I run in the path of Your commands, for You have set my heart free! Psalm 119:32, NIV1984

Friday, July 6, 2012


During the afternoon of the Fourth of July, I stand in the kitchen with my grandmother, decorating cupcakes that we've baked into ice cream cones.  She smooths white icing and shakes red sprinkles onto the tops; I squeeze more white icing and add blueberries. 

We carry them outside for the children swinging a stick at a piñata that dangles beneath the limb of an old oak tree. We gather with neighbors, in the street and in the yard, drinking lemonade and licking sticky fingers smeared with savory drippings of smoked meat and barbeque. We linger in the shade, trading stories and memories, waiting for the stars to peek out and the sun to go into hiding. And with nightfall, we watch as flames shoot straight up in the sky, bursting into brilliant displays of light and color over our heads.

We have gathered to celebrate freedom

And I can't help thinking about this . . .

Half a world away across the sea, my firstborn sleeps.  But soon, she'll stretch weary limbs, wipe the sleep from her eyes, and rise again to join her team.  Together, they'll cook hot meals for hungry bellies and offer hope to hungry hearts.

They'll play "Raţă Raţă Gâscă," and they'll laugh and share hugs.

And my firstborn and her team will tell their new friends about a freedom that lasts beyond this broken world, a freedom that gives hope in the midst of a world that wounds.

I, the LORD, have called you to demonstrate my righteousness.
I will take you by the hand and guard you . . .
And you will be a light to guide the nations.
You will open the eyes of the blind.
You will free the captives from prison,
releasing those who sit in dark dungeons.
Isaiah 42:6-7, NLT

 So we praise God for the glorious grace He has poured out
 on us who belong to His dear Son.
He is so rich in kindness and grace that
 He purchased our freedom
with the blood of His Son
 and forgave our sins. 
 He has showered His kindness on us . . .
Ephesians 1:6-8, NLT

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