Sunday, September 11, 2022

Sunday Afternoon Tea - Becoming aware of the times without fearing

I am not a fan of most talk radio programs.  They don't fit with my dislike of confrontation.  However, there is one program I listen to once in awhile.  Especially if I am driving anywhere late morning.  I tune to the AFR channel (American Family Radio) and listen Today's Issues With Tim Wildmon.

Every time I have listened, they have been talking about something interesting (from a conservative and Christian worldview).  I listened to it on my way to Sam's Club last week and they were discussing the murder of the young mother in Memphis, her body had just been found.  

American Family Radio is based in Tupelo, Missippi.  The birthplace of Elvis Presley among other things. Logistically, Memphis is not too far north of Tupelo so the murder of the young mother, a kindergarten teacher, was felt deeply in that town.  Besides being an attractive young woman, there has been speculation that she was targeted because she was also from a wealthy family.

What caught my attention and caused me to listen from my driveway to the Sam's Club parking lot was their discussion about what she could have done wrong that perhaps made it easier for her stalker/attacker.  They kept mentioning that they in no way blamed her for being a victim, they wanted to use this possibility as a warning to other people... especially women.  

The "title" of this episode was The Rise of Crime in America and if you are aware, even living in other countries, crime has skyrocketed in this country the last few years.  Especially in the larger cities.  But even in my county where we rarely had shootings or murders, they have been making headlines.

There were two areas they talked about, the first is well known and had been discussed by Memphis law enforcement.  The woman jogged every morning at the same time... in the dark at 4:30-ish in the morning.  As law enforcement warned, no one should be out alone at that time of the morning, especially women who are more vulnerable to attack.  She had been training for a marathon.

It reminded me of an episode of NCIS::Los Angeles where Deeks is stalked and shot.  He is the LA Police Department liaison to NCIS.  The NCIS agents are appalled to find out that he follows the same route to work and stops at the same places each day.  They said that is not wise for someone in their line of work.  I would think it is not wise for anyone who is out alone at dark.   But I digress...

The area where there was speculation in this discussion has to do with why she didn't realize she was being followed by a van.  Traffic cameras were able to follow the van stocking her for quite some time.  Getting close enough that she should have been aware.

My husband will tell you that I deeply dislike speculation.  Which, he can't understand given my preference for murder mysteries and some CSI shows.  I have tried, unsuccessfully, to tell him it is because I have seen speculation lead people down a rabbit hole that was completely wrong too many times.  I also remind him that the CSI shows are fiction.

I think the speculation in this case was a very good "educated guess" that she was probably wearing earbuds and listening to music (or perhaps an audible book).  Almost everyone I know wears them when walking or running.  It would be easy to see how that could be true.

Their discussion went further into the continuing rise in crime and the collapse of moral values occurring simultaneously.  Don't get me wrong, there has always been crime but it was far less frequent and while we locked our doors when we left the house, we didn't get concerned about crime.  These days, our Sheriff reminds people to lock their house and their automobiles even when at home.

There is currently playing a Time Life infomercial selling DVDs of the old Ozzie and Harriet show.  Honestly, I have watched that video a few times (although I have not purchased the DVDs) and each time it brings tears to my eyes.  I know that the old shows did not portray exactly what life was like back then but you know what?  They were very close in their portrayal of society.

I have mentioned that my husband is seven years older than me and we notice a significant difference in society between his childhood and teen years compared to the 1970s when I graduated from high school.  It seems like we had gradual changes the past decades.  Although, some have said it was like the proverbial frog in water that doesn't notice the slowly rising temperature until it is too late.

Today is the anniversary of 9/11, when I believe the world changed for good.  Have you ever watched a movie made in the 1990s and thought of how much more innocent it was?  Especially when dealing with travel and the freedoms that existed prior to September 11, 2001.

I have heard many Bible prophecy teachers teach that 9/11 was a significant birth pang (pain) in the coming return of Christ.  Prior to that, few people in the United States thought this country would physically come under attack.  Yes, Hawaii was attacked but it was more vulnerable being out in the Pacific.  We were all wrong.

Now we are seeing one birth pain after another.  I never thought I would think of 2019 as "the good old days" but giving what the world is like now and the madness coming from some unnamed people in power, it makes me often wonder what the future holds for those I care about.

Having said that, when I get in one of those moods, I go back to the Word of God and I remind myself of a couple important Truths.  First of all, it was God's idea for my husband and me and all of our loved ones to be born in this time.  There has to be a reason we are all here "for such a time as this".

Second, greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world!  The enemy of our soul can smell our fear and pounce on it to form all kinds of unsettling images of the future.  Fear always turns the future into something terrible, even if that is not what our future actually looks like in real life.

When we fear, we feel terror as if we were experiencing the event... when there is a significant chance that we will not experience what we are afraid of or it won't be nearly as bad as we let the scenarios play out in our mind.  

