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Happy Birthday America!

Some July 4th quotes to center our minds on what is important this weekend!
You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness.  You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.  ~Erma Bombeck

Where liberty dwells, there is my country.  ~Benjamin Franklin

My God!  How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy!  ~Thomas Jefferson

“America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” ~Alexis de Tocqueville
“It is easy to take liberty for granted when you have never had it taken from you.” ~M. Grundler

“Fourscore and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal” ~Abraham Lincoln

For some time there, July 4th became simply a holiday when workers expected a day off, families packed up for weekend camping trips, and grocery stores supplied many a person with paper products and hot dogs for picnics. Do you remember July 4, 2002? I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many American flags in the windows of houses, cars, on previously empty flagpoles, on t-shirts or even just stuck in the ground beside front porch stoops. It was nearly 10 months after we lost 3,000 plus in a day on our own soil. It seemed like our right to security had been stripped away. And in many ways, that was the terrorist’s intent. We all came face to face with ‘a’ possible outcome of being a land with freedom given from a loving God. We came face to face with the possibility that others would make the attempt to take away the peace of having freedom and replace it with fear. We fought back with more than just a war. We fought back by continuing to live freely.

God has given us freedom. He is The Authority. He has given us ways to live which are best for us and our fellow man. He has allowed or placed others in leadership around and over us. We follow Him and count Him as the giver of all of life, it’s freedoms, it’s obligations, and grace and forgiveness for a life eternal with Him in the end. When others make it seem that He has been taken out of His place, or put themselves in the role of the God of the Heavens, the giver of rights and freedoms, then we have problems. We are out of line with the way things should be. We are throwing away the “Best Practices” manual and putting ‘self’ in it’s place.

Paul states in Romans 6 that we should not sin more so we get more grace. Grace gives us freedom from sin. Likewise, freedom gives us a way of life where we can live with God as the supreme authority rather than a person or government acting on their own behalf. Freedom does not mean that we can act any way we want. Freedom has duties as does having grace. Freedom means following guidelines. I know that sounds ironic, but freedom with no obligations or boundaries would be tyranny.

We are created equal. God sees us all the same. We may be born in different worlds. We may live on different continents under different authorities. Sin has created a way of life for all of us that is very shy of Heaven. However, we can still, all the same, live while loving a God and His creation with a sense of duty towards Him and our brothers and sisters on this planet. Love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself is kinda how Jesus stated it. Someone in communist China can do those things. It’s just that in our America, we can do those things out in the open…for all to see. We should be thankful everyday for what our founders created for us as Americans. This is a reason to celebrate our country’s birthday and a reason to celebrate our Creator for giving us this special gift.

Here’s the kicker question. Do we live out those freedoms or just hold them in our lap for political debates with our neighbor over the fence line? Doesn’t it makes sense that America should be growing in Christ faster and with more momentum than any other place on earth? I mean, we have the freedom to carry our Bible in school, talk about Jesus in McDonalds, and bow our heads in the town square on National Day of Prayer. Remember, with freedom comes obligations to carry freedom and keep it and use it. Funny thing. More people are becoming followers of Jesus in communist or anti-Christian nations, like India and China, than in any other nation on earth. Are we using our freedoms like we could? We could all probably do better.

Let’s remember our nation’s birthday not only with fireworks and grilled hamburgers, which is by all means appropriate, but also with thoughts and prayers of thanks to the God who grants us our freedoms and rights as a people under Him.

Hope all this makes sense,



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