So, todays calendar date says Dec. 27, 2016. We are rapidly closing out 2016 and it seems just like we blinked and here it is. What a year this has been. So, deeply, and profoundly remarkable what a year!!
God has done some really crazy and enlightening things for me personally in 2016 as well as challenged me and caused me to lay things aside and pick up a different weapon or no weapon at all.
I started 2016 with a chat with my senior pastor about praying for church leaders and how I have felt like this needs to happen constantly on an daily basis. If Jesus Himself needed prayer covering for the mission He had why do we think our pastors need anything less? SO, this was how 2016 began. How it ends is quite the opposite but just as mind blowing and amazing.
This year, God worked so many things out in my life for me. God, has also used me as a vessel to speak to others through. Plus, He has taken my hurts and He has healed some, and worked me through some others.
As you know in Feb I had surgery #2 on my neck and it was successful. I was in rehab for 30 days but had some interesting things happen there which God saved my life once again.
In July, I went with my best friend to San Diego and saw God move mightily there and I also saw how sometimes man steps in to attempt to either keep God out or keep God in and neither one can be done by man. That was a learning experience for me. When God moves either corporately or individually there is nothing phony about it but when man gets his hands into it and tries to manufacture it you can tell if you are paying attention that it is man made and manufactured, and yet God redeems and shows up and makes it real beyond our wildest dreams.
August came and there were some changes to medications and many challenges along the way. I found myself sleeping most of August, September, October, and a little of November. Migraines almost daily were the case. I was trying to give up too much I think and too fast. So, I believe that I sidelined myself. But God was still working in spite of all of this. He would give me scripture downloads so fast that it was like right there in the center pocket of the heart of God.
“So, keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic, and real, and honorable, and admirable, beautiful, and respectful, pure, and Holy, merciful and kind. Fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God praising Him always. Follow the example of all that we have imparted to you and the God of peace will be with you in all things.” Philippians 4:8-9 Passion Translation
So this is what I have been trying to do. I even think of Paul and Silas in prison and the angels shaking the jail freely open and yet they stayed and why did they stay? So they could be about the Fathers business. Each of us is called to be about the Fathers business daily. No matter what or where we are we can be a light in the dark world around us.
December found me starting out with ladies whom I love dearly on a weekend retreat the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I was excited to be able to get ready for 2017. I managed to have a good week there the 1st week into the 2nd week when I had what I really thought was complete breakthrough only to find out I was really on my way out. SO, Dec. 11, Sunday I was suppose to go to church. Last thing that I remember is telling my mom I have a headache and am in no condition to go to church. Have fun without me. The next thing I remember it is Wed. morning and I am in the hospital getting 24/7 antibiotics and every test done that can possibly be done.
As it was told to me. According to my mom and my best friend, I was shivering, I was blue in my hands, feet, and lips. I was freezing inside out. It was 98 degrees in the house and yet I was freezing. Because the Lord spoke my friend came by the house. I am so thankful to my best friend for coming that day. I knew she had to have been exhausted as she had her 2 grandkids that weekend. But yet, my mom texted her to say please pray as Sandy is down. When she got there as I said I was blue and shivering and barely breathing. My kidneys had begun to shut down and I was also sepsis and was also dealing with a skin bacteria now invading my blood. I had all kinds of scans done from CT of my head and brain, to my blood being nuclearized to find the bacteria. I had an EGD and on Wed I was alert enough that when a kidney doctor walked into my room I asked why are you here and his response was quite chilling but it was also confirming that God is not ready for me yet and whatever I am to do in the next while the enemy is very anxious to not have it happen. So, I have pondered my death and the fact that God said no this one will live. She is to work yet and so as I have recuperated in the hospital and now in this nursing rehab God has been working on me for a while. See, I did not get sepsis overnight. So, while how long I was sick is not fully known or the issue what remains is that I am still open to God. These have not been the easiest of weeks. I mean come on it is Christmas and no one wants to be hospitalized at Christmas. But I have been able to show Jesus both here at the nursing home and also at the hospital. Someone was invited to come join us for worship just because she felt that she was in church when she came into my room. To another one hearing how God saved my life for His glory and His love.
