Just…Freedom.

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Greetings my English Speaking Friends and those wanting to learn, welcome to Just English!

Last Sunday our country of Peru voted for a new president. Through a democratic process, the people of Peru have chosen their next leader.

It was a close vote. Some of you are happy. Some of you are sad. Maybe it was a difficult choice and you are not sure what to think about the results. Everyone can be thankful that Peruvians have the freedom to vote.

A democracy allows people the freedom to make a choice. Voting is one of many important freedoms.

What is freedom and why is it important?

Freedom is basically the right to do what you want, to make your own decisions and express your own opinions. Having freedom encourages creativity. Freedom leads to new thoughts. Freedom brings hope for our future. Freedom even allows for learning and growth through failure.

Of course, with that freedom we need to respect the rights of others. I’m not talking about having no laws or raising our children without discipline. That is not what I mean by freedom.

It might help you understand freedom’s value by giving you an example of what is the opposite of freedom. This week my family made a new friend but her life is a sad story. She is a 10 year-old girl who has not known freedom. Her mother kept her in a locked room since birth. She had no freedom. She is not able to walk or talk. Without freedom, there was little development in her life.

Can you imagine being kept in a locked room for most of your life? I cannot. I like to walk around my neighborhood. I like to have the freedom to make choices. I enjoy the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press, the freedom of religion, the freedom from slavery.

Slavery is a big problem today around the world. There are many people, even children, who are slaves. Some people are slaves for financial reasons. Some people are slaves for labor. Even worse, some people are slaves for sex.

With our own freedom, we need to help those who do not have it. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “With freedom comes responsibility.”

We have the freedom to do wrong. But we are called by God to use our freedom to do right.

In the Bible, we read that, “You were indeed called to be free, brothers and sisters. [But] Don’t turn this freedom into an excuse for your corrupt nature to express itself. Rather, serve each other through love…” (Gal. 5 – GOD’S WORD Translation)

We are called to use our freedom for good.

God wants you to be free.

God freely chooses to be in relationship with you through his son, Jesus. He gives you freedom from evil and guilt: you are forgiven in Jesus. It cost a lot – Jesus died to pay for your freedom. And He gives that freedom to you as a gift. Through that freedom you are able to serve others with love.

True freedom for people of any country is not found in an election. True freedom comes through a relationship with God.

Go, live in freedom this week. I’m Leon Smith.


Just…Making a Decision.

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Greetings my English Speaking Friends and those wanting to learn, welcome to Just English!

Everyone in Peru knows that the elections are taking place this Sunday between Keiko Fujimori and Ollanta Humala.  We all want the right decision to be made.  We want every person who will vote to think about his or her vote.  We want the country of Peru to make a good decision.

Voting can be difficult.  Today, I’m not going to tell you which person to vote for or against.  That is up to you.  However, I would like to talk about how to make good decisions in life.

How we make our decisions is a topic called ethics.  Ethics are an important aspect of justice.  Citizens, cities, countries, all need to make good decisions for justice to happen.

How do you make your decisions? Do you honor your family and God with your decisions?

I hope that you do not make your decisions by chance or luck, for example, by the roll of dice.  There is more to life than luck.

I hope that you do not make your decisions by your feelings alone.  Sometimes our feelings can be wrong.  Sometimes a bad decision can make me feel happy.  Sometimes a good decision can make me feel sad.

If we want to make a good decision, there are five important points to remember:

# 1. Consult God.  It is very important to remember this point.  If we want to make a good decision, it is important to ask our God what He wants us to do.  Our good God will help us to make good decisions.

Begin with Him. Pray.  Then, search the Bible, for answers.  In Psalm 119, verse 105, it says that God’s Word is a lamp for our feet and a light for our path.  Follow God’s lead.  Many people like to ask at difficult times, “What would Jesus do?”

# 2. Learn, about your choices.  In the time you have, be informed.  Read, discuss your options with wise people.  Listen to experts, even listen to opposing opinions.  Study the topics affected by your choices.  Know as much as possible about your options.

# 3. Think.  Seek advice but do not simply do what others say to do. Each person has the God-given freedom to make his or her own decisions. Take time to use the mind God gave you.  Think about the future and the results your choice might create.  Think about how your decision will affect other people.  Ask, “Will my decision bring honor to God?”

# 4. Choose.  With strength, make your decision and stay with it.  Have faith that you make the best choice you can at this time and place.  Be confident that God is with you now and into the future.

# 5. Honor the Results.  You may or may not like the results.  Celebrate the decision or congratulate others, whatever is needed.  Whatever the result, be peaceful.  You can be peaceful in any situation through faith in God.

Making a decision is never easy. Maybe at times you feel like you are choosing between AIDS and Cancer!  However, if you make your decisions by using the five steps of consulting God, learning, thinking, choosing and honoring the results…you can feel good about your decision and be at peace with yourself.

You can only be responsible for the choices you make.  But we must take responsibility for all of our choices.  Our personal decisions do affect other people.  They also affect our relationship with God.

In ethics, do your best.  As you need, live in forgiveness.

Let us all make decisions in freedom, mercy and peace – for this presidential election and always.  I’m Leon Smith.