Notes from Jan

Freedom of Choice

July 4, 2017

As I write, flags flutter, colorful reminders of this July 4th. A parade of cars inches towards the parking lot, tourists and townies praying, each in his own way, the LOT FULL sign doesn’t halt all hope.

Traveling outside the USA  gives perspective on my Homeland.  I could write about what’s wrong with our country, politics and the current leadership, or lack thereof, but today’s a party day and I don’t want to be a party pooper. Besides, wiser heads than mine have spoken and written long and well on these subjects.

Today, I’m grateful for Freedom of the Press, and for a copy of the Boston Globe, delivered to my front door, even on a holiday.  Today’s Globe included a copy of the Declaration of Independence, a story about Governor Christie’s private beach day with family and friends, the “collective reading on the Boston Common of Frederick Douglass’s ‘The Meaning of the Fourth of July for the Negro’ ” and a thoughtful story At home with the Bushes  in Kennebunkport, Maine.

I’m thankful for Freedom of  Religion, for the small New Testament I read this morning, without fear of confiscation or imprisonment, and for freedom for those who believe differently, or not at all.   Eugene Peterson wrote in the introduction to Galatians in The Message, “When men and women get their hands on religion, one of the first things they often do is turn it into an instrument for controlling others, either putting or keeping them in their place…freedom is a delicate and subtle gift, easily perverted and often squandered.”

Paul, at great cost to him, none to us, sends Peace and Grace to the Galatians and us.

What difference could, We the People, make by choosing to offer Peace and Grace to our foes?

We’re free to choose.



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  • Reply Jim Trent July 4, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    What a true and thoughtful July 4th message. Thank you for it, Jan.

  • Reply wendy lane July 4, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    Thank you for these thoughts. After experiencing the constant tension in Israel, we truly are blessed in this country. Yes, lets continually choose peace.

  • Reply Katherine Bagley July 4, 2017 at 11:07 pm

    Happy 4th Jan! Thank you for your comment today. As I was walking down a dirt road in Maine today I saw a sign saying:
    “Proud to be an American”
    I wondered to myself if I could echo that sentiment. Weelllll not really at this point in time but I can say I am glad to be an American, I am blessed to be an American and enjoy the freedoms and privileges that we so often take for granted.
    In my devotions today I was reading about grace. Here’s one thing it said:
    “Grace is the face God wears when He meets my sin, my weakness and my imperfection. ”
    I can do no less towards others….
    Blessings to you!

  • Reply Madeline July 5, 2017 at 2:34 am


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