The Truth About Freedom

By LuAnn Edwards

As we look back on our Independence Day celebrations, we are thankful for the freedoms we enjoy. In our church service Sunday morning, my emotions took over as the choir sang “Salute to the Armed Forces.” Maybe it’s because my dad and brother both served our country; possibly it is because I am thankful that men and women love our country enough to serve and fight for our nation’s continued freedom. Although some of our freedoms as a nation seem to be slipping away, there is one freedom that will never end. Truth.

“To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’” (John 8:31b-32).

The truth of God’s Word sets us free. By spending time in His Word and doing what it says, we find freedom. This truth, however, needs to dwell in our hearts—not just in our heads.

“The truth will not set you free if you only acknowledge it and discuss it on an intellectual level. For the truth to transform your life, you must believe it personally and allow it to sink deep into your heart.” Neil T. Anderson, author1

My daughter, Libby, is a recent example of this. She accepted Christ when she was eight years old and was baptized. She will tell you, however, she was not experiencing the freedom available to believers. Her knowledge of Christ only dwelled in her head; it had not yet penetrated her heart.

“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ [and] believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved” (Romans 10:9-10). [Emphasis mine.]

Libby declared with her mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” but notice the word “and.” “…[and] believe in your heart…for it is with your heart that you believe….” Until four weeks ago, Libby’s heart didn’t believe. In the Nairobi, Kenya, airport on our way home from our mission trip to Malawi, Africa, she became a true believer in Christ. She accepted Christ into her heart; she surrendered her life to Him. She will tell you that her new life began that day; not when she was eight. She is now experiencing freedom in Christ, because she knows Him personally.

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36).

Have you accepted Christ into your heart and life? It doesn’t happen automatically just because you know about Him. You can know Him personally in your heart; knowing Him in this way brings freedom. It’s your choice.

Freedom is Not Free

By Gerry Wakeland

On Monday May 30th the citizens of the United States will celebrate Memorial Day. As the daughter of military parents and the widow of a US Army veteran, Memorial Day holds a significant place in my heart and mind. Not only is it a time to pay my respects to those who have sacrificed their lives to insure my freedom, but it is a time to remember that the very freedoms we so often take for granted come with a great cost. The reality is freedom is not free.

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, came into existence shortly after the Civil War, a war that took the lives of 214, 938 men, where brother fought against brother, father against son, neighbor against neighbor. In 1868, as the nation began to heal from the pain and bitterness of this tragic war they adopted the practice of placing flowers on the graves of fallen soldiers. In 1966 President Lyndon Johnson signed a bill recognizing Memorial Day as an official U.S. holiday.

Since 1775 approximately 2, 852, 901 men and women have given their lives to preserve freedom. They made the ultimate sacrifice. Their families made sacrifices as well.

The Ed Kolle family has always been proud supporters of the military. When Linda was born her father was stationed in New Guinea. She was three years old before her father saw her for the first time. Shortly after she met her soon to be husband, Ed, he was shipped out on the USS Ticonderoga to Southeast Asia. He was gone for six months while Linda remained behind worrying, writing letters, and praying.

Ed served in the U.S. Navy from 1960 until 1970. It was a very tense time as our country fought a difficult war in Viet Nam. “For me my time in the Navy was a rewarding time. Being in the military in my generation was much different than today’s generation.”

Memorial Day brings back a lot of memories. Chante Coleman is the third generation in her family to serve in the armed forces.

“I remember my father talking about my grandfather fighting in the Korean War and then seeing my own father a Marine/Solider, deploy to Africa. Looking back, I recall how hard it was for me to say good-bye to my family as I left for Turkey in my own Air Force uniform. It’s important to remember not just on a single designated day, but every day, how thankful I am for the many good-byes our men/women in uniform have made to their families for me to be able to be with my family.”

Recently Tech Sgt. Joseph Dorroh returned from a six-month deployment to Afghanistan. I venture to say that Sgt. Dorroh saw things that most of us will never see. Every day he put his life on the line, prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice to preserve freedom. Here’s what he has to say about what Memorial Day means to him:

“Memorial Day is a time to look back and remember those that came before me and willingly laid down their lives in defense of the freedoms we enjoy as Americans. It’s also a reminder of how important it is to take advantage of and appreciate the freedoms and rights we have in this country. Doing so makes the sacrifice of the fallen have purpose.”

