Authored by John Beehner, founder of Wise Counsel, a process for Christian Entrepreneurs and author of the new best seller “The Freedom Revolution...Rocking our World.”

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Being Set be in Christ by John Beehner

Guy Ianello, was raised by a good Italian family in upstate New York.  Somehow in high school he got caught up in drugs, using and then selling them.  After graduating he had no incentive to find a real job until he got caught and was sentenced to life in prison.  But after 6 months, he was released on a technicality.

After his release he tried a few jobs but then drifted back into pushing drugs.  He made very good money. Then he met his wife and they moved to the Orlando area to try and make a new life together.  But selling drugs was too easy.  His greatest fear was being caught and sent to prison for life.  As the pressure built and more and more deals made good money and frustrations with his wife (who finally left him), he was finally caught again with guns and plenty of drugs for sale.

People had witnessed to him about Christ but he always rejected it.  But out on bail and before being sentenced he went to church with a friend.  He was moved and gripped with fear of going to prison, so after church he went into his back yard with his dog and cried out to the Lord for forgiveness, weeping hysterically he admitted his lies and sins.

As he did this, a big cloud enveloped him and it became more and more intense.  He felt a profound inner pressure building inside and at the same time great peace. Finally after 15 minutes there was a great burst, like his head had exploded.  As he began to open his eyes the cloud around him began to lift.  He first heard and then saw his dog barking at this huge snake all curled up in his yard.  He spoke out, “Oh Lord what is that?” Then the Lord spoke to him and said, “that is the serpent I just took out of you.”

He was no longer the property of an evil curse but he found Freedom in Christ from the inside out. That life changing event transformed Guy completely.  He hungered with a passion for the word and convinced his wife he was a changed man.  So she took him back.  He studied intently for 3 years.

Today, Guy is a Pastor of the Total Freedom Program near Orlando where he helps victims of addictions get clean through 9 months of intense Freedom IN Christ training.  He an excellent teacher, trainer, and mentor for the Lord.

God can change us if we will be open and let go of our worldly thinking and misconceptions.  His plans are always better and teach us the final truth about Freedom IN Him.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Freedom to be the person God created you to be by Duke Taber

I remember, back in “the day”, when my long hair still hid my redneck, that there was great pressure to follow the crowd. We would wear the latest fashions, use the coolest slang, and we were constantly trying to prove how “hip” we were. I never realized that in reality all we were doing was becoming carbon copy clones trying to prove we had value in a world that values conformity. We were not walking with freedom to be the person God created us to be.

Even today in our modern church circles, this carbon copy mentality exists. You have to look a certain way, speak a certain way with all the Christianese thrown in, and perform up to certain standards that are expected within your particular stream of Christianity. Whether it is from the conservative fundamentalist camp with the suit and ties and the KJV quotations flowing from your lips, or from the relevant Charismatics with their Hawaiian shirts and laid back style of teaching they all seem to have people who try to mimic the great leaders and thinkers of that group. My heart goes out to those not walking in the freedom to be the person God created them to be.

However I am not sure that this is at all what God intended. 

In Psalms 139:14 it says  "Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it." (NLT)

We are all created complex by God. Complexity means diversity. None of us are the same. So why are we encouraging conformity? You were created by God to fulfill a wonderful destiny in this life. You were given unique and wonderful gifts, talents and abilities to carry out that destiny. Do you think just maybe that when we trade our own special uniqueness for acting and speaking like the crowd that we are in fact  telling God He did not know what He was doing or what we really needed?

I get worried when people start taking out the Christian cookie cutter mold and start chopping away at people. It is some of those unique things that don’t quite fit, that God uses to reach others outside the mold. In my own life, I spent 23 years as a bi-vocational pastor and a truck driver. Many Christians couldn’t believe I was a truck driver, hanging out with the rough and tumble sinners that truckers are stereo-typed to be. Truck drivers couldn’t believe I was a pastor because I would sit and listen to them and not cringe when they used colorful metaphors. God created me with the ability to take people where they are and establish relationship with them, to earn their trust, so He could then speak into their lives. What would have happened if I had allowed those who told me to become the model of the slick TV preacher, use their cookie cutter on me? I would have missed wonderful opportunities to speak a word in season with those that greatly needed it.

