boyradd

Forgiven…Loved…..Transformed!

Archive for the tag “grace”

My Last Decade in Pictures

The last decade was a roller coaster for me. Of all the previous decades, 2010-2019 was the toughest time I ever had in my life. The lowest lows and the highest highs.  So what I would like to do is give you a glimpse of my last decade through the pictures I took.

The first thing I learned is that I didn’t really start taking pictures until about 2012. This means that the lowest time of my life has no pictures to accompany it. The decade started with my divorce. It was rough. I was married for 18 years and it ended pretty rough.

I moved out of a large home on 5 acres and into a small rental home that was built in the 1940s that was freezing in the winter and deathly hot in the summer. I would get the kids every other weekend and the occasional holiday.

It was rough, but thanks to the men at the church I was attending, they brought me back to Christ. By 2012, I became a deacon at that same church. And a little later that year I was asked to lead the mission journey to Peru.

That was one of the most impactful trips I ever took in my life. I learned that even though I was going through a rough patch in my life, it couldn’t compare to the lives that many of the people in Peru were leading.

This would be the first of many trips to Peru over the course of the decade, which you will see more pictures later.

Since I worked at Whole Foods Market, I was able to take several trips throughout the decade to coffee farms throughout the world. I was able to see some of the most beautiful farms and meet a lot of great people.

Throughout the early part of the decade, I spent time simply getting to know my kids again. Working for Whole Foods Market, I was required to travel a lot. There were some years that I was traveling 45 weeks out of the year.

Matt Fred 2013

So I took the opportunity to do all the crazy stuff with Matt that I didn’t have a chance to do earlier. We would hang out, go to DC United soccer games, and practice his soccer skills.

Matt Fred DC United 2013

In 2013 I became an elder at Chesapeake Christian Fellowship. The same men that built me up are the same ones in this picture ordaining me to become an elder.The two of us

Then, early in the decade, I also took a trip around the United States with my kids. I took 3 weeks vacation, turned in all my stock options, and rented an RV and traveled around the United States. It was during this time that I not only got some great time with the kids, but I met a woman who would go on to make a major impact in my life. You see, it was during the trip around the United States that I officially met Mimi Baker (now Mimi Noble). We had spoken online for about 3-6 months prior, but had no idea what each other were really like.

As I sat on the side of a lake while both our children were playing in the water, I got to know her and realized that God was showing me the woman I would eventually call my wife.DSC00893

In 2014 Kenzi went to her first middle school dance. I couldn’t believe how much she had grown up.

Kenzi Fred 2014 MIddle School Dance

That same year, I was able to start seeing Mimi much more often. She moved to Virginia and then eventually, after I moved out of the little rental home and into another one, she moved into the rental home. We were only 15 minutes apart now, not a couple thousand miles.

Fred Mimi 2014

In 2014, as the relationship between Mimi and I grew, we decided to make our first purchase as a couple even though we still didn’t live in the same house. We got a dog. Funny thing is that the dog’s name is Peru. We didn’t give her that name, she was given that name at the pound. Mimi and I had gone to Peru a couple of times by 2014 already and she had fallen in love with the country and the people there as much as I had.Fred Peru Dog 2014

In 2015, I realized that I had fallen head over heels in love with Mimi Baker and I asked her to marry me.

ring 4

SHE SAID YES!!!

wedding day

Later in 2015, we went back to Peru. It was this year that I totally screwed my back up. A few months later in 2016 I would be going back in for back surgery.

FB_IMG_1445165650548

I love serving side by side with Mimi! She has such a tender heart for people and a great work ethic.

IMG_20151017_124729

Also in 2015, Kenzi would be playing her final year in sports. From this point forward she would be focusing on her photography and art.

Kenzi sports 2015

When we got back from Peru in 2015, Mimi and I had finished having a home built and we moved into it. We made God the promise that if He were to give us the house, we would use the extra bedrooms to house missionaries and people who were in need. Since we made that promise, we had a whole bunch of children who were rescued around the globe and were now part of a national concert tour, we have had several young adults stay with us, we had a young woman who was lost and has since become a missionary to the nations, and we have housed several other missionaries from around the world.

boyz

2016 saw Mimi and I heading back to Peru and spending more time there with the people. We would meet Paige and Stalin, a couple missionaries, one from America and the other indigenous. They will become more important to us as the decade continues.

franks-house-6Peru 2016

I was also, beginning in 2015, but really by 2016, learning how to be a stepdad. Being both dad and stepdad is a very challenging thing. Each of the kids are so different, and their backgrounds are tough to bring together.

