Saturday, December 31, 2011


Hey Yall. I am gonna be MIA for a few days. I will emerge next week.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sweet Holy Spirit

The Bible it tells us in God's word so true
The sweet Holy Spirit is promised to you
It sat upon Jesus in the form of a dove
When John was baptizing God's Dearly Beloved

Sweet Holy Spirit I'm down on my knees
I am low in the valley, I am so weak you see
I know I can make it for I trust in thee
The sweet Holy Spirit is falling on me

Sweet Holy Spirit, Oh how I love thee
For being a comfort so many times
And for strengthening me
For I could not make it across life's troubled sea
If the sweet Holy Spirit should ever leave me

So sweet Holy Spirit, don't ever leave me

Here are the words to a song i really like to listen to. I did not post it from you tube because my blogging buddies would prob not like the tune.  It is a very country sounding song, but man the words.  When I listen to this song I melt.  There is just nothing that this life has to offer that can compare to the fellowship of God's holy spirit.  There is something so salty about the taste of Jesus that creates a thirst that cannot be quenched except by Him alone.  I wonder what life looks like, tastes like, to truly be in love with Jesus? I wonder what the chaste heart looks like, one purged of all of the Master's rivals?

John Donne has a beautiful quote in the Holy Sonnets. This was not a love poem. This was a mighty prayer directed toward God:

'Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me."

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Grinch did not steal Christmas

Christmas is over and I did go home to my mom and dad's.  I am so glad that I took the advice of a friend and did not become a bah hum bug. I learned a valuable lesson this year that will stick with me forever. Life is not about me. It is about others. The others I am referring to is my parents. I have found that I may never gain whatever it is I am searching for from them.......approval, or whatever the case may be.  But the neat thing is, that I am learning to step out of my own neediness so I can truly love. Love is not about having all my right conditions met, then I will love. It is about not having those conditions and still choosing to love. Love is not prideful. It does not say, "I will love you when you treat me right."

This sort of love is risky because it is a stone cold fact, at some point, I will get hurt. But, I am finding that it is worth the sacrifice. One of my fondest Christmas memories is the yr my dad and I decorated a Grinch gingerbread house together. This was not a childhood memory. I was probably close to 30 that Christmas. But, it is one of the most treasured memories I have of my dad and I. I will never forget it. I have decided that next yr I am not putting up my tree at my house I am taking all my decorations to my parents and decorate their house for Christmas. I only hope that everyone is still in good health for that to happen. Somehow this Christmas was different. I learned a little more about love.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas Yall

I am sitting here tonight meditating on Christ, God's gift to the world.  God was actually the first St. Nick. He did not just wrap a toy train or a barbie doll. Jesus, wrapped in swaddling clothes, was God's gift-wrapped package to this world. I am also thinking about how blessed I am to have Jesus in my life. I am also reminiscing about other people that God has sent into my life. I see faces in my prayers. They are beautiful brushstrokes, when comprised together, become a heavenly work of art--the lovely face of Jesus. I am seeing flashes of my blogging friends, friends that I have met at church, my parents, and people I knew yrs ago (before I met Christ).  These people are all beautiful to me and have touched my life in ways that words cannot describe. The greatest gifts in this world truly have nothing to do with money. They are people who have shared their true selves with me. God has given me the privilege to catch glimpses into how extravagant His love is. God has no monetary gifts to bring, but He gives treasures unspeakable that paint eternity into our hearts. God Bless you all..........(my blogging buddies). Merry Christmas. I am so grateful that I know you all.  You are jewels in the crown of Christ.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Misconceptions of Love

English literature has managed to win a place within my heart. I have developed a love affair with Beowolf, Paradise Lost, and several writings by Shakespeare, John Donne, John Milton, and Edmund Spenser. I am going to use these next few days while school is out to read parts of my English Lit book that was not covered in, yeah, I am a total nerd.

There is a sonnet by Shakespeare that is so full of wisdom that I fell in love with the truth and wisdom that it holds. I wrote an essay on this sonnet for extra credit in my Lit class. Here goes:

Shakespeare Sonnet 138:

When my love swears that she is made of truth,
I do believe her, though I know she lies,
That she might think me some untutored youth [like a simpleton],
Unlearned in the world's false subtleties.
Thus vainly thinking that she thinks me young,
Although she knows my days are past the best,
Simply I credit her false-speaking tongue:
On both sides thus is simple truth suppressed.
But wherefore says she not she is unjust [unfaithful]?
But wherefore say not I that I am old?
Oh, love's best [guise] is in seeming trust,
And age in love loves not to have years told.
    Therefore I lie with her and she with me,
    And in our faults by lies we flattered be.

I wrote a whole essay on this and probably could have wrote a short book on it. It is a bitter sonnet about a man who stays with his wife knowing that she is being unfaithful to him.  Apparently he is a lot older than this woman and he feels the bitter insecurity of it because he knows that she is cheating on him probably with younger men. But, we see here that he is humoring her by pretending he does not know who she really is. He turns a blind eye to her unfaithfulness. Those last two lines are priceless: "Therefore I lie with her and she with me, and in our faults by lies we flattered be."  That is a powerful statement and a hard way to live.

There is a devastating healing (I know that sounds twisted) that comes from waking up next to someone you thought was your dream come true only to find out that it was a nightmare. Shakespeare summed it up by saying that they were only pretending with each other. There is a wonderful freedom that comes from seeing the truth about yourself and someone else when you know deep down that you are out of God's will. It hurts. It crushes, but in the end it heals.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Toxic Love Part 2

This blog has been put off now forever. Different things have come up. My last blog on this subject was about Angular fish and their bizarre mating ritual. It was a very good analogy on how destructive codependency can really be. I have learned a whole lot about myself just in the last year.

