Price of Freedom

The price of freedom is not cheap! Oklahoma lost more than a dozen soldiers in less than a year to the war in Afghanistan alone.

Part of freedom’s payment came from my town, Chelsea, Oklahoma. To all of you who committed to military service over the decades, I say ‘thank you’ for risking your life for the sake of freedom.

Freedom loses its value when we quit exercising our right to the freedoms we’re guaranteed. Freedom has been fought abroad that we could live with liberty here.  Are there freedoms that you have but aren’t using?

You don’t have to travel far to find ministers being killed for the cause of Christianity and the church meeting underground.  Do you have the passion to be at church each Sunday morning and sit on a soft pew in an air-conditioned room where you have the freedom to do so? Do you vote?  Maybe you could run for office or support the local school and advertise in the paper.

Our nation is filled with countless other freedoms such as free speech, the ability to write books, and the opportunity to further our education. These are all included in this liberty we enjoy.

Even with its faults, America is still an incredible country filled with great good. And America is counting on each of us.

America—under God—is maintained through each person totally committing themselves to the leadership of Christ.  It’s doing what Jesus would do, in every area of our lives, every day. Although others are giving the ultimate sacrifice, we are all accountable for the future of our country.  I hope you feel a responsibility this year to stand up, pray for our leaders, and do your part to keep America the land of the free and the home of the brave.

My prayer today is that God would comfort the families who have lost loved ones on the battlefield. I pray strength and blessings, and offer gratitude for all of you who have served our country.

May each of us invest our energy into strengthening America’s freedom.

“First of all, then, I urge, that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.” I Timothy 2:1,2 NASB (From Sidewalk Chalk by Reba)

Quotes:  “Sometimes in the winds of change we find our true direction.” Author Unknown

*Devotional: (c) By Reba Wilson

Sometimes the winds are worse than change itself! I have often wondered why it is that I who love change, still fight so hard emotionally, to make the turn to go another direction!  I remember when I worked for Northeast Tech Center. The job was awesome until I reached a plateau of learning and creating.  I loved the people I worked with and the campus was a beautiful place, nestled among trees on the side of a hill.  I felt the breezes of change for days- maybe even a year- ahead of my resignation to resign.  I had reached my limit.  I just didn’t know where I was going next if I quit what I was doing.

The winds blew harder and unrest turned into dread. Early one very dreary, cloudy morning, on my drive to work, I started looking at a very tiny mobile home that had a light on.  And, I began to imagine that the lady of the house was home having coffee.  I thought of the joy she must have being able to sit and sip. Maybe she was taking time to read, talk to God and the cat.  She might actually have breakfast on the table.  Maybe she would be able to clean her own house, or see her children, or go out with a friend.  I just knew she would be feeling very fulfilled and would fling her head back and laugh at the rain—for she was happy.  I was not!  My goals of making more money to create a better car and house seemed way down on the list- compared to a moment of being true to myself- even if it meant downsizing. Although, some of my greatest concerns were that I would never get to trade cars or replace the carpet.

My scenario of the lady was pure imagination.  The winds of change were very much a reality! Would I be true to myself and try new things or shrivel up inside a shell- with a known paycheck end?

Yes, I quit and tears spilled onto the page of the resignation letter before it was sealed and signed!

It was quite funny that first week after.  Someone donated me an entire box of toilet paper!  Strange, but, it made me laugh at God’s humor. Forget the ‘if God cares for the birds’ story in the Bible.  I now had my own version which went something like, “If God cares if Reba has toilet paper, then He can also provide for food and clothes and carpet—and fun.”  I love God.  He’s personal to me. And, He likes to make me laugh.  People say He’s awesome- and I know He is.  Spiritual people say cliché words… I mostly think God is funny- in the very most Highest, Holy way!  Think about it. He made a donkey to talk, fed a prophet steak flown in by a black bird, divided a sea by lifting a stick, fed 5,000 people with a little boys lunch!  I tell you He really works to make us smile.  He pushes it further and wants me to be ‘full’ of joy the Bible says.  Well, that’s where the toilet paper came in!

Yes, I bought my first new car after that, founded the WINGS women’s ministry, became an ordained minister, started writing this column and began pastoring a church alongside my husband.

Breezes of change are a sweet relief- yet still emotional.

Winds of Change ever blow, redirecting us, charting our course, so that we arrive, totally spent, every gift opened and honed to the limit, having stopped at every port, and boarded every connecting flight, before arriving… at heaven’s door. (c) Reba Wilson 2010-2011

More Devotionals – www.rebawilson.com

TRY IT:

In the coming month daily tell your spouse when they do something that on a scale of one to ten is a 10 for you!  Seek to know their 10s as well.  Give them freely – show respect- enjoy the wonderful benefits of love in your home.

MESSAGE NOTES:

ADDING PRAISE TO YOUR GRIEF and PROBLEMS

  • Problems & Grief bring about a belief crisis.

  • Praise comes when you know God is bigger than your problem.

  • Dare to compare your problem to God’s ability to solve your problem!

Oh that men would praise the Lord Ps. 107:8

At this point you may be surprised to find what you really think. What you think is evidenced most times, by what you do.

If the problem looks bigger than what you believe God is gonna do….

1)    That is ok- because it is so good that ‘you’ found it out. God already knew what you believed.

2)    A trial can serve a purpose – to let you know what is in your heart.

3)    What is in your heart can be corrected as you ‘release’ the fear and doubt to God.

Faith is a must for without faith we cannot please God.

Faith is wonderful. Real faith tells the truth of God’s character, what He will do. Faith allows us to truly see God and His plan and brings us together into a place of agreement- with Him, and praise- for Him.  Faith sees what doubt never can! Faith Sees and Says, “He will!”   Faith brings praise.

FOCUS ON THE CERTAINTY OF GOD

Casting down imagination 2 Chor.10:5

“Man’s alternative for submission to God is a Flesh way to escape -shows our heart condition, that says if it’s this way then maybe I will do this or that in my way.” Kay Arthur

When faced with not understanding the path before him:

1)    Peter said I go fishing, back to something I understand.  Being familiar has a certain amount of security, or at least comfort zone, to it.

The children of Israel said:

2)    Has God brought us out here to die in this wilderness? I would have been better to have stayed in Egypt.

And then, there are those who responded when they saw God in the middle of their problems.

  1. Mary said, “my soul doth magnify the Lord!”
  2. Woman broke the alabaster box and worshiped.
  3. Hebrew chapter 11 records many ways people responded in faith.

Now, what do you see/say?

Sometimes it is the trial or grief that shows us ourselves. But, Faith shows us God with us even in the middle of problems!  We respond and we praise, and we find rest for our souls.

He knows the way.  He is certain. He has good plans for me.

Lord, I do believe.  I will rest in sweet confidence.

(c) 2010-2011 Reba Wilson

Verses to think on:

Garment of praise for spirit of heaviness. Ps. 61:3

Any praise, think on these things.  Phil.4:8

Faith might be to the praise of God. 1 Pet. 1:7

Why are you cast down oh my soul? Hope in God.  Ps. 42:5

KJV