Happy Day of Independence

“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


(my little lawn flag, it’s just a tad southern in its outlook / Julie Cook / 2017)

Here are a few thoughts to ponder this day of all things celebration as we recall the
countless acts of bravery and sacrifice offered so freely by those who have given so much
for each of us to enjoy not only this day but to savor our very way of life….

Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God.
Thomas Jefferson

“I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder,
as the opening of a grand scene and design in providence,
for the illumination of the ignorant and the emancipation of the slavish part of
mankind all over the earth.”

John Adams

“The best thing to give to your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent,
tolerance; to a friend, your heart; to your child, a good example;
to a father, deference; to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you;
to yourself, respect;
to all others, charity.”

Benjamin Franklin

It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God,
to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits,
and humbly to implore his protection and favors.

General George Washington

Bad men cannot make good citizens.
It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains.
A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, is incompatible with freedom.
No free government, or the blessings of liberty,
can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice,
moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue;
and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.

Patrick Henry

God grants liberty only to those who love it,
and are always ready to guard it and defend it.

Daniel Webster

Who

“It is more important that innocence be protected than it is that guilt be punished,
for guilt and crimes are so frequent in this world that they cannot all be punished.
But if innocence itself is brought to the bar and condemned,
perhaps to die, then the citizen will say,
‘whether I do good or whether I do evil is immaterial,
for innocence itself is no protection,’
and if such an idea as that were to take hold in the mind of the citizen
that would be the end of security whatsoever.”

John Adams

God will judge us for our unthinking greed.
Pastor David Robertson


(the recently found collar pins from my great grandfather’s Spanish American War uniform,
Capt. Frank Crenshaw, he died in the battle of Puttol in the Philippines in 1900 / Julie Cook / 2017)

Law…
It’s one of the three branches of our government known more aptly as the Judicial branch.
It is the branch charged with maintaining a sense of legal duty and order within our
particular society.

It is a branch that is often tried and tested, battered and bruised in both the courts of
all things legal and the court of fickled public opinion.

It is the underlying tie that binds this great Nation together, holding it as one.

It is a key component and essential to a civil society…that which maintains order,
dispenses justice and protects the innocent.

It is a system that has been based on man’s original concept of law and justice…
of which had been passed down to him from the Supreme Creator…
from Creator to His creation since the beginning of time.

It is in such that God decreed laws for man to live by…
in turn placing man under the authority of God’s law….
which in turn lead to man creating similar minded laws for maintaining and living all within
man’s “free” societies.

Order.
Control.
Protection.

And found within man’s creation and maintaining of these laws is found the fine balance
of too much verses too little.
A precarious balancing act as our society ebbs and flows, morphs and grows.

So it was with keen interest that I read the latest offering from our friend
the Scottish Pastor David Robertson, a posting on his Wee Flea blog regarding his
latest article in the periodical Christian Today…Babylon’s Burning – Revelation 18
An article which looks at the 18th chapter of the Book of Revelation and the
destruction of Babylon:

(the bracketed who is mine as Pastor Robertson was initialy surmising the role of
prime minster in this instance of perceived responsibility)

[who] should be offered as a sacrifice in order to appease ‘the anger of the people?
Who dispenses justice?
Who is the ultimate lawgiver?
No society can survive for long without the rule of law.
But who makes the law.
The mob?
The media?
The merchants?
The powerful?
If we remove the Law of God as our foundation and basis of justice,
we also remove the possibility of justice for all –
and leave it only in the hands of the powerful.

David Robertson
Babylon’s Burning – Revelation 18

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities.
For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.
Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed,
and those who resist will incur judgment.
For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad.
Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority?
Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval,
for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid,
for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God,
an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.
Therefore one must be in subjection,
not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience.

Romans 13:1-5

May God bless the Republic

“Revolutionary soldiers were convinced that
“God had chosen America to preserve and to exemplify self-government for the world.”
Their sense of self-government was a defense of God’s plan for human governance that was calculated to inspire mankind and so lead humanity toward a godly way of life.”

For Liberty and the Republic:
The American Citizen as Soldier, 1775-1861

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(a surviving example of the 1777 Trumbull pattern of American flag)

John Adams in a speech to the military in 1798:
“We have no government armed with power capable of contending
with human passions unbridled by morality and religion . . .
Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.
It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

In 1815, Adams wrote while reflecting over his thus 65 years of life:
“For this whole period I have searched after truth by every means and
by every opportunity in my power, and with a sincerity and impartiality,
for which I can appeal to God, my adored Maker.
My religion is founded on the love of God and my neighbor;
on the hope of pardon for my offences, upon contrition;
upon the duty as well as the necessity of supporting with patience the
inevitable evils of life;
in the duty of doing no wrong, but all the good I can,
to the creation, of which I am but an infinitesimal part.”

John Adams, signer of the Declaration of Independence,
the Bill of Rights and our nation’s second President.

O Lord our Governor, whose glory is in all the world:
We commend this nation to your merciful care, that, being guided by your Providence,
we may dwell secure in your peace.
Grant to the President of the United States,
the Governor(s) of each State (or Commonwealth),
and to all in authority, wisdom and strength to know and to do your will.
Fill them with the love of truth and righteousness,
and make them ever mindful of their calling to serve this people in your fear;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, world without end. Amen.

(Prayer for the President of the United States
The Book of Common Prayer)

being mindful of the void

“Between stimulus and response there is a space.
In that space is our power to choose our response.
In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

Victor Frankl

He who is void of virtuous attachments in private life is,
or very soon will be, void of all regard for his country.
There is seldom an instance of a man guilty of betraying his country,
who had not before lost the feeling of
moral obligations in his private connections.

Samuel Adams

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(blackeyed Susans / Julie Cook / 2016)

“Just as nature abhors a vacuum, so too does the human soul.
As we forget who we are and where we’ve come from, a great
void is being carved out in the soul of the West—
and many other belief systems are seeking to fill the vacuum.
In the ever-expanding marketplace of ideas, it’s no surprise that
“ancient organism and idolatry are making a strong comeback in the midst
of Western civilization”

God and Churchill
Jonathan Sandys & Wallace Henley

…so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Isaiah 55:11

Liberty

“A Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.”
― John Adams

“I am an American; free born and free bred, where I acknowledge no man as my superior, except for his own worth, or as my inferior, except for his own demerit.”
― Theodore Roosevelt

DSCN5719
(sparkler at home / Julie Cook / 2014)

At some point today during all of the festivities— the picnics, the skiing, the watermelons, the cutting of the grass, the road races, the swimming, the time in the ocean’s waves, the parades, the fireworks–may we all take pause to offer up our thanks for the ability to enjoy those very things—may we be mindful of and grateful for those who bore the struggles and the battles–for those who lost their lives, all to ensure that we, both you and I, may do those very simple fun and patriotic things that we do to “celebrate the 4th of July. . .
May God Bless the United States of America. . .