Category Archives: Romans 8

Eirḗnē Everyday

Grace and peace to you from God our [the] Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 1:2; Galatians 1:3; Ephesians 1:2, 6:23; Philippians 1:2; Colossians 1:2; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:2; 1 Timothy 1:2; 2 Timothy 1:2; Titus 1:4; Philemon 3; 2 John 3)


Most people want to give you a piece of their mind, to tell you their opinions and perspectives.


But God wants to give you peace of mind.

Greek: εἰρήνη – eirḗnē (i-ray’-nay).

Eirḗnē Everyday

Oneness with Him and His purpose.

A prosperity of faith in His presence and provision.

Quietness (surety) of mind and spirit.

Rest for your worn out and weary soul.


He wants you to be in tune with Him …

So you will be open to His plans and accepting of His purposes.

So when adversity comes you will (easily) set yourself up to give grace and consider God.

So He has full access to your heart (intentions), mind (thoughts), and mouth (words).


He wants you to experience “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7) that only comes from full faith and total trust in Him.


Peace that helps us heal our hurts and “be whole” (Mark 5:34 KJV) in body, mind, and spirit.


Peace from Jesus – “My peace I give to you” (John 14:27, 2 Thessalonians 3:16) – that quiets a fearful heart and settles an anxious mind.


Peace that allows us to “be of good cheer” (John 16:33) and stand believing when circumstances are hard or unfair.


Peace available “to every man” (Romans 2:10 KJV) who engages with God and believes in and promotes His goodness.


Peace that reminds us we are being “justified by faith … through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1) so there is always grace when we go our own way or get it wrong.


Peace that comes when we work on becoming “spiritually minded” (Romans 8:6) by choosing to spend quality time with God to know Him better.


Peace that reminds us of God’s goodness and “brings glad tidings of good things” (Romans 10:15) He has waiting for us.


Peace that encourages us to “abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13) when things look, feel, and seem hopeless.


Peace that reminds us that God is in control of all things and therefore has a plan to “crush Satan under your feet shortly” (Romans 16:20). So, we don’t have to strive to help Him work it out.


Peace that encourages us to look beyond the distraction of “confusion [disorder]” (1 Corinthians 14:33) to seek the wisdom of God and see the love of God.


Peace the promotes “good comfort” (2 Corinthians 13:11) – unity with and encouragement of – our fellow man, no matter how difficult and stubborn they are.


Peace that eradicates our excuses and destroys our doubts through a Savior who gave Himself to make us a “new man” of faith (Ephesians 2:14-17).


Peace that keeps us on God’s path, pursuing God’s purposes, by remembering “the things which you learned and received and heard and saw” (Philippians 4:9) – and doing these right things, even if they are hard or will garner us no human praise.


Peace that we choose to embrace in a spirit of thankfulness (Colossians 3:15).


Peace that we can experience “at all times and in every way” (2 Thessalonians 3:16 NIV) when we are willing to sacrifice and pay the costs to have it.


Peace that flows abundantly “out of a pure heart” (2 Timothy 2:22) that holds tightly to faith in the one true God.


Peace that pursues God’s best – and produces “the fruit of righteousness” (James 3:18) – in our walk and our talk (our influence in and witness to the world).


Peace that comes through “the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord” (2 Peter 1:2).


So …

Are you living in God’s peace?

Are you living by God’s peace?

Are you living for God’s peace?


Or are you CHOOSING to give your peace away?

To people pleasing.

To fear.

To shame.

To control.

To pain.

To anger.

To disappointment.

To judgment.

To bullying.


If you are giving away your peace, today is the day you can start fresh.

To lay down everything you have been carrying.

And to pursue (reach for) and embrace God’s peace.


Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify [build up] another” (Romans 14:19).


He has peace to help you.

To heal.

To forgive.

To let go.

To believe.

To trust.

To move on.

To be kind.


Will you allow yourself to experience His peace?


The “God of Peace” (Romans 15:33, 16:20; Philippians 4:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 13:20) is waiting for you to receive the peace He has waiting.


When you embrace it and allow it to fill up your heart, I promise it WILL change your life.


