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Posts Tagged ‘Declaration of Independence’

IMG_8875A few years ago when our house sold, we were going to put a bid on a house that night in town. After teaching, I was talking to my aunt, driving by that house – and it had a pending sign. I was so disappointed, I bought a turkey. That was on a Tuesday. By Friday, I had picked up the oysters, the dressing, chocolate chips and pecans – everything for a big dinner. No Big Dinner announcement was every made – it just evolved.

Early Saturday morning, I stuffed the turkey into the oven, started the oysters, directed the boys to move the harvest table outside.  Suddenly, it was a Blue Cotton Merry Thanksgaween (if it sounds familiar – we commandeered the name from an air-travel commercial) – and everyone had to dig into the costume chests. One came dressed with purple hair and a Frodo Baggins jacket on a stick pony, one was a knight, a basketball player, I arrived with cat ears and whiskers. I can’t remember all the costumes – except we were an imperfect, rag-tag group finding joy despite life’s imperfections.

This little Blue Cotton imperfect holiday has evolved. It’s not every year. It’s not one specific day – though it is always in the Fall – it is always family, unconventional – and merry.

Sometimes feast days are needed – and feast days always have family.

So we dress up imperfectly, build an imperfect feast, sit down to the imperfectly set table – and find blessing in this imperfect coming together.

This year, I delegated.

One son was in charge of games, another tree decorations. The two youngest – cookies and icing.

One son and his lovely girlfriend were in charge of decorating eggs. Friday night was spent in the kitchen with them coloring eggs. Husband and sons scoffed at our turmeric, paprika, blueberry and beet egg coloring – as they drilled holes to drain other eggs, use magic markers and lights for their creations. In this house full of boys, it was a gift, plain and simple – to have my son’s girlfriend there, just as excited about using spices and fruit to color eggs.

eggdyespicesThis out-of-the-box holiday allowed my husband and I to take an in-the-box activity – to produce two fun results.

IMG_8860Artsy girl meets Tech boy

IMG_8903Some joined in with the costumes. Some didn’t. Some said next year everyone had to dress the part they were reading. We covered every holiday.

My youngest read “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”

“Mild He lays his glory by

born that we no more may die

born to raise us from the earth

born to give us second birth”

IMG_8892Another read Common Sense quotes from Thomas Payne

“To bring the matter to one point, Is the power who is jealous of our prosperity, a proper power to govern us? Whoever says, No, to this question, is an independent, for independence means no more than this, whether we shall make our own law, or, whether the king, the greatest enemy which this continent hath, or can have, shall tell us there shall be no laws but such as I like.”

IMG_8918My husband read from a Charles Spurgeon Easter sermon:

“Five hundred or a thousand persons who had seen him at different times, declared that they did see him, and that he rose from the dead; the fact of his death having been attested beforehand. How, then, dare any man say that the Christian religion is not true, when we know for a certainty that Christ died and rose again from the dead? And knowing that, who shall deny the divinity of the Savior? Who shall say that he is not mighty to save? Our faith has a solid basis, for it hat all these witnesses on which to rest, and the more sure witness of the Holy Spirit witnessing in our hearts.” (“We Know Jesus Rose from the Dead, Because the Spirit Tells us So”)

IMG_8882Three read Edgar Allen Poe famous scary poem:

“One upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,

Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,

While I nodded nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,

As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.

‘Tis some visitor,’ I muttered, ‘tapping at my chamber door –

only this and nothing more” (“The Raven”).

IMG_8874One son was to read the Declaration of Independence but instead he performed a disappearing act for us with it – which somehow seemed symbolicly intuitive in today’s political climate.

IMG_8921In the imperfect daily, God gifts us with His blessings and His grace – from seeing trees sway back, sway forth in the wind, lifting their limbs high to him Him, their sound a song of praise

to squirrels digging holes, burying nutty pleasures for winter want

to a marriage that allows room for each of our gifts to find a place to grow tall, like 2 trees, side-by-side, intertwined into one.

to loving family enough to pull them into home, to break bread, share lofty ideas and silliness, to create imperfect opportunities out of imperfect love that somehow becomes something imperfectly beautiful.

The tree didn’t appear. We gave up on the cookies – and it was o.k. I pulled some homemade blueberry crunch muffins out of the freezer, made homemade pumpkin ice cream, watched grandbaby girl get in and out of the little yellow and orange car with her pup-pup,  organize the wooden men in the wooden school bus – and be a gecko to her papaw’s Land Shark.

IMG_8922Sipped hot spiced apple cider (without whipped cream because one son used it all on his waffles the day before) while watching all my boys to men play basketball and soccer under the imperfect, chilled, gray skies.

Oh, how God blesses us in the imperfect of ourselves, our situation and the daily – sometimes the blessing is just there waiting for us to look – like with trees and squirrels. Sometimes we have to invite the opportunity for the blessing to be – like in Big Dinners or Merry Thanksgaween inventions – and if we let the imperfect moments come quietly, don’t let the desire for worldly perfect chase blessing away -grace comes along with an armload of spirit fruit:  love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

pumpkins

After I watched grandbaby girl hug her uncles – all big and small of them, hug them good-bye,  I turned to clean up this beautiful, imperfect mess we all made.

“I’ve learned recently to love imperfection a lot because it shines such a big light on God’s grace. And if someone has grace for you that’s when you feel their love the most and they see you for who you are and they love you anyway.”
― Lacey Mosley

(I used beet juice with lemon juice to dye the eggs a pinkish/reddish color. I used the directions for the other colors from here)

1088 – 1108 – Still counting blessing with Ann at a Holy Experience.

IMG_8870

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1767 Nine Strips Sons of Liberty Flag

It would seem our nation today resembles more of the colonies of early America, pre-Independence. Those Sons of Liberty – who dumped tea into the Boston Harbor, Sons of Liberty like Paul Revere who road through the night for Freedom, Sons of Liberty who serve in our Armed Forces today to preserve that Freedom –

Do you hear them? Do you hear that Spirit of Freedom admonishes you to not let it go?

You cannot raise Sons and Daughters of Liberty today unless they understand the original Sons and Daughters of Liberty. One way to help raise those Liberty Children is to tell the stories that provoked the American Revolution – and have candid liberty dinner table discussions comparing to our liberties and its assaults today.

Leading up to the 4th of July – the celebration of Freedom, American Revolution-style, I encourage you to read the Declaration of Independence with your children, point by point, one day at a time – word by word, see that America’s founders are fighting the same battle we are today. Discuss each point in the context it was written and how it can be applied today.
If we ourselves do not know the legal documentation of our history and freedom, then how can we expect our children to keep the flame of freedom burning brightly?

The Declaration of Independence needs to be read, not as a communication to the King of England, but today, as a communication to the 3 branches of the government: judicial, legislative and executive.

“IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

  1. He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
  2. He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
  3. He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
  4. He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
  5. He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
  6. He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
  7. He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
  8. He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
  9. He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
  10. He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
  11. He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
  12. He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
  13. He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
  14. For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
  15. For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
  16. For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
  17. For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
  18. For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
  19. For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
  20. For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies
  21. For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
  22. For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
  23. He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
  24. He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
  25. He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
  26. He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
  27. He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

John Hancock

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