Tomorrow is the 4th of July. I am so grateful for this wonderful country that we live in and the freedoms that we still have. Over the years I have studied much about the founding of America, about the wars that we have had over the years with other countries as well as within our own country, and about some of the individual people and their reasons for coming and settling this country. I have also studied the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, the Bill of Rights, all of which I believe are inspired documents.

Freedom is an interesting thing. Before the creation of America, there were countries that granted their people some freedoms, but restricted others. America was the first country in which most of the people were free, and in which freedom was actually granted to all people through the constitution, however, some of those freedoms had to be reexamined and fought for again internally so that all could actually be free. I feel that the documents were more perfect (although not completely perfect) than the people, as is still the case today. I also find it interesting how the original writers were wise enough to understand that they were not perfect and that times change. That there needed to be the ability to add to or amend the constitution as time went on. The Bill of Rights however being unchanged, granting certain inalienable rights to all of us as citizens.

As I ponder on Freedom, my mind also ponders on Agency. The ability that God has given us to choose for ourselves how we will live our lives. Along with agency comes accountability. God originally gave us commandments and instructions on how to best live our lives, how to find true happiness and joy in life, and how to return to Him. But He doesn’t and never will force us to do any of those things. We can choose whatever path we want to follow. But we have to be accountable for our actions. Every action has a consequence, good or bad, that’s how life is set up. I am grateful God created cause and effect in nature so that we could better understand cause and effect with our choices. Gravity is a law that cannot simply be ignored or done away with because we don’t want to agree with it or deal with it today. Hot is a part of nature that cannot be ignored. You cannot touch a hot stove and decide you’d rather it not burn you. There are all sorts of nature consequences that cannot be avoided simply because we don’t want to deal with them. Likewise, there is a good way to live our lives, with good consequences, and a not-so-great way to live our lives, with consequences that we may not really want to deal with but will always come eventually.

Although our Founding Fathers were not perfect, as none of us are, they created inspired documents that when lived by, creates the best possible outcome for happiness and success for individuals, as well as for the country as a whole. I am grateful for those in our checks and balances system of government who have read these documents, who understand them, who value freedom, and who aren’t afraid to uphold and amend as needed to maintain freedom. I am also grateful for the men and women who have offered their lives in the defense of our freedoms near and far. Freedom is a fragile thing that needs to be attended to regularly and protected, not only by those in political office, or fighting on the front lines, but by everyday people in our homes, our communities, our social media platforms, everywhere. We need to stand up and be a force for good. I love The United States of America, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to live here. I hope you all have a safe and happy 4th of July weekend!


My art gives me an opportunity to meet many people, sometimes those people come from different countries. I enjoy talking to these people, just to get a better idea of their lives, culture, and what they think and believe in. My goal is not to judge those people, but to learn about them and their countries. I had that chance a couple of years ago at a Christmas bazaar I was working at. The booth next to me was selling massage items, one for your eyes, and one fairly portable one, but not hand held, that worked for you shoulders and back. There were 2 men working in this booth, and as the day progressed we talked quite a bit as it was not a super busy bazaar. I found out one was from Israel and one from Ireland. I enjoyed working next to them, they were nice people.

As we talked, we started to talk about freedoms and what it meant for regular people like us. We talked about the bazaar that we were at that very day, and several like it that they had participated in, and that I had participated in. Their comments were very interesting to me, and I have thought a lot about them since. The one from Israel made most of the comments and had the most questions. He asked me what my thoughts were on the capitalist system, and I told him I thought it was the best system for the general population, as it gives everyone the right to earn in a way that they desire, if they are motivated enough to work hard, and to keep the majority of what they earned. When I asked them their thoughts, he share his experiences with me.

In Israel at the time, he would never have been allowed to sell anything that wasn’t government sanctioned. There would be no vendors like me, selling art or products that I made, without me jumping through a bunch of regulatory hoops. He said, even if I made it through those hoops, then the government would take the profits and give me back what they felt like I needed or had earned. He said it wasn’t much. These men worked for a larger company, but they were well paid, they enjoyed meeting people, and they enjoyed the freedom to move around and do as they wished. I am grateful to have met these men, to see from their eyes what it was like for them, where they came from, and for the appreciation it gave me for the freedoms that I enjoy.

So, what does the word “Stand” have to do with any of that? We need to stand up for our freedoms. Whether it be in our blogs, or in our social media, or wherever, stand up and be counted. I think there is a huge amount of people out there, working hard, and “keeping their heads down” so to speak, hoping everything will level out sooner or later. But I don’t see that happening. So, today I will tell you, and I hope you can pass my experience along to other that you know, and that you will share your experiences with me, and with the world.

I stand for the Constitution of the United States. I know it’s not perfect, but it’s more perfect than any other government document that has been written in history. I have studied it. The founding father’s weren’t perfect men, but they knew that. The Constitution is written as a living document. But the basics, the bones of the Constitution should not be messed with. I stand for the Bill of Rights. I have read and studied them. I believe that if we all had read and studied them, we wouldn’t have nearly so many disagreements in our country. I do not believe that the rights set forth in the Bill of Rights should be infringed upon.

