Freedom requires recognition of our vulnerability and complete reliance on God.
This is intrinsic in the reality of all truth for only God is truth and only in God may truth be found. In fact, complete freedom requires that one recognize that the only thing that exists is God, once we understand that we will walk with God even as Jesus did. We will be one with God; they will dwell in us and we in them.
Freedom is the ability to choose your direction and your destiny. Literally it means the ability to be in line with God’s will. This is where true freedom lies, as Christ lived and taught so well.
Choosing the way of the adversary, or “my way” which is the same thing, is not freedom. It is a falsehood, a false hope, a false life, a dead end, an illusion created by the mortal body and intellect that defies the immortal spirit within each of us and rejects and denies our potential and our divine inheritance if we allow it to grow and consume us. This is often encouraged or fed by fear or manipulation of those who know where they are leading you. And yes, I believe that there are those who have chosen the path of the adversary and know it and they lead others into his ways sometimes with outright wrongful presentation and sometimes with the look of all things good. These were spoken of by Christ as the wolves in sheep’s clothing.
The ability to choose, to follow the teachings of Christ, is the freedom that we have in this life. Because it aligns us with the love of God and under that love we have the capacity to reach our full potential.
The armor of God is our only true defense against the adversary and his henchmen. The helmet of salvation – knowing the gospel and plan of salvation that God has given us. The breastplate of righteousness – having his laws written on our hearts so much so that they are manifest in our actions. The shield of faith – living by the word of God which buffers and protects us from the darts of the adversary. The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God – which defines and clarifies truth from lies and half truths. Having your reproductive parts wrapped with the understanding of the purpose and plan of procreation. Having on your feet an attitude of preparation for peace, meaning that you do not look to harm your fellow man but to lead them into the light of Christ and the freedom and hope that you have found there. (See Ephesians 6)
And being armed properly we want to pray always that we will be able to stand as witnesses of Jesus Christ and of truth and the love of Heavenly Father for all his children, wherever they may be.
This is where power lies. This is where freedom lies. And we find it in and through the name of Jesus Christ. He alone has mended the lines that connect us with God, our eternal father, in whose likeness we are made, in whose path we, too, may progress eternally.
Freedom to be part of something bigger than ourselves, at least our immediate, physical self. That is a gift given by the creator and that we may choose to give of ourselves. Births and weddings and tragically, deaths also bring this boldly to our minds. Freedom involves the ability to give of ourselves. It may be as simple as a smile or a hug or it may be financially, if we have the means, or in an act of opening a door or helping a child be returned to a place of safety.
The ability to be of service is something that the human being was made for. Take it away and one begins to feel lost and isolated and can even lose their sense of sanity. I believe that this is one of the great disservices that we have given to the elderly for decades. We have allowed them to be absolved into a state of non-contribution that leaves them without a place from which to serve. I love the fact that the apostles are all elderly men in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. That tells me a great deal about Heavenly Father’s ideas about aging.
I have a dear friend who has been living with chronic pain and she finds respite in finding ways to be of service and share her talents. She is a great example to me. This is what the organization of the church allows us as a people. We are commanded to meet together often and we receive callings and responsibilities to serve. The serving we are given strengthens not only ourselves but others as well. Ah,” but it is not given freely you say because it is a responsibility to church membership”. Quite the contrary, this is, I believe, one way that God manifests what true freedom is, in that we agree to accept a responsibility and serve one another even as we would serve him.
I cannot help but switch this analogy over to the relationship between a man and a woman in marriage. Oh,”but to plan a date or acts of kindness is to manipulate or take the spontaneity out of it”, some may say. On the contrary to think about ways to serve and to make a place in your life for your spouse and your family needs to be the highest priority next to tending to your own physical and emotional well being. Even here, there are times we give a bit more than we have to give to serve others. If this occurs too often however, it becomes an addiction of self-abuse and leads to wrongful dependency instead of freedom on behalf of the rest of the family members.
