Saturday, July 2, 2011

Happy 235th Birthday United States

The United States declared their freedom from England on July 4th two hundred and thirty five years ago, the foundation of our blessed country. My birthday is July 3rd and I like to celebrate watching fireworks and remembering the birth of America. The colonists were fed up with too many taxes, a lack of say in their government, cutting off trade with the rest of the world, and increased British military force taking away basic freedoms.

The declaration states, "We hold these 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." Because the leaders of the thirteen colonies were educated they were acquainted with the philosopher, John Loche, who inspired the noble concept of equality.

After winning our freedom in a war which cost many lives our country was still struggling. The Articles of Confederation was the first plan of government but it did not give enough direction over the states and our country was suffering from financial problems. The people feared some states would have more power so they were competing among each other. There was little trade between the states or other nations.

In the summer of 1787, the leaders from all states met to discuss ways to solve the problems the colonies were having. After months of discussion in the heat of summer a great compromise arose to give a balance of power to the states. They decided to have elected officials from each state whether large or small to make up the Senate, so each state would have equal power. The House of Representatives made up elected officials based on population.

Remembering the great compromise is a reminder to Americans that we are a United States for the purpose of creating a more perfect union. If we only think about our own good our country will suffer. We need to think about the common good of each other so we can be strong and united.

Let's start buying more goods which say made in America. If we all made a conscious effort to purchase American products our economy would improve. Companies need to stop outsourcing jobs and give the opportunities to Americans who need a job.

We need to get away from our dependence on oil and gas to foreign countries. Let's use wind and solar power. On a recent trip to Germany and the Netherlands I saw solar and wind farms providing energy to the people. It seems there is always some group of people who do not want it in their backyard but we need to wake up and do something. We need to be united as a country for a common good. I don't understand why we are so behind in this area compared to other developed countries.

So as we watch the fireworks with our friends and families let's think, what can I do to help America remain strong? I will promise to vote in the next local election not just for major elections because only 9% showed up in the last one. Are we so busy in our lives that we do not see the importance of exercising our right to vote in a free election?

The leadership in our country needs to stop making decisions to help companies that do not support the common good for our country. We need to have a common goal of improving our economy in a global society. Instead of seeing fighting among groups of people for their own self interests, lets unite to make our country strong.

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Opposite of Fear is Faith

Our potential for faith is limitless. We can not please God without faith. Paul says faith comes from listening the Good News of Christ. Faith is supernatural, a gift from God. Fear paralyzes us but faith gives us peace in our mind and body. Sometimes when tragic things happen to us as a child or adult there is a temptation to live in fear at a remembrance of something horrible that happened. But the Bible says;

" All things work together for good to them that love God." Romans 8:28

"Anything is possible if you have faith." Mark 9:23

We can come to Christ just as we are, bringing him all of our doubts, fears and failures. Long ago He chose to love us.

"To bind up the broken hearted,
to proclaim liberty the captives..
To comfort all that mourn..
To give unto them
Beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness,
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
( lofty strong, and magnificant, distinguished for uprightneous, justice, and right standing with God amplified version)
planted of the Lord, that God may be glorified."
Isaih 61:1-3

The Bible says the very hairs of our head are numbered. It shows how much He cares for us and knows us intimately.

When worry starts to sneak in, use your mind to believe in God's promises completely. It's a confession of faith to admit the depths of His Love for us.

Paul knew how important what we think is because he said in Phil 4:8
Concentrate our thinking on truth, goodness, pure and lovely things, fine and good traits in others, praise and gratefulness to God. It is a reminder not to complain but live in praise.

Oh God, help me not to live in fear, but let my mind ponder on your healing powers of love so I may show love to others.