Loved Into Freedom

Wayne and Brad dive into the email bag and come out with three amazing stories of people who are learning to live in a greater freedom, even in the face of painful circumstances, because of their growing discovery about how loved they are by the Father. You'll hear about a father facing a pregnancy with his unmarried daughter, of an adult child engaging parents who raised her in a shame-based home with lots of rejection, and a man who gets to share Jesus with a hungry heart who has been turned off by religious approaches. Engaging even difficult relationships more focused on the other person than our own needs or desires opens the door for some pretty amazing things to happen.


  1. Hi Wayne and Brad…..
    Loved this particular discussion…though, I have been walking this journey of freedom a long time now it seems I continue to need the reminder of what a gathering of believers should look like. It also seems that whenever we are a part of a gathering the old “churchy” ways rear their head and it is so hard to break the patterns when so many others aren’t there yet. Living free in the land of the bound is a challenge to say the least. I so want to share that freedom and do every opportunity I get, even in midst of those who don’t get that grace is free with no rules. I wonder did you guys go through a time of missing the unity of corporate worship and yet even as I ask that I know that everyone does in the transition of leaving the “building”, especially if you were there a long time. The old ways we worshiped compared to a life of constant worship in just living with Him minute by minute doesn’t really compare, does it? I appreciate your transparencies….. Blessings to you both!!

  2. Hi – another great podcast – thanks. My wife and I got off the treadmill in 2006. I didn’t hear about you guys until a few months ago. It is great to find out that there are other people that have discovered what that old apostle said – “perfect love drives out fear” – is true. In fact I think you could have named this podcast “Loved into courage” just as well.

    I don’t know how you feel about people linking to things here so feel free to delete this if you don’t do that – this is a little prose piece that I wrote to describe my own encounter of this love – and a poetic version of it as well –

  3. Russ,

    We don’t mind people linking to stuff that shares their life with others. We don’t want people using it commercially to promote products that aren’t part of the overall conversation we’re having here. So you’re fine! No worries, Bro!

  4. What a great little phrase, Wayne: “It’s only fun if you don’t have to fix ’em.” How true, how true!! As an ex-pastor whose biggest tensions in his marriage came from differing opinions as to how to “fix” the lives “under our care”, all I can say is, AMEN AMEN AMEN. We are enjoying our marriage and all the other relationships in our lives now, precisely because we have (finally) discovered that it’s not our job to “fix ’em”. Thank you for helping us make that glorious discovery!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. I loved the podcast today. I’d been trying to explain that principles can never lead us to LIFE to a friend I worked with in ministry – with little luck. Principles are useful in things like managing my finances, but trying to follow them in matters of the heart is like trying to find relationship with Father by following the law.

    I especially loved the letter from the woman about living as a free ass… I was the one a pstor defined as a “wild ass” in last week’s podcast. LOVE it!

  6. When the kids mess up, there are a couple of Biblical solutions: (1) send a flood, or (2) hang on a cross.

    The first is swift, sure and authoritative. But the relationship is destroyed.

    The second is slow, painful and humiliating. But the relationship is restored.

    For the father who wrote to you about his daughter’ pregnancy, the road of grace he has chosen will be difficult. There will pride to be swallowed, whispers to be endured, and tears to be shed. But in the end he will have his daughter and a new grand-baby to boot.

    My heart goes out his family as they work this out inside of God’s loving embrace.

  7. How continually amazingly wonderful that Father is always seeking to redeem the worse decisions, how very sad when we fight not to let Him. I know a young couple that started off their lives together with a series of bad decisions that appear to now be feeding roots of bitterness and more bad decisions. Increasingly I think they see no way out as they are focused on what has gone before, and what opportunities have been “lost”. Rather than some objective grading system on the performance test of life, It seems to me that sin is the self injested poison that people we love (or should love) insist on drinking. How different might things be if the predominate message from the church was “We and Father love you, we will always love you, please see that what your are doing is killing you and those around you, but it doesn’t have to, we can love you through this. And yes Father is already working to bring beauty out of this, if you will let Him.