I believe that men for a time were taught that they do not need to plan their family into their days where women in decades past were taught to do only that. Perhaps in this twenty first century the reverse is occurring, when it needs to be a universal acknowledgement as a part of humanity. Service is an attitude and a mind set. It is a choice. And this is especially important to recognize in the family and more so between husband and wife. It is to be counted a manifestation of freedom rather that a burden or a trial.
Without family nearby it is still our responsibility to find ways to serve. Even those who must be served due to bodily limitations can serve others by their positive attitudes and pleasant demeanor’s. And those serving can lift their spirits by acknowledging how helpful their gestures are.
Looking for ways to serve shows a recognition for some truths about freedom such as the recognition that we are all one, that we are all dependent on one another in some way or another and that to dishonor someone else is to dishonor the self.
This having been said it is important to recognize that there are different cultures among us and that a service to one may be an intrusion to another. This is something that we risk as we accept the freedoms we have. There will be risk. This is so and we do not want to be afraid of that or let it keep us from attempting to serve. No one likes to feel unappreciated or to feel that their kindness has offended someone or is not wanted, but that should not keep us from looking for those opportunities because what we do to one another we do unto Christ and Heavenly Father and the angels make note of it and it will be counted for our good.
I just had to add this footnote and say that I do know that there are those who do kindnesses all around us. And I am grateful for that. I have many in the branch (congregation) that I attend at church currently. That does not keep me from seeing a universal illness that needs to be addressed and come down with an impact that will shake the earth to its core and I am going to do everything in my power to see that it comes down. I am writing Volume Three in my Portrait of a Harlot/Saint series entitled “The Illusions Must Fall” that will be up by May 28, 2013. It will have a view of my life through the lens of 57 years, much of which has been seeking an understanding of life through attempts to connect with humanity and searching the scriptures, philosophies of ancient and current sages and finally a real surrender to Christ of all that I am. In it I hope to show how false it is to consider this to be life. We keep trying to put a round peg into a square hole. Life is through Christ not government reformation or everybody getting the same amount of apples.
The best that man can do is not good enough. I have been exposed to both sides of life, the very rich and the very poor, very educated and those not so, and even those who have spiritual and economic abundance do not get it. We have to have a major shift in our consciousness. We know this. It has been prophesied for centuries. I will do all I can to lift my voice with others to declare it. I know that I am not the only one who feels this and senses that something is dramatically wrong here. Depression and suicides are are everywhere and we need to wake up and put a stop to this waste and hurt that is felt world wide.
We cannot be content to get by. We must unite as a people, a planet, no matter what nation or affiliation, or family, we belong to and acknowledge what we truly are… which is helpless! There is power available and freedom and truth and it does not have to be found by the shedding of blood, though it may feel like that as we look at ourselves honestly and turn ourselves over to him who has already won the battle and found victory and holds the key to the only real power.
Whatever power we do have is, allowed by God, to see what we will do with it and to prove our worthiness to accept the responsibilities that we have been called to, not only here but on the other side of this sphere.
The time has come to take a stand. He is returning and there will be those who prepare the way for him. Will you be one?
See you next time. 🙂
How do I let people know who I truly am and what I am feeling right now when I am so shell shocked, disappointed, and heart broken I have one of two choices, to crumble into a blob on the floor and take medication to numb my brain so I just do not care what is going on around me or allow the pain and anguish that I feel to catapult me into a place of strength and courage that my enthusiasm frightens those around me?!?
To be sincere and honest with people up close is simply not allowed in our country, communities, or homes. Has it ever really been or is that just another of the long list of propaganda that the media feeds us as they lead us, sometimes not so gently, to the work fields and eventually to the slaughter?
Have I given up on humanity? No, only because of my faith in Jesus Christ, his promises are sure and true. I have experienced the power of the atonement in my life and I know that there is hope in Jesus Christ. I also know that he sent each and every one of us into this world to face the “wolves in sheep’s clothing” along with the other dangers. The wolves in sheep’s clothing are the most dangerous I believe.
As a people we are trained to put blinders on, to avoid that which is none of our business and to “turn the other cheek”. Note how Christ’s teachings are more than welcome when it fits the objectives of the adversary that desires us all to be in bondage and to lose our inheritance. The adversary has seduced many a man and woman to meet his objectives.
