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.


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Listening to Godly Counsel

God prepares and trains many different people along their unique paths for His specific purpose and plan.  Unfortunately, He normally raises them up through various hardships, trials, challenges, obstacles, and more (See James 1:2-4).  David and Joseph are only a couple of examples of the way God promoted and increased them over their lifetime (Read Genesis 37-50; 1 Samuel 16-17).

It does not necessarily have to be that way though.  People do not have to learn everything for themselves the hard way.  

Once Jesus was released into His full-time ministry, He was usually only able to help those people who either personally asked for His assistance and/or personally came to Him for assistance.  Of course, there was the instance of the woman at the well but she was a rare exception (See John 4:1-26, 39-42).  She did not ask Him and/or personally come to Him at first.  Nine times out of ten people normally sought Him out and asked for His help.   

That goes without saying for all of God's children.  We are only able to truly help those who are receptive to us whom God has placed in our paths.  They either need to personally ask for our help and/or personally come to us.

There have been more people than I care to think about or count on my hands that have not been receptive to me for one reason or another.  I have come to realize it more over the last several years that it is their problem and not mine though.  I cannot make people believe and receive the truth when I speak the truth in love to them (See Ephesians 4:15).  I cannot force them to make righteous choices---choices that line up with God's word, His ways, His perfect will, and His spirit within them (See Isaiah 55:8-9; Matthew 4:4; Romans 12:2).

It is really a shame that so many people prefer to learn for themselves the hard way instead of being receptive and learning from people like me who have already gained the wisdom, knowledge, insight, clarity through their own life experiences and faith journeys.

However, I have been reminded that "...fools despise wisdom and instruction (Proverbs 1:7, NIV)."

 "Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed."  (Proverbs 15:22, NIV)

Therefore, it behooves people to not only seek out Godly counsel but actually listen and heed the wise counsel.   

Special Note:  Now offering coaching and mentoring services through my worldwide public ministry.  Go to my ministry website (http://www.dawnfreeman.org/coaching_mentoring/) and briefly fill out a form when you are interested in those type of services. 


Copyright 2016 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Getting Wisdom

Solomon was considered to be the wisest person in the world.  He was the son of King David who began his ministry as a little shepherd boy out in the fields before being promoted by Almighty and All-powerful God (See 1 Samuel 16 and 17).

David's son, Solomon, later became King of Israel.  Solomon also wrote books in the Bible including the book of Proverbs.  He wrote much about getting wisdom, knowledge, and understanding throughout this particular book in the Bible.  He actually began this specific book by introducing himself.  Then, he goes into a breakdown of the beginning of knowledge.  

Solomon encourages people to know wisdom and instruction as well as perceiving words of understanding.  He says, "A wise man will hear and increase learning, And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel...(Proverbs 1:5, NKJV)."  This specific wise man later tells us that "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction (Proverbs 1:7, NKJV)."

There are some people within the body of Jesus Christ nowadays that do not know and understand the biblical principle of getting knowledge.  Every person must first get knowledge before they get understanding and wisdom.  However, it is not necessarily just any kind of knowledge.  We all must obtain the right kind of knowledge.  More specifically, we all need biblical knowledge.

When we all first get biblical knowledge, then we will all have much more understanding and wisdom in life.  The only kind of true understanding and wisdom that we need is the kind which comes from our heavenly Father.

"For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;
He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly;
He guards the paths of justice, And preserves the way of His saints (Proverbs 2:6-8, NKJV)."

How do we all go about obtaining wisdom?  What's the best way to get all of that kind of wisdom, knowledge, and understanding?

In the book of James, the writer who is the half brother of Jesus Himself shares his thoughts on getting wisdom.  "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him (James 1:5, NKJV)."

James later continues, " But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.  For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways (James 1:6-8, NKJV)."

Therefore, we all need to ask in faith for wisdom from God.  We also cannot doubt that He has heard and answered our request.  Otherwise, we will not receive what we have asked for from Him.

Solomon speaks about the beginning of wisdom.  He says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For by me your days will be multiplied, And years of life will be added to you (Proverbs 9:10-11, NKJV)."

Unfortunately, there is not much reverential fear of the Lord God these days in this world.  Part of that lack of fear is rooted in the lack of wisdom, knowledge, and understanding though.  When a person does not really know someone, they cannot truly revere that particular person.

As King Solomon states, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom...(Proverbs 9:10, NKJV)."  However, before people actually revere Almighty God, they must first seek Him.  How do people seek Him?  For one, they seek Him by spending time with Him.  One way to do that is by reading and studying His word---namely the Bible.  Only then will people obtain that specific wisdom which comes from Him.  Then, they will develop the reverential fear of the Lord.


Copyright 2016 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Love is....



Do you know the true definition of the word ‘Love?'
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.  (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a, NIV)
That's Almighty God's definition of this term.  The God of the universe.  The creator of the entire world.  (See Genesis 1 and 2)
Yet, too many people in this world use this particular word too easily, quickly, and flippantly.
I admit it.  It really bothers me especially when a supposed Child of God uses this word so casually.  For one, I can discern that the person does not even know the true meaning of the term.  There is a disconnect between their words and their actions toward other people.
In the book of 1 John, the writer explains more specifically about God's love but also about the love of others (See 1 John 4:7-21). 
John encourages everyone to love, because it comes from God (See 1 John 4:7).
However, none of us can truly love Him or others without first receiving that love from Him and others.  "We love because He first loved us (1 John 4:17, NIV - emphasis added mine)."
Additionally, people who do not really know God cannot love either.  "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love (1 John 4:8, NIV)."  
God is love.  Did you get that?  God. Is. Love.  Therefore...
God is patient, God is kind. God does not envy, God does not boast, God is not proud.  God does not dishonor others, God is not self-seeking, God is not easily angered, God keeps no record of wrongs.  God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  God always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  God never fails.  (See 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a --- Please note the word 'Love' has been replaced with 'God' for the purpose of this lesson.)
This is just a superficial illustration.  Hopefully, you have a better understanding though.
All people must first truly and personally know and understand God and His true nature which is only obtained through an intimate relationship with the one, true, and living God.  Then, they will have a more personal and deeper understanding of true love---Godly love.  
As previously mentioned, only "love comes from God (1 John 4:7, NIV)."  So, if you do not personally know Him, you really have no real understanding nor know the magnitude of this particular term.  Consequently, you truly cannot and should not ever use this word in your vocabulary.
Otherwise, you are just lying to yourself and others.  Most importantly, you are lying before Almighty God---the creator of the whole world including you.   
Ask Him to open your spiritual eyes to enlighten you in order to give you a better knowledge and understanding of Him and His true nature.  May He truly reveal to you the real meaning of the word 'Love' through a more deep and personal relationship with Him.  Then, feel free to use the term 'Love' in the most Godly way possible.  

Copyright 2016 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.