Coach Hugh and Jill Freeze – Liberty University Convocation
Articles Blog

Coach Hugh and Jill Freeze – Liberty University Convocation

November 28, 2019


>>JERRY FALWELL: The first Convo of the
semester we’re so glad to have y’all back. It was relaxing to have you gone for a while,
but it’s better to have you back, and uh with some big changes. I guess you noticed the security measures
this morning. When I came in, I hope it wasn’t-wasn’t, I
hope it wasn’t too inconvenient. Was it bad?>>(AUDIENCE AGREEMENT)>>(FROM THE AUDIENCE): No, Jerry, No.>>FALWELL: Or would you rather be inconvenienced
or be dead? I don’t know.>>(AUDIENCE DISSAPPROVAL)>>FALWELL: They wanded me when I came in. They said it looked like I had something under
my suit. I said that’s all muscle. Don’t worry about it, so. But I did get wanded. Everybody, nobody’s exempt. But today, oh, and the new tower. I, um, went up for the first time yesterday,
and I feel like I met – I took pictures with like half of you. So many students went up yesterday that the
second elevator at the top overheated and they had to turn it off, so we had to walk
up the last three of four stories, but it was good to see so many of you up there and
um send me those pictures if you have – I’ll put ’em up. But today, since it’s the first Convo I wanted
to honor two individuals who really were instrumental in making Liberty University what it is today. When you walk around campus and you see all
the beautiful buildings and-and uh facilities, I know you’re young but you- you have to know
that it wasn’t always like that. For years we struggled to keep the lights
on, keep the bills paid, keep the payroll made. That was part of my job as, uh, the general
counselor her for years, and there a lot of people who came beside us to help us. One was Dr. Wilbur Peters. He just passed away January 1st. Today he’s 95. He founded, uh, a retail chain called Minnesota
Fabrics in the upper-mid-west. I don’t know how many stores he had, but
it was a big chain. He sold it and he spent the rest of his life
using his wealth to build churches in San Palo, in Brazil, and, uh, and to help Liberty
University. He loaned Old Time Gospel Hour, the television
ministry that was the main benefactor of Liberty for years millions of dollars. He later forgave that debt, it was a charitable
contribution. And so, we ask you to pray for the Peters
family. He was living in Charlotte, Charlotte, North
Carolina when he passed away, and, and we uh, he’ll be greatly missed, and- and, uh,
his role here is greatly appreciated. But another individual who is here with today,
Dr. Harold Willmington came here in 1972. He, the first year he came, um, he’s such
a good Bible teacher that my father actually closed the school for one week and just had
him teach one week of nothing but Bible to all the students. It was about 175 students in those days. Matt was- his son was just telling me. And he, um, he went- he was the only person
alive, or he’s attending more Liberty Commencements than any other person alive. He’s only missed one in all the years we’ve
been in existence and that was because he had a bad case of gout a couple years ago,
couldn’t be there. But what he did to help Liberty University
so much was he formed- he created the Liberty home Bible institute, which was probably the
first distance education program of – it was a- was a pioneer. Not many colleges ever did that before us. And he had over 100,00 students go through
that program and it was a correspondence program where people could study the Bible at home
or they could come here. And he wrote so many books, his “Willmington’s
Guide to the Bible”, I always heard that he spent 26 years writing that one volume. It’s about that thick. And he um sold 500.000-million – sorry, 500,000
– five- what is it?>>(AUDIENCE LAUGHTER)>>FALWELL: A half-a million. That’s 500,000, same thing. Alright. So, he sold a-half-a-million books all over
the world, but his real contribution came through that Bible course because, we-like
I- when I said a little while ago that the Old Time Gospel Hour was the main benefactor
of Liberty University, it was expensive for Old Time Gospel Hour to be on the air. It cost, to buy the air time in every city
– there we’re only three networks back then – it cost a lot of money and it want always
enough contributions to do it. So, his Bible courses, he allowed the Old
Time Gospel Hour to keep all the tuition money from all those Bible courses, he never asked
for royalty, he gave 100,000 books to Billy Graham’s organization, didn’t ask for anything
in return and helped the Billy Graham organization raise money. But Harold Willmington just came to us recently
with a new- he’s 85 years old and he’s still planning for the future, still working, and
– Ron, come up. Mr. Ron Hawkins, our Provost. Tell everybody about the new Bible program
that Harold proposed to me about three or four months ago.>>DR. RON HAWKINS: All right, well thank you President
Falwell for supporting the idea. Liberty has always been about innovation,
and uh, with the advent of the internet it was possible to take the educational experience
that we have at Liberty and move it out to hundreds of thousands of students. But, we’ve always dreamed of making the Bible
resources created by Dr. Willmington and others on the faculty, and pushing them out through
the internet, and doing it free. And, so, free, and all of those resources. And so, when we came together with Dr. Willmington,
we pitched the idea to the President and he said let’s go for it. We have an amazing library here. Uh, the JFL Library is not only a beautiful
building but inside of it is the technology. Digital Commons, and whatever we put on Digital
Commons goes out on the internet, is immediately available globally, and so we’re taking all
of the resources that Dr. Willmington had created, and other members of the faculty
and friends, and we’re pushing them out to Africa, and-and uh, Asia, and all over the
world, free, and so pastors and people who want to study the word of God will have a
resource they’ve never had before. Thank you, President Falwell, and thank you,
Harold Willmington.>>FALWELL: And it’s called Project Sword. As he said it’ll be full accessible, free
online. He’s excited for the launch of it. He’s got 1,000 articles already available
at the link on the screen, they’re gonna put up in just a minute. But after he came a proposed this new project
to me to provide free online Bible courses to the whole world, he found out he had stage
4 cancer, and he’s been fighting that for the last few months and he’s made progress,
much better progress than the doctors predicted, and he’s, um, he’s here with us today. I wish you’d give him a standing- give him
an ovation. He’s our Liberty hero.>>(AUDIENCE APPLAUDES) He’s always- he’s always one of those humble
people who never wanted credit for anything and I always joke that Harold did all the
heavy lifting and Elmer Towns got all the credit. But-but Harold really is an-an unsung hero
and is really-was just a key component of making Liberty University what it is today,
so, I’m gonna turn it back over to David Nasser to introduce out guest for this morning but,
um, thank you for helping me honor Dr. Willmington.>>NASSER: Thank you. I um, I had a member of the press ask earlier
this week if there was a theme that really, um, a word or a thought, that really, um,
encompassed this particular semester’s convocation schedule, and um, the answer was pretty simple
for me. The answer was, yeah, there are two words
that really come to mind when I think about the guests that God has brought our way in
this particular semester, and the first one is perseverance. I think at the end of this semester you’ll
look back and see the idea of perseverance, honestly the doctrine of perseverance. You’ll see the hope of perseverance sown into
so many stories from our guests that are gonna come your way, and other one is redemption. And our guest today has really both of those
thoughts inside of his story. Uh, we have with us actually a few guests
that have come with our guest and the first one is Dr.
