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From The Pastor...


Dear Friends in Christ....   




“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone
who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 NLT


Dear Friends in Christ….

HAPPY 4th OF JULY!!!!

He came back without one arm, missing fingers on the other hand, and missing one leg. Every day since his return and everywhere he goes, he carries freedom's “price tag” in his own body. He is like so many others, both men and women, among us today who have purchased and preserved our freedoms today,
freedoms that we too often take for granted, at a great cost, a cost that most of us cannot relate to personally. This is a cost that those who paid it can never forget. Truth be told, they bear on their bodies and their psyches the horrors of war forever. Their lives will never be the same again. But, he came back. Too many others, literally tens of thousands of brave and selfless men and women never came back from World War I, World War II, the Korean War, Viet Nam or from the deserts of the Middle East, even to this day.

As citizens of this great nation, the United States of America, we will gather with friends and family on
July 4th this year and celebrate once again our country's Independence Day. We'll do this with
parades and picnics and fireworks at dark. As we celebrate let us not forget the cost that has been
paid to purchase the freedom to do these things and so much more without fear. This freedom that
we celebrate is not just for our nation, but also for people around the world.

There was another war fought for whole human race, a war in which freedom for ALL people was
purchased as well at a great cost. The symbol of that “price tag” is not rolling hillside after rolling
hillside of simple white crosses, nor is it the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It's not a black wall of
hundreds of names, nor is it any other monument or statue erected in memory and honor of men
and women who paid the ultimate price for our freedom. As important and precious as these
symbols are to the people they represent and the people who know them, not one of them compares
to the symbol of the Empty Tomb of Jesus Christ. It's my belief that this symbol transcends all
boundaries.

I believe that the Empty Tomb is the sign of ultimate freedom, and that is freedom of death. The
Empty Tomb is the symbol of the cost of “true” freedom for all of human kind. It is the cost of Jesus
leaving the security of heaven and becoming mortal (Philippians 2:5-11). It is the symbol of agonizing
death on a cross, the degradation of crucifixion. It is the symbol of three days in the ground, buried
in a borrowed tomb sealed with a huge stone closure. Jesus literally lay his body down, but death was
not the end of the story. The tomb, the ground, could not hold him.

The Empty Tomb is the sign of ultimate freedom! The Empty Tomb is a reminder that you and I and
all people no longer have to fear the power of death or any other mortal fears for that matter.

“Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?
…..But thanks be to God! He gives
us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 Corinthians 15: 54-55, 57

For we Christians, Independence Day doesn't come just once a year, not just on one day in July. For
those who follow Jesus, Independence Day is every day, but we have come to celebrate it every
Sunday. (By the end of the first century, Sunday had become the Lord's Day. On this day the early
Christians remembered our Lord's death and resurrection and anticipated his return because his
death had won freedom from death once and for all. Independence Day is the day of the Empty
Tomb!

So....as Sunday comes around each week, let us like the early Christians meet to worship and give him
thanks and praise as we remember the “price tag” on our ultimate freedom, the freedom from death
and sin! Thanks be to God!
Blessings, Pastor Terry

A PRAYER FOR INDEPENDENCE DAY....
Lord God Almighty, in whose name the founders of our great country won freedom for
themselves and for us, and who lit the torch of freedom for nations then unborn: Grant that
we and all the people of this land may have the grace to maintain our freedoms in
righteousness and peace; through Jesus Christ our Risen Savior and Lord, who paid the price
for our ultimate freedom from death once and for all, and who lives and reigns with you and
the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever and ever. Amen.




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