Sunday, September 11, 2011

Our Real Enemy

Today has been a day of mixed emotions. It is hard to believe that ten years have past so quickly and yet the pictures of that day are hauntingly, ever present in my mind. I wanted to remember, so I went to you tube and watched some of the horrendous videos of that day forever etched in my memory. Two tall twin towers, one burning, literally melting, while the other was approached by a large jet heading straight into the tower. Then shortly attack on our Pentagon. It was so shocking, I had never seen anything like it. So many lives lost, forever, in an instant. They were just going about their business in a normal way, never dreaming that it would be their last moments on earth. Their last breakfast....their last conversation with a loved one.
The feelings all came pouring back to me as I re-watched the footage. Shock, anger, sadness, fear, a flood of emotions. But the United States rose up in unity and patriotism that was unequaled. Our flag could be seen flying everywhere, declaring our unity against the unseen enemy that was attacking our homeland.
But, today, I also noticed other videos on you tube....videos that were calling 9/11 a hoax....a conspiracy....a lie. Everything from a rendition of the Bee Gees song "Staying Alive" to singing the tune with the word's changed to "9/11's a lie".
Conspiracy theories ranging from missile attacks by our own country, to alien attacks, to the plane that crashed into the trade center was a hologram!! I was shocked to say the least. But, why was I so shocked? There are many who still claim that the holocaust and the moon landing are hoaxes, frauds, fakes....and have never happened, either.
It sort of sounds like a lot of people I know...deny the obvious. Blame someone other than the real perpetrator....or worse yet, believe it doesn't involve you, so remain indifferent to it all.
Quite frankly, we all know who the real perpetrator was that day. It was Satan and his army of evil-doers, doing what he does best. Creating chaos, confusion, fear, and taking out as many humans as he could in the process.
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Ephesians 6:12.
Although our battles play out in the physical realm, the war is really spiritual in nature. There IS a supernatural realm, and there is a real battle between good and evil....truth and lies......God and the devil.
In John 10:10, Jesus tells us that "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy, I have come that they may have life and have it to the full."
And 1 Peter 5:8 adds, "Your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."
Satan may have used human hands on earth to do his bidding....but he is our enemy. He sets traps and snares and lies in wait to pounce on us and capture us by his deceit.
It makes me sad that some people have no trouble believing in God or heaven, but are in denial of Satan and hell. He is very real....but even though it may look as though he is winning a few battles....he has already been defeated!!! Jesus has crushed the head of the serpent...his reign of terror has an end!
Today's remembering of the events of 9/11 are a reminder of this. Stay diligent and pray that God's hedge remains around us and around America....God longs to gather you under the protective shadow of His wings as a mother hen gathers her baby chicks. Don't get so independent that you don't think you have a need of God and you become the baby chick that wanders too far away that you can't make it back under the wings of your mother when danger approaches.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The "Too" Moments

It's 11:30 pm...I can't I have decided to write. Ten minutes have passed and I've got nothing. I have a blank screen in front of me. It seems I also have a blank mind. I could write about how I miss the sounds of Jill's laughter echoing in my house, or Jordan begging me to play a game with him, or Gina bossing her siblings around and playing school with them. I could share how I especially miss the family meals around the table and taking my children to Sunday school and church. I still remember all of the words to the Sunday School songs I taught them, but I'm beginning to forget the sounds of their little voices singing them. I could write about how I miss arguing with them about what they can and can't wear to school. Why didn't I just let them have a little freedom? Why was everything a big deal? Why didn't I pause to look at them closer and take in every curl, dimple and smell of their childhood?
I remember saying....why don't you just grow up! Or...quit being a baby! So they did....
Every day, working at the school, I see parents so busy they don't see what is right there in front of them. They raise their children, not understanding that some day they will belong to someone else. Parents who frantically toss their children in front of television sets or video games so they can gain a few moments peace, but in the process, lose them to a world that robs them of their innocence and pushes them to grow up too fast. Parents who don't have time to teach values and manners to their children because it's just too hard and takes far too much time. Parents who love their children enough to buy them telephones and televisions in elementary school....but have no time to gather them on their laps and read a book to them. No time to teach them nursery rhymes, or take them to church.
Don't get me wrong...I'm not bashing the parents of today...they have soooo much on their plates. But I want to scream at them....SLOW DOWN! You're missing out! When your children are think you'll have them with you think you'll have more time with them later....but you don't!
I remember telling them to hop down off of my lap because I was too hot and sweaty to hold I wish I had those moments to do over.
You see, time has a way of subtly stealing the things that are most precious and dear away from you. And those special moments are gifts to us. But they only last two seconds. I like to call them the "too" moments, because TOO often, we miss them because we are TOO busy, TOO tired, or TOO grouchy!
We don't get "Do overs" with children. God loans them to us for a few years, and then we are left with an adult child, modeling the life he/her saw demonstrated to them in our lives.
Listen to me, parents. The best way you can love your child is to raise him to become adults that others will love and respect. Do you let them back talk you? Do you give them everything they want or let them do everything they want? Or do you help them to understand that there are consequences to their actions? Even though it may hurt you to discipline them... it will help them to become well loved and respected adults.
I've made lots of mistake raising my children...but the biggest error was not slowing down and loving them in the moments. I long for them to be little again so I can take back harsh, unloving words that I shouted at them, cutting through their little hearts. Rash words that flew out of my mouth before I could take them back. I'd give anything to take back my impatience...while their little hands tried to put on shoes quickly enough to suit me....or pick up toys just the way I demanded it. I long to kiss away little tears that I had caused because of my own selfishness. I long to walk into there bedrooms while they are sleeping and just gaze at them for an hour.
Yes, I could write about all the flowers I could have stopped and smelled...and how many picnics and stories I could have shared...about listening to the laughter and pausing for the smiles....and pondering at the wonder in their eyes....and kissing away the makes me too sad.....and too lonely....and too, I won't.