“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”
The names at the bottom of Declaration of Independence were united. They knew their signatures would bring them hardships and possibly the loss of their homes, friends and finances. Even though the consequences could be the loss of everything, they believe in the purpose of the people of the United States of America. They believe in their desire to begin their own country and leave the British empire behind. They knew it would be difficult, but they were committed.
Have you ever read the text?
Take a few moments and read the document that started it all?
In Congress, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
What was it like to sign the Declaration? John Adams wrote to his wife,
I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure that it will cost us to maintain this Declaration and support and defend these states. Yet through all the gloom, I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory–I can see that the end is more than worth all the means and that posterity will triumph in that day’s transaction. (https://wallbuilders.com/happy-independence-day/)
Will you take a moment and at least honor those men? They signed their name so you can live in a free nation.
Just some thoughts,
There are several things in life that I enjoy like traveling.
I like travelling and speaking; sometimes speaking more than the traveling and other times it is the traveling more than the speaking.
I have never been someone to like staying at home all the time; even though I find home to be the relaxation place that truly matters.
My travels have not been as extensive and broad as some people I know. I know others who have millions, and millions of Frequent Flier miles stacked up and enjoy vacations to any destination they choose. My travels have been a day away for a small period.
I always enjoyed traveling and even preparing to go. From mapping out the destination, getting a list of items and even trying to live as minimal as I can for a few days; it is all quite fun.
Rarely do I travel by airline anymore. I used to travel by airline a bunch, but now I find nothing better than a drive to my destination. I have not driven more than 11.5 hours to a destination, but one day I might make a two or three-day driving journey. I figure it will be fun, but tiring.
The thought of driving makes the trip longer, but due to the age of technology, it makes it a little easier. With the aid of hands-free communication in the car, I can make calls to those I need to catch up with; I can send text messages (yes, by voice), listen to a variety of podcasts, add/delete/change dates on my calendar.
Automation makes it so much easier to drive. I decided a few years ago to take advantage of every moment. There are times I turn the music up (streaming music that is) and drive with the windows down to enjoy the breeze.
A Traveling Minimalist
I am a minimalist when traveling when it comes to most things. I enjoy the thought of not taking everything, but there are times I forget what I need. I have forgotten shoes, belts, shirts and even a Bible when I was speaking at a church once.
Sometimes being minimal is a barrier and not a blessing.
Over the years I have tried to perfect my travel routine, but I always look for ways to improve and become more efficient. I have been attempting to carry less with me, but that does not always work. For example, I enjoy reading from the Kindle, but there are times where a physical book is better. You hold a book differently than a Kindle; it feels better, and I even find myself becoming less distracted.
Do you have a travel routine?
My Ideal Travel List:
If I had to construct an “Ideal Travel List” it would be pretty straightforward.
I feel like I have reached an age where I have pretty much everything I need, and I try to use almost everything I have. With that in mind, I still take many different things with I travel; some required and some just in case they are needed.
Here is the start of the “Ideal Travel List.”
A Not Too Big, Not Too Small RV – Many times having an RV to travel in would be spectacular. The thought of being able to drive your house intrigues me. However, paying for hundreds of gallons of gas each trip does not. Since my regular travel car, a 2012 Toyota Camry, gets about 40 MPG on the highway (it’s not a hybrid), going to 10 miles per gallon is something to consider.
What I like about the thought of having a small RV is being able to have most everything handy. I like the fact I can cook my food and not have to worry about finding a hotel with a microwave, fridge and other amenities. Having a refrigerator and a stove, as well as a microwave, in an RV is a bonus. Being able to purchase all the groceries I need for a trip is a bonus.
The quietness of an RV is worth consideration as well. Being able to relax on a standard bed of my own, having the freedom of no one upstairs jumping on the floor or the room beside me having a party is calming.
Oh yeah, it has to have a nice bathroom too.
An SUV to Tow Behind the RV – A car, preferably an SUV, to tow behind the RV so I can park the RV and drive the short trips I need to travel. I figure it would be simple to do this than moving the RV now and then. A motorcycle would be nice, but taking other people would be better in an SUV. (Especially family)
A Laptop – No need to discuss this too much, but having a laptop brings many things into the mobile workplace that are needed. The ability to have speed and storage space available is one of those simple things that always helps.
High-Speed Internet Access – This is where an excellent mobile phone service with a hotspot is ideal. Hotel Wifi services are good, but many of them are not as secure as your hotspot. A good hotspot is suitable for email, internet surfing, etc., but also good for streaming shows.
Kindle – I have several different Kindles, and my favorite is the first one we ever owned. Over the years, we have acquired a few as gifts, personal purchases, given my bothers, etc. The oldest kindle is the best because all I want to do on the Kindle is read a book. The oldest Kindle fills the requirement perfectly well.
Android Smartphone – That is a given. Everything from a GPS, downloadable maps, voice recorder, camera, video camera, word processor, PDF reader, ebook reader, store of documents and ids, and much more are all contained in one device.
Gadgets that matter:
- Wireless Mouse – I thoroughly dislike trackpads.
- Backpack – for carrying everything all the time. A laptop bag is sufficient, but a backpack gives more support with all its stuff.
- Carabiners – You can never have too many carabiners to hang stuff, lock stuff and hold stuff.
- An Assortment of Sports Balls – Softball, baseball, t-ball, tennis ball, golf ball, but not used for sports. I used them as back supports and to roll against the wall or floor to work out the knots and spasms in my back.
- Iron – A good iron is essential to making sure your clothes look right. There is nothing like hearing a good message from a man whose clothes look horrible.
- Sunglasses – I am always losing pairs of sunglasses; always.
- Laundry Detergent – Let’s say I have been known to pack lightly and wash clothes in the shower or the sink. (yeah, it works)
- A Cabinet of Coffee – Enough said.
