Wednesday, July 04, 2012

A Country Built on Belief



In previous posts I have said that America is not just what it is because of a location, but because of a belief, and any country may pattern itself after the same beliefs. On this 4th of July, I want to share some thoughts about the purpose and meaning of America, by looking at the following statements from visitors in America. 

A businessman from Europe, currently residing in the U.S. was asked why he was still living here after launching a successful business in America. He replied, "There is a lack of cynicism here that makes it possible to keep ideas alive long enough to bring them to completion. Ideas are necessary for invention, and you must have the freedom to pursue them without a lot of hindrance." (Jonathon Ives,  conceptual mind behind many of Apple's products, including the  MacBook Pro, iPod, and iPad)

Another person who visited briefly on a special trip, reported to a news station in his own country, "It is amazing to get so much positive, uplifting encouragement here. There is a belief that if someone succeeds at something, others will succeed also, and that is true for one's personal life as well."



In 1766 an Acadian settler  named Jean Baptiste Semer, wrote to his father in France:

My dear father (...) you can come here boldly with my dear mother and all the other Acadian families. They will always be better off than in France. There are neither duties nor taxes to pay and the more one works, the more one earns without doing harm to anyone.




A recent visitor from South Africa wrote that Americans are busy finding out how to fix problems and how to compete in business. They want to know how to make things work better and how to get things done in the most expedient way. It may seem trivial to be asked things like, "How may I help you?" or "How are you doing today?" These are things which make it pleasant when interacting with a business. The free enterprise system encourages this because there will be those who will always strive to do better and earn more good will, which will help them find loyal customers.  "Americans criticize themselves a lot," he said, "But they are not weaklings who just complain and do nothing. They want things to work. Their roads are good and always being repaired. One employee will often do the job of 10 people, if necessary. For the most part, the negative I was told about America was a lot of media hype. What I found in America during my visit was completely different than what I had been lead to believe."
Hiway Leading to Monument Valley (allposters.com)





An Australian visitor wrote: "When I visited America I was impressed that so many Americans had the courage to live their faith and did so apparently without self-consciousness. Faith is as natural to them as the Creation, and I often heard the phrase, "Lord willing," even in public.  Their culture did not seem to be at odds with their faith, as it is in some other countries where a person feels as though they are  swimming upstream against sardonic and pessimistic and often mocking attitudes."


In the book, "Princess," Jean Sasson wrote, "After spending some time in America, I announced to my husband that I liked these people, the Americans. When he asked me why, I had difficulty voicing what I felt in my heart. I finally said: I believe this marvellous mixture of cultures has brought civilization closer to reality than in any other culture in history...so few countries manage complete freedom for all their citizens without chaos, and this has been accomplished in this huge land."

The beliefs that created America were the following: 

Freedom: - The Founding Fathers never meant for freedom to be the license to do as one pleased outside of a moral law or to use liberty as a "cloak for vice." Rather, freedom provides the opportunity to develop abilities to the glory of God, look after one's own family and benefit others in many ways. Freedom is absolutely necessary in the pursuance of success in life, in a man's work, and in a nation's stability.  

Faith Freedom is highly valued in the U.S. and other countries  because it is basic to humanity and without it the Word of God can not be spread. Wherever the gospel is spread, liberty naturally follows, because those who embrace the teachings of Christ have self-discipline and do not need to be monitored or controlled by government. They also extend the freedom they have been given, to others.  "Proclaim liberty throughout the land." (Leviticus 25:10) Faith in God is the foundation of the other things that many people who came to America were looking for.

Work: When we follow our faith, we will naturally desire to have a worthwhile work in this life, and work with our own hands, being a burden to no one. Most American individuals want to work, and if they cannot find a job, will invent something to do that will help them in life. 
Golden Wheat Field (allposters.com)



Independence: A nation of do-it-yourself-ers is a people willing to go through hardships in order to realize their goals. Though some may argue that the pioneer era is over, there is still much to pioneer:

1. Taking responsibility for our children's education by educating them ourselves.
2. Developing our own enterprises, using the capital of our minds and hands, and sharing the fruit of our labors.
3. Taking care of our own health, naturally.
4. Having strong, loyal families.
5. Discovering and developing the talents God has graciously given us. There is a great need for this today, because of the way that our talents can effectively serve others.
6. Observing things that need to be done better in certain areas of life, for inspiration to create and invent.
7. Knowing the Word of God, living it out, and building up the Lord's church, His kingdom, and passing on these truths to the next generation.


