Friday, June 14, 2013

A Different Kind Of "T" Party

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We know about the patriots who threw the tea in Boston Harbor to oppose the King's continuing and excessive taxation without representation.

We also know about the Tea Party groups that have formed around the country to resist some of the same abuses experienced by our Founders.

We also know that the word "tea party" and "patriot" will likely get you a call from the IRS.

However, there is another kind of "T" party in Boston. I'll tell you about it.

But first, today is "National Flag Day." I also want to give you a couple of thoughts about that, and the mess HGTV has gotten themselves into regarding the flag.

The 4th of July is celebrated as America's birthday, but the idea of an annual day specifically celebrating our flag is believed to have been originated in 1885 by B.J. Cigrand, a school teacher and his friend, Leroy Van Horn, a businessman.

Cigrand advanced the idea of a "flag day" or "flag birthday" in his classroom.

Articles were written about what he was doing to honor the flag and others began to do the same thing.

Cigrand felt "flag day" should be held each year on June 14. Because of his efforts and the influence of Van Horn, in 1884 the governor of New York declared that the flag was to be displayed on all public buildings in New York on June 14.

Cigrand and Van Horn, who was a member of the New York Society of the Sons of the Revolution, are said to also be "the moving spirits" behind the formation of the American Flag Day Association which was formed for the "purpose of holding Flag Day exercises."

President Woodrow Wilson established "Flag Day" on May 30, 1916, but on August 3, 1949, President Truman signed an act of Congress designating June 14 of each year as National Flag Day.

So let's display our flags.

And speaking of the flag.

HGTV is a channel that is all about the home--and the garden.

Well, a few days ago they were encouraging people to decorate for the upcoming 4th of July holiday using patriotic decor.

In doing so they suggested using the flag as part of that decor. In a segment called, "Classic Fourth of July Table Setting Ideas," HGTV suggested the flag be used as a tablecloth.

Not a great idea. It did not play well with their viewers. Viewers took to the Internet and particularly HGTV's Facebook page to express their feelings about the flag being used for a tablecloth.

One post said, "Using the American flag as a tablecloth dishonors all Americans who love Old Glory---especially those who gave their lives defending it. No one dies for a tablecloth."

HGTV almost did. They have apologized.

There is a new "T' Party in Boston.

I mentioned this in passing on my radio program Wednesday. Pro-football player Tim Tebow has been signed by the New England Patriots.

Many sports pundits were saying Tebow was through in the NFL---not because he is not a good football player, but because of the "media circus" that follows him wherever he goes. And that happens, not only because he is a celebrity, but because of his very public testimony of faith in Jesus Christ.

For sure Tebow has, in my opinion, made some wrong decisions, like failing to participate in the recent dedication of the new campus of First Baptist Church in Dallas, TX.

But he is very clear and consistent in his profession of faith in Christ.

Because of his faith, he is a polarizing public figure. People either love him or are critical of him, even some Christians have said he should not be so public with his faith.

Obviously I don't agree with that notion.

Tebow's life not only reflects the power of God's redeeming love in a life, but speaks of the miracle of life itself.

Had Tebow's Christian mother taken the advice of her physician, she would have had an abortion to protect her own life. Both he and his mother have shared that story publicly.

The fact that he exists is a miracle.

Tim Tebow brings all this to Boston---a new kind of Boston "T" Party.

So what does the owner of the New England Patriots, Robert Kraft, think about all this?

It appears that Tebow's public expression of faith may be part of why they signed him.

Kraft told CBS, "Tebow's faith-based make up was a factor in deciding to bring the quarterback into the fold."

Kraft said, "You can't have enough good people around you, and (Tebow) has the added dimension of spirituality being so important to him and that personally appeals to me a lot."

Kraft told USA Today, "He's a winner, I don't know anyone who hasn't said anything but positive things about him. I'm so happy he is part of our franchise."

Pretty strong endorsement from the owner.

There is a takeaway in this for all of us.

Clearly God has a plan for Tim Tebow's life and it is playing out before the eyes of the country---and the world.

Although most of us are not so well known to the public, each of us are equally called by God for specific purposes.

Jeremiah 1:15 says, "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations."

You may or may not be appointed to be a "prophet to the nations," but all are known to God as He has formed us in the womb. And He has consecrated each of us for special purposes.

The question is, are we ready to walk through the fire of criticism, or the discomfort of being misunderstood to see God fulfill His purposes in our life?

Our lives will not be measured by how famous we became or even what we did. Our lives will be measured by our degree of faithfulness and obedience to His eternal purposes.

Be Faithful. Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful. Be Blessed.