First, I faced a bitter betrayal from someone I loved....or at least thought I loved anyway. God gave me a whole lot of grace to help me see me instead of blaming the whole thing on my ex. It was a defining moment in my life. It was my epiphany. I am actually very grateful for the fact that the person cheated on me (That sounds absurd. I know). I am grateful for a couple of  reasons: One, it removed the person from my life. Two, it made me take a really long, hard look at myself and what I am really capable of doing without the mercy of God.

I found out, despite my deep-rooted Christian beliefs, I might possibly have the ability to kill someone when pushed too far. It would have to be in a blind rage not a premeditated thing. When I found out that someone I trusted had been lying to me, I cannot describe the rage that I felt. This is one strong indication to me that God was really with me.....because  I did not become physically violent. However, I did cuss this person out several times without much remorse. I said some really ruthless things and to be 100% honest, there are still days  when anger rises up in me and I still don't feel bad about the things I said at all. My deepest regret, in the beginning, was that I was not ruthless enough and wish had been even more cutting.

I think about Jesus and what He endured with Judas. Right before Judas betrayed Christ (with a kiss no less), Jesus washed his feet. Has anyone ever thought about that? The disciples all partook of the Lord's supper, where Jesus took a towel and washed all of the disciples feet, including Judas. John 13 lays out in chronological order the events that led up to Jesus' crucifixion. First Jesus washed the disciples feet and then they partook of the Lords supper. John even explains that "by the time of supper the Devil had already put it into the heart of Judas to betray Him."

Later, when Jesus and the disciples were leaving Gethsemane Judas came greeting him with a kiss. And right up til the bitter end Jesus says to Judas, "Friend, why have you come?" Jesus was not blind at all about why Judas came, but he still greeted him as "Friend." This is such a powerful example of love that surpasses all understanding.......a love which I just don't have at the moment.

I can relate to Jesus a lot here because the person I was with "betrayed me with a kiss." One of the most intimate times that we had ever experienced together took place 1 week before I found out there was someone else in the picture and I have no idea how long it had been going on. I know that I am writing this in the voice of a victim and in some ways I felt that way. But, ...... I was hardly the victim. And believe me God is letting me know this day by day. He is shining the light on me, my own sin, and my own evil, self centered heart. This is where the change in my life is coming from.....stopping the blame game! I'm trying to see the love of Christ in this mess and embrace His mercy, not just for myself, but for those "someone's" in my life that I don't feel deserve it. That is what God's mercy is all's free. I did not earn the mercy that God has extended to me, and He has extended a WHOLE LOT OF MERCY!

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Some of you may or may not know what these chips represent. I will explain. I am in a 12 step recovery program at a local church called Celebrate Recovery. This program works with people who struggle with addictions of all kinds. The group I attend is for co-dependency. These chips represent how many days I have been "sober" of addiction. I am celebrating 6 months clean. With every day that passes I am finding out that I don't want the person that I am avoiding back again. This, for me, is a huge victory because it is amazing what kind of betrayal that I learned to put up with just to hold on to some form of "love." This type of "love" is toxic. It masqueraded as love, until the blinders of naivety were removed and I began to see the truth. 

God is beginning day by day to shed the truth onto every lie that I have believed. I don't feel shackled to anyone. I am not bound by loneliness and grief over missing someone that did not really love me. I am finding myself complete in God and not in a desperate frenzy to have someone's "love." I am almost in shock that I am happy. Or maybe the real word here would be peaceful. Lately, I am drinking in the peace of God that more than replaces a toxic counterfeit. God's love is solid. It is not fickle. He does not love you one day and cheat the next. He is faithful.....even when we are unfaithful.  I am trying to grasp this beautiful concept of fidelity from Him, so I can offer it back to Him.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Blogworld Address

Laptop....Down....Internet Connection....NO!.....Blogging.....Can't....Going into DT'S.....Yes.....Need New Support Group....Possibly......In Library.......Agoraphobic.......
Hello. My name is Tammy. I am addicted to being addicted to anything addictive because I am a sinful idolator have an addictive personality disorder.

Monday, December 5, 2011


Well, it's official.  Nathan has affectionately nicknamed my laptop Beelzebub.  I have been telling him for 2 months now that if he does not hear from me over a few day period that he should send the police to look for my body because most likely my laptop has risen in the middle of the night and slew me. I will be found strangled with a mouse cord dangling from my neck. My laptop works when it feels like it and it does crazy things like: wipe out all my files, then turns around and spits them all back out again and says something like: "Ha just kidding. I just wanted to see you enter into heart failure, and before you turn blue see if I can resuscitate you again using my superior intellect, electronic wizardry, and CPR savvy only to do the same thing again the next day and the next day. Hmmm my neighbor has a weiner dog and it's first name it about to become O-S-C-A-R, and its last name is about to become M-A-Y-E-R. I am drawing a cartoon in my mind and here are the components:
One possessed laptop that has been diagnosed as bi-polar with homicidal tendencies + one demonized attack wiener dog = a few packages of Oscar Mayer hotdogs.

