Saturday, September 10, 2011

Your life can change in an instant. Are you ready?

God Bless the U.S.A.

If we've learned anything from Sept. 11, 2001, it's that you can wake up one morning, ready to start your day with enthusiasm and zest and then, in an instant, everything about your world, everything you know to be good, and true and honest, can be torn apart in the snap of your fingers, forever.

As I reflect on what happened 10 years ago tomorrow, I have a range of emotions: intense sorrow, horror, and pain for all the lives lost, but also immense pride for the tremendous bravery that was displayed that awful day.

My memory of that day is that it was a beautiful day in Sarasota, Florida where I live. I remember the President was coming to town to speak to children at Emma E Booker Elementary School. Shortly after 9 am I got a call from my husband telling me to turn on the TV. I watched in horror at what was happening in New York, and then in Washington. I was scared and nervous for all Americans. I was worried about my own children and husband because I knew the President was in our town. Would the terrorists be sending a plane to Sarasota to try and kill the President? There were so many, many emotions that day and in the days after as we all sat riveted to our TV screens watching everything unfold before our eyes. History in the making. Unbelievable and unthinkable history.

                                    President Bush reading with a child in Sarasota before he heard about attacks~

But as I look back now, ten years later, I want to focus and remember the heroics of that day. I want to remember how we, as Americans, came together as a nation in the days and months after those horrific attacks by those cowardly terrorists. There will be many memorials this weekend to those who lost their lives and those are very important.

It's essential to pay tribute to all the innocent victims, the brave heroes of flight 93, and all of the firefighters and police who charged into the chaos to help save lives in NYC and Washington, many losing their lives. Even many regular citizens who, in the midst of all the destruction, found it within themselves to reach out to others, often forgetting their own safety and risking their own lives to help their fellow citizens.

                          Brave firefighter headed UP the Towers to rescue people trapped, he tragically lost his life.

We need to honor them and thank them for their sacrifices, but we also need to remember the blessings that came, even in the midst of all that evil. Blessings you say? Are you crazy? What good could have possibly come out of all that? What blessings could have come through all that loss and destruction? Where was God anyway on that terrible day? I believe that God was crying that day, just like all of us were.

But, in the midst of the horror of that day, I can think of some blessings that I want to share. One blessing I can think of immediately is that the attacks happened in the early morning, not in the middle of the afternoon, when the Twin Towers would have most likely been completely full of workers. As terrible as the losses were, the loss of life could have been much greater if the offices had been completely full, and for that we should all be thankful. I read that when completely full, those Twin Towers held over 50,000 workers. I am thankful that those Towers weren't full. What a tragedy that would have been if we loss all those lives.

                                               WTC Towers burning after the planes hit on 9/11/2001          

Another blessing from the day is the brave passengers of flight 93. They learned from phone calls to family members on the ground about the chaos that was happening in Washington and NYC. Having an idea that their hijacked plane was headed for another Capitol Landmark, they overtook the plane, drove it into the ground in Shankesville, Pa. and averted what could have been another catastrophe in Washington with the loss of many more lives. If the terrorists had attacked the Capitol or the White House, our government might have been abolished for many months or even years and our country might have gone into complete anarchy. That was an immense blessing in my book. A tragic loss of life, yes, but also a blessing.

                                          Temporary Memorial set up after flight 93 went down in Pa.

Remember when the members of Congress stood on the steps of the capital and sang "God Bless America" in the days following the attacks? We need to remember that awesome show of unity in our country, when we stopped to thank God for this awesome country that we have the privilege to live in. You may not think that is a big deal, but have you ever before or after seen such a strong showing of love of God and country by our members of Congress? We were all coming together as a country and that was a blessing.

                                        Members of Congress break into singing "God Bless America"

I want to remember people reaching out to help others grieving along with them. I want to remember the pictures of the firefighters covered with debris, doing what they could to help their own or others in need.

                                  Two women comfort each other in NYC when the Towers are attacked.

                                             Firefighters helping the injured amidst all the rubble after the first Tower fell

We came together as a nation during and after the attacks. We would not let the terrorists break us then and we should not they them break us now. We are a proud God-fearing Nation, one that was built on Christian principles. That was a blessing. We were reaching out to each other with God's love.

  St. Pauls Church in Manhattan offered refuge, rest and food
for the body and souls of the rescue workers

We saw that wonderful, caring side of us after 9/11/01. It came shining through in the days after the attacks. Many people who never prayed or went to church returned to seek solace and called out to the Lord to help find their loved ones, called for protection for the workers and everyone suffering the tremendous losses after the attack. We came together as a nation. There were blood bank opened up all over the country and citizens were giving blood to help in anyway they could. We were donating money, and sending food to help the workers. People from all over the country were leaving their jobs and volunteering to help in the cleanup at the Pentagon and at the WTC site. There were concerts held with big name musicians from all over the world coming to NYC and help to raise money and bring the hurting together. We are a caring nation and in the worst of times, you often see us at our very best. In bad times, us Americans pull together. That's a fact.

So, to the question...Where was God on the day of the 9/11 attacks? I believe He was watching, as He always is. And his was crying right along with us.

                                         Rescue workers stop to pray during the cleanup at the WTC.

