“May there be peace within your walls.” Psalm 122:7
When the horrific images of September 11, 2001, flashed across our televisions, the emotions in households across the nation plunged into a traumatic mix of shock, anger, sorrow, and fear. One of those was the Dean home, where nine-year-old Erik watched television reports with wide eyes. Soon the questions began to spill out: “Mom, did people die in those buildings? Why would someone do that? Would they come here?”
The dangers of this age threaten to introduce worry and anxiety into every family. That’s why Jesus said, “Do not worry about your life.… Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” (Luke 12:22, 25–26). You bring stability to your family when you cast your burdens on the One who can bear all our burdens (Psalm 68:19).
There is another reason to cast your anxieties on Him. As parents, you set the tone for the attitude of your children in times of crisis. We advise you to shelter them to some degree. Answer their questions about world events, but reserve details for older kids. Teach your children basic safety precautions, reassure them of how committed you are to their protection and well-being, and remind them that God is in control of all our lives. When we shield our kids from the dangers of the world, we allow them to sleep with smiling faces and calm hearts.
Before you say good night…
Do your children know that God is in control of your lives?
What can you say and do to reassure your kids during times of crisis?
Father, show us how to respond wisely to a fallen and often violent world. Our children need to know that You are always their source of comfort and strength. Grant us freedom from worry as we cast our burdens on You. Amen.
Don’t give up on God. When it looks like you’ve been forgotten about, God is working behind the scenes.
Are you waiting on a move of God? Does it seem like it’s taking forever for God to come through for you? I understand. I’m by nature a person who likes to be in control and there have been so many times when I felt it was necessary to “help” God speed things along.
But now my prayer is, “God help me to be patient and wait on You.” Give me patience to wait on your perfect timing. If things were to happen on our timetable, what needs to be in place or what needs to be removed wouldn’t have happened.
Has your promise manifested yet? If the answer is no, know that the God who spoke the promise over your life is faithful to bring it to pass and will provide everything you need to accomplish that dream He put on your heart.
If you are waiting on the manifestation of your promise, don’t give up before He moves….you just might create an Ishmael if you try to make the promise come to pass on your own, read about Abraham in the book of Genesis.
If I hadn’t believed that I would see Adonai’s goodness in the land of the living…
Put your hope in Adonai, be strong, and let your heart take courage!
Yes, put your hope in Adonai! Psalm 27:13-14).
Western South Dakota isn’t lacking in incredible sights. There are the Badlands and the Needles of the Black Hills, and those are just the starters. But the highlight of any trip to this land of Native American history and odd rock outcroppings is a visit to Mount Rushmore National Memorial where giant carved heads of four former presidents keep vigil.
The majestic sculpture celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2016, though its stony faces remain much the same as they did when its construction was completed in 1941. The 60-foot-high granite monument features the towering head portraits of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. Here are a few things about Mount Rushmore you might not know.
Presidential Images Were Not the First Choice
Credit: JMichl/ iStock
Mount Rushmore was the brainchild of South Dakota state historian Doane Robinson who was moved to memorialize and carve iconic historical figures into a mountainside. He wanted to promote tourism to a region of the state that was otherwise mostly ignored and came up with the idea of the massive project in 1923. Robinson’s initial plans did not include the political figures admired at the monument today.
Robinson thought a carved tribute featuring Western heroes such as Lewis and Clark, Buffalo Bill Cody, and Lakota leader Chief Red Cloud was the perfect choice for the location. He enlisted the help of renowned American sculptor Gutzon Borglum, who convinced him the monument would be better received if it had a more national focus. They settled on four presidents who they felt best represented the country.
It Was Built Using a Lot of Dynamite
Credit: fergregory/ iStock
Visitors to Mount Rushmore stand in awe of its grandeur and scale. Little do they know of the enormity of Robinson and Borglum’s pet undertaking in real-time. The project employed over 400 men and took fourteen years to complete. Most of the men were miners who had come to South Dakota in search of the promised gold in the Black Hills.
An incredible 450,000 tons of rock had to be removed for the project. It was decided the best way to do this was with dynamite, so 90 percent of the monument was carved in this way. Once the blasting was completed, the finer details of the sculpture were attended to. This entailed lowering finishers down the 500-foot face of the mountainside in bosun chairs. It was dangerous work, yet thankfully, no one was seriously injured or killed.
