$50

Today while watching television and playing a word game on my tablet, I got this strong urge to withdraw $50 out of my savings account. I didn’t have any particular plans for it, it was just something that I felt that I needed to do. So, I dropped everything and withdrew the money.

About an hour and a half later after making the withdrawal I received a telephone call from a desperate friend. She told me that she didn’t get paid until Friday and that she was completely out of food. She said she had just eaten her last granola bar. She asked me if I could help her out by giving her $20 so she could buy some food for herself and her special needs son. I told her, yes and I arranged to get the $50 to her. I gave her the full $50 because I knew $20 would not be enough for the two of them. 

After getting the money to her, I was back on the couch watching television and playing a word game. While sitting there I suddenly was hit in the head with a gust of wind. It was so hard; it pushed my head back and I sucked in my breath. Instantly I said, “Ohhhhh that was You!” meaning the Holy Spirit. “You wanted me to get the money so that I would have it for my friend when she called. Wow!”

I encourage you to stay ready for the gust of wind!

“No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit.”

1 Corinthians 2:11

Blessings,

Sandra

Slow Motion

I was listening to a Bible study this morning when the teacher talked about seeing in this world and seeing in the spiritual world. His statement brought back something that happened about 10 years ago.

I was at work one day when my supervisor walked down the aisle and went a few cubicles down and tapped a good friend of mine on the shoulder and told her that she had received an emergency telephone call. My friend was talking to a customer at the time, so she had to wait a minute to hang up. As soon as she hung up, she got up and started running down the aisle to get to the front desk to take her call. I looked up and I saw her running down the aisle past me. To my amazement, she was running in slow motion. I had never seen this before except on television in sci-fi movies. I was amazed at what I saw. Every part of her being was moving in slow motion. I didn’t have a whole lot of time to think about what I saw because I was on the phone with a customer as well and the calls were coming in rapid-fire. That was the first time I saw in slow motion, but it wasn’t the last time.

The second time I saw in slow motion I was driving home from visiting my parents out of state when I looked up on the other side of the highway and I watched as a car ran off the highway and tipped over onto the grass that divided the highway from the northbound and southbound traffic. I pulled my car over to see if there was some way I could help. I got out of the car and I stood on the side of the road and watched as a young man climbed out of the back window and he started running in slow motion over to someone who had been thrown out of the car onto the grass.

The last time I saw in slow motion I was driving home from church. A few blocks from the church I had to make a stop at an intersection. There was one car ahead of me, so we both were waiting for our chance to turn. As we sat, I heard some tires screeching and a horn blow and suddenly all of the traffic at this intersection was moving in slow motion. A car ran the light and as that car drove through the intersection it was moving in slow motion, and as all the other cars at the intersection reacted, they too did so in slow motion. No accident occurred.

In this bible study, this morning the teacher said two parallel realities were existing side-by-side. One is the reality of the natural world, and the other is the reality of the spiritual world. He said seeing in the natural is seeing from only one perspective. I don’t know whether or not these incidences of seeing in slow motion were seeing into the spiritual world. I don’t have an explanation for it. It was certainly something spontaneous and amazing. Though I don’t have any answers I pray for us all as we move to begin 2021 that as the Lord did for Elisha when he prayed for his servant for his eyes to open, He does the same for us.

“Then Elisha prayed, “Lord, please open his eyes and let him see.” So the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he saw that the mountain was covered with horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” 2 Kings 6:17

Have a blessed new year,

Sandra

2 am

I was raised in a small town in Michigan. There’s no other word to describe where I lived except to say it was the country. Though the streets were paved, there weren’t any streetlights or sidewalks, and the nearest gas station was about 10 miles away. I lived around open fields, woods, and farms in all directions.

In many ways, my childhood was pretty typical. I went through the normal teenage angst like most teenagers. But when I was 13 I decided I was miserable and I was going to run away. For reasons I no longer remember I decided that I was going to sneak out of the house at 2 am and leave. I had no idea where I was going to go, no idea how I was going to support myself, and no idea where I was going to live. But nevertheless, I was going to go!