Have you ever seen cons fuss over their dogs?  I mean the other day there was this lady (with questionable character) on the road side "need food for my kids and electric bill money" and she is holding her wiener dog which is wearing a 40 dollar Izod sweater and a pair of Levis. Now folks I am slow on the uptake when it comes to people, but I have learned that not everyone is honest. So, I got a bit cynical at the raspy voice and alcohol breath. But it was that Cuban Cigar that really sent up a red flag.
"Lady, you don't have money to feed your kids, you are not buying soap or toothpaste (which is obvious) but your dog is wearing designer clothing and you reek the smell of Jack Daniels?......But, let me see if I have some money to buy your kids some food. What do they like to eat? .........Purina Chow? Lady I don't think that is healthy for your children. Maybe you should consider seeing a nutritionist. Hey! Wait just a minute!"

"Really lady? I didn't just fall off the cabbage truck ya know. How dumb do I look? ..........Okay, how much is your electric bill? 500 DOLLARS? Well, I probably shouldn't give you cash.  Maybe I should make it out to the electric company........ You need me to make it out to Big Daddy's Pimp Service? Okay, lady I have had it with your sob story, even I know that you are trying to rip me off.................Okay. Maybe just once but after that you are gonna need to get a job. You have a job? You've been skimping from Big Daddy's Pimp Service and you are a hooker?..........Okay lady I can't support hookers so you'll have to find another sucker. What do you mean you have found one already? Hey! That's my purse!

Moral of the story: Never trust your laptop while you are sleeping and never ever trust women with wiener dogs!

Okay folks............THAT was totally off script!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

My heart is torn

 I am still searching to find a balance in my blogging space of what is appropriate and what is not. Sometimes that is a real challenge for me because I am trying to make some very conscious, purposeful steps toward God and away from so much negativity and over the top humor. I am unsure if this is the place to pour out certain parts of myself, but life has got the better of me today. I am pretty stressed out and not so optimistic.

There is much going on within my family and there has been a storm brewing all around me for sometime now. I am by nature a chronic worrier. I sit and worry about everything. I probably worry about things that a lot of people would consider to be totally absurd, still, for me it is like an addiction. If I wake up in the morning without an instant sense of foreboding (over something, anything) I will immediately begin to break out into hives until I quickly find something to be obsessively worried about.

But, tonight I can put a name to my fear. My greatest fear for several yrs now has been facing my parents death. It makes me miserable at the thought. My mother has a serious prescription drug addiction and has been hospitalized 3 or 4 times in the last few years with a drug overdose. Whether it is accidental or purposeful is undetermined.  On top of this, my mother has major health issues and this last year I have watched her age more rapidly than ever. I am seeing her become more and more helpless and feeble and it rips me apart inside. I have seen the same thing from my dad, he is several yrs older than my mother and life is wearing him down. My mom's condition is wearing him down. I am watching the only things I have in this world slip away from me little by little, day by day. Sickness and time is stealing them and tonight I am just overwhelmed with grief.

Mom recently fell again.  there have been countless incidents of her falling. This entails a 911 call every  time she falls because Daddy does not have the strength to pick her up anymore. She just had surgery on her shoulder from a recent fall and she called me tonight to tell me she has fallen again and thought she broke her hip. I felt my heart sink. She then goes on to tell me that she thinks dad has had a stroke and refuses to go to the doctor. I became more sick and my stomach and mind is in knots.

I feel completely helpless. I have offered to move there and take care of them, but mom refuses. She does not want to live with anyone. And frankly the idea is not so pleasant to me either because my mother is so cantankerous at times, but my heart hurts each time I see them in this condition. It rips me apart and I can't do anything about it.  I have been going to Ga every week to take care of their bills and things that they will allow me to do. To see the two people that have always been strong in my eyes become more and more week is rending. I am racked with guilt and frequently become overwhelmed with so many regrets. I can think back to the days when mom looked alive, but now I see a shell of a person and I weep. I don't know where else to go but to Jesus. Tonight I think the scripture "Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven" means a lot to me. I have to give the things I love to Jesus because ultimately they don't belong to me.......they are only borrowed. This blog is probably full of typos but I don't have the energy to check it.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Toxic Love (part 1)

The subject of co-dependency has been dissected within the field of psychology for years. Most people may be familiar with this term through AA meetings or some other resources that involve psychological terminology. Co-dependency is a very serious subject because it is destructive to the individual, both spiritually and emotionally. However, before diving into the more serious aspects of this subject, a humorous, biological approach to co-dependency is in order.

All sorts of parallels can be drawn from the animal kingdom that support spiritual truths.  These powerful analogies use explicit mental imagery to clearly define, in layman terms, what psychological jargon may fail to communicate. Therefore, the habits and behavior of angler fish is a good starting point to help grasp a few concepts about the subject of co-dependency.

"The Humpback Anglerfish has one of the most extreme methods of reproduction known to science. Much smaller and less aggressive than the female of the species, the male Anglerfish is born with extremely well developed olfactory organs that can detect the female’s sexual pheromones at great distances. Because the male’s diminutive size makes it difficult for it to find food, it soon becomes imperative to “hook-up” with a female as quickly as possible to prevent starvation. Once a male locates a female by following her sexual scent, a strange and extreme symbiotic mating ritual takes place.

Biting into her skin, an enzyme is released by the male that digests the skin of his mouth and her body, effectively fusing male and female down to the blood-vessel level. The male then slowly atrophies, first losing his digestive organs, then his brain, heart, and eyes, and ends as nothing more than a pair of gonads attached to her body which release sperm in response to hormones in the female's bloodstream--becoming a permanent parasitic sex slave. And since several males typically attach themselves to a single female (the average female carrying a harem of six or more), whenever she is ready to reproduce, she always has a male immediately available."

