July Free Family Events (Cleveland, OH)

Freedom!

William Wallace made this final cry as he was killed in the movie Braveheart. Closer to home, countless soldiers have cried this same cry as they charged into battle and nearly certain death. The signers of our Declaration of Independence were crying out “Freedom!” as they boldly signed an act of high treason against the British crown. Many unknown and unsung men, women and children paid a high price to secure and defend that freedom.

This July 4, we celebrate our Independence Day. Let us take just a moment to reflect on some of the freedoms which God has blessed us with in this great nation (from the Bill of Rights)

  • right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances
  • the right of the people to keep and bear Arms
  • The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures
  • the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury

As a result of these, and other stated rights, we also enjoy the freedom to:

  • birth and raise our children as God directs to the glory of God
  • educate our children as God directs to the glory of God
  • gather to worship as God directs to the glory of God
  • travel and see God’s creation of nature and culture
  • and many, many more.

With all the freedoms with which we have been blessed, we need to meditate on the warning and command given in 1 Peter 2:16, “Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil.”

We may fall into mistaking our freedom as a right to do whatever we please. We are to be free from sin to live for God.

May we remember our source and purpose of freedom as we celebrate this Independence day.

To that end, here are events in July, many of which are free… but just like our freedoms… everything free comes at a cost to someone. Let us enjoy with gratitude!

July Events

Other events that are not specific to this month

Ongoing Events (Some may have different schedules this month. Call to confirm.)

 

Weekly Recurring Events (Some may have different schedules this month. Call to confirm.)

Monthly Recurring Events (Some may have different schedules this month. Call to confirm.)

“A Thousand Miles to Freedom”

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst…” – John 6:35

I just finished reading the story of a North Korean girl’s surviving a hard nine year journey to freedom through her book “A Thousand Miles to Freedom“. It’s more than a story to me personally. Growing up, I have always been curious about life in North Korea. Witnessing the many changes in China, it was hard for me to believe that so many people are still living in a big lie in another country. In my mind, I felt like North Koreans are living the past of China, just for a longer time. This book has opened my eyes to the cruel reality and depth of sin. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9)” It is scary to think about what human beings can do to other human beings when there is no absolute standard of morals.

I am amazed by the writer’s spirit to fight for freedom, for life and now for human rights. I am grateful for God’s protection over her body, soul and mind after all those tribulations. I am thankful for those seeds of truth planted in her search for freedom. I admire her courage, honesty, and diligence in pursuing a better life. Above all, I pray that this precious young life will continue to seek the Truth, which will lead her and many to the true Freedom. At the end of her book, during her interview for applying for scholarship to study in the U.S., she explained she left her homeland due to hunger, and now “had a different kind of hunger: the hunger to see the rest of the world… to learn how to live with others” (p.218). Nothing is wrong with that ambition. I can totally relate to that desire and dream, since once that was sort of my goal in life. However, then what? What if we have seen the world, tried the foods, had the exotic fun experiences? Then what? Cultures have so many layers, as I am seeking to live in harmony with others, what should I let go and where should I stand firm? Without a core value system, what is my base? I think that is the journey we are taking to find a balance in “3rd Culture Living“.

Many people in North Korea today are willing to risk their lives to escape from their living hell; meanwhile, many people today everywhere, including the land of freedom, America, are trying to end their lives after finding no hope. Still others are willing to give up their life of comfort to enter countries like North Korea to share the Word of hope and love.

What’s the point for protecting human rights if humans are evolved from animals anyway? If our ancestors are monkeys, why are we here with emotions and thoughts, wondering about the purpose of life? Who put those desires to live and to live with purpose into our hearts? I wrestled through those questions before I surrendered my life to the loving Lord. I still don’t have an answer why some people, like the North Koreans had to suffer or even die from hunger or poverty. I don’t deserve anything I possess either. I trust that our Heavenly Father has a bigger and better plan and I rejoice in the fact that He is willing to use a broken vessel like me to play a small part for His glory. I shall NEVER thirst or hunger in the Creator!