Tag Archives: Religion

I Cried When I Was Denied…

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I Cried When I Was Denied…

But I Never Died!

The morning coffee buzz from being drunk on too much caffeine, along with the clanging plates from the waitresses rushing to cater to every need, drowned out the sobering convulsions conveyed from the beaten and burned beloved.

From rejected to accepted!

Cigarette burns and bruises to any part of your body is considered torture and abusive!

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Somebody is always listening…

If truth be told, I prefer my morning brew in the comforts of my own home, preferably in bed, along with my morning devotional time spent at my Lord’s feet opening up my Bible.  The sounds from Mr. Owl chiming in with his whoot-whoots as the orchestra of frogs rib-bit out a beat or two in sync with the birds’ melody who excitedly embrace their new day is more than a welcomed sound.

Today was different, though!  Tuesdays we do a Bible study for the homeless beloveds that would like to know how to experience this great love affair trusting and waltzing with the Lord after being abused myself.  I am writing this Bible study called God’s Great Love Changes Everything specifically catered to our homeless! 

After only receiving a couple of RSVPs for tonight’s study and the constant complaints delivered from being cold due to the night’s rain, chocolate chip pancakes and hot coffee seemed to be the menu topic initiated in a community text message about where dinner would be.  This quickly ushered us into meeting at iHop for breakfast along with the Bible study in lieu of dinner. 

Dinners are a rare luxury for the homeless population and Blameless is one of the few organizations that offers hot dinners twice a week.  Usually only breakfast and sack lunches are offered at shelters and churches, so I knew there was a great need behind this need for a breakfast meeting.

Blameless Need Behind Need

Between the noise, we settled in tight as the girls started peeling off their damp scarves and jackets to get warm.  I hadn’t noticed the bruises and lacerations on one beloved until she removed her many layers hiding more than emotional turmoil.  Once the injuries were in full view, I knew we needed intervention to figure out the best protocol to approach this behavior. 

Homeless women tend to be associated with domestic violence encounters because they’re used to living under the fight and flight mentality as a form of protection, no matter how distorted that may appear.  Having a buddy for comfort and protection helps fend off other violent attacks against the homeless along with assurances that their few bags of possessions will still be nearby when they awaken.  But the cost is often great!

This precious beloved shared how she just wanted to be held and comforted because she didn’t end up getting to talk to her son, who had promised to call her over the weekend.  This mama totally understands the love our children cover us with and the rejection that might follow. 

She shared how much she loved her son, but that she was so wrapped up tight living under her own veil of shame and living in the wrong hood (battlefield of the mind), that she just decided to pity party her own disappointment.

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If you’ve ever lived under the demands of abuse, you find yourself living, or surviving, under the confines of mental anguish.  Instead of seeing this pain as a process (a wake-up call to get out), you find it accepting as a permanent residence because you become isolated due to shame with no one to help you get up or out. 

You cried when you were denied, but since you never died, you become quite familiar and comfortable in the most horrid conditions.  When you live in darkness, being out in the light is frightening and quite startling.  Initially…

I shared with the girls how my pain turned into power when I realized that facing this Goliath of fear walking through it scared as hell was the only way to unlock the shackles.  The key was that it would take others to help pick me up each time I fell.  No more isolation. 

Taking baby steps ended the life being subjected to the multitude of abusers while living a life loved and yes, helping others.  That meant acting and living like who God says we are; His works of art! 

We cannot allow this process, being homeless and/or abused, to become our permanent spot.  Engaging in pity parties, having the mindset of a victim and denier, announces the need to break free from the toxicity of this environment. 

Yes, living a life filled with an outpouring of love and peace will be awkward and quite uncomfortable at first, but it will offer us freedom, along with our own tear-stained pillows and soft embrace from the protection and warmth that our own cozy blankets offer. 

I am choosing to honor my Lord by honoring the beloveds He has placed in my life.  I know the Lord will show me how to love others the way in which He loves me so that our faith will grow stronger and deeper in our hearts as we learn to trust in Him.

Until next time…

Thank You For Being

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Buday Strong, Russell B.

Blameless Buday Strong

The Voice of Russell B.

