Waffle House, Fantasy Football and Prayer Groups

If you were to tell me the worst moment of your life or tell me the best moment of your life it would probably involve another person. Our lives are shaped by the people in our lives.

I can remember my middle school baseball coach, Jimmy Robinson.  He had a gift of coaching and motivating fourteen middle school baseball players.  He was tough on us, but he had a way about him that we knew he cared.  He instilled confidence in all of us.  It only made us play harder for him.  He had a huge influence on our lives.  

Life change happens through relationships!

God builds His Kingdom through relationships. We see it modeled in Jesus' relationship with his disciples.  He shared life with them, walked with them through their stuff, and their lives were changed forever.    

Bottom line: change and transformation in our life happens in the context of relationships.  If that is the case then small groups becomes vital to life change and transformation in our church family. 

This past Sunday we introduced 14 Freedom Groups. We have everything from Prayer Groups to Waffle House Groups.  Say what?  Waffle House Groups?  Yes, Waffle House Groups!  

We have what is called a Free Market System.  It is easy to build community when you have a group of people passionate about the  same thing. You must build community before people begin to take their masks off.  So put a bunch of men together who love to hunt and see what occurs.

Our motto for our groups is: Eat Together, Play Together, Pray Together and Grow Together! The leaders of our groups must be intentional.  If you have a prayer group then the leader of that group must be more intentional about eating and playing together.  If you have a Fantasy Football Group then the leader of that group must be more intentional about praying together and growing together.

If you missed church on Sunday we encourage you to click on the link that will take you to our Freedom Group Directory.  Read through the descriptions and see if there is something you would like to become involved with during our Fall Term.  You can click on the Freedom Group of your choice and register right online.


If you don't see anything that interests you then maybe you have an idea of a group you would like to lead for our Spring Term. If that's you, we will have Freedom Group Leader Training after this Sunday's service. We'd love to see you there! Just let us know you are coming.

In 1 Corinthians 3:6 in the Message Bible Paul says, I planted the seed, Apollos watered the plants, but God made you grow. It's the people like Coach Robinson that God places in our life that become part of shaping our lives into what they are today and what they will become tomorrow.  Life change happens in the context of relationships. Join a Freedom Group today!

Pastor Russ Update - Boy In The Plastic Bubble? NOT!


There was a movie that came out in 1976 (hey, the year I graduated high school) called The Boy in the Plastic Bubble.  It was about a boy who lacked an effective immune system.  The actor was John Travolta.  In no way am I John Travolta,  nor do I plan to live in a plastic bubble.

First of all I want to thank you for your prayers during this critical time. As most of you know I was stung by a yellow jacket last Wednesday, August 30th in my temple area.  I am allergic to the venom and went into an anaphylactic reaction.  My throat began to close up and thanks to the Lord, the reaction of my family and those in the medical field,  I am alive today.

I have so much I want to say concerning the events of last week.  Each and every decision, the timing of those decisions were SO CRITICAL.  The decisions that my personal family made to those moments leading up to last Wednesday, the decisions that our Freedom Family made to those moments while I was in the ER and OR.  I believe every moment and every decision made is the reason why I am still alive. It is why we must continually be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s nudging in our lives moment by moment.

I have taken the week to rest.  The doctors have put me on meds to come down off the meds so my sleep pattern is out of whack.  After writing three blogs on Monday morning at 3 a.m. to updating you Thursday morning at 6 a.m. my body is in a recovery mode. The energy level can come and go so quickly. 

Thank God for a strong wife and family.  While my body was fighting to stay alive Lisa carried a spiritual and emotional load that cannot be comprehended.  You can imagine that her sleep pattern is out of whack as well. As a family we are still processing through this, but know that the determination and focus to build His Kingdom if anything has only intensified.

We will begin a new series in August called Random Thoughts.  I will take a few Sundays to  share the things that have come out of the events of last week.

As Freedom Family we have definitely had a summer of Eating Together, Playing Together and NOW Praying Together and Growing Together!  I’m ready for the fall and to find a routine to move forward.


We were not just made to survive.  We were made to do something significant.




·      WE ARE FREE!

It's time for all of us to come out of our plastic bubble.  Thanks again for your prayers!  Hope to see you Sunday as we begin our new series "Random Thoughts."  






Freedom Church: Who Are We? Part 2 - The Big Picture


Have you ever lost your keys? Trying to find those keys become your primary focus.  You check your pants pockets.  You check the kitchen counter.  You check your coat pocket. You backtrack every move you've made since you got  home. 

To all the women out there have you ever lost an earring?  Why does finding that one earring become such a focus (you have twenty other pair in your closet)?  Because every pair of earrings has a story behind it.  Those were my grandmother's earrings.  Those were the earrings your friend gave you two Christmases ago.  Those were the earrings your husband gave you on your fifth wedding anniversary. Those earrings are your favorite pair. Every pair of earrings has a story behind it. 

Why do we spend so much time and energy over the things we've lost?  Because we are passionate about those things we've lost.  

Jesus was passionate about lost things. In Luke 15, while He was speaking to the IRS agents and the sinners, He told them how important lost things were:  the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son.

In Acts 1:8, Jesus commissioned the disciples to be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth. He was commissioning them to become searchers; searchers for lost people.

We have provided a diagram in this blog that shows you things we are passionate about at Freedom Church, but the BIG PICTURE is we are to become searchers for lost souls.  There are two opportunities that we have in finding people. Jesus modeled this while he was on earth.

  • Invite and Invest
  • Invest and Invite

We will dive into these methods over the next two blogs.  In the meantime allow yourself to become searchers as we go into Mauldin, Simpsonville, Greenville, South Carolina and the uttermost parts of the earth. Why?  Because just like those earrings have a story behind them, every lost person has a story behind them too!



Freedom Church: Who Are We? Part 1 - Our Vision


Have you ever had a situation in life that left a LASTING impression?

I recently spent some time with some of my family members and my great nephew had a loose tooth.  Whenever he took that tooth and began to wiggle it back and forth it would trigger a reaction.  Stomachs would become queasy.  Others would get up and walk away. My niece, my brother-in-law,  and my nephew were all affected by the wriggly tooth.  There was something from their past that they were tied to causing the trigger reaction.  I tried to dig, but they could never tell me what had happened. 

While this situation was insignificant, there are other situations that are so significant that we find ourselves tied to them for life.  For instance, the woman at the well.  Here is a lady who had been married five times and now she was living with a man.  I guess on the sixth man she finally gave up on marriage.  

I wonder what situation in her life had made such a LASTING impression that she was tied to it for life.  Because of it she went from one relationship to the other trying to fill a void. That is until she had a genuine encounter with Jesus.

He was a Jew and she was a Samaritan.  He was a man and she was a woman. But for the first time in her life she honestly felt and experienced a deep and genuine love.

Her life was radically transformed.  She was free from something that had her tied down her entire life.  

We all have situations in our lives that have made a lasting impression.  Something that we are tied to that causes us to trigger.  We get angry.  We feel rejected.  We feel guilt.  We feel shame.  We feel insignificant.

Somehow we find ourselves tied to our past just like the woman at the well UNTIL we honestly experience the deep and genuine love of God.

That's our heart and our passion at Freedom Church; to see every person's life radically  transformed by a genuine encounter with the love of God. We invite you to become a part of the Freedom Church family as we take the journey together to experience a deep and genuine love that will radically transform our lives.

To read more about Our Vision and Our Passion as a ministry, follow the highlighted links below.

Our Vision | Our Passion

Russ Muse