Monday, June 19, 2017

I Still Remember the Score...

By Kris Freeman
Revolution Church

You don't often have a lot of memories of younger days, especially not positive ones. I can recall my first spanking as a child. I remember throwing up on a blanket in the living room. I wasn't really fond of a head-on collision with the front porch rail, though I did triple in the winning run that night at six years old with stitches in my head. Perhaps pulling the bathroom rug and towel out from under my brother was a bad idea when he ended up with a busted chin.

One of my earliest memories was waking up in the hospital room after tonsil and adenoid surgery and hearing my pastor, Clayton Hall and his booming voice. I don't know what he said, but he brought me a tool set with a blue hammer and it was authentic with a wooden handle and iron tip.

So when I consider my memories of childhood, most of them center around trauma. Divorce of my parents as a young child was bitter. I can remember getting smacked in the mouth for talking too loud (and probably too much). My brother was kidnapped (and found) at White House City Park during a baseball game. We rushed home one night at age seven to beat a tornado from White House to Cottontown, only to have a tree collapse over the road before my dad got into the driveway of my grandfather's house.

Recalling a good memory takes effort, but I am thankful how adversity shapes me. But this is a good memory.

It was late October, 1982, and I was seven years old, playing in the floor of my Paw-Paw's house, just feet from the television. I remember the player tracking the ball, leaping to the fence and making the catch. I asked my dad and my Paw-Paw who the player was, and they answered Willie McGee of the St. Louis Cardinals.

His catch in that baby blue uniform helped propel the Cardinals to an eventual seven-game World Series victory over the Milwaukee Brewers. My recognition of McGee had deeper roots, however, as my first official baseball game was a Double-A contest in Nashville when a younger McGee played for the Sounds as a part of the New York Yankees organization. He was traded as a minor leaguer and joined another defensive superstar in St. Louis for the 1982 season.

Ozzie Smith and Willie McGee laid the foundation for a run of three World Series appearances in six years. It's pretty easy to develop a love for a team who played frequently on NBC's Game of the Week, hoisted trophies and were regular starters for the National League in the All-Star Game.

By age 10, I had thousands of baseball cards. The Cardinals were on top of the world, and the Mets were pond scum (yes, that's a thing. Google it for the story). I'm still mad at Don Dekinger for blowing the call that cost the Cardinals another world championship in 1985, when the team collapsed a 3-1 lead and lost to the Kansas City Royals.

I was a baseball player, a baseball fan, and had the rosters of every single Major League Baseball team memorized, and made edits by reading the transaction wire in the newspaper. So in 1986, my dad and step-mother loaded up our baby blue Buick with my brother and step-sister and headed to St. Louis for my first MLB game.

The trip almost never happened. We suffered car trouble and rode to St. Louis with no air conditioning. My dad made the best of a bad situation and few things I remember from the trip include my father taking my brother's Pound Puppy named Buster. He was brown and every Pound Puppy stuffed animal had a stub tail. Dad rolled up the tail in the window on Interstate 24 somewhere around Paducah and my brother screamed in the back seat until he took it down. Somewhere, Buster STILL has a notch in his tail. I guarantee it.

The hotel had a pull out bed, and I think that's where Dawn slept. We went to the Arch and rode that claustrophobic enclosure to the top. It was June 23, 1986, and we arrived at Busch Stadium on a Monday. Ace left-hander John Tudor was pitching, but the Cardinals were 29-37 coming off a three-game win streak at Philadelphia and already 17.5 games out of first place of the dominant and hated Mets.

I remember watching the Cardinals warm up in front of the dugout, gazing for that infamous "51" on the back of McGee's jersey. As the game started, a superstar backflipped his way to shortstop as he was introduced, and my dad would tell me the story of The Wizard being traded before the 1982 season from the San Diego Padres. That had significance, because it's the first time I remember my father telling me that he was born in San Diego and moved to Tennessee at a very young age and never went back.

