A Christian Response to the 9/11 Anniversary

by Dawn Oaks on September 11, 2014

FlagLike many of you, I can close my eyes and see the images of aircraft being flown directly into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and hearing about American Airlines Flight 93 going down near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.  My mind went to so many of my high school classmates whose family members where part of the NY City Fire and Police Departments.  Calls back home brought news of not being able to pass through towns for weeks without needing to stop for funeral processions.

We all experienced the horror of this attack against America on her own soil.  The whole thing felt so surreal.  After all we were one of the greatest Super Powers in the world.  We were the country that went to fight for peace globally.  Aside from Pearl Harbor, battle had not touched our borders.  We are the Land of the Free.

Thirteen years later, I marvel at my children’s memories compared to my own.  Our two youngest children have never lived in a country that has not been at war.  They have grown up with our soldiers in active combat.  They have experienced the insecurity that our land was attacked on its own soil, yet little has been done to reinforce our borders or bring our armed forces home to protect their own people.

A key point that seems to keep arising in discussions with our children is the fact that those terrorists that attacked us 13 years ago were motivated by a Holy War.  Whether we agree with them or even despise their values, the truth still remains that they are willing to go to the extent of sacrificing their own lives in obedience to the religious convictions that they hold dear.  My question this evening both to myself and those reading is:

If you call yourself by Christ’s name, how far are you willing to go to stand true to God as an act of obedience.

It is easy in the safe confines of our churches and prayer circles to pray for the survival of the unborn.  It is much harder to approach a woman on the sidewalk sharing the gospel with her just before she enters an abortion clinic.

It is easy to send a Shoe Box through Operation Christmas Child.  It is much harder to go into the inner city to feed hungry children if it means that you might get mugged and beaten because of the color of your skin.

It is easy to pray over your meal at home.  It is much harder to stand before the local school board heading up a petition drive to put prayer back in our schools with the realization that just taking such a stand may cause you to be arrested.

It is easy to nod your head in agreement as the preacher stands in the pulpit and shares that God will always be faithful to care for His people.  It is much harder to have faith that His care and provision will be sufficient when we face a grave diagnosis from the doctor or the cupboards are bare.

The terrorists that were on their own suicide mission 13 years ago were willing to go to their death for their deeply held religious convictions.  There is someone else that I know that accepted a mission that would mean the end of his earthly walk – my Savior Jesus Christ.  Christ came to this earth on a mission to save us and in all things never failed His Father.  When we are called to worship Him, we are called to go out with the same intensity and passion as an act of worship.  The greatest purpose of a Christian on this earth is to become molded like our Savior – even unto death.

The Church needs to arise out of its complacency and apathy.  We need to stop being satisfied with the easy, but live radically for Him. The hour is now!

I write these words as they are the very message that God is impressing on my heart and challenging me in having a radical faith in Him that requires me to act and not just think about acting.  How about you?  We will only take back America and return her to the roots in which she was established if we are willing to do more than think about it or engage in conversation in back rooms or prayer closets. We are saved by faith, but the expression of that faith is being the salt in this world that is rapidly losing its saltiness.

Will you join me?  What is God calling you to radically do?  What is your act of worship that will help to claim this world back for Him.

 If Christians would really live according to the teachings of Christ, as found in the Bible, all of India would be Christian today. ~ Mahatma Gandhi

The Word of God and our lives as His children can be powerful tools and weapons in the spiritual battles that wage in this world, but we must be willing to put them into action.

 In closing, I would like to say thank you to all those that serve our country through military service, being active members of our police and fire safety departments, or family members that stand by them.  Our prayers are with you as the remembrance of September 11, 2001 has a whole different reality for many of your families.

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Adding Audio Drama into Your Schoolday

by Dawn Oaks on September 10, 2014

Classic “living” literature gets a big thumbs up from our family. When you add in the sound effects and tonal inflections that are possible through audio drama, it takes something great and catapults it into the sphere of fabulous. This was exactly our experience as we had the opportunity to review Under Drake’s Flag produced by Heirloom Audio Productions and based on the book by the same name authored by G.A. Henty.

What We Received

Under Drake’s Flag came to us as a 2 disc CD set with study guide. It contained over two hours of audio drama bursting with adventure. In the CD jacket was the abridged version of the study guide written specifically for this audio drama. A full unabridged version of the study guide can also be downloaded for those that want to do a more extensive analysis of the story.

This audio drama is recommended for children age 6 and above, but truly captures the interest of the whole family. It retails for $29.95 plus shipping. A download version of the audio drama is also available for $20.00. The study guide is included with the purchase of the audio drama.

How We Used It

Right after the CD set arrived, my 10 year old had a birthday party to attend that was a little over an hour away. I grabbed the set and headed out to the car. Before pulling out of the driveway, I stuck the first of the two CDs in our disc player and off we went. About 20 minutes into the drive, I asked if my son wanted to listen to something else. He was so engrossed in the adventure playing out in this audio drama that he didn’t even hear me talking to him. I paused the CD and was asked, “Why did you do that?”. I told him that I was just interested in whether he wanted to keep listening. He just smiled at me and turned it back on. Not another word was spoken all the way to the party.

We had just put in the second CD when we arrived at the party. My son didn’t budge. He had been excited about coming to share in his friend’s big day, but he was just sitting there rather than rushing out of the car like a whirlwind. I once again paused the CD and told him we were there.

“But Mom we are at a really good part.”

I couldn’t believe that he wasn’t just running out of the car. After reassuring him that we could listen all the way home, he did get out and run to be a part of the fun. And yes, we did listen all the way home.

During this first listening, I wanted us to just enjoy the story. I did not use the study guide at all. We did go back to listen a second (and third, and…  time) and during these listenings used the questions and materials in the study guide.

The abridged study guide that comes with the CD set contained three different types of questions: plot related, words to define and better understand, and questions that made great discussion questions in getting the listener to think at a deeper level. There were also some Bible Study related questions/scenarios in the back of the study guide.

Our Recommendation

Being a lover of classic literature, I have always wanted my children to read Henty. But honestly, his work can sometimes be dry and hard to get into at the beginning. This audio drama changed all of that. When I asked my son for what he would say to other moms that might be considering buying Under Drake’s Flag, he replied,

It was so adventurous and cool, but not scarey.  It could be scarey if it was a movie. Tell moms that if they are looking for a way to keep their kids from fighting or whining in the car or getting back out of bed when they go to sleep that they need to get this.  Who would want to fight in the car when it is playing, you might miss one of the cool parts.

 Under Drake’s Flag by Heirloom Audio Productions received 5 stars for adventure, 5 stars for being interesting, and 5 stars for “Would I recommend this to my friends” by our son. In listening with him, I would have to concur with his rating of this great audio drama. You can get a taste of this inspiring adventure by clicking here.

My son was sad that there wasn’t more and then we received word that Heirloom Productions will be releasing their next audio drama in early November, In Freedom’s Cause. More information about this can be found here. I personally am thinking – Christmas Present!

Feel free to also check out the many other reviews done of this same product by our crewmates on the Schoolhouse Review Crew.

 

Under Drake's Flag Reviews
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