Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Does God have your heart?

Have you ever had a divine appointment and beat yourself up for not saying what you felt you should have to the person? Have you ever wished you had another chance?
That is exactly what happened to me a few weeks ago. We had a water main leak and needed our plumber but the one we have used for years was not available. I went to the yellow pages and found a company in town.
When I called the lady was very nice and had someone come out immediately. After all our water meter was whirling round and round. Now that can't be good. Soon a young man came to our door and found the problem in no time.
We carried on a conversation as he finished and I felt led to ask him where he went to church. He said, "I don't like the organized church, but Jesus has my back." Well after he left I beat myself up for not asking, "But does he have your heart?" I felt like calling up and asking to speak to him but didn't think that was appropriate.
I couldn't get this young man off my mind, so what did God do? He brought him back in about three weeks due to another leak! You can bet your bottom dollar I didn't miss this second opportunity to ask. He acknowledged that he did have Jesus in his heart. He showed me on his back was tattooed a cross. So guess he was right, Jesus had his back but more importantly his heart.
I thank God for the chance to make sure of this young man's relationship with Him. I can now rest my mind. Lord help me to never miss the opportunities that come my way to witness for You.
"And don't forget to pray for me. Pray that I'll know what to say and have the courage to say it at the right time, telling the mystery to one and all....." Ephesians 6:19 Message.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Proof of Identity

I am applying for a position as a PRN (as needed) nurse in my previous place of work. I would work probably one day a week or less, according to the need. Upon retirement, which was 6 weeks ago, (unbelieveably) I had thought about going back one day a week to help with the income and have some fun money.
Wouldn't you know that even after 23 years of employment with this same company I was required to reapply and produce proof of who I was and that I was a US citizen qualified to work. I had to go through all the tests for TB and mumps and measles and what medicines I take, and yes a drug screen!
I got to thinking how God knows if we are His, once and for all. We never have to prove our citizenship or worthiness to work. He will be waiting with open arms for our entrance through the heavenly gates. Doesn't matter if we have worked for His kingdom causes for one day or fifty years. We won't have to go dig for our credentials. We are tatooted on His hands. He knows us brothers and sisters! Is that not amazing and reassuring.
Won't matter that I can't find my SS card or that my passport has expired. He knows me! The policies of major corporations baffles me at times. What happened to the simple life? We make things so complicated now a days. In the past we would have skipped all the hipe and taken a former employee back in in a heartbeat especially after 23 years service. Makes me scratch my head. No wonder we have so much stress in the world, nothing is simple anymore. The nurse had to fill out lots of forms taken from info in my file from years past. Interesting! Think my fellow employees will remember me when I go back in or had I better take a picture ID? Sometimes I don't even know who I am so guess I shouldn't expect others to either. Ha, life is fun, right?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Afternoon spent with a Dear Friend in a Courtroom

I went to help a friend at her house this morning and then left to go to be with another friend in court. Thank goodness I left a little early to get there, the traffic was horrendous. They had one lane blocked for what seemed like forever. Some people were very anxious because I know they needed to be somewhere at a certain time. Some were even changing lanes and going around on the right side of traffic in order to get ahead. I was a little early so felt comfortable that I would make it. Some cars were taking the exit ramp a couple of exits before....now that was smart.
I got to the courthouse in plenty of time to meet my friend, her family, and a few of her other supporters. We have been praying for God's will in this situation. There is a program in the city ready to take him in, but the judge was not familiar with the rules and restrictions of the facility, so the sentencing was postponed till friday. The lawyer, DA and the judge will investigate the program and hopefully have someone present from the facility to answer any questions regarding security, educational offerings, rehab capabilities, qualifications of the counselors, etc.
I hated that the family had to sit there for two and a half hours on pins and needles awaiting their son to be ushered into the room and expecting a verdict, but now having to wait till friday for closure. It is NEVER easy.
I understand the questions the judge had about the facility and his reluctance to make a judgement without further information. Seems like the lawyer would have anticipated that those type questions would need to be answered and been better prepared to answer the judges questions about it, but then that would have taken further research. With the fees they charge seems that they would have been ready with that information. Now everyone has to come back together once again to sit through who knows how many more cases before this one is heard.
It brought up all the old feelings I had as a mother awaiting the final decision of our son's fate. It is a very unpleasant position to be in. I grieve for any mother who has to endure the humiliation of sitting through lawyers, the D. A., the probation officier discussing the future of the young man sitting before them. Coming from the other side I know it must be tough to know what the best decision is for the one on trial. Do they think he would benefit from a rehab situation or would it be best if he experienced prison, to hopefully deter him from going the round again. I could tell the probation officier was not sure what would be best to get this young man's attention. She could not see it from a mother's perspective (heart), she had to approach it from the standpoint of the law and her instinct.
I always prayed and hoped that each time our son was sent to prison that that would be what it took to open his eyes and cause him to turn from the old friends and other influences. It is a hard thing to watch. These parents are not trying to get him out of consequenses, just trying to help him get the best possible assistance hoping for the best possible outcome in the future.
Please pray for God's perfect will to be done. He and He alone knows what this fella needs to get his attention. We certainly don't want the easier way for him if he will not learn from it. It is hard to say whatever it takes Lord, but that is our prayer. God loves him more than even his mother does. Hard for a mother to comprehend that anyone could love her son more or have the best intentions for him but it is true. God's word also says He prays for the rebellious. Pray this family will totally release him to the Father. That is where he is safest!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Buying items for the Shoe Boxes

After church (and of course McDonald's) my three grandchildren and I went to the dollar store to buy gifts to put in the shoeboxes to go overseas to other children. I will have to admit that this is the first time I had gotten them involved and it was fun.
I had two ten year old girls and a five year old boy. They would suggest things to buy to put in our buggy and believe me it was interesting. Brett picked out trucks with machine guns and so forth on it. I explained that we couldn't send guns, so back it went on the shelf. He picked pencils instead. A little safer, right?
Then we went the gamit from bubbles, play dough, chocolate candy, chap stick to crayons, and bottle water. I explained that the boxes might sit out in the very hot weather so we couldn't send things that would melt or leak.
As we approached another isle we ran into a lady who had been around us smiling as the kids would make a suggestion or throw something in the buggy. I said, "interesting to shop with three kids!" Turns out she was shopping for her own shoe boxes and said she was getting ideas from my kids.
We came home and they enjoyed packing their items into their individual boxes. We will get more in order to get it all ready to send. Then we will have to wrap the box in Christmas wrap and hopefully they will prepare a card to put in the box with a message to the child who receives it. We might even attach a picture so that they can know who sent them the gift.
The whole experience gave me a chance to share with them that this would probably be the only thing this child would recieve for Christmas, maybe all year. Made them stop and think, at least for a minute! I wish they could go with me in a couple of weeks to see the videos of the children recieving the gift. The joy on their faces as they open the box is worth any effort we put into getting it made up. I have enjoyed joining my friends the last few years to journey up to Boone to help inspect and pack up the boxes for shipment to the different countries. It is quite a process. Let's pray for this outreach across the many different countries, that God's love will be felt to all who recieve.
What a privilege we have to participate in this effort through Operation Christmas Child.
God Bless.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Spectacular Day with the Grandkids

I have three of my four grandchildren with me tonight. We went to the Spectaular Kids Day Event this afternoon put on by WBFJ. They had fun on the blow up jumping equipment, watching the puppet show, eating popcorn and snow cones. Their mouths were blue by the time they finished. Izzy and Shelbi got their face painted with Jesus loves me and the cross. Great witnessing tool as we went to a fast fun resturant afterwards and people asked them what it said.
We stopped at a furniture outlet afterwards and it was so funny hearing them make comments about all we saw. Brett said once, "That looks marvelous, Maw Maw." Then we got to the kids area and they saw a Mickey Mouse phone and they all wanted to take it home.
We stopped and got a extra long coney hotdog. It was oh so good but Brett had trouble holding on to it so he had catsup and mustard and chili running down his chin and onto his jeans! Typical boy, right! It all comes out in the wash!!!!!
They came home and within 60 minutes had out the bikes, bubbles, chalk for the driveway and are now playing legos. They are old enough now to sorta entertain themselves for a while.
Soon there will be baths, a snack, brushing of teeth and then snuggling in the bed to fall to sleep to a movie. I always snuggle with them. Paw Paw is working tonight so he is missing out on the fun.
Domino on the other hand is having a fun time jumping on them and catching anything that falls from the table. Ming is nosing around in all they are doing. He might just snuggle up with us later. Curiousity killed the cat you know. He loves the kids.
It is getting cold now so the neighborhood cat came in to curl up in his bed (an old stroller that we keep around, just for him). Sounds like a zoo around here doesn't it? We like it that way. Keeps us going and making memories for years to come I pray. Maybe next time Kane will come. He was not feeling well today and he is two and even though he tried, can't keep up with the older ones. They are all growing up too quickly. I will enjoy this time together. Pray that you are able to have your family close by. It is a blessing.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Day of Stripping