Jake Ryan 2015

Also in 2016, my little girl, Kenzi, got her first job. She would be a junior counselor at the local church camp in the summers. This would become a job she would love and grow with throughout the rest of the decade.

Kenzi first job 2016

2017 came in and was immediately rough. My mom was diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer. From the time she was diagnosed until the time she went home to be with Lord was only a matter of weeks. My mom was born on Easter Sunday and she died on Easter Sunday.

IMG_20170321_225053

But a week before Easter, my mom wanted to make a big dinner for her own birthday. It would be the last time that all of us would see her alive.

IMG_20170401_152745IMG_20170401_152506

We went back to Peru later that year and enjoyed a great time there with the people we served as well as the people who joined us on the journey.

IMG_20171011_120110IMG_20171011_204810

Ryan had a great year. He was on the JV baseball team and was doing very well.

Ryan Baseball 2017

Ryan also received plenty of awards academically in 2017.

Ryan award 2017

Also in 2017, Mimi’s oldest daughter, Brieanne, married the most amazing young man ever. Hopefully he will continue to make foods with Old Bay in them, so I can continue to respect him. 😉

Brie wedding 2018

Also in 2017 I undertook my largest home improvement project I ever did, I built a patio, with my 75 year old dad.

Patio 2017

Matt got his first job in 2017 selling fish and crabs.

Matt first job 2017

And he decided to switch things up a little and play football. He was actually very good! But he didn’t like all the pain his body felt after each practice and game.

Matt football 2017

I took the kids white water rafting in 2017.

Kenzi Matt Fred Rafting 2017

Kenzi had her first art show where she sold her photos.

Kenzi art show 2017

Jacob graduated high school in 2017.

Jake Graduation 2017

At the end of 2017 we had the opportunity to take everyone to Disney.

Disney 2017

And, in 2017, Jacob got his first car, a 40th anniversary Mustang.

Jake first car 2017

In 2018, Kenzi graduated from high school.

Kenzi and I

Those same missionaries, Paige and Stalin, would come to DC and spend almost 2 weeks with us. We took them on the tour of the area.

DC with Paige and Stalin 2018

Also in 2018, which was a good year for Kenzi, she won several awards at a local art show and won over $100,000 in scholarships to college.

Kenzi art show 2018

In 2018, I wanted to give Mimi an opportunity she was talking about for a long time. She had always wanted to take a horse drawn carriage through Central Park in NYC. We decided to do that and it was just as magical as we through it would be.

NYC 2018

In 2018, Kenzi started college at McDaniel in MD.

Kenzi first day of college 2018

Mimi’s and my final trip (for now) to Peru would be in 2018. It was such a beautiful trip and we fell in love even more with the people of Peru.

Peru 2018

At the end of 2018 and really starting in 2019, I left the retail/restaurant world and went into ministry as Director of Ministries for Friendship Community Baptist Church in southern MD. I was sad to leave my church home of 16 years, but in order to keep growing, change is required. And this change has been such a good fit for me and my family.

New job 2019

In 2019, Matt and I had the opportunity to take a skiing/snowboarding trip. It didn’t end so well because the friend that came with us hit his head on one of the final runs of the day and got a pretty bad concussion.

Skiing with Matt 2019

2019 saw Mimi’s aunt Becky going home to be with Lord. But before that happened, Mimi got spend a lot of great time with her in Minnesota, almost a month.

Mimi and Becky 2019

Also in 2019 Mimi decided to start farming Monarch butterflies. Apart from having a few endings that were not so desirable, most of the Monarchs were grown from egg and released into the wild.

Mimi butterflies 2019

2019 was also Matt’s final year of soccer. He had been playing soccer with many of the same boys since he was 5 years old. It was great to see him be able to finish his high school soccer life with those kids.

Matt Soccer 2019

In 2019, Friendship Community Baptist sponsored 5 homes in the county and did construction projects on them. We did everything from adding gutters, replacing windows and doors, and installing hot water heaters.

Christmas in April 2019

Also in 2019, Friendship Community Baptist did 6,208 boxes for Operation Christmas Child. A church of 200 doing 6,208 boxes is a pretty amazing feat!

OCC 2019

We have made a lot of friends at Friendship Community Baptist. Our small group had a Christmas gathering at one of the houses and we enjoyed a wonderful time of fellowship.

Small group Christmas gathering

The Christmas gift that Mimi got me was given to me early, concert tickets for Tran Siberian Orchestra. It was an amazing concert! Not exactly Mimi’s favorite music, but I was in heaven!

