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Our July message from Lori Jones:

July holds the celebration of one of my favorite holidays – Independence Day, recognized on July 4th.

The Fourth of July is typically a ‘fun’ holiday with fireworks, outdoor activities, grilling, and homemade ice cream.  However, it seems the older I get, this holiday takes on more meaning and becomes sweeter.

Recently I had the opportunity to help escort 21 veterans to Washington D.C. to see the memorials established in their honor.  There were WWII, Korea and Vietnam veterans on the trip, each who sacrificed much to serve our country.  As the various memorial sites were visited, experiencing the impact of the visit through the eyes of these veterans was profound.  I count myself a patriot but I have not seen wartime action, nor been dispatched from my home for long periods of time to secure peace in remote parts of the world.  I have simply enjoyed the freedom that others secured for me and I am grateful beyond words. 

I am reminded of how we each have an opportunity to look at the cross which is a memorial symbol recognizing the sacrificial life of Jesus.  His life was sinless, and His death was the ultimate sacrifice for each of us.  Because of His love for us, we enjoy freedom from sin that God’s plan in Jesus Christ secured for us.  We have the hope and promise of eternal life and we should all be grateful.  When we look at the cross as Christians, we recognize the gift, but do not always appreciate the cost.  I wonder what it would be like to see Jesus look at that cross – knowing that it was His sacrifice that won the war against sin.

If you are a veteran, THANK YOU for your service, sense of duty and love of our country.