America’s Renewed Declaration

From John 8:32:  “And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

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Blessed land stretching from ocean to ocean

Spacious skies wink at fields of abundant grain

Framed in by towering, majestic mountains

God’s Grace covering the land like fruitful rain

 

Lady Liberty extends her message of hope

Calling out, only demanding to breathe free

Ensuring freedom for the huddled masses

Keeping her torch lite, from sea to shining sea

 

Asking God to mend a nation’s ills and flaws

Lifting praises up to the Father above

His glory be forever praised here below

Liberty and freedom shall ring, filled with love

 

Forgiving our nation’s errors and transgressions

Healing hearts of discord, peace now safeguarded

Leading this nation out of its dark wilderness

Remembering an old path, long discarded

 

Nation founded from scratch, with lasting vision

“All men are created equal” crying out

Endowed from the Creator, come certain rights

Life, liberty, pursuit of happiness shout

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“American the Beautiful” is a beloved song.  You are invited to listen to this familiar song as sung by Lee Greenwood by clicking on the American flag below.  God Bless America!

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Values of a Nation (Elfchen Series #20)

Common Ground

Freedom

Many examples

Sheltered from fear

Basic human need for

All

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Working Together

Liberty

Different meanings

Across a nation

Finding common ground as

One

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Moving Forward

Trust

Competing views

Seeking the light

Finding balance for a

Nation

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The German-inspired poetry style of Elfchen (or Elevenie) contains five lines of poetic verse, usually without the use of rhyming verses.  A total of 11 words are used with a sequence of one, two, three, and four words before ending with a single word in the final verse.

House United

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This post takes a different route from my normal avenues of poetry and short stories.  Like many Americans, I pray often for our nation and its future.  I am a husband, father, and grandfather who loves his country, only after God and family.

America has overcome difficult periods throughout its history.  In our past and present times, we sometimes appear to be a very divided nation, and God’s Word says more in this verse from the Gospel of Mark.

From Mark 3:25:  “And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.”

Our nation has overcome past circumstances which threatened to split apart our nation.  Over the years, our leaders have mastered the strength of compromise to move the country forward.

In the 1980s, two American leaders from different political parties, with their own perspectives, came together for a common cause.  President Ronald Reagan (Republican) and Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill (Democrat) proceeded to craft a better way to make Social Security pensions more sustainable far into the future.  We are still using their compromise today because these two men put aside their individual philosophical differences for the good of the nation.

During World War II, an unprepared nation had to unite in spirit and cooperation to find the means for victory in a world-wide conflict that spanned the globe.  The “Greatest Generation” came together as a nation of brothers and sisters, willing to pay the price for ultimate victory.

A democratic republic requires civilized, respectful public discourse through peaceful assembly of its citizens, passionate debates in its legislative bodies, and a free press articulating the facts.  Many of these are protected in our Constitution under the Bill of Rights.

The Bill of Rights (the first 10 amendments to the Constitution) was added to protect the rights of all Americans.  The Federalists favored a strong national government after the ineffective government under the Articles of Confederation following the Revolutionary War.  Opposing this view were the Anti-Federalists who wanted to protect individual liberties, which were a large reason behind the war of independence.  A compromise was reached to “check” the power of the national government—through ratification of the Bill of Rights.

Abraham Lincoln was running for the U.S. Senate in 1858 when he presented a speech, and here is an excerpt.

“A house divided against itself, cannot stand . . . I do not expect the house to fall—but I do expect it will cease to be divided.”

Lincoln lost the election to Stephen A. Douglas, but he would take his place in Presidential history with his election in 1860 to the highest office in the land.

In November, 1863, in the middle of America’s Civil War, President Lincoln delivered his famous Gettysburg Address.  His words from the beginning and ending of his speech still resonate today.

“. . . our father’s brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”

“. . . that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that the government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Our forefathers deliberated over the design of a new form of government for the young nation, and they found ways to compromise and create a lasting union.  This philosophy is very evident in the Preamble of the Constitution.

“WE the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity . . . .”

As I pray each day for our great nation, I am guided by humility as I bring my thoughts to God.  I am reminded by the insightful words of King Solomon in Proverbs 2:6-8.

“For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk blamelessly, guarding the paths of justice and preserving the way of His faithful ones.”

Monday Memories: Journey to America

This poem was originally published in November, 2018.  It has been updated in a few places to enhance the message.  Witness the impact of America’s open door to immigrants with this poem.  

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Images of immigrants arriving at America’s shores

Families hope the United States offers much more

 

Huddled and crowded together on ships bound for another land

Dreaming of moving forward and receiving an outstretched hand

 

Most Americans trace immigrants back to their family roots

Their ancestors arrived ready to energize lives with a boost

 

 

 

Singer Neil Sedaka proclaims the immigrants’ anxious arrival

“The Immigrant” sings of America waiting, without any denial

 

Coming to America is immortalized as Neil Diamond sings

“America” tells a fascinating story that only his lyrics bring

 

Both Sedaka and Diamond write beautiful and appropriate text

America can do better than people shouting, “You are not next”

 

 

 

Imagine the excitement felt upon seeing Lady Liberty

She has welcomed people to America for an eternity

 

Her torch offers a brilliant beacon of new hope and light

America extends a welcoming hand, ending their plight

 

This openhearted Lady, gifted from France, stands solemn

She invites the less fortunate to disembark in long columns

 

 

 

Emma Lazarus, an offspring of immigrants, expresses it best

Her poetic words in “The New Colossus” surely pass the test

 

Her inspiring words paint an ironic and emotional image for all

To see how a mighty Lady and America will forever stand tall

 

 

 

America’s melting pot overflows from a gentle and peaceful place

Tales from immigrants deserve to be heard without undue haste

 

Immigration has recently become a passionate, national debate

America’s history shows patience in opening its welcome gate

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The lyrics of “The Immigrant” can be found at Neil Sedaka.