A Can-Do Spirit: Only a demoralized people will not believe that anything can be done. That is why, if an enemy wants to defeat a country, they first demoralize a people, who will then not be able to enjoy life or bring out the full potential of their nation. Telling Americans, through mass media, that they are all greedy, lazy, have no worth, have no future, and that their country is  going to shortly fall into the sea, will have the effect of demoralizing them. A demoralized people will not be able to see the difference between the truth and a lie and will be easily defeated. 

 A can-do spirit; that of being able to do anything you put your mind to, is essential in maintaining freedom and individuality. Do-it-yourself-ers will not want government interference and will not want to be dependent on the government. Although Americans have a strong mutual national identity, they do not want government to dominate them. They enjoy being Americans because of the previous things listed here, not because they want to be controlled by elected and non-elected officials. To them, America is not identified by its politicians as much as its ordinary citizens.
Signing of the Constitution (allposters.com)


The Constitution: There may be a misunderstanding by the upcoming generation as to the power of the Constitution. By itself, it is a document, and can do nothing. Many people have believed that after it was ratified, it absolutely guaranteed Americans their unalienable rights; meaning that they can not be removed, sold, exchanged, or taken away.  It is up to each generation to read the constitution and use it for their law, rather than assuming that it will work for them automatically. These freedoms can be passed down to the next generation, only if they are taken care of. Like precious heirlooms that are handed down from one generation to another, they have to be guarded. One thing the enemies of freedom want to do is make our children unaware of the freedom that the Constitution provides. One good study on the benefits and purposes of the Constitution can be found at Wall Builders, where you will learn that America is more than a place: it is a belief. Without that belief in freedom, faith, enterprise, and other things, it ceases to be what it 
should be.

A young man from India writes: "I was absolutely fascinated when I read the American Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. The men who wrote it must have been something. The leaders today seem to be a shadow of such giants."


The question that remains is, what can one person or one family do to have the kind of country they really want?  The answer is to practice and live the principles you believe in, at home. Your family is a small country, with its own culture of freedom and faith.  You, or your  family and your home life represents your country. A country is no stronger  than the strength of its families.

 Your personal faith will set in order your creative abilities, your accomplishments in life, your family life, and your work ethic, and these things have a lot to do with the kind of country in which you live. Make your home your country. Practice and teach your celebrations and your beliefs. By the fruits of your belief and practices, others will know that you walk in the Truth and be drawn to conform their lives with the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

(My homestead lake, private photo 2012)

Here is my challenge to every one who loves their country, whether it be America or somewhere else: Remember the many people who had heard of the greatness of the God of Israel, recorded in the Old Testament. Because news always travels fast, people knew about Israel's God and His care for His people. Foreign kings and queens  would say that they had heard of the wonderful things their God had done. May we all live in such a way as spread the good reputation of our Lord to other countries. May they know us by our Lord and by our faith in Him, who is the "one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." Ephesians 4:6 Let us live in such a way that others will say of each of our countries, "We have heard of your great God and his blessings and protection over your land."


Since the world is watching America, I believe we all have the duty and the responsibility to know the word of God accurately, to live our lives to the fullest; to work and to enjoy the things God has graciously given us for the reward of our labors.

 It is also our duty and responsibility to un-elect the people in government who do not represent these values that we cherish, by not voting for the individuals who have violated them, and by selecting wise men who will honor the Lord in all their dealings. We need to apply the free market system to those who have mis-served this country for too long, and find a product that will work better for us.

