Let Your Heart Swell

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Erika Bentsen shares an inspiring post in celebration of Independence Day.

O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good. . . . And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south. —Psalm 107:1,3 (kjv)

It’s the savory smell of tri-tip barbecuing over mountain mahogany. It’s the sight of long tables loaded down with countless macaroni or potato salads, baked beans, casseroles, fruit and veggie platters. It’s an overflowing basket of rolls. It’s the pies and homemade ice cream waiting on ice in the shade. It’s the boisterous din of conversation among country neighbors, almost clannish and isolated the rest of the year, coming together en masse to celebrate Independence Day.

It’s that brief, pivotal lull between irrigating and haying season in our valley; the last chance for neighbors to get together and socialize before the long, arduous process of gathering and storing forage against the coming winter. Most of us won’t see each other for months, if not until next year.

As the dinner triangle clangs, there’s a whoop of joy and laughter. We bow our heads as one for the blessing. I steal a glance over the assembled crowd: cowboys and Indians. Retirees from California. Ranch kids. Old-time families and recent imports. Dear friends and complete strangers. Rich and poor. All races and all walks of life. Each of us came to this valley in pursuit of the American dream. My heart swells with pride at our great nation.

Dear Lord, thank You for giving our forefathers the dream to live in freedom and unity, and for the men and women who are constantly fighting for our right to keep it alive.
Digging Deeper: 2 Cor 3:17; Gal 5:13 
Written by Erika Bentsen

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