Author Archives: maf4977


“Do not judge, or you too will be judged” (Matthew 7:1 NIV).


Do you know why Jesus commands us not to judge?  Because it HURTS.


Judgment is not fun, and feeling someone’s criticism, condemnation, or careless words can break our hearts and possibly falter our faith.  Because judgment goes to the core of who we are – our identity, our ideals, and our integrity – and proclaims we have failed.  And who likes to feel like a failure?


Don’t get me wrong.  We all make mistakes, and hopefully we all learn and grow from them.  They are necessary to help us see when we have done, thought, or gone wrong.  They should help us do better, speak kinder, and love easier.  We should not feel like a failure in these instances – because grace will come in and pick us up and point us in the right direction.


What I am talking about is …

Feeling the weight of someone’s (harsh) opinion pushing you down.

Battling the emotions of someone’s (careless) words defining your character.

Walking through people’s (uninformed) assumptions about your motives.



To be assigned value possibly contrary to your character and core.

To be pronounced not good (enough), possibly without insight into your motives and methods.

To be critiqued and found guilty, possible based on inconclusive evidence.

To be criticized as wrong, possibly based on impossible or unchecked standards.


To be judged.  When you feel its weight – when your character is questioned and your integrity is challenged – it can break your heart.


Like it broke mine yesterday.  When I found out my subordinate went to the owner because she was concerned I was acting irresponsibly over payroll.  No, she never came and asked me questions after our initial tutorial session.  No, she never voiced anything to me.  Instead, she processed and came to the conclusion that I was cheating our techs – for no good reason.


And my heart broke when I was asked about it.  My eyes watered at having my integrity so easily challenged.  My temper flared at being so misunderstood – and then reported as unethical.  And my office door slammed shut as the emotions wildly bounced around my brain.


I was not OK.  Today, I am still struggling.


Being judged is hard.  It makes you question everything you think to be true.


And then as I wallow, God taps me gently on the broken and hurting spots.  And He lovingly whispers, “So now that you feel the sting, what will you do to deal with how YOU are judging others.”  OUCH!


So now I have two issues to deal with – feeling judged and being judged.  Where in the world do I start?


There are a few key reasons I need to start with my own judgmental heart.

  1. We are not the one true Judge
    • Psalm 50:6 – Let the heavens declare His righteousness, For God Himself isJudge. Selah
    • Isaiah 33:22 – For the Lordis our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; it is he who will save us.
    • 2 Timothy 4:1 – In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead,and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge
    • 2 Timothy 4:8 – Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
    • Hebrews 12:23 – to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect,
  2. We do not have a good perspective
    • Isaiah 11:3 – His delight is in the fear of the Lord, And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, Nor decide by the hearing of His ears
    • John 7:24 – Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.
    • John 8:15 – You judge by human standards …
    • Hebrews 4:12 – For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
  3. We are really no better at heart
    • Ezekiel 16:52 – You who judged your sisters, bear your own shame also, because the sins which you committed were more abominable than theirs; they are more righteous than you. Yes, be disgraced also, and bear your own shame, because you justified your sisters.
    • Micah 7:3 – That they may successfully do evil with both hands— The prince asks for gifts,The judge seeks a bribe, And the great man utters his evil desire; So they scheme together.
    • Matthew 7:3-4And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye?
    • Acts 23:3 – Then Paul said to him, “God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! For you sit to judgeme according to the law, and do you command me to be struck contrary to the law?”
    • Romans 2:1 – You, therefore, have no excuse,you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.
    • Romans 3:23 – for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
  4. It will come back to us
    • Matthew 7:1 – Do not judge, or you too will be judged
    • Matthew 7:2 – For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
    • Luke 6:38 – Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
    • Galatians 6:7 – Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap


Then I work on forgiveness.  Because it is the key to life – “14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14-15).  And I realize that if I cannot look at her next week and find grace, I am lost.  I close the door on God being able to radically shower grace on me.


I have to work through the pain and betrayal … and allow peace to overwrite them.  I have to let go of the anger and frustration … and allow forgiveness to redefine them.


Today, I am not there.  Grace is still fighting the good fight to reclaim my heart for Him.  So what hope do I have?


Psalm 23 – The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.      He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,     he refreshes my soul.  He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.  Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.  You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.  Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.


He is with me.

He is comforting me.

He is pouring out His goodness on me.

He is giving me an abundance of peace and rest to calm me down.

He is loving me back to wholeness.


So thank You loving Father that this one episode will NOT define or destroy me.  Thank You gracious Father for Your goodness at work.  I know I WILL get through this – and then past it.  And I will be stronger, ready to the next battle.  Thank You for Your hand on me every step of my life!


