I snapped this picture of our National Motto in Easton, Maryland this past week when we were there for a wedding, and wanted to share it with you.
Our family's really enjoying hearing the history behind our patriotic hymns from Ace Collins' "Stories Behind the Hymns That Inspire America." We've learned the history of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic," and how "The Star Spangled Banner" became our national anthem in the 1930's in America.
You're never too old for a good story. C. S. Lewis wrote, "a children's story which is enjoyed only by children is a bad children's story...for my part, I do not write for children, but for the childlike, whether of five, or fifty, or seventy-five."
In my opinion, The 4th of July Story by Alice Dalgleish is just such a lifetime story which can be enjoyed by any age. It is short enough that it can be read in one sitting.
In it, we learn that the inscription on the Liberty Bell—that great bell in Philadelphia that rang out liberty for the new United States of America marking the birth of our nation. The inscription contained the words of Leviticus 25:10:
"Proclaim liberty throughout all the land, Unto all the inhabitants thereof."
We learn the first words of the Declaration of Independence (we have it framed at home, you can get a copy from American history museums. The original is on display if you get to Washington, D.C.!):
"In Congress, July 4, 1776 A Declaration be the Representatives of the United States of America," and that all men had a right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
We read the last words that Thomas Jefferson had written in the declaration that read, "And for the support of the Declaration we...pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honour."
The Fourth of July in America is a great holiday to remember God's grace shed on America. Maybe today you can read through the words of our great patriotic hymns, or even better yet, to sing one! I read "The 4th of July Story" aloud to Mary this morning after breakfast.
The freedom we have in our country reminds me of another freedom. It reminds me of the freedom that the slaves would later find when they crossed that line in Ohio to freedom before slavery ended in our country. It would be another 100 years before America would right the wrong of slavery.
But it reminds me of yet an even greater freedom—that many slaves already knew before they had freedom from slavery.
That's the freedom we have from sin that was purchased on our behalf at Calvary. I received Christ as my Savior and Lord on a Fourth of July many years ago in 1985.
If you have not received freedom found in Christ alone from your sin, what is keeping you from turning to Christ no, asking for His forgiveness, and receiving Him as your Lord and Savior? Ask him into your life this very day, and if you live in America, go celebrate your new found freedom in Christ with the sound of fireworks! I heard them on my first night of freedom in Christ, too!
"As free ... but as the servants of God."
~1 Peter 2:16
~1 Peter 2:16
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
the old has gone, the new has come!"
~2 Corinthians 5:17
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