Happy Fourth of July

“…where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.” 2 Corinthians 3:17b

I am so blessed to be an American.

Living under the freedom of the Red, White, and Blue is one of the greatest places in this world to dwell. As I reflect on my freedom today I am thankful for any and everybody responsible for securing that freedom for me and my family. If you are reading this and you are one of those people who risked everything so that our country could continue to thrive on personal freedoms please know that I am grateful for the sacrifices you made. I know that serving our nation is a privilege, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. I applaud you and I pray blessing over you.

Our nation’s freedom is one of the many reasons that we celebrate Independence Day. We also celebrate the fact that when people gather together for a cause that they can accomplish the impossible. That victory was secured by the power of Christ that surrounded those who originally fought for our nation. And in their victory our country was established on the principles of Christianity.

Today, let us not only remember what it took for America to come to be, but let us also remember how God has been faithful to the country. In a time where it is so easy to see the ways in which our country has strayed from it’s Christian roots let us also see the ways that God is still present. I choose to see His hand on our country’s safety and His blessing over the people instead of the division that is highlighted by the media. I choose to be joyful and patriotic instead of negative. I choose to stand up for those who cannot stand themselves and to love those with whom I disagree.

It is with gratitude this week that I was blessed to be able to celebrate with my small town. On Sunday, my church family joined others in the community and held a worship service in the park. On Monday, my oldest daughter participated in a Little Miss Fourth of July pageant, and on Tuesday we celebrated with family while watching a firework display in Columbus. We are a blessed people.

Happy Fourth of July!

The Ameri Brit Mom

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A Prayer For Me and My Nation

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I’ve only been back in America for a few days and already my heart is burdened by its condition. So much pain caused by hate is having devastating effects on people. Like so many of you, I have found it hard to listen to reports about what is happening across the country. Senseless acts of violence plague the news, and social media is exploding with people pointing fingers in an attempt to deal with their fears and anger. As I’ve approached these issues personally I’ve come to realize that this sort of violence is reactionary. It’s a product of the condition of the hearts of people on all sides of the present arguments. And the only way our nation is going to see healing is if that condition of heart of the country changes. It isn’t guns or weapons doing all the killing. Hate is killing these people.

This Sunday my church pushed pause on the intended sermon message and we spent the service in prayer for our nation. During this time the Pastor led us through several passages then we were directed to pray and reflect on the state of our country.

This was such a moving time for me. It was in this intentional time of prayer that I realized that an issue I felt didn’t apply as much to me as others was really an issue that applies to everyone-especially me. The type of hate that has bred violence in our society didn’t come about because of race, gender, sexuality, etc. Rather this type of hate came about when we stopped loving everyone the way that the Lord commanded us to. I’m not sure about you, but that strikes pretty close to home. I’m guilty of not always giving grace and mercy to those who have wronged me. And more than a few times I’ve passed judgement on someone based on my own set of criteria and not based on anything Biblical. (Mostly because the Bible condemns a judgmental attitude)

It was in that moment that I realized that I was no longer just praying for other people fighting a battle that didn’t apply to me, but I was praying also for myself. When love leaves our hearts we allow so much of the world’s ugliness to penetrate it. My prayer is that we begin to realize this as a nation. But first as individuals of the nation.

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

(2 Chronicles 7:14)

 

I believe that God’s Word applies as much to us today as it did when it was originally penned. I believe the Word was inspired by God. It was even breathed by God. And because I hold so strongly to the truth of the Word I can’t help but be convicted by the words above.

If we want to see healing in our land, God has already provided us a framework for seeing that happen. It starts with those who are called by his names. It starts with Christians. And what are we to do?

-Humble ourselves

-Pray

-Seek God

-Turn from our wicked ways

And if we follow this truth God will forgive our sins and heal our land.

In the days to come I’ve committed to making this my prayer. Daily I must put on the armor of God and daily I must remind myself that I can’t just sit back and blame other people for the evils of this world. The battle to love others is personal battle. It starts in each of our hearts. And our nation will not see healing until the people who make up that nation humble themselves, pray to God for love to fill every part of their hearts and minds, seek God’s wisdom and truth, and turn from the wicked things that keep them from loving others and loving God.

The Ameri Brit Mom