Thursday, July 08, 2010

Let Freedom Sing!

Some blog posts are hard to write -- and this is certainly one of them. How can I possibly capture the awe, reverence, jubilation, and thanksgiving that resulted from seeing God's hand move in such a mighty way?!

This past Sunday is hard to sum up in a few words. As we prepared for several ministry opportunities in our hometown of Seward, we were once again met with a forecast of rain. Only this time it did rain. We woke up on July 4th to the sound of raindrops -- and hours later the rain was still pouring as we attended church.

The forecast called for an 80% chance of rain for the entire day.

With faith and a prayer, our entire cast drove out from Omaha -- in rain the whole way, trusting that God could work through these circumstances. There was a peace that somehow, a door would open!

At 2:00pm the rain was reduced to a drizzle and our family shared a concert at an indoor location. This was a very special concert for us, as exactly 10 years ago was our first performance as a family -- at the same time and place, during the July 4th celebration. With Dan and Bethany here from VA, it was a grand reunion event!

As soon as the concert was over, we hurriedly checked the weather and prepared for the 4:00pm parade. It was cloudy, but the rain had stopped. We gathered at our assigned spot on the parade route to prepare.

Our goal in the parade was to invite people to the evening production, as well as getting important literature into their hands: gospel tracks and quotes from our founding fathers. It was exciting to have such a warm response throughout the entire parade route.

Smiling faces in the parade!

We were surprised to later discover that our float won "Best of Show"!

Then finally, 7:00 arrived -- the time for "Let Freedom Sing!"

And as we gathered the cast & crew for our time of prayer, our hearts were full to overflowing. Not only had the Lord stopped the rain, but He cleared the skies completely, giving us a perfect, cool, summer evening. Additionally, due to the rain, the evening fireworks and other events in town were canceled, leaving our production the only remaining event on the city schedule.

The bandshell area was packed with hundreds of people; standing room only. A life-long area resident told us he'd never seen so many people at a bandshell event. We marveled at God's mighty hand of mercy.

And with a sense of anticipation, we committed the production to the Lord.

Since Bethany was here for the weekend, she graciously agreed to take pictures. As you can tell, the sunshine came beaming through the trees, leaving the pictures rather spotty. But to us, this is a reminder of God's specific answer to our prayers!

At the risk of over-posting pictures from the production here are some of what she captured:

Grandfather, look! Lollipops!

Livin' in the Promised Land!

We are the minutemen, strong and free...

Lay down your arms! Disperse!

How do you manage in times like these?

Come quickly! They're wounded!

Elias? No!

What is this passion called Freedom?
And why must the price be so high?

My fight is now over, but your fight is just beginning.

"The only foundation for education and a republic is to be laid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object of life and life of all republican governments.”
--Benjamin Rush, signer of the Declaration of Independance

“In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed. No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.”
--Noah Webster, author of the first American dictionary

Now unity and time is all we ask!

The longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?
--Ben Franklin

"The freedom our country was founded on was not the right to do whatever we please but rather the opportunity to do what is right.

Without God and His Word we will certainly come to ruin. If we, as individuals, do not realize our need for God and the Bible in our everyday lives then how can our foundation be strong? This is what we have compromised."

In GOD we trust!

The place was packed and never before have we had such a heartfelt response. Several guests had unsaved relatives and friends in the crowd. There were many tears. Many good conversations. And we continue to pray for seeds that were sown.

A huge, sincere THANK YOU to you blog readers who have been upholding us in prayer. Only heaven will show the extent of your impact! We're deeply grateful!

"For what great nation is there that has God so near to it, as the LORD our God is to us, for whatever reason we may call upon Him?

And what great nation is there that has such statutes and righteous judgments as are in all this law which I set before you this day?

Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren."

Deut. 4:7-9


The Longs said...

To HIM be the glory !!! and was so assume to hear of the great things that were done.... see you on 25th and then sometime during OT-----KEEP UP the GOOD things you all do for HIM.

Blessings John and Judy

Mindy said...

Wow we serve an amazing God! I'm so glad your prayers were answered for the good. I prayed for you several times. You guys are such a BIG witness. have a good rest of July. Love~Mindy

Charity U said...

I was there...and it was an excellent show. I'm so glad it cleared off in time for it...I was terribly disappointed when it was raining that morning, because it looked like there was no way it was going to work. However, it did! Thank you, Lord. (= It was terrific, and I'm very glad we got to see it!

JoyfulJewels4Jesus said...

Looks like everything went just wonderfully! And the parade float looks wonderful! I was so blessed to be able to see the musical in C.L.! Thanks!

Joyfully in Jesus,

Josie said...

Oh, wow. That looked so much fun!
I really wish I could've seen the production. :)

Kay said...

I knew God was answering your prayers as I saw the skies clear that evening. I'm so glad we finally got to see the performance. It was wonderful. (And thank you for having the gospel presented at the end... I prayed that hearts were softened and lives changed that evening.)
It was almost as good as seeing Bethany and getting a hug from Ruth during the parade. *wink* Only wish I could have spoken to Miss Gloria for a moment. Sometime soon....
PS Congratulations to Andrew & Kori!

Lilyofthevalley - Tanya said...

Amazing.... God is good!

Sarah said...

This is great! We did our Signing of the Declaration drama on July 2nd. It went really well, and I'll have pictures up on my blog tomorrow, hopefully.

Hope it still works out to have you guys out sometime! Let us know if you're heading our way again!

Anonymous said...

Please pray for me that I would get saved! I know I need to. I'm so filled with doubt. Please just pray for me. Believe me I am not spamming your page I just want to know that you are praying.
I'm just so frightened and I am afraid I don't know how to trust Him!
Its gotten to the point where I cry all day long and don't know what to do anymore!

Lily said...

Looks GREAT!! Praise the Lord that the rain held off for the musical! The float looks amazing...and BTW, I LOVED getting to actually see the musical in Clear Lake! So fun.

Annie said...

Wow! God is SO good! Thanks for the update, Rachel - I enjoyed the news and photos, as always! =)
By the way, several days ago I posted some photos of the musical in Clear Lake. Thought you might like to see them.
Many prayers and blessings,

Rachel said...

Dear Anon:

Thank you for sharing your heart. We are praying for you. Seek the promises in God's Word!

"Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart." Jer 29:12-13

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much Rachel! Please keep praying, you just don't know how much it means to me!