Ephesians 2:10  "For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." (NLT)

You are God’s workmanship, not man’s nor the church, or even the workmanship of well-intentioned leader’s. He is the one that formed you in your mother’s womb. You are the one that He molded during your youth, and He is the one that has promised to complete His work in you! So take a moment, look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself this question. Am I walking in the freedom God has given me to be who He has made me to be? He who the son sets free is free indeed!


Today's guest author is Duke Taber, pastor of the Vineyard Christian Fellowship of Pine Haven Wyoming and the author of the weekly column Taber's Truths in the Moorcroft Wyoming Leader. He has been a believer for 33 years and has been active in ministry for over 20 years. He is a single dad of 3 great kids. His passion is pursuing the radical middle of Christianity where the fullness of the Holy Spirit is experienced and a balanced approach to biblical interpretation is used without going to the extremes of neither hyper-emotionalism nor stoic fundamentalism.
Taber’s Truths Christian Blog

Friday, January 27, 2012

Free From Me by Jenifer Metzger

"Mom, I spilled the tea all over the floor!"
"Mom, the dogs ran away again!"
"Mom, the computer is not working, come help!"
"Mom, the boys are wrestling again!"

These, and many more, are phrases that make me sigh and say, "Not again!"  I am sitting down relaxing with a good book, working on the computer, cleaning or cooking and these phrases always cause me to stop what I am doing and give me more work.  Ugh, why do I have to keep chasing runaway dogs and playing referee to a wrestling match with my boys?  Why can't I just do what I want to do?!

I tend to have this I syndrome.  I want it my way.  Do you ever feel this way? 

"You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another humbly in love.”  Galatians 5:13

I was called to be free!  So, then, I can be free to indulge in me?  No.

We were called to be free from ourselves, free from our selfish nature.  We are free to serve in love.  I don't want to focus on just me.  Well, honestly sometimes I do, but that is not what God wants me to do.  I desire to learn to focus on others.  I want God to give me eyes to see what is going on around me, to see the lost and hurting.  I desire to be used as His hands and feet.

When I choose to be free from being selfish, then I am free from irritation, stress and bitterness.  I am free to love and serve others with a grateful heart.  I am free to see God's work at hand.  I am free to see miracles around me.  I am free from myself.

Are you struggling with the I syndrome?  Pray and ask God to help you become free from selfishness and be open to others around you.

Sweet Blessings~

Today's guest blogger is Jenifer Metzger.  Jenifer and her husband, Jeremy, have been married for fourteen years. They have been blessed with four children that she calls her blessings from Heaven. Jenifer is a housewife and homeschooling mom and enjoys serving alongside her husband as the multiplicity pastors of their church. She is the founder and co-leader of Woman to Woman Ministries and blogs daily at Sweet Blessings.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Worry Free(dom) by Jason Hoover

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. 6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
Proverbs 3:5-6

If freedom is to live without constraints, then we are all self-enslaved by our own worries. We need to understand that worry is a product of fear and fear is not a gift from God. To truly be free, we cannot continue to direct our own steps and control our own destinies. When we do, decisions are based on “human level” knowledge which is greatly inferior to that of our Heavenly Father’s. This is not the journey of a Champion for God as theirs will always stretch to a higher altitude and is laid out by the hands of God Almighty!

To live a life fully immersed in freedom, it is necessary that we have the ability to be freely used by our King. He is our creator and with life He gave us a purpose. However, human nature keeps us from living out this purpose because we never let God have full control. It is the gift of free will that enables us to love God freely but it is the very thing that causes us to not trust Him with our daily lives. We worry too much that if we are not IN control, our life will spin OUT of control.

There is good reason we are not meant to worry. Not only is it bad for our health but it shortens our life span as well. If we do not believe He will provide then how can we be moved by God? How can He count on us to start that new business or form that new ministry that will not only elevate our own lives but many other lives as well? If you don’t, then He will use someone that will. OUCH! If we are too worried about our finances, status, or possessions, then we are tied to those very things. And if we are tied, can we freely move? No and God cannot use the gifts He planted in us either.

