Francis Lewis: More Than Just a Signature

Posted on Posted in travel

Have you ever heard of Francis Lewis? Does the name Abraham Clark ring a bell? How about John Hart?

Some of you may have guessed that these are the names of three of the men who, along with 53 others, signed that most historic of all documents, the Declaration of Independence. But do you know their stories? In fact, do you know anything about any of those men who pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor for the cause of freedom? We all know about Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, but the majority of these forefathers of ours remain in obscurity for most of us, I imagine.

This shouldn’t be.

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I believe with all my heart that those Founding Fathers with whom we are all familiar were destined by God Himself to be our Founding Fathers. I also believe that each of the 56 men who signed our Declaration of Independence were brought forth for that ultimate purpose. America was not a coincidence, not just the result of a sequence of events.

A man who became known as “one of New York City’s leading radicals” in the Revolutionary cause began his life as a preacher’s son in Wales. How did the young Welshman Francis Lewis, born across the ocean and educated in Scotland & London, become a founding member of the Sons of Liberty and a signatory of the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America?

“… for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me… calling… the man that executes my counsel from a far country… “ (Isaiah 46: 9, 11)

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A man who involves himself in the forging of a nation, whose heart and passion compel him to break away from safety and ‘security’ to answer the call of liberty, must be a man of a certain character. Certain circumstances in a person’s life can build such a character. It is significant to me that both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, men extraordinaire, lost their fathers at an early age. They grew up without the supporting structure of a fully-orbed family, and I would surmise developed leadership qualities that may not have otherwise become a part of their personalities. The willingness to risk and to assume responsibility would be indispensable elements in a founding father. The loss of one’s earthly father early in life could surely contribute to the development of those characteristics.

Francis Lewis was an orphan by the age of 5.

Records do not appear to indicate just how he lost both parents so young, but he did, and thus entered the ranks of those stellar Founding Fathers who possibly led the way because they had lost their own fathers early in life.

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Lewis was brought up by an unmarried aunt, who “saw to it that he studied in Scotland… and later attended the prestigious Westminster School in London.”  Lewis’ interests led him into the field of mercantile pursuits, and …

Lessons Learned From A Bucket List

Posted on Posted in travel, vacation

Do you have a wish list of things you want to do in your lifetime? Some might call this list a bucket list, courtesy of the popular 2007 comedy-drama movie “The Bucket List”. I created a list of things I want to do in my lifetime before I actually knew the term bucket list even existed. In fact, I have two lists, one is called my “travel wish list” and the other is “things I want to do list”. But they are both basically a bucket list only the travel wish list has an “accomplish by” date.

I have been encouraged by several friends to share this idea and what I have learned as it might inspire or help someone else.  I created both lists in my early twenties before I was married and had kids. While I realize not everyone likes to travel, I have learned the most thus far from trying to complete my travel wish list, so I am going to focus on that one and share with you my lessons learned.

As you might guess by the title, “travel wish list”, it contains all the places I want to visit, at least as of my early twenties.  Over the years I have added a few new places to the list but not many. The goal was to complete the list by the age of 50, which at the time seemed pretty far away. Now that I am in my 40′s, age 50 doesn’t seem too far away. With that said, over the last couple of years I have become much more strategic in my travels in hopes to check a city off of my list as often as possible.

I included about 26 places on my list. The plan was to complete the cities in the United States and the Caribbean by the time I was 50 and leave the international travel with no “accomplish by” date.  Here are some of my lessons learned from my travel wish list:

  1. Writing your goals down helps to keep you focused. Having places I want to visit written down has made it easier when I am planning a vacation. The same is true for any bucket list. If you have it written down it makes it easier for you to know exactly what you want to accomplish so when you have the time you already know what you want to do. It is a big time saver.
  2. Setting your intention is key. My intention when I created my travel wish list was to complete it by age 50. When we set an intention it prepares us and we are more likely to work towards the intention that was set even when we come across obstacles. I am happy to report that my intention of completing this list by age 50 looks pretty good.
  3. Look at your list. This is a critical piece. If you write your bucket list and never look at it then you might