Spiritually Speaking Remembering Why We Celebrate the 4th Pearl Harper O beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain, For purple mountain majesties, Above the fruited plain! America! America! God shed His grace on thee And crown thy good with brotherhood, From sea to shining sea! What beautiful words penned by Katherine Lee Bates. I dare say no other country in the world has ever been so blessed, except the apple of God’s eye of course, Jerusalem. I have been fortunate to travel across most the states and I realized there is something beautiful in most of them. When we went out west on year, I wrote our pastor a postcard that said, “Guess what? God did marvelous things all across our country.” I ordered some checks once that had the words to Katherine Bates song. I was so disappointed; each check had the first two lines or the second, always omitting about God shedding His grace on thee.” As we get ready to celebrate the 4th of July I pray we all remember what it cost some of our forefathers. They sacrificed their wealth, they were men of prosperity, but for most the ones who signed the Declaration of Independence, they sacrificed their life for our freedom. John Quincy Adams penned these words; “Posterity-you will never know how much it cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it.” Those precious faithful men wrote: “For the support of this declaration with a firm reliance on the protection of the Devine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.” Thank goodness for dedicated Christian men who realized instead of having freedom we could have been ruled by tyrants. Maybe your children might not realize what the celebration of the 4th of July means, explain it to them. It will make the day even more meaningful. When I was a child we always looked forward to the 4th, we saw more ice cream, sodas and hot dogs than we saw all year put together. I know we didn’t fully realize the significance of the day, but we usually had a great family day. Most people only had a small freezer, so early on the 4th of July, the company store would deliver goodies the miner’s had ordered for their families. A whole case of sodas, yes there were 24 in a case. A large container of ice cream so we could enjoy it all day. We had hot dogs; mom would make chili for them and chocolate sauce for our ice cream. Or course we had ice cream cones. Mom was a good cook. Dad was such a loving dad, he had a very sad childhood but he was always doing things with us. We usually had ballgames, we lived near the grade school, many kids would join in. but in the late afternoon dad would build a fire and we would roast our wieners, and marshmallows. It was a great day for all; dad enjoyed it so much because it made us happy. Have a great holiday with family and friends and never forgot who gave so much for us, Christ first then our Christian forefathers. God Bless.