"Our fathers' God, to thee,—S.F. Smith, 1832, lyrics to the patriotic hymn: "My Country, 'Tis of Thee"
Author of liberty,
To thee we sing:
Long may our land be bright
With freedom's holy light;
Protect us by thy might,
Great God, our King."
Happy Fourth, dear reader-friends!
Did you grow up singing this song in grade school, perhaps? And standing for the Pledge of Allegiance, as well as saying the "Lord's Prayer"? I certainly did, and loved that my classmates and I learned all the verses to this amazingly rich hymn of our country.
What a joyful, happy day to celebrate all that God has done in our beautiful country, America...for more than two hundred years! He led our great-great-great-grandfathers and grandmothers to come to this shining land, yearning for the freedom to live their lives as they pleased, and to worship freely, as well.
Are you proud to be an American--one nation, under God?
My family and I wish you and yours a most inspiring Fourth!
- Bev Lewis
"I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God's love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is."—Ephesians 3:16-18
Summertime is the perfect time, for many, to experience new growth and maturity in their spiritual walk with Christ. More leisure time can offer ample moments for devotion and prayer. I hope this month you may allow Him to "make his home" in your very own heart, as you seek to follow hard after our Lord and Savior.
June is also the month to honor our fathers, living and deceased. I, personally, wish to thank God for the joy of having known my dear father as a friend, protector, and spiritual leader. Daddy joined the Church Triumphant on January 9th of this year, and while it is a time of grieving and missing him, I know where he is, without a doubt in my mind—with the Lord who loved him, and gave His life so that my father could experience eternal life in Glory. Dad taught the above quoted verse many times from his church pulpit, and I know its truths impacted many souls for eternity. This is my personal goal, as well . . . that many readers will be touched deeply by the stories I write.
Embrace every precious moment with your dad this Father’s Day. Smile more, share the joy of giving, and spread the Good News, dear friend.
"But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds."—Psalm 73:28 (NIV)
This is the month we honor our mothers, and I want to share with you my own mother’s love for the Psalms. She relished them: their lyrical and poetic qualities, as well as the admonition to worship and praise our heavenly Father. She read the Psalms to my younger sister and me—while we peeled potatoes or set the supper table, and before she tucked us in at night.
This particular Psalm is a sparkling gem, isn’t it? We can certainly trust our living Lord; He is all-knowing and always at work in our lives. He is our safest shelter from life's storms, known and unknown. My godly mother taught me to live in a state of expectancy—waiting for God. Waiting to see the wonders only He can work in a heart and life.
Has the Lord come alive in you, dear friend? Perhaps, in surprising ways? Remember, you are His prized possession—He loves you and is praying for you, before the Father in heaven. He is our older brother, our Comforter, and closest Friend, cheering us onward to the finish line from the balconies on High.
I am thankful, this Mother’s Day, and always, for the adoration my mother had for Christ…and for her obedience in teaching me to love and adore Him, too.
Let's celebrate our mothers—whether or not they taught us to know God; whether or not they were faithful to their families; whether or not they were loving or otherwise. Join me in praying for mothers everywhere, this special month of May.
"Praise the Lord, my soul! I want to praise the Lord throughout my life. I want to make music to praise my God as long as I live."
—Psalm 146:1-2 (God's Word Bible)
What better way to offer a jubilant praise for this Blessed Easter Season than to make worshipful music to our great God!
I encourage you to lift up your voice in song to our wonderful Redeemer who has triumphed over sin and death--for us. He paid our ransom on the Cross, and on the third day His Father in heaven raised Jesus from the grave--bringing Him back to life so that we might embrace the promise of heaven! What a glorious thought.
Our Savior and Lord did not stay in the tomb. He crushed the enemy's power for you. For me. And for all who believe upon His precious name.
My dear father, who passed away recently, referred to Easter as "Resurrection Day," from the pulpit and at home, too, when he called to my younger sister, Barbara, and me, early on Easter morning. So, in honor of my wonderful Daddy, I wish for you, also, a most inspiring "Resurrection Day," dear friend.