“Freedom!” William Wallace yells as endures torture in his quest to bring liberty to Scotland. I watch that scene from Braveheart and ask myself, “What is freedom worth?”
Why is freedom worth giving your life for?
And, of course: What is freedom anyway?
What does it mean to be free?
We often think of freedom as the absence of something: no slavery, no debt, no obligations, no responsibilities.
Instead, let's look at Freedom from another angle: "Freedom to..."
When the Founding Fathers spoke of inalienable rights, they were speaking of rights that God has given to men: the freedom to have our own opinions and talk about them, the freedom to worship, the freedom to protect ourselves, the freedom to pursue happiness.
If government refuses to acknowledge those rights, they will be sinning against the Lord. The Founding Fathers set up a government to protect the rights of human beings to make their own choices and face their own consequences.
As believers in Jesus, we have even greater freedoms.
We have an amazing heritage as Americans.
Our nation's history is filled with heroes, many who loved Jesus Christ with all their hearts, minds, souls, and strength.
I love history! As an American, it is fun to go back in time and learn about Colonial America and the American Revolution and discover the people who made history.
If I were to create a Hallmark of Fame for the heroes of the American Revolution, I would start with my Favorite Founding Fathers.
Let me introduce you to them.
Fiery speaker, governor of Virginia, US representative, father of 17 children, devout follower of Jesus Christ, and Father of the Bill of Rights, Patrick Henry stirred up the hearts of Virginians with his famous "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death" speech.
Patrick was a delegate to the First Continental Congress and the Second Continental Congress, but he opposed the Constitution because he felt that it would create a huge monstrosity that would trample on state and individual rights. He penned many of the Anti-Federalist Papers, letters to newspaper editors, that warned of the dangers to come. Once the Constitution was ratified, he championed the Bill of Rights, or first ten amendments to the Constitution that protect individual and states' rights.
Henry served as a US Representative and as governor of Virginia for five terms. Offered positions in both President Washington's and President Adams' cabinet, he declined for health reasons.
His famous "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death" speech is filled with quotes from the Old and New Testament. He read his Bible for hours at a time and urged Americans to flee from the deism and atheism. He loved America and gave his life to her service.
I love summer! That's why I live in Florida. We enjoy summer nine months a year.
For those of you in other places where you are blessed to enjoy all four seasons, you are probably excited to pull out the swimsuits and plan outings to the lake, or beach.
It's a season for all of us to stop and enjoy the Summer Joys.
What are summer joys?
Those delightful adventures and amusements of summer.
Let's start this delightful season by making a summer bucket list. What things do you really want to do this summer? How about your husband? Your children? Have a blast this summer!
I have some great suggestions for you. They are all simple and cheap!
It’s graduation time. You are planning a party for your amazing son or daughter, feeling quite emotional. What about food? What should you serve your guests?
Start with your graduate. Is there something special that he, or she, would like on the menu. Maybe he likes Mexican food and you can have a menu of burritos, tacos, and fajitas. Or maybe she likes old-fashioned teas and you can serve tea sandwiches, lace cookies, and scones with clotted cream.
After nine high school graduations and six college graduations between us, we have planned our fair share of menus. Here are some of our guests’ favorites. Enjoy.
Graduation Party Appetizers & Punch
Fresh Fruit Platter
Raw Veggies with Dip Platter
Hummus with Pita Chips
Spicy 7-Layer Mexican Dip with Tortilla Chips
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Graduation Party Hearty Feast
On of our favorite things to eat for dessert on Resurrection Sunday is Carrot Cake. We make it from scratch and frost it with cream cheese icing. Here are the recipes for the carrot cake and the cream cheese frosting.
I tasted this recipe at a friend's house the day after Easter when I was in high school. I asked for the recipe and have enjoyed making it over the years, adapting to fit my own family's taste.
I hope you like it!
Carrot Cake Recipe
2 Cups Flour
2 Cups Sugar
2 tsp. Baking Soda
4 Large Eggs
1 1/2 Cups Oil
2 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Cinnamon
3 Cups Grated Carrots
Preheat oven to 350̊F. Grease and flour 3 round cake pans.
Mix dry ingredients together. Add oil and mix well. Add each egg one at a time and mix well. Add carrots and stir until mixed in. Divide batter up and pour into 3 round cake pans. Bake at 350̊F for 25 minutes. Frost between layers and over tops and sides with cream cheese frosting. You can use the recipe below.
What's so GOOD about Good Friday, I often wondered as a child, sitting in church on Good Friday. Why did everyone call "good" a day where Jesus died.
I liked Jesus as a child. I loved the way He healed and forgave. I listened in wonder to His teachings when the Gospel was read.
On Good Friday I cried and cried, even though I knew Easter was coming. I just couldn't understand Good Friday.
Fast-forward to my teenage years after a terrible accident left me trembling in pain alone in the ICU crying out to God for mercy, for relief. Then I realized. God had chosen pain for me. He had made a choice to go to the cross. I would never choose pain for anyone, I decided. But especially not for someone who was going my own way, living for my own glory.
In the hospital bed, I gave my life to Christ and in the weeks and months to follow I voraciously read the Bible. In the Scriptures, I learned something amazing. I discovered that Jesus took my place and paid the penalty for my sin on the cross, that the wrath of God against my sin was poured out on Innocent Jesus. Like a Lamb to the slaughter, Jesus willingly endured the pain, the cross. He died for me. Suddenly, it made sense why Good Friday was good.
Should we celebrate St. Patrick's Day?
I think so. Here's why
Who is St. Patrick? Isn't he an Irish priest? Is he a leprechaun? Is he a legend or a real person?
St. Patrick is an English missionary and Apostle to the nation of Ireland. Captured by Irish pirates as a young boy, St. Patrick is a Christian hero that your children should meet.
In a day when most of our heroes lack integrity, it is good to learn about a true hero, brave in every situation.
Patrick was born in England during Roman Times. Though his father was a priest in the Celtic Church, Patrick spent his time partying in the Roman colony seaside village. Patrick did not want to serve God like his parents did. It took a disaster to bring him to the Lord.
One day, Irish pirates stormed Patrick's seaside village, killing many of the inhabitants. At the young age of fourteen, he was kidnapped, taken as a slave to Ireland, and forced to work as a shepherd. Ireland was a land of pagans and Druids who worshiped idols. Patrick was very homesick.
During his captivity, he remembered his parent's faith in God and surrendered his life to Jesus as Lord and Savior. He grew closer to the Lord during these years and did his best to be a shining light for His Messiah.
Called to the Irish
One night, God spoke to Patrick in a dream to go to the coast so he could leave Ireland. Patrick waited on the Lord for the right timing. Finally, an opportunity came for Patrick to make his escape. Making his way to a port city, he boarded a ship bound for freedom. Sailors, who took pity on him, smuggled him aboard a ship sailing for England. To his great joy, Patrick was reunited with his family.
Happy to be home, Patrick had another dream. In this dream, the people of Ireland were begging him to come back to Ireland. His heart was moved with compassion for those poor Irishmen and women who would die in their sins. A burden to share the Gospel with the Irish began to beat in his heart.
Now his training for the priesthood and his call as a missionary to Ireland began. Patrick spent almost twenty years in preparation.