Bo Wagner is pastor of the Cornerstone Baptist Church of Mooresboro, NC, a widely traveled evangelist, and the author of several books. His books are available on Amazon and at www.wordofhismouth.com

This column will run in the vicinity of July 4th. As such, my mind is mostly focused on Red, White, and Blue kind of thoughts, musings on America, if you will.

One, on Sunday morning, June 30, our choir leader and congregational song leaders both chose some patriotic songs to sing. When they were done, I grinned as I headed to the pulpit, knowing what I was about to say and why.

“How many of you enjoy Mother’s Day in church, where we thank God for mothers?” I asked. Amens were heard across the crowd, and hands were raised in assent.

“How many of you enjoy Father’s Day in church, where we thank God for Fathers?” I asked. Amens were once again heard across the crowd, and hands were raised in assent.

“Then, how many of you enjoy July 4th Sunday in church, where we thank God for America?” I asked. You see, every year, churches that sing patriotic songs, say the Pledge of Allegiance, etc, get hammered as “idolaters.” But the very same God who blesses people with mothers and fathers, according to Acts 17:26, also blesses people with their nations. As such, a day of gratitude is entirely in order.

Two, America has never been perfect, and yet we all ought to love her. And if we cannot love her unless she is perfect, then we better be grateful people do not apply that same standard to us as individuals.

Three, we have a monument to a boll weevil. No kidding; in Enterprise, Alabama, there is a thirteen-foot-tall monument dedicated to a bug. I’m pretty sure I don’t even have to Google that one to know that we are the only country on earth with one of those. Even more ‘Murica, the bug part has repeatedly been stolen through the years. You may insert your own Jeff Foxworthy style Redneck joke right there if you like.

Four, this country is beautiful. And I mean breathtakingly beautiful. I have hiked many of her mountains, walked through some of her deserts, kayaked and rafted down her rivers, scuba-dived some of her waters, and I can tell you that America is indeed a beauty queen among nations.

Five, people in America used to be able to laugh at themselves. We should really get back to that. I had a karate instructor (the only person to ever bust my nose) who used to joke about his super black skin, saying, “If I close my eyes and mouth in the dark, I am invisible.” An Asian friend of mine used to do a hysterical impersonation of himself as a Japanese tourist. Most white people I know are absolute geniuses at cracker jokes. Let the rest of the countries of the world be filled with angst and walking on eggshells; life is a lot nicer when no one takes themselves too seriously.

Six, I am still trying to figure out how making powerful Native Americans disappear from sports team names and logos and successful black Americans like Nancy Greene disappear from products actually helps or honors those races. I have this sneaking suspicion that future generations are going to think our generation was as dumb as a bag of hammers.

Seven, churches in America would be well served to re-read the Great Commission a few more times, especially those “all nations” and “every creature” “uttermost parts of the earth” sections. Not trying to be disrespectful to a fine American business, but American churches seem to be much more Dollar General than Great Commission, popping up right across the street from each other as if they are self-pollinating, while great swaths of our country and of our world has precious few gospel preaching churches.

Eight, the individuality of states can perhaps be seen most starkly in their roads. I live in North Carolina, just across the line from South Carolina. And I will not tell you which way it goes, but when traveling from one to the other, you can be sipping from your bottle of water one moment and having to forcibly dislodge it from one of your nasal cavities a split second later.

Nine, here in America, we “upgrade” from phones that cost $30 and last for an entire century and never have to be charged to phones that cost $2000, last for maybe two years, and have charging cords that cost the same $30 as the 100-year phone while going bad every two months. True, the rest of the world has followed us into this madness, but we actually view it as a status symbol rather than something for which we should probably be getting therapy or counseling.

Ten, Americans make dialect a source of friendly antagonism. A seminary professor of mine from “Yonder up North” used to write the words berry, Barry, and bury on the board and ask one of us from the South to pronounce them all out loud, one by one. We, like normal people, said them all the exact same way: berry. To which he, Yankee psychopath that he was, corrected us with “Beh-ree, Burr-ee, Bah-ree.” How those people ever won that little War of Northern Aggression is beyond me when they cain’t eevun tawk rat.

Eleven, wouldn’t it be cool if one election we, the American people, all got together and told Washington, DC, “We took a vote, and we have moved the Capitol to Seymour, Iowa. Only people who move there, give up their cell phones and internet service, and have a decent garden that they work themselves will be eligible for office from now on.”

It would weed out most of our problems, I think.

Pastor Wagner can be contacted by email at 2knowhim@cbc-web.org, and his books are available by clicking the “Store” link above.

Feature photo by Pastor Bo Wagner