My Kind of Freedom

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My Kind of Freedom

  Fourth of July has several meanings to different people.  Some people think it is just another day off of work; a government holiday.  Some people think it is a time to celebrate family and come together for BBQ dinners and lemonade refreshments.  Others celebrate the America that we know today with all the freedoms that were declared back in 1776.  I am reminded of a completely different day and time.   For my son’s school assignment on family history, we were required to look back as far as we could for his ancestry roots.  We had used my paternal family lineage since we could date people all the way back to the year 1640.  And this brings me to a land owner and farmer who lived in Charente-Maritime, France.  He was also a French Huguenot.   You see, during the king’s reign in the 16th and 17th centuries, people were not allowed to choose which religion they could believe in or choose which church to belong to.  The king decided this for you.  Thousands of Christians in France were slaughtered because of their stand against the king and because it was illegal for them to flee their country, they either conformed or died.  My ancestor Jean Guenon decided it was worth the risk to escape and fled to neighboring countries.   No one knows the exact date, but he died after coming to America somewhere in the vicinity of what we now know as New York.  He had set forth to live in a place where freedom of religion was allowed so that he could raise a Christian family.  It doesn’t stop there; Cornelius Genung, a descendent of Jean, served as a Private in the Revolutionary War from the New Jersey area.  And in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed.   So, when you are lighting up your firecrackers tomorrow night, what are you celebrating?  I will be celebrating the members of my family who sacrificed everything so that we could celebrate Jesus Christ who died for us on the cross.  

“…Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you where you go.” Joshua 1:9

    {Originally published in 2013}

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