So why then do we let this fear consume our day to day lives so much that we cannot even trust the one that created us? One reason is we do not fully believe that God will provide for us daily. When this happens, we are not living in the freedom that God intended for our lives. Instead, we are bound by our own disillusions of security perpetuated by sitting in the captain’s chair of life while telling God to get in the back seat and keep quite.

Friend, start putting your full trust in the Lord and begin to believe that He will provide for you every day. Just like the Israelites in the dessert, God will give you your daily bread and you will never go without. He would not give you life and then walk away. He has a plan for your existence that is greater than you can ever imagine but you have to believe it first! Stop worrying about everything and start living in full faith! Once you completely understand this, great things will begin to happen. Heaven will shine down so bright that you will start glowing yourself. Joy will be in abundance, peace will consume you, and you will wear favor like a cloak. Live like one of God’s Champions and believe today in His power. Then start experiencing what it is like to truly live in freedom granted by His grace!

Today's guest author is husband, father, and Christian blogger Jason Hoover.  To learn more about Jason, please visit him at any of the links below:

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Helping Comrades Achieve Freedom

Bud Toole, was born and raised in Dallas, Texas and quickly became a very astute investment advisor.  Within a short time he became the VP of Investments for Gulf Life Insurance Company in Jacksonville in the late seventies.  As a committed Christian, Bud and his wife loved to travel to unusual places and learn about their Biblical heritage.

In the early 80’s a close friend invited him to go on a unique trip behind the Iron Curtain to Russia.  But after he agreed, he was shocked to discover that they we going to smuggle in Bibles to some small underground home churches.  If they were caught, they could have been put in prison and he might never return to his wife and 2 kids.

His heart was racing as they boarded planes and trains with their suitcases and trench coats filled with Bibles, always stopping at every border crossing. 

But his Freedom had always taught him to exercise his faith and be a doer of the word.  He stepped out his comfort zone believing this was God’s purpose to help a few Christians in their small home who studied and shared together by candle light, in the middle of the night... so as not to be found out.  Whenever they heard noises outside their hut, they stopped and prayed until the person passed.  It was an intense and gut wrenching experience. 

Bud would return two or three times a year for 6 years helping more families and underground churches.  Bud would say that the intense experience dramatically increased his faith and prayer life.  “I felt like I was in the CIA instead of being a very conservative financial advisor to very wealthy people.  I could not understand why God would call me to this.” 

Until, without warning in 1989, The Wall came down.  Bud then quickly understood God’s purpose in his adventure and the sacrifice he had undertaken.  So he and Steve Maisel formed East-West Ministries.  They raised the money to go into Russia with American pastors to teach local Russians who wanted to build their own Churches.  For 12 years, they have helped over 1,100 Pastors reach millions of people through Churches all over the Russia.

Many of us would have rejected the vision and leading that God placed on Bud’s heart.  But, freedom is not freedom unless we exercise it by our faith and trust in the one who created us.  Not just our religious freedom, but political, economic, free expression and the ultimate... Freedom in Christ to use all our gifts and talents for His grand plan.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Freedom to be Yourself by Darren T. Carter

     Have you ever been to the zoo and watched the caged animals?  If so, you can see that even though these animals have been rescued from death, they are still not free to be themselves. It is said that injured lions mostly die not from their injuries but from the pain of being unable to do what they do best.  We are much like the lion in that respect.  We have been set free so that we can truly become the person we were created to be and when we are not that person, we die inside.  Proverbs 13:12 says, hope deferred makes the heartsick.  Could this be one of the main reasons we see so much mental illness today, because people are jailed in sin and a total lack of purpose?

     “Are you free?” is the question you have to ask yourself.  If you are free, you are going to be comfortable in your own skin.  Paul said, “I am who I am.”  Paul understood his gifts, developed them, and expanded them because he was free. His freedom allowed him to reach his potential.  In Romans 12, Paul helps us identify the differing gifts each of us have been given; he then tells us not to compare ourselves with each other (II Cor. 10:12).  If you are trying to emulate someone else, you are not free.  You can learn from others, but you are unique. It is your uniqueness that makes you who you are.  You must try not to focus on yourself but look to the grace that sets you free.  Grace is about taking the mundane and ordinary and transforming it into the special and extraordinary.  Grace does not focus on our insufficiency but on the all-sufficiency of the cross and the freedom of being found in Him.

