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. 


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

10 Things that can Help You in Depression

By Kris Freeman of Revolution Church, White House, TN

This is a long article, so stay with me for critical steps in helping a person on a journey with depression, or any other mental illness.

This past Tuesday morning, I was sitting quietly when I received a Facebook message from a friend in another state. She indicated that while attending a Bible study at her church, she was told that her depression was caused by her own lack of trust in God. In other words, depression was God's punishment upon her for not being spiritual.

The anger that welled up inside me triggered a social media post of my own that has since been shared more than anything I have ever written, and today I wanted to follow up and give you 10 things I have learned from my own personal battle with this treacherous psychological and mental disease, and how these steps have helped me get to a much better place in both my spiritual and physical life.

Let's be clear - depression is BOTH a physical issue caused by a radical chemical imbalance, and a spiritual battle used by Satan to destroy you. Don't think for a moment that the enemy of God does not use sickness to attack God's people. He will in a heartbeat, and I am living proof of it.

My approach to this is faith-based. If you are not a believer in Jesus Christ, then how this applies to you may be different. But I encourage you to read the truths contained as a matter of my opinion, applied with personal experience, and not with the idea that I am medically, spiritually or psychologically certified to help you.

I am just a man who lost himself, and am on a journey to reclaim what I feel this disease stole from me. If you, or a friend or loved one, are suffering from the effects of depression, mental illness or what I would consider to be a number of psychological and physical warfare against your body, then please allow me to have the courage to attack this topic with candor and authenticity and maybe this, too, can help you.

Without further intro, here are 10 things I have learned from depression...

1. I learned in depression God is faithful.

"The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure." - 1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT

This verse is often used as a foundation for the statement "God will not place upon you more than you can handle." Can we please stop spreading that mistruth about scripture? This scripture does not guarantee that we will not encounter things which we cannot handle. Instead, it re-emphasizes that when we are tempted or affected much above what we can handle, then it is God who is faithful and will make a way of escape!

You don't need an escape unless it's too big for you. And that's where God comes in. God proved to me He was faithful beyond what I could handle.

Depression is never a punishment from God to you for a perceived lack of faith or lack of trust. Depression can be triggered a number of ways, but God is always faithful. He is there at the beginning even if you lose sight of how to find Him, and He will be faithful at the end when your journey comes back to Him.

2. I learned in depression you MUST seek help.

Admitting you are suffering is not even half the battle. You MUST seek help. It was the last week of March when I went into a doctor's office and came clean with my struggle and left nothing on the table. I remember coming home for the first time and my wife asking me the simple question, "but did you tell them everything?" Yes. And that was the most critical step. I had to find someone I trusted to lead me to the proper place of treatment.

Telling a friend you are depressed seems like a big step but it's really just the surface level admission. Broadcasting your struggle on social media looks very much like a cry for attention, whether or not you need to hear that - it's exactly what others watching you are thinking and it's really not gaining you anything but affirmation from people who can't truly help you. This is not some public journey for a pat on the back. This is a raw, real, nasty, ugly truth that has to be proclaimed in the ears of a professional who can lead you to treatment.

3. I learned in depression the right professionals are the real key.

Fighting depression and mental illness will cost money. Your preacher can't cure you in a phone call. A prayer line won't solve your issues. A Facebook message to your uncle Joe three states away isn't the solution. You must take the time to seek the proper help, and when you do, find the people who will listen and handle it the proper way.

Figure this - depression is already costing you money. It's costing you work productivity, it's costing you family time. It's costing you bad habits. So why not invest those costs in the right place so that in six months you are more healthy than ever before?

Here's my process and I hope this helps you. I saw a local doctor and/or nurse practitioner, my endocrinologist (because I am a type one diabetic), a staff psychologist specializing in mental illness and depression, and the help of pastors outside of my area whom I could be honest with and share the depths of my struggle. I was honest with my wife about this journey and I asked her to be patient with me as the treatments were placed into effect.

And ultimately, I trusted God and asked for His help through the entire process. These are tools and people God has trained and equipped to help you. Use them. Will it cost money? Yes. But the proper insurance will go a long way to helping with treatment as well. And anything spent to make you better is well worth the investment.

4. I learned in depression medication is sometimes a necessity.

I was anti-medication in handling depression for many years. I was a legalist when it came to mental health. I no longer feel this way.

Medications can alter your chemical balance, and this does take time and experimentation. Do not give up on a doctor who is treating you, and I was blessed to have a doctor that allowed me to text her occasionally with updates so that we could make adjustments both inside and outside the office. I was blessed that the right medication seemed to work without too much change.