Chip Henderson. Uh, Chip and his wife are here with us today
and Chip is the pastor of Pinelake Church in Mississippi. They have multiple campuses all around, um,
that state, representing also Oxford, Mississippi where the Freeze family, uh, attend. It’s one of the fastest growing churches in
the country. Eh, he’s just a really good Bible teacher
and hopefully in years to come he’ll come here on another convocation and teach the
word to us. Uh, he’s an awesome, awesome, awesome expositor
of God’s word. Uh, he’s coming with two church members, Jill
and Hugh Freeze, who are joining us, and um, if you are a football fan, especially college
football fan you are no stranger to what most people believe is one of the great offensive
minds of the game, Coach Hugh Freeze, and, uh, I want to say this to you. Uh, I’ve had an opportunity in the last month-and-a-half
to get to know the Freeze family a little bit, not just in a couple of meals that we’ve
had together, but just conversations, and, um, I’ve been so impressed with their authentic
love for the Lord and their passion, their-their, honestly, commitment to see God glorified
in and through every bit of their story. And we’re privileged to get to start this
season with them. We’re gonna watch this video, and then Coach
is gonna come up and give us a talk he’s given a-many times but this time it’ll mean something
very new to him, and them we’re gonna sit down with his wife Jill and Pastor Chip as
well and have a very, um, honest conversation together. Alright? Let’s watch this together.>>(VIDEO)NARRATOR: The story of Hugh Freeze
is a story of mountaintops and valleys. From the peaks of a high school coaching career
spotlighted by the Academy Award winning movie “The Blindside,” to becoming the head coach
of a powerhouse SCC team that would go on to win three Bowl games, break into the AP
Top Ten of Nationally Ranked Teams, and beat a top ranked Alabama, not once, but twice. But what does it look like to be a big-time
coach, and make a big-time mistake? To move from the mountain tops of victory,
to the valley of resigning for personal misconduct? On July 20, 2017 Hugh Freeze resigned from
his position as the head coach at Ole Miss. Today, for the first time since Coach’s highly
publicized resignation, the Freeze family has decided to tell their story in front of
a live audience. This is a story of brokenness and restoration,
a story of faith and forgiveness. Before we sit down with the Freeze’s and their
pastor, we’ve asked Coach to give his life message entitle “Making It Happen.” This is a talk he’s given hundreds of times
to audiences ranging from athletes in the locker room, to CEO’s in the boardroom. After all he’s been through, the principles
of his life message mean more to him than ever before. This is why coach’s famous “Making It Happen”
talk now has a new addition to the title: Making It Happen…But What If? Liberty, let’s welcome Hugh and Jill Freeze.>>(AUDIENCE APPLAUSE)>>COACH HUGH FREEZE: Well, thank you, uh,
Liberty. Thank you to uh Dr. Falwell and to uh Pastor
David who’s become a dear friend and, and for you, uh, just coming to hear our story. I’m humbled and certainly unworthy to, uh,
for a moment like this, but I do believe that what God has taught Jill and I and our daughters
through the years, I think it has merit for many of you that will go through think in
the future. So, let me jump right in, my time is limited
and I want to get to the main points. In 1929 there was a Rose Bowl game. It was Georgia Tech vs. California. The center for California, was uh, uh, was
a sophomore starting center named Roy Riegels. It was a bad weather game and Roy snaps the
ball on a given play and as he is doing his job and blocking for the run that was called,
it is a lineman’s dream, the ball is on the ground. And he scoops the ball and he starts running. And I’m sure in Roy’s mind he’s thinking,
“Man this is a dream of mine and I’ve gone five yards and no one’s tackled me and I go
ten yards, 15 yards, 20 yards. True story. 30 yard, 40 yards, and I’m sure he’s thinking
in his mind, “Man I should have been the tailback. Coach had it all wrong, I shouldn’t have been
the center.” 65 yards he runs before he is pulled down
from behind by his own teammate. He was running the wrong direction. They tackled him on the two-yard line before
he entered the end-zone. Still their ball, they couldn’t get it out. They have to line up the punt, the punt is
blocked, and half-time comes and they’re down 2 to 0. I try to put myself in Biblical character’s
shoes, uh, shoes, or on Roy Riegels’s shoes, and I’m sure he’s sitting in the locker room
now with a towel draped over his head like, “Man I’ve embarrassed my family, I’ve embarrassed
my school, I’ve embarrassed my team, I’ve let so many people down. I don’t know if we’ll score again because
of the weather and we’re down 2 to 0 because I made a mistake.” And I’m sure he’s sitting there wondering,
“What-do I even want to go back out for the second half?” When I look back on my 2017, I see Roy Riegels
in me. I’ve taken pride in Making It Happen and this
talk that I’ve done many times and-and we have “It’s” for everything. If you ask any player that’s played for what
our offensive “It” would be, they would say to you it is to, uh, fundamentally efficient
scoring machine. If you ask any coach that’s ever coached for
me they would say that recruiting, it is to develop dynamic relationships with the student
athlete and all those involved in his decision-making process. If you ask me what my personal “it” would
be, it would be to use the platform that God had given me to impact and influence people
for his kingdom. And yet when I look back on my 2017, and I
don’t know how many of you would say, “You know what, I’d like to forget that year and
move on to the next”. But just like coaching a football team, there
are core values that we’ve built that team around, that I built my life around, that
I have to reflect upon and see not only what went right for so many years, but what went
wrong. And it’s based on the word film. Because you know when I’m watching film with
a player or a team, the film never, ever, ever lies. And so, when I look back on my 2017 in hopes
of moving forward and learning something from what went wrong and what went right, I look
at the word “F” and I say “faith.” That’s one of our core values. And you ask any of our players if they ever
played for me they would say to you, faith is believing in something bigger than yourself,