It Has Been Known by Several Names
Credit: Sharon Day/ Shutterstock
The mountain containing the carving has been known by several different names throughout the years. The Sioux called it Six Grandfathers after the earth, sky, and four cardinal directions. American settlers in the area referred to it as Cougar Mountain, Sugarloaf Mountain, Slaughterhouse Mountain, or Keystone Cliffs. It wasn’t until 1930 that the beloved icon became officially named and recognized as Mount Rushmore.
The mountain was actually named after New York attorney Charles E. Rushmore, who passed through on his way back from a business trip. When he found out the mountain had no official designation, he thought it would be a good idea to name it after him. The wealthy investor eventually got his way.
Mount Rushmore Is a Controversial Monument
Credit: Tbennert/ Wikimedia Commons
The Lakota Sioux were promised an area that included the Black Hills in perpetuity by the U.S. government in the Treaty of 1868, but forever only lasted until gold was discovered in the 1870s. The land was subsequently taken back by force, adding to the ongoing conflicts of the time between the government and the Plains Indians. In South Dakota specifically, the Battle of Wounded Knee was a grievous defeat for the Native Americans.
The Sioux still consider the Black Hills area as sacred ground. To some, the monument represents the oppression faced by the Native Americans. Visitors to South Dakota can pay homage to the history of the area by also visiting the Crazy Horse Memorial, a still-in-progress sculpture that, once completed, will be the world’s largest sculpture at 641 feet long and 563 feet tall.
The Monument Once Had Its Own Baseball Team
Credit: cmannphoto/ iStock
Gutzon Borglum’s son Lincoln, who also worked on the project, was a big baseball fan. He socialized with the daily workers by talking baseball and sharing friendly banter while keeping up with the scores on the radio. Their common love for the sport prompted the Borglums to organize an amateur team. Workers became vetted for their ability to handle a baseball bat as well as a jackhammer.
The local community enthusiastically cheered the newly-formed baseball team called the Rushmore Drillers. The team was good enough to make it to the semi-finals of the State Amateur Baseball Tournament in the late 1930s. Even though they placed third, Borglum hosted both the Drillers and their opponents at his home for dinner and more sports talk. The team disbanded when work on the monument was completed.
It Has a Secret Room
Credit: fstockfoto/ iStock
Borglum wanted to add a secret room behind the monument where important documents and historical memorabilia could be stored. The so-called Hall of Records would be accessed by an 800-foot granite staircase with a giant bronze eagle over the door leading to the secret room.
Only part of the tunnel had been blasted when the funds ran out in 1939. The idea of a Hall of Records dwindled following Borglum’s death in 1941 and the official declaration of the monument’s completion. It was rejuvenated again in 1998 when the National Park Service finished what was started long ago and installed Mount Rushmore’s best-known secret. Items of interest continue to be placed there for future discovery.
|The value of the myth is that it takes all the things we know and restores to them the rich significance which has been hidden by “the veil of familiarity”. The child enjoys his gold meat (otherwise dull to him) by pretending it is buffalo, just killed with his own bow and arrow. And the child is wise. The real meat comes back to him more savoury for having been dipped in a story; you might say that only then is it the real meat. If you are tired of the real landscape, look at it in a mirror. By putting bread, gold, horse, apple, or the very roads into a myth, we do not retreat from reality: we rediscover it. As long as the story lingers in our mind, the real things are more themselves.
From On Stories
On Stories: And Other Essays on Literature. Copyright © 1982, 1966 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
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This content is drawn from: Psalm 139
“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
Prisoners who have committed sex crimes are recommended for sex offender therapy. As a deputy warden interviewing these prisoners, I was sad to learn that many had been victims of sexual abuse themselves.
These sorts of offenses occur in the Bible, too. There is prostitution and deception with Judah and Tamar (Genesis 38). A ruler’s wife tries to seduce Joseph (Genesis 39). King David takes another man’s wife and has her husband killed (2 Samuel 11). In some ways, things haven’t changed much.
Our bodies are “fearfully and wonderfully made,” and God knows our every thought and desire. When we take someone’s body as though it were a possession, we violate their bodies and cross the boundaries of love.