Today our society has many advantages that even a decade ago where not available to the masses. At the same time the illnesses and attitudes of those who could allow such things as 9/11, the Holocaust, and Christians being fed to the lions is rampant. There is no nation, community, village, hut, or home where his hatred has not numbed the minds and hearts of those we live among.
Theft, bullying, false accusations, adulteries, and “soul crushers” abound. As a child growing up in a very dysfunctional environment I felt certain there were those out there in the world somewhere that were whole, kind, decent, safe, caring. I have looked for 57 years and I have found only one who has that capacity in its real form without the camouflage of prejudice and self aggrandizement. At the very least they cannot “see” me and my suffering because they do not even acknowledge their own fully. We all do this and will do this as long as we continue to claim this as life, instead of seeing it as a portal through which we must pass to receive life.
No one save the Savior himself has yielded fully to this truth. He did it by being true to himself, so many say it was in being true to God, the Father and, yes, he did that but not before being true to who he was and acknowledging that completely. We have to do that as well. We need to allow ourselves to “be” and then we can truly turn ourselves over to him and his will. If we do it the other way around we only put on pretense that can fool even ourselves into thinking we are something we are not.
It is through a knowledge and continual study of his teachings that I am able to continue my work and my life here on the earth. I have come to know Christ. I have felt his presence and his love for us. I have felt his continual outstretched hand that says “Come, follow me”. It takes courage and strength of character to be able to admit who we are in this sphere. Christ said “Only God is good”. And I believe he meant that in all its meaning. He likewise was in a developmental stage. He did not come here without things to learn about himself and the flesh.
The power of discernment is huge for us to be able to “see” what we need to see to do to be healed and follow through on fulfilling the instructions and work we were given here to do. We must be able to “hear” the whisperings of the Holy Ghost that will guide us in our individual responsibilities in this work of Heavenly Father’s of bringing all mankind to the place where they may choose life. We do this first by getting ourselves there, no matter what it takes.
I am committed to this work and am willing to give whatever it takes to do it. No embarrassment or mishap will stop my determination to do what I can to declare the truthfulness of this man’s mission and my commitment to it. I do not expect it to be easy. I do trust that he will honor my efforts and guide me along and stand by my side if I do not falter in my resolve.
Prayers for this work and that of thousands of others who have the capacity to “see” would be most appreciated…till next time, God bless and bye for now.
If only we could look to Christ instead of looking at one another. If our thoughts were first what would Jesus have me do we would be focused on who we are and not who others are. Christ is our answer. Christ is our hope. Christ is our joy.
Exo 14:1 Mark 4:1
The Egyptians follow the Israelites to bring them back. The Lord guides them into the wilderness and across the Red Sea. The Egyptians complained to Moses that they wanted to stay in Egypt and be servants. They did not want to be free. Are we like the Egyptians, more willing to serve man than we are to serve God even if that means bondage instead of freedom? Jesus taught the meaning of the sower of the seed to those who believed. Are we among those who truly believe? Is the Holy Ghost able to get our attention so that we are taught the things that will bring us closer to God or are we enticed more by the things of this world? The cares of this world…the deceitfulness of riches…or the lusts of other things…Do these two passages not contain a similar question we need to ask ourselves? Are we willing to be free? What are we holding onto that keeps us from being in the presence of the Lord?
On the blog talk radio program, Scriptures for the Latter Days http://tobtr.com/s/4505593, we talked about freedom in two different contexts. One was the Israelites as they left Egypt, in Exodus 14:11-12. The Egyptians complained to Moses that they wanted to stay in Egypt and be servants. They did not want to be free. Even after the many plagues and “passovers” that the Lord had given them the people were still desirous to be “safe” in bondage to the Egyptians. Of course, they were seeing the Egyptians following them now and thought they would be killed, but where was their faith in the God who had preserved them?
Are we like the Egyptians, more willing to serve man than we are to serve God even if that means bondage instead of freedom? I am proposing that it would be better to face death at the hand of my enemy rather than live comfortably among those who hate God and turn from him at every opportunity. I do not believe that man understands the meaning of freedom. I do not believe he understands who he is or what his purpose is.