     It was William Shakespeare who said, “God has given you one face, and you make yourself another?” You may not realize it, but not being yourself is actually a subtle form of hypocrisy.  I have a great desire to see the church break out of the box.  We should be the most unique, creative people on the face of the earth.  I don’t think people hide from their true uniqueness on purpose, but we have been bound so long it is hard to break free.  Let’s look at three main areas that bind people from being free.  We become many times a lot like the prisoner who has been so institutionalized that they can’t imagine living free.  Let’s look at three main areas that bind up people from being free:

  • Traditionalism:  Jesus talked about allowing traditions to keep us from the will of God. 
  • High Mindedness:  Paul said that when we think more of ourselves than we should, we miss our true calling.  We have to accurately assess our gifts, abilities, strengths, and weaknesses.
  • Limited Thinking:  When we limit our thinking, we keep ourselves bound to the ideas that have shaped our thinking and kept us from His purpose.

     Refuse to allow anyone or anything to keep the true you from fulfilling your purpose in this life.  Break out of the cage that has kept you from being you.  Darren T. Carter

Today's guest author is Darren T. Carter, husband, father, author, and inspirational speaker.  To learn more about him, visit his website or follow him on facebook or twitter.

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Friday, January 20, 2012

Freedom from Fear by Yvonne Carson

One of the most debilitating emotions that we can experience is fear. Fear is so destructive because it causes us to hide, think, believe, and act small. Fear can paralyze you, preventing you from doing the things you love. It keeps many of us stuck, experiencing lost opportunities, and the list can go on and on. God does not want any of His children bound by a spirit of fear; He wants you to live in total freedom from fear.

One of the worst things about fear is it causes us to disobey God by giving into the fear, causing us to live in unbelief or lack of faith in God’s Word and what He has promised us as children of God. Fear also causes us to fail to see ourselves through the eyes of a loving, forgiving and merciful God.

The great news for you today is this. If you are a born again, spirit-filled child of God, you have been given freedom from fear the moment you made Jesus Christ the Lord of your life! However, it will take faith to appropriate the promise of freedom in Christ Jesus. John 8:36 says, “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” You appropriate this promise in God’s Word by decreeing and declaring it over your self daily until faith comes, if the fear in your life is greater than your faith at the moment.

Fear is based on a spirit of deception and lies or perversion, which are tools that the devil uses to contaminate your faith by using toxic people, thoughts, words, and images to produce fear in your life. There is only one way to counterattack the spirit of fear and that is the spirit of truth – God’s Word.

You can be set free from Satan’s lies by knowing the truth; however, you must read and study the Word of God in order to know what the truth is when you hear it. You speak the truth of God’s Word until it manifests in your life and you can testify that you are walking in freedom from fear. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).

How to Appropriate Your Freedom From Fear

  1. Admit the truth to God and yourself that you have fear
  2. Confess and repent for being fearful to God
  3. Renounce the spirit of fear and its right to be in your life
  4. Take authority over the spirit of fear (Luke 10:19) by binding it in the name of Jesus
  5. Declare the truth of God’s Word out loud, making it a part of your daily life until faith comes and you’re living a life of freedom from fear

Never forget that God is and always will be our source of freedom from fear. Remember, Jesus is the wonderful Counselor and Prince of Peace – Jehovah Shalom!

Today's guest author is Yvonne Carson, Author, Speaker, Bible Teacher, Licensed Minister, Entrepreneur, and Blogger.  To learn more about her, visit  her sites:,

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Freedom isn’t Free, there are consequences when it exceeds His Grace

On December 16th, 2011 the Security and Exchange Commission finally began taking legal action against two of the key culprits who crashed the US housing industry in 2007.  David Mudd, former CEO of Fannie Mae and Richard Syron, former CEO of Freddie Mac, along with four other executives, are charged with misrepresenting the number of sub prime loans they served to US Senate Committees investigating the economic meltdown of our economy.  

