"Great tragedy has come to us, and we are meeting it with the best that is in our country and concern for others. Because this is America. This is who we are."
President George W. Bush
15 September 2001

http://www.top-greetings.com/cards/299/

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It Is Written

Terror From the Sky
Television broadcast concerning the terrorist attacks. Requires REAL player 8, which is a free downloadable on the same page.

Taking comfort from God's Word...

The events of Tuesday, 11 September 2001 were so very devastating that I found myself unable to pray with words very much, but I found myself praying through inward groaning and pain. I have come to understand the following Bible verse in a way I never have before, and I find it comforting. I am sharing this in the hope that others will be comforted too.

"In the same way the (Holy) Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness. We do not even know how to pray, but through our inarticulate groans the Spirit Himself is pleading for us, and God Who searches our inmost being knows what the Spirit means, because He pleads for God's people in God's own way; and in everything, as we know, He co-operates for good with those who love God and are called according to His purpose." Romans 8: 26-28 (New English Bible)

I know that the American people, as well as much of the rest of the world, are praying for those whose lives were shattered by this terrible tragedy. I have not been able to think of adequate words to describe the horrific events of Tuesday, being limited by the language, but I've done my best. Please keep the American leadership, as well as the leaders of the free world, in your prayers, that they may make a righteous judgment about how to handle this situation, in the hopes of preventing further terrorism. God bless us all.

Melody


These are my favorite peace-themed Bible verses, for anyone who wants to read them:

"The wolf shall also dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little child shall lead them...They shall not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters that cover the sea." Isaiah 11:6,9 (New King James Version)

"He (God) shall judge between the nations, and shall rebuke many people; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore." Isaiah 2:4 (New King James Version)


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Excerpt from Signs of the Times magazine

Where Was God?
by Loren Seibold

You've probably heard stories of people who escaped from the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Some got out of the building in the nick of time, falling bricks and fireballs at their heels. Others were delayed in their commute that morning, or minor illnesses kept them home.

When I hear such stories, I praise the Lord: some were spared. Yet I can hear protests from the families of those who died: "Why did they get a miracle, and we didn't?"

I wish I had a totally satisfying answer for you. I must remind you, however, that in the end, the power of miracles--and the reasons for them--remain God's alone. "Do not complain," [says one author] "for God is in heaven, and you upon earth; therefore let your words be few."

Faced with circumstances like this, I find myself having to trust that God has reasons that I will not know until I can speak to Him face to face in heaven. I can only believe that when we look back at this earth from the shores of heaven, we'll be satisfied that "the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us." (Romans 8:18 NAU)

Excerpt from Signs of the Times magazine

Where's the Justice?
by David Jarness

When enemies attack our homeland, we're tempted to even the score. But over and over again the Bible says that individuals who've come to trust in God must act in love--even toward their enemies. Paul, for instance, counceled, "Do not repay anyone evil for evil," and reminded us that God has said, " 'It is mine to avenge; I will repay' " (Romans 12:17,19 NIV) In the final judgment all the unrepentant will receive their due.

No doubt the Bible tells us not to take justice into our own hands because we humans so often err. For instance, many of those out to avenge the attacks on New York and Washington failed to recognize the difference between Muslims, on the one hand, and Sikhs, Hindus, and Buddhists, on the other. Of course, they had no business attacking innocent Muslims anyway.

Nor do the stereotypes of violent Muslims and peace-and-justice-loving Christians stand up. Ironically, the very week of the attacks, the major U.S. newsmagazines featured photos of terrified little Catholic schoolgirls who were the targets of bomb-throwing Protestants in Northern Ireland. Of course, the I.R.A. has also functioned as a bona fide terrorist organization in that dispute. And from the bloody Crusades of the Middle Ages through Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo of more recent memory, supposed followers of Christ have directed violence, terrorism, and genocide at Muslims.

The Bible points to the final judgment as the time when earth will see undiluted justice. But God has agencies--fallible as they are--whose function it is to work toward justice even now. Immediately after the passage in which Paul counseled us not to seek revenge individually, he pointed to human governments as divinely appointed police agents: "He [governmental authority] does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer" (Romans 13:4 NIV). We must conclude, then, that it is appropriate for the American government--or any government--to take the necessary steps to protect its citizens from the kind of aggression that New York and Washington experienced.

For more articles from Signs of the Times Magazine, click here.

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The author of the following poem has given us permission to reprint it here. It was originally posted on Dubird's GWG site, on the GWG Forum. We asked to share it on our site in the hope that it will be an aid in the healing of the hearts of the American people, as well as the hearts of those around the world that have also been broken by this unspeakably evil tragedy.