Buday Strong

Working Homeless

Please let me introduce you to Buday Strong!  Russell is Blameless and Forever Free’s latest nominee for the board of directors.  With his unprecedented devotion in being Blameless’ chef and server, along with always being willing to help wherever he can, (only missing one week in nine months, solely due to the founder’s insistence that he heal from his shoulder surgery), he’s not missed one day serving.  One of many reasons why he is being nominated as Blameless’ homeless advocate.

Russell is a working homeless beloved himself.  And the following is raw, intimate and vulnerable, words spoken from his heart that he wants us to understand.

In Russell’s words…

The reason his homelessness started was over petty money issues between siblings and his need to provide for his children in the Philippines; “money is the root of all evil.”  His American family insinuated that his Philippine family was using him.  Russell tried to explain without compromise.

Russell has constantly put his daughters, 8 and 10, at the front burner.  His daughter says her daddy is “Buday Strong.”

Russell’s last name is Buday and it ironically means “strong, strength.”

Russell has struggled with homelessness before, but he has now become isolated and withdrawn because he is tired of being labeled as “the scourged of the community.” 

This shame keeps homeless beloveds bound without hope believing, “We’re the low life of the community in their eyes; that we don’t deserve any kind of help.” 

He tearfully continues, “If you treat us like animals, we will be animals towards you.  I want to be treated like a human being.  I have feelings like you, believe it or not.  Your looks hurt!  You don’t have to say one word, but just look, and I know what you’re thinking.” 

That is why we oftentimes say the homeless live behind their veils of shame because of what society has projected at them,

“especially when you’re pushing a cart.”

By the way, Russell is the ONE throughout this year who has loyally served the homeless community through dedication and dependability.

A lady once brought tender tears to Russell’s heart because of her statement, “Some of the nicest people with the biggest hearts are those that live on the streets.”

Russell knows what it’s like to live as a homeless individual and what is needed.  He was homeless 22 years ago in Florida for a couple of years, and now he’s currently homeless and has been for the past eight, nine months, while being employed.

What the homeless need RIGHT NOW is love, dinner and shelter every night.  Not only does safety and nourishment for the heart, soul, body and mind aid in their sleeping which is disturbed already by being out in the elements along with the crime that runs rampant in the streets, but it calms and restores their soul in making better decisions.

Homelessness has broken Russell down.  Stripped down naked feeling exposed.  “You feel worthless and no matter what you do, you try to grasp onto something and you keep slipping.  You can’t get a good handle on or a foothold on to something and you just give up due to exhaustion.  We feel broken.” 

It’s Russell’s kids and faith in God that are making sure that Russell stays Buday Strong.  Because without him, his children will not survive because they depend on the resources he provides.

With tears rolling down his cheeks, Russell shares, “You don’t know how hard this is for me, doing this.  Whenever you’re alone for so long, you bottle everything up and you don’t want to open up.”  This is one step forward towards his healing.  He just wants peace in sharing his life; advocating for the homeless. 

Russell is someone whom the founder has noticed that will give the shirt off of his back, while being homeless and cold himself, and he shutters when he thinks about how his family won’t help.  Our division and strife in families is growing increasingly divided and somehow or another we’ve lost the love.

God’s Great Love Changes Everything!

And truth be told about Russell’s love for his own family, being faced with the possibility of having his toes amputated because of chronic health issues not being addressed, which is very heavy on his heart, fear is a bipolar rivalry between his worth and value, crushing his spirit, and paralyzing him in moving forward in taking care of himself.  Self vs. family equates homelessness while he continues to work.

In conclusion, Russell’s final plea is, “All I want is for people to know me and not turn a blind eye” just because he’s homeless and pushing a cart.  If you really want to know, don’t assume, ask him why he’s homeless.

Until next time…

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.

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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!

 

He Is Risen!

Blameless Luke 24.5.6

Why Do You Look For The Living Among The Dead? 

He is not Here…

He has Risen!

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He is Risen!

Happy Easter, Beautiful!  I pray you’re able to abide in and grasp the Power of the Resurrection today.

Oh my, talk about life-sustaining L-O-V-E!!! 

That’s the definition of unconditional love, life-sustaining love.

Receive it…

Believe it…

Breathe it in…

Rest in it…

That’s the beauty of the Cross…

Our Beautiful Jesus invites us to dine with Him,

From now through all eternity.

Believe in the Father, the Son, and Holy Ghost,

And dine with Jesus as your host.

To live in Heaven eternally,

All you must do is…

Believe and R.S.V.P.

