May 2016


Today, the thought of freedom was weighing on my heart.  I decided to write where my thoughts were leading in the form of this “Word Puke.”      I hope something here is useful.

Merriam-Webster defines freedom as:

freedom

noun  free·dom \ˈfrē-dəm\

Definition of freedom

  1. 1: the quality or state of being free: as

a :  the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action

b :  liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another :  independence

c :  the quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous<freedom from care>

d :  ease, facility <spoke the language with freedom>

e :  the quality of being frank, open, or outspoken <answered with freedom>

f :  improper familiarity

g :  boldness of conception or execution

h :  unrestricted use <gave him the freedom of their home>

  1. a:  a political right

b :  franchise, privilege

 I believe that the applicable part for our lives and the Country we are blessed to live in would be The absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action.

More and more I believe we live under the illusion of freedom.  We are being tricked into thinking we are free, while we are becoming more and more bound by unseen forces working against our freedoms.

Somewhere along the road we began to yield freedom after freedom to courts, politicians, bureaucrats, racists, bullies, parasites, flim-flam artists, corruptors and others who sought to steal our freedoms for their gain.

I do understand the need for some laws in a community and country.  Some law is necessary for us to live together in a peaceful and safer fashion.  Most traffic laws, criminal laws and nuisance regulations would be included in the necessary laws.

It is when the laws become more than basic and fundamental necessity laws that we begin to infringe on the freedom of citizens.  Often Governmental agencies make new law simply because they have not made new law for a while and want the elected officials they serve to know they are working and have a purpose.

  1. They are unnecessary laws
  2. They forget they serve the people, not the elected officials or appointed bureaucrats.

It is also a reality that necessary laws are often applied improperly and/or without the application of logic or common sense.  “One Size fits All usually means most are losing something.

We have given away much of our freedom to bureaucrats who make laws, policy and standards just because they can, to prove their value and continuous employment or to gain for their own self interests.

We need to return to the roots of our Founding, the Word of God and our common sense thinking to rediscover what freedom truly is and means in a society.

Never take advantage of your freedom!

Freedoms price is way too high for you to abuse it

The blood of martyrs for our freedom spreads back to well before any documentation was signed.

Men and women serve in our Armed Forces to this very day for the cause of our freedom.  Brave patriots who volunteered to serve our country.     Millions of lives have been offered up so we can live in a free land.

Never disrespect their gift by allowing any person, politician or preacher steal the freedom for which they fought!

There are times in our reality as a country that the cost of freedom must be paid by the blood, sweat, tears and faith of true patriots.

Our founders recognized this reality and wrote it into our Declaration of Independence:

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security….

Freedom is the purpose of our Constitution and Bill of Rights

We, as a people, would experience true freedom if we followed the words we are founded upon without adding to them, turning them to mean the opposite of what they say and abusing the freedoms our Founding Fathers KNEW we would need to continue as a United Country!

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Freedom is not a right.

It can easily be taken away

It can easily be yielded to another

It can easily be lost through apathy and inaction

Freedom is a gift

A gift from God

A gift from one generation to the next

A gift that you are tasked to maintain in your generation

Freedom requires responsibility

          Personal responsibility and action

Governmental responsibility and actions

Societal responsibility and actions

Your freedom does not exist in a vacuum!

You are in the presence of other people with the same freedom

People who are free to disagree with you

People who are free to do things differently that you

People who are free to be different than you

You will be offended

You will be hurt

You will be disappointed

You are free to live life

Their freedom is as real as yours

Freedom is not found in “safe spaces” or “Free Speech Zones”

“Safe Spaces” creates censure and boundaries

Safe spaces do not nurture freedom

                    Safe Spaces are control

We have freedom of speech in all of our country

Not just in little plots of land designated

Not unless someone doesn’t like our words

You do not like my words, fine – do not listen

I will not yield my right to speak

We have freedom of religion across our country

Not just in limited areas

Not just with limited words

Not unless we upset someone

You don’t want to be a Christian, then do not

I have the freedom to follow my Christian faith regardless

You don’t want to be a part of any organized religion, then do not

I have the freedom to be part of the religion God led me to serve

We have the freedom (right) to keep and bear arms across our country

Not just in limited areas

Not with limited equipment

Not with rules, regulations and laws limiting

Shall not be infringed

You do not like guns, do not buy guns

I will not yield my right (freedom) to keep and bear arms simply because you do not like them or my Freedom to own, carry or shoot my firearms.

Our Constitution guarantees that you will be offended

Understand that it is reality

You can walk in that freedom

You can allow it to be bondage on your life

You have the freedom to be who you want to be

Until your freedom infringes on the freedom of another

Just because you disagree does not mean you are enemies

Just because you are different than me does not mean I must change

Galatians 5:13-15  “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”   But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.” ESV

Please know that this is not meant to be a complete and exhaustive study of freedom; simply where my thoughts are today.  If you do not like it, forget it.  If you do not like it, I am OK with that as well.  You have every right to be wrong, as do I.

