Showing posts with label freedom. Show all posts
Showing posts with label freedom. Show all posts

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Part of the Freedom

Romans 5:3-4
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. 

I fell down, but I got back up.

No, I didn't actually fall to the ground, but so many times I've fallen in my walk with Jesus.

One of the last days of school this year, I helped in my daughter's first grade class. We stood in the hallway waiting for the children to finish their bathroom break, and one of the little ones had done something they shouldn't. I witnessed the most wonderful conversation. The child's sorrowful face dripped a few tears and my daughter leaned near and asked, "I appreciate that you are sorry for what happened, but what did you learn? We all make mistakes, but most important is to learn from them and do better next time. Don't let one mistake ruin your day."

I'd actually been thinking about this topic recently in reference to my writing. I can sit and cringe over the mistakes I make, or I can learn from them, and move forward. One of my book signings didn't go exactly the way I had hoped, but now I know what to do to make the experience better next time. I could have stewed about it, but I chose to see the whole picture, and know this is a lesson learned.

Confession time, I sin and make mistakes even though I'm a Christian. I'm not perfect, but thank goodness Jesus is. If I stew in past mistakes instead of looking at myself as a forgiven soul, my spiritual life will wither and die. Instead, I have to let go, seek forgiveness, re-evaluate, apply what I learned, forgive myself, and keep moving forward as God intends.

Romans reminds me to persevere, finish my work, and move toward maturity in Christ. I want to take those teachable moments like my daughter did and apply them to my life, so I grow in my walk with Jesus and not sit in my own mess. God is the God of second chances, He calls his followers to seek forgiveness and try again. That's part of the freedom I have in being a disciple of Jesus.

Seek the lesson to be learned and keep moving forward.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Romantic Fiction Book Review: Mulberry Hollow (A Riverbend Romance book 2) by Denise Hunter

Book Description:

Living life to the fullest always requires sacrifice.

Avery Robinson decided to be a physician after helplessly watching her mother lose a battle with a terrible disease. Now at risk of developing the same illness, Avery guards her heart from love. She’s driven to protect her loved ones as a workaholic doctor in the tiny mountain town of Riverbend Gap, North Carolina.

Contractor Wes Garrett is hiking the Appalachian trail, in memory of the man who died saving his life, when an illness racks his body. After an agonizing fifteen-mile hike to Avery’s clinic, he collapses on her doorstep. He recovers to find himself in debt again, this time to a beautiful doctor.

When he decides to help her renovate a rundown carriage house, the obstacles to their attraction sprout like weeds—starting with the woman waiting for Wes at the end of the trail. Will he be able to relinquish the debt he owes his best friend? And will Avery find the courage to risk everything for love?

The second book in Denise Hunter’s popular Riverbend Romance series explores what it might be like to live fearlessly and free.

My Thoughts:
I enjoyed reading Mulberry Hollow. Denise Hunter digs into the souls of her characters and discovers their needs, personalities, and quirks. Dr. Avery Robinson has thrown herself into her work at the clinic she opened, to keep her mind off of the future she believes is inevitable. Wes Garrett wants to do right by his friend, but has given himself high expectations. The two meet and their adventures begin in the beautiful setting of the Appalachian Mountains. I admire both characters for their integrity and desire to help other people. Hunter has penned a sweet romance that heals and opens doors to freedoms neither Avery nor Ross dreamed possible. Mulberry Hollow is a clean read with undertones of faith and hope. If you enjoy a good romance, you can't go wrong with Denise Hunter's stories. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Thankful for Freedom

2 Corinthians 3:15-17
Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

The children waved flags in their honor.

Mrs. Blankenship's art classes made this beautiful flag.

On Veteran's Day, I had the privilege to watch the program the school put on to honor the men and women who served in the military. The children lined the halls and waved flags and the vets marched around the school. The scene brought back memories of an old-fashioned, small-town celebration. After the march, the children gathered in the gym. My daughter, Sara, sang The National Anthem, then the men spoke about their time in the military. A student from each class got to ask a question and hear the responses. I admit at times I had tears and chills.

One of the gentlemen in the group was a very special guest. Former Superintendent William Bick, who the school is named for, spoke to the students. At ninety-eight years old, he told them he served in WW2. What a treasure to have met this honorable veteran.

All the veterans who spoke represented the freedom they fought for and the safety they defended for our country. They gave their time to protect our freedom.