Freedom does not only come through military action. In fact, for Christians the greatest freedom we have is freedom in our Lord Jesus Christ, who made the greatest sacrifice ever, giving His life for a world of sinners so that we might live a life of abundance (John 10:10).

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  John 15:13

On Monday May 30th let’s join together as a grateful nation remembering those who gave their lives protecting our freedom and that of thousands of others around the globe.  At 3:00 p.m. (local time) let’s pause for a moment of silence to pay our respects and then whisper a prayer of thanksgiving as you remember, freedom is not free.



By Karl Lee

Freedom!  Liberty! These are strong words that bring vivid pictures to your mind.  Words which excite and cause the heart to beat a little faster.  They are two words used interchangeably.

They are words that have echoed down through the millennia; a cry that has issued forth from the throats of millions.  FREEDOM!  Even now in this twenty-first century the cry for freedom and liberty echo across the nations of this world.

Here in America we are blessed beyond measure. We have freedoms that many countries do not have.  These freedoms have come with a price, a cost paid with blood and lives.  Yet, our men and women have stepped forward in times of need to ensure not only our liberties and freedom but also those of other nations.  We are a nation of lovers of freedom and our country.

Yes!  We covet our freedom.  We have stood tall in protecting it.  We are Americans!  We are a people that cherish the things of our nation and what they stand for.  We thrust out our chests with pride as we remember the stirring words of Patrick Henry as he stood before an assembly of our early nation’s leaders in St. John’s Church, Richmond, Virginia on March 28, 1775.  Mr. Henry, who eloquently spoke concerning a separate nation for England, ended his speech with these powerful words, “As for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

Yes!  And who cannot remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as he stood before the Lincoln Memorial, August 28, 1963 with his resounding speech, “I have a dream!”

Freedom!  How diligent we need to be lest we lose it through apathy. Stand up Americans!  Stand up and defend your freedom.  Let your voice be heard not only here at home but in our nation’s capitol.

I am an American!  God Bless America!


Why I Praise Him

By LuAnn Edwards

If you attend Albuquerque’s First Baptist Church, you may have seen me singing in the choir or with the Praise Team. You may have asked yourself the question, “Why does she raise her hands?” There are several reasons why I praise my Lord. A few of them include: (1) The truth has set me free (John 8:32); (2) He inhabits the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3); and (3) Praise makes the enemy flee (2 Chronicles 20:1-24).

Christ set me free; I am so thankful to Him for this.

I was heading the wrong way in life and have a pretty good idea of what my life would be like without Him. He rescued me from a miserable existence. Had I continued on the path I was taking, I would be living without hope, trying to fulfill myself with meaningless relationships and material things. How can I not praise Him for all He has done for me?

The Lord desires my worship, and praise is an expression of that worship. Praise brings me into God’s presence and fills me with His joy and peace. To sincerely praise Him, we must do so in humility and true devotion; how can we truly praise Him and have animosity in our hearts toward others? Praise allows me to lift up the Lord and glorify Him. Do I only praise Him in church? No! I praise Him at home and in my car and even when I am alone at work. At times, I praise him loudly with singing; or I may worship Him quietly while listening for His still, small voice. I believe He desires this of me, and I totally enjoy honoring Him in this way. (Psalm 34:1; Psalm 98:4; Psalm 134:2; Psalm 150:4; Eph. 5:19-20.)

Praise sends the enemy running! The story of Jehoshaphat (found in 2 Chronicles 20) crying out to God for the people of Judah shares a wonderful truth from God’s Word. Jehoshaphat heard that armies were coming to attack them, and he knew they did not have the power to fight back. He prayed and looked to the Lord for help. The Lord spoke through one of the men saying, “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s” (v 15). God told them they were to march down against the enemy, but they would not have to fight. Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah bowed before the Lord and began to worship Him. Some stood and offered praise to the Lord with a very loud voice. The next morning they went out to face their enemies. Jehoshaphat stood and told the people to have faith in the Lord. He then appointed men to sing to the Lord and praise Him saying, “Give thanks to the Lord, for His love endures forever” (v 21). As the people began to sing praises, the Lord set ambushes against their enemies causing them to kill one another, and they were defeated! Judah did not have to fight!

What battle are you facing today? Try giving thanks to the Lord, for His love endures forever. He will inhabit your praises, and His truth will set you free!









Take the Pledge

By: Deborah Dewart

On the 4th of July, we light up the sky
Firecrackers poppin’ way up high
Happy Birthday, America!

