My Experience (Chris Frase)

Chris Frase has posted some information about his membership being annulled, and has sent me this letter detailing the incident that took place in Lobelville TN in 2006. I will remove the posts from the thread benched minister and put them in the comments here so that the whole story is together in one place.

October 18th, 2006  I went berserk holding our preacher at knife point for grievances even he at the time didn’t understand.  Later I was diagnosed as severe bipolar, something at the time I had never heard of.  I thought, as did members of my church, that I was battling depression and had even been given that diagnosis by our local nurse practitioner and put on Cymbalta two weeks earlier to treat the depression.

In my frenzy at the church the police were called and according to some they thought they were getting me calmed down.  That part of the ordeal is a complete blank in my memory.  What I remember is knowing I had completely lost it and I needed to leave and get calmed down.  It took all my strength to pull the knife down away from the preacher’s chin and turning to walk towards my pickup.  Throwing the knife down so hard it threw up sparks from the gravel (later verified by my neighbor who was one of the deputies on the scene that night) and seeing an arm come up in the darkness as they maced me emptying the entire can of mace into my left eye.  I remember the pressure running down until it was only a trickle going down my cheek.  As I had leaving on my mind, I continued to my truck and got in and started to leave but gassed it as my eyes burned, starting to spin out of control.  The pickup spun counter clockwise which, unbeknownst to me, was right towards the deputies.  They tried to shoot out the tires thinking I  was trying to run over them but hit the rims instead with the bullets ricocheting back at them.  As the pickup continued to spin in a circle, it pinned my neighbor in between a van and the front of the truck.  He said he looked down and there was just enough room and time to throw himself across the hood of my truck and out of the way.  Meanwhile his coworker was left to his own thoughts that I had killed his fellow deputy and was trying to run over him.  All natural thinking, considering what he was “seeing” as my pickup spun out of control.  He commenced shooting, a total of 16 45 caliber shots fired, 9 of which went into or through me.  Six through the abdomen, one through the head, one through the wrist, and one to the buttock.

When the truck came to a stop I came to, as if out of a deep fog,choking on something which pulled out of my mouth. It was a rear molar.   I had no idea what had happened, no idea that I had been shot, and relatively little pain.  Only a little pain in my abdomen, which I assumed was from hitting the side of the church and hitting the steering wheel.  I opened the door, put one foot out and then decided to just lay back in the seat, which I reclined and did.  I remember the deputy putting his head in the door and then the ambulance crew loading me in the ambulance and cutting off my clothes, which I thought was strange, but was feeling too foggy-headed to worry about it.

I remember hearing the ambulance crew saying on the radio, “We have a white male, 45 years old, fatally shot!”  but it never registered in my mind that that was me.  I remember praying on the ride to the medi-vac rendezvous “Lord forgive me.”  Not a panicky feeling, just a need to pray for forgiveness and assurance.  They loaded me on the helicopter and I passed out as it lifted off.

Later my deputy neighbor told me, “We were not in control that night, God was!” He said, “Under normal circumstances it takes 30 to 45 minutes for the ambulance to arrive, when I radioed for help, ASAP, I stood up and the paramedics were tapping me on the shoulder asking where the victim was.”  He said “Normally it takes 20-30 minutes for the helicopter to meet the ambulance, this time there was five minutes between when the ambulance arrived and when the helicopter arrived.”  Coincidence?  Not hardly!!  Prayer chains were started across the country.  The doctors told my deputy friends, “He will die, it’s just a matter of time.”  I even had a living will that my wife took to the hospital.  Looking at my medical records later, I learned that I had approximately 2 1/2 gallons of blood given me during my initial surgery.  I had a stomach resection, my gall bladder removed, a hole through my liver, a hole through my diaphragm, a collapsed lung, a hole through my right wrist, breaking both bones, and a hole going from my bottom jaw through the roof of my mouth, and coming out just below my eye and about an inch and a half in front of my right ear knocking out two back molars, what a way to get your wisdom teeth pulled!  Plus other injuries and wounds.  The surgeon that worked on my head, when I was all healed up, leaned back against the wall on my last checkup and said, “You were  a sick man when you came in here, the  hole in the roof of your mouth was big enough for me to put my thumb in.  We fully expected to have to do reconstructive surgery but you have healed up without it, it’s nothing short of a miracle!”  About two weeks before I was released from the hospital, as I sat up on the bed, a nurse took a tweezers and removed a bullet from out of my back, on the center of my spine, within fractions of an inch of paralyzing me from the waist down.  I kept that as a souvenir of the miracles.  Being a machinist, I measured it and the mushroomed end is 0.501 of an inch in diameter, just a whisker over a half inch, or equivalent to a 50 caliber.

In my dreams, while i the hospital, there was one young man that came to my bedside and asked if he cold pray for me. I accepted.  The doctors, in my dreams, went into another room to pray before they operated on me.  Some dreams I wonder at, dreams being what they are, especially on narcotics, others I just accept as heaven sent to give me courage.  When we are incapacitated and unable to pray for ourselves, the prayers of others fill in for us.  When we pray, even for strangers we do not know, God hears and answers prayer.  God works miracles even when we are unaware and in a coma.

Many of the nurses, one in particular, from South Africa  told me, “God has a purpose for you or you wouldn’t be here!”  As I tell my story and the miracles continue, I often get that response.  And the miracles did not stop in the hospital.  I was released from the hospital to jail with attempted murder and aggravated assault charges.  As I discussed the charges with my attorney I told him, “The aggravated assault I remember, however, there is a question of me being in my right mind.  The attempted murder never happened although I can understand how it would look n the dark not knowing what was happening.” The attempted murder charges were dropped, the aggravated assault was accepted, because as i told my attorney, whether or not I was in my right mind I know I did that, on looking back I am more convinced that due to the bipolar and wrong medication I was not in my right mind, but three years probaation was not a severe sentence.

On getting home and when I could finally concentrate and read, I started studying bipolar.  Once I learned what it is, it was easy to see symptoms in my life from little on up.  Today, on depakote and with a correct diagnosis and prescription, I am fairly stable.  However, I learned some things.  Once when I went to church one of the men asked me how I was feeling and I said, “Great!  If I felt any better I couldn’t stand it!”  That week I went to the mental health clinic and when they asked how I was doing and my response was the same they said, “Whoa, you’re feeling too good.”  I was shocked!  “How can I feel too good after all I have been through?”  They explained that when I was feeling too good I was unstable.  Bells went off in my head. I was diagnosed with depression two wee\eks before I got shot.  After one week on Cymbalta at 30 mg the Dr. asked how I felt, I replied, “Great!  If I felt any better I coudgn’t stand it.”  He said OK we are going to raise your dose to 60 mg which is the therapeutic level.  That was on a Wednesday, it takes about a week for it to get into your blood stream and take effect.  The following Wednesday I had my manic episode that resulted in me being shot and a congregation being terrified.  My mental health doctor tells that while Cymbalta may be a cadillac drug for depression, you do not give it to someone that is bipolar because it sends them into a manic episode, something that incidentally and with good reason is in the fine print of Cymbalta’s directions for use.  Mental illnesses are treatable, but get the right diagnosis.  Those who are bipolar usually seek treatment for depression, not mania and often are resistant to taking medication.  As my doctor told me, “If you feel fine, good, keep taking your medicine, it’s working!”

Finally I got home from the hospital, from jail and started to get my hospital bills:  $438,000.  I called my  dad and said “What does a fellow do?  It’s not that I don’t want to pay them, they did an excellent job, but I’m not worth half a million dollars if I sold everything I owned!”  My dad reply?  “Talk to the hospital, pray to God and don’t worry about it, God has plenty of money.  So I did.  I asked for assistance, explained my situation, unable to work, want to pay but simply do not have the means.  They asked for tax records, bank statements, a notarized statement of how we were paying our bills, etc.  It took me three days to collect the required information and send it off to them.  Each month I would get a bill, I called the billing department asking what they wanted me to do, each month they told me to wait on their assessment.  That went on for about four months. after which I received a short letter simply stating, “We have considered your case, we are able to offer your full assistance, all of your accounts are paid in full.”  I broke down and cried.  So like what Jesus has done for us on the cross. He considered our case, that we are bankrupt and unable to pay for our sins, He is able to offer us full assistance and gladly pays our account in full if we but come to him and ask.  The miracles never cease.  God’s promises are true, He sees the sparrow fall and He will take care of you, even when it looks like all is lost, just ask and trust Him.  When I first met the Lord as a child, He gave me these verses;  Proverbs 3:5-10  Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths.  Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.  It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.  Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the first fruits of thine increase.  So shall thy barns be filled with plenty and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

God keeps his word.  But not always the way we think.  Isa. 55:8-9  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.  I have found that even in what would appear to be evil happenings, god intends good for us, takes care of us, provides our needs and uses us to encourage othes and help one another. He gave us Job for an example and all the bible to learn from others mistakes as well as their right doings.  We live because he lives.  And yes, God still works miracles and answers prayers.  I am living proof.

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32 Responses to My Experience (Chris Frase)

  1. I am indeed set free Praise the Lord !!! Praise Him, Praise Him Praise Him !!!!! My membership being annulled was not in any way that I know of tied to or connected to Sheldon Ratzlaff’s ministry annullment. Due to the events of the past 8 or so years and a “diagnosis” of mental problems (either bipolar or head injury/brain damage related) I have been released on the grounds as I understand of being mentally incapable of being a member. I tell ya it pays to be crazy 8^> !! Look at all the “lunatics” in the bible that Jesus set free ?! Think on that one a bit. At a later date I plan to share my experience in more detail. For now I just have to put bandages on my head for all the scrapes it has because of hitting the ceiling in ecstacy from being set free 8^> !!! May need a ball and chain just to keep me on ground level for a while ?

