Tag Archives: Patriotism

The Source of True Freedom

4 Jul

The preacher noticed little Billy was staring up at the plaque that hung in the foyer of the church. It was covered with names and small American flags were mounted on either side of it.

The seven-year-old had been staring at the plaque for some time, so the preacher walked up, stood beside the little boy, and said quietly, “Good morning, Billy.”

“Good morning, Preacher,” Billy replied, still focused on the plaque, and then he asked, “Preacher, what is this?”

“Well, son, it’s a memorial to all the brave young men and women who died while in the service.”

They stood together, soberly staring at the plaque. Billy looked shaken. Finally, in a voice barely audible, he asked the preacher, “Which service ~ the 9:45 or the 11:00?” (1)

Flag 1776Silliness aside, today we celebrate America’s Independence Day ~ commonly known as the Fourth of July. Many fine men and women have sacrificed for our freedom, so we can enjoy the freedoms we have in the United States.

Independence day is associated with parades, picnics, barbecues, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, and especially, fireworks. But the heart of Independence Day is the celebration of our declared independence from Great Britain in 1776. Actually, the war continued to rage for years, and was not formally ended until a treaty was signed on September 3, 1783.

We must never take our freedom for granted. As historian David Barton says, “We continue to be the longest on-going Constitutional Republic in the history of the world. Blessings such as these are not by chance or accidental. They are blessings of God. (2)

As Americans sought their independence from Great Britain, they declared their Christian worldview: their Creator, they said, had endowed them with certain “inalienable” (absolute) rights. Rights given to men by God. While it may be true that not every founder of this nation was a devout believer, our country was clearly founded on biblical values ~ Christian principles from the Word of God.

Sadly today, many of our leaders and politicians have all but thrown out these values and principles.

Lincoln's Bible

Lincoln's Bible

Our nation is suffering because of it.

The God that our forefathers looked to for guidance and protection is often scoffed at today, or simply dismissed as irrelevant. Secularism is tearing the fabric of our nation, and as a result, it is not only our foundational values that are being attacked, but also our economy, our families, and even our security.

Americans are a freedom-loving people, but today, many reject the source of true freedom. “So if the Son liberates you [makes you free men], then you are really and unquestionably free.” (John 8:36, Amplified).

President Lincoln knew the foundation for America’s freedom, and he encouraged people to reflect carefully on their relationship with God.  “It is the duty of nations, as well as of men [individuals],” Lincoln said, “to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, and to recognize the sublime truth announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.” (3)

It is our joy to be Christians in a free land. Many would love this privilege!

We must unashamedly embrace our freedom in Christ and our Christian heritage. Our children and grandchildren need to see the power of the truth of God. Their future may depend on our faithfulness.

(1) Adapted from “My Little Sister’s Clean Jokes,” http://www.emmitsburg.net/humor/archives/clean/clean_10.htm

(2) http://wesleysocialgospel.blogspot.com/2009/07/celebrating-independence-day-christian.html

(3) http://www.quotiki.com/quotes/12812

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The Best Memorial Day Ever!

30 May

Some flag humor …

A visitor from Holland was chatting with his American friend and was jokingly explaining about the red, white and blue in the Netherlands flag.

“Our flag symbolizes our taxes,” the man said. “We get red when we talk about them, white when we get our tax bill, and blue after we pay them.”

“That’s the same with us,” the American said, “only we see stars, too!” *

Memorial Day Flag

How do we best celebrate those who have died to keep our country free?

As I (Dawn) have struggled with some of the news reports I’ve seen in our country of late, I’ve asked God to help me focus this Memorial Day with deeper patriotism ~ deeper love for the country America was meant to be.

First, I will start my day with prayer.  I want to remember those who gave their lives for America. I will thank God for their courage. Thomas Campbell wrote, “The patriot’s blood is the seed of Freedom’s tree.” I know we are blessed because men and women did not count their lives as dear as the nation they loved. I will pray for their families who feel the pain of loss. And I will pray that we will live with integrity, even as our heroes died with bravery for the values of our Constitution and Declaration of Independence.  I will thank God for our freedom to worship Him in this great nation. I don’t take that lightly.

Then, I will sing. I’ll sing a stanza or two of America’s great anthems: The Star Spangled Banner; My Country, ’tis of Thee (America); and God Bless America. I’ll sing a newer song, too ~ Lee Greenwood’s stirring God Bless the USA: “And I’m proud to be an American, Where at Least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died, Who gave that right to me.”

I will fly my flag with pride. Francis Marion Crawford wrote, “They fell, but o’er their glorious grave Floats free the banner of the cause they died to save.” The banner of our country is our flag ~ our wonderful red-white-and-blue. I don’t think I’m alone, when viewing a grouping of the world’s flags, that the Star Spangled Banner always catches my attention, and sometimes brings a tear to my eye. I love my flag, and all it represents.

I will shake the hand of our present heroes. Robert G. Ingersoll said, “I have one sentiment for soldiers living and dead: cheers for the living; tears for the dead.” Memorial Day helps us weep for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice; but we must never forget to encourage the living who wear uniforms of military service, and praise our veterans for faithful service. [My father and father-in-love both served in the Navy. Who do you know who served or is serving?]

I will try to teach this generation the glories of our nation. “The story of America’s quest for freedom is inscribed on her history in the blood of her patriots,” Randy Vader said. This generation must know that history. How will they know if we don’t teach the stories … if we don’t tell them?

I will enjoy a time of rest and celebration Continue reading

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