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I Raise My Glass


I like wine and I love Jesus.

I go to church on Saturday evening; this does not mean I don’t honor the Lord on the Sabbath, that I do not keep it holy.

I send my children to public school.  I wear pants.  I have a tattoo.  I drop the occasional colorful word.  Some of my favorite people – in the entire world – are gay.

And still… (wait for it…) I love Jesus.

I recently spoke with a group that would like to invite me to speak at an upcoming event, but they are unable to because I mention wine on my blog.

Apparently there’s a pretty vocal group out there that’s bothered by my ‘alcoholism.’

(Mind you, I am the softest lightweight you’ll ever meet.  I don’t like the feeling of inebriation; I like the taste of wine.   Even more, I like the feel of a wineglass in my hand at a dinner party.  That’s really not the same as being a lush.)

Here’s what I’d like to say to anyone who might not hear the whole story:

I would have said yes, and I would have been honored, even if wine is a hangup for you.  

We can talk about my tatt if it’s distracting to you.  
I chose a word drawn directly from biblical text, borne of a most sacred, holy encounter.  
We can talk about that. 

Honestly, we can talk about anything.  I’m in.

The truth is, we don’t have to believe all the same things  or share all the same convictions if we are to share a story, an evening, a weekend.  

I would have been deeply honored to join you.

Legalism is an ugly monster.  It’s ‘do this; don’t do that.’ It’s ‘don’t drink, don’t dance, don’t sing too loud or stay out too late.’  It’s ‘God loves us; God hates them.’

And most sad to me: legalists often don’t know that they are.  They just believe strongly in rules, rules, rules.

Here’s the truth: Jesus loves you. 

Anything else you’ve been told – anything at all – is a lie.

I’m sorry someone lied to you.  And I raise my glass to grace.  


Tricia Lott Williford

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  1. Amen, and Cheers. I’ll raise my glass in two weeks, when I’m out among the ‘Samaritans’. What was that Paul said about being all things to all people in hopes of winning some??

  2. Great post! Thank you for your honesty.

  3. I realized the love and grace of Jesus when I was 30 years old. I started drinking at 11 years old and made many many horrendous mistakes and choices until God delivered me from bondage to alcohol, promiscuity, swearing and the list goes on. I am holy and righteous in His eyes ONLY because of what Jesus did for me on that cross. His beautiful, pure blood was shed for all of us. Thank you Lord!
    I also have a “tat” which I consider a reminder of my depravity.I got a tatto soley for rebellious reasons and no other. It was my way of flipping off anyone who chose to look. I choose to abstain from drinking for mulitiple reasons. A few of them are: 1) I dont want to be pulled back into the old life that Ive been delivered from. 2) It costs too much 3) I have a ministry and I dont want to be a stumbling block to the people that I minister to. While I do not wish to judge anyone on their personal choices, I do hope that all of us consider others better than ourselves (“do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves Phil 2:3) and do what is best for those who may be struggling with alcohol, drugs, promiscuity, homosexuality or whatever their particular issue is. We must always be mindful of how our example effects those who are weaker than us.
    I believe a lot of legalism stems from fear. They want to be righteous and holy and are afraid that worldy pleasures may interfere. I urge everyone not to be unkind to our legalist friends, but to consider them better than ourselves by praying for them, loving them, and to follow the Apostle Paul’s instructions from Romans 14; particularly verses 19-21

    19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.

    20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble.

    21It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall.

    22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves.

    23But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.

    May we all continue to grow in the grace of our Lord Jesus who is coming again. Let us not be caught unaware.

  4. Thank you for being patient with those who have not yet experienced grace. So many of us grew up with various amounts of legalism. We sang ”Amazing Grace” but didn’t fully understand it. Most people do the best they can with what they have been given. Judgmental attitudes can change. So keep being a friend to all…just like Jesus.

  5. I think if i had to pick one (which I never could because I love them all) this would be my favorite post! I have known for a couple of years now…after reading your blog…that I love the person you are…honest, authentic, loving, real and most of all not afraid of what other’s might think about you. After 36 years of life I am slowly but surely getting to that point in my life…but it has been quite the journey to get there. Thank you for putting into such great words what I want my life to be all about. At the end of the day what really matters is that Jesus is proud of who I am and He loves me…the rest really doesn’t matter. I raise my glass to you!

  6. Thank you for reminding me that they usually don’t even know they’re being that way, that they may not be able to see the wrong they are doing or the hurt they are causing.

  7. Wow, their loss indeed. Great words from the heart and wise with it. Cheers J

  8. I came across 2 Corinthians 3:6 this morning, and it reminded me of your post.
    He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant–not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

  9. YES! I completely agree. Kudos for being brave enough to say this.

  10. “I love Jesus” should be enough because it is everything. The rest is just colorful details. I love seeing your radiant color shine through here. Thank you for boldly sharing it!

  11. 1st Timothy 3:8 Likewise let the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;

    Notice “not given to much wine” does NOT say “given to any wine” So I raise my glass to you Tricia. A glass of wine is good for the soul in my book, as long as one does not over indulge themselves.

  12. The legalistic side of the fence is a comfortable place to be….for those on that side of it. Cheers to you for being who you are!

  13. Well said!

  14. Amen!
    I often say it is not I who is the judge, but the Wonderful man who is in Heaven that will be the judge in the end.

  15. Cheers! Preach it, Sister!! Love oozes from you, and they are missing out on a huge blessing! So sad…

  16. Tricia:

    Life is short; wine is good ( I also enjoy a glass of Merlot!). While there may be Merlot in Heaven, I’m sure it’s on earth for us to enjoy.



  17. Cheers indeed

  18. Tricia, I have been reading your blog for roughly a year and a half. I found it through a mutual friend, Alli Dunham. Many of your posts speak to me and are amazing; however, this one causes me to finally comment. I have expressed these same words to many of my Christian friends who take issue with my wine drinking and my tattoos. I feel sad for those who get caught up in the rules and the differences instead of focusing on the fact that God loves us all.

  19. What you need is a good sangria on my back porch to shake this off. I’m guessing Jesus turned water to grape juice…. ?

  20. like, like, like, like, like! 🙂

  21. Amen, Tricia! well said! I raise my glass to you. you are a very wise woman. it would be an honor to hear you speak anywhere. it really is their loss.

  22. Beautifully stated, Tricia. Cheers!

  23. Here, Here Tricia….you said it so eloquently. Your Mom and Dad raised an extremely intelligent and loving daughter. Cheers. Lori

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