 

Blameless It Is Finished

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

Blameless Luke 24.5.6

 

I Just Called To Say… Tammy Tangent Tuesdays

 I Just Called To Say…

…I Love You & Share I Care!

Tammy Tangent Tuesdays

The Lord sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness (Psalm 41:3).

Hi Beautiful! I hope you received the many prayers offered up last week asking Beautiful Jesus to cover us with undeniable peace and joy. What a way to open the floodgates of compassion. After all, that is the gift of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives! It’s that time again; it’s Tammy Tangent Tuesdays!

I don’t know about you, but I have been held captive and bed-bound by that funky flu. I’ve never held onto a high fever for more than a couple of days and felt every joint in my body scream for more than ice cream!

Being sick sucks, especially when you have to miss out on a Jesus Culture concert and conference, along with doing life with peeps you just love to eternity. Too many days being blue with the flu!

I have been crying out like a baby, Have mercy on me, LORD, for I am faint; heal me, LORD, for my bones are in agony (Psalm 6:2).

No Need To Be Blue With The Flu,

We Love You!

How many times have we all been blue with the flu or down with another ailment like insecurities, anxiety or depression and feel rejected and unloved because our presence wasn’t acknowledged being absent and no one seemed too concerned to reach out and inquire as to why?

I admit, I’m a beloved who has a hard time being receptive to this special kind of love because I’m the one who is generally taking care of others and I don’t want to be a burden.

Oftentimes, I find myself pushing away these treasured tokens of love subconsciously that others are trying to bless me with, like picking up prescriptions, juice, soup, you name it, all due to not wanting to impose.

Time is Treasure!

Being graced multiple times during this flu bout in having some sugar poured out on me was a true gift. They not only acknowledged I was missing in action and being pretty quiet, but they were concerned enough to reach out and call to find out.

The blessings found through the valuable couple of minutes deposited a treasure chest overflowing with L-O-V-E!

 

Power of Prayer!

The most valuable and precious gift that helped me receive this outpouring of love was the intimate blessings delivered during prayers.

Prayers bond us intimately to others. They sustain us and they open the door to the vulnerability knocking. There’s also power in numbers, so bring the prayer chain and warriors on.

I just called… to say I love you!

There’s a reason our Lord arms us with His strength to press through sickness and disease by equipping us with the gift of friendships that will help carry our load. He doesn’t want His beloveds discouraged and defeated, defenseless to any dreaded disease.

Our lives are often full of battles, filled with stresses and anxieties. Add sickness to the list and it makes life hard to show up and get loved on. Phone calls and prayers cure all, keeps others protected from the cesspool of funky flu drool, and sprinkles life with love through prayers. They are rare, but they show we care!

God gave us courage-infusing and peace-giving passages that all of us need to boldly proclaim warrior status for good reason. For instance, Proverbs 12:25 expresses, “An anxious heart weights a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.”

A. Kind. Word. Cheers. Him. Up.

A quick call to see what is needed and prayer (not the time to purge your junk) cheers us beloveds up because it shows someone cares.

I become weakened when I suffer through sickness, emotionally and spiritually. When I suffer, I fret and worry and find myself parked in the wrong hood (mindset) because I’m sick and sulking and can’t show up to be encouraged and supported.

Blameless Sick and Struggling

Weekly Challenge:  Let’s be beloveds that reach out in being God’s hands and feet this week. Let’s radiate His love and spread sunshine to those who have been living under cloudy skies.

If we haven’t connected with an old friend for a while due to schedule conflicts or have noticed that a brother or sister is missing in action at church, let’s be beloveds that reach out and pour love into their lives while inquiring about their absence.

What an amazing way to show another they’re loved, their life matters, they’re affirmed and they’re missed! Talk about an antidote that cures all.

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

Blameless Rainbow That Keeps Giving

And Your Secret Sauce Is…

 And Your Secret Sauce Is…

“Enthusiasm Is A Supernatural Serenity”

Henry David Thoreau

I walked into the high-rise building wearing my superhero attitude and high-heeled boots relishing sanguine expectations. “Enthusiasm can help you find the new doors, but it takes passion to open them. If you have a strong purpose in life, you don’t have to be pushed. Your passion will drive you there.”

Thank you, Roy T. Bennett, for blessing me with words to live by!

Warning: I’m a contagious carrier of enthusiasm!

