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Bonfires and Illuminations!

A few years ago, Tammy and I started hosting a little family reunion at our house over the fourth of July. Just before the party our first year, I ran across a quote by John Adams about how Independence Day should be celebrated. He wrote, “It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shows, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.” Every year since then, we’ve tried to have as many of the things on John Adam’s list as possible. Of course, now that “illuminations” are officially legal in Iowa, it’s become a little bit easier.

On July 4th, we celebrate family and freedom. But it’s also a time to recognize that the founding fathers of our nation were not anarchists. They dreamed of a nation ruled by law –where all people would be devoted to living according to a common commitment to the constitution.

As disciples of Jesus, we also have immense freedom – but it is a freedom that is self-limited by sacrificial love. This year, I am thankful for family, freedom and the call of God to serve one another in love.