Tag Archive | Freedom

Friday Favorites; Carpe Diem

Don does it again. This time reminding us of a little history, which I fear may not being fully taught these days, and perhaps forgotten by some. Reminding us the “Freedom isn’t Free”, but well worth the cost.

Freedom Is Worth The Cost

I grew up in a home where love for God and country was woven through the pages of our history.  If memory serves me correctly, I think as children, we began our school day as students standing as we put our hands over our hearts and recited the Pledge of Allegiance. The leadership to do so was provided over the intercom from the principal’s office. I may be mistaken, but I also think a brief prayer was included.

I wondered this morning if schools still begin the day with students reciting the Pledge of Allegiance? I didn’t wonder about prayer since the Supreme Court banned school-sponsored prayer in schools in a 1962 decision, saying it violated the First Amendment. Strange that a country that inscribes “In God We Trust” on our coinage, opts to do away with school sponsored prayer.  

In fact, in 1956, the United States Congress officially adopted “In God We Trust” as the official motto of the United States. From 1776 until then, “E pluribus unum” had been the official motto and included in the 1776 design of the Great Seal of the United States.  The verbiage  is Latin meaning, “One from many”.

Sometimes there is a vast difference between theory and practice. In terms of a national motto, “E pluribus unum” and “In God We Trust” both seem like a stark contrast from reality.  Seriously, if we really trusted in God, wouldn’t we be one of many?

The Nation’s Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892. Socialist minister, Francis Bellamy, the author, had intended the pledge be adaptable for any country. In 1923, the words “the flag of the United States of America” were added. Th pledge then was “I pledge Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America…

The next addition took place in 1954 under President Eisenhower’s encouragement to Congress to add the phrase, “Under God”.  The inclusion was intended as a response to the Communist threat of the times.

Freedom – Does it really exist in our country?  How many people do you know that grew up with the belief that they were not free because of family pressure, parental expectations, lack of opportunity or other responsibilities that precluded making changes?

Sometimes embracing freedom puts one at risk with the status quo, but without the risk is one assigning themselves to a life of misery?  Do you remember the line from “Me and Bobby McGee?  “ Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose – Nothin’, don’t mean nothin’ hon’ if it ain’t free, no no…” 

A couple of years ago, I became friends with a young man who quit his job because he found it too confining. He discovered he was not suited for an 8:00-to-5:00 office job, where he had to spend the totality of his day inside. Seriously, quitting his first professional job following grad school had to take an inordinate amount of courage on his part. He didn’t mention student loans or the cost associated to getting his MBA, but those things paled in contrast to the thought of spending the next forever in a small office with three other men who may have been equally dissatisfied with the prison-like-sentence associated to their work. He said simply of himself: “I can’t do it”.  He had to be free. 

I was subsequently sharing his story with another friend who retired from the U.S. Army at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Consequently, he had paid the price of admission and knew what he wanted. Earning his MBA on the heels of a prestigious military career, he had set his sights on something completely different.

In discussing his post career plans for the next chapter of his life with his college professor in the Business School at the University he attended, he talked about doing something completely different going forward. The college professor seemed a little taken back. Wasn’t coloring outside the lines a little risky? My friend was resolute in his determination to be free from the shackles of preconceived expectation by giving himself permission to follow his dreams and forge his own way ahead with a sense of freedom.

Apparently, my friend’s courage and boldness made an impact on his college professor. At graduation, the professor announced to the graduation class that a conversation with one of his students had impacted his life. As a result, he was resigning his position at the University and moving to the Netherlands, his country of origin, in order to follow his dreams and do life differently.

As food for thought, have you considered the level of inordinate risk that each signer of the Declaration of Independence took on themselves and their families in signing the Declaration of Independence? It had to be a courageous move on their part as members of the 2nd Continental Congress.  Yet, what were their choices?  If you long for freedom and can’t find a compromise that seems to work, what do you have to lose?   

It is food for thought. It wasn’t easy for the 56 men of the 2nd Continental Congress who signed the Declaration of Independence to do so, but failure to do so wasn’t an option with which they could live.  If you long for freedom, give yourself permission to choose it. It may come with a price, but the price for not pursing it is greater than the price for forfeiting it.

All My Best!

Don

To read more of Don’s work, click the following link;

https://lifeblogcarpediem.wordpress.com/2020/07/06/

I hope you enjoyed this reading from one of my favorite bloggers.

Until next time …

Some Gave All

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

‘We strive to be worthy of their sacrifice,’ ‘Theirs was a love more deep and more pure than most will ever know,’ ‘They marched into hell so that America could know the blessings of peace,’

President Trump

” Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

John 15:13 Holy Bible ASV

Raw and Real #12 – Freedom

Today, I enjoy much freedom;

Freedom from anxiety, freedom from shame, freedom from guilt, freedom from bullies.

I enjoy that freedom because I made a quality choice to do the really hard inner work.

Importantly I must add – allowing God/Jesus/Holy Spirit to guide me along what has often been a pretty bumpy path.

I am fully confident, that you can follow much the same path to healing.

What is needed is a longing to be better, and a tenacity to stick with it.

Here is a really important point that must be made!

I profess freedom.

I own it.

But I must understand, and remember over and over again that this does not mean that EVERYTHING is perfect.

Actually, far from it.

Life on this planet is predictably unpredictable.

Everyone has trials.

Everyone has issues; physical, mental, and spiritual.

The deal is; how do we handle it?

I am free because I choose to, as the “littles” say “Let it go”.

I give it to God, and leave it there.

Let me be very clear, sometimes I leave it there once a day.

Other times it is every hour.

Scripture tells us in Romans 12, that we are a “Living sacrifice”.

Well, famous author and teacher Chuck Swindoll states that the problem with a “Living sacrifice”, is that they keep getting up and getting off of the alter.

I have to offer myself to God every moment, of every day.

There is FREEDOM in knowing that I have done the work, and that God reminds me all the time, that “He’s got this.”

Being certain of that, removes the weight from my shoulders.

I can walk knowing that whatever is going on, He is by my side, and that He won’t leave.

I have a handful of what I call LIFE VERSES, one for most areas of my life.

Here is one of my favorites;

No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord. Isaiah 54:17 (ESV)

Note, that it does not say that weapons will not be formed, it says they will not prosper.

Keeping this thought in mind, helps to keep the weight off of my shoulders.

It keeps my eyes looking ahead to just how God will show me what to do next.

Carrying that weight?

It is my choice.

Dropping it away from me is also my choice.

I need to recognize that some days are going to be more difficult than others, but the bad ones do pass.

What frame of mind will I keep until that happens?

And be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13: 5B (ESV) 

If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Do not be afraid of sudden terror or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes, for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught. Proverbs 3:24-26 (ESV)

There may be one more installment for this Raw and Real series, or there may be a summary.

I’m not sure yet.

But either way, won’t you join me?

Until next time …