July 4, 2008

It's Independence Day

It is hard to imagine that more than half of 2008 has already passed! And here we are once again, ready to celebrate our national freedom!!! Happy 4th of July!!!

I don't have many memories of July 4 until after we got married....now, several of those years seem to be seared into my memory bank! Our first July 4, hubs was stationed at Wiley Kaserne, Neu-Ulm, West Germany. I remember sitting in the beer tent and listening to some half drunk soldiers singing patriotic songs - it was surreal! But watching the fireworks show was AWESOME!!! There is nothing like standing as a spectator watching a fireworks show celebrating American independence in some field across the Atlantic Ocean, on the continent of Europe!!! I was 20 yrs old, had been in Germany for about 6 wks and had only spent a handful of days with my still-new husband! The next year was even more unforgettable....

By that time, dd1 was 9 days old! It was 88 degrees the day she was born, but the next week a powerful cold front hit and by July 2, it was down into the low 40's overnight. Here we had all kinds of summer clothes for this precious baby, and it was freezing!!! So, July 4, we wrapped her in all the blankets we could find and headed to post for the fireworks show. Wouldn't ya know, as soon as they started going off, she decided it was time to eat! So, we pulled the car around to a place where she could nurse and I could watch the fireworks! We turned on the heater, 'cause it was freezing, but then the windows started fogging over!!! To this day, when I hear God Bless America during a fireworks show, I start to tear up remembering the sacrifice that so many families make for our true freedom. And the next year was even more unforgettable....

This time, we were back stateside; Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Through the grace of God, my little family was all together and hubs had not even been called on to go to Iraq because of schooling issues! It was definitely a summer to be thankful for. The post threw a big shindig, of course, and because America was feeling so patriotic and thankful towards her troops, Lee Greenwood came and put on a huge concert! Oh, great!!! Another song to start the tears as I watch the fireworks!!!

Over the course of the next few years, we watched fireworks displays sitting on the side of a mountain or sitting in a church parking lot! And sure enough, when I hear God Bless America or God Bless the USA the tears start to fall! But when they play our national anthem, my heart still swells with pride as I stand beside my soldier! Of all the holidays and special days (b-day and anniversary!) we were apart, we were always together on July 4!!! Somehow that just strikes me as funny!

Even more important than our national freedom, though, is our freedom in Christ. When I came to Christ, I followed a particular set of rules REALLY WELL! I even got awards from school because I was such a "good Christian". Well, the last few years as I have begun to give my life to Christ, He has begun to show me just how rotten my attitude has been!!! Oh, I can follow the rules really well, but can I obey when He calls me outside my comfort zone??? Is it easier for me to serve others than to serve those in my own household? Unfortunately, some of you know the answer to that last question!

I am learning that true freedom in Christ has very little to do with rules that our society puts upon us! The law (ten commandments) was given to show us what is right and wrong, but the New Testament puts the sum of it in heart form! In other words, if I hate my neighbor, then I might as well have committed murder, because in God's eyes sin looks the same - HE CAN'T LOOK AT IT!!!
But to follow the first commandment given in the New Testament is hard, y'all!
Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus replied: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: "Love your neighbor as yourself." All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.
And these words are written in RED!!! I am still learning just how this looks in every day life. Some days are easier than others! But I want to sing I Am Free and mean it!!! I want to say, "The truth will set you free" and people believe I have the truth!

Okay, I guess I've preached enough for the day! Y'all enjoy the different celebrations and the fireworks! Please remember those serving our country...wherever they are! Please pray for them and their families.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow....

God's girl, Pamela

PS. I forgot to give a shoutout to Pananma City...wish I was there to see the show over the water! Kiss those babies!!!


mac5 said...

HI! Thanks for stopping by. I am very new to blogger and just getting started. I am learning how to add music and fix the wonderful colors on my blog.

I Angie's blog too. She is a very sweet person.

Can;t wait to spend more time reading your blog. My time is short now.

Julie said...

Hi there!

Thanks for sharing! I think everyone has gone on Angie's blog! I agree with what you were saying. It is very hard to "love your neighbor," especially when some people can be so unlovable! I saw you are from Texas. I have relatives in San Antonio and Houston and I used to live in Longview. Well, I am looking forward to reading your blog, and feel free to stop by mine!

God Bless!
Julie G.