Marie Fremin.  2/24/18


Prayer for your Family

Loving Father,

Thank You for having Your gracious hand on this family.


You purposefully brought these parents together to create the family they have, and You help sustain their love daily.


Thank You for equipping them each day to face the possibilities and chaos that come up.  These parents are more than able to face everything and have already been declared overcomers through Jesus!


Thank You for Your hand on each child’s life.  You purposed each child from creation time and fashioned him/her down to the tiniest cell.  You have created him/her with great purpose and unlimited possibility – none of which will be stopped by human limitations.  He/She is a warrior in You and can overcome ALL challenges that try to detour and discourage her.


You specifically gave each child to these parents, knowing they are the best opportunity for him/her to succeed and thrive.


Help them each day to face the day with courage and confidence – knowing You are in control and will provide the strength and creativity they need to help each child achieve to his/her greatest potential.


He/She is more than able to learn.  They are more than able to teach and guide and love.  I pray You imprint this on every heartbeat and bring it to their remembrance as often as needed.


You have all things under Your loving control.  You already have a great outcome ready to be displayed.


Please help these parents stay calm and sane as You work it all out.  Give them a sense of comfort in every fiber of their beings.  Let their confession be “God’s got us – and I’ve got this!”

Prayer for your Family

In Jesus’ all-mighty name.  AMEN!


Marie Fremin.  2/14/18, 2/18/18

No Condemnation Under Grace

Am I the only one who hears the sinister voices in my head?  You know the ones –

  • “Oh, you didn’t pray for ___ like you should have.”
  • “You really said that out loud?!?!”
  • “How could you think something so bad/crazy/sinful?”
  • “Wow – did you see how fast she pushed your buttons? What an easy target you are.  Some Jesus follower you really are.”
  • “Do you really believe Jesus loves you after ___?”

No Condemnation under Grace

All these words condemning me …

  • Judging me down to the core of who I am and what I believe.
  • Criticizing me of unreal, ungrounded, and insincere faith as a follower.
  • Accusing me of being full of sin, led by emotions, and completely unable to change for the good.
  • Pushing me to self-pity, self-loathing, and self-criticism … for being human.


All these words have one great flaw – there is NO GRACE, the very foundation of who God is.


“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).


Condemnation skips over grace, erases forgiveness, and ignores compassion.  All the things Jesus died to give us – freely and in full.


Condemnation isolates us from connection and intimacy with others, declaring that our illnesses are beyond healing and idiosyncracies too crazy to be around others.  It drives us to exhaust ourselves and our resources to be made “normal” (Mark 5:25-26).  Condemnation pushes us the outskirts of the crowd, hiding and cowering for fear of being discovered and judged (Mark 5:27).  Condemnation drives us to extreme and outrageous measures to feel whole and find acceptance (Mark 5:28).


Condemnation attacks our identity as a beloved child, removes our armor that secures us to God, hits us at our deepest hurts in our heart, and leaves us so wounded and defeated that people flee from us instead of helping us (Luke 10:30-32).


Condemnation tells us to waste our time, our life, and our resources on ungodly pursuits so that we suddenly wake up to find little to nothing left (Luke 15:13).  Condemnation tells us that we are not good enough for even the most disrespected job but drives us to pursue it out of desperation (Luke 15:15-16).  Condemnation convinces us that forgiveness is out of reach and we are crazy to hope for acceptance, yet it drives us to beg in a menial and demeaning way for any scraps (Luke 15:17-19).  Condemnation looks through eyes of selfishness to see only “self sacrifice” to the point of self-righteousness and self-importance (Luke 15:29), so that judgment and loathing flow through every word and deed (Luke 15:30).


Condemnation makes us feel like we are standing in the center of society’s attention, being judged for every sin with no recourse to hide (John 8:3-4).  Condemnation demands a harsh word, a hard heart, and a heavy hand – all ready to throw stones (John 8:5).


Condemnation distracts us from all God has for us.

Condemnation distances us from all God has for us.

Condemnation dissociates us from all God has for us.


And God has grace.  A lot of grace.  God is all about grace.

  • “For the Lord God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right” (Psalm 84:11).
  • “Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins” (Romans 3:24).
  • “For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:17).


Grace allows us freely into God’s space and draws us closely into God’s embrace, touching every area flowing with shame and sorrow and filling it instead with God’s healing.  Grace prays “Go in peace. Your suffering is over” with the great hope that we accept the complete freedom and restoration God has waiting for us (Mark 5:34).


