Book Review ~ Shame Off You

Shame Off You from Hiding to Healing by Denise Pass

In this vulnerable, raw and honest book, Shame Off You, Denise Pass walks us through going from hiding to healing in our shame. She uses the phrase “Shame Off You” instead of “Shame On You” that we so often use.

Denise really makes you think about shame and how it effects so many aspects of our lives. Shame is a vicious cycle that goes through condemnation, comparison, crisis and commitment. However, there is a better way, a Biblical way to work through shame; Revelation, reflection, repentance and restoration.

This post may contain affiliate links. Through no added cost to you, I may receive a small commission. For more information please see my disclosure statement. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion and review.

Denise Pass Author of Shame Off You

Picture of Author Denise Pass in Book Review ~ Shame Off You

Shame is an assault on the core of who we are. It assassinates our character, minimizes our worth, and dashes our hope. Like Adam and Eve, we often hide shame, but hiding never heals it. Left unattended, shame can develop into a crippling reality that paralyzes us. Like an infectious disease, shame impacts everyone . . . but not all shame is bad.

Shame can either be an oppressive and powerful tool of worldly condemnation or a source of conviction that God uses to bring his people back to himself. Having the discernment to know the difference and recognize shame in its many forms can change the course of one’s life.

In a transparently honest style, Denise Pass shares of her experience dealing with shame after learning that her former husband was a sexual offender. Having lived through the aftermath, she leads you into God’s Word where you will see for yourself that God is bigger than your pain, shame, mistakes, and limitations.

Shame Off You (available from Abingdon Press) shares how freedom can be found in choosing to break the cycle of shame by learning from the past, developing healthy thinking patterns, silencing lies, and overcoming the traps of vanity and other people’s opinions.

Interview with Denise

Q: Can you start us off by sharing a little bit of your own story?

I did not realize just how significant of an impact shame had on my life until I started writing this book. I don’t think I recognized all I was experiencing in my life as shame. Shame affected me in profound ways—from worrying to the point of obsession about what others thought of me to shame from my past, present and in the future. Shame was pervasively impacting all of life: how I related to others, processed my perception of myself and responded in social situations. Shame was snuffing out my hope and life, and it felt like I had no way out.

Then in 2007, God revealed to me my (then) husband was a sex offender and some of our children were his victims. This revelation crushed us, and the ensuing shame was crippling. I had waited for marriage and married a Christian man. We were that homeschool family. It did not seem possible. But it was. Through that devastating season, my children and I drew nearer to God, reading the Bible through and clinging to His precious promises. I continued to home educate, and we put one foot in front of the other. Through a five-year long court battle. Through tragic new revelations. Through sorrow up on sorrow and financial woes. God was our God through all of it and the lessons we learned as shame lost its grip on our souls were priceless.

Now, my four oldest are all in college and walking with God, and my youngest son who I adopted from Russia is still home educated by the grace of God. And me? God brought a precious man into my life who I call my Kinsman Redeemer. There’s more about him (my “Bo”—short for Boaz) in the book.

Q: At its root, what is shame, and why is it so detrimental to us?

There are many roots underlying what we call shame.  Shame is the broad term used, but there are so many things interwoven in our culture that we accept as “normal.” Shame is an accusation on our soul that says we are not enough. News flash—we are not enough—but God is. He is our righteousness and removes all of our sin and shame. Shame is peer pressure and the fear of man—we would not have shame if we did not have an audience. Shame is a label or box that imprisons our souls and steals our joy. Shame is detrimental because it gives us a false identity and keeps us from living the abundant life Jesus promises, distracting us from the mission we have been called to.

Book Cover in Book Review ~ Shame Off You by Denise Pass

Q: What are some of the most common underlying sources of shame? Is shame always caused by a sin a person commits him/herself?

Shame is a head game that we do to ourselves most of the time, but there is also plenty of social shaming that goes on—shunning and people condemning one another. While sin invites shame into our lives as a natural consequence, shame is prevalent within our culture. We come by it naturally and so we don’t question it. Expectations cause shame to rise when we don’t meet them. Comparison. Pride. These are huge contributors to the game of shame. The presence of shame in our lives is ultimately a spiritual matter. We feel the truth behind the statement that we are not enough. We accept this condemnation, but it can become our vindication. We are not enough. That’s ok, because Christ is our Righteousness. The enemy of our souls is always accusing us, but our Savior is always interceding for us.  