and I don’t know what that is for you but there’s gonna come a point in your life where
you will need something bigger that yourself. And if you’re a part of a team and you need
the right guard to do his job, you need the receiver to do his job, you need the coach
to do his job, and something bigger than yourself is important. And my world got rocked in 2017. And all the walls came crumbling down. When what I thought was a private sin that
I had struggled with, confessed to my wife, to two of my friends in 2016, what I thought
was private, and I was dealing with and was in my rear-view mirror, in the past, when
it became public knowledge in July of 2017. My world crumbled, and the question started
being asked, man is his faith real? Is his faith genuine? I begin to ask, is it possible that you could
have a genuine faith and also have a season in your life that you struggle with a sin? And I start studying the scripture and I found
out that it’s true for every single believer. Every single one of us are broken and we have
an issue. That is why we have faith, and I’m coming
before you today to say before anything else I talk about, man we have to make sure that
the faith is ours. Is it mine, or is it my parents? Is it real? Is it genuine? Is it solid? And what I have found in going through when
my walls came crumbling down around me is that the faith that I stand on through the
Son of God, Jesus Christ, it is a solid rock, a solid foundation. And when all hell is breaking loose around
you and everybody has their opinion about what’s going on, and you know that you’ve
hurt the heart of God, His lover never changes. Ever.>>(AUDIENCE APPLAUSE)>>HUGH: And you can stand and sing that as
sure as in “On Christ the solid rock, I stand. All other ground is sinking sand.” And when the winds and the waves, they come. When I’m talking to my team about faith, we
talk about go-to players. And we’re evaluating the film of the last
game before we move onto the next one. Did we get it to our go-to players enough? Did we ask those players to do what they’re
cable of doing that they can excel at? I don’t know what you’ve been through in 2017
and I don’t know what’s coming your way, but there’ll come a point where you need something
bigger than yourself. And I would just simply ask, what’s your go-to? Who is your go-to player? I have found mine and man at the bottom of
it all, that rock is solid. The “I” in film is for “integrity.” I have a total new appreciation for integrity. If you walk into any team room and you ask
our players that we’ve coached what is integrity they’ll say we tell each other the truth. You see, integrity is not always what’s
right. If that’s the case, would anyone ever have
integrity? But integrity is when something is not done
right, it is owning it. It is being accountable for it. It is seeing it for what it is, and when you
have that, when you have that integrity it leads to confession and it leads to a brokenness. And that’s where found myself after I found
my faith is solid, I found myself in 2016 having to confess something that I never in
a million years thought I would, and I didn’t honor my wife totally. We do a drive-chart in football, and man,
we will- we’ll chart what happened on that drive, what went wrong, what went right, and
there’s a lot of times, Pastor David that you score touchdowns and really probably shouldn’t
have. There was a broken play and somebody just
made a play and threw it down there, and that can create a false pride. “Man, man, we’re averaging 40-something points
a game in the southeastern conference, man. We’re rollin’.” Well, I hate to break it to you, but maybe
you have a little false security, False pride. And that’s where I found myself. And I want to tell you, I don’t know what
you’re going through, but I have dealt with players and kids your age my whole life. And the lie that we have that I bought into,
that I allowed, is that, “Man, I can white-knuckle through something. I can be isolated.” And I don’t know what you’re going through
today, but you don’t have to do it alone. You can email me, Pastor David. There’s so many resources you have here in
your small groups. But don’t go at it alone. It will take you down a road you don’t want
to go. Confess it. Own it. It leads to brokenness, and what I’ve discovered
about brokenness is, I’ve studied the people of David and Saul, two kings, both sinned,
both said “I’ve sinned.” One said, lets don’t talk about it and tell
anybody, and lets-lets blame other people. One said, you know what, I hurt the heart
of God and I confess it. And I wan- I’m broken. One was called – said he had a heart after
God’s own heart. Integrity. Owning it and not doing it alone. The “L” in film is for “love.” If you ask our players what that stands for
it would be the ability to handle the inconveniences that come with relationships, and trust me
when I tell you if you’re in any relationships long enough, there’ll be inconveniences. In this room we’re gathered from all different
cultures, backgrounds, religions, and man i-it-it-it’s different. You put a team in a room, its different. And love is the ability to handle all of those
inconveniences. And there’s two sides to that coin and I found
myself on one side where I had to say to people that I loved, “I am sorry. Please, forgive me.” And today is really the first day that I can
tell the faith family that I am sorry. Please, forgive me.>>(FROM THE AUDIENCE): We forgive you.>>HUGH: Thank you.>>(AUDIENCE LAUGHTER)>>HUGH: Thank you. There’s another side to love. As you may be on the other side, and you may
be needing to forgive someone. If you look of the story of the prodigal son,
one son has sinned and squandered his inheritance, but says I’m picking myself up and I’m going
to the Father. And the Father accepted him, loved him, forgave
him. And the older brother had a problem with that,
and wasn’t quite as willing to forgive. And I want to tell you, I’ve experienced such
forgiveness from my family, my wife. She’s the real hero. My kids, my daughters, my pastor, my friends
my family. I’ve also seen the other side of it with people
that are not quite as willing to forgive. And I just wanna tell you, Jill and I have
a new appreciation for grace. We have a new appreciation for mercy. We have a new appreciation for compassion. And I believe if you’re a follower of Christ,
man he has called us to love. By this they will know you are my followers. You are my disciples because of your love