  8. I will be sharing this with my friend Jordan who fell to grace almost a year ago–literally. He fell from a roof on his head on concrete steps. I saw him change before my eyes into a rather cold, reserved person who was yearning to love–but just couldn’t find a way to unblock his heart. He says that his “Gods” were with him when he fell because his life was saved. He has a hard time with Jesus because of organized religion. I have the privilege of sharing my story and offering an alternative view. I don’t have a need to convert him–but want to share with him the grace I have found.

    My friend Jordan says that he is overwhelmed with a feeling of being loved by a totally loving mother who unconditionally cares for him. His picture reminds me of the black woman in the book The Shack who represented God when the main character could not accept the love of a father because of prep-conceived notions about a fathers love.

    How grateful I am to you both that I can give additional insights to my friend Jordan, and I hope he connects with you as have.

    thanks for sharing your journey–love to you:)

  9. On a different note, I want to comment on your statements about relationships. I heartily agree that to be present in the moment loving people who come across your path is very important. And having relationships with people who you love–sharing lunch, fun activities, a weekend–are also wonderful.

    But as a single mom who has been the main financial supporter both my kids and my former husband who has been semi-disabled for a number of years (even before we broke up I was for years the main bread winner), I find it difficult to find time to make friends. Working a lot and spending time with my children plus trying to keep a garden and home together takes a lot of time and energy. Because I can make twice or three times as much money free lancing rather than getting a regular job–my schedule is often unpredictable. Thus it is hard to commit to getting together with people.

    Yet for thrity five years I have yearned to live simply in an intentional community setting where meals, children’s care, gardening, and other activities often called chores are shared. And I have tasted this life at times as I have searched for the ideal place. I know it is where I am called to be.

    To live in a stable, sustainable, self-reliant community with an intention to reach out to others–creating a place of hospitality and warmth to the hurting, hungry, and those longing for love is what I dream for. Thus–I think in such a place people could more easily develop secure and deep relationships with people and God. With a simple structure that encourages freedom–I think this is not an idealistic pie in the sky dream–but something that has been done over and over again. I pray it can happen in our land near Kingston, AR

    I hope to share with you some day about how it all happened:)

  10. I really loved this podcast. It brought to mind Galatians 3:11-12 in The Message, which says

    “The obvious impossibility of carrying out such a moral program should make it plain that no one can sustain a relationship with God that way. The person who lives in right relationship with God does it by embracing what God arranges for him. Doing things for God is the opposite of entering into what God does for you. Habakkuk had it right: “The person who believes God, is set right by God—and that’s the real life.” Rule-keeping does not naturally evolve into living by faith, but only perpetuates itself in more and more rule-keeping, a fact observed in Scripture: “The one who does these things [rule-keeping] continues to live by them.”

  11. I believe is God is calling us to “community”. Actually – perhaps I should rephrase that – I believe Christians are startng to HEAR God’s eternal calling us to community. A group in my church has been meeting for a few weeks now and discussing this. We have been gravitating in discussion towards Christian Intentional Community which I have labled “CIC” 🙂

    A simpler life? A “purer” life? A life that places Christ at the center? Can we not all feel the tug of the Holy Spirit in that direction? And yet the fear is there of “breaking loose” of “doing it wrong” and so on. There are plenty of examples of good intentioned starts ending badly. Is there a current model of it working correctly?

    Is there an internet forum somwhere where these and related issues are discussed?

    I just found this site and like it so far – thanks for hosting/facillitating it.

