1.the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.
AMENDMENT I to the US Constitution
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
I love being an American. I appreciate the opportunities we have in this country. I appreciate the work our founding fathers put into starting our country and forming our laws. They were intentional when considering what laws would be included, and what order they would be in our governing documents. I respect that. I love that they relied on their Judeo-Christian beliefs to guide them. Even those who were not Christians, but deists, agnostics, and atheists, recognized the importance of Christian values in our political system. They knew that relying on their own wisdom would result in failure. These documents have been bought with the sacrifice and the blood of our soldiers and founders. Our founders lead by example and laid everything on the line because they believed that much in our country. Is our country perfect? No it's not, but I would choose these United States 100x over than any other country.
In the first amendment, the first item mentioned (which I feel is not by accident) is that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion". This is known as the establishment clause, not the separation of church and state. Thomas Jefferson was the person credited with using the phrase 'separation of church and state'. He said: "Religious institutions that use government power in support of themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths, or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights..." (italics are for emphasis) We are not required to be Baptists or Catholics or Buddhists or Islamist, or what ever other religion Congress can come up with. We instead are given the freedom to choose by the very next phrase in the first amendment: 'or prohibiting the free exercise thereof'. That means I am free to be a Baptist, Catholic, Buddhist or Islamist. I choose of my own free will without coercion or fear. It's freedom that grants us this ability.
Why are people willing to risk their very lives and the lives of those they love to come to the United States? It is because of freedom. Russia, Italy, Cuba, China, Mexico, Eastern Germany when the wall was up. Do you know what these countries have in common? The people are or were terribly oppressed. They flee these countries' communist oppressive governments where there is no freedom for the people. They come to the US for the promise of a better life than the one they left behind; they come for the opportunity to be successful.
I will not apologize for my beliefs about our country. I will not apologize that I think I live in the greatest country in the world. I hate that there are people trying to change our country into a socialist or worst, a communist country. Using people political gain is reprehensible. There are those in office who always make it a game of the haves vs. the have-nots. We the people should not be forced into redistribution of wealth. (I personally like a flat tax, but that's another topic for another time.) I believe in helping those who need it, but that it not become a way of life. There are those who want to take away the very ideals that make this country great. We are not guaranteed anything but life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
I think we can get back to our country being great, but We the People have to be willing to take responsibility for it. We have to hold our leaders accountable for their actions. We have to be willing to stand up and question laws that we think go against the very things that made this country great. If you need an example, Becky Garritson did it well. (btw, she's from my home state! Rock that out!!!) We have to be willing to be contributing members of society & not drain the resources of our country. We need to be willing to help those who need it. Not just by only meeting their needs, but by helping them to become successful contributing members of society too. These are ideals I know, but it has to start somewhere. Micah 6:8 comes to mind: " He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does theLordrequire of you? To act justlyand to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."
Do you remember learning the preamble from schoolhouse rock? I remember it even after more than 30+ years since the first time I heard it; it means more to me now than it did when I was young. I didn't truly realize how great our country was until many years later. How did the writers of our Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights know exactly what words to say to make them lasting? I am amazed every time I read them and hopefully you are too. May God bless the USA & may freedom ring forever.
We the people, of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, and secure domestic tranquility. Provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. Do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
A friend from grade school was going through old pictures and found a picture of the house I grew up in. I have wonderful memories from that home. We played football in the front yard, swam in the pool, built homecoming signs, and watched movies and the 1984 Olympics. My parents let me invite the entire 8th grade over to swim the day we officially became 9th graders. That house is filled with laughter.
My parents didn't care about your background. They didn't care what kind of home you came from. They wanted you to feel loved and accepted when you came over to our house. It was a house that love built.
It's funny looking back. You think that some kids have it all together just to find out they saw themselves as misfits. I was always the one who felt like I was on the fringe. Not cool, not as smart as I wanted to be, not a lot of things. I wonder how many other kids felt & feel like that today? Social media allows kids to only show the best of themselve…
Ok, I have a new recipe for y'all & I'm so EXCITED. I know that I should post it on a Measure of Joy, but I haven't posted anything on there since 2013. Wait, what? That's 4 years. Yikes! I'll post it there too. OMG.
It has finally cooled down from the raging summer we had this year. We had a few weeks of cooler weather in, I think, early September, but that was a joke. It happens to us every year. We have a cooler spell for about 2 weeks & we think fall is here! Then we act shocked when it shoots back into the 90's or high 80's until November. (there's usually humidity that goes with it and makes it feel like you're walking around with a wet towel on your head.)
With the cooler weather brings, for me, soup season. My people are sick of the same old soups though. Chili, a southern staple. We also have wonderful variations of white chicken chili and taco soup. I make beer cheese soup, vegetable soup, vegetable soup with beef, a…
It is called soul food for a reason & I have my own definition too. To me, soul food is feel good food. It reminds me of my grandmother's & mother's kitchens. Old school southern cooks are some of the best around. Do you think they worry about fat, sodium, or calories? Um, no. No they don't. They want you to leave full and happy. The biggest insult to a soul food cook is for you to leave hungry. If you want bland, soul food is not for you. Anyway, who wants bland? Not I, said the pig.
In case some of you are not from the deep south & wonder what in the world is soul food, I found a great website that describes what it is. I love the line that says: "...all soul food is southern food, but not all southern food is soul food". Amen to that. If you've never eaten soul food, I'm so sorry. It's homemade with heaps of love, so you an have happiness on your plate.
I love collard greens, but they have to be cooked right. (as all…