Encountering Homelessness in 2019

Happy New Year!

2019 Is The Year Of The Voice

I struggled to get off the jam-packed freeway full of road rage and weary drivers that found themselves parked instead of moving forward.  Here it was 6:45 p.m. and I needed to get my life-sustaining heart meds before 7:00 because the pharmacy closed its steel doors at the strike of the 7:00 hour and would be closed for the next two days. 

Once I got off the freeway, there was no way possible to maneuver over four lanes in enough time to turn into the pharmacy’s parking lot so I was forced to travel another bumper-to-bumper half-mile to perform a U-turn.  Amazingly, the light connected with my anxiety and turned green, rushing me into the parking lot with just a few minutes spare to run in and get my prescriptions. 

As I leaped out of my car, I was stopped, even bullied and challenged by an unknown homeless man who was adamant that I give him a couple of bucks. 

You see, in my city, the City of Roseville, I refuse to put up with panhandling.  It’s a distraction.  It initiates fear and crime and there’s ABSOLUTELY NO NEED FOR IT! 

I have even been known to stop in the middle of an intersection to get them to move on.  It’s not that I lack compassion; after all, I run a homeless organization, but it’s just that we have many resources available and their panhandling is an excuse and becomes an eyesore.

I work hard to help guide and direct them to get tapped into alternative resources and get off the streets. 

It’s hard for reality to prevail over guilt!

When encountering panhandlers, I instinctively stop what I’m doing and give them the lowdown of who I am, how and why I run an organization catered specifically to helping love on the homeless, and if they are hungry, I will buy them food.  I then pray over them, give them my business card, and tell them that if I come back in the next hour and still see them panhandling, I will have them arrested. 

You might find that harsh given my heart pours out the love of Jesus into these individuals daily, but if the services we offer don’t suffice, then it’s obvious they’re only looking for a quick fix related to drugs and/or alcohol.

This man was the FIRST AND ONLY HOMELESS individual who didn’t pack up and leave.  Sadly, he felt his fear tactics and threats to kill would influence me otherwise. 

I challenged him with his futile threats to go ahead (not the brightest move admittedly), but I’m ready to meet my savior, Jesus Christ, at any time so it didn’t really matter.

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Blameless and Forever Free Ministries is praying that 2019 initiates a new attitude and compassion for stabilization regarding our homeless epidemic. 

Being the founder of Blameless, I want to be very honest here.  In working to stabilize our homelessness through God’s Great Love, I humbly admit I get frustrated and quite offended when I encounter panhandlers.  Giving them “money” is defeating our arduous work!  It’s much easier to trigger sympathy than to seek help.

Mental illness is the main precursor of homelessness; addiction, depression, psychosis, abuse, rejection, and abandonment issues are the leading causes, but a lot of homelessness has to do with shame and guilt and the need for guidance to get reestablished back into society. 

I don’t like seeing the makeup of my town changing because homelessness is out of control, and everywhere you look they’re either lined up around our stores or in parking lots panhandling or passed out in our parks while depleting our fire and law enforcement resources.

Blameless Homeless Rite-Aid

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Please don’t encourage Panhandling!

There are many ways you can help and we need a village of people to come together and help combat this Goliath.  Please don’t encourage panhandling by offering money; but instead, as you encounter homeless beloveds, acknowledge their presence with eye contact and a warm smile and maybe even say “good morning.”  Being affirmed builds worth and a sense of belonging.

You could offer to buy them a sandwich or burger along with a milk.  A used bike and metal cart is invaluable. 

Another idea is sharing you are tight on money, but could they use laundromat tokens or clothing?  Share with them you’ll go home and be right back with a few things and/or buy tokens with laundry detergent. 

Better yet, donate to charitable nonprofits like Blameless that deal with homelessness.

Here is a glimpse of one homeless beloved who wanted to go to the laundromat for his birthday…

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I personally have found that the most significant treasure was asking if I could pray for them.  Praying over an individual offers hope and a sprinkling of love that someone actually acknowledges their presence and took the time to pray for them.

Being the hands and feet of God encourages the homeless that they’re seen and their lives matter.  This is the way our communities can come together along with the homeless and help find a remedy to stabilize and tackle this epidemic.

God is going to do mighty things in 2019 and tackling this homelessness is going to be one of them. 