I have also learned about me some as well. I have learned that sometimes the words of my own mouth cause my own issues. God has shown up in a great deal of ways throughout the year and even now. God is to be praised above anything else. His love for each of us runs deeply and forever. We can be connected or not but in the end His love is deeply the motivator. I have begun to grow and to trust that God is the one who will take my life and make it for is glory. I can not do anything without Him as the main dance partner. I have tried the other ways but His ways are always the highest of all.
So, with excitement and joy I look forward to stepping into 2017 and I am ready for the show to begin and the ride to leave the platform. I am ready to serve Father, Son, Holy Spirit in any way possible. I am excited about the future and what it looks like both for me personally, and also what it looks like for me who supports other ministries and how God is going to use me.
I am learning some thing new about me every day and that is what God is wanting me to know right now. Everyday, He reveals either a character defect or flaw or a blessing and bright spot. Each day I am to be a light in a dark place. And each day I try to be a light in a dark place around me.
Well, hats off to 2016 and welcome 2017
Please forgive my neglect in writing. I did not realize that it had been since December since I last wrote and so many things have happened to me to keep track of.
God is such an awesome God and Father to us His children. His love for us is so deep and so wide and it is constant. It does not go away it only goes deeper.
I am learning so much. God has also asked me to give up some things. His love and concern and His passion and wanting me to learn that as a called and chosen person that the enemy fears and wants nothing more to destroy and he will do it anyway he can. He is teaching me that it is very important for me to be a woman of highest integrity. While I have struggled with the full weight of what He has asked me to give up, God has shown me that He has protected me and that I need to trust Him and His voice and His leading for my life. He asked me to give up these things so that I can honor Him and spend time with Him. It was a struggle but when I did finally laid down the tempter made them come back to life. When they came back to life I realized very easily why God wanted me to give it up. I do love spending more time with my Father, learning and being trained in His ways. So I know now that 100% they are laid down not to get back up again.
His discipline is for my transformation. His training me isn’t just for my life here on earth but it is also for my life in heaven with Him and walking in purity and wholeness and holiness so that when I bow before the King I am completely and 100% fully transformed and as the lifter of my head I gave God permission to do what He saw fit. So when He disciplines me it is for my own good. It is not punishment (as I once thought of it that way) but His discipline is in fact based purely on love. Jesus says If your children came to you for bread would you give them a rock? So much more the love God has for you His children. He wants me to be ready for the things here on earth but also the things there in the age to come.
So now I am able to read His word for me, hear Him whisper a name to pray for them, or hear Him whisper a name to call them and encourage or email and encourage. It is for Kingdom glory that I am able to say not my will but take this Father and show me what You desire.
He will say “well done my daughter” and to each of us who are sons and daughters of the Father He loves us His children and so He will discipline us and cause us to be transformed.
I know that it has been a long time since I have actually sat down to write here for my blog page.
Life has a funny way of catching up with you. Either good or bad life still catches up with you. Back in September when I last wrote things had been really going. I had success on my 1st surgery and am waiting for the 2nd. I had successfully graduated from the School of Ministry and life was good with the exception of a few hard bumps along the way. But I got over the bumps was not derailed to badly or to long by them.
But in the midst of all of that God has decided to not so gently flip my world upside down. He wants to talk about Beauty and being beautiful and stuff that I have no clue about. So what do I do? Well, the 1st thing I did was panic. (a good sure sign that God isn’t going to relent until He has His way. (why is it He always wins???). A dear friend asks me this question one day out of the blue “Sandy, have you ever given thought to what God wants to do with your hair. He created you, He created you with curls and beautiful hair perhaps you might ask Him what He wants to do with your hair.” Now, let me say whenever someone says to me “have you asked God what He wants” about any aspect of my life (Other than the parts He already out right gets) my response is going to be “NO, of course not. The grand Creator of the universe has more important things to worry about than my hair” (well seriously doesn’t He?). My friend’s next suggestion was a typical suggestion “why not pray on it” she suggested I was like “Really? NO, I don’t need to pray on it because I know how I like my hair I like it easy, no mess, no fuss, wash and out the door , besides its 110 (at the time it still was) and I don’t want that dripping down my face or neck. But to silence her I said “OK I will pray but I am telling you that God doesn’t care 1 bit about my hair.”
