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Tuesday, 4 July 2017


FREEDOM! Mel Gibson cried out in Braveheart.

FREEDOM! The founding fathers thought as they crafted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. 

FREEDOM! Jesus offered when he declared, ‘If the Son sets you free, you’ll be free indeed.’

My 4th of July memories hover round Josie Avenue, where the July sun was hot and the sidewalk baking as we set off the ‘snakes’ and other small fireworks, saving the big display til after dark. The day started with a trip to the icehouse to buy cracked ice while my Mom mixed up the extremely rich batter for homemade ice cream. Thirteen eggs, a quart of thick cream, a bottle of vanilla. Or something like that. Then, my sister Judy and I stood in the cool of the garage watching Dad layer the ice with the rock salt, and then the hand cranking began. It seemed to go on for ages and we took turns, though towards the end, as it grew stiffer, Dad finished it off while we swept the salty water away from the grass. Ice cream made, it was repacked in ice and wrapped in old towels and left until after the BBQ sometime later in the afternoon. My grandparents would come over and Grandma had an adage that you couldn’t keep homemade ice cream in the freezer, which meant we all had to get stuck in and finish the gallon in a day. Heaven. After dark fell about 7.30 pm we gathered for the fireworks, bought over the county line in Orange County because Los Angeles County banned them. Everyone along the block had their boxes and we all admired each others’ over the block walls. Oohs and aahhs at the Roman candles, the Catherine wheels, and the Piccolo Pete’s. (And the smog that fugged the air on July 5th testified to the number of fireworks displays...)

Today’s just another day in Scotland, but I am thinking of freedom, and focusing on those who are denied it these days – the millions of victims of slavery in our world. Though Jesus referred to spiritual freedom, he cares passionately about all freedom, working through such agencies as IJM to bring it about.

So on this July 4th, 2017, I join with others in crying out to a world caught in chains of bondage, whether physical, emotional, or spiritual: FREEDOM!

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