How Great

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In this month where we celebrate the birth of our nation, there is a lot to remember. Remember how great the courage of the signers of the Declaration of Independence was. How great was the resolve of the soldiers of the army that fought the British forces? How great was the French artist that designed and built the Statue of Liberty? What about the common folk who pushed the frontiers from the eastern seaboard to the Pacific Ocean? Don’t forget the laborers that balanced on steel girders to build some of the tallest buildings in the world, or the astronauts that found their way to the moon. Especially don’t forget the soldiers today who fight an entrenched enemy in two countries, risking their lives each and every day. If you haven’t been in their shoes, it is hard to imagine the stress, the fear, the loneliness, but more importantly, the pride they feel as they pursue their mission with duty, honor and courage. Give thanks for their service and hope and pray that, because of their work, the wars stay overseas and not on our shores.

How great is this country with its free enterprise system where anyone with the drive and desire to succeed has the opportunity to do so? How great is a country that will educate any of its children who want to take the initiative to learn? What fantastic rewards are available to the entrepreneur who is willing to sacrifice time, money and energy to pursue a dream. We have had tough times before and the American people have never failed to bring this country back to greatness. Greatness is not something to apologize for; it is a goal to work for each and every day. Why would this great nation want to be on a level playing field when our blood, sweat and tears have rewarded us with the upper hand? There is a lot to be fixed in this country, but if anyone can turn things around, the citizens of this United States of America can make things right.

How great is the challenge of planning for retirement security in these days of roller coaster markets? Should a newlywed plan for a family or wait until the employment numbers improve? Should a college student push to complete his/her education or slow down and wait for job markets to stabilize? Is it worth it to refinance your home while interest rates are low? How much will it take for you to maintain your lifestyle if you retire now versus retiring five years from now? What should I do about social security…take it early or wait until normal retirement age and receive a larger monthly income? Good questions, each of which could be (and may be) the base for a new column.  Once more, how great is the knowledge that with enough resourcefulness, enough innovation and enough backbone, in this country you can recover from any setback to become even more successful than before. This is a great place to live with so much opportunity for success.

Have you looked up at the night skies lately? Do you have any idea of how vast the universe is? If your God can create such an unbelievable system of planets, stars, galaxies and solar systems, don’t you think he can help when you are in need? There are so many promises in the Bible that I am just learning about. I have missed so much by my failure to know and study this book. Only in recent months have I realized how big a gap I created in my being by neglecting the written word of God. But the good news is that God doesn’t hold a grudge. He is going to let me catch up at my own pace and he will build in me the anticipation of his presence in what I do and say. He will share his grace, his love and his promises with me. What a deal! How great thou art!