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Let me stop you right there before you fill in the blank...and fill it in for you...a lover of my country.  As I grew up in Texas, then Oklahoma, my education was replete with teachers and fellow Americans who loved their country.  While most were quick to make note of the many challenges and problems we still had...there had been no nation so blessed by God which had in turn been a blessing to so many people.  The people I grew up around, regardless of their color or gender or ethnic background had a deep love and respect for our Nation and were unashamed to say so.

If you have a little trouble remembering why we are so blessed to live our lives in America...for there has been an onslaught of negative and derogatory assessments given by the liberal media over the last 20-25 years...let me remind you of some of the wonderful traits of the people of America...for in the end game...it is the people that make up a nation.

Because we are a nation founded upon the ethical and moral principles of the Judeo-Christian faith and the Lord God of the Bible, our foundation has been rock solid.  We have been a nation of people under God.  While not everyone in our nation has professed Christ or followed Christ, the foundational principles, both moral and ethical, based upon the Scripture and found throughout our founding documents, led the people of our nation to develop compassionate hearts with the intent to pursue the dream of freedom for all people.  That American dream, pursued by the writers and signers of the Declaration of Independence was rooted in the Bible.  The proclaimed freedoms of that document seemed impossible at the time to be able to be achieved according to the wisdom of the nations of the world.  And yet, I would say, from the beginning, the dream of freedom for all had been a beacon of hope and encouragement to oppressed people all over the world.  For in spite of our failures and faults, of which there are many, thousands are standing in line all over the world trying to get to America.  There is a reason for that.  We should remember that.  You may have noticed that if people do not like us, we have no electric fence trying to keep them in.  Perhaps we should resurrect that old slogan.  “America, love it or leave it”.  I am thankful to live in a nation that pursues freedom for all.

Because of our foundational beliefs, the people in our nation, on the whole, have proved to be the most generous nation in the history of the world.  America has shared her faith and her wealth with the distressed and hurting throughout the world.  If there is a famine, tsunami, earthquake, a flood, or any list of distressed or disasters, the people of America are touched in the heart and have rushed to those people in need with compassion and help.  We pour billions of dollars each year into helping those who are in need.  I’m thankful to live in a nation that is marked by that quality.

I am thankful to live in a nation that for the most part seeks to identify and deal with the problems she faces.  With a free press and open communication, and because of that the whole world is aware of our sins, we do not sweep them under the rug, but in time, we address them, and seek to correct them when needed.  If poverty exists, if racial tensions erupt, if riots occur, the whole world knows.  Some nations seek to hide their issues.  We do not. Dissent is permitted.

If fact, dissent is one of our most cherished rights.  In many countries of the world it is forbidden, but not in America.  Constructive dissent (heavy on the constructive) is the hallmark of our priceless freedom.  Yes it is true, in our day there is a danger, for when dissent becomes high jacked by those with questionable intent and violence become the rule of the day, it is no longer dissent but has become anarchy.  As Americans, for the most part, we reject violence and the erosion of our liberties under the guise of dissent that promises all things to all people but delivers only chaos.  I am thankful to live in a nation where we have this freedom.

You know, after World War II, we were at the pinnacle of our power and our strength.  No other nation had nuclear weapons.  We could have tried to become the new Roman Empire by conquering the world, but instead, the people of our nation, Americans, never thought once about that pursuit.  It just wouldn’t fit in with who we had become, with the foundational values, derived from the Judeo-Christian faith, instead...we voluntarily stepped down and started rebuilding the lands and the economies of our enemies.  I am thankful to live in a nation characterized by one of these ethics, found in Romans 12.

 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10  Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11  Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12  Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13  Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. 14  Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15  Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16  Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17  Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18  If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19  Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20  To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Romans 12:9-21 (ESV)

I know you can come up with a list that far exceeds the one I have shared...there are so many reasons to love our nation...it OKAY to love your country and to salute it.  The Scriptures are replete with the admonitions that instructed believers to show and give respect to their leaders and the nations in which they lived.

Salute all them that have the rule over you, and all the saints. They of Italy salute you. Hebrews 13:24 (KJV)

We can be thankful that at this time we can still turn to the only book that can provide the answers to the questions of life...the Bible.  It will help us to face our failures and faults so that we might continue in our weakness and frailty to depend upon God and love Him with all of our heart and love others as we love ourselves.

No nation or people are taller than when it is on its knees before God.  Thanking Him for His blessings and knowing that a spiritual revival in our nation could solve the many problems and challenges we face as we pursue the dream set forth by our forefathers so many years ago.

You can be a blessing to your nation by rededicating yourself to the Lord Jesus. Pursue the Word of God and the Savior of the World, Jesus Christ, by which we are truly set free.  Free to love, free to serve, free to overcome, free to live life...to its fullest.  Free to be thankful for where we live.

Take a little time this week and be thankful, and unashamed, and honest, and on this Independence week declare your dependence, with gratitude, upon the Lord God Almighty. May God bless America!

Posted by Ralph Sawyer with 0 Comments
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Club House News

Amazing news!  Our starveyors learned last week that even though we messed up God’s perfect creation, He made a plan to fix everything.  We then asked our starveyors if they know how God’s plan of salvation works.  Twenty-seven children took the opportunity to pray and accept the free gift of salvation on Thursday.  We are in the process of talking with each child and their parents to further their commitment to Jesus.  If your child has asked questions about salvation and you would like for us to help you with these discussions, please let us know in the church office.  We would love to help you in guiding others to Christ.  We truly have had an amazing week learning about the God of the Universe and His plan for our salvation.  That is best thing we learned this week as we were Searching the Visible and Discovering the Invisible.

The Penny Report

It does seem that every penny in Saint Charles County has been found.  The money we collected is going to Antioch Baptist Church in Hannibal Missouri.  They had a fire destroy the church at Christmas and are currently making plans to rebuild their children's educational space.  Remember, this will help them with things like whiteboards and the DVD curriculum series, What’s in the Bible with Buck Denver.  The girls out gave the boys this year, so good job girls.  However, the collective effort raised close to $1,000.

Family Night!  was a great success.  We had bounce houses, obstacle courses and food for everyone.  We began our night with the children singing their VBS songs.   After all the fun in the Worship Center, it was out to the church grounds for bounce houses and food.  During the carnival, we showed Created Cosmos from Answers in Genesis.  If you have not been to the Creation Museum outside of Cincinnati, you will want to check this out from the library.  Any other time you would have to drive to northern Kentucky.  We then also had the VBS movie to show how God is always in control and always has a plan for our lives.

Attendance at a glance:

246 Children enrolled

102 Adults on the children's side

134 Youth enrolled plus 15 Adults

497 people attending VBS

Average attendance 368

Pennies $1038.85 (unofficial count)

27 Salvations and 4 desiring baptism.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.  For everything was created by Him, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things have been created through Him and for Him.

Colossians 1:15-16

Posted by Jason Hoke with 0 Comments

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