Sunday, July 4, 2010
As I have reflected today on the freedoms I enjoy and have enjoyed I was overwhelmed with how God has blessed me and America. Having the opportunity to visit one third world country and one European country intensified my thankfulness for living in the USA. What makes it so special?
First, I am thankful for a country our family could come to from Scotland, Ireland and other countries to establish a family and live in freedoms they had lost in the homelands. I thank many of them for being willing to work and fight to give these freedoms to the generations which would follow. I know it was difficult and daunting and I thank them for persevering to achieve their dreams.
I am grateful they were willing to follow their dreams, travel across mountains and rivers to settle in the rich farming lands of Mississippi and plant the roots of our family. They gave us a rich heritage of hard work, honesty, and love of God and country which we have faithfully tried to pass down to those who follow. We thank them for being faithful and giving us a good heritage.
Second, I am grateful for the blessing of living in a place of beauty and majesty. Much of this lovely land I have not visited but those I have seen are awesome and I praise our Heavenly Father for the blessings of living in this beauty.
As a child I was blessed to live in one of God's garden spots - Wilcox County Alabama. We lived in the country where we had woods, a creek, a fresh spring, fields of good food, cattle in the pasture, and a daddy which took great care of every inch and taught us how to be a good steward of the land. We learned how to use it for food but also to preserve it's richness for the future. He taught us that is was our responsibility to leave it better than we found it.
There is a river - The Alabama- flowing through this county which abounds with fish, swimming holes, and recreation opportunities. This waters acres and acres of forest and farm land. The woods are rich in deer, turkey, and many other animals which are killed for food but also hunted with care to ensure that future generations have these same riches.
As we grew up in this place of beauty and bounty we learned how to appreciate what the land offers and how to take care of it and cherish it. It is still a beautiful place to visit and enjoy.
I haven't had the privilege of traveling to much of our country but I thank our Father for the privilege of seeing some of it. We have seen the lovely, white, sandy beaches of the Gulf coast, the water washed, stone beaches of North Carolina, and grey sandy beaches of the east coast of Georgia and Florida. We loved the privileges of walking the beaches, swimming in the ocean and the gulf, eating the delicious seafood, and being lulled to sleep by the washing ashore of the waves. It is our favorite place to be.
The most magnificent view we have had was our visit to Niagara Falls. As we stood on the deck of a small boat watching the power and beauty of the falls we praised God for His awesome power and how it is displayed for all to see. It brought me to prayer and praise for the creator of such power and majesty.
Then I have also stood in wonder as I discovered a small stream of water and watched it flow gently down its bed. It would sparkle like diamonds as the sun shone on the ripples and then glistened with beauty as it flowed through the shadows cast by the trees and grasses which grow on the banks. It is cool to my feet as I wade in it and sometimes is clean and pure enough to drink.
I am blessed to live in a beautiful, rural area where I have the freedom to watch farmers have the freedom to grow food for our country and the world. They can grow all the crops they desire and have the rights and freedoms to sell it the consumers like me to enjoy. This is theirs to cherish for in many parts of our world these rights are not enjoyed by farmers and merchants who sell their goods. We have riches in land and food that farmers in other countries would give everything they have to enjoy.
The sunrise and sunset, flourishing fields of food, woods and pastures, animals, and warm friends are ours to enjoy each day. We awaken to beauty and the freedom to enjoy it and we go to sleep without a worry, knowing it will be there in the morning.
There are no words or enough time to tell how thankful I am to live in America. There are no words or enough time to describe the beauty I have seen and still have to see. It is an indescribable joy and and I thank our Heavenly Father for blessing us so richly with this beauty and the freedom to live in this place.
My prayer for our country is that we never forget how blessed we are and always guard these freedoms with our life if necessary. I pray we will remain aware of the responsibility we have to preserve these rights and freedoms for the generations who will follow just as our forefathers fought to win it and to preserve it for us. We must never forget to pray for wisdom and never forget to thank God for the freedoms, the right, the beauty and bounty of America.
The Georgia Peach
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