Saturday, November 14, 2009

American Girl - Heritage and Blessing

As the monumental plate-glass door swung wide, the doorman greeted us, "Good morning, and welcome to the Ritz Carleton." Everyone was busy, the valets, the bellhops and the concierge desk workers - but not too busy to greet us as we made our way to the elevator; the hustle and bustle of downtown Boston just behind us.

Today was the big day for our youngest's proud parents. She was as ready as she could be to walk the runway for the "American Girl Fashion Show," she's been rehearsing for over the past few weeks. We were all a little on edge, the excitement, her shyness that gets the best of her under certain situations, and her age - just 6 a few days ago. It was bound to be emotional, and it was.

She did a great job!

If you have ever had an 8-year-old daughter, niece or granddaughter, it's unlikely that your unaware of the American Girl Dolls; now manufactured by Mattel. My older girls were aficionados some ten or twelve years ago.

The original dolls were from specific time periods in US history, and those ones are still available in the current catalog. Mattel has commercialized the line and added some non-historical dolls to round out the line - but the original intent remains the same - educating kids in US history.

Apart from the commercialism which has ruined everything from international travel to Christmas, for me, there is something interesting and personal about American Girl. Pleasant Rowland, creator of American Girl, went to the same college as my mother. Pleasant was a speaker at an event that my mother planned in Indiana. Currently, the two older girls work for American Girl in a Boston area store.

The dolls and their historical backgrounds have played a part of our family history as the fabric of our lives is woven into an intricate pattern called life. It is for these reasons, now that my mother has passed away, that today's events had an emotional impact.

The history of a number of different eras in America provided a common interest - something we shared that was fun and thought provoking. History is always affected by the battle between godliness, and sin. Without this conflict, Christians would not have come to the future America for religious freedom.

Peter said that "life is but a vapor." It's true, especially when we look at history.

I have done quite a lot of traveling and I now enjoy American history. I remember walking through Williamsburg, VA and being overwhelmed with the work that it took to create America. I walked along the banks of the James River and stood in front of the bell tower of the oldest church in the US. I have prayed in the Old North Church where Paul Revere's lanterns were hung that famous night. I have climbed the Pilgrims Tower in Provincetown, MA, marking some of the footsteps of America's earliest Christians. I have walked the battlefields of Saratoga and Bunker Hill and viewed the Liberty Bell up close. I have also inspected the quill pen signatures of Ben Franklin, Thomas Paine and John Hancock.

From Independence Hall in Philadelphia to the majesty of Yosemite Valley, CA, God is here in the foundations, and in the land we call America. I have had the privilege to pray and/or minister in forty-two states. I have been where the Indians worshiped the Great Spirit, and stood, looking at the awesomeness of the Grand Canyon.

How do I know that America is an amazing place? Because I have also walked through a Nazi Killing field in Norway and prayed for the salvation of souls in Brazil where some cities have been given to the work of the devil and Santeria.

God has shed His grace on America, but for the serious student of biblical prophecies, this will not always be the case.

Christians, if we see history as a series of purposeless events, then we have been deceived. Unlike the fictional American Girl stories that are only meant to help young girls understand other periods of US history, the Bible is meant to get us to understand these same events in perspective of God's eternal kingdom.

Everything that we do as individuals and as a church matters more now, than ever. Every failure of the church impacts more and more of the global population. How is that we get farther and farther from biblical principals and call it progress? Like Moses in the time of the Egyptians, we are to stand against that which is unlawful in the Kingdom of Heaven, not justify it or look for a different interpretation.

So tell me, why has ethics become a debate? Isn't the Bible clear enough?

Had it not been for a for a 9-year-old daughter who wanted to experience Williamsburg with her doll, I might have missed the most important history lesson of my life. One in which the Lord and I communed over our spiritual roots as a nation. It was emotional.

Had it not been for a 6-year-old, I would not have been in Boston thinking about my great country and sharing some of those thoughts with you.

Had it not been for a couple of friends that were not to busy to tell me about Jesus, I might have missed the most import lesson in life - making it impossible for me to leave a blessing and heritage for my American girls.

1 comment:

photogr said...

David:

Good story. The question on ethics caught my eye.

If all would follow the scriptures in the Bible we would not have the ethical or moral issues we now face in America( Crime, socialist infiltration into our government, and banning God in public places).

One doesn't have to be a devout Christian to realize those values laid down eons ago are just as practical today as they were back then. Probably more so today as those scriptures also speak about what is wrong with our society today.

Sadly the churches are silent or apathetic tending only to their own flocks when they should be outward focused to insure the afore mentioned issues are addressed in our own country.

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