A Time to Speak for Freedom

dreams fearsThe importance of our nation is continually reinforced to me. It seems that America is always fighting for freedom, for freedom will always have an enemy. We didn’t just win freedom  in 1776 for independence as a nation, in 1865 for freedom of slaves, in 1920 for women to vote, or in the 1960’s with civil rights. We are continually having to guard our freedoms and recreate a nation of freedom for all. And it matters what’s written in ink, but it matters more how we live those freedoms.

The American Family Association has created a video concerning Christian freedom. There are those who want to silence the voice of the Christian, the one who follows and learns to be more like Christ. This has nothing to do with a church affiliation and is not against any group. This is about people who worship together coming under attack.

If Muslims were coming under attack and arrested for praying the way they desire, it would be just as wrong. So I’m not elevating one religious group over another. But…we cannot safeguard all religious freedom if we allow any one group to be silenced in the right to worship guaranteed by the Constitution.

I’m asking you, no matter your background, race, religious choice, or lifestyle, to speak for freedom. We are all here together in community and the choices we make today create our tomorrows. Watch the video, share it if you want, but don’t stop there. Live out freedom by showing love and respect for those who are different from you. Anyone can love people who like they are, but love really matters when we love and honor those who are different, so let freedom show in your actions.

You can watch the 3 minute video here: A Time to Speak.

This is our responsibility. If you think it doesn’t really matter that much, look in the faces of your children and grandchildren. It’s time to use your voice for freedom again.

Grace, peace, & prayers,

Robin

(c) Sozo Life & Leadership, LLC, Oct. 10, 2014

One Stop Thought Shop

Sozo logo Aug 2014The One Stop Thought Shop is a free 1 hour workshop on understanding the power of our thoughts. This will be offered at the following times and places. Space is limited, so if you would like to attend, and I’d love to have you in our circle of friends, just call! (843) 319-5390

Thursday, September 4, 2014

5:45-7:00 p.m.

Johnsonville Public Library

Johnsonville, South Carolina

 

Monday, September 10, 2014

5:45-7:00 p.m.

Florence Public Library

Florence, South Carolina

 

A Sozo Life is characterized by an attitude of thanks, possibility, freedom, and fulfillment.  God created our minds to be renewed, so if you are like most of us and need help with your thinking, change is not only possible, but using the tools provided, you can change your outlook and perspective.  These truths have worked in my own life and I’d love to share them with you.  Time won’t change us.  We must choose to change and grow.

There’s no charge for this workshop, so what do you have to lose?  Maybe some negative thinking or oppressive thought patterns?  Well, that sounds good!  So are you ready to change?  Let’s strengthen our resolve together!

If you’d like to attend, call to reserve your spot: (843) 319-5390.

desperate to change

Grace & Peace,

Robin

(c) Sozo Life & Leadership, LLC

 

Break Free

We all have things that want to hold us back, strongholds, memories, traumas, wrong beliefs, the expectations or designs of others.

We can choose to break free of those things when we humble ourselves before God and ask for His help.

Jesus came to set us free. Let’s learn to walk in it by taking hold of the Truth that frees.

“And you shall KNOW the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”

You were meant to soar.
Break Free

 

Grace & Peace,

Robin

X Marks the Spot

Suddenly, they were there.  Five large white-tailed deer.  I had the camera.  But something was in the way.  I learned something valuable on that dirt road.

treasure mapGod is actively moving His children forward.  You may be one of those who are eager, have a dream or longing in your heart, but not be sure what to do next.  Fear and uncertainty may be holding you back.  {How do we know the next step?  How do we get our feet out of cement to take it?}

We first need to know where we are now.  If life is a treasure map and “X marks the spot” where treasure is buried, then we have to know where we are to follow the map.  So taking an honest assessment of our current position and condition is needed.

Our past negative life events can become a filter for our decisions and an excuse for things like self-protection, fear, procrastination, or doubt.  As this type of filter is mentally reinforced, it becomes like a screened porch.  You can’t see outside without first seeing the screen.