So I prayed and I prayed and I prayed some more… My devotions for a week were on Psalms 139 and then with intermittent verses on Beauty. Now I am saying go figure. SO I prayed.. I submit to Him and say “Ok God I will try this but please can we just say try”and He wins.. It has been since before my surgery since I have had a haircut. and so the friend that suggested this and I go to a mutual friend who does hair and I got my hair styled. So now every day that I go anywhere I stand in front of the mirror for 20-25 min and I put stuff in my hair (and more hair in the sink) and yet I have people week after week coming up to me and saying things like “wow you really look great” or “I really like your hair” Please do not think for a single moment that these are easy for me to hear because they are not. Although I can say I don’t cringe inside or on the outside anymore with the comments…
I am learning about beauty (I still have visions and nightmares of skirts and dresses and things that I never want to wear or shoes that pinch my feet and will cause me to fall) but I am beginning to like my hair. I know that God is ok with it after all He created it along with me and He sings over me and calms my fears Zephaniah 3: 17
For the Lord your God is living among us He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
His thoughts about me out measure the sand on the shores of the beaches (thats a lot of thoughts) and they are good thoughts about me… Psalms 139:17-18
17 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! 18 I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
That is a lot of attention from the Creator of the Universe who I thought has to many more important things to worry about than me or my hair. So, let me challenge you today.. Is there a part of you that you don’t like? Or do you think that God is to busy to be bothered by you? Go to Him today my friend. Let Him tell you and show you how much He thinks about you and how much He loves you. He will.
As I move on into 2016 in less than 3 weeks I will be spending a lot of time on beauty from a Christian and God perspective. One that I don’t have right now other than the littlest bud that is blooming right now all because someone dared asked me a question about “have you ever asked God what He thinks of your hair”
And here is a picture of the new do!!
Thank you my friend for asking. I look forward to walking through this with you beside me along with God teaching me…
Because this is way important. Susan opens up Jesus words for us to understand we can not play party politics and keep saying we believe in Christ. We have to begin to look at folks through the lens of Christ and not party poltic.
or – Our Three Denials
Often, we Christians draw a line in sand around political issues we mistake for biblical issues. Abortion, homosexuality, gun control, Muslims, Israel. Certainly we can find isolated Bible verses that support our position; we quote them often enough. I admit I have.
But I’m here to tell you I’m a red-letter kind of gal. And when I want Truth, I go back to those red letters in my Bible time and time again. And as I reread them and ask the Spirit for clarity to understand them, I continue to see, over and over, the three lines in the sand Jesus drew.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you…
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So, many of you know that on July 8th I underwent my 1st neck surgery (have 2 more to go) but am sure that God will continue to transform me into the person He desires. I can tell you that the procedure at least at this point was successful. I have some new discs in my neck and they have been fused as well. While the surgery was successful so was the beginning of my transformation. As I noted in a “God are you there” the Lord made it very clear that my attitude needed to change. I prayed and I prayed and I prayed (and lets be honest I also fought a great deal and it is interesting that God showed me clearly that I would not go into the hospital the same when I leave.) God is the author and finisher of my life and my transformations..
There were many issues and many trials and I have to confess it was not easy but it was easier than I thought. I actually can say that God’s promises are true. Philippians 1:6 tells us that “He who has begun a good work in you will see it to completion” I love that He was very clear to me with regards to what would take place.
So, I was the most pleasant person waking up from surgery.. (I ended up on a bi-pap machine because my lungs were slow to come up after surgery and I went into a bit of respiratory distress)… But when they woke me up I was not harsh or angry or argumentative as I have been known to be… I think my 1st question was what happened? and why this? But I can truly say this I was even amazed….And that was just day 1.
