Totally Free MinistriesJuly 2012
In This Issue
A Streetcar Named Desire
Ministry Update

Dr Carol Letterhead 
Dear Friend, 


           I interact with people in many different ways. I care for women as an OB-Gyn physician. Our daily and weekly radio program is heard on stations across the country, and that means connecting with both listeners and broadcasting professionals. We connect with guests on our program. From time to time I speak to various groups - women, churches, medical professionals, etc. Our blog is being read by more people than ever.


            In all these contacts, there is one topic that generates a response deeper and more consistently than any other. It must be because this topic touches the most profound desires of our human soul. It's the topic of Intimate personal relationships. Whether it's divorce, affairs in marriage, singleness, STDs, domestic violence - it all relates directly to our strong desire to be close, intimate, known, and special.


            In the Ministry Update section at the end of this letter I will share some wonderful things that are happening with our program. But first, I want you to think about WHY? Why is the area of intimate human relationships so "touchy?" And how do we address these needs in a way that truly gets them filled?


Carol Tanksley
Totally Free Ministries

TFM Logo
A Streetcar Named Desire 
     - Navigating Our Human Desires
               To Their True Home

"In A Relationship"


           Most preachers don't like to talk about it. Parents struggle to talk about it with their children. More public figures in and out of the church have been scandalized by it than probably any other "sin." The world's "oldest profession" makes merchandise of what was intended to be sacred. Divorce and infidelity devastate the souls of men and women like little else can. Why? 


            Why does pornography have such a hold on so many, both men and woman? Why is casual sex such a trap for young people (and sometimes older people as well!)? Why does it sell so well - anything from cars to cleaning products, medications, and romance novels? Why the viciously strong feelings about same-sex relationships - by both those for and against? Why is the victimization of women and children (and even men) so often sexual in nature?

Woman feeling devastated  

            I have two girlfriends who jump from one relationship to another with barely a breath in between. At least one of our recent radio guests believes infidelity is even more prevalent in the church than "outside." One listener wrote to me, "I'm recovering from the loss of a 30-year marriage. Divorce breaks you emotionally!" Another of our radio professional friends just discovered his wife was sleeping with another man.


            Something is going on here. You might say, "That's just sin." And in the ultimate sense you're right. But why are we so vulnerable? Why can we get hurt so easily in this area? Why does it seem the enemy of our souls can so easily wreak havoc among us using these themes? (And it's been that way ever since Abraham, Jacob, David, and Hosea.)

 Man feeling devastated

            Enough of the ugly descriptions of the state of our human relationships. (This is not to undermine the many beautiful relationships that DO exist.) I believe there is a wonderful and almost scandalous truth in the midst of this mess that makes it all make sense.


Attempting An Answer


             There's really only one way to answer the Why. And it has to do with the very way we are created. And here it is:


            God made us for Himself. That's both the wonderful and the dangerous truth. Our whole being - body, mind, and soul - is made in His image. We cannot separate our physical desires from our spiritual longings because in reality they are one and the same. We need, we crave, we long for the intimacy and connection - physically, emotionally, and spiritually - that we were built for.


Simply trying to deny one's desires won't work, and puts us in a very vulnerable place. I believe the reason intimacy and sexual "stuff" get us into trouble so often is because they touch the very core of our nature. And that's the reason it can be either so spectacular or so devastating. (Remember, sexuality and intimacy are related, but are by no means the same.)


Holding Hands When a man stranded on the ocean drinks salt water to satisfy his thirst it only makes his cravings worse. Our desires themselves are right. God built us to have them. The object of our desires may be unhealthy, dangerous, or distorted by our sinful world. But our longings, our cravings, our desires in themselves are as much a part of who we are as human beings as our hands and feet. And God made it that way!


             God created us that way for a reason. He wants us to long for and need relationship. Close, intimate, personal relationship. It's the only way we can be who He created us to be.


The Fulfilling of Desire


         Do you believe for one moment that God is surprised by the pain sexually related "stuff" has caused in our world? He obviously knew the risk was worth it when He made us. And it was a pretty big risk! He knew that building into us the need for close, personal, intimate (physically and spiritually) relationships would make us vulnerable.


            But He also knew that without that need, and the longing desire to fulfill that need, we would never reach our highest joy either in this world, or in eternity.


            And without that longing, we would never connect with Him at the level HE desired.


            St Augustine is the one who prayed, "Lord, give me chastity . . . but not yet!" He knew firsthand the struggles our desires can cause. But he also said, "Lord, Thou has made us for thyself, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee."


So what do we do with our desires? I offer these thoughts: 

  1. Embrace desire. God built it into you. Physical, emotional, and spiritual desires are God-given, and cannot be separated.
  2. Guard your heart. As beautiful as desire is, it can also be deadly. Realize the object of your desire may not be what will fulfill your true longing. Watch over your heart with great care. Choose consciously and carefully where to open your heart.
  3. Know where you are vulnerable. What is OK for me may not be OK for you, and vice versa. The question is not, "Can I get away with it." The question is, "Will this make me vulnerable?" Please, don't take a chance!Woman Smiling
  4. Ask God to fill your love cup. Give Him time and opportunity to meet the deepest needs in your soul. When He fills you up, you won't be as likely to crave salt water when you're thirsty!
  5. Freely give. When you help fill another's love cup, yours will be filled to overflowing. Love your spouse ravishingly. Hug your kids. Hug a friend, or someone in need. Love them not for what they can give you back, but for no other reason than to love.

It's very likely that if you're reading this, you've been hurt in some way in the realm of intimate personal relationships. It's rare to find someone who hasn't been hurt here! Perhaps you've followed your heart's desires to unhealthy or dangerous ends. Perhaps you feel grief, shame, guilt, or loss because of your desires, and how they have been filled - or not filled.


            The good news: it's never too late. God's love can fill you up and wash you clean no matter where you've been. Let Him fulfill your deepest desires. He wants to. He made you for Himself, and no one will ever cherish you and love you like He does.


            I want Him! Do you?


Until we talk again, In Christ's Love and Freecom,

Dr. Carol Tanksley 

CLT Signature

Ministry Update          

              'The fuel that keeps us going is knowing that our programs, these letters, and the other parts of this ministry are making a difference. We are grateful to see that God is expanding our reach, and is touching hearts and changing lives through what we are doing. And if your heart is touched in any way, we would love to hear from you.


The Dr Carol Show is adding stations all the time. Our radio family now includes Washington, DC, Houston TX, San Antonio TX, Dallas TX, Little Rock AR, Nashville TN, Knoxville TN, Waco/Temple TX, Austin TX, and Spokane, WA. Our program is now truly coast to coast! You can check for updates on when new stations are added. We'd love to have you join us, and be part of the program.


The Gospel Express Show that Al is producing is also growing. We get calls from all over the country from people who are listening on the internet. The program offers the best in gospel and country gospel music, 5-6pm Central M-F. There's just something about that music that moves the soul! You can listen too at The program is airing on 102.7 KTXJ in southeast Texas, and we thank them so much for airing this program! ( I think you'll be glad you checked it out!


                Do visit our website regularly, Helpful links, articles where you can comment, and more, are constantly updated. God is opening doors for the expansion of our radio program faster than we could have ever hoped for. And this expansion takes funds. If God speaks to you to do so, we would be so grateful for your financial support. You can send your tax-deductible donation to the address on this letter, or you can donate online on our website.


               And now, I pray the God of love overwhelm your heart, mind, and soul. May you know His fullness in every part of your being. May your neediness be met by His fullness, and your weakness met with His strength. And may your heart surge with love back to Him, and to others.

Final thoughts  
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