Both my favorites would play a role in the win. The game went to extra innings, tied 1-1 after a brilliant pitching performance by Tudor. Barry Bonds struck out in the top of the 11th and Terry Pendleton led off the bottom of the 11th with a single. Andy Van Slyke popped up a bunt, but the Cardinals cycled back to the top of the lineup and Vince Coleman and Ozzie Smith drew walks to load the bases.

Second baseman Tommy Herr stepped to the plate and singled to left field off Pat Clements, scoring Pendleton. My first Major League game was a walk-off win for the Cardinals, 2-1.

We went Tuesday also, and the Cardinals won 5-2. Coleman stole two bases and McGee one against famed defensive Pirates catcher Tony Pena and that wicked stance. Ray Burris got the win, but most notably, I remember closer Todd Worrell coming into the ninth inning and playing both pitcher and right field, as manager Whitey Herzog let him pitch to Mike Diaz who singled. Worrell then moved to right field, and Ken Dayley struck out Barry Bonds with the bases loaded to end the game.

We headed home on Wednesday. Listening to the game on our way out, the Cardinals again won on an extra innings, walk-off with a 2-1 victory as Herr drove in Coleman off Clements. The Cardinals swept the series, but the season bookended between World Series appearances in 1985 and 1987 would end in a disappointing 79-82 mark and third place.

In 1996, I got to see the Cardinals play again. It was my first game in 10 years and I was now dating my future wife, Jennifer. The Cardinals were part of a six-team exhibition at Greer Stadium in Nashville against the Indians, and Mike Busby surrendered a home run to Albert Belle that has never landed. The Cardinals lost the game, but more importantly, Willie McGee had returned to the Cardinals after playing with the Giants and the A's. It was Ozzie Smith's final season. That night, Ozzie scored on a double by McGee and came up limping on his way into home plate.

Royce Clayton started the season at shortstop and it was Ozzie's final season for the Redbirds. But, I got to see them play together one final time, and was inches away from getting their autograph in a mob of people after the game, when a security guard pushed me off a curb and I was lost in the mass, holding the Beckett magazine with Ozzie's picture on it in my hands.

The Cardinals have been a major part of my life. I became a sports writer and a broadcaster. I wanted to be Ozzie Smith, Willie McGee or famed announcer Jack Buck. My dreams were attached to their success. And I guess the point of all this is that our lives are shaped by little things which develop key principles that we never forget.

So, two days after Father's Day, let me share this.

I am glad when the Buick nearly died, my dad didn't turn around. I am glad the Yankees traded McGee and the Padres traded Ozzie. I am glad Tommy Herr can hit. I am glad Barry Bonds didn't know how to hit home runs yet. I am sorry that Pat Clements had such a bad week.

And I am glad my dad took me to first baseball game. I still remember the score. Not because of the Cardinals, but because I couldn't stop telling him about it after the game.

You know, we saw Willie, Ozzie and John Tudor. But the most important thing is that Dad was there.

Happy Father's Day. Thanks for taking me out to the ballgame.

The Thoughts of a Man Leaning on a Fence...

This is an article originally published June 19, 2011, on Revolution Church's first trip to Jamaica by Pastor Kris Freeman.

Photo by Leslie Mitchell
"In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on my servants—men and women alike - and they will prophesy. And I will cause wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below." - Acts 2:17-19a

Far beyond me to explain how amazing my God is, I am rather going to admit I often have trouble understanding it myself. Staring at the tip of the sun, peeking over the horizon in Clarendon, Jamaica, this past Sunday night, there were so many things running through my head.

I looked at the ball of light slipping into darkness. I knew that was the same sun my wife and kids could see in White House, Tennessee. I thought of my church, which a little over nine months ago was starkly a vision and now God was changing lives of hundreds of people. I missed them; not so much the stuff, the songs, the magic of American worship experiences or the hospitality; I missed the people. I regretted that Brynn West couldn't smile at me during this moment, or I could not read Dana Bulla's connection card and see what God is going to answer for her next. It was a shame that Danielle Sanchez wasn't there to remind me how great of a volunteer she and her family are to our church, or Joe Smith to look at me with quiet eyes that tell a story he is about to turn loose for Jesus. It was the people I missed. Some of those people, I knew little about before the beginning of Revolution Church.

