Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Rob

Can't believe we now have a 32 year old son! Amazing. Been a lot of water over, under and around the bridge since he was born. God has taught me so much through him. Thank you for the lessons son. I love you very much. I pray for you continually.

Man, I guess you thought I really took a vacation, huh? It has been a month since I wrote. I discovered facebook and then ministry has been amazingly busy.

We are having a function for the children of the incarcerated tomorrow night at Winston Square Park. Come join us at 6:00 for hot dogs, music and fun. Pray for the weather!!!!


Friday, June 12, 2009

Vacation time has come and almost gone

We look so forward to our vacation. We plan so much to do, and pack and the time finally arrives. Often times we are disappointed with our time or we have so much fun we don't want it to end. What am I saying? I never want it to end.

I have gotten so much done with the ministry this week with little down time. God has blessed me so much this week. We have a new board member, a new volunteer, a new opportunity to minister to other families, help to sponsor 3 young boys to go to camp. Wow, God totally amazes me. I love to be about His business. It has been an exciting week.

Now comes a little R & R. Tomorrow I will be traveling topless with our daughter. (In her convertible that is). Then I will be traveling with a couple of great friends to the lake for some sun and fun. I have way too many books and projects packed, but you never know what you will be in the mood to accomplish, right?

Of course today I raided the grocery store in preparation for our time away. I will be providing the meal for one night and of course have plenty of other goodies. We act like we are going to be gone for days. I can't wait to get away on both adventures. We never know what God has in store for us. I look for His divine appointments everywhere I go.

Hope you are having a good summer. We can't complain about no rain this year huh! What good does it do to complain anyway, we are not in control but praise God we know who is.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Hope on the Inside

Can you believe that half the year is about gone? Is it my age or is time really speeding along? There is much work to be done for the Lord, and when you see how fast your brief life is and how fast the time is flying, you understand the urgency of the hour to get the message of Christ out to all who will hear and that is just what we did this past weekend. It was amazing!

I was involved in an outreach to area prisoners this past weekend called, Hope on the Inside. It was sponsored by Forsyth Prison/Jail ministry. What an awesome experience as we saw 80 inmates pray to recive Christ.

Our topic was forgiveness of God, others, and themselves. There were 60 men in our unit and we sang, prayed and gave our personal testimonies. Please pray for these men to grow in their new faith. They don't have as many oportunities to recieve discipleship one on one as we do. The chaplains will followup with these men, but there are only 3-4 of them to 80 who made decisions.

What a privelege to go in to share the Truth of God with these men. Some have never heard but I guarantee they did that day. Pray for their families as they visit and grieve over the location of their son, daughter, spouse or father, mother, or some other loved one. It is so hard to leave your loved one behind the prison bars. The clang of the bars is unnerving.

On Wings Like a Dove is having an outreach July 16th for the children of the inmate. Pray we will make a difference in the lives of each family member who attends.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009


About 3-4 years ago I met a lady who does wonderful water color prints. I started then to talk to her about the possibility of painting a dove. She said she would need photos of doves that would not have any copyrights on them. I started praying about how we could get something like that. Along came a lady who did photography and she investigated someone who might have doves for weddings and funerals. Eventually we got it worked out to go and photograph. What a great day it was to see over a hundred white pidgeons released. Then we got out the doves and photographed them. Wellllllllll eventually we got the pictures to the artist and she has recently released her picture. You can find it at Click on Newsletter and schbang there is the picture of the doves. She is offering the prints now and if you purchase them ONLINE On Wings Like a Dove ministry gets 50% of the proceeds. The print is called "Released". God is so good to bring this about in His timing. It will help us to be able to minister to our families. We thank Susan so much for her support. What a giving lady. Check it out!


Monday, May 18, 2009


While out running errands today my Mother called to tell me of the death of my cousins' husband. He had chosen to end his own life. What shock that brings, along with anger and many questions. I can't imagine her pain not only today where the shock of it has not even set in but the why's and struggles the family will be left with as they come out of their shock to sort through the why's. How hopeless he must have felt to take his life with no apparent warning. Everyone was baffled today! Not much to say, except I am so sorry.

