Friday, July 6, 2012

" . . . Let Freedom Ring!"

2 Corinthians 3:17
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

It is our family's tradition to gather at my parents' home in the small, rural town of Oxford, Georgia, to celebrate the Fourth of July.  As my son, Daniel's, birthday is July 5th, we honor both his birth and the birth of our nation.

This year, in the wake of the recent passing of beloved actor and American icon, Andy Griffith, is dawns on me that the real town of Oxford is just like the make-believe Mayberry made famous by "The Andy Griffith Show".  It's a place steeped in southern tradition and enduring values.  Where people are never too busy to wave and smile, stop and chat, and lend a helping hand.

It is a community which upholds faith and family, flag and freedom on a day in, day out basis.  But, on July 4th, they proudly parade those beliefs for all to see.  Literally!

If you live in a large metropolitan area, the photos below may seem quaint, old-fashioned, or even out of touch with the times.

Think Mayberry.

Think of the hundreds upon thousands of small towns peppered throughout this great land which, more than likely, celebrate our Independence Day in the same way as Oxford does.  Places where each and every person is happy to show their patriotism  for and their pride in the grandest country on earth.





Will the generations to come enjoy the freedoms we hold so dear today?

Will you pray with me?
Our Founding Fathers knew, Lord, that true freedom begins with You.  They believed that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness were Your gifts to all humanity.  We thank You for guiding them in creating a Constitution which guarantees these freedoms.  We pray these will ever be honored and upheld in Jesus' name.  Amen.   

30 comments:

  1. Loved the photos! We live in a small town as well...I love small town parades and celebrations! Your granddaughter is absolutely beautiful by the way...though I'm sure I don't need to tell you that! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Jessica!
      Glad you share my love for the small town celebrations. There's nothing like it.
      And, thanks for the kind words about Virginia. She is one pretty little girl if I say so myself! :)
      Blessings!

      Delete
  2. What a great comfort family traditions can be Love the photos and the reflection.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for stopping by today, Lynne!
      So glad you enjoyed the post and the photos. I had so much fun taking these last Wednesday in spite of the heat. :)
      Blessings!

      Delete
  3. Great photos Martha! Looks like a town I would love to visit! I miss traditions, they are lacking living here in Japan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for stopping by today, RoseAnn!
      Glad you loved the photos. Yes, Oxford is your classic small town and just full of interesting history. You would like it!
      I know you miss U.S. traditions living in Japan. :(
      Blessings!

      Delete
  4. Thank you for sharing this wonderful day with us. It must have been fun watching the parade :)

    I pray with you that the Spirit may hold your country together ~ upholding freedom and justice wherever needed.

    Kisses to the little one with much love!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for coming by today, Melissa!
      So glad you enjoyed this post. Thanks, too, as always, for praying with me. I pray daily that God continues to bless this country and keep us strong in our freedoms.
      I will pass the love on to Virginia. :)
      Blessings!

      Delete
  5. Reminds me of being a kid and being in the parade as a brownie and girl scout every year. I still pass the cemetary where we ended the parade thanking those who gave us our freedom. I do miss that for my children,it holds a very special place in my heart. Thanks for the memories Martha.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for visiting today!
      I'm so glad this post brought back great memories for you. Similarly, the Oxford parade ends at the "Old Church" down the street from my parents' home. A band plays and everyone eats free watermelon. :)
      Blessings!

      Delete
  6. Belated happy 4th of July to you, Martha! And what a grand celebration! The lovely little lady on the last picture seems to be enjoying it *wink* :-)

    God bless <3 :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for coming by, Irene!
      It was a terrific celebration this year as always. The baby was more interested in running around on the large lawn at my parents' home than watching the parade. Maybe next year . . .
      Blessings!

      Delete
  7. lovely post. your pictures are dear to my heart.
    happy birthday to your son.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by, Annmarie!
      So glad you enjoyed both the post and the photos. I'll be sure to tell my son that a blogging buddy wished him a happy birthday. :)
      Blessings!

