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Blameless and Forever Free Ministries realizes hurting children grow into hurting adults. Our prisons are filled with beloveds who have suffered their own childhood trauma and need hope and healing for restorative purposes. Today's offender will be tomorrow's neighbor so if we want safer communities, we need to bring the focus in our prisons to rehabilitation and restoration leading to reintegration.

Hurting Children Grow Into Hurting Adults!

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries believes  that hurting children become hurting adults  causing trauma and I healed pain that affects others.

Hurt People Hurt Others, But Healed People Heal!

I repeatedly watched my father’s beat-into-submission cornering of my mother through rage and control while clutching a beer in his left hand. His dangling right hand empowered with flexibility slapped away our quivering lips and stilled our own screams into silence and defeat.

Sometimes pain crushes you. It leaves you incapable of love and void of everything. The brokenness craters a deep wound. Tears no longer roll down your cheeks and screams won’t escape past your lips. Instead, the force brews inside until its burn shatters your broken soul.

I never felt safe or protected after being exposed to these gut-punching realities. I continued to bury the tears and fears that formed a glacier surrounding my heart in ice.

From the weight and movement of my own childhood trauma, this powerful force began to flow outward and downward under its own pressure taking down anyone and everything that was in its path of erosion.

The tears may have initially escaped my eyes, but the shame of the hurt ran away down my cheeks and lingered deeply. Turning my pain inward only regressed my fears and caused a battle within of chaos and unbearable burning.

Feelings that once masked any trace of childhood trauma were now visible. One day after my father died, I noticed how my own reactive behaviors modeled his. My dad may have died, but his life of pain and rage was very much still alive; within me.

Teaching others the value of walking together so that the world can believe in the power of God’s Great Love (John 17:23).

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have a tremendous impact on future violence victimization and perpetration, with lifelong health and opportunity.

Working together, we can help create neighborhoods, communities, and a world in which every person can survive and thrive.

Creating opportunities for healing inside our state prisons requires connection and communication, not isolation. Sometimes all it takes is a person filled with God’s Great Love, hope and compassion who has been healed themselves to help uncover unhealthy behaviors that are destroying everyone in its path. This builds bridges of healing.

If we’re not open to discussions leading to what triggers violent behavior, how are we going to experience the peace and transformation that restorative justice practices and trauma-informed care delivers?

Today’s offender will be tomorrow’s neighbor!

Until next time…

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God Bless America.  May We Never Forget This Great Cost!

Blameless God Bless America Aaron Burden.png

As Americans, We Proudly Say “Thank You” As We Celebrate The Bravery and Sacrifice Of Every U.S. Veteran!

As we reflect on the sacrifices and heroism made by those who bravely served our country, Veterans Day is a time for us to pay our respects to those who have selflessly served to protect our freedoms and liberty.  We stand united in respect for you, our Veterans.

We remember, honor and thank all of our fallen heroes!

As we awaken to new beginnings, peace and amazing sunrises each and every day, especially on this Veterans Day, November 11, 2020, we say thank you as we celebrate the bravery and sacrifice of every United States Veteran along with our fallen heroes who selflessly served and sacrificed with their lives. 

Sadly, it seems we take for granted the great cost of freedom.  We appreciate your sacrifices and the courage it’s taken to defend our country.

This honorable holiday started as a day to reflect upon the heroism of those who died in our country’s service.

So for all the amazing men and women serving in our military, here and abroad, we thank you and praise God for all you do protecting our country and for your service!  God bless you and keep you safe!

Blood That Was Shed!

Blameless Veterans Neil Thomas Photograph

 

God Bless America!  Our heartfelt love, devotion and prayers are extended to the courageous men and women who continue to fight for justice in protecting our freedoms.

Until next time…

God Bless America.  May We Never Forget This Great Cost!

 

 

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Injustice Anywhere Is A Threat To Justice Everywhere…

Injustice Anywhere Is A Threat To Justice Everywhere. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

When State Prison Becomes Our Permanent First Home!

I’m often asked, “What are the people like inside our prisons?”

They’re broken beloveds in need of healing, but they’re also God’s children. Sadly, around 25% of all incarcerated people have spent part of their youth in foster care (Doyle, 2007). 40% to 50% of former foster youth also become homeless within 18 months after leaving care.

While running a homeless organization, I fought RELENTLESSLY to get a few beloveds who were once in the foster care system into permanent housing. That paled in comparison to how hard housing would be for our returning citizens once they’re released from state prison.

Sadly, we are sending more foster children to prison than colleges. With an annual price tag on incarceration in California being approximately $81,000 a year, we need more focus on programs, because every person is REDEEMABLE!

Gut-punching, raw words spoken from an incarcerated man, still under 21.

“From the time I was 3 until I turned 14, I was bounced to 80 (yes, eighty) different foster homes. When I turned 18, I found myself alone and homeless, and resorting to a life of crime.

Now, at 20, I finally have a home more permanent than any I’ve ever known; state prison!

I’m just one of many kids who age out of foster care…”

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries #ACE 1 Unloving Ways

States are failing in their role as parents to America’s most vulnerable children. They’ve already suffered enough trauma and adverse childhood experiences. It’s time for God’s Great Love to step in and bring healing.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Time’s up! When our kids age out of foster care; everyone suffers. Hurting children grow into hurting adults. Our state prisons should never become a beloved’s first permanent home.

Our state prisons are filled with hurt people that hurt others, but healed people can and will bring healing!

Until next time…

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries Our Lives Begin To End 2

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Blameless and Forever Free Ministries Prayer Covering Over Folsom State Prison and Warden Hill

Power Of Prayer For Decimation Of Deadly Pestilence At Folsom State Prison

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries Prayer Covering Over Folsom State Prison and Warden Hill

Power Of Prayer For Decimation Of Deadly Pestilence At Folsom State Prison

Loved ones, family and friends of those incarcerated, our beloveds are scared and sick with this oubreak of COVID in our prisons, and they need us to be loving, be caring, and BE THERE! 

The Lord made very clear to us during prayer for Folsom State Prison Friday what we needed to do regarding this outbreak of chaos and COVID spread overwhelming those incarcerated, along with the staff. In order to release a covering of peace and healing, we needed to fast and start praying specifically for the leadership of CDCR and, most importantly, Warden Hill. 

Warden Hill is under tremendous stress with the COVID outbreak along with governmental alliances. He needs prayers for his own hedge of protection and sanity.

Prayers for angel armies to surround Warden Hill with peace & perseverance guiding him into fresh revelations daily in order to make sound decisions for containment. Complete annhiliation of this deadly pestilence and the psychological warfare looming over Folsom State Prison.

I understand we would rather cast blame and become paralyzed with fear, and I am no different than all y’all, but right now we need to replace that anxiety and anger and ask for forgiveness first and then fast. Then we can release prayers for supernatural deployment of eternal plans, recalibration and auxiliary to decimate this pestilence that stalks in the darkness and the plague that destroys at midday.  All in Jesus’ beautiful and mighty name!


Forego your Happy Hour of wine and cheese and fast it by prayers and petitions instead; forget the chocolate and replace it by chewing on God’s Word; turn the TV/PHONE off for an hour and sit in the presence of God praising Him for who He is and His Divine intervention. 


Sometimes God allows crisis to occur in order to bring His people together and to glorify Him through our radiance of worship and obedience.


Prayer and forgiveness requires both attitude and action.  If you have a loved one or friend incarcerated and/or are a Christian, this is not to be considered a sacrifice, this should be our heart’s desire!  Every life matters!

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Building Bridges Of Healing That Promote Opportunities!

Blameless and Forever Free ministries believes building bridges of healing that promotes opportunities heals all in our criminal justice system

Building Bridges Of Healing That Promote Opportunities!

My heart has been rather heavy lately, even angry, at how this Petri dish of disease and death within our state prisons has been tolerated, even accepted, as a new “norm” or even as a means of reducing our over-crowded prison population.

Maybe the heart’s heavier because I’m scared for my own son as he finishes his last few days serving time for his crime “burning in hell,” as he put it, before communications were lost due to being infected with COVID in these prison outbreaks that show absolutely no mercy.

A mother’s heart yearns to be there when her child is sick, whether they’re a tantrum-throwing toddler or a 6’5″ gentle giant; but precluding that medicine is brutal for everyone.

Interacting with those incarcerated, one thing is clear: Understanding most people incarcerated likely have had adverse childhood experiences, more likely a highly traumatic experience as a child, the way they react, or deal with adversities, overwhelms their mental health capacity. They act out because something traumatic IS occurring and they’re not equipped with the tools necessary to appropriately deal with it.

Being imprisoned hasn’t offered, nor focused, on rehabilitation for restorative purposes.

Taking out their support systems, no matter how minimalistic it was, during long-lasting lockdowns, precludes emotional support being delivered. With the absence of visitation from loved ones and friends (six months now), encourages reactive public policies, fueling disconnection leading to isolation and shame, destroying opportunities for healing.

Education, connection, compassion, vocational training, chapel time, employment making 60 cents an hour, 15-minute phone calls, yard time with physical activity, is essential for understanding life skills, accountability and purpose in one’s life.

Now with life being reduced back to an animalistic six-by-eight cage with bipolar cellmates, lacking adequate mental-health, medical and spiritual provision, breeds complete disconnection.

Their behaviors went, and continue to go, unexplored and unresolved.  

I don’t have all the answers, but one thing is certain: The work we, as a society, are going to have to undertake is going to take nothing but a supernatural covering to restore what was and is deplored.  

After all, the goal of rehabilitation is to “help inmates stop being prisoners of their past and become architects of their future.” 

During these unprecedented times, innovative and creative circles of compassion are going to be needed for healing for all entangled in our criminal justice system.

And I’m hopeful that life-changing and life-affirming moments WILL happen because of authentic, vulnerable and intimate connections.

As a mother, a grandmother, and the founder of Blameless and Forever Free Ministries, I am eternally grateful that our new Secretary of CDCR, Kathleen Allison, is a woman whose 30 years with CDCR includes experience as a health-care professional focusing on rehabilitative opportunities for restorative justice.

I pray we can all lean into hope and forgiveness as we embrace new beginnings.  Love always wins!!!

Until next time…

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Blameless and Forever Free Ministries #ACE 1 Unloving Ways

The Kids Who Need The Most Love Will Ask For It In The Most Unloving Ways…

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries #ACE 1 Unloving Ways

The Kids Who Need The Most Love Will Ask For It In The Most Unloving Ways…

The sad thing about this reality is, when they get older, the only thing that changes is the magnitude.

To be smart on crime, we should not be in a position of constantly reacting to crime after it happens. We should be looking at preventing crime before it happens. – Kamala Harris

Until next time…

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries Returning Citizens
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Practicing Forgiveness

The Practice Of Forgiveness Is Our Most Important Contribution…

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries Practicing Forgiveness

The Practice Of Forgiveness Is Our Most Important Contribution To The Healing Of The World – Marianne Williamson

Oh, how I love short and meaningful posts that I can tuck into the folds of my heart to help keep me focused on what matters.

We’re all grieving a loss of some magnitude with COVID-19 running rampant through our lives, whether it’s financial, sickness. loss of employment, social distancing, time or abundancy.

Provision matters and when we’re robbed with many unknowns, we forget the blessings of just being, being present, with peace.

Without peace, we lose direction and self-control. All the hate and division in the world unravels and gives birth to chaos and crisis adding more trauma to innocent lives.

I pray we might search our hearts and find grace to let go of the hurts that are festering. We’re living in a world today that is full of volatile people. Hurts breed bitterness and hate; and hate stirs violence.

Hurt people hurt others, but healed people heal!

Forgiveness soothes our parched souls and pours out living waters that our Beautiful Jesus offers. Talk about contributing healing to those occupying space in our worlds.

If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. If you look at God, you’ll be at rest – Corrie Ten Boom

The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world.

If we want to help ourselves and society in bringing humankindness, all we have to do is practice forgiveness and receive the peace that surpasses all knowledge..

We all win!!!

Until next time…

Practicing Forgiveness
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Blameless and Forever Free Ministries Breaking The Cycle of Recidivism

Breaking The Cycle Of Recidivism…

Blameless and Forevet Free  Ministries Breaking The Cycle Of Recidivism

Breaking The Cycle Of Recidivism Helps More Than Our Offenders!

“Hi daddy, I miss you. How come you haven’t called in a long time?” “Oh, baby girl, we have coronavirus here in prison so we’ve been locked in our rooms [cells].”

“Eeewww… Mom, you’re right, daddy is sick and bad. They put him in time out, too.”

“I don’t want to speak to you anymore, daddy!”

Gut-punching words for a father to hear during a pandemic that has forced a traumatizing lockdown.

“Mommy, why doesn’t daddy visit me anymore?”

“Daddy, why doesn’t mommy love me anymore?”

“Nana, why do you say bad things about my daddy?”

(Don’t Hate, Rehabilitate!)

Confusing words flowing freely from the mouth of a six-year-old whose father was imprisoned when she was a little older than two.

A mother left to raise her child alone, full of fear, shame and exhaustion, doing everything in her power just to survive. Getting high just to get by. Drinking here and there asking why?

Her inability to cope causes her to forget the needs of the child during the trauma, leaving scars that will forever form her child negatively.

Every word of negativity, fear and exhaustion further confuses and scars the child throughout the experience of the event.

“A child’s well-being is intricately linked to his/her parent’s well-being.”

When hurt people hurt others, once an offender is arrested, brought to court, found guilty and then sentenced to prison, as a society we pretty much have determined that justice is served and prevailed in our criminal justice system.

Is that really the case?

I really believe all that does is perpetuate the cycle to re-offend and also starts a generational stronghold on the family unit where healing doesn’t take place.

Hurt People Hurt Others, But Healed People Heal!

Healing from traumatic life events, such as a parent’s incarceration, can take on many forms.

Over 5.7 Million Children In The United States Have Experienced An Incarcerated Parent

Incarceration also affects and imprisons those in the family, work and personal lives, including parents, significant others, and sons and daughters. And with the increase in mass incarceration, we’re all being effected in some manner.

With a growing U.S. incarceration rate, it means that an increasing number of children (the forgotten and innocent victims too numerous to report) experience the imprisonment of a parent at some point in childhood or adolescence causing more childhood trauma.

And according to the National Institute of Mental Health, childhood trauma is defined as “the experience of an event by a child that is emotionally painful or distressful, which often results in lasting mental and physical effects.”

To make things worse, research also shows that parental incarceration negatively affects children’s educational outcomes and opportunities, according to the Sentencing Project.

Children’s Exposure to Parental Incarceration

Where there’s parental incarceration, this is considered an adverse childhood experience, which is defined as a potentially stressful or traumatic event that has lasting consequences for the child’s health and well-being.

Parental incarceration involves the removal of a father or a mother from the child’s household and/or daily routine. This removal is a traumatic incident for many children and may be accompanied by other corresponding traumatic experiences.

Rejection and abandonment issues arise developing fears and depression with the uncertainty in how long the parent will remain away.

Compassion Influences Culture

We can’t judge or hold back. If we do, we are robbing God of His blessings because we don’t know the unfolding of what their stories will testify to.

Removal oftentimes can be stigmatizing, too. This can produce shame leading to isolation that impedes social support systems, hinders interactions with both peers and teachers, along with children’s educational opportunities and outcomes.

