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

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

 

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

 

 

Who’s in Charge?

Do you ever have one of those days when everything seems to go wrong? When there’s something off about the day in general. That’s what happened to me recently.

It started as what seemed like a normal morning. I was going for my morning walk, so I gathered my gear, set the house alarm and went to the car. As soon as I got to the car, I realized that I had forgotten my water bottle. I do not like to exercise without water, so I got out of the car and went back into the house. I repeated the process.  I got the water bottle, set the house alarm, got in the car and drove off. I drove about two blocks when I realized I had forgotten my purse. “Oh, my goodness!” I thought, “I am driving without a driver’s license.”  So here we go again, and I repeated the process. I turned around and went back to the house and got my purse. I set the alarm and got in the car and drove off.

I arrived at a coffee shop and ordered some coffee. I then went to the counter to prepare my coffee. I poured cream into my paper cup, but after I poured it in, I tipped it over on the counter. I wiped up my mess and repeated the process. I poured cream into my cup and then put it into the microwave to warm up the ice-cold milk. Ugh! I tipped it over again! So, I repeated the process. I cleaned up the mess, got more cream, put the cup in the microwave, took it out of the microwave and filled the cup up with coffee. This is not a joke, I did it again! As I lifted the coffee cup it almost felt like a strong wind pushed the coffee cup out of my hand. I knew this could not be the case because I was inside a building. When this happened, I dropped the cup and spilled coffee all over the counter and the floor.

This was the last straw. I knew this was not normal. All the events of the morning replayed in my mind. One event after another. Why? I am not that clumsy. I took a deep breath and walked to my table. As I sat down, I slammed my fist on the table and I said, “Who’s in charge here Satan? I am a child of Christ, and this stops right now!”

Who’s in charge of your life?

4 Little children (believers, dear ones), you are of God and you belong to Him and have [already] overcome them [the agents of the antichrist]; because He who is in you is greater than he (Satan) who is in the world [of sinful mankind]. 1 John 4:4

Blessings,

Sandra

The Squatter!

A few weeks ago I had a vision. In this vision, I saw myself walking into my office. When I walked up to my door, I noticed that the light in my office was already on. As I made my way in I wondered why it was on. My office light works using a motion sensor. Usually, when I walk in I put my key in the door, I step in, and once I am in the light will come on. This was not the case in my vision. I could see through my small window from the hallway the light was already on.

I unlocked the door and headed to my chair and the cabinet behind it to put my purse in the drawer. When I stepped behind my chair, I noticed that on the floor behind my chair was a bright blue zip-up jacket. I bent down to pick it up, and as I did this, I thought, hmmm, I guess the cleaning person the night before must have dropped their jacket before they left. I reached down to pick it up, and as I lifted my head I glanced at the top of my desk, and I noticed that it was cluttered with food, a cell phone, and some papers. I was shocked by what I saw. At the end of each day when I leave, my office is perfect. Each day before I leave I clear my desk of all papers, and folders and place them in a drawer and lock it. Now my desk was full of food, someone’s cell phone, and other things piled up on it. It looked like someone had been sitting at my desk eating after I left. It looked like whoever it was had made themselves at home. It also looked like they had done this before.

As I glanced at my desk, I then glanced up at the wall opposite my desk at the clock. It was 5:45 am. I gasped! I don’t come into work until 8 o’clock. I would never come to the office at this time. I thought how I could get up, get dressed, and drive to work, and not notice that I was two hours early. That is when I noticed that there was a woman standing in the corner of my office.

She was standing still like she did not want to be noticed, but at the same time, she had a look on her face that said she belonged there. As I looked at her I saw that she was not an attractive woman, she looked old and worn out. She stood like this was her space; this was where she lived. I thought to myself if I had not come into work early I would not have caught this woman. She just stood there with a matter-of-fact look on her face and a presence like she had no intentions of leaving, and she stood without fear.

As I looked at her, I realized I had to change some things about how I was approaching my spiritual battles. I learned if I already have a squatter in my house praying for protection is not going to be much help. I have to kick them out first!

