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.
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.
What is the worst thing you’ve ever done?
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?
As Americans, We Proudly Say Thank You As We Celebrate The Bravery and Sacrifice Of Every U.S. Veteran!
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 today on Veterans Day, 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.
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!
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!
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?
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.
I will trust Him along the way. I may stomp and pout, but I’ll give Him elbow room so He can pull it off perfectly!
Gotta let go to know…
Hi friends and family! When you’re in a dilemma or wanting to do something B-I-G (understatement) and everyone seems to be a naysayer, who or what is your go-to?
Where do you usually turn?
I used to go directly to my friends FIRST because I value their opinion. But there’s good reason the Lord cautions us to go to Him first and discuss the matter. With our friends being so much like us, they’ll usually only tell us what we want to hear anyways, or…
I mean, to tell you to invest thousands of dollars more when they think you’re crazy to begin with is a risky event.
So… I decided to just put on my big girl panties and walk by faith.
After all, God brought me to such a time as this…
God cares and when we act at the right time, God will use our courage for the purpose He places us in.
I feel our brave men and women who put their lives on the line each and every day should be treated with respect and honor.
When was the last time you told a law enforcement officer how much you appreciated them?
I’m waffling between radical faith and doubt here. I’m stressing, putting in an extra 20, 30 hours a week of additional work that is not needed, taking away elbow room God might require to bless me with His undeniable supernatural favor.
Having a Plan B, doing EVERYTHING humanly possible, doesn’t require faith or trust. It’s called CONTROLLING and MANIPULATING the situation!
Why do we doubt and sabotage and cause ourselves anxieties? That’s the definition of a double-minded, unstable Beloved. And I don’t want my faith to be tossed to and fro.
Holy Spirit keeps nudging me about not having to grab me by the bit to redirect my stubborn fits!
We know we’ve got an awesome God when Holy Spirit convicts and speaks to us like He does. Hee-haw! Then again, He does know our hearts and minds. He is our Comforter, our Counselor, our BFF!
When we faith the fear, and I’m talking thousands of dollars it will cost if I fail, not to mention the cost of humiliation, solely to give back to those who do so much for us, it’s scary not knowing if you’re going to get enough donations to make it happen.
With over 500 tickets requested from just a few law enforcement agencies, and requests are still pouring in, my heart grieves to not be able to fulfill their wishes. Blessing them with free tickets to their event honoring them is a priviledge!
And here I was led to believe that I was too much to handle?
God just reiterates, “I will stay close to you, instructing and guiding you along the pathway for your life. I will advise you along the way and lead you forth with my eyes as your guide. So don’t make it difficult; don’t be stubborn when I take you where you’ve not been before. Don’t make me tug you and pull you along. Just come with me” (Psalm 32:8-9 TPT).
I love when I stay present. When I focus on God and not my anxieties, I’m able to see the treasures God places along my path that bring me comfort and confirmation. That’s Papa God’s way of saying, “I see you and love you, Beloved.”
This plane says “RESCUE” with a missile hole-turned-heart alongside of the aircraft!
That plane needed some pink hearts to speak life into all those bullet holes.
I laugh as I’m listening to a Joyce Meyer’s sermon as I’m typing this, stressed. Joyce was saying something like, “If you’re passionate about something and doubt is driving you nuts wanting confirmation (hello), follow your passion, shut up and move forward.”
I love that woman!
That my life will never be the same; to go up and never stop.
I’ve decided to faith the fear and Go up and never stop!So 500 tickets it is!
Where God guides, He always provides!
If you would like to partner with me in prayer for abundant favor and provision, maybe even donate, our expectations will deliver, Where God guides, He always provides!
So my nonprofit is not going for 100 tickets dedicated to law enforcement officers and the fallen families, we’re going for 500.
Go up and never stop…
Up, up and away…
After all, God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine…
So I’m giving God the right to direct my life and we’ll watch together!
I stood there shocked in disbelief. Every single one of the doctor’s words spoken were unintelligible, framed in slow-motioned lip slices to this mama’s hemorrhaging heart.