As for those people in other places who are jealous of America and who use every opportunity to find things about us to despise, there is no reason for this, for the principles of freedom that run this country can also run theirs, if applied. Then, they may enjoy the blessings that come as a result of proclaiming liberty throughout the land. When our land is blessed, these benefits often overflow so that we may share them with others in different countries that are not so blessed. Therefore, wishing the demise of America is to deny themselves the sharing of the spiritual and material blessings that they might participate in.
German, 1853-1902


 The Bible is available for anyone to read, and by embracing its discipline, anyone may have the blessings that comes from it. In the beginning, God gave man a place to live and gave him a purpose in life.  Throughout that Bible is evidence of the results of the wise and the foolish way of doing things, so that when good principles are applied, mankind may be able to avoid the heartache of foolishness and reap the reward that comes from wisdom. Any country can apply these things and have peace and prosperity.

For a list of good things about America, go here. It might be a good article to send to your friends.


Please enjoy the music:



20 comments:

Mrs. B said...

I can't wait to read your post.

Oh and I've finally started Simple Social Graces: Recapturing the Lost Art of Gracious Victorian Living by Linda Lichter and it is *really* good so far....

LadyLydia said...

Mrs. Lichter's history book on the customs of the Victorians is very good. It covers their beliefs, work habits, celebrations, leisure, handiwork, and more, and includes both men and women and people of all ages.

Neo-Victorianist said...

God Bless and Happy 4th of July.

Judith said...

I am looking forward to your post tomorrow. I always enjoy reading what you write.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia

Here is a story about the influence of your blog. I was feeling a little under pressure today. There is not much money at home, and my efforts to earn something as an AVON lady have been hampered by a sprained ankle which refuses to heal. I do not know whether I should give it up and focus on the home.

We went out today as a family to deliver some pro-life leaflets, as we live in an area that is an Olympic venue, and the flyers remind people that a baby is worth "more than gold". I thought to myself.'Hmm, I could do more of this if I weren't so worried about money...On the other hand, a little home business might help us all out.'

As it happened, I found one of your posts from 2008, entitled Worry About Money. It is so apt for these times, and the tone is just right. You don't hector or condemn the reader, you just lay out for us the possibilities for the woman who is home-focused.

Have a great day.

A.

PS We are reading 'Paul Revere's Ride' as our home education text this week. It's a great story, even if we were on the losing side in the war! Enjoy the 4th July. "Righteousness exalts a nation" -- any nation. We had a great time here in the UK flag-waving last month during the Jubilee.

LadyLydia said...

Thank you so much for your comment! I do have to warn you about working in the home as well as outside the home. Home business will always have a tendency to take priority, and then you end up working so hard and neglecting your home, that you might as well have gone to work.

Loved your Jubilee and am still watching videos on all the events!

Anonymous said...

This has got me to thinking about the basic nature of Americans. Although we all come from somewhere else, either directly or by our ancestors, we have one thing in common: we want to enjoy life, enjoy our families, get married, have children, get a house, and go after the things that interest us. We want to worship without a particular religion being forced on us. We want the freedom to live out our faith in the public and in private, which includes things like our choice of the way we educate our children, the kind of health care we prefer, and the choice to improve our lives. No matter what a person's ethnic heritage they just want to be left alone and not be dictated to.

LadyLydia said...

Because the post was too long, I did not add an important fact: from the beginning, the enemies of freedom have sought ways to weaken and destroy the cherished beliefs of Americans. You may wonder why anyone would object to a free country. There are some people, motivated by envy and love of money, who find that a free country is harder to control and has wealth that freely flows from hand to hand through free trade and free enterprise.If the country remains free, those who desire to absorb the prosperity of the individual, will not be able to take what is not theirs. In order to rob a country of its wealth, they must first put the citizens in a state of demoralization and defeat. Communism, Socialism, Marxism, and many other "isms" (which I have written about in a post on the side bar) are all enemies of freedom. Some of their talk sounds good, but once put into policy, is destructive.

Gayle said...

I loved your post.It made me feel so good and proud of being an American.And the song afterwards was the cherry on top of the cake:).Have a happy fourth, and May God bless you.

Gayle said...

I loved your post.It made me feel so good and proud of being an American.And the song afterwards was the cherry on top of the cake:).Have a happy fourth, and May God bless you.

LadyLydia said...

