holiday


Good morning from our humble abode.  I am pleased to announce a day off work – at least work associated with a paycheck – to run the barbecue, wash the car, read a book, gossip on the phone, remember that the founding document of this nation was signed on this day 240 years ago.  Consider those men who signed that paper were providing for themselves a death warrant.  Prisons weren’t what we have now.  Public executions were done – the last one was 1937.  One portly signer commented about having his head pop off when they hung him.  So we remember the day with time off work, fireworks, and other celebrations now that the date is past and I just wanted to note what this date actually meant for the ones participating.  Here is a quick summation. While looking for the portly man, I found a summation of curiosities of the signers.  I found it interesting, while looking for that statement, that there are numerous references to what happened to the signers of the Declaration of Independence.  I was more interested in their mindset at the time.  Here are 56 men sticking their nose in the face of the king.  Realize that the king was more than a figure-head at that time.  We see what happened to them and forget that the mindset at the the application test for medical school is different than the graduation.  Not all make it through the trials, and those signing the application get to anticipate all the possibilities which their fore-bearers presented.  On another reflection, maybe a more apt illustration would be swearing into the military.  The individual is providing a blank check to the government for anything including their lives.  In our founder’s case, it was that excepting there was no government to which they would swear their allegiance, no code of conduct if captured.  I note one of the founder’s descriptions included the term “torture”.  This was more than 40 seconds under a wet rag.

They were swearing their everything to the possibility that there would be something good coming in the future as a result of their sacrifice which would be left for their heirs.  As there was no government to which they could pledge, so they chose the better option: “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”  They appealed to God.

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Spouseinbox and I went from Bugberg to Big City, Texas over the weekend.  The purpose was to lead the singing for service Sunday.  It was to be a quick trip with only a single over night and as such we would only leave mominbox with the animals for a day.  We fed all we could prior to leaving and promised to feed them on return as well to keep things as easy as possible.  Big City, Texas was a few hours away and we enjoyed the trip there taking a side route to see if there were still wildflowers showing in the hills.  There were still a few, but it was too late in the season for the brilliant set that viewers get earlier.  The trip there was uneventful and quite pleasant.  We also had the pleasure of meeting a couple of friends who were driving up from the Mexican border.  They had some interesting observations about the patrols and passports.  It seems that those with an American passport get grilled about what was seen, done, who met, where going, etc and those with a green card got a glance and pass through.  Interesting.  Anyways, we had rain there in spots and decided to go to a fish restaurant for supper.  It was pretty good and we spent time chatting before going back to their room for the night.  This time, the trip was more eventful.  The rain was hard enough it was difficult to see the road.  The wind was blowing as well and 45 to 50 was fast on the freeway.  Low water crossings were blockaded though we didn’t see any on this particular trip.  We did return in the morning to another exit beyond the one used this night and observed a road flooded pouring into the field, now small lake.  Anyways, back to the trip.  Friends were delivered to their room, and we went back into the weather to get to our hotel which was about 20 miles away.  The driving was the same as previous, or worse.  Lightening made a display dwarfing any Fourth of July presentation.  Wiper blades were doing their valiant effort to provide visualization, but to little avail.  It is moments like this which make shelter such a sweet phenomenon.  One really appreciates being under a roof when the sky is literally falling.  Some violate common sense to seek that shelter and do so with the ultimate consequences.  We went to the church the following morning and were observers of the fact that no one is an island.  Everyone has impact on others, either directly, or indirectly and we were privy to the story unfolding as phones buzzed and rang around the table.  There was a senior who heard her father deliver the baccalaureate speech the previous Sunday containing the point that one must put God first as one doesn’t know the time of life.  This senior was returning home from prom, went into one of these low water crossings, and got swept away.  This senior called 911 first, then the parent, and was speaking with the parent when the car flipped and the parent was speaking with this senior as the drowning occurred.  I had to pause in the recounting of the incident while typing it.  You can imagine being there.  We felt the impact of this incident in our emotions and besides the immediate family, it touched the churches in the area and ourselves as associates who was visiting and now distant readers of a blog reading anywhere in the world.

Life is precious, and when one is removed it is natural to seek meaning in doing so.  On this weekend, the focus was on remembering those who gave theirs for this country and one picture I found on the net described it well.  There was a scene of a lady laying prostrate in front of a tombstone and the title, “a reminder in case you thought this was national barbecue day.”  We have been afforded a most wonderful nation which has been slowly removed from the moorings which were originally placed.  There is a passage in Romans 10 which goes like this:

14How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”g

In our country, I apply this verse as follows.  How can one remember if one has never been taught?  How can our newest generation appreciate the sacrifices of our men and women if they have never been told what happened?  With the lack of knowledge, the day truly becomes national barbecue day, with a parade on the side.

I, for one, had a parent in the Korean war and knew a set of stories of what the military had to do from father’s perspective.  I was also married to a veteran – now the ex, so had personal experience within the military community.  They are a fine community, dealing with horrific situations on a daily basis.  I’m so tempted to wax political for the moment, but will stop and note that we are blessed with the heritage that actually existed.