Author Archives: maf4977

Happy 2018!


My prayer for you in 2018 is that it is a year of NEW.


May you find God in those areas where you feel lost, alone, desperate, hopeless, anxious, or fearful so He can fill those places with His love and do a NEW work.


May you see your life and your circumstances with NEW eyes so you realize that God is always at work on your behalf and can see the truth that “God meant it for good”.


May you open your heart to God’s possibilities so that your faith grows with NEW revelations every day so no mountain is unconquerable.

May you take a NEW step each day in the direction of God’s purpose, being bold and fearless in walking toward His good will for your life.

May you find a NEW facet of His gift within you, so that your unique and beautiful voice echoes His love to the world around you.

May you find yourself loving people completely in NEW ways, with caring hands, compassionate deeds, and considerate thoughts that demonstrate Him.

May you have a NEW level of repentance, where you turn from your wants and ways to give your heart completely to God and His will.

May you find NEW meaning in the truth that every second of every day God says “You are Mine” and “I will be with you”.

May you find NEW strength every day in His unending love, His unsearchable grace, and His unfailing forgiveness.


0101 - new thing

Marie Fremin.  11/23/17


Jesus Changes Everything

One line in one song from an amazing Saturday conference.

And it took me down.

Because God overwhelmed me with thoughts about this truth:

Jesus changes everything


He can.

He will.

He does.

He wants to.


He is waiting for you.


To come to Him, whether running with eager arms or with shuffling unsure steps to one last hope.  To take a step of faith through (big) fear possibly propelled by great desperation.   Or to believe in a God of the impossible who LOVES to do miracles in His care of you.


There is nothing too big.

There is nothing too insignificant.

There is nothing too shame filled.

Nothing too pride driven.

Nothing too fear based.

Nothing too much.


Your Ishmael is not too old.

Let go and turn him over to God.


Let God take your pain, your shame, your fear, and your anxiety.  COMPLETELY.


Don’t hold onto any part of it.

Don’t cling onto any piece of it.


Let it go.

Both hands open.

No closed fists.


No more control.

No more waiting.

No more passivity.


May you come alive.

Fully alive.

Completely alive.






And may you run with open arms and purposed steps toward the great Hope, the good Father, and the gracious Healer.


And He will envelop you completely in His restorative love, His redeeming love, His resurrecting love.  Which makes all things new – all broken things, all bound things, all bleak things, all barren things.


Allow Him to “give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair” (Isaiah 61:3).


He is waiting.

For you.

Anytime you are ready.

No matter what state your life is in.


Because Jesus changes EVERYTHING.


Marie Fremin.  11/18/17 and 11/23/17

God of the Impossible

God loves to do the impossible.

God of the Impossible

God loves to do big, impossible things we cannot, with our limited human understanding, even fathom or imagine.


He made a donkey talk.  (Numbers 22:28)

He raised Lazarus from the dead.  (John 11:43-44)

He gave Gideon a meager army of 300 men to defeat the Midian army.  (Judges 7:7,16-25)

He took down the walls of Jericho to rubble.  (Joshua 6:20)

He helped a teenaged David defeat a 9’ giant with a simple stone.  (1 Samuel 17:48-50)

He brought His Son into this world through a virgin.  (Luke 1:34-35)

He turned the legalistic and murderous heart of Saul into the loving and mission driven heart of Paul.  (Acts 9:1-22)

He conquered death by raising Jesus from the dead. (Matthew 28:6)


All impossible.

With man and his abilities alone.


Until God stepped in.


Because “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Genesis 18:14, Jeremiah 32:27).




“There is nothing too hard for You” (Jeremiah 32:17).


“But Jesus looked at them and said to them, ‘With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible’” (Matthew 19:26, Mark 10:27, Luke 18:27).


God has made our problems and our past His footstool.

God has called our pain and our shame completely healed.

God has replaced our tears and our sorrow with joy.


God has surrounded us with peace.

God has sustained us with grace.

God has saved us with love.


He can do the impossible.  In you.  For you.  Through you.




Have faith!


“I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20).


It takes the smallest amount of faith to open the door to the biggest miracles.

The impossible becomes possible every time we believe God.


So ….

Believe He can do the impossible.

Believe He will do the impossible.

And never lose hope.


“For with God nothing will be impossible” (Luke 1:37).


Marie Fremin,  10/3 and 10/8/17

Count the Stars

It is interesting driving to work in the dark each morning.  This past week the sky was so clear that the stars were bright against the night sky.  They stood proud, like guardians of the sky.  Shining their presence and twinkling their position.


