JULY 4-CELEBRATING FREEDOM

Paul tells us in Timothy 2:1-4

I urge you, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercessions and thanksgiving be made for everyone- for all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all Godliness and Holyness, this is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to please our God and Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

As we join our fellow Americans this Independence Day, how should we celebrate, in a Christian way?

Paul shows us the way as he encourages us to pray for those in authority. Pray for our President, political leaders, judges, and law enforcement officials. Ask God to impress upon them their sacred responsibility and to give them wisdom and understanding, conviction and courage.

Ask God to help our servicemen and women to do their duty with honor and dignity, compassion and courage and to keep them safe from all danger. Ask Him to comfort their loved ones. Thank God for the blessings He has showered on our land.

Our nation needs our prayers like never before, not only for the war overseas, but for the moral war here at home. Pray for an end to our recession and the folks who through no fault of their own are finding themselves jobless and homeless or facing that possibility.

Paul tells us to pray for those in authority so that we may have peaceful lives. This pleases God, who wants all to be saved. If we do not know the peace of forgiveness in Jesus and His cross, if we do not have the hope of eternal life in His name, we are not free.

His cross was our personal Independence day. His death liberates us from our sins and our death. That is our real freedom. It did not come without a price. Jesus paid it!

God has given it to us so that we can tell the world of an eternal freedom- one that Jesus earned for us. Let us never miss an opportunity to share the Good News with anyone we meet.

Yours in Christ, Don Cooper

A Beautiful Summer Day

What a gorgeous day; sitting on the deck this morning having breakfast. The birds are singing in chorus, answering one another and flying back-and-forth between the trees in the woods and the trees in the back yard and their feeder. How could we ask for a more delightful day? The trees, the grass and everything growing are taking on their own lovely individual colors. You can watch the corn grow; listen, and hear it as well. Soon the soybeans will race with the corn, seeing which will grow the fastest. The sunflowers I planted alongside of the driveway are growing by leaps and bounds and all of the trees and shrubs that we planted in the last year are doing well. The wheat is just starting to turn colors; soon it will become a beautiful shade of gold. It won’t be long until the harvest, and we will reap the first of our rewards for 2009. What a wonderful time to be a farmer, witnessing God’s presence where ever I look

We must pause and count our blessings; after all the years of financial struggles, wondering if it would ever be possible to get out of debt. We have to thank God that we were able to sell enough land to pay off our mortgages and finally begin to live in relative peace and comfort without the stress and concern of being able to make all our payments.

*****Dairy farming was a rewarding career in many ways. Our progress as cattle breeders was a real source of pride. Buyers at our herd dispersal demonstrated confidence in the reputation we had developed. The financial pressure caused by roller coaster milk prices however, made us wonder many times if we had made the right decision when we decided to give up testing milk to become farmers. We had become accustomed to earning enough money to do all the things that were necessary for us to live in comfort. Our milk checks over the years did not assure us of the lifestyle we had been accustomed to, and ultimately led to the decision to sell our herd. The fact that Ruth and I both developed milkmaid knees was another important part of that decision.*****

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