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Has the torch started to flicker just a little in your hands,

a torch passed by some folks who sacrificed to make a difference?

Commit yourself to a holy, new fire

so the flame that has been fueled by the lives of those who ran before us

can burn more brightly than ever in your hands.


It's "Independence Day"

  
I am apt to believe that it (Independence Day) 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 for evermore.
-John Adams

Independence Day... Americans don’t use that term much anymore. I’ve heard most broadcasters, many congressional leaders and, yes, our president, refer to it as “The Fourth of July Holiday”. The newspapers and television are advertising 4th of July sales, awash with red, white and blue. We await a day of fireworks and cookouts with family and friends, a vacation from work. Some will display the flag and maybe attend a parade.

July 4 is a day on the calendar for all nations, and therefore, it is troubling to me that we should refer to our national holiday simply as “Fourth of July”. To citizens of the USA, it represents independence from tyrannical rule, the birth of a great and free nation, a day to celebrate the founding declaration, “We hold certain Truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

Although some desire to transform this nation, I ask all patriots to be diligent in honoring the intentions of our founding fathers; and honor all of those who have served this great nation for our assurance of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In the true spirit of America, on July 4, celebrate Independence Day. As you hang out your flag or go about your activities of the day, take a moment to say the Pledge of Allegiance and a short prayer of thanks for the blessing of living in “one nation UNDER GOD, with liberty and justice for all”.

Happy Independence Day! May God continue to bless America!
  

Called To Be Faithful



Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering;
(for he is faithful that promised;)

Hebrews 10:23
  

The Lighthouse Keeper Wonders

 
The light I have tended for 40 years
is now to be run by a set of gears.
The Keeper said, And it isn't nice
to be put ashore by a mere device.
Now, fair or foul the wind that blow
or smooth or rough the sea below,
It is all the same. The ships at night
will run to an automatic light.

The clock and gear which truly turn
are timed and set so the light shall burn.
But did ever an automatic thing
set plants about in early Spring?
And did ever a bit of wire and gear
a cry for help in darkness hear?
Or welcome callers and show them through
the lighthouse rooms as I used to do?
'Tis not in malice these things I say
All men must bow to the newer way.

But it's strange for a lighthouse man like me
after forty years on shore to be.
And I wonder now - will the grass stay green?
Will the brass stay bright and the windows clean?
And will ever that automatic thing
plant marigolds in early Spring?

-Edgar A. Guest

 

Loving the Child Who Drops the Ball


Dropping a fly ball may not be a big deal to most people, but if you are thirteen years old and have aspirations of the big leagues, it is a big deal. Not only was it my second error of the game, it allowed the winning run to score.
 
I didn't even go back to the dugout. I turned around in the middle of left field and climbed over the fence. I was halfway home when my dad found me. He didn't say a word. Just pulled over to the side of the road, leaned across the seat, and opened the passenger door.
 
We didn't speak. We didn't need to. We both knew the world had come to an end. When we got home, I went straight to my room, and he went straight to the kitchen. Presently he appeared in front of me with cookies and milk. He took a seat on the bed, and we broke bread together.
 
Somewhere in the dunking of the cookies I began to realize that life and my father's love would go on. In the economy of male adolescence, if you love the guy who drops the ball, then you really love him.
 
My skill as a baseball player didn't improve, but my confidence in Dad's love did. Dad never said a word. But he did show up. He did listen up. To bring out the best in others, do the same.
-Max Lucado, from his book Dad Time

 “Blessed indeed is the man who hears many gentle voices call him father.”
 -Lydia Maria Francis Child

“I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren't trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom.”
-Umberto Eco, Foucault's Pendulum

Happy Father's Day to all the Dads

What Heroes Gave

  


Each donned their uniform to be
Defenders of our liberty

Their mission sure, their spirits bright
Guard freedom’s home, be brave to fight

One final day each faced their call
Each gave their best enduring all

We’ll never know what they went through
But know they loved this country true

Deep down inside we should all feel
What heroes gave, their cost so real

We must stay thankful, grateful of
The gift of freedom through their love

Their loved ones bore the gravest pain
What we can’t know, some now sustain

To God I pray their pain will cease
And each will find long-lasting peace

Remember this from year to year
What heroes gave – shan’t disappear

We’ll never let their special day
Their time for honor slip away

These brave fought for a nation free
If not for them, where would we be?

- Roger J. Robicheau (Sp 5, US Army), 2001


 Dear Lord,
Thank You for the dedicated men and women who serve in our armed forces.
We pause in remembrance of those who have gone before them.
   

Some Gave All...

  
Memorial Day reminds us of our duties towards the wounded soldiers and the bereaved families, orphans and widows of the dead soldiers. We should honor the dead by adorning their sacred remains with flowers and garlands and show our gratitude towards them in the following ways:
  • Adorning the graves of the soldiers with flags or flowers.
  • Visiting cemeteries and memorials.
  • Furling the American Flag at half-mast until noon.
  • Furling the 'POW/MIA Flag'.
  • Keep silence for a minute at 3 p.m., 'National Moment of Remembrance' and listen to Taps being played.
  • Take a pledge to aid the disabled veterans, widows, widowers and orphans of the dead and keep it.
  • You may support the efforts to restore the traditional day of observance of Memorial Day back to May 30th.
  • Offering thanks to the veterans and appreciating the ultimate sacrifices of the soldiers to the bereaved families personally.