I was to experience many changes that can only be attributed to God and His promise that I would be changed. Because i can tell you the entire time I was in the hospital and then the rehab center that I went to for an additional 3 weeks was such that it could not be me. I actually had 2 friends call other people and tell them that “Sandy is letting them walk all over her, they changed her PT and OT times yet again and Sandy isn’t even the slightest bit upset and she needs to be. She needs to stand up for herself. Will you please talk to her about these things.” Can you imagine my friends thoughts on this? TO be honest I can tell you that these acts would of normally sent me over the edge.
Even in the hospital when I was moved to a different floor and it became obvious almost instantly that there was a shift in the atmosphere and neither the nurse or the aide on duty seemed to really care about anything and every time they entered my room there was an instant shift that it was like being on an icy barge or something and when I had to wait like 45 min for someone to help me out of bed to go to the bathroom or getting a blanket or pain meds, I did pray for these two ladies. Once the next shift started I found out that the 2 ladies (one from Germany and the other from Russia and neither spoke English well) but they were feuding with each other and thereby not being available for their patients. Well I can tell you this… in the past I would of actually either gotten out of the bed on my own (despite being hooked up to all kinds of gadgets.) and I would of ranted and banged and all kinds of things til I got the help I needed. What took place instead was simply I waited and I prayed. I prayed for the 2 ladies and I prayed asking Father to bless them. God answered my prayers.
I need to say that these changes have not gone completely flawless because just days before the surgery my mom and I had a huge blow up and I overheard her friend say “well lets see how her friends deal with her true colors… she can’t keep snowing everyone” thankfully I took that fight to the Lord and told Him that I wanted to be different and I wanted to be the Godly woman He was desiring me to become and I want it to be shown so that I can’t fake it or manufacture the change on my own. No matter what others think I want to be the woman God desires me to be and with His help I accomplished so much more. My family may still think I am snowing everyone but I do not care because I know that He who began a good work in me will see it to completion. He has changed me and it is not a lie. I am not the same person I was but it isn’t up to me to prove that point either. My fruits are the proof and if the fruit is there God is my defender. Because He is my defender and He is my transformer.
My prayer is that they will truly trust that God is at work in me and that I know that God loves me beyond all measure and that He has completely transformed me (not to what they think God should transform me to but in fact what God wants me to be transformed to be.) None of this can be done on my own accord and I pray that my family will begin to understand that. But if they don’t that is not my issue either because Jesus’s own family thought He was nuts and wanted Him put away. It is not up to me to make them understand what God is doing in my life and they don’t need to know better because God has not revealed His plan for my life to them. While I would like it if they would I can not force them nor will I. I only know that God is my defender.
I still have at least 1 other surgery and so I will look forward to where He takes me this time… To end this when I was due to be discharged from the rehab facility the PT and OT staff, the nursing staff and even the housekeeping staff begged me to stay (and even begged their supervisors and 2 doctors to find a way for me to stay a few more weeks.)
Way to good and important not to reblog.
I pray that this shows all of someday we will all come before the great white throne. What will your answer be????
Before the Great White Throne
prostrate I now fall,
for all my life I screamed
There is No God at All!
Oh the fool I did play
claiming where is this Christ
day by day!
A carless man I have been
in fornication and with wealth
I did boldly sin!
A reckless soul of greed
never giving always taking
never doing any good deed.
Prideful, lustful, envious, anger
are my accusers
no time for a babe in a manger!
No time for the Man of Sorrows,
Truth I could not hear
cruel, unmerciful, stoney heart,
cold to the marrow!
with perfect Justice,
no mercy I shall receive,
no grace how can this be!
Before the Great White Throne
prostrate I crawl
lamenting, sniffing, whimpering,
YOU ARE THE KING OF KINGS!
YOU ARE THE LORD OF LORDS!
Thundering from the Great White Throne
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