Happy New Year!  May God be with you, keep you safe and bless your generosity.

 

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

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Help Me Find My Family

Blameless Gregory

Help Me Find My Family

Please share.  This is Gregory Garland and his birthday is Saturday, October 6.  He is nearing 70 years old and his last known address was in the Seattle, Washington area.  Those blue eyes radiate his kindness and hope without telling the real story of how he wants to go home and be with his children.  His children are located in Washington and Massachusetts and probably think he’s dead.  Their names are Cheri Lee Garland, Stephanie Harrera (spelling ?), Gregory J. Garland and Sean I. Garland.  If you know them, please contact Tammy Ingram or Blameless and Forever Free Ministries at blamelessandforeverfree@gmail.com or Facebook.

Gregory came to California for a hip replacement surgery.  Once he was released, he wanted his alcohol.  He is an alcoholic.  One thing led to another and he was attacked and beat up with all his possessions taken except for his walker.  This is how I met Gregory.  He was incoherent on the side of the road and I pulled over.  I had to stop traffic and summon paramedics.  He went back to the hospital.

Upon release, he had no driver’s license, no wallet, no cell phone, nothing but his walker.  I have run back into Gregory after looking for him for months and we need to find his family.  He stays to himself, like many homeless, and has exhausted all resources and feels this is just how he will die. 

Due to technology, can you remember your kids’ phone numbers?  I can’t and have felt hopeless at times and quite ignorant when my cell wasn’t readily available.  What most of you don’t know about the homeless is, a lot of resources are not available without a valid I.D.  They cannot even receive necessary resources like temporary shelters because they don’t have a valid I.D.  We cannot get Gregory a valid I.D. without a birth certificate.

Many homeless individuals suffer from this mandatory item; lack of I.D.  It is horrendous and quite a lengthy time-consuming process and expensive to get the necessary items that are needed for emergency support.  Plus, you need a valid mailing address to send this pertinent information to.  If you’re homeless, you don’t have a valid mailing address.

We will be ordering Gregory’s birth certificate and finish completing the forms on Thursday, but it will take weeks to have it sent to Blameless’ mailing address.  Then once we get it, we will have to go down to the DMV and order an I.D. card/driver’s license which will take a couple more weeks.  You get the idea here.  He is unable to receive his Social Security or any financial help.  He is suffering from a significant skin disease/lesions throughout his body now and needs medical help.

Please, this man is near and dear to me.  If we can find his family, I will do everything in my power to put him on a bus or an airplane to get him to his daughters in Washington, but I need to first find them and have hopes that they have his birth certificate or other documents to expedite travel.

Yes, this is a battle which keeps many homeless beloveds homeless.  I used to sit back and judge and get all pissy because some hotels were allowing the homeless to come into the lobby area and charge their cell phones.  I felt so violated and upset with the generous management of some hotels.  Woe to me for being Princess Tammy judging and thinking heinously because now here I am running a nonprofit organization that is trying to make a difference in the lives of those who have been rejected and are homeless for a sundry of reasons.

Please help me help Gregory Garland whose birthday is Saturday, October 6, in finding his family so his gentle spirit can live long enough to get home and see his family.  I’ve had to hunt him down.  He is not asking for anything, but I AM!  This will also remove one more homeless person off the streets.  One person at a time, one day at a time.  With God, all things are possible!

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

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When InHumane Conditions Exist…

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When Inhumane Conditions Exist…

There Is Always Love!

Dreams… Is there such a place where dreams do come true?

Oh wait, isn’t that Disneyland?

No, that’s just a theme…

We ALL need dreams to thrive and not just survive. They’re beautiful reminders of what could be, right?

What happens when a little D.I.R.T. is poured into our dreams? Does that suffocate them?

Would God really consider D.I.R.T. to be a blessing in disguise that ushers us to the Promised Land?

Well, seeds of love often require D.I.R.T. acting as soil that will help initiate the growth and blossoming, so…

But…

D = Disappointment

I = Insecurity

R = Rejection

T = Trouble

We all know the dreaded D.I.R.T.  Sometimes Disappointment arrives needing more than ointment. Insecurity develops robbing us of our security. Good ‘ole Rejection then rolls through starving us of that much-needed affection. And then Trouble rears its ugly head arriving as a strong tower threatening to burst more than our bubble.