In honor of those who died today...
September 11th, 2001

The day the morning cried

It was September 11 year 2001
No one expected it to happen, absolutely none
We were attacked
By a face without a name
They destroyed so many lives
And wreaked such incredible pain
As if they did not care
As if it didn't matter
As if life is easy to spare
They let so many shatter
They planned it very well
Every last detail
It's painful for me to tell
Of the dusty trail
Two planes hit our towers
Our market and trading powers
Another hit our intelligence
Leaving us in ignorance
How could they be so cruel?
How could they be so unkind?
As to inflict such tragedy on heart, soul and mind
On September 11, year 2001
We'll remember all the havoc that was done
So many on this day have died
And it was on this day, that the morning cried.

by Kiki

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For anyone who thinks that God was on vacation last Tuesday, this should change your mind. For those of you that know that God was busy on Tuesday, this will confirm it.

Dear Family and Friends,

I had a very dear friend question my faith in God right after the terrorist attack on America. Her question was simply put, "Where is your God today?" She was very hurt, as all Americans were, so I tried not to react defensively. Since that moment I have prayed and grieved over the disastrous events. However, I believe I have the answer. I know where my God was the morning of September 11, 2001! He was very busy.

First of all, he was trying to discourage anyone from taking this flight. Those four flights together held over 1000 passengers and there was only 266 aboard.

He was on 4 commercial flights giving terrified passengers the ability to stay calm. Not one of the family members who was called by a loved one on one of the high-jacked planes said that passengers were screaming in the background.

On one of the flights he was giving strength to passengers to try to overtake the high-jackers.

He was busy trying to create obstacles for employees at the World Trade Center. After all only around 20,000 wereat the towers when the first jet hit. Since the buildings hold over 50,000 workers, this was a miracle in itself. How many of the people who were employed at the WTC told the media that they were late for work or they had traffic delays.

He was holding up 2-110 story buildings so that 2/3 of the workers could get out. I was so amazed that the top of the towers didn't topple when the jets impacted.

Although this is without a doubt the worst thing I have seen in my life, I can see God's miracles in every bit of it. I keep thinking about my friend and praying for her every chance I have. I can't imagine going through sucha difficult time and not believing in God. Life would be hopeless.

I thought you'd like to know. Thanks for letting me share this with you! Please share it with as many people you know who need to know.

(I am not sure who wrote this. It was sent to me by a friend. God bless the author for their strong faith and the willingness to share their faith with others during this difficult time.)

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25 September 2001

I just received word from one of our local pastors that among the thousands of people killed in the terrorist attack of September 11th, nine people in my world-wide church family are counted among the dead. We hear about the number of people missing and presumed dead, but when we are told about the people who died and about their families that are in indescribable agony at the loss of their loved ones it puts a face, so to speak, on the people who were killed. So they are no longer seen by us as a "number". This is in no way an attempt by me to make it seem as if my church members are more important than other people who have died. These are just the ones I've heard about.

And, knowing the sorrow that is the result of this attack on America, it makes us even stronger in the desire to protect the freedom that America stands for.

Nine Adventists Missing After Terrorist Attacks

Silver Spring, MD--Nine Seventh-day Adventist members are among the more than 5,000 missing and presumed dead following the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C. Adventist conferences have reported as follows:

-- Chesapeake Conference --

Ted Moy, a deacon at the Spencerville Church in Silver Spring, Maryland, worked at the Pentagon. He was on a training exercise at an office very close to the point of impact. Moy leaves behind a wife, Madeline, and two teenagers, Jessica and Daniel.

-- Greater New York Conference --

Michael Baksh, mid-30s, was working in the Tower 2 of the World Trade Center (WTC), his first day on the job. He was a very involved member of the Church of the Advent Hope in Upper Manhattan and was recently elected chair of the church board. He leaves behind a wife and two children.

Lissy Martinez, late 20s, was also working in Tower 2. She was an active Pathfinder leader of the Spanish Fort Washington Church in Upper Manhattan. She was a Master Guide and counselor. She leaves a husband and two children.

Maxima Jean-Pierre, mid-40s, worked in Tower 2. An active youth Sabbath school teacher at the Spanish Patchogue, in Long Island, New York, she leaves a husband and four children.

Josue Velasquez, worked at Tower 1. He was a very faithful and active member of the Spanish Intervale Church in Bronx and helped out with camp meeting programs. He leaves a wife and three children.

-- New Jersey Conference --

LeRoy Homer, was co-pilot of United Airlines Flight 93 that crashed in Western Pennsylvania. He was a frequent visitor to the Mt. Holly English Church in New Jersey where his wife Melodie is an active member.

Jorge Velazquez, a member of the Passaic I Spanish Church (there are two Spanish churches in Passaic, New Jersey). As chief of security at Tower 2, he was busy ushering people out of the building from the 31st Floor. He called home to communicate with his family at that time, but has not been heard from since. "Your father is a real hero," the company president told his family in a telephone conversation.

