Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Stories That Inspire America

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

"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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  1. Juana,

    It is very interesting that I found your post doing a search for this Easton Flag. I am searching for it because it is a blatent violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

    It is also interesting that you refer to Thomas Jefferson in your blog. Mr. Jefferson was one of our nation's founders as well as an avid athiest. One of his best sayings is ‘I do not find in Christianity one redeeming feature…it is founded on fables and mythology.’

    Well said, Mr. Jefferson, Well Said.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Bob. I appreciate your views whether you agree with my writing or not. In fact, thank you because when people differ from my view, it challenges me to do further investigating.

    I read into the wee hours of the night God's Mighty Hand by historian Richard Wheeler. A wonderful read, it is account after account of the providential hand of God in history. At some point, we can't just say it's a huge coincidence if we do the math. At the end of this post, I will list great men of our day that I respect as historians that all have websites where I get a lot of my information that sadly, is not included in the history books that came from the pen (journals, what better source?) of our founding fathers. Ponder this quote by Jefferson as he warned of the dangers of failing to understand that it is God who gave us the seed of liberty. (And in the DOI, he refers to the Creator more than once, strange your source says he atheist?) Jefferson: "God who gave us life, gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of people that these liberties are of the gift of God?" I also have a copy of the DOI in my hand & am glad to email you the references to God in it. Regarding the USA motto ," In God we Trust being a violation of the first amendment, I fail to see that. I have the first amendment in my hand as well. "no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press." They had left a country where there was one main church, the King's church... they wanted to insure that the government would stay out of religion (funny how we nowadays say it the other way around, not true) The patriot cry was, "No King but King Jesus!"

    All this aside the Bible says YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE A CHRISTIAN. Jesus said, "If anyone would come after me (IF) let him deny himself and follow me. You don't have to be his disciple. You don't have to put your trust in God. Hey, if you think you have a better way, the great thing about America is, (as the 1st amendment says, there shall be no established religion, you can choose the religion of atheism, yes, sorry, it's a religion) you can choose to be an atheist and it's not against the law.

    I have so much more. Like the journals of the first Continental Congress and the delegates could not agree at all. It was going miserable. Then Ben Franklin urged that they begin each day in Congress in prayer, and they did... and all the "not getting along and confusion" dissipated. Read from their journals in God's Mighty Hand. If it doesn't cause you to be challenged on your thinking, I'd be surprised. But even if it doesn't, that's okay, because this is America. A nation like no other in the world that was started when men listened to the call of God on their lives to begin a new country. One nation. Under God.

    I'm just a peon. My favorite historian of our day is David Barton, Wallbuilders. Now there you will learn the minutia and the big things that are not in the history books. I have 5 or 6 other sources if you want them. Again, I sincerely thank you for taking your time to challenge me. I probably would have wasted time last night watching something that has nothing to do with me and instead my faith was increased as I read God's Mighty Hand. A good lesson for me.


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