A. Geller notes in “Paternal Incarceration and Support for Children in Fragile Families,” in the wake of parental incarceration, families experience a variety of challenges. These encompass economic insecurity, altered households and relationship dynamics and routines, changes in parenting, along with changes in parental health.

Given that most incarcerated parents, prior to their incarceration, were working, incarceration leads to an immediate decline in family income, an increase in material hardship, and an increased reliance on public assistance.

And unpealing further layers, there’s a significant correlation between childhood trauma and violence in the lives of those who are incarcerated themselves. Our incarcerated population have experienced their own traumatic childhoods contributing to their crimes.

Kingdom Influences Culture

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries is leaning in to rehabilitate our incarcerated and community through kingdom influences and restorative justice by focusing more on the traumatic childhood experiences and awareness in reaching the oppressed, both in our prisons and after release at our re-entry program center, as we operate under our belief that God’s Great Love Changes Everything.

Breaking the cycle of recidivism not only restores, rehabilitates, and saves society money, but it makes our communities safer and brings healing to the known and unknown victims by ending this generational cycle of reoffending.

Hurt Lives Hurt Others, But Healed Lives Heal!

Until next time…

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#Justice4JustinJ – CDCR Pays For Sex Reassignment Surgery, But Not Life-Saving Living Donor Transplants?

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Pays For Sex Reassignment Surgery, But Not Life-Saving Living Donor Transplant?

Life here in California is anything but the California dream. We’re all shocked, full of fear, imprisoned in crisis, isolated while feeling defeated more and more as we try and swim upstream in all this despair.

And it’s not just because of COVID-19, you know!

Yes, part of our pain is due to disease and death, but it’s the exposure of corruption and letdown in our governmental justice system that appears to be screaming, “Mayday, Mayday…”

But when you tell me…

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation will not pay for a living donor transplant and this beloved has potential donors

I about lost my mind!

Justin is not my child, but I’m roaring almost as loud as if he was.

So wait a minute…

In 2017, a transgender woman by the name of Shiloh Quine, who was 57 years old, incarcerated since 1980 (37 years), became the first U.S. prisoner to receive state-funded SRS. Quine v. Beard, U.S.D.C. (N.D. Cal.), Case No. 3:14-cv-02726-JST. 

A stunning, unprecedented move, from the CDCR where they decided to pay for this sex reassignment surgery (SRS).

But I am bringing your attention to one particular individual in our state prisons with significant health issues. His name is Justin J. Silva, AN0415, incarcerated at New Folsom/CSP Sacramento.

Justin is medically fragile, suffering from end stage kidney failure and is receiving dialysis three times per week at an outside facility. Justin’s dialysis treatment is costing California taxpayers an amount of approximately $100,000 per year.  Justin is on a cadaver kidney transplant list, but has been denied a “live donor transplant” due to the cost to the CDCR; however, Justin has potential donors.

Governor Newsom’s lawyers told a panel of federal judges that the state is taking “extraordinary and unprecedented protective measures” to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect those medically-fragile.  CDCR/CCHCS proclaims they’re “dedicated to the safety of everyone who lives in, works in, and visits our state prisons.”

Justin has served over half his time for his crime committed during juvenile guidelines. He is and has been subjected to COVID-infected staff during transport, precluding him from social distancing which also puts the community at an increased risk of contracting COVID-19.

Emergency release is also supported by the fact that Justin cannot adequately be protected from COVID-19 at this facility because of the constant transportation and location required in dialysis treatment, along with the fact that CSP-SAC is incapable of providing a renal diet. The diet called for is not followed. His diet consists of processed meat and peanut butter.  

Emergency release is also supported due to complications. He is currently experiencing an uncontrolled secondary hyperparathyroidism and is at risk of needing major surgery from the lack of an adequate renal diet. He has waited “weeks” to even receive his prescribed medication.

Releasing Justin J. Silva to his supportive parents who will care for him and have his life spared with a live kidney transplant is requested. This can and should be done without charging taxpayers what his loving family, who are connected both in faith-based and the greater San Diego communities with prior service in the reentry venue, can perform.  

Why lose more lives, time, and waste tax dollars, when there’s a simple solution to a dire need:  Release Justin J. Silva to his loving parents and have his life spared with a live donor kidney transplant.

The chance that this man would re-offend is exceedingly low, and you have broad power over his fate. Release Justin Silva now. You’ve been summoned to utilize your trademark courage and boldness in the past, but this just requires compassion and a signature to release!

We thank you, Governor Newsom, for using your vast powers in undertaking this emergency action necessary to save this California inmate from dying an “unjust and preventable death behind bars” while saving much-needed California tax dollars.

Decriminalizing human pain equals investing in people, not prisons.

Imprisoned in Crisis

Where the enemy is attempting to bring division, grief and pain, God is restoring unity. What the enemy intended as evil, God will turn it around for good.

#Justice4JustinJ is a call-out campaign to the Governor from the citizens of California, and humanity, insisting that lives must come before dollars. Paying for a transgender surgery, but not for a life-saving transplant and/or release through emergency a medically-fragile beloved whose re-offending nature is extremely low, is unacceptable!

Many elderly and medically-vulnerable prisoners are being kept behind bars for the sake of punishment rather than justice, and it’s time to be a voice for those who can’t speak up for themselves.

I pray you find it in your heart to reach out and email Gov. Newsom, joining in our campaign for #Justice4JustinJ, requesting that Gov. Newsom grant emergency release for Justin J. Silva, who is indeed medically fragile, to the care of his parents who can arrange for his transplant surgery and receive a second chance. It’s hard to be healed and restored when you’re being denied life-saving surgery.

If you’d like to contact the Governor and support this cause, click here. Directions are simple and it’s just an email away.

Every life matters!

Until next time…

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Decriminalizing Human Pain…

#TammyTangentTuesdays Tammy Ingram on demoralizing human pain.    My silence means I’m tired of fighting.

Decriminalizing Human Pain Requires Investing In People, Not Prisons!

Days are long and lack glamour. Darkness and danger are no longer my shadow. Instead, they outline the green eyes underneath the aging facade and eyewear. I’ve grown accustomed to this new look. Hurt people hurt others, but healed people heal.

Days turn into weeks. Weeks into months. Before I knew it, a whole year had passed consumed with a new role. I often marvel at the thought: How does a beloved who once drove herself off a 350-foot cliff being suicidal circle back?

A survivor of violent crimes stemming from assaults from white, brown and black men heal, with obvious battle scars that one can’t cover over, and give back?

A woman who was once married to a Deputy Sheriff/Correctional Officer that went south real quick and press through honoring?

And a mother whose son is finishing time for his crime in state prison and see a great need, a cause worth fighting for?

Sure, being a chaplain helped, but that’s not what restored my sight.

These deep hurts cause people to make poor decisions and become incarcerated. This is what our state prisons are overwhelmed with; people like me, people with deep hurts that were forgotten.

How does one circle back through that trauma to organizing a nonprofit that many say women don’t belong in because of the darkness and danger?

Really?

I’m sure if you asked Mother Theresa, she’d say, “I see God in every human being. When I wash the leper’s wounds, I feel I am nursing the Lord Himself. Is it not a beautiful experience?”

Better yet, ask one of my heroes who has done a tremendous job changing the abuses in the correctional system, Terri McDonald, who even looks like my mother equipped with my quirkiness.

God’s amazing like that, you know!

Terri McDonald is President of the Association of Women Executives in Corrections, 24-year veteran of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, who held both titles of Chief Deputy Secretary and Undersecretary.

She’s a former Assistant Sheriff for L.A. County Sheriff’s Department and who holds the esteemed title of Chief Probation Officer with the Los Angeles County Probation Department.

She’s all about doing the hard stuff…

Blameless and Forever  Free Ministries when will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery , rather than avenge it?

I can’t hold a candle to that resume, nor would I want to; but what I do hold is a life covered in God’s grace, love and transformation that sustained and delivered healing.

Amazing how God turns our insecurities, indiscretions, faulty character traits and behaviors in need of fine tuning into courage, compassion and confidence to walk through crises all for His plan and purpose.

If God’s transforming power can do all of that for me, helping me forgive my assailants and healing my deep emotional hurts, He can and will touch the lives of our incarcerated reentering society.

From Prison To Community – Where Punishment Ends and Healing Begins!

I believe poverty deserves compassion, not punishment. Addiction needs treatment, not a jail sentence. Mental illness requires care, not a cage. And I’m a HUGE supporter of decriminalizing human pain which requires investing in lives, not prisons.

And that requires a whole new mindset and a whole lot of grace. I don’t have all the answers, make multiple mistakes, but I’m a firm believer that God didn’t create and design us to sit back and expect others to initiate change. If we want safer communities and changed lives, we have to put our faith into action and sit in the trenches with them.

The incarcerated’s need to be loved, forgiven and healed is unashamedly obvious!

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries is advocating as Ambassadors of Hope for restorative justice. Restorative justice is responding to crime and violence in a way that transforms the focus through A.R.T.: Shifting punishment to responsibility (Accountability), rehabilitation and restoration (Reintegration), leading to redemption (Transformation).

We are created in God’s image; therefore, we are God’s masterpiece, His work of ART!

America is the land of the second chance. And when the gates of the prison open, the path ahead should lead to a better life, George W. Bush

We operate believing this ART approach not only holds the offender accountable, but it becomes the very stepping stones leading to healing for all beloveds impacted by crime: our victims, the offenders, the families and our communities. And that includes those working in the criminal justice system.

This illustrates really God’s heart of justice: Valuing all human life while promoting accountability. This cultivates community engagement. Together, it changes the culture, inspires the church, and advances justice reform.

The struggle is just one part of the story. Incarceration IS and will ALWAYS be PART of the STORY!

C.W. Lewis proclaims God’s Absolute Truth perfectly, “Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.”

Blameless is founded on the premise that God’s Great Love Changes Everything. In order to hear, we must listen. Find the need behind the need. Hurt people hurt others, but healed people heal! Listening requires engagement. Engagement understands what happens in prison does not stay in prison!

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries From Prison To Community

From Prison to Community – Where Punishment Ends and Healing Begins!

Decriminalizing human pain requires investing in people, not prisons. Blameless and Forever Free Ministries is launching their building campaign to open up a reentry program center built on the gifts and professions of many lives and partners willing to invest in, build up, participate and bring hope and healing to tragic situations for ALL.

That’s Blameless’ mission: Organized to reduce recidivism rates, expand community safety and awareness, and disrupt the cycle of re-offending.

Our goal is to equip beloveds who were incarcerated and lost to live the lives God created and designed them to live; empowering them to live with a purpose.

My silence means I’m tired of fighting. “If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s the power of using your voice.” Thank you, Michelle Obama.

Until next time…

Embracing Today’s Offender As Tomorrow’s Neighbor!

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Life Doesn’t Have To Be Complicated To Be Beautiful…

Life Doesn’t Have To Be Complicated To Be Beautiful!

Good day, Saturday!

Life doesn’t have to be complicated to be beautiful!

Embrace today. Tomorrow’s not guaranteed. No need to run.

Enough said…

Life doesn’t have to be complicated to be beautiful!

Until next time…

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Blameless and Forever Free Ministries Our Lives Begin To End 5

“Our Lives Begin To End The Day We Become Silent…”

“Our Lives Begin To End The Day We Become Silent About Things That Matter.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Are we slowly dying or are our hearts and souls being rebirthed?

With all the death, disease and division going on in the world today, my thoughts have been fixed to the beautiful words spoken from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. where he said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

I don’t believe Dr. Martin Luther King meant that included destruction; inciting riots and pulling down monuments through decimation as a means to have our voices heard, but heard they have been. Personally, I’ve been blessed to have heard history and heritage I never knew.

I honestly have had to look at my own heart wondering what I really meant by “there is no race in mankind” as far as prejudice and discrimination. Though I may not see the color of a person as anything but an enhancement to the beauty and spice in the bunch, there is a lot to learn in how our black beloveds are perceived and received.

In sitting and chewing on every beautifully written word of “our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter,” my mind sat for hours wondering what I was letting die through my own silence.

My mind immediately went to my children and grandchildren and came to the conclusion real quick that they’re covered with loud proclamations of grace and extra grace.

But then my heart focused onto the oppressed, the abandoned and the rejected and how they must be feeling when no one is speaking up for their lives, the discrimination and the prejudices; for example, the incarcerated and the homeless.

With this COVID-19 spreading like wildfire in the Caifornia prisons alone, with an outbreak of over 3,400 infections that have brought death upon many, their lives have been silenced.

I understand we’re all tired, scared, judgmental and have become somewhat immobilized, but what happens when we try and express our beliefs through loving actions in lieu of loud proclamations?

I’m like everyone else, I’ve been entangled in webs of deception, evilness that prevails, and am constantly under attack because my faith walks out what God’s Great Love means. But isn’t pretending to love others just lip service in our Church today?

According to what I read in the Bible, loving others leads and moves us into action and change.

We can’t just pretend to love others.  We have to really love them!!!  Hate what is wrong.  Hold tightly to what is good (Romans 12:9).

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries Our Lives Begin To End 2

So after sitting with my thoughts for hours, I started playing around and made a short video to see if it could express something profound and make me think about my own vulnerabilities without boisterous demands speaking directly to open hearts.

I found taking a moment of silence illustrated what really stirred my heart and how I must guard against it moving forward.

Please take a moment to watch the 45-second video and share with me what grabbed your heart out of it.

And I agree with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter,” but that does not negate our responsibility to act through Love. Love is an action; it is not self-serving; it acts, whether it wants to or not.

And therein lies the challenge…

I believe we Become What We Believe! I have learned through heartache that my identity comes from the Lord solely, so that means my faith must follow with action. That doesn’t protect me from betrayal and the stings of evil, but it does empower me to stand up and continue to move forward with courage and confidence.

My focus may be different than yours, but I refuse to be quiet about extending second chances to those who need a hand up, not a hand out. This is no easy feat, but we’re all called to love the Lord with all our heart, soul and mind along with loving our neighbor as ourselves.

And if we walk out genuine faith leaning into Jesus’ heartbeat, this should include that generous hearts embrace that today’s offender will become tomorrow’s neighbor.

Faith isn’t selective, right?

So we all have a role we must participate in making our communities safer through awareness, comprehensive programming and God’s Great Love. That doesn’t leave room for prejudices and selective love.

As the beautiful Ann Voskamp shared,

Winning the lottery doesn’t make you lucky.  Getting to love makes you the luckiest of all, because love always wins.  You don’t need the love of many — you only need to love many times more than you ever thought you could.”

Until next time…

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Blameless and Forever Free Ministries Break The Silence From Prison To Vision

From Prison To Vision

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries Break The Silence From Prison To Vision

From Prison To Vision…

What’s it like leaving your imprint, your legacy of life, on a prison island to an unknown destiny?

I honestly can’t fathom, but I do know what it’s like being shackled and imprisoned. We all have felt a glimpse of what it’s like being imprisoned due to COVID-19 to a certain degree, no doubt.

Kind of makes us crazy, right?

That isolation is brutal and torturing!

Then add a cocktail or two of criminal conduct, the lingering hangover does more harm than just inviting the consequences of the drunkard.

But why stand with the oppressed and be a voice for the rejected? After all, sipping mango margaritas on the white sandy beaches of Florida is where those whom retire go, right?

Well…

New voices are definitely emerging on the front line of hate and reunification. Mine is no exception. Some are called and some are anointed.

