Tag Archives: #strength

Emerging From Caves Of Intimidation

When Speaking The Truth Hurts! 

Hi, family and friends, and cliques/clicks!  Being barricaded and isolated in our caves of hiding is daunting!  Is someone bullying you?  Gossiping about you?  Judging you?  Persecuting you?

How about expecting conformity in a Stepford Christian Clique/Click? 

My lack of conformity and refusal to live out the clique/click demands while standing for Truth and change caused me to be ostracized.

Ouch… 

No matter how you look at it, it hurt! 

Since I’m bold and courageous (generally), and love my Jesus, I tend to stir up controversy…

A lot!!! 

But the Truth sets us free, right?

Adversity ushers in promotion.

Being Bold Stirs Up Controversy

With cliques/clicks controlling power, people don’t have to go very far these days admitting defeat, they just hit the delete button without much thought of a salutary dismissal, a goodbye, a see ya, or kiss our assets. 

Those actions belong in hell! 

Where’s the love of Jesus there? 

Is church membership a do-or-delete click/clique?

If our relationships, families and congregations are ruled by cliques/clicks, how is that representative of Christ? 

It’s not!!!

Even Jesus condemned the Scribes and Pharisees for their hypocrisy in Matthew 23:1-12 for not practicing what they preach.

Many people say they follow Christ, but they don’t live by Jesus’ standard of Love.  Cliques/clicks don’t embrace others.

If God is a God of justice, and He is, then as His ambassadors and representatives, how can we blindly continue to overlook these actions without waging war? 

How do we teach and equip our children and grandchildren with the tools necessary to recognize the subtleties of evil?

Rejection may be our Protection…

But that doesn’t mean the pain afflicted doesn’t sting during the school of pain.

Being image bearers of Jesus Christ requires our actions to be centered around Love, His Love, that glorifies Him because we are made in His likeness. 

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It’s hard when our voices have been cut and restrained because we took a stand for the Truth.  Remembering Whose we are and belong to will validate our true worth and value as we embrace our identity proclaiming our uniqueness with royal blood running through our veins.

Who thought being in a cave of intimidation required boldness and courage while being bound, but exiting our caves to do wilder things for Jesus is quite daunting. 

Ephesians 6:10-17 proclaims, as image bearers, we were designed and created to wage war against the spiritual forces of evil, to push back the powers of darkness.

Voice of Truth vs. Curse of Deception

Gullibility and being easily deceived is where we have to take a stand by knowing what the Word says.  Allowing cliques to exist that deny fellowship/community because of race, age, marital status and/or conformity, we are partaking in the increase of the curse of deception.

Jesus extends open arms, not barricaded circles. 

Choose Love!

God’s asking us to trust Him.  Are we willing to step out in wild faith and wage war by allowing Him to clothe us in a new wardrobe of courage and strength? 

Or will we just retreat back into hiding?

Backlash and retaliation will be met with the roars of heaven as we boldly position ourselves for battle.  No more backing down.  If faith didn’t require sharpened swords, persevering through the great unknowns would not require fierce battle cries. 

We can’t become desperate.  Let’s believe God will not only come through, but expect Him to show up and show off in His own spectacular way.  God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or could imagine, according to His power within us (Ephesians 3:20), so… 

What happened to being that valuable person God designed us to be with our own unique qualities that only we possess?

Community is built on uniqueness, not conformity!

Are we seeking the approval of others or God? 

The approval of others is not only an intoxicating idol, it entices us to turn away from God through deception.

Do we hide from the truth and run with flags of hate when we become challenged with the truth?

Dwelling in the shelter of the Almighty opens our hearts to so much more during stillness.  We realize that God knew us long before we were born or even conceived.  He thought about us and even planned for us.

So when we’re feeling discouraged and inadequate, leaning into God’s Word, sweet friend, reminds us how we’ve always been thought of as valuable.  We’re God’s treasured masterpiece, and He has so much more in store for us. These promises bring hope for tomorrow and strength for today.

Love is patient and kind.  It does not dishonor others or is easily angered.  Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth (1 Corinthians 13).

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

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Too Blessed To Be Stressed!

Too Blessed To Be Stressed?

Hello!!!

Too blessed to be stressed?  Hello…  If truth be told, even this jovial, hyper-happy spirit would say, “In your dreams maybe!”  Oh, I am by far one blessed woman lavishly surrounded by my great riches; those rare and beautiful gems I call my friends.  Friendships always seem to sparkle and bring life and clarity back to those dull and dreary seasons that need brightening.  Wouldn’t you agree?