Today is time for a birthday party. Celebrate freedom! America threw off the shackles of a government that strangled freedoms we now take for granted—rights to worship, speak, and associate. God blessed America for decades, but Christians now face a multitude of challenges. Attacks on liberty multiply faster than bunny rabbits. Atheists are not satisfied to be free of government coercion. They file lawsuits to purge the public square, assaulting religious displays, legislative invocations, and even the National Day of Prayer. Others want to redefine marriage and family under the guise of “tolerance”—and silence opposing voices through crippling legal penalties. The right to life, a cornerstone of our Declaration of Independence, has been eroded—babies are no longer safe in their mothers’ wombs. Lawsuits sprout like weeds.

What does this mean for Christians? We have plenty to say. As a First Amendment lawyer, I constantly scour the news for cases where I can write briefs defending life and liberty. I love to give those courts my “two cents worth.” I wrote the book, Death of Christian Nation, to help believers understand the current legal climate.

Free speech is both a right and a responsibility. Taking the “P.L.E.D.G.E.” can help our speech honor God and edify others:

PRAY! My first brief about legislative prayer was also my first adventure in the federal circuit courts. At the eleventh hour, I had to get admitted—literally overnight—in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. After a series of mini-miracles, I remembered gratefully that my law practice was a permanent fixture on the church prayer list.

LISTEN. My head was in the “Christian sand” for years, oblivious to current events. We can’t change America unless we listen—to the news and our adversaries. Listen respectfully, praying for wisdom before you respond.

EDUCATE yourself and your children. If you understand the pressing issues of our times and the history behind them, you’ll be ready to engage the culture in fruitful discussions—and “give an answer” for your hope in Christ (1 Peter 3:14).

DEFEND. The First Amendment says “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech.” No matter how godly or responsible your speech is, activists may try to squelch it. If so, defend your right to speak and help keep America free for others. If necessary, contact a legal organization like Alliance Defense Fund.

GLORIFY GOD. People are watching to see if we “practice what we preach.” Pro-life advocate Abby Johnson was formerly director of an abortion clinic, but the kindness and love of Christian protesters provided a safe refuge when she was overcome with the truth about what her clinic was doing.

EDIFY: Only God can change hearts, but our gracious speech can help build bridges. Ephesians 4:29 tells us, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

Won’t you join me and take the P.L.E.D.G.E. today?


Deborah J. Dewart is a practicing attorney in both North Carolina and California and the author of Death of Christian Nation. She’s a member of Harvest Presbyterian Church in NC. When not writing briefs defending religious liberties, she travels throughout the US sharing the Gospel as a Christian ventriloquist.


Freedom in Christ

By LuAnn Edwards

When I hear the word “freedom,” I am thankful for my freedom in Christ.

Jesus wants us to walk in His truth, the truth of His Word. His Word brings us freedom, not bondage. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1).

What are you struggling with today? Is it guilt, depression, insecurity, bitterness? To be set free and become a fruitful Christian, you need to know who you are “in Christ” and win the spiritual battle for your mind.

There was a time when my mind was bombarded with thoughts from the deceiver. They were thoughts of condemnation (I could never be good enough), hopelessness (I could not live up to the expectations of others) and rejection (would the Lord give up on me?). Satan loves for us to believe these disgusting lies so we will walk in defeat. We cannot walk in freedom if we continue to believe this deception. We can, however, walk in truth! John 8:32 says, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Once I began to believe the truth that I was accepted, secure and significant in Christ, I was able to receive freedom.

Below are some truths that taught me who I am in Christ. If you have accepted Jesus into your life, these truths are for you also.

I am a child of God and I belong to him (John 1:12 & 1 Corinthians 6:20).

I am free from condemnation (Romans 8:1, 2).

I have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind
(2 Timothy 1:7).

I may approach God with freedom and confidence (Ephesians 3:12).

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13).

There is a battle for our minds. If the devil can make us ineffective, he has us where he wants us.How do we overcome this? “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor 10:5). “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). In other words, we renounce the lies and accept the truth of God’s Word.

What should we focus our minds on instead?  “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).

Now, when I recognize my thoughts as those not from the Lord, I remember this verse and focus upon whatever is pure, right and true. I am not condemned or hopeless. I am God’s chosen, and I am to live as a believer who is free, because I am free! “Live as free men…live as servants of God” (1 Peter 2:16).

For more information please visit