Canada/Alaska Adventure | Entry #11

Happy Independence Day! July 4th can be a hard day to celebrate, with our nation as volatile and starkly divided as it is. But it is refreshing to put all of the politics aside for a day and gather together to celebrate our freedoms, and to honor those who came before us and made those freedoms a reality.IMG_0329eThe Independence Day festivities got a great start at high noon down by the Matanuska River, with a flyover by the Kingdom Air Corps, a local missionary aviation school, as a tribute to our veterans. Check out their website here. They particularly do work in Russia, reaching small, rural communities who have never heard the gospel. A really amazing mission.IMG_0255eIMG_0262eFollowing the flyover was the parade, featuring local horsemen, as well as the various souped-up, brightly-painted wrecker cars for the launch later. The lineup even included an old cop car, complete with siren and lights. Classy. IMG_0289eIMG_0280eIMG_0270eAfter the parade and the food, we all gathered for the event that really draws the crowd – The car launch. It is a totally redneck solution to having too much daylight for fireworks, and it is hilarious fun. The brightly-painted launch vehicles are driven to the top of a bluff and, simple: let fly off a cliff into a small pond at the bottom. Because why not? Who doesn’t get a kick out of watching vehicles hurtling wildly over a bluff, taking out a few trees on the way down? Six automobiles and a snow machine were launched. There’s some great video footage on The Alaska Life Facebook page.
IMG_0393eIMG_0380eIMG_0358e2There are lots of crazy and fun traditions surrounding our national freedom holiday. Some things have meaning behind the tradition, some are just plain fun. But what it all boils down to is that we are glad to be free, and we are thankful for our heritage of freedom, which we only enjoy because of the sacrifices of so many, past and present. And in spite of all that our nation is going through and has gone through, in spite of the hatred and vitriol, the violence, and our self-destructing culture (sorry, Debbie Downer here…but I can’t really state it any other way)…in spite of all that, there still is hope.  Truly. There still are people who believe in freedom as a God-given right, as a right that must be exercised alongside morality, and there still are those who are honorable, peace-loving, peace-seeking, and will fight for what they believe is right. God is not surprised by where our country is at. He is in complete control. God is still God.

“May we think of freedom, not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right.”

~Peter Marshall

IMG_0308eIMG_0293eI hope you’ve had an encouraging, uplifting Independence Day, were able to spend time with family and friends enjoying Creation and being reminded of the Creator behind it all, the God who has blessed us so richly, in innumerable ways, and Who has given us freedoms here in this country which we enjoy and too often take for granted. But most importantly, God has presented to us the opportunity to gain spiritual freedom, through His Son Christ Jesus. That is true freedom, and it can never be taken away.

Happy Independence Day!

Save

Save

Sister date

DSCN0015.1I know the Fourth of July came and went almost two weeks ago, but I wanted to share some pictures from my family’s Independence Day. Mom and Dad were on their way back home from Illinois, unfortunately, and Anna had to work during the day, but Sarah and I took full advantage of our day off and drove through the beautiful Spearfish Canyon.

DSCN0108.1We’ve already started planning another drive sometime this fall, both to see the leaves change and to drive it when there are fewer tourists, but it was still a lovely trip. The wonder of God’s creation is truly amazing. And what is amazing is that God has not only left His fingerprints so clearly impressed in this world, but He has also allowed for there to be beauty in the results of something so devastating as a global flood. Not only did He give us the rainbow after the flood to remind us both of His judgement and His goodness in preserving a remnant, but He has left memories of the flood in places like the Black Hills, the Grand Canyon, and countless other places that were the result of the judgement of God on a wicked world. But I digress.

DSCN0023.1Sarah and I drove up to Spearfish, made a hasty stop at Walmart to get cold kombucha to drink (we were both getting drowsy–It was hot out!), and then drove down the canyon. We stopped here and there along the way to take pictures, and I added a few photographs to my growing botany portfolio.

DSCN0042.1Bridal Veil Falls was beautiful, but about fifty other people thought the same thing. Tourists. Bless their hearts. They stood around on the deck not even looking at the Falls, but just taking up space. Not many pictures happened this time around. So we’ll take another drive.

DSCN0092.1Roughlock Falls, however, was even more spectacular. It isn’t as tall as Bridal Veil, but it is tiered and simply gushes water. It is about a mile off the main road, plus a little walk to see the full beauty of the Falls, and it was well worth it. Fewer people were flocking Roughlock, since it was so far off the beaten path, and the walking paths were lined with wild roses, geranium, thimbleberry, violets, and countless other greenery. What a beautiful trail!

In the evening, we picked up Anna and headed to Custer to see the fireworks, and met a friend there. It was a quiet, simple Independence Day. Glad to spend it with friends and family.

Laura Elizabeth