Tag Archives: #Christmas

A Labor Of Love…

2020 sits heavy for many of us as it has been a hard year filled with challenges and unknowns. We mourn the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic, with its relentless rage throughout our communities; a year filled with natural disasters and significant loss of life and nature due to the wildfires and hurricanes; and we especially grieve the loss of beloveds who have died as a result of police violence, hate and division.  

But there has been sparks of hope… 

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries always believes 'tis the season to say thanks

Before our Beautiful Jesus came to save us, there was darkness and unrest, kind of like our chaos nowadays.  “People thought they knew what they needed, but the actuality of the birth of Jesus Christ and how He would rescue us eluded them.”

But those sparks of hope have been radiated throughout the shifting and building of Blameless’ community that is transforming and restoring lives through restorative justice practices and trauma-informed care.  

As we have plowed through disheartening, troubling times that have been rather confusing, our eyes have been inspired with hope for what we value:  Restored and Redeemed lives! 

Watching team members embrace their gifts and experience blessings and further healing themselves while helping facilitate healing to our incarcerated community and victims of crime has been powerful recognizing how we all make up a part of the Body of Christ with our unique gifts that only each person possesses. Tapping into power!  

And to hear how our incarcerated started an accountability group because our physical presence was thwarted to actively answer the calling for God in speaking truth to power and spreading messages of faith, hope, and justice was confirmation of our most treasured and valuable investment: The spiritual lives of people effected by crime and violence.

Hurt People May Hurt People, Healed People Heal, and Transformed Lives Transform Culture!

That’s letting God’s presence bring order to our thoughts, infusing His peace into our entire being, and pausing to embrace and absorb this priceless Gift of God, Jesus Christ, as our greatest gift.

Jesus was born in filth, disease and decay (like us today).  Mary may have delivered and brought down heaven, but it was not in conditions that were indicative of any kingdom affluence and/or privilege.  

It was not a silent night…

There was blood on the ground

You could hear a woman cry

In the alleyways that night

On the streets of David’s town.

And the stable was not clean

And the cobblestones were cold

And little Mary full of grace

With the tears upon her face

Had no mother’s hand to hold.

It was a labor of pain…

It was a cold sky above

But for the girl on the ground in the dark

With every beat of her beautiful heart

It was a labor of love…


Noble Joseph by her side

Calloused hands and weary eyes

There were no midwives to be found

On the streets of David’s town

In the middle of the night.

So he held her and he prayed

Shafts of moonlight on his face

But the baby in her womb

He was the Maker of the moon

He was the Author of the faith

That could make the mountains move.

It was a labor of pain…

It was a cold sky above

But for the girl on the ground in the dark

With every beat of her beautiful heart

It was a labor of love…

For little Mary full of grace

With the tears upon her face

It was not a silent night on the streets of David’s Town;

It was a Labor of Love!


It was nothing short of a Labor of Love.  Mary pondered everything the angel Gabriel delivered, the words of Elizabeth, the shepherds’ pronouncements, and the prophetic words of the Old Testament.  She kept tapping into these treasures seared into her heart along with her faith and trust in God. 

These treasures Mary held near to her heart are what kept her brave and strong. This radiance is what both held and lit the way during darkness. 

We may not understand everything, but we can love and support while believing in others because Jesus radiates within our souls.

“When the divine life possesses the soul, it flows over in gracious ministries among our fellowmen.  The affluence becomes an influence importing itself to others.” – John Henry Jowett

Jesus appeared insignificant to the world and yet, He is the most precious and priceless gift one could ever receive.  Without His Love, we could not love.  Without His forgiveness, we could not forgive and release the imprisonment of rage and bitterness.  Without His Love, we wouldn’t have forgiveness, deliverance, and removal of guilt.  Plus, when we trust in Christ for salvation, we become the Father’s beloved children.

Jesus knows what we will need during times of darkness and unrest.  We may feel too lost, alone and overwhelmed to celebrate Christmas because we think we know what we need right at this moment to guard our hearts, but the actuality of the birth of Jesus Christ and how He will rescue us eludes us.

How is God’s gracious presence being displayed through our lives?

Here Mary, full of grace and God’s favor, pondered in her heart all these treasures and tucked them into folds of her heart that kept her brave and strong.  This radiance is what both held and lit the way during darkness. 

If Mary was highly favored and didn’t understand the gravity and depth of what her son was going to do, how can we relate that back to those who have hurt people because they’re hurt and not allow God’s grace and power to transform today’s offender into tomorrow’s neighbor? 

Maybe we should choose to believe God’s Word instead of our own paralyzing and restricting fears, fears of inadequacy, and/or fears of change.  

Mary mirrored what her relationship with God offered; she believed and trusted Him!  Also, she chose to rely on the truths and promises of God:  God loves me, He chose me, God is with me and will not forsake me.  Nothing is impossible with God. This is not because of my own strength, but because of His presence. 

