Some Freedoms Aren’t All They’re Cracked Up To Be!

© Wanda J. Murry, September 18, 2020

I have two new young adults in my immediate life – grandchildren who have hit that second magical age range of 18-20 years old (the first magical age being 13 years old and I have a granddaughter reaching this stage next month). They came out the high school gate chomping at the bits to break loose and run free. I’m watching them with a sense of excitement and joy for what they will discover about themselves, others, and this world. But, I’m also praying and inwardly fearful about some of the hard truths they will learn about how life isn’t always fair, all people aren’t inherently good, and how their free will has consequences that could set up strongholds in their lives not easily shaken.

I have one of each: a male and a female. With both, their parents and I have shared some of our experiences, failures, and triumphs. Their parents and I have warned them against making the mistakes we did in our youth to avoid the struggles we endured, some with lingering effects. They both listen, but their right to freely choose has clouded their decision in some instances. However, we are grateful there have been no mistakes thus far that has caused significant detours in their lives. Though, they both have come close to the edge of falling into a disaster or two.

I remember my time in the 18-20-year-old range. There was so much beckoning me to draw near. I got real close to some things and dabbled in a handful too many. As I look back, I know my mother’s prayers, coupled with God’s abundant grace, kept me from consequences that would have been earth-shattering for my mom, me, and my future. My curiosity and naiveté took me down some roads better left untraveled. At the same time, though, what I experienced gives me the credibility to explain to my grandchildren why they should avoid some things.

I’ve been listening to Tony Evan’s podcasts on American Idols this week, and it’s been food for thought. It got me to thinking how some of the freedoms we have as individuals here in America aren’t all they’re cracked up to be when we stop and dissect a few of those freedoms. Yes, the American dream offers a freedom that, in some ways, have led us into freely and openly indulging into things GOD clearly warned us to avoid as He laid out the laws and precepts to the Nation of Israel. The Old Testament is full of events that give a good picture of the physical consequences (i.e., bondage, enslavement, loss of GOD’s protection and provision, etc.) of doing things right in our own eyes. For example, in Deuteronomy:

  • 5:7 says – “Thou shalt have none other gods before me.”  We have given GOD’s position as our authority to other gods [people, astrology, mysticism, WICCA, Atheism, earth-centered or nature worship, to name a few]. Transparency here: in my carnal, baby Christian days, my husband was my god.
  • 5:13-14a says – “Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God:” I’m talking about reserving your day of worship to worship, commune, and meditate on the things of God. We are workaholics. I wonder how many who don’t have jobs that require Sunday hours leave service to rush off to work and labor because they either rested on Saturday or didn’t finish the task(s) they started? Transparency here: I struggle sometimes finding the right balance, not on Sunday, but through the other six days of work to get the things I need to get done, done. Part of that is saying “Sorry, but no,” but most of it is a lack of discipline so – I solicit your prayers for more discipline in all areas of my daily life.
  • 6:14 says – “Ye shall not go after other gods… Be honest here — we pursue a lot of things habitually. Careers, relationships, money, materials, etc., as gods in our life. Transparency here: Sadly, one of my pursuits since 1997 has been excessive/emotional eating or what the Bible calls gluttony – I solicit your prayers for my deliverance to enjoy food but not overindulge.
  • 8:5-6 says – “Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the Lord thy God chasteneth thee. Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him.” This, my friends, could be the biggest struggle for the Believer in Jesus Christ, the Savior, who has done nothing to grow in the knowledge of GOD’s Word. A spanking from God can feel like your whole world is crashing down around you. It makes a person feel like nothing ever works out for them. It can send a person into depression, make a person turn back from following GOD, and even cause a person to harbor all the things in their heart that Galatians 5:19-21 says we shouldn’t, thereby, grieving the Holy Ghost. Transparency here: I never liked spankings and got few in my childhood. However, as I came to understand my consequences were part of my Father’s chastisement, I began to understand as an adult that I didn’t like nor want them, and that’s when a lot of things changed for me in my walk with Christ.

This is why some freedoms aren’t all they’re cracked up to be! Where our freedom isn’t a get out of jail free card from parental, governmental, or GOD’s authority and rules. Where my grandchildren and other babes in Christ get stuck and wrestle to understand why they can’t have or do whatever they want when they want, and how they want. It’s why they don’t understand they need to read the bible, listen to wise counsel, apply the knowledge, and do the right thing even when everyone else around them is doing the world thing.

Some freedoms aren’t all they’re cracked up to be and never have been outside of the authority that God set in place so very long ago. Even when that authority has been corrupted, polluted, and misapplied, there is a need to examine what any freedom will cost you.

Our greatest teacher is what God put in His Word:

In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

Judges 17:6 (KJV)

Additional Scriptures: 

  • Judges 21:25
  • Psalm 36:2
  • Proverbs 12:15
  • Proverbs 16:2
  • Proverbs 21:2

Trust me, my freedoms haven’t always benefited me. Have yours?