BONUS: Here is a printable prayer “quilt” you can print out and pray through to help you develop peace.  Eirḗnē Everyday – Peace patchwork


Marie Fremin.  1/3/20, 1/6/20.

Got No Strings

I have been thinking about the big life changes happening to me in this season.  And though I completely trust God to be in control and work things out for my good, there are moments where it is easy to feel like a puppet.  It is easy to feel like I am flopping around, hoping for any movement by God.  It is easy to feel lifeless and listless, waiting for Him to pick up the control and start moving the strings.  It is easy to feel that something (new) won’t happen.


That is the life of a puppet.  You have strings and are not free to make your own choices.  You are told where to go.  You are told which body parts to move and in what direction they need to go.  You are made to dance and move in funny patterns and rhythms.  All at the direction of the puppeteer.  And if the puppeteer is unable to direct you, then you lay idle and wait.


You have no choices. 

You have no say. 

You have no control. 

You are completely at the mercy of the puppeteer.


Got No Strings


Think about Pinocchio.  His one wish was to be a real boy because they “got no strings, to hold me down, to make me fret, or make me frown.”  Because as a puppet, he had no control over anything.  And he wanted control.  Even just a little, so he felt free.


And we are Pinocchio. 

We want control.  We want to feel free.


So we look at our circumstances and decide God is our Geppetto.  We convince ourselves that He has put strings on us … because He wants to keep us from goodness and from greatness.


We complain about Him for not giving us what need.

We accuse Him of not loving us.

We blame Him for not providing.

We criticize Him for not caring.


But in looking at our strings, we forget one very important truth.  God is not responsible for our strings.  He doesn’t tie them on us.  He doesn’t insist we wear them.


When we have strings, it is because we do not believe that no “created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God” (Romans 8:39). 


When we have strings, it is because we do not believe “You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness …” (Jonah 4:2).


When we have strings, it is because we do not believe “the grace of our Lord is exceedingly abundant” (1 Timothy 1:14) to forgive, heal, and restore us … completely.


When we have strings, it is because we do not believe “that while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8) God had great plans and hopes and dreams for us.


God does not want us to have strings.

God does not want us to doubt His love.

God does not want us to question His care.

God does not want us to refuse His grace.


And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free … Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:32,36).


He has already made a way for us to be free of every string we tie upon ourselves.


The strings of shame that distort our perspective.

The strings of sin that strangle our growth.

The strings of anger that turn us in the wrong direction.

The strings of fear that stop us.

The strings of self-righteousness that lead us to think we are smarter than God.


So today is the day to see your strings for what they are – things you have convinced yourself to be true that are not.  Today is the day to cut your strings – once and for all – by embracing the truth of God’s love and care for you. 


Let today be the last day you are Pinocchio, being controlled by every erratic emotion that comes at you.  Let today be the first day of your new life – “I’ve got no strings, To hold me down, To make me fret, or make me frown. I had strings, But now I’m free, There are no strings on me.”


Marie Fremin.  6/24/19 and 7/4/19.

Psalm 46: Be Still

Are you going through a trial or trouble?  Is someone or something making you feel distressed or disturbed?


Israel knew trouble.  They were slaves in Egypt for 430 years, being forced to perform hard labor and have their newborn sons taken for a nation in great fear of their increasing size.  And in one night, God redeemed them.  He led them out of Egypt – with much provision – to begin their journey to the Promised Land.  But it was not an easy journey.  He took them through the wilderness, where they had no one but God to protect them.


And sometimes we are in the wilderness.  And all we think we have on our side is God … and even the thought of God’s love may feel impossible or unsure.


Psalm 46 can be our go-to assurance that God is with us and God is for us.


Because He is “God the Refuge of His People” (Subtitle, NKJV).


There is nothing we go through that God does not know about.  He wants to help us through everything.  He also wants to restore everything we have been through.


So why would we not trust Him?


God is our refuge and strength” (1a).