And they took my breath away.  Knowing God had formed each one, placed each one, and maintains each one.  That He allows them to shine as a reminder of Him.


And I wanted to stop and stare, to gaze and be amazed.  (But I didn’t, since I was driving.)


So instead I let my thoughts drift, and I quickly found myself thinking of Abram.


A 75 year old man (Genesis 12:4) called by God away from everything he knew (“Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house” – Genesis 12:1) into the unknown with only a promise as security (“I will bless you” – Genesis 12:2).  No certain destination (“To a land that I will show you” – Genesis 12:1).  No family except “Sarai his wife and Lot his brother’s son” (Genesis 12:5).  A wandering man who soon finds himself with many herds and many servants (Genesis 24:36) – but no child (Genesis 15:2).


And then one day God comes to him and promises him a son, “one who will come from your own body” (Genesis 15:4).  A child of his own!  The one thing Abram doesn’t have.  And God doesn’t just promise him a child.  God promises him a legacy – “So shall your descendants be” (Genesis 15:5).


And what is God’s surety on this?  “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars” (Genesis 15:5).


Look up – at the heavens, where the impossible becomes possible.

Look up – instead of looking at your age and your circumstances.

Look up – and count the possibilities with God.

Look up – and remember how faithful God has been to you.

Count the Stars

So I wonder ….


Did Abram step out of his tent each night and hope that God would be faithful to allow him to cuddle a son of his own?


Did Abram look up each night and try to count the number of children God promised him was possible?


Did Abram’s heart beat a little faster each night he saw the multitude of stars twinkling?


When his wife asked him “go in to my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children by he” (Genesis 16:2), did he step outside and consult the stars for an answer before rashly agreeing?


During those 14 years after Ishmael’s birth (Genesis 16:16) and before Isaac’s birth (Genesis 21:5), did he renew his faith in God’s promise by looking up at the stars?


I know personally I find great consolation and comfort in standing still and looking up at the star-filled night sky.  I am always awed by God’s artistic majesty on display.  I am reminded of how purposefully God has placed each one – and also me! – to shine His grace.


He knows each star.

  • 1 Corinthians 15:14There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.
  • Psalm 147:4 – He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name.
  • Isaiah 40:26 – Lift up your eyes on high, And see who has created these things, Who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, By the greatness of His might And the strength of His power; Not one is missing.


And He knows me.  He sees me right where I am.  He knows what I need to face tomorrow – and has already provided me with the necessary tools and grace.  He has a specific purpose for me.  He has an opportunity for me.  And He will be faithful to me with each step.


How do I know?  The stars.


Remember His promise in Genesis 15:5?  God brought it to pass!


As Moses stands with Israel on the edge of the Promised Land, reminding them of where they have been and where they are going and how to honor God, he reveals God’s faithfulness to that promise – “The Lord your God has multiplied you, and here you are today, as the stars of heaven in multitude” (Deuteronomy 1:10).


God promised Abram a legacy, and God delivered!


If Abram had been standing there with Moses, he could not have counted each face of God’s faithfulness.  They were too many to count!


So what promise are you waiting for?

What dream are you hoping for?


Don’t let go!  Go outside and count the stars – remembering each one is a declaration of God’s faithfulness and grace.


And then be like the wise men – “When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. 11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him.” (Matthew 2:10-11a).


Keep your eyes on “Jesus … the Bright and Morning Star” (Revelation 22:16).

Choose to worship in the waiting.

Choose to worship through the doubts and anxieties.

Choose to worship to sustain your hope.

And never stop looking up.


Marie Fremin.  10/3, 10/7, and 10/8/17

Lion in Waiting

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.  (1 Peter 5:8)


Do you know how I know I am on the right track with God and He is working out something big?  My day is a mess and full of stress!


Yep, it’s true.  When I find myself harried by work – a slow system, a broken server, an update that causes more work.  When I find myself attacked by people – being proclaimed a troublemaker without any conversation or clarity, finding out I was lied to about blame for a chaotic situation, being around people who pretend pain never happened.  When I find myself delayed to a destination – by an accidental traffic violation, catching every red light, big trucks moving slowly and being unable to pass, an inaccurate GPS.  All this happened in one day, making me want to stand up and rage in frustration.


Sometimes I am smart enough to see the situation (day) for what it is and pause.  And in the stillness, I can remember God is working.  I can praise God for health and safety.  I can see God’s goodness in action.  And I can laugh in gratitude for God’s amazing grace.


