Are you pursuing life, liberty, and happiness?

Originally published Wednesday, 02 July 2014.

After spending a few days in New York City and Philadelphia on a dream vacation with my husband, I was led to ask the question, "Are you pursuing life, liberty, and happiness?"

Marc spotted the New York City Library, and once inside we were delighted that The Declaration of Independence was on display. Did you know  there are only two copies left still intact?

After viewing the beautiful penmanship of Thomas Jefferson including the parts he wrote against slavery, I was impressed because I am a writer. Sometimes, I feel like God calls me to speak out against situations -- even when people aren't ready to receive it. Even though Jefferson included the parts about slavery, it wasn't until Lincoln was President that slavery was abolished.

It was as if God showed up in the middle of my dream vacation alongside my husband and said: stop, look, and listen.

I love it when God does that. Here I was having the time of my life, and suddenly God was speaking to me, taking me deeper with Him.

John 8:32 says, "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

We weren't pursuing the New York City Public Library. We stumbled upon it.

We weren't pursuing The Declaration of Independence. It happened to be on display. 

I wonder how many of us are walking around in bondage, completely unaware of the condition of our mind, heart, and soul?

John 6:44 says, "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day."

There was something so powerful seeing The Statue of Liberty and The Declaration of Independence that reminded me of my sinful nature. Am I a slave or am I free? Jefferson and the rest of the Continental Congress risked their lives to be set free. They proclaimed, agreed upon, and fought for their freedom. Are we? Are you? Am I?

I love that God used my enthusiasm about seeing New York City to remind me of the importance of salvation. That all men were created to be free in Christ.

John 8:41 says, "We are not illegitimate children...The only Father we have is God himself."

Do you know God personally?

If you don't, you can know Him today! Just ask God to reveal Himself to you. To take away your sin. Thank Him for His death and resurrection over the cross. Thank Him for setting you free so that you can go and sin no more.

Another powerful truth I encountered while walking the streets of New York City was the diversity. There's nothing like seeing an Orthodox Jew sitting next to an Asian lesbian on the subway. I still can't get that image out of my mind. Instead of seeing illegal aliens -- I saw immigrants. Everywhere. Unfortunately, I feel like living in California has disillusioned me to outsiders. It's sad.


But, in New York -- the vibe was different. It was refreshing. Beautiful. Instead of hiding, I saw national pride. History. The importance of knowing where you come from. Every borough I went too, I saw cultures from around the world. It was so beautiful, I couldn't help but take it all in.

I'm so glad God provided the opportunity to travel to New York to experience diversity and freedom from my past hurts, present circumstances, and future fears.

John 8:32 says, "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

Whether you and I are intentionally pursuing freedom, the prince of this world is willfully trying to deceive us. He wants us to believe we're free while we're actually in bondage to sin. We no longer are slaves to sin, but to righteousness (Romans 6:18).

Enjoy a few pictures from my trip. It seemed impossible to narrow it down to my favorites, but I did it. If you ever get the opportunity to visit New York City or Philadelphia -- I hope you'll go! Who knows what God may speak to you about the condition of your life!

Question: Are you intentionally pursuing life, liberty, and happiness? Why or why not?

By the way, I am postponing the Dream Devotional Book Launch from July 12 to August 9th. Stay tuned for more details. The printed version will definitely be available by then. Thanks for your patience!