True Freedom

In our country, in our states, counties, towns and in our homes, we are used to living in total and complete freedom. We live with the absence of undue restrictions and live for opportunities to exercise our rights. 

Given that Independence Day is almost upon us, I have been studying history, One interesting thing I came upon is a famous paragraph in a speech that President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered that has come to be known as the Four Freedoms Speech. 

In this speech FDR announced his vision for the people of the world. Those four freedoms are:

1. Freedom of speech and expression

2. Freedom to worship God 

3. Freedom from want

4. Freedom from fear
FDR said this would act as a basis of a new moral order. 

What does true freedom look like to you? To know what we are looking for and trying to attain we have to figure out what true freedom means to us individually. To go one step further, does true freedom mean we are free *from something* or is it the freedom to be something or to do something? 
I believe that true freedom lies in our heart. We can only achieve true freedom when our heart is changed and made new. 
Long ago, the founding fathers of our country gave us “freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. See Psalm 33: 12. “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” 
We are truly blessed, honored and privileged to live in a land where we are free to worship God, not everyone is. Do you use this opportunity that has been given to you? 
You are FREE to chose to follow God, to seek what He offers and to accept what Jesus did for you. You are FREE to give your life completely to He that created you and you are FREE to let others know the freedom God has bestowed upon you! You are FREE to do exactly what God created you to do- honor, love and enjoy God today, tomorrow and always. 

This is true freedom and this is grace. 
“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 8:31-32
Dottie

………….and so I ride

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FREE AT LAST I read about an English minister who liked to say that he ministers to the lost, the least, the lonely and the last. I have felt like all those things at times. Sometimes all at once, sometimes one or the other. If I were to be honest at least one of those things is usually with me most of the time. Doesn’t it seem like we are deposited in this lost and lonely place and then forgotten about. We wonder how God could have so easily forgotten our address and phone number. But that is Satan inspired thinking. Of course he wants us to think we are helplessly and hopelessly lost and forgotten. The truth is, according to John 10:10 that although Satan does come to steal, kill and destroy Jesus came to give us life and give it to us abundantly. Praise God that He sent His son to heal the broken hearted (me), to liberate me from my prison, He came to restore my sight so that I can see the truth of what God offers me. Holy Father help me to look up to you before I look around my world. Remind me what the world is versus what you offer and help me make the right choices. Dottie

How do God and Motorcycles mix in my life?

Contrasting learning to ride a motorcycle with learning to trust God.
I know, you are thinking, WTHeck?????
But wait, bear with me here, I think I can connect the dots for you. You will have to read the whole devotional and connect the part about the motorcycle with the part about God.
I started riding a motorcycle in my early teens but then I grew up and life interfered. A husband, kids and a job will do that. I do remember the exact time motorcycles entered my life again, that is what I want to talk about.
It was a huge decision to take up riding again. Did I want to step outside my comfort zone and get into something so strange and new?
Then there was the consideration of safety and oh gosh, what would my friends and family think?
With the help of my husband I first made the decision to ride with him. I was hooked at first ride (both the man and riding but we won’t go there.)
The wind in my hair, the strange comradery that only bikers experience, the incredible freedom. But most of all the feeling of being one with creation.
Soon however I felt a stirring in my soul, I loved riding with my hubby (except the crazy entrance into one gas station parking lot but again, that is another story) I wanted this experience on my own bike, in my own way and when I chose.
I took the Motorcycle Safety Course, bought a new bike and set out to follow what was in my heart.
Learning to ride my motorcycle was not quick and it took some courage to climb in that saddle and go it alone. It was one thing to ride pillion and quite another to go it alone. I studied books about safety and technique, I talked to other motorcycle riders and watched tons of You Tube videos about riding motorcycles. Although all that was beneficial NOTHING worked as well as simply gathering my courage and climbing in the saddle and just riding. That is not to say that a mentor is not valuable, it is, but it won’t work unless you finally gather the courage to climb in that saddle and ride!
I remember my hands shaking so bad because it was so scary, but I kept on riding. I remember dodging those stupid suicidal packs of turkeys and other animals in the roads, but I kept on riding. I never felt so good as when I rode. I remember learning to navigate the gravel, learning to park (uugh), learning to ride in a group. It was unnerving at times but I kept on riding.
I can honestly say that I have found something in riding a motorcycle that I can find nowhere else. It has become a part of who I am and a part I cherish.
My Dad and Mom took my brother and I to church every Sunday. It was a part of our life but I have to say quite honestly that it was not a big part. Maybe the best way to put it was that it was another part of our social life in our small community. I certainly was not serious about a relationship with God at that point but it was fun to go see my friends.
I grew up and life changed for me, marriage, kids, jobs, etc. God started to knock on my heart but I was hesitant, did I want to step outside my comfort zone and get into something so strange and new?

My life would have to change considerably if I was serious about getting to know God and what He offered. And oh gosh, what would my friends and yes my family think?
There was a church right beside where I was working at the time and one day I decided to stop in and see what the pastor had to say. After that visit I knew I had to dig further into the idea that God could offer an influential and life changing chance for me.
At first it was mostly getting to know the other members of the church and becoming accepted and slowly I started feeling at home. I was feeling the comradery that only other believers can offer and starting to feel one with my Creator.
Soon I felt a stirring in my soul and as much as I loved my new church family I wanted a one on one relationship with God. That would involve striking forth with just God and me. SCARY.
So I bought a good study Bible and scheduled daily time to follow what was in my heart.
Learning about God and to trust God was not quick and it took some courage to change it from a social function to a personal passion. It was one thing to go to church every Sunday and participate in all the fun gatherings and quite another to start to turn all my decisions, thoughts and actions over to God.
I studied, I talked to my pastor, I spoke with trusted Christian friends and although that was beneficial and probably necessary, nothing worked as well as simply saying, Here I am God, Do with me as you please.
There are times that I shake from fear and uncertainty, so I open my Bible and I pray. I dodge plenty of roadblocks but I open my Bible and I pray. I have navigated all the things that satan has thrown down in my road and yes it is unnerving but I keep on going to the Great I Am.
I can honestly say that I have found something in my relationship with God that I can find nowhere else, (not even my motorcycle). It has become who I am and a part I cherish.
So you see, my walk with God and my love of motorcycles came to me on similar paths. Not everyone will understand this sentiment and I am betting that anyone who doesn’t ride with have an especially difficult time grasping why the similarities are amazing to me. I love God with my whole heart and trust Him with my life. He let me know with absolute certainty that I need to get out there on my bike where just not everyone can go, and spread His words of life.
That is one command that I intend to fulfill.
Dottie
…………………and so I ride
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