Dear Friends,

Not sure where we are going to watch fireworks this Friday.  When we lived in Burley (1985-1992), we always went to the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls. They always had a full band playing a concert of patriotic music and then we would lay on the grass on a blanket and watch the show overheard.  Quite a show. Our first time there, our oldest, Kelsey was 2 months old.  Those loud booms scared her and she cried most of the time. She enjoyed it more in the subsequent years.

I’m looking forward to a sermon series on what is unique about the United States of America that will start this Sunday, July 6 and continue on the other three Sundays of July.  In my research I came upon an article with the title, “Be Careful What You Worship on July 4”.  It mentioned churches with 80 foot flags hanging from their ceilings and singing Lee Greenwood’s, “I’m Proud to Be an American”, or even Toby Keith’s “Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue.”  The author said that visitors to such churches would be justified in asking, “What is it that we are worshiping today?”

Have no fear.  We’re not going to be worshiping America this Sunday and throughout this month.  In fact, the sermon I am working on for this Sunday (almost done!) makes the point that one of the great things about our country is that dissent is not only permitted but encouraged.  We see it as a virtue to love our country enough to speak out when we believe we have gone astray.  Some may say there is too much of that going on these days, but that it goes on at all is something that makes me proud to be an American.  Criticize your country in many of the countries on earth today and you will end up in jail.  Or worse.

Hope you have a wonderful Fourth and hope you find some great fireworks.  And I’d love to see you in church this Sunday as we worship God and celebrate America.

In Christ,