Jesus taught in Mark 4 the meaning of the sower of the seed to those who believed. Are we among those who truly believe? Is the Holy Ghost able to get our attention so that we are taught the things that will bring us closer to God or are we enticed more by the things of this world? (See Mark 4:19) The cares of this world…the deceitfulness of riches…or the lusts of other things…
Listen to the discourse on http://tobtr.com/s/4505593
Do these two passages not contain a similar question we need to ask ourselves? Are we willing to be free? What are we holding onto that keeps us from being in the presence of the Lord?
I understand well the draws of this world, this “life” if you will. I suggest to you that Christ is teaching us that we are not of this world. Our appetites, lustful desires, even relationships that do not allow us to be centered in Christ alone are dangerous and have no lasting meaning. Am I saying be isolated! Quite the contrary, I am suggesting that we unite in the decision to think of Christ first in all that we do and offer up all that we do unto God in the name of Jesus Christ so that it might be sanctified unto us.
We cannot just be satisfied to know that Jesus is the Christ, nor can we be satisfied just going about our business while the world corrupts around us. We need to use whatever means we have to testify that Jesus is the Christ and that by no other means may we obtain LIFE. Truly, this is not Life, it is the valley of the shadow of death, it is where we may choose life and true life is to be found in Jesus Christ alone.
I am the learner/student/servant. I am the messenger. I seek the Holy Ghost and his direction along the way. You might say I consider the Holy Ghost The Master Communicator of the teachings of The Master, Jesus Christ.
While I am a member in good standing of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints (Mormons) I in no way speak for the church. My thoughts and interpretations are mine alone and I accept responsibility for them. My purpose is to give food for thought in hopes that I might assist you to find your path to true existence and abundant life.
With love and gratitude for all that I have been given, including the challenges which I count as blessings,
Debra, Christa-Ann, Ann, Gramma, Mom, and anything else you want to call me. : ) …even Debbie or Deb, though I am not quite comfortable with that yet…lol
Sometimes the person hardest to forgive, as we go through life, is ourselves. Even when we try with all our might to do our best it is sometimes not good enough and we just plain mess up. This is a part of freedom and a part of realizing that this life is not true “life” but a testing place where we get to learn principles about the ways of God to be truthful. When we forgive ourselves and others we are able to be taught, by the Holy Ghost, the true and correct principles of eternity, line upon line of course, meaning we get a little bit here and a little bit there. None of us are capable of receiving all things of God at once. It is simply beyond our mortal capacity. And, by God’s grace, that is not required of us either. What is required is a humble and willing heart. To be contrite means to be sorry for what we have done and willing to do better, this sort of attitude welcomes the Holy Ghost and his teachings and as we listen and heed the promptings and take them into our hearts the principles become part of us.
My writing this today is part of my understanding as I woke up this morning that I could have handled a situation better. Sincere affection and love unfeigned is not something that I accept very well. I would have to say maybe not at all. I cannot help but wonder at the life my children must have had as we grew up together. I am sure that there were times when I simply was not there for them. When they were young I knew how to teach them and I did so by practice and principle as I sought through my own repentance process. But my ability to be independent and survive may well have assisted the natural process of children to want to leave the nest too early.
Another component that goes with freedom is to realize that the race is not done as long as you have breath in your body. Some doors may be closed but there are a thousand more that can be opened. Heavenly Father is well aware of our shortcomings and our efforts. He truly hears our prayers, especially as we pray for those who have offended us or that we have offended. He will come to their aid if they seek him. This is the key component of this life. That we seek after him and his will and know that what is accomplished or achieved in this life is done so by his grace alone.
We are taught that God gave us weaknesses that we might be humbled. Truly we are eternal beings and could have been sent here capable of doing so much more. But that was not the purpose of this “place and time” that we are in. It is for the testing and strengthening of our souls so that we are made capable and worthy of the tasks ahead that will be revealed to us as we go into the eternities.
