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Wednesday, July 4, 2007

The importance of American History

HAPPY JULY 4th !!!

Get out the sparklers and fire up the grill, it's time to celebrate. I love patriotic holidays. At least until I see how many people don't realize the importance of American History.

If you don't make sure your children know the truth about the history of this country - we will lose our wonderful way of life.

"Geepers Debbie, how can you say that?"

Simple. Have you heard the old saying, "He's trying to reinvent the wheel." When children don't respect and honor our past, when they don't know why we struggled with a problem and how we finally worked it out - we are doomed to repeat it. Knowing our American History keeps us from repeating past problems.

I'm already seeing signs in this country that remind me of turbulent times in our past. I shake my head and wonder why people don't just go to their history books and see how we solved it then.

If your children (or you) knew your history, you would be able to ask......

"What was the best time for this country? When were families strong, businesses strong, and government in control? When did we see the most progress across the board in every area of our lives? What were we doing at that time? What made us great at that time? Why was crime low and living high? Why when most people feel nostalgic do they think of those times even if there weren't born then?"

When you can answer those questions you will have a true grasp on what's wrong with this country and how you can be part of the solution. Most of the problems of today aren't unsolvable, we are just asking the wrong questions.

Our view is tainted. Because we aren't looking back at history we can't see the future clearly. Instead of asking why isn't the war on drugs working, we should be asking why would a 7 year old need drugs? What would drive an innocent young person (who should only be worried about winning at sandlot baseball) to end his life by taking drugs? What is there about our society that produces so many kidnappings, rapes, murders and dysfunctional people?

What we need in this beautiful fantastic land of opportunity is a new army. An army of logical people who study history and ask the right questions. An army of people who are dedicated to making this country better and who not only live righteous lives, but pray and work with those who don't. An army of people who will not allow the selfish drive for power and fame inhabit our White House or any position of authority. An army of people who like the pilgrims want this country to be a "city of light on a hill"

John Winthrop, a wealthy puritan, thought of emigrating to Ireland because King Charles I was determined to rule as an absolute monarch and had no sympathy for puritan goals. When persecution of the puritans increased, John was elected governor of the Massachusetts Bay Company (a group formed by Puritans in 1629). John enlisted 700 colonists for the new settlement and it was decided to sail to America.

He organized 11 ships with their sailors and officers, arranged for provisions and supplies for the colony, and made certain there were enough skilled craftsmen and laborers for the colony's development.

Why did they come?

When the Massachusetts Bay colonists sailed for America on March 22, 1630, Winthrop and his fellow Puritans left behind their patriarchal homes and financial security for an unknown American wilderness. In "A Model of Christian Charity," a sermon Winthrop preached during the voyage to America, the Massachusetts governor emphasized that the purpose of their going to America was to increase the body of Christ and to preserve themselves and their children from the corruption of this evil world. (Hum...sound familiar?)

The colonists had made a covenant together to obey the commandments of God in their enterprise, and the Lord would surely bless them in their new land if they continued to follow Him. If they maintained Christian unity, Winthrop was certain the Lord will be our God and delight to dwell among us as his own people...when he shall make us a praise and a glory, that men shall say of succeeding plantations: the Lord make it like that of New England: for we must Consider that we shall be as a City upon a Hill, the eyes of all people are upon us.

Winthrop's imagery of the model Christian society as a city on a hill, taken from Matthew 5:14, became a motif that has inspired American literary and political thought into the twentieth century. From Winthrop and the Puritans, America inherited the idea that in some way this land was to be an example and beacon of light to the rest of the world. (

Can we still make that claim? If no, why not?

I hope today will be a wonderful July 4th for you. We have so much to be thankful for. We are privileged to be American. I encourage you to study your history, wave your flag, thank a serviceman, grill with the family and pray for God to heal our land. That's exactly what I'm going to do.

God loves you,


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