The panel started taking their seats as I was ushered to mine, center stage. Sitting before me in an interrogation manner was a panel of 13 peers. With laser-beam eyes penetrating straight through my heart and into my soul, I felt exposed and naked. Talk about uncomfortable. And I had nowhere to run and hide.

I had this overwhelming sense of dread. Similar to what the adulterous woman in the Bible must have felt who was literally caught in the act. Here she was being carried away and rushed towards judgment and death without the other participating party. She was in shock and thrown forcibly to the ground; bound to meet her demise being stoned to death by her peers (John 8:1-11).

Fear is dreadful!

I was surrounded by 13 chairs (yes, lucky 13) in a semi-circle manner. A few members of the panel were even outside of my peripheral vision.

Rule Number 1, always know where your enemy is.

My eyes quickly scanned the room for an emergency exit. That is one of the first things you’re taught in the academy. Naturally, this exit was too far to flee quickly.

Oh, vanity! That deceitful empowerment I get when wearing those high-heeled boots…

A graceful exit?

NOT…

More like a bruised ego!

As I took a deep breath, my mind inquires how and why I’m here? I don’t need a job. Lord knows, I need sleep! Maybe a few donors and monetary partners for the nonprofit’s setup and homeless needs, but…

Suddenly, loud proclamations interrupt…

I’m creating an extraordinary life to make a difference in the world. 

The sweat from my pits only enhances my nervous ditz as I try and take control of a heart rate that begins to frustrate!

“Live your truth. Express your love. Share your enthusiasm. Take action towards your dreams. Walk your talk. Dance and sing to your music. Embrace your blessings. Make today worth remembering.”

Thank you, Steve Maraboli.

Blameless Matthew 5.14

Be the Light!

I looked up and forgot for a magical moment, you know those unforced rhythms of grace, that I was being scrutinized and examined by my peers.

Their silence was eerie. You could literally hear a pin drop.

Due to the lengthy silence, my heart had given way to shallow idling and a cottonmouth that would take a big-rig mechanic’s pliers to pry open.

They just sat there comatose, dead silent, while offering nothing but suggesting a super-size distress signal…

Mayday! Mayday!

Between their laser-beam eyes looking up and down, a few nods of affirmation and a whole lot of rejection rolls of the eyes sizing me up, nothing was said.

Can I hear awkward?

Then it happened, after 4.33 bloody minutes (their timer) of the torturing silence, their blackout awakened. Out of nowhere, a helium-sucking voice muttered, “What’s your secret sauce?”

I cracked…

I cursed…

I tinkled…

I lost it!

When I say “I cracked,” I am talking about an uncontrolled heckling mirroring a laughing hyena.

My children can vouch how I’ve had to hide under a table or two due to the uncontrolled release of toxins and stressors conducted through laughing. They may laugh, but it’s more of an embarrassment at my cost.

With my cheeks flaming with humiliation, the burn intensified from their piercing eyes and disgusted mannerisms. They found absolutely no humor in the aforementioned.

What’s a girl supposed to do now?

Think…

What is my focus?

Not happening right now.

What is my passion? My gifts?

Hot ooey-gooey molasses of shame coated my royal veins as thousands upon thousands of unwanted adornment, beads of sweat, bounced off and found their way dripping down my face.

Now that’s attractive!

Forget the pits of the ditz!

This river of sweat marshaled my anxiety right into hyperventilation.

Calling all angel armies to the rescue!

Blameless Enthusiasm

I’m trying to remember that I’m creating an extraordinary life to make a difference in the world. And that means it’s all about the journey, not the end result!

What’s my secret sauce?

My gift of enthusiasm is what breathes life and energy into my weary bones to accomplish great things that will glorify my Lord.

So this means when we have enthusiasm, the yoke carried from the weight of fear, rejection and doubt loses its power over our lives (Matthew 11:29-30), right?

I want to master the unforced rhythms of grace.

Live, Laugh, Love

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of secret sauce is “an element, quality, ability, or practice that makes something or someone successful or distinctive.”

Since my gift of “enthusiasm” fits the bill, remembering that enthusiasm comes from two Greek words: en + theos is God, which is literally God within us, but theos also means inspired, God-inspired.

When we put them together, it relates to God’s enthusiasm, the secret sauce, needed to create an extraordinary life that makes a difference.

That’s called a Legacy of Love!

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!