Saturday, July 5, 2008

Celebrate, Celebrate Freedom!!

We had great time on the Fourth of July! I hope I never take for granted the freedoms we enjoy here in America. Once you live overseas, as we did, it makes you so much prouder to be an American. You don't have to go very far from our homeland to know that people absolutely do not enjoy the freedoms we enjoy. No matter what country you're in outside the Good Ole' USA, you realize very quickly that Freedom is precious.
Bill has been preaching a series of sermons entitled "Focus on the Founders". His exploring back into time and being reminded of the principles this country was founded on is very enlightening. Although, we still enjoy freedoms that are outlined in The U.S. Constitution, we have strayed far from our root heritage of "in God we trust". God was the very essence of our country and it's founders. He was part of everything they did; every basis for decision-making. These men knew from whom and from where true freedoms lies. What happens to a country that over time puts God in the background? God, who is our very source of "BEING" at all. Well, I believe the answer is that sin runs rampant. Freedoms begin to be destroyed; begin to be taken away. Little by little, we lose the very things that make us great. We lose the precious freedom that has brought us to where we are. Why do we want to become like those countries whose lives are controlled for them? Why do we want to give up so easily those things that made us "FREE". I can remember as a young girl in school that we prayed at school to start our day. We prayed before going to the lunchroom for our meals. We always had the Gideons coming to bring the little New Testaments.....yes, those same little New Testaments that had the Plan of Salvation in the back of them. Over the years I have heard of many people who actually came to know the "giver of true freedom" through His precious shed blood, just by reading one of those little green New Testaments. It's hard to believe now that the Gideon's actually could come in the schools and give each student a copy of God's Word. Teachers actually could invite students to revival meetings at church. God was given His rightful place in the classroom, just as the Founding Fathers gave Him His rightful place in their everyday life whether it be in their government offices or on the battlefield fighting for our rights as Americans. What happens to a country who puts in the background the giver of life and freedom? When a nation forgets God they begin to LOSE: "LIFE, LIBERTY and the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS. Why do we want to lose those rights? Why do we want food shortages, our privilege to buy, sell and own. Why do we want to be totally controlled by Godless men and become like people who have to literally fight for the simple things of life. What makes depravity look so good? It can be summed up in one word...SIN. Sin makes us lose focus. Sin can be wrapped in the package of beauty until it skews our ability to think clearly. Sin destroys. Sin takes away. Sin kills. Sin is NOT freedom. The great evangelist Vance Havner once wrote a sermon entitled "Getting used to the Dark." We are getting used to the dark. We are so accepting of sin until we become accustomed to it. It isn't as black as it used to be; it isn't as bad as it used to be. Has sin changed or have WE? I dare say it's us. We are losing our ability to see sin as wrongdoing. Sin creeps in; we don't see it as wrong anymore; we begin to lose freedoms because our life is controlled by wrong. The only way to true freedom is through Jesus Christ our Lord. He is "The Way, The Truth and The Life." He is the ONLY way for us to get true freedom and to keep true freedom. He is FREEDOM. We can be nothing without him.

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