Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. (2 Corinthians 3:17 NRSV)
I remember a story about a young Texan who enlisted and marched off to fight with his friends to fight in the Civil War. "We won't be gone long," he claimed, "cause we can lick them Yankees with broom sticks."

Four years later when the fighting was finally over, the young man came home, a beaten man. One of his neighbors asked, "What happened? I thought you were going to beat those Yankees with broom sticks."

"We could have," replied the young man sadly, "Except we couldn't get them to fight with broomsticks."

It would be nice now that the Cold War is over if we could totally eliminate our defense with the knowledge that no nation would ever commit aggression against us again. But that's not the way the world is right now.

But we should continue to have a great hope for the future. I know that at times I am guilty of taking my freedom for granted. But Freedom is a fragile thing, and we should not take it for granted. We should, however, do all we can to preserve and expand freedom. Almost all wars start as the result of selfishness. If we work at being less selfish and focus on fulfilling the needs of those around us, we can build freedom. If we give more of our time and money, we can build bridges of freedom and peace. And I can't think of a better place to start than we our church. With more of us working together we can do more to create freedom--freedom from poverty, freedom from separation from God, and freedom from hate.

Loving God, may I not take the freedom Christ has given to me for granted. In Jesus name, Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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