Medication does not make you weak, it may be the single thing that makes you strong. If you have high blood sugar, you would take insulin. If you have a headache, you would take Tylenol. If you have an infection or virus, you would take the proper antibiotics, etc. So just because depression does not have a band-aid, a cast or a runny nose doesn't mean you can't address it with the proper medication from professionals whom have been trained to administer it.

Medication is not a cure all, but combined with additional treatments can be an amazing additive to get you to the right place.

And a bonus: I learned that neuroscience is AWESOME. I loved it. The first time we broke down the brain stem and the chambers of the noggin I was in scientific Heaven. It was brilliantly interesting. I used up an entire counseling session on it.

5. I learned in depression the side effects of medication are fun and interesting.

For our humor portion of this list, I would like to add that days 14-20 of the medication reminded me that an alien was invading my body and I was being eaten alive from the inside out. At least, that's what it felt like. I am not sure the muscles which ached even existed. I found out that sweating profusely is a virtue, and my skin was ridiculously offended at the notion of new medication and let me know with authority. Because the levels of dopamine were increased, I also became more talkative (shocker!) and battled with ADHD in more extreme cases.

Because we are adults, the most difficult thing about many anti-depressants are the side effects. Those side effects often attack elements of intimacy, especially for men. Speaking truthfully with your doctor about the side effects will help them learn how to balance them, address them and ultimately change or reduce your dose to eliminate them.

And if the side effects get embarrassing, send your wife to talk to the doctor. Problem solved. You're welcome.

6. I learned in depression some people love you and some people leave you.

The most important people in this journey are my wife and kids. They know me in the most quiet and secret and intimate of days. So first and foremost, taking their input and effects into consideration were critical. I love my wife and kids and thank them so much for loving me and being patient with me.

On this journey, I learned some people drew closer to me and proved their worth. I also learned some people cannot handle this stigma attached with mental illness and may leave you, may hurt you, and may even talk bad about you.

If they desert you, you didn't need them. God has said he would never leave you and never forsake you, and your family is going to stick this out with you, too. Find the family and friends that care about you enough to remain through the journey and when you have gained their allegiance, you will have them for a lifetime.

I love what Matthew 18 says about this:

"If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back." - Matthew 18:15 NLT

It then reminds us that the agreement of people is critical to releasing the blessing from the heart of God:

"I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you." - Matthew 18:19 NLT

And let me speak this truth in love. If you speak negative against a person battling depression or mental illness, you are not only hurting the problem and worsening it's effects, but I would dare say that your own sinful pride may be revealing an insecurity in your own life that needs dealing with before you attack anyone else battling the same problem.

Be careful what you say, and be attentive to the wise people who say the right things.

7. I learned in depression my triggers and how to cope with them.

Depression may be caused from a chemical imbalance, but triggering the massive effects of depression can come in many ways. For me, it was a traumatic event that could have resulted in the loss of my life and the life of others around me. Without an adequate coping mechanism, I slipped into a dark and treacherous place that ultimately affected my physical health at every level.

The triggers of depression include, but are not limited to, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anger, sickness, disease, tragedy, financial loss, relationship loss, marital problems, job loss or stress, abuse, traumatic events from your past, etc. Finding your trigger is key.

Let me illustrate: If you are a victim of verbal abuse, then your depressive state may be triggered when someone in authority over you speaks in a dominating voice or demeaning way toward you. Coping with this behavior becomes a choice of retreat and cower, or stand strong and hold fast. The person wrapped in depression feels no other choice but to cower. Coping mechanisms teach you how to stand your ground, and how to also be honest with the people and circumstances in your life causing these terrible reactions.

Medication will stabilize your reaction time, and so will treatments psychologically. I used to make fun of those coping mechanisms until my counselor showed me how to "smell the pizza." What does that mean? He said "do you remember that feeling when you walk into a deli or pizzeria and the aroma just hits you, and you want to brush the air up into your nostrils to take it all in? When you are pressed with a trigger, learn to slow down. Find your pizza and smell it in. Relax, breathe and take a moment."

Well pardon my country phrase, but I'll be dog-gonned, it works. Pepperoni and Canadian bacon, by the way, for the record.

8. I learned in depression what "not" to say to a person facing depression and more serious, what not to say to a person battling with suicidal tendencies.

This is so hard to learn. Is suicide a selfish act? Yes! But not always is the person fighting this battle in the right mental state to hear it. Is the threat of taking one's life critically scary? Yes! And being careful to say the right things could mean the difference between life and death. That never occurred for me, but there were times in depression that harsh words destroyed my spirit and my thoughts.