I went for two walks today. I thought it was gonna rain so walked before my husband got up, then came home and cooked sausage and waffles! Man were they good! Then I took some seed to the birds and put water in the bird bath. You see I had looked out and seen two doves sitting on the edge of the birdbath and knew I needed to get cracking with their provisions. Then Jimmy and I took off on another walk. As we walked the birds were giving us a symphony like I have never heard! Maybe because I am taking a little more time to smell the roses, and listening to nature a little more closely. I needed the extra walk, but was worn out by the time the last lap was done (reckon it is my age?).
I had soaked pinto beans overnight and so I got the beans cooking with a good ole ham hock. On a cool crisp day the smell of the beans cooking was very comforting. A month ago I would have been at work so I spent the day praising God for the opportunity to do some much needed chores at home in the warmth of my home.
I got going on stripping the kitchen wallpaper (that's right, wallpaper, what did you think I meant?) and spent the whole afternoon getting the big wall done. The rest should go a little faster since they are smaller areas. There was only one small section that will have to be patched up. I think that is very good. Now my hardest thing will be to decide the color I will paint the wall. I am going to paint the wood work off white. It is now a dark color so I am hoping that it will lighten up the room.
I thought as I stripped the paper off about how God often times has to strip us. Often times He can remove large strips at a time, but sometimes it is a long, tedious job. Some of the paper came off in small little pieces and I had to keep applying the paper remover to keep it wet. I guess God has to keep applying His Word to strip away all our pride, judgemental attitudes, wrong thoughts and words, etc.
After dinner I decided to get in the hot tub to ease some of my aching joints. It felt so good as I sank down in the hot, hot water with the jets pounding out the aches and pains in my joints!
Now I am settled in to do some writing and reading, my favorite way to wind down the day. I continue to enjoy my retirement days, but find plenty to do. No soap opera and bon bons for me! I never could imagine how anyone could ever be bored when not at a job. There is always plenty to do. Tomorrow Barbara and I will work at the office for a while. Thank goodness there will be no stripping involved!

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Day in the Garage and other pleasures!

My son, Rob, and I spent the day in the garage cleaning, throwing out junk, taking a truckload to Goodwill, and filling up the garbage can. It is a job I had been wanting to get done for a long time. I had not realized how bad things really were till we started in on the huge task. We spent all day working and got maybe half of it done. At least I feel like if I keep working at it I can make some progress now.
If Rob had not helped me I probably wouldn't have gotten rid of as much as I did. We threw out old shoes, old toys, old clothes and things I had taken out and piled on the table hoping to have a yard sale with.
I really want to paint the walls this winter and get things looking much better. Now that I am retired maybe I can get it done. I also need to paint the front door. We changed the color of the shutters two years ago and our door is still the old color! Maybe I will get up to the paint store and purchase some paint for that this week....that is IF I can remember to do it. It would look nice for the Holidays, right?
Today I really felt like we got a lot accomplished and it makes me happy to begin getting the house in order. I never had time to really work on it much with work and the ministry needs. Now I am beginning to feel I might just get a handle on things and spife things up a bit.
I am staying busy but have been able to do some things like spending the day with my Dad for his 82nd birthday, visiting with friends, doing some short trips with friends, cooking more, as well as cleaning out. It is so nice to have the extra time.
At the end of the day I always like to believe I have accomplished something. Those days with family and friends are satisfying times as we invest in each others lives. We love to laugh and play, and did I say eat?
Our son came to church with his son, Kane, on Sunday and Kane wanted to stay at Maw Maw and Papa's houssss! We took a nap together and then got up to go for a walk. We strolled him a while and then let him walk and run. We petted the neighborhood cats and pointed out all the birds and planes, and beep beeps that passed!
Then we took him home in Papa's truck with him riding up where he could see everything. Course we HAD to stop by and get some doughnuts to take to our grandaughters on the way.
Then we stopped and got a $1.00 movie to watch on the way home. It was a true life situation about Pompa (not sure of the spelling) disease that two children in the family had. It is kin to Muscular Dystropy. Course I had to make my self stay awake after a while. It got sorta late, but then we didn't have to get up early today, right?
Once again, life is good.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A God Ordained Appointment with Matthew


I had four different events to attend today and by gingos I did it. But I must tell you I had one event unplanned by me, but ordained by our precious Lord. I love it when it happens.....joining God where He is working.
I went to a baby shower this morning and on to an art festival on Jonestown Rd. I never go to the grocery store over that way but decided to run by Harris Teeter on Country Club because of the meat specials of the week and because I needed Cocoa for my cake.
When I parked I noticed that some guys were outside both entrances into the store raising funds for something. I started in the left side of the store but went towards the right side, hoping not to get caught up in whatever they were selling but guess what..... God had other plans and I noticed a young man standing by a sign speaking about a drug and alcohol rehabilitation house. I decided okay, I think I need to stop and speak to him. He explained that he was in the program and shared how God had changed his life. You know I was all into that so I started telling him about my journey with our son Rob who was addicted to drugs in his past.
About that time the phone rang and it was my son saying that I had called him with my phone and all he heard was me talking to someone. You see, I do that often. I usually accidently call Rob or our daughter Melissa and they are quite use to it. Don't ask me why I dial them but I must accidently hit my phone and it automatically dials them. When he called me back I told him I was just talking about him to Matt and he wanted to talk to him so they shared with each other and Matt asked Rob to pray for him.
I went in to do my shopping and came back out to talk to Matt. I had stuck some cards in my purse this morning showing people how they could order my book, Where was the Prodigals Mother?.....so I reached in and gave him one in case his mother wanted to read it. He started crying and gave me her address and wanting me to call her. He said he was so concerned for her and that God had brought me his way today.
As I was talking to him my eyes went to the sidewalk and there is where I saw the image you see at the beginning of this article. What does it look like to you?
Now I started thinking of all the ways the Lord orchestrated my path today:

1. He prompted me to put the cards in my purse this morning (just so I could hand one to Matt).
2. He took me to Peter's Creek Parkway for a shower, had me invited to an Art Festival all the way back over to Jonestown.
3. Had me forget to get Cocoa for my cake yesterday while at the store just so I would go over to the grocery store near by Jonestown on the way home to get some.
4. Sent me over to the right side of the entrance to meet Matt.
5. Had me ACCIDENTILY dial my son on the phone so he could talk to Matt.
6. Then drew my attention to the dove on the sidewalk as confirmation of His presence in the whole event.
My God is a mighty, awesome God. It reminds me of the time He had me go over across the waters to minister to a mother in another country who was so broken hearted about her son in prison. I pray I will always be willing to go across country or across town at His direction. Nothing is an accident now is it? Is He a personal God who is interested in every detail of our lives or what!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Who could doubt Him? He delights me each and every day. I love Him so, and I pray you do too!
Sandra

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

God's Country as my Dad would say






I have been away in God's country for the past six days and man was it glorious. As you can see the country is beautiful. As you get ready to enter the property you are met with the beautiful wings always decorated for the season. So inviting. You literally feel the peace of God as you enter, protected by the wings of angels.
Nancy, Lynn, and I went to the Valle Cruz Fair on Saturday and it was a gorgeous day. Perfect for visiting all the tents, ohhing and ahhing, buying, eating (lets see we had an apple pie, chili beans and cornbread, and then apple cider. We sipped on it while we sat back and listened to the music and wanted to get up and dance to the tune. We were tucked down in the valley with the beauty of the changing trees all around us. It couldn't have been more perfect.
The next day Nancy and I went to church in Boone, ate at Vidalia's (awesome french toast), then drove back for a nap and some time with the Lord. Nancy and I shared for a while and she asked me to stay at the big house with her. The next morning the Lord took me straight to Jeremiah 18:1-6, "The word came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying: "Arise and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause you to hear My words." Then I went down to the potter's house, and there He was, making something at the wheel. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemd good to the potter to make. Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, "O Sandra can I not do with you as this potter?" says the LORD, "Look, as the clay is in the potters hand, so are you in My hand, O Sandra." WOW! Is that not amazing. I stayed at the Potter's House for the rest of my time there. The little cabin I was in is called the Potter's House.
Please pray for the ladies who will attend a retreat there this week-end! Pray for Nancy and Pat who will lead it. God will be there, just pray they each one meet Him in their own way. If you ever get a chance to go please do. You can check out the Potters House blog site on my home page. You will see pictures of it also with the wonderful brook which flows the length of the property.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A night at the fair




The fair was in town this week so we decided to take our grandsons. It was fun watching them ride together. Kane the two year old was seemingly not afraid of anything. He rode even if Brett, the five year old, wanted to ride in another car, truck or plane whatever it was.
We had bought the little bracelets which allowed them to ride as many rides as often as they wanted to. Kane was a little under the weather and ended up sleeping for two hours in the stroller which gave Brett the chance to do just what he wanted to. We ended up staying for seven hours, that's right seven. Seven stands for perfection, right?
I did fine that night but boy did I pay for it the next day. My joints were weary. But that is okay, cause we made lots of memories. It was loads of fun and I would do it all over again. Papa and I went back tonight, just the two of us. It was more relaxing but not near as much fun. The kids tend to make us young don't they? I will miss them growing up to go their own way.
I worry about our girls though cause I saw a lot of the older girls with boys there and I have to tell you it concerns me. The boys and girls all over each other, dressed so provocatively. I prayed everywhere I went. As we came out of the gate for the big rides I looked over and told my husband I felt like we had just left Sodom and Gomorrah. I wouldn't be in there at night for all the money in the world. So many temptations for young people and vendors trying to lure them over to take their money and invite them in to partake of the things of the world.
Think I want the kids to stay little and enjoy the simpler things and maintain their innocence for a long time to come. I don't want our little ones to get sucked up into what the world is offeing. So I guess my knees need to be on the ground in prayer for them and their mates. Oh Lord, please protect their little eyes, and ears and body. I want them to love you more than the things the world has to offer. It doesn"t fulfull. Oh Lord help them realize that!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Does God forgive ALL sin?



At our Celebration dinner the other week, a mother asked me, "Do you believe God forgives ALL sin? I answered right away oh yes. His Word tells us He does. Believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved. God promises to cast our sin as far as the east is from the west to remember no more if we will but confess and seek His forgiveness.
This morning God took me to Acts 13:38-39, "Brothers! Listen! In this man Jesus, there is forgiveness for your sins! Everyone who trusts in him is freed from all guilt and delared righteous...." Isn't that the most comforting Word. Often times we believe that we or our children have committed the one sin that Jesus cannot forgive. That is a lie of the devil, the father of lies.
"No matter how evil our sins, there is pardon for them. God forgave David for his adultery,dishonestly, and murder. He forgave the prodigal his "loose living". Simon Peter's triple denial of our Lord accompanied by profanity was for given. The apostle Paul was forgiven of his preconversion merciless persecution of Christians.
Although there is no unpardonable sin, there is an unpardonable state----the state of unbelief. There is no pardon for a person who dies in unbelief." Taken from Eternal Security by Charles Stanley
Give me some feed back on this and add to these comments if you like! This mother needs to know the Truth.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Life is Good

Well I am almost at the end of my first week of retirement. My husband asked me tonight if I felt like I was really retired. It might take a little longer to sink in but while it is I am enjoying knowing I don't have to go in.
I got up and had my time with the Father, then went for a walk, came home showered, ran errands, got groceries and came home to welcome the plumber over to fix a water leak. Praise the Lord it was an easy fix and now we are back in business.
By that time my husband was up and ready for some food. I got supper cooked and cleaned up early. That left me time to clean out and rearrange more closets while pitching out some things for the trash, some for goodwill and some for an upcoming yard sale.
I decided to take an evening walk and take in nature and the wonderful weather. Then I came home to sit out on the screened in porch with a cup of coffee, write and check my emails. Got thank you notes to get off to my friends and co-workers. Sooooooo as you can see, I had a profitable day. I decided to top the day off with a small bowl of butter pecan ice cream.....now you see why life is good.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Retirement

I had the best time at my retirement dinner a couple of weeks ago. There were about 20 gals there to greet me after a long day at work. So much fun! After the meal we had my favorite....cheesecake. They gave a gift of money to my favorite ministry...On Wings like a Dove. It was great. Can't believe I will soon not be going in to work. Seems strange after 40 some years.

Then last Thursday Medical Park Hospital gave me a reception with the biggest chocolate cake ever. Staff members came in and out for two hours and it was so good to hug on each one and except their best wishes. I had been there for 24 years so it was with mixed emotions that I greeted each one. By the way, all the cake got gone.
I got to sleep in the next morning as long as I wanted....but since then I have gotten up early each morning. Yesterday I attended an all day seminar and had to get up at 5:30 a.m. Our grandson, Kane stayed with us last night and he allowed me to sleep in till 8:00. That was pretty good.
We took Kane and Brett, our other grandson to the fair today. We got there at 1:00 and left at 8:30. Can you tell we had a grand ole time? We ate and let the kids ride the rides and ate some more. I will put pictures on tomorrow. Gotta keep Kane tomorrow so my son and his girls can go to the fair. Then Papa and I may go again....alone.
We had a blast today and made lots of hopefully good memories for those boys. We saw friends we hadn't seen in a while. I have not felt yet like I am retired. Normally I would be going back to work tomorrow till the end of the week. Maybe it will sink in soon. Think I will sleep in tomorrow...what do you think?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dinner with the Girls

Last Thursday night my co-workers took me out to dinner. I had to work late hours that day, so when I walked in most were already there. I saw a former friend who now works at Baptist first. It was good to see her and nice to know she thought enough of me to come back to join us.
There were plently of nurses from my department and several from the admitting department and the Preop area. We had a blast. I apologized to a couple as they left in hopes they would forgive the noise we were making.
We had a nice dinner and reminised about the years we had worked together. There have been so many changes, some good, some we didn't perceive as good but we always made the best of it. There are young nurses coming in to take the place of those going out. It is hard to believe that I am at the age to retire, I don't FEEL any older than them!! (Most days that is).
This Thursday we will celebrate together with a reception in the board room. I have been to many others and it is surreal that it is now my turn. I look forward to speaking to each one who comes. My family will also be there with me....grandkids and all. I will miss Medical Park Hospital. It has been the best place in the world to work as evident in the fact I have been there 24 years. It has never been hard to tell patients that they would recieve the best care there, cause it is the truth. I can sell anything I really believe in!
I have been so excited because it has been my passion to do ministry full=time. So as I was handed my packet last week I was surprised that I busted out in tears. Now where did that come from? It is hard to invest that much time in a place, meeting the needs of thousands of patients, working side by side with my co-workers, and the Dr.'s and not have a little sense of loss, right?
God seems to be turning the page of my life right now and I can't wait to see what it looks like. I sense that is not only my time to go but His calling me away to do His bidding till He takes me home. Some have asked, "What are you going to do?" Whatever He tells me to do!!!!
First off I think He is saying, Sandra, Why don't you clean up that filthy house before you do anything else. So that is the plan for next week. Clean, pitch out, wash windows, paint, tear down wallpaper, pitch some more then.......Wherever He leads I will follow!!!! Mind you I DON"T have to do those things first Lord, I CAN leave them and continue to follow YOU! Much more my pleasure to do so.
Hope to blog and write more often. So will see you soon.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

What a glorious day Jimmy and I spent celebrating my birthday. We are at Lake James so we woke up to an awesome view of God's creation as we overlooked the mountains behind the back drop of the smooth as silk water. And this is what I opened the Word to: "The LORD is over many waters." Psa. 29:3. Also I was given this scripture by a friend for the day: "May the LORD, the God of your fathers, increase you a thousand-fold more than you are, and bless you, just as He has promised you!" You can't beat that for an awesome start to your day.
I have so much to be grateful for...A great family with great grandchildren and children who love each other. I am blessed with in laws of my children whom I love and hold dear!
My husband was so good to indulge me for the day by allowing me to do just what pleased me. We had thought that we would either go to Black Mtn. or to Asheville so we headed that way and decided to stop in Black Mtn. and have lunch and shop. Then we decided there was plenty of time to head to Asheville and so we went to the shops there, got a frappicino at Starbucks, and finished the day off with dinner at the Texas Roadhouse. It was awesome. Then we came back to the Lake and just finished watching the Tooth Fairy which our son had told us we would enjoy (he was right). It was cute.
I got so many messages today wishing me Happy Birthday from friends and family. I will head back home tomorrow, have our On Wings board meeting and head home to pack up for a seminar the rest of the week with Sylvia Gunter!!! Life is good.
I have a meeting to discuss my retirement next week and have just 5 more days to work. Now if that is not something to celebrate I don't know what is. I feel like I am opening another chapter in this book of life and it is exciting. I can't wait to see what God brings my way and the experiences He has in store for me. This is a great place to be in life. I look forward to having more time to write on the blog, work on more projects, and do some fun things. I told Jimmy I might take some cooking classes! I love to cook when I have time and I plan to make that time.
I have already signed up to take a writing course in the fall. You might just get tired of me before it's over.
Thank you Lord for a wonderful birthday! They get better and better!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Joye

