Daily Devotion


Hope everyone had a safe and happy celebration of July 4th!


Be blessed, Rev. Dr. Sandy Seaton-Todd


Bible Verses 1 Peter 2:16 Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover up for evil, but living as servants of God.


Galatians 5:13 You were called to be free; but do not use your freedom for self-indulgence; rather serve one another humbly in love.


Stars and Stripes Forever John Philip Sousa 1897 The official March of the United States

All of his life, John Philip Sousa loved music and loved America. He grew up in Washington DC during the Civil War. As a child, he enjoyed hearing the Civil War military bands that filled the streets of Washington as well as the sounds of his father's trombone. His father played in the U.S. Marine Band and Sousa quickly followed in his footsteps.


Sousa first enlisted in the Marine Band as an apprentice violinist and later became the band leader. When he wasn't playing with the band, he was writing music. He had written so many popular matches that in the 1890’s he was nicknamed the "March King."

Many musicians and composers need a piano to help them hear a song, but Sousa could hear it in his head. He called it his "brain-band." He also had perfect pitch and could recognize any note played. He believed that in order to write inspiring music - music that would "make good pimples chase each other up and down your spine" - he had to be inspired when he wrote it. He said much of his inspiration came from a "higher power.”

Inspiration for The Stars and Stripes Forever came while he was traveling home to the United States from Europe. Sousa said the song was about the feeling of coming home to America and how "in a foreign country the sight of the Stars and Stripes seems the most glorious in the world."

The song was an immediate hit. From 1897 until the band stopped touring, whenever they performed, they would play The Stars and Stripes Forever, and the audience would stand up as though it were the national anthem. It was not unusual for the band to play it two or three times in a performance, each time receiving louder applause than before. Sousa played it for the last time on the day he died, March 6, 1932.


Quote of the Day To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart. -Eleanor Roosevelt


Life is hard but God is good! God is good all the time!


#ChurchoftheWesternReserve #CWR

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