Friday, June 26, 2015

Be Brave Challenge Day 1: "Selfie" Video



I have never done a "Selfie" video before.  It's not my cup of tea so to speak.  However, this is not really about me.  It's about Jesus and what He has done for me.  It's about Him and what He wants to do for you.  It's about God, my faith journey, and my God-given ministry.


Copyright 2015 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Be Brave Challenge Day 3: Show & Tell

This is my current work space for writing, blogging, seminary assignments, or whatever else.  It's a little messy at the moment.  However, it's an organized mess.  I know where everything is now in the stacks on the desk. 


 
 
 
 
Copyright 2015 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Be Brave Challenge Day 2: "Is This You?"

You are a Christian lady who struggles, strives, and endures through hardships, trials, and difficulties in life.  Perhaps, you are a perfectionist who procrastinates on projects.  Maybe, you are a Type A personality who is very driven, demanding, strong, independent, and confident.  You have got it all figured out.  You are a success.  You really enjoy your work.  You are so productive.  You are making a contribution in this world.  You enjoy life.  You want to understand others more. 


However, you may be putting up a front and keeping up the charade.  You are just putting so much time and effort into everything.  You feel like you are getting nowhere fast.  You keep spinning your wheels in life.  You are in a rut going around the same hamster wheel.  You are going around the same old mountains in life.  You believe that you have to be everything to everyone.  It is so difficult to do it and keep it up though.    


Welcome to Dawn Freeman Ministry!  You are the right person.  I can help, serve, encourage, educate, inform, and inspire you.  Go to my website at www.dawnfreeman.org.  Email me at dawn@dawnfreeman.org and get on my email list.  Thanks!  
 
Copyright 2015 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Monday, June 1, 2015

This will be a Sign to You...

I love the story of the birth of Jesus for many reasons.  We can learn so much from this story in God's word.

I have been thinking and meditating on one specific part of His birth story though. 

"This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."  (Luke 2:12, NIV - emphasis added mine)

Before that scripture verse, there is a lot to read and understand---much depth.  We can gain knowledge, insight, and wisdom from this particular passage. 

Let's pick up with this story, starting in v8.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests.” When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”  (Luke 2:8-15, NIV - emphasis added mine)

An angel of the Lord appeared to the shepherds, and they were terrified.  Does that remind you of anyone else in the Bible? 

But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins."  (Matthew 1:20-21, NIV - emphasis added mine)

An angel of the Lord also appeared to Joseph in a dream.  This angel also told Joseph to not be afraid.  However, in this case, the word was spoken to Joseph to take Mary home to be his wife.  This prophecy was given by the angel to Joseph about his future with his wife, Mary.   

The previous passage in Luke was also a prophecy from the angel foretelling future events regarding the birth of Jesus.  However, in this specific part, the angel spoke to the shepherds about the expected environment surrounding Jesus' birth.   

Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.  Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you.  This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved----and that by God.  For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for Him, since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have."  (Philippians 1:27-30, NIV - emphasis added mine)

Paul wrote this letter to the believers in the church at Philippi.  He was encouraging them to live worthy of the Gospel.  He wanted to make sure that they knew to stand firm in the spirit and strive together in the faith.  He told them that it would be a sign to them.  Their opponents would be destroyed, but they would be saved by God. 

We are not to live by signs in this natural and physical world.  However, God does speak to us as His children.  Often throughout scripture, He uses phrases such as "This will be a sign to you."  God prophesies through other people.  He spoke through the angel to the shepherds regarding Jesus' birth.  He also spoke through an angel to Joseph in a dream.  In addition, He spoke through the Apostle Paul and foretold what the Lord had told him to the people in Philippi.  God tells us, His children, what is to come regarding His purpose and plan for us. 

Some people need signs in this natural world, before they will actually believe God and His promise to them.  However, God does not want us to live that way.  Neither does Jesus as He spoke about signs and wonders in John's account. 

"Unless you people see signs and wonders," Jesus told him, "you will never believe."  (John 4:48, NIV)

Jesus had said this to a royal official before the man's son had actually received his physical healing from Him.  He seemed somewhat 'put off' or irritated by the man's doubt and unbelief beforehand.  He wants all of us to trust and believe Him.  We just need to take Him at His word.  Additionally, we need to know that He first reveals things to us by His Spirit before they manifest in this world.

"...What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived"---the things God has prepared for those who love Him---these are the things God has revealed to us by His Spirit.  The Spirit searches all things even the deep things of God.  (1 Corinthians 2:9-10, NIV - emphasis added mine)


Copyright 2015 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved. 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

"Feed My Sheep"

Read John 21:1-14 for more of the background story beforehand.

Jesus' disciples had just caught some fish---153 large ones.  Upon Jesus' request, they brought it to Him.  He told them to come and eat with Him.  This was the third time He appeared before His disciples after He was raised from the dead.  (See John 21:10-14)   

After they finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love Me more than these?”

“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed My lambs.” (See John 21:15 - emphasis mine)

Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love Me?”

He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Take care of My sheep.” (John 21:16, NIV - emphasis mine)

The third time He said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love Me?”