When our world turns upside down AND implodes!
Hearing tragic news literally jolts your world. It scars and cuts like a knife. It shakes and rocks your world more violent than a 7.5 earthquake.
The doctor’s rushed encounter causes sheer terror. Extreme panic and shock sets in. Only divine and supernatural intervention can restore.
Your hands cup the disbelief along with salty tears released from the ducts of Hoover Dam. You collapse to the ground because your weight becomes too much to bear by yourself.
As your body folds onto the cold cement floor of the E.R. doorway, your focus zooms to the feet scurrying by and the relentless, torturing, alarm sounds going off from medical devices sustaining lives triggering major PTSD.
Code Blue, Room 2!
The coolness from the floor can’t compete with what’s burning through your heart and mind. The branding sears, “Code Blue, Room 2; Code Blue, Room 2.”
My mind races back 25 years as I cradle this beautiful blue-eyed baby boy with the sweetest white hair that I spiked up like Bart Simpson.
The joy this mama’s heart pondered hearing what a beautiful baby he was from those passing by; though their initial reactions were that he was a girl because he was such a beautiful porcelain-skinned doll. It didn’t matter, he was my beautiful baby. He was God’s medical miracle.
Cradling him back and forth became a coping mechanism that would offer him comfort throughout his life.
Setting them free…
I wish I could go back and hold him forever as I squish and caress his porky feet.
Only us mamas can appreciate our infatuations with our children’s feet.
Dislike feet? Stinky and gross?
Me, too. That is, until I gave birth to my children.
Suddenly two feet layered in Red Wings and blue slip covers slide into my uncharted pool of tears. I’m agitated because they’re occupying my “personal space,” even though I lay dormant on the hospital’s floor.
After hearing repeated “Ma’ams,” this fully bearded, piercing dark eyes and haired man wearing a white kippah squats down and squares me right in the face. His lips begin to move, but I can no longer make sense of anything after the explosion of tragedy hit my brain.
I laid there comatose until his physical touch stroking my hair away from my face did my senses start to re-emerge.
He offers to help me up, but due to the paralysis from all the fear and dread and the lack of courage to face reality, he scoops me up into his arms instead and pulls me out of the deadly traffic jam in front of Trauma Room 2.
No sooner than hearing the beat of another’s heart, my eyes fell laser-focused onto the huge lifeless squishy feet hanging over the hospital gurney as many doctors and nurses were performing CPR, inserting tubes and IV’s into my lifeless blue son.
The adrenaline from the broken heart leaped me out of the chaplain’s arms and off the floor as loud battle cries from heaven wailed, causing the medical team to pull the curtain closed.
The chaplain catches me again, pulling me away from the room.
When your visualization is a lifeless baby boy, who may be 6’5″, but who is blue and not responding to medical attention being rendered, your eyes and mind focus intuitively on what’s outside the drawn curtain for survival.
You frame each second onto the surroundings; his blood on the floor, the fluid bags and needle wrappings and the horrible sounds coming from the trauma team who is now holding your baby boy as long as it takes.
God’s Great Love reaches down to hold me tight through this amazing Jewish Chaplain named Joe. God comforts me through Joe saying, “I’ll hold you as long as it takes”along with scripture from Deuteronomy 31:6:
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
God was faithful in sustaining me. His words are branded forever in my heart and mind, “I’ll hold you as long as it takes.”
And through a life that’s cleaved to those beautiful words, even when there hasn’t been an expected and good ending, I trust my Father God to pick me up and carry me through every tragedy and loss that comes my way.
As far as this 6’5″ baby boy, his striking blue eyes still pierce this mama’s heart with love and strong, yet tender, hugs. This day ended well!
Seek To Understand Before Seeking To Be Understood!
So hard when words from another hurt like hell.
Hi friends and family! Our hearts and prayers go out to everyone who’s been affected by the tragedies in Gilroy, El Paso and Dayton. It seems that these hurt/sick people hurting others has turned into an evil epidemic seeing who can outkill one another.
