In 1991 when President Herbert Walker Bush spoke at the Southern Baptist Convention, he said, "Work hard for freedom, family and faith. The United States remains 'one nation under God' and no nation reconciles diversity of faith with unity of purpose. As new challenges confront us (little did he know that his own son would someday face these as President) we must draw on that strength and work to build a nation, united in it's commitment to decency and opportunity.....to freedom, family and faith."
It may have become a cliche', but it is still SO true, that freedom (political and spiritual) is not free!
Here are some reasons that tell us that it is not free.
(These listings do not even include the thousands who have been wounded....physically AND mentally....by war)
Revolutionary War: 25, 324 combat related deaths
Civil War: 496, 332
World War I: 116, 708
World War II: 407, 316
Korean War: 54, 246
Viet Nam War: 58, 655
Gulf War: 147 battle deaths
Afghanistan and Iraq: sacrifices are still being made, which is even more reason why we must continue praying for our men and women. Even if someone might disagree with the ongoing conflict, we MUST continue to be TRUE TO OUR TROOPS!
There is another war:
the Civil War within people....One death...God's only Son, Who died for All.
On July 4, 1776, one of American's historic documents, The Declaration of Independence, was signed in the city of Philadelphia. It marked the 'birth of this nation' which, under God, was destined for world leadership. But what we often forget, is that in declaring independence from an earthly power, our forefathers made a forthright declaration of DEPENDENCE UPON GOD.
The closing words of this historic document solemnly declare: "With a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."
America today is showing signs of forgetting the God of our Fathers, the God Who gave this nation it's birth and it's present greatness!
So, as we think again of the birth of our great nation, may we pray that our beloved country might have a new birth of freedom; not a freedom FROM God (which always leads to license and ultimate slavery), but rather a freedom built upon God and His Commandments, apart from which, ANY nation will eventually perish!
We will find in Him, our life, liberty and true happiness.
"A PRAYER FOR THE FOURTH" (by former Chaplain of the U.S. Senate, Peter Marshall)
"God of our Fathers, whose Almighty hand has made and preserved our Nation,
Grant that our people may understand what it is they celebrate today.
May they remember how bitterly our freedom was won...
the down-payment that was made for it...
the installments that have been made since this Republic was born...
and the price that must yet be paid for our liberty.
May freedom be seen not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to please to do what is right!
May it ever be understood that our liberty is under God and can be found nowhere else!
May our faith be something that is not merely stamped upon our coins, but expressed in our lives!
To the extent that American honors Thee, wilt Thou bless America, and keep her as Thou hast kept her free and make her good, as Thou has made her rich."
So on this 229th birthday, let's re-affirm our commitment to God and country. Perhaps this can be done by an article in a newspaper, quoting the late comedian Red Skelton. He said, "I remember this one teacher, Mr. Lasswell who was to me, the greatest teacher, as he had such wisdom and was a real sage of my time.
We were all reciting the Pledge of Alliance and he walked over and said, 'I've been listening to you boys and girls recite the Pledge of Alliance all semester and it seems as though it is becoming monotonous to you.
If I may, let me recite it and try to explain the meaning of each word?
I......me, an individual, a committee of one.
PLEDGE.....dedicate all of my worldly goods to give without self pity.
ALLEGIANCE......my love and my devotion.
TO THE FLAG......our standard, Old Glory, a symbol of Freedom.
OF THE UNITED.....that means that we have all come together.
STATES of AMERICA......48 individual communities that have united, with pride, dignity and purpose, all divided with imaginary boundaries, yet UNITED to a common purpose, and that's LOVE FOR COUNTRY!
AND TO THE REPUBLIC......a state in which sovereign power is invested in Representatives, chosen by the people, to govern. And government is the people and it is from the people to the leaders....not from the leaders to the people.
FOR WHICH IT STANDS......
ONE NATION.......meaning 'so blessed by God'.
INDIVISIBLE.......incapable of being divided.
WITH LIBERTY......which is freedom and the right of power, to live one's own life without threats or fear or some sort of retaliation.
AND JUSTICE.......the principle or quality of dealing fairly with others.
FOR ALL......which means, it is as much YOUR country as it is MINE."
(Since this was written, 2 more states have been added to our country....Alaska and Hawaii. Also 2 words, "under God", have been added to the Pledge of Allegiance.)
Here are some of my favorite scriptures on Freedom:
1) John 8:31-36 The whole chapter deals with Freedom, as Jesus frees an adulterous woman from a violent crowd and said in verse 7, "He who is without sin among you, cast the first stone." Jesus said to her, "Neither do I condemn you....go and sin no more." In verse 12 Jesus said, "Follow me and receive freedom from the darkness of this world, for I give freedom and you don't have to walk in darkness."
Key verses are also found in verses 31-32: "Continue in My Word, be my disciples and the truth shall make you free."
In verse 36: "If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed."
Don't ever forget how you got your Freedoms!
2) Galatians 5:1: "Stand fast therefore in the freedom wherein Christ has made you free and don't be entangled again with the yoke of bondage."
(See Matthew 11:28-30 where Jesus emphasizes the 'good yoke')
This chapter in Galatians also lists 'slavery' that comes from the fruits of the flesh (Vs. 19-21) and the freedoms
we enjoy from the fruits of the Spirit (Vs. 22-23).
Our youngest son Kyle, was born in Seoul, Korea on July 4, 1961 while we were serving as missionaries there. We call him 'our Korean firecracker' for he has always been enthusiastic about life and especially Freedom, Family and Faith. We are proud of each of our children, but this '4th of July son' is uppermost in our minds today, because of his birthdate.
We thank God for Kyle and the 5 years that he served in the US Air Force...and for all of the others who have served....and are serving in the military, to help keep our Nation free.
This truly is the 'Home of the Free'.....as long as it is the 'Home of the Brave!'
The highways of history are strewn with the wreckage of nations that forgot God.
I hope it will never be said of the United States of America: "Born July 4, 1776 and Died........"
"The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing."
Let's have re-birth of freedom in America, one citizen at a time.
Please don't forget:
"To be free is our consuming passion and to make us free, is God's consuming purpose."
If you don't believe this, check out Jesus and The Cross!
I would like to join with you Travis in wishing America Happy Birthday! I also would like to stand in agreement with the prayer of Peter Marshall. America is still God's child and may He reach down and give her a hand up from her fallen position and cause her to stand TALL and PROUD as she once did! For she has truly fufilled the greatest commandment of all, by laying down the lives of her young men for the freedom of others! May God bless America, and as Mitzi said, may America bless God! And bless you Travis for this excellent article and reminder of what America is all about. In His love, Sharon