Merry Christmas! Download “Learning to Walk in Freedom” For Free on Christmas Day!

Tomorrow, for Christmas Day only, I am offering Learning to Walk in Freedom for free!

LTWIFreedom Christmas

If you or a friend receive a Kindle for Christmas, download away! If you have an iPhone or iPad, there is an app that lets you read books for Kindle. That’s what I use.

If you already downloaded Learning to Walk in Freedom, why not grab some other resources to help you start the year strong? Here are some of the resources I reference in Learning to Walk in Freedom.

 Relational Masks by friend and mentor Russell Willingham talks about more about the concept of core beliefs and how these false beliefs impact our relationship with God and with each other. He wrote another great book entitled Breaking Free: Understanding Sexual Addiction & the Healing Power of Jesus.

 Think Differently, Live Differently by friend Bob Hamp addresses how the way we think impacts our choices and the truth we live out of.


The Life You’ve Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People by John Ortberg is an easy but challenging read with a new take on spiritual disciplines. Learn how to work spiritual disciplines into your everyday life.

And then some personal favorites, also referenced in Learning to Walk in Freedom:
Healing Is a Choice: 10 Decisions That Will Transform Your Life and 10 Lies That Can Prevent You From Making Them by Steve Arterburn. There is an accompanying workbook.

Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life by Henry Cloud and John Townsend.

Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives with Bonus Content by Richard Swenson.

Sacred Pathways: Discover Your Soul’s Path to God by Gary Thomas – finding your spiritual temperament with its traits, strengths, and pitfalls.

Enjoy! And spread the word 🙂

Learning to Walk in Freedom: Here What People Are Saying

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Read some new reviews of Learning to Walk in Freedom:

“Brenna has written a wonderful gem and a terrific resource. In almost 15 years of college ministry, I have witnessed students’ struggles with addiction, sexual brokenness, and controlling habits. This book provides an inspiring and holistic approach to helping us find freedom. She aptly encourages the reader towards intimacy with the Father, study of the Word, authenticity in community, and practical changes in behavior. I’m excited to use this as a resource with students on my campus.” Joseph Gavin, Chi Alpha Vermont

“I am privileged to have known the author since her college days and have seen the growth and maturity that freedom in Christ has developed in Brenna. This is a story of inspiration, rescue, and hope, but not just for the author. Like the traveler in Pilgrim’s Progress or Hinds Feet for High Places, Brenna leads the reader on a journey to meet the One who can help anyone learn to walk in freedom. Join her on the journey and find out for yourself.”
Mike Olejarz, National Chi Alpha Training Team

“This is a tremendous book, with so much depth and strength. It thrills the heart to read Brenna Kate’s testimony in the back of the book. Her journey in five steps is an easy read. God is so good to His children. We just haven’t truly let Him give us the freedom in our walk with Him, that He desires for us. This book will help the one seeking to walk in God’s freedom. Thank you, Brenna Kate. I will reread the book and will be sharing thoughts from the book at a local support group. Thank you for your obedience in writing this for the rest of us. For those who have not yet read the book, you’re in for a very special blessing. Again, THANKS.”
Nora S.

This excerpt is a continuation from yesterday:

Later that week, as I continued to cry out to God, He spoke clearly to me concerning some of my questions and struggles. Most of all, He called me to choose to trust Him, to rest in Him, and to allow Him to teach me. He beckoned me to go on a journey with Him, a journey to further whole- ness and freedom, choosing to believe He is who He says He is.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28–30)

Thus began this journey into my current understanding of true freedom. (You can read a full testimony in the back of this book.) I’m sure it’s not over. I invite you to join me where I am now.

Wherever you are on this journey, there is something to be learned from Him. Even if you’re not generally a praying person, I encourage you to pause. Pray the following for yourself as inspired by the Scripture above and prepare to dive into a new level of freedom in your life:

God, I come to You. I am weary, burdened, and I need Your rest. God, I lay down my heavy burden and take Your yoke upon my shoulders, whatever that means, because You say I can learn from You, in Your gentleness and humility of heart. Your yoke is easy and Your burden is light. God, help me to receive that, and prepare me to really hear from You as I read this book. I surrender to all that You have for me as I learn to walk in freedom. Amen.

Get your free copy of Learning to Walk in Freedom today!

Cover and interior design done by Rusty and Ingrid Creative

Freedom Friday: Get Learning to Walk in Freedom for Free Tomorrow!

Learning to Walk in Freedom is free tomorrow for Kindle!

Front Cover

It will be my and Roy’s 11th wedding anniversary! So I’m celebrating by giving you the opportunity to download my book for Free!

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I’ll remind you again tomorrow! Help me spread the word 🙂

Here’s an excerpt from Learning to Walk in Freedom:

Freedom is my anthem—it has been my life’s theme. The questions that come with the word freedom are questions I continually ponder. The answers did not come easily.