for one another. And it may be you need someone’s forgiveness
like I had to. It may be you need to forgive someone. It may be you need to get to get dirty in
the ditch, and y’know what, stand up for someone. Or maybe say, y’know what, I have my-my daughter
Ragan loves me more than she should, probably. And she wants to fight every time there’s
an article written that’s not accurate. She wants to – She wants to fight everytime
something is said on the keyboard, warriors on-on the twitters and message boards and
all of those things that take things and run with that that may not exactly be true. But what I’ve had to tell here is, Baby, your
dad did something wrong, and he has to be accountable. It may not be what’s written, but he has to
be accountable. But God’s called us to love. And love is being willing to forgive, to ask
for forgiveness, to say you’re sorry. And then you get to move to mental toughness. The “M” in film, and as we watched that my
kids would say, my players would say that “mental toughness” is the secret sauce. It’s the ability to get us the next day and
do it over, and over, and over, and over again with the same passion, with the same passion,
with the same enthusiasm, with the same effort. And when we’re watching that film of the last
game, before we over on to the next one, or we’re watching the film of my life, before
I move on to the next life, you have to ask, man is my effort gonna be the same? Is my desire to succeed gonna be the same? Is my desire to grow as a follower of Christ
gonna be the same? And you have to do it over, and over, and
over again. You might stub your toe, you might fall off
a cliff. You may make a mistake, but do you have the
wherewithal to have the metal toughness to get up the next day, follow, and seek after
Him? How do you do that? My answer has been community. It’s been getting with people, man, that just
dive into the word of God and you find out was it says about you as a child of the king. Not what somebody else says about you. It also brings accountability around you. And you have that, that possibility here to
do that, and you have pastors here like I have who’s willing to poor into your life
the truth about what God says about you. And it creates in your that mental toughness
and that attitude too be able to play the next play, or move forward. You see, the Devil wants you to stay where
you are defeated, in failure. Look, failures are not final. You can move forward by the grace of God. And it can develop an attitude in you because
of the time you spend with that group that you can have the mental toughness, y’know
what, I’m gonna get up today and surrender again, and surrender again, and to do it again,
and to go love again on people. I cannot control what people say, what people
think, nor can you. But I can make up my mind, and my mind is
set. It is settled. My eyes are clear, my heart is full, my feet
are pointed forward. And I am looking forward with thanksgiving
to what God has for me and my family next because of His great love, and His great forgiveness,
and you can do the same in 2018. For I know the plan He has for us, and they
are good. And all things work together for your good. And no eye has seen and no ear has heard,
nor can any mind conceive all that the Lord has planned for those that love him. So, I look forward with anticipation and thanksgiving,
and you can do the same. Roy Riegels. We left him last he was sitting in the locker
room at half-time, embarrassed. I’ve been there. You ever been there? Sometimes we get hurt because of our own doing. Sometimes it’s circumstances. Sometimes it’s someone else. The hurt is all real either way. And he’s sitting there debating. Coach Nibs goes to him at half-time and says
just a short sentence to him. And he says, “Hey Roy, you can’t do anything
about the first half. It’s over. But you can finish well.” He goes back out the second half, and they
played the second half of that Rose Bowl, and I wish I could tell you that he went back
out and made some great play and they won the game. They didn’t. They actually got beat, 8 to 7, and obviously
the safety was a critical, critical play in it. And they lost the Rose Bowl on that play. A few years back I had the privilege of leading
a football team to the Peach Bowl, one of the New Year’s Six bowls. And one of the events that you go-do there
is you go visit the college football Hall of Fame. And I found a very unique thing there. Guess whose name is in the college football
Hall of Fame, for the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame. Roy Riegels. Because of the way he finished. He finished well. And I hope somehow, in some way, that you
can take the faith that I talked about today that’s real, and genuine, and strong, and
enduring, the integrity I’ve talk about to where you own whatever it is you see. You call it what is. You don’t do it-go at it alone. Love, learn to ask for forgiveness, learn
to forgive. And then create mental toughness through community
and studying God’s word, and believing what it says you are which is-develops an attitude
in you that you can stand forward and say, I’m moving forward to whatever God has next. We could sit here and argue all day the qualities
that make up the right kind of person. One that I don’t think anyone could disagree
with is I think the right type of person has the ability and the wherewithal to finish. And that doesn’t mean that they don’t stub
their toe, it doesn’t mean they don’t fall down. Look at Peter, look at-look at- look at Paul,
look at David, look at on and on and on. But they had the ability to finish. And Jill and I just came today to share out
story briefly with you, and to encourage you that by God’s grace and by His power, we can
all finish well. Thank you for letting me share.>>(AUDIENCE APPLAUSE)>>NASSER: Powerful. We, um, we want to sit down just for a few
minutes, uh, with Jill as well, and Pastor Chip. And so, they’re gonna come up and, uh, we’re
gonna have just a few minutes together of conversation and that I actually think is
full of instruction for you as a college student as well. Uh, I think guys are gonna come out with the
stools for us in just a second, but uh, let me just say this as they come up. Uh, about a month and a half ago, uh, I sat
across this guy I-I had gotten to know the day before and, uh, we started to have a conversation
