Happy Independence Day!

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44 Responses

  1. Nonnie says:

    I know we have so many problems in the USA, but let us be thankful for the freedoms we have.

  2. Xenia says:

    I am very thankful for my country, even though I am very critical of her.

    When I think of what I love about America, it has nothing to do with the Constitution or my rights and freedoms. I appreciate those things, but what I really love about America are the people, especially my family and friends; the scenery, especially the mountains; the food, especially the crazy mixture of Italian/Mexican/English dishes; and all the little quirky things that make this place home. Like any house, we notice the cracks in the plaster and the weeds in the yard but it’s home and we love it.

  3. 238 years ago in Independence Hall our founders were signing this.

    http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html

  4. Another way to look at the 4th of July is to remember that we are commemorating the fact that a bunch of slave-owning, aristocratic, white males didn’t want to pay their taxes.” Happy Birthday, America! 😉

  5. Nonnie says:

    I knew that MLD would have a different spin on the issue. 😀

  6. Muff Potter says:

    I love my country. I served her as an Army medic (mos 91-a10) during the Vietnam Era. For all her faults, she’s still the best thing going on the world stage.

  7. Em says:

    We are indebted to those “slave owning, aristocratic white males.” The aristocratic, slave-owning RC conquistadores didn’t do quite as good a job – IMHO

    For some reason, God truly has bestowed His grace on us… yet we’re just a portion of the tapestry of history that has radiated out from the beginning with the first Adam (and Eve) – it’s a stunning, staggering tapestry weaving together exactly according to His design, His holy purpose and disposal

    as a member of the race of man, I just have to thank the Creator for having had the privilege of experiencing this geographical place and time in history…

  8. Not all of them owned slaves MLD. At least half didn’t.

  9. Hey, my response is as good as any out there. This video makes you wonder why we invest a dime in public education. 🙂

  10. Jean says:

    If you can spare 30 minutes, the link below is to an expository message from Kenneth Bailey on the parable of the Prodigal Son, which is outstanding. It left me breathless.

  11. MLD, that is just astonishing ignorance in that video.
    I can only hope that they edited out the people who actually paid attention in grade school and up.

  12. Jean says:

    From a speech made in DC by our 30th President, Calvin Coolidge in 1924:

    “Our government rests upon religion. It is from that source that we derive our reverence for truth and justice, for equality and liberty, and for the rights of mankind. Unless the people believe in these principles they cannot believe in our government. There are only two main theories of government in the world. One rests on righteousness, the other rests on force. One appeals to reason, the other appeals to the sword. One is exemplified in a republic, the other is represented by a despotism. The history of government on this earth has been almost entirely a history of the rule of force held in the hands of a few. Under our constitution, America committed itself to the practical application of the rule of reason, with the power held in the hands of the people.”

    “It is of a great deal of significance that the generation which fought the American Revolution had seen a very extensive religious revival. They had heard the preaching of Jonathan Edwards. They had seen the great revival meetings that were inspired also by the preaching of Whitefield. The religious experiences of those days made a profound impression upon the great body of the people. They made new thoughts and created new interests. They freed the public mind, through a deeper knowledge and more serious contemplation of the truth. By calling the people to righteousness they were a direct preparation for self government. It was for a continuation of this work that Francis Asbury was raised up.”

    “Just as the time was approaching when our country was about to begin the work of establishing a government which was to represent the rule of the people, where not a few but the many were to control public affairs, where the vote of the humblest was to count for as much as the vote of the most exalted, Francis Asbury came to America to preach religion.”

    “When several of his associates left for England in 1775, he decided to stay. ‘I can by no means agree to leave such a field for gathering souls to Christ as we have in America,’ he writes, ‘therefore I am determined by the grace of God not to leave them, let the consequence be what it may.’”

    “What a wonderful experience he must have had, this prophet of the wilderness! Who shall say where his influence, written upon the immortal souls of men, shall end? How many homes he must have hallowed! What a multitude of frontier mothers must have brought their children to him to receive his blessing!”

    “America continues its own way unchallenged and unafraid. Above all attacks and all vicissitudes it has arisen calm and triumphant; not perfect, but marching on guided in its great decisions by the same spirit which guided Francis Asbury.”

  13. I listened to that message on the Prodigal Son and I think his explanation was too complex.

    I have read that story many times and benefited from people’s explanations of it, but this is by far too much explanation.
    Too much explanation of every single thing that happens in a parable usually means to me that the person explaining is trying more to prove a point.

  14. Jean says:

    Thanks for giving it a listen and commenting. I think his point was that the father in the parable is Christ and that it was His grace and not the repentance of the son that brought about reconciliation. I thought the details exemplified the “scandalous” nature of the unmerited grace.

  15. I must say, I did not get him wanting to make the father in the parable Christ.

    So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. John 5:19

  16. Also, the more I think about it, Luke was writing to gentiles, but yet he did not need all the added middle eastern customs thrown in.
    Not that I don’t think some of that is valuable to know, just not necessary to know.

  17. Jean says:

    Yes, that’s the interpretation that for me was new. When we hear “father” it’s quite natural to associate the character in the parable with our heavenly Father. You have a legitimate critique.

