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Archive for the ‘Fourth of July’ Category

July the 4th is often about family tradition, barbecue, fireworks, laughter and fun.  And in the midst of the relaxation and celebrations today, it is good to reflect on the sacrifices paid that we might enjoy the freedoms we still experience:  Radio commentator, Paul Harvey’s essay, Our Lives, Our Fortunes, Our Sacred Honor is worth listening to as it reminds us of the 56 heroes who pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to defend freedom as they signed the Declaration of Independence we celebrate today.  Many gave the full measure of sacrifice, as did their families.  Just like men and women who defend our freedom around the world today, the families at home sacrifice too. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kX-APfe3i8Q The testimonies and stories of the women who bravely stood by these heroes is also insightful:   http://www.constitutionfacts.com/us-declaration-of-independence/women-behind-the-signers/

 

The Declaration of Independence makes 27 references to Biblical principles that today seem to have been lost or forgotten in a culture rapidly advancing toward the minefield of secularism.  In the midst of it all, we still have the privilege and freedom to remind us that real freedom only comes through Jesus Christ.  II Cor 3:17 reminds us, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

The writer of a great patriotic song often sung in celebration today was actually beseeching God in prayer for His mercy and grace to pour out on this nation. The depth of Ms. Bates prayer is clearly reflected in each line of America the Beautiful:

America, America, God shed His grace on thee,

And crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea.

May this song be our prayer for our nation today as well:

America, America, God mend thine every flaw,

Confirm thy soul in self-control, Thy liberty in law.

America, America, may God Thy gold refine,

Till all success be nobleness and every gain divine.

Take the time for laughter, fun, barbecue, and fireworks today.  And may we also pause to enjoy the true internal freedom we have in Jesus Christ and thank God for our blessings as we pray for our families and our nation.

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Viva Cristo ReyLong Live Christ the King! This was the battle cry of the Cristero warriors in the 1920s when the Mexican federal government tried to extinguish the rights of the citizens to practice their religion freely.  Historians substantiate that much of the success of the rebellion was because of the women who smuggled guns and ammunition.  Historically accurate, this recently released movie brought to mind other brave women who stood for values and principles against all odds, beginning in the time of Christ.  The Samaritan woman (John 4), would not have been welcome for proclaiming the Good News Jesus Christ shared with her at the well.  Mary and Martha, Mary Magdalena, the women who ministered to the disciples (Luke 8), the Gentile woman who sought a miracle healing for her daughter (Mark 7), even the woman hemorrhaging for 12 years (Luke 8: 42-48)—all were brave women who stood boldly and took action with faith because of their compelling belief in the freedom they found in following Jesus Christ.

 

Oh, Lord Jesus, I want to be such a woman of faith today.  I want my faith to be so alive that I will stand for Your Gospel message in the face of the naysayers, mockers and doubters.  Help me Lord Jesus to be as courageous as these women of faith through the ages.  Clearly, there are many who need to hear of Your love so let me be a willing instrument in Your Hands as I go about my day.  Amen

 

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Perhaps you read the Declaration of Independence in high school or college.  Perhaps, you only heard about it or read the first two paragraphs.  Did you know there are 27 direct references (without the citations of course) to the Bible and its principles for liberty?

Today, as we celebrate our freedom, take a few moments to reflect that whatever activity you enjoy is because of the brave men and women who birthed the freedom of this nation because they felt a responsibility to stand for God’s Truth in the midst of tyranny.

The Second President of the United States, John Adams, reflected upon the signing in a letter to his wife, Abigail that this should be a day of great celebration and honoring God.  Writing this letter was a great act of celebration:

The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not. (The Book of Abigail and John: Selected Letters of the Adams Family, 1762-1784, Harvard University Press, 1975, 142).

The Declaration of Independence only takes a few minutes to read, and yet every word challenges my heart to ask what price would I be willing to pay for freedom?  May we all consider and reflect on our responsibility to preserve freedom as we enjoy the day of freedom celebration.  (http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html

 

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