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Cannon Beach Parade 2011 020Today Old Glory takes center stage.  She is ready and fills her role with vigor.  As a symbol of sacrifice for freedom, stanchion for liberty and beacon of hope these flags will flutter throughout our country and call all of us citizens to celebrate what we all enjoy today.

This is a good celebration.  It is a needed recognition.  During this special day the elements of a divided people quiet down and what we share in common rises to the level of attention.  Each of us is reminded of why we can share great cheer.

July 4, 2014 could be a low water mark if we let it.  When trouble surrounds us, danger heightens or distractions claim more notoriety than they deserve Americans can discern and decide.  There is no quit, no “give up” nor any “throw in the towel” in Americana.

Blessing has been imbedded in our nation’s very core.  No one claims that we are better than any other people or country.  However, we humbly acknowledge that we have been given great privilege.

This recognition is American exceptionalism.  We did not generate it ourselves.  It was given to us and we are grateful.

When blessing is a part of your life you do not flaunt it or insult others because of it.  It is what we elevate as a fuel for our humility and generosity toward others.  Furthermore, we correct those who mistakenly criticize it as arrogance.

The USA has been shown great favor in its history.  Great people, stunning circumstances and remarkable turn of events in history have no explanation other than the unmistakable intervention of God’s gracious and kind hand touching our country.  Who would not celebrate such goodness?

Our recent history has tested our great nation.  Trouble in the world has hurt American families.  Squabbles among those in a position to lead have discouraged many.  Debt has loaded the minds of the responsible with concern.

Yet, this nation has not buckled.  It has not given up.  Voices have not been silenced.

That is why we can still celebrate today.  Liberty gives allowances for those who have different ideas.  Freedom means that contrast in initiatives can be explored.

Our vote gives us the variation of choice.  Exceptionalism shows us how strong the fabric of our people is when the breadth of pursuit is allowed to express itself.  We respect the rules and laws that give others a chance.

Nevertheless, the people keep speaking up.  The moorings of liberty have limits.  Tolerance is not acquiescence.

Keep strong America.  Gather your strength once more.  Hold on to the treasure of blessing.  God gave it.  Let this gift be at the heart of keeping us strong.

Happy Birthday, USA!

photo credit: brucefong photography