My husband used to travel a lot for his career when he was younger and I would tell him when he was late (this was before cell phones) that I had him buried and the life insurance spent already by the time he arrived home and I could breathe again.  That is what fear will do to you.

One of the Bible prophecy teachers I admire was quoted as saying last week, "What did you expect the End Times to look like?".  Very true.  I just kinda' sorta' really hoped I wouldn't be here when it looked like this.  But God knew and I am certain that everything I have gone through... you have gone through in your life... prepared us for living during these times.

Today, let us remember those who lost their lives on 9/11 as well as the many men and women in the military around the world in the wars that followed.  Let us also be aware that, while we are not to fear, we are to aware of our surroundings and that we live in a very fallen world.


Mentioned in this Blog Post

American Family Radio - The link is to a list of their radio programs (times listed are all Central Time Zone).  They have a lot of good teaching and preaching programs offered... here.  Although I listen to them on my radio, they also have an app called... not surprisingly... AFR. I do have it on my tablet.

Time Life website - This link will take you to their Ozzie and Harriet DVD offer (I am not affiliated in any way with Time Life)... here.

Image:  My husband was in the air between Detroit and Chicago when the planes hit the towers.  We didn't know where he was until that evening since he was supposed to get on another plane heading to their New England plant.  

It turned out that all the planes were cancelled by the time they landed in Chicago and he spent hours trying to get a rental car to drive back to Detroit where we were living.


Jenny said...

It's been such a long time since I listened to radio. I've heard Tim Wildman before & like him.

I love listening to Martin Iles from the Australian Christian Lobby. I watch his show, "The Truth of it" & other videos they share. He talks about current events but he always...always, always goes to God's word. Hearing God's word in a report about such chaos around the world always brings peace to me. God knows & none of this is a surprise to him.
Here's a link to the channel if you want to check it out.

Mandy said...

September 11, 2001 must have been extra terrifying not knowing where your husband was. I will certainly never forget that day.

The murder of that woman in Memphis has sent shockwaves all over the place, even in my small town in Mississippi. As if that weren’t enough, a young man in Memphis went on a shooting spree a few days later killing four people live on Facebook and injuring several others. So much evil and sadness. I think it’s made a great many people realize how we need to be aware of our surroundings.

Debbie Nolan said...

Brenda - wonderful post. Yes, as a Christ follower, I too am aware that for this time and place God put me here for His reasons.

Love your thoughts on how we turn to the Word and trust Him and not be afraid. Thank you for sharing your faith.

Annabel said...

Yes 2019 is the good old days! I dont think we are ever going back either. Well, to not specifically comment on any particular case I am thinking I am not going out alone especially in the dark a long way from my car of home, if you see me jogging then I am probably being chased by a lion or something like that. I think it is idiotic to wear ear buds while out walking or in shops. God gave us our senses to help keep us alive for Petes sake. I am not going to wear skimpy clothes in public either. I didn't care if men SHOULDN'T look I am really wanting to safely go about my business with my Witts about me. I would not walk the same route at the same time... commonsense tells you that. I dont park next to a van, I sit in a cafe with my back against a wall not to the public. Just be careful and be sensible. At least make it very hard for someone! Call me old fashioned but we need to think about what we are doingxxx

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Brenda, for your well written and thought-provoking post. So many good points covered and I couldn’t agree more. I have been reading your blog for many years and think we are so very like-minded.
It is interesting the timing of reading this particular post. Just yesterday afternoon, we were notified by our local sheriff to stay indoors, that there was a standoff with 20-30 police officers and the Swat team with a man in his house…on the next block. All afternoon, we could hear police on the intercom talking to this man, the hovering sound of a police drone and then towards bedtime, gun shots. The standoff continued until early hours of the morning. Unnerving.
We live in a college (Colorado State University) town at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in a quiet, middle income neighborhood—out of city limits. We’ve lived here 16 years and have never encountered anything like this. I was also born in this town.
I have homeschooled all four of my children and tried to equip them to be wise and be aware of the culture they have been launched into. I always hoped that all that we are seeing lately wouldn’t be unfolding in their (or my) lifetime and so quickly.
My second oldest daughter is in law enforcement and is confirming that crime is indeed rising. The stories she tells are incredible and I am constantly praying for her protection and discernment- as well as the rest of my family.
Just today, at the grocery store (King Soopers) I asked the florist why they were installing a metal gate to enter their store. She said theft is getting rampant and those stealing don’t even conceal what they are doing. In the parking lot, there is a new tower that has cameras and an intercom with a constant message telling everyone to lock their car doors and leave no valuables.
These are the days…
But we will not fear.

Thank you again, Brenda, for what you wrote, when you personally are tempted to fear. It is a helpful and Biblical reminder for us readers. Thank you also for your wonderful blog and posts through the years. You have much Godly wisdom (and a good sense of humor) and have encouraged us readers (even us quiet ones;)
Blessings, my sister in Christ,

Ever Grateful,
Malinda Bañuelos
(Fort Collins, Colorado)