Oh, say, can you see


The Star Spangled Banner

In 1814, Francis Scott Key wrote the poem, Defense of Fort McHenry. The poem was later put to the tune of (John Stafford Smith’s song) The Anacreontic Song, modified somewhat, and retitled The Star Spangled Banner. Congress proclaimed The Star Spangled Banner the U.S. National Anthem in 1931.

Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro’ the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watch’d, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro’ the night that our flag was still there.
O 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 thro’ 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 on the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner: O, 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 wash’d out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or 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.

O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
Between their lov’d homes and the war’s desolation;
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land
Praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause 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!

posted by Murphy James

Foundational Beliefs

Why are Believers so hesitant to examine their foundational beliefs?  What are we afraid of Rev Paul Hoffmasterfinding?  Could there be a flaw in our adopted theology?  What if what we believed for so many years has contradicted Scriptural intent?  What if what we have been taught has been a human interpretation instead of Divine presentation?  What if the denominational or independent church has been wrong in its doctrines?

subfloorWe should not be afraid of examining the sub floor of our house of belief.  If it is intact, our confidence should rest in the assurance that what we are building shall never fall.  If, on the other hand, there are cracks in our tenets of faith, should we not address the issue and secure our foundation?  Whenever there are flaws in our basic beliefs, it will affect our Christian walk.  Maybe one of the reasons we fluctuate so much in our faith walk is because something in our “belief” system is out of order.

There are so many split decisions when it comes to Biblical interpretation.  Almost every major Scriptural truth has at least two different or opposing views.  Through the persuasion and numerical support of other Christians, many teachings are accepted and adopted by the new convert.  Unable to understand the meaning of so many of the Scriptures, they simply endorse what is being taught.  The quickness at which they receive these teachings depends on the charisma and boldness of the teacher.  When a Pastor is established in the community and supported with a large number of followers, who is to doubt his presentation?  God uses human instrumentality to convey His message, but we must ALWAYS confirm the spoken word with the written Word!

I believe that every Believer needs to have an annual checkup.  We need to take our “Bible Pressure” and see if our study habits are consistent.  We need to check our “Prayer Rate” reflecting the reality of our communication with God.  We need to check our “Spiritual Weight” to see if we are gaining spiritual muscle.  We need to check our “Hearing” to see if we are hearing what is being presented by God’s representatives.  We need to check our “Eyesight” to make sure we are focused on the Kingdom and not the fleshly enticements of the world.  We need to check our “Vocabulary” to make sure what comes out of our mouth is pleasing to God.  We need to check the freshness of our “Fruit.”  If after carefully analysis we find our spiritual condition worthy of God’s pleasure, let us press on as a walking example of Jesus Christ.  If a red flag appears, let us check our foundational beliefs and see where we may have missed it.  When our foundational beliefs are built on the sand of public opinion, our Christian walk will sway with inconsistent behavior.  When our “sub floor” is incorrect, we will have a greater tendency to go by feelings rather than by faith.

While knowing one’s spiritual condition is imperative to spiritual growth, there are some who are content to live out their lives with a simple affirmation of whom Jesus is.  Their attitude is that life goes on and when the heart stops beating, they will be with Him.  They have been taught that Faith alone is all that is necessary.  Attend and pretend is their motto.  Deep down they desire a living faith, but they have been inoculated from the Truth.  They ride the waves of change, oblivious to where it takes them.

Do not be afraid of checking out your foundation, it may be a life altering experience!  “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32)