Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Thanks MOM!

Thanks Mom for the chocolate fountain---Danielle and I love it!!

See more pictures of the CRM Thankgiving PITCH-IN @ www.ShowMeCRM.org

Sir Do you know why I pulled you over?

Friday night, Danielle and I ended a romantic evening in Chicago with a speeding ticket coming home on 41 North. I was going 61 in a 45---so that is $105 less in our checking account. I honestly had no idea I was going over the speed limit. The speed limit when merging onto 41 north from 94 north was 55---I thought I was safe. But I guess the speed limit changes to 45mph as you travle

Needless to say, we will never be taking 41 north to get home.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Freed Family

God thanks for not giving me a normal functioning family

Thanks God for brothers

Well Danielle and I are in Detroit at my parent’s home in the suburb of Clarkston. My parents live in a really cool place. They live on the same lake as Bob Seger and Kid Rock! Sometimes, they can hear music on the lake from Bob’s house and my mom has bumped into him at Kroger one or twice.

Being home for the Thanksgiving is interesting for me. It is always good to reconnect with my brothers and mom and dad. but it always reminds me of why a man leaves home to cling to his wife. I can appreciate my family, and love them a ton, but I feel good about moving away and starting my own home. It is awesome how that happens so naturally.

Right now I am watching Seinfeld with my brothers, just like old times. I have to admit I do miss them. They are the only guys on the face of the planet who really know what it was like to grow up in this house.

They are the only guys in the world that know how to really tell when dad is mad.
They are the only ones in the world that know where the “silence of the Lamb’s” cardboard cutout is hidden in our house.
They are the only guys that know how Joseph screwed up Christmas morning one year and made mom cry…we will never let him live that down.
No one else in the world knows what it is like to celebrate a FIREFIGHTERS Christmas at Kimball Township Fire Dept.

I love these guys! Thanks God for my great brothers…and thanks for giving us a relationship that is deep and real.

Happy Thanksgiving from the quietest one in the Freed family…no joke!!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Paul COLE!!!

Paul Cole got married today....congrats Paul!!!
Elopping is crazy!!! WOW!!!!! See you at Family Christmas!!!
nothin but love from the Freeds in Wisconsin!!!

Jodi and Paul Cole :::: WOW!!!!!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Blue Print: reflection of Titus 2:12

-And we are instructed to turn from godless living, and sinful pleasures and we should live in this evil world with self-control, right conduct, and devotion to God.- Titus 2:12

This week a group of men and I that I meet with weekly have committed to tattooing this scripture to our hearts. It is a powerful verse that is really a blue print for how we should respond to life.
I am forced to respond to life, through my behavior. If your attitude is the only thing you can change, the only tool of change is your behavior.
Tuesday night Danielle and I and a bunch of friends went to “THE RAVE” and awesome club here in Milwaukee that features all kinds of concerts through out the year. On Tuesday when we were there, and the only reason we were there was to see RELIANT K and MXPX. This was an awesome concert!! But one thing almost ruined it….

THE RAVE has a main floor and balcony that wraps around the entire perimeter of the room. You can literally look over the shoulder of the artist as they rock out. Not wanting to get caught in the mosh-pit with sweaty teenagers, Danielle and I sat in the upper right side of the room, just behind the shoulder of the bass player. We had a birds eye view of everything!! We could even hear the small talk of the band to each other in between songs. It was as if we were on stage with them. But from the stage…something disturbing was sitting in the front row. That if you were in the crowd or mosh-pit you would have totally missed it, but from Danielle and my seat…we heard every word.

The enemy sat in the front row of this concert. When Reliant K took the stage the 500+ people in the room erupted in praise, except for the 5 people in the front row. They hurled insults, swear words and number of hand gestures that you would not be able to find in a sign language dictionary. For the next hour between songs, this small group of people screamed at the lead singer of RK[reliant K]. At one point, the screaming was so intrusive to the band, the band members actually paused before starting a song…just to grasp their bearings. The enemy was in the front row.

The concert ended, the crowd was pleased, Reliant K had hit a home run for Jesus in their final song, that sang about forgiveness, and grace. But the enemy sat in the front row. No one probably heard them, except for the band, and no one cared, except maybe the band. But I watched in anger, in frustration, in deep hurt, because I could not do anything to protect the band. I could not yell enough praise to them or cheer them on enough to dismantle the enemy in the front row.

Here is wisdom I walked away from this life experience with…….

1. The enemy is always in the front row of our lives. He is Screaming out discouragement, and tearing us down, declaring that we, -F-in suck-, and we will never amount to anything.
2. Though the crowds cheer us on, it only takes a few voices to really change the direction of our hearts. How many times have I listened more to the enemy in the front row, then the crowds the sing a different tune.
3. The enemy is not looking to defeat you, just take your focus off what is important. When our focus is off what is meaningful and lasting, we will destroy ourselves.
4. The only way you can respond is in your behavior, behavior is chosen through your attitude. When the enemy seeks to destroy, and sits in the front row of your life, you have to make a decision. How will you respond?

The ability to Choose is the most beautiful, and most ugly thing God created. Daily I am faced with choices, to honor God in my behavior, or fall prey to the enemy. There is a beautiful spiritual reaction that our lives go through when we choose to live a life of self-control, right conduct, and devotion to God. There is also a very ugly bitter reaction that happens to us spiritually when we live godless lives, and live by our sinful pleasures.

Choice is what makes us human it’s what makes us able to love. Love is more of a choice then a feeling, or emotion. Maybe, when we reach back into our lives, and pull out these elements of self-control, right conduct, and devotion to God that make up a Christ driven life. We really are swimming against the current of the world around us, we are making a choice that goes against the grain of our fall nature. So maybe being a follower of Jesus Christ is more about Holiness then happiness? Hmm…..this is another topic….for another blog…

Ok, now I am ready to tattoo this scripture to my life.