    I told them that a bird is a bird whether it is kept in a cage or free to fly as God intended. That now I am free to love them just as they are but they are “bound by the law” me now being “just their “worldly” neighbor to love me as themselves. I far prefer being able to “freely” love someone rather than to be “bound” to love them. I told them I still consider them my brothers and sisters and they a free to visit with me anytime they want to. BUT if they have something to say about me say it to my face and No More talking about me behind my back. We must remember there are birds that do not mind (don’t know any different) being in a cage and as such they are fre within the confines of the cage. I have chickens that I pen up each night for their protection, but let them loose during the day. Jesus said; (John 10:9 NKJV) I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. “The fold” is to be a place of safety and refuge…Not the prison it has become. I thanked them for what I called “a closed door that is still open.” You hear it said by many on the inside that they just can’t understand how people who have “left the fold” say they are free ??!!?? But we need to remember that a bird that has never known the joy of “free” flight obviously “cannot” understand. There is definitely a “fear” that this would set a precedent and a “fear” of “losing control” My sister in Ohio cried bitter tears because of the cruel way her (some of them) children treat her and her husband and that her membership can never be annulled because she would have to lie to be reaccepted into the church in order to have it annulled. They simply have no way of setting people free unless it is by their man made self prescribed rules. There from my observation is often turmoil even among the staff because they are unable because of “the Law” to set people free. The scripture plainly says the law is good, it points us to Christ, it shows us we really are sinful, “for where no law is there is no sin” but it cannot free anyone as it’s demands must be met. There is no mercy in the law. Christ came to set the captives free. He paid the price. He also told us the servant is not above His master. We too have a price to pay…and it isn’t cheap and it isn’t pain free. The opening song of my annullment meeting was Bless be the tie that binds…. A very fitting song for the occasion. When I walked in I was already free, light happy joyful, some who knew me best were joyful along with me, others didn’t know what was coming and still others appeared to have the attitude of excommunication and shunning. When I first moved to MS years ago the locals used to say after I had spoken a few words, “You ain’t frum aroun heya are ya ?” A yankee in a southern land. After I learned “the language” (I’m somewhat fluent in eubonics but not very and in no way want to reflect on other cultures and dialects but only to note that there are differences among people.) the locals couldn’t tell me from anyone else but it takes around 5-10 years on the average and close contact to be accepted in any new community. That is a “worldly” statistic unrelated to “church”…it’s just the way it is for anyone anywhere with few exceptions. The exceptions being those who are outgoing and make themselves loved and appreciated by normal people. Contrary to popular opinion (inside the church) “the church” does not have the love and appreciation of their neighbors that they claim to. Mostly due to the “better than thou” attitude that is clearly, plainly and distinctly felt by “some” church folks’ neighbors. The bible is also quite plain, no mystery or need for interpretation in it; (Proverbs 18:24 NKJV) A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
    While there are and I say this happily, many “church members” who are friendly open and outgoing, loved by their neighbors,…there are also those that are clanish and do not appreciate their neighbors and in turn are despised by those around them. Jesus said Mark 16:15-18 NKJV And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. (16) He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. (17) And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; (18) they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” He, the Lord sends us to the world, the world isn’t going to come to us. It is our commission to take the time, put forth the effort and do the work (yes it’s work and it costs us) of going to others, reaching out, helping out, being there for them when they need a friend…not just when you want to borrow something or need something “for yourself”. People notice these things. Too many are blind to their own needs as well as the needs of those around them. The problems we see in the CGICM are also in most any denomination you go too in one form or another. I had an aunt that once said, “If I ever found the perfect church and joined it, it wouldn’t be perfect anymore.” I really appreciate the fact so far as I have seen that this blogsite is trying to curb and avoid flaming and defamitory things being said while at the same time trying to expose the truth. We as Christians need to plainly state the truth without fear or favor of men. But we also need to be gentle to all men and by or “lack of bitterness” show them a better way. I know from experience that becoming bitter is easy to do. The last time I was excommunicated God gave me these verses and with reason; Luke 22:31-32 KJVA And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: (32) But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
    Hebrews 12:12-15 KJVA Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; (13) And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. (14) Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: (15) Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
    When we finally realize that, Jesus has been there, done that…that He understands our pain and the trials we go through, that He too was rejected by His own family and that because He can fully relate to us, “He is praying for you and for me that our faith fail not !” Think of it…it’s awesome. It is easy in our trials and bitterness to “lose our faith” “not our “church” faith” but our faith in the saving blood of Christ. Our Faith…not what is so erronniously called, “The faith”. When I sing “Faith of our fathers” it is with a completely different mindset than what is commonly thought of in Holdeman circles. I come from “the world”, my “fathers” were Baptists, Catholics, Evangelical United Brethren, nondenominational heathens and who knows what all. I do not have a “Mennonite” background but I do have a background of parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins that love the Lord Jesus Christ, claim His blood as their only salvation through the mercy and grace of God and live Christian lives. They observe the “mennonite” practices and teaching and are appalled by some while appreciating others. With the issue of education it has been said, “You don’t have to be stupid to be a Christian.” and I think…”When sickness comes or people want a new car or a new tool or whatever…where would they go if it were not for people who have devoted themselves to learning…For the benefit of others ?!!!”Let us be careful to “build up” the body of believers and not tear down other than to remove barriers as much as possible.
    Your brother in Christ, “Set Free” ~Chris Frase

  2. I’m curious to know if the decision to annul your membership was made by the local staff or if a larger group was involved?

  3. I’m not positve how “large” of a group made the decision. I do know that the ccc was involved and while I don’t know that many met here I believe there was a large group in the form of a conference call type meeting ? I don’t know that and am only assuming it. I had support from several ministers that I called specifically to ask them to lend their support to it and help me “out” 8^>. Wherever and whoever I talked to whether laymember or minister I had the full support of all involved that I know of. The best I could tell the vote was unanimous with my hand being among the first raised 8^> !!

    Lotsaquestions I expect there will be Awkward moments where I will be treated as expelled ? That in my mind will just sort of go with the territory. This has been done before but so seldom that it is unfamiliar uncharted water to most people (myself included) To be honest yes at times I would expect to be shunned by those who don’t know but I don’t expect to the same degree as I was when exed. I feel it will be more like a “worldly” visitor would feel coming to church. Some will simply ignore you, your true friends will shake your hand and visit…I’m not really sure just exactly what to expect ?? Too early to tell as they are now deep into “the members” meetings. I sort of chuckle and say the prophesy comes true before our eyes: That which is done in secret will be shouted from the housetops. You can’t do wrong and get by, no matter how hard you may try, nothing hidden will be, everything God doth see, you can’t do wrong and get by. I personally feel like for once they did something “right” and need to continue to set men free. What they don’t understand is that by setting someone free (like God does us) it in reality draws them back. I know from several years of excommunication in different places and different times in my life from my youth in the dreaded panel days until present….Love draws…you simply cannot escape love because it pulls you back. Abuse you run from, hatred and being despised you run from, you may run from love but eventually you will always come back to it even if it’s only in your heart…other circumstances barrring it. Jesus soundly condemned the Pharisees for holding their “tradition” above His direct commandments…He hasn’t changed and thus far neither have the Pharisees. To be honest even though I cannot concientously because of my conflicting understanding of “the Truth” be a Holdeman Mennonite I am very encouraged with the progress I do see them making in spite of the setbacks and turmoil. God is working, make no mistake God…loves…”them” as much as He loves everyone else and is not willing that “any” should perish but that all should come… Far too many times the bitterness Jesus warned us about clouds our vision and in a sense I believe there can be envy and jealousy involved because in our minds we’re thinking, “Why won’t “they” let me be happy and accepted too ?” I will post a dream I had over twenty years ago that is still very vivid in my mind and will perhaps give you a better picture of what is happening ?

    In the meantime: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, In all your ways acknowlege Him and He shall direct your paths.
    Looking back it’s is easy for me to see His guiding hand taking me on a path I did not want to go to bring me to a pasture He has prepared for me. And it Oh so sweet !! Oh taste and see that the Lord is good. Lots of rocks, dust and tears in between the green pastures and the path to get there. But there shall be a voice behind you saying, “This is the way, walk ye in it.” Believe it and trust God to make the way. The trials we suffer along the way bitter though they be are there for us to share with those following so they may have the courage to continue on and …Not to allow bitterness and an over abundance of questions to enter. There is a time and place to ask questions, there is a time and place to like Mary, “ponder these things in our heart.” and there comes a time that God reveals to us the “why” of what we’ve been through.
    I was lineman for around 20 years. I was foreman over a crew. I told my men, ” If I give you a job with no specific instructions just do it safe and as long as the end result is what I want that’s all I ask. BUT if I give you specific instructions I want them carried out EXACTLY as I tell you. I may not have time to explain it at the moment so don’t question me just do it. Later when the job is done ask me and I’ll explain why it had to be done a certain way. The reason was often that in a very real sense, “their or their fellow crew members very life depended on it !
    Am I willing to bear hardship for another ? Am I willing to “sacrifice” my life for the good of others ? What I do, my attitude, the things I say or leave unsaid can and often are a matter of life and death. In the world as we know it, “Freedom” always “costs” the shedding of blood, somebody has to die for our freedom. Christ died that we might live, He is our “perfect example” and we are to follow Him. We have to be willing to be sacrificed for the good of others. There are those times that call for blind obedience “to God” doing what we don’t understand trusting that ultimately “there is a reason” even if it isn’t obvious at the moment. That is the part of not leaning on our own understanding.
    I believe our Christian walk is very similar. At times God holds our hand, guiding us and explaining every step of the way, other times He gives us a work and says “this needs done, figure out a way.” and other times He say this is the job, the path I want you to walk don’t talk, just walk and stay on the path. It is times like that that we are awed at His wonderful wisdom and plan when we see it unfolded at the end of the journey. The path is admittedly miserable at times… keep walking and trusting God.
    God Bless
    Love & Prayers,
    ~Chris………..Set Free

  4. Well folks some good news
    Went to church tonight (still having revivals, open meeting) There was a bit of awkward would really not want to associate with you feeling from some. “Until others” acted normal and treated me normal. (see autonomy comes at a cost for the aha moment…not a post from me but the main article) But the meeting was warm, there were a large number of visitors (outsiders) with several “amens” to the message. Sam Lehman preached a sermon on pulling up the anchor to make progress, and wading out into deep water to where you are no longer in control but have to trust God. Not aimed at me but just speaking the truth. The first sermon I’ve heard in years that “hell” was mentioned as a place the fearful and unbelieving are going to be. Actually the first time I’ve heard a sermon with hell in relation to anything being mentioned ?
    Wife saw a billboard on a church today, “Satan is Not an Athiest, he believes and trembles !”

    Sam related walking on the beach. when the water is to the ankles you feel the waves but you are safe. When the water is to the knees there is a pull, but your feet are touching the bottom and you are safe, when the water is to the loins there is a strong current felt as the waves ebb and flow but your feet are still touching, But when the water gets up to your neck you are out of control. You can swim but even that is sometimes futile. You have to trust the water (likened to the Holy Spirit) to take you in the right direction and hold you up. then related a man that liked to fish so he and wife took a row boat to their favorite spot, dropped the anchor and fished. After an unsuccessful hour or so they decided to move on and try another spot. So they started rowing. After a bit it seemed they weren’t making any progress…finally figured out they hadn’t pulled up the anchor. You can’t move if you’re anchored to the bank. Errol Wedel had a very good experience he related about being in a ship in a typhoon in the Phillipenes. The ship creaked and moaned and they tossed so bad they had to hang on to stay on their bunks. After a time the ship pulled into a quiet bay for an hour or two before heading back out into the storm. the process being repeated several times until they arrived at their destination. The anology being that as the captain knew where there was safe refuge and when it was too dangerous for the ship and passengers to be out on the open sea, he put in to a safe haven to rest. Our Pilot too knows how much we can take and gives us rest. But we still have to brave the storm to reach our destination.
    There was NO shunning I am happy to report. Only a bit of awkwardness on the part of a few as one doesn’t know exactly how to act in the situation. I felt loved and accepted…just as I am…without any feeling of animousity or condemnation. The One and I think there only was one, that was a bit awkward was the one that told me to my face that if I had died when I was shot I would have gone to hell…little did he know the truth and the saving power of my Lord. God is a very forgiving God…people not so much. While riding out to the Airlift helicopter I remember asking God to forgive me of my sin. Because I am a sinner and not because of any desperate feeling of being lost or having done anything particularly wrong. More just a Lord if something isn’t cleared up forgive me please. At the time I didn’t even know I had been shot and had no idea what my actual state of being that close to dead was. I had no fear, it was more of a “just in case I’ve missed something” sort of prayer.

