Tag Archives: #I’mNoAngel

Living With Addiction Day 19 ~ Broken Behaviors of Abuse

Blameless Freedom

Living With Addiction

Strongholds of Shame

Broken Behaviors of Abuse

Day 19 of 40

The Beautiful Mandisa sings, “There’s freedom on the other side of things that keep us tied up and afraid.  There’s hope in every situation no matter what you’re facing every day.  But it’s up to you, you get to choose.  I’m walking, living, breathing proof.  The Father is waiting there with open arms” in Dear JohnOh, how He loves us!!!

Beautiful lyrics to hold onto!  People will more than likely hurt us, that’s life and there’s absolutely no way to escape or avoid it.  In fact, I know this kind of pain myself all too well, but we don’t have to let it hold us captive in our prisons of anger, fear and bitterness.  The beauty that God brings from our ashes of mourning is worthy of sharing.  Broken lives can be put back together.

God’s Word is not what many perceive as a list of do’s and don’ts.  It’s a love letter announcing the freedom we achieve when we believe.  There’s no record of any of our imperfections or faults.  It’s all erased and it’s been forgiven.  The Bible shares why God sacrificed it all and gave us His son, Jesus Christ, to pay the price for it all.  He loves us just the way we are and is awaiting for us to open up our hearts and receive Him!

Can you hear me singing?  These words penned and sing are especially dedicated to all my violators who have ever afflicted any injury to my person; emotionally, physically, spiritually, financially and sexually! 

How can a woman who has been violated in such a way that has been battered, stalked, abused, bruised, robbed, betrayed, amongst many others not worthy of listing, forgive, open up her heart, and walk proudly and confidently knowing where her worth comes from?  It’s called H-O-P-E!!! 

How have I survived, thrived, and stayed alive during such torment instead of understanding what a scorned woman does?  His name is Jesus Christ and the hope He promises when we believe and act out our faith!  I’m a friend of God and I know Him and love Him.

I also know and believe in the resurrection of God’s son, Jesus Christ, so I know what I can trust and what I cannot!  I know that His love is greater than any pain I could ever endure. 

There is beauty everywhere, more beauty than tragedy, and that is what I choose to hold onto and can because of the redemption of my pain!

Psalm 34:4-8 sums it up perfectly to describe my deliverance:  “I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.  Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.”  This poor woman called, and the Lord heard her; He saved her out of all her troubles.  “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and He delivers them.  Taste and see that the Lord is good”; blessed are those who take refuge in Him.

Martinis were their name, Cocky Bull was its game.  What started out as a typical night two-stepping at the local country bar holding our fame whereas not to be lame led to too many martinis and an uninvited guest into our sacred bed that was meant just to be shared between a husband and his bride.  This uninvited guest called my best friend at the time felt the need to sliver in through the midnight shadow and rob what was mine to begin with; my husband. 

After tending to the crying baby and hearing whispers filled with eerie secretive sounds, the only thing I heard loud and clear was my heart imploding as my bestfriend justified her actions in sharing how she had been in love with my husband since the first time she met him.  Excuse me???  That’s betrayal at her finest hour!  Now you might understand why I’ve said I’ll take any physical blow to the head than the pain caused from emotional trauma!

This shame I carried for years is being related for the sole purpose to share how God works in and through our lives with tragedies and brings freedom through healing.  Today I’m living in freedom and flying free of yesterday’s guilt, today’s fears, and tomorrow’s grave.  All because God loves me just the way I am!

There is a greater purpose and plan for our pain.  I agree, pain sucks big time, but we need to share our joys as well as our tragedies together as a community.  We’re more than conquerors in Christ, we’re overcomers!

Until next time…

Tammy Tangent Tuesdays – The Hot, Hot, Hot 3 C’s Girls Club!

Psstt… Have you heard?

Blameless Girls 3 C's 1.1

There’s a new Girls Club in Town! 

It’s HOT, HOT, HOT and it’s ruled by the 3 C’s!

Blameless 3 C's

Hello Beautiful!  I pray you’re having a blessed week so far enjoying life this side of heaven.  It’s that time again; it’s Tammy Tangent Tuesdays!  This weekly challenge costs you nothing but change and the freedom it brings through being H-O-T, H-O-T, H-O-T, you’re going to wonder how you’ve lived without it! 

