Pledge of Allegiance

Unknown-4In honor of Flag Day let us remember our nation’s flag and the path it’s taken getting us where we are as a nation today. I resurrected this old video of Red Skelton reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Red Skelton brings back fond memories of my grandparents. As a youngster, our family enjoyed watching The Red Skelton Show together on television. Of course, that was back in the day when most programs were black and white, only some were color, and you could watch them in color only if your family had a color television. There were no remote controls. There were only three, maybe four channels to choose from. When you wanted to change the channel (we called them stations back then), you got up and walked over to the television and turned the dial. In his prime, Red Skelton had one of the most popular family variety programs on the air. When he was on, we tuned in. This skit first aired a little before my time — notice he speaks of 48 states — but I can remember watching his Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag routine when it played as a rerun when I was a kid.

Red Skelton’s Pledge of Allegiance

A Special Day For My Daughter

usa_3a_animatedFlag Day is special in our family because one of our daughters was born on June 14th. I was bursting with joy that day. Another daughter! My wife delivered us a beautiful girl with very healthy set of lungs. This daughter turned out to be a gifted and talented girl who has a passion for the arts and sciences. She is blessed with a tender heart and loves giving back to her community. She recently moved to another city so I am missing our regular outings and get-togethers where she always lit up the room and brought smiles to other people’s faces with her presence. It was on or about her 12th birthday when she first pleaded with me, “dad I love all those flags and everything you get me every year, but I think you’ve given me enough to last a lifetime already don’t ya think.”  That’s as close as I can remember as to her exact words, but the gist of her message was clear, she was tired of receiving the United States Flag as her birthday gift every year.

By that time she already had a flag from a number of our United States Senators and United States House members from each location from where we had lived. So I conceded to her point, and from that time forward I put aside my desire and personal love for our flag, of giving her that annual gift of old glory on her birthday.

Dad I love all those flags and everything you get me every year, but I think you’ve given me enough flags to last a lifetime already don’t ya think. — Daughter

Memories of My Grandparents

My grandparents are both long gone now, but their memories never fade. Things they said and did are etched into my psyche. Their memories linger on for me much like the thought of those wonderful evenings when we laughed together watching Red Skelton. My grandparents were patriots, having lived through two world wars, serving in one, and whitness to numerous other national tragedies and conflicts. They always leaned on Jesus Christ to help them navigate troubled times. Their walk with Jesus was deep and intact. For them, the old adage that a family that prayed together stayed together was a way of life.

I pray our daughters learned as much from us as I did from my grandparents. I don’t know how I could ever live up to the memory I have of my grandfather and grandmother. They were great role models. I was never perfect in my child rearing and I’m certain I made mistakes. My daughters are both grown up now and out in the world living and working on their own. They’re educated and have goals. They are in long term relationships that I pray will someday result in grandchildren. They are still young.

Strength and Courage Through Christ

Being a loving Christian father doesn’t come without obstacles. Walking with Christ gives us strength and courage to confront the world head on. Helping others and being a good provider are examples of what I wanted my children to learn. Looking at them today, I can see they took to heart, body, mind, and soul, many of the lessons I instilled with them. Through personal failures and having learned some lessons the hard way in my life, I tried to pass along to my children those nuggets of wisdom I learned the hard way. I pray they will be better than me, in all they do, and everything they set out to do. I pray they will lean on God to pick themselves up, and continue on when they make mistakes—because we are all sinners and fall short of the Glory of God. Let them walk with Christ on their journey as I have on mine.

Thinking of my daughter, especially on her birthday, I pray that the lessons I learned from my grandparents were passed on to her, and indeed, to both of my daughters. God bless them with excellent health and freedom; and grant them the motivation to continue to discover and learn how to use their individual talents and spiritual gifts for His glory.