Living life homeless is an understatement than the acronym D.I.R.T. defines. The pictures below are but a glimpse of what homelessness is like under the umbrella of inhumane conditions. Many homeless just sleep directly on the cement sidewalks.

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The amazing thing about our Jesus is, when seeds of love are sprinkled about, new life suddenly appears. And when this new life sprouts up towards the light, it is given a second chance for life by reaching up and grabbing ahold of the hand that is extended. All because of L-O-V-E.

Seeds of love, mixed with tears of compassion, and nourishment filled with interaction and engagement, grew into this young man named Trev. I am honored and bouncing like a Mexican jelly bean in excitement to relate that Trev WAS A HOMELESS man.

Not anymore…

Through many amazing people and resources that I am blessed to surround my life with, Trev now has his own legal residential address and is being given a second chance at life. He grabbed the hand that was being utilized as God’s hands and feet.

He wants to do something in the veterinarian genre, so hopefully he will be able to give back to the homeless community with all the animals that accompany the homeless.

You see, I want to be different. I want to radiate LOVE. I see these homeless beloveds as our Beautiful Jesus does; treasured family. I want the fire living inside of me to effect everyone. I refuse to be stuck in the typical pattern of society’s egotism and blindness.

Trev gave me permission to write about him. He is one of a few beloveds that I will follow closely throughout their lives because relationships were made and they’re a reminder of how God’s Great Love Changes Everything…

I refer to Trev as my chocolate son. He is an amazing young man who made a few mistakes leading to bad decisions that led him to a homeless lifestyle. It does not mean that his life doesn’t matter!

Living on skid row down in Sacramento is the pit of hell. It is violent and dangerous. But LOVE diffuses more than crime. It encourages second chances through the offering of the olive branch.

With over a million-plus in total homeless population, 24% of that total number residing right here in California, highlighting the 28% increase in homelessness in my own backyard, Roseville, something has to be done. Time to take off our blinders.

I understand that serving the homeless isn’t for everyone. I spent many months guarding my own heart for fear that I was not cut out for it. It’s not glamorous. But as the picture reflects, I was crying big time, but they were tears of joy that Trev trusted me enough to engage in and share his life and the many broken pieces that led him to be a part of the homelessness. This relationship and trust took over four months of weekly contact to develop the nurturing and guidance. With God, all things are possible!

It takes a village of people to stabilize this epidemic of homelessness. Action is needed, not lip service! It takes everyone coming together to attack it through time, money, resources, commitment and dedication! One reason why I started Blameless…

Without my amazing resources and special team that are involved in this homeless epidemic in varying aspects; like Stacia, for opening up the gates of heaven with her angelic voice that draws others in as she is singing; Laura, for her commitment in loving on the homeless and being connected to one amazing county resource who places homeless people in HUD-owned properties; Becky, who works all day in the streets full of crime looking for those who she can place within county guidelines and budget; Eric, who loves ALL and will give you the shirt off of his back if you need it; and Dan for listening to me cry, grieve and bitch that enough is not being done quick enough when we’re driving away after another day…

Cheers! Here’s to you, Trev. We love you, are so proud of you, and are excited to see what all the Lord is doing through you and your life! Your life matters! Thank you for allowing me to sojourn with you!

Come be different with me… It’s a beautiful life radiating the love of Christ!

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

Spreading Seeds Of Love…

Blameless Hands Open Field

Spreading Seeds of Love!

Seeds direct us toward an area where we can cultivate what God has planted down deep inside of us.

Blameless Spreading Seeds of Love 3

Spreading Seeds of Love!

It’s harvest time. We will never know how far our seeds of love and commitment will reach or what it will look like until we plant it and watch it grow.

We all have dormant seeds laying inside of us. Lord knows, I had no idea that at my golden age, I could possibly have anything left laying dormant inside of me. Boy, was I wrong!

Breaking Free Announces Me!

Sweet friend, I don’t know about you, but I was tired of living my life being told what I can’t be while living another person’s dream.

Breaking free from all the weeds that were threatening to choke the very life out of me all due to fears and insecurities is empowering and full of rewards. I stopped believing the lies of the enemy that told me what I could or could not be.

We don’t have to wait until we get to heaven to experience what the kingdom of God is like and the power available to us this side of heaven. After all, Jesus brought heaven down for us. 

