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Monday, July 30, 2007


I recently read about this quiz about the "Christian faith". I took it and found that I need to be able to more accurately define the essentials of the Christian faith in order to effectively defend it.

The answers follow below in blue. My hope is that this will spur you on to know what you believe.

Caveat: You have to answer from memory. No internet/Bible/commentary helps allowed. Note: This is NOT intended to be an exhaustive doctrinal overview, just a few example questions for Christians.

1. Name the Ten Commandments... in order :)

2. Name the 12 Apostles

3. Give a concise biblical definition of sin

4. What is God?

5. What offices does Christ execute as our Redeemer?

6. How do we partake of the redemption purchased by Christ?

7. What does the term, “effectual calling” mean?

8. Give a concise definition of “justification.”

9. Give a concise definition of “sanctification.”

10. What duty does God require of man?

11. Where is the moral law summed up in the Scriptures?

12. What words from God are the preface to His Ten Commandments? Also, where in Scripture are the Ten Commandments found?
13. What do we pray for in the First Petition of the Lord’s prayer?
14. What about the Second Petition?

15. The Third?

16. The Fourth?

17. The Fifth? The Sixth?

18. How does the ministry of the Law bring us toward Christ?

19. How does the ministry of the Gospel help you in your accursed state?

20. What is prayer?

21. What is repentance?

22. What is meant by the “communion of the saints”?

23. What is the Bible?

Okay, okay, I’ll stop there. Answers can be found below.

Keep scrolling down...

1. The Ten Commandments

1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.
3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
4. Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy.
5. Honor thy father and thy mother.
6. Thou shalt not kill.
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
8. Thou shalt not steal.
9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
10. Thou shalt not covet.

2. The Twelve Apostles

Simon Peter, James, John, Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James, Thadeus, Simon, Judas

3 . Sin is any lack of conformity to or transgression of the Law of God.

4. God is a spirit, infinite, eternal and unchangeable in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth.

5. Christ executes the office of Prophet, Priest and King.

6. We are made partakers of the redemption purchased by Christ by the application of it to our hearts by the Holy Spirit.

7. Effectual calling is a gracious work of the Spirit, whereby he causes us to embrace Christ freely, as he is offered to us in the gospel.

8. Justification is an act of God’s free grace in which he pardons all our sins and accepts us as righteous in His sight, only because of the righteousness of Christ, imputed to us and received by faith alone.

9. Sanctification is a work of God’s free grace, wherein we are renewed in the whole man, after the image of God and are enabled more and more to die to sin and live unto righteousness.

10. The duty that God requires of man is obedience to His revealed will.

11. The Moral Law is summarized in the Ten Commandments.

12. The preface to the Ten Commandments is found in these words: “I am the Lord thy God which has brought thee out of the land of Egypt and out of the house of bondage.”
The Ten Commandments are found in Exodus 20:2-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21

13. In the First Petition of the Lord’s Prayer, Hallowed be thy name, we pray that God’s name would be held holy among us.

14. The Second Petition of the Lord’s Prayer is, Thy Kingdom come,. The Kingdom of God comes indeed by itself but in this petition we pray that it would come unto us also.

15. In the Third Petition of the Lord’s Prayer, Thy Will Be Done, the good and gracious will of God is done indeed without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it may be done among us as well.

16. The Fourth Petition is, Give us this day our daily bread. God gives us daily bread without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that He would lead us to know it and receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.

17. The Fifth Petition is, And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. In this petition that our Father in heaven would not look upon our sins nor on their account deny our prayer, for we are worthy of none of the things for which we pray. Neither have we deserved them. But we pray that he would grant them all by grace for we daily sin much and really deserve nothing but punishment. So will we also heartily forgive and readily do good to those who sin against us. The Sixth Petition is, And lead us not into temptation. God indeed tempets no one but we pray in this petition that God would guard and keep us so that the devil, the world and our flesh may not deceive us nor seduce us into disbelief, despair and other great shame and vice. And though we are attacked by these things, that still we may finally overcome and obtain the victory through Jesus Christ.