What NEVER to say:

  • There's someone worse off than you so deal with it.
  • No one cares.
  • Stop feeling sorry for yourself.
  • Aren't you always depressed? What's new?
  • Just try not to think about it.
  • I'll be here when this is all over, so let me know when you're feeling better.
  • I know how you feel.
  • You are selfish and punishing the rest of us.
  • This is all about you, all the time.
  • You just need to have more faith (or pray more, or trust more, etc.)
  • It's all in your mind.
  • Stop feeling sorry for yourself.
  • Why can't you just be normal?
  • I don't want to hear it.
  • I don't have time to listen to this.

What ALWAYS to say:

  • I am here for you.
  • You matter to me.
  • Let me help.
  • Depression is real. I don't understand but I am here.
  • There is hope. Don't give up.
  • You can survive this and I'm right here with you.
  • I'll do my best to understand.
  • I'm not going to leave you or abandon you.
  • I love you.
  • We will get through this together.
  • I am committed to do whatever it takes to help you.
  • I will listen to you.
  • You can trust me and I will keep this private so I can help you.
The Bible says there is life and death in the power of the tongue. Never more is this pronounced than in dealing with depression and mental illness. Be careful what you say, and examine that your words may be critical in someone finding a solution, or seeking the wrong way out.

9. I learned in depression privacy is critical.

Tell your family, medical professionals and the closest friends everything that needs to be told. Leave the public out of it. Don't share your intimate details in the wrong room and in the wrong conversation. You might hurt your family, or later someone might use that story to hurt you.

Until you have conquered this battle, it might be bests to keep some things to yourself: your temptations, your fears, your deepest thoughts, your anger. Learn to channel them in the right way.

Remember, if that person can't help you, they might not need to hear it. Mark that down.

10. I learned in depression the church is desperately unequipped to handle mental illness.

We have to eliminate the stigma. The labels surrounding mental illness have to be removed or repackaged before the church is ever going to have an effective system in dealing with depression and mental illness.

I am not a weak leader because I dealt with tragic circumstances and depression. I am not a weak leader because I am authentic and transparent. And the church should not treat people with mental illness like the plague or leprosy from the Bible.

Why is it we wrap our arms around the cancer victim or the addict or the disabled, but then stick the mentally ill in a corner and call them crazy? Well, there's an easy answer for that. Mental illness and a lack of balance in regards to it has led many people to do crazy things, and therefore it takes the proper system of treatment to attack this disease in the right way.

Some people DO need protection and security. Some people DO need to be removed from a situation. But for the large majority of people suffering from depression, they are normal, everyday individuals being attacked by a mental disease and attacked by Satan through that disease and believing that the very place of hope has disengaged from them the minute they admit their struggle.

I was told I should not be pastoring if I was depressed. I was told that I could not be followed. I was told that I was weak. I was told that I shared too much (and truthfully, I closely examined that). I was also told that this story didn't need to be shared.

Except that my first blog about my journey was read or shared over 2,000 times, and I received so many messages that I could not keep up with them.

That tells me this is an issue worth addressing. I will say more about that later as I am committed that the church find a way to do this better.

Until then, take these 10 things to heart and share it with someone who needs to hear it.

I didn't tackle everything. I missed some key points. I'm not a professional.

But I got my life back, and if you want yours then there's something in there that will help you find it.

I love you, and these are my thoughts.


Pastor K

P.S. Jen Freeman - you are amazing and I love you with all of my heart. 

Image courtesy:

Friday, May 19, 2017

Be Good, Be Faithful (05.21.17 Notes)

Be Good, Be Faithful
Fruit of the Spirit Week #3
Pastor Kris Freeman
Revolution Church
May 21, 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 GOODNESS and FAITHFULNESS

The very NATURE of God is good!

For the LORD is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation. (Psalm 100:5)

There are other things which God describes as good:

  1. Light was good and it separates from the darkness (Genesis 1:3-19)
  2. Living things were good (Genesis 1:20-25)
  3. People were made in His image and it was very good (Genesis 1:26-31)

The opposite of good is BAD and with the bad, comes sin to separate us from God.

The story of the Bible is redeeming God’s people into a good standing with him!

Adversity produces good things! At the end of anything tough is often something very good!

How many of you have ever heard “everything happens for a reason?” Why do we say this? Because God is working good out of every situation!

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (Romans 8:28)

So if God is good, then as a co-laborer, it takes FAITHFULNESS and ENDURANCE to reveal God’s purpose within it!

What are some things which take faithfulness and endurance to produce goodness?

  • Sickness (to healing)
  • Labor (to childbirth)
  • Education (to graduation)
  • Practice (to execution)
  • Training (to qualification)
  • Hearing (to application) 
  • Temptation (to deliverance)

2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. 5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. 6 But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. 7 Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do. (James 1:2-8)

What are you going through that could be good, if you are faithful?

