Christian living, Inspirational

A Reason to Celebrate

By Del Duduit

Do you need a reason to celebrate the 4th of July?

After all, if you have watched the news lately, you would think the USA is headed down the tubes. Some media outlets would have you believe all hope is lost.

There are reports of babies “being ripped” from their parent’s arms and talk about collusion with the Russian government. Fake news at its finest.

What happens to the babies when their parents are sent to jail? Are they ripped away? If you break the law, there are consequences. The solution? Come into the country the legal way.

And what about the children who are pried from their parent’s arms when the adults depart for service overseas? Don’t believe the Fake news.

In the meantime, you may have missed the FACTS that unemployment is at an all-time low and Americans have more money in their pockets than ever before thanks to tax cuts. Plus, some of our enemies (Rocketman) are starting to rethink attacks on our soil.

You may not have heard, but in a recent poll, patriotism is at a record-high since the Gulf War. Hmm — and you thought the USA was on its way out the door. America is back because we have people in the White House who want to MAGA!

Many reports from some of the liberal media have tried to tear down the reputation of the United States. Several members of the press have made it their personal mission to try to destroy President Trump’s image while crazed people are shooting at our Republican congressmen during baseball practice. So-called comedians, actors, and entertainers have shown nothing less than treason.

I sure wish those celebs who said they would leave the country if Trump was elected actually honored their word. Come on Spike Lee, Samuel Jackson, Barbara Streisand, Whoopie Goldberg, Miley Cyrus and Al Sharpton. You are on record via your SM accounts spouting you would leave the greatest nation on the planet if Trump won. PLEASE do what you promised.

Personally, I find it so refreshing President Trump is not apologizing for our country, but rather he is demonstrating why we are the No. 1 world power. The stock market is on the rise, and American pride and responsibility have made a comeback. I’m also proud we stand with Israel once again!

Fireworks at Rubyville Community Church during a July 4 celebration service.

As we approach the 4th of July, I’m ready for some good old-fashioned festivities. I’m ready for hot dogs, baseball, and apple pie. I’m also ready for the Rubyville Community Church fireworks display. This is my church, and it is located in rural Southern Ohio in Scioto County. The church puts on quite the patriotic celebration — and it makes no apologies.

Fireworks at church? Why not?

Rubyville Community is a non-denominational church of about 600 people. It started out more than four decades ago with about 70 members. The church puts on a fireworks demonstration celebrating the 4th which is bigger and better than displays in some large cities. Some of the men from our church are certified by the state and attend regular training. This tradition began in my in-laws’ backyard over 40 years ago with a few friends and some modest fireworks. Each year, it grew larger and finally had to move to the church where I helped with the annual display for many years.

Attendance kept growing, and people started coming from all over the area to watch. After a few years, I retired and now watch as it takes place on top of the large hill behind the church so an estimated 10,000 people can see. The event has become so large that state highway patrol officers and sheriff deputies must attend to direct traffic in the tiny community.

Howard as “Uncle Sam” giving his “I am The Spirit of America” poem during a July 4 service at Rubyville Community Church.

A patriotic service is always held on that same evening, and my father-in-law delivers his annual rendition of I am the Spirit of America, a poem he recites while dressed as Uncle Sam. He’s done this for years, and it never gets old.

Veterans are honored, and hymns dedicated to America are proudly sung. I thank God I live in the United States, and I wish everyone who lives here shared my opinion. But sadly, some don’t. I’m glad our church recognizes the sacrifices our military has made for my family and me.

Fireworks at a church? Why not? We as Christians and Americans have a reason to celebrate.

Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds. Psalms 149:5

Celebrate? Yes, the Lord instructed us to be happy. To sing and dance. He set us free from bondage. He sent his Son to die on a rugged cross for our sins so we can have eternal life.

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Now a little history about July 4th – also known as Independence Day. The 4th has been a national holiday since 1941. However, the tradition goes back to the 18th Century and the American Revolution. On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later, delegates from 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence from a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From that day forward, July 4 has been celebrated as the birth of America, with festivities ranging from fireworks, parades, and concerts to modest family gatherings.

Fireworks at Rubyville Community Church.

Celebrate? Yes, our founding fathers guaranteed us life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. As long as America keeps honoring God, He will return the favor.

Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits  of all thine increase. Proverbs 3:9

Fireworks at a church? Yes, it’s a magnificent way to minister.

On Wednesday night, there will be thousands of people in this little Southern Ohio Valley. They begin lining the parking lot at about 2 p.m. and parking in fields and on the sides of the highway, or anywhere they can to get a good view. Speakers are set up outside so those seeking the perfect spot will hear the service. After church and refreshments, the fireworks start and are synchronized to Gospel music. Our assistant pastor Brian takes care of that and works hard with John, our sound expert, to pull it off. The visitors are treated as special guests – but at the same time, they hear a sermon and are invited to accept the Lord as their Savior before the night is over.

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If someone accepts the invitation, which has happened, isn’t that reason to celebrate?

A few years ago, a man was led to the Lord in our pastor’s driveway before the fireworks.  That person received liberation and experienced a true Independence Day.

Fireworks at Rubyville Community Church.

Now here is a little reminder of why Christians should celebrate.

Jesus Christ was born of a virgin and lived a perfect life. He was tried and convicted of crimes he did not commit. He was crucified on a cross for our sins, and His body was placed in a borrowed tomb. Three days later, He arose and went to Heaven to prepare a place for you and me. He conquered death, hell, and the grave to give life forever to those who ask for forgiveness and follow Him.

Celebrate? Yes, our Heavenly Father has set us free.

If the Son, therefore, shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. John 8:36

Celebrate? Yes, our founding fathers and military have allowed us to be free as a nation.

That’s all the reason we need to rejoice. Come on out on July 4 and attend the best patriotic worship service you will ever find.  We don’t call it Red, White, and Rubyville for nothing.

What does Independence Day mean to you?

Del Duduit is an award-winning writer and author who lives in Lucasville, Ohio with his wife, Angie. They attend Rubyville Community Church. Follow his blog at delduduit.com/blog and his Twitter @delduduit. He is represented by Cyle Young of Hartline Literary Agency.

His first book — BUCKEYE BELIEVER – 40 Days of Devotions for The Ohio State Faithful –can be purchased on Amazon here.

Thanks to Kevin Craft for the photos.

 

 

 

 

 

10 thoughts on “A Reason to Celebrate”

  1. I absolutely love that your church celebrates in this way and offers such joy and celebration for the community at large, too. We are free in Christ and free because of our forefathers’s wisdom and faith. May God continue to bless this great nation.
    Blessings, Del!

    Like

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