and he told me that, uh, he was, uh, from Mississippi, and, um, I asked him just in
conversation, um, do you know coach Freeze. And he said, well, I don’t just know him,
he’s my accountability partners, And he said, what people don’t know it about a year before
everything that went public to the world happened, I was with him with Ben crane who is our other
accountability partner, and he said, the three of us were together and that’s when the Holy
Spirit just convicted Hugh to just tell his accountability partners about the struggle
that he’s been having in his life. And he said, and we began to pray with him
and help him. He went and told his wife and he said, and
so all of that happened, it was great victory, there was accountability, and all of that,
and then a year later that’s when everything just kinda came out to the papers and there
was so much in the rearview mirror of the family, then all of a sudden it become front
and center for the whole world for them to deal with. And he said, I can tell you I’ve watched them
grow in this season more than I’ve ever seen him grow in his faith. And that’s when I know that this was real,
and that’s when I knew that I wanted to put them in front of you to learn from because
I hope that you understand that all of us, all of us underestimate the power of sin,
and overestimate the power of grace when we think that we got this on our own, that we’re-
and that we’re immune to falling, or that when we do fall we think that God can’t really
bring restoration to us. Amen? And so, can we just bring Jill and can we
put our hands together for her and Dr. Henderson, and Hugh come on up as well, brother.>>(AUDIENCE APPLAUSE) Um, I’d love to start with you, uh, Dr. Henderson. Chip, uh, man, uh, you, you’re a pastor of
a church with, uh, I think over 10,000 members, and so surely brother you sit with families
all the time who are a part of your church family who are going through whatever, that
is a valley. Sometimes the valleys are, um, Mom’s got cancer
and we gotta navigate through this. Sometime it’s self-inflicted sin. Sometimes it’s, uh, whatever it might be,
right? The loss of a daughter, like Portia who just
passed away. Um, but, it’s rare when-when that moment,
uh, the whole world knows about. Especially in a small community like Oxford,
Mississippi, where you’re the pastor of the congregation there and one of your church
members in going through something. Uh, give us some insight in that. How do you shepherd through that? And maybe even, uh, on a more personal note
how did you shepherd through that with this family.>>PASTOR CHIP HENDERSON: What you said, David,
that is key is that these folks are part of our faith family. And, so while the world may know them as Coach
Hugh and Jill Freeze, I know them as my faith family. And so, it’s with that that I look at their
life and see that, man, these folks for whatever you may or may not know about them, I’ve watched
their faith journey and they are-they are real and true in their faith. Uh, I’ve seen them be faithful to church every
Sunday same spot. Look at how, on the right, they come in on
the left. Every Sunday, no matter what time they got
in the night before after an away game, win or lose, Coach, Jill, the girls are there. Uh, I’ve-I’ve watched him, uh, as he’s shared
from his resources in-in A- South Africa, in Haiti, taking players. Uh, I’ve-I’ve watched what he’s done in the
Mississippi Delta. You don’t fake that kind of stuff. I’ve watched them in community, two different
small groups, Jill’s in multiple small groups. They’re a part of our faith family, and so
when I come alongside these guys this is not coming alongside of someone who is anything
other a brother and sister in Christ who are hurting. Ans so, my two thoughts are these. Number one is I wanted them to experience
the grace Hugh just talked about. That, man, it’s one thing to know that God
is gracious and that God give grace, and He does, but there’s a- there’s gonna be a moment
in your life where you need the grace of God to be tangible and real because a lot of people
who were your best friends when everything is great will wealth smooth out on you whenever
stuff starts hitting he fan.>>NASSER: Yeah.>>HENDERSON: And I- I wanted them-him to
know that there was-there aware people who love him and didn’t care- I don’t care what
he does. Beside the point. I don’t care if he ever coaches again, it’s
beside the point. He’s a part of our flock. He’s one of our sheep. And I just wanted him to know somebody cared
about hi, and I’ve told him I looked back over our text messages over couple of years
and sharing back and forth, quite time, stuff like that, but I sounded like a broken record
since July the 20th. How are you? Every seven days, man, how are you? You’re on my mind. And it’s embarrassing in one way to think
back and think, what was I thinking? But I just wanted him to know I loved him,
and that God loved him, and that no-that I hadn’t give up on him. But the second piece of that is where there’s
at which I come alongside of Hugh and love him, and tangibly love him. Man, my heart has been to shepherd him toward
the fullness of what brokenness really looks like. My heart is not to get him back into a coaching
position, my-my heart is not to get him restored to where he one was. Th-that’s not- that’s not the win. The win is to shepherd him through this valley
to what was-what is that place of vulnerably and-and brokenness, or what was jacked-up
inside of you that makes you open to that kind of thing. And to really keep bringing him back to the
core values of his faith: his love for Jesus, true to himself, love for his wife, honoring
his family. Those are the things that are near to his
heart. Those are the things he’s asked me to hold
him accountable to. And so, I’ve tried to shepherd him toward
that. Anything past that, whatever God may or may
not do, it’ll rise and fall on the genuine repentance and brokenness and-and walk that
he has with Jesus. And so, man that’s been the heart, uh, that
I’ve had to pastor this family, is to-to pastor and shepherd them toward the grace and love
of Christ and the toward his redemption in the middle of it.>>NASSER: So, you’ve got a family here who’s
obviously deeply invested in church planting when you plated that congregation there in
Oxford, they’re big time givers, they’re teaching in their own home community groups. And then they need, um, they’ve been-they’ve
been like making deposits spiritually into the church community there, and the now they
