Daily Devotions

The 4th and Patriotism

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Before the age of 14, I was an Air Force brat, so patriotism was an important part of my upbringing. Yet, for my generation, patriotism was also a bit suspect. Watergate and the feeling of failure in Viet Nam had a huge impact on my early adolescence. Still, I appreciated being American, and the freedoms and opportunities it provides.
It was in Seminary that truly understood the gift it is to be an American. One of my Seminary roommates was an Anglican Priest from Uganda. Idi Amin ruled Uganda with horrendous brutality between 1971-1979. A number of my roommate's family members were murdered by Amin's army.
I watched my roommate innocently look upon American with a certain awe, marveling at the lack of fear, the freedom to travel, and the freedom to make simple decisions without concern for his life or the lives of others. Watching his appreciation for our country, helped me see with even greater clarity the blessings we experience every day as Americans.
We are not a perfect nation, but there is nowhere I would rather live and call my own. Amidst, confederate flag debates, Donald Trump's insensitive sound bites, and the nation's addiction to the Kardashians, we are still able to sing, America the Beautiful.
Pray for our nation on this Independence Day. Pray that our foreign policies will bring freedom to our world. Also, pray that each one of us will be grateful for the special gift of calling the United States of America our home.

Church Fires

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According to USA Today, "Fires at several predominantly black churches in Southern states the past two weeks — at least three of them attributed to arson — raise concerns about potential fallout from the recent South Carolina church shooting.

The fires have all taken place in the weeks since the attack June 17. A 21-year-old man with apparent white supremacist beliefs is accused of going on a shooting rampage inside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., killing nine people."

Pray today for peace in our country. Pray for those Christians who have lost their sanctuary. Pray that God will give them a sanctuary within their hearts, even as they've lost their building.