For Freedom

Yesterday I re-read our United States Declaration of Independence and Constitution, reflecting on the sacrificial commitment and tenacity that our founding fathers possessed. No doubt the political winds blew like a tornado as freedom and liberty fought to tip the scales against the perceived security of a mother country. With gratitude and respect I read other famous words that flowed from the lips of our founders.

Any people that would give up liberty for a little temporary safety deserves neither liberty nor safety. Benjamin Franklin

A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take everything you have.  Thomas Jefferson

The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases. Thomas Jefferson

Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.  John Adams

The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government.  Patrick Henry

The truth is, all might be free if they valued freedom and defended it as they ought.  Samuel Adams

Our unique United States offers each of us an opportunity to voice our commitment to this great nation as we cast our ballots at each election. Let us sort through the politics with respect in our currently divided nation, may we pray for our country as our founders did. May we embrace our freedoms of speech and religion with humble wisdom. Grumbling attacks did not make America great. Heartfelt prayers, hard work and service on behalf of those in need in our communities – one person or family at a time – will let freedom reign.

Words of freedom I read in the bible convey the responsibility attached to our liberty in life.  Here are a few apt words of encouragement from The Message Bible:

Make the Master proud of you by being good citizens. Respect the authorities, whatever their level; they are God’s emissaries for keeping order. It is God’s will that by doing good, you might cure the ignorance of the fools who think you’re a danger to society. Exercise your freedom by serving God, not by breaking the rules. Treat everyone you meet with dignity. Love your spiritual family. Revere God. Respect the government.
1 Peter 2:12-14 MSG

It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom. If you bite and ravage each other, watch out—in no time at all you will be annihilating each other, and where will your precious freedom be then?

Galatians 5:12-14. MSG

Now let’s get on our knees and get ourselves and our neighbors to the polls for freedom….

– Madge

A New Year – Honing Some Habits

Welcome to 2012!  As I bid farewell to 2011 I’m hopeful about our new year.  I  enthusiastically enjoy this warm first day of January with keen awareness that the thermometer will not read 66º  tomorrow.  Before I get bogged down in creative ways to stay warm, I want to re-invite you to join me this year in one or more habits, practices, goals…whatever you like to call the little things I do to stay centered on God.

1.  Journaling.  Come on folks, even if you don’t participate in my ‘spiritual/religious/relationship’ habits, you can appreciate this invitation.  Journaling is just plain good for the body, soul and spirit.  Go ahead – google the benefits of journaling and you’ll find article after article touting its value.  Enough said.  Get a journal – I use my iPad and iJournaler app (although I’m seriously considering a change in app so I can cross multiple devices and platforms – suggestions welcome).  Confession: I listed journaling first because I’ve struggled most with daily consistency in this area.

2. Bible Reading Plan – There are so many choices from Youversion.  I wrote about it here.  Also, if you enjoy audio, check out my Daily Audio Bible review.  I can’t say enough about the power of consistent relationship with God’s living word.

3. Scripture Memorization – I’m starting with verses from James this year, but last year I was all over map. Looking over last year’s verses brings sheer goodness to my heart – some of them have seen me through tough times.  Like I shared here, memorization is good for more than the brain…and my first 2012 verse is…If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5

I planned to hold back and leave the list at three, but my wise husband suggested I include the all important act of (#4) Goal Setting.  That’s obvious, I thought.  Certainly goals are discussed, written, reviewed and measured in our house and they’ve served as a catalyst for progress and success in our family and for us individually in many areas. We don’t always achieve our goals, that’s life, but we know if we don’t have them we will lack direction and focus.  Goals are the reason habits 1-3 exist.

My husband, Brent, blogged on goal-setting the day after I wrote this post.  He runs circles around my writing!  Check it out here!


I would love to hear about the strategies you use to set goals and keep your focus.  And if you are so inclined, pray about joining me in one or more of the above.  Life’s more fun with friends!