Grace sees us when all others have passed us by, applies God’s love to our broken places, and sets us on the course for complete healing and restoration (Luke 10:33-35).


Grace never stops watching and waiting for us, hoping for and eagerly expecting our repentance.  Grace runs with love and purpose toward us at the first sign, ready to celebrate our return and shower great compassion on us (Luke 15:20).


Grace holds its tongue, evaluates the wounded heart, and says “Neither do I [condemn you]. Go and sin no more” (John 8:6,11).


Condemnation shouts “you can never be good enough, no way”.

Grace whispers “you are worthy, even as you are – come”.


Both are calling to you.

Which one will you choose to listen to?


Marie Fremin.  1/19/18, 1/21/18, 2/18/18

Prayer for my Words

Loving Father,

Thank You for Your tender mercies which are new every day.  Mercy to let go of the mistakes of yesterday – the wrong choices, the hurts, the problems, the difficulties.


And the wrong words.

Prayer for my Words

Thank You for mercy …

For every misspoken word.

For every judgmental word.

For every confrontational word.

For every hostile word.

For every shame-filled word.

For every word filled with cruelty, directed by crudity, or coated with carelessness.

For every word that led to a fight, provoked tears, or stirred up animosity.

For every word that added insult to injury.

For every word that chased loved and compassion away.

For every word that ignored grace and forgot gentleness.


And when we fail …


Thank You that You are merciful to forgive us for every instance of words gone wrong … when we ask for forgiveness.


Thank You that You have the needed mercy to help us overcome a toxic tongue, a twisted tongue, a tortuous tongue, and a troublesome tongue.


Thank You that Your grace is more than able to help us “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice” (Ephesians 4:31) that want to possess our tongue and taint our words.


Help us, loving Father, to choose our words carefully.

  • Let us consider their impact upon and persuasion of the hearer.
  • Let us consider the sharp edges and hard feelings of each word, especially in chaotic and stressful situations.
  • Let us consider the danger we can present and the damage we can do with our words.
  • Let us consider the amount of grace coaxing our words and directing our intentions.
  • Let us consider the great hurt we can cause – including to our own person – with our words.
  • Let us consider that a thoughtless or careless word can create a ripple of consequences and backlash.
  • Let us consider how a hard and hurting heart will never begin to heal with graceless words.


Help us to overcome all these things so our words glorify Your wonderful name and speak of Your unfailing love.


Thank You that You can help us speak “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy” (Philippians 4:8) – words filled with positivity, hopefulness, generosity, goodness, kindness, and life.


“May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight …” (Psalm 19:14).


Marie Fremin.  12/16/17, 2/3/18, 2/18/18

Gracefully Broken

Sometimes a song speaks directly to me.  Today I heard Matt Redman’s “Gracefully Broken” at North Point.  And these two words vibrated life, truth, and grace throughout me.


Because that is what we all are – broken.

We lose our wholeness, our identity, our security, and our freedom to sin.

By our reckless choices.  By our selfish whims.  By our careless words.


Yet God loves a broken heart, a broken life, and a broken mind.

Because that is the place God starts to lavishly pour out His extravagant grace.


And His grace takes our selfishness, our sinfulness, and our self-righteousness and breaks them completely.


But He never leaves us where we are or how we are.


He has every intention of recreating us – with more integrity, more compassion, more selflessness, more mercy, more forgiveness, more generosity, and more understanding.


Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something at the wheel. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make” (Jeremiah 18:3-4).


You are the clay vessel, waiting to be shaped and directed into a more beautiful form.


You are cracked and scarred by your experiences and (unmet) expectations.  Your outer form has been weakened by disappointment, disagreement, and disillusionment.  You have picked yourself up from every trial, every temptation, and every turbulent circumstance – but you feel your value and worth have been diminished and so you feel unworthy and insignificant.


But today hear God say He knows you, every crack and every scratch.  And He still loves you unconditionally.  He loves you so much He wants to help you unleash the potential He placed inside you and become the new vessel He created you to be.

Gracefully Broken

And when you are ready and come to Him, He will gently pick you up – making sure to collect every broken piece – and begin to recreate you into something more beautiful.  And He will smile, because your new self “seemed good to the potter to make”.


So allow yourself to be His stained glass window of grace.  Bring all your seemingly ugly and useless pieces to Him – and watch Him bring life, purpose, and glory to them.


For the Father will do miracles with whatever you give Him.  So give Him your ALL.  Then step back and watch grace recreate and repurpose every broken piece into a healthy and glorious whole.


Marie Fremin.  1/21/18, 1/27/18, 2/18/18

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