Why stand with the oppressed and be a voice for the rejected?

It’s too easy to hate and cast blame while shifting responsibility onto others than to sit in the swamp battling with the lurking gators and pour life and love that restores what life deplored.  

Working with our incarcerated and returning citizens may not be glamorous and relaxing, but I’ve personally been called to build from prison to vision.  I understand all too well how hurt people hurt others, but healed people heal.

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries Power of Voice

I’m with Michelle Obama, “If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s the power of using your voice.”

I don’t know about you, but “I refuse to settle for anything just because I came from nothing.”

We have to break the silence. No one is alone. Blameless and Forever Free Ministries in firmly planted in helping those from prison to community.

Until next time…

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Blameless and Forever Free Ministries Prayers For Peace

Prayers For Peace…

Prayers For Peace

What Happens In Prison Does Not Stay In Prison!

Prayer warriors, I need your help.  Grab your kids, grandkids, family and friends and come together and join Blameless and Forever Free Ministries today at 4:00 pm (pst).

We will be uniting and linking across the world becoming a bridge of hope rebuilding lives by praying for peace and unity throughout our country, along with covering our prison facilities with a blanket of protection declaring the peace that Psalm 91 delivers.

Open your Bibles at 4:00 pm and start proclaiming Psalm 91 out loud lifting up our country and prison facilities declaring that unity and love will replace division and hate. Ten minutes of time, if reading twice. We’re all imprisoned by this hate! 

This obedience takes ten minutes. There’s power in numbers. Instead of focusing on the riots, division and disease, let’s replace that enemy decreasing anxiety by proclaiming the truths found in the Bible. Together we can pull down heaven by covering our brothers and sisters with love and peace!  We have nothing to lose here, but gain!

Ready or Not, God is on the Move!

What happens in prison does not stay in prison.  Hate and disease spread like wildfire and kill.

Until next time…

2020-05-31T16:00:53

  days

  hours  minutes  seconds

until

Prayers For Peace

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Blameless and Forever Free Ministries From Prison To Community

From Prison To Community…

From Prison To Community…

Hi friends and family, are you sensing freedom with the virus restrictions being lifted that has kept us all in shackles and held captive for the past few months?

I call it a glimpse into what our incarcerated go through except we live quite luxurious lives with freedoms they’ll never experience.

I know I’m not quite prepared, nor do I feel total peace, being in close proximity and contact with larger groups, but mask-to-mask conversations and small intimate settings are good for me. I do miss my social interaction with close friends and family, though.

I am eternally grateful for the countless hours spent conducting business on Zoom, but I won’t cry me a river saying goodbye to it either. How about you?

I have to admit, we have been forced to think outside the box to communicate, but it’s given me time to watch and observe. This pandemic definitely consumed every last morsel of energy running through my veins, but it’s confirmed just how precious and fleeting lives are and to embrace our many blessings.

With the rebranding of Blameless and Forever Free Ministries, it’s been a bit tricky and all-consuming having to cancel and reschedule all year’s fundraising events, so I’m trying to transition this blog over to match the nonprofit’s.

I hope to share stories from hearts of those incarcerated, mothers of murderers, what family and friends go through when their loved ones become incarcerated AND released, along with bringing awareness to the discrimination and prejudices our prisoners go through when they become released.

They are not prepared…

We wonder why we have such high recidivism rates?

We’ve lived under this umbrella of mass incarceration for so long, especially here in California, that we’ve basically just thrown away the key for those who have made horrible decisions. Instead, we’ve let power and greed build a criminal justice system without any forethought that prisoners are not animals and they need rehabilitation.

And THEY ARE WORTHY of love and support!

Rehabilitation must begin the day they’re sentenced to prison, not after they’ve been released or served many years!!!

So…

I’ve been having fun with some new programs (only after countless frustrating hours), and created this little storytelling video to help bring compassion and awareness to what Blameless is initiating through our Redemption Team and the purpose of the re-entry program center.

Our incarcerated deserve a second chance. They are serving time for their crimes. But if we’re releasing them without exploring and rehabilitating what led them to the heinous crimes and poor decisions in the first place (deep hurts), we’re creating more volatile and violent behaviors.

Being caged up like animals enables this revolving door of opportunity and excuse for cycles of re-offending to work in full force. This lends to increasing crime and even encourages more homelessness if we don’t get in and heal the hurts that led them there to begin with.

Hurt People Hurt Others, But Healed People Heal!

One element became unashamedly obvious while pouring love into our incarcerated. Blameless and Forever Free Ministries was created because the Lord chose to bring awareness walking through my own crisis. I was able to witness the thirst for hope and how paramount it is that we share God’s Great Love with our incarcerated along with comprehensive programming. This not only offers them a place to belong and transition into, but be accepted right where they’re at (change is hard and awkward).

Being held accountable while learning from our mistakes through God’s amazing grace restores lives, teaches healthy behaviors and boundaries with patience and forgiveness, leading them to experience being successful, productive members of society.

The incarcerated WANT TO SUCCEED. They need help and guidance delivered through forgiveness, surrounding them with support and encouragement, not just those chasing them around through threats of more prison time, parole and probation (though we are eternally grateful for their service). That’s called fellowship in my world!

All they have known is their segregated prison groups and institutionalized existence (thinking) while being drunk on criminal conduct. That’s a cocktail that bites all of us in the assets!

That’s sobering information that needs reform!

Knowing it costs more annually to house prisoners than it would be to send them to Harvard for an education with housing included, this paints a very dark picture and an injustice to ALL that needs fixing.

I’d much rather invest in and have a bunch of Harvard grads running around society contributing to social reform and human kindness; wouldn’t you?

I don’t know about you, but I want safer communities. That requires supporting and rehabilitating our returning citizens along with equipping them with the tools and education they need to plow through all the discrimination and lack of housing availability because of their “felon” tag. Lifetime branding!

All we’re doing is shuffling them around throughout the justice system; from arrest, to court, to prison, to release; to arrest, to court, to prison, to release. We’re all tired of trying. It’s just like the homeless epidemic; we’re not engaging with the need behind the need. It’s a vicious cycle!

Enough said. I’m on a Tammy Tangent.

Let me know what your thoughts are about this Ripl program. I get funky with the musicality, but I’m learning and having fun…

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries From Prison To Community
Featured post

Honoring The Fallen! Never Forgotten?

Blameless Never Forgotten

Honoring the Fallen!

Never Forgotten? 

Courage is Contagious

—0o0—

Billy Graham proclaimed, “Courage is Contagious.  When a brave man takes a stand, the spine of others are stiffened.”

Honoring the Fallen!  Never Forgotten?  Hmmm… never forgotten?  Really?  Where in most Memorial Day celebrations, unless you’re with a family or community of inactive or active service personnel, do you hear stories of valor and selfless acts of bravery that proclaim this great caliber as to why we celebrate Memorial Day?    

Forgive Us For Not Recognizing Our Fallen!

Sadly, it seems there is more recognition geared towards retail sales advertisements along with the hustle and bustle ushering in the first big holiday announcing summertime.  Much less you add in malls reopening due to pandemic closure, we quickly forget the honor and celebration of what today stands for.

Don’t get me wrong, these preparations for the festivities are great; you know, family gatherings, coming together, barbecuing, boating, camping, traveling with the additional three-day weekend, but what about carving out time to honor the fallen which is the sole purpose of Memorial Day?

There is nothing wrong with the excitement in getting together with our family and friends to unwind and celebrate; we all need that!  But what about the fallen heroes and their families that have lost so much, their precious and valued loved ones, due to their sacrificial service for our freedom?  How are they being remembered?  They are searching for this gratitude and consolation in our festivities that have seemed to be glossed over.

Where is the tribute and honor that should be at the forefront of our celebrations for our fallen heroes on Memorial Day?

Where is the dedicated time for this tribute and recognition that brought us freedom? 

Where does the honor, the respect, the remembrance, and the salutation fit into our celebratory festivities this Memorial Day weekend?  After all, our great nation was built on the freedom that these fallen heroes died for!  That deserves recognition.

The ocean tears that have been released by mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, families, and the many innocent children that look for comfort from a nation that pauses to think about, honor and celebrate what their loved one selflessly gave to have this freedom extended is non-existent and quite neglected.

If you’ve ever had to comfort a grieving soul who just learned of their loved one’s death, there is nothing more dreadful and heartbreaking than delivering the piercing words, “I’m sorry, but your loved one has been killed in the line of duty serving his/her country.”

Being honest here, when I was raising my children, I looked forward to having an extra day off with the announcement that summertime was near. Any excuse to celebrate was quite a gift. Memorial Day just meant getting the boat ready and the family together for a couple of days spent on the water without any further forethought. Tragic!

Where is the honor, recognition and respect geared towards our fallen heroes and their families acknowledging how they dedicated and sacrificed their lives?  This is the pure definition of what is called a beautiful exchange. 

Can we start teaching our children and share with our families the significance of what Memorial Day deserves?  We can testify to this valor of great sacrifice by sharing a few of the following quotes:

“The willingness of America’s veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude.” – Jeff Miller

“The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.” – Benjamin Disraeli

Blameless Memorial Day. In case you thought it was National BBQ Day

Can we maybe start proclaiming how we’re proud to be Americans and express our gratitude for the meaning behind Memorial Day.  This honor will offer golden nuggets of comfort to the fallen and their families to carry close to their hearts reminding them that their lives mattered and stood for victory and won’t be forgotten, nor were their deaths in vain!  Maybe while we’re vacationing, we can even share with others the significance while honoring the millions of soldiers who lost their lives.  Speak it while engaging with others.

There is nothing wrong with celebrating, but putting at the forefront what all of our Fallen Heroes have achieved will keep their legacy alive and one in which will never be forgotten.  It’s a gratitude for blessing us with a privilege that we often take for granted.  We are reaping the harvest from the seeds they dropped during their bout of courage and dedication.  What a gift that keeps on giving, but it needs watering and cultivating! 

By the way, Memorial Day originated way back in the late 1800’s, but was enacted following the Civil War where many Americans started honoring the soldiers who lost their lives by decorating their graves.  Beautiful, isn’t it?  It wasn’t until 1971 that it was deemed a National holiday and celebrated as such through the passing of the National Holiday Act. 

“Those that die for a good cause… hover as a cloud of witnesses over the nation.”  Henry Ward Beecher.

Blameless Fallen Heros

Let us never forget our fallen heroes and their families.  After all, as John F. Kennedy stated,  “Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.”  

Fallen Heroes, We Will Never Forget Your Sacrificial Service & We Thank You!

Featured post

Honoring The Fallen! Never Forgotten?

Blameless Never Forgotten

Honoring the Fallen!

Never Forgotten? 

Courage is Contagious

—0o0—

Billy Graham proclaimed, “Courage is Contagious.  When a brave man takes a stand, the spine of others are stiffened.”

Honoring the Fallen!  Never Forgotten?  Hmmm… never forgotten?  Really?  Where in most Memorial Day celebrations, unless you’re with a family or community of inactive or active service personnel, do you hear stories of valor and selfless acts of bravery that proclaim this great caliber as to why we celebrate Memorial Day?    

Forgive Us For Not Recognizing Our Fallen!

Sadly, it seems there is more recognition geared towards retail sales advertisements along with the hustle and bustle ushering in the first big holiday announcing summertime.  Much less you add in malls reopening due to pandemic closure, we quickly forget the honor and celebration of what today stands for.

Don’t get me wrong, these preparations for the festivities are great; you know, family gatherings, coming together, barbecuing, boating, camping, traveling with the additional three-day weekend, but what about carving out time to honor the fallen which is the sole purpose of Memorial Day?

There is nothing wrong with the excitement in getting together with our family and friends to unwind and celebrate; we all need that!  But what about the fallen heroes and their families that have lost so much, their precious and valued loved ones, due to their sacrificial service for our freedom?  How are they being remembered?  They are searching for this gratitude and consolation in our festivities that have seemed to be glossed over.

Where is the tribute and honor that should be at the forefront of our celebrations for our fallen heroes on Memorial Day?

Where is the dedicated time for this tribute and recognition that brought us freedom? 

Where does the honor, the respect, the remembrance, and the salutation fit into our celebratory festivities this Memorial Day weekend?  After all, our great nation was built on the freedom that these fallen heroes died for!  That deserves recognition.

The ocean tears that have been released by mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, families, and the many innocent children that look for comfort from a nation that pauses to think about, honor and celebrate what their loved one selflessly gave to have this freedom extended is non-existent and quite neglected.

If you’ve ever had to comfort a grieving soul who just learned of their loved one’s death, there is nothing more dreadful and heartbreaking than delivering the piercing words, “I’m sorry, but your loved one has been killed in the line of duty serving his/her country.”

Being honest here, when I was raising my children, I looked forward to having an extra day off with the announcement that summertime was near. Any excuse to celebrate was quite a gift. Memorial Day just meant getting the boat ready and the family together for a couple of days spent on the water without any further forethought. Tragic!

Where is the honor, recognition and respect geared towards our fallen heroes and their families acknowledging how they dedicated and sacrificed their lives?  This is the pure definition of what is called a beautiful exchange. 

Can we start teaching our children and share with our families the significance of what Memorial Day deserves?  We can testify to this valor of great sacrifice by sharing a few of the following quotes:

“The willingness of America’s veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude.” – Jeff Miller

“The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.” – Benjamin Disraeli

Blameless Memorial Day. In case you thought it was National BBQ Day

Can we maybe start proclaiming how we’re proud to be Americans and express our gratitude for the meaning behind Memorial Day.  This honor will offer golden nuggets of comfort to the fallen and their families to carry close to their hearts reminding them that their lives mattered and stood for victory and won’t be forgotten, nor were their deaths in vain!  Maybe while we’re vacationing, we can even share with others the significance while honoring the millions of soldiers who lost their lives.  Speak it while engaging with others.

There is nothing wrong with celebrating, but putting at the forefront what all of our Fallen Heroes have achieved will keep their legacy alive and one in which will never be forgotten.  It’s a gratitude for blessing us with a privilege that we often take for granted.  We are reaping the harvest from the seeds they dropped during their bout of courage and dedication.  What a gift that keeps on giving, but it needs watering and cultivating! 

By the way, Memorial Day originated way back in the late 1800’s, but was enacted following the Civil War where many Americans started honoring the soldiers who lost their lives by decorating their graves.  Beautiful, isn’t it?  It wasn’t until 1971 that it was deemed a National holiday and celebrated as such through the passing of the National Holiday Act. 

“Those that die for a good cause… hover as a cloud of witnesses over the nation.”  Henry Ward Beecher.

Blameless Fallen Heros

Let us never forget our fallen heroes and their families.  After all, as John F. Kennedy stated,  “Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.”  

Fallen Heroes, We Will Never Forget Your Sacrificial Service & We Thank You!

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Blameless and Forever Free Ministries Worshiping In Truth and Spirit

It’s Coming…

Worshiping in Truth and Spirit!

Can You Feel It?

Loving to such a degree that you’re overwhelmed by joy. Looking at the sky with its majestic undertones and purity of whispering clouds gliding as free souls, the Creator paints reflections of my own heart and soul through each stroke of the brush.

New beginnings are arising…

Covering me with peace and comfort, the shackles that once were so restricting, tightly bound around my ankles and wrists, no longer hinder me. My arms lift in childlike wonder as I release the bondage of grief and guilt slipping through my fingertips. The innocence surrounding my smile matches the breeze gently caressing my face.