I stand for the Human family, and believe that every human being should be treated with the same respect as any other. That’s not to say there aren’t bad people in this world, but I think that most people are good. Most people are just trying to make it through this life, just like I am. Most people, when given an opportunity, will help rather than hinder a fellow human being. There are so many examples of this if you’re willing to look, and your skin color, your ethnicity, your yearly income, doesn’t matter. It’s what’s in your heart, and most people have a good heart. That doesn’t make any of us perfect, but I think there’s a lot of people trying.

I stand for God. I believe in God, I believe that He is our Heavenly Father, and that He truly loves us. I believe He has given us guidance and instruction to assist us in becoming better than we could be by ourselves, and that if we strive to follow that guidance and instruction, we can improve every day. I also believe that we need to allow each other to improve. Sometimes people make huge improvements, and the people around them won’t let go of the person they were, and it makes it hard to stay the new, better person. Allow people opportunity to change and become better.

I stand for the family unit. There are some saying that it’s not important to have a family unit anymore. That the government, or agencies could raise our children better. There are others who think parents aren’t important, one or both. I believe that every child has the right to a family, with parents who are working hard to help that child succeed in life. It’s a commitment of time and energy, a lot of both, but it’s a commitment that no one else can do as well as that parent, for that child. No parent is perfect. We are learning as we go, just as the kids are learning as they go. But working together as a family changes lives in ways no agency or government could ever accomplish. The love and concern that a parent has can never be duplicated.

I stand for personal responsibility. I don’t think it’s the government’s job to tell us what to do, when to do it, or what to think about it. We need to do our own research. We need to examine both sides. We have a responsibility to be well informed in anything we stand for. But, as stated earlier, I stand for the human family. No matter my opinion, or your opinion, we need to be respectful to one another and find ways to work together for the greater good of our society as a whole. Something to remember when working together for the common good though, is that just because you or I believe something, doesn’t mean that our way is the best way, or the only way. It’s when we can see each other, when we can open our minds to new possibilities and solutions, different than either side has previously thought of, that we will come to the best solutions to the problems facing the human family. I know there are solutions out there for every problem that will benefit both sides of any situation, but when we get entrenched in our side and aren’t willing to look at anything else, that’s when solution aren’t forth coming.

Whether you agree or disagree with me on any point, is not really the point here. We each need to determine where we stand, because if we don’t, we will fall for anything that comes along. We need to be firm in what we believe so that the shifting tides of every new idea don’t keep shifting us around. And we need to be willing to look for those alternative ideas that benefit everyone. There is a lot happening in the world today that wants us to be constantly stirred up about every little thing going on. We can choose to be stirred, or we can choose to stand. I would love to hear your ideas on any of these subjects, or hear what you stand for as well.

Freedom I love this flag. Click to see the video. Thank you Spencer Murray for this awesome video!

I wasn’t sure what to write about today, but being Independence Day, I decided on Freedom. During Church today we had some great testimonies about freedom, but they were expressed from service men. People who had served our country, one in particular who has been deployed several times, and seen the horrific nature of war, and helped those injured in our military, who fought for me, who fought for you, who fought for freedom. Freedom takes on a whole new meaning when we understand the cost, on a personal level and how fragile it is.

I have been reading the constitution of the United States recently, and I am in awe at how well thought out this document is. The writers of the Constitution knew they were not perfect, knew they could never think of every contingency, so they allowed for updates and changes to be made. But the basic Constitution and Bill of Rights, I believe, is one of the most perfect documents that has ever been written by man. I believe they were inspired by God. There is a lot of misinformation going on in the media right now. I believe the people feeding our nation this misinformation may have read it enough to twist it, but the people receiving the misinformation and spreading it can not have ever studied it, otherwise they would be able to see through the lies, and therein lies the reason why our freedom is so fragile and is under attack today.

So, what are my thoughts on my country, on my freedoms? I believe America is the greatest nation on earth. I don’t believe our people are better than any other people on earth, but I believe that the United States is the only country on earth that has (or has had) true freedom. I agree with those who say that if America falls, there will be nowhere left on earth to flee for safety from tyranny. I believe in the Constitution, and that if followed, it allows all people, regardless of race, color or creed, the basics of human rights and dignity, and the freedom beyond that to either make something of their life or not. It places on the people the consequences of their own actions rather than imposing consequences from bad government decisions, or radical leaders who are only invested in their own personal interests. I believe it is up to each generation to uphold and sustain those freedoms by vote, and the right to peaceful protest, when necessary. But I do not believe that lawless riots, harming people or their businesses, or hate and censorship is the way to change laws or influence government leaders. I also believe that the first and second amendments should never be infringed upon, in any way, and that these are rights basic to a government for the people and by the people. I love my country, I love my freedoms. I will stand and defend them. Will you?