My dad served in WW2, my husband as an Air Force Reservist, my brothers in the National Guard. I've always had great respect for our military.

Our American freedom is not the only freedom we have. Believers and followers of Jesus hold a freedom that can never be taken away. When we receive the Holy Spirit, we also gain freedom from sin through repentance, freedom to live a life following the Savior, and freedom from the world. No matter what goes on around me, I know Jesus is with me and He comforts me.

I thank God for the veterans and military persons who serve, and I thank God for the One who gave His life as a sacrifice for our sins. Jesus loves us so much. He wants us to have the freedom He offers, the freedom to love, forgive, and hope.

On Thanksgiving, give thanks for our military and for Jesus, the one who sets us free.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Historical Fiction Book Review: Freedom's Song by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Book Description:
Her voice made her a riverboat’s darling—and its prisoner. Now she’s singing her way to freedom in this powerful novel from the bestselling author of The Librarian of Boone's Hollow.

Indentured servant Fanny Beck has been forced to sing for riverboat passengers since she was a girl. All she wants is to live a quiet, humble life with her family as soon as her seven-year contract is over. However, when she discovers that the captain has no intention of releasing her, she seizes a sudden opportunity to escape—an impulse that leads Fanny to a group of enslaved people who are on their own dangerous quest for liberty. . . .

Widower Walter Kuhn is overwhelmed by his responsibilities to his farm and young daughter, and now his mail-order bride hasn’t arrived. Could a beautiful stranger seeking work be the answer to his prayers? . . .
 
After the star performer of the River Peacock is presumed drowned, Sloan Kirkpatrick, the riverboat’s captain, sets off to find her replacement. However, his journey will bring him face to face with his own past—and a deeper understanding of what it truly means to be free. . . . 

Uplifting, inspiring, and grounded in biblical truth, Freedom’s Song is a story for every reader who has longed for physical, emotional, or spiritual delivery.

My Thoughts:
Freedom. We all love being able to move about freely and believe what we want. But what if you couldn't? What if you are sheltered in a room in the lower chamber of a boat and only allowed out to perform? To what measure would you go to escape? Kim Vogel Sawyer writes an amazing story of Fanny Beck's brave journey to find the freedom she longs for. Fanny is a lovely character who has a lot to give. Walter is a kindhearted man who needs love in his life, and his little daughter is adorable. I like that the author took a historical situation, a river boat singer, and created a tale of compassion. The thread of forgiveness and kindness is woven in beautifully. If you enjoy historical fiction, Freedom's Song is an enjoyable read by Kim Vogel Sawyer. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

True Freedom

Until I seek forgiveness and give forgiveness, I'm bound by the chains of sin and despair. 
True freedom comes from reconciliation with God and people. 


 

Saturday, July 6, 2019

The Cross and the Flag


2 Corinthians 3:17
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

As the fireworks flared and boomed, our country celebrated another year of independence. A freedom fought for and protected by our men and women in the armed forces. I thank God for their sacrifices and bravery. I cannot imagine being at war. Hunkering down in ditches, putting up with one-hundred-twenty degrees of heat, tolerating annoying insects, snakes, spiders, or being separated from family and friends.


Pray for the folks who defend American freedom. Give them a thank you, when you see them. My dad fought in WW 2, and I will be forever grateful to him.
As much as I thank God for our soldiers, even more I praise God for the one who sacrificed for the ultimate freedom. Jesus Christ gave his life so that my life could be saved. He allowed my sins to fall on him, so that grace could pour over me. Jesus paid the price, like many soldiers, he died for my liberty. Then he rose in victory. He won the battle.
When I think of freedom, I look to the cross and the flag, two symbols of sacrifice, hope and love.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Two Defining Forces


Romans 3:22-26
This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

I just finished reading a book based on a letter written during the American Revolution. In the story one of the main character, along with an army of men, went to war with his muzzle loader to acquire the freedom of all Americans. Since that time, we've had countless soldiers continue to fight for the freedom of America. I thank God for those who have given their lives, their time and their families to allow me to worship God.
I've read a saying that says something like this: "Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you; Jesus Christ and the American G. I. One died for your soul; the other for your freedom." -Author: Unknown
Jesus died to free me from the weight of sin in this world. He came to earth and took on the burden of any who believe in him. He gave his life. That's true freedom! The freedom to live in this world without the burden of sin. The freedom to live in this world and not of this world. The freedom to love God and love people. I thank the Lord for sending his son. To live in this world without Jesus would be hopeless. To live in this world with Jesus means to live with hope and joy. I love Jesus and thank him for his sacrifice!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Fiction Book Review: The House at Saltwater Point (A Lavender Tides Novel) by Colleen Coble


Book Description:
The dangerous beauty of Lavender Tides is harboring secrets that reach around the world.