Blameless 3 C's 1.1Connect † Celebrate † Contribute

If you dare to be hot, dare to care, have the courage, and are willing to be challenged, then I welcome you to an environment to connect, to celebrate, and to contribute!  Yes, this community is solely focused on celebrating the Beautiful Beloveds God designed us girls to be while bringing unity back into our communities.  It started all the way back to the early church formation reflected in the Book of Acts and somehow or another it got buried and forgotten.  After much digging and cleaning of the musty-dusty dark corners, the treasures of Acts 2:42-47 emerged!

Extra, extra, read all about it!!!  Today’s Headlines:  The girls are coming to town and they’re sizzlin’ hot!  I don’t care how old we are, young or old, we are all looking for a place to connect and belong, a safehaven and atmosphere that offers us acceptance in embracing the Beautiful Beloveds that God so intricately designed that is anything but boring when it is based on treasured darlings who believe in the H-O-T, H-O-T, H-O-T community: Being honest, open, and transparent!!!

H ~ Honest

O ~ Open

T ~ Transparent

As Neichelle Guidry reminds us, “If you are going to seek the kingdom of God — you must overcome your addiction to comfort.”  The only way we can embrace all that God has in store for us is our willingness to change through being H-O-T!!!  The Bible never said living a life in being a Beautiful Beloved would be dull and boring, quite the contrary; God said it would be an exciting journey filled with joy and blessings if only we would approach each and every day with great expectation.  This can be accomplished through the richness that relationships with others can bring while bringing Him glory.  There’s so much life to live this side of heaven; it’s time to embrace it while shedding off the old!

I don’t know about you, Beautiful Beloved, but I dare you to care enough to take on the challenge in being the courageous Beloved God designed you to be.  Then you’ll be able to live by the 3 C’s rule which will allow you to connect, celebrate, and contribute to our communities all the while knowing just how Beautiful and Hot you were designed and created to be!

Come on, I dare you to take on the challenge to…….

Connect, Celebrate, Contribute

Acts 2:42-47

While Being Hot!

This challenge is for the courage to care and to change!

We all have a choice to express caring through the courage and challenge to make changes in our character and conduct through the celebration of contributing and connecting.  Phheeeewww… that’s a lot of C’s!  Let’s make it our weekly challenge this week by starting the 3 C’s Club in being H-O-T by connecting, celebrating and contributing with those in our communities.  Let’s celebrate it by expressing at least “three encouraging words” a day through courage and kindness.  Encouragement breeds beautiful change!

We need each other to share our lives through honesty, openness and transparency; how else are we going to learn how to be better and stronger at being who God designed us girls, women, friends, daughters, moms, sisters, aunts, grandmothers, you name it, to be!  We need each other!  We need the wise to share their experiences of failure and victory; otherwise, where will the youth learn from.  How about the value that the younger generation brings through their innocence and purity, it can sure teach us old dogs a few new tricks found in the secret joy of great expectations.  Their gift of technological savviness and their unprecedented determination for justice is needed!  We all contribute to the successful unity within our communities.  When we make the decision to connect with a pure heart, humility and conviction, then we’re able to celebrate and contribute to other people’s lives.  That’s what the gospel is all about; loving through H-O-T relationships.

Let’s start opening our tender and bleeding hearts to God’s direction.  We need each other and two are better than one; and three is definitely not a crowd, it is a community!  Where there is community and care, we are able to contribute by sharing our testimonies of great strength and desires and then our connections will turn into great communities of celebration!

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

Blameless Ballet 3.11

Ezekiel 37:1-14 ~ Dancing Bones

Blameless Dancing Bones 7

Dry Bones Syndrome?

How did we get here?  Who taught us to behave the way we do?  Why are our churches filled with dry bones?  No wonder the rats are scurrying about with the slightest reflection of light.  How can we speak life back into the body of Christ?  We have resorted to the complacency of the Dry Bones Syndrome that Ezekiel 37 talks about.  With it being so easy to claim life back into those bones through the power and authority of what the gospel is all about, you know, what Jesus Christ accomplished on the cross at Calvary, why are our bones still dead and not dancing? 

Philippians 4:13I don’t know about you, even though I have kicked and screamed a few thousand times myself, I have made a decision to allow the Lord to restore my dried up bones back to life and engage in the Dancing Bones community.  (This is probably why you will find me dancing just about everywhere these days ).  The Dancing Bones community is what the Body of Christ comes together for; to bring back life through healing and to restore the soul through love and acceptance in being who you REALLY ARE!!! 

