Tag Archives: Declaration of Independence

2020 VISION: Pandemic Unrest Fireworks

40 years ago, there was a little house on Michael Street in Kalamazoo, MI. It had a small victory garden in the backyard with a little kohlrabi, corn, tomatoes and carrots where a small boy and an even smaller puppy feasted and rolled in the dirt. The Music Man played on TV and the Wells Fargo Wagon rolled into town. Later, sparklers and fireworks lit the sky and filled their heads with wonder. Shivering puppy cuddled in my lap with one excited boy, a prefect night was had by all.

“This is the land of milk and honey
This is the land of sun and song…”

Fireworks have always been magical for me. Growing up in the 50’s, my small town always had a display in the park by the river. The firemen and police always busy as we watched them set the display up and rope off the area. A few years later, our family sometimes went to a nearby big city to enjoy a “show”. It was different. It was fun – especially since I always had a cousin or friend tagging along. But those were never as special as the one in the hometown where all the friends gathered and ran around with sparklers in the dark away from the parents.
Freedom.
Lights.
Sounds.
Explosions.

“And this a world of good and plenty
Humble and proud and young and strong…”

Fireworks are still magical. Tonight, I stood on my little front porch and watched a small display. Near-by neighbors gathered to have a ringside seat while others drove their tractors or gators up to our cul-de-sac to watch. A throwback to simpler times. And somehow in my mind, this beat all the fancy shows linked with musical scores that seem to dominate the urban areas and our TV’s.
Children laughing
Adults crowing.
Simplicity.
Humble.
A reminder of what was…
And what could still be.

“And this is the place where the hopes of the homeless
And the dreams of the lost combine…”

The ideals of 1776 are still the covenant of this country. A covenant that was made by the Pilgrims on a small rocky part of ground that no native tribe wanted to inhabit. Outcasts themselves, the Pilgrims prayed over this new land, and a humble covenant was established. A covenant made by imperfect men who believed in what they wrote, but knew they were all flawed, save the One they held close in their hearts. They didn’t know what would happen as they prayed over this new covenant, but they had faith that had brought them this far so they bowed their heads to seek their Father’s blessings on this new beginning.

“This is the land that Heaven blessed
And this lovely land is mine…”

The covenant thus blessed, prospered over them all. Crops grew. Friendships established. New people came.
Explorers.
Indentured servants.
Criminals.
Landowners.
Crafters.
Farmers.
Families.
Outcasts.
Some prayed. Some didn’t. The covenant shook under their feet. Until a shot rang out that was heard round the world. Then many gathered once again. They argued – debated – wrote – rewrote and prayed together. A new covenant that reaffirmed the first. A covenant that foresaw a day when its people would be able to celebrate the birth of a nation with fireworks . Sacred honor..

Humble and proud…
Young and strong…

Over the years the covenant remained. Torn and tattered in places. Singed in other places. Words smudged and forgotten by those who asked for the blessing of the covenant in the first place. But then – after 244 years – there is little wonder since – as the Pilgrims knew – people are all flawed save the One who granted the covenant with His promise and blessings.

The line between “humble” and “proud” is hairline. Recognizing, “blessed is the poor in spirit, the meek, the pure of heart, the peacemaker” gets harder and harder for those who love the strength in the explosion of bright lights and sounds over their heads. The covenanted soul loses a little more of the original ink into the dust from which it arose. While the outer shell appears strong and impenetrable, the inner “young” and “strong” has become “wobbly” and “weak” spiritually, and the covenant closer to dissolving completely.

The Father’s warnings shake the idols. They rattle the country a little more each time they come. His prophets, as always, have returned to speak loudly. He wants to remind His children. He wants the covenant to stand forever. He strains to hear the ones He loves the best call out to Him again. He longs for the closeness of the Pilgrims, the Founding Fathers, the outcasts, the lost, and all those who seek His presence in the fireworks of 2020.

The unrest remains as does the choice: Be ye humble? Be ye proud? Fireworks over head or a covenant of blessings that “lights up the world”?

“But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord,
I wait for God my Savior;
my God will hear me.” Micah 7:7

[google images]

SCRAMBLED EGGS

I am SOOOOO TIRED, and I really need a revival of energy tonight so I can unscramble all these different messy eggs of thought into something edible.

