If you’ve been in our home, you probably noticed this hanging on our dining room wall.

I had read this “Declaration of Dependence” while studying a Precept course in 1994, and within a few months, Brian scripted the words onto paper. We sat down with the boys, who were pretty young at the time (Brandon, 11. Zach, 7), and explained in simple terms what the words meant, and how we as a family, desired to remain dependent on God. We signed it together that night. I doubt the boys truly grasped the meaning of their signatures back then, but I thank God they would be able to grasp it today.

The colors surrounding the frame have come and gone out of style (at least a couple of times) but the words and signatures will remain timeless… and priceless.

As we celebrate our independence today, let us also celebrate the opportunity we have been given through Jesus Christ to live the lives He has called us to live, in the only way possible… through our total dependence on Him.

“So roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that’s coming when Jesus arrives. Don’t lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing. You didn’t know any better then; you do now. As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, “I am holy; you be holy.”

You call out to God for help and he helps—he’s a good Father that way. But don’t forget, he’s also a responsible Father, and won’t let you get by with sloppy living. Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God. It cost God plenty to get you out of that dead-end, empty-headed life you grew up in. He paid with Christ’s sacred blood, you know. He died like an unblemished, sacrificial lamb. And this was no afterthought. Even though it has only lately—at the end of the ages—become public knowledge, God always knew he was going to do this for you. It’s because of this sacrificed Messiah, whom God then raised from the dead and glorified, that you trust God, that you know you have a future in God.” 1 Peter 1:13-21