We are living under this perception that our congregations are meant for us to visit while hiding behind these false pretenses of facades we spend so much time constructing instead of spending that time embracing who and what we are by learning together what it’s like to apply these principles which make up the gospel.  God did not design you to run from being the Beautiful You you really are!  None of us are perfect, and I am so grateful for that, being the imperfect person I am.  How can this community happen, though, when you arrive late so you don’t have to talk to anybody and then you’re the first to leave, or you completely ignore others by keeping your head down or looking forward with tunnel vision?  What are you hiding from or behind?  This is what we receive through community, the knowledge and wisdom found through connecting with each other and contributing to being one of the many (1 Corinthians 12:12-27) while being united together: the definition of the gospel!  Please do not rob me of the blessings in getting to know you (it is all about me, you know ), you have needed value to share!

I have been on a journey the past couple of years on a quest to find out what exactly it means to be a Christian woman because what I was sadly witnessing and finding throughout our churches did not mirror with what the Bible proclaims.  Since a lot of Christians were living out lives that were quite contrary to Biblical doctrine once they left their congregational walls, I explored all possible avenues of what it means to look like a Christian woman. 

Blameless Dancing Bones 7We are taught about what it means to be a Christian and how to obtain salvation and eternal life, but what about the qualities and characteristics that are supposed to exist in being a Christian woman.  Nobody taught me what my roles and responsibilities were as a Godly woman claiming the inheritance of the kingdom of God amongst a dark and evil world, so I sought out through higher education and the Spirit’s guidance, along with teaching many age groups of women and listening to real-life stories of women in ministry, to find out what would make my God, Almighty God, happy!  Let me say one thing, isolation and being someone you’re not is not the answer.  Not only is it deceptive, but it robs you and others of your presence, your story and your life!

If we’ve had life spoken over and into us, like how God restored the dried bones back to life in Ezekiel 37, shouldn’t we be representatives that speak to the truth, the power and the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ through the transforming power of our very own lives?  Sadly, we have hindered the gospel’s meaning through the division that exists in the body of Christ!  What happened to connecting, celebrating, caring, and contributing to what is spoken about in Acts 2:42-47? 

The success of the gospel has been

hindered by division!

It appears somewhere down the road we have strayed away from the Biblical definition of the traditional family roles and values.  We wonder why society is the way it is.  I know I have done my fair share in life to corrupt society, but I take my responsibilities seriously now with being a daughter of Christ and what the gospel proclaims, so I want to leave a legacy that promotes those beliefs, no matter how hard it is or the persecution I encounter living it out to the best of my ability through the grace given me. 

The number one challenging characteristic that I found through all women in general, not just Christian ones and I am including myself in this pact, is our cattiness behavior and how we’re either too afraid to love or be loved on because of “prior hurts” or “fear of rejection” or this “mean-girl victim” mentality.  One thing that is adamantly clear is that we all need to be rebuilt again that only the Lord can accomplish.  I am not saying this to be mean or ugly, I am only being honest.  Us women are doing quite a disservice to our Lord and each other through the conditions of our hearts and minds, and major artery surgery needs to be performed by the Great Physician in order to heal our bleeding hearts so we can bring unity back into our communities.

Blameless Dancing Bones 8These past years, the Lord has led me on a journey to see firsthand the condition of the hearts and minds of many Beautiful Beloveds. I have watched leaders set up other leaders just to get ahead, I have watched the hurt from deceitful words, and I’ve also witnessed walls of isolation being built around many tender hearts because we just don’t understand our value and worth in Christ.  That’s really no one’s fault but our very own; it’s our responsibility to engage in a relationship with the Lord.  Our relationship with the Lord is mirrored through our earthly relationships.  If we don’t engage in beautiful and trusting relationships with others while being ourselves, then that’s indicative of our relationship with God.  He loves us just the way we are, so Blameless Dancing Bones 8why are we struggling in coming to the throne of God being ourselves?   That’s why we need each other, totally exposed and vulnerable, so we can help encourage and exhort one another; that’s what the Bible says.  That requires people who will care, connect, celebrate and contribute.

The only way we can allow the Lord to bring life back into our dried and brittle bones is to open up our Bibles and study the beautiful Words that are there for us to engage in and apply the principles that it teaches.  How else are we going to be romanced with the greatest love affair available to mankind if we don’t engage in a daily relationship with God?  He loves us just the way we are and He just wants us to tap into that life-giving power that resides through the beauty of the written Word.  He just wants a little of Blameless Dancing Bones 9our time to say hello!  This is the only way healing can begin to bring the unity back alive in our congregations that the Spirit so eagerly awaits to pour out!  There is responsibility with claiming that inheritance and that love should drive us to cleave into our loving daddy’s arms.  Once that occurs, the Spirit of Truth will restore our old, dead bones and get us dancing again.

