President Barack Obama announced to the nation in somber tones, “Justice has been done.” Sitting in a house located in Abbottabad, Pakistan which is a suburb of Islamabad, the planner of multiple terrorist attacks, Usama Bin Laden, was attacked by a small cadre of American forces. A fire fight broke out and Bin Laden was killed. Bin Laden, the head of Al-Qaida, masterminded the 9-11 attacks which killed more than 3,000 people in New York City.
With surgical precision, the US team was only on the ground for 40 minutes, using four US helicopters. One of the helicopters had mechanical failure and was destroyed on the scene. According to President Obama, they took great care to avoid civilian casualties.
Over the years, most intelligence reports have positioned Bin Laden hiding in a cave. But this was not the case. He was hiding in plain view, almost under the noses of the Pakistani officials.
For decades, this evil man has waged war on Christians, Jews and Muslims. Anyone, even Muslims, who did not agree with his belief in fundamental Sharia law were in danger of falling under one of the terrorist attacks he planned and financed. President Obama affirmed, “He was not a Muslim leader. He was a killer of Muslims.” He continued to say, “We are not at war with Islam.”
“The American people did not choose this war. It came to our shores,” President Obama said.
This was a level of terrorist covert operations that could have gone bad quickly. Our troops were in the country of Pakistan. However, this highly-skilled group of men performed their operation; and it appears that only Bin Laden and four other Al-Qaida leaders were killed, including a son of Bin Laden. Al-Qaida, which Bin Laden headed, is a fanatical movement based on radical ideology.
As Christians, Jesus told us that we should not rejoice in the difficulties and death of our enemies. Therefore, the death of Bin Laden is not a joyful event. It is a solomn time. Engaging in war means the death of our best and finest men. President Obama should be congratulated not only for the victory but for the proper tone he took in his televised announcement. We must continue to pray for the peace in the Middle East and for the peace of Jerusalem.
To read about the death of a Christian Pakistani in retaliation CLICK HERECLICK HERE to read how Christians in Nigeria and Pakistan are worriedHow should Christians react to bin Laden’s death? CLICK HERE to read several thoughtsTo watch the video of the President’s statement, CLICK HEREREAD HERE as Beliefnet’s Jim Fletcher asks if all Muslims are evilTo consider the heart-felt thoughts of Debbie Lee, mom of the first Navy SEAL killed in Iraq, CLICK HERETo consider the thoughts of Beliefnet’s Kirsten Jackson, CLICK HERECLICK HERE to watch the reaction of New Yorkers at Ground ZeroCLICK HERE for photos and the text of the President’s statementTo read the reaction of Beliefnet’s Ryan Gaffney CLICK HERECLICK HERE to read Beliefnet writer Donna Calvin’s reaction
The Changes of the Seasons
by Shelly Demeree
We look at the meaning of spring.
We know that spring can mean that change is here.
Spring means we will have fun in the sun.
We being to feel things around us with fresh hope.
That is good.
Good to be with our family.
Good to be with our friends.
So ENJOY the feeling and changes of spring.
Michelle Demeree is a member of Melbourne Special Gathering. She serves as a deacon and on the Board of Directors for The Special Gathering of Indian River. Her poetry appears in several venues.
Is there a way to insure that God is working in our lives and in the lives of those people we care about? Perhaps it is the common and mundane that accents the Christian life more than any other attribute.
When I was in my early 20’s, God suddenly started moving in the youth group that my husband and I led. The miraculous became almost routine. We prayed and God answered in wonderfully amazing ways. Young men and women were changed, healed and transformed in our home.
One Friday evening, we had invited a youth choir from another church to sing for our group. After their concert, the Holy Spirit fell on the young people. Without any prompting, they rushed to the altar weeping and seeking God to change them. We prayed for our town, our state and our country. Into the night, these teens prayed for each other, seeking God with an earnestness that I never witnessed in the conventional staid churches where I had been raised. Those of us who were leading stood back. We wondered what we should do; and yet we were afraid to do anything, except let God have his way with those young men and women.
God was merciful to let us know that we were experiencing a revival and a move of His Spirit that was unusual in its scope and influence. Later, this time period became known as The Jesus Movement.