I packed some essential items in a brown paper bag and placed it on the floor inside my closet. I knew that if I set my alarm clock that I would wake up my sister and most definitely wake up my parents, so before going to bed, I asked the Lord to wake me up at 2 am. With my essentials packed, I crawled into bed and quickly fell asleep. At exactly 2 am my eyes popped open and I saw the red light on my digital clock shining bright with the current time of 2 am. I quietly slipped out of bed, grabbed my clothes and my brown paper bag and I snuck down into the basement so that I could slip out the back door. I opened the back door and stepped out into the backyard.

Before I could close the door behind me every animal in the woods woke up! Is that a wolf? What’s that rustling around over there in the woods? Wait a minute, is that a bear? Is there a snake over there by the swing set? Standing there for what seemed like an hour but was only a few seconds, I decided that it was too dark to leave and I better wait until daylight. I turned around and I went back upstairs and put the paper bag in the closet, and I got back in the bed. I’ll find some time tomorrow during the day to run away I thought, and I went back to sleep. That was my first and last attempt at running away.

At 13 years old I didn’t understand about a personal relationship with the Lord. I was raised Catholic during a time when all services were in Latin. I never understood church. I never understood the Bible because we used a catholic missalette. On the other hand, I knew that my mother sincerely prayed, that I had vivid dreams and that I always seemed to know things. What I mean by that is that I could look at another person and suddenly know something about them. Not necessarily what they ate for breakfast, but their character. Whether they were telling the truth or not telling the truth. Whether they were a good person or bad person, whether they could be trusted, whether they couldn’t be trusted. At times I could see their pain. I learned very quickly I could look at another person and know things, so I assumed that others could do the same with me. So out of fear I was afraid that if I twitched if I blinked, if my eyelid fluttered, that my entire inner being would be exposed for the world to see. I assumed it was normal, so I developed a stoic emotionless demeanor to protect myself.

As a young child these things were extremely real, but at the same time confusing, and uncontrollable. So, asking the Lord to wake me up at 2 o’clock in the morning was something that I did very naturally. I didn’t get down on my knees, fold my hands, grab the rosary, and pray for the Lord to wake me up at 2 o’clock in the morning. I just said it to myself almost haphazardly, as I was placing my paper bag into the closet. No further thought was given to what I was asking.

I did not understand the importance of communicating with the Lord. I didn’t know how to pursue Him. I didn’t know how to nurture or grow in Him. As a 13-year-old child, it was one incident, that happened one day, and I moved on. I was just too young and too inexperienced in the things of faith. Today, I wonder how that incident would have changed my life if I had a true understanding of the Lord? How would my spiritual journey have changed if I understood the meaning of prayer? I was too young to understand that when he woke me up, He answered my prayers and that He heard me!

If the Lord wakes you up at 2 am I encourage you to see it for the miracle it truly is, thank him, and go after him with everything you’ve got!

I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me. Proverbs 8:17

Blessings,

Sandra,

Act!

A couple of weeks ago I was running an errand when a pastor friend of mine and his wife popped into my mind. I’m sure you’ve had times when a person pops in your mind and you think, hmm, maybe I’ll give them a call and see how they’re doing. Well, that’s what happened to me.

I completed my errand, and I went home. As soon as I stopped in the driveway, they popped into my mind again. So instead of going inside, I stayed in the driveway, and sent him a text, and asked him how he and his wife were doing.

By the time I stepped in the house he had returned my text and told me that he was sitting in the emergency room with his wife who was battling pneumonia.

To be honest my first thought when he told me that he was sitting in the emergency room was that I felt very embarrassed. I thought my goodness how could you disturb the man when he’s in the emergency room. I felt horrible! But then I realized, I had no idea he was in the emergency room, and I had no idea that his wife was sick.

Then I started thinking about the timing of sending that text. If I had sent it earlier, he could’ve been on his way to the emergency room, or at home, caring for his wife. If I had waited much later or the next day whatever was going on would have been over. All I knew was that the Holy Spirit nudged me to send him a text while he was sitting in the emergency room, with nothing to do, but wait.

