I Can’t Hear You Over My FREEDOM!!

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Evan Hepp…probably the coolest kid of all time.

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Mariah, Jason, and I ๐Ÿ™‚

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Here’s some sparkler art:

Here are some of my favorites:

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The 4th of July is an absolutely invaluable part of being an American. It is a day of extreme pride, honor, celebration, and for many (including myself) , thankfulness. Today I was most humbled and honored that our country was blessed with the freedom to worship Jesus without the threat of persecution! How foreign it is for us cup-floweth-over Americans to get it through our heads that freedom of religion is a priviledge so many are denied and are dying for overseas. We must let the persecuted church always be a burden on our hearts and our wallets.

I spent my 4th among friends. Crowded in a makeshift circle around nothing in particular, talking about Jesus and Shane Claiborne and hardcore/metalcore music that brings glory to God, church structure, mission trips, dreams, college, money, near-death accidents, and so many more topics I can’t even remember right now. Conversations were so much deeper than the cursory “How are you?” “Good. How are you?” “Good.” conversations I so deeply loathe.

We worshipped – Regan grabbed her guitar and plucked out a few songs, but we found ourselves most comfortable in a capella worship, lifting up or voices to the chorus of “Give Me Faith” and “One Thing Remains”. Our hardcore music fan and cooler drummer (yes, he was improvising and drumming on a cooler that once held, or maybe even still held, lemonade), Blake, occasionally drifting into screaming renditions of our singing.

We discovered, as evidenced above my all the frozen sparkler drawings, that the firework setting on my mom’s awesome Canon works perfectly for taking the hipster still-shots with sparklers. I kept attempting to write “LOVE” with one, but everytime I got to the “E” the picture was finished processing OR my sparkler had died. So bitter.

It soon neared the end of the night for me. The fire burned low, the fireworks finally stopped bursting up at random intervals from the far end of Mariah’s long lawn, and the sky seemed brighter, almost like it was lit from within itself. I journeyed through the country roads back to my suburban dwelling.

My cup overflows.

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