We will be watching fireworks and eating traditional combinations of food and drink today, along with many other Americans. While we celebrate this wonderful day when our founding fathers came together to stand against tyranny and oppression, we are thinking about the religious freedom we have in this county. It's a freedom denied to many in the world—the freedom to express the joy we have within us to others, who do not know our joy, without fear of reprisal from wicked government or coercion by evil men.

Our platform at 1517 isn't really about this political freedom we have, but we want to do everything to honor and take advantage of this dearly bought gift and show our stripes, as it were, by getting the word out and helping those in the world who don't have this freedom.

Today, we honor those who suffer for political freedom and suffer without it.

Today we are reminded of one of the pillars of 1517: Freedom is rooted in the Gospel! Our true freedom is that of sons. We are the sons of God by adoption. Jesus has freed us from the bondage of sin, death, the world and the devil by beating the whole gang roundly and soundly in His bloody death and having His arm raised in victory by the Father as He was announced with power to be the true Son by His resurrection. And this same Jesus is not ashamed to call us brothers and allow us to share in His victory and freedom.

We hope we can convince you of the freedom you have in Jesus, even if you don't have political freedom where you come from. For whoever the Son sets free is free indeed and a slave is Christ's free man.

So, as we celebrate this symbol of freedom, we also want you to know that we are here for you as servants. And if you are suffering under evil men or oppressive government or both, know that we are praying for you and also that God uses what we are doing here to help you in your need.

And we love your comments, so please consider what we are trying to do, which is to be of service to you, and put something in there, be it a question, comment, a complaint, or something you find praiseworthy—we love it all!

So as we again wish you a happy July 4th, we remember Christ's words on the cross as He won eternal freedom for the world—It is finished!