For the devil tried to get me.

He tried to stop me from walking forward in God’s great purposes.

He tried to discourage me from knowing God’s goodness.

He tried to push me away from experiencing God’s grace.


He is a lion in the bush, crouched down and waiting to pounce.

Lion in Waiting.jpg

He keeps a careful and steady eye on me.  Watching my every move.  Looking for any opportunity to come after me.  Unblinking.  Unmoving.  Unflinching.  Waiting for me.  To open any door even a crack so he can come in.


Feeling good about myself?  Here is some anger, some offense, some pain.

Feeling confident about myself?  Here is some doubt, some fear, some shame.

Feeling content about myself?  Here is some confusion, some condemnation, some chaos.


Because whatever goodness I am experiencing, he wants to wipe that out, erase it completely, and refocus me on something else.


And so he waits, patiently and persistently, as a hungry lioness on the prowl.  Crouched low and poised to strike.  His bag of tricks and deceit ready to go at a moment’s notice.  A determined focus on my every action and reaction.


He is ready.

He is steady.

And he waits for me to not be either.


Because any chance I give him he is going to take.  At home.  At work.  In the car.  In the store.  With a group.  By myself.


Any chance is a good one for him.  So he waits.


And Jesus knew this.  That’s why He warned us to be constantly on guard with our actions, our words, and our thoughts.  To pay attention to everything we think, do, say, want, and react to.  “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41).


Because when we don’t, we could quickly and easily fall prey to the lion in waiting.


Because you might not be as ready as you think.

Because you might not be as strong as you think.

Because you might not be as sure as you think.

And you could be vulnerable to suggestion.

You could be available to persuasion.

You could be susceptible to deception.


And thus you are a target, easily spotted and then preyed upon.


And he will immediately throw things at you that cause you to question God’s love.  To overlook God’s goodness.  To dismiss God’s grace.


I don’t know about you, but I hate knowing there is a target on my back.  That I am always being watched.


But wait – NO!  No, I will not be effected this way.  Because I remember Whose I am.


Yes, the lion is waiting.  He wants to thwart me with his “wiles” (Ephesians 6:11) and “fiery darts” (Ephesians 6:16).  He wants to fill me with dissatisfaction, focus me on dissension, and fool me with deception.


But he is not the only one watching!


God is watching me, too.  The Good Shepherd (John 10:11) standing guard against lions.


And God is cheering me on.  He is encouraging me to choose love and “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39), especially when I don’t want to.  He is encouraging me to choose “kindness, humility, meekness” (Colossians 3:12), no matter what is happening around me.  He is encourage me to hold onto hope, for “hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:5), even when things don’t make sense to me.


So two beings watching me, knowing my eternity is at stake.  One watches me waiting to deceive and destroy, hoping to pounce on any weakness.  But God watches me with love and support with full encouragement and extraordinary grace.  One is called “a liar and the father of it” (John 8:44) by Jesus.  Because all he can do is distract and unfocus.  But God reminds us over and over that He “predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself” (Ephesians 1:5).  Because we are cherished and chosen by the One in whom is no deceit (Numbers 23:19).


So I look at my day and shake my head.  It was full of nonsense.  The enemy pounced repeatedly.  But I am still standing, laughing at him.  Because I realize that though the lion charged, he didn’t destroy.  He couldn’t, because God was protecting me from severe damage (Psalm 91:11-12).


So the lion slinks off, his attempts to stop me thwarted.  We both go off to lick our wounds, though mine are quickly soothed by God’s healing grace.


And I climb into bed thankful for the power and victory of “the Lion of the tribe of Judah” (Revelation 5:5), who helped me live to fight – and win – another day.  His roar of love over me empowers me to not focus on or be frustrated by the lion in the darkness.  Because just as Samson and David defeated a lion, so too will I.  Jesus has given us great power – resurrection, eternal, victorious power – through which “You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot” (Psalm 91:13).


And by His great grace the enemy’s mess will never overcome my Messiah!


Marie Fremin.  9/16, 9/17, and 9/23/17


Where is that place you run to?

What is that behavior you turn to?

Who is that person you lean on?


When you feel.

Scared.  Sad.  Unloved.  Offended.  Ashamed.  Less than.  Jealous.  Abused.  Unworthy.


But you actually want to feel better.

Safe.  Happy.  Loved.  Peaceful.  Forgiven.  Important.  Content.  Healed.  Cherished.


