Thursday, July 6, 2017

Que Sera Sera

"...Que Sera, Sera, 
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours, to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be..."

Source: YouTube

There are many people in this world even within the body of Christ today that actually believe those particular lyrics from the old song, Que Sera Sera, which was originally sang by Doris Day in 1956.

What if I told you that those specific song lyrics and those kinds of attitudes and outlooks are not biblical nor scriptural?

Those type of perspectives are partly to blame for the passivity and defeated mindsets of people including some unknowledgeable and unpowerful Christians.  As a result, they do not live the abundant life that Jesus Christ died to give them here and now in this world.  

Not only can we know God's will for us as His children, but we can also actively participate in His purpose, plan, and will for us.  We can take captive those thoughts which are disobedient to the knowledge of Jesus Christ.  We can intentionally fight the good fight of faith.  And, we can proactively win battles along the way in our individual races.  

(See Jeremiah 29:11-13; John 10:10; Ephesians 6:10-18; Hebrews 12:1-2; 1 Timothy 6:12; 2 Timothy 4:7)

Copyright 2017 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Dear Younger Me

                                          Source: YouTube

The above music video entitled Dear Younger Me is performed by the Christian artist group MercyMe.  In the video, the artist sings about writing a letter to his younger self.  This contemporary Christian song is one of my favorites in the last several months.  I have been thinking about the letter that I would write to my younger self.  I am wondering whether there are others out there who may ponder the same about themselves.

What would I say to my younger self?  What would you say to your younger self?

This particular artist begins his letter in the song lyrics like this... "Dear Younger Me...Where do I start...If I could tell you everything that I have learned so far...Then, you could be...One step ahead...Of all the painful memories still running through my head...I wonder how much different things would be...Dear Younger Me..."

Those lyrics are probably the way many of us would start a similar letter to our younger selves.  We may not know exactly the way to begin the letter, but there would be a lot to include in it.  Perhaps, we could have spared our younger selves a lot of unnecessary heartache, pain, regret, hardships, challenges, trials, and more.  That is, if we could go back in time and share that much gained knowledge, wisdom, discernment, clarity, and more with our younger selves.

Would we do anything differently with all of that gained knowledge, wisdom, insight, experience?  I definitely would do some things in a different way---a better way.  For one, I would tell my younger self to daily read the Bible---God's word.

I have learned since then that an unrenewed mind hinders us in life.  There were many years where I was not renewing my mind on God's word---His truth (See Romans 12:2).  As a result, I really didn't know my specific purpose in God's plan nor that it was a good plan for me.  Only as I disciplined myself to read and study His word did I not only came to personally know my Father in a more intimate way but also the plans He had for me---plans to give me a hope and a future (See Jeremiah 29:11).

How about you?  What have you learned?  What would you do differently?

Copyright 2017 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Tell Me the Story of Jesus

Source: YouTube

"...Tell me the story of Jesus...Write on my heart every word...Tell me the story most precious...Sweetest that ever was heard..."

The above song lyrics of the old hymn, Tell Me the Story of Jesus, has been on my heart and mind for some time now. It has really been resonating with me lately.

I have been reminded that everybody in this world has a story to tell others.  Most importantly, every believer of Jesus Christ has a story to tell other people in this world.  What is the reason?

Everybody has been through challenges, obstacles, hardships, and trials in life.  (See James 1:2-4)  What is most important though is this... Who got them through those difficulties?  What brought them out on the other side of those downfalls?  How did they come out of those so-called pits in life?

Whether a person has yet accepted Him into their hearts and lives or not, it was Jesus---the name above all names.  (See Romans 10:9-10)  He is the author and finisher of our faith.  (See Hebrews 12:1-2)  He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end---who is, who was, and who is to come.  (See Revelation 1:8, 22:13)  

Jesus has a story. Briefly, His story is the true Gospel---His death, burial, and resurrection. (See Isaiah 53; Matthew 26-28; John 3:16-17, 19:30; Romans 10:9-10) Everyone has a story. He wants all of us to share our stories with others. Most importantly, He desires that we tell His story. 

What is His story in your life? How has He loved you? What has He done for you? How has He changed you? Additionally, the list goes on... Therefore, I encourage you and challenge you today and every day thereafter. Share your story and tell people the story of Jesus.

Copyright 2017 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Love is Not Rude

Have you ever seen ABC's Full House?  It was a half-hour sitcom in the 1990's.  There was this one young character, Stephanie Tanner, who had a two-word phrase that she used often when referring to other people.
Just briefly watch and listen...

Source: YouTube

I have been thinking, observing, and experiencing the rudeness of other people in my path as well as in my life lately.  Maybe, I should begin saying to them, "How Rude!"  Do you think they would get the point?  Perhaps.  Probably not though.
Anyway, I remember a specific part in scripture where it mentions that kind of inappropriate and unrighteous behavior.
Let's pick up with this scripture reference now.
"Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails." (1 Corinthians 13:4-8, NKJV)
Did you specifically notice verse 5 of that part of scripture?  "does not behave rudely..." (v5)  
Love does not behave rudely.  It is not rude.
There are many people in this world who are downright rude and inconsiderate of other people.  They only think of themselves.  They are just selfish and self-centered people.  They are not loving people.
However, God tells us in His word---The Holy Bible---the way we should think of others.  He talks about the appropriate and righteous behavior of His legitimate children.  
"Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others."  (Philippians 2:4, NKJV)
We are not supposed to look and act like the rest of the world.  We are to think of others which means not being selfish, self-centered, nor ultimately rude or inconsiderate of other people.  
When people begin getting their minds off of themselves and onto other people, then it will be a much better world.  It also helps out the individuals.  
Jesus is the ultimate example for all of us.  He thought of others.  He considered people.  He helped them.  He didn't hurt them by being rude, selfish, self-centered, nor inconsiderate of them.  He loved them.  He spoke the truth to people.  (See John 8:2-11)
How can we be more like Jesus?  How can we help other people?  What is one task we can do for someone else?  

