Monthly Archives: August 2017

There’s No Place Like Home! Heavy-Hearted Days

Blameless No Place Like Home

There’s No Place Like Home!

Heavy-Hearted Days

1 Peter 1:6-9

“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

 God Bless Texas!

There’s no place like home…  There’s no place like home… 

No matter how hard or how many times you click your heels (or cowboy boots), that yellow brick road will lead you home.  It won’t happen fast enough, nor be quite like the one you’ve had to flee from (I’m so sorry), but your journey filled with faith will lead you home.

Tears flow uncontrollably as I sit back and ponder a life well-weathered.  As I try to separate myself from the tragedies of the storm-ravaged Texas, the amazing Houstonians remind me of the great hope and faith this California girl fell in love with and what the Texan community offers.  Especially in tragedy!

We have to applaud the compassionate pursuit of the beloveds coming together rescuing one another during their own tragedy filled with shock and dismay.  Their lookout on the flooded horizon promises only what the Lord could deliver; that they may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ (Ephesians 3:18).

Where’s The Love? 

The Houston Way!

These people have lost everything.  Yet their focus relies on the journey, not “what was.”  They may be rescued from the flooding waters overcoming their homes, but this flooding only directs them to a place of unknowns filled with temporary provisions requiring possibly sleeping on cement floors alongside of total strangers where food and water is scarce.  This emulates homelessness, doesn’t it, lacking expected provision?

Yet their testimony and attitude embodies gratitude and grace that we all can learn from and mirror.  They don’t complain about the slim provision or carry anger filled with resentful hearts.  They are grateful for the moment and the safety of refuge.  They have no idea where they’re being led.  They just know they have to trust the leading from those who are being utilized as God’s hands and feet. 

And with alligators and snakes seeking refuge right alongside of them, we have to applaud and praise God for those masquerading angels that are aiding in the relief efforts as the flooding continues.  But will hysteria develop as shelters become overwhelmed with maximum capacity and limited resources leaving them scrambling?

Blameless Alligator

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear (Psalm 46:1). 

Fear…  Fear is a torturing juggling act!  To not fear is especially hard to remember when we’re suffering under cataclysmic conditions with no time to process along with not knowing what tomorrow offers.  When tragedy strikes and you lose your home, your valuables, your vehicle, your job, your connections, your normal mundane schedule, not to mention how you’re going to feed and care for your children and pets, and losing your life-line phone charger (hello!), the emotional storm capsizes the very vehicle of protection in the middle of this raging sea.

I have walked through these fears of the unknown with living in a temporary shelter for protection along with my children and let me share, it is HELL!  While you are still processing the shock, you are grateful for the roof over your head, but being sandwiched between the protection from the elements and the people leading the way that YOU DO NOT KNOW or TRUST, leaves little room for sweetness in-between wading through great loss.

Between the lack of privacy, personal space, co-ed restrooms, much less the freedom to shower to purge the remnants of evacuation, humidity, lack of running water, let alone essential feminine hygiene products that are usually at our disposal, strips away each and every layer of pride head-on. 

Being thrust into having to trust and rely on others with the same heart and motives that we do requires total faith and commitment that will usher and protect us during the unknown.  It’s imperative that we walk by faith and not by sight, but how do we trust God with all our Blameless Giantshearts and souls during a time that we are forced to face these scary giants in our lives?

Will we believe these giants are blessings reaching down from heaven or will our exhausted and wrecked hearts believe they’re the enemy coming solely to steal, kill and destroy? 

These beloveds right now are praising God because they’re being rescued from their flooded homes.  They rejoice because they have been reunited with their families.  They don’t know where they’re going to go next, nor do they know how they’re going to find the provision to get them to their respective jobs or where they’re going to be living next week.  Now, that’s a faithful servant requiring great faith.

We would bode well to pray and honor these beloveds through donations of any size to those who have lost everything.  They’re living out their lives during this tragedy with the whole world watching them.  They deserve support and encouragement.  These beloveds are testifying to what trials filled with desperation, extreme loss, faith and unity delivers:  V-I-C-T-O-R-Y!

When our lives and provision feel hopeless and depleted, feeling they’re falling apart, even though it’s easier said than done, we need to remember that our lives are falling into place somehow and some way.

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

Blameless Beautiful You

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Faith vs. Fear? Faith The Fear!

blameless-jail-3

Faith vs. Fear?

Faith the Fear!