18. The ministry of the Law brings us to Christ by bring me to know my sin and the wrath of God against me for it.

19. The ministry of the Gospel brings us to Christ by teaching us the value and virtue of the death of Christ and the riches of His grace to lost sinners, by revealing the promise of grace to such and ministering the Spirit of grace to apply Christ and his promise of grace to me, and to keep me in Him.

20. Prayer is the calling upon God in the name of Christ, by the help of the Holy Spirit, according to the will of God.

a grace of the Spirit, whereby I despise my sins and myself for them, and confess them before the Lord, and mourn after Christ for the pardon of them, and for grace to serve Him in newness of life.

22. The communion of the saints is the fellowship of the church in the blessings of the covenant of grace.

23. The Word of God which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. It is God breathed, without error and is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify God and enjoy Him.

Here ends our quiz. The answers are paraphrases taken from both the Westminster Confession of Faith and Luther’s catechism. There are many evangelical Christians who could not answer most of these most basic questions with any clarity because they have never been taught the basics. Before we worry about what rock song played during a certain movie, we should know what we believe and why. The questions are not intended to be a complete summary of Christian doctrine, just a sampling.

Graced Again

"Every age has its own characteristics. Right now we are in an age of religious complexity. The simplicity which is in Christ is rarely found among us. In its stead are programs, methods, organizations and a world of nervous activities which occupy time and attention but can never satisfy the longing of the heart. The shallowness of our inner experience, the hollowness of our worship, and the servile imitation of the world which marks our promotional methods all testify that we, in this day, know God only imperfectly, and the peace of God scarcely at all.

If we would find God amid all the religious externals we must first determine to find Him, and then proceed in the way of simplicity. Now as always God discovers Himself to "babes" and hides Himself in thick darkness from the wise and the prudent. We must simplify our approach to Him.

We must strip down to essentials (and they will be found to be blessedly few). We must put away all effort to impress, and come with the guileless candor of childhood. If we do this, without doubt God will quickly respond. When religion has said its last word, there is little that we need other than God Himself. The evil habit of seeking God-and effectively prevents us from finding God in full revelation. In the "and" lies our great woe. If we omit the "and", we shall soon find God, and in Him we shall find that for which we have all our lives been secretly longing."

A W Tozer, The Pursuit of God, 1948

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Truth or Consequences

Well, I've resisted the urge to post about Harry Potter, because I have friends that sit on both sides of the "issue" whether or not HP is "good" or "bad" for you. Some contend that it's fantasy like C.S. Lewis, other contend that stories like Harry Potter open the door to the occult.

In a recent article that I read, a Barnes & Noble bookstore held a "Divination Party" to herald the latest Harry Potter book's arrival.

The "Midnight Magic Costume Party" was held last weekend at a Barnes & Noble outlet in Augusta, Maine. CCL spokesman Mike Hein says the event included fortune-telling using a brand of occult tarot cards called "Gypsy Witch." He also says that the event was held in the "Children's Department" with several hundred children in attendance.

According to Hein, store employees also used the book Cards of your Destiny, a book that shows how to use birthdays to tell fortunes, for the pre-teens and teens who waited in line for an opportunity to experience what the store literally labeled as "divination" by having their tarot fortunes read.

It's unfortunate that adults are helping to blur the already gray lines that our kids are seeing between what is good and what is evil.

Some say that kids aren't affected by this. I don't agree. Whenever kids go to see a martial arts movie, they come out kicking and chopping each other with a "Hiyaah!". Likewise, I know kids that have been to these movies and come back home, only to make "wands" out of sticks to use with their "spells" while they are playing.

Couple this with "real witchcraft" that the stores are pushing and a once make-believe story becomes plausible possibility for a child. I personally know because I was one of those kids., but that's a story for another time.

God has made it abundantly clear in Deuteronomy 18:9-11 that we are to have nothing to do with dark arts.

9 When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. 10There shall not be found among you any one that makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that uses divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch.
11Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.

