Archive | Character Concepts RSS feed for this section

The First Prayer in Congress ~ Saturday Stories

Saturday-Stories-PrayerWe often hear about “separation of church and state.” This ­­­­­­term has been twisted to mean just about the opposite of what Jefferson meant when he used it in a letter to the Danbury Baptists. By the way, it’s not in the Constitution.

Such a concept would have been very strange indeed to the Founding Fathers. Their devotion to the Christian faith is the reason that most federal buildings in Washington DC have Scripture passages etched into their stone walls.

America started out as a Christian nation and her Founders intended that it should remain so. The very first Continental Congress, opening on September 7, 1774 set a most interesting and encouraging precedent.

The delegates had just received the news that Boston Harbor had been closed by the British navy, bringing to a sudden stop its bustling trade. Further, Britain was rushing more and more soldiers to keep a lid on the increasing American resentment of King George’s rude treatment of the American colonies. These were not the actions of a benevolent king.

So it was that representatives from 12 of the 13 colonies met in Carpenter’s Hall in Philadelphia on September 6 to form a Congress and to discuss what measures to take in the face of such grave threats of tyranny. Someone suggested that the meeting must be opened with prayer. Others said such a move was inappropriate because several denominations of Christians were represented, and none must feel slighted if the minister chosen to pray was of another sect.

Then Sam Adams stood. “I am no bigot,” he pronounced. “I can hear a prayer from any man who is also a patriot.” He suggested the Reverend Jacob Duche, of whom he had heard a good report. Reverend Duche was summoned.

Next morning, the minister faced the assembled delegates and read from Psalm 35: “Contend O LORD with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me.” He finished the Psalm and then launched into extemporaneous prayer. His words were so eloquent that some members remarked that it would have been worth a hundred-mile ride to hear him. When he finished the entire company, many on their knees, joined in prayer. The whole exercise continued for over 3 hours.

That spirit of dependence on God continued throughout the War of Independence and the founding of America as a free nation. Only in recent years has there been any serious question that America was intended to be born and continue as a Christian nation. To this day, Congress opens each session with prayer.

 

Hey Little Buddies ~ Cats And Crawfish

Its-Unlce-Rick-CatWhen I was a boy, I loved to visit my grandparents on their farm in the summer. They lived almost three hundred miles from us, so we only got to see Granny and Granddad once a year. Granddad still plowed with a horse. They still had a cistern for water, too. They had no plumbing in the old house.

One of my favorite things about the farm was fishing in the pond. My big brother, Dean and I would walk barefoot down through the pasture with our cane poles over our shoulders and a vegetable can full of worms for a time of fun catching catfish out of the muddy pond water.

One afternoon we came back to the house with a few catfish. We thought about cleaning them and getting them ready to cook right away. Granny would roll them in corn meal and fry them for us to eat. But we thought it would be all right to leave them until morning. We just didn’t feel like going to the trouble to clean them at the moment. Maybe there was something more fun that we wanted to do just then. So we put the fish in a big dishpan full of water from the cistern and left it out in the yard. We’d get back to the job in the morning.

But when morning came our fish were gone! I asked my Dad what had happened to them. He said, “I expect the barn cats got them.” I asked him how they could have gotten our fish out of a pan of water. Cats don’t like water.

Sad said, “They just reach down in there with that big paw and hook ‘em with their claws. Out they come.”

Dean and I lost our fish because we weren’t diligent enough to clean them as soon as we got back to the house.

It reminds me now of Proverbs 12:27—“The lazy don’t roast their prey, but hard workers receive precious riches.”

No, we hadn’t roasted our prey. And we hadn’t received any precious riches. We had been lazy, and only the barn cats were happy about it.

Eating Through A Keyhole – SATURDAY STORIES

Saturday-Stories-Abraham-ClarkIt’s a little known fact that the War of Independence was one of the most atrocity-free wars in history.  That is, on the part of the Americans.

The British on the other hand, commonly looted or burned homes, assaulted defenseless women, stole or killed livestock belonging to civilians and treated clergymen with contempt because of their role in fomenting the revolution.  

