Tag Archives: #rehabilitation

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries Our Lives Begin To End 5

“Our Lives Begin To End The Day We Become Silent…”

“Our Lives Begin To End The Day We Become Silent About Things That Matter.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Are we slowly dying or are our hearts and souls being rebirthed?

With all the death, disease and division going on in the world today, my thoughts have been fixed to the beautiful words spoken from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. where he said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

I don’t believe Dr. Martin Luther King meant that included destruction; inciting riots and pulling down monuments through decimation as a means to have our voices heard, but heard they have been. Personally, I’ve been blessed to have heard history and heritage I never knew.

I honestly have had to look at my own heart wondering what I really meant by “there is no race in mankind” as far as prejudice and discrimination. Though I may not see the color of a person as anything but an enhancement to the beauty and spice in the bunch, there is a lot to learn in how our black beloveds are perceived and received.

In sitting and chewing on every beautifully written word of “our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter,” my mind sat for hours wondering what I was letting die through my own silence.

My mind immediately went to my children and grandchildren and came to the conclusion real quick that they’re covered with loud proclamations of grace and extra grace.

But then my heart focused onto the oppressed, the abandoned and the rejected and how they must be feeling when no one is speaking up for their lives, the discrimination and the prejudices; for example, the incarcerated and the homeless.

With this COVID-19 spreading like wildfire in the Caifornia prisons alone, with an outbreak of over 3,400 infections that have brought death upon many, their lives have been silenced.

I understand we’re all tired, scared, judgmental and have become somewhat immobilized, but what happens when we try and express our beliefs through loving actions in lieu of loud proclamations?

I’m like everyone else, I’ve been entangled in webs of deception, evilness that prevails, and am constantly under attack because my faith walks out what God’s Great Love means. But isn’t pretending to love others just lip service in our Church today?

According to what I read in the Bible, loving others leads and moves us into action and change.

We can’t just pretend to love others.  We have to really love them!!!  Hate what is wrong.  Hold tightly to what is good (Romans 12:9).

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries Our Lives Begin To End 2

So after sitting with my thoughts for hours, I started playing around and made a short video to see if it could express something profound and make me think about my own vulnerabilities without boisterous demands speaking directly to open hearts.

I found taking a moment of silence illustrated what really stirred my heart and how I must guard against it moving forward.

Please take a moment to watch the 45-second video and share with me what grabbed your heart out of it.

And I agree with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter,” but that does not negate our responsibility to act through Love. Love is an action; it is not self-serving; it acts, whether it wants to or not.

And therein lies the challenge…

I believe we Become What We Believe! I have learned through heartache that my identity comes from the Lord solely, so that means my faith must follow with action. That doesn’t protect me from betrayal and the stings of evil, but it does empower me to stand up and continue to move forward with courage and confidence.

My focus may be different than yours, but I refuse to be quiet about extending second chances to those who need a hand up, not a hand out. This is no easy feat, but we’re all called to love the Lord with all our heart, soul and mind along with loving our neighbor as ourselves.

And if we walk out genuine faith leaning into Jesus’ heartbeat, this should include that generous hearts embrace that today’s offender will become tomorrow’s neighbor.

Faith isn’t selective, right?

So we all have a role we must participate in making our communities safer through awareness, comprehensive programming and God’s Great Love. That doesn’t leave room for prejudices and selective love.

As the beautiful Ann Voskamp shared,

Winning the lottery doesn’t make you lucky.  Getting to love makes you the luckiest of all, because love always wins.  You don’t need the love of many — you only need to love many times more than you ever thought you could.”

Until next time…

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries Tammy Ingram Foundet

Courage To Speak Up For Those Forgotten…

Social Justice Is…

Having Courage To Speak Up For Those Forgotten…

Being a catalyst of change requires strong influencers who stand on lasting values that the good news of the gospel presents.

God’s Great Love Changes Everything!

Bringing my Lord’s presence into a domain (prisons) that the enemy has held captive for centuries is daunting, but worthy of the challenge because after meeting hundreds of prisoners, they’re beloveds just like you and me who have made horrible mistakes and deserve a second chance.

This is why Blameless and Forever Free Ministries has transitioned over to the reentry side and will open up a center to help returning citizens succeed.

Most prisoners develop a deep and sincere desire to change their life circumstances through hope and motivation from family and/or religion. Focusing on this link and alternatives opens many doorways of opportunities in having goals filled with lifestyle changes.

“Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye.”

H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Prisons are set up for punishment, profit and containment. Prisoners need hope, motivation and rehabilitation.

Could you be caged up like an animal and live in close quarters with hundreds, if not thousands, of others and accept being told what to do, what to eat, what to wear, when to sleep, when to wake up, when to work, when to shower and when to talk to loved ones on the phone, while being surrounded by criminal conduct and make sound decisions once released?

You might begrudgingly say they’re lucky to have a cage to live in and food in their bellies after committing their crime, but…

How is that teaching them the power to rewrite their stories, you know, through recasting the drama and redirecting their actions?

Having the opportunity to impact their lives is the greatest reward possible and one in which requires softening up great opposition.

Discrimination, racism and negative social policies and laws have labeled returning citizens “once a felon, always a felon.” This caters to the belief and reason why our recidivism rates are so high.

When we force our returning citizens into this category, we wonder why they recommit and/or become homeless.

We are what we believe, and when we’re told over and over that we’re bad and menaces to society, it’s no wonder we find ourselves living under the spell of deceit and lies.

Good decision-making skills requires options. Surviving in prison surrounded by criminal conduct pretty much means association with the wrong crowd. It’s hard to make good choices when there are minimal options available to us. That requires many opportunities.

Prisons are full of beloveds who lack support, encouragement and visitation from loved ones.

Could you sustain hope and peace of mind without a covering of love?

When I was rejected and unloved, my decision-making skills needed help, too. Every decision I made was based on fear. That’s all I knew.

When you’re surrounded by criminal conduct, and most decisions are already laid out for you, without a covering of love, there is no hope or reason to strive forward in making changes.

Strong support and dedication is a rare and unique gift of hope that all incarcerated need.

Reentry process is more like a survival process. Survival of the fittest! This is why it’s imperative to surround ourselves with people who are going to lift us higher.

How can we expect our returning citizens to be productive members of society when we judge, ridicule and turn our backs on them? That doesn’t influence them to become better individuals, become assets to our communities or even make our communities safer.

Unconditional acts of kindness and love opens doorways to new lives and behaviors.

During times of challenge, frustration and failure, knowing that someone believes in you helps you try again. Introducing others to the love of Jesus provides this comfort in faith.

Every day we have the opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Replacing discrimination with rehabilitation and hate with love will restore precious lives and teach us a thing or two about ourselves, too.

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries understands returning citizens, I am more than my mistakes.

Prisoners need society to understand, I am more than my mistakes!

Until next time…