I pray forgiveness from those that I have offended and offer absolute forgiveness and deliverance, in as much is within my power, to all who have offended me or my brethren, including myself. I place all in the hands of the divine creator, even God, the Father and his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for the Holy Ghost who guides, comforts, protects, and instructs those who are willing to go through the fire of learning. I say these things with great humility, acknowledging my own weaknesses. In Jesus name, Amen.
Everything that enters the consciousness does so with permission from God and, I believe, from the self. It is up to you to interpret what you receive and to put it in its proper framework within God’s sphere and not society’s, your friends’, parents’, spouses’, lovers’, or child’s, nor even your own. We are not taught this because we believe that this is the sphere that we belong in and that is not so. We have forgotten that we are merely responding to a test, a boot-camp, a trial period, probationary time, and our sole responsibility is to acknowledge God in all that we do. Once we truly do this our eyes will be opened and we will the world much differently than we do today.
Discernment begins with understanding that things are not what they seem and that in all around you there are messages from Heavenly Father to guide you back to him. If you cling to relationships, possessions or even to your own thoughts, feelings, or pain, you run the risk of becoming trapped there. You must look to Christ and ask for his assistance and he will send angels and the Holy Ghost to direct you and teach you what you were sent here to do.
It does not come in one big picture, but it does come, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little. Do not allow yourself to be trapped and stuck like a fly on a twirly strip of fly paper. Move forward. There will be pain, it is a part of being alive. Do not fear it but embrace it, feel it, and let it pass through you so that you can be cleansed instead of denying it and getting it stuck in your psyche and in your physical being so that it causes you a self-destructive pain. Do not fight it and it passes easier. Breathe and look to Christ. He knows how to comfort you, he is so wanting to help, but he will not force himself on you. You do not have to carry the burden of the pain alone.
Someone told a story today in church about a kitten who had been through some rough experiences. Her personality is strong and it was noted that perhaps she needed that to survive her challenges. Usually cantankerous she can be quite pleasant when she wants to be fed. He likened that to us and I really liked the analogy.
May I suggest that we need to keep ourselves hungry and in a state of needing the assistance of Christ so that we might be receptive to his teachings and be willing to listen for the still small voice of the Holy Ghost. If we truly had the developed the ability of discernment we would understand the “dangers” that surround us at every turn. We would welcome the feeling and assurance that we are literally carried in his hands from here to there and that we are to be on the look out for how we can assist others so that they might feel of his love through our ministries.
You just might end up an outsider for a while, maybe permanently. Is it worth it? YES! If it means life, then the answer is a resounding YES! The reality is, that it is possible to “fly” and live at a much higher level than the majority of mankind is currently willing to do and that if you go after those heights you may well find yourself alone. That was the message of Richard Bach’s Jonathon Livingston Seagull some 40 years ago, as Jonathon was named an Outcast because he desired to learn what it meant to really fly. That message still rings true and stirs souls today. I believe that mankind is preparing for a breakthrough and when it happens it will be huge and world-wide. You can see the shell cracking around the world as terms are being used such as “to be”, freedom, being engaged, conscious living.
It is possible that there will many who will need to step up and walk this path alone. Are you willing to be a pioneer? Are you willing to go into a new frontier if you might have the ability to lead others through the dark? What would you give or give up to have that knowledge and assurance that you would find real meaning in life and be able to leave a trail behind for others to follow? Yesteryear it was likely that you would be outcast,
however today, it is much easier to connect online with those who either think like you or need what you have that you may not need to really go it alone. Or is that true?
The reality is that we all travel through the world alone on some level. Whether we have others near us or not, it is myself that I need to know first and then I need to honor what I know, be true to myself, and then I can share it with others. It actually took a long time for me to be willing to look at myself and face up to where I was at, not to mention those around me and what was really going on with them. It is so easy to make excuses for ourselves and others and justify why we do something that we really don’t believe in doing. It actually took the companionship of the Holy Ghost for me to be able to do this. And that grew within me as I did my best over the years to align myself with the principles of the gospel.