It is well…

This freedom in allowing the golden hues of sand to tease my toes and slip through my fingertips become the most glorious gift God could offer. Freedom in surrendering all. Even the dry places that are saturated with minuscule annoyances. Each lingering grain of sand can’t attack my thoughts. Instead they proclaim:

Annoyances are now Assurances

My strength is found in the presence of my Lord’s endless love!

My mind ponders simple scripture found in Psalm 139:17-18, How precious are your thoughts about me, O Lord, how vast is their sum! If I were to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand beneath my feet. When I awake, I am still with You.

Rays of the glorious sunset brought a frisson of anticipation to my heart as the day concluded. My heart received the meaning of the peace that surpasses all knowledge. It is well...

Whenever my busy thoughts are out of control, the soothing comfort of your presence calms me down and overwhelms me with delight (Psalm 94:19).

Thank you, Jesus! My heart is overwhelmed with joy as my soul rests and receives the freedom that is on every horizon. That is what worshiping in truth and spirit offers!

Until next time…

Come Dance With Me as We Just Be!

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Blameless and Forever Free WeMatter2

“Help, We Matter2”

Blameless and Forever Free WeMatter2

What Happens In Jail Doesn’t Stay In Jail!

“Help, We Matter2”

A handwritten sign posted in one of the windows at Cook County Jail by beloveds in custody stating, “HELP, WE MATTER2.”  This was from early April, 2020 (Jim Vondruska/Reuters/New York Times).

Inmates bringing attention to inhumane conditions inside a jail hung this sign in the window begging for help in response to two inmates who contracted COVID-19 at Cook County Jail and “were placed in ISOLATION CELLS after testing positive.”  

Isolation cells? For contracting a virus that kills, came in from the outside, and needs constant medical attention? These precious lives matter just like yours and mine.

Because these prisoners contracted COVID-19 and officials felt isolating them in cells of hell instead of adequately taking medical measures would somehow keep this beast of a disease from spreading! 

Makes no sense, I know.

Our detention facilities are reservoirs of infection.

According to data compiled by The New York Times, Cook County Jail is now “the nation’s largest-known source of coronavirus infections.” 

Dehumanizing living, breathing life is no way to treat sick incarcerated beloveds, and this is often what our prisoners are subjected to.

Fighting to improve conditions along with bringing awareness to our nation’s prisons, detention centers and jails reflect what is happening inside and impacts society while lifting up the voices of those silenced.  

Every life matters!  Mass incarceration is not the answer and neither is isolation.  Prioritizing equality of empathy should be our number one focus. 

From prison to community!

What happens in our jails doesn’t stay in jail. Cesspool of infection. We have to pray for and pay attention to all the health needs of our detained beloveds and our correctional staff; otherwise, we will become haunted like Southern California. 

As the virus gets in our detention centers and prisons, it doesn’t discriminate and wipes out our ability to control it while claiming lives. This pandemic cannot be ignored because our prisons are filled with beloveds whose lives matter too, and they are part of our community.

According to California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, reporting as of May 13, 2020, California Institution for Men (CIM) is reported as having 324 confirmed cases of incarcerated beloveds contracting COVID, 50 staff members infected, and now 5 deaths, totaling 379 and still increasing; and California State Prison, Los Angeles County (LAC) is reported with having 94 incarcerated infected along with 42 staff members infected totaling 136. 

These are just the leading two of many cesspool prisons in Southern California and increasing daily. 

As a medical expert announced, “Part of our mistake is to think that these places, jails and prisons, aren’t part of the community.”

The lives of our incarcerated and our correctional staff matter and they are just as important as yours and mine. 

Wouldn’t you agree?

Just because the prison I’m affiliated with, Folsom State Prison, has done an amazing job containing this beast of infection with the infected staff doesn’t mean other prisons aren’t suffering.  The numbers state quite the contrary.

Our communities mean all lives matter!

#WeMatter2!

Until next time…

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries 2 Tim. 4:16
Blameless
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Blameless and Forever Free Ministries Mothers of Murderers

Mothers of Murderers…

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries Mothers of Murderers

Mothers Of Murderers…

Just typing those three words made me uncomfortable. How about you?

No, I’m not a mother of a murderer. I do, however, have imperfect children like myself filled with pain.

Hurt people hurt others, but healed people heal!

I have met, and established relationships with, a dozen or so of incredibly courageous mothers of murderers that deserve to wear crowns of Mothers Of Mercy!

But Labeled As Mothers of Monsters?

How can any mother walk through life being referred to as Mothers Of Monsters?

Every mother’s heart carries enough of the shame-and-blame game of our children’s actions and grave decisions, but that should associate us more so as being Mothers Of Mourning, right?

After all, a mother holds her child’s hand for just a short time, but holds their hearts forever!

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries Mother's Love Never Lets Go

Successful rehabilitation is dependent upon the love and support received inside prison.

To every Mother Of Mourning, you’re an inspirational gift from the Lord. I’m honored to witness love in action, strong faith and perseverance as God heals, creating beauty.

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries A Mother's Love

The repeated trials and attacks you endure in daily living, from your own imprisonment of guilt and shame, the victim’s family and “those that know” are like daggers to the soul unknown to none other.

Your life and love is our Lord’s work, accomplished in Holy Spirit’s power, and is never in vain, even when we don’t understand. It is unique to only you! Your life is a God-ordained calling and mission.

This assignment was specifically tailored for YOU ONLY to fulfill and you have done well to stand firm and let nothing move you except Love Himself (1 Corinthians 15:58).

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries Never Let Me Go

I can’t even imagine the hell you’ve walked through, but I can say this: Being refined by fire is BEAUTIFUL!!! I have become empowered because of you, so thank you!

A mom, mommy, mother can’t change the past, as she will carry some guilt and shame that is tucked between the folds of her heart. Mothers Of Mention, it’s your time to rise and shine understanding you’re Mothers Of Mercy with relentless devotion.

Your children arise and call you blessed because of your unwavering support that comes from the strength of your faith (Proverbs 31:17).

Your Godly image of grace, compassion and tender mercy illustrates God Himself (Genesis 1:27).

Hurt People Hurt Others, But Healed People Heal!

And M-O-M, Mother Of Mercy, your unconditional love to “never let me go” helps us all embrace how hurt people hurt others, but healed people heal! Since love comes from God and you know Him, your life testifies to God’s Great Love (1 John 4:7-10).

A mother’s love is kind of like a rainbow bringing color and life into a dark and dreary atmosphere filled with cold and empty minds.

Counting the times their souls connect to one another pales in comparison to the mourning and weeping veils they’re clothed in.

The celebration a mother holds onto when transformation delivers reminders of “I’m making you stronger,” illustrates how their love is unashamedly obvious. Even though every single visit steals a part of their cherished cuddling and cradling, the bleeding heart may become calloused with scar tissue, but a Mother Of Motivation leans in.

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries Black Veil

Death ripped away a part of these mothers, the parts that were most loved. Instead, they are replaced with wearing the black hooded veil. Both the mothers of the victims and the mothers of murderers become haunted by the shadow of death and despair.

Could you describe a M-O-M as selfless, loving, supportive, even an intelligent beloved? Or is the labeling of the mother of murderers too much to bear?

We all participated in the death of Jesus Christ, so maybe examining our own cold hearts might help expose light to the shadow of judgment and condemnation.

These mothers still feel the pain, raw pain, but to think their hearts cannot be broken anymore is disheartening. This pain is seared all the way through the heart branding each beat. They are imprisoned by no fault of their own. A mother’s love never ends; instead it chooses to protect, never leaves, nor forsakes.

Sound familiar?

That’s God’s Great Love!

A mother faces hardship, judgment and ridicule when their child becomes incarcerated. Fearless perseverance is demanded when the world surrounding her collapses beneath her feet.

Unable to guard any mama’s heart, the battleground is and was vicious and bloody. This could only develop strength from constant battle. Behind closed doors, the shadow of guilt and shame ricochets from the flaming arrows penetrating the armor. Where this mama went wrong or where she failed and wasn’t enough lurks to ambush.

The hemorrhaging heart somehow finds the strength from faith to carry a torch of compassion and love to carry a heart through the finish line.

Are you a Mother of Mayhem? Mother Of Mischievous? Mother of Multitude? Mothers of Military? Mothers of Mentally-Ill? Mothers of Misfits?

How about calling ourselves…

Mamas of Masterpieces?

Whether your mother is loving, accepting, beautiful or caring, the common denominator that is often overlooked is how amazing she is: Mother Of Mine!

Thank you for being beautiful you, Mother Of Meaningful! You are indeed Mothers Of Masterpieces!

Until next time…

Happy Mother’s Day!

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries Mother's Day Love
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Blameless What I know

What I Know

Blameless What I know

What I Know

I know your heart; do you know mine?

They connected in that moment they brought you to me. That has not changed since then. I know your heart, why we are separated now. But do you know mine?

How I can never describe the feeling of watching and hearing the sound of the metal shackles being locked on your body. The body I cradled and sang to and rocked, your premature birth making you all the more precious to me. To say this hurt my heart… Well, you know, if you know my heart.

I know your eyes, following me across the room, “mom?” Do you know mine? I can’t fix this like I wanted to fix every hurt that came your way. But my eyes are telling you, I can only try and make you see you are never without me.

I don’t know your new world, and you no longer know mine. I know that you know the things I long to share with you and can’t. Your brothers’ lives, your nephews, new cousins’ children, holidays, birthdays and just those days I wish I could reach over and touch your hand, or smile in recognition of some shared family joke. It so hurts my heart that I know these are the things you are missing.

I can only know of your world what you deem safe to tell me. The imagining in my head can be so much worse. I try not to let my heart go there, but nevertheless it is only halfway to the back of my mind.

I know my arms want to hold you and shield you whenever I can. And you don’t fool me – I know your arms come around me, quickly and fiercely even though you say, “Ah mom, the guys!”

I know your smile that sometimes lights up your face when you see me, or sometimes can break my heart. My smile, you know, that will never tire of landing on your face, but always hiding my sadness at where you are.

I can’t know your pain, your fears, your regrets or your way of reconciliation of this life that is now yours. And you can’t know mine. I can’t show you mine. I know you need my strength. Sometimes that is all I can do for you. And that is my pain, mine alone.

You know my soul. You know there is nothing I wouldn’t do for you. Just as I know yours, they are intertwined for always. I know who you are deep down inside.

I know your guilt that comes from your actions. Do you know mine? The time I have spent wondering, “which day did I go wrong?” Did I read to you enough? Did I give you enough apple snacks? Was it that day I spanked you for running out in the street? Or the day I made you stand in the corner for telling me “NO!”?

Silly really, the mundane things I dwell on. But it doesn’t stop me from wondering – what minute of what day would I have changed?

Instead, this is where we are. But it won’t be dark, we have each other to light the way. I’ll light yours and you’ll light mine and we will meet at the end of this tunnel.

And every so often, we pause. Our eyes, our hearts and our souls connect like a magnet and we ask each other – how did you get here?

I don’t know.

Until next time…

Wasn’t that beautiful? Please tell Dana Ordonez how much you loved her heart and transparency through the beautiful words penned. You can leave her a comment that is linked above the post or go to Blameless and Forever Free Ministries nonprofit website.

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We’re Never Alone…

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries  Tammy Ingram

Hi family and friends! I trust you’re all safe and healthy, filled with overwhelming peace, while transitioning into all these unknowns and chaotic times.

We are blessed to have this rare opportunity to know our Lord while being still and accept His invitation to experience His Amazing Love on a completely different level. We are, after all, never alone…

This Easter we are celebrating the Ultimate Victory by being invited to rest in the Absolute Truth where God’s Great Love defeated death. Love showcasing how our God is able to do abundantly more than all we could ever ask, imagine or even dream about.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve got the wildest imagination with unbelievable dreams to boot, so…

Until next time…

Happy Easter! He Is Risen!

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Blameless and Forever Free Ministries Second Chance

Redemption Is Possible

Blameless and Tammy Ingram Foundet

Redemption Is Possible!

From a distance, his muscular build, tattoos and shaved head misleads with intimidation. But redemption tells us another story. After all, He Is Risen! Jesus Is Risen and His Redemption Is Possible!

The founder of Blameless and Forever Free Ministries knows the power of transformation! She’s personally encountered, prayed with, instructed and continues to help invest in those who are feared and rejected. She has established Blameless to see others as Jesus does and introduce the love of Christ through introduction, invitation and instruction.

The founder is excited to be building a team with beloveds that Jesus Christ died for, President Donald J. Trump stands up for, and who Blameless and Forever Free Ministries invests in by offering the redemptive power of transformation for our returning citizens.

Helping tear down barriers through awareness regarding the importance of second chances for our returning citizens who continue to be discriminated against in securing housing, employment and education enables them in being successful and productive members of society which is vital for healthier and safer communities.

Redemption Is Possible! 

April is Second Chance Month.  Blameless believes in not only validating our victims, encouraging our communities through awareness and education, but transforming and rehabilitating the lives of our incarcerated both before their release and thereafter.

President Trump supports Second Chance Month and declares the importance of opportunities for redemption through the second chance initiative in becoming productive members of society in his declaration dated March 31, 2020.

To view President Trump’s Proclamation, click here…

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries believes in giving our prisoners a second chance after prison and that is why they are working relentlessly during the restrictions of this COVID-19 pandemic to continue to advocate and bring awareness towards restorative criminal justice.

Even though our fundraising capabilities are temporarily disabled due to social distancing, we continue to maximize this time in locating a building here in Placer County in order to secure a safe place for fellowship and comprehensive programming for our returning citizens to thrive and become successful members of society. Therefore, reducing recidivism rates where everybody wins!

An excerpt of President Trump’s proclamation declares, “While we must be tough on crime, we can also be smart about reducing recidivism.  One of the best ways to break the cycle of crime is to help former inmates find rewarding work.  That is why my Administration is promoting second chance hiring to build on the reforms of the First Step Act and help former inmates live crime-free lives.”  

Click here to continue reading President Trump’s proclamation…

After all, Jesus Is Risen!

Until next time…

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Tammy Ingram Founder All Is Well

All Is Well Today When We Know God Is In Our Tomorrow’s

Tammy Ingram Founder All Is Well

All Is Well Today When We Know God Is In Our Tomorrow’s…

Hi precious friends and family, I don’t know about you, but with everything going on in our world between COVID-19, social distancing and all the chaos and panic, if I don’t remember that God is with me today, I will never be able to rise up and not shrink back.

Remembering that with my marching orders, which includes being on the front lines combating this enemy as His pillar of strength, that requires walking out all is well today when we know that God is in our tomorrow’s.

As treasured possessions of God and His Works of Art, being God’s handiwork allows us to rise up and shine during crisis for our loved ones, friends and family.

As Christians, we have never been better positioned to rise up and shine and be the light of our Beautiful Jesus (Isaiah 60:1-2) as the glory of our Lord rises upon us.

And if we really think about it, our co-workers and the beloveds in our communities, they are going to be watching us now for hope. Being His vessels, they will lean in for strength, for love and for a calming comfort, seeking a compassionate ear when their lives are consumed and compromised by fear.

Our secret to a freaked out world: We know all is well today when we know that God is in our tomorrow’s.

