Celebrating Freedom

Happy Fourth of July!

Tonight I’m going to be short and simple.  I’m guessing you’ve had a big weekend too!  Tony got to preach twice in two languages in REAL churches after our restrictions have lightened up a bit.  Because of that, we’re pretty tired tonight but we had a great weekend.
On the actual fourth, we had a nice time with our kids, and grandkids, riding on the John Deere mower (blades disengaged) and picking oranges. It’s pretty chilly here, so we cancelled the bag races and headed inside. There, by a roaring fire, we sat around the table ‘explaining’ why we were celebrating.  Because we’re in Australia we felt the need to have a little history lesson to these Aussie kids about their American roots.

We explained about how American was ‘settled’ by mostly white pilgrims from England.  At this point they corrected us to stop and include the Native Americans, so it’s clear that they’ve heard a few things in their 5th, 3rd and kindergarten classes.  After we got that all tidied up we continued to point out that whereas Australia was ‘invaded’ by convicts, the second Americans (following the first native American immigrants, having made it all the way from the Ark) came here for a lot of reasons, but for the most part, wanted to be free to worship as they wished. I thought it was interesting that in both Australian and American “settler stories”, it was the Aboriginals and the Native Americans, who were responsible in a big way for the newcomers’ survival during those first few years.
In a nutshell, it seems that America was founded by people seeking freedom, while Australia was founded by English convicts who had lost theirs.

In theory, at least, America was built on a religious heritage, and if anything, Australia began with a built-in aversion to any kind of authority, including religious.

But one thing we could all agree on as we sat around the table, was the fact that today, these two countries are among the most blessed in the world. And especially us, I thought, sitting there with a heritage, family ties, and most importantly a love for God and each other that is the glue in our clan.
So much these days, it seems that our heritage is being “re-worked”, with a distinctive negative spin put on it. There’s probably some truth on both sides of the fence, but at the end of the day, it’s still true that God has been, and continues to be, so, so good to us. All the time.

Let me close with this little exciting announcement from Tony:

A new devotional series is coming to YouTube. It’s called The Road Rising, and it’s brought to you by your own Reverend Doctor Tony Woods. If you’ve read the book of the same name, then you know it’s the story of a man on a backpack trip. But in fact, it goes much deeper than that. The traveler, known only as Friend, follows a path set before him by God, and in the process discovers danger, hardships, new friends, old enemies and even a demon or two. The journal he keeps will provide 52 weeks of insights into the life of faith, recounted each week in a short video vlog by the author. The presentations are suitable for individual or small group participation, and will introduce just about every facet of life on the Kingdom path.

To keep up to date and follow along, please subscribe and tick the bell to be notified when new weekly video episodes are available. The first segment goes live at midnight, Friday, July 10 (Australia time).

Click here to join the journey! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTkLgbfPKh8&feature=youtu.be

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