Ellie Blackmore is making a name for herself as a house flipper. But when her sister
Mackenzie disappears, Ellie can’t focus on anything but uncovering what happened. Her only clue is the bloodstain on the deck of Mackenzie’s boat. Ellie knows her sister isn’t on the best of terms with her ex-husband, Jason, but he wouldn’t kill her—would he? 
Coast Guard intelligence officer Grayson Bradshaw believes Mackenzie faked her own death after stealing a seized cocaine shipment. The problem is convincing Ellie, who seems to view him as the true enemy.

Both Ellie and Grayson want truth, but truth—and family—is often more complex than it first appears. From international terrorism to the peaceful lavender fields of Puget Sound, The House at Saltwater Point is a thrilling race to uncover the truth before it’s too late.

My Review:
Colleen Coble is an excellent writer of suspense, taking the reader to the edge. Two of the things I loved about this story involve the sisters, Ellie and MacKenzie. One is a true hero in the strongest sense of the word. She puts her life on the line for the people she loves. The other is shown as a totally flawed human being in need of grace. The setting is lovely, I could almost smell the lavender. Grayson Bradshaw's story is complicated. But in the midst of the craziness, it is good to meet a man of honor. Coble's story is timely and in accord with current events. The book reminded me to give thanks for people putting their lives on the line every day. Both military and investigative units—so we can be free. If you enjoy NCIS Los Angeles or any of the shows or stories that focus on those who keep us safe, you'll love The House at SaltwaterPoint. I received this book from NetGalley with no expectation of a good or bad review.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

God Freed Mary from the Ordinary

Luke 2:6
While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she [Mary] gave birth to her firstborn, a son.

Acts 1:14
They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.


From beginning to end, Mary loved her son, Jesus. She cuddled him in the manger and stood with him at the cross. And she prayed.

Day after day, Mary labored beside her family members, probably her grandmother, mother, sisters, aunts and cousins. Between carrying water, preparing food, and watching out for the families children, she worshiped God. She loved her heavenly Father and followed his direction. When he called on her to be the mother of Jesus, although she was troubled, she obeyed.

Luke 1:38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

I've been reading a book by Sharon Jaynes, How Jesus Broke the Rules to Set You Free. She tells the stories of several women in the Bible and how Jesus gave them respect and love. In Mary's chapter she writes, "God freed Mary from an ordinary life and freed her to fulfill an extraordinary purpose." Isn't that beautiful? In obedience we're set free! God requires obedience, not because he wants to control us. But because he has an amazing life in store for us. Mary's life was truly incredible. She was the mother of Jesus. I can't imagine how extraordinary that would be. She knew him in a way no one else did. And he loved her as only a son could.

John 19:26-27 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple [John] whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

As a mother and daughter, I've been blessed beyond anything I could imagine. I pray that I continue to obey the Lord and pass the blessings on to my mom and daughters.

Happy Mother's Day and God bless!




Jaynes, Sharon. How Jesus Broke the Rules to Set You Free. Eugene, OR, Harvest House Publishers, 2015.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Where the Spirit of the Lord is...

2 Corinthians 3:17
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

This week we remember Palm Sunday as Jesus trekked through the streets of Jerusalem on a donkey. The people met him and waved palm branches and sang, “Blessed is the king of Israel!” In Jesus' humble way he knew his future was death and his celebration meant freedom for all who followed him.

He knew the road led to torture and sacrifice, yet he took the path anyway.

Why would this man who understood his destiny walk right into death's door? 
Because he loves us. He knew he offered the only means to forgiveness and eternal hope.

Jesus death and resurrection offer a freedom like no other.

Freedom from the weight of worry.

Freedom from the love of material things.

Freedom from anxiety.

Freedom from the opinions of politicians and Hollywood stars.

Freedom from society's values.

Freedom to pray at any moment of the day.

Freedom from sin.

Romans 3:23-24 ...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 

Jesus is the only road to heaven. He gives forgiveness, freedom, and hope.

On this Palm Sunday weekend, know that Jesus died so everyone would have an opportunity to live in freedom. Praise the Lord for his Son!