The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field (Matthew 13:24-43). The kingdom has small beginnings, like our seeds of love, but it will grow and produce amazing results.

Sowing seeds of love will eventually be reaped. We can never grow weary of that promise.

Now this rejuvenated and confident beloved is living each moment who God designed me to be. 

What a treasured daughter I am! And I’m so loved, even valued, just the way I am…

When we get in the right atmosphere and spread seeds of His Great Love, we start turning into powerful and magnetic beloveds no one has ever seen before. Especially ourselves!

Getting stuck in performance and doing what others expect because that is the ruling “condition” upon being loved is suffocating. But once we’re awakened to who God says we are and were created to be, mastering the unforced rhythms of grace is easy-breezy.

Say goodbye to the old people-pleasing trait, you know, the exhausted performance-driven beloved. You are enough, just the way you are!

Time to embrace the treasure that’s been buried deep below every shovel full of shame and insecurities fearing that the beautiful you was not enough.

You. Are. Enough. And. Highly. Prized.

We never find out who we are because we’re so busy living someone else’s dream!

Blameless Light Of Your Love

Arise and shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you (Isaiah 60:1). It’s time to cultivate. It’s time to harvest. It’s time we believe and live out the truths that dreams can and do come true.

Spreading seeds of love directs us toward an area where we can cultivate and harvest what God has planted deep inside of us.

Blameless Luke 24.5.6

How many times can you say you found love out in the open field? 

Until next time… 

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

 

Homeless Blanket Drive

Blameless Blanket Drive

Needed: Blankets

(New or Used)

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries Blanket Drive

My comfort in my suffering is this:
 Your promise preserves my life (Psalm 119:50).

Freezing temperatures are rampant. While most take for granted the comforts of our safe-havens that provide warmth and comfort, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, there were over 566,000 counted homeless people in the United States in 2016. Predominantly in western states.

America’s homeless population is rapidly rising. I’m sure it’s over a million now. There are miles and miles of homeless camps/cities.

I don’t have all the answers for solving this epidemic, but I do have hands-on experience witnessing what is working. Delivering love, care, concern and patience brings healing and change.

Attacking this problem proactively is essential. Takes unity! We can no longer turn a blind eye to God’s precious children, nor brush it off onto others to deal with.

We have a responsibility, our “humane responsibility,” to do something. Anything!

Turning our backs on those who are less fortunate due to oppression of various forms, whether it’s through bad choices and decisions, addiction, abandonment, mental illness or having a criminal record and just wanting to escape from society (hey, we’ve all felt this way one time or another) turns into being held captive with no way out. They need help getting back on their feet!

Love and acceptance takes patience!

There are homeless veterans who had no problem fighting for your freedom, so…

What’s wrong with that picture?

Why are we not fighting for their lives?

Love/action can do a lot being God’s hands and feet…

I took the image below last week because I never wanted to lose sight of this frame of despair that exists to blow up our pretentious suburbia lifestyles.

This. Is. Real.

Oh, and it’s spreading and moving into our suburbia communities…

Actually, it’s already here…

Blameless Homeless Gigi 2.24.18

This is a beautiful homeless beloved named Gigi.  Gigi is laying on the freezing cold cement in 27-degree weather with only two blankets. Weighing only 83 pounds, I might add. No meat for heat!

I’m reorganizing my nonprofit organization called Blameless and Forever Free Ministries to include and incorporate more on bridging this huge gap between church and state for homeless needs. It’s challenging, but the Lord has placed a heavy burden on my heart to love on these precious souls.

My insecurities initially buried my passion. Fear cost me both time and money with now having to refile and reorganize. Homelessness was once something I feared to get involved with because lives are messy and it’s definitely not glamorous (being honest).

Everything changed after buying dinner and spending a Friday evening with a homeless man named Fred Carlisson (no longer homeless and success documented by KCRA-3 News) in Granite Bay. Talk about assaulting stares, but his one eye saw everything.

As Fred devoured his food and appreciated the comforts of a warm place, his story changed my life! He didn’t want money, he wanted a job. And he was fully equipped with resumes, too!

Blameless Fred Carlisson

The key that opens doors of trust: Engagement and caring equates Love!

In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).