Psalm 46 - be still


God enables us to keep moving forward, into the unknown (scariness) of tomorrow.   He helps us remember how He can and will work out this impossible situation for our good (Romans 8:28).  He helps us remember that His best life does not come easy – His character in us is developed through trial and tribulation (Romans 5:3-5).  He helps us remember that His love is real and readily available to us (Romans 8:38-39).


So He tells us twice more that He has our back – “The God of Jacob is our refuge” (7b, 11b).  We can run to Him with any problem.  We can trust Him with any pressure.


And we can know we are never alone – “The Lord of hosts is with us” (7a, 11a).


When our security – a job, our spouse, a friendship, etc. – is taken away or disappears from our life … “Even though the earth be removed” (2b).


When all that is good seems to be sucked from our lives and we seem to have no hope to cling to … “And though the mountains be carried into the midst [heart] of the sea” (2c).


When all we can see is the bad and all we hear is the negative the world wants us to focus on … “Though its waters roar and be troubled” (3a).


When our hope is being strangled by fear and our heart is being overcome by worry because the answer to our prayers seems to be withheld … “Though the mountains shake with its swelling” (3b).


No matter how our situation looks.

No matter how our emotions are raging.

No matter how our heart is leaning.

No matter how unsure our faith is.


We need to remember – and tell ourselves over and over again – that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (1).


As life happens and effects our hope –

God is not far away.

God is not unfeeling or lacking compassion.

God is not punishing us.

God is not hoping we will take care of ourselves.


God is with us.

Next to us when we need support.

Ahead of us when we need guidance.

Behind us when we need protection.


So remember you have the Creator of the world fighting for you and cheering you on to victory.  And remind yourself of these truths:

–        “God is in the midst of her” (5a) life, giving strength in the struggle

–        “she shall not be moved [shaken]” (5a) by temporary, fickle, or powerless things

–        “God shall help her” (5b) in every way possible to get through

–        “just at the break of dawn” (5b), in His perfect timing and according to His perfect purposes


He can defeat or remove anything that will keep us from His love and His best life.

–        The things we control and hold onto instead of trusting Him … “He uttered His voice, the earth melted” (6b)

–        The habits, mindsets, and attitudes that keep us from growing and making progress … “Who has made desolations in the earth” (8b)

–        The relationships and influences that cause us to stray from doing good and living right … “He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two” (9b)

–        The harsh and cruel words we speak over ourselves and the negativity we speak over our lives … “He burns the chariot in the fire” (9c)


Which will allow His peace to secure you, His love to assure you, and His grace to move you.


So when life is at its hardest and stress is at its highest, we can be confident in Him and His power.  “Therefore we will not fear” (2a) anything we see, hear, or think.  We will choose to be assured of God’s purposes.


So we will praise.  We will choose to rejoice and “make glad” (4a) about His answer and redemption that are coming.  We will choose to rest in “the holy place” (4b) of grace and produce worship instead of worry.


And as we trust and worship, something amazing will happen.  We will be able to “Be still, and know that I am God” (10a).


We will calm our emotions.

We will check our thoughts.

We will control our words.


And our hearts will be quietly at peace, knowing God is in complete control and can be trusted to help us.


What powerful truths!  So desperately needed in this season of my life, where I am experiencing a war of the wills at work.  I need to continually remind myself to step back and give God space to work for me – instead of charging ahead trying to work it out myself.  I need to continually remind myself that God is bigger than any vendetta – and He will only be hindered by any pettiness on my part.  I need to continually remind myself that God’s part is to be God – and I do not need to control or manipulate things to my advantage.


I must trust God to work things out.  “Come, behold the works of the Lord” (8a) that are possible when I let go and let God, choosing to “be still” (10a) instead of choosing to be vengeful.


So Father, thank You for loving me.  Through every failure to yield to You.  Through every stubborn decision to go my own way.  Through every moment I tried to control the outcome.  Thank You for never, ever, ever giving up on me.  As I go through my current valley, I pray You help me step back from control and lean into Your love.  I pray You help me pause before speaking and consider the consequences.  I pray You help me sift through my churned-up emotions and only listen to the ones that promote peace.  I pray You give me the endurance to keep going through each hard day with an undaunted spirit and an unfaltering faith.  Thank You for being with me and never giving up on me as I go through.  In Jesus’ all-mighty name.  AMEN!


Marie Fremin.  4/27/19

From Disaster to Divine Appointment

Isn’t it so much fun when crazy things happen to us?  NOT!


I was definitely not feeling “happy” Tuesday night when I busted a tire and had to pull over.  And then sit and wait for help to come.  And then scramble to find a tool that was not in the car.  And then having to call for different help – and to be told I would have to sit for about 2 hours, waiting.  In the middle of an empty parking lot.  As the time crept past 10:00pm and kept going closer to midnight.  Trying to keep my very tired eyes open and my very active thoughts somewhat calm.


And I could have panicked.  I could have verbally berated myself for causing the problem.  I could have sat and cried from the combination of frustration and exhaustion.


But instead I sat and waited.  Praying for people who came to mind.  Praying for my peace of mind.  Planning out my day the next morning.


Of course I knew why I was sitting there, unable to go home.  But I wondered about the purpose – what divine lesson was playing out?  And would I ever get the blessing of finding out what it was?


Well, to my extreme delight and complete surprise, I did find out.  Only 9 hours later.  And it was the biggest blessing of all that happened in that 24 hour period.


See, I had been safe and never once worried about my safety.  Everyone I spoke with made sure I was well taken care of and in no immediate danger.  The roadside assistance people kept me in the loop about when help should arrive and what I could approximately expect to pay.  The dispatcher for the tow truck told me to go home and rest because of the lateness of the hour – after I spent an hour waiting and would have spent another 2 more before it arrived.  I made it home safely and got the bonus of having a nice conversation with the Uber driver on my way home.  I got to sleep in my own bed.  My car was delivered to Firestone without issue, and they texted me with pictures to confirm.  Firestone made me their first priority the next morning, and everything was fixed within two hours of opening – and at minimal cost (thank you tire protection).


All blessings, when I think about what could have happened.  But all of these combined don’t add up to anything compared to the biggest blessing of them all.  The real reason for all my woes.  Her name is Miss Bea.


From Disaster to Divine Appointment


Miss Bea is the part-time Uber driver who picked me up Wednesday morning to take me to my repaired car.  God purposely put me in her path.  Because she was driving before one of her part time jobs to make money to support herself, her daughter, and her granddaughter.  I asked her about her beautiful accent and found out she is originally from Nigeria and has been here for 23 years.  God recently moved her to Woodstock.  And Miss Bea is looking for a church home in this new area of town.  I happen to love talking about my church, so I told her about the church and the pastor – and how friendly everyone is and how God makes all people feel welcome there.  Then I find out she has been curious about this church for a while, because one of her jobs is across the street at the new Costco!  So she has seen the church each time she goes to this job, and she has been wondering if she should attend.


And we both realized very quickly how God was working.


Because Miss Bea wants to get connected in the area so she can get closer to God in corporate worship.  And she has been praying – for her future jobs (hoping to condense from 3-4 to 2), her family (she is taking care of her daughter and granddaughter), her finances, and her faith.


So God had me tear up my tire Tuesday night so I would need a ride Wednesday morning.  And He sent Miss Bea, who was an Uber driver in the area driving before work, to pick me up.  How would we have met otherwise?  How would I have told her about the church she has been wanting to visit?  How would I have given her my phone number to call me?  How would she know who I was when she excitedly said she would be there Sunday?


I am hoping to hear from her, confirming that she will in fact be there Sunday.  I hope she finds herself right where God wants her to be and can get planted – with her family.


No matter what, I pray that God meets her right at her greatest needs.  That He provides a more stable and better paying employment opportunity for her.  That He continues to bless her with great Uber riders who tip well.  That He helps her settle into her new life and eventually into a new home.  That He surrounds her with grace to lead her family well.  That He continues to show her the beauty and benefits of holding onto hope and faith.


So what I thought was a careless and inconvenient accident turned into an amazing divine appointment.  And I am still sitting in complete amazement that God orchestrated everything so I could part of His plans.


And I hope I am always available to His purposes in the future.


