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

Hi, Friend!

I love to walk in the park, except when it’s cold. This time of year, we will have some wonderful days in the 80s then it might drop down into the 50s. That’s been our weather for the last month or two. This morning when I woke up it was in the 40s and even though I wanted to walk I felt it was just too cold.

Uninspired to walk, I made my way to my study to begin working. As I walked down the stairs I said, “Lord I really want to walk today, but it’s just too cold, and I don’t have anyone to inspire me to want to walk in the cold.” I then went to my desk and sat down in front of my computer.

About 15 minutes later I heard that familiar ping that I had a text message. When I looked at the message it said, “Hi friend! Would you like to go walking in the park this morning? “I laughed out loud and responded with a resounding yes!

 12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer… 1 Peter 3:12

Blessings,

Sandra

Sing – Along

Yesterday I went to my exercise class and at the end of the class, the instructor played a slow love song for us to cool down and slow down our heart rate. The song was one of those sappy girly songs, so everyone cheered when it began to play. The song was about a guy telling his wife or girlfriend that he will always love her, and never give up on their relationship. We loved it!

After the class ended, I sang and hummed the song on the way to my car.  I liked it so I decided that I wanted to find out the name of the artist who sang the song so I could buy it.  Since there’s a line in the song that is kind of catchy, I figured the song and the artist would be easy to find. Unfortunately, I never got that far. As soon as I got to the car my mind reverted to the tasks on my to-do list and I immediately forgot the lyrics. My mind went blank.

Later in the day after I got a chance to relax, I remembered that I wanted to buy the song. However, no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t remember anything about the song. I turned off the television, I closed my eyes, and I searched my brain for the lyrics without success. Finally, I knew that I needed help, so I prayed and asked the Lord to help me remember, and boy did he! After going to bed for the night I was jolted awake at about 2:13 am. The only way I can describe what happened is to say that it felt like the Lord took the song and pushed it into my spirit. As soon as that happened, I started to sing. Immediately I recognized what the Lord had done so I jumped up in bed and grabbed a piece of paper and pencil from my nightstand and wrote the lyrics down. I was in awe over what had happened. But what was even more amazing was the experience of having the Lord push them into me. I felt the song dive into my spirit. It was an amazing feeling.

After writing down the lyrics I wondered what made this the right time and place for Him to speak to me. Is my brain too occupied at other times for him to get through? Maybe it was because I was listening to some scriptures to some soft music while sleeping. Did this open the door? Whatever it was I wanted to do it again! Several questions popped into my mind as I reviewed the experience before falling back to sleep. I’ve heard people say that once you experience the presence of the Lord you never forget it. I agree to that 100%! If there is a way that I could figure out how to live in that space all the time, believe me, I would. I pray the same for you.

4 One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple. Psalm 27:4

Blessings,

Sandra

 

 

You Don’t Have To Say It Twice

The weather has been beautiful for the past couple of months. When the weather is warm, and the sun is shining I must get outside, so I walk almost every day. I walk an average of 3 to 6 miles per day depending upon the whether. In addition to walking, I also go to an aerobics class. It’s not unusual for me to take a walk in the morning and then take another walk in the afternoon.

Well, today I decided to take a walk right after breakfast. After my morning walk, I showered and went to church. I got home from church about noon. The weather was beautiful, the sun was shining, and I thought I have to get out there and get in one more shorter walk. So, I grabbed some lunch and then got dressed for the park.

Before leaving the house I sat down for a minute to watch the end of a television show that was on while I was eating. When I was ready to leave, I turned off the television and then stood up to leave. I don’t think I walked more than 5 feet when I heard the Lord’s voice loud and clear. He said, “Don’t go and walk, it’s going to be too much for you today.“ I froze! It was almost like everything went silent. I stood still, but only for a second. Then I said out loud, “You don’t have to tell me twice.“ So instead of heading for the door, I went straight to the bedroom and changed clothes to spend the rest of the afternoon at home.

Now I have no idea what would’ve happened if I had ignored the voice and walked anyway. I can only assume it would’ve been bad. I was so thankful for the Lord’s warning and thankful that I was obedient. I pray the same for you.

4 Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow. 5 Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me.  All day long I put my hope in you. Psalm 25:4-5

Blessings,

Sandra

 

Just a Sip

Every day I learn more and more about my walk with the Lord and how to let him lead. It’s actually part of my morning prayer. This desire to allow the Lord to lead my every move comes from studying the lives and reading the autobiographies of awesome men and women of God who were able to surrender their lives to the Lord. Their surrender included giving every need and every circumstance over to Him. This inspired me to do the same. Initially, it was a little discouraging. That was because some days I would see his hand at work in such a bold manner it would take my breath away. And other days I would see just a light touch, one that was easily forgotten. It was the light touch I was tending to forget until I learned to smile with gratefulness that he took the time to show up in my life in the first place. Just like he did the other day.

