Along the Journey – Freedom

What do you give someone who is 237 years old? Still relatively a youngster compared to other countries, the United States of America has reason to trumpet her place in history and on the world stage today. The USA also has reason to contemplate the challenges she didn’t overcome and the ones she faces today.

We live in a great land with wonderful opportunities to bring about a brighter future but we do not rank among the highest peoples who expect better days.

Americans have been known for their optimism, their ingenuity, their belief in their dreams and hopes. Most of us trace our roots to immigrants. America was once viewed as a vast melting pot of the world’s immense varieties of cultures, races, creeds, and customs.

Today it seems there is more that divides us than unites us. What does America need for her 237th birthday? We can start with prayer – prayer for our leaders, prayer for those who keep us safe and secure at home and abroad, prayer for those who care for us when we are hurting, needy, alone, prayer for those who teach us and challenge us, prayer for our institutions that serve as foundations for our society. We can engage more, serve more, give more, pay attention more, connect more, love more.

July 4th is Independence Day. 237 years ago 56 men signed a document that took seventeen days to compose. They put a dream down on paper and risked their lives by their affirmation. No, the US of A is not a perfect nation. We have made plenty of regrettable mistakes and grievous errors in our history, but this noble experiment has made and continues to make a significant contribution to this world. Have fun, have a picnic, go see the fireworks, take in a game but remember that blessings always are accompanied by responsibilities. Freedom is never free.

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About Mark Wilbanks

Dr. Wilbanks became Wieuca’s fifth senior pastor in February of 2012. Mark’s father, Oliver Wilbanks, served as Associate Pastor here from 1966 to 1982. Wieuca had a tremendous influence in shaping Mark’s call to ministry during his teenage and young adult years. A graduate of both Southern and New Orleans Baptist Theological seminaries, Mark has served churches in Kentucky, Florida, and Georgia. He pastored Southside Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida for 17 years and Bradfordville First Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Florida for ten years. He and his wife, Kim, were married in 1979 and have two sons, Andy and Jordan. Andy is married to Lindsay and they have a son, Cade, a daughter, Ruthie, and welcomed their third child, Samuel, in October.

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