Walking out Matthew 6:34 can lead us victoriously through the doors of peace and strength, Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Tammy Ingram Founder says Because God Is...  We can be still because God is active.  We can rest because God is working!

As God’s treasured possessions, we don’t have to fret and freak out! We can be still because God is active. And we can rest because God is working!

Now, that’s something to celebrate and praise God for!

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

Tammy Ingram Founder All Is Well
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Urgent Prayers Needed! COVID-19 Is Confirmed In Our California State Prisons!

Urgent Prayers Needed!

COVID-19 Is Confirmed In Our California State Prisons!

Why do we need urgent prayers covering our state prison facilities? Because COVID-19 has been confirmed in our California State Prisons.

You might not be able to see when a silent killer like COVID-19 strikes in our state prison facilities, but you can hear this epidemic coming.

Even though the individuals tested positive were correctional staff, as of March 20th, that does not mean our incarcerated are not infected. Receiving proper medical attention in prison is like stumbling upon a hidden treasure.

Ask a mother whose son has a three-centimeter mass in his breast with a family history of breast cancer…

Unless you’ve walked through our prisons personally, either through work, tours and/or detention, you have no idea how close the inmate population is to one another and how stacked on top of each other they are. This is how viral epidemics spread and kill. It’s like living in a Petri dish.

I’m going to forewarn you, the below statement is repulsive and gross, but truth is empowerment.

This is how disgustingly close our incarcerated are: When they defecate in their cell toilets, or urinate for that matter, their cellmate’s head is less than two feet from the toilet. And no, there is no wall or barrier between either.

No privacy. No protection…

Gross!!!

It’s like one person starts to cough and/or sneeze. Then a prison guard walks down the hall coughing every step they take. An inmate on the phone in the hallway coughs all over the mouth piece and wipes his nose with the hand holding onto the phone.

Germs are everywhere!

Then another inmate a couple tiers down starts to cough and before you know it, everyone is infected and there’s no escaping it in the wide-open space. Everyone is coughing, blowing their noses, spitting up phlegm. Petri dish of danger!

And if you think they’re equipped with extra bars of soap and hand sanitizer, paper towels to wipe dry their hands and dispose of, you couldn’t be further from the truth. They are only given limited bars of soap per month, and many of them use their bars of soap to wash their clothes.

Did you say wash their clothes?

Yes. If they have it laundered, most of the time they’ll never receive it back. Stolen laundry is a hot-ticketed item.

Many prisoners wash their two state-prison-issued clothing similar to Little House on the Prairie.

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries illustrating inmates washing clothes in state prison

There is absolutely no way to participate in social distancing in our state prisons. They are literally on top of one another.

When they eat, they’re like a can of sardines packed together. They share trays AND food. They shower together without any separation. And with being in lockdown, it allows the contamination to spread through open air and tight spaces.

When they’re in lockdown, it does not keep them safe. It’s a cesspool of toxins.

You CANNOT ISOLATE over 2.3 million incarcerated beloveds from one another to contain and keep this virus from spreading, much less have adequate medical teams and/or facilities to treat those who will inevitably become infected.

Please pray for our prison population; they’re someone’s son, like mine…

Until next time…

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Blameless and Forever Free Ministries Responds to COVID-19

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries Tammy Ingram Founder responds to COVID-19

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries Responds To COVID-19

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries continues to keep a close eye on the COVID-19 virus and its active spread. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) provide more information and updates on the coronavirus and its increase in spread, Blameless and Forever Free Ministries has canceled and postponed all upcoming events scheduled up through May 1, 2020.

With the CDCR placing all California State Prisons under lockdown, if you have further concerns or questions regarding COVID-19, you may contact the CDCR through email at COVID19@cdcr.ca.gov and they will direct all inquiries to the appropriate division.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has issued a COVID-19 Preparedness as follows:

As of March 17, 2020, there are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 within CDCR institutions.

“Effective March 18, no volunteers or rehabilitative program providers will be allowed to enter state prison until further notice.

All rehabilitative programs, group events, and in-person education classes are cancelled.

The Office of Correctional Education is working to provide in-cell educational programs so as to not interrupt educational credit-earning.

The Board of Parole Hearings (BPH) will postpone all parole suitability hearings through March 20.

All Interstate Compact Agreement transfers of out-of-state parolees or inmates to California will cease for 30 days.

CDCR has activated an email box, COVID19@cdcr.ca.gov, to answer questions from the public, employees, and stakeholders related to COVID-19. This email address will be monitored and questions will be directed to the appropriate divisions.

CDCR’s inmate telephone network provider Global Tel Link (GTL) has offered the adult incarcerated population two days of free phone calls: from 12 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. Thursday, March 19, and 12 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. Thursday, March 26. The youth within the Division of Juvenile Justice already receive free phone calls.”

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries Tammy Ingram Founder Hebrews 13.3

Please continue to pray for those incarcerated, their families and our correctional staff.

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries will continue to monitor any and all updates and keep you informed.

Until next time…

At least we have some good news: As of March 17, 2020, there are currently no “confirmed” cases of COVID-19 within CDCR institutions. Thank you, Jesus!

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Dancing Bones Tammy Ingram Founder

Hi Beautiful, Sorry To Interrupt Your Scrolling…

Dancing Bones Happy Dance Tammy Ingram Founder

Come Do The Happy Dance With Me!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Hi Beautiful, I’m going a little stir crazy today, so I wanted to invite you and others in helping me share my Happy Dance celebrating St. Patty’s Day.

Sorry to interrupt your scrolling – well, not really – but come do the happy dance with me as we shed a layer or two of these toxic germs and shackles while speaking a word or two of love and affirmations.

I just wanted you to know that I’m doing the Happy Dance praising God for you and your life. The world would be so much gloomier without your radiance and sunshine!

I know you don’t hear it enough, but YOU ARE ENOUGH just the way you are and SO LOVED!

Missing you dearly. This social distancing sucks. I guess we’re getting a taste of what it’s like being prisoners, so to speak, but it’s only for a short while. It just reminds me and emphasizes how much I am blessed to sojourn this side of heaven being friends with you.

You are so loved and precious! Never lose sight of that, okay?

I’m praying for a release of blessings, great favor, wonderful health and a soaking of God‘s Great Love to follow you everyday!

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

Dancing Bones Happy Dance Tammy Ingram Founder

Do A Little Dance…

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Blameless and Forever Free Ministries Tammy Ingram Foundet

Courage To Speak Up For Those Forgotten…

Social Justice Is…

Having Courage To Speak Up For Those Forgotten…

Being a catalyst of change requires strong influencers who stand on lasting values that the good news of the gospel presents.

God’s Great Love Changes Everything!

Bringing my Lord’s presence into a domain (prisons) that the enemy has held captive for centuries is daunting, but worthy of the challenge because after meeting hundreds of prisoners, they’re beloveds just like you and me who have made horrible mistakes and deserve a second chance.

This is why Blameless and Forever Free Ministries has transitioned over to the reentry side and will open up a center to help returning citizens succeed.

Most prisoners develop a deep and sincere desire to change their life circumstances through hope and motivation from family and/or religion. Focusing on this link and alternatives opens many doorways of opportunities in having goals filled with lifestyle changes.

“Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye.”

H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Prisons are set up for punishment, profit and containment. Prisoners need hope, motivation and rehabilitation.

Could you be caged up like an animal and live in close quarters with hundreds, if not thousands, of others and accept being told what to do, what to eat, what to wear, when to sleep, when to wake up, when to work, when to shower and when to talk to loved ones on the phone, while being surrounded by criminal conduct and make sound decisions once released?

You might begrudgingly say they’re lucky to have a cage to live in and food in their bellies after committing their crime, but…

How is that teaching them the power to rewrite their stories, you know, through recasting the drama and redirecting their actions?

Having the opportunity to impact their lives is the greatest reward possible and one in which requires softening up great opposition.

Discrimination, racism and negative social policies and laws have labeled returning citizens “once a felon, always a felon.” This caters to the belief and reason why our recidivism rates are so high.

When we force our returning citizens into this category, we wonder why they recommit and/or become homeless.

We are what we believe, and when we’re told over and over that we’re bad and menaces to society, it’s no wonder we find ourselves living under the spell of deceit and lies.

Good decision-making skills requires options. Surviving in prison surrounded by criminal conduct pretty much means association with the wrong crowd. It’s hard to make good choices when there are minimal options available to us. That requires many opportunities.

Prisons are full of beloveds who lack support, encouragement and visitation from loved ones.

Could you sustain hope and peace of mind without a covering of love?

When I was rejected and unloved, my decision-making skills needed help, too. Every decision I made was based on fear. That’s all I knew.

When you’re surrounded by criminal conduct, and most decisions are already laid out for you, without a covering of love, there is no hope or reason to strive forward in making changes.

Strong support and dedication is a rare and unique gift of hope that all incarcerated need.

Reentry process is more like a survival process. Survival of the fittest! This is why it’s imperative to surround ourselves with people who are going to lift us higher.

How can we expect our returning citizens to be productive members of society when we judge, ridicule and turn our backs on them? That doesn’t influence them to become better individuals, become assets to our communities or even make our communities safer.

Unconditional acts of kindness and love opens doorways to new lives and behaviors.

During times of challenge, frustration and failure, knowing that someone believes in you helps you try again. Introducing others to the love of Jesus provides this comfort in faith.

Every day we have the opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Replacing discrimination with rehabilitation and hate with love will restore precious lives and teach us a thing or two about ourselves, too.

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries understands returning citizens, I am more than my mistakes.

Prisoners need society to understand, I am more than my mistakes!

Until next time…

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Blameless and Forever Free Ministries Imagination

Imagination – Preview Of Life’s Coming Attractions!

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries Imagination - Preview of Life's Coming Attractions

Imagination – Preview of Life’s Coming Attractions

Sitting isolated in the back of the inmate medical care unit, back pressed up against the cooling cinder block, my body aches with cheeks burning through flushes of fever. My breath quivers between the spell of violent shaking. I wasn’t certain if the unsettling chill that was running down my spine was due to the fever or from the tiny glimpses of thrilling freedom that lay outside the prison’s walls.

My delirious mind imagines the wind of icy fingers running through my hair as I watch the flag become a cape in the strengthening wind. The freedom of the American flag clothed me with hope while my parched throat swallowed what’s possible if I keep leaning in and looking up.

“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”

Albert Einstein

There was a time when there was no hope for me, but somehow I encountered God who lit a fire deep within me. This flame was so glorious, it blinded the darkness lurking in my heart. But here I sit; I was set free. What once was so dark turned into an everlasting blaze of radiant light.

My mind bolts back to the kind and empowering words shared with me, “God must truly love you, and I mean A LOT!!! Our Lord doesn’t allow someone to go through these kind of adversities that you’ve experienced unless He has one special and unique calling on your life.”

The sting of the tease of what life feels like through the blowing breeze of freedom that would some day be possible lingers. The illusion of what is possible wars with the recognition of what freedom actually looks like when you’re shackled and imprisoned doing time for your crime.

Power of Purpose

The power of purpose helps keep the focus looking upward from the love and support of a community who refuses to throw away the keys of second and third chances.

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries reminds Returning Citizens, "I am MORE than my MISTAKES!

I am more than my mistakes!

Acquiring the gift of insight into our own lives and purpose showcases how God is able to do abundantly more than all we could EVER ask or imagine!

Would you run and hide from the exposure of your own character flaws or would you be willing to develop a plan to make your dreams come true and be all who God created and designed you to be?

Now, realizing that in order to become a great leader, you had to learn and earn an advanced degree at the University of Adversity, your faith ushers evidence to, I can do all things through Him who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13).

Finding a place in society is overwhelming. The first few weeks after release are the most stressful and demeaning as you try and fit in making what others might consider “normal decisions,” but when living institutionalized with minimal choices, it’s easier to make good decisions when they’re already made for you. Yes, even though you’re surrounded by criminal conduct.

It breaks my heart and messes with my head that you fear me. I get it!

But I imagine a community filled with patience, guidance and support. I don’t want to fail, trust me! Prison is hell. Some of us want to change. Imagining the extension of grace with compassion to fail along with the opportunity to get back up and start again is courage to succeed.

I imagine a Body helping me experience my plan and purpose from prison to community.

I’ve completed time in prison for my crime. I imagine my community supporting punishment’s end.

But that decision is yours to make.

The laws of discrimination are permanently seared into my life, so…

I just hope and pray you contain the diagnosis of criminality to loom inside the prison walls and not foreshadow my daunting prognosis.

I can only imagine what it will feel like when my community finds it in their hearts to allow me the opportunity to start over without the looming shadow of defeat and judgment. That was my companion in prison, but now I’m free and looking forward to experiencing what freedom looks like.

Until next time…

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries reports, Did you know 5 in 10 returning citizens have difficulty finding a job?
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Returning Citizens…

What Are Returning Citizens?

Good question! Returning citizens are beloveds reentering society, our communities, from their time served being incarcerated.

Time to make a change!

Since returning citizens are reentering society after serving time for their crime, creating safer and stronger communities must become a top priority for the success of their reentry and reintegration.

Successful reentry and recidivism is dependent upon a community-centered approach that requires bridging the gap between church and state; community organizations and governmental entities.

Who cares…

Everyone should!

Why should we concern ourselves with those who are a menace to society and who obviously didn’t care about following the rules and broke the law?

Walking alongside of those who have done time for their crime helps facilitate success promoting rehabilitation and sound decision-making skills for securing employment and being productive members of society.

They have paid their debt back to society through the punishment received in serving prison time.

We all want safer communities, right?

We all benefit when our returning citizens who leave prison have an education, a chance at higher education, a good job and a place to live.

Being productive members of society, it helps drive down future costs of corrections, reduces the crime rate, most definitely helps improve public safety, but it’s building a sense of community that our returning citizens need for lasting success.

Everyone needs and deserves to be surrounded with love and support! Re-offenders lack relationships, so it bodes well for all of us to walk alongside of them by not discriminating, but instead through rehabilitation.

Our returning citizens have been isolated for the most part during their incarceration and reminding them that they’re supported by their communities confirms that we want them to succeed. This introduces them to support and offers encouragement that they’re on the right path and there’s no longer any need to go through life alone without accountability.

Generous hearts believe that today’s offender will become tomorrow’s neighbor, so embracing our returning citizens by coming alongside of those who are exiting the criminal justice system provides the greatest opportunity for success.

We all have choices and love not only transforms from the inside out, but it leads to action.

Teaching others the value of walking together so that the world can believe in the power of God’s Great Love (John 17:23) is vital to a dignified life.

With advocacy and justice being at the very core of who God is, our prisons can no longer be considered a place solely to punish and reject. We must meet our offenders right where they’re at reconciling them to God.

We can’t just pretend to love others. We have to really love them! Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good (Romans 12:9).

After all, recidivism promotes public safety, builds stronger communities while strengthening collaboration with other agencies.

We’re better together!

Reentry provides those in our criminal justice system with a path towards becoming productive members of society after they have served time for the crimes committed.

Embracing Freedom Without Stigma!

If our Statue of Liberty symbolizes freedom, it embodies hope and opportunities for those seeking a better life in America. Liberty and justice for all represents that the most basic human dignity starts with the land of second chances.

Statue of Liberty in New York City

Inspiring Second Chances Filled With Hope and Opportunity!

