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Silliness, Independence Day and Growing

laughterJuly 3, 2016 – Silliness

Do you remember the little silly things you did as a child? If you had siblings or good friends, you often would pull jokes on them, sneak up on them and scare them and then roll on the floor laughing when you saw the look on their faces.

As you grew older, your parents probably taught you to put the silliness away so you could become responsible adults and make your way in the world. You became concerned with the more stressful things in life like going to college, finding a job, getting married and raising a family. These became more important than almost everything in your life.

I don’t think that silly part of us ever really disappears. I believe it is just buried under all the responsibilities and attitudes that come with adult-hood, all the beliefs, rules and laws that our parents stack on top us as we grow older, all the burdens that come with adult life.

I like to be silly once in awhile. I like a good belly life when someone does something silly or I say something silly to someone else. The look on their face is worth it, also making me look silly in their eyes, but at the same time evoking smiles and laughter. Just the other day I stalked Richard through the house and caught him off guard with a wacky noodle. The look on his face was priceless.

Today I am thankful that the Lord lets us keep certain attributes from childhood, like silliness.

american flagJuly 4, 2016 – Independence Day

On July 2, 1776, John Adams wrote this to his wife Abigail “The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more”

Two days later the the Declaration of Independence was signed separating the 13 colonies from Great Britain. It has been a celebrated day for 240 years. Each year families, friends, communities and churches get together to celebrate our independence, our right to be our own country under the control of no other nation. I fear that today, many celebrate this day, not as the day we became our own country, but just as a day off work, a day for picnics, BBQs, outside events, drinking and partying.

Even so, we still are one of the largest, free countries in the world whose citizens have many more rights than other countries.

A country, founded on the principles of God, our country, is suffering from a form of backsliding. Many in our Society have turned to horrible immoral acts. Crime rates soar in many cities to the level where the people living there no longer feel they are safe. Terrorist attacks continue to rise with suicide bombings and mass shootings, and our government seems to stand idly by, as if their hands were tied.

America needs a good shaking up. The history of our independence needs to be taught to our children and grand children. They need to grow up being proud of their country, a country founded on the ten commandments, a country founded on the word of god. Instead they are learning about Muslim beliefs, and traditions, transgender bathrooms, sexual behavior and alternated sexual lifestyles. Many are learning how to live a thug lifestyle, how to work people and systems in illegal and immoral ways.

I remember how proud I was when I was chosen to lead the Pledge of Allegiance in school, and I was even prouder when it was my turn to take down the American Flag, treating it with respect folding it exactly as they taught us, never letting it touch the ground or get soiled. I am hurt and appalled that our nation now allows that special flag to be burned, stomped on and destroyed. I remember how we sang the national anthem, how we memorized different parts of history like the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence and Lincolns Gettysburg Address, and how it made my heart swell to know I was part of this great country.

We can still be a great country. We can still be the America that so many other countries looked to and respected. It will take work, it will take years, it will take a re-learning of history, or Declaration of Independence, it will take bringing God back into every aspect of our lives, every aspect of our different levels of teaching and government, it will take dedication.

Still, we are more free than many other countries and societies around the world. I am still proud to be an American and today I am thankful for that Independence

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July 5, 2016 – Growing

We are born. A Seed is planted. We grow, a seed grows. As we mature we are taught certain things by our parents, by teachers, by society things that will help develop good (or bad) habits, good (or bad) ideals, good (or bad) moral character. A seed grows bigger, develops stems, leaves and flowers, and depending on the type of plant maybe some kind of vegetable or fruit. If that seed is not watered, is not taken care of, it may produce weak stems, wilted leaves, small flowers and no fruit. Can you see the similarities.

However we can experience many emotions, sorrow, hate, love, grief and we still grow. The seed reaches maturity, produces what it is supposed to, and then it dies. It has no thoughts bout tomorrow, it doesn’t make plans for it’s future, it simply does what God has put it there to do. God put us here to do something to. He put us here to worship and obey him, to love him, and to share his love, his mercy, his grace, his forgiveness, his kindness and his message with others.

The plant from the seed dies after it has completed it’s cycle and goes back to the ground it came from, much as we do when our life is down, but there is no funeral, no gathering of friends, family or loved ones, no ceremony surrounding the death of that seed as there is in our human lives. It grew, it did what it was put here to do and it went back to where it came from. It didn’t hate the plant a few rows down because it had better soil, more water or better light. It didn’t sneak down there in the middle of the night and kill the other plant and take its sun, water or soil.

We grow all of our lives until the day the Lord says it is time to come home. During that life span we continue to gain knowledge, perform acts, interact with others and dream of our future. We have the chance to change the lives of others by sharing our knowledge, our growth, or experience and most importantly the love of a caring father. He plants us in his soil, he waters us, he gives us light, he also provides us with the standard by which to live.

Today I am thankful he allows me to keep growing.

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