?  A collection of books? Childhood toys? Pictures?

I know for me it would be my pictures.  For some reason, I feel like without my pictures I will lose some of my memories that I only seem to recall when I look at the picture.  I make an effort to back them up onto an external drive in case my laptop crashes.  I upload a bunch of them to an online storage site so the family and friends and see them.  But truth is, I can’t protect them all.

Our stuff.  It can be lost in the blink of an eye, yet we attach so much value and importance to it as a society.  I hope that in the midst of all this loss, that these families are able to come together to form friendships and relationships and bonds that will last a lifetime.  Much longer than any of their stuff.  I hope they are able to get the help they need to get through this.  I hope they have hope.

“Do it again, Lord” (Remembering 911)

As written (and copied with permission) by Max Lucado:

Dear Lord,

We’re still hoping we’ll wake up. We’re still hoping we’ll open a sleepy eye and think, What a horrible dream.

But we won’t, will we, Father? What we saw was not a dream. Planes did gouge towers. Flames did consume our fortress. People did perish. It was no dream and, dear Father, we are sad.

There is a ballet dancer who will no longer dance and a doctor who will no longer heal. A church has lost her priest, a classroom is minus a teacher. Cora ran a food pantry. Paige was a counselor and Dana, dearest Father, Dana was only three years old. (Who held her in those final moments?)

We are sad, Father. For as the innocent are buried, our innocence is buried as well. We thought we were safe. Perhaps we should have known better. But we didn’t.

And so we come to you. We don’t ask you for help; we beg you for it. We don’t request it; we implore it. We know what you can do. We’ve read the accounts. We’ve pondered the stories and now we plead, Do it again, Lord. Do it again.

Remember Joseph? You rescued him from the pit. You can do the same for us. Do it again, Lord.

Remember the Hebrews in Egypt? You protected their children from the angel of death. We have children, too, Lord. Do it again.

And Sarah? Remember her prayers? You heard them. Joshua? Remember his fears? You inspired him. The women at the tomb? You resurrected their hope. The doubts of Thomas? You took them away. Do it again, Lord. Do it again.

You changed Daniel from a captive into a king’s counselor. You took Peter the fisherman and made him Peter an apostle. Because of you, David went from leading sheep to leading armies. Do it again, Lord, for we need counselors today, Lord. We need apostles. We need leaders. Do it again, dear Lord.

Most of all, do again what you did at Calvary. What we saw here on that Tuesday, you saw there on that Friday. Innocence slaughtered. Goodness murdered. Mothers weeping. Evil dancing. Just as the ash fell on our children, the darkness fell on your Son. Just as our towers were shattered, the very Tower of Eternity was pierced.

And by dusk, heaven’s sweetest song was silent, buried behind a rock.

But you did not waver, O Lord. You did not waver. After three days in a dark hole, you rolled the rock and rumbled the earth and turned the darkest Friday into the brightest Sunday. Do it again, Lord. Grant us a September Easter.

We thank you, dear Father, for these hours of unity. Disaster has done what discussion could not. Doctrinal fences have fallen. Republicans are standing with Democrats. Skin colors have been covered by the ash of burning buildings. We thank you for these hours of unity.

And we thank you for these hours of prayer. The Enemy sought to bring us to our knees and succeeded. He had no idea, however, that we would kneel before you. And he has no idea what you can do.

Let your mercy be upon our President, Vice President, and their families. Grant to those who lead us wisdom beyond their years and experience. Have mercy upon the souls who have departed and the wounded who remain. Give us grace that we might forgive and faith that we might believe.

And look kindly upon your church. For two thousand years you’ve used her to heal a hurting world.

Do it again, Lord. Do it again.

Through Christ, Amen.

As written by Max Lucado for America Prays, a national prayer vigil held Saturday, September 14, 2001. Permission to copy not only granted but encouraged.

Don’t Forget! The war is not over!

I’m sure you’ve heard by now that many of the troops are being moved out of Iraq.  Please, for the sake of all those that are left, don’t misinterpret this as the war being over. It’s not.

I couldn’t write this any better, so please take the time to read this post by an army wife.  Then say a prayer for those that are still serving in a war zone.