Backtracking for just a moment today I wanted to let any "new visitors" know that my "Freedom Bear" overlooks the workspace on my busy office desk. He is only one in a collection that includes hundreds. The bears seem to embody a freedom that is present in the spirit shared by Cheryl and I. Our anniversary is coming up again this month and it doesn't seem possible that we've been together serving the Lord for over 20 years and married for 10 of them. Neither of us had any suspicion when we got together that bears would become a part of our shared "history."
Locally the Spirit of the 4th has been dampened by the deaths of several motorcyclists. Tourism being what it is in SD during the unfrozen months we are accustomed to fatalities, especially of the two wheel variety during the rally(Sturgis)weeks. One really never gets used to the tragic deaths of people, though, even if you aren't personally aquainted. The media via the net has made it possible for us to share globally as never before in the lives of folks. Along with this ability to view the "horror" that happens we could quite easily get "used to" the images and life shattering details. So much so that they cease to have an effect on us. I shared with my wife shortly after the first beheadings in the middle east that the outcry would decline with the number of broadcast depictions people became exposed to. Human nature is to take more lightly that which is commonplace. We are both so thankful for the little girl that was found at a Denny's, that is the upside to domestic violence, sometimes it works out to a "happy ending" in the life of a single individual. This is good! We prayed for that little girl and her brother daily, but only for a week or so. Then it was placed in the prayer book and was lifted up weekly, until she was(praise God)found. We haven't quit praying for him, but we know it does not bode well thus far. A community in Christ is called to undending prayer. Remember the praying that was done on 9\11? And it continued, and still does to this day, for every facet of the tragedy that took place. We are a nation of "praying believers!" We may not agree on some issues, but in our faith I believe our nation to be unshakeable. It is the simplest of things we can agree upon that make us, you and me, and millions like us "more alike than we are different." If we can agree that a "stuffed bear" is cute, and that prayer is vital to the life of our nation, we can be in agreement concerning so much more! We can celebrate our freedom in Christ and in our nation every day. God bless the USA, Preacher.