Let’s Embrace Who God

Designed Us To Be!

Thank You For Being

Beautiful You!

Blameless Fearfully and Wonderfully Made 1

Do You Have My Back?

Blameless Unknown No FearThere’s no need to pay attention to what is behind you; I have your back!  Just trust me as you take a hold of my hand and enjoy the scenery while you sojourn through the unknown.  The path ahead may look quite unstable, but when your mind is focused on the author and perfecter of your story, it makes the outlook of the journey exciting!

Do You Have My Back?

Blameless Joshua 1.9Have you ever come to a place where you’re thrust against a corner acknowledging your passions through your own character flaws and traits that were announced loudly by your actions when you contemplate, “Hey, she has my back”?  I don’t know about you, but when we’re fighting all these battles, are we even realizing who has our backs no matter the cost?  Do we have each others’ backs when ugliness rears its ugly head?  And I’m talking about when we’re less than perfect, too, you know, where we’re all imperfect beings!  Man oh man, did I blow it the other night!!!  But man oh man, I want a rematch! 

One of my girlfriends had purchased a new vehicle and she was feeling good about the color she chose.  I don’t care who you talk to, but a new outfit, much less a new vehicle, gives us this sense of accomplishment and makes us feel good about ourselves and gives us that extra jolt of confidence and skip in our step.  She posted a great photograph and comment about feeling good about the advice from her mother about the color she chose on her Facebook page.  It was reciprocated with congratulatory remarks and words of excitement until one man made a sexiest comment about looking beautiful in “nothing at all.” 

You know, many did not even notice the comment or give much thought to it, but I took great offense to this man’s comment and how we seem to have become desensitized by the subtlety of sexual innuendos in our society today through our communications, not to mention the degradation of us Beautiful Beloveds.  It’s almost like society has accepted that women are objects for the eye’s stimulation and imagination only instead of being esteemed and embraced.  Women were not created to be these sexual creatures that are objects of stimulation while being gawked at or viewed solely for bringing forth sexual pleasure.  Women were created to be valued for the worth God designed us to be which is worthy of all respect and praise, right? 

Phew….. do you see where my passion lies?  Mix that passion with exhaustion and ugly comments, herein lies the battleground!

I took great offense to this man’s comment and went on the attack like a roaring lion.  Unfortunately, though, with the eyes of a tiger, I behaved ravenously instead of graciously.  Talk about leaving me feeling like I was Blameless Mirror Frightcarrying the whole world in my heavy heart.  Even though my girlfriend appreciates me having her back, the battleground should have been handled differently, especially since it wasn’t mine, it was the Lord’s.  The disconnect that is so disturbing, though, is aren’t we supposed to have each others’ backs to begin with?  Sometimes we become uncomfortable with certain suggestive dialogue and we just shrug it off because it’s typical societal jargon and social media bullying, but that’s where we need to start stepping in by saying, “Wait a minute, that’s unacceptable behavior.”  It doesn’t need a dissertation quite like what I presented, but we all need to start calling people out on their disrespectful comments to one another!

I don’t know about all y’all (that southern girl coming out! ha, San Diego girl) but I demand and command respect knowing who God says I am.  When I start seeing others crossing over those boundary lines, I just can’t let its ugliness continue.  Now, granted, I didn’t exactly behave appropriately.  I went for the jugular because his subtly was obnoxiously apparent and offensive to me, I went in for the kill and latched on more like a pit bull.  I have repented and apologized, and I will try much harder the next time to bring awareness through more love than bite.  We need to vocalize and rebuke comments that are bullying and aggressive and demeaning in nature, especially on social media, because ignoring its presence is construing it as acceptable behavior.

Blameless Unknown No Fear 1When we start to see ourselves as God sees us: pure, beautiful, precious, cherished, valued and loved; certain behaviors and attitudes coming from the people surrounding our world starts to become offensive to us in ways that never even made us question before; with good reason.  The Lord allowed a season of significant change in my own life by removing the familiar and unhealthy, including friendships, to show me what it’s like to live in His Promised Land being surrounded by amazing people!  With understanding my worth and value now in being a Beautiful Beloved, encountering the ways of this world, the wicked and evil thoughts that are holding and equating women captive to nothing more than mere sexual objects for fanatical pleasure, I lose my mind to these pathetic gestures, literally. 

Next time I pray I will react differently, but I found that we don’t have to stand down and be subjected to this ugliness by cowering in a corner.  Women need to stand up boldly and courageously for each other and have each others’ backs; that’s one of the luxuries in being adopted into the body of Christ and what having friends are for.  If someone is going to say something in a “public forum” on social media for the whole world to see, then it is up to us not to succumb to the threats in rebuking it.

I may have a long way to go before I become holy in my conduct and speech, but my moral compass and values have changed drastically and I will stand up and be the voice that engages in battle for my sisters with the sharpest sword.  This is why I surround myself with nothing but awesomeness; iron sharpens iron (Proverbs 27:17)!  Let my humility be a gentle reminder as to why we need to get dressed daily with our spiritual armor so we can take our stand against the devil’s schemes, digging deep into the soil so we’re able to firmly stand our ground, while being equipped with the belt of truth buckled around our waists while holding up our shields of faith so we can extinguish the enemy’s flaming arrows (ugly defaming words). This will bless us with the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:13-18).

I wish I could change the way in which I reacted to the ugly spewing comments, because I want to glorify my Lord, not reject Him, but I learned graciously.  Let’s be prepared at all times with gentleness and respect like 1 Peter 3:15 cautions us because the enemy will strike when we’re least prepared and exhausted, so we can have our sisters’ backs 24/7.  It takes a bold and courageous Beloved to stand her ground and announce that it’s not okay for women to be treated as anything less than the Beautiful Beloveds God says we are!

Beautiful Beloved, I have your back!

Tammy Tangent Tuesdays ♥ Dare to Share and Care

Blameless Beautiful You

Dare to Share & Care!

Hello Beautiful!  I pray you’re having a blessed week so far.  It’s that time Blameless Flower 6.6again; it’s Tammy Tangent Tuesdays!!!  This weekly challenge is easy, yet so powerful, it’s the clearest and most effective way we can share and express our beautiful beliefs this side of heaven:  Love through the words of encouragement and affirmation!

I pray a lot of you received the blessings and freedom found through the power of forgiveness from last week’s challenge.  I know I did; with a lot of purging, praising, and praying!  One thing I heard from some of you was that a lot of apologizing was going on, too!  What a healing testimony of the power of prayer and grace!  Thank Blameless Flower 8.8you for sharing the beauty in claiming victory through your stories and emails.  That’s the purpose behind what Tammy Tangent Tuesdays signifies, trying to stimulate unity back into our communities through loving on one another as we dare to share and care!  We need each other to flourish and beauty truly thrives in bunches. 

Since we’re dealing with lives that are messy, our actions and reactions tend to create environments that are anything short of bursts of fuel leading to love and restoration.  I know I don’t have it all together and life is really hard at times, so simple tokens of love and recognition often brightens the navigation through the densest fog so we can see the beauty that lies ahead!  There is nothing more beautiful or better than authentic love daring to share and care! ♥♥  May we never forget, we are all under construction this side of heaven!  Plus, we learn and experience what it’s like to tap into the deep well of living water; you know, that mother struggling to hear good news about her child or that wife who longs for intimacy, simple words of acknowledgement will weave and infuse love into that pain and loneliness!

Blameless Bloom 1

I don’t know about you, but have you ever heard of anyone complaining about being loved on or encouraged too much?  ♥♥♥ There’s just not enough time to share and pour out our love on each other or to even receive too much love!  Everyone we encounter is either arriving, thriving or surviving; and sadly, the majority of Beloveds are just surviving.  ♥♥♥  When we dare to share and care, we are sprinkling love that nourishes the soil (our hearts) for us to grow and bloom where God has planted us.  This is done through the tender care and nourishment that love promotes.

Blameless Flowers Bunch 11What an easy and effective way to spread some love to those close and near to your heart, along with those you don’t really know well, like your neighbor or pastor’s wife or even your child’s teacher, and just tell them how beautiful they are and how much you appreciate them for their life, their service, their dedication, or for just being the beautiful selves that they are!  We all love to hear how beautiful we are; I know I sure do!!!  ♥♥♥  I pray we never forget how beautiful and unique we all are and how our lives contribute to the beauty of the bunch!  Beauty is only skin deep!

This week’s community outreach challenge is: 

Pick a handful of Blameless Beautiful You 3people and send them an email, a card, or even a text that tells them how much you love them and thank them for being beautiful, just because!  Heck, just click on one of the flower pictures and tag it and spread the love of beauty.  Let’s start spreading some love and cheer around our communities.  What a great way to brighten lives!  There’s never enough time and love to share with others.  Let’s love more.  All we need is a little more love.  Try something new; spread the cheer of love!  ♥♥♥  Most of all, Beautiful Beloved, never forget,  Love Never Fails (1 Cor. 13:8).

Never Forget

Blameless Beautiful You

Black Widow Venom Proverbs 20:19 Gossip Betrays

Proverbs 11:13,

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

Are you freakin’ stinkin’ kidding me?  Have you ever had bad words spoken over you?  I have, and I’ll take a physical punch any day over ugly words being spoken over my life.  Physical wounds will heal with time; but wounds from trusted so-called friends, family Blameless Judgmentmembers, and especially church members, afflict such deep bodily injury, sometimes the bleeding heart requires major surgery for survival.  When it’s been ripped open and tortured so many times leading to its rawness, instead of healing internally, it constructs walls of isolation and/or gives birth to the Black Widow syndrome.  We’re all fractured people to begin with, but adding insult to injury, that is just reiterating the point about “how judging a person does not define who they are, it defines who you are!”  Ouch!  Think about that powerful statement for a moment….

We all know her, we’ve been her ourselves if we’re going to be honest; that Black Widow who offers her opinion or interjection to others about another to lure us into the entrapment of the deceit contained within her web.  The one who is threatened, or jealous, or just flat-out miserable because of her own junk and insecurities who will do what she can to slander the character of another.  She has captivated her prey by the lure of her smooth talk; now you’re entangled in this mess without any hope of escape. 

If we’re claiming the privileges in being Beautiful Beloveds of the Lord God Almighty, our words should be used to build up rather than tear down.  The Bible exhorts us in James 1:26-27 that our mouths are the strongest force and deadliest weapon known to mankind and yet people fear and fret over nuclear war, earthquakes, tsunamis and raging forest fires.  Those are natural disasters; the mouth is the downfall of mankind and if we keep the fuel lines of gossip going, then that fuel line will destroy everyone in its tracks.  We need to sever and stop this destruction before it turns into a raging wildfire!  This is not only leading to the division of our churches, but it is giving the enemy just what he wants.  He plants that little seed and we quickly water and cultivate it all on our own with great attention!

Blameless ChangeWhose light are we reflecting when we gossip or when we’re huddled around a table of food talking about another that is not present?  Believers are supposed to be the light, the salt, the preservative that illuminates the bright sites that reflect God’s love and glory (Matthew 5:13-16).  If we speak in love, we won’t be polluting a world that is already dirty and dark enough. We need to take that energy and start sprinkling the love of Jesus onto the people in this world to help clean it up.  We’re the ones showing the world what God’s kingdom is like through our conduct and character.  No wonder there is so much ugly talk about Christians; I couldn’t agree more.  This tender heart is pleading that we take action by pouring out more love so we can change this vicious paradigm we’re living under.

Talking about another without their presence is gossip, period!  We all know how a few words received can be different than actually spoken and then passed on quite differently.  If the person is not there, the words spoken can’t be confirmed or denied or even explained.  Plus, there’s not enough precious time in life to waste it on talking about others.  If you have lots of free time, then you either need a job or Jesus; probably both!  When I am with my girlfriends, this time is a treasured gift to me and I sure am not going to waste any of that precious time connecting talking about another.  If that other person insists on talking about others, change the subject and/or do what one of my amazing friends did. 

A good example on how to deal with innocent conversations that could lead and turn into gossip real easy is when people were coming to her about the ugly side effects of my chemo treatment and inquiring about what happened instead of going directly to the source, me.  She handled it beautifully by saying, “Ask Tammy.  It’s Tammy’s story, not mine to share.”  We may have good intentions on asking about others, but honestly, if you’re really concerned, you’ll go to the person yourself.  That’s one of the beauties of technology; saying hi and reaching out while being concerned for others takes a matter of seconds, and it sure will brighten the other person’s life on the other end to receive it.