Anyway, my point is to get people thinking and to square that thinking up with what the Word of God says, because, if you don't stand for the Truth, you'll eventually pay the consequences.

Because Truth matters,

I'll A Servant Be, Part II

While I was writing my previous post, I was reminded of a song that I heard a few years ago for the first time. It goes like this...

Oh, servant King
You rule and reign from heaven's throne
And yet you came
To serve a broken world

I want to know
This kind of love this kind of grace
Lord, guide my steps
And I'll a servant be

To live within your kingdom
Knowing that the great are these
I'm walking as a humble pilgrim
I'll a servant be

I'll take my cross
And walk the path your feet have trod
To know your ways
I'll a servant be

To live within your kingdom
Knowing that the great are these
I'm walking as a humble pilgrim
I'll a servant be

And though you bless beyond all

And satisfy my weary soul
I simply want to be like Jesus
To be a servant in this world

To live within your kingdom
Knowing that the great are these
I'm walking as a humble pilgrim
I'll a servant be

It is my heart's desire to serve the Most High God with my ENTIRE life and to be able to have the privilege to be called His servant. Today, our church had a rummage sale. We went and picked up some great deals, all the while helping the church reduce their building debt.

After the sale was over, my youngest son, Matt and I came back to help load up the leftovers and take them to either Goodwill of the town dump. We were blessed enough to have a few of the "leftovers" given to us, such as a dresser for the girls room, etc., but we had a great time helping load the trucks and move tables and furniture back to the rooms where they go, all the while learning about Christian service.

In looking at what the Youth were doing yesterday and what Matthew and I did today, I hope that these actions drive home the importance of service to my children.

I'll A Servant Be

Today is the second day that our oldest son is away. George went with our church youth group to Kentucky. It a momentous occasion for us for several reasons. My sweetheart also talks about this on her blog :)

First, it's the first time that he's been away from us in a different state for a length of time. It's a time where we as parents have to let go a bit more and let him spread his teenaged wings a bit.

Secondly, it's his first mission trip. I prayed that God would use him to do His will while he was gone.

The youth group went to work clearing and hauling brush for some elderly people on Friday. Today, they are visiting Kentucky Kingdom.

Before George left, we talked about him being an ambassador for Jesus on this trip. He was genuinely excited to go and help (and have fun). I was genuinely excited, yet worried. He IS a teenager after all. Hey, I was a teenage boy at one point in my life. I KNOW the type of trouble that one can get into. My thoughts of him sitting around the campfire singing Kum-Ba-Yah with the others, were tempered with thoughts of him running around at 2AM toilet-papering the campground with the other boys.

Anyway, I pray that the kids were a shining example of the love of Christ in the area where they went. Actually, Diana had a chance to speak with him yesterday and he said that they lady that they helped told them that they were a blessing to her. That makes a Dad proud, to know that one of his children has made an impact in someone else's life for God's glory.

I look forward to hearing all about the trip when he returns home.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday!

Today, July 23rd, is my sweetie's birthday. Diana, if you read this, I want to let you knw how special you are to me. Your love and compassion are an ever-present source of inspiration for me and our children.

Thank you for being a wonderful wife to me and mother to our children.

Happy Birthday, Sweetheart!

Love Always,

Thursday, July 19, 2007

What's the "Purpose"?

Here are some interesting quotes that I came across today that I wanted to share...

"I happen to know people who are followers of Christ in other religions." —Rick Warren

"I have known many people who believe in the Messiah of Jesus, regardless of what religion they are, because they believe in him. It's about a relationship, not a religion." —Rick Warren

"I thought, you know where people are moving in they probably need new houses of worships, temples, and synagogues, and churches, and stuff like that." —Rick Warren

"The church is bigger than any organization in the world. Then you add in Muslims, you add in Hindus, you add in all the different religions, and you use those houses of worship as distribution centers, not just for spiritual care but health care." —Rick Warren

"I could take you today to a million villages ... they got a church. Or they got a synagogue. They got something. They got a house of worship. The church is the biggest organization in the world.... And I came up with a thing called the P.E.A.C.E. Plan. When Jesus sent the disciples out, he said, 'When you go into a village, you find the man of peace.' Now this person doesn't have to be a Christian.... You find the person of peace, and then you begin to do the P.E.A.C.E. Plan ... Now why am I telling this to you? Because we're going public with it this next year in 2006.... And I believe it will change the world." —Rick Warren

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A Willing Slave?