Loving Father,

Thank You for loving me no matter how crazy I speak, think, and act.  Thank You for keeping me safe during times of trouble.  Help me to calm and quiet any crazy thoughts and out of control words – so I can focus on You and the plans You are bringing to pass.  Help me remember the blessing of Miss Bea – and how there is a blessing at the end of each trial.  In Jesus’ all-mighty name.  AMEN!


Marie Fremin.  9/20/18


Believing for Bread?

Matthew 6:11 – “Give us this day our daily bread.


We don’t think much of this verse in our modern-day times.  Everything we want to eat is readily available and easily accessible.  We don’t have to go out and kill just to ensure we can feed our family for the day.


Unlike Old Testament Israel, whose survival was day to day.  And that included 430 years of demanding, demeaning, and demoralizing slavery in Egypt.


Yet now they are in a season where they continue to experience miracle after miracle.  They had just “plundered the Egyptians” (Exodus 12:35-36) and taken great amounts of provision as they were thrown out of the country.  Then they saw God drown the entire Egyptian army in the Red Sea (Exodus 14:27-28) while they safely crossed through the waters on dry land (Exodus 14:29).  Now they are freely walking toward and then into God’s promised land!


And they should be rejoicing.  The have the one Power who can defeat entire armies on their side.  But no!  Less than a week after they saw the Red Sea miracle, they start complaining.  Instead of praying to Him, they start whining at Him (Exodus 15:22-26).


Then only a month later they do it again.  Dramatically.  “And the children of Israel said to them, ‘Oh, that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger’” (Exodus 16:3).


Believing for Bread


Barely one month out of the slavery they prayed every day to escape, and here they are suddenly ready to go back.


Why?  Because they had an uncertain of a little meat and bread.  They have conveniently forgotten the back-breaking work, the whips, the babies killed, and the lack of freedom.


And again, instead of praying, they go to complaining.  To a spoiled child yelling “I hate you” and stomping her foot level.  Because they were a little hungry.


They never chose to consider the miracles of the last two months or the power of God available to them.  Instead, they chose to look at their current (temporary) lack and become loudly bitter about what they were missing.


And how often do we do the same thing?


How often do we choose to overlook God’s unending goodness to us?

How often do we choose to ignore God’s continued faithfulness to us?


When a problem arises, what is your first reaction?

Do you run back to that unhealthy relationship, unyielding addiction, or unhappy shame?

Or do you run to the One who wants to comfort, protect, and restore you?


Israel chose the former, choosing to see hope in the actually hopeless Egypt.  They didn’t stop to consider anything beyond their current problem and what they saw as the only possible solution.  So they joined forces, “… the whole congregation of the children of Israel …” (Exodus 16:2) coming together in a corporate hissy fit.


When they could have made a better choice.  Why couldn’t they have come together in corporate prayer instead?  Why couldn’t they have done like David and recited God’s faithfulness up to that point (1 Samuel 17:34-36)?


I personally have never seen God drown an entire army of thousands of people to save and protect me.  But Israel did.  I personally have never seen a tree thrown into bitter waters so they would become sweet and life-giving.  But Israel did.  And I personally have never seen God pass over an entire country and take the firstborn son of every family not protected by His provision.  But Israel did.


Yet they were not fully persuaded about His love.  Their hearts were still stuck back in the “comforts” of the slavery they once decried and despised.


How about you?

How are you persuaded about God?


Is He for you?

Because He is for you.  You are His masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10) created especially for His good pleasure and precious relationship.


Does He love you?

Because He does love you.  More than you can understand (Ephesians 3:18) and with a fierceness nothing can penetrate (Romans 8:38-39).


Is His compassionate hand on your life?

Because He is with you every moment of every day.  There is nowhere too far, too low, or too deep for Him to know where you are (Psalm 139:7-12) and choose to embrace you – just as you are, to help you heal back to wholeness.


So today the choice is yours.


Will you be ungrateful Israel, overlooking all of your blessings and complaining about what you think you don’t have?


Or will you be awe-inspired to worship and trust the One who always provides for you?


I pray you choose to believe for His provision!


Marie Fremin.  7/22/18

Wide Open

What is wide open in your life?


