by M. Kenneth Lyon

This content is part of a series.

Declare Your Independence: The Foundation for a Strong Family (1 of 10)
Series: Taking Control of Your Life
M. Kenneth Lyon
Exodus 20:2
July 4, 1999

How many of you did work outside yesterday, outside in the yard, just outside? Hands up. How many of you were hot? Thank you very much. Yesterday afternoon I mowed our yard, and I knew it was hot. I was drenched when I got done. Couldn't wait to get inside and stand right over an air-conditioning vent and just let that cold air envelope me. And as I was walking in the house, I heard the radio announcer say, "And it's 96 degrees here in Charlotte." When I heard that, I wilted into a puddle. If I'd known it had been that hot out there, I'd a-gone ahead and had a heat stroke. I mean you and I are so blessed to have things like air conditioning. We just take that for granted.

Now think about over 220-some years ago, July 4th, maybe 3rd, maybe 2nd, actually weeks and months prior. People without the benefit of air conditioning, overhead fans, Ban Roll-on deodorant, meeting day after day, talking about the intolerable situation the Colonies, the perceived injustice from the King of England, the policies that were exulting undue tax on them. They came to the place where something had to change. They said, "We've got to be set free of this." So with pen in hand, the Declaration of Independence was inked. And then on that fateful day, signatures were affixed, and as those signatures were affixed these men were assigning their future, their fortune, their very lives, to the outcome, to the consequence of what they were doing. So great was their desire for freedom, they felt it was worth the cost. You know about the ensuing struggle that has brought about the United States of America. But an interesting thing happened during the struggle for independence. These same founding forebears discovered they needed to be free not only from the tyranny of king and country of England, they needed to be free for a purpose. To ...

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