  5. January 29, 2013 at 4:57 pm (Edit)
    Let us know if the shunning part will be “annulled” too. I think they were scared to ex you. Wonder how many others are going to be asking to get annulled also. A mental case I know of was expelled. The plot thickens.
    lotsaquestions says:
    January 29, 2013 at 5:21 pm (Edit)
    I guess I’m cynical. i wonder if people will still shun you.

  6. DAD says:

    Chris, I’m very interested how you returned after surgery, ended up being reaccepted then what were the reasons you sought an annullment.

  7. Chris Frase alias: (Set Free) says:

    To my fellow brothers and sisters, travellers to a never ending eternity,
    I have been asked honest questions, by honest people. People, Christians, that have been wounded, because of sin, because of misunderstandings, because of “the letter of the law”.

    But know this and know it well. My membership was not annulled because of fear ! The “shunning has been annulled also with the exception of I am no longer permitted to speak in their pulpits, participate in their “members meetings” or share in the sacraments of communion in rememberance of the blood of Christ and what it means to His followers. This is very similar to the question Pilate asked of the Sanhedrin on the night of His judgement, also done in the dark behind closed doors. Their answer to Pilate as well as their answer to so many now in bondage to that law was, “We have a law” and by that law this man must die because He has made Himself equal with God. Because He has sinned in our eyes before God and we according to “the law” know that that demands death. It’s a “death sin”
    My membership was annulled because of God’s Holy Spirit and that agreeded upon unanimously with this statement, “God does not always work according to “our thinking” but when He moves we must follow even when it is against precedent and our understanding.” If the Son shall make you free you shall be free indeed.
    The scriptures are clear, “Are you bound ? Seek not to be loosed. Are you free ? In my own words “stay that way. 1 Corinthians 7:20-24 KJVA (20) Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called. (21) Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather. (22) For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant. (23) Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men. (24) Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.
    I have been set free, NOT because of Fear, but because of God and His Holy Spirit. People, members of the Holdeman church or any other church…God has a purpose for you being where you are !! Those of you that have and do suffer the pains of the rejection of excommunication,..God has a purpose for you…where you are ! Some need to repent of their bitterness…yes it’s hard I know…I’ve been there. I was excommunicated three times. I have been excommunicated because of sin, I have been excommunicated because of “the law” and I have been excommunicated because of misunderstandings. I’ve been used, abused, and loved …all by the same people. As I look back God had a purpose in every time, that grows plainer by the day. Those things that you suffer are Not always contrary to the will of God and His plan for your life. He takes us through and sends us through the fires both for our sanctification as well as to be able to relate to others if we allow God to use us…to His names honor and glory and not to spread our cynisism or bitterness. Everything that has ever happened to me in my life has happened because of a God ordained purpose. Every sin I have committed (I do not say let us sin that grace may abound), every heartache and sorrow that I have been through and that my family has been through has a God given purpose. Those people that have never suffered, cannot…relate to those who do. If you have, “been there, done that” it is for a purpose and that purpose is twofold at the least. To give God honor, glory and praise, and to strengthen thy brethren. I once had a dearly beloved minister friend of mine that had this commendation of his own brothers, “he was always the good boy, he never did anything wrong.” I say, “Great, Halelluia, Praise the Lord, I wish there were more that had that commendation.” He died a painful death from cancer and he told me, “I never could understand people…because I was never sick, I didn’t know what pain was, I couldn’t relate.” His “goodness” tended toward legalism and self righteousness and I don’t say that in a derogatory way. He told me, “I never knew what it was like…until now. Now I know, now I understand…but it’s too late and it burdens my heart because of the things I did not help others with, Not because it wasn’t my hearts’ desire to help them, but because I didn’t know.”
    My Brother in Christ died…wishing he could have done more…wishing he could have suffered sooner…so he could have helped others and had the empathy he needed. Your trials are not in vain !!! God has a purpose for you…Freedom is not free !! Any Freedom that has ever been has come at a tremendous price in the loss of lives and the shedding of blood !! It comes by giving up everything…our hopes, our dreams, our families, our being “accepted”.
    People I want you to Stop and Think. God created Hell…He knows what it is…It’s real and it’s forever. He didn’t create it for us. He created it for those who turn away from Him…the devil and his angels. God knows the horrors of the Hell “He” created. Now think about this; Knowing what He created, knowing the law, knowing His own righteousness and how He “cannot” tolerate sin and rebellion. He sent His Son to die in our place. Those of you who have children, those of you that “want” children, those of you that “love” children…if you had a child…an only child. Would you, could you…send that child to die for a rebel that was too proud to accept your love ? A sinner, a misunderstood person, a rejected person, a misused person, a bitter person, a broken, wounded bleeding person…so they would not be doomed to a hell…that you had created, a hell that you knew the atrocities of ? That…is the love of God. Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world.” Satan now, Lucifer then. Lucifer…Light bearer was originally created to honor God by bearing God. Instead he wanted to “be” God. Satan planted that thought in the heart of Eve, eat this fruit, know the difference between good and evil…”be like God”
    Far too many times we want to “be” God and don’t even realize it. We want to call the shots, we want to be well thought of, we want to be accepted, approved of, honored and highly esteemed. But it’s always we, we ,we, I, I ,I. God…takes second place to No One ! Not even Jesus Christ.
    (Hebrews 5:8 KJV) Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;

    (1 Chronicles 16:21 KJV) He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes,
    (Psalms 105:14 KJV) He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes;
    (Matthew 3:15 KJV) And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
    (Luke 8:32 KJV) And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them.
    (Luke 8:51 KJV) And when he came into the house, he suffered no man to go in, save Peter, and James, and John, and the father and the mother of the maiden.
    (1 Peter 2:23 KJV) Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
    (Hebrews 4:15 KJV) For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
    Isaiah 53:3-12 KJV He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. (4) Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. (5) But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (6) All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. (7) He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. (8) He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. (9) And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. (10) Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. (11) He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. (12) Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
    What has it cost you to follow God ? What does your bitterness cost you ? What does your cynisism cost you. Are you willing to forsake “All” to follow Him ? I know the bitterness, I know the cynisism, I know what it is to suffer rejection, I know what it is to have those you love turn on you, I know what it is to feel my family torn from me, I know what it is to both reject and to be rejected by my wife…the one I love, the children I love, my family I love, my friends I love…I’ve been there people…I know. Jesus has been there…He knows…God knows.
    Too many times we look for people to accept us…as we are. And I believe that is God’s perfect plan. Can you accept “them”, whoever “them” may be…as they are ? Those who reject you, those who mistreat you, those who don’t understand you, those who’ve turned against you…can you love them ? Can you forgive them ? Do you realize that in reality many of them have never, “been there done that” and simply “don’t know” what they do, the pain they cause, the things you suffer ? Jesus said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” That is how Jesus came. He told us to not be surprised when it happened to us…we’ve been warned what it would cost to sin and we’ve been warned of the price we would pay to follow Jesus. John 16:1-4 KJV These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. (2) They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. (3) And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me. (4) But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.
    (Luke 22:32 KJV) But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
    Luke 9:22-24 KJV Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day. (23) And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. (24) For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
    John 10:27-30 KJV My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: (28) And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (29) My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. (30) I and my Father are one.
    John 12:23-32 KJV And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. (24) Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. (25) He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. (26) If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour. (27) Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. (28) Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. (29) The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him. (30) Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. (31) Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. (32) And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

    We are here to glorify God…we are here to be were He is…the things that He suffered, we will suffer…for the servant is not greater than his Lord. You are Not alone if God is with you !!! There are many who have gone on before you. We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. Lay aside that weight and the sin that does so easily beset you. That weight of rejection, that weight of feeling abused and mistreated, that lack of faith in God. We pray with Christ in Gesthemane, “Let this cup pass from me”…but we forget to say, “nevertheless if it pass not except I drink it Thy will be done.”
    Is Christ your brother ? Do you follow in His footsteps ? Are you willing…to follow His example…and lay down your life…everything…your hopes, your dreams, your family, your spouse, your acceptance by your peers ? Are you willing ? In your patience possess ye your souls. I know the pain…I know the bitterness, I know the never ending waiting, I know what it’s like to have an experience to know my sins are forgiven to know God has accepted me…and to be rejected by the ministers…those that are supposed to be healing and binding up the wounds.
    Paul said he was a Roman. The centurion said “with a great price I have obtained this freedom.” Paul said, “But I was freeborn.” Paul knew the cost of following Christ. The centurion knew the high cost of freedom. The Spirit said of Paul, “But I must shew him how great things he must suffer.” Are you willing to pay the price ? Freedom isn’t free, Salvation isn’t free. Men have died for freedom, Christ died for our freedom. The freedoms of this generation are not appreciated because it didn’t cost them anything. The freedom of Salvation goes unappreciated by far too many people…because it didn’t or they think it shouldn’t…cost them anything. What about you ? Are you willing to pay the price ? Not because you “have to” but because of what Christ has done for you and you “want to” ? What is freedom worth to you ? Are you willing to tell God, “I want to be used by You…whatever it costs !?” Our goal in life should not be to seek an easy path that is pain free, free of rejection, free of misunderstanding, free of suffering. Our purpose here on earth is to point men to God, to bring God honor and glory, to pay the price… so those that follow us may be free. I prayed the prayer…I paid the price…the Son…has set me free. I am not free to do as I wish, even a large pasture has boundaries. I have been set free…to serve. Do you want to be Gods servant ? Are you really sure ? Are you willing to pay the price ? Oh I know you are already paying an extremely high price, I’ve paid it too. But are you doing it because you “have to” or because you “want to”…so that others one day may be set free ?
    Psalms 126:1-6 KJV When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. (2) Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them. (3) The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad. (4) Turn again our captivity, O LORD, as the streams in the south. (5) They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. (6) He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

    We don’t weep because life is easy. We weep because we are in sorrow and great heaviness. The real question is: “Are you bearing precious seed ?” Heaviness is caused by a burden. That burden comes by several diferent means: There is the burden of sin: the burden of rejection; the burden of sorrow; the burden for souls; the burden of churches gone astray……. Jesus Christ is a “burden bearer”. Whatever your burden is whether good or bad…let Him help you carry it. You can’t carry it yourself…I know…I tried. It may take a lifetime…but suffer it to be so. When it’s all said and done it “WILL” be worth it all. God sees our tears, He knows our frustration. Let Him help you…and when you are converted…strengthen your brethren.
    We sometimes misinterpret “and when you are converted” because we Know we have accepted the call of God and are following Him. So was Peter…he was a disciple…he had left all… he saw the miracles around him…he heard Jesus’ messages…he saw people healed…he saw people fed, the blind receive their sight, the deaf hear, the lame walk, the lepers cleansed. He even denied his Lord…not once, but three times. Christ set him free…but then there was work to do. Do you love me ? Feed my sheep. Do you love me ? Feed my lambs. Do you love me ?…can we sense the frustration in Peter ? Yes !! Lord !! You know I love you !!! Feed my sheep. Are you willing ? To be broken…so that others… may be … Set Free
    May God bless all of you, who are still bound, still crying out, still being rejected, still being misunderstood and mistreated…and may ..God..set you free
    If the …Son…shall set you free…you shall be free indeed !! Trust me, I’ve been there, I know.
    But of even greater importance…Trust God…Trust Jesus…He’s been there… He knows
    And there shall be a voice behind you (supporting you, guiding you, helping you) saying; “This is the way, walk ye in it.” I know, I am there. Pray for me that God will continue to use me, That others may know…and be…Set Free

  8. Chris Frase alias: (Set Free) says:

    I did not “seek to return” it was as it were thrust on me. I did not “seek” an annullment, I didn’t even know such a thing existed. But looking back I see God’s hand in it all. Had I never been reaccepted they would have been honor bound as it were to enforce the excommunication and the door would have never been opened for my membership to be annulled.
    I “assume”, and you know how dangerous that can be, That the “reason” for my being annulled is because I was rebaptised “according to my faith” by immersion, “into Christ” not “the church”. They as well as I know my conversion as “a child” is real and genuine. I was baptised then “because that’s what you do” without understanding. I was “rebaptised” with understanding, as a man and not as a child. I see very real similarities to the infant baptism so condemned in the Roman Catholic church from which being rebaptised with understanding the term Annabaptist comes from.