A year ago our son attempted suicide while we were away at the beach. God had taken me to 2 Chronicles 20 the day before which I thought was for the family members we minister to, but I later realized it was for me as I repeated those verses 15 & 17< " Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God's. You will not need to fight in the battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the LORD, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem! Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the LORD is with you."

As we returned home I kept repeating that verse, "The battle is not yours, stand still and see the deliverance of the LORD." God was in control. He has done such a work in our son since that time. There has been much breaking and molding! I used to try to be in control. God has taught this Mother to let go more and more and allow Him, Who is Sovereign to do the work He wants to do in our son. It has freed me up so much and believe me He does a much better job.

My heart grieves with my cousins family as they sort through the pieces over the coming months. My cousin's first question to me was, "Sandra, did he go to heaven, that is what I am worried about!" My response: "Yes, if he had ever asked Jesus into his heart you can be sure he did." I knew what she meant about him taking his life and how some have taught you won't go to heave. God engraves us on the palm of His hand. His blood has covered us. Once brought into His fold we have the assurance of eternal residence. He promises NOTHING can snatch us out of His hand.

Our little family was spared that day as our son was spared once again from death. We are grateful. I know from the grief of a dear friend, who is like a sister to me, at the loss of her Dad to suicide how devastating that can be. I can't imagine the depths of dispair and the sense of hopelessness someone must feel to take their own life. Please pray for this family.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Home again

We always look so forward to our time away from work, especially if we have special plans. Our expectations are always high and there begins to come a sense of relaxation when you are finally all packed and set to go. Many times the plans go as we anticipated, but we are often shot curves along the way. As we know life has lots of turns and twist which can cause us to stop in our tracks completely (giving up) or learn to go around (perservering)knowing God is in our circumstances and will see us through to the end.

We just returned from our trip to the beach and we had such a great time visiting old friends and then spending some alone time together. I wanted to stay another night but Jimmy said no because he knew he must mow before he started back to work on friday. We often return to unsettled circumstances, often with our son. This time he did great but we came back to find our little dog, Domino, was not eating or taking her treats. We were glad we had come on back home to get her the care she needed. If you know Domino, when she doesn't take treats, we know she is not well.

I took her to the Vet the next day and the news was worse than expected. Her own body is destroying her red cells. She has some sorta autoimmune disorder and is on high doses of prednisone. She has improved each day and is back to eating and taking her treats but her blood count has not improved. I said Lord, "Why in the world do we have to come back to this heartache, after all she is like family." My heart greives when I think we might lose her at age five! She IS part of the family.

I was reading in my Blessing Your Spirit book by Sylvia Gunter and Arthur Burk:

" I bless you, Sandra, with the perspective of your Father who knows the end from the beginning. I bless you with not magnifying the presence of enemies or trials or problems to seem bigger than the Sovereign Lord of the universe. I bless you with gazing at your Father and glancing at your problems. I bless you with knowing that your Father is available to help you at all times with all that you need. I bless you with a river of peace flowing over you and permeating everything you are and everything you do. I bless you with a river of peace that flows out from your spirit and washes over those around you. I bless you with the smile of your Father whispering to your heart and spirit, "Your peace based in your trust in me pleases me very much." I bless you in the name of Jesus, your Jehovah-Shalom, Amen.

I want to be found gazing at my Father and glancing at my problems! Thank you Lord for that reminder. Revive my spirit Lord and do in me what You will. It is good to be back home, no matter the trials you might face. We can do anything in the power and strength of our Lord and as a family. I praise Him for the family I am blessed to have. I have so much to be grateful for.


Monday, May 4, 2009

Kairos weekend

I attended a ladies retreat for loved ones of prisoners or ex-prisoners this past weekend. Man did we laugh, cry, hug, and worship. I would recommend it to anyone who needs healing from the trama of having a loved one incarcerated. They also have a Kairos inside for the inmates. I won't tell you everything but you will definitely be loved on and encouraged. You can go to their website: or

They will have another session in the fall in the western part of the state. It is powerful. If you want rest and sleep though don't go. Ha! We went to bed about MN and were awakened to singing about 6am. I met a lot of wonderful ladies I will remember for a lifetime.