Even now, on the other side of my “known” addictions and shortcomings I struggle
to find the means to communicate to those around me that there is a better way to live. I have peace now and contentment and I know the Lord walks with me. To walk this way in isolation without doing everything that I can to try and share it with others would just not be real. It would not be living true to who I really am and what I have learned about life. Reaching out to others becomes a necessity once you have truly found peace because that peaceful place testifies that we are all one and we are to share our light with one another. At the same time it takes effort and courage, even if it is to only shut out the voices that say you cannot do this. I look forward to the journey and the continued adventure of the free.
I am the learner/student/servant. I am the messenger. I seek the Holy Ghost and his direction along the way. You might say I consider him the master communicator of
the teachings of The Master, Jesus Christ.
While I am a member in good standing of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints (Mormons) I in no way speak for the church. My thoughts and interpretations are mine alone and I accept responsibility for them. My purpose is to give food for thought in hopes that you might find your path to true existence and abundant life.
Merriam-Webster definition for discernment =
Discernment is not about judging really, especially not judging a person. It is about deciding if you choose to incorporate or assimilate what is being given to you and choosing the framework you will receive it in.
It is being willing to hear yourself and trusting in your ability to have clear and correct opinions as to what is healthy or acceptable to you.
Many of us have this ability squashed out of us as we are told that we do not know what we think or feel, often by those that we should be able to trust. And it is often done by when we are in a vulnerable position. If done early enough and long enough when we are young we will accept that as a fact even once we are older and on our own, not unlike the elephant who having been trained as a little fellow will not pull away from the chain he could easily break as an adult.
We need to take this capacity back. It is vital to our ability to be free.
When it comes to being free when do you decide to be real? And what about the fact that we are social people? In other words we are not just one person, or even two people, we are several people and we need to be nice and not get into other people’s business or allow our feelings to be shown so that we do not expose other people’s business right?!!! Well, I believe, that freedom includes risk. Actually a great deal of it, cautious risk but risk. Just like walking across the street we could be hit by a car, so with speaking or writing you never know when someone is going to choose to knock you down. This happens everywhere to every age, sex, race, and any other demographic you want to come up with. We cannot let that cause us to give up or go inside ourselves and be self serving in a way that does not serve others. I personally believe that serving others is the best way to serve ourselves which would mean that we would be allowed to grow. Serving others, in other words, is the best way to serve yourself and to serve Heavenly Father. (To me this is the real SECRET, if you know what I mean.)
We can get held as hostages to family or societal protocol that is typically upheld to support the wicked and if it can be done in the name of “nice” so much the better. If we yield to this we will be bought by society and reap their reward. Sad end to this story is that they have no authority to give you anything of lasting value. Personal integrity will see you through so many things. It used to be said, “Don’t do anything that would make you ashamed to look in the mirror the next day about”. Nothing is worth lying to yourself or lying to God. I know that to get along in this world you need to “fudge” things now and again. You cannot speak your full mind or share your full heart but if you will find ways to do so little by little you will find that you will have opportunities to grow and learn about yourself and find your own voice and here is where freedom begins.
It is important to honor yourself and others. I know someone who says they are uncomfortable in my presence. Okay, I will honor this one and not be in their presence because to do so exposes me to cruelty, quite frankly. I did not understand this for years. I did not understand that I did not have to be subject to this anger nor to the abuse of the lies that have been told of me. These false accusations were believed because I come from a place of abuse and was willing to acknowledge it for the sake of growth and learning for myself. Because of the way society is set up I was judged without a jury and the consequences have been huge but mostly on the one who chose to find offense and those who chose to support this person and the next generation.
I cannot be accountable for what others think of me, nor can you. What others think of me is none of my business. What I think of me is and what God thinks of me is. If I am doing all I can to search the scriptures and listen to the still small voice of the Holy Ghost within me to know if their accusations fit or not and if their suggestions lead me on a path of light or into a trap of betrayal I am doing the best I can.
This applies to “keeping up with the Jone’s” as well or trying to please everyone.
I work hard at remembering that I am a child of God and that I need to give myself the space to make mistakes. The world does not allow this, whether you are a child, teen, parent, male, female, there is someone (and usually many someones) that will point at you and laugh or ridicule but you just want to be sure you please God and yourself by being honest with who you are one step at a time.