But,'s here's the thing to remember. God gives us free will. It is our choice to live with Him in our life, or not. He is a gentlemen. He does not overtake our lives. Unfortunately, we live in an evil world, that is ruled by Satan. This world is not God's Kingdom. That will come in time when Jesus returns to earth. Many people in this world are ruled by evil and by Satan and they let that take over their lives. That was very evident on Sept. 11, 2001. God doesn't want that for any of us. He want us to turn from evil and come home to Him. Ephesians 6 says:

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

The Bible tell us in this powerful verse. It's clear and simple. The day of evil is now, friends. The evil is all around us in this world right now and there are spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Help Lord, what can we do?

What CAN we do, you ask? We can PRAY. We can pray for God's protection for our country, our leaders, those military men and women protecting us all over the world, and our family and friends. We can fall down on our knees and pray with softened hearts to your will.

We can turn from evil and embrace love. We can repent of our own sins and turn back to God Almighty before it is too late. I will be spending an hour praying tomorrow for just that. Please join me in praying for renewal for our country and for peace to be with the family members of all those lost on 9/11/01. May God
Bless you all.

                                  New Cross erected in downtown Manhattan, commemorating 9/11/01

My verse for today is in Red.

My prayer for today:

Dear Heavenly Father:

As we remember that awful day on September 11,2001, help us to give tribute to all who lost their innocent lives that day. Help us to remember the sacrifices that were made by the many, many brave men and women in New York and Washington. Give solace to the family members and friends who lost so much that day. Help us Lord, to return to you with a spirit of repentance so that we may live in your light each day. Help us to turn from evil and turn back to you. Thank you for this free country we live in. We are blessed beyond measure.

In Jesus Might Name I pray,

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Write your plans in pencil, but give God the eraser~

Today, I saw a facebook post from a new friend of mine from across the globe. He said this " Write your plans in pencil, but give God the eraser, because He will remove the wrong, by replacing it with the best for you." Did you get that? Make all the plans you want, right down to every minute if you want...but write them down in pencil.

You can shave those pencils down to nubs if you want, writing down all every single plan you have for your entire life, BUT, give the Lord the eraser, because He is the one with the final say in your life and mine, whether we want to admit that or not. He is the one with the master plan, not us.

IF, you have the guts to put your faith and trust in Him and do exactly that what the Lord says by seeking His will for your life, everything will turn out just like it's supposed to for you. But, really, how many of us have faith like that? It's hard to put all your marbles in one basket as the saying goes, right? But when your basket is held by the Great I AM, it's an OK thing, don't you think? I strive to have faith like that each day, but I'm human and it's hard. But that is what I want to do and that is what I strive to do, each and every day. I want to embrace the Lord and all of His promises for my life.         

                                                         The Promise by Morgan Weistling

One of my favorite verses in the Bible is from Jeremiah 29:11 and it goes like this:

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

There it is, pure and simple and easy to understand for any one of us. He knows the plans He has for us, he wants to prosper us, He wants to give us hope and a future. What else could we want? What other questions could we have? He states it in the simplest of forms for even a child to understand. If you belong to Him, He wants to watch over you. He wants you to have a prosperous life. He doesn't want harm to come to you. He wants to give you hope.

What in the world could anyone of us ever want that didn't include those 4 words. Plan, prosper, hope and future. Pretty much sums it up, don't you think? Sometimes people say they don't understand the Bible. That it's too complicated. Parts of the Old Testament can get tedious at times, (even I can admit that) but then you come across a knock your sock off kind of verse like Jeremiah 29:11 ~~ He brings you right back down to earth. Anyone can understand the simplicity of that wonderful statement, right?

The key thing though, is our acceptance of that verse. Do we trust the Lord enough to know that He has our back (as they say in the great movie "The Blind Side")? No matter what happens, He will be there to come to our rescue? No matter how we mess up, He'll be there; there is no doubt about that, if you trust and believe.

Life can get really messy. The older I get, the more I realize what a profoundly true statement that is. When we get in trouble, and we will, it's just a matter of when, not if; do we know where to go to get our strength until the storm passes? Psalm 46:1 says "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." I say hold on to that verse with all your might and with everything in you.

                                                        Homeward Bound by Peter Ellenshaw

So that when trouble hits; you can RUN...not walk, out of the storm. Do not pass go, just sprint as fast as you can to the one that can really give you help and give you strength. Pick up your Bible and fall into the arms of Jesus. Go Home. He will never let you down. He will erase all of the bad plans that have fallen apart, and replace them with brand spanking new and more important ones, just the way He wants them. He's got your back and always has~~ if you'll just let Him in.

So, remember, go ahead and dream. Go ahead and make your plans. But write them in pencil, and don't forget to give to eraser to the Creator of the Universe, just where it should be! He holds Our World and the Universe in His Hands. Your simple plans are a piece of cake for him. Trust and Obey, for there's no other way!

                                                            Peace on Earth by Greg Olsen

My verses for today are in Red.

My prayer for today:

Dear Lord Jesus:

Thank you for new friends that enlighten with old truths. Thank you for your Word, that has everything to help us get through each minute of this life. Help us to rely on You during good times and bad. Help us to give you the eraser and have the strength to let go and let you write the New plans for us as we need them. We know, Lord, you only have good and prosperous plans for us because Your Word says so. Help us to trust and obey you, always~

I ask this in the mighty name of Jesus,