Friday, May 1, 2009

The lost duckling, (No, not the ugly)

It has been a little while since I was on. So much going on it is sometimes hard to sit and write. Our ministry needs are different from day to day. There are sometimes urgent calls that need to be attended to then and there. Some families have gotten beyond the current crisis and are able to cope well. It has been interesting to watch how the Lord has worked in the hearts of the prodigal's family as God has grown them up in Him.

I learn visually and often God teaches me through nature and His creation in the animal kingdom. I love animals and seem to run up on strays. Well my heart has always gone out to the underdog, so while walking the other day I saw a mother duck with six little ducklings following ever so close behind her as they crossed the street together. Now why they had to go across the street I don't know since they have a big pond on the other side. I thought then, oh, it would be a shame to see any of them run over!

The next day as I walked there was a young man waiting in the driveway across from the pond and as I approached he said, "Mam, could you help me." I looked down and there was one of those tiny little ducklings. We took it up to the pond in search of MOM, but she was not where in sight. I turned to the fellow and said, "I guess you have a new friend." I went home and got him a basket and lined it with grass and off he went with it hanging over the handlebars of his bike. I hope the little one survived.

As I went into the house I thought now what was I to learn from that Lord. I thought about how when our children get separated from us they are sometimes caught up in things that could take their very lives. They have no idea what a cruel world it is outside the Mothers care. I wondered how the Mother felt as she got home and one of her babies was missing. I remember my frantic times of searching when our prodigal was away from the fold.

I imagine that God feels the same mercy and love for that lost one as we did as we tried to care for the one left behind. Is there someone God has sent your way to reach out to with mercy and love? Maybe you don't have a prodigal but I am sure you are exposed to prodigals everyday. How did you reach out in love and compassion to them, showing them the love of the Father.

Several of us Mothers/Spouses of prisoners or past prisoners will be gathering this weekend for a retreat. Please pray for us.

May God bless you and yours,


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Wake up

I was driving home from visiting a friend today and a car in front of me had all kinds of magnets and bumper stickers on the back. One stood out to me, "What part of Thou Shalt Not Kill do you not understand." (Talking about abortion). Then I looked and there was a political sticker promoting a candidate who promotes abortion! Quite interesting I thought. What's that scripture, "You can't be on both sides of the fence-------Which message are you proclaiming to the world? Are people confused by your stand? God says, "You are either for Me or against me"!

I went to a prayer retreat this past week and WOW, God amazes me as He continues to teach us His truth. I am still processing,eager to learn more and know Him more. Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." Ephesians 5:14.

I want to pray this prayer of blessing on you, taken from You Are Blessed by Sylvia Gunter: "Beloved, child of God, invite your spirit to the front to receive the ministry of the Holy Spirit, to receive this blessing. Take authority over anything that would try to keep you from receiving this truth from the Spirit of truth. Wake up, slumbering spirit, and receive from the Light who created you and formed you and lives in you. Be blessed to become fully alive and responsive to God's light. Be blessed with God's richest blessings which he stored up for you before the said, "Let there be light: in the world. The resurrection power of the Son is actively working in you and for you. Jesus said that this is the day when salvation
and the favor of God profusely abound" Luke 4:19.
Spirit, be blessed to see who God made you to be. Be blessed to discover the wonder of who you are, a person after God's own heart, a unique spirit. When you are fulfilling his design of you, you will find marvelous freedom. Be blssed as you resonate with your Father's love that you were born to enjoy. He wants you to say "Yes and Amen" to the sparks of life he has placed inside you. Be blessed with being centered in his joy and peace, larger than soul joy and soul peace."

You can pray this for your prodigal also.

We invite your comments or questions.

Monday, April 13, 2009


The song we sang yesterday at church keeps ringing in my ears and coming off my tongue, Celebrate, Celebrate, the resurrection power of our Lord!! We went to church with our daughter Melissa and her family and it was a great service with lots of praise. At one point Melissa and I just hugged each other with tears of joy running down our cheeks. Our Lord is so awesome, that He would give His precious life for such a worm as I amazes me each time I think of it.