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love Me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”  (John 21:17, NIV - emphasis mine) 

In this specific passage, Jesus wanted to know if one of His disciples named Simon Peter really loved Him.  Before Jesus was crucified on the cross for the sins of the whole world, this particular disciple had denied even knowing Jesus---not just once but three times.  (See John 3:16; John 18:15-18, 25-27)

Years ago, Jesus spoke to my heart about feeding His sheep.  I did not completely understand it at the time.  However, it has become more clear since then. 

If we really love Jesus, we will do what He wants us to do and go where He wants us to go. 

What is He speaking to you about now?  Whatever it is, know that He loves you.  Ask Him to help you to go and do whatever He is asking of you.

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."  (2 Timothy 1:7, NKJV) 


Copyright 2015 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

"Where is Your Faith?"

Jesus asked His disciples, "Where is your faith?"  They had all been traveling in a boat together when a huge storm came up.  Jesus had been sleeping in the boat after a day of ministry.  His disciples woke Him up because they were afraid of the storm.  After Jesus calmed the storm, He asked them this very relevant question.  (Luke 8:22-25)

I have found myself in situations where I should have asked other people, "Where is your faith?"

I didn't think of that question at the time.  However, looking back now, that was the right question to ask other believers.

Awhile back, I was having a phone conversation with a friend who I hadn't talked to in a couple of months.  I shared with her some personal good news as well as some of my prayer concerns or requests.  As I shared with her my concerns, at every turn, she gave me a negative and worldly view instead of a good and Biblical perspective.  It caught me off guard.  I didn't expect it from her because normally she was a supportive, encouraging, and praying-type friend. 

We previously had shared some good times in life and ministry when we lived physically closer together.  Yet, the distance had not only separated us physically but also spiritually over recent months.  We weren't in the same place physically nor spiritually.  After our conversation, I was just stunned.  What had happened?  Or, better yet, what had not happened?

A personal conversation with another friend also surprised me.  After a women's Bible study and prayer group meeting, I requested to speak to the leader in private.  I shared with her some personal information regarding my spiritual journey.  I expected her to speak life to me and over the situation that I shared with her.  Instead, she spoke death.  She even told me there was no hope. 

What?  No hope?  I thought to myself after our conversation.  Unbelievable!  A leader of a Bible study group telling me, 'There's no hope'.

Afterwards, I had to encourage and pray for myself as well as pray for her.  There is always hope.  Jesus is our hope!  With God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). 

Why didn't she think that?  Why didn't she say it?  Perhaps, she was having a personal crisis of faith at the time.  I couldn't believe it though.  We had finished Bible study earlier where she talked about speaking life.  Now, she was doing the opposite.

Anyway, to both of those ladies and any others who are now lacking faith, I have to ask..."Where is Your Faith?"


Copyright 2015 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

We Learn What We Live

Children learn what they live.  I am sure that you have heard that one before.  It is actually the title of the written work, Children Learn What They Live, by Dorothy Law Nolte published in 1972.

Recently, I was reminded of specifically the title because it is also a good and true sentence.

I was working on a paper for seminary in the last couple of weeks.  I was having a difficult time finishing it.  It was already late.  I had already missed the deadline for the on-time submission.  However, as I was working on finishing it up, I heard my mother's voice inside of my head saying, "Get it done!  Just get something down on paper, and get it done."

It has been more than 20 years since my mom passed away.  Yet, while growing up and being in school, those kind of words came from my mother to me usually when I was working on a paper or another school assignment.

I have always been somewhat of a perfectionist and, at times, procrastinate until the last minute on projects such as research papers.  My mom on the other hand was not that way.  She was more of the get it done, matter of fact, straight forward, practical type of mother.  Of course, I am also a lot like that in my life. 

But, when it normally came to doing school work, I was not that type.  I believe it helped me having her there with me telling me, "Get it done, Dawn!  Get something down on paper.  Get it done!"

We all need people like that in our lives.  People who will motivate, challenge, and inspire us to be our best selves.  People who will push us to the limits in a good way.

I am glad that I had her there with me at the time.  As I mentioned earlier, I can sometimes still hear her voice after all of these years which brings me to another point.

"Train up a child in the way (s)he should go, and when (s)he is old (s)he will not depart from it." (Proverbs 22:6, NKJV - emphasis added mine)

By my mother helping me during my earlier years in school, I am able to still hear her voice in the way that she would want me to go in school---specifically during seminary now. 

God is so good and amazing!  He give us our parents, siblings, relatives, friends, and others in our lives.  Everyone has a part to play in God's purpose and plan for us (See Jeremiah 29:11).  They all help lead, guide, and direct us into the path that God has for us. 

Who has influenced you in your life?  Will you take the time to tell them, "Thank you!"?  If they aren't still living in this world, will you then "Thank God!"?  Thank Him for giving you that person, those people, whoever they may be or may have been to you for all the years they have been in your life.  They influenced you.  They helped mold you, make you, and shape you into the person you are today.  God used them whether they acknowledge, realize, know, or understand it.  You are now better for having had that person or those people in your life.

"For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."  (Ephesians 2:10, NIV)


Copyright 2015 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.