“My child, listen to me and do as I say,
and you will have a long, good life.
I will teach you wisdom’s ways
and lead you in straight paths.
When you walk, you won’t be held back;
when you run, you won’t stumble.”~Prov 4:10-12

Egg #1: When you are feeling better after feeling crummy – if you are like me – you tend to overdue it. Walk the dogs. Mow the lawn on of the hottest days of the year. Take a long nap. Alright – so that last one didn’t really take a lot of energy, but it did remind me that I need to remember “wisdom’s ways” so I don’t stumble and fall when I overdo it.

Right now, our Koay is curled under my feet, our Ryndi is in front of the fan (which is where she lays pretty much all day long on hot days) and tiny Shadow is curled between me and the side of the chair. Eyes are heavy, thoughts are like scrambled eggs, but it is a good tired since I got devotions done and spent time in my private place of prayer.

Egg #2: I’ve been reading Rabbi Cahn’s devotional book that confounds me almost everyday with Jewish wisdom and how the prophecies of the Messiah and all the stories of the Old Testament confirm and enhance Christus Yeshua in the New Testament. I’m still turning today’s thoughts round and round – examining them from all angles and wondering some more on how perfectly they point to the perfect path of the Messiah’s journey. and His journey to return.

Journeys never go smoothly in my life. That is probably true for most of us. However as long as they essentially get me where I want to go, I’m okay with a few crazy detours that God or my stupidity might throw into the path along the way. I have a feeling the Founders of our country might have agreed.

Egg #3: On this day in HIStory, a year prior to the Declaration of Independence, the Continental Congress issued another declaration to King George on why they would be carrying arms in the future. Like many other baby steps the Founders took, they mentioned the foundation upon which they rested their arguments from the beginning sentence where they called Him the “divine Author” to its final conclusion..

“With a humble confidence in the mercies of the Supreme and impartial God and ruler of the universe, we most devoutly implore His divine goodness to protect us happily through this great conflict, and to dispose our adversaries to reconciliation on reasonable terms, and thereby to relieve the empire from the calamities of civil war.”~Jefferson/Dickinson

I guess since I’m yawning and kitten is stretching her claws into my thigh, I need to whisk these somewhat scrambled eggs of thought into a nifty conclusion.

I wish I had one.

Instead, I think I will finish with this – while governments and laws are necessary in this crazy world that has been colored by our sins, it is good to remember that Grace and Truth take those colors and wash them clean – which of course – makes journeys so much smoother and scrambled eggs much easier to swallow..

“For The Law was given by Moses, but Grace and Truth came by Yeshua The Messiah”~Jn 1:17 [google images]

 

NUDGES

Journeys are definitely interesting – especially when they are layer upon layer of the same theme. Since retirement, I’ve been on a crazy journey of revival. Revival of obedience. Revival of faith. Revival of love. Revival of body.. Come to think of it – it actually started before I retired and suddenly – today when I was writing a FB response to a couple of people about “revival”- it finally fell out of limbo and aligned itself with one of those moments that almost seem like it was highlighted in a blinding white..

God has been answering my prayer – – – and in His usual form – – – not at all in the way I imagined.

“For high have the heavens been above the earth, So high have been My ways above your ways, And My thoughts above your thoughts.”~Is 55:9

Before I retired, I kept getting these nudges to pray for revival in our country – in our world – in ourselves. When God nudges sometimes, they ain’t so gentle. His nudges can appear as a soft blink in the cosmos of the brain where everything snaps into place and . other times – – – more like sliding full speed into a snowman that has become a solid block of ice.

The great news is – He is always there to pick me up when I bounce off that sled, face first into the snow.. I may have a few dents in my head, a broken nose, and a lapse in linear time, BUT He’s there. Dusting me off. Wiping off the blood. Carrying me until I can stand. Answering prayers.

God nudges are just powerful things that are meant to move us forward in our faith journeys. Revivals are the same thing. A powerful force meant to move us forward in our faith journey.

“He revived us so we could rebuild the Temple of our God and repair its ruins. He has given us a protective wall in Judah and Jerusalem.”~Ez 9:9

On July 2, 1776, the thirteen colonies voted to declare independence. The debates were over. The wrangling of aligning all pro’s and con’s to sway the pendulum was pushed to the back of the tables. Voices fell silent. A silence weighing the change of balance in the world as they knew it. A revival of of a dream that started in a Garden.

