Guest Post by Jenny Lorton – She returns for another guest post and I am always thrilled to read Jenny’s stories. This post includes a little a history and what patriotism means to her. Be inspired this Independence Day with a deep reflection on thankfulness and the blessings we have in the USA. God bless you all – have a safe and happy 4th of July!
Patriotism. Most people in the USA truly have some level of patriotism. I know I do. Mine started when I was a child, growing up in the Deep South. I was always taught to believe in our country.
My father is a Veteran of World War II. At 90 years old, he doesn’t like to talk much about the war. He says he saw things he would rather forget. And he wasn’t a willing “volunteer”, but he knew he had to do his patriotic duty. He was sent to the Pacific Arena and ended up in Japan.
I remember finding a few pictures in my Mother’s photo box of Daddy in uniform. I felt so proud of him. And that pride carried over into my teen years. I was in high school when the Vietnam War was ongoing. Some of my cousins were drafted into the war. And one in particular wrote me from Vietnam. I wish to this day that I had kept that letter. I have no idea where it is now. But the thing I remember most was that he cautioned me to not marry a serviceman. And that’s exactly what I did!
The founding fathers of the United States had a deep belief in God and country. Our laws, constitution, and all founding documents talk about why our country was to depend on the everlasting word of God. How far we have strayed from the ideal concept of the United States!
My first husband was in the Navy and we moved several times in his career (until our divorce). When he was stationed in San Diego, CA, he was onboard the USS Ajax, a repair tender. The ship was sent to a Pacific Fleet arena on deployment for several months. As we didn’t have children, we packed up our small apartment and I followed the ship to Japan. We spent three months there living in a Japanese house, several miles down the train track from Yokosuka. My first forage into how other people lived was from this vantage point. And what an eye-opener for a small town girl from Florida!
No central air conditioning or heat in the house. No carpet on the floors. No insulation in the walls. Only a small propane heater, used room by room. I realized that God had truly blessed me to be born in this time here in the US.
After his stint in San Diego, my husband was assigned to Subic Bay, Philippines. Another lesson about our blessings we have here in the United States. People lived in squalor right off the main gate of the Naval Base in Subic Bay. (Subic Bay is no longer a US Naval Base.)
The church my husband and I attended in San Diego sponsored a missionary pastor in the Philippines out of Manila. They asked us to deliver a van to the pastor for his church to use as a church bus. Needless to say, we didn’t know the rules and regulations of how to do this when we took the van. But our God always provides a way for His children and He provided a means for us to get the bus to the pastor.
When we contacted the pastor in Manila, he immediately invited us to his church for the weekend. We met him in Manila and then drove a couple of hours out of the city to a very rural area in the hills. The pastor was so proud to show us his church, which consisted of several posts with only a partial wall separating the main sanctuary (if you could call it that) from the kitchen area in the back. He had just installed a toilet when he learned that Americans were coming. The toilet was enclosed; however, it did not flush. You had to pour water into the bowl to flush it. There was only a faucet with cold water for the church. There was no pastor’s house attached. And for sleeping, we put two benches together with a plywood board over them to make a bed. And the pastor was so proud.
Am I patriotic? After seeing third-world living conditions, and how God blesses even people who, by our standards, have nothing, I believe with all my heart in the United States of America. God tells us to pray for our leaders and to “…be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” Romans 13:1
We may not agree with the politics, policies, morals, etc., of our country, but we still have the best country in the world. We are given a privilege here United States, and we should thank God every day for what we have!
Jenny is a retired civilian finance manager from the Air Force where she worked for 24 years. She resides in Warner Robins, Georgia with her husband and 3 dogs. In her spare time, Jenny is an artist and avid crafter. She enjoys helping and sharing the bible with others. A life-long dream has always been to write.