Panic Attacks to Freedom

I want to be a beacon for freedom.  Liberty will be my cry.  Why?

I’ve tasted and seen it.  A freedom so great that you can own who you are, where you have been, and where you are going.  A freedom that lets you own your story in full transparency.  Why?  So that others may taste and see this same freedom.

“Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!  Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” – Psalm 34:8

“How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” – Psalm 119:103

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life – the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us- that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.” – 1 John 1:1-3

Listen. I know I am the worst of sinners but I also know that I have tasted and seen the goodness of God.  I have witnessed the sweet fragrance of Christ Jesus and I know the power of Holy Spirit.  All of this, not by my own will but by will of Christ Jesus.

I know what it is like to be in the middle of deep trouble and be at peace.  I know what it is like to take refuge in the Father during chaos.

A little over a year ago my life was falling apart fast.  And in the midst of my heartbreaking pain I had one of the most intimate conversations with the Father looking out over Pisgah National Forest. In those few short but lasting moments I gained hope, trust, faith, and assurance.  I gained freedom, and recently I’ve gained freedom in greater measure. I’ve tasted and seen.

My point is I know pain.  I know what it is like to have your world come crashing down.  I know what it is like not to have a leg to stand on.  I know hopelessness.  I know heartache.  I know depression and anxiety.  I know what it is like to have a panic attack unable to breathe, puking in the toilet while shaking like a leaf completely out of control.  I’ve carried trauma and experienced dissociation. I say all this because I want you to know I’ve been in captivity and burdened by deep trouble.  But.

But, there is good news.  I’ve tasted and seen the freedom that comes in the presence of Holy Spirit.  I’ve tasted and seen the goodness of God the Father. I’ve tasted and seen the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

So that still in the midst of deep trouble I became rooted in peace, full of hope, with steadfast trust in my God.  I choose to welcome Holy Spirit into my life continually.  I invite Father, Son and Spirit to speak to me, encourage me, challenge me, correct me, and train me up.  I welcome the fruit of the Spirit to be alive and well within me to the point of overflowing; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.

This past Sunday at Newsong, Pastor Jeff preached on freedom.  Quoting one of my most favourite scriptures and declaring its truth.

16 but whenever a person turns [in repentance and faith] to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty [emancipation from bondage, true freedom]. 18 And we all, with unveiled face, continually seeing as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are progressively being transformed into His image from [one degree of] glory to [even more] glory, which comes from the Lord, [who is] the Spirit.” – 2 Corinthians 3:16-18

All my days I will seek to increase in freedom.  I know liberty is mine.  I will proclaim it, declare it, and live it increasingly all the days of my life.

If you long for more freedom in your life pray this simple but powerful and authoritative prayer today.

Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ pour out your Holy Spirit here and now.  For where the Spirit of the LORD is there is freedom.  I bind oppression as it is bound in heaven here and now and I loose freedom as freedom is loosed in heaven here and now.  Let Holy Spirit speak to me, strengthen me, encourage me, correct me, and train me up in Christ Jesus.  Let the fruit of the Spirit reign in my life; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.  In the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

I’d like encourage you to listen to this.

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To be known!

Reading time 1 minute.

It is what we all want because it is what we all need.  It is why we were created, to know God and to be known by Him.

When I find my heart is waning, when I start to lose strength, when I long to be known, seen, and understood by others, I stop.  I take a minute and I readjust.  I realign.  All that this world has to offer leaves me lacking.  It cannot fill me, satisfy me, or put me at rest in perfect peace.  Only God my Father can do that.

So when I find myself waning I choose to adjust my motivation by recognizing my own true need.  I purpose myself to find what my heart is truly and deeply crying out for, to know God and to be known by Him. Continue reading “To be known!”

Present Raindrops

Reading time 6 minutes.

Everybody says it.  Life is short.  It goes too fast.  Carpe Diem. This message is thrown into our everyday conversations.  I get it, and there is a time and a place for this message for sure.

But.

I woke up this morning and I had this crazy feeling that I’ve got a whole lot more life to live.  We all do.

Are we wishing it away, always on the hunt for something better or greater?  Do we fill our lives to overflowing so that our busyness makes us feel like were living life to the fullest?

When I look back and think about this wonderful life I recall everyday moments that turned into something special.  Why?  In those moments I was present.  Not rushing. Not trying.  Just being. Continue reading “Present Raindrops”

Embrace Emotion, Honor Truth, and Find Value.

Reading time 5 minutes.

“Positive emotion is now moral correctness. Sadness, anger, and grief are considered “bad emotions”.  We are left with a culture of people who are ashamed of these emotions, hide these emotions, and even worse try to push these emotions aside.  Not just with ourselves but with the people we know and love.” – Psychologist Susan David

False positivity is crippling, toxic, and frankly deadly.

“What might be seen as “bad emotions” are a reality of life… as long as we are living there will be sadness, anger, and grief.” – Susan David

In the attached TED Talk clip Susan David states a radical truth, “Discomfort is the price of admission to a meaningful life.” Continue reading “Embrace Emotion, Honor Truth, and Find Value.”

Redemption Doesn’t Always Look Like We Think

A 2 minute read.

What was it like for Jesus to be the Messiah and be judged by the religious leaders of the day? I can’t imagine what it was like for Him, to stand there in their presence the Messiah, and be judged blasphemous.

The reality was Jesus wasn’t what they pictured. He wasn’t their idea of the Messiah and therefore, to them, he wasn’t. Continue reading “Redemption Doesn’t Always Look Like We Think”