Here we find a parasitic male fish who foolishly believes that he just chomped down on princess charming, only to find that said princess is not so charming. Eventually, (when it is WAY too late), he finds out that she only wants him for his sperm.Talk about serious case of disillusionment.  Before long, he finds out that this chic has not been faithful. On the contrary. She has a few "skeletons" in her closet (the male carcasses that she has devoured). She is supporting a harem and they are all singing "Hotel California" (see the words at the bottom......charming song) as they go down with the ship.  For the sake of fairness, both sexes get a bad rap. The female gets a bad rap for consuming the male fish, although, it was the males drive for survival that turned him into an attached parasite. So, in the end both sexes are to blame! This is a serious case of co-dependency!

The more serious psychological side side of co-dependency will be addressed in part 2.

"Hotel California"

On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair
Warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air
Up ahead in the distance, I saw shimmering light
My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim
I had to stop for the night
There she stood in the doorway;
I heard the mission bell
And I was thinking to myself,
"This could be Heaven or this could be Hell"
Then she lit up a candle and she showed me the way
There were voices down the corridor,
I thought I heard them say...

Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely place (Such a lovely place)
Such a lovely face
Plenty of room at the Hotel California
Any time of year (Any time of year)
You can find it here

Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends
She got a lot of pretty, pretty boys she calls friends
How they dance in the courtyard, sweet summer sweat.
Some dance to remember, some dance to forget

So I called up the Captain,
"Please bring me my wine"
He said, "We haven't had that spirit here since nineteen sixty nine"
And still those voices are calling from far away,
Wake you up in the middle of the night
Just to hear them say...

Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely place (Such a lovely place)
Such a lovely face
They livin' it up at the Hotel California
What a nice surprise (what a nice surprise)
Bring your alibis

Mirrors on the ceiling,
The pink champagne on ice
And she said "We are all just prisoners here, of our own device"
And in the master's chambers,
They gathered for the feast
They stab it with their steely knives,
But they just can't kill the beast

Last thing I remember, I was
Running for the door
I had to find the passage back
To the place I was before
"Relax," said the night man,
"We are programmed to receive.
You can check-out any time you like,
But you can never leave!"

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Love according to Shakespeare and Jesus

My friend Terri has accurately coined the way my mind works using the analogy of a ping pong ball. I love this because it really does describe how I think. I bounce all over the place, but usually, if someone sticks with me, there is some meaning to my madness. So, if you wait this out, there is a point.

I was just about to write a blog on co-dependency, but I changed directions after meditating on a  quote that was written by my friend Sarah in one of her blog posts, "Loving the Sharp Places."  Speaking of her daughter, she says, "How else will she learn of love, that it has more to do with the lover than the condition of the beloved?" Isn't that a powerful quote? Just so happens that Shakespeare has written a Sonnet that fits this quote wonderfully.

Sonnet 130: William Shakespeare
 My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why her breast are dun;
If hairs be wires, then black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damasked, red, and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground.
    And yet by heaven, I think my love as rare (extraordinary)
    As any she belied, (misrepresented) with false compare.

Shakespeare is writing this sonnet in the voice of a lover for his beloved. Ironically, most poems are written in form of a man who adores a woman who has a long list of beautiful characteristics that makes her beautiful to him; however, not in this Sonnet. This is written exactly the opposite. The man portrayed here, uses nauseating  language to describe his beloved. He says, in a nutshell, that her lips are not red, her cheeks not rosy, her hair is black and wiry, her breasts are dull brown, her breath stinks,  her voice is not like the sound of music, and finally, she is not a goddess. She walks on the ground. This is a fairly insulting way to be described. Clearly, this man does not have this woman placed on a pedestal.

However, he says that his love for her is rare and nothing compares to her. According to this sonnet, there is nothing attractive about this woman. Her features are repulsive; however, he is vowing his undying love for her. What Shakespeare is describing here is a transcendent love; one that surpasses the condition of the object of his affections. This is a poignant rendering of God's love for us.

I tied all this into a conversation that I had with a friend last night. I was telling him about Sarah's quote. I said, "Isn't that an awesome quote?" He said, yes, that it made him think of hugging a cactus. Okay, that was one of my ping pong comments. I laughed. I said, "How did you get hugging a cactus out of a beautiful quote?" He said it made him think of God and that we are like cacti to Him. He chooses to embrace us despite the fact that His holy nature and our unholy nature clash.

As I meditated deeper on this, I came up with more conclusions. God gives up his rights to befriend us. He relinquishes His power as God. He does not change His mind about sin and our sinful nature. However, He suppresses His rights as God when He does not demand that we change our wrong behavior. He does this to love us out of our sins, not eradicate them by snuffing our lives out just because He is God and has the power to do so. He relinquishes a real part of who He is to embrace us. This is apparent on the cross when Christ died.........Jesus gave up His Godhood, His glorious crown in heaven, to wear one of thorns. Christ relinquished His power as the Son when He refused to come down from the cross. Instead of saving Himself (which He was urged to do by a mocker while on the cross) He hang there, allowed those whom He created to mock Him, and died.

Jesus never chose the easy way out. He chose the path of love which made Him vulnerable to being hurt by those He loved. We might want tell someone, "Get on with it. Grow up out of your mess." However, God, although having full power to do so, does not. He patiently waits for us to come to Him instead of saying to Himself, "Let's hurry up and get this job done." God does not strong-arm us into change. This aspect of God makes Him both good and fearful in the same moment. God comes to His sanctuary, our inner selves, and begins to snoop around in there and "bug" us about things that displease Him. He does not do this because He is demanding His own way. He does this because those things that displease Him, destroy us.

