Lord GOD Almighty, in whose Name the founders of this country won liberty for themselves and for us, and lit the torch of freedom for nations then unborn: Grant, we beseech Thee, that we and all the peoples of this land may have grace to maintain these liberties in righteousness and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, AMEN! (Prayer for Independence Day, Book of Common Prayer)
What a privilege to live in the United States of America at this time and era of history!!! Yes, we have our problems, and yes, we need to correct some things, and yes, we need to be vigilant to guard the freedoms we share, but this is still the best thing going! God has given incredible blessings so that we might share His Word about Jesus with the rest of the world. Let's not waste our opportunities.
I could not help thanking the Lord for the blessings he has given me in living and serving Him here. I will go wherever He leads, but I pray I will not squander the opportunities of the 'here and now'. While I believe overseas missions are very important, He has brought the mission field to us -- here! Let us be diligent and faithful to share the Good News to those He brings across our paths. For liberty in not liberty unless my spirit and soul are liberated from the bondage of sin and sin's destructive forces. Jesus came to set the captives free. That's you and that's me!
For the Fourth of July, my wife, Allison, and I, ran the 40th Annual Peachtree Road Race. It is a 10K (6.2 miles) race, but it is really not a race, it is an event. We were 2 of 55,ooo folks who ran from Lenox Square (now 'Mall') to Piedmont Park in Midtown Atlanta. This was Allison's 29th in a row!!! My first one was the 5th Annual when I was in high school, but I have watched it as much as I have run it. Our son joined us later in the day and we watched the 4th of July Fireworks at Lenox -- always spectaculor!! and worth the cost of admission (none!).
O God and Father of all, whom the whole heavens adore: Let the whole earth also worship you, all nations obey you, all tongues confess and bless you, and men and women everywhere love you and serve you in peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN. (From Evening Prayer, Collect for Mission, BCP).