Truth be told, though, when your world is spinning out of control and you’re drowning underneath the compounding weight of wickedness and disease, sometimes the force of that power challenges the stability of the connecting links.

How do we stay connected to our powerful source of clarity when we’re suffocating underneath the life of relentless trials and tragedies?  How can we remember that life sometimes clouds and pollutes our very own lenses from the fog that breathing hard develops and living in the wrong neighborhood portrays?

Proverbs 17:22 tells us, “A cheerful heart is great medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”  If we can be brave enough to apply this to our lives and walk it out, we will remember not to isolate and that changing the atmosphere is the best medicine possible.  We don’t always have to be happy, that’s not what blessed means.  Blessed means being brave and courageous enough to be present and not withdraw and to love on others when we’re so needy ourselves.

I’m so glad I am doing exactly that because I’m one needy beloved right now.  God has told me to dance while He works out all these painful situations that are lurking in every corner for my protection.  I courageously accepted that challenge and took God up on His Word and will continue to dance no matter what I look like and have fun while I’m still breathing!

If only we could remember to not go at it alone and isolate while the heaviness of life is crushing in on our palpitating hearts.  That’s when the Lord is knocking on the chambers of our hearts trying to get us to open the door so He can sprinkle His Love through sweet friends that will forever hold us up like Aaron and Hur did for Moses when he was too exhausted and in too much pain to keep his arms up and remain steady and strong (Exodus 17:12). 

This help wasn’t just for the benefit of Moses’ leadership, it was to help and protect the Israelites by coming together as a team to defeat the evil army of the Amalekites.  This is the domino effect of being loved on and shouldering some support; communities being blessed.  That’s cheerful medicine!

This is also where we get the freedom to warm up our bodies to dance; you know, when you get to vomit, purge and open the tear ducts raging out of Hoover Dam where your two left feet turn into pure grace.  But just a gentle reminder, whatever you do, don’t take yourself too seriously immediately afterwards because if you’re anything like me, when Hoover Dam rages, the eyes and face would scare just about anything!

Blameless Mirror Fright

I was asked why I attended my church with all the amazing churches abound.  I had one simple reason, really.  It is called our women’s group.  No, it’s not where you get a bunch of judgmental women together with their Bibles opened sitting in cliques of eight to a table.  Our group sits in one large (huge!) circle and shares real life battle scars that God has redeemed.  Along with our study book, this supports and encourages each other to hang onto the Lord while we share our very own personal stories of victory.

This is where we talk about real life situations such as abuse, addiction, rape, molestation, divorce, marital affairs, not feeling loved or belonging.  We don’t sit around feeling sorry for one another, we gather around each woman celebrating God’s redemption and healing strength while encouraging others going through similar trials to continue walking bravely as we pour love into their souls.

This crown we wear and the royal blood that runs through our veins cost way more than any affliction we’ve ever walked through, but when we can be vulnerable, raw and honest with one another sharing our battle scars and life experiences, God’s grace receives glory because being the hands and feet of Jesus creates unity and belonging that pours wellness and health back into our communities.  This also helps us to be healed of what has held us captive in our imprisonment of shame. 

Our congregations were never meant to be places where the weak come and get catered to and coddled while staying in their afflictions.  They were designed to experience the power and healing that comes from a relationship with our good, good Father in heaven who offers His unconditional love.  His Love brings healing and a sense of belonging with the strength to walk through battles victoriously while sharing our unique stories.  This is how we walk through life too blessed to get stressed and receive that sense of belonging and purpose we all crave.  That’s what is called the Body of Christ; being the hands and feet of God!

Sometimes life throws at us seasons of suffering, but when we surround ourselves with others who love us just the way we are, battle scars and all, and will bleed right alongside of us until they’ve completed sewing the stitches that God uses their tender and loving hands to mend; there’s something unique and valuable about being loved just the way we are!

Until next time…

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I am Broken, But not Forgotten!

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I am Broken,

But not Forgotten!

Blameless Broken Glass

I am broken!  I have a broken body, though not obvious to the critical and naked eye, that is encased within the remnants of this cold, broken, diseased body that is decaying away.  I have a broken and tarnished mind that oftentimes backfires, leaving me unconscious, while melting down without any forewarning.  I have a broken and bleeding heart, so raw from all the constant jeers and tattered affliction, I have no idea how much longer it will sustain itself.  I have a broken life that supports nothing but a hot mess and chaos that easily destroys everyone in its path, similar to the power coming from an F5 tornado.  I have broken relationships so shattered, they’re forcing my early demise due to the torturing and exhausting attempts at reconciliation.  I am broken!!!

