Tag Archives: patriotism

What Freedom Is All About

Our church loves to do up July 4th the right way.  We celebrate not only America’s birthday, but the grace and true freedom that God has so lovingly given each one of us through Jesus Christ.

Yesterday we sang “This Is How It Feels to Be Free.”

The only thing I could think throughout the entire song was how amazingly and overwhelmingly grateful I am that Jesus Christ set me free from the bondage of sin. 

It literally brought tears to my eyes and got me all choked up, and that’s never a good thing when I’m supposed to be singing because then I get this little squeaky-thing going on with my voice.  Not pretty. 

The person who delivered our sermon was a a friend of mine from high school who is now a prosecuting attorney in town.  As I listened to his inspired words, I tried not to think about the fact that he and I were in a production of Charlotte’s Web together when I was in the 10th grade (I was Charlotte, he was Templeton) and instead listen to what he was saying.  He spoke a lot about explaining the Declaration of Independence and what it means to us, and I’d like to add my own thoughts to what he was saying.

(I’m about to put on my US History Teacher hat and my Disciple of Christ hat.)

The Declaration of Independence contains a beautiful line that is important not only to our freedoms as Americans, but to our freedoms as human beings in all nations of the world.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. 

As human beings, we are granted unalienable rights that cannot be taken away.  These rights come not from man or government, but from God.

God granted each one of us life.  In genesis 2, he created Man.  The Bible says that he created each one of us and knows the number of hairs on our head.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”  Jeremiah 1:5

God has given us the ultimate gift of liberty through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, his son.  Probably the most well-known Bible verse lays is out clearly for us.  When we believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose again, we are granted the freedom of eternal life with God himself.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16

The Pursuit of Happiness- 
God does not automatically give us “happiness” when we become followers and disciples of Christ, but he gives us opportunities to know Him more, which will instill in us a joy that supersedes any man-made happiness we could ever achieve.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11

When we understand these basic rights, granted to us through God’s unbelievable mercy, then we are truly free.

Happy Independence Day, America!

Share With Me: What are your favorite July 4th traditions?

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Filed under Just For Fun, The Christian Walk

What I’ve Gotten from My Dad – So Far

Happy Father’s Day!  In honoring my own wonderful Daddy, I want to share with you the things he’s given me in my life – so far.

– My blue eyes.
– My love of history.  We like to bore the rest of the family to tears discussing historical events & religion.  It’s awesome.  Family dinners are a blast (well, not so much for the non-history lovers).
– A sense of duty- my dad served our country in the Army for over 20 years.
– A sense of patriotism.  He loves this country more than anyone I know, and still gets choked up when he talks about those who’ve sacrificed their lives serving it.
– A wicked sense of humor.  At first glance, he appears to be a quiet, reserved man, but he has the most hilarious sense of humor that appears when one least expects it.  I’ll never forget one particular night (maybe 15 years ago or more) when he made me laugh until I cried.  “Thank you, Air Force.”  He’s made me laugh until I’ve cried a lot of times since.
– Driving lessons.  With white knuckles and a sweating brow, he taught me to drive.  I still hear his voice in my head when I’m on the road- he’s usually telling me that I’m following too closely.
– Security- I used to hate it when I was a kid and he’d walk with his hand on the back of my neck.  It wasn’t until I was older that I realized that there are a bazillion security risks you take with your kids daily, and I now often walk with my hand on the back of my son’s neck.
– Integrity- my daddy has more integrity in his little finger than most people have in their entire bodies.  He taught me that doing the right thing is more important than being right.
– A love of fishing.
– How to pray- my daddy uses every opportunity to pray for those whom he loves.  It’s inspiring.
– The love of our Savior- he has always been a great example of Christ’s unconditional love.  What a blessing to me and to my own children.
– Car maintenance.  My daddy takes exceptional care of his vehicles.  I’m embarrassed when he sees the inside of my car trashed out.
– A sense of service.  My daddy is the kind of man who will drop whatever he’s doing and help you with anything.  Whether it’s changing a tire or giving you the shirt off his back, he’s always willing to help.
– Faith- throughout many ups and downs in his life, never once has my dad doubted the love and faithfulness of the God he serves wholeheartedly. 

Daddy, you’ve taught me many other things, and I’m certain that I’ll learn even more from you.  Thank you for being a wonderful father and grandfather.  I love you so much.  And thank you for letting me use your chest as a table for my tea parties when I was little. 

Readers- what lessons have you learned from your father or what special memories do you have with your dad?

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Filed under Family