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It was the battle cry William Wallace Used to spur his makeshift warriors into action against the oppressive rule of England over Scotland.  Freedom, in fact, has been the battle cry since the beginning of time. It’s the search for freedom that has driven nations to war. The search for freedom has been the reasons millions of men and women have given their lives. It’s the desire for freedom that has been the motivation for young people to get their driver’s license and a car!

There are three major things to know about freedom (in my mind at least, maybe you can think of more). First of all, freedom is hard to come by, as is evidenced by the many who have fought bravely to acquire it. Some have given their entire lives to gain the goal of freedom and have never seen it happen.

Secondly, freedom is hard, if not impossible, to hold on to. Holding on to freedom has been a problem since the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, lived in the perfect environment God created for them. We don’t know for sure where the Garden of Eden was, or how large it was, we ascertain from Scripture that is was a perfect environment that was perhaps global in its size. Vast as it was, the perfect couple had complete freedom to enjoy its beauty and a perfect, face-to-face relationship with the creator. There was only one rule, don’t eat from one particular tree. They had one job to do, but the desire for ‘freedom’ caused them to eat of the forbidden tree. Ironically, their quest for freedom (the fruit of the tree) became the one thing that would keep mankind in bondage for the rest of time!

It’s the quest for freedom that keeps the addict tied to their addiction. It’s the quest for freedom that keeps people bound to debt. It’s the quest for freedom that drives people from one relationship to another. It’s the quest for freedom that keeps people from finding peace. It’s the quest for freedom that is manifested in hate and anger.

Why is that? Why is freedom so hard to find and so hard to hold on to? The third thing about freedom is that freedom begins with the heart, not with things. It works from the inside out, not the outside in. That’s why some who are bound by what we consider poverty can have joy. That’s why some who struggle with many things in life have a great disposition. They don’t let the outside control the peace of the inside.

As we’ve seen through human history, this is impossible to do without divine intervention. That’s the beauty of faith in Jesus Christ. That’s why the Apostle Paul can write in Galatians, “So Christ has truly set us free (It’s a heart thing). Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law”. (the external things)

Once your heart with right with Jesus, you’ll find it much easier (not easy, easier) to work towards freedom. Let him change you through the power of his Holy Spirit. You might want to begin by visiting a house of worship where Jesus is lord.



Matthew quotes some rather sobering words of Jesus in his gospel. Matthew 15:18 states, “But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.”

Those words hit hard for me because my mouth is often my biggest enemy. I think it safe to say that most of the time I’m in trouble it’s not because of my actions, it’s because of my mouth. Jesus’ brother, James offers no help. He points out the dichotomy of both fresh water and bitter water coming from the same well.

Cleaning up our language is treating symptoms, not causes. The root of a foul mouth is a dirty heart. There. I said it. I don’t like it, but from my knowledge of scripture I believe it to be true.

We use God’s name in vain because we fail to see him as he is. We ridicule others because we fail to see them as creations of God. Yep. Even the guy who cut you off. Even the sports official who is totally oblivious to the rules of the game. Even the server at the restaurant that is more interested in their phone than your empty drink glass. We make off-color jokes because our brand of holiness is governed by culture, not the plum line of a Holy God.

The worst part about words unwisely spoken is that you can’t reverse the results. You can be forgiven, but poorly chosen words are like a cancer to the soul. They can lie dormant for years but are always lurking in the memory banks of time.

Holy God, forgive us for the wounds unwise words have caused. Cleanse our hearts so that the words we speak build up where lives have been torn down. Heal the wounds we bear at the tongues of others. Amen


He HAD to go through Samaria (John 4:4). Well, geographically he didn’t HAVE to go through Samaria. In fact, the more politically correct route for any self-respecting Jew would be to go on the east side of the Jordan River. It was a longer route but avoided Samaria all together. If you did choose to go through Samaria you certainly wouldn’t stop for lunch, or talk to a woman.

But Jesus did.

He had to go through Samaria because someone was ready to hear his message. That someone was a woman that had gone through five divorces. Five. One is devastating enough. Two raises eyebrows. Five? There are words for women like this but none of them are appropriate for this space.

Take a moment to put yourself in the woman’s place. Hopefully you will have a hard time with this, but imagine how rejected you would feel. Remember the first time you broke up? The first time you were dumped for better pasture? Multiply by five! And now, the guy she was ‘with’ didn’t even respect her enough to marry her.

That’s why she went to the well during the hottest part of the day. She no doubt suffered in silence and this was her coping mechanism.

But Jesus went out of his way to meet her in her comfort zone, on her terms to share the one thing she needed above all else…acceptance and true life.

He does the same today. You don’t need to suffer in silence. He wants to hear from you. He wants us to see those who may be suffering and offer the fresh water of his grace. Silent sufferers never escape the notice of Jesus.


It’s a frosty morning here in the northland. As I took the dog out to do his morning duties I noticed that shadow of our house neatly outlined with the morning frost.

The difference? The warmth of the sun had not yet risen high enough to melt the coldness from the night before. It was the warmth of the rising sun that made all the difference. It was the warmth of the riding sun that dissolved the darkness and brought life.

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday. The day we remember when another SON rose from the darkness. He too dissolves the darkness and melts the coldness of our hearts. The more he rises in our lives the less coldness and darkness have a chance!

Hallelujah for the RISEN SON!

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