-- Northeastern Conference --

Steve Bunin, late 40s, was active in the audio visual department of the Corona Church in Queens. He worked for Cantor Fitzgerald on the 103rd Floor of Tower 1. He leaves behind a wife, Hyacinth.

Michelle Nelson, 27, also worked for Cantor Fitzgerald on the 103rd Floor of Tower 1. She was a very active member of the Linden Church in Queens, serving as a clerk, AYS leader, and in the youth choir. Part of her notoriety at church was her ability to bake great pies.

Many People Reported Missing, Most Found Seventh-day Adventist members have also lost family and friends in the tragedy. Joan Silver, a member of the Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church in Takoma Park, Maryland, lost a daughter, Valerie, 46, who worked near the top of one of the towers...

... "Our [church] family has been hurt deeply in this tragedy," said Don Schneider, president of the North American Division [of Seventh-day Adventists], upon reading the conference reports. "But I imagine that upon seeing our anguish, the angels in heaven once again urge Jesus to come and put an end to this chaotic world. Let's return to earth and get the faithful right now,' somebody says. And Jesus says, If we wait another day, maybe someone else will choose eternal life.' And I believe that just at the thought of being able to save another person, another one of us, everyone in heaven agrees to wait a little longer. This thought encourages me to work even harder to share the hope that comes from knowing Jesus Christ. Let's pray for the families and let's work harder for the kingdom."

--Rebecca Brillhart, C.A. Murray, Dionisio Olivo, Carlos Turcios, and Steve Willsey contributed to this report.

"...Even so, come, Lord Jesus." Revelation 22:20b

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The Band Marches In
A joyful noise in the streets of New York City.

September 16, 2001 11:30 a.m.

When I was walking back to my apartment yesterday, I heard the clangor of a marching band, getting closer. I walked to the corner of 14th Street and Fifth Avenue where on Tuesday people had stood and watched the towers burn and suddenly there appeared a small marching band, all black kids, in purple shirts, playing, "When the Saints Come Marching In." They crossed Fifth, and people stopped to watch, smile, and clap.

It turned out they were from Oakwood [Seventh-day Adventist] College in Huntsville, Alabama. Someone had had the inspired idea to drive 24 hours to come here and raise a joyful noise in the streets of New York City. What a sight! A kid held an American flag at the front of the group, and a couple of others held shovels over their shoulders. After all the sadness, the prayer vigils and the candles, here was something clamorous and happy and resolute (and even a little martial). This is what we needed, even if no one had realized it until this noisy apparition appeared among us, conducting the normal business of a New York Saturday walking our dogs, carrying plastic grocery bags, strolling idly toward brunch--but with the pall of downtown muting everything.

The band headed to Union Square, where a makeshift memorial has been thrown up. Stragglers followed behind, and people parted to make way, clapping as the kids passed through, blowing on their trumpets, banging on their drums. When they got in the middle of the square, they played the "Star Spangled Banner." One of those half-crazy blacks guys you sometimes see in New York, was waving a flag and practically jumping up and down: "You go kids! You go kids!"

A Hispanic woman hugged one of the girls with the group, and pressed $20 into her hand. "I really want to hear `Battle Hymn of the Republic'," she said, when the band paused in between songs. Next, "Amazing Grace," played softly, just on the horns. Then, everyone sang "God Bless America," without the accompaniment of the band, which eventually turned around and headed out of the square, drums blazing, one black lady making a point of hugging every member of the group that she could. A black guy approached the one white member of the group walking in back, not playing an instrument and extended his hand, saying emphatically, "THANK YOU!"

The band headed down University Avenue, playing "America the Beautiful," a wonderfully bizarre sight, marching the wrong way down the one-way street. Car alarms went off as the band passed. Each step of the way, people paused on the sidewalks and applauded. People peered out of the windows of stores and restaurants. More people followed along. "I don't know where they're going, but I'm with them," someone said.

They turned out to be headed to Washington Square Park, a short walk away, where another spontaneous memorial had been erected. They marched into the middle of the park, past the candles and the missing posters up on a fence, and played the "Star Spangled Banner" again. A Hispanic woman hugged the kid carrying the flag, and buried her face into his neck and began to sob and sob. She was inconsolable, bleary-eyed, her nose red with crying. She was carrying a couple of flowers and a color photocopy of a family with one of its members presumably gone forever. The kid with the flag eventually stood back in his place. Other band members hugged the lady, who may God comfort her was giving off waves of heart-rending grief. The kid holding the flag began to cry, and as his eyes filled with tears, he hoisted the flag higher with both his arms.

Then, the band s leader an older, take-charge-type consulted with one of the locals about how to find the next park, and off they marched. They were part of a group called National Association for the Prevention of Starvation. I know nothing about the group except that its web site says that, NAPS takes its marching band on all of its major projects to minister to the spirit of the recipients of its aid. Yesterday, they ministered to the spirit of New York.