This is the first action of its kind toward receiving restitution from those who led us into the housing crisis and a broken economy since 2007.  These quasi-public and federal intuitions  were the instigators with certain congressional leaders in the early part of that decade as Wall Street derivatives and Banks joined the race to crank out as many loans as possible whether borrowers qualified or not.

When the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution they used the Bible as their guide.  That’s why we have laws against murder, stealing, bribery and lying (to name a few)... all from the Moral Truths of the Ten Commandments.  Our Judicial system is derived from the book of Judges.

America has been so blessed because of our adherence to His principles and it has been allowed more Grace than other nations. But when individuals, organizations, or our nation get out of His will and grace, we will feel pain.  There must be acts of remorse and seeking forgiveness.  He is waiting on us to seek forgiveness.

God’s call to Freedom has boundaries.  Greed is one of the Spiritual Sins of the Heart and when in excess it exceeds God’s grace, we are now paying the consequence.  The Lord’s first commandment says, “have no god’s before Me” and secondly “have no false idols.”  Greed, or the love of money, is a sin.  God requires us to ask for forgiveness or repentance or face reprimands. 

In January 2008 the Lord told me that our American economy would not rebound until there was repentance and an asking for forgiveness by the culprits.   As a kid nearly everyone of us was taught about asking for forgiveness beginning with simple things like hitting our little sister.  Simple pride and greed sins have kept many public company CEOs from saying “I’m sorry” or asking for forgiveness.  It has happened ever since Satan began messing with the heads of men.  The Lord has reminded me many times that “Humility is either a choice or a consequence.”  Or as Proverbs says “Pride comes before a fall.”

I believe Bankers will be the next to be sued.   Banks allowed the foreclosure process to dictate their reactions to those in crisis trying to save their homes. They let the government lend them tax payer money that increased our national debt and put our entire nation further at risk.   I believe if the banks took proactive steps of helping homeowners affected by value declines i.e. offering them a 30% reduction in the loan obligations, it would be a boom for both groups as people refinance.  Forgiveness of debt is Biblical.
So now it looks like the door is finally being opened by the SEC and not our government.  It’s the appropriate group to take action.  With legal action humility will come.  Sadly, repentance will come in the form of fault finding and eventual restitution.   It will waste more money and time proving fault, and drag out the bitterness and outrage of all Americans affected by the Greed of a few hundred men and women who created a culture of selfish interest over the common good of all Americans.

When the passion of some for Greed puts a majority into debt, the true rights of our intended Freedom are violated.  These individuals and institutions have violated our public trust.  The consequences must be faced.
The Word says, “the love of money is the root of all evil.”  In order to be open to God you must have Humility.   The clock is ticking for our national Financial Executives who are in denial or hoping this issue will go away.   But the Lord will get His way and the economy will turn when... He believes it’s time, and humility, is impacting those who are standing in its way.  

Written by John Beehner, author of the New Release "The Freedom Revolution... Rocking Our World."

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Freedom of Thought by Karen Thompson

The theme for this Blog Tour is “Freedom Rocks.” Those of us writing were told to write about some kind of Freedom.  To be asked to participate was quite an honor and I wanted to say something profound.  I tried looking up quotations by great philosophers about freedom and found that what I got was information that was confusing and way over my head. I tried several other approaches including re-reading the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and must confess that the more I thought about freedom and the implications of our freedom, the more in a funk I got. I looked around at our current North American culture and found that more and more of our freedoms are being restricted or lost altogether.

Then, it occurred to me that I was in desperate need of an “attitude adjustment.” I needed to look at what freedoms I do have and then resolve to use those freedoms to the utmost! For example, I am free to change my attitude.  I can be in control of it. Now, when the world seems to be closing in on me and there is no good news in the media, how can I possibly change my attitude?  

The answer is in Paul’s letter to the Philippians 4:8-9 (NLT)
"And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me-everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you."