January 2013 033I recently tried to photograph five white-tailed deer who were on the other side of a chain-linked fence.  I couldn’t get my camera to focus on anything beyond the fence and missed a beautiful photo of the deer on a country afternoon before they scampered off.  (Click on image to see them running away!)  We do this – focusing on the fence in our lives and unable to focus on the beauty and possibility that lies beyond it.  Sometimes because we are unable to see, we miss what was waiting for us.  To see further requires new vision which springs from a willingness to change, which then leads to growth.  {So what is your fence?}

Without change we do not grow and without growth we cannot mature. Look around you. If there are points of weakness, lack, or negative influence, then an element of truth is missing.  ~Shirley Weaver

Take an honest look and discover where you are – current attitude, recurring problems, disappointments, etc.  Ask God to show to you the missing truth that can lead to an honest assessment of where you are.  Then…look for the next step towards your goal.  If you don’t know what it is, pray, seek wise counsel and get valuable advice from those who are ahead of you.

next step 2Taking one step at a time is progress.  You don’t have to take 10 giant steps.  Just the next step, even if it’s small.  Taking action gives the motivation and confirms direction.

When God told the Children of Israel to cross the Jordan River, which was at flood stage, He promised to stop the waters and make a way through, but only after the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant had stepped into the water.  We take the steps and He teaches as we go.  He will be faithful to get us to our destination.  {What’s your next step?  It might be speaking honestly about concerns.}

Easy?  Nope.  But do we really want easy, safe, and boring?  If you do, you’ll stay where you are and always wonder what is under the X on the map.  But if you’re willing, if you have a dream and desire in your heart to move forward, then pray and step.  And yes, you will feel a degree of fear, but like someone once said to me, “Feel the fear and do it anyway.”  With every choice we make, we learn and find the better way.

Next step quoteBooks are written line by line.  Lives are lived out step by step.

 To follow or subscribe via email, please click on A Sojourner’s Voice above and sign up!  I’d be honored to have you along for the journey of a lifetime.

(c) Robin Lawrimore, February 2013

 

Envy’s Poison – on Eyes of the Heart

Today I am guest posting on Eyes of the Heart, a blog by J. Michael McDade that is definitely read-worthy.  The ministry’s mission is to help others learn the healing power and love of God so they can fulfill their destiny.  I highly recommend it for “realness”, truth, and compassion for those weary of the status quo and wanting to live a more full life, unafraid to face life’s issues.

Here’s a taster from my post.  To read the full content, click on the link for Eyes of the Heart.

“Envy’s Poison”

When I am tired of the place of waiting and become disgruntled, I can become envious of others who seem to have or be doing what I am waiting for.  That envy becomes a subconscious anger and not only eats away my peace, but closes me off to others, and puts me at odds with God. 

I can stare so hard at what I have not had or what I have lost that I become self-focused and miserable, requiring God’s help to remove my head from my behind….

To read the full content, click on Eyes of the Heart.  Thank you!

(c) Sept. 2011, Robin Lawrimore

Forgiveness – What it is & What it is not

Most people struggle with forgiveness.  I know I have.  Depending on the level of relationship, the depth of the injury, or the amount of loss, I have struggled deeply for years on some fronts.

This one thing I have learned: forgiveness is key to healing in every way.  OK, so how do we get there?

Usually the reasons people struggle are due to wrong beliefs about forgiveness.  We don’t always understand it.  After all, how could I forgive deep betrayal?  Does that mean that now it somehow doesn’t matter?  It matters!  So help me out here, God!

What Forgiveness is Not:

  • Forgiveness is not condoning or minimizing what happened or saying it doesn’t matter
  • Forgiveness is not a blanket statement of approval of what someone did
  • It is not excusing or justifying or covering up what someone did – usually a trip wire because the other person was treated badly as a child, for instance
  • It is not forgetting what happened – it doesn’t erase memory!
  • Forgiveness and reconciliation are not always the same thing
  • It is not saying you trust the person again – new boundaries may be needed
  • It is not denying what they did or denying the feelings of hurt, pain, or anger you may have – it’s not pretending we are now suddenly OK
  • Forgiveness is not saying the sin is unpunishable, but rather that Jesus has taken the punishment on Himself for ALL our sins and hurts against each other

