Refusing someone else’s identity: It’s a joint effort

(Because technology is such a bane and blessing…let’s try this post again today. I don’t want you to miss the good stuff!)

We are children of freedom.

You sort of know it.

I sort of know it.

But together we can really know it.

What place does our relationship with one another have in helping us understand our identity as well as our freedom?

In today’s audio bonus we’ll talk about how we help one another cast out what enslaves us, yokes us, ties us, and keeps us from freedom in a way that God does not desire for us.

If you haven’t sent a Dear 52 note, today is a great day to do it. Share freedom with someone. Let them know the Truth of freedom in Christ. He is living and active in their life today – tell them, point it out, write it in ink!

My favorite quote from today’s audio is from The Wiersbe Bible Commentary of the New Testament in the segment on Galatians, pg. 568,

“God began with Grace.”

Let us begin with grace today and every day…together. Looking to Jesus, pointing to Jesus, freedom in Jesus.

And the this week’s video archive can be found here:

Knowing to Be Known

Freedom is found in unlikely places


Two years ago, December, Star Wars: Episode VII came out.

Our house was in a state of great anticipation. Celebrating the birth of Jesus and a new Star Wars movie all in the same month was a tiny bit like winning the lottery for us.

We had an eleven-year-old chomping at the bit to go to the movie, not because everyone else was, but because #StarWarsisLife. Unfortunately, it was rated PG13. What to do, what to do? Some PG13 movies are mild, light action, a few minor curse words. Others are terrible and would give me nightmares for a month.

Solution: I’ll go to the 11am showing of the movie on release day, and then he can go that night if it’s parent approved. The only problem was that my husband had a nursing home service, all my friends had to work, so I had to bite the big one and

go by myself!

Gasp.

I went for my son, because it’s a nice mom-thing to do, but as I settled into my movie seat, with my own giant bucket of popcorn, looking around me at the other slightly nerdy Toledoans, proudly sporting their Star Wars apparel, all I could keep thinking was…

“I’m at a movie, by myself. Look at me, at a movie, by myself. I’m attending a movie, all by myself!”

I felt grown-up.

I felt remarkably hip.

I felt free.

How much in life do we miss out on because of fear? How many yokes weigh us down because we think we should do things a certain way? What defaults do we have that we think just are, without giving them a second thought?

God has bigger plans for us. He has wide open plans for us. Over the next six weeks, we’re going to discover more of those plans- plans for our freedom.

As we get ready to jump into freedom, here’s what each week will look like, as we work through the book of Galatians:

Week 1 – Chasing Approval, Freedom in His Story

Week 2 – Chasing Unity, Freedom in Life Together

Week 3 – Chasing Foolish, Freedom in Open Eyes and Open Hearts

Week 4 – Chasing Knowledge, Freedom in Intimacy

Week 5 – Chasing Self, Freedom in the Spirit

Week 6 – Chasing “A Little Bit Better,” Freedom in Restoration

Find the full outline, with daily study info and bonuses, on the printable outline here.

Not signed up yet? Just subscribe to the blog by email to get the study each day in your inbox!

Freedom is found in the oddest places. As silly as it sounds, yes, even in an 11am Star Wars viewing. But true freedom is always, always the work of Christ the Lord at work in our hearts and lives.

It is for freedom Christ has set us free…

Galatians 5:1 (NIV)

 

 

A Chasing Freedom Bonus: Connection

Connection is important.

In fact, we know from research that connection is one of our most basic needs.

As children of God, in a family of God, we may already know this, but the scientific community is uncovering amazing research that (not shockingly) supports the way God designed us from the beginning.

Here’s two of my favorite TedTalks about connection the impact of connection on our lives:

Johann Hari TedTalk: Connection’s impact on addiction

Brene Brown TedTalk: Vulnerability and Human Connection

We need connection like rain needs drops and bagels need cream cheese, no even more than that. We were made to connect to God, and also people.

In Genesis, God walked with Adam and Eve, and we crave that kind of connection to Him, whether we know it or not. In Christ, we are free to draw near to God once again and we wait for eternity for all the singing and dancing with Him face to face.

At the creation of the New Testament church we see connection revealed even deeper- one body, one baptism, one Lord. This is more than nice ideas. It’s a way of life. We reach others with hope by – you’ve got it – connecting with them, friendship, care, fighting against isolation and the lie that it’s easier on our own.

So, this fall, with our online Bible study Chasing Freedom, we’re going to add a layer of connection we haven’t had before. A connection challenge, if you will.
We’re partnering with the Dear 52 Project and the talented Anna Noble, to offer a free downloadable mini-set of Dear 52 cards.

There will be one card for each week of study. You print it and you send it to someone. Here are some samples to get you excited:

Connection. It’s that easy.

Who in your life could use a handwritten note that says,

“I thought of you.”

“I’m praying for you.”

“It’s been awhile. How have you been? ”

“Hey, we’re talking about freedom in this Bible study and I just really appreciate that you let me be myself.”

Two lines, four lines, or a small journal entry…no matter the length of the letter, the connection is created; friendships, relationships, or family care and concern grows and encouragement builds up.

Here’s all the Chasing Freedom components, pick and choose what works for you:

  • six easy-to-read weeks of study, to connect you to our God and His great love for you
  • a card, each week, to connect you with someone who also needs to know that they are treasured and loved. It’s a beautiful thing
  • Thursday night Facebook Live studies to connect us to one another
  • Fridays and Saturdays – there will be Chasing Freedom podcasts for those of you who are audio people, and to hear a voice sharing freedom rather than words on a page

Stretching our hearts wider for Christ and those He puts in our path…together.

Find the cards and the study, beginning September 18th, right here, at ilovemyshepherd.com.