As a child I thought that Independence Day (July 4, 1776) was a barbecue, hot dogs, hamburgers, beans and potato salad. I did not understand the historical nature of the day. I hoped for an early sunset. We watched the night sky light up for miles. The night of July the Fourth was more about sparklers, piccolo petes, fountains and smoke bombs than liberty and freedom from England. Yet, our freedoms costed blood, sweat and tears. My father spent 4 yrs. as an immigrant soldier in France, Germany, Belgium and Africa fighting for a country not his own. Actually, he became a citizen of the U.S.A in Algiers, North Africa after the battle of Kaserine Pass. His story made me realize that July 4th was more than a hot dog. Being a citizen of a country brings privileges and responsibilities. In other words, as we celebrate 241 years of freedom, this Fourth of July, we must remember that we were set free by the precious blood of Christ Jesus who declared our independence from sin, death and Satan. It is a profound joy to be a citizen of the Kingdom of God and soldiers of Christ holding up the blood stained banner.