Recently, I had the pleasure of reading Unchained written by Noel Jesse Heikkinen and published by David C. Cook. This book is a must read for anyone who wonders if they will ever measure up, if they will ever stop disappointing God, if they will ever be free of their past, if they will be stained by their sins forever, if people will always judge them, or if they will ever indeed be truly free!
From the moment I started reading Unchained by Noel Jesse Heikkinen, I was hooked. I found my life story laid bare on the pages before me in Kate's story. "God must be at least a little bit disappointed with me," Kate laments. Noel expounds; "Disappointment is what she had come to expect. Dads can do that to a little girl, as can teachers, coaches, spouses, and schoolyard bullies." For years, I thought I wasn't "good enough." I thought God must be disappointed in me. People in my life had told me I wasn't enough and that I was worthless. This colored how I thought God viewed me. When I learned to see God for who He truly is and His love as unconditional, it was indeed freeing. When we totally surrender, those chains are gone and we can live with abandon for Him. This is the premise of Unchained.
Unchained - The Premise:
The key verse referred to throughout Unchained is "For freedom Christ has set us free." (ESV) Yet, are we truly free? Have we learned to leave our past, our sins, our fears, our worries at the feet of God? Or, do we carry them around our necks like heavy chains weighing us down and tripping us up causing us to stumble over and over again? Unchained talks about the various traps that can keep us enslaved and how we can be truly free. "Chains have become so much a part of our daily existence that we don't even know we are weighed down." I certainly didn't realize it. One of the points is that NOTHING is greater nor more important than God. We cannot allow manmade rules or tasks to take precedence over God and His presence in our life. We were created for a love relationship with Him and not a guilt ridden judgement. God wants us to be free. It is why He sent His Son. "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." John 8:36 (NIV)
Noel Jesse Heikkinen - Author:
Noel can't remember a time he wasn't in church. He grew up knowing who Jesus was. Yet, Noel like so many of us, if we are truly honest, is a follower of Jesus who knows what it is like to stumble along life's path. He knows what it is like to falter and make mistakes or as he aptly states it to go "sideways for a season."
Noel is married to Grace. Together they are parents to Emma (the only girl and college student), Jesse and Ethan (both high school students), and Cole (a junior high student).
Noel serves as one of the Pastors at Riverview Church in Lansing, Michigan, where they believe in a team ministry approach. They also have four other venues, including one at Michigan State University. Noel is also involved in leadership capacities with Reliant Missions and Act 29.
Where to Purchase Unchained:
David C. Cook
Barnes and Noble