When he told me, he was in the emergency room all I did was send him back an emoji of praying hands, and I typed the word praying.

I have to assume that the Lord wanted him to receive those prayers at that moment. Not earlier or the next day. I pray when you get nudged by the Holy Spirit that you act immediately.

“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” Romans 8:14

Blessings,

Sandra

Peace I Give

I think we can all agree that it’s difficult to get through life without feeling a little stress or anxiety. Stress and anxiety can come from many places including our family, our friends, and our jobs. I’ve been dealing with a stressful situation for the past week. The dialogue in my head has been a never-ending reel of self-doubt. What could I have done better?

Every day at some point that reel in my head would pop up and I would feel the anxiety swirling around. Finally, yesterday afternoon I gave it to God. Now I know what you’re thinking. Why didn’t you give it to God two weeks ago? Honestly, because I was in so much pain I was consumed with my feelings, how I felt, what I did right, and most importantly what I did wrong.

So yesterday before going to bed I sat on the side of the bed and I cried out to the Lord that I needed peace. I gave the entire situation to him. I just lifted my hands in the air and said it’s all yours. I can’t do it anymore. I trust whatever it is that you do with the situation. Immediately I begin to feel a sense of peace, I knew the Lord had touched me. The problem had not changed but the stress about it had been lifted. I was so grateful. When I went to bed instead of getting up in the middle of the night and worrying about it, thinking about it when I went to the restroom, thinking about it as I headed to the kitchen to get a glass of water, I had total please, and I slept through the night.

The next morning I woke up after a peaceful night’s sleep, and while still in bed I said, “Alexa, play my devotional for today.” She said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

I sat straight up in the bed!

I pray you to have peace today.

Blessings,

Sandra

Guilty as charged!

I’ve been attending the same aerobics class for about a year and a half. What I love about the class is that the instructor plays a variety of styles of music. However, there is one song she plays that makes me uncomfortable. Though it doesn’t contain profanity, I think the sexual content is unacceptable.

Each time she played the song, though I continued to dance and do the exercises, I struggled! A battle raged in my mind. Should I sit down? Should I leave the room? I was very uneasy. In addition to this feeling of uneasiness, I felt embarrassed about leaving because I was a new member and I did not want to cause a disturbance. I quickly dismissed my feelings because I figured that I was probably the only one who objected to the song. Let’s face it this group has been together for several years so apparently, they thought the song was ok. 

Each day when I showed up for class, I had this battle in my mind whenever the song was played. One day I tried to slow down my movements to appear as if I was barely moving. My strategy was to try not to participate without anyone knowing I wasn’t actually participating. Each time the song played my anxiety grew, but rather than make a scene and ask the instructor to stop playing the song I just pushed myself through the song trying not to focus on the words. 

Finally, one day she played the song, and about 30 seconds into the song I heard the Holy Spirit ask, “What are you doing?” My entire body vibrated at the sound of His voice. When I heard His voice a couple of Bible stories flashed through my mind. One of the stories I thought about was when Cain killed Abel. The LORD asked Cain, “Where is your brother? Where is Abel?” As I stood in the class, I thought, the Lord is all-knowing, He knew what happened to Abel, so why would He ask that question? Maybe He asked because He wanted Cain to know that He knew what He did. 

The other Bible story that popped into my mind was the one about when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit. After eating the forbidden fruit, the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” Again, the Lord knew where Adam and Eve were hiding. Did He ask because He wanted them to know that He knew what they did? I do not know, but it seems that way.

So now the Holy Spirit was asking me a question, “What are you doing?” So right there in the middle of the song, it hit me! I realized that the Holy Spirit knew that I was doing something I should not have been doing and He was letting me know.

So, when the Holy Spirit asked me, “What are you doing?” I stopped in my tracks and turned around and I walked off the floor to the back of the room and sat down for the rest of the song. I was busted! Guilty as charged!