Three promises of God as He works the fruit of the Holy Spirit in you:

1. God will help you with what you are facing.

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

2. Life is difficult, but God is confident that you can make it.

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

3. Don’t give up! Keep doing what is right and trust God!

So let's not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up. (Galatians 6:9)

Be good, be faithful!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Patient, Kind, Incredible (05.14.17 Notes)

Patient, Kind, Incredible
Fruit of the Spirit Week #2
Pastor Kris Freeman
Revolution Church
May 14, 2017 (Mother’s Day)

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 two of the Fruit of the Spirit, we are going to discuss PATIENCE and KINDNESS

What better week to discuss patience and kindness than Mother’s Day!

I found a poem online called What is a Mother? and the third line said she is filled with infinite patience.

What is patience?

  1. Bearing pains or trials without complaint
  2. Manifesting forbearance under provocation or strain
  3. Not hasty or impetuous
  4. Steadfast despite opposition, difficulty or adversity

The Greek word for patience in Gal. 5:22 is makrothymia and it appears 14 times in the New Testament. The Bible calls this kind of patience:

  • Endurance
  • Constancy
  • Steadfastness
  • Forbearance
  • The common English translation for the word is “longsuffering”

Why talk about patience on Mothers Day? The Greek word for it is a FEMININE noun! Moms and mentors might have more patience and endurance than anyone!

Patience is a VIRTUE. Where do we get this phrase?

The Psychomachia is a 410 A.D. poem called the “battle of the soul wars” by Aurelius Clemens Prudentius, and outlines the seven heavenly virtues which battle the seven deadly sins. It was written in Latin. The seven heavenly virtues are: chastity, temperance, love (charity), diligence, patience, kindness and humility. They sound MUCH like the Fruit of the Spirit!

The seven heavenly virtues are presented in FEMALE heroic form. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 31 that there is nothing like the VIRTUOUS woman!

10 Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. 11
Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. 12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. (Proverbs 31:10-12 NLT)

And the fruit of the Spirit works TOGETHER to build this nature within us. Every mother knows the power of using TOOLS at her disposal for success!

In the same way, even though God has the right to show his anger and his power, he is very patient with those on whom his anger falls, who are destined for destruction. (Romans 9:22 NLT)

12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. (Colossians 3:12-15 NLT)

As God has called us to be Christ-like and model the Fruit of the Spirit in our lives, so a mother knows well it takes all of these things to be a successful parent, wife, friend, mentor and help mate.

And as a measure of God’s virtues, you show KINDNESS in adversity in all you do. Kindness is also a feminine noun in the Greek translation!

Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin? (Romans 2:4 NLT)

Ladies, if you can pull this off, you are INCREDIBLE!!!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Joy is Better Than Happiness (05.07.17 Notes)

“Joy is Better Than Happiness”
Pastor Kris Freeman
Revolution Church
Sunday, May 7, 2017

Scripture: Galatians 5:22-26

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!

24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. 

26 Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.

Paul’s letter to the Churches at Galatia
After establishing churches in Galatia, Paul is writing (either to the northern or southern region of Galatia) to churches there and countering a teaching that has happened after he left. Judaizers (Jewish Christian legalists) had influenced the church and attempting to hold Gentiles to the Mosaic law and Jewish customs. Paul speaks of the new covenant of Christ and the difference of the flesh and the spirit.

28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28 NLT)

For us to understand our NEW LIFE in Christ, we must operate in the SPIRIT and what the Spirit produces!

The difference between spiritual GIFTS and spiritual FRUIT.

·      A spiritual gift is an action; spiritual fruit is an production
·      A spiritual gift is a manifestation, spiritual fruit grows within you
·      A spiritual gift is a miraculous work, spiritual fruit is in your natural response

Spiritual fruit is the product of a ROOT that produces a RESULT
-       The root of sin is in the flesh
-       The root of fruit is in the spirit

Be careful not to confuse the fruit of the vine with emotion!

Affection is a temporary response, but unconditional love is the nature of God.
a.     By this, shall all men know that you are my disciples that you “love one another” (John 13:35 NLT)
b.    He that does not love does not know God, for God is love (1 John 4:8)

Happiness is a temporary response, but joy is a movement deep in your being
a.     The word for joy is chara (Gr. Pronounced K-ha-ra) – it means exceeding gladness and cheerfulness. The word is used 59 times in 57 verses in the new testament, including when Christ was born. (Matt. 2:10)
b.    You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy (1 Peter 1:8 NLT)

Calm is a temporary response, but peace surpasses all understanding.
a.     Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7 NLT)

Emotion can be faked but spiritual fruit is AUTHENTIC faith.

God wants to produce truth and authenticity in your story!

You are not a follower of Christ because of your race, your cultural background, your law, your works, your body, your style, your characteristics, your flaws or your failures or success.

You produce spiritual fruit because of grace by faith that produces GOD’S NATURE within you!