Tran Siberian Orchestra 2019

Also at the end of the year we started going to concerts with my dad. This one was in DC, the military Christmas concert.

Military Christmas Celebration 2019

Wasn’t exactly on our financial plan for this time, but Mimi’s car decided to die. We ended up purchasing a new-to-us 2015 Mazda.

Mimi new to us car 2019

Christmas service at Friendship Community Baptist reached almost 300! Not only that, but God blessed us with 20 baptisms and several Gospel encounters throughout the year.

Christmas 2019

This is the picture I will end this with. My Christmas gift for the end of the decade was ending it with a woman who truly loves me and cares so deeply for me.

Christmas 2019 2

So there you have it. My last decade in a few short pictures. A lot happened last decade! I can only imagine what will happen in the 20’s.

 

Addicted to Religion, Allergic to Grace

I was reading one of my favorite websites today and saw a post by a man who’s opening statement said, “We are addicted to religion and allergic to grace.”

That got me thinking.  Is that true?

Romans 6:14 – For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but are under grace.

One of my pastors this past week preached on self-control.  When I went in to the service, I have to admit that I though he was going to preach on keeping sexual sin away from your life.  Admit it.  When we as Christians think about self-control, sexuality is usually in the top 3 of things we think about.  We as Christians are a very sexual group of people.  And that is good.  But it needs to be used as God proposed it to be.  Anyway, that is not the topic of this post.  We’ll tackle that again later in the year.

But when pBritt got up to speak, he went verse by verse in Romans 6:1-14, which I would love to do because we as Christians are not psyched when we hear about true, redeeming grace.  We get more excited when we hear about how the church is changing the music, becoming more attractional, or holding a BBQ.  It is not that often that we get excited about grace.

Why?

Because grace…..TRUE GRACE….requires us to change.

Romans 6:1-4 – What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?  By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

That first sentence in Romans 6 says it all.  Grace changes you!  There is a mixed up view of grace out there that says we are saved and therefore we can do whatever we want because we are covered by God’s grace. 

That thinking is wrong.

Yes, we are saved.

Yes, we are going to heaven.

But if you love someone, why would you intentionally hurt that person every day by doing that which makes them unhappy?  When you become a Christian, you are engaging in a love relationship with God.  You strive for a sinless life (although we know we will fail from time to time) because you love God and want what is best for Him.

The baptism that we do for believers in the church is representative of Christ going into the grave and emerging again from that grave.  When we go through baptism, essentially we are going into that grave with Christ and emerging a new creation.

But because of our association now with Christ, we can no longer live in a sinful lifestyle.

This brings up some of those hot button questions.  Let’s look at homosexuality for a moment.  There is a whole group of people out there who believe that if you are homosexual that you will never get into heaven.  This is NOT the case.

How many Christians were saved from the grip of alcohol addiction, drug addiction, sexual addiction and have been set free from that?  Countless.  I feel it is the same with homosexuality.  It is simply another lifestyle that people CHOOSE to live in.  Even the Christians who are victorious over addictions get tempted from time to time with those addictions.  But they do not give in to those addictions.  With homosexuality, the person can struggle with the temptation to engage in homosexual activity but if he or she gives that to Christ the minute the urge comes, God will take that away. 

I am NOT talking about “normalizing” a person as many people feel we should do to those in the grips of homosexuality.  I am talking about a one on one personal relationship between the person who is struggling with the desire and God.  God is the only one who can take misguided desire away.  We as humans should never strive to “normalize” anyone!  We should love them as Christ loves them, ensuring that they understand that what they are doing is sinful.

THAT is what grace does! 

But to get that grace and then do nothing with it is more of a sin than the sin the grace is covering.  If you continue to live in homosexual encounters, drug addiction, alcohol addiction, or visiting porn sites, then you are spitting in the face of God for the grace that He provided you.

Romans 6:5-7 – For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.

We are no longer slaves to our sin.  That does not mean the devil won’t tempt us.  Remember how much Jesus was tempted by Satan?  We can expect that our temptations will become more intense as Satan tries to damage our testimony or silence us.  The devil knows that he can’t take away our salvation once we have it, but what he tries to do is remove our power.  If he can keep us separate from the power of the Holy Spirit, then less people will come to know that Christ is such a beautiful and loving God. 

So back to our example of homosexuality, if you are gay and become a Christian, you can no longer live in that lifestyle.  You will continue to be tempted by Satan for the rest of your life with urges that will try to drive you away from Christ, but you will have power to defeat those urges as long as you believe in the saving grace of God.