Think about the following words…

Mary, did you know that your baby boy would one day walk on water?

Mary, did you know that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters?

Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?

And this child that you’ve delivered, will soon deliver you.

Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?

And when you kiss your little baby, you kiss the face of God?

Oh, Mary, did you know? 

Oh, Mary did not know, yet she focused on God’s Great Love and Promises!

We will never know what God is up to unless we trust Him wholeheartedly. Yes, even when it hurts. Christmas is God’s message to us of His relentless Love.

God was first wounded by the unfaithfulness of His beloveds, and then wounded again by trading His very life for theirs, while knowing that they may very well refuse His Great Love again and turn their backs. Yet, He never stops pursuing us because He gave us this precious gift called Immanuel, “God with us.”

Merry Christmas!

The Perfect Gift…

The Perfect Gift!

Peace

John 14:27

We all know the lyrics:

He’s making a list,

and checking it twice;

gonna find out who’s naughty and nice.

Santa Claus is coming to town.


Sadly, the majority of us must be naughty because we’re all running around trying to find that “perfect gift.” What is the perfect gift anyways?  

What are we running towards and trying to prove in our quest for the perfect gift?  Is it the best price? To be the first in line? Our image sweetened?

Is it a byproduct of guilt and conflict that we are somehow trying to soothe over through our purchases, hoping it will bring about the needed peace towards love and restoration?

If we’re honest, isn’t all that debt we incur and have to face eventually as we scramble about in pursuit of the perfect gift a reminder deep down that it’s already been purchased and paid in full? 

Jesus is the Reason for this Season!

If Jesus is the Reason for this Season, why are we spending countless hours in long lines offering forced smiles when, really, underneath it all, we’re just trying to hide under all the guilt and shame of the many hats we wear?

That’s what I call retail therapy, baby! ♥♥ You know, These boots are made for walking…

I remember in seasons past where shopping was experienced with anger brewing about by my pathetic attempts to secure peace as I became burdened with the thought of overextending myself through the daggers of debt. Yet, for whatever reason, it didn’t cease the spending.

It reminds me of the painful tug-of-war this side of heaven presents for that needed diffusion that only perfect peace can offer.  

What I have learned personally myself is that all this expectation and debt and dashing about grows from my own root of discomfort caused from a lack of peace that needs cultivated and nurtured. We naively feel we can buy the recognition, love and affirmation we all crave for in finding that perfect gift.

We don’t have to buy love. It has already been purchased and paid for, at a high price I might add, which is the true and ultimate meaning of Christmas: L-O-V-E!

Presents come with strings attached!

Perfect Gift is Free

The perfect gift is something that was purchased only through Love; free to be received with no expectations or demands. A present is often known for having some sort of strings attached, being nice, or returnable if you’re naughty.

How does a Beloved who is a professed deliverer from Obsessive Christmas Disorder shop, decorate and celebrate when expectations placed from prior years’ performance rule? Who or what am I really trying to buy, impress, prove and strive for with my purchases? 

What a humble teaching about myself…

Humble Teachings

I don’t have to buy anyone’s love. I’ve already been paid in full with Love that is not only fulfilling and rewarding, but satisfying to both the heart and soul.

The perfect gift prepares my heart for what this sacrificial Gift delivers and that Christmas promises; the Love given from my Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

That perfect gift that we all search for is talked about in John 14:27 that says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”   

Isn’t that the Perfect Gift that we are all searching for and one in which only our Savior could purchase and bless us with? 

Jesus paid significantly for our salvation and reconciliation, to say the least; but in today’s world, isn’t peace the greatest commodity valued in a world full of conflict and we would do almost anything to acquire it?

Mary, did you know that your baby boy….

Even though Mary did not know that her baby boy would one day save our sons and daughters, she pondered in her heart what the angel told her in Luke 1:26-38. She took the time required being still so she could reflect and celebrate all the amazing things that the Lord God Almighty was entrusting her with so she would have peace while being scorned and ridiculed.

God With Us

She moved forward with all the discomforts, challenges and fears because she was filled, literally, with both Perfect Gifts, peace and Jesus Himself.  That expresses “God with us” perfectly and the meaning of Immanuel. 

I cannot fathom the hardships, loneliness and complete abandonment Mary was subjected to, but we do know that she gleaned her strength in order to abandon all expectations as to how this King would be born.

I don’t know about you, call me high maintenance, but if I was going to bear the responsibility in giving birth to a king, I would expect at least silk sheets and cashmere blankets, not to mention a five-star hotel to begin with.

Because of this Perfect Gift, the world can now tap into and experience the peace that Immanuel offers:  God with us. Now that’s the Perfect Gift and worthy of celebration! 

Jesus is the Reason for this Season!

Never forget, Beautiful Beloved, you are an amazing gift to the world from God Himself.  You are precious, pursued and prized just the way you are! Time to just receive and be.

Until next time…

Thank You for being Beautiful You!

StockSnap_GOAQ3R7BCE