I Sing Because…

(The stories behind my Voisey melodies)

*At His Word Lyrics – © Wanda J. Murry, March 22, 2020

Everything God said is true

Don’t forget he cares for you

Everything is in his hand

God has always had a plan

Don’t fear, no no no no

Don’t fret, no no no no

Just take him at his word

Just take him at his word

The pandemic hit American soil, and we ran for the safety and cover of the Stay-Home-Orders lockdown across America. Even the church had to close its doors, amid great protest. Fear entered hearts as working from home exposed the deficiencies in our picture-perfect existence. I marveled at how faith was, and continues, to be tested, especially in light of the part worshiping in a building became a defining factor for so many. The fight and lawsuits by “the church” demanding freedoms to assemble struck me as odd. Why? Because I was curious about the mindset behind the demand…

Did Jesus followers believe they needed to gather in a building to practice their religion?

Did Jesus followers believe there was a “vail” in their buildings that would protect them from the virus?

Did Jesus followers believe what scripture said about the times that would come, and that would precede Jesus’ return one day, to gather us to himself?

Had “worship” become something to be performed in a building, on certain days, in what is a Laodicean mindset?

*So Many Reasons Lyrics© Wanda J. Murry, April 2020

Lord you give me so many reasons

To lift my hands to heaven in praise

Lord you give me so many reasons

To start each day just looking to pray

Lord you give me so many reasons

To open up my heart each day

All over the world, people were experiencing isolation and confinement to their living spaces. The world was attempting to slow the spread of the coronavirus. People were going stir-crazy. Parents realized teaching their kids wasn’t as easy as they assumed. Spouses realized their interrupted routines were now under a microscope that was revealing unpleasant things they had covered up by staying busy. Domestic abuse cases rose. Loneliness and self-identity issues hit hearts accustomed to camouflaging under the outer appearance no longer on open display. Other things were exposed as well. The need for changes. The need to reconnect. The opportunity to work on the bucket list buried in the back of desk drawers. The realization of how unprepared we are for a future with diminishing social, economic, and retirement resources and benefits. So many depressing things unless – we look on the bright side; the right side. That place from which our help comes!

*Stop Please Lyrics© Wanda J. Murry, June 3, 2020

Stop please, They mean you no harm

Stop please, Face down, surrendered, unarmed

Stop please, No more blood splatters

Stop please, Because black lives matter

I felt the pain, horror, and hatred recorded live in the George Floyd murder. It was final ignition to the powder keg that has been brewing in America. A divide supported and seemingly provoked by authorities who are supposed to be leading our country across a multitude of fronts. A mish-mesh of solutions parading across the nation. A sad example for a land touted as being the land of the free; a land of equality.

*All lyrics referenced above are the express property of the writer.

 All Rights Reserved.

© 2020 Wanda J. Murry

I Feel Old for the First Time

age is only a number if your mind agrees…

I seem to be having senior moments lately. The reference is in no way an insult toward those who are in the age bracket of 64 and up. I’m only saying that I am experiencing mental fatigue coupled with body aches, loss of focus, and the inability to remember things. I looked up some of the causes for the term “brain fog,” and know I am dealing with at least three of the symptoms I’ve seen listed.

My pride is taking a beating because I seem to be failing in areas I always felt I was pretty steady. What I realize more than anything is that taking care of my self requires a total body, mind, and soul approach. One area cannot be left unattended without it affecting the other areas. In a nutshell, I feel old and tired; yet, I felt the total opposite coming into 2020.

I won’t blame Covid-19 or stay home orders. Solitary confinement is right up my alley. No, what I failed to do was put alternates in place to meet my basic hierarchy of needs. The need for wide-open freedom wasn’t available to me, yet, it’s a necessity for my mental stability. It’s getting out into the open, letting the wind blow through my hair while zooming down the highway going no place in particular. Or, deciding at the last minute to drop into a movie theater to catch a movie and enjoy a tub of theater buttered popcorn with jalapenos.

I took walks around my neighborhood a few times. I live in a friendly area where people wave at you as they drive by. That happens to be one of the things I love about my neighborhood. Unfortunately, with bad knees, the wrong kind of walking shoes, and heat, walking wasn’t as inviting as it could have been.

I would have loved to write more, but I draw inspiration from a combination of things I see, hear, and experience. Although I must confess, I have written several melancholy-themed short song lyrics based on beats listened to on the Voisey app. I’ve sung so many that my son says I’m addicted and need to shut it down. He cracks me up!

My whole point is we are a trinity in the same way God is (Father, Son, Holy Spirit). We have to nourish, hydrate, and exercise our body, mind, and soul, as well as detox the toxic stuff (people, things, habits) we have taken on. Toxins cause damage to the body and negatively impacts our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. And who in their right mind doesn’t want to be the best they can be?

In essence, I’m aging, but I want to do so in a much better state than I am at the moment. I want to stay young at heart, young in mind, and as youthful in the body as possible. It requires some adjustments and fine-tuning, but anything is possible when you set our mind to do it. And as an aged woman, there are things I’m supposed to teach that can’t be taught in word alone but must be demonstrated. So, I’ve got work to do to stave off this feeling of aging I feel taking place in my body, mind, and soul!

Titus 2:3-5 (KJV)

3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.