Too many believers feel they can rise above the effects of casting this deadly web of sin because it is only gossip, you know, the lesser sin.  Sister or brother (men do it as well), I’m afraid to tell you, but your gossip is just as bad as murdering someone and committing adultery.  No sin is greater Blameless 24 Gossipand/or lesser than other sins; sin is sin in God’s eyes!  So the next time you’re tempted to gossip about another or engage in listening to it, just imagine yourself stabbing that precious soul repeatedly in the heart and maybe it will put a permanent gag in it. 

Let’s join in a challenge to start lifting each other up, through the building up and encouragement, and not tearing down and demolishing each other with our careless words!  We need to focus on bringing unity in our communities and understand how we got where we are.  We can start by remembering that God’s greatest commands are “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might, and love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39).

The condition of our heart is revealed by what comes out of our mouths, so let’s start first by taking the time to spend it in the Word and allowing the Lord to search those deeply recessed parts that are full of infectious disease so the Lord can have some room and bring about healing.  This way we’re not damaging others by spewing out our venom onto others or closing ourselves off from their love that He orchestrated. 

Beloved, sadly all of us, including myself, get hurt from ugly words said by another.  We have to remember that when, not if, we find ourselves tearing down others or talking about others outside of their presence, there’s something in us that needs healing; something that needs to be cleansed and filled up with the love that only the Lord can fulfill.  Tearing others down just means we’re not dealing with our own hurts so we become obsessed with the sins of others by dropping little morsels of deceit to spin the web of destruction!

Blameless Sit Jesus 7

Since I am high maintenance, I go to Jesus, get at His feet, and snuggle in tight quite often.  This allows me the opportunity to cry and release and throw my Tammy Tantrums so I can receive His tender mercies of grace and love.  This is the only way I can keep getting back up and go on knowing where my confidence and self-worth derives from; that’s perseverance.  Now, to be honest, it doesn’t mean that I didn’t ask God to knock ’em out for what they did and said, because I would be sinning, by lying, that I didn’t ask and feel that way; but the Lord healed my pain so I could get back up and embrace life while praying for them at a distance.  

God blesses us with girlfriends who not only love us, but who help hold us accountable when our conduct needs critiquing and change.  It’s okay, we all need help and we all need safe and trusted friends!  Because I found myself surrendering to the control and opinions of others and not who God said I was or was not to do, I had lost my peace and patience and was ready to download.  Since God knew I was becoming Blameless Spiderweb 7entangled in this web of deception, a prisoner to the voices of the enemy and being held captive by fear and condemnation, God used an amazing accountability partner to hold me accountable for my actions and who helped me navigate through the pollution that was clouding my judgment.  Because I was being betrayed by what was occurring, that is when God raised up my beautiful girlfriend, Dr. English, to speak words of truth over and through my life clearing the pollution to see the beauty that actually lies ahead.  Through her own experiences, she shared that because God calls us “to shine light on the musty dusty dark corners…you know what happens…the rats scurry about.  Why?  Because like it or not, satan is hiding in the church waiting to make strongholds!  And satan is an ass!”  Indeed, he is just that! 

When we become stale from being closed in and closed off, sequestered behind our walls of isolation that pain and lack of trust builds, satan has the power to trap us into thinking that the fresh air brought in by divine light is plagued with the sin that has so easily entangled us through the deadly effects of the venom from the black widow spider!  Not everyone has bad intentions; that’s our own junk.  We need to let go of the pain so we can receive His love and the blessings He is trying to bestow upon us!  What a reiteration of Psalm 118:8-9 that says, “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.  It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.” 

Romans 8:14-17 alerts us to the fact that if we’re adopted into the family of Christ, we gain not only our inheritance and rights into eternal life with God, but it also requires the responsibility in living out that privilege.  Jesus’ life emulates love and we’re supposed to mirror that reflection.  Let’s share God’s golden treasures through our identification and inheritance in being a Beloved of Christ; let’s share those golden nuggets through encouragement and support; living and loving as Jesus did, resisting the temptation to live according to the ways of the world; and do not isolate.  And when we falter, go and make amends!  It’s really not that hard and extremely rewarding!

Father God, I thank you for showing us that “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22).  I pray blessings over my sisters that they will be empowered to “not become weary in doing good,” and that as they have the opportunity, to “do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (Galatians 6:9-10).  I pray also that all those negative and ugly words that have ever been spoken over us Beautiful Beloveds are bound, released, and thrown into the pit of hell where they belong; and that you heal the damage and the scarring that was brought about by such ugly words and actions.  Tear down those walls of isolation!  Thank you for loving us like no other.  Oh, how we need you and love you.  Thank you, Jesus!  Amen!