We had a blast hiding easter eggs with our grandson, Brett, and then letting him hide them from Papa and Daddy (20 in one spot but that's ok, that made it easier for those old bones leaning down to pick them up!)

I just reveled in the fact that we were all together, my Mother and Dad, our son Rob and his fiancee, Mel and Bryan, Brett and Bryan's Mother. Our other 3 grandchildren were at the beach with their other grandmother. They were sorely missed.

I and my dear friend Debbie are going to a prayer retreat on Weds. and we recieved an email not to be surprised if we experienced warfare with our families, our jobs, our health, tiredness, etc. You've read that we were working with a new computer we were 12 patients behind at one point. Now if you don't think that is pressure! People get mad you know. I kept praying, Lord just get me through these next 2 days.

I look so forward to our retreat and being in the presence of the Lord in new and exciting ways. I pray He will continue to teach me.

I hope your easter was all you hoped it would be as you celebrated with family and your church family. I pray you understand what the celebration is all about and that you are living in the resurrection power of our Lord Jesus Christ who is alive and seated at the right hand of the Father, interceding for you and me. What an amazing thought.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Happy Birthday Girls

What a weekend! My grandaughters are now offically 9. They had all sorts of celebrations. It all began with cupcakes at school, 50 of them. They are in separate classes. Two of everything you know. Gets rather expensive but they felt special and had a blast and that is what it is about right? Then they did the Chuckie Cheese thing with Mom and Dad and came to Mama and Papa's and had another party on Sunday with our family. Now that is the way to do it, string it out as long as you can.

Then came the dreaded first day of the new computer system at work. It went surprising well and I guess it is true that an old dog can learn new tricks. Whew. Feels like something in my head is expanding---could it be sawdust?

I ran across something pretty amazing in my reading. If you have never read any of Sylvia Gunters writings and prayers you must. I want to quote her from her "You are Blessed" book. I found this enlightening: "Years ago I heard Graham Cooke teach, "Take a step back into your spirit, and ask God what he sees, how he wants you to respond. This changes my observations of people and events around me. When God leads my spirit to respond to the spirit of others, I may see that their spirit is trapped in a dysfunctional arrangement of the soul being large and in charge. This allows me to bless the perfect work that the Holy Spirit wants to do in their spirit from his residence in them, even while I may suffer the consequences of the immaturity or carnality of their soul. The spirit of another person is not my enemy. Their spirit is made in the image of God, but their soul has been well-fed and catered to, and he may be dominating from his heavy-weight postion."

If we could past our soulish reaction to folks and allow our spirit to meet God's Spirit we might do more praying for and less talking about the issues our flesh sees that are wrong with them. Hope God spoke to you through that paragraph.

I try to go downtown to our office on Tuesdays and spend the day working, catching up and preparing for the newsletters and board meetings and correspondence. I don't usually have a lot of visitors but get a lot of work done. I could just spend hours there. On Wings Like a Dove is a ministry that reaches out to families of prodigals/prisoners. I spend many hours working on the ministry but I have such a passion to help those hurting folks that it not a burden, work on the other hand...............I really do pray that one day the Lord will allow me to minister on a fulltime basis. That is in His hands and His timing.

Yesterday I had a mother and her son come in to visit after their visit to the Tasc drug check office in our building. We have been praying for this son for a little while and it was neat to meet him and talk and allow the Lord to show me some things. He is definitely struggling with alcohol and drug addiction. Will you pray for him, his name is Joshua. Pray for his parents to have wisdom.

Monday night I met with a couple of Mothers to catch up on their son's and the struggles they continue to have. One Mother stated she had given up hope. I know she hasn't given up hope in the Lord, but has lost hope that things will ever get better with her son and his lifestyle. I understand that sense of hopelessness. When that happened to me I put my nose in God's Word and drew my very breath from those passages. It is good to allow God to take you where He will and to write down the promises in His Word. Put them on an index card and keep them close to draw on when the enemy seems to take over your mind and thoughts. Ask for the mind of Christ in your situation. If you are reading this and have a word for this Mother please submit it to us.