  9. Chris Frase alias: (Set Free) says:

    I am a sheep, one of Gods own.

    Psa 23:1-6 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

    I dreamed a dream one night and this is what I saw;
    I was a sheep, just a common woolly sheep, a little scruffy but not exceptionally so, nothing outstanding in my being, I was only a sheep. I was being led along a path, a dirt path in most places but it went over two piles of rip rap rock (large rocks of broken limestone 18″ in dia or so). The first pile was large and tall and cresting the top I remember stepping in a hole between the rocks and how that hurt my leg so that I cried out “it hurts”. On coming down off that pile I crossed a short bit of dirt path and then came to a much smaller pile of rocks that I had to go over. When I had passed the last rock pile I was in a plain and followed the path along it’s dusty trail. After a time I noticed a barbed wire fence on either side of the path, the path being four to six feet wide with gates set in the fence every so often, maybe a half mile apart. As I walked, the wind would sometimes blow so ferociously that the dust would blot out the trail, blinding and choking me. I often turned at the gates, seeking the pastures I saw on the other side, but the gates were always closed and the pastures cropped short, barren and empty. On thinking back the gates always opened into the path in such a manner as to let whatever was in the pasture out into the path heading in the same direction I was going, so that were it possible for me to enter the pasture I would have had to pass the gate and turn around and go back. At first I stopped and looked longingly into the dry pastures but then there was a voice behind me that said “this is the way walk ye in it”(Isa 30:21), after which I barely gave notice to the gates I passed. It was then just a long dry dusty path, a matter of plodding along and just putting one foot in front of the other, mile after lonely mile. After awhile I came to a forest that at first was a scattering of trees that the farther I went the closer and darker the woods became. The path seemed well defined even tho it gradually got darker and seemed to be evening and the sun going down. At last it was pitch black and as I walked I remember the sound of a mighty rushing stream altho I don’t recall crossing it in the dark I know somehow, somewhere I did. Then it was light ! Not just light, but noontime bright, with a clear blue sky and I was in grass belly deep and sweet as sugar. Tender, sweet, succulent, grass. The taste was so real that I could recall the taste when I thought of the dream for many years after. The pasture was gently rolling hills that stretched as far as the eye could see, endless waving grass. The sky an endless expanse of blue. And that ended my dream.
    A dream come true after the dusty trail, a paradise for a hungry sheep. I’ve wondered at times why I had such a vivid dream. It was not the common dream of a night that one has and soon forgets. At the time of this writing it is over twenty years since I had that dream and it is as real now as it was then, it has waned some as I can no longer taste the grass when I think of it but I remember the grass being so sweet and good and just belly deep, on a happy sheep.
    I know God has good in store for us if we but follow his path. At times the path goes over rocky places and we bark our shins and cry out in pain. Other times it’s dry and dusty and we wonder where those green pastures are he’s promised. At times we have to just persevere and plod along day by day until the end. There are those dark places where we can’t see and must walk in faith, but oh the joy! when we at last reach our destination and find ourselves in a large and plenteous pasture and a glorious day.

    On thinking back at times one thing I’ve pondered is ; why, sheep being herd animals, was I walking alone and in the pasture alone ? One day as I questioned God and asked him why was I alone His response to me was, “Did you ever lack anything ?” I said “No” He asked, “Did I ever leave you or forsake you?” Again I said “No”. And I came to the realization that after all, he is all I need. He leads, he directs, he feeds, and he gives strength for the day, healing for the hurts, help in time of need. What more could I ask for ? As I thought back to the path between the fences I recall how deep the dust was and the scraps of wool caught in the barbs of the fence and I realized there has been a multitude go before me and one day we’ll all be united but for now whether with a flock or struggling alone all must persevere until the end, where we’ll reach those green and endless pastures that our shepherd has waiting for us at the end of the trail. The pastures along the trail, while they looked more inviting than the trail, were empty, the grass was brown and merely stubble, it was, after all, used up. God will and does provide for us as we follow Him.

    © Written Oct,2008.

    Chris Frase
    1121 King Branch Rd
    Linden, TN 37096-5239
    United States of America

  10. You say that you that this action was not taken out of fear, but I beg to differ with you. In your comment on the post I wrote “Who is God’s Anointed?” you made the comment that these men, when they step out of line are so easily crossing into the area of usurping God’s authority. Could it be that a godly fear has come over them, one that has been too long absent, with arrogance and pride in its place? To excommunicate a man for being baptized in the way that the Bible and his conscience tells him to is a fearsome thing indeed, and it WILL have consequences. People are also excommunicated for the “sin” of taking communion, can you imagine such insanity? Particularly in light of the fact that it is sacrament that is hard to come by in the Holdeman church. God is not mocked, and there has been too much mocking going on as they go about abusing and beating the sheep; instead of binding up so often because they have a law, they have harmed the lambs.

    Let me also say this, if in fact they did it for the right reasons, because they cannot be bound by law but must go against precedent and their own law if God tells them to…..if in fact this is really true and they weren’t just obfuscating once again, then in fact, the one true church has fallen on its face.Regardless of what they think this means to you or to them, or what they will do with future requests for annulment, the door has been flung wide open. Once they go against their own rule and show mercy (a thing that I have almost never seen. I hate to say never, because surely it has happened upon occasion, but I have not seen it) there will be a never ending parade of people who ask them to suspend their law and break with precedent in any number of ways. Not only that, the men who made this decision did not do it with the agreement of every single minister in the conference, I’m sure. There will be those die-hard hide-bound legalists who will rise up in rage, as they see their power slipping away. Let’s stand on the side of truth justice mercy and love.

    Continue to preach, brother! I have been begging people to step out, to speak out, to be fearless, to do what they know God is speaking to their hearts regardless of the cost. You put in the most articulate and passionate words, and you say it as one who has done it. You say it as one who has been in the furnace as it burned you until there was nothing left but a piece of material that God could use. May we all seek that fire, painful as it may be!

  11. Chris Frase alias: (Set Free) says:

    Thank you Hiram. When I say it was not done out of fear I know from the tenor of my meeting to make sure “we’re on the same page” there was a warm feeling and most definitely not a fear factor felt by me. As to “All” feeling that way I can’t honestly say not having been in on those conversations or meetings. I do know that at least one minister did not have a peaceful look on his face that night, but if we jump to the conclusion that he wasn’t in agreement (he did get up and say he was, but that can easilly go back to your autonomy costs post) we exclude the possibility that it was bothering him because of the incongruity of setting me free and excommunicating another one after I left “because she went with her husband instead of breaking up their home or being insubmissive to his thinking” and not because she had done anything wrong. Kick ’em in the butt and they’ll leave you alone, just leave and they’ll kick you out. ???? Back to the “nothing makes sense” but I do have to admit I’m still glad and I don’t intend to go back other than to just sit and listen (who knows how long that will last ? Probably not real long ?) But I know whom I have believed…and it ain’t John Holdeman or his cronies. And I know I do have a purpose for being alive, and I know I want to spend my life for God, with or without anybody else (which won’t happen because there are many Christians in this world that don’t think they have to look different “so people “know” they’re a “peculiar” people”) And that doesn’t seperate families and husbands and wives in church…because “someone “might” act inappropriately with the opposite sex.” The biggest thing that I see in their power struggle is that while they do everything behind closed doors, they don’t “trust” anybody. People will mess up, people will sin…God knows that…why do you think He sent His Son to die for us ?? Because we’re perfect saints and angels ?? I mean really ??!! My Mom used to tell me if it wasn’t for my horns my halo would have fell off long ago 8^> !! God Bless her.
    Another tidbit from the past; After my mother and my wifes mother had both passed away and been gone for several years I saw them together (dream or vision ???)…one a staunch dyed in the wool member, the other just as staunch dyed in the wool exed, but both converted and covered by the Blood…they were (looked to be) between 30 and 40 probably closer to 30 (in their 60s when they died). And they were jumping up and down like two little school girls yelling, “come on, come on…you just won’t believe it !!” Even so come quickly Lord Jesus. Next time I have a “near death” experience I hope God is through with me here so I can go see for myself !! I don’t want to hear about it ! I want to be there !!! SSHH that’s the (holdemans, seventh day adventist, Church of Christ…fill in the blank…muslim?) they think they’re the only ones here. I know I’m being sarcaustic but the point is, it’s a heart matter !! Is your heart right with God ?! Are you washed in the Blood of Jesus Christ, are you covered ??? Do you know ?? If not you better find out and make sure !! And it doesn’t matter if you’re dyed in the wool staunch cgicm or hindu you need to know where you stand with God and that you confess Jesus Christ and believe…believing is “DOING” not just listening and thinking about it. Do you have a conviction that God is asking you to DO ? Does the Word agree with your conviction ? If It does and you do… you’d better be up and doing !! Faith without works is dead. We DO “because” we believe. Faith “is” believing. There is One Faith, (faith in the saving blood of Jesus Christ and God) One Church, (those who have their robes washed white in the blood of the Lamb), One baptism, ( the baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire) that is “symbolized” as a witness to others that we “have had” the One Baptism. One Lord, (Jesus Christ)…people don’t get it because it’s too easy to believe !!
    It’d be about like me “not believing” Vanderbilt when they wrote that simple three sentence letter ! “We’ve considered your case. We’re able to offer you full asstance. All of your accounts are paid in full.” It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that’s a good deal ??!! But it takes faith to believe it and humility accept it. And “All He asks” is that we say “Thank You” !! Folks I think Vanderbilt University Hospital is the best place to be when I’m sick and wounded and it’s not “just because” they cleared my debt that I couldn’t pay. It’s because everyone from the doctors (only had one grump) to the janitors are happy, helpful and DO their Work with one of the best attitudes of any place I’ve ever been. I asked a doctor why it is that way about a month ago. He said because they pay good, have great benefits and “want” you. Why do you…want to serve God ?? I know why I do…because He pays good, the benefits are out of this world, and He wants me !!! Granted He’s getting a crummy deal even when I do the best I can…but hey, He made the terms and set the pay ? I just accepted it. Just don’t get fired…it’s hell to pay ! I believe you really have to work at it to get fired because once you’re in, you’re part of the family,…and it’s hard to fire family. You know how family is…there can be all manner of squabbling among brothers and sisters, but don’t let someone else mess with your brother or sister or the fights on…Satan is messing with us. If that’s a poor anology someone please enlighten me ?