8 One day Cain suggested to his brother, “Let’s go out into the fields.”[c] And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother, Abel, and killed him. 9 Afterward the Lord asked Cain, “Where is your brother? Where is Abel?” Genesis 4:8-9

Blessings,

Sandra

Ahhh Man!

Every day before I start my morning devotions, I say a quick prayer asking the Lord to help me to forgive those that I need to forgive. As the year ends it is still one of my top prayers. It is at the top of my list because I’ve learned that sometimes I thought I forgave someone only to find out that I didn’t. I keep the prayer at the top of my radar because I found I would unexpectedly tighten up with the mention of someone’s name I thought I had let go of ill feelings towards. It was because of those times that I will begin this year as normal with prayers to forgive and to be forgiven.

This reminder to not lose sight of harboring unforgiveness popped up a few weeks ago. During my morning prayer time, I asked the Lord to bring forth to my mind anyone in my life that I had not truly forgiven so I could forgive them. Now let me step aside and just be real. Here is what happened. Immediately after saying the prayer the Lord whispered a name to me. He said, “Jane Doe.” And in the blink of an eye anger rose up in me and I blurted out, “That is a despicable person!” Also, in response to this mean statement my hand instantly flew to my mouth as if to stop the words from coming out, but it was too late. My shoulders slumped and I said, “Ahh man, Lord I am so sorry! Forgive me.” I shook my head in disbelief. How could I say that? I thought sure I had let go of all anger. Though I realized the Lord had simply done what I asked; He brought forth someone in my life I had not truly forgiven, it was still a very painful experience.

I stopped right then and asked for forgiveness for the anger I felt, the words I spoke, and for the Lord to change my heart towards this person. As the year ends, I encourage you to do the same. You may be surprised who the Lord brings up. What has been your experience with forgiveness? Please comment below.

12 and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. Matthew 6:12

Blessing,

Sandra

Let Go and Let God 2

The funny thing about walking with the Lord is that is He always seems to start working in my life long before I recognize it. My usual weekend routine is to go to a coffee shop and have coffee at about 6 am. But this past week I had been exercising a lot, so I ended up oversleeping and I did not arrive until about 6:30 am. When I arrived, I went to the counter to order, but it was held up because someone had forgotten to make the coffee. They know I like my food and coffee at the same time, so I had to wait for the coffee to brew. After the coffee was finished, my breakfast was prepared, and I went to a table to eat. While eating and enjoying time with the Lord a guy walked in and sat down at the table near me. I recognized him immediately. I had ministered to him at the same coffee shop about four years ago. You can read about that encounter here

When he sat down, I looked up at him and said, “It’s John right?” He said, “Yes. I didn’t know if you remembered me.” I said, “Yes I do.” He said, “You’re in the ministry aren’t you.” I said,” Yes.” He said, “Do you mind if I sit down and talk with you.” I said, “Not at all.” As he sat down, I said a silent prayer for the Holy Spirit to speak during this conversation. We talked for about 45 minutes. He caught me up on what had happened since the last time we spoke, and where his relationship was with the girl, he spoke about four years ago. We prayed, and then he left.

As he left and I packed up my things to leave I marveled at God’s timing. The Lord’s first intervention was to have me oversleep. His second intervention was when I got there, I couldn’t get my coffee and breakfast as soon as I entered because someone had forgotten to make the coffee. So, I had to sit and wait for the coffee to brew. These events caused me to stay at the coffee shop longer than I usually do. If I hadn’t overslept, and if the coffee had been ready when I got there, I would not have been in the restaurant, and this divine intervention would have never taken place.

21 Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. Proverbs 19:21.

Blessings,

Sandra

Awakened

We’ve been having some bad weather for the last couple of days. As I was preparing for the storm the Lord reminded me of His intervention in my life many years ago.

I was a freshman in college and had relocated to another state. I was 17 years old and it was my first time away from home. One night I was laying on the couch watching television when I fell asleep. This was unusual because it was difficult to watch this television because it was very small. The screen was about the size of a small laptop screen, plus it was a black and white television.