Blameless is partnering with Hope for the Homeless. We spend every weekend ministering to the needs of the homeless in Sacramento, rain or shine. Blameless is making plans to extend this same grace into the growing homeless population in Roseville.

 

Using music, food, prayer, the Word of God, and the constancy of presence from dedicated beloveds with open arms and tender hearts are vital instruments in sharing the love of Christ. Trust takes time. Embracing this grace encourages opportunities for change through guidance and second chances.

Blameless Praying Hands

Blankets are golden treasures right now. It’s cold! Please, can you look underneath your beds and linen closets for extra blankets occupying space and donate them?  They don’t have to be in perfect condition, they just need to be a token of warmth and comfort.

If everyone donates one blanket, the warmth delivered will change lives!

Once the homeless are wet, they have nowhere to warm up and end up in a hypothermia state. This costs us all money in the long run through taxes paying for their medical services, etc.

We are out serving the homeless rain or shine. Last weekend we got rather wet and it was a chill that bit. It cuts right to the bone. It’s hard to warm up enough in our vehicles with the heater blasting to thaw out and continue to serve. The homeless don’t have access to this simple luxury.

Blameless Enthusiasm

Your donations are greatly appreciated. If you live in Placer County or Sacramento, please email me here and I will arrange to have someone pick up the blankets.

Leaving laundered blankets outside of your front door is easy and quite the treasure, knowing you have warmed and comforted a beloved in need.  

If you’re in other areas across the U.S., please take your new or used blankets to any church offering homeless services, your local food bank or homeless shelters.

Thank you for your generosity. Together we are changing the world, one life at a time!

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

Homelessness… Tammy Tangent Tuesdays

Blameless Homeless 3

Homelessness…

Has The Milk Of Human Kindness Dried Up?

Tammy Tangent Tuesdays

Hi Beautiful! I pray you were able to tap into our amazing God of Encouragement and Endurance this past week while stamping other beloveds “approved” with joy. It’s that time again, it’s Tammy Tangent Tuesdays.

As I write this weekly challenge, my heart is heavily burdened. This is the result of another “be-careful-what-you-pray-for” as tears pour down my face hearing the testimonies of many homeless beloveds from this past weekend.

You see, I asked the Lord to give me His eyes to see what He sees and His ears to hear what only He knows. God’s answer:

“The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing!” ~ Albert Einstein

Homelessness is real and more predominant than most people care or even dare to acknowledge.

Jesus’ words in John 3:17 are fixed to my heart, “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need, but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?

Blameless Hugging Says You Matter

Homelessness accompanies hopelessness that only Love can heal!

I’ve recently become honored to be a part of an amazing team that ministers every week to providing the homeless love through nutritious meals, rain or shine.  Food is the vessel that draws the homeless beloveds in while providing nourishment for the heart, soul, body and mind.

Providing Hope For Our Homeless

We’re talking hundreds of homeless individuals receive hope, love, fellowship, HUGS and nourishment from amazing selfless beloveds that speak life and love into others and whom I’m honored to call my friends and team. This blessed nonprofit in Roseville, California, is called Blameless and Forever Free Ministries.

I have met, served and continue to be blessed by the homeless population. Yes, you read that right, the homeless continue to bless me! When I look them in their eyes, I see a reflection of who lives inside of me; Love Himself, Jesus Christ!

I can relate with many of these precious loved ones and their stories. I was a single mom working two jobs and know full well what it’s like to be a paycheck away from being homeless. Frightening! And fear paralyzes us to move forward. I understand their pain and their sense of loss and desperation. Talk about a shame-filled life without any hope.

Blameless Homeless 2

Unconditional Love

There’s more love depicted in this photograph than sadly the supply of milk. These pets offer more love and comfort than one could illustrate. Without them, the emotional distress would be unconscionable.

There’s a reason many homeless beloveds have animals; it’s called unconditional love. It’s a source of stability and comfort that helps them facilitate hope. Plus the animals provide a source of heat. Do you know what it feels like to live in freezing conditions? It’s a silent killer.

This photograph illustrates the best of conditions in homeless suburbia. If I showed you skid row where they’re all lined up on the cold, dark cement sidewalks of Sacramento, hundreds with very few tents, huddled together for warmth and protection from the elements, it would, or should, break your heart!

