Friday, July 02, 2004

America and me

America and me go way back.

My first memory of real pride in being an American was our seventh grade graduation ceremony, at Union Elementary in Macon, Georgia. It was a small school on the then outskirts of a growing city, with two seventh grade classes totaling maybe 40 children.

We had practiced our parts for weeks. One girl was to lead everyone in the pledge of allegiance, another boy recited the declaration of independence from memory. My part was to recite the preamble to the Constitution. Once I got through that, I could breathe.

I remember vividly to this day singing with my fellow graduates,

"This is my country, land of my birth.

This is my country, greatest on earth.

I pledge thee my allegiance, America, the bold.

For this is my country, to have and to hold."

This is my country.

We sang a part of that song when I graduated that might not be sung today, as our nation struggles with what to do about God. It went like this:

With hand upon heart I thank the Lord For this my native land,

For all I love is here within her gates.

My soul is rooted deeply in the soil on which I stand,

For these are my own United States.

It was a different nation then. Some things were wrong, and needed to be changed. Others were right, and needed to be preserved. We've finally lived up to our "created equal" boast, but left our Creator behind. The Bible points us to truth when it says:

Proverbs 14:34 (Msg)

God-devotion makes a country strong;

God-avoidance leaves people weak.

This 4th of July, we are going to celebrate America. But if we fail to worship the One Who gave us our real freedom - everyday - we will have missed more than the point of this devotional.

May God bless the United States of America.



This devotional is written by David Wilson, pastor of New Hope Baptist church in Valparaiso, FL. If you find you have received this via a forward and would like to receive it regularly, or find you no longer wish to receive it, drop me an email at and I'll make the change to the list. If you'd like to know more about New Hope, visit our website at . May God bless you.

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