I became a Christian at age 23. I came to Jesus with a lot of problems: an eating disorder, same-sex attraction, emotional dependency, self-injury, self-loathing, and chronic low self-esteem. My life was controlled by and revolved around my issues and trying to get rid of them.

I felt like I was drowning.

Why, if I had become a new creation in Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17), did my life not feel all that changed? Why was I still dealing with the same issues? I had a crowd of people continually praying for me. I fasted for long periods of time. I devoured the Word of God and prayed my heart out, including interceding for complete strangers whose prayer requests I found on the Internet! I went to church, led Bible studies, and sang on the worship team. I was writing songs for God and serving Him every way I knew how.

And I was still drowning.

I remember the moment vividly. It was May of 2004 at a campus ministry conference. I was one of the leaders, the teachers, the ones with the knowledge—the answers. Still, I was gasping for air.

Drowning.

Is this it, God? 

I was walking around the old campus. There was a castle, and in the castle was a piano. I sat down at the piano to sing, to write, to think. (I sometimes think best while sitting at a piano.) I began to play, and this is what came out:

There must be more than this 

Over and over, I sang this to my Lord. Deep down in my soul, I expe- rienced God’s fingerprint. I knew He was real. And because I had already seen Him working in so many ways, I had to believe that there was more. I desperately needed to hear His voice tell me that all this striving, all this seeking wasn’t for nothing.

Freedom Friday: Own Your Choices

I sometimes see Christians act as if they are victims of their temptations. It’s as if when temptation comes, they have no other choice but to give in.

I see this in my own life. I struggle with overeating. There are times when I act as if I have no choice but to indiscriminately put food in my mouth.

I rationalize this. Oh, if only I struggled with something else, I tell myself. Something I didn’t have to deal with everyday, like an addiction. An addiction, I could handle that. If it were something besides food, I could avoid it entirely, but I still have to eat.

Sound familiar?

The past few months, as I have been pondering acting like a free person and obedience, I have been asking these questions:

What is my part? What is God’s part? Are there things for which I need to take responsibility?

Some of this was inspired by Michael Hyatt’s blog post Your Life is the Sum of Your Choices. Also, a friend sent me a poem that talked about his choices and which direction each choice led him in.

One phrase stuck with me from both these experiences: Own Your Choices.

As Christians, we are free. Period. We are slaves to Christ and Christ alone. I’ve been discussing this in the past month of Freedom Fridays as I’ve talked about the place of obedience and acting like a free person.

These experiences made me realize I needed to face up to the truth that I choose to overeat.

Taking responsibility for my choices puts the fault where it belongs: with me.

When I mess up, I ask God for forgiveness, but I no longer act as if I found myself under a huge pile of food and had no other choice but to eat my way out.

I also don’t use that mistake as an excuse to stuff myself silly for the rest of the day. I used to tell myself, I’ll start over again tomorrow with better choices. I’ll repent after I really indulge.

Taking responsibility for my choices has helped me make better ones.

I stop and ask myself, Is this choice really going to be helpful? Is it beneficial? Is it going to get me any closer to reaching my life goals?

One of my goals is to feel more freedom when it comes to my relationship with food. I have a lot more freedom than I did 10 years ago when I overcame anorexia, but I still have a ways to go. I no longer ever restrict my food intake, I have no forbidden foods in my life, but that is not an excuse to go overboard. One of my other goals is to continue to grow closer to God and know Him on a deeper level. Disobedience in the area of eating certainly doesn’t help me achieve that end.

I thought of the following verses as I was preparing for this blog post. Moses has just led the Israelites out of Egypt. They had been wandering in the desert for 40 years, and now they are nearing the Promised Land.

Moses will not be accompanying them in. I imagine his heart must be bursting out of his chest with a deep passion to see the Israelites succeed in the next 40 years.

Thus, he leaves them with numerous instructions for living and ends with the following. If this passage is familiar, I encourage you to pause, take a breath, and ask God to give you fresh ears & eyes before continuing.

“See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.

“But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.

“This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” Deuteronomy 30:15-20

These promises may have originally been for the Israelites, but we certainly have much to learn. Every day, we have the opportunity to choose life or death, blessings or curses. Whatever we choose, we can own those choices and take responsibility for the consequences, positive and negative, associated with those choices.

Is there an area of your life that feels out of your control? Would that change if you made better choices? Has God spoken to your heart over the course of this post? Has He brought something to mind for which you need to take responsibility?

Freedom Friday: A Place for Obedience, Part 2

This is a continuation of a post from last week, A Place for Obedience, part 1.

Let me share another analogy. Imagine that a person who has walked with a limp his whole life finds out there is a procedure available to correct that limp. Because he has walked with a limp for so long, his muscles have actually conformed and adjusted to accommodate his limp. He has the procedure but still needs to undergo physical therapy to strengthen his weakened muscles.

