July 4


America the Beautiful

By Mark

July 4, 2023


I awoke on July 4th, 2023 in the middle of the night. After a trip to the bathroom I checked the time and it was 2:02 am. Recently, it has been a season of twos or confluence tying back into a prophetic journey that began in 2020 (A story for another time). Lying in bed unable to go to sleep I began praying for America. I heard the Lord speaking of America the Beautiful. He was saying that she is still beautiful in His eyes. He still has great purpose for the nation and He is honoring all the righteous prayers, acts and faith of the generations of this Land.

Eventually, I came down stairs and saw the moon shining brightly in our sunroom. I looked up information on the full moon and found out that it started on July 3rd and lasts through the 5th. I also learned it is the first in a series of 4 super moons in a row and this month’s version is known as the Buck Moon. The name comes from buck deer reaching the height of their maturity at this time of year.

When I came down I felt I needed to look up the history of the America the Beautiful song. I learned it was originally penned 130 years ago as a poem by 33 year old Katharine Bates as she traveled across America.

“On the pinnacle of Pike’s Peak, the words of the poem started to come to her, and she wrote them down upon returning to her hotel room at the original Antlers Hotel. The poem was initially published two years later in The Congregationalist to commemorate the Fourth of July”

The original music was written by Samuel Ward in 1882 and the song with Bates’ lyrics and Ward’s music was first published 113 years ago in 1910.

Buck Antlers & A Time of Growth

The Buck Moon and the song written at Antlers Hotel bring our attention to what I believe is a season of growth for America. A buck's antlers are in full-growth mode at this time of year it signifies a change that is happening. Growth does not mean perfection but it can include perfecting. As a line in the song goes, "God mend thine every flaw." One definition of growth is the process of increasing in amount, value or importance. It is not over in America. God has more for this nation and the initial calling and covenant that we have with Him is still in affect. An important work is being done in our country and it is being carried out by God Himself.

When Robert Hunt landed in Virginia Beach in 1607, he planted a cross, prayed and declared this covenant over the land:

We do hereby dedicate this Land, and ourselves, to reach the People within these shores with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to raise up Godly generations after us, and with these generations take the Kingdom of God to all the earth. May this Covenant of Dedication remain to all generations, as long as this earth remains, and may this Land, along with England, be Evangelist to the World. May all who see this Cross, remember what we have done here, and may those who come here to inhabit join us in this Covenant and in this most noble work that the Holy Scriptures may be fulfilled.

Thirteen Colonies & God's Original Purpose

The number 13 has been brought to my attention recently and I believe it is a reminder of the original purpose of America. The song was authored 130 years ago. It was first widely published together with the melody when now sing 113 years ago. I'm convinced that Holy Spirit is drawing our attention to the founding of our country in 1776.

Thirteen colonies broke away from the British empire declaring life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for her people. This is America’s destiny to declare Freedom. Not just any freedom but the kind that sets the captives free. The version that leaves us free indeed. It’s the freedom found in Christ. God Almighty, the Creator and Architect of this United States of America is reminding us that He has not forgotten why we are here. It is for freedom He set us free. 

May we also remember that God makes everything beautiful in it's time. No one would have predicted what God's plans for America were when the forefathers drafted the Declaration of Independence. But the Supreme Author knew He was crafting something beautiful.

"He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end."
Ecclesiastes 3:11

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America!  America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Whose stern, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!
O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life!
America!  America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness,
And every gain divine!
O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America!  America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea
About the author

Mark is a marketer and sometimes writer. He's trying to get better at that sometimes thing.

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