God's love is not about our condition, but about the transcendence of His love.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

So, which is it?

I was reading the Bible earlier, and I ran across a scripture that has always been one of my favorite scriptures in the Bible:

1 Chronicles 11:12 And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo, the Ahohite, who was one of the three mighty men.  (I bet you didn't see that one coming. Did you?)

Now, talk about needing therapy for the rest of your life. How would you like to be labeled the son or daughter of "Doo Doo" or of "Dough Dough?"  Either way, this is gonna get messy (pun intended). Folks, in my mind, there are only two choices of pronunciation choose. Life as a dummy or life as excrement. I am well aware that there is most likely a Greek, Hebrew, Latin, Chinese, or some African tribal pronunciation for this (that the majority of society cannot pronounce, nor has ever heard of, except the guy living in a tent by the Nile River in Egypt). I am also sure that it probably has nothing to do with "Doo Doo" or being a "Dough Dough." However, for the sake of my point........we are going to pronounce it southern style.........."Doo Doo" or  "Dough Dough". You choose. You only get two choices.

First and foremost, this scripture has always cracked me up every time I have read it. But tonight, as I was sitting here giggling over this, a light bulb came on. I like to think of that light bulb as Jesus. This really blows my mind because I am over here laughing at this, and probably taking it to an irreverent level in my mind, when I really started meditating on what I was thinking. Here is what I am thinking..

This is from John Chapter 1 in The Message Bible: 
  "But whoever did want him, who believed he was who he claimed  and would do what he said,  He made to be their true selves,  their child-of-God selves.  These are the God-begotten, not blood-begotten, not flesh-begotten, not sex-begotten." 
This is wonderful news. We don't have to live out our whole lives as the sons and daughters of "Doo Doo" or  "Dough Dough." We have been rescued in Christ to become our true selves. Maybe your past has labeled you. You can't seem to live down that label that you have slapped on yourself or that was slapped on you by society and circumstances. Maybe you were "born on the wrong side of the tracks" and that reputation has followed you, plagued you, your whole life. This reminds me of Rahab, the harlot. She was always referred to as "Rahab the harlot." But, you know what? Rahab the harlot wound up in the Hall of Faith in the book of Hebrews Chapter 11.  

Not only was she mentioned there, but she was mentioned in Matthew as being a part of the lineage of Christ. And we can duly note that there, she is not mentioned as Rahab the harlot, but Rahab the mother of Boaz. And  Boaz, is a name that we recognize as being in the lineage of Christ.  Rahab did a mighty thing when she received the spies from Israel that were sent into Jericho. She put her life on the line. Rahab's old life was swallowed up by the destruction of Jericho, but she kept on traveling because she had her eyes fixed on a new city.......the city of God.  

I like that the book of Hebrews 11 says that "God was not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them."  I think of my life and all the things I have done to bring shame upon the name of God, but I see hope here in these lines.

We have been God-begotten, not blood begotten. The reality of this makes us children of God not children of  an insulting label. There is more to me, when I am living out my life in Christ, than a label. Now, to round this up..........Eleazar, the son of Dodo, was one of the three mighty men in King David's army. Not bad for a man born with a "family stigma"?  

I should put a disclaimer here, because surely someone who is a biblical scholar in Timbuktoo, who does not even have internet connection, will find my blog and proclaim that I am preaching falsehood because the actual pronunciation is............blah blah blah.  I know already. It was just a "Far Side" cartoon analogy. I mixed a few ingredients together and came out with a potent elixir. I like my elixir......leave me alone! God really does have a sense of humor.  Does anybody read Far Side cartoons? HA!

Monday, November 21, 2011

How far can sin take us?

How far will sin really take us? I think this question can be graphically answered through the life of King David.  God cherished David, and in Acts 13, God Himself gives testimony of David, that he was a man after His own heart. Can you imagine that? We think of our testimonies of God, but think of God giving testimony of a man. That is incredible.  But, there was a time in David’s life where he found himself roped by sin, and it landed him in a very dark place.  The reference here begins in 2 Samuel 10. 

The story begins with David winning a great victory for Israel. This is explained in 2 Samuel 10:17-19.  David slew a great number of the Ammonites.  Afterward, we see a shift, perhaps in time, because the bible then says (2 Samuel 11:1) that in the spring of the yr when kings go out to battle that David remained in Jerusalem, but he sent Joab, his servants, and all Israel into battle with the Ammonites, but David did not go. There are points of great significance in this scripture. First, it was at the time when kings go out to battle, (David was in the wrong place at the wrong time). Two, David sent others to do a job that he himself should have been engaged in as well (noting a sense of pride or sluggishness).  Three, Israel was still in battle with the Ammonites of which David had gained a great victory over (again noting a sense of pride in his victory which may have resulted in complacency). 

That long explanation just set the stage for what happened next—David’s downfall.  David did not just “fall” into sin. He progressed into sin.  No one wakes up one day and just decides to have an affair (well, for those who are trying to be faithful to God or their conscience, that is). By examining what happens next, we find David to be the perpetrator.  David sees Bathsheba bathing. The bible does not spell everything out word for word, so given these circumstances, it is safe to assume that David did not turn his eyes away from this woman. He most likely lingered and enjoyed his peep show. Bam! Sin committed! Right there! He has looked upon this woman, lusted after her, and he intends to have her. 

