Out on Bittersweet Farm it’s July 4th week and we are in the heart of summer now. It was a cool, wet, beautiful June and I loved every single minute of it, but now the summer feels and looks like summer altogether. We will pine for these long, warm evenings in a few short months.
Sunday morning I took a walk and a couple of noisy Sandhill Cranes announced my presence loudly to any creature who cared to know. They walked steadily away calling over their shoulders in their loud, rattle-like call.
Our neighbor, Cindy who owns the land north and east of us, is having a beautiful home built over on Nantucket Drive, just beyond the big barn east of us. I have mixed feelings about it. It will continue to increase our property value—it will sell for a three-quarters of a million dollars, but it will increase the number of people with whom we share this beautiful, bucolic little place on the earth.
It’s for sale, if you want to be our neighbor. I promise we won’t intrude though I do need to warn you, there are the kind of people around here who will leave zucchini on your back porch when you’re not home or bing over boxes of red, garden-ripe tomatoes big as as softballs toward summer’s end.
Our old farmhouse on Bittersweet has been up-graded to include central air—a welcome luxury during the brief but beautiful summer months in Michigan. The big window in our necessary room upstairs just off the bedroom looks out to the north, where, this time of year, all night you can see fireflies blinking their willingness to mingle. Out in the near north field every morning and every night the deer are in their pretty brown spring coats again. It’s a welcome sight to me. The winter coats are drab. Birds are busy doing what they do and providing welcome color and music among the walnuts and maples that shade our acres.
The grass is growing so fast, if you don’t tend to it quickly you could cut it and wind-row it and bail it. We keep it neatly clipped then sit back on the porch and admire our work with satisfaction. I my line of work you never get the feeling that your job is done, so there’s the lawn to tend, evidence to all who drive past of our diligence and ability to finish things.
July 4th Week
It is the first week of July and Thursday we will celebrate our great nation’s independence. On the way home from storytelling in Kalamazoo last night I saw a guy with a huge American flag mounted on the back of his pick-up-truck. I smiled. Are you patriotic? Does your heart beat fast for love of country when you see Old Glory snapping in the blue summer sky?
Lois draped a bright American flag on the side of our farmhouse facing the road. It covers a third of the house and our youngest daughter is named America, so there’s that. God bless America—and we pray, we pray that Americans will once again honor God and His timeless word. America is a wonderful country but she has deep flaws only God can mend.
One day we will leave this country to our grandchildren. This nation’s decline into anarchy against God and his law has been grievous to any who really know and love God.
We have debated and disregarded the clear commands of God regarding human life and sexuality.
We have been guilty of race-based hatred.
We have lived in relative luxury, ease, and comfort while many in our world have died in poverty and oppression.
We have turned aside from many evils we did not want to untangle or understand or resist.
We have condemned others for sins, and practiced “forgivable” versions of them ourselves.
We have sinned against God and called others to repent.
We have elevated minor things and ignored great moral evils.
Even great church bodies debate and divide over things plainly taught in the Bible. It is common for people to claim that they know and love God and boldly disobey and distort the plain teaching of the Bible turning the truth of God in-side-out and up-side-down to fit their own will.
I don’t think God will bless America again until she repents and returns to Him, until once again she trembles at His word. When I read Deuteronomy 28 I see the heart of God to bless his people, I see the importance of obedience. I see the curse that comes to those who willfully rebel and I’m grieved to say it, but I see America, the land that I love.
Go to the parade this week. Sip some cold, sweet lemonade out on the porch. Bake an apple pie. Take in the fireworks or a baseball game. Sing the Star-Spangled Banner with your hand over your heart, but don’t forget to go to church and thank God for His great mercy on America and quietly get on your knees and pray that she will return to God before it is too late.
July 1, 2019