This tells me that in order to change my attitude I must not dwell on problems or on the evil in this world. That does not mean that I am to be unaware of the many problems surrounding us. I need to be informed on world and local events. However, I must also look for  the good in the world and try to continually focus my thoughts there.  As an example, throughout the day, my thoughts return to the precious sound of our two young granddaughters wishing us a Merry Christmas in song over the telephone or a beautiful full rainbow that glimmered through the residual raindrops.

 Furthermore, the verses from Philippians tell me that when I see a place where my gifts and talents can be used to improve life for someone, I need to get busy and do what is needed. It doesn’t have to be anything worthy of front page headlines, but can be as simple as letting someone with only a few items get in line ahead of me and my monthly grocery shopping cart at the checkout. It can be as simple as befriending a forgotten soul in a skilled nursing facility and visiting regularly. The possibilities are endless.

In obeying God’s Word, I’ve proven it true. My attitude changed and the funk is gone. My new found freedom has improved my life. It can’t be taken away unless I allow it. Freedom does rock!

Today's guest blogger is Karen Thompson.  Karen is a wife, mother of 5, grandmother of 8.  She is a retired anesthesiologist and her husband is a retired pastor.  To learn more about her, visit her blog at:

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Is America stupid, or is God using us to spread Freedom?

When I was able to start driving I remember gasoline was 19 cents a gallon.  Can you believe that?  America drilled and refined all of its own oil and it was extremely cheap to drill and to transport to the USA.  When large oil reserves were discovered in the Middle East, everything changed.  This is where our dependency began, and more and more oil companies went to the Middle East as the cost to drill rose here.  So the Kings and Sheiks prospered as America’s wealth grew over the next 50 years and no President really pushed for an acceptable energy plan.

John Bower, who has headed an international Christian mission in the Middle East believed that “God gave the Arabs oil to bring them into the world community.  Otherwise they would continue to isolate themselves.”  Unfortunately, the Arab leaders got too used to the easy money so greed became another false god as the first OPEC embargo in 1973, pushed prices higher pushed oil from $3 a barrel to $30.  The world was hooked on Middle Eastern oil and could not change its diet.

Next you have had China seeing the handwriting on the wall from the collapse of Russia and the eastern block.  With Mao dead they wanted a piece of Western prosperity.  So over the last 15 years they have been growing rapidly by allowing Economic Freedom and building on the backs, jobs, technology and prosperity of American resources and dollars. A Chinese executive told me in 2007, 60% of China’s economy was based on American consumption.  The Chinese are backing out of Communism. The party likes the prosperity too much to turn back now.  Mao tse Tung would roll over in his grave if he could see what is happening in his country. 

So many outspoken Americans have said “We have been stupid sending our money to the Middle East and Far East putting our economy and future growth in peril.”  On the surface that seems totally logical. 

But what about God?  Is He just sitting back laughing at what we have been doing?  If you pull back and look at the big picture and you seek His face I think you come to the same conclusions I have.  God is involved in everyone’s life whether we believe in Him or not. Fact …God gave mankind Free Will which is a natural desire placed in the heart and soul of every man and woman.  That’s why Freedom is breaking out in the Middle East and China.  God has used America to found Freedom and now nearly 75% of all the major countries in the world have declared a form of freedom and democracy.  All of that is in God’s will.  Freedom is a process and takes time to perfect as we have proven over and over in the USA.

I believe in the next decade from God’s leading and our striving for debt reduction, America will begin to drill for our own oil and energy sources and turn the balance of trade.  The same Middle Eastern countries will have to diversify their economies by developing industries, like exporting, retailing, manufacturing and services to employ their people to grow their economies.  We have given them the down payment. 

Without oil revenue, these countries will have to learn and use the principles of Biblical Freedom which drives Economic Exchange in the long term.  For business owners to be successful in a free society requires integrity and treating customers and employees with honesty to sustain repeated business.  You can only lie to a customer for a short time and keep their business.  Bribery and swindling have to decline for God to bless these nations.  China will no longer be able to steal our technology and knock off our product without licensing fees.  The Golden Rule will prevail.