A few days ago, the weather was beautiful so, I called a friend and asked her if she wanted to meet me at a local park for a walk. She was excited so we met, and we ended up walking for about 3 miles before calling it quits. After our walk, I asked my friend if she wanted to go and have a cup of coffee. Generally, when we hang out together, we go to the same coffee shop all the time.  It’s a popular local coffee spot, with nice music, the Internet, and a good place to socialize. This little shop had become our routine go-to spot.  I wanted to spend some more time with my friend, so I asked, “Do you want to go get some coffee?” I didn’t have to ask her if she wanted to go to our regular go-to spot, I just assumed that would be what we would do. She wanted to continue to hang out so she said, “Yes do you want to go to John’s Cafe?”  This was our go-to spot, so when she asked the question to my surprise, without even thinking, I said, “No why don’t we go to Sally’s Cafe. It’s on the way home and we can sit outside and enjoy the beautiful weather.”  The words flew out of my mouth before I had a chance to call them back. Where in the world did that suggestion come from, I thought? This was not our ordinary spot.  After suggesting that we go to Sally’s she said, “That’s great, I love Sally’s!“  Still a little puzzled we both jumped in our cars and drove to Sally’s.

She pulled into the parking lot first, and I was right behind her. My windows were down so as I pulled into a parking space next to hers, I heard a lot of voices. I was not able to see around her car to locate where the voices were coming from, so I continued to park and then get out of the car. She also got out of her car and I suddenly heard screams of joy and excitement. That was when I saw that two of her children were there having coffee. All of her children are grown and no longer living at home so seeing them at an unplanned place and time was such a blessing. They were all so excited to see each other. She looked at me knowing that this was not a coincidence. Had we gone to John’s Café she would have missed seeing them. She looked at her children shaking her head at how the Lord orchestrated four lives for that moment.  It was great to watch her interact with her children and to see a simple sip of coffee turn into a family reunion.

10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing. Psalm 143:10

Blessings,

Sandra

 

 

 

Pour Out His Spirit

Now that I’m retired, or shall I say semiretired because I still teach; I have more time to do one of my favorite things which are to volunteer. Over the years I’ve volunteered at food banks, I’ve helped people during natural disasters, I volunteered at the veteran’s hospital, and now I’m volunteering at my church. Our church is in a high foot traffic area, meaning people walk up and down the street past our church all day. I work at the church 3 to 4 hours a day. During that time if people wander in, to sit and read, drink coffee or pray, I assist.  Over the last couple of weeks, some things happened while I was in the church that recalled the following Scripture.

It will come about after this That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions. Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.Joel 2:28-29

About two weeks ago I was at church sitting in the lobby. No one had come in off the street, so I was looking at my iPhone. Then suddenly, I almost jumped out of my seat because I saw someone, or shall I say a shadow of someone come out of the room next to the lobby. I jumped and turned my head to the right, but immediately realized that what I saw was not an earthly person but someone in the spirit. I jumped out of surprise, not out of fear. I did not know what to do so I said a little prayer.

The following week I was sitting in the lobby alone and I almost jumped out of my seat again when I saw the shadow of someone walk across the room, next to the lobby.  Again, they were not an earthly person but a spiritual person. Again, I said a prayer.

Then again, a few days ago I was at church. On this day I brought in my cell phone to listen to some worship music while cleaning. I left the lobby to go to the restroom and when I arrived back in the lobby, I saw the shadow of someone standing near my cell phone which was sitting on the table playing worship music. This time I didn’t jump. The worship song that was playing was “How Great Thou Art.”

As this activity increases in your life, I pray for you to press in and ask God to go before you and open your eyes and pour out his spirit.

Blessings,

Sandra

Smart Lock

As a homeowner sooner or later you know you will be faced with home repairs. As would be expected after over 10 years in my home I started having some trouble with the deadbolt locks on my doors. They started sticking, and I needed to replace them. I went to my local home improvement store and I was looking at the deadbolt locks when one of the sales clerks walked over to me and asked if he could help. I told him what I was doing, and he asked me had I considered purchasing a smart lock.  To be honest my first thought was a sarcastic one. I said, oh my goodness, don’t tell me you make locks now that will send you text messages! He laughed and said, no but the smart lock would allow me to re-key my locks at my own convenience and within the comfort of my home. He said if I wanted to change my keys to my door, I could re-key the lock myself.