When my son and I were talking about how these hate crimes and hurting individuals have changed the landscape of everyone’s lives, personally involved or not, it tapped into my own fears from being victimized reiterating how we’re all effected by these horrific crimes.
Right after talking with my son, I listened to a girlfriend’s deep pain from defeating and defaming words delivered by a coworker, feeling that no one defended her.
This brought up my own pain from the sting of what others have said and done recently that were still fresh.
Speaking honestly here, there’s a part of me who loves and walks out forgiveness emulating Jesus, but I would rather start ripping out these venomous tongues! Words are destructive and often leave emotional wounds and scars unhealed.
I may be a follower of Jesus Christ, but I battle my own insecurities and fears just like everyone else. And after what we’ve witnessed through these heinous shootings, we need to choke this hate line and exhibit self-control with L-O-V-E, God’s Great Love.
Life forces us to be many people with differing hats and images within seconds of each other. Friends in need (homeless beloveds), incarcerated beloveds, along with you and I, we all have hurts, insecurities, brokenness and needs. We just react and respond to them differently.
I keep leaning into these beautiful words of Psalm 85:8.
“Now I’ll listen carefully for your voice and wait to hear whatever you say. Let me hear your promise of peace— the message every one of your godly lovers longs to hear. Don’t let us in our ignorance turn back from following you.”
Working with friends in need and the incarcerated and their families, one common denominator that is lacking is love and forgiveness; God’s Love, unconditional love. It is easy to hate and judge, especially after witnessing these deadly shootings, but feelings pushed down fester and will destroy.
Tragically, we’ve allowed our unhealed pain to turn into hate. Hurt people hurt others. Instead of communities with living, breathing people, we have become part of the problem hiding behind our screens. We are no longer a part of the solution.
Allowing pain to turn into hate, this great divide becomes a part of the problem and forfeits any solution.
Where’s the person to stand up and defend others when hateful words and evil actions are spoken of and acted out?
Where there are persistent hurts, evil will prevail.
I almost let paralyzing fear stop me from helping another in need yesterday. Our Lord loves it when we move out in faith. People need to encounter extensions of love and kindness being poured out.
Action helps change the impact on our futures, though.
How can we allow God to turn our emotional wounds into good like He promises in Genesis 50:20, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it…”?
Our emotional wounds and bruises fall short in receiving help because only time and grace can process the pain. Our bruises and pain take more than a quick click.
Emotional Hurts and Wounded Spirits
Looking back on some of my “most painful” life experiences, the sleepless nights, the tear-stained pillows, the anger and bitterness that developed because the people closest to me delivered nothing but betrayal and disappointment, and the torment in being abused and rejected, God’s Great Love came pouring out!
Our Beautiful Jesus always has a plan for redemption, but…
Amid my all-time lowest moments, and I’m talking crushed, shackled and bound, I’ve witnessed the miraculous power of healing, redemption, reconciliation and restoration. God uses both the good and the bad (Romans 8:28).
Without pain, there’s no healing. Without imprisonment, redemption couldn’t be experienced. If there’s no estrangement, then reconciliation isn’t possible. And without destruction, there’s no need for restoration.
Experiencing this blossoming, this growth, that constructs the very core of who we are and created to become is miraculous.
We just can’t allow ourselves to be defined through this prison of pain.
We Are The Product Of Every Decision
Every day of our lives, we get the opportunity to respond to everything that crosses our path. By remembering that Someone (God) believes we are good enough in their eyes and that we don’t have to measure up to anyone to be loved should usher us into confidence. There’s nothing we can do to be loved more or loved less. It’s a gift to just receive.
Being utilized as a bridge that meets others in their struggles and a source of support and encouragement for building community is a part of the solution. Everything we do today matters. Our impact matters. It effects today and our future.
Seeking to understand others before seeking to be understood will help terminate hate. Let’s be proactive parts to the solution. Forgiveness is a great decision that leads to love!