We may be stupid but God is not.  He has a plan to spread Freedom through Christian principles.  Africa will be His next big stop to feed people with jobs and on a full belly they will be more and more interested in the Gospel and service to Him.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Attitudes of Freedom by Sue Molitor

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.  Galations 5:1 is at the core of mankind's heart desire.  In John 8:36, Jesus said, "Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."  Why then are so many people living in bondage?  Why is it that even some Christians never experience true freedom in Christ? 

An answer lies in our mind and our attitudes.  The issue of freedom is settled as far as God is concerned.  Jesus paid the price so we could be free.  We are free in Christ Jesus.  However, we may not know how to walk in that freedom.  We discover how to live in the freedom of Christ through His Word, through the renewing of our minds. 

All actions start with a thought.  When we learn to choose right thoughts, it will result in living in victory and freedom.  And vice versa, when we choose wrong thoughts, we will continue to live in bondage.  Whether that thought leads to an overt sin, or a covert sin.  A covert sin is one such as selfishness, greediness, pride, self-absorption, unbelief, doubt.  These are less obvious than overt sins, but just as dangerous and just as enslaving.

For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.  Galations 5:13

Yes, Christ has made us free.  However, when we use that freedom and choose sin, we get entangled right back into bondage.  Any step out of walking according to the Spirit is walking in the flesh and is therefore, sin.   
Sin causes bondage.  When we come to Christ, He washes away all our sin.  He removes it from us as far as the east is from the west (Ps 103:12).  However, we have to change our thinking and how we view ourselves or we will go back to the same old patterns of sin.  Only the Word of God can transform us and lead us to victory. 

Many people sin and then justify it in their heads, "Oh, God will forgive me, after all Jesus Christ died for my sins so I am forgiven."  That is a dangerous way to live and it only results in deeper and deeper captivity. 
This justification happens often, but many times people are living in captivity by their thinking and do not even realize it is sin.  For example, below is a list of Attitudes of Freedom vs Attitudes of Bondage.  As you read the list, it might be of value to do some self-examination to see where your thinking is leading you.

Attitudes of Freedom/ Attitudes of Bondage

Thankfulness/ Complaining
Kindness and Goodness/ Selfishness
Graceful/ Critical
Trusting/ Doubting
Faith/Fear, Insecurity
Humility/Prideful, Self-righteous
Love/Fearful, Selfish
Patience/ Quick-tempered
Peace/ Worry, Anxious
Joy/ Grumpiness, gloom
Self-control/ Self-indulgence

Many of the attitudes of freedom are on the list in Galations 5:22-23 as being fruit of the Spirit.  The attitudes of bondage could be listed as attitudes of the flesh. 

We can choose our attitudes.  We can choose if we walk in freedom or are held captive to wrong mindsets.  
We may not be able to change our thoughts overnight.  It may take some time to dilute the damage accumulated through years of misguided mindsets.  However, victorious living is awaiting.  Christ died to give you that freedom.  Don't let wrong thoughts and attitudes keep you from obtaining all Jesus Christ has for you.
Freedom is yours.

Today's guest author is Sue Molitor, Christian blogger, wife, mother of three, and part-time speech pathologist.  To learn more about Sue, visit her blog at

Friday, January 13, 2012

Freedom and the Christian Cartoonist by Dr. Joe McKeever

I was five years old and in my mother's way as she worked around the house. So, plopping me and my 3-year-old sister down at the kitchen table, she gave us pencil and paper and said, "Draw!" That's when I discovered a love for drawing. She never told us to quit, so I've been at it ever since. The next year, the first-graders at Nauvoo (AL) Elementary would gather around and watch me draw. To this day, I can outdraw any group of first-graders anywhere.

My wife says I'm the oldest person in the world whose mother still puts his artwork on the fridge. Sometime around age 30 and in my third pastorate, I began submitting cartoons to denominational (as well as a few secular) publications, and ran into the reality of editorial censure.
"We couldn't run that, Joe," I would hear. "I'd be out of a job in an hour."

It's not that the drawings or the messages were "bad." They were just taking sides on controversies over which good people were differing and trying to find the way.
One thing religious cartoonists learn quickly is that if no one is going to print your stuff, there's no point in producing it. So, after a couple of editors began working with me to take the hard edge off, they began printing my cartoons.