What is your “safe” place (or person) who gives you the illusion of peace when life gets hard, when “the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house” (Matthew 7:25).


This is your stronghold.


My what?  You might be asking this question, because stronghold is a word we don’t use too often. tells us a stronghold is “a place that serves as the center”.  It’s the place we go to feel loved.  It’s the person we run toward to feel special.  It’s the behavior we need to feel important.  Because we need to fill all the holes in our heart.  To cover the pain of our hurts.  To erase the burn of our shame.


But here’s the problem – if your stronghold isn’t God, you are standing on quicksand.  With only a matter of time before you get sucked in over your head and possibly destroyed.


Because you are relying on a person or place …

To give you freedom when they can only hold you hostage.

To give you peace when they only knows chaos.

To give you security when they can only bring you trouble.

To give you hope when they can only leave you desperate.

To give you love when they only know selfishness.


And you are living deceived.  You have been told the quicksand isn’t deadly and won’t hurt you.  You have listened to and given credibility to the evil whisper that says this will make you important.  You have ignored the warnings that “their strongholds you will set on fire” (1 Kings 8:12).


Because a stronghold is an illusion.  It is the “arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God” (2 Corinthians 10:5), telling you that this is how you find and feel God’s love.  But this unreal love always comes in a form that cannot fulfill you and will not sustain you.  And it eventually leaves you empty, lonely, and dispassionate.  Until one day you realize it has become quicksand.  Pulling you in.  Sucking you down.  Eating you alive.  One choice at a time.  Until you are stuck – eventually over your head.  Without hope.  No way of rescue.  The gloom of death looming.


And that is not the abundant life Jesus died to give us.


So what stronghold have you built?

God sees every one of them.

God knows the heart – and the hurt – behind every one of them.


And God is calling to you just as He did to David – “Do not stay in the stronghold; depart” (1 Samuel 22:5).  He wants to walk with you “through the valley of the shadow of death” (Psalm 23:4) so you come out to the other side – where He has the best version of everything you are seeking.


But what happens when we won’t go willingly?  What happens when we fight Him?  He will come after us and “throw down all your strongholds” (Lamentations 2:2, Micah 5:11).  He will leave no stone left standing – “You have broken down all his hedges; You have brought his strongholds to ruin” (Psalm 89:40) – so He can rebuild you with a solid foundation of truth.


Because there is only room enough in our hearts for one Master (Matthew 6:24).  And God wants it to be Him.

  • “The God of my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, My stronghold and my refuge; My Savior, You save me from violence.” (2 Samuel 22:3)
  • “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold” (Psalm 18:2).
  • “The Lord is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him” (Nahum 1:7).


So let’s go back to the beginning.

Where is that place you run to?

What is that behavior you turn to?

Who is that person you lean on?


Recognize it.

Own your part.

And then dominate it.


Because today is the day you can make a change to stop running to that unsafe “safe” place and “return to the stronghold” (Zechariah 9:12) of God.  Stop being a peasant and peon to someone or something that can never love you truly.


Choose instead to lean into God and become one of His “prisoners of hope” (Zechariah 9:12).


Put your pain and shame in His loving hands.  And allow Him to do a divine exchange – “To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness” (Isaiah 61:3).


For a stronghold will strangle us.

But God will always strengthen us.

For a stronghold will entangle us.

But God will always enable us.

For a stronghold will frustrate us.

But God will always free us.

For a stronghold will confuse us.

But God will always comfort us.

For a stronghold will abandon us.

But God will always accept us.


So today, choose God.  And find exactly what you need.  So you won’t need that stronghold anymore to fill in the gaps and feebly attempt to make yourself feel whole.


Marie Fremin.   9/9/17, 9/15/17, 9/16/17


I’ve felt compelled for a bit to go back and look at Jonah.  And I did tonight, putting together a simple study my Facebook girls and I can do this coming week.


And here’s my takeaway – Jonah is a hot mess.


He started as a mess, crazy enough to think he could run from God and God wouldn’t see him – or care.  He plants himself on a boat, deciding to sleep away any guilt or remorse he felt.  And he winds up sleeping through a storm strong enough to toss the ship and tear it apart at the seams – without care for himself or his fellow passengers.  His denial runs all the way to apathy, until his boat mates finally force him to wake up.  And when made to face the consequences of his choices head on, he proudly proclaims “I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land” (1:9).  Really?  You know He rules the waters, yet you got on a boat on the waters heading far away from Him.  Makes total sense – NOT.


