“For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.” (1 John 5:4)
When we come to faith in Christ, we gain a newfound freedom that we’ve never had before. While there are many aspects and nuances to this freedom in our lives, what it boils down to is that God empowers us to break the chains of bondage to the things of this world.
“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)
Before I came to Christ, I viewed Christianity as a strict religion based on a bunch of rules and commands. And if I was honest with myself, I would never be able to follow them; let alone would I want to follow them in the first place. It was a “yoke of slavery” that I had no interest in succumbing to.
“Praise the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with tambourine and dancing, praise him with the strings and flute, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.” (Psa. 150:1-6)
As a “praise/worship leader” in a contemporary church setting, Psalm 150 is one of my go-to Scriptures for reminding people that God not only created us to praise Him with music, instruments, and dancing, but that He EXPECTS us to do so! Forewarning, this may end up being more of a rant than anything since this topic is near and dear to me. 😉 (more…)
The next morning, Harriet brought Sam [the dog stuffed animal] to breakfast.
“Thanks, Harriet,” said Franklin, reaching for his dog.
But Harriet clung tightly to Sam.
Franklin tugged on Sam‘s tail. Harriet tugged back.
“He’s mine!” said Franklin.
“No, mine!” shouted Harriet.
They pushed and pulled until something terrible happened.
[Excerpt from Franklin and Harriet, Bourgeois and Clark] (more…)