Summertime is finally here. There is no better place to enjoy our nation's freedoms than our Heartland Lakes. As it says in Galatians 5:1a, "For freedom Christ has set us free!"

When France gave us the Statue of Liberty, money was raised for the pedestal and other expenses that made Liberty Island a symbol of our freedom.

At the base of the statue, there are broken chains around the ankles of Lady Liberty. These chains are partially hidden under her robe. The poem "The New Colossus" was written by Emma Lazarus to help raise funds to raise Liberty's torch over New York Harbor:

"Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand Glows worldwide welcome; her mild eyes command The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. 'Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!' cries she With silent lips. 'Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door!'"

Christian freedom is also reflected by these words of Hubert H. Humphrey: "It was once said that the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped."

Facing the end of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln advocated reconstruction. In the last century, the Marshall Plan helped rebuild Germany. Christian freedom is seen by Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address on March 4, 1865:

"With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations."

These are the core values I was taught. May God bless us to strive for and cherish a just and lasting peace. Happy Independence Day!