Sunday, July 5, 2009

Independence Day--Freedom and Patriotism

July 4--
A day of picnics, bar-b-ques, family, friends, and of course, fireworks! It is a day of festivities from small family gatherings to large community fairs. It is a day for many to celebrate while having the day off work. It is a vendor's dream as anything red, white and blue can be found for sale on corners across our nation--pins, pendants, necklaces, sunglasses, hats, boxershorts, home decor, tableware, and more.

But as we enjoyed this awesome, fun day, did we stop to think about how it came about? And what it cost those who earned it for us? And what God's role was in it all?

July 4, 1776
Our forefathers, although holding vastly differing opinions on many issues, came together and boldly signed the Declaration of Independence. They did so because the Colonists were not receiving representation in England's Parliament, and they were being unfairly taxed to pay for England's war debt. By signing their names to this document, they were risking their reputations, their property, and even their lives. This was risky business! Soon after, our War for Independence began, and the Colonists fought for and eventually won their freedom from England. It was not an easy war, if there is such a thing. The odds were against them, but I believe God was looking out for the Colonists and their Cause; I believe He had a purpose for this up-and-coming nation.

Nearly a hundred years after we achieved our independence, and as we found ourselves on the brink of civil war, Abraham Lincoln wrote to Congress in 1862, "We shall nobly save of meanly lose this last best hope of earth." America has since been the best hope of our world. The United States has become a world leader and protector of freedom for oppressed peoples worldwide.

America IS freedom--freedom of speech, freedom of enterprise, freedom of religion; this freedom is rare in our world; it is special. It needs to be protected!

As a people, we have a passion that other nations don't have---we call it Patriotism. It is more than nationalism. It is a pride, a willingness to help our fellowman, a recognition of God's protection over us. But patriotism is not enough! We need, as Ronald Reagan stated, "informed patriotism." Today, well-grounded, informed patriotism is not popular. Scholars are trying (and succeeding) to rewrite America's history. Pop culture has removed our sense of patriotism. Parents don't know our history and schools aren't teaching it. But we must remember our past and from whence we've come. If we forget our history, we won't know who we are (from Ronald Reagan's Presidential farewell address). When we forget who we are, we won't fight for our freedoms; they will be taken away from us!

May we never lose our patriotism, forget our history, nor lose our precious freedoms!

Happy Birthday Little Kazboy!

Gavin turned 6 on June 30th. It is hard to believe that just two years ago we celebrated his 4th birthday with him not understanding a thing that was going on much less very little of what we were saying. The past two years have shown so much growth on his part!

He is like a sponge, soaking up everything around him. Hardly anything gets past him. Right now, he is loving swimming. He is obsessed with policemen. And he still drives his "Mustang" everywhere.

We celebrated his birthday with family on Monday night last week, then we had 12 5- and 6-year olds over on Tuesday afternoon for a party. He was so excited he could barely sleep on Monday night and I believe he thought Tuesday morning was never going to end. He had a great time playing and swimming with his friends!

God has a plan for this little man. I'm not sure what it is, but I'm amazed at how far he has come.