God Bless America

july4

The month of July reminds me of family reunions, fireworks, fish fries, and fun times. I remember slurping watermelon on the back porch, running to catch the ice cream truck, and playing “steal the flag” with the neighborhood kids until dark.

I always looked forward to our annual trips to Opryland USA where we rode the Wabash Cannonball and the Flume Zoom and walked for miles and miles. We cooled off by going inside the air conditioned music shows. I can still visualize the red, white, and blue of my favorite show, “I Hear America Singing.” Even as a child I felt a great sense of patriotism to hear those songs about our flag and our country.

I think there might have been protests and unrest and possibly war somewhere, but we kids focused our attention on the good, not the bad. We chased butterflies, caught lightning bugs, and ran barefoot through the park.  As a result, I remember a childhood full of blessings.

Ah, to bring back those good ol’ days.

Our country could use a good blessing right about now.

Julybookfeature

In Hannah C. Hall’s board book God Bless Our Country, the old eagle proudly raises the American flag while the young eaglets fold their hands in prayer and thank God for their freedom.

All God’s creatures focus on the blessings of the summer season. The squirrel, the raccoon, the beaver, and the bear cheer because their country makes them proud. The animals work side by side as they picnic together and appreciate their blessings.

I Hear America Singing

In the poem “I Hear America Singing,” Walt Whitman portrays a nation bound together by its diverse work force and strong work ethic. From the mechanic to the carpenter to the young mother, all unite their voices in harmony, not in discord. Their “varied carols” echo throughout the land, and the voices of these ordinary people blend together as one. Their reverberations are blessed and beautiful, not baleful and broken.

lickyjpg

Melissa Henderson’s picture book Licky the Lizard also shares a great example of harmony among God’s creatures. When Licky startles a lady one morning, she screams, spills her coffee, and shakes with fear. However, when both the lady and the lizard stop shaking and start showing love to each other, they soon realize they have nothing to fear. We can learn a lesson from Licky and the lady.

As I was watching an episode of Downton Abbey recently, I reflected upon the characters’ obvious class differences and their clearly similar emotions. All experienced doubt and hope as well as joy and sorrow. All were human.

Yes, we are living in uncertain times. We may be unsure of strange creatures and deadly viruses, and we may be afraid of the dark. However, “God is our place of safety. He gives us strength. He is always there to help us in times of trouble.” –Psalm 46:1

Peace is possible if our minds are stayed on Him.

We live in a wonderful country with many blessings and freedoms and possibilities. Let’s work together, with God’s help, to keep it that way.

Enjoy your freedom, and thank God for your blessings!

America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

                                    –Katharine Lee Bates

Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. –Isaiah 40:31

2 Chronicles 7:14; Psalm 133

 

 

 

 

 

5 thoughts on “God Bless America

  1.  Nice message for the holiday that most of enjoy and we thank our lucky stars (used these words as we are talking about the Stars and Stripes) that we live in the greatest land the planet has (up to now) ever known. May the good Lord see fit to bring back the days when we were not afraid to pray in public, where saying we did put Americas citizens first over the interests of other countries and that our citizens moral compasses are changed for all to ask themselves WWJD before acting or pray for guidance.
    God has been good to me these past few months and had answered my prayers…yup helped me out and gave me what I asked for; Ie be it guidance on he things I reflect on , to give me the chance to ask for forgiveness or to help me see beyond my ideas/ actions and what the effects they had on my life and that of others. Now the last few objects of this last sentence was tough,but, I was never told following the path of a good Christian would be easy….yup me following the path of our Pilgrims Progress hero Christian muddling through the daily challenges facing those who follow Jesus.
    So, keep the faith, continue to write these inspirational stories and know that your efforts have made us in your class better Christians…at least better read Christians.
    Sent from my iPad…Pete Miller
    >>

    Like

  2. You are quite welcome, Melissa! I’ve had a copy of Licky for quite some time and have been waiting for a chance to feature him.
    Blessings,
    Joyce

    Like

Leave a Reply to The Literary Lyonesse Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.