The lyrics of “America” can be found at Neil Diamond.

The verses of “The New Colossus” can be found at Emma Lazarus.

 

Monday Memories: Never Taken for Granted

Here is another edition of “Monday Memories.”  This poem was written back in December, 2018, and its message may be even more relevant today than nearly a year ago.   May America or any nation never take anything for granted.

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Never taken for granted

 

A young nation moves forward to be brave and free

To remove the shackles of oppression so others see

 

A soldier takes a bullet in a far, distant land

To protect freedoms that will always stand

 

Thomas Jefferson will never have to write a sequel

To state for all to read, “All men are created equal”

 

A minister preaches to a racially divided nation

To envision “free at last” will be his final station

 

A newspaper criticizes the government with much to say

To reinforce freedom of the press is always here to stay

 

A hesitant nation awakens while its other allies fight

To bring her vast resources in a victory full of might

 

A mother takes a stand at a school board meeting

To support a worthy novel that is taking a beating

 

A crowd protests peacefully in a city very near

To bring attention to issues without any fear

 

A writer uses his words to bring an issue to light

To encourage all to make a difference and fight

 

A President hides behind the sins of Watergate

To shamefully resign from office will be his fate

 

Workers strike to protest low wages and more

To organize labor unions to even up the score

 

A young politician inspires and leads the way

To become a worthy leader with much to say

 

Other nations come to the aid of a valued friend

To bring support with the troops that they send

 

Students stare into TV cameras with one voice

Violence in schools is truly not about a choice

 

A former republic declines and fades away

To witness freedom’s erosion without delay

 

Christ’s red blood stains an old rugged cross

To bring a second chance for all who are lost

 

Never taken for granted

 

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60’s Rock America

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People recall the “trendy” decade called the 60’s

Rocking America into a new era, trying to be nifty

 

Momentous events and life transformations arrive

Creating a cultural revolution, just trying to survive

 

The youngest President ever elected in this land

Sending JFK with a new generation’s eager hands

 

President Kennedy challenges a waiting nation

Landing on the moon brings wonder and elation

 

Civil Rights for “all” people lights a hope-filled beam

Marching to Washington to hear “I Have a Dream”

 

Ford creates a flashy and stunning sports car

Rolling out the Mustang, best ‘lil pony by far

 

The British invade with innovative music to bring

Introducing the Beatles, their tunes endlessly sing

 

Southeast Asia slowly captures more of a nation’s time

Making Vietnam, a catalyst filling emotions that climb

 

Rock music festival invites all to a muddy field—Woodstock

Continuing to sing his top hits, Elvis Presley’s movies rock

 

Beautiful music and worthy films reach out to all

Singing and acting, Julie Andrews’ fills the call

 

Television comes into its own with new innovation

Viewing “The Fugitive” on nearly every television

 

Assassinations tear through a nation, they sadly ring

Losing two Kennedy’s and Dr. King, forever will sting

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Coast to Coast

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Sightseeing from Atlantic to Pacific coasts

Experiencing America, with much to boast

 

Lady Liberty’s gleaming torch welcomes all

Blazing autumn colors define Vermont’s fall

 

Appalachians conceal valleys, nestled with small towns

Nashville welcomes music with a big “Country” sound

 

Florida’s Everglades house gators galore

Across America’s skies, bald eagles soar

 

Commanding Mississippi River slices through the land

Florida and California beaches offer up surf and sand

 

Interstate highways transport autos everywhere

Great Lakes provide a waterway, here to there

 

New Orleans offers entertainment in its French Quarter

To the South, Rio Grande River creates a watery border

 

America’s breadbasket reaps harvests from the Great Plains

Loaded grain, freight, and more journey on mile-long trains

 

Towering Rockies sing of marvelous beauty up high

Visiting out West, appreciating a Big Montana Sky

 

Seattle’s Pike’s Market, a distinctive place to treasure

California’s redwoods, their height is one to measure

 

Arid Southwest rains bloom flowers throughout the land

Grand Canyon’s brilliant scenery plays a winning hand

 

Finally reaching the Pacific coast at long last

The Golden Gate Bridge arrives much too fast

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Praying for America

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Being a Christian with benevolence residing in my heart, I pray daily for America.  With a positive outlook, let us never forsake our nation or any nation.  Because we can learn and apply many lessons from America’s roots; may we, as a nation and as a global community, reach out with renewed hope.  

Some proclaim America is drifting away

But God is great, He will point the way

He totally understands our weaknesses—yes!

From them come God’s strengths—no less!

 

God sees our miscalculations and missteps

Our Lord observes the discord we’ve met

God hears and sees all, He lets out a sigh

May He fill us with His wisdom from high

 

The Lord hears harsh words, we regret

They are but, an utterly empty breath

God will not forsake us or any nation

He won’t abandon our grave situation

 

The righteous experience the arrival of hope

Those upright in hearts, follow God’s scope

When our nation’s footing continues to slip

God’s steadfast love marches, without a skip

 

Look up, always trust, and continue to believe

Allow Christ’s assurance to shine and please

God reigns faithfully, compassion so awesome

His love prevails with Spirit, always to blossom

 

We, like Christ’s Disciples, occasionally lack faith

Recall the feeding of five thousand on that date

Jesus brings the Gospel forward, front and center

Soften our harsh rhetoric, allow the Gospel to enter

 

God’s House shall not be divided, nor torn apart

United, a nation stands resilient, God in its heart

The Lord is our stronghold, gather together

Allow His safe refuge to be our rock forever

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