      Delete
  8. Hi Martha:
    I can certainly relate to this:
    It's a place steeped in southern tradition and enduring values. Where people are never too busy to wave and smile, stop and chat, and lend a helping hand.

    It's one of the reasons I love living in a small town myself. My friend, Cathy calls me a celeb, because I can't go far in Madison without someone stopping to say hello. Small town living is such a good thing. I wouldn't survive long in a large metropolitan area. I need a close knit community. Your photos could have been taken here as well.
    --
    Chris

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Chris!
      I'm so glad you could relate to this post, Chris, and that you enjoy your small town of Madison so much. Where we live also has a similar, small town feel, but we are much more spread out. Still, I can hardly go anywhere in town or to the grocery store without seeing a familiar face. It's a great feeling!
      Blessings!

      Delete
  9. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
    If we don’t return to our values, no; we’ll lose our liberty.

    Love the analogy of Mayberry to your Oxford town.
    Love you photos too, especially the one of babygirl!

    Check out this video Martha. I’ll bet it’s like Oxford too.
    http://www.lifevesting.com/blog/2012/07/mayberry/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Debra, thanks so much for coming by today!
      Yes, I totally agree - "if we don't return to our values . . . we'll lose our liberty". There is so much evil in this world, yet, so much of God's goodness, too. We need to hang on to that and promote that vision.
      Glad you liked the analogy and the photos of my precious one. I will be sure to check out the video.
      Blessings!

      Delete
  10. What great pictures, Martha! My grandparents town of Steamboat Springs is very similar - they let EVERYONE march in the parade - and every dog sports a red or blue bandana and joins in the fun!

    I grew up watching Andy Griffith with my dad - I think a few more Mayberry towns would be good for us. They are good places to be from and great places to go back to!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for visiting - welcome!
      The parade in your grandparents have in their town sounds marvelous, too. We don't usually have any dogs in the parade simply because it is so hot on the fourth here.
      Glad you enjoyed the photos, and that you have wonderful memories of watching Andy Griffith with your dad. Yes, we could certainly use more Mayberrys!
      Blessings!

      Delete
  11. Lovely pictures...glad for all the lovely and memorable times you have with your near and dear ones.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Janu!
      Glad you enjoyed the photos. And, yes, we had such an enjoyable time even though it was very hot out! :)
      Blessings!

      Delete
  12. My mother's people come from a very small town in the Ozarks of Missouri. I can relate to all those photos!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Galen!
      So glad you enjoyed the post and could relate to the photos. Hope you had a happy Fourth! :)
      Blessings!

      Delete
  13. That looks like a really fun place to celebrate the 4th. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for dropping by, Rachel!
      Yes, it always is a great place to be on the Fourth and to celebrate with my family. Hope your holiday was lots of fun!
      Blessings!

      Delete
  14. I love this. I miss Mayberry. I'm glad we still have the reruns.

    Love the patriotic Christmas tree. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Sandy!
      I'm glad for the reruns, too. This was one of my favorite shows when I was young.
      And, yes, the patriotic Christmas tree was a hoot - an ad for a cut-your-own tree farm near Oxford.
      Blessings!

      Delete
  15. Martha,

    Oxford reminds me of many small towns I visited as a kid. It was always a culture shock to go from Savannah to these Ga towns with no traffic light and only one store. I compared those towns to Mayberry and still do as the people are friendly and always willing to help a fellow human being.

    It's my belief that if the world held the values of our small towns it would be a much better place!! Love the pics...They bring back rich memories. Thanks for mentioning Andy he was an incredible giving man!! God bless, David!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for visiting, David!
      Yes, we will certainly miss Sheriff Andy, won't we? But, if we can keep Mayberry in our hearts, we will go a long way to spreading the good news of His kingdom on earth.
      Glad the photos brought back happy and meaningful memories for you!
      Blessings!

      Delete

Happy Birthday, Virginia Rose!

Psalm 139:14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Seven years ...