David inquires about the woman, finds out she is married, and still he sends for her with intention to sleep with her anyway. Not only is she married, but she is married to one of the servants in David’s army. There is so much mining (as my friend Christianne puts it) to be done in these few scriptures. It is amazing.  The story progresses. David finds out that Bathsheba is pregnant and now he has a huge sin to cover up. So, in attempts to make Uriah believe the child was his own; David plots to have Uriah go lie with Bathsheba. Incidentally, this was not customary for a warrior to do during a battle. So, David invites Uriah to his house………the king’s house. David shows him special attention (THE MAN WHOSE WIFE HE JUST COMMITTED ADULTRY WITH!!). Not only does he show him favor by the invitation, but David dismisses Uriah to his own house (during a battle), tells him to relax, and SENDS A GIFT OF FOOD BY THE MAN WHOSE WIFE HE JUST COMMITTED ADULTRY WITH! This is the point where we see sin begin to harden David conscience. He has lost conscience of hurting this man and God. 

The story progresses. David becomes more hardened. Not only did Uriah refuse to go home to his wife, he remained at the door of the king the whole night.  When David found that Uriah did not go home to his wife, he questions Uriah. Uriah replies, “The ark and Israel and Judah are dwelling in tents, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are encamped in the open fields. Shall I then go to my house to eat and drink, and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing.”  There was demand for this scripture to be written word for word because it is just shocking how this man held to his faithfulness to God, Israel, and David. But, still this man’s innocence and loyalty did not deter David from covering his sin. Not  only is Uriah’s reactions astounding, David’s actions are appalling and astonishing!! 
David does not turn. He only gets worse. Now, David must find a new tactic. He cajoles Uriah to stay in the palace and the next day David eats and drinks with him with the intent to get him drunk enough to go lie with his wife. Uriah, being drunk, still maintained his integrity. He refused to go to his wife. Does this deter David? NO! It does not! David becomes more hardened. He stoops to more maliciousness. He then sends a letter BY URIAH’S OWN HAND, to Joab, the leader of David’s army. The letter was David’s instructions to Joab to put Uriah on the front line of an intense battle and have him killed. 

As this event unfolds, it only gets worse. Uriah is eventually killed in the war that Israel lost; however, David sends a messenger to comfort Joab over it when he finds out that his plan for Uriah had been carried out. Incidentally, after Joab's letter concerning Uriah's death, we still see no remorse or feeling from David in this matter. Actually, his response was completely callous, David says to Joab: "Do not let this thing displease you, for the sword devours one as well as another." OH MY GOSH! David is completely nonchalant about what he has just done. The lights are home, but no one is home........this is how far sin can take us. At this point, in David's mind, Uriah is not even a person, he simply a slain soldier of war. This is absolutely horrid.  I am not judging David. Later, when Nathan the prophet confronts David about this sin, David passes judgment upon himself. Nathan’s prophetic analogy became an epiphany for David. He was forced to stare at his own image in the mirror and hear the words, “You are the man.” 

CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS? This is a man who loves God committing these heinous acts.  HE JUST SENT URIAH’S DEATH SENTENCE BY HIS OWN HAND—A COMPLETELY LOYAL AND INNOCENT MAN.  Uriah had done nothing to David. He blindly, trustingly put his life in the hands of David and David betrayed him in the worse possible way. What makes this even more astounding is the fact that this is the same David that wrote Psalm after Psalm about God’s justice, mercy, and hatred for evil. David had an intimacy with God that set him apart from others. Not every man had the privileged access to God that David experienced. The more I write, the more I meditate deeper and deeper on this story, the heavier the weight of my words become. 

One may wonder, as I do, why God allowed David to get to this point before He intervened. I don’t have the answer to that. I do have a thought on that. Just a theory, but I am not sure how accurate or inaccurate it is. Maybe when we become bit by the “sin bug” it releases its poison in us and the only cure is for God to wait it out until he sees on the inside of us a sense of guilt that has reached a pinnacle. He finds a certain contrition in our spirit that He can work with and it is at that point He can rescue us……..I am not sure about that. It is just a theory.  

Sermons have been preached and taught on the lives of David and Samson and how God can use us in spite of ourselves. That is very true. But, we must not forget that God can also use Jackasses, as He did with Balaam. I know that sentence was piercing and harsh, but it is still true. There were grave consequences to Samson’s sin and David’s sin. In David’s case, an innocent man lost his life, a marriage was completely destroyed, and a baby died despite David’s pleading with God for its life.  In Samson’s case, he was captured by the enemy; he lost his eyesight; and finally his life.  

I read a church bill board the other day that stated: "Forbidden fruit brings many jams."  Just seemed fitting  here.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Me and God

Here would be me hanging on God's fridge.  It would be one of those......"Adam where are you?" moments.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

My Spiritual Journey Pt 2

To answer Christianne's question about the book I was referring to, I will make reference to that one and maybe another one in this blog.

I love and have great compassion for suffering people and in no way want to leave someone feeling hopeless or condemned. But, some of the things I say (at some point) will probably be very the way I see it. I am saying that because it is the truth, and sometimes a bitter truth, about ourselves that makes us free. But, I must note right here, that change and accepting truth is all about timing and this could be the wrong timing for someone if anything I say leaves them feeling condemned. God has been pouring a lot of straight forward truth into me lately. However, I don't go around telling hurting people these things because I am not God and sometimes a person is just not ready to hear certain things. I also want to note that it has literally taken me yrs to face myself to this point and I have miles left to go.

