As you read this article, you have just enjoyed the many festivities of 4th of July. The parades, bands, fireworks, food stands, gatherings with friends, music, cabins, ball games, barbecues, chilling on the deck etc all contribute to a grand old time. I remember when I was 12 years old, we were at the cabin on the 4th, and it actually started snowing for a while. We certainly were chilling that day. Now, that is a 4th to remember (“I am dreaming of a white summer!”). Even the mosquitoes were confused. My dad was barbecuing with a thick jacket and a wool hat on. Remember the good old days! Many of you are able to extend the 4th into a four day weekend. Enjoy the many blessings that we are enriched with. I do encourage you to be safe, and please do not drink (nor use substance…nor text) and drive. May God bless your festivities, and may His rich blessings pour into you, your friends, and into your family. A few weeks ago I was enjoying the lake at the cabin. I was sitting in my chair in my office on the end of the dock (I have a very narrow office). I had my bottle of water and Bible on my lap. There in front of me bobbing in the water were two loons cruising at the end of the beach. They were silently swimming and diving for a while, but then stopped to put on a blues concert that was musically entertaining, and so enjoyable. One of the loons would sound a long one note lament while the other one listened. Then the other one would go off on a series of higher pitched deep sounds while playing up and down the scale of notes build into it. Each loon was completely a musical instrument. Sometimes they would dive, sometimes they would both sing in a way that complemented each other with a string of classic blues that sounded like many instruments. Sometimes one would sing and the other would listen. At one point, one of the loons looked directly at me, and let off a long loud laughing loony tune while the other one looked on in amazement. I just knew the one was talking about me, and saying “Wow, and I thought that I had it bad! Just look at him! Poor guy!!!” After a while they decided that entertaining and harassing me was getting a little boring, and they swam down the shore looking for something else to catch their attention. As the loons swam off into the horizon, I sat just listening to the many birds singing and calling. I counted 20 some different songs coming from all directions. As I think of this 4th of July weekend, I am reminded to pray for my country. Scripture says “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Our country needs our prayers. Our leaders need our prayers. Whatever your political flavor is, and no matter how fervent your views are, it is always easier to complain about things than work hard to bring about healthy change. God wants to hear our prayers. God’s Word instructs us to pray. How much time do I spend calling upon God to direct our leaders, and bless our country? How fervently do I appeal to God to move in our land, and allow the truths in His Word to saturate policy and politics? As we remember the founding of our nation, let us ask God for His help to keep His Hand on our great land. Lord, I am so thankful for all you have given to us. I pray that my children and grandchildren will be able to enjoy the same freedom and blessings that I have been allowed to enjoy.
Enjoying a mellow
Pastor Rod Tuomi