Independence Day!

Two hundred and thirty-nine years ago, the original thirteen American colonies declared themselves a new nation and no longer a part of Britain … we became the United States of America. July 4, 1776 … Independence Day … a day commonly associated with parades and fireworks, family picnics and reunions, concerts in the park, baseball, cookouts and fun!

It certainly is a day to celebrate … we are free! We sing patriotic songs … The Star Spangled Banner, America The Beautiful, Yankee Doodle, This Land Is My Land, Battle Hymn of the Republic, God Bless America … just to name a few. Of all the songs we sing in celebration, God Bless America is my personal favorite. Written by Irving Berlin in 1918 (the same guy who penned ‘White Christmas’), it was introduced to the public during Kate Smith’s radio show on Armistice Day in 1938 and was an instant hit, becoming one of the most popular patriotic songs ever. Mr. Berlin was so overwhelmed with the popularity of the song, he started the God Bless America Fund and all royalties from this song were presented to the Girl and Boy Scouts of America; he never realized a dime for his song! What a wonderful ‘fireworks display’ from this Jewish immigrant whose mother used to say daily, ‘God Bless America’. She knew what she was talking about … in today’s age, we need to keep repeating her words …




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You’re probably wondering why I’m showing you all these apple boxes sitting on a couple of pallets. Well, remember the Boy Scouts I just talked about? This was an order placed by one of their chaplains … crosses that would be handed out to the Scouts who attended the Tomahawk Scout Reservation in Birchwood, WI (about 30 miles north of Rice Lake) this summer. Expected attendance: around 8000 campers … and these apple boxes hold the crosses that each camper is going to get.

These crosses were picked up the first of June and we wanted to share some heartwarming feedback we’ve received already from Chaplain Larry:

‘I am sending this to you from “Tomahawk Scout Reservation”. I have been here with the Boy Scouts for a week and a half now. I just want to share with you what a hit the crosses are with the boys, the leaders and the staff. The first week we (The Protestant Chaplain and myself) have given out 1,315 crosses to many, many thank yous from the recipients. Thank you so much for making so many people happy. Peace and Blessings to you. Deacon, Larry and Father David.’

Here’s the link to the camp itself, which is the second largest in the US; they welcome you to take the tour.


Recently, Ernie and I attended a cross raising. Our pastor built a 16’ cross from a balsam fir that was given to him and erected it in the front yard of his home. He and his wife live on a busy highway and the cross is partially hidden behind the tall pines which act as a barrier to the road; however, once this cross is spotted by passerbys, they will see it every time they drive by and remember what Jesus did for them. Beautiful cross … powerful significance! Here are some photos from that memorable event:

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Thank you to the following for helping us make God’s love visible, one cross at a time during the month of June:

Tomahawk Scout Reservation – Birchwood, WI
Salem Lutheran Church – Deerwood, MN
Lee – MN
Community Lutheran Church Women of the ELCA – Bullhead City, AZ
Pine River Baptist Church – Pine River, MN
Gerald – ND
Ruth – Ontario, Canada
St. Aloysius Catholic Church – Olivia, MN
Trinity Lutheran Church – Billings, MT
Estancia United Methodist Church – Estancia, NM
Darlene – MN
Lutheran Heritage Foundation – Macomb, MI for mission work in Sudan
Troy – MN
Carla – MN
Pastor Stanley – MN
Diane – MN
Joan – WI
Christian Singles Fellowship – Rochester, PA


I forgot to mention one of our Directors who had a birthday last month; Donna Johnson celebrated on June 14th. Happy belated birthday and much love, Donna!

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