Gayle, When you are proud of your country for the right reasons, people in other countries will be proud of your country too. I have seen the openning ceremonies of international sports events where the hosting countrymen sing God Bless America as loudly as our own team. Other countries depend on us in many ways and we cannot give up the idea of America and the belief that makes it so.

LadyLydia said...

By the way, the quote that said the development of ideas into action was Jonathon Ives, conceptual mind behind many of Apple's products, including the MacBook Pro, iMac, MacBook Air, iPod, iPod touch, iPhone, and iPad.

LadyLydia said...

I'm already thinking of things to do with my can-do spirit, and today I hope to finish that picnic basket from a box. Also, each year I have my own parade, so as to avoid the crowded areas and other things. Everyone with a bike or a wagon or a stroller can decorate them in shiny hand made sparklers and come to the parade. This year I will be dressing in my Victorian costume and riding an adult three-wheeled bike. We live in the country, and the parade area will be on the grounds. going from the meeting house parking lot to my own front lawn.

Homeschool on the Croft said...

LadyLydia, I've been absent from your blog (all blogs, indeed) for quite some time - life gets busy sometimes! - but it was *so* good to visit again today, and remember all the things I loved about your blog.

You know, we visited the USA four years ago for our first time. We came from a position of loving your country, but having certain 'expectations' about the people (no doubt, gleaned from the media) ... but we left after four weeks in your country with not one single negative feeling or experience. We visited MI, VA, MD, DC, OH, and PA ... and we were bowled over by the kindness of your people, their cheerfulness, and their 'can-do' attitude.

May you never become as depressed as us over here :(

But... one word of caution to you all - and this is said from one who loves your country more than you can know: I am sometimes amazed at the lack of freedom in some areas you take for granted. It's time to *really* look hard at where you are compared with where you were pre-Civil War, and see just how influential central government is in your lives. In terms of homeschooling, we, here in the UK, have more freedom than almost all (if not all) of your states. Freedoms have a way of draining away drip by drip, unnoticed by too many.

Hang on to them! Fight for them! And be awake to those already gone.

God bless America. And God bless Scotland. He has blessed both our nations in the past, and we pray for His reviving power once more.
A x

Barb said...

Hi Ladylydia,
Happy 4th July.
Interesting post
We must all guard the Freedoms we have.
God Bless
Barb from Australia

Kathy A Delightsome Life said...

Hello Lady Lydia - so well written. I loved reading your post and was very much encouraged. I appreciate you so thoughtfully putting this together and can see it has blessed many!
I hope you have a blessed week,
Kathy

jill farris said...

We sat by the river last night to watch the city fireworks and, while we waited for them to start, my husband read the Declaration of Independence. He and I (like many Americans) have been so discouraged by the state of affairs in our country but listening to those strong words written by courageous men who put a price on their heads by signing that document, gave us strength and courage. May we all be as fearless as those who have gone before us!

Jill Farris

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. As a catholic we are finishing a fort night for freedom prayer campaign started by the bishops. The Obama health care act will not make exemptions for religious conscience in this mandate(making catholic institutions(and ALL religious organizations) perform sterilizations, abortion drugs, and contraceptions). Our country was founded on religious freedom. May all christians pray that we will be allowed to practice our Faith. God Bless America

Anonymous said...

Based on belief: the Constitution was based on belief, and it works today. Just as any country in the world can adopt those beliefs and be happy, safe, and blessed, we in the USA can practice those beliefs in our own small pocket of the country. When freedom and faith are prominent, it will be the ruler. I second the suggestion to read the wall builders site.

Anonymous said...

We have had the same natural resources during the same periods of time in history, as many other countries twice our size. It is because of freedom and faith, which our Constitution re-inforces, that the people of this land, have over the last two and a half centuries, been able and free to develop these resources. Now, because we are benefitting from them, people call us indulgent or selfish, and yet, it is private individual contributions of money that keeps a lot of the poorer countries fed. So the criticism of Americans and their enjoyment of life is unjustified. Everyone has the freedom to do as they like, restricted only by our moral and civil law, and with their freedom they are encouraged to develop and invent, and create.

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