Looking back, I see now that my early humor tended to be sarcastic.  I specialized in putdowns and ridicule. Not good for anything, not for sermons or polite conversations or cartoons.
At one point, sometime in the early 1980s, I quit drawing. I said to the Lord, "It's all yours. If you have no use for it, fine. If you choose to use it, here am I."

He gave it back to me, big-time.

In the 1980s, we worked with a Christian publishing house to produce 8 volumes of cartoons for church newsletters which sold 300,000 copies. These days, the drawings appear daily at our denominational news website, (alongwith the work of six other artists). Editors and church secretaries download them and run in their publications.  The money involved is miniscule, in case anyone wonders. (Smiley-face goes here.)

What about freedom in my cartooning? I have all the liberty I want or could ever need to serve the Lord using this medium. In fact, I pray as much about my cartooning as I do about my preaching. And the Lord seems to blessing one as much as the other.

When I was in the 7th grade, the teacher asked each pupil, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" The answers were the usual: teacher, fireman, president, politician, farmer. When I said, "Cartoonist," everyone laughed.

These days, at class reunions, I'm the guy in the center of the room sketching everyone, having the time of my life.  Freedom? You bet!

Today's post was authored by Dr. Joe McKeever, preacher, cartoonist, husband, father of three and grandfather of eight.  To learn more about him, visit his blog at

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Who am I? by Kristin Bridgman

Who am I?
I live out in the world
I live in a car or camper in parking lots
I live under bridges and tents and cardboard boxes in the woods

Who am I?
I may have lost my job and cannot get another
I may have gotten sick and lost everything
I may have made bad choices and consequences are following me

Who am I?
I'm a person just like you
I have red blood traveling through my veins
My heart beats just like yours
I feel hurt and pain, sometimes love
I cry, I laugh, I dream, sometimes I just sleep because of depression

Who am I?
I came from a family
I had a beginning, I have a story
Sometimes I have hope, sometimes  I don't

Do you know who I am?

Most do not know me because they are not looking for me
If they pass by, they don't want to look
They look the other way

If you see me please,
extend your hand to shake mine
Look me in the eyes and smile
Acknowledge that I am a human being worthy of a handshake, a smile, a little bit of kindness

Who am I?
I'm labeled homeless
I may not have a home but I still have a spirit
That spirit can get real low at times
So please say a prayer for me

Who am I?

                                                                                                   I am Daryl

                                                                                                  I am Dave

                                                                                                I am Gordon

                                                                                                    I am Larry

                                                                                                     I am Mike

                                                                                                   I am Roger

I am Sophia

If I seem unpleasant or I scare you, please forgive me
It's hard to always be on my best with so many worries on the mind, or aches and pains, or extreme uncomfortableness
Sometimes I may feel lost
But I will do by best to be kind to you

That's why a pleasant smile and a handshake can be so important
For you to look me in the eye and call me by my name
can lift me up
When you smile at me, I will smile back at you

Who am I?

I am a child of God
And I may be waiting for you to come tell me

 The blanket ministry began with a book I read called Same Kind of Different As Me, a very powerful, true story, about a homeless man that befriended a couple working in a soup kitchen in Dallas and how they were each changed by the other through their friendship. I was then led to a book club that was discussing this very book.  It was at this book club that I first learned my town had a homeless population.  It was November, already cold out and it broke my heart to think of people out there living in the cold.  I asked questions about how I could help and the answer came back "blankets". 

I began collecting blankets, asking for donations and began to seek out these people, befriending them in the mean time, getting to know them and they took my heart.  After giving away over 1000 blankets in two years, hearing stories and seeing them with new eyes, through the eyes of Jesus, it was layed on my heart to write a book, sharing their stories and bringing awareness to this problem and letting the general population know these are people loved by God and they are not to be scared of or to be repulsed by.

I found freedom from stepping out of my comfort zone to enter this new world, and I pray that as I share the love of Christ with people, they will find their freedom in the gift that is offered them in Jesus Christ.  That is the only real freedom!

Today's guest author is Kristin Bridgman, Christian blogger, wife, and mother of two sons.  To learn more about Kristin, visit her blog at