8-11 Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, he does. 1 Peter 5:8-11 MSG

Blessings,

Sandra

Unrest

Each week I measure out my morning vitamins and medicines into a day-by-day container. Last night before going to bed I measured my medicine into the container for the week. After I was finished, I went to bed. After falling asleep, I woke up a few hours later feeling something was wrong with my medicine. All night long I kept tossing and turning feeling uncomfortable about my medicine or what I measured out for the week.

After waking up the third time, I could not go back to sleep. So, I got up to check my medicine. Immediately I found a problem. I found that my day-by-day container had two of the same medicines for each day. I had just renewed my prescription, and the new pills came from a new vendor, so they didn’t look the same as my current prescription. As a result, mistakenly I counted out two of the same medicines for each day. Since they looked different, I counted them each as individual medicine and not as the same. Once the Lord showed me what I did, I was so thankful! I corrected the problem and took a sigh of relief. I thought to myself this could have been dangerous!

Praise God for my unrestful night.

27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27

Blessings,

Sandra

You’re in the Army Part 2

After the shock of learning that I was to build the Lord’s army, I had to laugh because I joined the military soon after high school. As a member of the military, there’s a couple of things I learned. First, my life was not my own. I was owned by the military. I must go where they tell me to go, when they tell me to go, and how they tell me to go. Second, I had to live with the fact that at any time I may be placed in harm’s way.

The similarity of my real-life military experience and my new position struck me hard. As a child of the living God, I have surrendered my life to the Lord. I have voluntarily decided to go where he tells me to go, do what he tells me to do, and how he tells me to do it. I also know as a Christian there will be times when I am placed in harm’s way, and I always have to be prepared for battle.

The excitement of being handpicked to do this job quickly waned as I contemplated the ramifications of hiring the wrong person, and hiring someone I wanted and not Him. All it takes is one evil person to walk into a room and turn it upside down. I immediately knew I had to relinquish all hiring decisions to him. Clear on my role and the need to be led by the Lord, I was promoted and started work.

After working about 3 to 4 weeks in heavenly bliss, the attacks started. I was in a war! Just as I was placed in this position by the Lord to do the job, there was an enemy out there that didn’t want me to do the job. Just as the Lord had people handpicked that he wanted to fight in his army, the enemy had handpicked people to stop them. It’s been a roller coaster of ups and downs. The attacks were not just on-the-job, they moved into my personal life including my health, my relationships, and my finances. As soon as I was able to stand in faith on God’s word for his promises in one area of my life, the attacks would show up in another.

Just like in a real-life war you cannot let your guard down. As soon as you fall asleep, the enemy creeps up on you. But praise God, as you win each battle you become stronger. Also, you learn that if you listen to your leader, they will guide you to victory.

“I have appointed you for the very purpose of displaying my power in you and to spread my fame throughout the earth.” Romans 9:17

Blessings,

Sandra

Train Ride

My sister passed away six years ago. When she passed away, she was in a nursing home. She was a quadriplegic, and so before going into the nursing home, she was cared for by various family members, including living with me in my home. She was physically disabled but not mentally disabled. To not burden family members any longer she made the decision to go into a nursing home. She was terrified because she had heard so many terrible things about life in a nursing home. But since she needed 24-hour care she decided that this would be best.

From the moment she arrived she received poor care. I was at the nursing home every day. After a couple of weeks of not getting adequate care, she made the decision that she wanted to escalate her problems up to the director. I supported the decision, and that’s what we did. The director got involved and came back with a plan of action. We didn’t realize at the time that this was a mistake. From the moment she voiced her complaint her care became worse. After she complained she would ring her bell for assistance but no one would answer. One day after ringing the bell numerous times and waiting several hours for help, a technician walked into her room and slammed her hand on the wall turning her light off. She then walked out of the room slamming the door behind her. Once the door was closed, she yelled, “Put this in your pipe and smoke it!”

When my sister told me this, I was livid! I was fighting mad and ready to duke it out with the technician and the director! However, my sister was totally against it. Her response to me was, “Let’s pray about it.” I took a breath and joined my sister in prayer. We prayed for the staff and the treatment of all of the patients in the nursing home. We continued to pray this prayer both together and individually.