Luke 11:1 – 13                        Praying Properly

  1. Priority of Prayer
    1. Luke 11:1 – 2a
    2. Jesus knew to pray – it was HIS PRIORITY
    3. Jesus wanted to talk to His Daddy
    4. Jesus NEEDED to talk to His Daddy
    5. SO DO YOU _ EVEN MORE
  2. Pattern of Prayer
    1. Luke 11:2a – 4
      1. Recognize Gods presence and Position
      2. Worship
  • Seek His Will above yours
  1. Seek His provision
    1. Our wants
    2. Our desires
    3. Yielded to His Holy Will
  2. Seek His forgiveness
    1. Acknowledge your need for His forgiveness
    2. Acknowledge that you need to forgive others as you have received forgiveness
  3. Seek to walk God’s Path
    1. Direction
    2. Protection
    3. FaithFULL obedience
  4. Persistence in Prayer
    1. Luke 11:5 – 9
    2. Never give up
    3. Keep knocking
    4. Keep seeking
    5. Keep asking
      1. SHOUT
      2. Go ahead – NAG GOD!
        1. He can handle it
      3. As long as there is FAITH there is HOPE
        1. I have prayed for many things
          1. Some answered quickly
          2. Some I am still looking to God for answers
            1. I never quit praying for these situations
          3. Hebrews 11:1-2 “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” ESV
            1. Just because you have not seen the answer does not mean:
              1. The answer has not been provided
              2. The answer is not coming
              3. You will like the answer
            2. We are told that we DON’T HAVE because WE DON’T Ask or WE Ask with the wrong motives!
              1. Do all things to the glory of God
            3. BE PERSISTENT!
            4. BE BOLD!
  5. Provision of Prayer
    1. Luke 11:10 – 13
    2. Proper Provision
      1. What we need
      2. What is good for us
    1. Plentiful Provision
      1. “How much more will the Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.”

Luke 10:38-42            Priorities

“Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house.  And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching.  But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.”  But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” ESV

Martha: 

  • Goes and invites Jesus into her home
  • Then begins to make a list of things to do. overwhelming
  • Then expects others to help.
  • Jesus was happy and had no expectations
  • Martha was putting this load of expectation on herself
    • Marth wanted to be Martha Stewart
  • Scriptures say Martha was “DISTRACTED” with much serving
    • How often have we let our work keep us from Jesus?
    • How often have we allowed RELIGIOUS BUSINESS keep us from spending time with Jesus?
    • How do we deal with the distractions of the World when we should be drawing close to Jesus?
      • Our eternal enemy will try to distract you
      • The world will try to distract you
      • Your own flesh will try to distract you
        • Heads with ache
        • Tummy’s will rumble
        • Muscles will bind up
        • Phones will ring
        • Facebook will “BING”
      • Anything and everything to pull you away from your devotion -Time with Jesus
    • How often do we allow our problems pull us away from Jesus?
    • How often do we allow our pain pull us away from Jesus?
    • How often do we allow events pull us away from Jesus?

Mary:                      

  • Went to the feet of Jesus
  • Listened to Jesus
  • Period

Priorities

Martha had the priority of flesh

She was left worried, anxious and troubled about many things

Mary’s priority was being at the feet of Jesus

Listening             Learning                  Growing

Yes, we should serve.

BUT, you should know the One you serve so you serve rightly

DO NOT serve your way away from a relationship with Jesus!

When Jesus is in the house you should not be full of worry or troubled!

One thing is necessary! 

     Getting as CLOSE TO JESUS as you can

     Spiritual Formation

   Discipleship

   Adoration

   Worship

There is One who can help.

   We try so many things

   We spend so much time and money with no lasting results

There is One who will always be there.

   One who will never leave you or forsake you

   On that nothing can separate you from

               Not time or space/physical life or death/strength or anything else in all of existence 

Jesus.

Sometimes the best answer is this:  “Don’t just DO something, SIT THERE!”

Where Joy Hides

Luke 10:17-24 “The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!”  [Look what we done did!] And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.  Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. [PFFT!  Y’all aint doing nuttin without ME!]  Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”  [You should be rejoicing in that ETERNAL LIFE and what not I gave you!]  In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children;[Don’t try to make this too complicated….I made it so easy little children can understand]  yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.  All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”  Then turning to the disciples he said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see!  For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.”   ESV

  1. Joy Hides in Salvation
    1. Not Works – what you are doing
      1. We serve for God – not what we get out of service
    2. Joy hides when we forget or “get used to” our salvation
    3. Joy hides when we “take advantage” of what God has given us
    4. Joy hides lost when we look for it in ourselves
    5. It is God that gives the power to serve and witness
      1. You never saved anyone
      2. John 3:16-18 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
  1. Joy Hides in Simple Faith
    1. Why are kids happier than adults?
      1. Adulting is hard!
      2. We forget how to play
        1. Or just stop enjoying life
          1. Life is to be LOVED
        2. Joy is lost when we look for it in our maturity, degrees, works or flesh
  2. Joy Hides in Revelation
    1. Joy hides in the WORD of GOD
    2. Reading and pondering God’s Word
      1. We often overlook the joy of hearing God speak
    3. Looking for God in our EVERYDAY lives
    4. Joy is lost when we look for it in human knowledge
      1. Joy is lost when we separate our lives from God and His Word
  3. Joy Hides in Grace
    1. We look forward to birthdays!
      1. We get gifts we do not deserve
        1. You were not in labor for your own birth!
        2. I think you should give your Mom presents on your birthday!
      2. We are blessed to see God at work in our lived
        1. Even if we know we are not worthy
        2. Grace is God blessing us with what we DO NOT deserve.
      3. Joy is lost when we reject the Grace of God
  4. Wherever Joy is Hidden, it is hidden because we have hidden it there.
    1. God has made it so easy to FIND JOY that none of us should ever be looking
      1. We don’t look for it
      2. We don’t see the need
      3. We are afraid of it
  1. God loves you!
    1. Believe and Be JoyFULL