Happy 4th of July!

IMG_0704I have been looking at everyone’s pictures as they showed the food they were eating, their parties, weddings, children in swimming pools, and family get-togethers and it looked like “a good time was had by all”! How did you celebrate? As for me I had a lovely day right here by myself for the majority of the day, well not completely by myself, Ruby was my faithful companion following me from room to room, but I’m pretty sure she didn’t know that we were supposed to be having a birthday party for the good old U S of A!

As I sit here writing I can hear the fireworks exploding outside, but I can’t see them, does that count? The first thing I saw this morning when I turned on my TV were the wheelchair racers coming across the finish line and then I watched the runners start, all running the Peachtree Road Race.

I remember the years when we would go and stand on the side walk to watch the WSB Salute to America Parade, everyone trying to get the best position to see the local celebs riding in convertibles and waving to the crowd. Do they even have that parade any more?

People train to run that race and most of them know they won’t win it, but hope for the bragging rights of getting “the shirt”! We come into this world training for the race of life, we can’t always choose the terrain we run on and there is always a “heartbreak hill” involved, but like the runners, we have to keep on keeping on if we want the “t shirt” at the end of the race.

If you got a “life t-shirt” what would it say? “I have a better job making more money!” “I got a better mate to share my life with!” “I have adequate retirement for my old age!” You just hope you can make it there in good health! Sometimes I think I will be happy for mine to simply say, “I survived”.

I Corinthians 9:24-27 You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally. I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself.

If you want to be a musician, you have to practice your instrument, to have muscles you have to do weight training, to be a follower of Jesus you need to practice living the Word. 1 John 1: 5-10 This, in essence, is the message we heard from Christ and are passing on to you: God is light, pure light; there’s not a trace of darkness in him. If we claim that we experience a shared life with him and continue to stumble around in the dark, we’re obviously lying through our teeth—we’re not living what we claim. But if we walk in the light, God himself being the light, we also experience a shared life with one another, as the sacrificed blood of Jesus, God’s Son, purges all our sin. If we claim that we’re free of sin, we’re only fooling ourselves. A claim like that is errant nonsense. On the other hand, if we admit our sins—make a clean breast of them—he won’t let us down; he’ll be true to himself. He’ll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing. If we claim that we’ve never sinned, we out-and-out contradict God—make a liar out of him. A claim like that only shows off our ignorance of God. We practice walking in the “light” so that others will see the Glory of God in us.

Will you fall into dark shadows at times? Sure, but if you keep your eyes on Him, you’ll follow the light out. When we keep the faith and run with patience, at the end of our life we will say, as the Apostle said to Timothy: 2Timothy 4:6-8 You take over. I’m about to die, my life an offering on God’s altar. This is the only race worth running. I’ve run hard right to the finish, believed all the way. All that’s left now is the shouting—God’s applause! Depend on it; he’s an honest judge. He’ll do right not only by me, but also by everyone eager for his coming.

If you stopped your “training” program, it’s never too late to get back in the race, and then the fireworks will be for you!

While you are having a wonderful Holiday, pray that our country will remain free from oppression, from the feeling that others can speak their mind but resent when we reciprocate, if we are truly equal then we all have the right to speak our mind without fear of being censured. God bless the USA!

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