  12. Chris Frase alias: (Set Free) says:

    I ask an interest in your prayers all who read this blog. I woke up this morning 3:am with one of my favorite songs on my mind and heart. Page 166 in the green Christian Endeavor song book. That is the prayer of my heart. There is work to do and the time is short !
    Give me Lord a Double Portion, pour thy Spirit on me, through eyes of faith Thy wondrous works I now see, but I need Thy helping hand in this troubled sinful land, Give me Lord a double portion from Thee.
    Folks if the spirit that is in you isn’t from the Lord, then where is it from ????

    I want to relate a happening when I was a young man on the farm. My neighbor called and he had a problem…serious problem. He raised hogs…in confinement. Twelve of his 200 pound pigs had got loose and were in the slurry pit under the floor. Could I help get them out ? They had got out of their pen, rooted up the floor boards in the aisle and ended up in …you know what. Their noses, ears and about an inch and a half of their backs is all that was above the stinking soup. If left in there they would die. Under the floor where we could not reach them they crowded towards the outer edges of the building. We poked and prodded with rods through the slats in the floor but pigs can be, “stubborn as a hog on ice”. Only someone who has tried to convince a pig to go somewhere it didn’t want to go knows what that’s like….but pigs “Love” to eat !! Give them some food and they’ll run over you trying to get it. It is no problem to lead” a pig with a bucket of corn. Sheep are not much different I’ve raised both. Only that pigs are more assertive “in some instances”.
    Back to my story and it’s not just a “story” it happened. Well after prodding and poking to no avail we finally decided there was only one way to get them to come to the middle. Turn off the fans. That much slurry is a methane gas producing soup. Your life depends on fresh air and so did the pigs’. As the air got stale the pigs came to the middle, but the floor was too far above their heads for them to climb out on their own. I looked at my neighbor and he looked at me ??? Now what ??? I only saw one solution…there was…only one way. I rolled up my sleeves and reached in. I caught each pig by a leg and pulled it out. After they had gone under, “completely” and come back up and were standing on the floor the first thing they did was shake like a dog shaking the water out of it’s coat. Guess where all that lovely soup went ?? Yep, you got it… all over me…from head to toe. No stopping now there were more to rescue. We worked until we got the last one out and in the pen it belonged in…up on top where they belonged. We turned the fans on checked to make sure all was well and went home. Of course you couldn’t tell were we had been…unless you were within fifty feet of us and overpowered by the stench. Once I got home the first place I headed was the shower…of course ! I washed my hair four times, my body just as many and my hands and arms no telling how many times with copious quantities of soap. Thought I was pretty clean after that…pity the poor souls that sat beside me in church that Wednesday night.
    My lungs were so full of the gas that they hurt. I had the stench so imbedded in my airways that I couldn’t smell myself…except when I tried to eat and my hands got close to my nose. It was over three weeks before I got the “most” of the smell out of my lungs and wore it off of me. If you don’t believe me ask my family…they know.

    As a husbandman…as a neighbor…as a shepherd…as an hireling… as a Samaritan… how far are you willing to go to rescue the perishing ? Are you willing to roll up your sleeves and reach in…however far you have to ? Are you willing to…get dirty ?? Are you willing to take the chance of giving your life for theirs ?? How far will you go ?? What…will “serving” the Lord require of you ?? Are you willing ? Can you give your all ? Christ did for you. When my neighbor called I had no idea what I was getting into…I just went…to help in whatever way I could. When God calls…we have no idea what we’re getting into. But we tell Him we’re coming and we’ll do what he asks us to do…whatever it takes. Brothers and sisters…souls are at stake !!! Will you go ? Whatever the cost ? Are you willing to follow your Saviour and lay down your life ?! He told us the works that He did…we’ll do and greater. Do you believe it ? Has He ever lied ? I have a problem with the “untruth” !! Don’t sugar coat God’s Word !! Call a Lie a Lie and say what God says…No Liar shall enter into heaven…That’s why Satan won’t be there. Jesus didn’t sugar coat anything when He called the scribes and Pharasees hypocrites…vipers…children of their father the devil !! Don’t sugar coat the Truth !! The Truth is…we’re filthy !! The Truth is…we stink !! The Truth is we need washed in the Blood !! The Truth is we need to dip seven times like Naaman of old. Have you ever stopped to think why the prophet didn’t come to the door ?? He could smell Naaman a long ways off and he “knew” what he needed without getting close to him !! Hold your robes of righteousness close around you and …walk on by ! Stop…and look from the other side of the road !! Or have compassion…be willing to get your hands dirty. Be willing to get some of the blood and grime of a wounded man on you as you pour in the oil and wine and set him on your donkey. Be willing to pay the price when you return. And don’t just be willing…DO IT !!!!!

    James 1:22-27 KJV But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. (23) For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: (24) For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. (25) But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. (26) If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this “man’s religion is vain”. (27) Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

    May we be up and doing.
    May God bless us all. “Do” you want the blessing ? Then Do It !!

    • I like the way you put this Chris. I like the way you approach this. I have been wondering for the longest time where the people are who will simply see the truth and stand up for it. I do believe we are on the brink of seeing more of this.

  13. Andrew Friesen says:

    Hallelujah to God for setting us free! Thank you brother Chris for sharing your story.

    I have never posted anything since my wife & I left the Holdeman Church in May 2011 because the expelled forums where so full of bitterness. I also commend this website for your balanced (as much as possible)

    This too was because of God freeing me from a life of sin WITHIN the church. I just couldn’t get victory over my sin which is incredibly condemning in an organization that has lost the focus on Jesus Christ and has placed God’s glory on the organization. This caused huge depression and turmoil for 19 years I was in the church. Whoever does this WILL be shown to be building on sand just as I was.

    The breakthrough came when I realized that I was trusting the “church” for my salvation and not Jesus Christ. I became totally free of all the major sins that I struggled with for those 19 years (angry outbursts & sexual debauchery). There was a deliverance from the consuming fear of man that I had. Those who are honest in my former congregation would have to testify that I was a totally changed man.

    At that time God revealed to me that I would not be able to retain my peace with Him if I would stay in the church. In finding out about Doug & Viona Rehger and what happened to them I knew that the best thing would be to leave. God showed me that the “CHURCH” would eventually wear me down because Jesus was not king there.. An organisation that covers sin and oppresses the poor is under the judgement of God and will have to repent.

    May God give grace and that the godly ones left in the Holdeman church pray & confess their sins openly that they may be saved from the ungodly tares amoung them that are only protecting their own power. If they don’t repent they will become completely dead just like so many churches. They have no idea how much I LONG that their blindness (judgement) would be taken away.

    Andrew Friesen

  14. ~Set Free says:

    I am often reminded of the perfect balance of God. On the one side law and justice and on the other mercy and forgiveness. As humans we tend to be unbalanced. Either too harsh and demanding or too lenient and unfaithful. We need to keep to the middle of the road. Just now I think the middle cross. A thief on either side. We read in Joh 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. As I’ve thought different times of our road of life this thought has come (and it is not original with me), For every mile of road there is two miles of ditch. Whether we stray to the left or to the right is of little consequence we’ll still end up in the ditch ! We need balance and the middle of the road. We drive down the road and there are lines on the road. A center line and two edge lines. If we stray from our course and cross the center line to the left we risk a head on collision with on coming traffic and almost certain death. If we stray from our course and cross the line on the right we are also at risk of damage to life and limb. But if we stay in the middle, in between the lines that designate our lane we are relatively safe. There are of course other hazards that we must be aware of and on the lookout for, but generally speaking we are safe while in our lane.
    Keep to the middle of the road. Look to the middle cross.
    Luk 21:15-19
    15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.
    16 And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.
    17 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.
    18 But there shall not an hair of your head perish.
    19 In your patience possess ye your souls.
    This 19th verse comes to me just now for some reason. I have often been impatient in my life. Impatient with God, impatient with others, impatient with myself.
    Impatient with God; we want God to work according to our thoughts and desires instead of according to His plan for our life.
    Impatient with others; we often get bent out of shape when others don’t do like “we” think they ought to, or when they fail and sin against us when we are holding them to a higher standard of conduct than even we are able to maintain ? Mat 6:14-15 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
    Impatient with myself; Frustrated when “I” do not maintain that standard of conduct that I feel is required of me to enter heaven. Cast down when I fail and sin especially after being so freely forgiven. Mat 18:21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Read Mat 18:22-35 Relates to not only forgiving our brother but also forgiving ourselves. Pro 24:16 For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.
    Eph 5:29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: (taken somewhat out of context yet it leaves the thought of taking care of ourselves and others).
    Well the water heater pilot keeps blowing out ! A common problem for me when we have wind that swirls and blows from every different direction like it’s doing today. Maybe my next water heater will need to be electric ? Think I’ll just let it stay off until the wind dies down, that’ll help my patience !!
    Always something. Actually we have it quite good, it hasn’t been that long since people didn’t have running hot water. Now we take it for granted and complain when it doesn’t work. !! So much for modern conveniences !! Have a great day !!
    Love and Prayers,
    Chris ~Set Free

  15. ~Set Free says:

    July 10 Rylisms —John C Ryle

    So We Be Fools and Maniacs?
    “….the prophet is considered a fool, the inspired man a maniac.” (Hosea 9:7, NIV).
    The Dreamer visioned Life as it might be,
    and from his dream forthright a picture grew;
    a painting all the people thronged to see,
    and joked therein — till came the Man Who Knew,
    saying: “This is bad! Why do ye gape, ye fools!
    He painteth not according to the schools.”
    The Dreamer probed Life’s mystery of woe,
    and in a book he sought to give the clue;
    The people read, and saw that it was so,
    and read again — then came the Man Who Knew,
    saying: “Ye witless ones! This book is vile;
    it hath not got the rudiments of style.”
    Love smote the Dreamer’s lips, and silver clear
    he sang a song so sweet, so tender true,
    that all the market-place was thrilled to hear,
    and listened rapt — till came the Man Who Knew,
    saying: “His technique’s wrong; he singeth ill,
    waste not your time.” The singer’s voice was still.
    And then the people roused as if from sleep,
    crying, “What care we if it be not Art!
    Hath he not charmed us, made us laugh and weep?
    Come, let us crown him where he sits apart!”
    Then, with his picture spurned, his book unread,
    His song unsung, they found their dreamer — dead.
    (The Man Who Knew, by Robert W. Service)
    A poignant reality far too often.
    Be ready for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of man cometh. (Mat 24:44, Luk 12:40) it is not so important to be ready for The End of Time as it is to be ready for My End of Time. For many people Their End will come before The End. Matthew 24: 4–24 Luke 17:20¬¬¬–37
    God sees when a man’s dreams go scoffed at and unrealized. Sometimes to the loss of those God intended to bless and benefit, He removes the dreamer from their midst that he may dream for God in paradise. God sees and understands…and weeps with us. Matthew 5:1–12; Luke 4:18,21,23,24; Luke 12; 1Samuel 8:7; Hosea 4:6

  16. ~Set Free says:

    I am going to be posting writings that I have done over the past several years, along with some things that I believe to be in public domain. The things that others have written like the post above the author will be noted where they are known. To the best of my knowlege it is public domain ?