After a long battle with cancer my dear friend Joye passed through to glory yesterday. For her it was a glorious awaiting but for the one's who loved her it is a great loss. I am so grateful to have called her my friend and had the time with her on this journey of life.
I met her mother at church a couple of years ago and our spirit's just came together each time we met. Janet now serves on our board at On Wings. She has a lot of wisdom and now after this journey with her daughter I know she has more! God has walked with this very special family for months now as they have loved on and cared for Joye. What have we all gotten in return?......the awesome presence of God each time we entered her room. Her smile always greeted us and her hand stretched out in welcome and come sit down by me look.
I have seen her minister to others in sickness and in health. We sat together a few months ago at a youth detention center sharing with about 15 young men from our hearts as mothers. I will carry that time together with me always as she loved on them and expressed her heart with love.
I have had the chance to sit alone with her as she poured out words of encouragement and hope to me as I yearned for my prodigal to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. He will Ms. Sandra, he will one day soon!
You see Joye had walked the same path but came to our friday night support group and brought others with her. She brought doughnuts and donated a TV cart and shared her struggles with love and understanding with each one present. We have lost two from that group this year and it grieves me but I know where they both are today. I am confident that God used them to bring Him glory in life and in death.
The morning of her death I texted Janet this: "Yahweh takes care of good men (women), and their heritage will last forever!" Psalm 37:18. Her heritage WILL last forever.
Joye we will miss you but we wouldn't want you to come back to this world of suffering. We know God has already said to you, "Well done, good and faithful servant...... I can just close my eyes and see you dancing in the streets and worshipping our Lord with song. Wait on me girl, I'll be there in God's timing. We will sit together and rejoice over how God was so faithful to us. How He loved us and how we longed for Him to sit with us each day. How He provided all our needs and many of our wants. I love you. Sandra

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Prodigal Chapel


While at the Cove someone mentioned that there was a Prodigal Chapel in Montreat with a Frescoe of the Prodigal Son. Well you know I just had to stop by to see the picture and take a picture. There was great significance in each character and each scene. The lady who toured us pointed out a dove in the eaves of the building. Wow!
I just had to share the picture with you. I was amazed that a previous pastor who was sitting with me one day at the Cove asked me what prodigal meant. Guess I take for granted that everyone knows the story,especially a pastor. I told her a prodigal was anyone who has walked away from God's plan and purpose for their life. She said, "Oh."
Praise God the Father waits with open arms to recieve us when we return. Pray for all the prodigal's we minister to and for each family member.
Sandra

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Cove


I was priveleged to go to The Cove this past week-end with Anne Graham Lotz, Jill Briscoe, and Fernando Ortega. What a time of refreshing just for those in ministry. I was by myself and God really ministered to me. I walked up by the trail the first night. It was so hot and humid that I had to stop and pant twice. It was an upwards climb. I have been walking and felt I was in pretty good shape but man did I give out.
When I got back to my room I opened my journal to write and reviewed back a few pages and this is what I had written: "Keep walking with Me along the path I have chosen for you. Your desire to live close to Me is a delight to My heart. I could instantly grant you the spiritual riches you desire, but that is not My way for you. Together we will forge a pathway up the high mountain. The journey is arduous at times, and you are weak. Someday you will dance lightfooted on high peaks; but for now, your walk is plodding and heavy. All I require of you is to take the next step, clinging to My hadn for strength and direction. Thought the path is difficult and the scenery dull at the moment, there are sparkling surprises just around the bend. Stay on the path I have selected for you. It is tryly the path of Life." Taken from Jesus calling. WOW!
What a visual picture of my struggle up that path, one step at a time, keeping on the path leading to the high peak where I DID find surprises around the bend. I had even had a passage in Hosea 2 a couple of weeks ago which told me to take His hand. Such an awesome place to be. If you have not attended please do so. It will bless your heart and revive your spirit!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Bride in Intercession


I wanted you to see the bride in intercession I shared before in the cleft of the rock blog. This is hanging in my office downtown. This is what I saw as I looked over the head of the friend I was talking to.
I have prayed for years that Christ would see me just like this bride, dressed in white as beautiful as this one is. I believe He showed me through all this that that is exactly His viewpoint. He is so amazing.

Sandra

Fourth of July




We had a wonderful family time on the fourth of July. We grilled chicken and had all the goodies to go with it. Melissa baked the beautiful flag cake.
We watched fireworks from the neighbors and Tanglewood Park from across the street at the pond. We took a quilt over and our grandaughter got into the goose poop. Yuck. We had to come back across and wash up. They all had a ball outside as we chased lightening bugs. We even found a praying mantis. It has been a long time since I saw one of those. They got a kick out of that!
Kane, the two year old and Paw Paw came in and chilled in front of the cartoons. Kane had run his little legs off trying to keep up with the other children. He chased a big old ball all over the place.
My Mother and Daddy stayed till 10:30 which is unheard of. They are usually ready to head out after dinner. Everyone else left about midnight. Guess they all had fun.
My friend Debbie came to join us and was outta here before dark!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Come to the Cleft of the Rock



While away at a women's retreat in the mountains this weekend the Lord spoke to me to come to the cleft of the rock the next morning. On this property there are several meditation spots and one is called, "Cleft of the Rock." So I gathered up my journal and Bible and off I went. I first went to the rock in the middle of the brook cause that is my favorite spot. We only had a short quiet time so the Lord kept wooing me to go to the cleft.
I got a bench and went into the cleft. I read the Exodus 33:22-23 passage and waited on Him to show Himself just like He did to Moses as His glory passed by. I got up to return the bench and as I did I looked and there streaming down from the heavens was the second picture you see with the sun beams bearing down. I stood in amazement that He was giving me a visual picture of His glory right then and there. Just like the dove experience that I have shared with you, this was a visual appearance bright and clear.
Then today while at the office I was reading in the Message translation and what did I see:
"Jesus took Peter and the brothers, James and John, and led them up a high mountain. His appearance changed from the inside out, right before their eyes. Sunlight poured from his face. His clothes were filled with light." Matt. 17:2-3. Wow! I get the chills now just writing it.
Then a friend came in and I was talking to her in our downtown office and my eye was drawn to the picture I just framed and put on my wall. I had the picture for over a year from a prayer conference I went to then. We had been told to pick out a picture on the wall that spoke to our spirit. Mine was of the Bride in Intercession dressed in the most beautiful wedding gown ever, head bent in prayer, just like mine was this Sunday morning in the cleft. I want you to know that the sun rays were shining down on her in that picture just like you see in the picture above.
Can you see why I have goosebumps. He is so amazing. I have been asking Him to allow me to see His glory but man, I didn't expect such a demonstration! He continues to blow me away.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Favor All Day

What a day I had yesterday. My friend Debbie prays for me daily and usually that I would find favor. Well she out did herself yesterday, or should I say God did. Our daughter Mel and Brett, our grandson came over and took Paw Paw out for Father's Day. That was fun in itself.
We came back and talked and shared. She and I decided to go to the nearby furniture consignment store but first we had to take our little dogs out. As I turned to come back in the house I noticed a package at the front door which looked about the size of something I was looking to come. Sure enough it was.
I tore into it and it was an exciting moment for both Mel and I. (I will tell you soon what it was!)
Then we went to the store and Mel found a water fountain she liked and purchased that. I had seen this table and chairs that I liked for the kitchen but the table was too big for my area. Well, wouldn't you know the lady said this butterflies down into the table to make it smaller. Wow! Just what I needed, one to size up or down according to the family needs, so I put it on hold and came home to measure. Perfect!
Now would be the question of whether to spend that much on it. Mel and I decided that the table could be the spring board of the new color I needed to paint the cabinets and the walls, after I tear the wallpaper down. Man, I am getting excited now.
After supper and getting Jimmy off to work I decided to ride to Home Goods store to buy a birthday gift for a friend and ran right in to my dear friend Nancy.
I told her I was praying for her ladies retreat this coming weekend and she said she had almost called me the night before to ask me to come along. Two of the ladies had canceled at the last. I said, "Are you serious?" She said yes, so I am now going to one of my favorite spots for the weekend and couldn't be happier.
Now as many times as I have shopped at that store I have NEVER seen Nancy there so of course we believe it was meant to be!!!!!
Then on the way home my daughter calls and says, "Mom, you better hold on to your pants cause Bryan, her husband has said he wants to buy you that table and chairs. Well, I am speechless and tears start trickling down my cheeks. Now that is favor. It is for my RETIREMENT (Did I tell you I am retiring???) Well I am, so he wanted to help me celebrate it. Now is that just too sweet or what. Made me feel very special and totally loved. So you see I didn't want the day to end. Mel finished our conversation with these words, "Think I'll get off the phone and call Debbie to pray for ME some favor!!! Ha! Look out Debbie, the word is out.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

An evening with Cinderella



Last night I took our grandaughters, Carolyn and Shelbi to see Cinderella in an outdoor theater in Lewisville, N.C. It had stormed just hours before and we were so afraid we were not going to get to go, but it cleared up and was a beautiful evening. We took our chairs and snacks and off we went.
Ashley was in the production and that made it even more special to the girls. We didn't get to get a picture with Cinderella but we got the King and Queen, the Fairy Godmother, and the stepsisters. That was a thrill to the girls but the greatest was taking Ashley home afterwards. They were able to get up in the carriage with her for a last snapshot too. That will have to go in the scrapbook. Ashley did a great job. We love you girl.
Maw Maw