Tonight at church, we had our usual Bible study. We are going through Romans and spent a great deal of time on Romans 1:1 tonight.

Romans 1:1 says, "Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God," (NASB)

In looking at this passage, Paul, who was a Jew (by religion), understood the concept of a bondservant.

Exodus 21:2-6 says that "If you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve for six years; but on the seventh he shall go out as a free man without payment. If he comes alone, he shall go out alone; if he is the husband of a wife, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master gives him a wife, and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall belong to her master, and he shall go out alone. But if the slave plainly says, 'I love my master, my wife and my children; I will not go out as a free man,' then his master shall bring him to God, then he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him permanently. "

Unpacking this and looking at the first part of verse 1, Paul realizes that he is set free in Christ, but loves Jesus and desires to stay with him and willingly be His servant.

The rest of the verse looks at the fact that as an apostle, he was called, set apart and sent. All of this was for Gospel of Christ.

Our pastor pointed out that this verse is often overlooked. It's really fascinating to me when I begin to realize the depth of God's Holy Word; and that's just one verse!

Anyway, in looking at this and the meaning of verse one, a question comes to mind, "Who, or what are you a slave to?"

Because Truth matters,

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Potty-mouth Postmodern Preachers

Having recently read an article from Christian Worldview Network that has prompted me to write about some of the vulgarity that I've seen in some modern churches.

I've attended churches where one of the pastoral staff says things like "Our motto could be, 'Our Church Doesn't S**k'" or FBC means "Fr**kin' Big Church". I've had people sitting next to me turn to me and say, "Can you say that in church?" Sadly, I guess some can.

When I spoke to the pastoral staff on several occasions, responses such as "Oh, that's just a difference in style" were the typical response.

Philippians 1:27 says "Only let your conversation be as it becomes the gospel of Christ..." Contrary to what people think the above examples are not becoming a Christian, let alone a pastor.

The article that I read said, "It's never just a word. Words have meaning because they convey ideas, and ideas have consequences. The moral squalor rampant in American popular culture today continually worsens because people in this country have slowly, over time, lost their capacity for moral outrage. All too often, that outrage and indignation is turned on those who actually have the guts to object to the filth. Narrow minded bigots. Blue-nosed fundamentalists. We have a right to watch this stuff. You don't like it? Don't watch it! Who cares about what your children have to hear and look at? Who cares about innocence anymore? What an outdated concept. This is America! Sadly, it really is America, and what the neighbor kids watch does have a direct impact on our own children."

I can testify to this in that I've been on the receiving end of being called narrow minded, etc. for sticking to and calling people out to biblical methods of morality.

The article goes on to say that, "Worse still, many emerging pastors today are embracing the idea that foul language is a great way to engage the culture. A recent church baptism training video (intended to look like an MTV farce) features a pastor in a pool, preparing for a baptism, when someone does a cannon ball right behind him. The church thought it would be funny to bleep out what the pastor says, as though he is cussing. When the church starts becoming like the culture to supposedly win people, nowadays that includes the use of foul language. On the Christian news blog that I publish, I cannot even link to some church sites due to their use of vulgar language and their promotion of Hollywood filth. I frequently have to delete comments from Christian readers who use words like "su***", and "cr**". Christians are joining the great stampede toward Gomorrah, and they justify it every step of the way. Those who oppose this kind of speech by believers are told to get over it.

