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  • Writer's picturePenelope Hurley

The Gifts of Freedom

Updated: Oct 31, 2023

Scripture: "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."

2 Corinthians 3: 17

Pics: Penny Hurley

Music: "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" The United States Army Field Band Soldiers' Chorus

Message: The Gifts of Freedom Once again, deep thanks to Rev. Tom for his Sunday message. I encourage you to listen to his message, "Obedience and Freedom", on our website! Love the imagery of becoming a co-creator, bound up with and obedient to God, granting us ultimate freedom. That freedom, when married to obedience to our Divine Creator, can be an endless gift of renewal. Unbeknownst to Rev. Tom, our thoughts collided somewhere out there in the universe! (I keep notes/ideas for inspirational messages - and among my recent ramblings, are thoughts on the word "obedience", as it relates to prayer and listening to our Divine Creator.) I believe many of us view the word obedience in a negative light: taking away our free will, requiring conformity to rules whether of a monarchy, an institution, or an individual. But as is often the case, education or a new viewpoint can broaden our perspective. I share this passage as a postscript on "obedience" and learning to trust God from Henri Nouwen: "To pray is to listen to that voice of love. That is what obedience is all about. The word obedience comes from the Latin word ob-audire, which means “to listen with great attentiveness.” Without listening, we become “deaf” to the voice of love. The Latin word for deaf is surdus. To be completely deaf is to be absurdus, yes, absurd. When we no longer pray, no longer listen to the voice of love that speaks to us in the moment, our lives become absurd lives in which we are thrown back and forth between the past and the future. If we could just be, for a few minutes each day, fully where we are, we would indeed discover that we are not alone and that the One who is with us wants only one thing: to give us love." Henri Nouwen May the gifts of both freedom and obedience rest in your heart on this beautiful day. Dietrich Bonhoeffer "Without freedom of thought there can be no such thing as wisdom; and no such thing as public liberty, without freedom of speech." Benjamin Franklin “Freedom lies in being bold."

Robert Frost


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