We march on as His soldiers.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

One hundred years old

I had the privelege of interviewing a lady today who was celebrating her 100th birthday today. We have to ask our patients to spell their names and give us their birthdate as a way of identification and I looked down and saw her birthday was 4/2/09. 1909 mind you!!!! She was sharp as a tack and still lives alone, cooks and gardens. She had a 67 year old son with her. Imagine that. I told her I hoped I looked as good as her if the Lord allowed me to live that long. I just couldn't allow her to leave without some sort of celebration, so I called down and got her a piece of chocolate cake. Now that has to make anyone's day, right.

I have pondered that age all afternoon as I calculated 40 more years and i can tell you with the way my joints are feeling on this rainy day I am not sure I would make it as well as she has. I thought about the changes I might see in the next 40 years. I can't imagine, can you? The verse, "the body is decaying" is more evident each day. Hopefully, my mind is being renewed, but there again........

We are learning a new computer program at work and I feel like my brain is on overload. It will start Monday so pray I can grasp it! We have a fellow nurse who will be retiring in June.....I am envious.

Our little four year old grandson, Brett and his Mom, Mel went to pick PaPa up this afternoon from a procedure. He was so concerned over how Papa was. I came home and he said, "something is very wrong with PaPa, he can't drive." So cute. Couldn't you just eat them up? He wanted to stay with us but Mom drug him to the car kicking and screaming. We reasurred him that we would see him tomorrow. We are going to our twin grandaughters birthday party at their school tomorrow. They will be nine tomorrow. Unbelieveable!

Now what do you do with the cake when one sister likes HS musical and the other Hannah Montana? You put HS musical on one end and Hannah on the other and pray they will be happy. I have to buy two of everything. Didn't want to buy two cakes!!!!
Next month their brother will be one! Isn't it fun?

Well the old gray mare is sinking and I need to rest up for tomorrow sooooooooooooo, good night.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A day at the office

I usually go to our On Wings Like a Dove office downtown on Tuesdays. It is usually fairly quiet and I can get a lot of work done. Today I had several visitors which is always a delight and several phone calls. Some calls and visits were from longtime prodigals we have ministered to over the years and some were new contacts and ways to pray. I found it interesting seeing how my devotional this morning was how God shows us things in others so we will have more knowledge how to pray, not to use it to gossip about the person. I learned that long ago as I watched my dear friend Joan pray for others with the gift of discernment. She has such a relationship with the Lord that she senses when God sends others her way to intercede for them, often total strangers.

Here is part of the devotional from My Utmost for His Highest I read this morning in preparation for my day: " If we are not heedful and pay no attention to the way the Spirit of God works in us, we will become spiritual hypocrites. We see where other people are failing, and then we take our discernment and turn it into comments of ridicule and criticism, instead of turning it into intercession on their behalf. God reveals this truth about others to us not through the sharpness of our minds but through the direct penetration of His Spirt. It is not that we are able to bring God into contact with our minds, but that we awaken ourselves to the point where God is able to convey His mind to us regarding the people for whom we intercede"

WOW! That is powerful. I hope it helps you as you meet those you consider to be failing. I was presented with that face to face today with this long lost prodigal I have been praying for for so long. Things don't seem to have changed much but I want God's mind in regards to her, not mine. What a lesson.

I have now walked two days in a row. Maybe you can keep me accountable to continue. Did I mention you also are in danger of drivers with cell phones in their hands or worse yet, texting while driving. You walkers better be ware!! Then there was the skate boarder coming 90 mph down a hill towards me. I envisioned myself laid out flat on the road by a skateboarder. There are dangers out there my friends.


Monday, March 30, 2009

Spring has sprung

I worked today and we are learning a new computer system and the stress is evident as I pass each employee. I wonder what I am still doing there, only God knows. I know He has a reason and some days I see it. Not so sure today!

