By Chaplain (Col) Stephen W. Leonard, USA, Ret.

July is marked by, what else, July 4th! It’s the birthday of our nation. Called Independence Day, it is celebrated with picnics, hamburgers, hotdogs, grilled steak, watermelon, family, and all topped off with fireworks at the dark of the day.

The decorations are variations of the red, white, and blue of Old Glory. The theme is akin to the Blood, Sweat, and Tears’ lyrics from “And When I Die,” “Give me my freedom for as long as I be, All I ask of the living is to have no chains on me.” Americans, if nothing else, value their freedom over all else!

They loved it enough to fight to the death for it in war after war. They loved it enough to fight for it for other people in foreign lands who were themselves oppressed by bondage to dictators and the oppressive lack of freedoms.

Such came to the place where America began to be known as “the World’s Policeman,” as bad actors were taken down by American might, ingenuity, and the blood of her soldiers. Freedom was the commodity worth every bit of dying to obtain and then preserve. Veterans’ Cemeteries across the nation and around the world where American soldiers’ graves lie give forth a deafening silence which, nevertheless, loudly cries out, “Give me freedom, or I die!”

As we celebrate one more free July 4th this month, though the prevailing culture encroaches on the freedoms won on blood-soaked ground, we raise our voice of gratitude to the God who made our freedoms possible. God’s Providence has established this country and given us 247 years of blessed freedom, even the ensuing and blessed emancipation of those enslaved under man’s cruelty to man and the insidious sin which infects us all.

God’s Providence is the “raison d’être” for our very existence. And for the existence of the Paul Anderson Youth Home ministry. The young men who now live here, the thousands from the past 62 years, and those who shall yet grace our doors, are those whom God alone has entrusted us for His purposes. If they are transformed in their experience here, it is due to His goodness, mercy and grace.

Their national freedom is ensured by the laws of the country they were born in. But their real freedom, the freedom from sin and from “earning” their way while searching and seeking for real freedom, has been provided by Christ’s death on a cross. Only that death, applied to them in their repentance and regeneration, provides genuine freedom which arises from their redemption and its consequent reward of eternal life. This is why we are here. We want to see them all in heaven, where true freedom reigns.

It’s Almost Here!

The Paul Anderson Youth Home Bike Ride is almost upon us! This year, our five riders will be tackling over 500 miles.

We ask you to join us in supporting and encouraging our young men as they embark on their challenging journey. Most of all, we seek your prayers for their safety!

Text BIKERIDE to 71777 to make a contribution today!

Thank you for your support!

Why We Ride

The young men take part in the PAYH bike ride for a variety of reasons. The tales cover anything from riding for God and family to riding to improve oneself. Click on the above Picture to watch the “Why We Ride” video to see and hear some of the incredible motivations that allow these guys to push themselves to ride for so long and so far.

Boys at Nickey Gregory Company

The guys thoroughly enjoyed their field trip to Nickey Gregory Company and the Atlanta State Farmers Market. Seeing how our food goes “from the garden to the table,” is an important part of our Goodness Garden project.

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