The Abolition of Slavery and “Learning to Walk in Freedom”

Slavery, and in particular sex trafficking, is an issue that grips my heart. I gained a growing understanding through meeting missionaries like the Garrisons who work with kids rescued out of trafficking.

But it wasn’t until I attended a screening of Nefarious: Merchant of Souls that I really got a glimpse into the depth of the darkness that is human trafficking.

In September of 2011, I attended a screening of the documentary in Harvard Square. I walked away, truly changed. I couldn’t shake the horror of what is happening to those enslaved around the world.

Fast forward to 2012, when I ran 26.2 miles to raise funds for kids rescued from sex trafficking.

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I vowed since then not only to raise awareness, but to put my money where my mouth is. As I wrote Learning to Walk in Freedom, God laid it on my heart to give a portion of the proceeds to those trapped in literal slavery.

Thus, I included these words in my book:

I will mention in closing that God has called me to be part of an army He is raising up. It is an army of people who are willing to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves. Alongside my passion for spiritual freedom is my passion for physical freedom—freedom for those who are in literal captivity. Thus, a tithe on the profits from this book will always go to the abolition of slavery.

I want to share this video in closing. In this clip, Benjamin Nolot (creator of the Nefarious film) and his wife Lauren tell the story of receiving a special package from Cambodia, and how it became a life-changing moment for them.

WARNING: This is a graphic depiction of the evidence of a little girl’s abuse.

I plan to keep this post updated with the causes I have given to. So far, I have donated to Project Rescue’s Night Care Shelter program. From the website:

Evening Care Centers are adjacent to the red-light district and are open during peak brothel business hours. These centers provide a way to get vulnerable children out of their mothers’ rooms while they service customers.

Just let the horror of that reality sink in.

This is why I ran a marathon. This is why I give. This is why I talk about human trafficking. Not only for the women, but as the back of my shirt I wore for the marathon said: For The Kids.

 

Welcome to Living Unveiled, the blog of Brenna Kate Simonds, Author of “Learning to Walk in Freedom”

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Welcome to the blog of Brenna Kate Simonds, author of Learning to Walk in Freedom.

Brenna Simonds

Don’t know where to start?

Buy the book Learning to Walk in Freedom.

Read Brenna Kate’s story, straight from the back of Learning to Walk in Freedom.

Read Living Unveiled’s 3 most popular posts:
You Have Not Because You Ask Not
Do I Still Struggle With Same-Sex Attraction?
Remind God of His Promises

Check out Brenna Kate’s speaking page.

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#FreedomBook is Here!

It has been one challenge after another in getting my paperbacks of Learning to Walk in Freedom to actually arrive at my home. After a long string of issues, I was told my books would arrive Monday. When I checked the tracking Sunday, it said the book would arrive 1/28 (6 days prior). I called Monday, and the terminal was closed due to weather. They are supposed to call to schedule residential delivery, so when I hadn’t heard anything at noon Tuesday, I gave them another call. They said my books were out for delivery! I turned to tell my husband, and he said, “I think I hear a truck.” Don’t you know – it was my books!

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My 4 year-old JJ is guarding the goods.

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Don’t worry. It wasn’t loaded.

18 boxes of #FreedomBook!

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Order your copy today!

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!

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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!

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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.

My Book "Learning to Walk in Freedom" Available for Kindle!

Learning to Walk in Freedom has been published!

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The Kindle version is now available! The paperback will take another month, but yes! There will be a paperback for my Kindle-less friends. Read what people are saying about Learning to Walk in Freedom (including the long versions of the reviews from the back cover):

“LEARNING TO WALK IN FREEDOM is just what is says—a guide to freedom. This booklet says more in its 80 pages than dozens of larger books I’ve read on the subject. It’s practical, field-tested, biblical and Spirit-taught. After working for over 20 years with sexually broken people I can heartily recommend this powerful little resource!” Russell Willingham, Director of New Creation Ministries and author of Breaking Free: Understanding Sexual Addiction and the Healing Power of Jesus and Relational Masks: Removing the Barriers that Keep Us Apart

“Jesus said in John 8:36, ‘So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.’ That verse always gets a great reaction because we all desire to truly walk in freedom! Through 24 years of ministry and 40 years as a Christian I have observed that most Christians struggle to walk in the true freedom that Christ has made possible for us. In this book, Brenna Kate Simonds lays out five insightful and powerful points that will help any Christian expe- rience and walk in true freedom. I wish I had read this book earlier in my Christian life. It would have saved me years of wondering if I would ever be able to please God. I strongly recommend this book for any believer at any stage in their spiritual journey.” Jeff Jacob, Senior Pastor, Word of Life International Church, Ashburn, Virginia

“Brenna Kate makes it easy and approachable. It makes sense that her writing would be like her personality. With clarity, and honesty Brenna Kate shares both experience and truth providing an easily understood, and easily followed path in the process of living in Freedom.” Bob Hamp, LMFT, Author of Think Differently, Live Differently and Executive Pastor of Pastoral Care at Gateway Church, Southlake, TX

“Learning to Walk in Freedom is a small book that packs a mighty punch! The author throws light on the shadow that often exists between what we know to be truth and the reality of living in that truth. To know about freedom is one thing, but to live from a place of freedom requires the courage to engage with others and expose those shameful core beliefs that keep us imprisoned in wrong thinking and behaviour. Using her own journey away from lesbianism, an eating disorder, and other damaging behaviours, Brenna Kate Simonds succeeds in offering the reader opportunity to access their own expedition through life and use some of the checks and pointers as they pursue that promised abundant life in Christ.” Jeanette Howard, Director of Bethany Life Ministries and author of Out of Egypt: One Woman’s Journey Out of Lesbianism and Into the Promised Land: Beyond the Lesbian Struggle

Get your copy of Learning to Walk in Freedom today!

Cover and interior design done by Rusty and Ingrid Creative

The Edits on my Book are Done!

Are you ready for Learning to Walk in Freedom?

This book that has been a word in my heart will soon be a reality.

From the first draft back in June, 2012:

To a finely tuned booklet with a beautifully illustrated cover by Rusty & Ingrid Creative (which I’ll share soon enough).

We have refined and tweaked this thing for the past 15+ months. And now we’re declaring it done.

In just a few weeks, the eBook will be ready for purchase through your favorite retailer. A print book will follow within a couple of months. We will also be doing some giveaways here on the blog and on my Facebook page. And my blog will be moving to permanent hosting by the end of the year.

You do not want to miss out!

A couple things you can do to prepare for all this excitement:

1. Subscribe to the email list. That way, I can more easily send you blog posts and book updates.  I will not spam you 🙂 IMPORTANT: If you already receive blog posts in your inbox, you will still need to sign up for the email list. Your current updates come directly from Blogger (my current host), not from me. Thus, when we move the blog to permanent hosting, you will no longer receive blog posts in your inbox. So right now, go to http://www.livingunveiled.com and on the top right where it says “Get Living Unveiled updates via e-mail,” put in your email address. This is through MailChimp, a service used by most bloggers. In fact, you probably get other blog posts through them.

2. Follow my Facebook page. I have a page on Facebook where I post updates on a regular basis, including my (almost) daily Bible-reading haikus. I will be posting my main book updates there.

3. Follow me on Twitter. I have a Twitter profile where I (can you guess what I do there?) tweet. Shocking, I know!

Why should you do any of the above things? Because for each one that you do, you will get an entry into each of my giveaways! So if you do all 3, you get 3 entries! Party!

Friends, I do believe this book has the potential to radically impact your life. Pray with me that it will be a blessing to many.