Wednesday, July 2, 2008

America's Birthday

Everytine I work on a message for Sunday around the 4th of July about how God has blessed our country, I always get sentimental and feel a profound, almost unspeakable gratitude to God for what He has given us in this great nation of ours. I've been reading many quotes and stories of how our country was established and how through the providence of God He put us right where He wanted us to be in establishing America with a rag-tag band of men who defeated the world power British Army.

Back in 1983 my high school band was chosen to represent Arkansas in the National 4th of July parade in Washington D.C., what an honor. We toured the White House, Congress, Smithsonian, Mt. Vernon (George Washington's Home) and many other places. Perhaps one of the greatest honors in my life happened on that trip. There were three people chosen from our band of 200+ to go to Arlington Cemetery, walk up to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and lay a wreath at the tomb, and I was one of the three that was chosen.

I can't tell you what I felt inside except honor, humility and gratitude knowing that someone was laying in that tomb who died for his country so that I could be free. What a spiritual application we can draw here about Jesus who died for us so that we can be free from spiritual death!

It was SO hot that day, pictures were taken and when we were finished we backed up and the lone guard began his march of 21 steps across the black mat, past the final resting places of the Unknown Soldiers of World War I, World War II, Korea, and the crypt of the Unknown Soldier of the Vietnam War. America has always been full of heroes: known and unknown.

The Legacy Of Doctor Benjamin Tusten

On July 29, 1779, just above the Delaware River near Barryville, New York, American Minutemen Militia were badly beaten by a raiding party of British Tories and their allied Mohawk Native-Americans.

Although the Battle of Minisink was considered an American loss, there were still many American heroes. One hero, the second in command of the American Militia, was wounded early in the battle. A doctor by profession, instead of thinking of his own wound, he treated the wounded Americans for hours.

Four hours into the battle, the tide of battle turned against the American Militia. The doctor was told by the Militiamen Leader to leave the battleground to save his own life. He refused to leave the American wounded... He died as he tried to save their lives.

That's what we are about as Americans! We will fight for our freedom! In the movie "Independence Day" President Whitmore said, ""We will not go quietly into the night...we will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on! We're going to survive! Today, we celebrate our independence day!"