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September 11th

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Memo from God
I know you're mad at me right now. That's all right. People have been mad at me before and will be again. Being mad is part of being human. My son got mad, too. It's right to be mad: at injustice, for example, or at the lack of charity.

You probably think that I am unjust and uncharitable when an airplane goes down like that. All those people lost. The children, gone. It doesn't seem right; it can't be loving.

You ask, "Where was God? Why would He allow that to happen?"

I allow it to happen because I allow you freedom. I could have kept you on a string and made you dance all day without getting tired. I could have moved your mouth for you and made you sing all night without growing hoarse. I could have pulled a wire that would have let you soar skyward and never fall. I could have but I didn't because I love you too much. I want you to be free to decide when to dance and sing. Free to determine when you will come to me in faith and hope.

Because you are free, some of you choose not to dance or sing. Some of you select hatred over love, revenge over forgiveness, bombs over a helping hand. As you choose, I watch. I do not disappear. I listen for both the songs and the bombs. And I remember.

"Where was God?" you wonder. I was there. I whispered in the ear of a little girl, "Don't be afraid, I am with you." I held the hand of a businesswoman as tightly as she clutched mine. I cradled a pilot against my shoulder as if he were a baby again. Amid the paralyzing fear I was there, as I was with my son in the garden. Amid the unbearable pain, I was there, as I was with him when he was whipped. Amid the terrible realization that life was ending too soon, I was there, as I was when he was hung on the cross and asked, like you, "My God, why have you forsaken me?"

I had not forsaken him. I did not forsake those on the plane. I was there as they fell - and as they arose to eternal joy. I listened to their anger, answered their questions and showed them why they had been created. Not to end that way, but to live forever with me. In an > instant, they came into existence. As you did. In an instant, they left this world. As you will.

But beyond that last instant, I kept my promise:
a little girl dances...
a businesswoman sings...
and a pilot keeps his wings. Forever.

Love always,


I am the Flag

by Ruth Apperson Rous

I am the flag of the United States of America.

I was born on June 14, 1777, in Philadelphia.

There the Continental Congress adopted my stars and
stripes as the national flag.

My thirteen stripes alternating red and white, with
a union of thirteen white stars in a field of blue,
represented a new constellation, a new nation
dedicated to the personal and religious liberty of

Today fifty stars signal from my union, one for each
of the fifty sovereign states in the greatest
constitutional republic the world has ever known.

My colors symbolize the patriotic ideals and
spiritual qualities of the citizens of my country.

My red stripes proclaim the fearless courage and
integrity of American men and boys and the
self-sacrifice and devotion of American mothers and

My white stripes stand for liberty and equality for

My blue is the blue of heaven, loyalty, and faith.

I represent these eternal principles: liberty,
justice, and humanity.

I embody American freedom: freedom of speech,
religion, assembly, the press, and the sanctity of
the home.

I typify that indomitable spirit of determination
brought to my land by Christopher Columbus and by
all my forefathers - the Pilgrims, Puritans,
settlers at James town and Plymouth.

I am as old as my nation.

I am a living symbol of my nation's law: the
Constitution of the United States and the Bill of

I voice Abraham Lincoln's philosophy: "A government
of the people, by the people,for the people."

I stand guard over my nation's schools, the seedbed
of good citizenship and true patriotism.

I am displayed in every schoolroom throughout my
nation; every schoolyard has a flag pole for my

Daily thousands upon thousands of boys and girls
pledge their allegiance to me and my country.

I have my own law-Public Law 829, "The Flag Code" -
which definitely states my correct use and display
for all occasions and situations.

I have my special day, Flag Day. June 14 is set
aside to honor my birth.

Americans, I am the sacred emblem of your country. I
symbolize your birthright, your heritage of liberty
purchased with blood and sorrow.

I am your title deed of freedom, which is yours to
enjoy and hold in trust for posterity.

If you fail to keep this sacred trust inviolate, if
I am nullified and destroyed, you and your children
will become slaves to dictators and despots.

Eternal vigilance is your price of freedom.

As you see me silhouetted against the peaceful skies
of my country, remind yourself that I am the flag of
your country, that I stand for what you are - no
more, no less.

Guard me well, lest your freedom perish from the

Dedicate your lives to those principles for which I
stand: "One nation under God, indivisible, with
liberty and justice for all."

I was created in freedom. I made my first appearance
in a battle for human liberty.

God grant that I may spend eternity in my "land of
the free and the home of the brave" and that I shall
ever be known as "Old Glory," the flag of the United
States of America.

Trust God In All Things