Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Miracle that is America's been a year, almost to the day since my last blog post here. I've done a little restructuring to place my Australian adventure in it's own I can continue writing without having breaks in between my trip. On this day, the 4th in the month of July, I always feel a great need to reflect on just how blessed I feel to live in this country...and yes, even at this time, however uncertain and tumultuous it may be.

I will now issue a warning so as to avoid any offense being taken: the following blog post portrays a somewhat conservative and very pro-American point of view. If this does not appeal to you, feel free to spend your time somewhere else. :)

I've been reading a book the last week or so that is truly astonishing and so what this country needs to hear right now. It's written by an LDS author named Chris Stewart, called "7 Miracles that saved America". If you haven't picked up this book, I HIGHLY recommend it. It's an easy read and is utterly fascinating. The basic premise behind the book is to show just how lucky we are to even have a country to call our own. It highlights 7 different instances, all during crucial points in our history, when our country could have and perhaps should have fallen due to powerful enemies, a union divided, or would-be assassins.

The fact of the matter, as Stewart points out, is that we are a blessed land, saved by the grace of a loving God who has guided this nation to become what it is today. He says:
"...there is something tangibly extraordinary about the country in which we live. Many people hate us for this difference. Some rail against the influence we have had upon the world. Some are jealous. Too many of our own countrymen reject the idea that we are different, seeing us as no better, and maybe worse, than anywhere else. But we are demonstrably different."
He asks the question, "Is it possible that God considers the United States an exceptional place? A country with a mission?" I would answer that with an absolute and confident yes. The United States is not perfect. We have corruption in our government, violence in our streets, and some issues cause divisions amongst our citizens that makes me cringe...but there isn't a country on the face of the earth that I would rather live in. We are a nation with a history of innovators, and leaders. We rush to the aid of others in need. We overcome adversity, and we love our country.

One of my favorite places in D.C. is here, in the National
History Museum where they display the actual
flag that flew over Fort McHenry when
Frances Scott Key wrote the national anthem.

I believe we are the promised land. Somewhere along the way, many have forgotten just how much of a miracle this country is and how utterly blessed we are to live here. At critical times in our history, when the odds were stacked against us, it seems that God has always intervened on our behalf. He has a mission for us...we ARE a beacon to the world...even if we are prone to forget it from time to time. We have been preserved by God for a great purpose, and we must never forget it.

Independence Hall, where the constitution was written,
and our country defined its mission. 

I am so proud of the country I live in. I am endlessly grateful for the founders of this nations who sacrificed their lives, their liberty and their sacred honor 236 years ago. There will never be words adequate enough to describe the debt I feel toward them. I am so grateful for the brave men and women who have since risked or given their lives to protect the freedoms I enjoy today. They have ten times the courage and conviction I will ever have.

I'll leave you with this excerpt from the ever-neglected 3rd verse of the national anthem, wich in my opinion, is the best of them all:

O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation.
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the Heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And finally one last quote, to inspire you on this, the anniversary of our independence. From Chris Stewart's book:
"This is God's chosen nation, His magnificent cause. And because this is true, we still have reason to hope."
Happy 4th of July everyone. Stay safe, enjoy some time with your family and take the day off to remember how lucky we are to be living in this beautiful country of ours.

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