Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. (Galatians 5:1 KJV)
Growing up in a southern Methodist and Baptist environment meant rules. Sitting still and quiet during preaching. Women wore dresses only or skirts and men suits on Sunday morning. We wouldn’t dare wear pants to church. So many rules and regulations along with hellfire and condemning sermons lead to oppressed people. People become focused on showing up, dressed properly and sitting quietly to get their word and go home.
Some churches still operate along the lines of religious rules while others have broken free of the old time ways and are drawing people in with a come as you are attitude. Love people where they are, how they are. This is an awesome concept because that’s how God is; but there are dangers here too. People tend to be welcome in these new churches as long as they conform to the leadership rules. 
We have to be very mindful of who we are following and seeking. It is so easy to get caught up in rules and turn our focus from God to what others think of us. Focusing on how we look and what we wear. Focused on what people would think if we missed a Sunday or didn’t bring a dish. We also have to be careful of who we are following. It is very easy to fall into following the preacher. Becoming faithful to the leader of the church and not even realizing it. 
Now more than ever it is so important to find freedom in Christ. He gives us great freedom if we just accept the gift. There is a great relief to realize that we don’t have to please anyone except God. We are free to be who God made us to be not what society says we have to be.  Seek God first with a pure heart toward Him and find freedom in Christ.

I’m So Blessed

I am blessed, beyond measure.My cup runneth over.
A heart full of thanksgiving to God,

belongs to this undeserving child!

I am in awe of my Fathers love and mercy.
Loved and wanted.

Chosen and full of purpose.

No longer bound by strife and depression,

He pours over me peace and joy.
A new life.

A second chance.

I am blessed.

Run To God

Have you ever seen a child run toward someone they love?  They will drip what they are playing with and gasp with pure joy, running full speed with open arms.

I believe that’s how God wants us to react toward Him.  Forgetting all that has past, dropping it like hot coals and running toward Him with open arms.  Putting our entire focus on Him.

Keeping focus on God is the hard part.  Pieces of the world we lay down are left scattered around us.  In a split second, we can pick up an old hurt or offence and turn our focus from God.  We leave ourselves vulnerable to new offence and pain when the focus shifts from God.  Becoming drawn in by new troubles and forgetting all God has blessed us with.  Joy leaves, replaced with sadness and depression.  Our minds wonder from past to present.  Mulling over decisions and dwelling on how unfairly we were treated.

We must learn to recognize when these things happen and run to God for our strength.  God knew we would fall.  He knew we would give in to flesh and to things of this world.

Romans 3:23 (KJV)

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.

2 Corinthians 12:9 (KJV)

And he said unto me: My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness.  Most gladly therefore I will rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

When we are weak and hurting and choose to run to God, He restores our peace and joy.  He renews our strength and gives us refreshing rest to face this world and endure all we are faced with.

John 16:33 (KJV)

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace.  In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Drop the worries of this world and run with open arms toward God.  He will restore your peace, joy and strength!