Q: Shame typically surrounds a situation the public is aware of, at least in the mind of the person walking through it. How can the church community be more supportive of a member suffering with shame?

Great question. We would not have shame if we did not have an audience. It is this fear of man and focus on self that makes us feel so very exposed as we seek acceptance and to snuff out rejection. In my situation, I felt like the church did not know how to handle sex abuse situations, so they didn’t. I was told to be silent. The shame culture thrives in silence. However, being able to talk about it in a God-honoring way and having support instead of isolation would take the sting out of shame and turn it on its head. When we protect the violator and silence the victims, we are propagating and promoting shame.

Q: In what ways do we intentionally or unintentionally heap shame on others?

We live in a society of labels. People try to define one another by false identities based on their performance—good or bad, or their status in this life. When we move away from our identity being in Christ, we find that our identity falls short. Shame was introduced to man in the garden of Eden. We left perfection and chose an insecure, shame-filled culture, instead. Discontent with our lot, comparison and the fear or man have robbed us confidence and plagued us with shame in all of life. Shame is also used as a tool of power by people who seek to subject others, shaming them into submission. And again, shame is in our culture, so it is fairly invisible. We just accept it as part of life, which can cause us to unintentionally continue in the shame culture.


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Q: How is Shame Off You set up and designed to be used?

Shame Off You is the story of a girl who shrunk her shame. It is a guide for recognizing the shame all around us and how to rid ourselves of shame biblically. There is a biblical lens of Truth, Humility and Grace that we view shame through, as well as Cycles of Shame and Redemption, a Shame Spectrum and Shame Quiz so we can evaluate how shame is impacting our lives. There is also a resource guide in the back of the book that covers 40 different common shames we might encounter along with Scriptures to combat that shame.

Shame Off You systematically covers everything from feeling shunned and rejected, to being shy, to worrying about what others thought or said about me to traumatic shame that paralyzes us.

Q: What are the steps to overcoming shame?

Shame distracts us from the mission of God and keeps us from living on mission for Christ. It causes us to focus on self and limits our worth. It hurts our relationship with God and others and causes us to live defeated, discouraged lives. It has to be dealt with. Recognizing shame’s presence is necessary to be able to deal with it effectively.

From recognition, we need to discern whether we are dealing with condemnation or conviction. Condemnation is based on works whereas Conviction is based on relationship. Once we know what we are dealing with, we need to consult God’s word and use a biblical filter to evaluate our shame and then let it go. We defeat shame not by mere words. And hiding shame does not heal it. We have to face shame and deal with it biblically to be set free. We don’t get rid of shame because it humbles us—but because it prevents us from living the abundant life Christ promises, reaching those around us.

About the author

Denise Pass, author of Shame Off You, is an award-winning CCM recording artist and singer-songwriter, accomplished writer/blogger, speaker and worship leader at women’s conferences as well as a worship leader on staff at her home church. After a crushing discovery of her former husband’s hidden life and surviving a painful divorce, she now shares an inspirational message through her ministry, Seeing Deep Ministries, about seeing the deeper truth in God’s word when life hurts.

Denise also founded and directed a home educational co-op for 12 years and engaged in many educational pursuits, including forming and directing a classical children’s choir. A graduate from the University of Maryland, Denise now resides in Virginia, with her “Kinsman Redeemer” husband and five children.

Learn more about Shame Off You at https://shameoffyou.life/the-book. You can also find out more about Denise Pass at DenisePass.com. She can also be found on Facebook (Denise Pass – Author/Speaker/ Worship Leader) and Twitter (@TheDenisePass).

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Don’t Blame the Mud by Marty Machowski

Book Review of Don’t Blame the Mud: Only Jesus Makes Us Clean

Have your kids ever done something they KNOW they are not allowed to? After they tried to blame it on someone else? Of course you have! Every kid has done it! Just tonight at supper time Lily tried to blame me for cutting her bread into smaller pieces. She wanted a big piece which I gave her. But then she cut it up! I don’t know why she thought blaming me, her mom, would be a good idea. Blaming others and the story of God’s redemption are the focus of Marty Machowski’s new book Don’t Blame the Mud: Only Jesus Makes Us Clean.

Book cover of Don't Blame the Mud; Only Jesus Makes us Clean

This post may contain affiliate links. Through no additional cost to you, I may receive a small commission on your purchase. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. For more information, see my disclosure statement.

