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FREEDOM. What exactly is it? How do you get it? Where do you get it?
The word is thrown around all the time here in the United States. We are especially proud because of our Freedom.
But, who gave it to us? What exactly is it? How do we ensure our full Freedom? We will answer all of these questions! Promise. Hang in there 🙂
Hint: Freedom is a Gift
What is Freedom?
It’s an unalienable right! Right?
Homesteaders AND Homeschoolers are particularly fierce about their freedom!
And for good reason.
Homeschoolers are fierce about their freedom
It was less than a generation ago when Homeschooling was not recognized or protected by most states. Parents who believed this form of education was the best thing for their child took huge risks. Many of these first homeschool parents were threatened with citations, and even jail. Many were harassed by authorities. Many were thrown in jail. Others had their children taken away from them!!! Think about that for just a minute. There were many cases, some less than 20 years ago, where children were removed from the home and the court ordered that they would only be returned if they were enrolled in public school. It was considered abuse. Homeschooling was a criminal offense in some states.
So, yeah. Homeschoolers are fierce about their freedom! They believe they know how to raise their own children better than the State. By the way, homeschooling is now legal in all 50 states. I still run across people who don’t know that! The HSLDA has been instrumental in that, and they still fight for individual families who are harassed by local authorities. They work pro actively to ensure families’ rights are protected every day, and to protect their rights for the future.
Homesteaders are fierce about their freedom
Homesteaders are fierce about independence. They want to be able to do things for themselves. Modern day homesteaders are the embodiment of their predecessors’ spirit of self reliance. That spirit that allowed them to travel hundreds of miles with their few earthly possessions, and limited food supply to wide open spaces where they built their homes with their own hands, hunted or grew their own food, made their own clothes, furniture,and, in general, made everything they needed out of the raw materials around them.
Today’s homesteader is defined by that spirit. They strive for those lost arts and skills in an effort to reclaim some independence from government, industry, and big business. They want to have control over what food they put on their family table and what substances are put in their bodies. They want to be able to make management decisions for their own land. They are willing to work hard for what they have, and they expect to be able to reap the benefits of their labor!
We live in a free country, right?
You hear this all the time. In grade school I heard this on a consistent basis. It means, most of the time, “I can do what I want”. I’m afraid it doesn’t mean any more than that when you hear an adult say it! This is the opposite of what the above examples hold dear. This ideal shouts “I want what I want, regardless of what effect it has on anyone else.
Who gives freedom?
So, the constitution? If you live in the US, or have even heard of the United States, you have probably heard that the constitution gives us freedoms.
You would be wrong.
I’ll say it again.
If you think this, you are wrong.
Our Source of Freedom
So, we live in a free country. Is our country our source of freedom?
The first settlers on this soil were all people who’s personal freedoms had been violated. They had been harassed and often imprisoned for religious beliefs. Their hard worked for earnings had been taken through high taxations. They had been oppressed financially, spiritually, and physically.
From the pilgrims to the founding fathers freedom was of highest importance.
But, they knew government was not the answer!
They knew government was not the source, but the problem.
“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”
Sir John Dalberg-Acton, 8th Baronet
They knew all about corruption and the power of government. Their objective was to give government as little power as possible.
Our government is NOT our source of freedom.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
We were created with rights. We were created to be free.
The founding fathers set about to PROTECT that freedom.
So the United States of America is a great country- as far as countries go. But it doesn’t give freedom.
Good news. If you live in the most oppressed country in the world YOU CAN BE FREE!
Wow! What an idea. That creator Thomas Jefferson was talking about. He says
Who the Son sets free, is free indeed!
If Jesus (the Son) sets us free. We are free. How does that happen? Jesus says the Truth will set you free (same chapter) He also says He IS the Truth. Later, in chapter 15 He says He will do these things for us if we “abide in Him”.
That’s it. We were born to be free. Sin makes us slaves.( John 8:34) Jesus can make us Free. Period. Ask.
Read the whole book of John.
But many, many Christians (Christ followers) have been persecuted, imprisoned, shackled, and killed. Is that freedom?
Freedom is not dependent on physical circumstances!
Yes, yes, we all WANT physical freedom. And we should fight for that with all our might. But there have been free people rotting in jail for all of time.
Our best example is in the Bible. Acts chapter 16 tells of Paul and Silas being imprisoned. When we look in on them they are singing! And not just any ole’ songs. They are singing praises. They were free despite their physical circumstances. And then, as a physical demonstration of His total power over earthly circumstances, God sets them free . physically. The chains are loosed, and the prison doors opened. A concrete demonstration of a Spiritual concept.
This is why believers throughout history are willing to risk prison, beatings, all kinds of torture. This Freedom is REAL.
Today, a believer in China is sitting in a dark cell with little to eat and unclean water to drink. He works 18 hours a day, his hands stiff and raw. He is not allowed to see his family. He is told lies about them. Lies of their betrayal. Lies of their health. He is even told they are dead or imprisoned. Sometimes they are not lies. His offense against his government? He owned a Bible. He met with other believers. He could escape his prison. He could renounce his faith, promise not to touch a Bible. Why won’t he? Because then, he would not be free.
Our church has a recovery program. People are there who are in bondage to drugs, alcohol, anger; you name it. They come from all over, all kinds of situations. Last year we took note of one man in particular. He had been in prison for years. Prisons that are known for their rough element. This man walked with his eyes downcast. He looked to avoid eye contact. His spirit was defeated and his demeanor was on guard. He had been released from prison. BUT HE WAS NOT FREE!
Today, this man is one of the church’s greatest assets. He is always ready to work. He does anything that needs to be done without anyone having to ask. As a matter of fact, no one really knows all he does because he does it all with no fanfare. He quietly goes about his business with joy. He is a main greeter; he smiles eagerly, looks people in the eyes and shakes hands warmly. He is open, and honest. He is Free.
As we celebrate freedom this July. Be thankful that our rights and freedoms are protected. Be, oh so grateful, for those who wisely drew up our Declaration of Independence. Be in awe of the forethought and intelligence that crafted our constitution. Instill a deep appreciation in your children for those who have fought and died to protect our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But, above all, be grateful for your freedom. If you are not free, don’t let another minute go by as a slave. All you have to do is ask and you can be Free.
Whom the Son sets free is Free Indeed!
I love celebrations! Family. Food. Fun. As a matter of fact, our creator loves them too! From early on He has instilled celebrations as part of worship and a way to instill knowledge of His goodness in our children. He instructed His people to set up physical markers as reminders of what He had done, as a means of teaching with stories. In the past, I made up scrapbooks for our kids of events in our lives with the intent of reminding them of God’s hand on our family. Now I have found a way to quickly and easily take photos from events, along with a few words, and preserve our story of freedom to remind us everyday of all we have to be thankful for!
Why don’t you join me? Take your fun photos from your Independence Day celebration and make them into Photo books!
It can be a constant reminder of fun times and instill gratefulness in your family for FREEDOM!
coffee table photo book