  18. Steve Wright says:

    Couple the lost son with the (shorter) parables of the lost sheep and lost coin in that chapter and you have quite the Triune presentation

  19. Ken Bailey is an indispensable resource. The guy spent about 30myrs teaching and researching in the middle east. His view comes from looking at Luke 15 from a Palestinian/Jewish view point

    I taught through his book a couple of years ago.

    http://www.cph.org/p-360-finding-the-lost-cultural-keys-to-luke-15.aspx

  20. Jean says:

    MLD, without reading too much into your comment, I’m speechless and blessed that we apparently agree on something 🙂

  21. Jean says:

    Thanks. I previously was going to write a comment today on this thread about how I love America because it’s system facilitates imagination and creativity truly unique in this world, which have generated social media and other internet related technology. While these innovations can be misused and exploited for evil, they also have been the rich soil in which blogs like PheonixPreacher have germinated and commendable works like the Bailey’s teachings have been recorded for all to enjoy. In my opinion, the good outweighs the bad. Praise God!

  22. Awesome! I followed her on twitter.

  23. Jean says:

    Derek, can I just say: riddle wrapped inside an enigma?

  24. I know a lot of women that love guns.
    My sister included.
    She hunts and has multiple firearms.
    Poses with them on a regular basis.

    Ahhh….the South!

  25. Jean says:

    Derek, I met my wife in Mississippi (and can still spell it 🙂 ). Nicest people down there. Became a huge Leonard Skinner fan. I like Neil Young’s music, although he’s from Canada.

  26. Finally figured out what was bothering me about all the Christians that when you mention America or Freedom or Liberty they want to immediately pull out a “Jesus/Bible/God did not mean freedom/liberty that way” card and start trying to proof text or make sure you know that your thought process is not Christian enough.
    It is the equivalent of a Jesus Juke.
    It seems more of a way to prove their uber-holiness.

    I actually see someone I like pulling the same card on FB right now.

  27. Michael says:

    Derek,

    There are actually a lot of us who believe that it is wrong and grossly unbiblical to conflate this country with the faith once delivered.
    There is nothing wrong with patriotism or love of country…but to ascribe Christian virtues to it requires denying large swaths of history and Scripture.

  28. Em says:

    on the other hand, it’s kind of nice when folk see virtue in this nation – at least in the ideals – and identify them with us Christians…

  29. Steve Wright says:

    When I saw the picture I saw 3 symbols of liberty – not conflated but definitely interwoven

    4 symbols if you count the girl herself since even though her outfit is perfectly normal, it would still get her stoned in many countries around the world.

  30. Steve Wright says:

    In contrast to another symbol I saw today…at the city parade, which is a pretty big one for one of these local communities. All sorts of groups involved (70 total), and yes, I saw a gay/lesbian group represented.

    The symbol though I speak of is their apparent need to pervert the stars and stripes, from the good old red,white, and blue to a flag with 7 or 8 large rainbow stripes with the normal stars on blue.

    Of course, they are the only ones in the entire parade that felt the flag is not a good enough symbol of freedom to march under, even as they were free to march….but felt it necessary that, despite the banner clearly identifying their group leading the small procession, they would also poke all the parade watchers in the eye with their flag corruption. There must have been 1000 flags of various sizes, all proper….and one rainbow flag from the group that is not happy unless they offend someone in their face.

    But of course, someone like myself who notices and takes offense is the homophobe, right?

    And yeah, I’ve heard the argument from the flag-burning crowd for years as to why that is such a great allowance of freedom. So why not corrupt a flag.

    Because it is July 4th. And I guarantee that any idiot who tried to burn a flag today at that parade would have regretted it.

    But they just marched on by….

  31. London says:

    I had a GREAT 4th of July this year.
    Went to the minor league game, atean Indian Taco, drank a beer, then a coke later, had GREAT sears (second row), our team one in the 10th inning when the opposing pitcher walked our guy on full count bases loaded
    Fantastic firework show that nearly had me to the point of tears thinking about how damn lucky we are to live in this country. There was some song that I’d never heard before that tLked about Freedom…make me think of what my Ukrainan friends have gone through recently to try to be truly free and independent country. Makes me understand freedom in a whole new way…
    Anyway, it was one of my favorite 4th of Julys in a very long time.

  32. David says:

    My neighborhood was a war-zone tonight. Been here for six years, and this was the worst year yet for the 4th.

    There must have been a shipment of flying M80’s. My whole block was going nuts.

    It is now 12:51 and they are still lighting fireworks.

  33. Michael,
    My problem is that whenever it is brought up. If you show an ounce of even liking this country, you get the speech with verses lately to show you why you are wrong.
    I said nothing about conflating.
    I wasn’t talking about the picture.
    I was talking about someone on FB who wanted to throw out some kind of corrective to everyone celebrating the 4th of July.
    It is a constant tirade of let’s tell you why you are wrong about America.

  34. Today is July 5th – my son’s 38th birthday. So my favorite 4th of July story is we were at my in laws for a 4th of July party and my wife, who was 9 months pregnant, was swimming in the pool and her water broke – that brought the party to a quick end. 🙂

  35. Andrew says:

    MLD, would this count as an infant baptism? 🙂

  36. Michael says:

    Derek,

    I can understand your frustration to a degree.
    My self awareness started during the Sixties…three assassinations, the Vietnam War, riots in the streets that looked like civil war at times.
    The ensuing years have done little to affirm a sense of patriotism.
    I’ve never been comfortable with flag wavers or flag burners…both seem to miss the point to me.

  37. Michael says:

    David,

    My cat needs therapy this morning…between the fireworks and the sirens, she’s a bit unsettled.

  38. Michael says:

    Steve,

    I’ve already offended enough people this week so I’ll refrain from commenting on interweaving a Bible, a gun, and a flag. 🙂

  39. I missed the celebration of our corporate rebellion. But I note that we are keeping up the tradition.

  40. Michael says:

    BD,

    How could you miss it? 🙂

  41. Lynyrd Skynyrd
    and
    (Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd) like the album says.

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