Jesus knows our weakness. He knew temptation and gave us an example of how to resist it (Luke 4:1-13). He asked us to love Him with all our hearts and others as ourselves. Jesus forgives and embraces us. God loved David even though he strayed, and He forgave his grave sins. He will teach us, too, so that we learn to love Him and others.
Magnificent natural beauty and unbeatable scenery abounds in America’s legendary mountain ranges. But if you’re not into backcountry camping or roughing it, accessing this country’s towering terrain can be puzzling. Lucky for you, there are plenty of mountain towns chock-full of character and class that make visiting some of the United States’ most stunning regions a breeze.
From the obvious to the underrated, these are the best mountain towns in America.
Boasting world-class ski slopes sprawling across more than 2,000 acres, it’s no wonder Telluride and its ski resort top our list of best mountain towns in America. It was also ranked as the number one Best Small Town to Visit according to U.S. News and World Report. The town of roughly 2,500 residents is nestled in a steep valley dominated by the San Juan Mountains. Come in winter and choose from nearly 150 uncrowded ski trails. Visit in summer and the same terrain becomes an epic hiking range. History buffs will enjoy poking around this former gold mining town and visiting the Telluride Historical Museum and even non-skiers will love soaking up the atmospheric Mountain Village.
Lesser known, but no less enticing, McCall is a perfectly-situated resort town offering a host of activities in every season. Payette Lake, a glassy glacier lake framed by the snow-dusted peaks of the Payette National Forest, booms in the summertime. Brundage Mountain’s mixture of groomed trails and backcountry terrain draws skiers and snowboarders throughout the long winters. Top off a chilly day on the slope with a dip in the Gold Fork Hot Springs, just 30 miles south of town. And if you visit in winter, the renowned McCall Winter Carnival is a must.
Taos, New Mexico
It’s usually deserts, not mountains, that come to mind when you think of the American Southwest. But you can find the best of both worlds in Taos, a spirited town full of culture and tradition that also happens to be wrapped in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Taos is best known for Taos Ski Valley, a rugged and untamed resort with beginner to advanced trails. But the town also houses the only Native American community that’s designated both a UNESCO site and National Historic Landmark. Taos Pueblo showcases 1,000 years of history in its iconic mud and straw dwellings. Combine the slopes and the deep-rooted history with the town’s natural beauty and its appeal becomes undeniably clear.
Sitting on the cusp of the Blue Ridge Mountains (a segment of the Appalachians) in northeast Georgia, Helen oozes charm. With cobblestone streets, mountain cabins, and painted buildings, you’ll feel like you stepped out of Georgia and into a European alpine village. Its location makes it a desirable year-round destination. The Chattahoochee National Forest flows right into Helen’s state parks, veiling numerous waterfalls, hundreds of miles of hiking trails, multiple beaches, and countless fishing spots. Designated Georgia’s Outdoor Adventure Destination, Helen also offers tubing in the Chattahoochee River, camping, mountain biking and kayaking. In between adventures, dive into the dozens of specialty shops packed into the town’s two square miles. Helen’s got everything you might want – and more.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Located on the southern border of two heavy-hitting national parks and surrounded by the almighty Teton Mountain Range, Jackson Hole is far from an unknown mountain town. The town’s claim to fame is undoubtedly the world-renowned Jackson Hole Mountain Resort which is more like its own self-operating village. Hotels and restaurants pepper Rendezvous Mountain, but it’s the world-class ski slopes spread over 2,500 acres and the 400 inches of annual snowfall that make the resort a destination in itself. Not being a snow bunny isn’t an excuse to avoid Jackson Hole. There are still plenty of other activities to enjoy, like exploring Grand Teton National Park, catching a show at the historic Jackson Hole Playhouse and taking a dip in the exquisite Granite Hot Springs.
Asheville, North Carolina
Asheville marches to the beat of its own drum (literally) and offers no apologies. Littered with breweries, hipster hang-outs, and live music venues, Asheville is a quirky mountain town with a ton of flair. Tucked into the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville sits a mere 130 miles northeast of our Helen, Georgia but embodies its own drastically-different character. Scenic drives, hiking and picnicking top our list of favorite pastimes in Asheville. When it’s time to let loose, hit up the downtown for a generous helping of live music bars, worldly cuisine, craft breweries and off-beat entertainment options – dinner and a belly dance, anyone?