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall,

How do I again Enthrall?

Once so Lovely and Often told Bubbly,

Where were you during the Fall?

The image of the reflection before you haunts and tortures your exhausted mind as you take yet another closeup look at what life and brokenness has done to the innocent girl Blameless Mirror Frightlooking back at you.  Right before the weakened heart’s palpitations drop you to the floor, this broken girl hears a gentle voice of loving reassurance proclaiming, “I Am Who I Am” (Exodus 3:14)!  I have promised you restoration so never forget that “God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind.  Does he speak and then not act?  Does he promise and not fulfill” (Numbers 23:19). “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).  Wow, what Great Love is that?

God lovingly reassures me to not give up by saying, “Have I not promised you restoration to all things your obedience cost you?  Get up, Beautiful Beloved of mine, and walk by faith towards that restoration that you have been trusting and clinging to each and every day of your difficult journey!  Welcome to the Promised Land.  You almost gave up, but when you heard my voice remind you, `…Though it linger (tarry), wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay’ (Habakkuk 2:3), you held on.”

My heart ponders…

If I am indeed a Beautiful Beloved of the

Kingdom of God,

and I survived what I thought would kill me, doesn’t that mean I should put my crown back on, stand tall, and move forward with the confidence that exudes a

Queen?

Hmmm…  Hello…  If that doesn’t swell up your head enough causing you to move (pull and drift) upwards and forward, then I doubt anything would ♥♥).

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Restoration!!!

Life is hard, and right now my life is brutally hard and challenging between the plundering from another life-and-death battleground and the unique balance to support the spiritual, emotional, financial and physical needs of others!  How do we hang on and not get buried alive, you know, through the enemy’s flaming arrows, the emotional darts, and the affliction that the enemy relentlessly extends while feeling loved by God?

I know life’s brutally hard.  With any battleground we face, when it comes to your own child, this one is hard to let go of the control element.  I know this one all too well because my own baby boy (adult son) is battling the disabling and debilitating and demeaning disease of epilepsy as a grown man with a family of his own to raise and support.  This mama’s heart is so broken and scared and so filled with fear and grief of the unknown, this one could take me down.  Cancer won’t and didn’t along with the worst of the violations that life could throw at one person; but the life of a son, or the torture thereof, has me having to live out my faith while trusting on the One who is loving, caring, and is the author and perfecter of my son’s life.  I am clinging to all of Jeremiah 33; the book of God’s promises of restoration. 

I know many of us mamas and grandmas out there are raising or living a life constantly on our knees for our children due to salvation, bad decisions, disease, delinquency, drugs, you name it, or even the Prodigal Son Syndrome (that’s me ).  This mama knows what it’s like to feel inadequate; that you messed up in some way, and that everything that is remotely wrong or challenging in your children’s life is your fault.  I do not care how old they get!  But you know what, as hard as it is for me to fully believe and hang onto the Lord at times (being honest here ), I am hanging on to Psalm 112:7-8 and Psalm 126 because my heart is secure and steadfast on the Lord, having no fear of bad news (yeah, right ) and I know the tears I have sowed as I go out weeping will return with songs of joy.

Want even more encouraging and sustaining news, read about the amazing story of Lazarus found in John 11.  This is perfect for all of us who believe God is taking too long to heal or doesn’t care.  This mama is clinging to John 11:4 which says, “…Jesus said, This sickness will not end in death.  No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”  ♥♥♥

Blameless Matthew 5.16 1 Life can be crippling and fear paralyzing, and some things in life happen that we will never understand this side of heaven; but because of our great faith in the Love that surpasses all knowledge (Ephesians 3:19 and Philippians 4:7), we are able to combat and hang onto the Lord while pressing towards the victory that we know belongs to us; or my son in this case, his precious family, and my precious granddaughter, Princess Ella, the heir to the Ingram throne!  And since she has her Grammy Tammy’s sass and spunk, she needs to know and understand the miracles that God can perform and how His love manifests itself throughout life and others!  God’s love surpasses all knowledge.

A lot of us are grieving and walking through hard, even torturing, losses right now.  Having faith and trust in God not only strengthens and sustains us during our losses and tragedies, but His Love enables us to live the life that He designed; living lives that are peaceful and self-controlled; not freaking out through stress, exhaustion, violence, venting our frustrations and anger onto others, or picking up other vices to calm our scared and hurting hearts.  That’s called Love, the “glue” found in 1 John 4:7-21.

Until next time…

Thank you for being Beautiful You!

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