Living Free by Julie Arduini

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I wonder if Facebook is a barometer when it comes to our feelings about our country. Many of my updates from all walks of life (writers, Upstate NY friends, Ohio friends, family) are angry at the direction our government is taking, often naming specific politicians they are unhappy with. The criticisms come from both sides of the political fence.

Yet, when a part of our country is in trouble, whether a weather related event or man-created tragedy, my FB feed displays images showing our unity. We announce our prayers for Arizona in their unimaginable loss of 19 firefighters. That we won’t forget our neighbor to the north, Canada, with their flooding.

This week the US celebrates Independence Day on Thursday and I’m starting to see a new theme pop up in my feed updates, a sadness regarding our country where they don’t even want to acknowledge the true meaning of the holiday. To them, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of independence anymore, so why enjoy the day is their thinking. I understand their frustration, but I’m not ready to turn my back on my country or celebrating her independence.

Here are my ways, despite frustrations, to embrace everything about July 4th.

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1. Consider our forefathers. 

They probably didn’t want to leave their families to fight for freedom, but they did. They were pioneers in unchartered waters, and that always comes at a high price. When I think about pioneers, John the Baptist comes to mind. He forged new territory in sharing a message and he ended up beheaded. Freedom has a price, and I hate to think we’re surrendering the fight. Our forefathers fought for what we have, and it’s up to us to embrace those freedoms and protect them.

2. Consider our grandchildren.

Perhaps I’m too intense for you, but I think a lot about my actions and how they impact future generations. I want to lay down a foundation they can reap a harvest from. I want my kids to know what July 4th is about and why it is important so they can pass that appreciation down to their children and grandchildren. If I ignore the holiday because I’m not happy with current events, so many people lose out.

3. Consider our declarations.

When I’ve prayed everything I can think of over a situation and feel a freedom coming, I change course and start declarations. I think of these prayers as the ones that pull heaven down and bring agreement between the two places. No matter what vote in my country comes down, I start proclaiming the things I’ve prayed for our country. In Jesus’ name I celebrate the greatest awakening in Jesus people have ever known. One that is International and will set people free. I don’t look around for these declarations or I’d probably be too paralyzed by fear. I look up and believe in heaven they are already accomplished, and it’s time to believe it’s time to see that come to pass on Earth. Please know this isn’t me dictating God’s agenda. I’m agreeing with it, and that includes His ways and timing. But when the prayers have been said, time to start proclaiming. And for me, nothing feels freer.

How about you? Do you think your Facebook feed is a barometer for how people feel about your country? Have you heard any grumblings about people ready to ignore July 4th out of grief and frustration? What suggestions do you have to live free in your country even if you don’t feel it’s a guarantee as in years past?

Have a safe and blessed Independence Day. May you live free, and the freest life available is the one living for Jesus!

 

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About juliearduini

Julie Arduini loves to encourage readers to surrender the good, the bad, and ---maybe one day---the chocolate. She’s the author of ENTRUSTED: Surrendering the Present, as well as ENTANGLED: Surrendering the Past. The last book in the series, ENGAGED: Surrendering the Future, is coming soon. Her devotional, FINDING FREEDOM THROUGH SURRENDER, features the surrender themes and characters from the series. She also shares her story in the infertility devotional, A WALK IN THE VALLEY. She blogs every other Wednesday for Christians Read, and starting April 2017, will be part of the Inspy Romance blog. She resides in Ohio with her husband, two children, and secret chocolate stash. Learn more by visiting her at http://juliearduini.com, where she invites readers to subscribe to her monthly newsletter full of resources and giveaway opportunities.
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