Is it a desert filled with hopelessness, dejectedness, and resignation?


Is your heart a dry and empty plain defined by shame, blame, and pain?  Are there dark corners, shadowed paths, and an overall dim atmosphere to keep people out?


Is your heart a deeply rutted and overly bumpy plain defined by anger, bitterness, and resentment?  Are there excessive potholes and extending speed bumps to stop all connection?


Is your heart a lifeless and lightless plain defined by fear, dread, and panic?  Are there no sure paths, no true footholds, and no lighted way because you have no security?


A heart like any of these won’t lead to a life most successful or glorious.  Because we have no wide open spaces for His love to penetrate.  We’ve crowded out His grace with our own value and estimation of life.  We’re blocking His goodness from coming in and working good in us.


He wants us to live wide open to all the possibilities He can do.  And He showed us how.


Jesus spent 6 hours with His arms wide open on a cross to overcome the influence of sin over your life and to overwrite the pain of your past.


With His arms wide open, He showed you that He is bigger than your greatest fear and more powerful than your hardest circumstance.


With His arms wide open, He looked past all your bad choices and big mistakes to give you the hope and freedom of a new life.


With His arms wide open, He loved you.  Right where you are, in the mess of your life.  He saw the beauty of His divinely created child and died to adopt you eternally as His own.


With His arms wide open, He proved He was open about:

  • Romans 5:8But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners
  • Ephesians 3:18-1918 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
  • Psalm 103:12He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.
  • Matthew 19:26Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.”
  • Ephesians 3:20Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.
  • Numbers 23:19God is not a man, so he does not lie.  He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act?  Has he ever promised and not carried it through?
  • Isaiah 55:11It is the same with my word.  I send it out, and it always produces fruit.  It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.
  • Galatians 6:9So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.
  • Romans 8:32Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?


And now He stand waiting, His arms wide open, for you to come to Him.  With all that you are.  With every hope and dream.  With every mistake and hurt.  To come into his open arms and be loved.  Fully.  Completely.  Sincerely.

Wide Open

And when you walk into His waiting embrace, those arms wide open will gently and lovingly embrace you in His supernatural healing love.


So will you open your arms to Him and choose grace over shame, forgiveness over anger, and confidence over fear?


He is waiting, smiling, with His arms wide open toward you.


Marie Fremin.  4/8/18


One of the great things about being a Christian is having hope.


Hope that God is in control and will work things out for our good (Romans 8:28).

Hope that God is working in us and through us for good things (Philippians 1:6).

Hope that God is a God of the impossible (Matthew 19:26).

Hope that God is working out the dreams in our hearts (Psalm 37:3-4).

Hope that God’s love is as big and amazing as He says it is (Ephesians 3:18-19).

Hope that God will do amazing things we can see and know (Ephesians 3:20).

Hope that God will allow us to encourage and help others (Matthew 5:16).

Hope that God sees us and knows us (Luke 12:7).

Hope that God has a great future for us (Jeremiah 29:11).

Hope that God has created us as a masterpiece of His grace (Ephesians 2:10).

Hope that God will allow us to be with Him for eternity (John 3:16).


And hope is a wonderful thing.


Until we place in people or jobs or something other than God.  Because then hope disappoints.  People let us down.  Jobs only use us.  And no one thinks twice about assigning motives to your words, meaning to your actions, and intentions to your heart.  No one cares about who you really are, choosing to tell you their assignments rather than know the real you.


And that’s where I find myself this week.  With many tears and much heartbreak.  After being told once again about my bad intentions and hostile words.  And I have been wondering how five years have gone by without anything really changing.  In fact, it seems to be getting worse.  And I always feel like the target.  I always feel like the villain.  I always feel like no matter how good my intentions and how well I stay within the “rules” that I will never get it right.  And it broke my heart this week to realize all these things.


But even without hope in my fellow man, I am still thankful.  I have great friends that have stepped up to plate and encouraged me through my tears, assuring me the picture being painted isn’t the true me.  They have reminded me about God’s love and the hope of His calling.  And I am grateful for them.