I refuse to get over it. We are commanded in Scripture to be holy in our conversation, as that which becomes a child of God. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. If our conversation is peppered with vulgar and coarse speech, we have a serious heart problem that needs to be addressed. When we are made new in Christ, old things are passed away and all things are new. That includes our language. America's cultural darkness is worsening. Let the light of Christ shine ever brighter in the blackness as we imitate our Savior in all areas of conduct."

Amen! We cannot continue to stand by and let vulgar swill spew from our pulpits without speaking up. We are not to be imitators of the world, but be salt and light to it. What is better, people coming to church because they feel needed and that "we (the church) are just like everyone else" or people coming to church because we are salt in the world? Salt is a preservative, a healer and it leaves the hearer of the Word thirsty for more. People should be thirsty for what they need and don't have, not comfortable in that "we are all the same." I am not the same. I was a sinner, but Jesus brought me out of that lifestyle, not letting me stay there and be comfortable. I became a Christian, not because the Church was cool, hip or releveant, but because of the Word of God and the leading and conviction of the Holy Spirit.

Because Truth matters,

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Happy 4th Birthday, Sweetheart!

Happy Birthday!

Today is Juliana's 4th birthday and we are celebrating it in Florida with her grandparents and cousins. It was the first birthday that they've attended of hers.

The picture to the left is Jules doing the "cha-cha" in her patriotic (She's the only July birthday aside from Diana) dress.

She is singing...
I can cha-cha"
"You can cha-cha"
"Everybody cha-cha, to the cha-cha beat"

It's a song that she heard at Meg and Matt's school performance that she likes to sing.

Anyway, today was a great day of love and family time.
I love you, Juliana! Happy 4th Birthday!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Kids are funny

OK, I have to tell you something funny. You know how kids are, right? Ok, good.

Yesterday the kids were asking me if we were driving straight through to Florida or if we were going to stop along the way. The conversation went something like this...


"Yes, dear children?"

"Are we driving straight through to Grandma and Papa's or are we going to stop somewhere?"

"No, we will definately be stopping. I have to work part of tomorrow and Mommy and I will be up late. As a matter of fact, so will you all."

"But, why not? We'll be rested. We'll take a nap."

"Um... yes, but you won't be the ones driving."

Kids say the funniest things. Well, the countdown is on. I leave work in a few hours and away we go.

Today, we'll be packing it all up (well, I guess that we should've packed sooner) and head to Florida.

[A big shout out to Mike and Wendy for taking care of the house and animals for us :) Remember, stay away from my Oreos. Well, OK, maybe a few, but no milk!... lol]

Anyway, I know that Diana is very anxious about seeing her mom. I'm praying that all goes well and everyone has a good time together. I pray that even though we'll only be there for a few days, that we get to laugh and love with her parents and that they continue to leave strong impression in our childrens hearts.

I never really had a chance to know my grandparents. My paternal grandfather died before I was born and we rarely saw my paternal grandmother and step-grandfather.

I didn't get to meet my maternal grandfather and didn't meet my maternal grandmother until she was in her eighties.

Three of our children grew up with Diana's parents. This trip will be the 1st birthday party that Diana's parents will get to celebrate with Jules, so that will be very special!

Familes can be strange sometimes, but I pray that ours continues to grow closer and closer.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Real Relevance Revealed

Relevant – rel-e-vant adj. relatable. Culturally Relevant. – n. 1. Causes middle aged pastors to wear spiky hair, un-tuck their shirts and wear flip-flops. 2. Hawaiian shirts. 3. Dimming the lights at church. 4. Being offensive to Jesus in order not to offend culture. 5. Putting the consumer’s needs over Biblical truth.

* By the way, the cartoon to the left is courtesy ""

In my jaunts around the Internet, I read several blogs; some are really good, while others just seem to make it their aim to annoy Christians. Blogs about about "the culture", "being relevant" and "reaching the unchurched". One recent post that I read spewed it's typical vitriole towards "regular Christians", you know the ones who don't drink Starbucks while singing U2 in the "auditorium".

Jesus came to seek and save the lost; that's an absolute fact. Why is it that some pastors and churches ONLY concentrate on the lost? Speaking of that, why is the only way that they concentrate on reaching the lost... um, unchurched through osmosis? You know, just hang around them and they'll become a Christian.

