After surviving the plane strike at the World Trade Center on 9-11, I fell into a fog for weeks, months and even the years that followed. The feeling and depression of survivors guilt is something that can’t be easily explained. The only people I have found that can relate are people that have also suffered from it, Vietnam Vets, crash survivors where others have died, other victims and so on. I guess first-hand experience is best to be able to relate to it. But even if you have not experienced it there is much one can do with good reason and results.
It seems everything you buy today has an add-on warranty. Typically, I don't buy these warranties. I see it as just paying more for the item. Plus I don't think I will ever be able to provide the proof of the extended warranty if the need arises. I will most likely misplace the receipt and I will be no better off for having paid extra. But there are people that do buy these things. They have a lack of confidence the product will hold up under the strain and pressure of use. Do I as a Christian need an extended warranty to hold up? At times I know I lacked faith and sorely lacked confidence in that faith. How can we have more confidence in what we believe?
I remember 9-11 like it was yesterday. There is a long personal story behind it, suffice to say I was in Tower 1 when the first plane struck the building. I often get the chance to speak about God’s grace that day and am glad to do so. My wife had a different experience. She woke to the sound of a ringing phone. My father wanted to know if I was at work. She responded yes and asked why. My father instructed her to turn on the TV. She began to watch the events of that day unfold. People began to show up at the door to comfort her and wait for any word on my fate. I was glad that I was not in her position. For a period of time, she did not know where I was or what was happening to me. For a few hours, she was a widow.
When I was young I remember that one of the three TV channels back then we had would show a movie in the late afternoon around 4:30. They were typically low budget movies like Godzilla, Godzilla vs Mothra, Godzilla and …… well at least those were my favorites. Around Easter, that channel would turn to more inspirational shows like the Ten Commandments, Ben Hur, King of Kings, The Robe and more. I enjoyed watching these inspirational movies and still do.
I was excited to see that the History Channel was doing a four-part series on Jesus. I anticipated this would be an inspirational series around the Easter Holiday like yesteryear. I hoped for a Biblical message. The show started out well. It depicted the story of Mary and Joseph. Mary learning she was chosen by God to bear His son. Her telling Joseph about what has been revealed to her and his wrestling with disbelief. Joseph than getting his own message and accepting Mary’s condition. I thought good. This is going in the right direction. I forgot that it was the History Channel doing the series.
Last week, I joined the careless club. I was attempting to retrofit a chicken nest into a new roost, meaning I was awkwardly trimming some wood with a circular saw. While doing so, I managed to cut into the tip of my pinky finger. Next was a trip to the emergency room. I have a small bone fracture, some torn skin and a nail that is trimmed way too low. In the grand scheme of things, if I had to have an accident with a circular saw this was the best of all possible outcomes.
Significant events trigger significant memories. On 9-11, people remember where they were and what they were doing at the very moment they heard of the attacks. For me, it was intensely personal. I was in Tower 1 of the World Trade Center when the first plane struck the building.
When I got home that afternoon, I was bewildered and confused. People were calling all day asking what I saw and wanted to hear my account. I knew it was historic and I knew people wanted to know more. So rather than repeat it over and over again, I wrote down what happened that day. There were a couple of reasons the first was: repeating the story was emotionally exhausting. Secondly, I needed to make sense of it all and organize my thoughts.Thirdly, I wanted to preserve what happened so people would know; I thought it would be important.
It begs the question, why do we bother to document anything?
If you are as old as I am, or have a passion for songs from the 70s, you may remember a song from Simon and Garfunkel: The Sound of Silence. Songs of the time were meant to inspire you and awaken your passion, especially in a time when there was great unrest. There was the Vietnam War, race riots, women's rights marches, the list goes on. The younger reader will simply not understand the severity of these topics. To remind all cities were burning, protestors being shot by the National Guard, and Civil rights leaders assassinated. It was a time of great civil unrest that was not created by the media or internet but was truly organic. These songs were meant to compel us to speak out against these injustices, if we did not our, silence would just allow them to continue or worse yet spread.
I was reading a blog the other day, it was innocent enough. It was about the tactics an atheist will use to create doubt in Christians. It gave me pause. I understand why a Christian wants to help an atheist see to their side of things. We Christians are trying to spread God’s good news of salvation and eternal life. The free gift God offers mankind through His Son Jesus Christ. Not a bad deal. We do it in sincere interest of the person.
What is the motivation for the Atheist to turn Christians away from their faith?
The facts are against them. This is an outline for an introductory class for parents. The idea is to inspire them to want to study more about the facts of Christianity to provide a reasonable defense of our faith in the public square
I was listening to a podcast recently from Stand to Reason. The podcast was with Greg Koukl and a man named Doug, an atheist. They were having a very thoughtful and mostly polite back and forth about God and His existence. When the conversation did get a little heated it was quickly calmed down by Greg’s demeanor and desire to understand Doug. In addition, Greg did a great job of insisting that Doug understand what he was trying to say and not let his answer be limited to what Doug wanted to hear. It was wonderful to observe an artful communicator at work. I thought about the necessary years of studying, training and practice that Greg must have undertaken in order to keep himself in the moment. The ability to focus, represent himself and the message he wanted to deliver as a good ambassador for Christ. That podcast is here it is well worth a listen.
We, Christians, get questions about our faith that are meant to stump us or back us into a defenseless position.
Author - Guy Yasika
Looking to profess my faith to anyone that will listen.