Yes, man disappoints.  But God never does.  He is faithful and true, just like He promised.  So as I figure out how to deal with the disappearance of hope in man this week, I trust God to reveal His purposes and believe He will show me if this is the beginning of a new season.  I trust God to count and keep every tear, to be redeemed in His perfect time.  I trust God to still my tongue and heal my hurt feelings so that I can walk in with grace and dignity.  I trust God.  Period.  So now I’ll wait to see how He writes this chapter of my story.


Marie Fremin.  9/8/17


I’ve been thinking this week about how different my life would be if I had kept my “yes” to get married back in 1997.


(Please give me a minute to pass out in realizing this was 20 years ago!)


No wedding meant I stayed in Georgia.  I didn’t go back to Tennessee or wind up on the west coast.  So my 20 years of adult life have all been in Georgia.  But what would I have missed if I had chosen marriage?


No Chico.  OMG, he was a butthead, but that dog knew how to love.  He didn’t trust easily, but when he did, it was with his whole being.  He helped strengthen an already solid faith in God by showing me every day what true love is.


No Melissa or Teri.  These are awesome women of faith who know who God is and believe He can do the impossible.  They have invested in me and engaged in my trials.  They are encouraging and supportive as each day I battle the thorns in my flesh.  And they are always willing to pray for me.  I love you, ladies!


No Bettie.  My life would definitely be less colorful and engaged without this sweet adopted grandmother in my life.  I definitely would not enjoy the beauty of a well-placed “bless your heart” without her.  I am grateful to be part of the love and support she has to give.


And so many other wonderful people who have come in for a season and allowed me to be part of their journey.


Plus a variety of churches to wind up where I belong – in ironically the last place I said I would be.  If I weren’t in Georgia, would I even know who Andy Stanley is?  Would his ministry have had any impact on my life?


What about my love of live theater?  Would I have discovered it living somewhere else?


And then there is the coming into my own.  Would I have embraced my gift of writing?  Allowed myself to be open to share all my bad moments?  Would this blog even exist?  Or would I have been too busy and distracted to stop and listen?


I could be married.  I could have kids.  I could be in another state.

I could be content, or I could be miserable.  I could be settled, or I could be lost.


I don’t know where I could have wound up, since those paths are untraveled.


But I know where I am.  I know God is using where I am for my good and His glory.  I know God is allowing miracles to happen.  And I know God will keep me and work through me as I continue on my chosen path.


Am I sorry about my choice 20 years ago?  I am sorry that people were hurt by my disobedience to God’s guidance.  I am sorry that pain may be the lasting legacy in the memories of those involved.


But otherwise, no.  I am not sorry.  I know I did the right thing for me.  I wanted more than I was getting, and I got shortchanged because it was the wrong season for both of us.  Neither of us was ready to handle together what we wouldn’t face individually.  So it didn’t work, and that’s OK.  I think God used that experience to the full extent of His grace to put everyone back into His will.


So I look back, and I smile.  I have learned a lot, and none it goes to waste in light of God’s goodness.


No, I don’t know what I missed out on because I chose as I did.

But I know who and what I would have missed – and I am so grateful I didn’t.


Thank You, loving Father, for all of it – up to this point and into the future!


Marie Fremin, 8/27/17

Be Nice to Me

I have a coworker whose favorite thing to say to the office is “you should go home and think about how you can be nicer to me.”


Do you see what this statement says about me and to me?

The problem is on my side.

The issues are all caused by me.

The tension all starts with me.

The responsibility for all wrongs is tilted all to one side – mine.


His viewpoint is centered around himself and his comfort.  When you ask for clarity because his notes are detailed, you aren’t being nice to him.  When you tell him he isn’t following company procedure and explain what you need him to do, you aren’t being nice to him.  When you don’t fawn and gush and tell him he’s great, you aren’t being nice to him.


And what’s the common thread?  You.

When you don’t ___.

When you don’t act like he wants you to act.

When you don’t respond like he expects you to.

When you don’t praise like he hopes you will.

When you critique him.

When you challenge him.

When you combat his sense of right and wrong.


When you.  Because it’s always you.