What Forgiveness is:

  • Forgiveness is a choice, a decision – not a feeling, at least at first, but an act of the will – we recognize the need to forgive and make a decision to do it
  • Forgiveness is being aware of what someone has done and still forgiving them
  • It means granting a person mercy they don’t deserve
  • It means freedom from the bondage of holding something against a person
  • It means giving up our desire for revenge and punishment, releasing the person from judgment
  • It is refusing to tell others about what happened and what they did – it’s being gracious when even what you could say is true – a rare act of grace!
  • It means choosing to keep no records of wrong doing – not mulling it over
  • It is letting go of bitterness and resentment so we can receive God’s healing for what has happened  – it truly is a key to receiving healing!
  • It is taking a person off your hook, and putting them onto God’s hook for Him to deal with them in the best way
  • Forgiveness is knowing that what has happened is not the bottom line
  • Forgiveness is an inner condition – an act of the heart – Jesus said to forgive from our hearts those who have hurt us – If Jesus had waited until His enemies felt guilt for their words or actions before He forgave them, He would never have been able to forgive most of them
  • It is extending to someone the same mercy I have received from the Lord for my wrong doing
  • Confidence toward God is ultimately what total forgiveness is all about; He is the one I want to please at the end of the day – Forgiveness is about my relationship with God and keeping that in right standing

Jesus makes it pretty plain that if we are not willing to forgive, He is unable to forgive us.  In Matthew 6:12 (AMP) He says, “Forgive us our sins as we also have forgiven (left, let go, have given up resentment against) those who have sinned against us.”

So these lists and scriptures have helped me, but with some people and some circumstances, it has taken me years to work through a process of forgiveness.  Just recently, the Lord asked me to give him a certain time period of my life as an offering.

There was a 3 year period from 2003-2006 when I lived in a travel trailer because of being manipulated out of my home.  With now 5 years between that time and the present, I’ve had lots of opportunity to work through what happened and how I felt about it.  Forgiveness was terribly hard for I lost much – everything I called home, my relationships with my children, my closest family and friends and more.

One thing I didn’t realize was that there was some left over pain and bitterness deep inside.  With a need for home being so dear to me, when I would think about it, the Lord would warn me not to complain.  About 2 weeks ago, the Lord asked me to offer this time to Him as an offering.  At first I could not see how this would in any way resemble an offering, right?  Because we give our best to God, right?  So what is this, Lord?  How is this something good to give You?  He asked again.  So I said to Him, “If you want these years I spent in that travel trailer as an offering, You can have it.  I offer it to You.”

Immediately I felt a piercing in my spirit and inside a moment, bitterness and pain started to be released, like it was leaking out of me.  That offering, that response of giving to Him what He asked for, made it possible to be healed of such rancid stuff still held inside – that I didn’t know I was carrying around – that I have felt amazing healing come into me to replace what was still there.  This healing took place over several days and now my only emotion is of thanks and amazement!  What I was unaware of, God was certain of and could see the need and provide the solution.  I will not think of those days in the same way ever again – they have now become an offering, something beautiful because He asked for it and in His hands, all things become as new.  The enemy now has no hold on that time of my life because of God’s leading me to give it to Him.

What are you holding onto?  Where do you feel pain as you read this simple blog?  If you are not aware of any unforgiveness, would you be willing to ask the Lord to reveal it to you so that you might be healed as well? Take another look at the lists above and ask the Lord to help you make a forgiveness list.

And I’d love to hear your story.  In the telling of the story is much healing, so feel free to offer yours here.  Jesus and a friend will listen and He promises to help you through to healing.

Prayer of Forgiveness:

When you are ready, you may use a prayer like this one to forgive those who have hurt you.  Don’t feel pressured if you are not ready.  Ask God and He will help you get there.

Thank you, Jesus, for dying that I might be forgiven.  By an act of my will I now choose to forgive those who have hurt me.  (Quietly speak out the names of those to be forgiven.)

I release each and every one of these people into the freedom of my forgiveness.  Father, I am trusting You for the healing I need.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

(c) Sept. 2011, Robin Lawrimore