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 susancrouch.com. 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: www.kairosnc.org or www.kairosprisonministry.org.

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,