Raymond E. Knaeble IV is an Army veteran from Chicago. He was flying home in 2010 from Bogota, Colombia, where he had just gotten married. However, he was told that he was on the government's "no-fly" list and barred from boarding his aircraft. He says he lost a job offer as a result.
Knaeble is one of 500 Americans and 20,000 people on the "no-fly" list. Recently, a federal judge in Oregon ruled that the government must allow U.S. citizens on the list to challenge their designation more easily. According to the judge, the current process has a high risk of depriving some individuals of their "protected interests."
As travel over the July 4 weekend begins in earnest, does this news seem encouraging or frightening to you? As frustrating as airport security lines can be, we want to feel safe when we board an airplane. At the same time, we don't want others to be treated unfairly.
We are right to be concerned for our safety. Property theft costs Americans $14 billion a year; identity theft costs us another $24.7 billion. Homicide is the third-leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 4 years in the U.S. There are 1.4 million gang members in 33,000 gangs reported active in the U.S.
I love our country and am grateful every day to live here. At the same time, I worry about the world we are leaving my children and granddaughter. Will we see metal detectors outside malls and grocery stores? Will identity theft make Internet usage and credit card transactions perilous? Will more and more of us want to live behind gates on our streets and bars on our windows?
I am convinced that the greatest need in America today is for a great moral and spiritual awakening before it's too late. That's why our ministry is joining Anne Graham Lotz for "777 An Urgent Call to Prayer." From July 1 to 7, we are making time each day for repentance and intercession for our nation. I urge you to read Anne's prayer for today and make it your own.
The psalmist declared that "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1). But here's the catch: a refuge cannot protect me unless I get inside it. An umbrella left in the car is no help in the rain. The psalmist also stated, "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, 'My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust'" (Psalm 91:1-2).
Can you say the same today?
Publication date: July 3, 2014