I thought that was interesting, but once he told me the price, that’s when the battle in my mind began. Each new deadbolt would cost me $50. If I were to purchase the smart locks, I would be making an investment of $100. All I could think about was the money. Do I really want to do this? What benefit is it to me? How often would I need to change keys? I went for almost 10 years without having to change the keys. Is it really that necessary to spend the money? My mind kept telling me to not to do it, but something in my spirit kept telling me to make the investment. I fought that battle for several minutes until I finally gave up and decided to spend the $100 and purchase the smart locks. I went home, installed the deadbolts, and re-keyed both locks. I always like to give a spare key to a family member, so I took one of my keys and put it in my car in the container in between the two front seats. The plan was that the next time I went to the hardware store I would get an extra key made. I was very busy and didn’t get a chance to get to the store, so the keys remained in my car.

Three days after purchasing the deadbolts, early one Saturday morning, I woke up because I heard someone banging on my front door. I went to the door and I saw a woman who lives in my subdivision standing on my front porch. I opened the door and she told me that my car had been broken into. Apparently, in the middle of the night, two teenagers went through the subdivision and broke into all the cars that were parked on the street or sitting in the driveway. That included my car. When they broke into my car they took a spare key to my house.

All I could think of at that time was the smart lock. I was overwhelmed with emotion that because I had purchased smart locks, within minutes of being told my car had been broken into, I had rekeyed the locks. That meant that the key that the burglars stole,  no longer worked. I went over in my mind the battle that I had in the store about spending the $100. Within three days of that purchase, those locks had earned me every penny I spent back, plus some!

Now I know why I struggled in the store about spending $100 on a smart lock.  I was in a battle between Satan and The Holy Spirit who knew my car was going to be burglarized.

Praise God for the leading of the Holy Spirit?

“12 The Spirit then compelled Jesus to go into the wilderness,” Mark 1:12

Blessings,

Sandra

 

 

Holy Ghost Power

I have a friend who often speaks about the Holy Spirit in terms of that still small voice she often hears. That nudge she gets to turn left or to go right. She spoke of how it makes her feel so peaceful to hear Him. Well, today I feel compelled to talk about another side of the Holy Spirit, and that is the side that is powerful!

I was attending a week-long camp meeting at church when our pastor had an altar call. I don’t remember the reason he asked people to come up, but I went up to the altar. Since it was a camp meeting and the church could seat up to 1,200 people, the altar had a long line of people ready for the pastor to lay hands on them. The line started from the left end of the altar and went almost the length of the church.

It took a while for me to get to the altar, and when I did, I was almost at the end of the line, in the opposite direction from which the pastor was to begin laying on hands. Knowing this, I just closed my eyes and waited as he laid hands on each person. When he completed almost half of the line, I heard a loud boom!

At that moment the pastor started going down the line in lightning fast speed, and along with the loud boom was a rush of wind that sounded like, and felt like, a supersonic train speeding right in front of the line. Generally, he would stop in front of each person and say a few words, but not this time. He said, “Be healed or be delivered” and tapped them on the top of their head and moved to the next.

As the pastor touched each person’s head, they did not softly, or lightly, fall to the ground. Instead, each person was knocked off their feet, and back three to five feet from the line. The pastor was going so fast that the catchers could hardly keep up with him.

Yes, the Holy Spirit does have a still small voice, but he also has the power to knock you off your feet!

 14 Then Jesus returned to Galilee, filled with the Holy Spirit’s power. Luke 4:14

Blessings,

Sandra

 

My Bad

Not too long ago I met a woman who asked me to pray for her. I am always ready to pray, so I jumped at the opportunity. I asked her what she wanted me to pray for and that’s when the floodgates opened. She began what turned out to be a very long complicated list of issues that needed the Lord’s attention. Her request was intermingled with an emotional narrative detailing each situation. It was not what you might call your typical one and done prayer. As she was speaking, I was thinking to myself that I needed to get a notepad out of my purse to write down her requests because I will never remember what she is saying. Though that’s what I wanted to do, I was too embarrassed to do it.

Finally, she finished her request and I said, “OK let’s lift this up to the Lord and pray for your right foot.” As soon as I said it, I thought to myself, what are you saying? I did not see that response coming. I felt so stupid. Pray for your right foot? Where did that come from? Too embarrassed to stop, like a true prayer warrior, I moved forward as if nothing happened. On the inside, I was dying, but I went ahead and prayed for her right foot anyway.

After I finished, she said, “Why did you pray for my right foot? I did not ask you to pray for my right foot.” I stood silent for a few seconds not sure what to say. Then she said, “ I have been having a problem with my right foot for some time, but I didn’t ask you to pray for it.” My first thought was to say, “My Bad! Let me start over.” But as soon as she said she was having a problem with her right foot, that’s when it hit me. That was confirmation! That’s when I realized it was the Holy Spirit. That would be the only way I would know what to pray. I smiled with confidence and said, “The Holy Spirit!” She was literally speechless. I could tell by her response that she now realized that Jesus is real.

8 Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him! Matthew 6:8

Blessings,

Sandra