need withdrawals from you. But what do you say to someone who says that
didn’t happen with my family, or the first time we saw our pastor was the first time
we actually, like, went to church. Um, we come from very broken place. Wh-what kind of hope would you give someone
who didn’t-who didn’t have a lot of, um, anchors in the past that really helped them for futureness-uh
future grace, uh, but somebody who’s just looking even today and going, I don’t have
a pastor, I don’t have a community yet.>>HENDERSON: Well I’d say to you first of
all, give your pastor grace. Pastor’s aren’t perfect either. And so, know I hope and pray that you do have
that experience. Wherever you are. Wherever you’re watching from. I do pray that you have that experience. Your pastor can’t touch everybody all the
time in some situations. And so, y’know Andy Stanley’s the guy I
think who coined the phrase “Do for one what you wish you could do for everybody.” And so, y’know, I was able to for them. But you know what? Was on the phone before I got-got here yesterday,
on the phone with another family in my church y’all never heard of. You’ll never hear of ‘em, walking through
a valley. And so coaching and loving them. I think that’s a part of it. If you-if you’re in ministry or if you’re
a pastor, love the people that God puts in front of you as much and as often as you can. But I would say to all of you guys, listen
I really have not been Hugh’s pastor nearly like Jody Smeltzer’s been his pastor. Not nearly like the guys in his small group
on Tuesday morning have been his pa- ha-have been his – come along. And-and the people in their-in their couple’s
small groups. That’s would I would say to you. Listen, be in community.>>NASSER: Yeah>>HENDERSON: Wherever you are, find some
brothers and sisters in Christ. Don’t put that on your preacher that he has
to be the one or they have to be the one that meets your every need. No, we are a faith family. And your part- I pray that You’d find your
place in the faith family. And that’s not a pyramid where on guy where
one guy serves everybody or everybody serves the one, but we’re a circle where we ought
to love and give grace toward each other. That’s when- That’s when faith becomes what
I believe Christ wanted it to be. Where we’re washing each other’s feet and
loving each other.>>NASSER: Absolutely. So even if you’re not a part of, uh, a community
and a faith family, that-that’s our heart for you. That you don’t see this as your only community. This is one community you belong to even if
tonight you go to a community group on your hall, that is just one facet of many communities
that you belong to. If you’re on the tennis team, you’re a part
of that community. You’re a part of the at you’re dorm. And the hopefully you have a local church,
where there’s TRBC or Christ Community here in the city and you belong to a community
of people that are waking out life with. And if-if you haven’t been, it’s not too
late. And if you’ve made mistakes, it’s still not
too late. That’s the beauty of the community of the
people of God. That we are the people of grace and truth. Um, Jill the word that just continues to come
out of your mouth when I talk to you is the presence of God. It seems like, that’s one thing that God’s
really brought front and center. Will you talk a little bit about what God’s
been teaching your recently about just his presence?>>JILL FREEZE: Yea, its-it’s so much. He’s teaching me so much. And it’s-it’s a journey on his presence
and it started, um, obviously it’s His presence that’s everywhere all the time. And I’ve experienced His presence, that He’s
answered prayers. He’s really been working one me for the past,
like, maybe five or six years, um, just building me to be a better prayer. But through this, I’ve experienced His presence,
um, in layers, in such a-in such a different way than ever before. And it started with just the sheer pain, and
just in that place of- you’re hurt so much and-and you feel yourself kinda going in that
pit of despair. And I can remember that moment of just screaming
in my head, my prayer, this very eloquent prayer, “God, help me.” That was it, like, God help me. And immediately it was like, are you gonna
focus on your hurt, or are you gonna focus on your healing. And I’m like, I-I want healing. And-and in that immediately I was able to
see, um, him. His heart. Like I’ve lived with him for 25 years. This man is the Godliest man I have ever known. I am who I am in Christ because of this man
and the impact and influence he’s had on me. Like I know this man. I know his heart. I know he loves God and I know he’s gonna
do what it takes to get right with God, and so for that it was easy in that moment, “I
forgive you”. Like, immediately. And that was the beginning of my healing. It was instant forgiveness for him. And it led me to-I could see he made some
bad traits. Y’know, you made some bad traits. And God in his greatness, instead of me focusing
on his bad traits, he said Jill what are your bad traits? I went, ugh, y’know, I got a lot of bad traits. And he’s forgiven me a whole lot more than
I’ve had to forgive him over 25 years. And the beginning of that forgiveness was
very selfish. My obedience was a very selfish-driven, like,
I want God’s goodness, I want His, uh, y’know, you’re forgiven as much as you forgive so
I’m ‘a forgive a lot ‘cause I want a lot y’know. And it was, I want to obey ‘cause I don’t
want the consequences. And what God taught us is that Godly sorrow
is-it’s about the heart of God. And so no longer do I want to obey him because
I want his blessings, and no longer do I want to obey him because I don’t want to suffer,
I want to obey him because I don’t want to hurt the heart of God. And so, he started teaching that my sin is
serious. Every bit of my sin is serious. It may not have the same consequences, uh,
I can’t judge my sin on consequences. I judge my sin on what I’m doing to the heart
of God, and every bit of it grieves him. And then it showed me that I was believing->>(AUDIENCE APPLAUSE)>>JILL: -was believing lies. I could look at him and I could automatically
see that in the beginning that he was believing the lies of-of Satan, that he’s not worth,
that he’s blown it. That this is- that we can’t get past this. And immediately like God just shored me up
and I’m like, oh no, like, we’re getting through this. Like you are a good man, you are a Godly man. This isn’t over, like, we have a glorious