I was laying on the couch watching television when suddenly I woke up and realized that I was on the couch and not in the bed, so I turned off the television and went to my bedroom. Not long after I got in the bed, I dozed off to sleep. Then again, I was jolted awake. It was a little confusing for a second. I heard a knock on my bedroom door and my landlady was frantic and yelling for me to get up because someone had tried to break into the house. I was terrified! Shaking, I got out of the bed and I went to the door to see what was wrong. What I saw took my breath away. My landlady was standing there with a gun. I was shocked! I had never seen a gun up close and personal. She pointed the gun down the hallway and said look someone busted out my window.

She led the way down the hallway with her gun at arm’s length. I walked cautiously behind her. When I got to the living room something didn’t look right. My eyes surveyed the room as my heart pounded. I noticed we were in the middle of a terrible storm. It was thundering, and lightning and the rain was deafening.

My eyes glanced around the room and I saw glass and big rocks all over the living room floor. I walked over to the window and I looked out and that is when it all made sense. I turned around and told my landlord that no one had tried to break in, but that lightning had struck the chimney in the house next door and all the rocks flew through her window. She gave a sigh of relief and said, “Praise God!”

She put the gun down and then screamed, “Sandra, look! If you had stayed there on the couch you would be dead!” She pointed to the couch where I had been sleeping and, in the spot, where I was laying my head was a boulder about the size of a soccer ball.

I helped her clean up the mess and then sat down, shaking, and contemplating what could have happened if I had not been awakened to move and go to bed.

I prayed a prayer of thanks as I realized I was awakened by the Holy Spirit.

“Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Galatians 4:6

Blessings,

Sandra

Run Sammy Run!

Not too long ago I received a call from my cousin. I could tell when she spoke that there was a great deal of excitement in her voice, but I wasn’t sure if it was good excitement or bad. I asked her how she was doing, and she told me that when she was returning from work, she went to her front door and from the corner of her eye she saw something on the wall. Bugs and creepy crawly things freak her out, so she didn’t want to know what it was. Instead of stopping to investigae she rushed into the house. She opened the door and dashed inside. As she rushed in, she felt something on her head but then dismissed it for her overactive imagination caused by the excitement. Once inside she slammed the door shut. Figuring she was safe inside she turned around only to see a green salamander on her living room wall.

Now let me say that I’ve always considered myself to be a little squeamish when it comes to bugs or any kind of critter for that matter. But over the years, as a homeowner, I’ve had to deal with my share of spiders, bees, crickets, cicadas, and silverfish, so I understood how she felt. Nevertheless, when she called and told me what happened; I can’t lie, I laughed. But being a helpful person, I immediately began offering up ways of how she could rid her living room of Sammy the salamander. I won’t go into the details because I certainly don’t want to upset the animal rights people. Let’s just say we discussed some very creative ideas to get him out of the house! However, right in the middle of our conversation, I heard the Holy Spirit say, “Pray”. When He spoke, I felt the concerns and uneasy feelings that were in my cousins’ spirit, and I felt so bad for laughing. The Holy Spirit convicted me so right in the middle of our brainstorming session I stopped and said, “Let’s pray”.

 We prayed for the Lord to tell the salamander to leave when she opened the door. After praying my cousin opened the door and Sammy the salamander ran out the door. Now to all the doubting Thomas’ in the room, may I remind you of this scripture in Jonah 1:17 which says, “Now the Lord had arranged for a great fish to swallow Jonah.” The Lord told that fish to be where it was at that time to swallow up Jonah. If that is not enough for you, how about, 1 Kings 17:4 which says that the Lord said, “Drink from the brook and eat what the ravens bring you, for I have commanded them to bring you food.” Hello! Is our God awesome or what? OK-OK just one more. Luke 12:24 says,” Look at the ravens. They don’t need to plant or harvest or put food in the barns because God feeds them.” I have personally watched a bird fly out of a tree in my yard and go to my mulch bed and jam his beak an inch or two into the ground and pull up a worm. Come on now!  If he can speak to the animals, he most certainly can speak to you. I pray He does.

 Blessings,

 Sandra