When one has attained real freedom what others do or do not do has no bearing on who you are as an individual and before God. This is obtained by developing a relationship based on integrity and honest of who you are, who you have been, and who you will be with both yourself and with God.
Freedom requires leadership, first of the self, then for others. It is accountable. It is self reflecting and self analyzing. It is constantly changing in small ways to correct itself to the fullness of the inner truth that one seeks for like a miner panning for gold. It celebrates the small accomplishments but does not shy away from accepting the flaws within oneself. Freedom allows that one does not have all knowledge and uses ones ears and eyes to work out the code of “existence” not only of the self but of all others as well.
The battle for freedom is the battle for the right to believe. The right to exercise faith in truth or in falsehood, In that which brings growth, light, and life to intellect, spirit, and/or body or that which brings dead ends, darkness, and ultimately death to intellect, spirit, and/or body.
Mankind lives by faith, the right to personal leadership if you will, the ability to guide our own destiny be it into life and growth or into death and dead ends (this was known in another age as damnation). The battle for freedom is the battle for the right to testify of the power of God and that means telling our own story so that others may gain confidence and inspiration from it.
Our personal story, even those things that we may be ashamed of may need to come to light, not to discourage others but to lift them. Oh, true, there will be those who will use our personal story to feed their lustful nature and make excuses for wrong behavior and thoughts and justify wrong doing because just as with any mighty tool mankind may choose to use it for righteousness or for wickedness. They may throw sticks and stones and they may even hurt us but that cannot stop us from the pursuit of the mission and concept of freedom.
When we can say “I was there and I got here and I feel better and at peace” others may be able to take hope and continue their journey and struggle as well. To simply pull ourselves out of the quicksand and wash ourselves off and then go say keep on going to those still in the quicksand as if we had never been there is not as powerful as if they knew that we had once been there as well and we made it out of the quicksand!
The battle for freedom is the battle for personal leadership, personal choice, accountability, and then stewardship. Gone are the days when we had the liberty to rely on the leadership of others. We must take accountability for our choices and our path on a very personal level. It really has always been that way. Mankind was not created to be dictated to or governed by any form of government than self-governing. To teach one another is a given and once we understand, by personal desire and struggle to do so, we may share that knowledge and wisdom with others. I believe this is the only kind of environment that would allow the people to be prepared and ready for the Lord’s return, which I firmly believe in.
With the right to personal leadership comes the right and responsibility to testify, not just that Jesus is the Christ, for the adversary would gladly do that, but in the sharing of our personal story of challenge and struggle we may be a catalyst or a light for someone else to see their way onto the straight and narrow path that leads to our redemption which is by the atonement of Jesus Christ. We may be the light as we reflect the principles taught by Jesus Christ, a light that allows them to travel through their challenges or their “circumstance” with an understanding that the “circumstance” is only that.
In all these words I am not sure that the witness is coming forth that I received as I woke in the wee hours of this morning, that faith is the privilege of all man. That is all he truly has. He has no absolute knowledge at this time (even though he likes to think so in so many arts and fields) and that is the way it is supposed to be here in this sphere. Every absolute of humanity, including gravity, has its moments or potential of being false.
Freedom must be upheld for mankind to choose for themselves what they put faith in. This is the battle that must be upheld by all righteous governments. The laws of the land will not determine the destiny of a nation or world. The hearts and inclinations of the people will. It is the individual that will raise or destroy mankind and this is a reality that has truly always been regardless of the way history has been recorded. Those who are adults need to be honest about who we are and get out of the cloak of mystery. Only then can we truly testify of the need of God in our lives. Personal leadership leads to truth or leads to err and we will someday all come to that understanding as we stand before the one who has the right to remove all blinders so that we may see absolute truth and know we chose all along. Ours is the battle to remove those blinders by choice and by struggle today and choose our way and in so doing have the potential to develop muscles that take us into eternal life and the responsibilities and opportunities we will find there.
The sharing of ideas among mankind is a part of the growing process and leads to continual development and awareness. It is not something that we need to be afraid of. We want to have ears that hear so that we might grow and so that we might recognize the enemy’s trickery. The scriptures have told us that man is not enemy. (See Ephesians 6:11-12 below)
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
With that in mind I hope that you will take a look at this blog that a friend posted about how we present our cause and some suggestions that may help us be better heard.
I believe true freedom comes through the principles taught by Christ.
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.