Monday, June 7, 2010

A Place of Beauty and Rest


We went to Lake James this weekend with some dear friends and had a great time. We did a lot of resting, talking, boating, tubing, and eating! The weather was just perfect and we were able to boat over to a resturant close by and have supper on Friday. We even beat the storm coming back. Thank you Lord!
Then we awoke to a breakfast of waffles and sausage and bacon. Wow, I didn't even have to prepare it. Thanks Frank, what a wonderful host you are. Then we went out tubing and relaxing in the boat. It was as much fun watching the others ride as it was riding.
We watched Blind Side together and fell in the bed late. The good thing was we were able to sleep late. We arose again to the smell of coffee and sausage frying up in the pan. Frank made us sausage gravy and eggs and biscuits. Wow, two mornings in a row. Can't beat that.
We all gathered to watch Charles Stanley as is our custom. He was great as usual but we were concerned because he was sitting down. Seems he hurt his knee. Hope it gets better soon.
We came home to reality as there was laundry to catch up on and floors to mop. Calls to make and emails to attend to. I had several family situations and a call from a young lady who is turning herself in tomorrow. There is a warrant out for her. She has been using crack. She will come to the office tomorrow so be praying as we share with her.
We praise God for His time outs along the way of life. He gave us rest to recharge us and put us back on the frontlines. His sunset was beautiful each evening. Hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

God's Divine Appointments

Man, I can't believe it has been a week since I wrote. So much has gone on since then. Busy living life without time to sit down to write!
I have talked about Divine Appointments before but today was filled with them at work. My first patient took me an hour to interview because we couldn't stop sharing about what God had taught us in our journey with Him!
He is going through some health issues and wants to be crystal clear on God's direction for him. So refreshing.
I shared our need for men mentors at On Wings. We believe that the Lord orchatrated our time together today. His best friend actually told him to go ahead with his plans to have the surgery because he believed he was going to meet someone or be a witness to someone through the experience. God knew our need and I believe crossed our paths for His own purposes.
There have been times I have met people with the same impression and then nothing ever panned out but I believe it will with this young man because our spirits were in tune, for such a time as this. I believe I knew his heart and he knew mine before we left that hour of appointed time. Now we wait to see how God will work through it all.
Then this afternoon I talked with two young ladies about their faith, the last being a mother of a young lady who is incarcerated. She, like me, has been through years of heartache. Our hearts connected right away and I hope to meet with her in the future.
Wow, Wow, and Wow again. God is so awesome to bring people across our paths that so inspire and energize our faith. I remember Henry Blackaby's words so many years ago, "Watch to see where God is working and join Him." I am amazed at His workings. Makes me excited to get up each morning to see what He has in store for me.
Remember to always be on the look out for your divine appointments.
Sandra

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Visit to the Youth Detention Center

A couple of friends had been going to our local youth detention center and I told them that I wanted to go sometime. They went today and had invited me, but it was to be at 3:00 and I was working till 5:00. I told them that if I was to go God would have to orchastrate it cause I couldn't get off otherwise. They were taking mother's who had either been incarcerated or had had children incarcerated. Well, as only He can do I got off just in time to make my way down to the center. Isn't He amazing.
So I figured ok Lord you wanted me to go now give me something to say that will touch the heart of these kids.
As they filed in I began to watch them and their demeanor. Some had those inquizitive looks, some horsing around, but the ones who got my attention were the ones who look as if they had NO life in their eyes, no hope of change, no hope of a future, and no love in their hearts. Those are the faces that will haunt me. I wish I had had more time with them. Lord use the hour we had with them to make a difference in their lives. I pray they will hear the voices of each mother as they go back to their homes. Some gave testimony that Mom was in jail, they didn't know Mom or Dad. Man, how would that feel? Some go back into the same environments and they recyle around and around. One boy had come in NINE times!
They shared their hopes and dreams of being an electrical engineer, a football player, or a basketball player. What happens when they go back into an environment where they have no demonstration of love? Please pray for these young men.
Sandra

Monday, May 24, 2010

Amazing Spring Retreat


Our Spring Retreat for our Mother's was totally AMAZING. We had rain off and on but that didn't dampen our spirits. The sun would break out ever so often which allowed some of us to go up on the mountain, some by the firepit, some on the rocks right in the middle of the roaring brook, and some on the porch. Wherever we found ourselves God was in our midst and He spoke to each heart as He would like. We were all open and ready to recieve from our spirits as His Holy Spirit spoke and renewed and restored us each one.
The most comforting thing was to be able to share our pain, shame, and deep hurts and struggles in company of like Mother's. There was no shame in the group as we shared how hard it is to open up and be honest in front of those who "seem" to have it all together, with kids doing just the right things.
One of the women didn't know what to expect because she had never been to a Retreat. Man, did God ever do a work in her life as she shared. I know it won't be her last retreat!
God provided every need we had and then some. We had awesome food prepared by a new found friend who has lots of energy and passion to serve. What a chef! I could not have done it without her willing spirit and provision. We were not only fed spiritually but gorgeously fed by her hand as she "washed our feet" with her servants heart.
Thank you to all who prayed for each lady in attendance. It was truly a blessing. Now I will not share any more till we get our blog updated and rejuvanated. My dear friend Nancy has agreed to help me with that. Stayed tuned!

Sandra

Monday, May 17, 2010

Brett's Preschool Graduation


We went to our oldest grandson's graduation the other night. We had a big time watching all the kids go on stage and sing and do the cutest things. Course we had eyes for one little fellow with our camera's focused on his every movement. He was the best of all you know. He has a way of making some of the strangest faces when he knows he is the center of attention and he certainly was that night with Mom and Dad, Maw Maw and Paw Paw, Grandaddy and Grammie and Grandma in attendance. He was in hog heaven. He likes it when it is ALL about him.
We then went out to dinner and had a big time laughing and sharing for a while longer. It is hard to believe that he is five and will be going into kindergarten next year. Seems like he was just born in many ways. I wonder where he will take us in the years to come. Melissa says right now it is his goal to make people laugh! He has played soccer two years and has decided that he is done with that. He wants to play golf. The next Nicholas? (I hesitated to say Tiger Woods).
We are so proud of you Brett. You are soooooooooo smart and God made you so special to us. You bring a lot of joy to us. Thank you for the picture. I have it framed and hanging in my office right where I can see it often. It so goes with my colors (sorry Mel).
Love Maw Maw

Vacation by the Sea

Jimmy and I got away for a few days to the beach, right by ourselves. We forget every May which weej is bikers week. You guessed it, we were surrounded but not as much as last year. The bikers were more down south and Murrells Inlet where we went to dine on the most fabulous sauteed shrimp in the world at Drunken Jacks. What a fabulous salad bar and a great view. We should have split a plate, but no we never remember till we are so stuffed we can hardly get up from the table. Oh well, it's only once a year, right?
Jimmy got sick right off the bat. We ate at my favorite for dinner on Mother's Day, Bonefish. Now I know we have one here but the first one we ever ate at was at the beach and after all, it was Mother's Day, my choice right? We had a coupon which made it all the better. Course we topped it off with key lime pie. I took it home and had two servings from it. Makes my mouth water to think of it.
Anyway, Jimmy had gone to the couch (cause of his snoring) and came back to bed shivering. I thought he had just gotten cold, but the shivering didn't stop and he said he felt like a dog. He ended up in the bed all morning. I went on out to enjoy the beach and he joined me before long. Don't know what the deal was but he was all better. I couldn't believe he was sick on the first day of vacation. I had called and asked our daughter Melissa to pray so I believe she will get my next request as needed,cause it worked.
We did a lot of resting and a little shopping. It was cooler than normal but I am grateful cause even though I stayed pretty much covered up my feet got sunburned a bit.
I am beginning to understand my parents desire to be in their own bed. I could hardly get out of bed by the second morning and began having spasms in my back. We laughed that things sure had changed since we had been there together the first time on our honeymoon 40 years before! Ha! Sure was glad to be back in our bed at home,but the back continues to be an issue, even after a massage. I had had a gift certificate left from 2 years ago and another one from last September that a friend had given me so I put them both together and totally enjoyed. Thanks Melissa and Cindy.
Melissa had give me a generous gift certificate two years ago. I had used it once already and had some dollars left on it. I kept saving it and it is amazing it hadn't expired on me. Now that would have made me mad! I remember reading something Erma Bombeck had written years ago about the foolishness of saving things to use or wear hoping to use them ONE day only to get the diagnosis of some dreaded disease and then die only to have our kids sell it at a yard sale, or throw it in the trash. Why do we save things and not use them. Now that is another whole subject.
Our time away didn't last long enough but that's the way it goes. We look so forward to our get away only to have it come and go often before we blink! Praise God we were able to get away and enjoy our time together. It was great! So nice to sit and read right by the ocean and listen to the song of the ocean as it came and went. Neat to dig in the sand with our toes and walk and watch the sea gulls and dodge dead jelly fish and all that goes with the scenery.
Sandra

Sandra

Friday, May 7, 2010

Clean Up Day

Melissa came over to help me clean up and organize my home office the other day. I had been putting off the dreaded task because it was quite overwhelming. We worked five hours and still didn't get it all done. She suggested I get a cabinet with bins to store some of my things. I put my little desk downstairs which made room for it. I cleaned the windows and the blinds (only room in the house so far with clean windows). I have been so involved with other projects that I hadn't gotten around to doing much cleaning. It has inspired me to go one room at a time. By the time I get around the whole house it will be time to start all over.
Melissa suggested I get green bins. I have tomato red walls and white bookcases so the green really makes it pop. I am quite pleased. I still have to sort through some papers and books so I have placed them temporarily back in the closet floor, but Melissa organized the closet shelf in the wonderful plastic bins I had gotten. I have all my wrapping paper, bags, and bows stored away. It was nice to go in today and actually find bags for my Mother's Day gifts. Now the key is not to let it get in that shape again,right?
I would like to now have my quiet time in my clean, organized office but my little dog, Domino lays with me on the couch in the den with her head on her paws each morning. I would have to get her use to being on the floor. Now that is a novel idea! She is so cute as she has her quiet time with me. She knows it is our routine. Of course with the nice weather I like to go out on the porch in the mornings. Now that brings up another area that needs some spring cleaning. I get the pollen wiped off and then kaboom, it is back again. Since the family is coming over tomorrow I guess I better get it cleaned off.
Man I don't know about you but I don't seem to ever get it all done anymore.
I need to also be out in the yard pulling weeds. Jimmy and I walked around and spraying weeds this afternoon and also poison ivy. I had gotten into it a few weeks ago and it took me up to now to get rid of all the patches. It was a buger this time.
I am most grateful to Melissa for helping me. I would have never gotten it accomplished! I owe her big time! She is better about throwing things out than I am. I am a pack rat. Not a hoarder but a pack rat. Have you seen those programs with the hoaders. Hope I never get that bad. It is too sad. Makes me feel better about my mess.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

An early morning call

I was preparing for work this morning when the phone rang. I went to pick it up and saw it was my husband Jimmy. He explained that he had been involved in an accident. See he was coming home from his job after working 12 hours all night. A lady had run a stop light and he had plowed right into her. He was driving his big truck and she was in a small Toyota sooooooooooo guess who got the worse of that. They were both okay but Jimmy was complaining of a shoulder injury. I told him to go to our family Dr. to make sure it was okay and he checked out fine.
Jimmy's fellow Detention Officiers were right along behind him and they had stopped to help. I can just imagine the thoughts of this young lady with all these guys in sherriff uniforms surrounding her. She got out of the car confessing. Bless her!
As I called our children to report to them that Dad had had an accident but was okay, Melissa said, "What's wrong Mom". Poor thing has gotten calls so many times with bad news she knew that an early morning call could not be good.
As I looked at my phone I had gotten an email from Sylvia Gunter who has written many prayer books and in bold type it said, THE BATTLE IS THE LORD'S. I had had this same scripture when our son attempted suicide. Stand still and see the deliverance of the Lord. WOW!
Jimmy encouraged me to go on to work and his friend would take him home as he lived in Clemmons. God had already given me peace and I knew He was in control so I did go on to work and everything worked out fine.
Our grandson Brett, was very upset about Papa and he and Melissa are coming to visit tomorrow and Brett wants to bring Papa a card. He is so sweet.
The truck was banged up pretty good but is fixable. It was Jimmy's Dad's truck and he has protected it for 10 years since his Dad's death. I knew it hurt his heart to wreck it but he took it well.
We are so grateful that no one was hurt and that God once again protected. We praise Him as our strong fortress and Mighty Warrior.

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Teachable Moment

I had promised our grandaughters that they could pick out a ring they had seen at Lifeway when their birthdays arrived. Due to schedules we were not able to get there till this past weekend. We had our almost two year old grandson with us when we went. He had a big time playing hide and seek with Papa. Then he saw a Veggie Tales lunch box on the shelf. He attached himself to it and when his sister tries to take it away he cries out, "Mine". Well you guessed it, we came home with a Veggie Tale's lunchbox!
On his way out the door he saw a stuffed dog and picked it up and put it under his arm and headed towards the door. This time we had to use it as a teaching moment and explain to him that he couldn't take it with him. He was so cute but he has to learn he can't have everything he wants, right? Not even from Mama and Papa.
When we got home from church on Sunday he took the lunch box to bed with him. Don't know how long he will be attached but it is cute for the moment. So cute, who can resist that little boy. He loves to call for mama and papa. Most times he says mama papa like it is one name. What a boy. We love being grandparents. They are all so special and have brought such pleasure to our lives.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Insecurities and Change

Man, what a powerful time with Beth, family, and friends yesterday. I am so happy my daughter, and daughter in law to be were able to attend. I have not finished her book as yet but I am learning more about my insecurities. God has given me two straight weekends of retreats and instruction. I feel very blessed that He has allowed me to come aside for Him to do new works in me. It was a powerful time of worship (Congratulations to Travis for his Dove Award). I pray I will learn how to deal with my insecurities as the Lord comes in and works on my heart.
Last week He told me to be content with who I am, this week He instructed me to lay down my insecurities. I look forward to new adventures with Him as He continues to make the changes in me He needs to.
I sense there are many changes coming. I know God is changing family relationships and bringing healing, for which I am most grateful. I am not one who normally likes change but I know He means it all for my good. Sometimes we get stagnant with things the way they have always been so He comes in and shakes it up a bit. We might not like it at first but then we can often see that the change was all good. Often times it gives us new freedom.
Just like the change with my computer. It took me about an hour on the phone with the technician today but now I am hooked up to Hi speed and I am sitting in my bed writing tonight. I will be able to go out on my porch now and downstairs in the basement. How cool is that! See I had resisted that change for so long but now that it is hooked up I can get better service all over the house. Loving it.
So I am learning to be more content with other changes in my life. It is not easy but we make our way through and with God's help we are able to "go with the flow" as my husband likes to say. It is much easier to go with the natural flow and direction then to try to swim upstream against it. I am learning to get excited about where the journey with take me.
Sandra

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Quality Time

I called up my Dad to ask if he could help me put a cabinet together yesterday. He can do anything. I use to think so as a little girl and I haven't changed my mind. He was available so I went over and wouldn't you know they didn't put the right board in. I am so glad I didn't start the project on my own. I had opened the box and closed it back up cause it had too many pieces. Thank goodness my Dad had a drill and was able to make the holes that were needed to get it all together. Otherwise I would have had to take apart what we had done, stick it back in the box (or try), and then return it only to begin the process over. I wouldn't have been a happy camper.
Our son, Rob and grandson Kane, went over before I got there and helped Grandaddy move some boards that were laying on his grass. Kane swung with Grammie.
My daughter, Melissa, is coming over next weekend to help me sort through my home office and reorganize. The shelf will go in there. For some reason she thinks I shouldn't have things sitting around all over the floor. She thinks it will look better in a shelf with pretty little bins :). I think I agree.
I can't wait to get it all fixed and "Cute".
So you see I am spending quality time with those I love while getting things accomplished. After putting the shelf together we went to a seafood restaurant to eat. We hadn't been to that particular one in a while and it was sooooooooo good. Could have been cause I hadn't eaten lunch!
Now I will have to think of some way to repay all the favors I am recieving, huh? Melissa and I will probably go out to eat afterwards also. That girl can eat! She is precious to want to help her ole Mom. Ole, not old.
Jimmy and I spent quality time this week putting out rocks and stepping stones in the garden. It about broke our backs but it does look nice. We have more to do. It has been a desire of mine to put rock at the driveway drain pipe. It looked so bare and ugly. We got one side about done. We both came in and crashed afterwards.
Why am I telling you all this? I don't know, just chatting. It is a lot more fun doing a project with helpers. We about got ALL the family involed in helping each other this week.
Have a great day.
Sandra

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Potters house


I was invited to the Potter's House for a ladies retreat using God Guides. Our scripture passage was from, Jeremiah 18:2, " Go up to the Potters House, and I will give you a message. So I went up to the Potters house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him".

Well my mind focused on, "I will give you my message".That was enough to send me running as fast as I could to the Potters House. Nancy owns this property and man is it ever full of God's glory. Such beauty, such peace, such respite from the world.

One of the days we were on our own for a rest time and I chose to go off by myself right in the middle of the roaring brook. When you are there you feel like you are the only one there with God. That is where He talks and talks.
I could hardly write His words down fast enough. Some of it was private, just for me and some I can share but man did He speak.
My passage was from I Peter 5:6-8, "So be content with who you are, and don't put on airs. God's strong hand is on you; he'll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God. He is most careful with you." I had written beside the passage, The Message, cause I was reading the Message translation. Then I reread it and saw MESSAGE beside it and though bum, this is His message, this is what He wanted to bring me to the Potters House to tell me. WOW! I can't explain to you how free I felt as I left that place of solace. I have never been really content with who I am. He is teaching me over and over and I am loving it.
I had divine appointments both before and at the retreat. I believe God absolutely set me free from many things that bound me and had hurt me. He took it all away. I even did an art project that I discovered helped to identify some painful issues. They came out and Thank God Almighty I am free at last. Free to see what He has for me, free to experience new adventures, free to experience new relationships, free to restore and heal old relationships, FREE TO BE ME! What will that look like, better look out cause I don't know but I am ready!!!!! (Hope it will be better than the OLD me).
He has put a NEW SONG in my mouth and I pray He will give me wholehearted devotion to Him. I pray He has purged me of critical attitudes, and a gumbling spirit. All I know is I put my old heart in the firepit and He burned it up. Will I still have challenges......you know I will but it was an awesome time with Him and I loved it.

I got home and was talking to my Mother and she even told me I was a JEWEL!.. Amazing. Thank you Lord.
He thinks I am ok just like I am......Amazing.

Sandra

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Spring, Did I say it is my favorite season????

How is it you forget from year to year the things you don't really like about the season. I was reminded this weekend, actually last week: When the tornadoes ripped through, when I had to start pulling weeds and cutting back dead limbs, when pollen covered my car and they reported it was the worse ever this year,when I pulled up old flowers and then suffered with poison oak all over my arms, hands, and some on my face. Ugh! I can look at the stuff and zap----I develop skin blisters and boil like areas! I started right away putting my cream on them but they really got bad this time. I feel like scratching them but know better.
One area really got bad and looked like a boil and hurt and got real inflammed. I thought, Wow, how did Job feel when he had boils all over. Job 2:7,"So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD, and struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. And he took for himself a potsherd with which to scrape himself while he sat in the midst of the ashes." His friends didn't recognize him and kept silent for a week because his agony was so great.
Oh my goodness, puts it all in perspective, right? From the sole of his feet to the crown of his head. Man, I cannot even imagine. My worse area is between my fingers. Can you imagine scrabbing these sores and blisters with a potsherd? Ouch?
So there you go, this is nothing. It will all be gone in a few days. Yes, it looks gross but I think I can endure it. (Just hope my patients can tomorrow).
I just go in apologizing and telling them it is not contagious! "Yeah right," they say.
By the way, I think the devil planted that old stuff right where he knew I would dig, what do you think? Watch out my friend, he might just be out to get you too! :-)

Sandra

Sunday, April 4, 2010

He is High and Lifted up

Man what a glorious day in the Lord as we sang praises to His name. He is high and lifted up, He is King, He is Saviour, He is worthy of our praise. Man, we sang to the rooftops today, how about you. Melissa shared with me that she lifted her hands with abandonment at her church today as Newsong sang. Hallelujah. Spontaneous worship. He couldn't be more pleased! Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, there's just something about that name. It demands our praise.
Our son and his family came to worship with us today and then we headed on to our daughter's for food and fellowship. We were a little rowdy and loud but that is just the way it is. We like it that way. There have been times we have not been able to celebrate all the family so we enjoy it when we can.
The kids had a ball hiding easter eggs and finding them. Even little Kane at under age 2 was learning the process and having a big time. So much fun to see the wonderment of the little ones and join in their little world. It is often more fun than ours!!!
It is great to see all four of them having fun together and hearing the laughter and sqeals of excitement as they find their eggs and open their baskets. Are they a little spoiled, yes, but isn't that the way it is suppose to be.
Our twin grandaughters turned 10 yesterday. Can't believe it. Seems like yesterday they had those two little bald, bobbing heads. None of us could tell them apart.
I hope you had a great time in the Lord today and then with your family. If some of your family members were missing from your celebration I prayed for you today. I know the pain of having that empty seat. Paw Paw had to miss today because he was working this weekend. He was sorely missed.
Praise God, Jesus is risen. May we all live in His resurrection power. Be happy in the Lord to day and everyday.
Sandra

Friday, April 2, 2010

Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him

God had taken me to this passage from Job 13:15 yesterday. I thought, okay what does this mean Lord. Our son had been having stomach pain and they were doing an endoscopy yesterday. Did it mean I would recieve bad news, what?
We actually had some emotional battles to work through and I kept remembering, Yet I will trust Him!
This morning I went to Job 13:20-22. Job asked God to end his pain and stop frightening him with such terrors. In 14:1-12--Job embraced the fact of God's control over the issues of life but challenged their meaning. Job asked God for a little grace instead of such intense judgement and a little rest from the pain.
Psalm 56:3, Confidence in the Lord is a purposeful decision, replacing an emotional reaction to one's circumstances. Anguish is intensified by increasing harrassment in vs. 5. 56:8, David asked God to keep a remembrance of all his sufferings, so that God would eventually vindicate him. 57:1, I will make my refuge in the shadow of Your wings. When life becomes bizarre only ones relationship with his God calms the soul. (All these notes taken from John MacArthurs Bible commentary.
Isn't He good to keep us focused and trusting Him. What in the world would I do without Him who is my counselor, my guide, my Bride-Groom Lover.

Even though He slay me, yet will I trust Him! Amen and amen. He has proved Himself faithful over and over. I love Him so.
Sandra

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

God-talk without God-acts

"Dear friends, do you think you'll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, "Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!" and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup----where does that get you? Isn't it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?" James 2:14-17 The Message.
I read this passage on Saturday morning as I sat at Starbucks eating breakfast and having a cup of coffee. I was headed to our office for our workday. I also read James 2, "If a man enters your church wearing an expensive suit, and a street person wearing rags comes in right after him, and you say to the man in the suit, "Sit here, sir, this is the best seat in the house!" and either ignore the street person or say, "Better sit here in the back row," haven't you segregated God's children and proved that you are judges who can't be trusted? Listen, dear friends. Isn't it clear by now that God operates quite differently? He chose the world's down-and-out as the kingdom's first citizens, with full rights and priveleges."
Well as soon as I drove up to our office and got out of the car I was put to the test! What do you think came to mind....the above passage. It was like God was saying okay Sandra what are you going to do...go in and avoid this street person who is asking for something to eat or but your God-talk into God-action.
I don't even think this lady was telling me the whole truth but you know what, that didn't matter. She was hungry so we walked to the corner diner and she got her food. Guess what, as I offered to pay the owner waved me on....I believe she had been in before and he knew the situation. God Bless his soul he provided the food.
Now this was a true example of God preparing me for what I was about to face that day. He is so into us isn't He. He gives us opportunities to put our faith into action. I love His word and I pray you do too!
As I walked back to the office I then had two of our support group attendees come in to help us move a cabinet in, clean the office, the outside windows,put together a shelf, and sort clothes. Quite a profitable day.
Two ladies also put scripture verses on candy bars to be distributed at the coming Hope on the Inside event. The inmates will recieve a goodie bag with several items in it. Thank you Lord for allowing us to be involved in some same way.

Sandra

Monday, March 22, 2010

Fishers of Men

My orthodonists likes to tease me about my not being at church. He was the one not coming so much but he would get on me first because he knew I would ask him where he had been! That's been 12 years ago but he still harasses me about it. Now we go to different locations so we really can't keep tabs on each other.
Today while there he said why weren't you in church yesterday, were you fishing? My response was, "I fish everyday, for men." I thought about it afterwards and I pray that I am consistent with my fishing each day. My friend gave me the passage in Luke 5 recently about Jesus instructing Peter to take the boat out and lower down the nets again. Peter did but he told Jesus he had been fishing all day and caught nothing, but he obeyed Jesus as He told him to launch out into the deep. Are we willing to launch out at the call of Jesus?
Don't we often feel that our fishing produces no results? But Jesus said to lower the nets and he caught so many fish he had to call for help to pull them in.
That is what I want to see...many coming to Jesus as I share daily.
Often times we don't see the results we want to and we tend to get weary of putting out the net but if only one is brought in that is encouraging. Keep fishing my friend, and leave the results to Him. Choose obedience to Him and take your boat out deeper as He directs. He will tell you when, where and what to do as you fish.
Sandra

Do as I say, not as I do!

I use to harp at my children to keep that retainer in because their teeth would move and they would be back at square one. Both of them experienced that my warning was right! Both of them had to get braces again in their adult life. You say aha, I told you so.
Well, guess who found themselves almost in the same boat. Yes, me! I didn't wear my retainer for a while and when my teeth began to shift and get out of order I tried to get the retainers in but.... no can do. I got the bottom one in but was unable to get the top one to work. So, off I went to the orthodonist to see what I needed to do before I too found myself with braces. Praise the Lord a new retainer could be made and I was able to prevent the same ordeal my children have. Goes to show, you need to practice what you preach, right?
I went today to receive the new retainer and as my friendly orthodonists attempted to adjust it, he broke the wire! Man, they just don't make things the way they use to do they. It couldn't have been his frustration with the subject matter we were discussing (healthcare) could it? Next time I go I think I will talk about something less controversial, like grandchildren or something.
Think I will learn a big lesson from this: WEAR THAT RETAINER! Do what you preach to others because believe me it is a costly mistake when you don't. When will I learn Lord. You try to teach me daily but I tend to procrastinate till it is painful and costly process to get back to do what I know You desire me to do spiritually speaking.
In order to look like You I must apply Your (retainer) principles daily. When I don't I pay the price and my life gets out of order and I am not pleased with what I see. Thank You for the reminders You give us to get our spiritual lives in order before You have to pull us in with stronger (brackets and wires) means. May I remember to apply the retainer of Your Word to my life daily.


Sandra

Friday, March 19, 2010

The winter is past and spring has come

"My beloved, spake, and said unto 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 the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle dove is heard in our land; the fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away" (SOS 2:10-13).
I took the time to sit on the screened in porch and on the front porch for a time tonight. After getting my husband off to work I had a little time to just sit and take in the sights and smells of the nearing spring time. I watched the birds, heard them singing, pulled back some pinestraw to let the budding bush pop through. I especially enjoyed the gathering of two doves as they played together and flew into the nearby trees where I believe they had their nests. I am very attuned to the sound of the dove! I am always drawn back to this passage in my mind out of the Song of Solomon. So I got out my Watchman Nee SOS commentary and reviewed the material. It is one of my favorite books.
Someone had recently talked about the winter season in their marriage and I wanted to share this writing with you all. We have had a hard winter and it makes springtime all the more precious.
I will quote from the book: "Since the Lord now calls her to come away with Him, He sets before her all of past experience and the facts which are before her eyes."The winter is past." Winter is gloomy and cold and not conducive to growth. It represents a time of testing in which there is little to cheer about. In other words, the Lord has already conducted her safely through the experieinces of various trials of coldness, darkness, and seeming death. It was He who manifestly brought her through these trials and used His living presence to make her forget them all. Therefore "the winter is past."
"the rain is over and gone." The rain here is not the refreshing rain of springtime but that rain which, because of a cold atmosphere, turns into hail or snow. The winter rain can shut you in and make it impossible for you to accomplish any kind of work. In addressing her at this stage the Lord is saying in effect: "those many testings and trials are now all behind you because of your living sense of My abiding presence."
The reference to flowers, birds, turtle-doves, and so on are an appeal by the Lord to His loved one to stand on resurrection ground. Springtime means more than death, it means resurrection life. Flowers are adornments of beauty. Birds represent the voice of happy song.
"The vines with the tender grape give a good smell." We must notice that the vines here are in blossom, and thus they indicate that the life of the believer at this stage gives forth fragrance and shows promise of very much fruitfulness. Fruitage is assured because the vine blossom comes after the young fruit appears".

Wow! That is a lot to take in. Once you have been through the winter of trials and struggle you move up to a new level spiritually and then is seen the fruit coming from your life. God has a purpose in ALL our winters. Yes, we enjoy the springtime but it is in our winters that we learn to abide in His presence and come forth with His fragrance into His RESURECTION! Praise Him today. Praise Him even while you are in the middle of your winter. Now that is faith! When we wait to praise Him after the storm, it saddens Him. I pray you will learn what He has for you in your winter so that you will be fruitful and multiply.

God bless,

Sandra

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Pooped

I am absolutely pooped tonight. I had all intentions of coming home from work, cooking supper, and doing a little yard work! I couldn't get up from the chair. I just cleaned up our dishes and typed something for our inmate newsletter and think I will relax and get to bed early. I work tomorrow and will have grandkids for the weekend. Not sure when the yard will get presentable. My house needs some attention also. Too tired to think about it all tonight. Maybe I will have more energy tomorrow.
My thyroid is out of whack so I am blaming my tiredness on that. Couldn't be the age, right? I have patients who come in and were born the year I graduated from High School, now that slams it right in your face:). I am just grateful I have made it this far. God has been gracious to allow me good health to this point and I am reminded of that each day I take care of many with so many health problems.
Be thankful in all things, right?
I sent a verse to my friend Debbie today that God took me to this morning, "Beloved, do not be surprised at the ordeal that has come to test you...you are sharing what Christ suffered; so rejoice in it"! My oh my, I know I will never suffer what my Lord did as He took my ugly sin upon Himself. He was beaten for my trangressions. That always brings tears to my eyes as I envision them beating Him beyond recognition. Nothing I ever go through or do could ever repay Him for His love and sacrifice for me. I am so in love with Him.

Night, night!

Sandra

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My mother is 80 today


Where do the years go? I cannot believe that my mother is 80, nor that I am 60+! I use to think my parents were so ancient at 60. I don't feel ancient, old some days but not ancient. Most days I can usually go with the best of them, some days not.
Our family had a surprise birthday party for my mother Sunday, and we surprised her sucessfully. It was fun to see her enjoying her special day with family and friends who came by. Her cake was beautiful. No other cake will do for that special occasion except the ones they bake and decorate at Ketchie Creek Bakery. It had green and pink dots with a big green bow on the top. Beautiful and oh so good! She was blessed to have her four great grand-children running around and giving her hugs and kisses. Makes me wonder if I will have that privelege of seeing my grandchildrens children born. Now wouldn't that be cool!
The sad thing was that many of her family who are older than she, were not able to come due to physical limitations and issues like Alzheimers and memory loss. It is so hard to see my family members aging. As I wrote each name out for Melissa to send an invitation to I took a trip down memory lane as I remembered how each one of them had contributed to my life. I must remember to express my thanks and love to them because none of us knows the hour our Lord will call us home. It is a reminder to me how fast the time is flying.
I remember staying at my Aunt Bernices house for a short season and how much I loved my Uncle Junior who was her husband who passed away years ago with cancer.
I remembered the Christmas's at her house and my Aunt Jean's houses as we all gathered to eat and exchange gifts and be with our grandmother when I was a young girl. I remembered my cousins who I rarely got to see because we always lived far from them. That made the time together that much more precious. Since I didn't have brothers or sisters I pretended they were mine.
I appreciate the fact that my folks are still in good health and able to take care of each other at this point. I praise the Father for their good health and that they are near by. They were in other cities for the majority of my married life so it is nice to have them near by. We don't see each other every day or sometimes every week but we chat and visit as our schedules allow.
I thank the Father who gave me friends who are part of our little family and come to share in special occasions like Sunday. They made themselves at home and began to help clean up the dishes. I love having friends like that who are more like sisters.
I have so much to praise the Father for. He has taught me so much through all my friends and family. I love each and every one of them. Lord remind me to tell them often how much they mean to me and how their lives have blessed me.
Thank you for my parents long life and their influence in my life over the years. For their teaching, praying, encouragement and support over some very hard years. What would I have done without their support, advice, and listening ear. Thank You for allowing my mother 80 years of life!
Sandra

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Diary of a mad black woman

Did you see the movie? Well yesterday I met her face to face. I walked into the room and I knew this woman was angry. Then I saw her pull out her new testament and her journal. A question I asked her brought tears to her eyes. At the point I knew it was okay to say, "I sense your spirit is troubled." At that point it all poured out....all that she was going through. She was angry and hurt and rejected and had been "stoned" by her church body. I let her share her anger and sorrow for a half hour.
It was much like the man I talked to several years ago who questioned each thing I had to do like weighing him, taking his BP "again" and asking questions about his health. I finally asked him, "why are you so angry". It was like watching a pressure cooker being released. He poured out his heart and his pain as his tears began to roll down his cheeks. He had found a listening ear. I was just glad he didn't punch me in the process!
There are some hurting folks out there who are just looking for someone to share with, to give them some encouragement and the will to keep going. This lady kept saying she had gotten her eyes off Jesus. It was clear that she was refocusing on Him and burying her nose in the pages of His Word. I had often found myself in that position so I recognized her plight.
As I left we hugged and I believe she felt finally as if someone cared about her. God gave us that time together. I praise Him for His love for her that He would place us in a room together to share once again. You see as I looked back on her old chart I had been the one to see her before. She remembered that. Was it a coincidence that this nurse 2 years later would be the one to interview her yesterday out of 50 patients that came in? I think not! He had a plan. I am just priveleged to be a small part of what He was doing in her life yesterday. Praise Him.
Today I got an email from a patient who shared with me last week. He was coming in to have a mass removed. It was thought to be a fatty tissue, no big deal. Tonight I recieved an email it was cancer. He will be back next week. His surgeon was his old high school buddy. I have been praying for that surgeon. Could it be he may have an impact on him as he walks through this journey of cancer? Do you think?????
Life is exciting my friends. Always wake up with expectation to watch what God is doing in lives and He just might let you be a part of it. What a privelege to serve Him. I am crazy about Him.

Sandra