God in our schools–God in our children

XstreetGif_USAToday will always be remembered for the infamous crimes that were purposed against our homeland and the overwhelming numbers of lives that were tragically taken from us. Thirteen years later, and the images are just as real now as they were then.  The shock that such a feat could happen in America still makes us numb. As I taught elementary age children today, I realized that none of them were even born on September 11, 2001,; however, several told of cousins that had died that day!

In every class, we sang the National Anthem, not because of 9/11, but because this Sunday will commemorate the two hundredth anniversary of its writing. As is my habit, I review any words that may be unfamiliar with the students: dawn, twilight, ramparts, perilous, gallantly, etc.  We also listened to an “Adventures in Odyssey” which did an excellent job of bringing alive the story behind the Fort McHenry battle during the War of 1812.

In one class, one boy asked if we could do all the versions.  Versions?  Realizing that he meant verses, I found them and put them up on the screen.  I know it’s a lot to read, but take a moment and soak up all that Frances Scott Key was trying to say:

Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

I love teaching children!  I can get quite animated, and as I was telling the story behind the words, trying to instill patriotism into their little hearts, one little boy said, “We need to thank God for keeping helping us win,” or something like that!  Hallelujah!!!

We can try to keep God our of our schools all we want, and believe me—they’ve done a pretty good job of it; but they cannot keep God out of the heart of your child once you have taught him the truths of God’s Word and LIVED them before him!  And no matter how many times they try to dismiss any Christian influence in our history, it’s all there in black and white—even in our national anthem!

Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

  Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.  
Psalm 33:12
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