Document signed. Copies to be made and posted. John Hancock broke the silence by reminding them all the price on their heads had doubled.

Samuel Adams reminded them about the foundation upon which they cast their vote: “We have this day restored the Sovereign, to Whom alone men ought to be obedient. He reigns in Heaven and …from the rising to the setting sun, may His Kingdom come!”

Restored sounds an awful lot like revival.

Journeys tend begin with an idea, a thought, a nudge. It all depends on whether we follow the nudge or ignore it. I’m thankful that our Founding Fathers didn’t ignore the nudges despite of what their logic told them would happen. Since I don’t think I am anywhere close to being as brave as our Founding Fathers were, I’m thankful that I had no idea of how God would answer my prayers for “Revival” because my logic never saw all these answers to prayer. But now that I’m here – emerging out of the density of my own logic – I am continuing to pray in the name of Yeshua Christus for revival – for our country – for our world – for ourselves.

“Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”~Jn 14:11-14 [google images]

JULY 4, 2017

“Appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions…”

“With a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence…”

Strong, powerful words. Words debated – crafted into sentences – layered into a one page document. A document that changed the world. A document that spoke to what was and what was to come. A document that speaks. If – – – we remember to listen.

I tend to think of my big choc labs as my protectors – and, in truth, I think they would be if push came to shove in a tough situation. However, when the 4th of July boomers started in our quirky little neighborhood a couple of nights back, they practically flew into my lap that was not nearly big enough – believe it or not – for the both of them.

After several calming words and hugs, they shook themselves a little and sat down. Ears back – eyes trained on the windows – but they remembered the words. The tone of the words. And – it allowed me a chance to sneak a peek out the windows.

While the boomers are always a nice treat, they aren’t my favorite part of the 4th of July. Even the family gatherings, picnics and Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture with canons doesn’t make the cut. My favorite part of the 4th of July is thinking about the Words that started it all.The WORD that inspired those men and women in 1776. The WORD that vibrates under our feet. The WORD that is the rocky foundation supporting our steps.

50 years back, America was struggling in a different way. I was a high school sophomore. My parents were worried. People debated. The world was starting to slide into the divide again. A couple years later when I was in college and riots closed campuses, the world was divided a little more. A popular music group put these words to music, and I hung them in my basement room.

Words that brought a bridge of peace over troubled waters.

“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…”

Today, Littlest found an article that revealed some background about the first printed copies of the Declaration of Independence. I had always wondered about the name printed at the bottom of the printed document (not the hand-written copies), but had never really searched it out. (Shame on me not being a thorough teacher) It was owned and operated by a woman. Mary Katherine Goodard. She lived powerful words. She wrote powerful words.

Words are the foundation of today”s celebration. Words crafted into sentences. Words layered into a document. Words that still can change the world. Words laid upon the foundation of the WORD in which they put their trust.

The WORD remains the foundation of this country – of this world – of all creation. We just have to remember: “We hold these truths to be self-evident…”

Happy Birthmonth, America

  • In Philadelphia on the 2nd of July 1776, a vote was taken that changed the way the world thought.
  • On the 3rd of July 1776, a small sentence on the second page reported the results of that vote.
  • On the 4th of July 1776, the final draft was submitted to be published and eventually – signed in August of 1776.
  • Thus, the date everyone in this brand new country saw as they read this small document was July 4, 1776.
  • Independence Day.

It was [is] not a perfect country, and it was [is] filled with controversies.

  • Natives vs Europeans vs Africans vs …
  • English vs French vs Spanish vs Dutch vs …
  • Catholic vs protestant vs Jews vs atheists …
  • Tory vs Yankee vs Rebel vs Republican vs Democrat vs …
  • Slave vs Free vs indentured vs …
  • Rich vs middle vs poor vs homeless vs …

The divisions continue to swirl in growing concentric circles over and over and over.

We are human and we tend to make mistakes – sometimes – very big ones. Unfortunately, we also tend to dwell – focus – ruminate on those mistakes over and over. Giving it new names – justice…punishment…pay back…unfair… bias…bigotry…  But what if instead of concentrating on the mistakes, we concentrated on the knowledge and the wisdom gained from those horrible mistakes?