And sure, in the middle chapters, he has an upswing and seems to have gotten on track.  He starts in chapter 1 as “But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord” (1:3).  After a few natural disasters and three days among the rot of a fish’s belly, he becomes “So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh” (3:3), having repented of his bad choices and deciding to walk in obedience to God’s call – with the grace of three days and no other choice but to think.

But then there is chapter 4.  He gets mad at God.  Oh, yeah.  That helped his cause.  This prophet who had just sat and “remembered the Lord” (2:7) when he was down and out sees no other recourse than to beg for death (4:3,8).  He storms out of the city in a hissy fit and sits on a hill watching them, hoping God will actually strike the city and pouting at God’s compassion toward people so undeserving.


Maybe I am slow or confused.  But doesn’t it seem more likely that he would have begged to die after being tossed into the raging waters with his only hope being drowning (1:15)?  But no.  He seems calm and repentant in the fish’s belly, floating among who knows what.  He sees the error of his choices, being shown the garbage in his heart with the garbage floating around him – and he hopes for God’s mercy.


But it obviously doesn’t last.  Because he winds up alone on a hillside, frustrated to the point he either wants God to destroy the repentant city or kill him.  He won’t be happy for the 120,000 people who just heard and saw God for the first time – and it changed their lives AND history forever.


Nope.  Even after experiencing amazing grace personally and then seeing an entire evil nation repent in an instance – his only reaction is anger.  How dare God save those people!  Do You know how many people they have killed?  Did You count how many villages they destroyed?  Do You care how much damage they have done?  Stop and think, oh mighty God – then reconsider and destroy them.  I will be so happy when You do.


But Jonah missed the point.  He was Ninevah’s great fish, and they responded the same way he did.  They got it.  God did a miracle only He could do – move an entire nation, including its king, to change.  Yet, according to Jonah, God shouldn’t be so liberal and free-flowing with His grace.  “A gracious and merciful God” (4:2) should be so only within reason.


But God has great compassion for everyone.  He tells Jonah so (11).  Jesus tells us the same thing in Luke 15:7 – “I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance”.  God LOVES a repentant heart.  God is looking for any and all hearts who cry out and turn to Him.


But Jonah couldn’t let God grace be big enough to accept the wayward city turning.  He refused to let God’s love work miracles for the unworthy city.  And thus he sat outside the city, being tormented by the anger within himself and the elements around him (4:8).


He had a moment in 2:8 when he had the truth, profoundly – “Those who regard worthless idols Forsake their own Mercy”.  God is mercy, and He will shower it upon us even when we deserve it least.  But this truth only lasted as long as Ninevah was consumed by wickedness.  He who so desperately needed mercy in the fish’s belly could not find it within himself to share or give it away to a city who saw their great need for it.  He who proclaimed the truth “Salvation is of the Lord” (2:9) never fully grasped its applications outside of his world.


So I’m left to wonder – did Jonah change?

Did God manage to get through to him?

Did he repent and go back into the city to celebrate with them?

Or did he return home to sulk and brood the rest of his days?


I really want his story to have a happy ending.  Because then I, as a hot mess myself, could look at Jonah and have an example to follow.  But God doesn’t give us the “ah-ha” moment David had in 2 Samuel 12.  Instead, God leaves us to wonder.  Because Jonah’s story ends with him still sitting and brooding, a seemingly bigger mess than he started – one who found grace but never grabbed hold of its truth.


But God is truly “a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm” (4:2).  For He shows us through Jonah the power and punishment of disobedience, the power and possibilities of obedience, and the power and pulverizing effects of emotions left unchecked.  He shows us through Ninevah the redemption and restoration that true repentance brings.  And He reminds us that we all have a great fish (1:17) and worm (4:7) awaiting us when we won’t choose Him.


And again, I admit that I am hot mess like Jonah.  I can only pray that I am not stubborn and hard-hearted like Jonah was.  That I can rejoice over any person turning to God.  That I balance emotions with grace and frustration with compassion.  That I can let His grace and goodness be available and abundant to all.  That when I am wrong I will turn quickly to God’s will.  That the cry of my heart is never “it is better for me to die than to live” (4:3,8).


Help me, loving Father, be the person You know I can be.  Let me run toward You with everything I am and everything I will be.  Remove anything from within me that will get in the way of this.  AMEN!


Marie Fremin.  6/1117 and 9/8/17