It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows.

Galatians 5:13 (The Message)

I woke up this morning to a clear sky, sunlight streaming through the windows after a torrential monsoon yesterday. We celebrate the 4th of July, much like we do Christmas, with special decorations, a patriotic shirt, a favorite meal, and friends around the table. Last night we had our friends who lost their home to the fire last week over for dinner. As we shared the news of the destroyed house and hopes for the new one, I thought about the changes life throws our way. We encounter rocks in the road that seemingly appear out of nowhere. Yet, as I listened to them share the story of the fire, I heard the surprise and joy in their voices at the out-pouring of love and concern from the neighborhood. People that they had never met called with offers of housing, dinners, and help. They have a wonderful attitude about the whole situation – truly showing grace under fire. Yes, freedom is serving each other…not because we have to but because we want to, showing the love of Christ through our actions. In an election year, we hear promises constantly tossed about by the candidates. I urge you to remember that you can only change one person – yourself. It is up to each of us to bring freedom to those around us by serving them with a heart of love. Enjoy today as we celebrate the birthday of this wonderful nation. God bless America!