Wednesday, July 6, 2011

God has Blessed America

I do love the 4th of July. It has always held such precious memories for me. I am originally from Oklahoma. Was born there in 65 and we took the Oregon Trail in 71. We landed in our new hometown on July 4th, 1971. As we were driving into town we were stopped in a small line of cars...a parade was passing through. When the parade finished we drove down the street and my parents saw my aunt heading to her car. That is the aunt we lived with for a while. Lived with her until we found our own  home. Every year after that we would get awaken in the morning by a person driving through town, calling out on a loud speaker to wake up and come to the pancake breakfast. Later in the morning we would head downtown to watch the parade. One of the highlights was a company would drive a log truck with the biggest tree on it I had ever seen. It was probably a normal sized old growth tree...but it was ginormous to me. Kids I would go to school with would be in the parade because their parents would part of the 'family business in our small community. All through the day there would be events. Events such as the greased pig race, running races, 3 legged races, gunny sack races and such. I tried a gunny sack race once...didn't win. They had fireman competitions that were fun to watch. Especially the fire hose competition. They had to shoot a firehose at a target and try to push it towards the other team while the other team is pushing it towards them. It was great fun for the kids because the water spray was fantastic. There was also a small circus that came to town every year. They had a trained bear and the woman was a little on the larger side but boy could she balance on a ball. LoL  The circus came with pony rides too. I remember I got to ride on one, one year. It was exciting.
I don't know what we did in the late afternoons. Bbq maybe? Not sure. But in the evening we would head back into town to the river, the Willamette River and find a spot to sit and then wait for the fireworks to start. I must say...I didn't like that part so much. I don't like loud noises especially explosions...so most of the time I would spend so much time plugging ears and covering my head.  Also older kids would throw firecrackers into the bystanders. So...that part of the 4th was a love hate. Overall...love. A few years ago...maybe 01 or 02 I had an aunt move into a home into that same town. Her home sat next to the river. We went there that 4th of July and oh my what fun. Watched the parade, enjoyed family, walked through town, listened to music and then the fireworks. We sat in her yard and the fireworks went off over our heads. It was spectacular. Loved it. The most amazing time.
In 92 my then husband and I moved to Eastern Oregon...a town called Vale. For the 4th we would go into town for a parade and later in the evening would watch the rodeo. The rodeo was fun. I really enjoyed it. The first night they would have what was called the suicide race. At the top of a bluff horses and riders would line up, a cannon would go off and down the side of the bluff they would come. All you could see was a dust trail. Within moments they would reach the river near the rodeo grounds, they would have to cross the river and and ride into the arena. Horses would fall but not get hurt. For 3 years in a row the same young guy would win. He had long hair, his shirt was always unbuttoned and he would come flying in way ahead of the others. The last year I was able to be there he had stiff competition. It was a young girl. She flew into the arena right at his heels...come to find out, she was his sister. Good times.
Now that we live in a suburb of a big city, we don't have a parade to attend. We stay home and just enjoy hanging with family. Usually my parents and my adult kids...along with all the kiddos still at home. It's nice. I love it. Funny the different paths your life can take.
Why do we do all this celebrating? Celebrate the birth of the United State of America. The land of the Free. We are free indeed. Free to worship, free to vote, free to have a voice...so much freedom. Freedom to choose whom you will worship. I chose to worship the living God. The Alpha and the Omega. The Creator of the all things. That is who I choose to worship. The one who I have the freedom to publicly worship. The one who allowed this nation to be built. Every year I share the one song that means so much. It has such simple lyrics...but means so much.
GOD BLESS AMERICA.
God Bless America, land that I love. Stand beside her, and guide her, thru the night with a light from above. From the mountains, to the prairies, To the oceans, white with foam God bless America,
My home sweet home.
I am grateful for his blessings. I know this nation is turning against him and with that will come consequences, but I will continue to be thankful and will continue to pray for our nation and our nations leaders. I for one and eternally grateful for the freedoms I have as an American citizen and especially the Freedoms I have in Christ.

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