Monday, July 4, 2011
Reflections on the 4th of July
Today is a special day in the life of our country - The United States of America as we celebrate our independence. As I reflect on this day and its significance in my life, random thoughts began to form which I would like to share with you.
I have dual citizenship - Heaven and The United States -Heaven is eternal and The United States is temporal. Both citizenships are precious to me and I am proud to be a citizen of both and acknowledge that with the privileges and blessings of living in both come with responsibilities on my part.
Heaven is my eternal home with God my Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus. There I will live forever and ever with all the saints who have gone before and will come today and after today until the Lord returns. It is indescribable in its beauty and glory with our limited earthly languages but will be plain to see when we arrive there to live for eternity. Citizenship there was a gift to me through my acceptance of Jesus Christ as the Son of God and my acknowledgement of His death on the cross for the redemption from my sins. Now my responsibility is to live as a citizen of God's kingdom and reflect His glory to the world so that all can see that I belong to Him.
The United States of America is my temporal home where I live for awhile and I cherish the blessings of living here for this fleeting time period. It is almost indescribable with our limited language but with pictures we can convey some of its beauty and majesty. I have seen the Niagara Falls in the north, the Outer Banks of the East Coast, the white sands of the Southern Coast, the lakes of middle Georgia, and the woods and farms of Alabama. These are a few of the places I have been privileged to see and I anticipate seeing many others and most of it was beautiful. The natural beauty and the loveliness of its people are wonderful and should be enjoyed by all of us.
The freedom to live here was bought at a great price by many men and women giving their lives and there are many still guarding this freedom for us to enjoy. My family has a proud heritage of men and women who fought in wars from the War of 1812 to Iraq and Afghanistan to obtain our freedoms and to guard them today. I am proud of them and thank them for giving their lives or being willing to give all for us to live in this wonderful country. Our military should be respected, prayed for and supported for what they have done for us and what they are still doing - protecting us.
I have great pride in living in the United States. This pride leads me to saying the Pledge of Allegiance with my head uncovered, my hand over my heart, facing our flag and reciting it with acknowledgement of its significance. Singing the Star Spangled Banner means I stand with my hand over my heart, facing our flag, and shedding tears as I think about the price that was paid for this blessing. Voting in all elections I can is a responsibility and a privilege and supporting the elected with prayer and loyalty even if I don't agree with their politics is a duty and responsibility. Being a good steward of the land by taking care of the natural resources we are blessed to have in abundance and encouraging others to do the same is a joy and a privilege.
I could continue for pages with the responsibilities of being a citizen of this great country but will end with these few thoughts.
I am not a member of a political party but vote for the person who is running for the office after researching their lives and beliefs. I respect people's beliefs and their right to voice them, even if I don't agree with them. I will fight for freedom of speech, even if it is speech I can't understand anyone believing or voicing. I would that the peoples of our nation would respect the rights of others to think as their beliefs lead them and not criticize them for these thoughts or pass laws to stifle these thoughts. Freedom of thought and our rights to express them is vital to remaining a country of free-thinking and independent people which is what we were founded on.
Taking pride in my country, its symbols, its freedoms, its diversity and its grandeur is what I am thinking about today and I hope you will join me. I hope you will also pray with me that these symbols and freedoms will continue to be ours and our diversity celebrated but united in preserving this great country.
Have a blessed, joyful and peaceful Independence Day.
The Georgia Peach
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