One of the biggest tragedies of our day and age are churches that cater to the gay crowd or theologians who believe it is time for us to have separate marriage vows, a civil one and a Christian one (Sorry, D.A. Carson, John Boswell, and Bishop David Jenkins, and Bishop John Spong, I can’t agree with you).  That’s right, I am against gay marriage and I am against gay-focused churches.  But that is because the GOSPEL IS FOR EVERYONE!  If we leave one group out of the gospel, then we have turned into an elitist group, a clique.  That is NOT what Christianity is.

Christianity IS inclusive.  It includes everyone who can be saved by the same grace that Jesus provides.  Whether you are an addict, a porn star, gay, or just someone who doesn’t know God, we all need His saving grace.  It is for everyone.  And I believe as long as we accept that grace and leave the lifestyle that is counter to God’s desire, then we are living a life that is dedicated to Him. 

Romans 6:8-10 –  Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

This passage says that we now live with Christ.  We live will live with Him in heaven, yes, but this means that we will also live with Him in this life.  Our actions should begin to look more like Jesus’ actions.  Our words should begin to sound more like Jesus’ words.  We could even consider putting our names in verse 10 because if He lives with us, then the life WE live, WE live to God.

Romans 6:11-14 – In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

So every part of our body is to be offered as an instrument for His glory.  Sin is no longer our master.  That does not mean we won’t be tempted.  We will.  A lot.  But God’s grace gives us the ability and the Holy Spirit gives us the power to turn away from the sin that Satan wants us to commit. 

Are you tempted to take a drink, drunkard?  Call upon the power of the Holy Spirit!

Are you tempted to take some Vicodin, drug abuser?  Call upon the power of the Holy Spirit!

Are you tempted to click onto the porn site?  Call upon the power of the Holy Spirit!

Are you tempted to get into a homosexual relationship?  Call upon the Holy Spirit!

God’s grace is for everyone!  It is available.  It is free! 

And it will change your life!

Post Navigation

boyradd

Forgiven...Loved.....Transformed!

EXPOSED

"Sometimes the story we're telling the world isn't half as endearing as the one that lives inside us." -Donald Miller

The Minstrel's Wife

A worship leader's missus and her views from the pew

Praises & Grace

My life, My walk, My missions

Godinterest Magazine

Godinterest Magazine covering faith, culture, life and all that other stuff

Sillyloquies

We write to remember. To see our thoughts in sentences. So we can hopefully one day figure out what all those words really mean.

this is... The Neighborhood

the Story within the Story

The Awakening

An Ordinary Man Being Awakened By An Extraordinary God

Limbiley's Blog

Life&Love Trials&Tribulations Faith&Fortitude Redemption&Restoration.

Mind's Seat

Set your mind on the things above

J.S. Park: Hospital Chaplain, Skeptical Christian

From Devout Atheist to Skeptical Pastor: A Blog For Busted-Up, Beat-Down People (Like Me)

116 Boyz

Born Again Christian Male Gamers

Jayne Surrena

Fictional Memoirs

juleseddy1

A topnotch WordPress.com site

THE RIVER WALK

Daily Thoughts and Meditations as we journey together with our Lord.

missjordanlee

twentysomething thoughts on grace, life, and health

soma

positive thinking

One Salty Dawg

Recent College Grad's Quest For Meaning

Blonde and Fabulous

some girls were born with glitter in their veins.

Book Hub, Inc.

The Total Book Experience

Morgan Mitchell

• Dreamer, Thinker, Blogger • |Loves Jesus| • College Student • |Living proof of a loving God to a watching World.| • #fivecollective

valeriu dg barbu

©valeriu barbu

Moving at the Speed of God

Sharing the Thoughts and Adventures of David Jackson, Church Multiplication Missionary with the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware

philliphowell

Tasting and seeing that the Lord is very good!

My Blog

4 out of 5 dentists recommend this WordPress.com site

Morning Story and Dilbert

Inspiring, Encouraging, Healthy / Why waste the best stories of the World, pour a cup of your favorite beverage and let your worries drift away…

Tea Cups and Grace

Life, faith and cups of tea.

True Warriors of God

Put on the full armour of God ~ Ephesians 6:13

Write For A Cause

The Spiritually Inclined Deductions by Jenine Silos

newlifer1

http://newlifer1.wordpress.com/

By His Spirit

Reflections of a Female Seminary Graduate

Threshing Floor

Forgiven...Loved.....Transformed!

Forgiven...Loved.....Transformed!

Forgiven...Loved.....Transformed!

Woven by Words

Forgiven...Loved.....Transformed!

%d bloggers like this: