Thursday, July 4, 2013

And Now I Celebrate

Okay, now that I've grieved for America and prayed for America, it is time to celebrate.  It still may be a screwy country with problems politically and morally, etc, but it is still the best country on the planet!  We may not have it all together (or even close!), but when I take a look around the world, things are falling apart in much bigger ways.  I am very thankful that we do have a democracy that works, an economy that is stable (especially compared to globally) and a culture that has laws to hold things together.  There are many things I'd change if I could, but then again, I bet there always have been as long as we've been a country.

So, let us celebrate our Independence Day with not a blind adoration for a country, nor a cynical view of the world.  Instead, let us thank God that we have the freedoms we do and keep fighting to make sure they continue.  May we continue to turn towards Him, fuel love towards each other, and may God bless America!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Grieving for America

Each day an app on my phone flags a verse for me to read.  What I love about this app, is that the verses are always words of Jesus'.  Today's was this:
Luke 6:32-36 "If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you?  For even sinners love those who love them.  And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you?  For even sinners do the same.  And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you?  Even sinners lend to sinners to get back the same amount.  But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungratefull and the evil.  Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful."

Clearly, this verse struck to my heart as I need to work through these pieces and follow Jesus.  I feel that most of the time, the words of Jesus are in the back of my mind, prodding me to do follow in his footsteps, but I often take a separate path.  May I choose Jesus instead.

However, today, as I read this verse, it confirmed my thoughts and feelings about July 4th.  I won't be hanging a flag, I won't be celebrating all that much except in the ceremonial time with friends and grilling.  Instead, I'll be grieving.  Because the Independence Day we celebrate from 1776 is overshadowed now by our own decay.  What do we have to celebrate for our country?  That we're the richest country in the world?  That we can go to war with anyone we want to?  That we choose power, success, money, pleasure, or achievement over love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodnesss, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control?

I can't help but think that this isn't the America that our founding fathers would have chosen. 

When the nation was built on faith in God, yet now is lived as if God doesn't exist, this is of concern.  The amazing stories we hear daily of pain and suffering of people hurting other people breaks my heart.  When once we were a united states, standing up against tyranny and for freedom, now to create new kinds of slavery and hardship on ourselves.  Like dogs returning to their vomit. 

Anyway, I won't be celebrating America tomorrow.  I'll be grieving for Her, praying that love is enfused into Her, and pleading with Jesus to give more faith to our nation.