unfolding that’s coming. And so, I was ready to battle that. And just His presence of just working, every
time Satan wanted to bring the pain, like God would just help me focus on Him. Okay, what about me? Like what do you need to do with me? What is my lesson? What do I have to learn? Where-Where do I need healing? Where do I need to quit grieving your heart
God? Where-where do you want to work on me? And when I quit focusing on him and the pain,
like, it’s just healing. And it was powerful, and so now I am hearing
the voice of God. Like I’m the girl who’s been in every Bible
study for the past 49 years, trying to hear the voice of God. Like, God I want to hear you, I need to hear
you, I don’t hear you. I need to hear the voice of God. And now I can hear Him. I can hear Him speak to me and it has given
me a hunger, and a taste, and a thirst for His presence. And I want His power, I want his peace, I
want his provision, I want His protection. But the only thing I need is His presence. Like, I need it.>>NASSER: Yeah>>JILL: And because I need it->>(AUDIENCE APPLAUSE)>>JILL: – And He tells me if you seek me
you will find me. And I am seeking His presence, and there are
times when I’m seeking his presence and I feel, God, like, the angel armies, and I am
ready to go. I’m warriored up, let’s go, I feel that presence. And there are times I am broken on the floor
and He is picking me up, and He is putting me in his Father lap and He is rubbing my
hair, and He is pouring his love over me and singing over me. And His presence – and I walk out of there
with peace and with rest. And there are other times that He is teaching
me His presence like, Jill, you hunger and thirst for my presence, do you see this wasn’t
a game changer? This was a life changer! So now I want you to share that. So, it started with my girls, like I’ve heard
them say the very same things that I have said. Uh, God doesn’t talk to me that way, man,
I’ve never headed God speak to me that way. He jus- I don’t feel God like that. And so, I am circling them in prayer like,
God let them see you, let them feel you, let them hear you. Like it’s a life changer. And so, then when we knew we were coming her,
I was like, Oh my goodness I’ve 15,000 y’know Ragans and Jordans and Madisons and whatever. God, they need to-they need to feel your presence. Like, I’m praying that you get His presence. That you seek His presence. You can get there in thankfulness. You can get there in praise. You can get there in brokenness, but you have
to seek His presence. And I want you to hear a word from God today.>>(AUDIENCE APPLAUSE)>>JILL: Every one of you in here. Every one of you in here, every one of you
needs a word from God. I don’t know if you need a word of direction,
I don’t know if you need a word of healing, I don’t know if you need a word of forgiveness,
I don’t know- you may need a word that- salvation. You have not – you can’t hear another word
‘cause you-you haven’t heard the word of salvation. Every one of you in hear needs a word from
God, and I’m telling you he did not send his son on the cross to die to you to not speak
to you. He has a word for you. So, get into his presence.>>(AUDIENCE APPLAUSE)>>JILL: It’s-it’s life changing. And if you ever experience you will know. It’s hard to crave something you’ve never
taste-tasted. And so, I’m praying that today you just get
a taste of his presence. And that you will crave it, and you will never
want to go another day, you won’t go another day without His presence.>>(AUDIENCE APPLAUSE)>>NASSER: Amen. Amen. Amen sister. You said the word brokenness. I started counting a couple times in, and
you said it like four more time and I think His presence, uh, it sometimes comes through-through
the cracks of brokenness. And-and-and the Psalmist says “let bones you
have crushed rejoice.” The Psalmist in the same song says “against
you and only you Lord have I sinned.” And inside of that there’s this beautiful
thing where God doesn’t break us, uh, so that we’ll stay broken. God breaks when we’re heading in the wrong
direction so He can reset towards the right. Can you talk to me just, uh-uh, and everyone
about brokenness for just a second before we close out in prayer? I think the Lord is speaking to a lot of people
today who just need to cultivate being in the presence of God, but their pride is keeping
that and brokenness can break through that.>>HUGH: Yeah. I-y’know, pride is a, uh, it wants to keep
you from being in that broken spot. And, uh, either-either the pride or isolation
from other community, which I think is also a sign of pride that, uh, y’know I can’t
really talk about that, or a lot of us were raise in-in, uh, church that they give you
a bunch of do’s, but it wasn’t- it was never okay to come in and say, hey, I- y’know what,
I-I’ve got a struggle, and-and-and I need a little help in dealing with this. And, um, and you can then guilt and shame,
and all of things can set in, and the only true way to freedom from that is brokenness. And, y’know, I-I’ve struggled with, um, why
did a private matter between Jill and I, that-that I believed I was handling the right way have
to go public? And-and then take so many different lives
of its own. And the-the real answer I keep getting in
my spirit is so that I can really experience true brokenness, and then use it for-for his
glory. And I just believe that brokenness is agreeing
with God daily that anything that’s outside the boundaries of me following him breaks
his heart.>>NASSER: Amen>>HUGH: And, uh, that-that brokenness leads
you to, uh, to obedience.>>NASSER: Amen>>FALWELL: Dave, I don’t usually chime in,
I’m not a pastor on things like this, but I just want to say Convocations like this
is what makes me so proud of Liberty students because so many Christians today, or so-called
Christians, read Twitter comments, read any- they’re the most judgment, unforgiving group
of people in the world. And Jesus-Jesus sad that He that- that when
the crowd wanted to stone the sinner He said let who was without sin, cast the first stone. And He said-he said, um, when He talked about
the religious elite, those were the ones that He wasn’t so charitable towards. He said they’re a generation of vipers, they’re
hypocrites, they may clean the outside of the platter, but inside they’re ravenous wolves. And He said all of us are sinners, and He
said that if you lust after a woman in your heart it’s the same as if you committed adultery.>>NASSER: That’s right.>>FALWELL: So, none of us can-can claim to
