1 Peter 2 "13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; 14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. 15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: 16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God."

Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner on the back of an envelope after being detained all night on a truce ship during the British attack on the harbor of Baltimore during the war of 1812. As District Attorney of Georgetown and a spiritual lay leader of his church, he had been sent by President James Madison to negotiate with the British for a physician who had been taken prisoner. Just before morning, when the firing suddenly stopped, Key was fearful of the outcome. But as he looked out across the water he saw the American flag still triumphantly flying with the assurance of our nation's freedom! One month after he wrote his poem it was published, accompanied by an old hunting tune, "Anacron in Heaven," which is attributed to John Stafford Smith of England. It was not officially adopted by Congress as our national anthem until March 3, 1931.


Our freedom is something we take for granted every day. I was trying to explain to my seven year old grandson last week about how people used to own slaves in the United States years ago. He looked at me like I was crazy. He didn't believe me at first. He thought I was kidding him. He asked how people could own other people. I explained to him how some of the slaves lived and were treated and how lucky we were to live in a country where we were free to live anywhere we wanted to and be anything we wanted to.

Our children grow up thinking it is their right to have the good things they have and the freedom they have instead of their good fortune! They take every thing America has to offer and everything God has given for granted - as their due. We need to stop and look around us each day and thank God for our many blessings and for allowing us to live in the land of the free. And we need to teach our children about the way our country used to be. About the days of slavery and cruelty right here in our own country. We need to tell them about what goes on in the countries around us and what the brave men and women of our military are doing to help them. Are you proud to live in the land of the free - or do you get up each morning and go about your day and never give your freedom a thought?

If you have children or grandchildren take time to talk to them about the blessing of freedom.



Star Spangled Banner

Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed
at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars
thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched
were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thru the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam
, In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out
of their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave'
From the terror of flight and the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace,
may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made
and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

-- Francis Scott Key --




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