A simple token of kindness can make a huge difference. We can do this by acknowledging the need of the homeless by donating time, blankets, socks, money, food, you name it.

What a blessing and honor to witness how a simple gesture of human kindness and love can heal wounds that otherwise would bleed out.

As Mother Teresa said, “If you cannot feed a hundred people, then feed just one.”

Blameless Homeless Plate For One 2.2

Weekly Challenge: I understand most of us can’t afford to feed a hundred people, but we can pitch in and help one homeless person. This weekly challenge is to donate time or monetary resources, preferably both , to local Christian nonprofit organizations like Blameless and Forever Free Ministries.  Blankets and socks are golden treasures right now.

Nonprofit organizations cater to more than just the physical needs of the homeless. They operate under the authority of the powerful words that offer healing that Jesus declared in John 6:35, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

Blameless Beautiful When We Come Together

“The best Vitamin for a Christian is to B-1!”

Together we’re beautiful and withdrawing or acting blind to others’ needs will not help solve any problem. I pray the Lord will open our eyes and hearts to the many beloveds who are homeless. After all, “the best vitamin for a Christian is to B-1.” Do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased (Hebrews 13:16).

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

Homelessness… Tammy Tangent Tuesdays

Blameless Homeless 3

Homelessness…

Has The Milk Of Human Kindness Dried Up?

Tammy Tangent Tuesdays

Hi Beautiful! I pray you were able to tap into our amazing God of Encouragement and Endurance this past week while stamping other beloveds “approved” with joy. It’s that time again, it’s Tammy Tangent Tuesdays.

As I write this weekly challenge, my heart is heavily burdened. This is the result of another “be-careful-what-you-pray-for” as tears pour down my face hearing the testimonies of many homeless beloveds from this past weekend.

You see, I asked the Lord to give me His eyes to see what He sees and His ears to hear what only He knows. God’s answer:

“The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing!” ~ Albert Einstein

Homelessness is real and more predominant than most people care or even dare to acknowledge.

Jesus’ words in John 3:17 are fixed to my heart, “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need, but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?

Blameless Hugging Says You Matter

Homelessness accompanies hopelessness that only Love can heal!

I’ve become honored to be a part of an amazing team that ministers hope and love to homeless beloveds utilizing nutritious meals as a vessel drawing them in.  This nonprofit organization is called Blameless and Forever Free MinistriesBeing the hands and feet of God offers us the opportunity to provide nourishment for their hearts, souls, bodies and minds.

Providing Hope For Homeless

I have met, served and continue to be blessed by the homeless population. Yes, you read that right, the homeless continue to bless me! When I look them in their eyes, I see a reflection of who lives inside of me; Love Himself, Jesus Christ!

I can relate with many of these precious loved ones and their stories. I was a single mom working two jobs and know full well what it’s like to be a paycheck away from being homeless. Frightening! And fear paralyzes us to move forward. I understand their pain and their sense of loss and desperation. Talk about a shame-filled life without any hope.

Where’s God’s extension of love and human kindness in nursing the homeless?

Blameless Homeless 2

Unconditional Love

There’s more love depicted in this photograph than sadly the supply of milk. These pets offer more love and comfort than one could illustrate. Without them, the emotional distress would be unconscionable.

There’s a reason many homeless beloveds have animals; it’s called unconditional love. It’s a source of stability and comfort that helps them facilitate hope. Plus the animals provide a source of heat. Do you know what it feels like to live in freezing conditions? It’s a silent killer.

This photograph illustrates the best of conditions in homeless suburbia. If I showed you skid row where they’re all lined up on the cold, dark cement sidewalks of Sacramento, hundreds with very few tents, huddled together for warmth and protection from the elements, it would, or should, break your heart!

A simple token of kindness can make a huge difference. We can do this by acknowledging the need of the homeless by donating time, blankets, socks, money, food, you name it.

What a blessing and honor to witness how a simple gesture of human kindness and love can heal wounds that otherwise would bleed out.

As Mother Teresa said, “If you cannot feed a hundred people, then feed just one.”

Blameless Homeless Plate For One 2.2

Weekly Challenge: I understand most of us can’t afford to feed a hundred people, but we can pitch in and help one homeless person. This weekly challenge is to donate time or monetary resources, preferably both , to local Christian nonprofit organizations like Blameless and Forever Free Ministries. Blankets and socks are golden treasures right now.