I leaned on the fence. I could hear the sounds of a sputtering engine across the street as two native Jamaican men worked under the hood. But my glance was caught, and as I saw him place his hands on his hips in a white tank top and reversed ball cap, I wondered what he could see in my eyes. Could he sense fear, or hurt? Could he see I had joy, or did he wonder why he wasn't important enough for me to exit the church yard and say hello to him. Forget for a moment that he might have been smoking marijuana and I was in another country. Could he see through the smoky haze to my heart and wonder, did I really know his plight; or would I simply board a plane five days later and return to normal?

I brushed an insect from the side of my face and heard the laughter of Whitney as the rest of the team gathered at the back of the church. Leslie snapped her camera, through the distance I heard it. I turned and she snapped again; the moment caught. I was caught; but the question is, what had me?

Was it a photo that distinguishes the incredible love I have for my church, or was it deeper? I was searching that horizon for a vision I found which may be bigger than my church can handle. Can I truly explain to them that we can plant a church in Jamaica for $20,000 and support them for one year - while all the time knowing that WE OURSELVES need a building and have no financial base to make such a purchase to house our own worship? Would it be too bold to cast that vision, knowing that some will shout the common cliche of "why should we send people to other countries when we have so many problems here" - and then realize I once uttered the very same statement behind my pastor's back?

Would it be possible to imagine that six days from then I would be sitting in the gym at H.B. Williams Elementary School, setting up for our church at home when misery would grip me and my spiritual eyes would see how much of American worship is superficial and selfish and I really had no desire to "produce" a service this weekend? But I will, and we did, and I placed signs in the pouring rain in hopes for Sunday to bring a new family to our church for the first time.

Goodness, that's a lot to think about in one minute. Vision not only transcends time, it also tends to stop it. In those moments, the mind races so fast it's impossible to remember everything He is sharing with you.

Church was supposed to begin in this building at 6 p.m. No one had arrived. Some on our team were beginning to ask and wonder if we were even going to stay. But God just continued to pound my spirit. I was restless, even inside the building where we posed for photos and creepily annoyed Sam Ramdial without his knowledge.

The crowd began to arrive and our team sat on different sides of the aisle on the front row. The second song started and I sat down, which is not customary in Jamaican worship. Amber turned to me and asked if I was ok. My response a bit telling of the truth. I said, "I don't know." Seconds later, I whispered, "something incredible is about to happen."

We sang, I preached. God delivered a powerful word and the worship was amazing. He may have radically changed the lives of three of our team members during the service, but it is impossible for me to share exactly what that means without their words.

What I know is, I saw it. I saw it on the horizon, under the hood of that card, bristling through the evening sky and skipping through Whitney's laughter. I saw it in Dana's prayers at home and Brynn's smile. I saw it in the sunset, and I also saw how the sun is going to rise. I saw it in a baby's face and sprinkled on the tile of a sparkling Jamaican church floor.

God changed me this moment. Perhaps the prophet Joel was speaking to me when he cast this vision of God through the scriptures. Maybe Peter was experiencing this wave when he defended the actions of his peers and disciples at Pentecost. It is likely, neither knew me or my name, but this scripture revealed itself in power to me at this moment.

I'd just like to be clear. When I step onto the stage tomorrow, it may be different than it ever has been before. God showed me a new Kris. He freed spiritual burdens and released a captive spirit I had held about missions since 1998. He showed me a new world which my eyes have never seen. He made me a new dad, a new pastor, a new friend.

An old man or young, I am blessed by the dream and vision God has placed in my heart. You may be tempted to use the word prophecy, but I'd like to remind you I am simply a man who should be speaking what God has given to me. A dreamer, a visionary, a missionary; it's just not fitting to label it when I serve a Savior who died for the sins of the whole world, and privileged me enough in his esteem to grace me with opportunity to share this news.

I attempted to write it down, my only prayer is you can see it. I pray you can see God. I pray you can see me. I pray you can see God in me.

