freedom stories – Dublin

tozer quote

When real Freedom Comes.

I’m learning to walk in a freedom that the Bible talks about endlessly. I only really discovered this particular freedom myself several years ago. It took me a while to learn how to walk in it and I’ve a long way to go. What is this freedom that I’m talking about? I’m going to call it “Kingdom Freedom”. In the Lords Prayer there’s a mention of “God’s Kingdom coming and His will being carried out on earth just as it is in Heaven”. Can you picture that? Heaven on earth – now that’s freedom right there. Several years ago I began to grasp this reality and ever since I’ve tried to apply pulling the kingdom of heaven down on earth just as the Lord’s prayer mentions. When we live in this mindset a freedom is released to ourselves and others while ALL glory is given to God.

AW Tozer wrote “Let a man set his heart only on doing the will of God and he is instantly free.

There are many times when we set our hearts on doing something for someone else that in principal is a thoughtful idea and seems good to do but it may not necessarily be the will of God. We can know if it’s the will of God by testing our motive! When we set our hearts to do something for someone else do we want others to know we’re doing it and enjoy the praise we get for doing it? If this is the case this unfortunately isn’t the will of God because is doesn’t give him an ounce of glory and it doesn’t enable pulling the kingdom of heaven down on earth. It is in fact “good works based Christianity” and leaves no room for God to truly work. When we take on an act of love we should always check our motives. Is it God’s will? Will it glorify him? Will it impact the receivers life? Does it unleash heaven on earth? Unfortunately many times we can have the best of intentions to bless, give or walk with a kingdom mindset but the enemy will always come along and try to stop heaven coming to earth and he will do anything in his power to stop God from receiving glory.

Allow me to give you an example of this.

Matthew chapter 6 verse 3

But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 

I recently came across a man that was to have a minor medical procedure. This man loves to help others – He spends many weekends serving in his local church, giving to those who haven’t much and reaching the poor and needy. This man also works extremely hard to earn his keep. He cannot claim social welfare when he goes to have this procedure because he is self employed. So God put it on some hearts to anonymously bless this man. God made it clear it would need to be done in secret because this man would find it hard to be blessed if he knew who was blessing him. In other words this man needed God to bless him and not man! A typed envelope and a bankers draft so that the man couldn’t work out who it could be from became the vision. The idea was put to 3 groups of people that knew and loved this man. The response was very disheartening. You see the first group of people couldn’t apply the verse above. They had a need for praise. They felt if they gave in the secret they wouldn’t get any praise. So they came up with their own plan instead. They decided to present him openly with a donation. The man was overwhelmed and felt indebted to them. The second group of people was the church in which this man has faithfully served in for years. When the idea was put to the pastor the pastor interpreted the vision and idea as a financial request and burden for the church. A long explanation about all the unemployed this church provides for was given. Again this group missed the point and decided they would present this man with a small donation but the man would need to join them on a walk in order for this donation to be made. They too wanted to see his reaction and take the praise away from God.

The third group of people were used to practicing walking in Kingdom freedom. They grasped the concept and understood the impact. They had spent many times randomly and anonymously blessing others. Honouring, blessing, providing and reaching others in the secret brought glory to God and allowed the kingdom of heaven to touch the receivers life so much more than a public and open act such as the ones that took place above. A public and open act rarely brings glory to God but will always give man short lived praise. Sadly there is no real freedom in this. Real freedom comes when motives are right. Real freedom comes when God is glorified. Real freedom comes when heaven gets pulled down onto earth. Real freedom comes when it’s done in the secret place.

Anonymous, Dublin

the story tastes like german lenten pretzels

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Our Lenten group continues to be an inspiring mid-week gathering in the centre of Jesus’ story. In each of our daily readings we find ourselves challenged to see Jesus as the one who established God’s Kingdom on earth. They are challenging words. They are hopeful words. They are words that grow in us and change us from the inside out. Jonny baked for us the other week – his contribution was German Lenten Pretzels. The three holes in the pretzel being representative of the Trinity: Father, Son & Holy Spirit. We are not alone in this world but accompanied by a very powerful and loving God.

Jesus indicates that, with the coming of God’s kingdom, the original intention in creation can be established on the bedrock of God’s healing, forgiving love … The challenge for us all is so to follow Jesus, so to get to know him and be transformed by his healing love, that we can be part of that building, that new creation, in whatever way he wills. ~ Tom Wright, Lent For Everyone: Mark

German Lenten Pretzels (see the original recipe here)

  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 4 1/2 cups plus extra for kneading all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup dry milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted, divided

Grease 2 large baking sheets. Combine 1/4 cup granulated sugar and cinnamon in small bowl; set aside.

Stir yeast into warm water in small bowl. Combine flour, dry milk, remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and salt in large bowl. Add 1/2 cup butter and yeast mixture into flour mixture. Stir until blended and sticky dough is formed.

Place dough on lightly floured surface; knead for 6 to 8 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic, adding additional flour as necessary. Cut into 24 pieces. While working with dough, keep covered with plastic wrap. Roll each piece into a 16-inch long rope. To form pretzels, make a U-shape with the rope. Holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U and place on prepared baking sheets. Press ends of pretzel into pretzel dough. Brush with remaining 1/4 cup butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Allow to rise in warm place for 15 minutes or until risen slightly.

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from baking sheets to wire racks. Serve warm. Store remaining tightly covered.