These organizations cater to more than just the physical needs of the homeless. They operate under the authority of the powerful words that offer healing that Jesus declared in John 6:35, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

Blameless Beautiful When We Come Together

“The best Vitamin for a Christian is to B-1!”

Together we’re beautiful and withdrawing or acting blind to others’ needs will not help solve any problem. I pray the Lord will open your eyes and heart to the many beloveds who are homeless. After all, “the best vitamin for a Christian is to B-1.” Do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased (Hebrews 13:16).

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

Give To Live…

Choosing To…

Live To Give!

I may not know you personally, but one thing I do know: You have been badly hurt in your life. You have heard words that have assaulted and stung. Words that are lies that you just can’t shake off. People have done mean and damaging things to you. However, your past does not define you.

My heart pours into yours being a sister in Christ with compassion and understanding. You may not hear just how beautiful you are, but I want you to know you are beautiful. Your life does matter and the world needs your unique qualities. I value and appreciate you more than you will ever understand or hear.

Never forget how valuable and precious your life is.

As I turned the corner, our eyes met up; yours filled with shame, mine filled with joy and delight. You see, God answered my prayers. Your life means more to me than we dare to understand. I get you because I’ve been there, felt that!

God doesn’t want you crawling back into your shell. God wants to pour love into you. Our paths crossed so you will know you’re not alone and can receive warmth and understanding from a heart filled with compassion.

I understand it’s hard to trust others when you’ve been rejected, but grab a hold of the loving hand extended.

I may have never been homeless living on the streets, but I was just a paycheck away from it. We relate because I have lived through the tragedies and decisions leading up to your homelessness.

Understanding what hopelessness and paralyzing fear does to a beloved through attacking thoughts of not being enough and the shame that accompanies those lies is intense.

Sweet friend, there’s no shame in our game; Jesus is His Name! Nothing you did cannot be forgiven. Forgiveness should not be seen as a weakness, but rather as a strength.

When we embraced, I could feel your desperate hold due to fear that turned cold. You shivered and hung onto me like an addict needing her fix. You grasped for air as your face was buried into my chest with tears that drowned and overwhelmed your soul. I am forever dressed in your tears that permeated my soul.

Your hopelessness mirrors the darkness that exists due to some bad choices and decisions. We all make mistakes. God will turn your ashes (pain and mistakes) into beauty if you will let go and learn from Him through them. 

God wants us to run this race victoriously all the way to and through the finish line. He fights for us by sending support from others who will speak words of life, love and courage. Our new family! ♥♥♥

God’s amazing grace offers us hope by guiding us out of the darkness with His strength. You don’t have to go at it alone. That’s why He crosses our paths with other beloveds. That’s the light that will help guide you out of your darkness!

Blameless Light Of Your Love

I want to love and emulate what Mother Teresa said about giving: “It is not about how much we give, but about how much love we put into giving.

Why are we so reluctant to reach out and extend a helping hand to those who are in need?

I admit, there are times when I encounter others in need and I act like I’m blinded to it. I either don’t want to be inconvenienced or feel what little I have to offer would not help much. That’s a sinful act of omission; failing to reach out and do good by helping another. 

Ouch!

Jesus commanded us to be on the lookout for such needs by showing compassion and pity without expecting anything in return. 1 John 3:17 says, “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?”

Serve Without Reserve

I wish we could bottle up all the love and grace that is extended to us before it disappears, but time doesn’t stand still. I’m praying others will experience the kingdom of God this side of heaven through my love and actions.

We are called to serve God without reserve, which is easier said than done.

Living out what Roy T. Bennett beautifully articulated is a challenging reminder:

“Don’t just learn, experience.
Don’t just read, absorb.
Don’t just change, transform.
Don’t just relate, advocate.
Don’t just promise, prove.
Don’t just criticize, encourage.
Don’t just think, ponder.
Don’t just take, give.
Don’t just see, feel.
Don’t just dream, do.
Don’t just hear, listen.
Don’t just talk, act.
Don’t just tell, show.
Don’t just exist, live.”

Give Until It Hurts

When we help others, we live like Winston Churchill shared, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

God’s Word promises us help if only we will just believe and grab a hold of His hand extending down from heaven. Psalm 91:14-16 says: 

Because they love me, says the Lord, I will rescue them;

I will protect them, for they acknowledge my name.