I know I am way past due to begin a regular routine of walking (and so do my clothes), so after I provided supper and got Jimmy off to work, I donned my old clothes and off I go. I figured it would relieve some stress if nothing else. It is such a wonderful season of the year so I enjoy the green, green grass, the beautiful flowers (both sight and smell), visiting with neighbors, meeting new dogs, and enjoying the chirping of the birds and the sound of the dove (you see I am attuned to them since I have a thing for doves).

Now mind you, there is the downside of the walk! Cars that go 45 in a 25, dogs that bark and LOOK like they could tear you to pieces, dodging the goose STUFF in the road, and other issues I won't disclose except to women who are 60 and above. You understand!

In the midst of this I was reminded of the Song of Solomn passage: "My beloved spoke, and said to me; 'Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledoe is heard in our land. The fig tree puts forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grapes give a good smell. Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away!

How appropriate. I would love to Rise up and go away with my Bridegroom-Lover. How about you? Are you ready my friend? Some days we are more ready than others, huh?

my best to you,


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Praise the Lord for working in the heart of the prodigals

I praise the Lord for what He is doing in the hearts of His prodigals. Our son has attended church the past three Sundays without prompting from anyone. You say, what is so amazing about that? Our son has long been in rebellion as he walked away from the Lord. There have been so many folks praying for him in all areas of the country. The Lord is changing his heart and mind and I just want to stand up and praise the Father for what He is doing in his life. This is a small step but one that I have longed for for years. I am reminded of Joel 2 where it talks about the Lord restoring what the locusts has taken. I am looking for that restoration and I pray if you have had the heartache of a wayward child you will be able to see them coming home from the enemies camp one day soon. I join you in praying for that.

This afternoon I talked to a Mother I had met with last week and her son had gone to church today with one of the young men who had been a prodigal himself in the past. What a praise to our LORD who hears our prayers. He gave me the promise years ago from Jeremiah 31 that he would bring our son home from the enemies territory. It is a promise that I have clung to over the years, never doubting He could but questioning at times His timing! As Henry Blackaby prayed with this Mother years ago this prayer, "Lord, help this Mother to never give up!" , I pray that for you in your situation.

I want to leave you with this blessing today from Sylvia Gunter and Arthur Burk's book: Blessing your Spirit.

"I bless you with growing stronger and more persuaded by the power of your faith that brings glory to God. I bless you with being fully satisfied that God is keeping His word to you, no matter how long it takes or how contrary your circumstances might look. I bless you with being fully assured that God is able to keep his word. I bless you with being strengthened in faith by Jesus the suthor and finisher of your faith. ____________, I bless you with faith that has been tested and proved genuine. I bless you with seeing the joy on the other side of all kinds of trials. I bless you with faith that is strong and pure like gold. I bless you with knowing how precious your faith is to God, more precious than gold.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


This is all new to me and without the help of Neil Tolbert, I would probably be still struggling to get up and going! Thanks Neil.

My desire is to be able to share with loved ones of prodigals/prisoners to bring them healing and hopefully restoration in their walk with their loved one who has wandered away from the plan and purpose of the Heavenly Father for their lives.

Some may not be familiar with the term prodigal. In Luke 15:11-32 is found the parable of the prodigal son. It is quite a demonstration of the unconditional love of the Father as He waits for the return of His son. I know the pain He experienced as I have waited 20 + years for the return of our prodigal son. It is a journey I would not like to repeat, but one for which I am most grateful. I have learned of my Lord's love for me as He walked with me, sometimes carrying me, along the way.

Have you ever been a prodigal. I have, and I dare say each of you has as you have disobeyed God's direction for your life. How miserable you are when you are walking away. At least that has been my experience. On the other hand, how wonderful to walking in His perfect will for my life. What peace it brings!

I pray you will feel free to share with me your grief for your child, or other loved one who is in rebellion. Lets be a support for each other as we stand in the gap for them together.

Pray Ezekiel 36:24-38 for your prodigal. It is a prayer of renewal. It is a promise that the desolate land will become a garden of Eden. God says, "I, the LORD, have spoken it, and I will do it."