Saturday, July 4, 2009

"Oh Beautiful. . ."

Dear Friends and Family,

For fellow country men and women, happy Independence Day. For non-US citizens, I hope that our country has been a blessing to you in some way, although an imperfect one at times.

I have two beautiful things I want to highlight on my post today. 

As it is July 4th, I would like to say despite the controversies and difficulties of the recent years (and living abroad for five years, I am quite aware of them) that I am so very proud to be a citizen of the United States of America. 

I have always been touched by Katherine Lee Bates words set to music in "America the Beautiful". It might just be a worthy refrain and prayer for many of us to sing and say this day as we seek God's grace for our country and for the rest of the world:

O beautiful, for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea.
O beautiful, for pilgrim feet
Whose stern, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America! God mend thine ev'ry flaw;
Confirm thy soul in self control, thy liberty in law!
O beautiful, for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America! May God thy gold refine,
Till all success be nobleness, and ev'ry gain divine!
O beautiful, for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years,
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea!

The second beautiful highlight of today is my wife, Susan. It also happens to be her birthday today, so all who know her please take a moment to wish her well on her birthday! My wife indeed is a beautiful blessing to me in so many ways. She has the heart of a servant combined with a keen mind and a determined work ethic, a combination that I have not seen matched by anyone else I know.

A very important mentor of mine, Alan Clark, used to say to me (you can substitute the Scottish accent): "Young Crenshaw, some people say that adversity builds character, but I say it only reveals it." Although I knew it from the first time I met her, my situation with cancer has underscored this truth as it concerns my faithful partner, Susan. She is a woman of deep and substantial character, rooted in her faith in Christ and sustained by her walk with Him.

I am grateful to be an American citizen. I am blessed to have a wife and partner in Susan. God has surely "shed his grace" on me.

In Christ alone,



  1. Happy 4th and Happy Birthday to Susan! Love readig your Blog - always inspiring!
    Triva Answer
    Atlanta Braves
    Era 60s and 70s
    Henry Aaron - Broke Babe Ruth's career Home run record in 1974
    Trivia Question
    What other pplyer that played in Kansas City had:
    +3000 Career Hits
    +300 Hoe Rins
    Batted +.300 for their career?
    (there have been 4 players - 1 was Hank A.)
    Hint - All time leading hitter at 3rd base!
    Greg and Jenn James

  2. Hello Newt!
    Blessings in Christ to you.
    We were away for the 4th, so I am just getting caught up on your blog. We went to Cape Cod to visit family and my old stomping grounds. We went to Plymouth and visited the rock and the Mayflower II. Pleasant memories, because I proposed to my wife, Chris, in the park between these two historic landmarks. Both of us had been married before and it marked a new beginning for us, centuries after the Pilgrims came to start a new life of their own. As I read your blog my thoughts are filled with similar thoughts...
    - To live in a country that is flawed, but graciously blessed by God
    - To have new life (eternal) in Christ
    - To be blessed by a wife with the same qualities as yours

    Thank you for sharing. I, too, need to update my Blog after my 6-month scan. Everything is OK, but had a period of concern before we got the final results. I am continuing to lift-up you and your family in prayer. I hope that you are enjoying the music and finding strength in praise of "the author and perfecter of our faith."

    In His Grace