One day when visiting my sister, she told me that the woman who had slammed the door and told her, “Put this in your pipe and smoke it,” was on her way home from work when she stopped at a railroad track to let a train go by. A car behind her was speeding and rammed into her car, and her car rammed into the train. The car was dragged several feet. Thank God, no one was hurt. After the accident the woman never returned to work.

We both looked at each other realizing that this was an answered prayer. We counted and realized that everyone who provided poor treatment was gone. They either quit, got fired or were sent to another shift. I looked at my sister, and I said, “Well, I guess when you’re not being nice to God’s people you might end up taking an unwanted train ride.”

Blessings,

Sandra

Rocky Road!

A while back I was driving down the highway headed home from work. As I drove, I found myself behind a dump truck that was full of gravel. You could see the gravel piled high above the back end of the truck walls. As I drove, I heard in my spirit to move over to the next lane. This move would place me along the side of the truck instead of behind it. I knew immediately it was the Holy Spirit, so I did not hesitate and changed lanes quickly.

Just as I was moving from one lane to the next, the door on the back end of the truck popped open, and all of the gravel started spilling out onto the highway as the truck continued to go down the road. I got over just in time. If I had stayed where I was, I most certainly would have been hit head-on with thousands of pounds of tumbling gravel.

As I zipped past the truck, all I could say was thank you, Jesus!

3 But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one. 2 Thessalonians 3:3

Blessings,

Sandra

Assurance!

A few years ago in the middle of the summer I woke up one day and my air conditioner was not working. I was freaked out, to say the least. Not only because my air conditioning was out during one of the hottest times of the year, but the potential expense to get it fixed. To add to my anxiety was the fact that the next day I was expected to leave for a week-long vacation. The trip had been planned for a long time, and it was too late to cancel. There wasn’t enough time for me to get the air conditioning fixed on that day so I had to take the trip knowing that I would return to an extremely hot home with a broken air-conditioner. Immediately I started to pray.

As I made the long drive to my vacation destination, I prayed for a simple, low-cost solution to fixing the air conditioner. Once I arrived, I found myself worrying about the situation. Then all of a sudden the scripture came to mind about casting all of my cares on to the Lord. I decided I needed to do just that or I was not going to have a good peaceful time while on vacation. I would put my trust in the Lord and enjoy my vacation.

After it was over I jumped in the car to return home. Worry free and at peace, I drove home. Then suddenly as I drove down the highway, a stone hit my windshield and put a small chip in it. The chip though small, looked to be large enough and deep enough that over time it would crack and I would have to replace my windshield. Undeterred by this event I prayed that the windshield did not end up cracking and I cast my cares on this issue up to the Lord as well.

Though this was another serious blow, I stood on my faith in the Lord. Both of these events, the broken air-conditioner and the chip in the windshield were unknowns. Unknowns can often be worrisome. I didn’t know what was wrong with the air conditioning and what it would take to fix it and I didn’t know if the windshield was going to end up having to be replaced. But what I did know was that the Lord was my helper, my provider, and my protector!

Once I arrived home, I said another prayer and called the manufacturer of my air conditioner. To my surprise, I found out that it was still under warranty and it would not cost me anything to have it fixed. I had the air conditioner for almost ten years, so I thought surely it was out of warranty. I was wrong. Praise God!

I called to tell my parents the good news. When I told my father about the chip in the windshield, he told me that there was a product that you could purchase at an automobile supply store which would prevent the chip from causing a crack. I thought hallelujah! I jumped in the car and drove down the street to my local auto supply store. I got out of the car and headed for the door. Then I stopped to go back to make sure I had a good idea of about how large the chip was. To my surprise, I couldn’t find it. Somehow it had disappeared. I was so excited. I said praise the Lord! I got in the car and I drove home.

I do not recall anywhere in the Bible where Jesus worried about his prayers not being answered. He always had the assurance of knowing that prayer is always answered. Thank you, Lord!

Blessings,

Sandra