As wonderful as that time was, we saw some of the young people walk away from the Lord. They saw miracles but the bobbles of the world were much more exciting for them. Then there was Cindy, Mike, Rick, Denise and twenty others. They came and learned quietly. They were faithful and consistent in their commitment to the Lord. They took study of the Scriptures seriously. They prayed without seeking the limelight. They weren’t shoot stars but beacons of light.
During those years, I learned valuable lessons about what it means to live the Christian life. God seems selective about when he moves in the miraculous. He prefers to anoint daily prayers and work by small increments in our lives. It appears that He delights in our acknowledgments of His power and majesty as we view a sunset or witness a thunder-storm.
I think I understand. One of the great things about The Special Gathering members which is a ministry within the intellectually disabled community is that they are grateful for even the smallest favors. They relish a smile or a handshake. They delight in Dollar Tree gifts. The spectacular is good; but it isn’t necessary to garner their approval. As I walk into their job sites, they are thrilled to see me.
While God is able to shower miracles on anyone at anytime, it must be thrilling to Him when a child seeks Him wanting a pleasant conversation first thing in the morning. When we simply want to crawl into his lap and rest at the end of the day, our Father must breathe with peaceful approval. Perhaps excitement is over rated and commitment is more what warms the heart of our Lord and is the sign of real spiritual growth.
Photos: Light from Heaven by Hossein Ghodsi and Let’s shake hands by demarsman
Living on the Space Coast for more than 40 years, we’ve seen the ups and downs of a community with one major industry–space. My husband is a retired Aerospace Technologist who worked for NASA. He was a design engineer whose design work spanned from the early days of the Saturn rockets to design and maintenance of the shuttle.
When the first shuttle, the Challenger, exploded, I was standing in the church yard with a large group of school children. As we watched the terror of parts flying in all directions in the azure, clear sky, our cheers screeched to horrified silence. The teachers quietly and quickly herded their students back into the classrooms. I rushed into my office to call my husband. It was too soon for the phones to be jammed, which would be the case within a few minutes. Frank answered the phone, “What happened?” I asked.
“I don’t know but I would say it was the o-rings that failed,” he told me. “That is the only thing that makes sense.” After months, of investigations, NASA found that the explosion was caused by a failure of the o-rings.
For more than 40 years, our dinner conversations were filled with engineering problems and design kinks. The last thing we talked about at night was the next launch. The first thing in the morning was the problem of the day at Kennedy Space Center. Discussion in and out of work with engineering colleagues still means talking about the future of space and what comes next. As odd as that may seem to others, it was normal to us. Space was our business. Most engineers lived and breathed exploration.
From the most active and creative minds, to the skilled worker, we were a part of one of mankind’s greatest ventures, exploring the unknowns of space travel. Even the mentally challenged community was actively involved with space exploration. Brevard Achievement Center, a sheltered workshop in Rockledge, Florida, held several contracts with NASA to sort and package the information that went out to school children all over the world.
Today, everything will stop to see the shuttle Endeavour fly for the last time. For the rest of the world, drama has been added because the commander is Mark Kelly. His wife, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords who was nearly killed a few months ago will be here. To add to the excitement, President Obama and his family are in the audience.
But life won’t stop for us because of the important people who are visiting our wonderful space center. These dignitaries are not the main attraction for the women and men who have lived, eaten and breathed this adventure. The Endeavour will be the star of this show.
And time will stop for us because it is an end of an era. As always, traffic will pull over to the side of the road. Drivers and passengers will spill out of their cars and vans. Restaurants will empty. Schools yards and parking lots will be filled with squirmy children and unimpressed teenagers. The beaches will be filled. Like children, in unison, we will count 10, 9, 8…and shout, “Lift off.” Every eye will be looking toward the sky.
Living in the center of history for more than 40 years has influenced all of Brevard County residents. We understand the impact that our life’s work will have on the future. Because of this reality and how our lives have been lived, I’ve often wondered if the Apostle Paul had any idea the great impact his life and letters would have on the entire world. Did he understand that God was using him to initiate the establishment of a civilization? Could he have known that one day he would be designated as The Architect of the Church?
Can any of us know the real impact our lives are having on others? As Brevard County brings to a halt all other activity to view this mark in history, Christian and non-Christians will be praying for a safe journey for Commander Kelly and his crew. We understand the significance of this journey. But do we understand the equal impact of God’s hand resting on our lives?