Copyright 2017 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Always Giving Thanks

Source: YouTube

The above song, Give Thanks by Don Moen, resonates with me.  How about you?  This particular song has been on my heart and in my spirit for some time---even before the actual holiday of Thanksgiving, which we recently celebrated here in America.  

Though we only celebrate this specific holiday once a year here in the USA, it needs to be a daily mindset and attitude everywhere in the world.  We should always have an attitude of gratitude.  We need to always give thanks for everything that God has provided for us.

In God's word, He actually tells all of us the truth regarding our thanksgiving.

"give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." (1 Thessalonians 5:18, NIV)

Did you know that beforehand?  Had you read it or heard it before?

It is God's will for us to give thanks in all circumstances.  Therefore, that means God desires for us to always give thanks in everything at all times.  

Of course, circumstances are not always comfortable.  They are not always favorable to us.  Sometimes, we endure difficult circumstances in this world.  However, it does not mean that we cannot still give thanks during those hard but temporary circumstances.  We can still look for something to be grateful for even in the midst of those circumstances.  Additionally, it is God's will for us. 

(Note: See another related posting, Giving Thanks.) 

Copyright 2016 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Way to Pray

I have often heard believers say that they do not know the way to pray.  It is usually new believers or relatively young believers in Jesus Christ but not always.  

I formerly did not know and understand the way to pray either.  However, it is not so much a particular format or structure that God is concerned about for us.  It is more of the heart cry from us to Him.

Prayer is simply a conversation with our Father God.  Jesus often prayed to His Father (See Mark 1:35; Luke 5:16; John 17:1).  He also taught us the way to pray in God's word.

Therefore, take a look at the most well-known prayer---The Lord's Prayer.

'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us today our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.'  (Matthew 6:9-13, NIV)

Notice the way, Jesus began this prayer to His Father.  The Son first addressed God in a respectful manner.  He did not use poor language or a slang version.  He honored and respected His Father.  Consequently, it showed in the way Jesus addressed Him.  

Next, the Son told His Father the way He wanted His Kingdom to come and His will to be done.  He desired what God had for Him and wanted for Him.  Therefore, Jesus submitted Himself to His Father and His perfect will.  

Jesus asked for daily provision when He talked about 'daily bread.'  He knew His Father would meet His needs.  However, the Son requested it in this model prayer to make it truly known to God.

The fourth part consisted of asking for any forgiveness and helping all of Jesus' disciples to forgive others.  There is a both a giving and receiving of forgiveness in all relationships.

Lastly, Jesus requested for all of His followers not to be allowed to fall into temptation as well as to be delivered from the enemy's camp so to speak.  He prayed this one for His twelve disciples, but it includes all of us today.  Additionally, He modeled this prayer for all of us.

Copyright 2016 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Through All of It

Source: YouTube

In the above music video, Through All of It, by Colton Dixon; several people personally shared their struggles, hardships, challenges, and trials in their lives.  Through watching the video, we found out that they came through all of it with God's help as well as for His glory.

All people go through stuff in life.  Some may endure much more than others.  However, there is not one person in this world who has not endured something during their entire lifetime.

I remember many years ago when I had somewhat of an idyllic life.  I was in high school or college at the time.  That was decades ago now though.  That was way before I lost my mom to metastatic, malignant cancer; suffered through an abusive, co-dependent first marriage; witnessed my Dad's two separate re-marriages, and lost many other relatives to illness, disease, or just plain old age.

Since then, I have endured a lot more in both my life and ministry.  

Through rejection, accusations, confusion, arrests, jail, convictions, judgment, prosecution, injustice, neglect, doctors' diagnoses, surgeries, hospitalization, abandonment, homelessness, unemployment, poverty, loss, domestic violence, separation, divorce, underemployment, misjudgment, criticism, persecution.

All Christians have endured and suffered through hardships, challenges, and trials in life.  What are some of yours?

The Apostle Paul was all too familiar with challenges, hardships, and trials during his life and ministry.

"Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything."  (2 Corinthians 6:4-10, NIV)

I can identify with Paul in a lot of ways.  He was a writer and author of the majority of the New Testament.  He probably endured more than any of Jesus' disciples.  However, he did not give up.  He persevered through all of it.  He had quite an adventurous life and ministry with all of its ups and downs.  I have also had many valleys and mountains during my life and ministry so far. 

We are always given over to death for Christ's sake, so that the life of Jesus may be revealed in our physical bodies (See 2 Corinthians 4:10-12).

"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.  We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed."  (2 Corinthians 4:7-9, NIV) 

Though we go through stuff in this life, we are not alone.  God never leaves us nor forsakes us (See Deuteronomy 31:6, 8).

We can also count on Him to rescue us, deliver us, and save us from the fiery furnace, the lion's den, the pit, or whatever else (See Genesis 37; Daniel 3, 6).  He always helps us to get out and back up.

"for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again..."  (Proverbs 24:16, NIV)

The Christian song, Through All of It, by Colton Dixon would be my theme song if I had one for my life and ministry.  What about you?  What would be your theme song?  

Copyright 2016 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.