What would make up your ideal travel list?
Now and then I sit down, open my journal and begin to write. Sometimes I write some rambling diatribe of incoherent thought, while other times the words pour onto the page with a compelling motive behind them.
The words below are those which filled a few pages in my journal a few years ago. Each word filled the page without taking a moment to reflect on what I was writing. When I was done, I sat back and read the words that I have placed below. They were not words to others, but words from my heart and they spoke profoundly to me.
Take a moment and see if they apply to you.
There comes a time in every man’s life where he must take a stand. It will take fortitude, courage, and determination to stand. Some people will leave, and others will stay, but you have to stand for you. The stand you take needs to be one of passionate conviction, or you will fall like others before you who did not honestly believe.
When you stand, stand as a convicted man; not the convictions of man, but the convictions of consistent truth. The consistent truth will lead to a steady stand. A stand for inconsistency will never do anything but make you look like a fool. Find the truth on which you stand and stand. Do not waver in the midst of words, but stand firmly convicted, convinced of the truth.
When you stand, stand in love. Without standing in love, no matter how convicted you may be, it will not turn out well in the end. Love is the factor that either adds too or, in its absence, takes away from the passionate convictions of your soul. Love is the hidden element that makes a stand work. Love is what holds you to the truth when the battles come and the attacks rage. Love will prevail because love does not hold its own. Love provides the strength by tying itself to truth.
When you stand, do not stand on unfirm ground. Search for the solid ground so you may endure the storms. Many times, solid ground is not where the crowds are standing. Only a fool will stand with someone just to stand. The wise stand because they have searched, examined and rely on, not only on their own experience but the experience of others.
When no one else is with you – stand, there is always someone. The truth attracts people who desire to stand as well. If you feel alone, be assured, you are not; countless others are standing with you. They will be there to hold you up, even when you do not know they are there or how they got there. Join with those of consistent truth. The company you keep will influence your stance. Do not make surround yourself just to be surrounded. Instead, surround yourself with people of truth. Let the united effort, and the effects of following truth, bond you with one another. The strength of the bond is not in yourselves but in people loving truth. It is the truth which creates the bond, but it is the love of truth, in every part, that strengthens the bond.
While you are standing, do not forget why you are standing. When you forget, you falter. Every stand has a purpose. A stand with no purpose is the stand of a fool. Consider your purpose often. Your purpose is the engine driving your stand. Your purpose should not be one of self, but one of truth. Removing self allows for a clearer vision of your purpose. Your purpose will become more powerful the more you stand. As your purpose becomes more powerful, you become more uncomfortable. The truth is a changing agent to bring you out of complacency and into the work. It is not any work, but it is the work of truth. The truth will pierce the heart and spirit to convict you of your purpose. Those who stand without a purpose stand as fools; their feet are just taking up space. They need to move, but complacency fools them into believing the shifting sand below their feet is them moving. They perceive to be standing, but they are falling — falling into a dreaded spiral leading to their demise.
Many you know will not stand. They will not work to find the truth, even though it is not far. The path of least resistance will be their guide and unfulfillment will be their end.
For you — stand! Know where you stand, why you stand and the purpose of truth. In these, you will not find the acceptance of man, but the acceptance of ONE much greater.
Now, I will stand. Whether man be for me or against me, I will stand. I will stand for my family, my friends and lastly, for me. In the legacy I leave, I will be glad that my stand was founded upon the truth — and it only.
Just my thoughts,
I was born in a country of freedom, founded on principles written by earthly men who distilled faith in heavenly values. When I was born, our country was in a controversy regarding the presidency of Richard Nixon. President Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974, and a few months later I entered the world. Growing up in a country which aspires for all to be free was something I took for granted. I could wake up and go to school then come home and do whatever I wanted because I was blessed with freedom. It was a freedom I took for granted, but now appreciate much more.
I love my country.
I love our country.
I love our country in spite of its difficulties and faults. I will speak of our country in patriotic terms, and I will talk about its past failures with a hopeful desire for the future. Without mistakes and the knowledge gained from them, our country would never be what it is today.
The achievements of our country outweigh the mistakes made. It has been in our country’s influence in the world which has brought many to freedom around the globe. Our country has stepped in first and stayed when other countries have left. Sometimes we may have stayed too long, but we stayed because we care, not because we conquer.
The terrible events like Fort Pillow, the raids on unsuspecting Indians and others have not sealed our fate but given us a knowledge of wrong. Those events are part of the nation’s history, whether we like them or not. We must teach them along with the good. Recognizing the mistakes of the past allows one to be aware of the hope in the future.
I love our country because it is a republic; not a democracy. There is a difference, and the difference is vast. This republic, by which our country stands, allows you to do what you are doing today. It is something many will take for granted for all time until they are ripped of their freedom and thrown into a dictatorship.
I love our country because I have a choice to make in its leadership; many countries do not. Our leader is reevaluated every four years by the people. If the people are fed up, then they change; if they are happy, then they keep the same. If the people are smart, they will research then decide. As a great leader once said regarding the choice Americans make every four years, “Are you better off now than four years ago?”
I love our country because you can disagree. Our nation has freedom of speech still; even though there are some wishing to change that freedom. Our freedom of speech allows you to disagree with whomever you want. You can disagree with the wrong and still disagree with those that are right, but you can disagree without fear of being persecuted by a government of a dictatorship.
I love our country because people come to it. Our country is still that great bastion of hope for those outside its borders. Millions seek to enter our country each year because of its freedom. I do not read about people swimming to Cuba or migrating to Russia, because they know their fate in those lands. So, with future and hope in their hearts, they come here.
I love our country in spite of its difficulties and problems, do you?
I seek to make this land a better place, not for me, but for those who come after me, do you?
Just my thoughts,