About 3 years ago I picked up a book entitled "Facing Love Addiction: Giving Yourself the Power to Change the Way You Love" by Pia Mellody. Incidentally, I read it, but still did not change much. You may ask why that is, and I can't really answer that.  Have you ever been addicted to something, know you have a problem, but still can't see out of it because something in your heart is still not willing to let go of "It" whatever "It" may be? Sometimes, often times, we have hang ups, or sins, that are our "feel good" pills and we like them (though they may torment our soul even destroy us and others) yet, we still don't want to relinquish them.

A sorta funny.....(well I laughed out loud) story about holding on to things, happened the other night. I have been attending a twelve step recovery group for several months now. It is a Christian-based, Christ-centered program, somewhat like AA, but solely based on Jesus as the higher  power. Anyway, there is a little lady in our group that is somewhat elderly and I love her to death. She is hilarious because she is so honest and outspoken that it cracks me up because I love the element of SHOCK when it comes to shaking religiosity (and sometimes I need my own to be shaken I can tell ya). And Ms. Lucy has this down to a science (not even meaning to) and that is the hilarity of it.

So, the group was focusing on the question of addictions, how we use them to pacify our emotions, and what we are doing to change that. So, one of our group leaders, who is really very precious, and tries to be accepting, but has a little bit of that religious streak, asked Ms. Lucy this question about addiction. And she blatantly says "I fight with smoking, I still smoke, and I love to smoke." So, the group leader, trying to bring the focus back to HOW WE CAN CHANGE.....asks her, "So, Ms. Lucy, what you are trying to tell the group is that God has been convicting you of your smoking?" She blatantly says, (not in offense nor anger) Oh, No! I don't feel one bit convicted about it! I like to smoke! It's killing me. I have blah blah she lists off all these ailments caused by her smoking. I busted out laughing. That raised a few eyebrows, but no one knew what to say..........she had just in innocent honesty vomited out her sin and it was "taboo" to say she did not even want to change.The group was at at stand still with that awkward silence where everyone is thinking, (ahem) moving right along...........

I knew the leader was a bit stunned and did not know what to say, so I said, "Miss Lucy, sometimes we become so comfortable in our addictions that we find ourselves with little or no conviction over them. That is when we have to cry out to God to help us to WANT help."  I could understand her plight. I deal with it everyday. I have to ask God to help me want to please Him. "Help me want to love You and obey You. I am so stubborn and callous. I am so in love with my own ways that I am so ashamed that I have to ask You to help me to love You because within myself there is nothing but self centered desire."

Well, this blog is getting long and I still did not even get to my point yet, nor did I mention the other book. That story may have seemed pointless, but it was very important to many points that I will make about the strength of addictions. I do have full intention of writing a book in the future. It is a long term goal and part of these blogs that I am writing here are going to be pieces of my book. I want to write a book on addictions and the journey through them and the journey out of them.

Folks God spoke to me as I was trying to end this blog and I could not resist but to keep going. This is such a sacred moment for me because I knew the presence of Jesus stepped here in the room.

When a wounded person has faced life scaring trauma, that absolutely does not heal overnight and God handles us very gently until He can bring us to a place where He preps us for surgery. This is what God might say to a wounded soul that is struggling with sins they can't seem to control, "My child I see that thorn in your heart. I hear your silent cries and your whimpering in those sleepless nights when this thing torments your soul. I understand why you are angry and why you even lash out at Me at times. But, I know what I am doing, though you don't understand My plans. I am coming for you. I promise. I am preparing you for healing because that thorn in your heart is not going to come out easily, and it is going to hurt when I remove it. I am gentle and these things take time. You will most likely hate Me when I touch that wound because it is deeply infected, but if I don't take it out, it will destroy you. I love you child. We will wait out this painful process together, with you missing me, and I missing you, but one day we will become one and you won't feel that wall of separation anymore. And you will see that I was worth the wait and I will say, "You were worth the wait My love." Just as Abraham laid Isaac on an alter and I gave the body of my Son to bear beatings, piercing of thorns, and splinters of a I surrender you child to the trials of this world. But find rest in knowing that Abraham received Isaac as one raised from the dead, and on the third day My Son arose victoriously from the grave."

I keep trying to end this blog, but more things keep popping into my mind. I had a friend who has a 5yr old little girl. A few yrs ago she got scratched very deeply above the eye by the family cat. Her parents took her to the doc and she had to have stitches, but the doctors could not do anything with her. She was wailing about slinging her arms and wrestling with the doctor. In this process her mother had to be the one to hold her down so they could give her shots to numb the pain.  This girl told me that her daughter would run from her after that for a while. She would withdraw from her embrace. This really scarred this little girl and her mother seemed to her to be the enemy, although, it was her mother that was really saving her.

She did not comprehend that and she lashed out at her and it formed a distrust in her toward her mother. Sometimes when we get really addicted to something and God wants to heal something in us that is painful, we put up a wall instantly with Him. Some trigger of mistrust is ignited. All of a sudden we see the shiny image of the edge of a scalpel coming  toward us and we see God holding it and we flinch and He becomes the enemy. This makes so much sense to me now. I have never really thought about this before. There are issues in my life where I would buck up against God in a heartbeat the moment He puts His finger on it. I am still learning to trust that He really does have my best interest at heart.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My spiritual journey: en medias res

I am about to get into a more serious side of blogging.  I am not sure how deeply I am going to blog about certain aspects of myself and specifically my past, but i am going to go into some detail that will probably be a bit risky. So here goes. Many of my friends here know things about my personal life because we became close and I was pretty upfront about certain parts of myself. So for me to say I had a lot of relationships go awry is not a mystery to them. 