I'm nothing but a servant and these are my thoughts.

Pardon me while I lean on the fence.

- Written June 18, 2011, by Pastor Kris Freeman of Revolution Church.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

God is Bigger Than Your World (06.11.17 Notes)

God is Bigger Than Your World
Outside the Box Church Week #2
Pastor Kris Freeman
Revolution Church
Sunday, June 11, 2017

Scripture: Ephesians 3:20-21 and 1 Corinthians 2:9 (NLT)

Ephesians 3:20-21 (NLT)
20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. 21 Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.

1 Corinthians 2:9 (NLT)
That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”

Last week, we discussed the magnificence and the intimacy of God, and how to make sure not to contain or limit his greatness in the church and how we structure our place in His kingdom.

In week two of #OutsideTheBox, we examine the DEPTH and the EXPANSE of the world God created.

Principles which have been questioned about the world God created:
1.     How big and expansive is the universe?
2.     Was the earth the only place where human form exists?
3.     Creation or evolution?
4.     Was the world flat?
5.     Why are there different races of people, and where did we all originate?

When we consider “big world” questions, there are two dangers that limit our answer to God’s call to a kingdom-minded mission:

·       Problem 1 – We are INTIMIDATED by what we cannot comprehend.
·       Problem 2 – We are LIMITED by what we cannot reach.

This was a BIBLICAL problem too!
1.     There was racism during Bible times caused by difference and lack of understanding
2.     There was classism in Bible times caused by demographics and poverty
3.     There was elitism in Bible times caused by education and power
4.     There was activism in Bible times caused by zealots and politics

The issues we face rarely CHANGE, but the question is, will the CHURCH change to meet the issues? Our methods are often a direct result of a limited MISSION.

The writer of both letters in today’s scriptures is the Apostle Paul. He was a MISSIONARY to the Gentiles (the non-Jews). When Jesus died, he established a new FAMILY and it is our job to make sure everyone can be a part of it. PEOPLE MATTER!!!

At Revolution Church, we want you to understand the Live.Love.Serve. mission and how it relates to expanding our outreach.

1.     We will not exclude a demographic based on differences.
2.     We will not be intimidated by those who have big questions about faith.
3.     We will not be trapped by short-sighted mission.
a.     Don’t fall into the pit of making the argument against international missions that is both prejudicial and hateful
b.    “Why should we go when there’s much to do here?”
4.     We will not be limited by impossible resources when we serve a possible God!

Bust the outreach myths!
·       I’m not called to that – but you are called to SOMETHING!
·       We’ve never done it that way before!
·       “Church people won’t like it”
·       I can’t afford it
·       I just need to work on me

Discipleship IS IMPORTANT.

You cannot lead others until you are committed to lead yourself. But you cannot lead yourself until you are truly submissive to love God and love others AS you love yourself!

1 Corinthians 3:6-8 (NLT)
I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work.


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Big God, Small Box (06.04.17 Notes)

Big God, Small Box
Outside the Box Church Week #1
Pastor Kris Freeman
Revolution Church
Sunday, June 4, 2017

Scripture: Isaiah 40:12-25 (NLT)

12 Who else has held the oceans in his hand? Who has measured off the heavens with his fingers? Who else knows the weight of the earth or has weighed the mountains and hills on a scale? 13 Who is able to advise the Spirit of the Lord? Who knows enough to give him advice or teach him? 14 Has the Lord ever needed anyone’s advice? Does he need instruction about what is good? Did someone teach him what is right or show him the path of justice? 15 
No, for all the nations of the world are but a drop in the bucket. They are nothing more than dust on the scales. He picks up the whole earth as though it were a grain of sand. 16 All the wood in Lebanon’s forests and all Lebanon’s animals would not be enough to make a burnt offering worthy of our God. 

17 The nations of the world are worth nothing to him. In his eyes they count for less than nothing—mere emptiness and froth. 18 To whom can you compare God? What image can you find to resemble him? 19 Can he be compared to an idol formed in a mold, overlaid with gold, and decorated with silver chains? 20 Or if people are too poor for that, they might at least choose wood that won’t decay and a skilled craftsman to carve an image that won’t fall down!