    Some are dreams, some are just thoughts. Some have dates some don’t. For the most part the inspirations came between 2008 and 2010. So if it “appears like I’m doing a lot of writing…probably not…just copying and pasting.

    ~Chris ~Set Free

    • lotsaquestions says:

      Should you start your own website?

      • ~Set Free says:

        I don’t know nuthin about how to and why should I when this one is available ? Why reinvent the wheel ? I just plain don’t know why I would (and for sure not how) unless I’m offending someone here ? If I am or have I guess they’ll just have to be plain enough and blunt enough to tell me ? Have I went beyond the bounds of propriety with the quantity of what I have written upon finding as it were a new toy ? If I have I will most gladly back off . Don’t be afraid of hurting my feelings if I have in that way because I really do want to do what is right and good. But if there is a reason that I “should” in fact start my own website I would need to know how and why.
        I be needin enlightenment perhaps ?

        I don’t want to go beyond the bounds of propriety or of a large pasture and if I need to have more distance between the cows I’m open to that thought. I have noticed and this is incidental and should in no way be taken as derogatory, When there’s plenty of grass the cows eat close together but in my travells out west I have noticed that there is often a lot of space between the cows when they are eating because of a lack of available forage and the fact that they have to range farther to eat. Also if this is as it were one of the wells dug that was strove over I am not opposed to moving on peacefully. I do not want to cause strife even if it is for what seems to be a good cause. To be honest at the moment I’m not aware of (haven’t bookmarked any) other sites because the others were so negative. I guess for now this pasture seems relatively safe and ample. I’m open.

  17. ~Set Free says:

    Lamb feed
    Dec 14, 2009 —Chris Frase
    The other morning I had an interesting dream: I was in a pen with two buckets of Corn. One cracked corn the other had some whole kernel shelled corn in it. Feed troughs scattered around a bare dirt lot on a hillside. I picked up a bucket, the cracked corn and called, “Here, sheep, sheep !” Stampede !! as 100–150 lambs came running and crowding around. 40–50 lb feeder lambs, nice fat little rascals, some bigger, some smaller, some sleek some not so sleek, but all in general good shape and approximately the same size. A good pen of lambs by any standard. That was the extent of my dream, other than to note that the second bucket of corn did contain some shelled corn and not just cracked corn.
    I’ve spent several days pondering different aspects of the dream and my knowledge of feed from growing up on the farm. We ground feed about once a week. Either took it to town to the feed mill, had a feed truck come to the farm, or later on had our own feed grinder. We added: salt, minerals, and molasses. We ground corn, wheat, hay, barley, spelt, and oats. The bulk of the feed being corn, wheat, and barley.
    I remember the fine pig feed and the medium chicken feed and the coarse cattle feed. And in particular my Mom’s admonition that clean, fresh water is the cheapest feed available. We dumped out the old water and gave fresh water twice a day if it was in buckets, the cows had an automatic waterer.
    Now you’ve got the background for my limited edition thoughts !
    The goodness of God that He breaks down the Word so we can digest it. Jesus is and was known to His disciples by breaking the bread. If you want to turn people away, choke them with a whole loaf of bread ! If you want them to come, break off a little piece of freshly buttered, warm, fresh bread and ‘entice’ them to want more. We often used a scoop of feed to coax animals to come, just an eensy taste and hold it out to them. But you have to give them a taste and it has to be good or they’re done with you. Patience, patience, patience. To be in a hurry was a futile waste of time. We observe God is a God of infinite patience and He says in His Word, Luke 21:19 In your patience possess ye your souls.
    Back to the feed. A little salt, a little mineral, a little molasses makes it taste good, helps us digest it, gives us a little added nutrition. But the bulk of the feed is still the corn and the wheat. My friend and I pondered just a little together and wondered how or who figured out how much salt to put in cow feed ?? I’ve pondered together with this dream, this verse, Matthew 5:13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. I told my friend, salt loses it’s savour in one of two ways, (1) It is left to draw damp and becomes unused, stale, flat and tasteless. (2) It is overused to the point it causes those who taste it to vomit and it becomes repulsive to them. The first is a lifeless body, the second is a Pharasaical self righteous body.
    As I considered the broken bread and the lambs my mind turned to the Passover lamb. It was to be eaten in haste and fully consumed anything left was to be burned with fire and who in a normal mind is going to waste good meat ? So in effect the Israelites gorged themselves on lamb, unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Now we all know what kind of indigestion that could cause ! My Dad said someone had come up with a figure of some 285,000 lambs were eaten that night ? I see the infinite wisdom of God in several aspects, lets look at some of the detail: Eaten standing up, in haste, with bitter herbs, without leaven. To stand up and eat in haste will allow one to eat a larger quantity, the bitter herbs were to settle their stomachs and aid their digestion, no fluff in unleavened bread, just good solid nutrition. This was a combination necessary for that large group of people to have the strength to travel a long way in the middle of the night. The infinite wisdom of God in seemingly unnecessary little details. How else do you move a million people on foot ? Might not have been a million but you get the idea. Another little detail that just now comes to mind is by eating the lambs the tender of the flock were gone and it may have been mostly full grown flocks traveling with them ? I don’t know that, I’m just thinking out loud. Ultimately God wants us to get all the nutritional value available for us. He doesn’t want any of His feed going to waste. Isaiah 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
    Any farm boy knows whole kernel corn mostly goes right through everything but chickens. When Jesus fed the multitudes, He looked up to heaven and blessed it and brake it and gave to his disciples to give to the people. He’s still doing that today. His bread is good solid food. It’s unleavened; no fluff. Doesn’t mean it’s not sweet or inviting or tasteless or repulsive. Just good solid food. And like the manna of old, Exodus 16:16 This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded, Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, according to the number of your persons; take ye every man for them which are in his tents. We also gather for others. Mathew 19:21
    Exodus 16:17 And the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, some less.
    Exodus 16:18 And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating.

    Well this about concludes my thoughts on the subject at present, but perhaps God would grind it smaller yet that we might gain even more ? Share the Gospel of God and of Jesus Christ
    It’s good food !
    It ~Sets you Free and I don’t know about you but I hate indigestion.

  18. ~Set Free says:

    Committed, Now Complacent
    There is a tiny harbor town on the ocean shore where many ships have crashed on the rocks in violent weather. This town became well-known because of a dedicated rescue team which aided mariners in distress. The rescue team would rally to the sound of the siren and rush to the scene of the accident, risking life and limb to save the sailors from drowning. As time went on, the citizens of that tiny town raised enough money to build a rescue station close to the shore. While this greatly facilitated the operation, it softened the dedicated team as well. As time went by they added some of the comforts and conveniences that other rescue stations had. Through the years the rescue station became a social club where the town’s people gathered to have fun and relax. Ships would still crash upon the rocks, the alarm would still sound, but eventually no one responded. They were reluctant to leave their comforts because their commitment to rescue the miserable mariners was no match for their complacency.
    My Dream ~The Great House
    I had a dream many years ago and this is what I dreamed;
    There was a large grassy plain near the ocean with many of my friends and family picnicking on it. On facing the ocean there was a tall hill to the right with a large victorian house, complete with wrap around porches and lots of gingerbread trim (fancy curliques). The house was painted a pale golden yellow with white trim. A strong and sturdy house with large rooms and many rooms and lots of large windows to let in the ocean breezes. A concrete sidewalk with steps and pipe handrail led down to the grassy plain. The day started out beautiful with blue skies and white fluffy clouds, but towards evening a storm came in from the sea. I sent my wife and family up to the house while I helped clear the picnick tables and clean up some of the trash that was blowing around, with some of the others. On facing away from the sea there was the big hill with the house to my left and a small hillock with a small barn and an apple tree to the right and an area much like a road, only grassy, in between and lower than the hillock. Between the storm and the rising tide we found a flood coming upon us, my parents and I, my parents climbed the little hillock and took refuge in the barn and later in the apple tree. I waded thru ankle deep water to go to the house but then came back to tell my parents to come up to the house. When I came back thru the water it was knee deep, swift, and swiftly rising. I plead with my parents to quick come up to the house yet they assured me they would be ok. By now the water was knee deep on the little knoll and my parents were climbing the apple tree. I headed back to the house to get ropes and help to get my parents to safety. This time when I crossed the road the water was rushing and chest deep, as I got close to the other side I was swept off my feet and just in time caught hold of the pipe handrail at the bottom of the steps. With great effort and fear I managed to drag myself out of the current and gain the stairs. Gasping and weak from exertion I climbed the steps intent on getting help for me and my parents. The house was well lit up with light flowing from every window and the sound of music coming from within. As I drew near and climbed up on the porch I looked in the window to see a great crowd enjoying each others company behind the closed windows. Chest heaving and dripping wet I looked for the door. And then I woke up.
    I’ve pondered this dream many times and see both good and bad. As I think of being safe within the house of God, there is joy in the Fathers house. Yet it troubles me that there was no concern for those outside the house struggling for their very lives. Inside the house was a party atmosphere while outside a storm raged and people were perishing. As I ponder and consider my dream and the story preceding it I wonder how is it in the kingdom of God today ?? Have we lost the vision to rescue the perishing and care for the dying ? As I climbed those many steps to get up to the house it was dark. What happened to the vision to let the lower lights be burning ? As I looked longingly in at the windows I wondered “Why does no one come to the rescue? Does no one care about others ?” As I think of the great commission to “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mar 16:15 I think of the commitment it takes, the effort involved, the willingness to sacrifice of our own comfort for the benefit of others, am I willing to go? Am I willing to go again ? Am I willing to commit my life to God,… for others ? 1Ch 29:5 The gold for things of gold, and the silver for things of silver, and for all manner of work to be made by the hands of artificers. And who then is willing to consecrate his service this day unto the LORD? Am I willing to give of my gold if I’m blessed with much ? Am I willing to give of my silver if I’m blessed with a little less ? Am I willing to give of whatever I have to benefit another ? Am I willing to give of myself ? That, that is most precious to me, my own private self centered life, that part of me that I feel like I’ve earned and deserve, can I give it all up when I’m tired and my day has gone wrong and all I want to do is take care of me ? Can I follow the example of my Lord ? Mat 15:30 And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus’ feet; and he healed them: Mat 15:32 Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way. Mar 6:31 And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.
    Sometimes we need to “come apart and rest” and other times, even tho we’re weary with the toil of the day, Jesus tells us to “give ye them to eat” Mar 6:37. It is my wish and prayer that both myself and all who read this would both be a part of God’s great house and also be about his business and reach out to others that many could find that peace and joy of being within the Fathers house.