There are no problems or attitudes on the other side – on I.


The same way the world works.  With a “do unto me” mentality.  Do for me.  Whether I do unto you.  Whether I appreciate you.  Whether I treat you well in return.  Because my value is great.  So you first, and then maybe I will too.  But always do to me and for me.  Without exception.


Oh how different from God’s ways.


God never says “if you love Me first, then I will love you back.”  He says “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love …” (Jeremiah 31:3) that started “… in Him before the foundation of the world …” (Ephesians 1:4).


God never says “if you will get your act together and put your life in order, then I will love you.”  He says “I am the Potter (Jeremiah 18:4-6).  Bring all your broken, chipped, and shattered pieces to Me so I can love you back to wholeness.”


God never says “if you follow all these rules exactly every day, then I will love you.”  He says “rules never trump relationships, and how you treat people matters a lot to Me.  The second most important commandment is ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matthew 22:39).


God says no matter what you’ve done, He loves you.

God says no matter what you’ve said, He loves you.

God says no matter where you’ve been, He loves you.


And He moved toward you first to prove it.  The Cross is the ultimate symbol of His love for you.  He allowed abuse and torture to His mortal body (Isaiah 53:5) to prove His love and show you what His love is for you.


God’s love is impenetrable (Romans 8:38-39).

God’s love is undefinable (Ephesians 3:17-18).

God’s love is magnificent (1 Corinthians 13:7).


And God’s love should be my light.  It should point me in the right direction, to help me love people and treat them right no matter what (Matthew 5:46-47).


So light, please shine brightly.  Because common sense says we will probably keep having the conversation about being nice at work.  We each have our own perspective and may have a battle royale trying to prove the other one wrong.  I think I have come up with a new reply to possibly shut down the tension before it starts – “it works both ways.”  This doesn’t mean that I think he needs to do all the work or there are no problems on my side.  But this also doesn’t mean I’ll let him run over me and put all the blame on me.  I’ll see where I need to change, and I’ll work on being better.  I’ll try to keep the tone out of my voice.  I’ll try to keep the assumptions out of my thoughts.  I’ll try to ignore the jabs and taunts meant to provoke.  And I can only hope and pray that eventually he will see the same light and want to be nice.


Loving Father, help me remember the open arms of the Cross, meant to be a welcoming and intimate invitation to all.  Please touch my heart so I can welcome all people into my space and treat them with compassion.  Thank You for Your never-ending grace to help me toward these goals daily.  In Jesus’ almighty name, AMEN!


Marie Fremin.  2/11, 2/12, 2/14/17

No Condemnation

I keep being drawn back to Romans 8:1-2 – “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.”


Because when most people think of sin, they think of a harsh and cruel God waiting to punish them severely and condemn them eternally.  To condemn – to pronounce to be guilty; sentence to punishment, to judge or pronounce to be unfit for use or service, to express an unfavorable or adverse judgment on; indicate strong disapproval of.


But that is not God’s heart at all.  How could that represent the God Paul talks about in Romans 5:8 (“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners”)?


Unconditional love does not condemn.

Unconditional love does not set a new standard and then demand you live up to the old one.

Unconditional love does not ever see us without purpose.

Unconditional love makes a way for the unholy man to come to God to rise above his sin.

Unconditional love has compassion on the sinner.

Unconditional love accepts us right where we are – and then encourages us to take the next step toward Him.


If you are feeling condemned today, that is NOT God.  That is the enemy coming after your heart and your mind to convince you God’s love isn’t real.  Don’t be fooled by his tricks.  No matter where you are or what you have done, God is passionately pursuing you and hopefully waiting for you to give your burdens to Him.

No Condemnation

There is no condemnation with God.

There is grace – heaping piles of grace so that you are covered from the top of your head down to the edge of your toenails.

There is forgiveness – waiting with open arms to cover your wrongs and heal your wounds.

There is love – unconditional and unlimited, waiting to be poured into you, over you, and through you.


He promises us in Isaiah 61:3 that He is waiting “To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness”.  Are you ready to receive it?


Marie Fremin.  6/2 and 6/7/16