I hope you had a great 4th of July! As Independence Day rolls around every year, it’s a great time to reflect on what freedom means. Despite our differences, we Americans have so much to be thankful for. I am thankful for our freedom and all who have fought for us. God has graciously blessed America!
I certainly don’t want to take any of my freedoms, rights, blessings, or gifts for granted. Sometimes, however, these things can be difficult to define. I suppose each of us has a different perspective on what “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” means. That’s part of what makes America special.
On Sunday, we celebrated our freedom at church. At the core of America’s history is religious freedom. If the first European settlers had not come largely, due to religious persecution, we might not be here.
The United States has had many ups and downs over the years. But regardless of political tension or drama, America remains an exceptional nation. People all around the world come here for better opportunities. Some come for education, safety, a new start, or other reasons.
Both as a nation and as individuals, we are called to be a blessing to others. We have many immigrants who call our church “home.” On Sunday, we extended that blessing to people from twenty-one other nations. They stood up and said which country they are from and we blessed them. It was powerful.
It’s amazing to think that we have so many countries represented in one congregation! Some of these people have become American citizens and some will return to their own countries one day. As we connect with each other, each interaction has potential to change the world.
As a Christian, I am also a citizen of Heaven. Spiritually speaking, I have even greater freedoms, rights, blessings, and gifts. I also have greater responsibilities to help others in practical ways. Thank You, Jesus.
Lydia and I had a rather low-key holiday, which is fine with me. We slept in! We sat on the deck and relaxed on my new red benches (see pic). I did a little reading, while Lydia played. Then, we enjoyed a bike ride around our neighborhood.
Later, we hung out with our neighbors. Together, we ate dinner, enjoyed the hot weather, and watched neighborhood fireworks around a campfire. We watched a gorgeous sunset of purples, oranges, and pinks.
As we made s’mores, God joined in the celebration. His lightning made an awesome backdrop for the fireworks! Lydia and I walked back home around 11pm, and around midnight, I enjoyed listening to a rain storm.
It was the perfect ending to a great celebration!
Father God, thank You for blessing our America. Thank You for the freedom we have in Your Son, Jesus. Help us be wise stewards of all you have given us. May we show others Your grace and love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Questions: What are you doing with your freedom? How can you be a blessing to someone else?
Tasks: Give thanks for your many blessings and freedoms. Look for ways to help others.