He needs to relearn how to walk.

We as believers should not be surprised that we walk with a limp. All of humanity walks with the same limp. Yet, as believers, we have the opportunity to learn to walk in freedom through Christ’s work on the cross and the power of the Holy Spirit.

We can proactively make choices to act like the free person that we already are.

Here is the issue. This is what many of us might think it looks like to act like a free person.

We believe that God wants us to behave better than we are. We know God wants us to do certain things and doesn’t want us to do others. Thus, we gather knowledge, and with that knowledge, we try really hard to behave how we think God wants us to behave.

How does this pattern play itself out in our lives? Say you have a struggle with pornography. You know you shouldn’t view it. In fact, you get even further convicted when, after having an all-night Saturday porn marathon, you go to church on Sunday and the pastor preaches on the dangers of pornography. You go to the altar, you repent as best you know how, you might even ask someone to pray for you with some vague sharing like, “I just feel God speaking to me and need prayer.”

Then you go home and try harder. Maybe you even read some books on why pornography is bad, how the industry treats the workers, how the struggle enslaves a person, and maybe even some tips on overcoming. And you keep trying harder.

Then you likely fall again.

This is basically what I did, as described in Freedom Step Three. I would feel genuinely convicted about something. I would be truly grieved by my sin and exhausted by the insanity the cycle of sin produced in my life. I would gather materials to help me understand the struggles, and I would try and use that knowledge to inspire myself to better behavior.

I had sincere intentions, but I was going about it the wrong way.

How then would a free person act?

A free person actively overcomes life-controlling issues by becoming plugged in to the power source and remaining plugged in.

In doing a search in the New Testament for the word power, I noticed that Luke, in the gospel he wrote, talks about power more than the other three gospels combined. He talks about Jesus doing what He did under the power of the Holy Spirit.

Luke also wrote the book of Acts, often referred to as the Acts of the Apostles, or sometimes even the Acts of the Holy Spirit. In the beginning of the book of Acts, it is recorded that Jesus told the apostles to wait in Jerusalem because “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you.” (Acts 1:8) Luke had seen this power, the power of the Holy Spirit, up close and had experienced it intimately. He saw its importance. He observed the difference it made in the lives of the disciples, including Peter, who, on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came upon them in Jerusalem, shared the hope of Jesus Christ with the crowds, and 3,000 people believed and were baptized.

God is meant to be our source of power.

Through His Holy Spirit given to us as believers, we can be empowered to make better choices. Rather, what we often do is take our knowledge and will power and try to make these things our source of power for overcoming our struggles.

Bob Hamp gives this analogy. It’s like taking the ethernet cable (which connects your computer to the internet) and plugging it into the spot for the power cord. We try to take data, the knowledge we have gathered, and use that to fuel us into obedience in hopes that we will derive power from that data.

I quoted 2 Peter 1:3 earlier, that “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness.” Imagine that we, as believers in Jesus, are like a lamp. That lamp has everything in it that it needs in order to function as it was created to: electrical wires, functioning light bulbs, and a switch to turn it on, but if I do not plug in the lamp to the electrical outlet, it won’t work.

In the Garden of Eden, not only did we become disconnected from our source of life, we became disconnected from our source of power. That power enters back into us when we become believers, as every believer receives the Holy Spirit, but we need to continually reconnect.

That doesn’t mean the Holy Spirit comes and goes completely as it often did in the Old Testament stories, where we read about the Holy Spirit coming upon people so they can prophesy or be empowered for leadership or an event. The Holy Spirit always dwells in believers. Yet Paul commands the Ephesus church to be “filled with the Holy Spirit.” (Ephesians 5:18) Why would Paul be telling believers to be filled with the Spirit? They already had the Holy Spirit in them. We can gather from the passage, then, that we are implored to “keep being filled.” The passage shows us that the filling of the Spirit is something we need to continually seek and ask for.

We need to continually be reconnected with our power source.

continued next week

Freedom Friday: Jealous God

When it’s time for Freedom Friday, I will be out of town for the death of a family member. I will be 20 country miles from the closest Starbucks, with no access to WiFi.

So I’m going to leave you with a few classic posts that are on my heart.

He is Jealous for me
This theme is so heavy on my heart. This used to make me feel as if I needed to shape up and behave better. Now I recognize all His jealousy requires of me is that I open my heart fully to Him and allow His fire to consume all of me.

Do You Really Know God?
This was the top viewed post of 2011. I ask this question: how do you envision God? Who do you imagine Him to be?

“Talitha koum!” Expelling the Laughers
Is anyone discouraging you in your journey of freedom, telling you that your goals are not possible? This post is for you.

I’ll be back next week 🙂