The reason that we have so many Christians "riding the pine" as my pastor would say, is that Churches aren't equipping the saints. You see, the people who are already Christians aren't outcasts as some would try to make us out to be. We are the body of Christ.

Maybe another look at the Great Commision is in order...

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age."

An interesting article that I read recently states,

Relevance has become king and I find it disturbing that it’s the very thing that many ministry leaders are most concerned with in the church...

First of all relevance is fleeting. If I’m going to be culturally relevant and still maintain my dignity – to whom shall I try to be relevant to? Seniors who are above the age of 65? Young black males between the ages of 18-25? Young middle class families who have children? Upper middle class professionals who have no children yet? The obvious point is that all of these groups of people will find different things relevant that the other groups will consider irrelevant. I know pastors who have scrapped the suit and tie for goofy (in my humble opinion) Hawaiian shirts because they thought that would make them relevant. They have forgotten that the power of God is not found in style – it’s found in substance. And Jesus taught us that teaching the substance of His Word brings His manifest presence. Suits don’t bring the presence of God anymore than un-tucked shirts and sandals do. After awhile the latter will become contrived as well and the next generation will go back to suits.

Secondly, cultural relevance as defined by some smacks of being consumer minded, as in, I’m putting the needs of the consumer ahead of Jesus. Shouldn’t the King of Kings be the number one guest in our churches whom we seek to please first and foremost? I recently heard a pastor who follows the seeker-sensitive model complaining about consumerism in his church. I thought to myself, “Duh - Then stop feeding that mentality!” There is nothing wrong with utilizing all of the latest technological gadgets of our time in church and I’m certainly all for being relational, building relationships and certainly the scripture calls us to a relational style of ministry. But we must remember that God has called us to reach this culture, not mirror it. We must recapture that prophetic edge that calls sinners to repentance and stands against the ills of culture. A.W. Tozer said, “We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum."

Thirdly, the definition of cultural relevance for some spells the diminishing of the truth. In John 14:21 Jesus taught “he who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me.” We are expected to obey our Master and to accept His Word without exception. Some of the well known and foremost ministers claiming to be culturally relevant (paging Brian McLaren and Rob Bell) have unleashed cavalier questioning of the explicit statements of Scripture regarding the necessity of the new birth, the priority of biblical proclamation or the binding authority and sufficiency of Scripture. This cannot and will not build a stronger, more Christ-honoring church. I believe that critiquing the church is a good thing, but disregarding or diminishing the revealed truth of our Creator is wrong, no matter how ‘sincere’ or ‘authentic’ the people are who do it.

Finally, culture doesn’t come to Christ – people do. In the past few years the church has analyzed our culture ad nauseum. Baby Boomers, Gen-X’ers, Post Moderns, Mosaics, blah, blah, blah. Cultural analysis has become an elitist substitute for preaching the Gospel and that is usually in order to sell books and fill the latest “be relevant” conference. The truth is we are only talking to ourselves.

The conclusion of the article is what is all boils down to. You see, the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ penetrates all culture and people groups. We need to simply speak the Truth. The Holy Spirit will do His work. It doesn;t matter the time, place, age or style. God’s Word will cut to the heart of sinners and change the lives of those who are hurting right now. The harvest is ripe and ready for harvest.

What we need is less babbling about being culturally relevant, and more reaching out with the compassion of Jesus Christ. Even when culture is rightly discerned, it still isn’t the answer, Jesus Christ!

Like the old song says, "Jesus is the answer for the world today. Above him there's no other, Jesus is the way."


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Independance Day!

Today is Independance Day and my family and I had a great time of celebration with some friends.

In addition, it provided an important opportunity for our children to appreciate the meaning of this holiday and that it DOES mean more than hot dogs, hamburgers and fireworks. Don't get me wrong, I love all of the above, but what a terrific time it is to help our kids understand the freedom that we have in this great nation.