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Over the past few years my blog has been visited by people from all over the world. Very few know me, or of me, they simply are looking information concerning the Bible and discover my blog. After many years of intense study and teaching, I've come to believe we are vulnerable to misguided and incorrect teaching if we don't understand for ourselves the teaching of God's Word. My 'hot buttons' are - grace, sovereignty, exhortations and sanctification. If you understand these basic principles of Scripture, and apply them to daily life, you will understand what it means to have peace, joy and absolute security in any circumstance.

Monday, July 4, 2011

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA

Happy 4th of July!  As you can see, son Steve is enjoying our Oceanside Harbor.  We packed a picnic and got all the dogs in the car and headed down to the marina a couple of nights ago.  This is such a pleasant place to be, especially if you're a dog-lover.  Every size, make and model of dog parades by for your enjoyment, and sometimes, amusement.  We enjoy the nice grass and solid picnic tables.  There are no open fires, but you can bring a small BBQ to cook on.  My husband doesn't like sand in his hot dog, so we do this instead of going to the sandy stretch of beach.

J
uly 4th evokes many pleasant memories.  I remember when we lived in North Carolina and owned a vacation home in Minnesott Beach on the Neuse River.  This was a fun 'family time' and a great place to celebrate this holiday. When the kids were really little, all the neighbors would buy fireworks to share. The kids would sit on the curb waiting until it got dark.  Everyone would enjoy the 'show', no one ever got hurt, but alas, fireworks became illegal.  Not every parent was vigilant and there were injuries.  As is the case with so many things, a few spoil it for the many.  One year I was with my friend Audrey and her family and they all sang Happy Birthday to America.  We thought that was great!  I still remember our son Gerry's first July 4th, he was about 3 weeks old......we were at grandpa's house and the noise upset him, so I laid on the bed with him, rubbing his tiny back, listening to the 'pop and bang'.  He soon fell asleep. 

T
he first time I remember fireworks being accompanied by music was in the early 1980's, in Tampa, Florida.  We took our family to the Buccaneer football stadium, spread out blankets and laid on the ground looking up at the colorful firework display while listening to patriotic music.  I especially remember Neil Diamond's music.  In 1990, we were on a motor home trip around the U.S. and were in New York City on July 4th.  We followed the crowd, estimated to be at least one million, to the East River to view the Macy's firework display.  The music that accompanied this show was as awesome as the brilliantly lit sky and thundering noise.  One memory of this hot, humid evening stands out so clearly.  We were surrounded by people speaking foreign languages, not English.  We wondered if they were visitors to our country or lived here. They loved it all, they applauded, and   some cried.  We were touched by this.

Living in the United States, even during the hard times, is a blessing.  Our government has spent too much money, we are in debt.  Many businesses are not doing well, people are out of work.  It hurts to see empty store fronts where once stood a successful restaurant or small business.  Never-the-less, I have great confidence, not in other human beings, but in the Lord Himself.....He will sustain this country because we have honored Him.  History shows us our country was founded in freedom and on the gospel of Christ.  Some may say that Christians shouldn't be involved politically, but I believe that Scripture calls us to engage in the responsibility of citizenship. God Himself cared very much about individual nations.  We see Moses having an impact on the Pharaoh in Egypt, Daniel was taken to Babylon in 605 B.C. and eventually played a significant role in the government of the king, Nebuchadnezzar.  Joseph, son of Jacob, became the second most politically powerful man in the world, all to God's glory.  Women got involved too, remember Esther and how she had a prominent role in saving her people?  And, who can forget the role of Ruth?  Our Lord has always been involved in the politics of the day, take note and stand up for our Christian beliefs!   

I thought it appropriate to read the Constitution this morning.  It's concise and powerful!  This document has stood the test and raised this nation up in freedom.  Our first President, George Washington, was a great intellectual and moral force during the Revolutionary period.  There are many profound statements from this man, this is one of them....

"The power in the Constitution will always be in the people.  It is entrusted for certain defined purposes, and for a certain limited period, to representatives of their own choosing; and whenever it is executed contrary to their interest, or not agreeable to their wishes, their servants can, and undoubtedly will, be recalled.  George Washington, 1787

I am personally grateful to live in this country and am reminded of a verse in the Book of Acts....

"From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.  Acts 17:26.

I thank the Lord for this country.  I am happy to have been born here.  Lord, we thank you that you want all people from every country to come to know you personally.  You came to redeem your people from all over the world.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."  John 3:16 - 17.

What our country has accomplished in such a short time has been amazing!  I believe we must give credit where credit is due....we are 'one nation under God', and He has blessed us.

"Blest with victory and peace, may the heaven-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'.

In case you didn't recognize this, it's the second verse of our National Anthem, the Star Spangled Banner.  We usually just sing the first verse.  Maybe not many of our citizens know this, but the 'cap' at the very top of the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. has these words inscribed in Latin....

"TO GOD BE THE GLORY'

Amen!