    Chris Frase Oct, 2008 Linden, TN

  19. ~Set Free says:

    There will be those with blinders who only see God’s great house as their particular religion. I believe the great house in the respect that there were none helping the perishing to be just that…religion…a form of godliness without the power. It takes power to go through the storms and floods and especially so when you are trying to recue someone that is perishing. To be in “the Fathers house” is not in my mind to be a part of this or that “religious” organization. But rather to be a part of His Church…Revelation 7:9-10 KJV After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; (10) And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.

    The teaching that has been put forth in the past about “the church” being like a little circle inside a big circle is self-righteous heresy. You are either in God’s Church, a saved member of the body of Christ (no denomination or religion in that, that I see.) or you are not. Let your yea be yea and your nay nay. To say that there are two seperate kingdoms of God, one within the other is proof enough to me that there is no OTVC doctine in the bible. If you are saved it’s yea and if you are not it’s nay. It’s either, or, and not, “Well I believe there will be others saved that are not a part of our church, but…” and in that very statement we see the picture; “our” church vs “God’s Church” To try to say “our church” or “the” church” is “God’s Church” when by it’s fruits it most definitely isn’t God’s Church, is the heigth of folly as well as heresy. Does that mean that I believe people in one denomination / religion have a better chance to be saved than those in another when I talk of a circle within a circle ? Ponder it.
    As my Mom used to tell me, “Use your head for something more than a hat rack, God gave you a brain to think and He expects you to use it.”

    If you are caught in a trap you have to think to be ~Set Free. But it’s not about us thinking so much as it is about allowing the Word of God to be opened up to us and allowing the Holy Spirit to open to us the hidden things of God.
    I have made some brain teaser puzzles in the past and they can be aggravatingly hard to figure out, but when the light comes on it’s so simple it’s ridiculous. Let God shine His light on your questions and On His Word. He has come to open the eyes of the blind. But first you have to admit to God that you are blind and cry out to Him for help. No one that has vision impairment has any improvement until they get the right glasses or now days corrective surgery. And no one that refuses to admit to themselves that they don’t have clear vision will use glasses or submit to the surgery.

  20. brotherhiram says:

    Chris, you asked if you should start your own website. I don’t see any need for that, at the moment. I have a feeling you are feeling quite manic, as you have stated, and I believe that years of oppression, being put down shut up and belittled have taken a toll on you. How refreshing it must be for you to be able to speak what is on your heart without fear. You have a great deal of valuable information to share. I have a friend who pastors a church and sometimes I have been surprised at the people he :”allows” there. They do not meet my standards, the ones that have been ground into me from babyhood. My thinking has been, if I don’t like you and I dont’ think you fit the mold, then you should go. This friend says to me “They need mercy, not judgment!” Oh, what a beautiful thought. All of us are so in need of mercy and love, not judgment! All of us need to get under the load with our brother and help him to carry it. It is when we can find acceptance and love, MERCY, that we can grow and understand our Father better.

    I appreciate your humility and openness as you share the grueling ordeal you have been through. You have not spared yourself. I know that we all tend to turn the wheels of gossip, and in so doing we rob our brothers and sisters of their value. I remember hearing of the rather dramatic incident at Lobelville, and rather than having the proper compassion, I assumed many things. I knew nothing of the actual situation, but I placed many judgments upon it, from every angle. Those preachers had it coming. Bout time they got what they deserved. That man must be crazy. Hahaha. I was actually that cruel and heartless. Years have passed and I have of course amended my attitude, but still this type of thing dogs us. I want to create an environment here of safety, love, peace and security for ALL who are wounded, or who just want to share, ask questions, or read. Too much hurt has been dealt out to too many of us, and I for one will not be responsible for ever passing out any more. I am hoping you will heal; I am hoping you will find meaning and worth in a life that many others might have decided is a joke. The cleansing and purifying fire has to burn hot sometimes. I admire those who come through it shining like gold. Soldier on my friend. The race has been set before you., You have mentioned to me in emails that you correspond with, and I believe visit, many prisoners, felons like yourself, reaching out to them with nonjudgmental caring. I want to extend the same mercy and kindness to all who come here.


  21. ~Set Free says:

    Thanks Hiram, I’ll be out of pocket for awhile as I catch up on other duties folks. I’ll be back later for now I just got a lot to do. I just don’t want anybody thinking they have offended me…you haven’t. I have other things to do also.
    BTW went to the mental health clinic today…upping the meds. Whew !! Being this high is sorta scary even if it feels good…too close to going over the edge. I called one of my friends the day after my annullment to just come be with me a while until I settled down a bit. What would a fellow do without friends ? When you can see the tip of the iceburg and sense the mass beneath you need to seek help if it’s just someone to listen. I have learned if you need help…you have to ask for it, for the simple reason, “If people don’t “know” they think you must be doing OK.” Don’t be afraid to ask for support. Jesus said, “ask and ye shall receive.” the reciprocal is, “Don’t ask and you won’t receive.” Even though there are those times you ask and don’t receive…sometimes it’s because we ask the wrong one perhaps ? We dare not be offended if someone simply doesn’t have the time at the moment…perhaps they will another day ? We need to remember that Satan is the accuser of the brethren. He’s in the wedge driving business…he doesn’t want us, Set Free.

  22. ~Set Free says:

    Those cast out yet have a place.

    Genesis 21:17 And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is.
    Genesis 21:18 Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation.

    I have often been impressed with the care God takes of those who are as it were the ‘underdog’ in biblical history. Much is said of being kind to the stranger, there are different accounts of the poor and the stranger being provided for by the hand of God when the children of the kingdom were left to suffer. Luke 4:24-27 And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country. 25 But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; 26 But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. 27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian. There are those who like the Jews say Luke 3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. For many are the children of Abraham being children of Faith in the promises of God. Galatians 3:7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
    So where am I today ? Am I a child of faith ? Faith in the promises of the God of Abraham ? Do I have a living faith and not a historical and/or dead faith ? There are many people in the world and in the church who have a historical faith, a faith of lineage no different than that of the Jews. Yet I ask this question; “Is your faith Alive ?” Does it work in you ? Does it work through you ? Is it of God ? What does your faith DO for you and also for those around you ? Is your faith healthy ? Does your faith give you power through the saving blood of Jesus ?1 John 5:3-5 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. 4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
    The widow of Sarepta had the faith to bake a cake first for the prophet. Naaman had the faith to go to Irael to seek healing and then his faith was tested when he was told to go dip in the Jordan river. His servants encouraged him to “just do it”. Do I have that servant heart that is able to encourage another ? Do I have the humility to accept the encouragement of my fellow servants, even those beneath me ? Naaman was a great leader in the army. Those of you who are leaders in the army of God, can you accept the advise of those beneath you ? Or do you as it were go away in a great rage if you are asked to do something beneath your dignity ? This applies to all. How is it with me ? Can I look within ? Do I think within myself that I will be asked to do some great thing when all God asks is that we wash and be clean ?
    Naaman was asked to dip seven times. When I think of those times I have worked on dirty, greasy equipment I have found the need to wash more than once to get my hands clean. Is it any different in our spiritual lives ? Perhaps we have been in the work and find ourselves quite grubby. Can I humbly ask others, “Did I get all the dirt off ? Do you see any spots I’ve missed ?” or perhaps someone will volunteer, “Say you missed a spot !” Can I take the second look and say, “Why, sure enough I did. Will you help me wash it, I can’t seem to reach it on my own?”
    A few years ago I was in the hospital and quite helpless of my own self. The nurse came in and gave me a bath. It felt good to be clean and fresh again, I appreciated her humble service. Today I am able to take my own showers, it still feels good to be fresh and clean. Isaiah 1:12-20 When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? 13 Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. 14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. 15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. 16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; 17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. 18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: 20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
    May we come before the Lord with a clean, pure heart. A heart washed in the cleansing blood of Jesus. A thankful heart.
    May God grant us his blessings, Chris Frase 11-20-2009

  23. ~Set Free says:

    For those times you don’t understand;

    Dark Clouds with Silver Linings.
    Inspired by God

    The Dross cannot come to the top or be skimmed off,
    unless the Heat is on !
    Let the fire burn!
    My Goldsmith Knows when it is enough !
    You ask me how ?
    When He sees, His image, reflected in the molten pot.
    Sometimes I don’t feel like gold or silver.
    Yet know this, that even lead, when it is molten, reflects,
    the image of the Smith!
    The smith has uses and a purpose for even lead,
    that gold and silver will not serve.
    So take heart, take courage,
    Let God, use you, as he sees fit.
    I have no control of the fire,
    or the mold God pours me in,
    Only to yield to His will.
    And for that I must be melted, to fully do His will.
    I may think I’m but molten lead, worthless my God to serve.
    Yet He alone my value knows, and He will make it plain!
    Let each a willing servant be,
    And God can change our state.
    From molten lead to shining Gold
    He can transform us yet !
    Chris Frase
    Jan, 2006

  24. ~Set Free says:

    Friend I Too, Like You

    Friend, I too, like you,
    Have a child, small and sweet,
    And friend, I too, like you,
    Must guide aright, his precious little feet.
    So many times, it seems, I fail, I fall,
    So many times I do not listen,
    When I hear my Saviour call.
    It seems so oft, a child hears,
    God’s call, and understands, His plan.
    So much better than we hear,
    Though we may be, a full grown man.

    It then is plain.
    We must, be as a child,
    If it is our aim, to be,
    To God’s will , reconciled.

    I see walking, down life’s road,
    A Father and his child.
    O wondrous sight it is,
    As side by side they walk, down life’s road.
    But soon I see, that child, grow weary,
    As the path, grows rocky and dim.
    Then I feel my eyes get teary,
    When I see, that Dad, reach down, pick up, and carry him.
    Friend, our Father too, has an arm that’s strong,
    He will carry us, when the journey,
    Is rough and long.
    If we will just be, as a child,
    And to our Fathers love, be reconciled.
    Friend if we are to make that heavenly shore,
    Then by God’s grace… I too… like you,
    Must become… as a small… sweet child.
    ~Chris Frase December 25, 1983

    The above was written shortly after our first son’s birth.
    And a few months before the passing of my grandmother, Vera Frase

  25. ~Set Free says:

    Are You Fresh ??

    What’s Your Expiration Date ??

