I’ve had the opportunity to celebrate July 4th for 38 years and watch fireworks shows all over the country. In fact, tonight I’ll be watching one in Missouri of all places. I’ve been to a show or two in Nashville, a couple in Ohio, quite a few in Florida, and up and down the east coast as I was growing up. I’m hoping today is a day that everyone around the country can set their political differences aside and simply celebrate. Firworks. Grilled burgers. Sparklers. Red, white, and blue.
Without the rebellious lovers of freedom hundreds of years ago, our country wouldn’t be as amazing as it is today. Before we are Democrats or Republicans, before we are Americans or immigrants, we are people. We are people who love freedom. We are people who believe in love and equality. It’s why the rest of the world wants to move here, and why some of the rest of the world hates us. But by golly, what an amazing country! One man can grow up to become a professional baseball player. One woman can grow up to run for president. There are teachers, and maintenance people, taxi drivers and Uber drivers, pastors, lawn mowing professionals, inventors and entrepeneurs, horse caretakers and zoo keepers. There are so many possibilities for everyone that calls themself an American and it’s all thanks to Independence Day.
So as you hoist your flags this morning, as you watch the fireworks explode in the night sky, be thankful for the rebels. The dreamers. The fighters. God bless America and I pray that our country unites again under God for the purpose of pursuing happiness with loving our neighbor as ourselves as our montra.
“Say what you wanna say and let the words fall out.
Honestly, I wanna see you be brave.”
– Sara Bareilles
I know, I’m beating a dead horse but hey, it’s like 10 degrees out. I can either go outside and stand there till my bones hurt (about 5 seconds), or reveal to you a correlation I noticed recently. How can we celebrate a song like “Brave” (over 29 weeks on the Billboard charts) then turn around and bash someone who actually carries out the lyrics? Yes, I’m referring to Phil Robertson… or any Christian who just so happens to speak their beliefs which most of the time contradicts anything in mainstream media. I tell ya what, we live in interesting times in the US.
“A free America… means just this: individual freedom for all, rich or poor, or else this system of government we call democracy is only an expedient to enslave man to the machine and make him like it.”
– Frank Lloyd Wright
One observation I’ve made about Christian radio stations has really started to bother me… most of the music they play is deep, introspective, and self-denying. I support the mission of having positive, uplifting music as an option on the radio. I’m not knocking the radio stations. Deep, introspective, self-denying songs are great but do they all have to be so thought-provoking? I like to look inward and take personal inventory just as much as the next guy, but I’d be headed for a mental breakdown if this type of music were all I was listening to.
Sometimes the brain needs a break and lots of times the heart just needs to beat, not bleed. Perhaps that’s why I find my playlist full of the most random songs. For example, my most recent playlist includes:
Rock & Roll – Eric Hutchinson
Jailhouse Rock – Elvis Presley
Good People – Jack Johnson
Freedom – Amos Lee
The Man Comes Around – Johnny Cash
Tom’s Diner – Suzanne Vega
Bad (Live) – U2
Christmas Canon Rock – Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Good Good End – Waterdeep
Jump Around – House of Pain
Made To Love – TobyMac
Oh What A World – Rufus Wainwright
That’s Not My Name – The Ting Tings
Awful Beautiful Life – Darryl Worley
Say Hey (I Love You) – Michael Franti
Body Language – Jesse McCartney
Ridin’ Dirty – Chamillionaire
Paradise City – Guns and Roses
We all have depth at some level and it’s true that our souls long for music that moves us. But we also need music that can make us move!