Until next time…

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God Sees Beyond Our Right Now…

God Sees Beyond Our Right Now

When life isn’t exactly how we pictured it would be…

Facing seasons of disappointment and despair can leave us feeling isolated and alone.

Encouraging and inspiring our incarcerated can be a daunting lifestyle, but they deserve an outpouring of God’s Great Love.

Meeting our prisoners right where they’re at, determined not to leave them shackled in shame and guilt, surrounded by nothing but criminal conduct, is a priceless gift of Love.

It’s challenging to understand that during these grave times, being in a pit of hell, there are others in similar situations who have gone before us…

When you’re considered “incorrigible,” a “burden” or “a menace to society,” impervious to restraints and punishment, it’s hard to react/respond against this branding, this labeling, cauterized deep into one’s soul and flesh.

And we are, after all, a byproduct of our environment…

Discouragement leads to death and destruction. Being near the edge of the pit serves as a constant reminder that its edges of hell will swallow and take down those who dare come close.

Our incarcerated can only see and hear what’s inside their prison walls. They’re a number, not a person. It’s dark and it’s dangerous. It’s not filled with life and/or rehabilitation. It’s filled with segregated gangs; your color and ethnicity matters because that pre-determines your space, affiliation and housing and HIGHLY INFLUENCES what you learn and become.

But our Beautiful Jesus resides inside prisons and He reminds us through awareness that re-offenders lack relationships.

What would your faith look like if God said to you what He specifically spoke to my heart, There’s an amazing door of opportunity standing wide open for you [me] to minister here, even though there are many who oppose and stand against [you] me (1 Corinthians 16:9 TPT)?

Truly, God spoke those very words to my heart.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

As Christians, we are commanded to stand with the oppressed and fight injustice. What kind of Christians are we; ones with selective obedience accommodating our facades or are we, as a community, going to start loving more and rebuking division and strife like we’re commanded?

It’s not about us! Relationships matter. Re-offenders lack relationships!

Addressing our high recidivism rates requires programming and services essential to decrease the re-offender rates and foster successful community reentry. Reducing recidivism will benefit both our offenders and our communities.

When I personally think of despair and discouragement, I am reminded of Joseph in the Bible who had ample reason to be discouraged and knew what longstanding imprisonment offered.

Joseph endured the death of his mother, along with the conspiracy and hatred from his brothers.

Can you imagine the gut-punching torturous blow in being cast into a pit and then sold into slavery?

That’s unfathomable sibling rivalry.

Then to face imprisonment due to false accusations, OMG!!!

I don’t know about you, but my abandonment issues seem rather inconsequential.

Being molded by pain along with having a personal, intimate knowledge and relationship with God, allows us to survive and prosper where most would fail.

Being betrayed and deserted by family undoubtedly leaves deep emotional wounds that only God could graciously heal. Add in a long incarceration, being punished for doing what’s right, Joseph was even forgotten by those he helped.

But God doesn’t forget because He resides inside our prisons and knows what is on the other side of our circumstances.

Joseph’s life is one of God’s most powerful and miraculous stories of what redemption offers. Even saving his offensive family during the famine.

My heart of hearts believes that our beautiful Jesus wants to transform our deep losses and grave disappointments the same way He did for Joseph. God can and will make a way.

I don’t know about you, but I have decided to be a “Doer” of the Word and not just a “Hearer” that James 1:22 talks about.

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries believes God allows crises or shows us problems so we can be part of the solution.

Relevant truth for today: Where we are RIGHT NOW is not our final destination, nor is it for our incarcerated.

Looking through the lens of God’s Great Love, we are able to believe that what lies ahead on the other side of our circumstances is greater strength and victory.

One bad circumstance leading to reintegration.

No story is beyond redemption.

We can’t overcome what we don’t confront.

Living for a cause greater than myself reminds me to maintain the rights of the oppressed that Psalm 82:3–4 expresses. This passion was birthed by a personal crisis which led to a bigger cause.

We need to prioritize what matters. It’s not so much about the events or the many circumstances of life, but our response to them. Our incarcerated haven’t responded appropriately and when they get out of prison after serving time for their crime, they will repeat if we do not intervene and start rehabilitating them while incarcerated.

The most important thing I pray our hearts remember, once our returning citizens are back into society, we need to be prepared to disciple them, encourage them and surround them with love while walking alongside of them. Being prepared to help, not discriminate, will ensure safer communities and society assets.

Until next time…

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https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews+13%3A3&version=NIV

Don’t Hate, Rehabilitate!

Don’t Hate, Rehabilitate!

When you’re surrounded for years with only other incarcerated beloveds and their criminal conduct, we wonder why our recidivism rates are so high!

Our prisoners need rehabilitation leading to transformation while they’re doing time for their crimes. Long-standing punishment without restoration is why two out of three offenders return back to state prison within three years after being released.

Hurt People Hurt Others!

Society will continue to pay with more crime, lives and homelessness if we do not step in and do more by intervening and moving them towards restoration, reintegration and redemption!

Embracing that today’s offender will be tomorrow’s neighbor supports the very core and mission of Blameless and Forever Free Ministries which is organized to reduce the recidivism rate, expand community safety and awareness, and disrupt the cycle of re-offending.

We need to do more! Introducing our incarcerated to Jesus by pouring His Great Love into their lives covers them with grace and motivation leading to transformation and a smoother transition back into society.

Reentry programs and the love of Jesus are a powerful tool for successful transitioning and are desperately needed in our prisons today. Otherwise, our incarcerated who have never dealt with what brought them to prison in the first place will be shackled with what they have picked up during their prison term: additional criminal conduct, habits and unhealthy behaviors that are being brought back into and infecting society.

Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering (Hebrews 13:3).

Long-standing punishment has gotten us nowhere except for high recidivism rates. It’s time we start meeting and embracing our prisoners right where they’re at and pouring the love of Jesus into their lives. Their lives do matter!

Until next time…

Re-offending Lacks Relationship!

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Relational Justice

Blameless Prison Doors

Relational Justice

When you think of offenders doing time for their crimes in state prison, what is your initial response?  Losers?  Criminals?  Drug addicts?  Who cares?

Who ends up in our prison system anyways?  Do we even care?  Or does our prison system take care of that for us? 

Being honest, I admit to being hypocritical; once considering them all vile through my own lens of judgment and condemnation until the Lord allowed a crisis to enter my own life to see who really exists inside this dark and dangerous dungeon. 

Their precious lives matter!

Realizing our prison system is broken and filled with the same repeat offenders, you know, the individuals who went to prison, served their time, got released, re-offended, and then goes back to prison and starts the whole process again; something needs to change.

If we’re all a part of each person’s contribution to society, good or bad, our hearts need compassion through awareness of what an incarcerated beloved goes through.

Being the founder of Blameless and Forever Free Ministries, I know personally who ends up in our prison system:  Hurt people!  Hurt people hurt others!  When wounds stemming from childhood traumas or other hurts are never healed, other vices/actions often become the crutch in dealing with triggers and pain that’s been holding them captive in a torturing cell of hell.

Imagine being shackled in your own cell of hell while serving time behind bars in prison. We’re not negating the pain these prisoners have caused to others, but we’re sharing being caged up like an animal without rehabilitation is only going to make wounded hearts hardened and calloused. This leads them to continue to hurt others, even inside the prison walls.

 

I’ve experienced personally what unhealed pain has caused; the tearing apart of my own family along with hurting another and their family all in the name of fighting.  My son is being released from Folsom State Prison this year.  He has completed serving time for his crime and considers his incarceration a blessing in disguise.

But is society going to accept him back into population with open arms as he transitions or are the flaming arrows and emotional daggers going to penetrate deeper into an already wounded soul through discrimination, obstacles and judgment?

Relational Judgment

What many beloveds don’t realize is what our prisoners go through once they’re released and why rehabilitation is not only vital for our incarcerated, but for society as a whole.

Without transformation from rehabilitation, the incarcerated will never receive the opportunity to succeed with the many obstacles they face, and society will continue to absorb the cost, monetarily and/or possibly with lives, producing more victims leading us nowhere except entangled in this vicious cycle of broken people.

Suffering doesn’t have to lead us to constant failures where frustration and bitterness develops, but it should lead us instead into creative forces for positive changes.  That is transformation.  It can’t take place with just the offenders solely through long-standing punishment, society needs to play a proactive, integral role in transformation.  We are all a part of the solution and need to change.

Transformation is a process, not an overnight conversion and/or purpose.  Changing the way we utilize our prisons so people come out rehabilitated and not worse than what led them there in the first place is vital in building and giving hope to our prisoners.

 

Blameless State Prison Grounds
 

How can we do this?

Being the founder of Blameless, I sure don’t have all the answers, but I’m proactively working with the incarcerated and governmental entities and community members to help find the need behind the need and set up a plan of attack to help contribute to the lives that need help. Blameless believes not doing anything due to fear of failure is not acceptable when many lives are at stake.

With my 20 years experience in the law field, being a chaplain, serving on Folsom State Prison’s Inmate Family Council along with sharing the gospel with the incarcerated and their families, Blameless is now transitioning its focus towards the rehabilitation side and reentry programs for the incarcerated.

This is Blameless’ contribution to help stabilize the homeless epidemic. Without rehabilitation, most offenders will end up either homeless adding to our homeless epidemic or back into crime leading to more prison time.

Public safety issues effect more than just the criminal justice system.  Our prison systems are working towards rehabilitation, but it’s going to take continual effort with changes thinking outside the box.  The old ways are not working.

I believe relational justice must include God and His Great Love serving as the anchor for everything built upon it and will change the way our prisons function.  We will focus on making our offenders emotionally healthier from the inside out with tools to become better than when they entered prison.  This is instrumental in successful reentry before they’re released.

Punishment is never going to work being the long-lasting solution. Yes, offenders need to do time for their crimes, with their punishment meeting their crime, but they should be allowed to change before they’re released. And once they’ve done their time, they should be accepted back into society.

What good is it for society, much less the offender, to be released back into communities where incapacitation and preclusion rules?

Punishment can no longer be the sole answer.  Rehabilitation needs to exist along with punishment. Rehabilitation requires love and action. The vast majority of our incarcerated are never visited and/or encouraged and supported to help facilitate healthy hearts and minds.

Many chaplains, churches and nonprofits, along with our state prison systems, are transitioning into focusing on rehabilitation and God’s Great Love, but we need an army to stand on the front lines with the oppressed and fight injustice.

If deterrence worked, our prisons would be empty.

Transformation is a process. The opportunities have to outweigh the many obstacles. Transformation starts with the offender.  It starts with the offender taking personal responsibility for their actions and deciding to change.  It’s hard to take that initiative when one is not loved and/or supported.  Families need to get involved along with society.

Click here to continue reading more…

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Everyone Has Value!

Everyone Has Value!

Who do you think ends up in our state prison facilities?  Do we actually even care who’s occupying space in our prison system or does the state prison itself take care of that for us?

What if your son, a brother, your father, your mother or even your husband was there, would you care?

Or would you hide behind your own veil of shame?

We’re all tired.  We’re all trying to survive…

Everyone’s drinking a bit just to take the edge off of it.  Everyone’s smoking.  Wired, yet tired.  Even popping a pill or two to just do.  We’re all tired.  Everyone’s at the end of the rope without any hope! 

We’re all distracted.  Doing everything we can just to keep calm…

Just to keep it together. 

Everyone’s high just to get by!!!

Everyone’s terrified hiding behind their pride!

We all mess up and we all need forgiveness.

Every failed relationship needs another to try again.

Blameless Respect

What is the worst thing you’ve ever done?

Be honest…

Now imagine it being known and exposed to all who dare to look, kind of like living with it taped to both your forehead and back.

How would you feel being completely exposed??? 

Probably would have to get high just to get by. 

Maybe even rob the mob and sob…

How we survive prison is a life-long commitment…

Prisoners survive most sentences.  Sooner or later, they return to the long-awaited outside world.

But is it really what they had hoped for, even fantasized about? 

Nobody thinks about how they’re going to be discriminated against, even tagged with the big “F” as in felon precluding them from getting a decent job, a car, a roof over their head or even vote. 

No one told them that they would have to live making minimum wage just to work.  How can you possibly save enough money to get a car to drive to work, much less support a family with a roof over your head? 

Nobody ever said you’d end up becoming a working homeless person just to survive in a world that is full of hate and condemnation. 

You did the time for your crime, but now you’re forced to live on a dime!

With sobering statistics showing that two out of every three incarcerated return back to State Prison within three years, as a society we are all imprisoned by their incarceration.  Once they are released and walk through those pearly gates, these beloveds must live by a completely foreign set of values and rules.

They have lived under the governance of institutionalized thinking being caged up like animals, but since we’re so good at punishing and not rehabilitating, prisoners forget quickly into their imprisonment how to critically think and function because it was all figured out for them being incarcerated. 

Being institutionalized told them when to wake, pee, eat, shower, exercise, work, etc. 

Kind of like a herd of sheep in their protective pens. 

But this institutionalized thinking never permitted them to deal with the issues that led the prisoners to commit the crimes that incarcerated them in the first place.  Now they’ve been forced to suppress that pain and have developed more issues from being incarcerated.

And we throw them back into reality with a whole new world that jeers their every move with spears of judgment, hate, ridicule, condemnation, discrimination and a lack of acceptance?

Not to mention, if they didn’t have an outpouring of love from family and friends who supported them with love and visitation during their incarceration, how can we expect them to successfully reenter society?

How can we make changes in our thinking and help our incarcerated reintegrate, rehabilitate ushering them into redemption to stay out of prison for the rest of their lives? 

God commands us to stand with the oppressed and fight injustice, so…

One major weakness I find being a chaplain, transitioning Blameless and Forever Free Ministries towards the reentry side for our prisoners along with having served on the Inmate Family Council at Folsom State Prison, not even a tenth of all prisoners have contact visitation with loved ones and friends. 

And without any love and support, we expect them to have successful transition back into society?

Everyone has value! 

Re-offenders lack relationships!

Until next time…

Reoffending Lacks Relationship

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Blameless and Forever Free Ministries Tammy Ingram Founder Hebrews 13.3

The Incarcerated Say, “Thank You For Loving Us!”

Blameless Hebrews 13.3

The Incarcerated Say

Thank You For Loving Us!

How often do we go through life being thanked for loving another?  Especially those with differing faiths, colors and cultures? 

How about being thanked for simple, random acts of kindness that flow naturally from the love in our hearts?

Should our expectations demand acknowledgement and recognition?

I honestly never really experienced what walking out Christ’s mission, ministry and soul was like, understanding His interaction and engagement with EVERYONE, until I started pouring life into the rejected and abandoned; our homeless and incarcerated.  They’ve taught me what love means…

Blameless Warrior/Thank You

Working with the homeless and the incarcerated has emphasized how we are living in a self-serving, loved-deprived culture. 

Sadly, it’s much easier to hate and judge, using others for our own gain, yet so unfathomable to love ALL OF MANKIND through our actions when there’s no benefit to ourselves and/or acknowledgement and recognition.

When was the last time you heard the words, “Thank you for loving us”? 

Much less from those incarcerated?

Break…

My…

Heart!

I felt led to share a recent thank-you card in order to shed light to some of the lives that exist inside our prison systems. 

Admittedly, I used to judge and criticize those incarcerated until my own crisis developed with having a son incarcerated due to fighting.

But I lean in being convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into our lives, for we are His lovers who have been called to fulfill His designed purpose (Romans 8:28 TPT).