One preacher in Trenton, New Jersey was stabbed with a bayonet.  A dead American soldier was hacked to pieces by British cavalrymen.  But one of the greatest atrocities committed by the British and their Hessian allies was their treatment of American prisoners. Read More…

God’s Truth Is More Powerful Than The World’s Lies ~ What Does the Bible Say?

What-Does-the-Bible-Say-Rick-Boyer2Colossians 3:1, 2: If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.

We are born with an insatiable appetite for the things of earth. From the very beginning, our lives revolve around our needs for food, comfort, pleasure and security. But when we are born anew, there is a different dynamic that enters our lives and we find that we are drawn to things higher than our own material needs.

In this passage Paul challenges us to develop a whole new value system. He wants us to change our focus from this world to the “real” world—the world of heaven, the world of the spirit.

It’s a lifelong process, this growing closer to heaven and farther from the world. It is something that we must learn for ourselves even as we’re teaching it to our children. And it’s not easy. Every day, and sometimes every hour we’re bombarded with worldly messages from our friends, our jobs, advertising, even our entertainments, that pull our minds powerfully in a worldly direction. Where is the time and energy to be heavenly minded when we’re surrounded by such worldly world?

God’s truth is more powerful than the world’s lies. But we must make the effort to feed that truth into our minds on a regular basis or the lies of the world will dominate our thoughts and we will find ourselves regularly thinking, acting, believing and relating with worldly attitudes.

Our flesh will never get spiritual. Therefore, we have to make a positive effort to overcome it by filling our minds with Scripture. It won’t happen for us by accident.

And it won’t happen by accident for our children, either.

Have you considered Uncle Rick’s audio Bible recordings for your children?

Play them at nap-time, bedtime and while riding in the car. Your kids will learn more Scripture effortlessly than you can on purpose.

Uncle Rick’s Audios

 

 

History Is So Boring…NOT ~ Feedback Friday

Profiles of ValorMarilyn Boyer and Grace Tumas have written another excellent book.  Profiles of Valor include many little-known, true accounts of bravery and loyalty in the fight for independence which are inspiring and invoke a new understanding and appreciation for the sacrifices that were made in the founding of our nation.  Each of these stories are connected to a Scriptural character quality that we should be working on in our own lives. 

The fact that Scriptural principles were the foundation in the forming of our nation is often forgotten in the culture in which we live.  We need to be reminded of this and pass this important concept to our children. This book is a way of accomplishing that. 

I can highly recommend this book.  It is well written, interesting and brings history to life in each chapter.

~! Judy

 

Take a look - ProfilesOfValor.com

Few Paid A Higher Price ~ SATURDAY STORIES

Saturday-Stories-JailOf all the men who courageously signed the Declaration of Independence, few paid a higher price for their patriotism than Mr. Francis Lewis, a delegate from New York.

His sufferings began early in the War of Independence. In the fall of 1776, British Colonel Birteh led his troops toward the fine country estate of Francis Lewis on Long Island. He intended to see Lewis hanged as a traitor at his own home. But finding that Lewis was away at the time, Birteh instead took out his hatred on Mrs. Lewis.

The poor lady was forced to watch as her home was destroyed. British soldiers exhibited the most vicious forms of vandalism as they stole her silver, clothing, china, clocks, food and drink. She had to watch as her husband’s library-a rare luxury in those days-was burned. Before her eyes, her lovely estate was ravaged and torn apart.

Then she was taken prisoner and locked up, for no crime but that of being the faithful wife of a patriot. Taken away as a captive on horseback, she soon found herself locked in a tiny cell with no furniture but a toilet bucket. She was given no change of clothing, no bed to lie on and only the most meager scraps of food.

Finally, after many months, George Washington was able to free her in a prisoner exchange. But the poor, aging lady’s health had been so devastated by her captivity that she died soon afterward.

Francis Lewis finally returned to his home in 1783, he saw only rubble remaining of his beautiful house and cultured acres. He survived the war as a bereaved and impoverished man.

Lewis never rebuilt his lovely home. He spent his remaining years in the homes of his sons. He had paid a great price for his patriotism but lived to see his children enjoy the fruits of his sacrifice as they raised their own children in peace and liberty.