Dear Friends,
           The July 4th Independence Day holiday is upon us once again. Flags and fireworks declare the sight and sound of freedom. Freedom is something we think about this time of year and it is important for us to pause and remember the source of that freedom.
We have the freedom to choose, to decide what we want to do with our life, where we want to go, what we want to say. Every day we are faced with the choice of using our God-given freedom for good, for the betterment of others, or for evil. God has given us the ability to choose.
          As we have seen in our Ephesians series “Growing Up in Christ,” part of growing into maturity is rightly discerning how we use our freedom. Will we respond to the grace and blessings God has given us in Christ and embody our freedom by serving others with our gifts? Will we leverage our freedom in Christ to build up the body of Christ, encourage one another and work to remain unified together in the Spirit? Will we let Christ be our peace and let Him tear down all the walls of hostility that so easily separate us from our neighbor?
          It is my prayer for you this month of July that as you ponder the freedom we have in this country, you would also ponder the amazing freedom that we have in the Spirit. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom,” (2 Corinthians 3:17).
          We can choose to exercise our freedom and seek God this month more than we ever have. I invite you to continue “growing up in Christ”, that we might together as a church, venture to deeper maturity and new places of freedom in the Spirit and build one another up into the grace-filled community God desires us to be.

On the journey together,