be any better than the other. But so many so-called Christians, and it get
so m- I get so mad reading those comments on Twitter. And I’ve got->>HUGH: Trust me, I’ve had my share Dr. Falwell.>>(AUDIENCE LAUGHTER)>>FALWELL: Sam-Sam-Sam Stone helped- I got
some draft Tweets that my-my wife wouldn’t let me send. Alright, so I’m a read one.>>(AUDIENCE LAUGHTER)>>(READING) FALWELL: D-During my life time,
before Donald Trump, but since I was born in 1962, two Democratic presidents were notorious
adulterers in the White House, two Democratic presidents admitted to using illegal drugs,
six presidents cursed vilely all the time, one was divorced, three committed crimes in
office. And yet Liberals say Donald Trump is too flawed
to support. Now Jesus said judge not, and he who is without
sin cast the first stone.>>FALWELL: That’s a Tweet Becky wouldn’t
let me send, will you guys let me send it?>>(AUDIENCE DISSAPROVAL)>>FALWELL: R-r-raise your hand if it’s a
yes.>>(AUDIENCE MIXED RESPONSE)>>NASSER: That a lot of le- that’s like the
longest tweet ever too. How’d you get all that in.>>FALWELL: I got it in. I got it in. Anyway, um, I got a whole list of drafts she
wouldn’t let me send. And I can’t read the rest of ’em. But all I’m saying is- all I’m saying is that
Jesus was on the side of the sinner and the-the repentance sinner, and he just said, go and
sin no more. And that’s-that’s what Christians, they-
they just are all- so many are just-are just, uh, their attitude is, my sin’s better than
your sin.>>NASSER: That’s right.>>FALWELL: So, I’m better than you. You did this and this and this, but in their
hearts they’re just as bad.>>NASSER: Yeah.>>FALWELL: So, that’s just my opinion. I’m not a pastor. Thank you.>>NASSER: That’s a good word. Thank you, Sir.>>(AUDIENCE APPLAUSE)>>NASSER: A good word. Hey, let me get you to do this. I really believe, can-can you just bow your
heads just-just for one second with me. Shh. And I think the challenge from our president
can become very personal if we just begin with where he-where he took us, that all of
us had sinned and fallen short to the glory of God, that he would without sin gets to
cast the first stone, and the only one without sin decided not to cast a stone. God, without sin, decided to send his son
instead of a stone our way. And so, I don’t know about you but I-I want
to today be reminded of the hour I first believed at. I wanna be- I’ll be- I wanna be reminded today
that great forgiveness has come my way. Ridiculous, scandalous, tsunami-sized forgiveness
has come my way. I need a lot of forgiveness, not just the
day I got saved, but I continue to need it today. Anybody here been greatly forgiven? Will you lift your hand if you don’t believe
you’ve been greatly forgiven? That was what president Falwell was talking
about, the Pharisee thinking, I don’t need as much forgiveness as someone else ’cause
I’m religious. If you’ve been greatly forgiven, then you
get to greatly forgive. You are rich in forgiveness, then you spend
that richness. And it never ends, the more you spent it the
more you get. That’s what Jill was talking about. And I think we can be the people of God who
exemplify what grace and forgiveness look like. Also, in the confines of accountably in truth. No one can-can-condones the behavior of someone
that God says has sinned. We don’t get to call something ok that God
doesn’t call ok. But at the same time, you and I have a responsibility
as the people of God, and the people of God to be gracious, to be graceful. And I think that’s what Jerry was reminding
us of today as we kinda come to this moment. There might be someone that has really hurt
you, or someone who has, um, very hard for you to forgive and it would take- it’s not
natural but it would be supernatural – it would take a supernatural act for you to be
reminded that as God has greatly forgiven you, you can begin today to even pray, God,
restore my heart, turn my heart against bitterness, and anger, and judgment. And even if- if you’re holding out judgment
until they’re dead, until they finish, like Hugh was reminding us, that why would I think
I can be different? And maybe today you can begin to ask the Holy
Spirit to put forgiveness in your heart. Some of you are asking for someone to forgive
you who’s never gonna ask you. You’ve given ’em all the power. You’re asking for someone to ask for reptenten-
or to-to repent, they’re not gonna’ they’re not gonna repent. Some of you are asking for someone to forgive
you, they’ve hurt you, they’ve moved on and every day you love God and you hate them. And they’ve hurt you and they continue to
have that power over you. And today, man, as much as hurt people hurt
people, healed people can heal people. Receive the forgiveness of God beyond your
own forgiveness and then dispense it. Begin to say, uh, dispense it- that doesn’t
mean con-condone what they’re doing, that doesn’t mean you have to get back in the relationship,
that doesn’t mean that qualifies them back in the position, or whatever, that just means
that, God, I’m willing to do something supernatural. The same forgiveness that was given to me
I’m gonna to dispense to my brother and sister. Lord, thank you for this. Thank you that you speak to us. Thank you for, um, this moment where I’m reminded
of the dreadful, wicked sinner that I was before salvation came into my life. Thank you for the bones that you have crushed
that get to rejoice. How tragedy can be made into testimony. And, Lord, even as I -as I hear Jerry just
be honest and transparent about his frustrations of seeing just so easily the people of God
just pass out judgement, pass out critique, I pray that we would be stewards of what we
say in public about people that matter to you. Just hearing the Freeze family today, Lord,
I’m so reminded that behind everything that we see on T.V. or we hear about on the news,
as a family, are people that matter to you. Let us be known for scandalous forgiveness. Let us begin to look in the mirror first. Thank you, God, for this moment, to wake us
up to that. I needed that today. We pray this in your name, amen. Hey, can we thank our guests today, and can
we thank our president as well-just his honesty?>>(AUDIENCE APPLAUSE)>>NASSER: We love you guys. Hey, we’ll see you tonight. Hillsong will be in this room with us leading,
so come join us. All right? You’re dismissed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *