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.


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.

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.


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,


Thursday, March 18, 2010


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!


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!

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.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Our son has been sick for the past couple of weeks. At first they thought it was just a virus. They gave him fluids in the ED and sent him home to rest with phenergan. He has no insurance so they had him and in and out in the matter of an hour and a half. He continues to have N&V with stomach pain. He went back to the family Dr. last week and they took him off his medication thinking that that was what was causing it. He is to wait 10 days and if no better he will do further testing. The first couple of days were better but since that time he has continued to be sick. Now as his mother I want an answer right? God has given me peace, but I am very concerned about this physical illness. It incapacitates him most days. I am trying to be patient and let him deal with the situation but it is tough. My Dad had lymphoma of the stomach and that of course is something I think of with the continued bout of stomach distress.
There are lots of stresses in his life right now with the threat of losing the family dwelling place due to some poor decisions by other family members. Therefore, it is a stress for my husband and I.
On top of that work is hard right now, but I know God has me there for His purposes for now. On Wings is growing and the demands are great for outreaches and administrative issues. I love it and would love to be full time but God has not opened that door as yet.
I must admit that I have moments of oppression and we know from whence that comes don't we. He seems to come at us when we are physically weak and weary. I was that way on Monday as I could not shake the sense of oppression. Have you ever been in a place you didn't feel you could even smile? Seems when I am preparing for ministry meetings and so forth it hits me hardess. Most days I can get through it but some days are very hard!
I woke up at 3 am and could not go back to sleep. I begged God to give me just a little more rest before the alarm went off at 5:30. He did. When I met with Him at our appointed spot He took me to the following:
2 Corinthians 4:1-Don't lose heart....a strong Greek term which refers to abandoning oneself to cowardly surrender. That was not how Paul responded to the continual attacks he faced. The task of ministering the New Covenant was too noble to lose heart over. Since God had called him to proclaim it, Paul could not abandon his calling. Instead he trusted God to strengthen him. These were the footnotes.
So there you go. What we are doing at On Wings is too important, too noble to lose heart over.
vv.17-18-Paul took no pleasure in the pain itself, but rejoiced in the power of Christ that it revealed through him! The greater the suffering, the greater would be his eternal glory.
Endurance is basd on ones ability to look beyond the physical to the spiritual; beyond the present to the future, and beyond the visible to the invisible. (All footnotes from John McArthur's Bible).
I love it when God takes me in Bible meditation from one passage to another. It was exciting to hear His encouragement to me this morning. Because He met with me I was able then to pour out to a patient who came in broken and angry in spirit. God gave me boldness to tell her I sensed her spirit was troubled. For 30 minutes she poured out her heart to me. If I had not met with my Father this morning I would not have been armed for His assignment for me. That is what gets me up each morning. That is what makes me eager to get to that quiet spot in the wee hours while it is quiet. I hope you make the time to meet with Him. I love Him so.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

What a Day

I got up early today and went to a community meeting. From there I went to the office, pulled up at the front door, unloaded the car and went to park. As I went up to the office there was my faithful helper, Barbara, regular as clock work. She is always eager for her assignment and today was full of projects and needs.
As I was making a promised phone call my 10:30 appointment arrived. I welcomed her and we sat down to share over a cup of coffee. Oh I believe God has some marvelous plans as this lady joins us in ministry! I am excited!
My 12 noon appointment (a hurting mother with two prodigals) arrived early so the first lady excused herself and agreed to stay and watch the office and sort some clothes for me in preparation for our Family Outreach to begin on Saturday. We are inviting families of inmates to stop by to visit our office and recieve any kind of support we can as the Lord leads us.
My passage the other day talked about lauching out into the deep. Well today I feel like the deep is overwhelming me, but my friend reminds me that Jesus is in the boat with me as I launch out. I am not alone.
It began snowing as I made my way home. I forgot about the errands I needed to do because the snow was really peppering down and seemed to be sticking. I came home, got a bite to eat and was headed to my next appointment of the day when I got a phone call from my dear friend to stay home. We spent 99 minutes on the phone in marvelous conversation over the passage in Luke 5:1-15. I hold on to each word of wisdom this "Spiritual Mother" shares with me.
Since that time I have prepared dinner, gotten my husband off to work, and sat down at the computer to answer emails, tend to projects awaiting me, and speak to you
So as my day comes to an end and I prepare for rest and work tomorrow, I will go and meditate on what we shared and ask the Father to educate me, revealing His direction to me for the coming days.
Isn't God good to allow us to be involved in small ways the way He is working in huge ways in the lives of those He brings our way. Glory to Him.
Lord help me to rest and be refreshed for the adventures you have for me tomorrow.

Monday, March 1, 2010

A Beautiful Day with my Beautiful Daughter

I got up earlier this morning to prepare to have an adventure with my daughter today! We were going to Mocksville to pick out a beautiful cake for my mother's 80th birthday. Now that is a milestone! We were planning all the way there how we might design the cake and the many things we would need to do in preparation for our surprise! We were like 2 schoolgirls. It hit me that I am so blessed to have that kind of relationship with my daughter. She is not only my daughter but a very dear friend and confidant. I like that. I cherish that.
We talked about some of her insecurities of the past (reading Beth Moore's book on Insecurities you see)and how she didn't feel accepted by others in school. Some made fun of her because of teeth, acne and other mean things. Let me at them... She shared how she didn't really tell me about those things at the time.
I expressed to her how beautiful she is. She didn't seem to except that but those of you who know my daughter know how beautiful she is both in and out. She truly is. Such a sweet spirit and a loving, caring, generous heart. I realize I haven't always told her how I felt so I wanted to tell her again today, in public.
I love you Mel,and I want you to know that and believe how beautiful you are to others, especially your family.
Let's do more days like today. It was loads of fun.

Launch Out

I was reading my devotional today and have been mulling it over in my mind all day. "Launch out into the deep" Luke 5:4. "How deep He does not say. The depth into which we launch will depend upon how perfectly we have given up the shore, and the greatness of our need, and the apprehension of our possibilities. The fish were to be found in the deep, not in the shallow water.
So with us; our needs are to be met in the deep things of God. We are to launch out into the deep of God's Word, which the Spirit can open up to us in such crystal fathomless meaning that the same words we have accepted in times past will have an ocean meaning in them, which renders their first meaning to us very shallow.
Let go the shorelines and launch into the deep"> Taken from Streams in the Desert.
So that is my word: Let go the shorelines and launch into the deep. Still mulling!
Think on this my friend.