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Real Freedom

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.--Galatians 5:1

To be free means to be able to respond to whatever the situation or circumstances may require. . . If we are unskilled, self-centered, addicted, or greedy, we will not be very free.–Bo Lozoff, Deep and Simple

Figures on both ends of the political spectrum often urge us to protect our freedom by voting for or against certain measures or candidates. These electoral choices are important, but we mustn’t lose sight of the simple day-by-day choices that render us free or bound in our personal lives.

Prepping provides us with the skills to respond to difficult situations, to feed, clothe, shelter, transport, and educate our families and our neighbors. It helps us to recover from our society’s addiction to cheap oil, high speed, constant stimulation, and mass-produced emotion and opinion. I’m grateful for the freedom these practices add to my life.

I still have to wrestle with subtler addictions that make it harder for me to respond freely. I struggle with an excessive desire for other people’s approval, which tempts me to do what I think will please people rather than what will help them. I am easily distracted and seduced by the high speed and shallow content of electronic media culture. I struggle with anxiety which prompts me to grasp frantically at solutions rather than standing back, looking clearly at what is going on, and taking time to formulate an appropriate response. These things make my work and my caring less effective now. In harder times they could pose a graver problem.

I think many of us are bound by habits and fears like these. I don’t know any easy solutions. In my experience it helps to remember that I am trying, not to prove myself to someone, not to avoid blame, not to control the circumstances around me, but simply to respond freely and capably to whatever circumstances may arise. It also helps me to remember both that I need to do all I can to free myself and that ultimately I don’t have the strength to free myself at all. However, God does have the strength to free me and has promised to help me when I turn to Him.

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Today in Christian History

May 23rd

1633 – By French edict, only Catholic settlers were permitted permanent residence within the country known as New France (called “Canada” today), thus ending 30 years of attempted colonization by Huguenots (Protestants).

1862 – Birth of Hermann Gunkel, the German Protestant biblical scholar who pioneered the analytical approach to understanding Scripture afterward known as “form criticism.” Gunkel applied its formulas primarily to the Old Testament, in his commentaries on Genesis (1901) and on the Psalms (1926-28).

1889 – Birth of Mary Susanne Edgar, a Canadian YWCA leader who wrote a number of hymns during her years of leading a Christian camping ministry with girls. Her best-remembered hymn: “God, Who Touchest Earth with Beauty.”

1903 – Death of American Congregational missionary Henry Blodget, 78. He served 40 years in China (1854-94), and helped translate the New Testament into the colloquial Mandarin language of Peking.

1926 – Birth of Wilbur Nelson, Christian broadcast personality and for many years the host of “The Morning Chapel Hour,” a radio ministry originating in Paramount, California.


Source for Today in Christian History:

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