    I’ve watched my mother and my wife at the store on many occasions. They pick up a loaf of bread and they squeeze it. Is it soft? Is it fresh? They’ll pick up some produce and squeeze it too. Is it TOO soft and over ripe? They may even smell it. Is it fresh? Is it sweet? Or is it sour or rotten? They look at it and inspect it. Is it moldy? Does it have bad spots in it? Or is it in it’s prime and of good quality. Perhaps they’ll even buy some less than desirable produce if the price is low and they can cut away the bad and salvage the good. Or at times it simply isn’t ripe and needs more time to reach it’s potential goodness.
    Today. How are we? Is our heart soft and pliable? Is our love to God and our fellowman fresh and inviting? How do we smell and taste to those we come in contact with? Is our fruit good and sweet or is it bitter or sour and rotten? Do we have a taste that leaves a desire for more? Or do we leave a bad taste that once is enough and another try is not desired? When God inspects our lives what does He see? Have we laid around useless and rotting, afraid to give of ourselves while we are in our prime? Choosing rather a few fleeting pleasures and a richer lifestyle? Perhaps we’ve been in bad company and God would have us come away to where he could trim off the bad spots and salvage the good that he has for each of us? Pruning us that we could bear fruit and be of use to him and to others.
    We each have an expiration date. God alone knows that date for us. It would seem that some are used up while they are fresh and in their prime, some fall to the ground and are bruised and develop soft spots, some are crushed beneath a heavy load but the juice they produce is sweet and good. Others it seems are bitter, rotten at the core even while they look good by outward appearance. How are you today? How am I?
    As the summer comes and the times of testing are upon us let us examine ourselves and see what manner of fruit we are bearing, We read in Jer 24:2 One basket had very good figs, even like the figs that are first ripe: and the other basket had very naughty figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad. Which basket am I in? Am I willing to let the Holy Spirit cut away the bad spots that I might be of some use to the Lord? Am I willing to be crushed, bruised and mixed together, sweetened by God’s love abiding within me that we might be an excellent jam or jelly? Thickened and united one with another by His divine presence? Sweet and good.
    2Co 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
    Rom 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
    Php 1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
    December 2008 Chris Frase

    I sometimes ponder the various things in life. The things we do as well as those we don’t. I see on both sides of the fence those things that are in fact bitter and rotten as well as those which are sweet and good. I see it in myself as well as others. In our efforts to expose the truth I see in myself at times a condescending attitude that I don’t appreciate any more than I do the condescending attitude of those I consider Pharisees. (I don’t consdier all as Pharisees, we all know that there is good and bad on both sides of the fence). One of my “issues” if you will, I have and had, is when people in sunday school class or around the table condemn other denominations and religions (and I suppose we’ve all been guilty at some point in time ?). When Jesus plainly told His disciples; Mark 9:38-40 KJV And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us. (39) But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. (40) For he that is not against us is on our part.
    Luke 9:49-56 KJV And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us. (50) And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us. (51) And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, (52) And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. (53) And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. (54) ” And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?” (55) ” But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. (56) For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” And they went to another village.
    It appears to me that on both sides of the fence (myself included) there needs to be a certain amount of tolerance. I notice in the account in Luke that Jesus simply moved on when He was rejected. While I on the one hand wish that every bound captive be set free I also realize that there are those who do not realize the bondage they are in, or else have totally accepted it because of family and or friends. In the old testament we find those servants who had a hole bored through their ear as a sign they were going to serve their master until death. They did it because they loved their wives or husbands that were still in bondage and that were permanent bond slaves already. Exodus 21:1-6 KJV Now these are the judgments which thou shalt set before them. (2) If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing. (3) If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him. (4) If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out by himself. (5) And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free: (6) Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever.
    While I have no intention of making myself a bond slave to the H religion I have given myself as a bond slave to Christ. He definitely didn’t get much and I have the better deal on that score. But in the case of some they will either have to have a hole bored through their ear and bow to the slave master, or else be willing to leave all. Jesus tells us if we are not willing to leave all we are not worthy to be His follower. Matthew 19:29-30 KJV And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. (30) But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.
    Luke 14:26-28 KJV If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. (27) And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. (28) For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
    Luke 18:29-30 KJV And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake, (30) Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.
    Freedom has a price tag that not all are willing to pay. To serve God freely and without fear or favor of men…has a price tag…not all are willing to pay.
    As we think of our lives…is our fruit good ? Am I willing to pay what it will cost to be ~Set Free. Jesus gave His all to set us free…but the choice is ours and the price is high. Anything and everything that is worth anything at all, always has a cost and it is rarely if ever cheap. You get what you pay for…will you sell all… to buy the field, in which is buried the treasure of great price ?

  26. ~Set Free says:

    We are all God’s chosen.
    (1Pe 5:14 KJV) Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen.

    Remember the K.I.S.S.

    First Love: Kept It Simply Satisfies

    So you have been chosen, may God bless his choice.
    Remember the K.I.S.S. of Charity: LOVE when Kept, It Simply Satisfies.
    Remember the K.I.S.S. of your office: MINISTRY, Keep It Simple Service.
    Remember the K.I.S.S. of humility: Keep In Simple Submission to Christ and one another,
    we be brethren not Lords.
    Remember even Christ was betrayed by a Kiss,
    when you think you are mistreated, misunderstood, and overreached.
    Remember the K.I.S.S. of God’s Holy Spirit will Keep Inspiring Simple Sermons.
    Look to God for lunch.
    He provides, you distribute. Pass around what He gives you.
    Be willing to use what little you have and Let Him multiply it to feed the multitude.
    Remember Jesus says Feed MY sheep. When we have strayed we are still His sheep,
    bring us back, don’t push us away. Feed even lost strays.
    Ask the Shepherd where and how you might best find us if we are lost,
    follow His directions and example.
    Reach out and touch us,
    you must feed us to gain our trust and touch us to make us feel accepted and wanted.
    It is only as you reach out and touch us that you can help heal our hurts and diseases,
    if you isolate yourself we become sick and die.
    You must both walk among us and before us.
    The medicines we need, you must first take,
    however bitter they may seem.
    Even Christ first drank the bitter cup, the servant is not above the master.
    Remember Simon the Cyrenian when you stumble bearing your cross,
    God will have someone to help you.
    Possibly just a crude country bumpkin, and not a refined and perfect man.
    Above All Remember You’re Not Alone, Your Brethren and Christ are Praying for you.

    Be of Good Courage and the Lord Strengthen You,
    again I say, Be of Good Courage for God will strengthen you.
    Chris Frase November 2008

    Perhaps too often we forget our mother’s kiss ? The kiss of love that comforts and makes all the owies go away ? The kiss that lets you know you are wanted and loved.
    Our verse says greet one another with the kiss of charity. Too often it seems to be a kiss of betrayal. May we be like our master and not mimic our betrayers.
    May we have that love of close siblings that makes us want to be together in fellowship…under our loving Father’s care.

    May God bless you.

  27. ~Set Free says:

    Harsh Laws Yet Mercy Triumphs

    John 8:2-12– And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultry; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultry, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou ? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman where are those thine accusers ? hath no man condemned thee ? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
    As I ponder the above account I see a mercy that is greater than the law. Jesus did not say the law was wrong, but it seems he showed a better way. He did not condone sin but rather forgave sin and told the woman to sin no more. It is those the Pharisees that are going about to keep the letter of the law, and they are not all evil in their trying to do everything just right. They often honestly want to keep the kingdom of God pure and holy, yet it seems there can easily be a misguided zeal. A zeal that would kill and not rather heal were there are wounds .
    I am reminded of Ezekiel 34:2-6–Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Isreal, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus sayeth the Lord God unto the shepherds; woe be to the shepherds of Isreal that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks ? Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock. The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them. And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered. My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them.(read the whole chapter)
    When I stop to consider the significance of the two accounts I begin to realize the tremendous love and mercy that God has for men. While God wrote the law and instituted justice, he is also the one who created mercy and he is Love. People do their neighbor wrong when they go about to keep the law without mercy. Those who do such are legally correct yet morally wrong. In my mind God will deal with such people as harshly as they deal with their neighbor, so that they will not stand justified before him but will be more guilty than the man they condemned.
    In the account of the Pharisees and the woman taken in adultery I noticed something that at first glance is easy to pass over, namely that the Pharisees could not stand in the presence of Jesus, they each one went away from him yet the sinful woman did stand in his presence. We cannot stand before a righteous judge and condemn another while we are guilty of breaking the law our own selves, yet we tend to minimize our own faults while we maximize the faults of others. I don’t find that Jesus condemned the Pharisees for wanting to keep the law, but rather for their hypocrisy in condemning others for the thing they could not do themselves. And I wonder as I observe and look into the perfect law of liberty, how free we are when we release others, and how bound we are when we hold others. It does not make the law of none effect to have mercy in dealing with our fellow man, I wonder if it doesn’t strengthen the law in this respect that by showing mercy we cause others to want to do what is right and good. Harsh legalism drives people away, mercy and love draws people in. I know this from personal experience. From both accounts we can see that it is God’s will that people be cured and healed and brought back. It seems we fail to comprehend 2 Peter 3:9- The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. When I think of repentance to me it is merely turning around and coming back to God. I say merely in the context of uncomplicated, not jumping thru hoops and all manner of legalism and church red tape, but just simply accepting whatever God has for us. People and legalism complicate things, Jesus and God simplify things. I’m reminded of the army acronym; KISS, Keep It Simple Stupid ! How often we hinder those who are trying to get up after having fallen by thinking they have to be just like us or think exactly like I think in order for God to work in them. Nothing could be further from the truth in my mind, true love reaches out and helps them up. In a natural setting if our friend fell we would first see if he was alright and help him up if he needed it yet it seems that often in a spiritual setting if my brother falls we first roll him around in the mud so we’re sure he knows he fell and isn’t fit to be around us, that, if there is a Pharisaical attitude. I find those with a Christ like attitude willing to help and truly caring. If you aren’t touching others like Jesus did you may be pushing them away like the crowd did the two blind men who called out for mercy and the crowd told them to hold their peace. (Math 20:30) Were is our compassion ?? If we would be like Jesus we must of necessity have compassion on others. As I consider Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and David in their role of shepherd a common thread is that they gave of themselves for the flock. They were there; thru sunshine or stormy weather, enjoying green pastures or fighting wild beasts, herding a healthy flock or caring for the sick and seeking the lost until they found them and then carrying them back when they were found wounded and torn in the wilderness, dressing the wounds and causing if at all possible a healing to take place. I have experienced that kind of care and I like it, it feels right and good, a balm that soothes a torn and bleeding heart, a very present help in time of need. As I think of Christ our perfect example I want to be like him, I want to be able to help those in need, to bind up the brokenhearted, to be what he would have me to be and above all to forgive and show mercy to others. That, is to me a high calling, a noble calling, a worthy calling, a calling within the grasp of all who would walk worthy before the Lord, not a Pharisaical self-worth, but a humble walk that finds it’s worth in the love of God. I want to grow in that and increase as God would help me. God does not always give us a lump sum package but distributes to us as is necessary, so while all of heaven is ours, we only hold what we need for today. We have untold riches in Christ, given to be used for his honor and glory. Now I think of the prodigal son, how many of us are guilty of squandering the riches the Father has given us on our own selfish pursuits ? Wasting our substance for the fleeting pleasures of life ? Our substance ! That that was given us to keep us going, that we were to use to prosper and we’ve wasted it on trivial pursuits and riotous living. We’ve thrown it away as it were. Yet when we come to our senses we realize there is an enduring substance in the Fathers house, a substance we’ve often taken for granted, a prosperity that maintains the whole of the Fathers holdings. Yet it calls for those willing to serve and to plant and harvest to keep it going. Am I willing to serve ? The son and the servant must of necessity work side by side, if the son was able to do all the work himself there would be no need for the servant. Yet how often do we think we are above the servant because we are the son ? Not realizing how much we need the servants help and good will. May we in our dealing with people so live that we create in others a desire to live for God, only then can we be considered the salt of the earth.

    Monday, September 29, 2008
    Chris Frase

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