Attach a Purpose to 4th of July
Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, political speeches and ceremonies, and various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the U.S. Independence Day is the national day of the United States. (Wikipedia, 2011). As July 4th approaches this year, not surprisingly, I see a drastic division between excited people who are preparing for the holiday weekend, and those who are too busy to take notice due to the whirlwind of their hectic life (perhaps, they are simply hoping that they make it to the weekend!). Not forgetting the troubled individuals, who are distressed with worries or depression (or similar circumstances)... As you prepare for this weekend of celebration, remember to open your eyes, extend God’s love and do not stay buried in your own little world. Reach out to others and invite them to join you so that they will not be alone. Remember, we are all God’s children, of the same family, celebrating the same holiday."You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?" declares the LORD Almighty. "Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house.” Haggai 1:9 NIV“Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:2 NIV Others, such as those in the news, have “bigger fish to fry” before the weekend approaches. For instance, President Obama’s ongoing battles with the U.S. budget and healthcare issues (both, of which, have been in the news again), as well as rumors of state government shut downs. The news is filled with stories of cheating, stealing, lying and murder. Among many court proceedings, let’s not forget the court case of the decade: The State of Florida versus Casey Anthony. The entire Anthony family has endured truly dreadful events and pure emotional trauma these past few years. Most likely this tragedy will keep them from enjoying Independence Day activities this year, and almost certainly will damper most holidays going forward. Many who are in the news are not true to others or to themselves. Use this lesson and learn from it…“If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.” 1 John 1:10 NIV Other people we encounter, yet do not think of until they are immediately in front of us, will be very busy this weekend working to keep us safe from the carelessness of others: policemen, firemen, ambulance personnel, emergency room and hospital staffing and other emergency service providers. Thanks be to God! We are His children and He will never forsake us.“You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.” Psalm 32:7 NIV God surrounds us with His love and protection every single second we breathe. All WE have to do is open our eyes, ears and heart to Him. The unfortunate truth is that evil surrounds us all of the time, as well (many examples above), and those who are not opening themselves up to our Father are falling victims to the adversary.“He sends from heaven and saves me, rebuking those who hotly pursue me; "Selah" God sends his love and his faithfulness.” Psalm 57:3 NIV “Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!” Psalm 66:20 NIV Utilize this holiday break as an opportunity to reflect and pray.