Last December was a very huge reality check for me. The only way I know how to compare it to would be the equivalent to an alcoholic coming to his senses after he ran over someone and killed them while DUI. I am not a drug addict, at least not one that you may typically label an addict.........I don't do drugs and I am not addicted to alcohol, but I have another addiction.   I get attached to people and they become addictions. The other day I ran into my therapists office in a panic thinking I had borderline personality disorder. She kinda looked at me funny, as if surprised, and said, "No Tammy. You better check the DSM again. You don't have BPD."

Whew! I had read a book on that and wow. These folks are really hard to treat and one major reason is they think everybody else in their life is their problem. Their idea of rejecting them is they have called 5 times in one day and the 6th one you can't answer because you were in the middle of a funeral and they go cut themselves believing you don't care. I am in NO WAY trying to make fun of people with this issue. I used a somewhat fanatical explanation, but borderlines can really be that extremely clingy and justify it in their minds. And i can sympathize with that because they are living in an unreality that is a very painful reality to them.  I have never been this unreasonably clingy, but I have been way too clingy to others, but usually I notice it and keep myself in check over it.

However, some  aspects of BPD mirror co-dependency. I have never understood what that meant, well, until a few weeks ago. There is a christian author that has written a very biblical approach to this term and it opened my eyes to so many things. I will save some of the things that God taught me about this subject on my next blog. I want to shorten these posts so I don't overwhelm everybody with these long blogs.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

One of my weird stories..........for old time sake.

Now, about my sarcasm. I would have to have NO pulse to cut that out, so........I am in recovery....not dead.  With that being said, I must tell one of my ridiculous stories. I am taking an astronomy class this semester. Yeah. I know. Astronomy? Right? Why am I doing something this ludicrous? To avoid biology. Duh! Why else would I be taking a retarded class like this? Who even knew this was an actual science that anyone took seriously? Really?

Anyway.........back to degrees in astronomy. "What do you want to be when you grow up?" "Oh, a cast member on Star Trek. I have a degree in astronomy. I wanna be one of those hairy monstrosities with 3 heads, half a nose with a clothespin ripped through the mamed nostril, one werewolf shaped ear, and a partridge in a pear tree growing out my rear that plays jingle bells (also in Spanish) when I walk."

Who gets a degree in astronomy? Really? Well, obviously somebody does because our college has "2", yes, that is "2" certified Doctors of Astronomy.  I brought that up for a reason. Our class is on Thursday nights and this past Thursday we stood out in the cold mind you, while "2", yes that's "2" professors with doctorates tried to focus "4", yes that's "4", high powered telescopes on Jupiter. And one was triple the size of a civil war cannon. This process took "2", yes that's "2" hours (not to set find the dang planet)  ........meanwhile back at the ranch..........Frankie, who has an app on her smart phone that projects virtual real-time space by satellite, is walking around in the dark showing the rest of the lethargic, complaining class where Jupiter was because neither professor could focus the telescope. Is it just me or does anyone else find it a little odd that 2 professors, 4 telescopes and a smart phone is required to find a planet?  It almost requires a pollock joke.

The real praying is going to begin next semester when the professor retires and we have a real instructor and we all need part two to graduate. That is when we will all become religious quickly and start chanting, invoking catholic voodoo, throwing around holy water, praying to Jesus, Mary, Job, Aristotle,  Buddha, Elvis......and whoever else will listen. As it stands now we are all cheating on the exams........(ahem) I mean group study. I hope God does not consider cheating to be a sin. I wonder how many hail Mary's that is gonna cost because I seriously am not considering changing. Anyway, this is not one of the 10 commandments.........or is it? I forgot what they are, but I am pretty sure it did not make God's top 10 so it must not be too important.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Catch up time

Hello Blog world. I have been away from this place for some time now.  It has been a while since I have spoken to many of my friends in blogland that I love and miss. Sorry guys. There were several things going on in my life at the time when I stopped blogging. In all honesty most of the things were excess drama that I brought into my life through some very BAD choices. I was about to affectionately title myself, "Drama Moma." Luckily, no one else has given me the pleasure of this title. If so, I would go on and stab myself in the chest and leap from a very tall steeple.......was that over the top in the drama department?

About the new title........I wanted to open this space up to my thoughts about God and the new path that I have found myself traveling. Have patience with me my friends. I don't really know how else to address an issue but to be plain spoken and honest and cry for mercy in the midst of it. I do realize that i have this annoying "religious" sounding tone at times and I am trying to catch that and temper it. But, if you detect it please overlook me. Just roll your eyes and say, "Tammy is riding the religious subway again. Just let her miss a couple of stops and eventually she'll realize she has missed the "time to get off the train" point and turn around. We love her though........cause she's "spa-cial."

Why did I choose that photo? It is one of the most powerful representations of the glory of God that I have found and I remember the first time I ever saw it. I was in a church in Florida where someone had painted this huge painting on the wall behind the pulpit. It was awesome. I was captivated by it.

Some major things took place in my life, spiritually speaking, last December. I had a drastic encounter with a crisis and a drastic encounter with God in the midst of it. I have since been on a steady path to find myself and where I fit with God. I have found a lot of things about myself that I really dislike. They are ugly, but I also am finding the grace of God in the midst to help me see out of a me that I don't want to keep becoming. Honestly, it has taken so many years for me to truly say, "I really don't want to be that Tammy anymore." I never thought that day would come. I loved my pet sins and I loved to wallow in them.........that is true. Ugly. But true.

However, I am still me and my "Me-ness" is gonna pop out in my twisted humor. I just can't help myself.