“The first time I was brought before the judge, no one came with me.  Everyone abandoned me.  May it not be counted against them.  But the Lord stood with me and gave me strength…”  2 Timothy 4:16-17 NLT

 

Inmates!  When you think of this infamous title, what comes to mind?  Losers?  Prisoners?  Convicts?  Rejects deserving punishment? 

Better yet, what comes to mind when you hear of excessive force being used by correctional officers along with inmates’ Constitutional rights being violated? 

Who cares?  Hmmmm…

Anyone that knows me or has been following my blog for even a little while knows about my 110% complete devotion and support for ALL of our men and women in blue who have taken an oath and who selflessly sacrifice their lives to help protect and serve their communities. 

Okay, most of them anyways…  There’s always going to be a rotten apple in the barrel that infects and spoils the good ones.  Enough said!  I was married to a dirty cop so I know how that story goes…

That one bad apple didn’t stop me from going through the law enforcement chaplaincy academy after the fact and even serving as a chaplain for the past seven years, nor did being a victim of heinous crimes myself hinder my advocacy work and passion for the rejected and unloved. 

But when a beloved son finds himself in mayhem, I became sandwiched between our justice system and this corrupted force by witnessing firsthand violation after violation causing pain and turmoil to this mama’s child and others by the COs (correctional officers) not following the laws and the rules demanded by our U.S. Constitution.

Where’s the love in this world anymore?  We have become bullies hiding behind the power given to us through lack of governance, social media and our computer screens.  We have become fixated and thrive on corruption and crime and “colluding” and even become energized by real-life drama.  Talk about egotistical people without a moral compass.

When our three-year-olds are more familiar with the word “collude” instead of “loved,” we need to take a step back and examine how we are allowing the actions of others to influence our lives.  This includes how we utilize social media to peek, watch, stalk, gossip and even “date others” which is nothing more hazardous than to one’s “selfie.”

What happened to the meeting of minds face to face and loving our neighbors as ourselves?  Would you protect yourself by letting another brother be blamed for the fall?  If a child was getting hurt, would you intervene to protect them or would you click Facebook first and turn your video on and record instead of protecting them?

Every person is a child to some mother or father, so…  

What if this person was sitting in county jail awaiting trial; considered innocent until proven guilty, right?  Here he’s hurt, harassed, hazed, and even refused his Constitutional rights.  He’s put into a cell with another human’s feces on the walls.

Would you just ignore the inhumane discrimination because inmates are considered “losers” in jail or would you stand up for their rights and scream awareness against those who are abusing and usurping their authoritative powers?

This is frightening to come up against, but my God commands we work for justice.  Just because someone is in jail does not mean they’re dehumanized or any less of a Beloved.  God loves us all just the way we are, mistakes and all. 

These inmates have to do the time for their crimes, but between overcrowding, inhumane conditions, and being subjected to excessive force violates their Constitutional rights and it must be stopped.

What happens when you find yourself in the middle of Corruption versus Dedication?  Justice versus Usurping Authority?  Commitment versus Constitution?  Innocence versus Injustice?  Faith versus Fear?

I want to preface that I still stand behind law enforcement knowing full well there’s plenty of rotten apples, but when you find yourself having to go against some of those you once believed in and supported, the betrayal leaves you mad as hell with a passionate pursuit to end all this physical, emotional and spiritual harm. 

I had no idea advocacy meant I would find myself right smack in the middle of an exposed corruption ring within our correctional facilities through excessive force and inhumane conditions while a beloved child was at the core of just a minuscule part of it.

Between healing from surgery and going through further treatment alongside of this corruption case, writing is going to be sporadic and take a backseat as I fulfill my duties being a mom and an inmate advocate and making sure justice prevails.  There’s a mama’s heart that would love to react with my cast-iron horns fully emerged while spewing out flaming arrows, but…

I don’t know what emulating my Lord looks like exactly because each day there’s a new violation and I haven’t always reacted in a positive, loving manner with the COs with all of these emotions.  When your child is under the umbrella of abuse and injustice and his Constitutional rights have been violated again and again, you better believe I’m going to Faith the Fear boldly and courageously!  And I do not care WHO YOU ARE!

I am choosing to love my son mirroring the words penned from Paul in 2 Timothy 4:16-17.  I want him to feel the love of the Lord alongside of him through support, encouragement, visitation, phone calls, unconditional love and especially being an advocate demanding his due rights so he knows he’s not alone. 

Someone has to stand up for these inmates.  The system is slow and corrupt and families and friends dwindle away real quick.

I firmly believe hope replaces discouragement while trust overcomes doubt because my God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us (Ephesians 3:20).  That’s being His hands and feet!

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

Blameless Beautiful You Bouquet 2