They will call upon me, and I will answer them;

I will be with them in trouble, I will deliver them and honor them.

With long life will I satisfy them and show them my salvation.

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

The Decay Of The Waiting Room…

What’s More Painful,

Dilapidated Conditions or Abominable Banter?

Death and decay reek. The woman draws in closer. She obviously feels her exchange of banter is needed. A breath mint might just grant her!

Between the abominable breath causing imminent death, who needs to worry about dilapidated conditions or suspicions.

Oh, I hear her all right. Mix a Xanax with her cheese, please!

Silence is obviously not a known science…

Oh wait, isn’t this where my fav Achmed comes to the rescue?

After all, grief has a way of screaming

The pearls and pitfalls of the cover girl. The tendency to turn my pain into another’s gain. The sounds that hit the ground take more than grace to run this race with a bitter sister from another mother.

Gotta love us women at times when we turn into more than extra-grace required children.

This beloved means well, but her breath isn’t my only bone. I have chosen to sit in this waiting room alone. I need space for this race, unoccupied by this banter which is nothing but epic ranter.

We’re Never Alone With Jesus

I don’t know about you, but I need peace to see every crease of my soul. That’s why my head is down in my Bible so I won’t dread what’s ahead. I am choosing to feel every single pain; physically, emotionally, financially and spiritually. 

Let me cry, as foreign as that may be. Let me grieve, which is foreign to me. Let me just be!

I’m 51 percent introvert and 49 percent extrovert. Many disagree, but do they really know me? I require space so I don’t disgrace!

Blameless Long Walk of Pain

Try being a chaplain; it’s a long walk to talk…

Have you ever wondered why waiting rooms tend to be colder than ice? And I’m being nice…

Time stands still. Life requires more than a will. Love requires being filled from above.

Waiting rooms contain inevitable frustration and tidal waves of depression.

My new friend goes for the jugular, “So… do you still feel God loves you? All that time you spend reading your Bible, what good is it now?”

Love from above…

Pause… one, two, three, four… before reacting. My cast-iron horns were fully emerged and the flaming arrows were deployed to surge.

Space occupied by the enemy who comes solely to kill, steal and destroy has no place here. Then again, maybe her breath mirrors the death inside my own heart.

The lies of the enemy penetrate my heart, but my shield fends off the affliction. I’m left feeling naked instead. My soul will be exposed if I don’t stay controlled and posed.

So my venom leads me down to the ER room, emergency relief room, to pray.

Smiley – Wonderful

My mind ventures back and hangs onto what the amazing Ann Voskamp spoke earlier to my heart:

Is Jesus merely useful to you — or is He ultimately beautiful to you?

When Jesus is useful to me, I’m looking for a genie in a bottle, to give me the life I want.

When Jesus is beautiful to me, I’m looking for His face in my life, to give Him the love I feel.

When Jesus is merely useful to me, I want Him to move my world.

So herein lies my convicted heart. That’s the beauty of the cross, there’s no shame in our game, judgment or condemnation. Instead, there is love and conviction in this affliction.

This consoles my soul because I know the decay in this hallway needs removed today. I choose to see my beautiful Lord’s face in my space.

My heart remembers Lamentations 3:22-26:

22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.

25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
26 it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.

No wonder the Lord tells us to be ready in and out of season because this season of frying my heart crisp burns through all the lying. The enemy may be able to burn our tender hearts, but he won’t take us down with his assaulting darts.

World War III is fully equipped with grace and that’s key.

Waiting rooms are hard and filled with refinement opportunities; whether it’s medical, financial, legal or relational. When conditions look dilapidated and our lives and hearts become castrated due to these afflictions, it helps to remember the words of John Wesley:

One of the greatest evidences of God’s love to those that love him is, to send them afflictions, with grace to bear them.

My heart and faith is constantly tested during such periods in being weak and scared. The one thing I cleave to is that God loves me enough to take note of every tear I shed in the waiting room. 

Psalm 56:8 says, “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”

Blameless Blue Eyes Tears

Leaving a trail of tears as we sojourn down a path of heartache is inevitable this side of heaven, so we would bode well to keep the depth of our relationship with the Lord constant.

Always in my heart…

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

Blameless Heart Love 2

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