    A work in progress

  12. When I think back to my early days as a Christian, it always amazes me how quickly I began to trust Bible recipes rather than my Heavenly Father. Even though recipes are not at all relationship-dependent, I found them irresistible. It wasn’t my intent to stray from my child-like, first-love beginnings, I just wanted to control outcomes and by using various Bible verses it appeared I could. It wouldn’t and couldn’t last. After many years, I became disillusioned by all the recipes which didn’t turn out.
    One of my very first Bible recipes was “How to Get People Saved.” Although I hadn’t been saved by this recipe, everyone around me appeared to use it so I was happy to join in. Several of the ingredients were new to me so I studied the recipe carefully. It called for some Romans, some John, and some Ephesians all in varying amounts and a pinch of Matthew. The recipe then explained that these ingredients were to be mixed together and served to everyone – with a side of prayer. Now, to be fair, there was a disclaimer at the bottom of the recipe which read, “Not guaranteed to turn out but Christians will be held responsible if they don’t at least try it on everyone.” This was serious business – someone’s eternal destiny was in my inexpert hands!
    My first attempt to use this recipe was, well, on my mother-in-law. With my husband’s help – he’s better at remembering ingredients – we served it up. It was her birthday and we were all eating slices of watermelon. Five minutes later, she put down her half-eaten watermelon, and with tears in her eyes ran out our front door.
    Disappointed, but not too much, I moved on to something new. I heard about recipes for healing and since I didn’t like to suffer or watch other people suffer this was exciting. I soon learned that the recipes for healing had a new ingredient called Isaiah. Turns out that the Isaiah ingredient was pretty much all you needed but some Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts and James could be added if you liked. These recipes also had a disclaimer at the bottom, “Not guaranteed to turn out if faith is not included.” This was problematic. I couldn’t find faith anywhere; it wasn’t for sale and it was invisible. Not known for giving up easily, I realized this wasn’t a problem at all. Since faith is invisible, I would just act like I had it and healing would follow.
    At the time, I was waking up at night with my heart racing. When this became frequent and then began to occur during the day I was diagnosed with panic attacks. If you have ever had one – you know – the fear of having another one becomes as bad as having one. This was an excellent time to try the healing recipe. It didn’t turn out. I figured my fake faith was at fault. Undeterred, I sought out other, more faithful, Christians. Their recipe didn’t turn out any better than mine. I was terrified and worse, angry. Nothing I tried worked; my panic attacks continued and I became very depressed. Where does one go when God doesn’t work? Ironically, the answer is right back to God, our Heavenly Father.
    I was ready to unlearn my recipes and Father was happy to teach. I began to experience something I hadn’t expected – His personality. His love began to come to me in unexpected ways without any manipulation on my part. One afternoon, in desperation, I cried out to Him for help. He said, “Isaiah 41:12.” This was something new. I hadn’t been directly spoken to before. I looked up the verse and read, “Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, [even] them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought.”
    Shocked, I read the verse again, and again. It spoke directly to my fear that I would forever live a life fighting against my fear of panic. My loving Father was telling me that eventually my fears would be like nothing. I’ll admit, I was so hopeless and depressed it was hard to believe but how could I not believe? The living God had just handed me a promise. This wasn’t the recipe kind of promise. This had my name on it and His real-time signature and, of course, it came to pass just as He promised.
    Over twenty years have passed since that afternoon. I can say with full confidence in my time-tested relationship with my loving Father that when we depend directly on Him we will not be disappointed. He loves and longs to personally parent us. We don’t need recipes when Father sends His own chef, Jesus, to live with us and to cook for us.
    To her credit, my mother-in-law still loves us. Over time, our growing relationship with Father has enabled us to trust His ways of reaching out to love her. Sometimes we are a part of this process but mostly not. She often shares with us things she discovers or reads that bring her closer to Him and we love rejoicing with her.
    Looking to the future, I am grateful that our four children have not been taught recipes. A few weeks ago our daughter texted a friend she was worried about. Her friend then texted that he was suicidal and frantic with fear. She asked me, “Mom, what should I say?” I didn’t have the words but I knew Who did. We prayed she would be given those inspired words. She was. Later that night, her friend gave control of his life back to the One who created him, loves him and longs to parent him. It is our hope that he too will live in that sacred relationship without recipes.

  13. I enjoy your podcasts, but feel like someone who understands that God loves me, but is not experiencing it. Thanks for the reminder that God is working to bring me more into living loved even though it doesn’t seem like anything is happening from my perspective. My expectations of what it should look like are hindering me from relaxing in His love. I hope and pray that at some point I’ll start relaxing and living in His love instead of trying to find it.

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