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Sunday, May 24, 2009

My Country 'Tis of Thee

Today is the day before Memorial Day. In church we sang the
Battle Hymn of the Republic and the hymn below. I love it.
But as a Christian, I can only sing it with the last verse.
I love my country, I love this land, but my allegiance
is to God.
My country,' tis of thee,
sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing;
land where my fathers died,
land of the pilgrims' pride,
from every mountainside let freedom ring!

I'm thankful to live in this land. I'm proud of
the accomplishments of my ancestors from the
landing of the Mayflower through their settlements
in this country. One of my ancestors was in
the Continental Congress and a general in the
Revolutionary War. Others fought in that war.
Three ancestors died because of the Civil War.
My native country, thee,
land of the noble free, thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
thy woods and templed hills;
my heart with rapture thrills, like that above.
I love to travel and would love to see more of Europe.
But there is much to love here. I've not seen
New England nor the South
Let music swell the breeze,
and ring from all the trees sweet freedom's song;
let mortal tongues awake;
let all that breathe partake;
let rocks their silence break, the sound prolong.

Our fathers' God, to 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.
This last verse brought tears to my eyes this morning.
We sing of our land with love and allegiance.
But it is to God that we sing and give our allegiance.
Our freedoms come from the hand of our God, through
the sacrifices of many men and women. To all of
them I give my thanks.

But I worry. As we lose sight of the great God,
our King, will we also lose our liberty that
we have enjoyed for so long? Pray God no.
Pray to God that we remember him and that he
will give us many years of liberty so that our
sons and daughters may continue to enjoy the
freedoms that we enjoy.

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