Walking dogs are always a great way to meet people. A couple of years back, one of those people encounters introduced me to some new concepts that I’ve just started re-reading this past week. Typically (for me), I get side-tracked by daily craziness, or whining about this or that, and do not pursue things with great intensity. (After all, I am reitred and “deserve” to be a little lazy, right?) I guess that laziness was a mistake because…(ready for it?)…guess what popped up in a devotional today? You got it!  Not one but both ideas in one short devotional. One God giving a one big hint. Gotta love those God hints.

The first idea is called Appreciative Inquiry by David Coopperrider and Diana Whitney. Essentially – it is looking for the best in any situation.

http://http://appreciativeinquiry.case.edu/intro/whatisai.cfm

The other is a 2004 documentary called “What the (Bleep) Do We Know?” The content of this movie explores a spiritual connection between quantum physics and consciousness.

http://http://www.whatthebleep.com/

Now the first idea relates a little more to my world. After teaching for so many years, I’ve trained my self to look for the best in most everything (although like everyone, I can get caught up in negative situations). Quantum physics and consciousness is a little out of my realm – well – more than a little. Although, I have picked up a lot of scientific facts from reading National Geographic, Discovery, ect, I really struggle with the in-depth study of it. Thank God for my children who seem to have taken after hubby and are much more adept at understanding such things so they can help explain it to me.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” ~ Phil 4:8

Fairly obvious advice from the WORD. Think on the admirable, the excellent or the praiseworthy. What if we tried to do that more in our world today? What if we did that with our friends? Our enemies? Our state? Our nation? A couple political conventions? A lot of people would complain that we are only hiding our heads in the sand or taking a “Pollyanna” approach. Yet, if we acknowledge the injustice, the damage, the pain and accept that we can find knowledge, wisdom and discernment in our mistakes, is it ignoring the problem or moving forward with new insights? I need to keep reading, but now I have a spiritual underpinning for this thought.

“Then Balak said to him, “Come with me to another place where you can see them; you will not see them all but only the outskirts of their camp. And from there, curse them for me.” ~ Num 23:13

The second one takes us a little deeper and back into the OT with Jewish wisdom. I have always skipped over stories that I don’t understand or can’t figure out why it is in the Bible. Drives me crazy. Like a jigsaw puzzle that takes forever to put together. I will read and re-read a story trying to figure out why it is important for me to know and after a while – I will just push it out of my mind and go on to the next puzzle. Obviously, I don’t know this Bible story well, so again, I will have to go back and re-read it a few more times. Essentially, Balak, King of the Moabites, hired Balaam to curse Israel. The hitch was that they had to see the people to make the curse work. You might be wondering what this has to do with Quantum Physics? Lucky for both of us, the rabbi who wrote this devotional had the answer.

“The gift of sight allows us to take in so much information about the world around us. Not only do we receive facts and knowledge by looking at something, we also may receive inspiration or good feelings from what we observe. However, what we often don’t realize is that when we look at something, we aren’t just on the receiving end. We are also contributing and affecting the world around us, even if we don’t know it. Quantum physics confirmed this concept through an experiment that was set up in order to ascertain whether matter was a particle or a wave. I’m not here to give a physics lesson, but the end result was startling. When not observed, matter behaved like a wave. However, when the matter was observed, it changed into a particle. In other words, scientific evidence proved that an observer does influence what is being observed. That means we all affect what we look at, and how we see things affects them profoundly.” ~ Rabbi Eckstein.

America has completed her 240th year.  For those who are moving and shaking and those who are just observing. it looks like the 241st year will be another decisive and derisive year in many ways.   I wonder how and what I am learning today relates to those facts, yet – I know it does. I need to do some more reading on both of these ideas. I need to read more American history. I NEED to read more of the WORD. Knowledge always comes first, and if I’m observant, wisdom and discernment will follow —- eventually. Right now, I do know that America and Israel are tired together in more ways than the one that is written on paper and stored in Washington D.C. I know God is moving more than just me. I’m just not sure why I’m on the journey that I am walking. It makes me smile, because there is always something unexpected and uncontrollable that Our Father will bring my way – if I have the courage to stay the course unto its completion.  One step at a time…

In the meantime – Happy Birthmonth, America. It is promising to be an interesting – if somewhat scary – yearus-1443698_960_720