This beautiful and touching card came from inmates at Folsom State Prison demonstrating what a little love and rehabilitation leading to redemption offers. 

They don’t know Jesus, YET…

I’m honored to be transitioning my nonprofit, Blameless and Forever Free Ministries, to stand with the oppressed and fight for injustice as an avenue to help stabilize our homeless epidemic.  Their successful re-entry back into society keeps more beloveds from adding to our homeless epidemic that is out of control. 

Every life matters!

Look at those eyes on the card!!! Talk about a gift of artistry.  Her eyes captivate me.  The twinkling radiates with life as if she’s actually looking back at me.  What a work of art!

I’m not a badass or warrior princess as some of the inmates might say, because honestly, sometimes I’m so paralyzed in fear and scared to death, I have to continue remembering I’m surrounded by angel armies!  I have a much easier time being referred to as Mama Tammy or Miss Tammy. 

I’m just walking out being obedient to whom my Father says I am, His precious daughter, that the Lord God Almighty chooses to work through as one of His vessels to pour out His Great Love!

“…The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few” (Matthew 9:37; Matthew 9:35-38).

Through the chiseling of my own calloused heart and loving on the homeless and the incarcerated, I’ve had my eyes opened to what God’s Great Love does to those who have been thrown out, rejected and abandoned.  They’re starving!

Maybe it’s because I understand that deep, torturing loss, through my own life crises.

What I once took somewhat for granted and expected, God’s Great Love, many are desperate for and would do anything to be led through that door.

Why shouldn’t we all be extended an invitation to engage in a relationship with our Beautiful Jesus and be loved on?  Jesus doesn’t discriminate, He invites us all.

Our world is starving for love!  And our incarcerated are no exception to that rule and need God’s Great Love!

Thank you, Beautiful Jesus, for allowing me to see society’s desperation and need for Your Great Love through your lens!  Talk about masterpieces…

Thank you, Lord, for the boldness and courage to stand with the oppressed and fight injustice.  Every life matters!  I’m beyond blessed to see Your hand and covering of Love to those who desperately need an encounter with You!

Until next time…

Do It Again, God!  Do It Again!

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The Gift Of Presence…

The Gift Of Presence…

Priceless!

Hi friends and family, I know I’ve been absent this past month.  Forgive my overwhelmed schedule.  But I couldn’t let Christmas go by without saying, I’m praying that we all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

But first…

Are you wanting, and willing, to give “THE PERFECT GIFT” of Christmas that far surpasses any and all cost? 

We love because God first loved us.  And our love for others is our grateful response to the love God first demonstrated to us (1 John 4:19).  God gave His one and only Son as a gift to us.

So giving the gift of presence might just be the most precious gift we can give to those we love.  Wrapping ourselves in consideration and conscientiousness embraces those we love, hearts become mended as the bow becomes untied and lives become alive and blossom like wildflowers.

Presence is a genuine expression of love.

Presence says “you matter”…

Presence offers peace…

Presence initiates healing…

Presence delivers love…

Presence initiates generosity…

A life of generosity demonstrates God’s genuine love and presence.

Presence is priceless!

Showing up and being present is invaluable.

Christmas Love

Putting away the electronics to listen embraces consideration.  Listening without thinking creates closeness.  Being attentive and mindful requires casting all judgment aside.  Instead, following every line and wrinkle, the twinkle radiating from the eyes, the battle scars and sweet freckles that make up this amazing masterpiece before us tells us more than a story…

Our presence and attentiveness is a gift that speaks volumes and shows we care.  We can’t put a price tag on that and it will never go out of style.  It could start a trend that is re-gifted over and over and over again.  Talk about paying it forward.

And even though it might be a cliche, there’s no time like the present!!!

May we be the gifts that God uses as His presence to bring hope, cheer and joy this year.

Heck, sharing a box of chocolates can and will unite lives with all its feel-good endorphins, not to mention sweeten the atmosphere and those that indulge.  Sharing in the tasting indulgence creates experiences filled with love, joy and peace.

I don’t know about you, but I have absolutely no self-control when it comes to a box of See’s Candy so you’ll know where to find me this year!

May you feel and experience God’s sweetness, His presence and His abiding love throughout this holiday season and through each new day of the coming year!

And because faith makes all things possible, hope makes all things work together, and God’s Great Love makes all things beautiful, may you be blessed with ALL three gifts this Christmas.

Until next time…

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

 

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Gratitude: A Glimpse Through The Lens Of Images…

 

Gratitude: A Glimpse Through The Lens Of Images…

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, friends and family!  I just wanted to share rather quickly how grateful I am for you, your life, and your heart to sojourn alongside of me through this crazy journey called life. 

I’m sharing with all y’all an excerpt of an email I sent out to all my nonprofit’s financial partners and the invaluable volunteers who make up Blameless in being God’s hands and feet.

So on behalf of myself, and Blameless and Forever Free Ministries, Happy Thanksgiving!  We are grateful for you and are blessed to hear and witness all the amazing stories and testimonials that God created and designed for His purpose and destiny.  Talk about amazing grace!

Happy Thanksgiving!

With Thanksgiving upon us, we are eternally grateful that you are a part of the Blameless family.

Your support not only fuels our work, but it inspires us to create a much more compassionate and loving world.  This encouragement enables us to be a part of stabilizing the homeless epidemic and now transitioning into re-entry programs for the incarcerated.  It’s an honor to be able to serve our communities through a sprinkling of God’s Great Love..

We’re pleased to share with you a few pictures illustrating our work throughout the year. 

Thank you for supporting us and being with us on Thanksgiving, over the hectic holidays, and throughout each year.
 
 
 

Feeding hundreds of food-insecure beloveds and friends in need (homeless)!

 

Erin, homeless veteran, and single mother…

No longer homeless!

 

Tammy and Dave, no longer homeless!

Tammy is employed with

the founder’s son’s company.

 

Martin, stage four cancer, found family.

No longer homeless!

 

And many more no longer homeless!

 

Gypsy homeless, helping clean up Roseville (top left photo)!

 

Suits 4 Homeless Event!

 

Just Because… Event!

 

#GivingTuesday Event!

 

 

Blameless is now transitioning into re-entry programs for the incarcerated! 
 
Blameless believes generous hearts meet the offenders right where they’re at because one day they will become our neighbors.

 

With Gratitude,

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries

 
Until next time…

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Re-Entry Back Into Society…

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Re-Entry Back Into Society…

Transitioning from institutionalized thinking to independent thinking!

Hi friends and family!  I’m praying that this week our hearts will be so full of love, that we will embrace others who are completely different from us. 

I’m going to start sharing where this challenging expansion of my nonprofit is taking me, not just for accountability purposes, but sharing my fears and insecurities sojourning into areas I’m far from qualified to engage in, but have been called to.

God is doing amazing things with Blameless and Forever Free Ministries as we transition into the re-entry programs for the incarcerated.  If society doesn’t support them, they’ll become homeless and be prone to unlawful conduct.  And with 600,000 prisoners nationwide being released each year, we don’t need to add to our homeless epidemic.

I’ll be breaking up my writings into smaller chunks after this one since there are areas I, myself, never gave much thought to and can be perceived as quite overwhelming. 

Words alone won’t impact people, but the power of God that is manifested through our lives does.

Is everyone really welcomed in today’s society?  How we respond to the oppressed, our incarcerated and homeless, is a perfect heart check.  It’s one thing to say everyone is welcome, but it’s another to support it with actions.

Upon release, the incarcerated walk out through the pearly gates overwhelmed.  Freedom at last!  But a whole new foreign world rushes in.  Fantasies never detected the strong sting of transition.  Focus is scattered.  Between the nervous kind of energy and the adrenaline flooding from their systems, each pump and beat resembles more of a prison break than a release date.

It takes bravery to feel and experience this fear while keeping self-controlled.  It’s the hardest thing anyone could do, especially without a support system!

The typical offender is released from prison with nothing but a new state identification card, a $250 debit card, a bus ticket, and the clothes on their back.  This is how our incarcerated re-enter society. 

One minute everything is institutionalized thinking and controlled and suddenly it’s independently dependent on thyself.  Change is hard.  If that’s not hard enough, try existing again being branded with the big “F” as in “Felon.” 

Blameless Words That Restore

Connections provide the spark that is needed for the journey back to a vital and dignified life.

Welcoming our returning citizens (incarcerated) back into community takes preparation. With 2/3 of all inmates ending up back in prison within three years of their release dates, we need to start investing in them before they leave their institutions and thereafter. 

Investing in people and human dignity, we will reap the rewards of a safer and sound community for ourselves.

If we take the time to teach them how to take care of themselves, they’ll be able to take care of themselves, their family and their communities.

That’s rehabilitation, right?

We mustn’t forget that our incarcerated are branded for life.  They are handicapped.  That is their new reality also. 

With 25 percent of the population having arrest records, that means there are more people with arrest records than college degrees.

That is a mind-blowing concept to me.  We wonder why the world is the way it is today.  It’s too easy to hate and hard to love!  This is both sobering and motivating.

Another interesting statistic is, why do so many people end up back in prison?

I have a criminal record!

No, I don’t personally have a criminal record.  I do have a son that does.  And according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, with having 2.3 million people incarcerated annually along with over 4.7 million on some form of parole or probation, every family has at least one beloved in need of extra grace. 

Shocking statistics, but one in every four Americans has an arrest record.  That’s a staggering statistic.

What does a person with an arrest record look like?

Speaking of my son, he’s smart, handsome with blue eyes and blonde hair and loves his mother and daughter to eternity.  He’s an amazing father.  His heart is full of compassion and he’s working on completing his degree. 

He made a mistake in getting into a fight and is doing time for his crime.  Once released, he will have his mother outside those pearly gates to surround him with love, support and help guiding him back into society being a productive member. 

Why do people return to prison?  For one, their criminal record discriminates them from essential matters that we take for granted, like housing and employment.

Successful reentry requires compassion, patience and forgiveness.

A typical three-year sentence costs taxpayers over $100,000 of investment dollars into their rehabilitation.  But where is this “rehabilitation” when one only knows institutionalized thinking and demands?

Statistics show one in five walking into prison is a result of not being convicted of a new crime, but for violating extra rules of their parole or probation that you and I could commit, without a criminal history or record, that otherwise would not be considered an offense. 

Violations could be something as minimal as missing a court date, a parole or therapy appointment, not having a stable job or housing, or even not paying fines.

Our prison system is very good at punishing people, but rehabilitation is lacking.  The real reason a person ended up in prison goes largely untreated.

Most ex-offenders leave the state prison facility with more problems than what brought them there in the first place; their pre-incarceration issues. 

Having said that, where do they start?  They are overwhelmed.  Every decision in every hour of their days incarcerated were managed and dictated by others while being incarcerated.  Their own personal decision-making skills atrophy.  They’re not used to thinking, every hour is already determined day in, day out.

How can we expect them to make better decisions and choices when everything is up against them? 

Without the tools taught during a successful transition back into society, the ugly process of incarceration starts all over again.

Many return homeless, indigent, with no place to go, no job, and no specialized training.

For those that do have a place to go to, whereas not to be homeless, some go back to the same environments that caused them the problems in the first place. 

I’ve seen firsthand what happens when an addict goes back to living with an addict.  They’re back in the dysfunction that caused their incarceration. 

Oooops, I’ll stop here.  I hope you’ll come back and hear more.

Generous hearts meet the offenders right where they’re at because they know one day that they will become our neighbors…

Until next time…

Blameless Teach Generosity

 

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Suitts 4 Homeless people

Suits 4 Homeless

Suits 4 Homeless!

Hi family and friends! I pray your week is filled with joy and strength to persevere through it, along with knowing how much I appreciate you for visiting my blog along with all the support I receive from your love!

So thank you, I appreciate you!

Since I’m busy doing a month-long event for my nonprofit called Blameless and Forever Free Ministries in order to initiate community involvement doing random “love tokens,” I wanted to share a snip-it of what we’re doing leading up to the big social media event called #GivingTuesday on December 3rd.

Sharing this tender event is a glimpse of what fuels my soul to always do more and love more because of the gracious hearts we get to encounter. This Suits 4 Homeless event brought me intense joy and is but just one reason why I love pouring life and healing into the homeless and the incarcerated.

And with the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” need I say more?

The amazing man in the picture is named Tony. I’ve known Tony and his beautiful bride now for a little over two years. They have had their ups and downs along with being forced to live in their vehicle due to disabilities and a lack of family support; a common thread of homelessness.

Tony is recovering from a triple bypass heart surgery and life being confined to living and existing in a vehicle has a tendency to strip any “man” of his pride and self-worth. So once Blameless received quite a few suits and dress shirts, Tony was the first person I could think of to bless.

And bless we did…

These suits almost appeared to be tailor-made to fit every inch of Tony’s frame. It was uncanning how they fit; but then again, with God’s Great Love, He does the supernatural! Remarkable.

Tony was so excited, he stripped down naked (almost) right between our vehicles and tried them on.

Lo and behold, I present you to the amazing and ever-so-joyful, Mr. Tony! He looks like a million bucks, right?

Suitts 4 Homeless people

And look at that smile…

One couldn’t look more handsome and/or be more appreciative!

Blameless has added onto this global social media event called #GivingTuesday an extension event called #TuesdayGiving4Love. This is created to cultivate fun community engagement, which changes the culture, inspires the church, and advances justice reform.

This #GivingTuesday4Love campaign is about encouraging people to see the soul, mission and ministry of Jesus by leaning into His very heartbeat, understanding His interaction and engagement with people, and how He tenderly loves and restores.  

Combating the enemy of loneliness and isolation takes a village!

That’s Tony’s beautiful bride in the center along with myself (tall one in back) and Miss Tennessee. I pray this tugs at your heart strings to help nonprofits like Blameless and Forever Free Ministries and others as we share the good news of the gospel with those in great need; most especially the homeless and incarcerated.

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

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Blameless and Forever Free Ministries 2 Tim. 4:16

When Faith Is All You Have To Hold Onto!

When Faith Is All You Have To Hold Onto!

Sitting numb with fear, I gasp for air as if I’ve forgotten how to breathe.  I regurgitate, “I can’t breathe,” but no one hears my pleas for help.

To say I cried me a Noah’s Flood would be an understatement!

Adrenaline floods my system and surges like it’s trying to escape.  Tears of anguish leave me trembling.  My slumped posture screams defeat.

As I hugged myself through the confusion of the courtroom, my bundle of joy was swaddled away in handcuffs.  Unable to flee the situation, shock ricochets up his spine.  It was almost as if you could smell burning flesh.

The puffy face and eyes were a dead giveaway to the verdict and the pain projecting from my body.  The bailiff hands me a box of tissue; he knew one or two wouldn’t do through the many issues.

This is when you doubt what you were once so secure in!

Doing Time With God!

No one is prepared to lose a loved one.  More excruciating, parents are never prepared when their child becomes incarcerated.  The loss is compelling, lamenting the death of their future seems almost self-serving, even selfish.  But it is a death, a loss of hope and dreams, with an evil twist of life.  And oftentimes, it delivers more grief due to the shunning and loss of relationships.

As a victim of abuse and addiction, orphaned and tossed to and fro, add in depression and suicidal tendencies along with being a domestic violence survivor, these traumas have strengthened me and molded me into the beloved I am today.

