Greetings to you all

With the 4th of July coming next Thursday, it’s an ideal time to consider anew what a phenomenal series of events created the USA.  We hear words like “patriot” today and vaguely think of courageous freedom-loving heroes. That’s true. But the source of their patriotism is often forgotten. In the chaotic and controversial debates that led up to the 1776 Declaration of Independence, the document that stirred Revolutionary War as a necessity for human freedom was anchored on one simple idea: that all our “inalienable rights” come directly from God (not from government) and that the absolute foundation of a free society must be based on the “rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” for one simple reason: Our Creator is the source of all these rights. 
John Adams explained it this way to those who had wrestled for weeks to realize that negotiating with Great Britain was futile and that a Declaration would be costly for them all:
“Objects of the most stupendous magnitude, measures in which the lives and liberties of millions, born and unborn are most essentially interested, are now before us. We are in the very midst of revolution, the most complete, unexpected and remarkable of any in the history of the world.”*
Within a few hours of that speech, Adams and his fellow patriots sealed their own fate as “rebels” against the Crown, with this document upon which they marked their vote (on behalf of each of their Colonies) for Independence:
We’re just two years away from celebrating the 250th anniversary of the nation.
The cause for celebration may seem way too cloudy for many Americans due to the conflicts and chaos we now see in so many aspects of the culture. It’s crucial now that we recognize how tortured the path was to Philadelphia and how powerfully the timeless truths of Scripture buoyed and blessed those patriots, in their most desperate hours.
A foundational truth that inspired many of the early Founders of America was found in the words of Jesus in Matthew 22:21: Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”
Their conflict with the tyranny of the British crown ran far deeper than a dispute over taxation without representation. It was about a new “Caesar” that had taken from the hearts and homes and families of the Colonies what rightly belongs only to Almighty God. To “give back to God what is God’s” required these Founders to resist the radical demands of their “Caesar” [the king of England] and birth a government accountable to it’s own people.
By July 4th in that sweltering summer in Philadelphia, a printer had prepared the actual document on which Adams and Franklin, along with John Hancock and another 53 patriots pledged all their possessions, loyalty, honor and energies to the goal of securing true liberty for their families and future generations.
When they said: “our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor”, they meant it.  And they knew the price would be sky high. In that Declaration, they not only created a nation; they passed a torch with the flame of liberty ablaze. 
Times have changed. These truths, however, remain as powerful as ever. Patriotism arises from the ashes whenever any “Caesar” threatens to usurp what rightfully belongs only to God. As we pray for America in times of great testing, we can always rest assured the seed-principles of liberty, sown so intentionally 248 years ago, are potent and accessible to us today. Patriotism is a living legacy that springs into action in the toughest of times.
Have a safe, enjoyable and freedom-loving 4th of July! How blessed we are, in spite of America’s many vexing problems, to say boldly and gratefully “God bless America!”
* John Adams, by David McCullough, page 127, Simon and Schuster 

Looking ahead

Read the Word With Us! 

The half-way mark on our 2024 calendar is a perfect time to start, renew or change a Bible reading plan. One of the reading plans I’ve enjoyed is the attached “blended” plan from Blue Letter Bible that covers the entire Bible in a year but in a different sequence that a traditional straight-through plan. Would you join me starting Monday, July 1st? If you do, let me know with a reply email or a text. Feel free to print, copy, use and share the attached BLB plan in any way you choose.

Family Fun and Fellowship Night on Saturday, July 20th @ 5:00 PM 

In these busy weeks of summer, we hope you can join us on July 20th to enjoy food, games, fellowship and more. We so appreciate Ladies Ministry initiatives for outreach and fellowship and MANY thanks to Jessica Adams for leading this one!

Membership Orientation Evening: Tuesday, July 23rd @ 6:45 PM

As part of our goal to make fellowship, serving and involvement easily accessible to all, we welcome all in worship and seek to build the Body of Christ as co-laborers for Christ in our community. For this reason, we rarely talk about membership here at Liberty. We realize that joining the church is a matter of the heart and respect that freedom completely. However, we also want our shared mission to be meaningful and enriching to each person and family. We also invite members to participate in a ballot every two years to elect our Board of Trustees. A brief presentation and Q & A time with refreshments will be held here in the Fellowship Hall on Tuesday, July 23rd @ 6:45 PM. Please RSVP for us on the New Members sign-up sheet on the Connections table.
Thank you for joining us. It’s an honor for us anytime, to know of a prayer need or a concern you may have. Feel free to reply to this email or text me directly @ 410.596.4096.
Here are links for quick access:

View the service live online

Listen to past services

“Tell of His glory among the nations,
His wonderful deeds among all the peoples.
For great is the LORD and greatly to be praised;
He also is to be feared above all gods. 
For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
But the LORD made the heavens.” 
(I Chronicles 16:25-26 NASB)
In His love,
Pastor Joe
Liberty Church
P.O. Box 295
Westminster MD 21157

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