21 Haven’t you heard? Don’t you understand? Are you deaf to the words of God—
the words he gave before the world began? Are you so ignorant? 22 God sits above the circle of the earth. The people below seem like grasshoppers to him! He spreads out the heavens like a curtain and makes his tent from them. 23 He judges the great people of the world and brings them all to nothing. 24 They hardly get started, barely taking root, when he blows on them and they wither. The wind carries them off like chaff. 25 “To whom will you compare me? Who is my equal?” asks the Holy One.

The prophet Isaiah does a good job of explaining both the MAGNIFICENCE of God and the INTIMACY of God.

Why do we love to imagine the greatness of our God, but then LIMIT His significance when it comes to the application of our lives and churches? Here’s a few reasons:
  1. Legalism (adherence to manuals over mission)
  2. Tradition (adherence to customs over calling)
  3. Preference (adherence to wants over worship)
  4. Prejudice (adherence to entitlement over evangelism)

Revolution Church began with a mission to see the love of Christ turn lives around. To do so, we have busted the church PARADIGM - but there are some things we could LEARN from the past and do better and some things we should continue to champion!

Five core values of Revolution Church that are significant to our view of God, and God’s calling for our mission:
  1. We are Authentic
  2. We are Passionate
  3. We are Generous
  4. We are Servants
  5. We are Family

Every one of these values should emphasize that God is GREAT and people MATTER.

So let’s break down what God can do through us - and how you are important to this mission.

Champion the things outside of the box (things we do well):
  • Embrace our creativity 
  • Explore innovation - constantly find new ways to share the Gospel
  • Expand our partnerships (make our community better!)
  • Empower a hospitable and servant attitude
  • Expand our mission (next week, we will focus on outreach and missions)
  • Envision production that doesn’t get in the way of the praise

Challenge the system on things we could do to learn from the church of the past:
  • Discipleship (be better students of the Word and our spiritual development)
  • Giving (exponential generosity for the cause of the church)
  • Attendance (the average church family at Revolution Church attends approximately 50 percent of Sundays and less than 25 percent are in a group)
  • Care (bust the mold of employee-based pastoral care and embrace a Biblical value of community)
  • Leadership (a dedicated and committed approach to spiritual disciplines)
Spiritual growth should proceed NUMERICAL growth, or the foundation is built upon dangerous ground. But if you never evaluate your weakness inside the box, you will never expand OUTSIDE of it.

No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 8:39 (NLT)

Let’s challenge the paradigm. Let’s go outside the box. But let’s remember who God is, and how He truly wants to work in us.


Friday, May 26, 2017

Allow Me to Introduce Myself...

By Kris Freeman of Revolution Church

As part of a servant leadership course, I was asked to write an autobiographical essay about servant leadership. Here is my submission. Thank you for those leadership influences in my life and thanks for reading.

Spending a large portion of my life in public speaking, the word “introduction” carries much influence and responsibility. I introduce others with commendation, so how would this same courtesy be applied in my life as the recipient? In this essay, it is my privilege to evaluate the influences that have shaped my leadership, as a husband, father, pastor, friend and a servant. This is my life story, my introduction.

My journey is shaped by influential men and women, which are servants and models for leadership. My influences are developed by faith and morality, and founded in biblical scripture and developed by discipline to focus my principles and priorities.

My wife, Jennifer, and I have been married for 19 years in September. We have two children, Madison (14) and Noah (12), and our daughter is a freshman, and son is entering the seventh grade in White House, Tenn. I am the founding pastor of Revolution Church, a short-term missionary, and a public address announcer. I hope to use this foundation to show influences that shaped me to my opportunities to bless others.

I was born September 7, 1975, at Nashville Memorial Hospital to Carl Ray and Glinda (Biggs) Freeman. The first child of my parents and first grandchild on either side of my family, I grew up in the rural farming community of Cottontown, between Portland and White House in northern Middle Tennessee. My maternal grandfather, the late Cloyd D. Biggs, owned a construction business and commercial farming operation, growing tobacco and raising chicken and milking cattle. My parents divorced at my age of eight-years-old, and my mother remained in our childhood home on my grandfather’s farm. This is where my work ethic and moral compass was shaped. She was a model of perseverance and faith.