Picture of Max getting dirty in Don't Blame the Mud Only Jesus makes us Clean

Marty tells the story of Max, a young boy walking home from school one afternoon. Max’s mom reminds him in the morning not to get his clothes dirty. First, he is to come home and change. Well, the mud was calling Max that day and he did NOT stay clean!! He tried to hide it. After that, he blamed the mud, then he felt the guilt.

Marty beautifully weaves God’s story of redemption through the conversation Max has with his parents. The closing sentence says it perfectly:

The mud was all gone and so was my shame. My heart was washed clean, and deep inside I knew God was now living with me.

MartyMachowski

The pictures in this book are fantastic! The illustrator is Craig MacIntosh and his art captures exactly what the story is saying. At the back of the book, there’s even pages on “Helping your child understand sin” and “Helping your child understand the Gospel” and these 3 key verses:

Key Verses

But if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:7-9

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.

Psalm 51:1-2 NIV

Jesus said: “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.”

John 13:8

If you want to start talking to your kids about redemption and forgiveness, this book is the place to start! My kids love it, and it opened up a lot of questions from them. I’m looking forward to many more bedtime stories reading this book! Most importantly, I’m looking forward to the discussions and questions that follow!

My 2 girls enjoying the book Don't Blame the Mud: Only Jesus Makes us Clean

To purchase this book from New Growth Press Click here.

Additionally, it can be purchased from Amazon here.

A book Review: Don't blame the Mud

She Dreams by Tiffany Bluhm

She Dreams by Tiffany Bluhm book cover

A Book Review of “She Dreams” by Tiffany Bluhm

When I was little I was a daydreamer. Even into my teens and early twenties you would often find me off in my own world. I had dreams of being an Olympic athlete, being a neurosurgeon, traveling and getting married and becoming a mother. While I’ve never won a gold medal at the Olympics or cut into someone’s head, I am living my dream as a wife and mother.

She Dreams by Tiffany Bluhm book cover

But when did we stop dreaming? I’m talking big God size dreams. In this book “She Dreams” Tiffany looks more into this and encourages us to dream again.

This post may contain affiliate links. Through no added cost to you, I may receive a small commission. I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review and opinion. For full details, please see our Disclosure Statement.

Why Don’t I dream?

Isn’t it easy as Mother’s to get bogged down with the nitty-gritty of everyday life? Our days seem mundane with laundry, grocery shopping, dishes, making meals, driving kids around… you get my point. I don’t dream like I used to. I have ideas and things I’d like to do, but not those big dreams of “I can do anything!” But not Olympic size dreams anymore.

She dreams quote

Even with this blog, I have goals I’ve set and things I’d like to accomplish, but where is that big pie in the sky dream of what this blog can be?

Maybe I don’t want to say out loud what I’d really like to do with this blog for fear of “jinxing” myself. Maybe I’m afraid to fail or afraid to succeed. I do have big dreams for this blog, but I’m scared to admit it. I’m probably afraid because I’ve had big dreams before only to see them crumble before me. But, that doesn’t mean God isn’t with me through it all.

“If I don’t let my past stay exactly where it belongs, which is behind me, then I can perpetuate the cycle of defeat and feel inadequate to move forward toward my God-sized dream.”

Moses Dreams

Tiffany uses the story of Moses to encourage us to dream big and bold. We all run into roadblocks and discouragements along the way, but God is with us and working through all of those hard times.

“God doesn’t always work in the way that seems the best to us. If God does not lead you along the shortest path to your goal, don’t complain or resist. Follow Him willingly and trust Him to lead you safely around unseen obstacles. He can see the end of your journey from the beginning, and he knows the safest and best route.”

“Some of us feel we don’t know how things will work out, therefore, we shouldn’t give it a go.”

I’ve never read the story of Moses as a story of a dreamer. So it was really interesting to look at the story of the Exodus from a different perspective. To be honest, I did find it a bit hard to follow where Tiffany was going through parts of the story, but the overall theme is the same and inspiring… She Dreams.

She Dreams

I would definitely recommend this book to everyone. It’s so important for us to dream again. I’ve been challenged to let myself dream again. I know you would be inspired by this book too. You can get it here from Amazon, or you can also enter to win a free book here through a Rafflecopter giveaway. You only have until May 14th, 2019 to enter this draw, so enter soon! **Draw is now closed**

She Dreams book tour give away image