Beautiful Beloved, never forget:  Beauty is oftentimes developed during the pain

Blameless 3

The Dance ~ Never Give Up

Blameless Dance Never Quit

Grace Requires Falling

Life appears to be flowing smoothly; you know this dance, you’ve rehearsed it a thousand times over, especially in your head!  You’ve worked hard for this moment; you’ve persevered through all the injuries that the stumble and falls created, some of which were painful and hard to get over.  You somehow or another always rose to the occasion by getting back on your feet and trying again, no matter how demoralizing the jeers of the audience became.  One, two, three, turn; one, two, three, turn…….

Suddenly, without warning, you find yourself feeling a bit tense along with that mixed bag of emotions, you know, dread and resistance from the ugly looks and comments, but you graciously release control and press in because you trust what the Teacher has taught you and know what those subtle promptings mean; you know when to go left and you know when to turn; you also know when it’s time to move on and keep dancing.  Since you can’t seem to shake those feelings that are beginning to turn your stomach into knots, you find yourself losing focus. You’ve never gotten this far before in the dance, you’ve usually quit, given up, and walked away.  This is a challenge that will require so much more than courage and faith. 

As you’re trying to perform the dance, your mind goes to the place where you’re having a hard time reflecting on when your dance has ever been more peaceful and graceful along with the power and intensity to tackle anything your Teacher requires of you, so why this sick sense?  Your feet are in sync with the Teacher’s lead and your grace appears to be as beautiful and carefree as a swan skimming across the water when suddenly you find yourself flying through the air and landing flat on your bass.  Ouch!!!  How did you not see that leg extension that was strategically placed to make you fall?  You’ve been through this routine hundreds of times before and yet, how could you stumble and fall before you got to the end and claimed the prize?

Blameless Ballet FloorLife is like a dance, every stumble and fall, including challenges that test our faith, offer us gifts filled with golden nuggets, but only if we’re brave enough to plow through the pain and look for them.  These gifts can be received through the mundane nuggets found in rejection, insecurities, fear, experience, even perseverance or that infamous extended leg intentionally placed out of spite to make you fall.  Thankfully, we know and trust the Teacher who allowed it for the testing of our reaction to guide us where He wants us to land. 

Through the pain, we trust that our Teacher only wants what is best for us and knows the greater potential that lies ahead if only we will get up off the ground.  We might become frustrated and hurt, ready to give up and in because of the constant jeers, but the Lord just asks that we grab ahold of His hand and get up and brush off the layers of humiliation and shame so we can receive the prize through grace that will equip us to be stronger and more confident for the next time, not to mention how much more full of grace and elegance our dance will be.  Being graceful is hard, but it’s so rewarding!

James 3:2 tells us, “We all stumble in many ways.  If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.” 

Tender heart, if the words of another, that extended leg, have penetrated your bleeding heart, just remember that in order to stop all the pain right in its tracks before it does any further damage is to cleave into the Lord by crying out and allow Him to repair the damage before your reactions consume you and damage others through the fuel lines of anger and bitterness.  Pain coming from the mouths of hurting individuals amount to nothing but devastation.  Forgiveness that leads to restoration and peace understands we’ve all made mistakes and have fallen, whether through the ugliness of an extended leg or our own carelessness through lack of focus. 

Please allow the following passages to permeate your soul and fill your heart with tender mercies that will allow you to reach out to your other sisters for forgiveness and support.  I know and understand all too well how painful the jeers from others can have lasting and harmful effects.  But these passages are yours for the claiming, much like Jesus’ hand extending down to us when we’re down, on the ground, and are feeling less than beautiful.  He wants you to grab ahold of His hand and trust Him again so you can get back to dancing.

Just remember, Isaiah 40:29-31 tells us, “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.”  And Psalm 37:23-24 says, “If the Lord delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.”

Blameless PatienceI know how painful wounds can be coming from a person we thought was a friend or sister in Christ, but when we refuse to forgive and move on, whether that means through the channel of reconciliation or closing the door to any continued relationship, it only breeds more damage to the bleeding heart to not let it go.  Let it go!  Don’t let their words keep you from God’s best!  We all fall; but when we trust our Teacher, our Guider, our Leader to take control, not only does He know our potential, but He just wants to lead the way and allow us to waltz in sync with Him through laughter and joy while embracing the dance floor.  God delights in His Beautiful Beloveds who trust Him because they know He will make their steps firm.  Now that is grace!