But when my son was arrested, my heart was never prepared to undergo this battlefield, this loss, the stigma and longstanding costs; spiritual, emotional, relational, financial and physical.  These costs were associated with an event reiterating a generational stronghold of rage in need of being severed instead of being swept underneath the rug.

Scurrying up the strength to share my grief and remove the veil of shame I was hiding behind, one by one people started trickling away when they heard my son got into a fight and was doing time for his crime. 

Oh, how they hounded me and became my best friend only to hear the news flash. 

Once I opened up my heart, it was as if I had the plague…

I was ousted. 

The tragedy of it all, friends and family trickled away, leaving both my son and I unsupported and completely alone, but…

We were both doing time with God!

Family member’s searing attacks vomit, “I don’t give a shit about you.  I’m not coming to support you, I’m coming to do something about this.”

As if my 24-hour days weren’t enough…

That’s called performance-based love, bordering more along the lines of abuse.

Where’s the love in that statement?

Sadly, their “concerns” were full of hot air and never materialized into even a visit with my son.  Maybe it was better they didn’t communicate with him since their actions supported similar conduct as to why he was incarcerated than support filled with needed love, hope and patience.

Why is it people try to make you feel guilty and blame you for their own behaviors and actions?

I hope and pray I’ll always be able to own up to my mistakes while forgiving others for theirs…

Prisoners of Hope!

Being a prisoner of hope, seeing light despite the darkness, is helping me pour love into my son’s emotional wounds. I know what it’s like to make mistakes and be abandoned because of them.  Being wrapped in unconditional love and offered a second chance to start over is a treasure worth digging for.

Physical violence has no place in my life, God’s Great Love overrides any mistakes and bad choices one makes. Rebuilding my son will take a lifetime, but we’re all works-in-progress anyways, right?

When faith is all you have to hold onto, you continue to see how God restores and turns even our most painful trials into good. 

God ended up being my ever-present, faithful and dependable friend that held me and carried me through the roughest few years I have ever walked through. Without His Love, I would have isolated, become depressed and probably fallen into addictive behaviors (Jesus Juice ♥) when all hell was breaking loose. 

Through His amazing grace, I was able to press through and become a justice ambassador with marching orders to speak life that restores those incarcerated. 

After all, my God changes things…

This mess will be more than a message!

How do you cope all alone underneath all the shaming and rejection delivered by the world?

Acknowledging our Lord is with us holding our hand, never leaving nor forsaking us, empowers us with confidence to receive this gift that keeps on giving which overflows into our children. They’ll experience relentless, unconditional love! Love never stops loving!

Those who are loved by God, let His love continually pour from [them] to one another, because God is love. Everyone who loves is fathered by God and experiences an intimate knowledge of Him (1 John 4:7 TPT).

The God of all comfort broke through and transformed all my wailing into a whirling dance of praise!

Seemingly insurmountable challenges are the breakfast of champions for three years, two months, and ten days. But who’s counting?

A Mother’s Love Never Gives Up…

Do you know how hard it is to love when you’ve never experienced it before?

Mighty waves of restoration crashed upon me causing me to be stronger than ever before along with stepping into increase filled with life and love.  God’s love is enthralling.

Lifting up my eyes and looking about kept me from turning inward, focusing on myself and my suffering.  Pain is demanding, often suffocating.  It’s hard to believe that God is doing something in and through our lives when they’re riddled with pain, but that’s the blessing when faith is all you have to hold onto!

Until next time…

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Learning God’s Unforced Rhythms Of Grace…

Learning God’s Unforced Rhythms Of Grace…

Reproducing Godly Behaviors

Hi family and friends! I’m praying this week is filled with the little treasures of life, you know, pure love and lots of laughter living through the lens of childlike faith.

Personally, I found myself starting to mirror our world by becoming anxious and spiraling out of control. The intensity of power and control robs us of peace.

It’s nice to get unplugged from all the Breaking News and tap into God’s beautiful gift called His unforced rhythms of grace.

Reproducing Godly behaviors is God’s desire for His beloveds through our fruitfulness. Being challenged to be an example of Godliness to the world and other believers is humbling when you’re living in a glass house requiring maintenance to constantly wash your windows!

God tells us…

Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways (Matthew 4:26).

How does one give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways when one side wants life and peace while the carnal lust for power wants control?

That’s when my Lord speaks loudly to my heart saying: Tammy, pay attention to what I say; Listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to your body (Proverbs 4:20-22).

Letting God lead us simply means it’s not about us anymore. That’s easier said than done and requires our deliberate focus and seeking, not freaking, to know His next step.

God was pulling my heart strings to let Him guide the way by just sitting at His feet (resting) in total surrender (calmness and trust) instead of being tied up in knots planning all the backup plans of “what-ifs” and the freaking out to orchestrate Plans B and C.

Speaking candidly here, that Control Freak rears her ugly head and wants to wrestle with the Lord resembling Chuckie sometimes!

Why we waste energy worrying and forfeiting peace is beyond me. And why God continues to pursue is beyond our finite minds.

God’s relentless love shapes the way we live and love!

God’s Love is relentless. He speaks, “Child of mine, I want to bless and speak to you in foreign ways. I want you to sit back and trust me. I am giving you an illustration to soothe your anxious thoughts while living under unforced rhythms of grace. You will soon see how I’m going to put everything together. This test is developed to stretch and increase your faith. Trust me.”

His relentless love showcases dolphins, beautiful and playful dolphins, which is a majestic form God sometimes uses to speak to me. It taps into my childlike wonder and delivers comfort to trust. Kind of like my blue butterflies.

Here I am wrapped up so tightly in my own destructive battlefield strategically planning everything out, I lose valuable and precious time that God intended for me to just be, relaxing and basking in how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ (Ephesians 3:18).

Too Blessed To Be Stressed?

I tend to forget to walk out the mindset and authority given by Jesus that I’m too blessed to be stressed! Because if you’re anything like me, you find yourself worrying, planning and stressing yourself out only to look back later and say, “Why did I do that? I created my own fanatical crisis!”

Are you tired?

I am…

Worn out?

Hello…

Burned out on religion?

I don’t do religion; thank you very much! It’s all about a relationship with my beautiful Lord Jesus.

God pursues us saying, Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavily or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly (Matthew 11:28-30 MSG).

Sweet friend, learn from my lack of trust and obstinance. DO NOT rob God of His amazing gift. His unforced rhythms of grace are easy and light. He never tires in grabbing us by the bit to redirect our stubborn fits, but His Great Love filled with help (no more backup plans) is ALWAYS AVAILABLE if we’ll just trust Him enough to let go of the wheel!

Our Father God REALLY is concerned about every area of our lives. He relentlessly pursues us. Life doesn’t have to be hard. Life is full of beauty and splendor when we learn to let go and TRY and remember it’s not about us anymore.

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

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Smile, It Confuses People!

Smile, It Confuses People!

Hi family and friends! I pray your week has been full of God’s Great Love and awe as you adore the changing of seasons. Fall is in the air!

My schedule has been rather overwhelming lately so I missed last week’s post. Sorry about that! As much as I wanted to carve out time, time is not something that is on my side these days. God is shaking and changing things dramatically in my life, which is super exciting!

Stay tuned!

But…

The ugliest thing I’ve ever seen, as of late, is a human being without compassion…

After comforting one of my girlfriends due to false accusations against her character, we were praying together and Psalm 120 popped into my mind immediately so I knew the Lord wanted us to focus on it and not the offenders.

That’s easier said than done at times…

One thing I am passionate about, I believe people who assault through gossip and back-biting need Jesus and a job. And those that profess to be Christians and dishonor my Lord through their deception and lies, they need more than prayer and grace. It may be called forgiveness, but sometimes that becomes really hard to activate!

I get so frustrated and sad when watching those that profess to know Jesus help the enemy out through their lies and the deception flowing from their burning tongues, but…

Right before we started praying, we both started laughing like little girls because these “offenders” were focused and spending so much time trying to take that perfect “selfie,” that they didn’t even realize we were 20 feet from them.

And if I’m going to be honest here, it took everything to not get up and confront them, but this was my girlfriend’s battle who is still working on confrontation, so I released hold.

But…

My girlfriend gave me full reign to pray as I wished and my unfiltered mouth rebuked them and their actions.

It’s called pushing back darkness while being a GOOD FRIEND, so…

But the beauty beholds from the words penned in Psalm 120:1-4:

I was desperate for you to help me in my struggles, and you did!
So come and deliver me now from this treachery and false accusation.
O lying deceivers, don’t you know what is your fate?
You will be pierced through with condemnation and consumed with burning coals of fire!

Always believe something beautiful is going to happen!

Deceivers destroy. I wanted deliverance and vindication for my girlfriend, but being the better and not bitter person (so hard, too!), communication with love instead of hate would be what Jesus would do.

I have to remember (self-control) that sometimes we don’t understand how our actions offend and hurt others, so…

I wanted peace and healing to overwhelm my girlfriend’s bleeding heart.

And this battlefield was filled with flaming arrows of deception from lying lips. I can’t allow my precious friends to drown in a sea full of slanderous sharks, so I choose to stand up for justice and truth with a moral compass that opposes and refuses to be compromised!

Whatever happened to affirmations of love and acceptance sprinkled with encouragement?

We all want the security of belonging; otherwise, we will find vices and relationships that offer nothing but bad behaviors and unhealthy sources that fill nothing but moral turpitude.

And I admit, “moral turpitude” may be a rather profound legal word, but these Christian leaders were violating souls while being catty in their cliques. And I love the church, just not all the actions delivered.

But remembering the world is changed by our examples, not by our opinions.

And honestly, there is a grave difference between religion and relationship.

My only competitor is who I was yesterday!

I love when prayer removes all the toxicity of life and the remnants from the trials. My girlfriend and I decided to CHOOSE to celebrate each other and not compare ourselves with others; that our ONLY competitor is who we were yesterday.

Having special friends, sometimes I’m like a roaring lion when those that I love get hurt. After all, I am strong because I’ve been weak. I am courageous only because Jesus transformed the cowardly. I’m fearless because I’ve been afraid and paralyzed by fear. I am wise because I have been quite foolish at times…

And sweet friend, regarding the being “quite foolish at times,” it doesn’t always involve that tall drink of water, if you know what I mean! I’m smiling…

Forgiveness delivers peace within our broken pieces!

Forgiveness doesn’t tell us or mean that the hurt goes away. Sometimes ugly words cause emotional wounds and scars that stay with us. Even Jesus still had His scars when He presented Himself to His disciples, you know, the holes in His hands; meaning He still had battle scars. But He was filled with resurrecting power. Forgiveness just means we release its control over us.

God is faithful as He was with my girlfriend. Before we left, she was vindicated. Our smiles spoke of love and life while their “selfie” smiles confused people.

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

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Never Let Me Go…

In Search of Hope and Validation!

My sons and I struggle.  We struggle with trust.  Bleeding hearts keep other hearts at bay, sometimes without recognition.  We suffer from deep emotional wounds and scars that sometimes hurt one another.  Sadly, hurt people hurt others.

We want to fully trust others with unconditional love, but walls of defense built on fears of rejection are hard barriers to demolish.

I get my youngest’s struggle with lack of trust.  After all, he is my son and he learned both the good and bad characteristics deep within my underbellies.

Family is something we hold near to our hearts because it’s just us.  We don’t have other family to celebrate with or to lean on for support and encouragement.  Hope and validation is what our foundation is built upon.  Hope is our great motivator.

Establishing healthy new generations and traditions is vital, but fear of rejection threatens the very core of our foundation.

Disease, dysfunction and death have taken the multitude, but disappointment and dejection linger…

For me, leaning into my Lord when I’m trying to overcome dejection and loss is where my source of hope and validation is found.  I ponder the beautiful words in Psalm 32:7, “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.”

My son wrestles with the Lord’s Love with all the tribulation surrounding his life and tends to unravel with anger to fight off the depression.

Rejection can smother any room with despair when hope (grace and mercy) is right in front of us leading the way!

We are broken and works in progress like most.  We come from generations of dysfunction, addiction and abuse, like many families. The scars left behind, though, due to abandonment can create further generational strongholds if we don’t faith the fear and allow the Lord room for healing.

Several generations had to learn the hard way, and we’re talking imprisonment, before the shackles of rejection and shame released their hold and freedom delivered a powerful message of hope and validation.

How is it some of the fiercest leaders have suffered great pain?  Is it the constant pounding that leads to a tender heart?

How and why God molds and rebuilds from the lowest point is inconceivable to this finite mind.

Someone has to trust!

But trust who?

We play off our pain through layers of comedy and laughter.

This is how we have learned, and adjusted, to plow through great pain and suffering.

It’s awkward and uncomfortable changing this characteristic, but this discomfort is healing, healthy and communicative!  Humility and compassion bridges new beginnings and healthy relationships.

We sit across the table from one another and grieve, both struggling with the rawness in dealing with life, betrayal and lack of trust.  How do we trust others again? Where does a compassionate heart draw the line?

As a mother/grandmother full of wisdom and experiences, I should be able to console my son with ease regarding trust, but I can’t.  Not easily, anyways.  Not right now.  I’m still trying to figure out how to process and navigate trust myself.  I used to just laugh off pain and suppress it instead of feeling it, processing it and releasing it.

Tears come from the heart where healing starts!

Tears replace laughter, but through the discomfort, healing starts.  All I can do is be honest, share my heart and offer unconditional acceptance/love.  One reason God gave us family.

Sometimes a heart can be full of darkness hiding behind a smile!

We laugh hysterically when my son interjects, “Don’t worry, mom, I’ll wipe your butt when you can’t.”  There’s hope and validation in those words.

Sometimes laughter can pave a way to handle the unknown.

Sadly, I subconsciously taught my children to make jokes when life gets hard and uncomfortable.

People may love to be around jovial spirits, but sometimes it’s covering up deep emotional pain.

We’re scared.  New beginnings abound.  My children and I have sojourned alone for so long and with being honest about our fears, whether through laughter, tears or anger, it’s communicated raw with unfiltered honesty.  It’s completely foreign and difficult. 

Through God’s grace, the intimacy and trust we’re developing is real and beautiful.

We have to fight hard to keep our small family intact, but it’s only growing larger and stronger through the transparency of the glue (love) that holds all things together.  God’s Great Love changes everything!

Others left me when their promised and expected love was initiated, but betrayal replaced unconditional love and scarred the heart.

Everyone hurts others, intentional or accidental, through our words and/or actions, but THIS MAMA reassures with roars similar to the Lord’s, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).

Can we be fierce and tender at the same time?

Jesus was both fierce and tender, so…

If Jesus saw a problem or a need, I believe since His motives were based on love, and He was both lamb and lion, I believe that means our strength can be poured out as both tender and fierce!

Filtering disappointments through my Lord‘s love offers me wisdom through God’s eyes and not the torment of my own heart.  Processing life through the absolute assurance of His Great Love, it allows me space to trust whether I agree with the decision or not.

Leaving those around us feeling well cared for and loved is the greatest gift we can leave this world in.

I’m trying to be a fierce and tender beloved who is filled with God’s Great Love that recognizes validation this side of heaven is thwarted by the enemy.  Part of my job is to push back the darkness to allow God’s glory to illuminate our paths back to Him.

That’s when I get blessed to look into those baby blue eyes and say with hope, “I’ll never let you go, no matter what.  Restoration from your broken heart is around the corner.”

Until next time…