A deacon for 57 years until his death in 2011, “Grandpa” was my greatest father figure. It was in his yard where my brother, Corey (born in 1980) and I learned to play baseball with our three cousins. By the age of 12, each young man was capable enough to milk cattle, drive a tractor, and raise an entire crop of tobacco. No baseball happened until chores were complete, but the yard was filled with games until the sun had long set. Our evenings were spent with my grandmother Edith feeding her “grand boys” more food than we could consume, and in the den floor watching the Dukes of Hazzard.

My father and mother both remarried to their current spouses in 1985. The relationship with my dad was both difficult and distant, but has been rebuilt in adulthood to a positive influence. My step-mother, Elaine, has one daughter. My step-father, Lanny, has three daughters. So, in total, I have one biological brother, and four step-sisters. I saw my paternal grandparents, the late Murlin and Viola Freeman, mostly on holidays and did not have a close relationship with them. My grandmother Viola is the only remaining living grandparent, and is in long-term care with dementia.

There are three primary leadership influences in my life: my mother and grandfather, the two I would combine; my pastor and my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. My story is written with the influences of my maternal grandfather and mother. Each was instrumental in my single greatest life-changing event. At the age of 15, I was diagnosed with type one diabetes. This was discovered while staying with my grandfather in the hospital following his heart attack and bypass surgery. A nurse notified my mother of symptomatic behavior, and I was diagnosed the next week.

Despite a transition and discipline of my health, my grandfather’s influence of work ethic did not diminish. In the year of 1992, I raised my own tobacco crop and earned my first wage, as he recovered. I was a junior at Portland High School. Because of the discipline placed in me by my mother and my grandfather, I graduated high school in 1993, graduated Volunteer State Community College in 1996 with an A.S. Communications/Broadcast journalism, and earned a job as the sports editor and news editor of a Gannett Inc. newspaper in Sumner County. I am now completing my educational journey 21 years later at Trevecca Nazarene University, and have a goal to obtain my bachelor of arts, masters and doctorate in a four-to-five-year span.

My mother claims she used to listen to me sit in front of the television or radio, and mimic the voice of my childhood idol, Jack Buck, on KMOX 1120 radio, the home of the St. Louis Cardinals. Speaking came naturally to me. At the age of five, I stood on stage at my home church as my grandfather served as the song leader. He taught me the courage, confidence and discipline to be bold in front of others, and my mother balanced this with the humility and dignity of treating people well, and overcoming odds to succeed. She worked the majority of her life as a caretaker for children and assisted-living senior adults.

By college, I was calling baseball and basketball games, and that is where I met my wife. Jennifer was the station manager for WVCP 88.5. We met at my senior prom, but I do not remember it. She graduated the same year from Gallatin High School, and I was the first person she ever dated when we went out for the first time on February 18, 1996, just four days after I bailed on a blind date to ask her. We married on September 26, 1998 at my home church, Halltown General Baptist.

She is the reason, however, I met the second-greatest influence. I worked 40 hours a week, coached baseball and attending church was not a priority, though I had given my life to Christ at the age of 11. But Jennifer insisted we attend church together, and her family attended a Church of Christ with no music. I was a musician, like my grandfather, and bypassed a music scholarship playing trumpet in college to become a broadcaster and journalist. We compromised to find a church together, which was new to both.

The church pastor was Rev. Rudy Braswell at Mt. Pleasant General Baptist Church in Portland. A nine-year veteran of missions in Honduras, he was a model servant and we asked him to officiate our wedding. He visited my home, asked me to lead music for the church, and I informed him I was sensing a greater calling. Two weeks later, in January, 1998, he was fatally wounded in an auto accident in Honduras. I had written a six-page letter to him, and in March, 1998, I announced my calling as a minister of Jesus Christ and preached my first sermon.

I was ordained into full ministry and went to work at Halltown as a youth pastor. I quit my job in journalism and completed a three-year, inter-denominational ministry school. Our daughter was born October 7, 2002, and we moved to Lewisburg, Ky., to pastor my first church from 2003-09. Following the servant influence of my pastor, I followed the call of God into the missionary field as a church planter, and we launched Revolution Church in White House on September 12, 2010. Noah was born February 21, 2005.

Discipleship is a progression, becoming more Christ-like and developing Godly principles. I have spent my life as a servant of others, volunteering for roles as a chaplain, coach, board member and president of the White House Area Chamber of Commerce. I continued to serve as a volunteer for White House High School in three sports. Our son, Noah, was diagnosed with a hip disease in 2010, and I reduced my role at the school to focus on family and church. Noah made a full recovery in five years.

When I think of my mother, my grandfather, my pastor and my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I see a pattern of sacrificial service for the betterment of others. I see humility honor, integrity and discipline. It was following this model that I served as a short-term missionary to Jamaica four times, to Niger in West Africa once, and led a 16-person team to recover Oklahoma residents from the nation’s largest tornado in 2013.

Serving matters, and it does because people matter. No one person or influence modeled this more than Jesus when he said to his disciples: “But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant” (Luke 22:26, The New Living Translation).

The media career I thought to have left behind came full circle two years ago, when I was named the public address announcer for Vanderbilt University men’s and women’s basketball – a paid position which allows me to continue to serve as a pastor, full-time. God tied the loose ends of my life together.

Jen is not just an influence to me; she is rather, my hero. A sacrificial woman with poise, determination and honor, she has worked full-time outside the home for the entirety of our marriage to provide insurance benefits and income. She is a mom, my servant-leader and the model of who I desire to be by how others have shaped me.

I am a husband, a father, a pastor and an announcer. I am a servant, because I am a disciple and have been instructed by Jesus to love my fellow men and women. So, with this declaration, I now hope for my greatest introduction as I meet my God.

“Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities” (Matthew 25:23, The New Living Translation). If I am known as a servant of others, may then God and my family be pleased with me.

Kris Freeman is the pastor of Revolution Church in White House which meets at 3644 Highway 31-W in White House, Tennessee, at 10:15 a.m. each Sunday.

Be Gentle, Stay Calm (05.28.17 Notes)

Be Gentle, Stay Calm
Fruit of the Spirit Week #4
Pastor Kris Freeman
Revolution Church
May 28, 2017

Scripture: Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)

22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

In week three of the Fruit of the Spirit, we are going to discuss GENTLENESS and SELF-CONTROL

The God of the Old Testament was not considered gentle, but rather JUST.

The God of the New Testament was one of GRACE.

Which do you choose? Should I come with a rod to punish you, or should I come with love and a gentle spirit? – 1 Corinthians 4:21 (NLT)

A spirit of gentleness is one of a good DISPOSITION (Gr. Praytes) – the word for gentleness appears 11 times in the New Testament.

  1. We should be gentle about our approach.

Now I, Paul, appeal to you with the gentleness and kindness of Christ—though I realize you think I am timid in person and bold only when I write from far away. – 2 Corinthians 10:1 (NLT)

  1. We should be gentle about our correction.

Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer[fn] is overcome by some sin, you who are godly[fn] should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. – Galatians 6:2 (NLT)

  1. We should be gentle about our instruction.

Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. – 2 Timothy 2:25 (NLT)

A common trait of someone who is gentle, is they have great POISE.

When you lose control, you are more apt to REACT sinfully.
  • Anger
  • Rage
  • Unrighteous emotion
  • Revenge
  • Violence
  • Unforgiveness
  • Jealousy/Envy
  • Hatred or Prejudice

The word for self-control is (Greek) egkrateia which is used three times in the New Testament. The purpose of the Fruit of the Spirit is echoed in 1 Peter 1:3-11.

By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires. 

In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.

The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins. 10 So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away.11 Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Speak soft. React slow. Stay calm.