Monday, November 07, 2005

This is Don Freed doing my favorite thing...making steaks on the grill. To this day, I have never tasted a better steak. However, he did have two heart attacks, and today can not eat much steak...but in this picture [july1979] he is loving life.

And if you are wondering...he is smiling...that is my Grandpa...happy.

love you Grandpa Freed!!

Dear Don Freed

Dear Grandpa,
I love you! Thank you for being a man of God, and sharing that with your three boys. I remember as a little boy coming over for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and every night before bed, the whole family would all kneel and pray. I know this was a tradition from your father, which you shared with your family, and then with your grandchildren. That was powerful in my life, and to this day I kneel to pray. Also, every Monday night, I have a Bible study of 30 teenage boys who meet at the church, and I tell them the story of my Grandpa, and how he is a man of God, how he loved his wife Lucy, and their three boys. I tell them about how you are a man of prayer, and conviction. I always tell them of your love for Jesus. So on Monday night with those young men, we all kneel to pray, just like you.
Grandpa, I hope I grow up to be like you. I love you so much, and pray for you often. You have always been a spiritual hero in my life, and many times I have faith in Jesus, because of my grandpa’s faith in Jesus. Thank you for loving Jesus.
Finally, thank you for the nicknames. Pumpkin toes, Hunk of Bologna, and my favorite, JohnBoy. No matter how old I become, I will always be JohnBoy.

I love you Grandpa,


Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Danielle and I this summer

Here is a great picture of Danielle and I this past summer at Youth Camp. She is so beautiful!!!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Books I am currently reading:

Ok my hope is to read these books by the end of the year. I have started all of them, but hope to finish all of them by Jan.1

What happens is every 3-4 months I make personal reading goals for myself. The reason I do this, is because i buy lots and lots of books...with dreams of reading them all...then slowly read them...so for the past year I have been setting reading goals for meself...it has helped a ton. here are the books i am reading now....

ENTER THE WORSHIP CIRCLE by Ben Pasley [Relevant Books]
This is a great book...I laugh out loud when he the Author talks about coffee houses, and the art work inside. Very good insights so far in worship, and life style worship. I have always loved the CD's and now the book also.

THINKING FOR CHANGE by John C. Maxwell [Warner Business Books]
I have read all of John's books...and if you have read one...you really have read them all. But I enjoy his illustrations and quick insights...a mile wide and inch deep...but an easy easy read. Very encourageing to me. I enjoy all of John's books because they are fast read, and practical....much like my life.

THE CASE FOR CHRIST by Lee Strobel [Zondervan]
I have been meaning to read this book for a long time. and I am reading another of Lee's books this month, so I thought I would zip through this...but most times with Lee's books...it is a slow walk. He always has great stuff to point out...He has a great way of thinking....and causing you to think.

CONTROLLED CHAOS--Making sense of Junior High Ministry-- by Kurt Johnston
I am reading this book because in our ministry we have just split Jr. High students from the Sr. High students. I am not all that good with Jr. High students. So I am reading this book looking for direction and help...hopefully it will solve all my worlds problems. Kurt is a great youth pastor I have learned a lot from his other books.

I am looking forward to reading this book. mostly because it is my passion. I have never read a book by Bill so this should be good....first two chapters are intence.

This has been a great book...it is really a look in side the mind of Lee. The feelings he felt as a professional journalist for the Chicago Tribune and his feelings when he first came to church with his wife. He does a great job at painting a picture of the seeker, and the type of greeting they expect from a church. and the type of greeting they need to recieve from a church. I do question this book a tad...the first church and only church he visited as a seeker was Willow Creek, and he was a white collar professional from the City, from a boomer generation....these all play a part in a seekers mind...still waiting to see if he talks abou that.... So far though a must read for anyone who wants to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ....also for anyone who read my last Halloween post...

Chooseing To Cheat by Andy Stanley
A preacher hero to me, Andy writes great stuff...but repeats a ton in a lot of his books. I have read many of his books, and I am getting alot out of this one. I read Andy's "Visionariing" book for desert after a long day at the office....that is a great book, and my dad says this one ranks up there with it. We will see...so far...OK....but the middle is always the filler for Andy's books...he does best in the first 4 and last 4 chapters....especially in an 8 chapter book.

Hope I finish these things...I have 61 days as of today...

3 Main Ingredients to a Successful LIFE

1. Purpose [aka: Direction or Compose]
Having this defined at the front end of your life, will keep you on the path to success. This works in all ways of life. That’s why “PURPOSE Driven LIFE” has been a successful book. Because people have found that when you have purpose, it is like having a compose for your day to day activities; whether that is a meal with friends, or a marriage.
KEY QUESTION: Why are you going in this direction?

2. Goal [aka: Destination]
Having clear goals allows your to track progress in the direction you are going. ALL successful people have goals. What are the goals you have for life? Having clear goals allows you to track where you are going, and how you will get there. Having Goals in life, is like having a map.
KEY QUESTION: What do you want to accomplish?

3. Strategy [aka: Vehicle]
Having a clear strategy for how you will accomplish your goals, which are directed by your purpose, will give you the easiest way to success at what ever you do. Nailing down a strong strategy will give you a vehicle to your goals. Having a strong strategy, will give you confidence and momentum in accomplishing your goals. With out a strategy, you will never accomplish your goals. For many school is the vehicle for accomplishing their life goals. I recommend always linking yourself with a mentor. A good mentor will challenge your strategy, requiring you to really make good choices, and proper steps through life. My ministry is to link people with strong LIFE Coaches...take a look at "MY WORK" under links.
KEY QUESTION: What methods will you take to accomplish your purpose?