Thursday, July 4, 2013

I Love Freedom!

So, it's been a while. I would say I've been busy, but that isn't really true. The truth is I didn't really feel compelled to write. I've never wanted to make blog posts, or do anything, out of compulsion. As a result, I stopped not long after I started. Well, then yesterday I read something that has compelled me to write. While pursuing Facebook, surprise, surprise, I came across an article from Relevant's website that my friend Jake was sharing. In the article, the author was discussing how far too often she defined her existence by what she hated not what she loved. Her central argument being that as Christians our witness suffers when we fail to act and speak in love. Now, recognizing that some of you reading this may hold religion responsible for putting hate into the world, I would challenge you to consider this idea on your own terms as well. How often do you find yourself criticizing a genre of music, type of film, or brand of clothing without offering up an indication of what you do love, appreciate, or respect? Sure, we have the freedom to express opinions. However, I know this constant stream of negativity takes a toll on me--especially when I'm responsible for it. For that reason, I'm challenging you all today, and beyond today, to remember the things you love and talk about those instead. We have the freedom to cherish things because love overcame hate. Jesus' love for us overcame death. America's Founding Father's love of this country, and the sacrifice of American patriots, overcame tyranny and oppression. And from July 1-3 1863 in fields in Southern Pennsylvania love of country, the UNITED States of America, led men to fight and die to preserve our Union. The guns fell silent on July 4th, our Independence Day, as Confederate soldiers retreated. I know historically why the Civil War ended. Still, in my heart, I like to believe that eventually men, of high character, on both sides realized that their mutual love for their homes, families, and this country was greater than any differences could ever be. Because, as history shows, men often die for love or in love than out of hate. In that spirit, today I would like to share with you the things I love. The list won't be comprehensive. I'm not looking to completely waste your time. But, it's something I'd encourage everyone to think about today amid fireworks, baseball, and bbq's (which happen to be things I love).

I love freedom...of speech, of religion, of the press, of assembly, and to petition the government

I love History
I love Coke (Coca-Cola, not cocaine)
I love Pitt, Pittsburgh, and those people I've met there
I love a good, cold beer
I love the Steelers and the Pirates
I love camping, hiking, and enjoying the majesty of God's wilderness
I love the variety in our world, its people and places
I love how a pretty girl can make your forget everything else, at least for a moment
I love the smell of freshly cooked burgers
I love books that are so engrossing they have you lose track of time
I love Independence Day (yes, especially the movie)
I love moments of vulnerability from those who typically don't show them
I love my family
I love seeing music performed live and experiencing it with people I know and those I don't
I love blasting music in the car with the windows rolled down
I love feeling the warmth of the Sun
I love seeing old friends
I love watching a movie for the first time
I love girls with long hair, who don't care
I love when something unexpectedly great happens
I love conversations that reveal truths you need to hear
I love freshly washed sheets
I love freshly baked pies, cookies, really any baked goods
I love a cool glass of lemonade on a hot day
I love newly fallen winter snow
I love September
I love my dog Precious
I love watching thunder light up the sky
I love trivia
I love playing frisbee
I love Primanti's sandwiches
I love home cooked meals
I love girls that are sarcastic and a bit sassy
I love when song lyrics hit you like a ton of bricks
I love that there's always something new to learn
I love pizza
I love visiting new places
I love hearing stories from people that are willing to share them
I love that someone probably doesn't love things I'm putting on this list
I love some things that would probably surprise you all
I love redheads
I love brunettes and blondes too
I love flannel shirts
I love lots of other things that I can't remember right now
I love the U.S.A.
And finally...I love that Jesus loves me and died for me

Happy 4th of July everybody! Go and enjoy the things that you love today!

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