Proud to be an American


Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

In 1887 the Nachtigall family arrived in the United States of America from Waldheim, South Russia. The things the family faced in South Russia caused them to reach out for an opportunity for freedom in America. It wasn’t easy to get here, but they determined that it was definitely worth the effort.

After going through the proper channel of immigration they moved to Kansas and became part of the Mennonite community just outside of Newton, Kansas. It was there that the foundation was laid to live in the great land called America. Our history since coming here has been showered with blessings that go beyond anything ever imagined in South Russia.

America continues to be a place that people from all around the world are seeking to find a new home. I recognize that sometimes it seems that things are not handled correctly, but in the midst of it all stands a flag that represents a nation that has been blessed by God.

This past Sunday we had all the veterans stand at the front and share what branch of service they served in. The Navy, Air Force and Army were represented. Some of them were veterans that served during Vietnam and then later. What was so great about them standing there was that they all gave of themselves freely to protect the freedom that we have in this great land.

Yes, I know some people are concerned with all that is going on. They wonder if America will continue to be ‘land of the free and the home of the brave.’ I believe that the hearts of our veterans would say that as long as they live and breathe they will continue to stand for the freedoms that we enjoy in America.

Yet the real difference that we find in America is the freedom we have to worship Christ and to live by His Word. It isn’t always easy, but knowing that He is with us truly makes a difference in our hearts and lives.

I’m reminded of the words and music written by Neil Enloe -- In New York Harbor stands a lady, With a torch raised to the sky; And all who see her know she stands for Liberty for you and me. The chorus says -- I’m so proud to be called an American, To be named with the brave and the free; I will honor our flag and our trust in God, And the Statue of Liberty.

The song goes on to say -- On lonely Golgotha stood a cross, With my Lord raised to the sky; And all who kneel there live forever As all the saved can testify.

I’m so glad to be called a Christian, To be named with the ransomed and whole; As the statue liberates the citizen, So the cross liberates the soul.

Oh the cross is my Statue of Liberty, It was there that my soul was set free; Unashamed I’ll proclaim that a rugged cross Is my Statue of Liberty

Paul said in Gal. 5:11 – 11 “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” When Christ sets us free from sin, we are truly free. What Paul said we must remember as we face the coming days.

I am thankful that I am able to enjoy the freedoms we have in this great land. I am very proud of all those who have served our country in the military. For each of the men and women who gave of themselves, I want to say ‘thank you for your service.’

We live in this land of the free because of the brave that gave of themselves. We must not forget that the freedoms we have in America are founded on the freedoms we have in Christ who gave Himself so that we might have life eternal. Because of that I can say that I am so proud to be an American!

JESUS, JESUS, JESUS, there IS something about that name!!

Christ only, always,

Bro. Paul

Brother Paul Nachtigall is the preacher at Highland Baptist Church. He can be reached at


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