Just To Say Thank You!

This blog is dedicated to everyone who has traveled with me on my Journey to Faith.  I want to say thank you for giving to the Lord.  Because of you my life was changed. My mama use to say that little things mean a lot – a smile, a touch, a kind word.  It was the  “little” things that could make a “big” difference in someone’s life.  She also said, “the greatest gift you can give someone is your time.”  It is the time you give to someone that  can turn their world around.  That is exactly what happened to me along my journey of faith.  Someone took the time to care.  It was a long journey, but one I would not trade for the world. It seems the Lord had that journey marked out ahead of time and planted special people along the way to show me the way to Him.

The first person I met on my journey was Jamie Stata, a young marine’s wife who was stationed with us in Oceanside, CA. She invited me to a retreat at the Campus Crusade Headquarters in Lake Arrowhead, CA.  I accepted that invite under false pretenses, knowing that the venue was formerly the first Hilton Hotel.  I did not want to really go to learn about Christ, I went because I wanted to see where Elizabeth Taylor spent her honeymoon with Conrad Hilton, Jr.  It was also the place where Esther Williams made her swimming movies.  (Okay, so now you know how old I am).  I was surrounded by Christian women who were so excited about the Lord, but for the life of me, I did not know what all the excitement was about.  They asked me to read a verse from the book of Titus.  I told them, with all my wisdom, that my Bible did not have that book.  It never dawned on me that the Bible might have a table of contents. Well, from that point on, they knew I was clueless and the pursuit began.  I did everything I could to get away from those ladies, but they were on a mission. They even tried to scare me by telling me the Lord was coming back someday.  I must admit that was the first time I heard that.  I thought they had been reading too many science fiction books. Time seemed to pass ever so slowly.  Finally on the last day they gave their testimonies.  I wanted them to hurry up because I was ready to go home!  I had been there 3 days and still hadn’t found the book of Titus. As I was sitting there sulking, listening to the last testimony, her words caught my attention.  The young lady was saying that you had to have faith in God in order to know Him as your Savior.  I had never heard that before. I thought all you had to do was go to church.   She was telling me I had to do something more. Then she said I had to believe in my heart that He died for me. I thought, “no He didn’t.  He died for everyone else, but not for me.”  Then I felt the tears rolling down my cheeks.  Now all of a sudden, I was not in a hurry to leave.  At that moment I realized I was a sinner and I needed a Savior.   I was not prepared for what happened next. Guess who showed up?  For the first time in my life I felt the Spirit of the Lord.  He kept drawing me closer and closer.  Tears entered my eyes and I asked Him to enter my heart. He did!  My fate was sealed!  Now all I had to do was get to know the One that died for me! Thank you Jamie from the bottom of my heart.  I am so glad you cared enough to give me your time.

And then there is Kay Arthur, my teacher, mentor and friend who showed me how to get in the Word so I could meet my God face to face.  I will never forget the first time I heard her voice.  I was a babe in Christ and did not even know the name of the four Gospels.  I was attending a Precept Upon Precept Course on the Book of James. (It was at this time that I realized God had a sense of humor.  It  was the only Bible study being taught where I lived.  He really threw me in the deep end.)   She looked right at me from the video we were watching in class and said, “Count it all joy when trials come into your life.”   I remember thinking, “lady, you have got to be kidding me.”  I thought I had done all I needed to do by asking Jesus into my heart and here she is telling me I have to accept everything that comes in my life with joy. When I saw the sincerity in her eyes, I realized she actually meant it. I sat there as her words pierced my heart.  Accepting Christ was going to be a lot harder than I thought.  Could I do it? I reluctantly bought her book not realizing the amount of homework.  Once again I argued with her in my mind, “Kay, I am a wife and mother of two daughters.  I have places to go, things to do and people to meet and  you want me doing these lessons that are going to take me 5 hours a week?  My time is valuable”.  (It is a wonder God did not fry me like bacon when I spoke those words.)  I persevered because I was determined to learn about about my God.  I actually started looking forward to hearing Kay every week.  Not only did she make me laugh, she made me cry.  More importantly, she made me want her God.  I wanted the kind of God she had! You see, Kay knew her God was sovereign over her life and I knew Him just as a man in a book.  It took the whole universe to contain her God; my God could fit in a thimble.  Never judge a book by its cover.  There is more to it than the word “BIBLE” on the cover.  It is what is in the inside that will change your life.  Over the years that is exactly what Kay challenged me to do. She handed me the shovel and told me to start digging for the gold nuggets.  It is the golden nuggets of His Word that have sustained me over the years. Kay also is a woman of God who says what she means and means what she says.  It was the determination in her voice that impressed me.  This lady was real!  She told everything about her past that most people would hide!  She used her brokenness to show me a Savior that loved her when she was in the pits.  She reached up; He reached down. As their hands met He pulled her up, brushed her sins off and told her to go tell others what He had done for her.  Well, she did and because of that it now takes the whole universe to contain my God.  I threw the thimble away!  Praise the Lord, Amen, Hallelujah! She and Jack have been such an inspiration to me.  God changed me and nurtured me through Precept Ministries.  Hank saw the change in me and wanted what I had.  So now we serve the Lord together.  What a blessing – what a God! Thank you Kay and Jack from the bottom of my heart!  I am so glad you cared enough to give me your time. I would also like to say thank you to  everyone at Precept Ministries (you know who you are) who have supported me, prayed for me and loved me through the years on my Journey of Faith. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I am so glad you cared enough to give me your time.

The next stop on my Journey of Faith was New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. By this time the Lord had put it on my heart to help other women.  I was meeting so many women who were hurting, not only out in the world, but also in the church.  Before I knew it, I was getting a degree in Women’s Ministry.  The Lord placed two very special women in my life: Rhonda Kelley, Adjunct Professor of Women’s Ministry of NOBTS, and Chris Adams, Senior Lead Women’s Ministry Specialist of Lifeway Christian Resources.  They taught me how to show compassion, how to reach out and heal the broken hearts of women by showing them the way to Christ.  They opened the doors for me to enter into the ministry God was calling me into. Thank you Rhonda and Chris from the bottom of my heart.  I am so glad you cared enough to give me your time.

Another person who I met on my Journey of Faith was Brother Bob Heutess.  He is the pastor of Grace Memorial Baptist in Slidell, Louisiana.  For 15 years he was my shepherd.  He led me, fed me, and was always there for me.  He was never too busy to care.   Through the good times and the bad, all I had to do was pick up the phone and he was there.  He gave me a smile, a touch on the shoulder and kind words.  He gave me hope through every circumstance.  He gave me his time when the rest of the world was too busy.  I did not realize what I had until I left.  It makes my heart hurt that I took him for granted like I did.  So Brother Bob, I want to tell you I am so sorry for not realizing the blessings you brought to my life.  May God bless you for your faithfulness to me and your church!  May they know what they have in you and your precious wife Janie! Thank you Brother Bob from the bottom of my heart.  I am so glad you cared enough to give me your time!

Last, but not least, I want to thank all my faithful friends and all the faithful ladies who studied the Word of God with me on my Journey of Faith. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for caring enough to give me your time.

The song below is dedicated to each and everyone of you! I will see you all in heaven one day and what a day of rejoicing that will be!  May God bless each and every one of you!

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Broken Pieces

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the
king’s man could not put Humpty
together again.

Poor Humpty, no one could fix him. I thought that was a sad nursery rhyme. I never really understood it until I was older and something I valued broke. I would cry and ask my mom to fix it. Sometimes, she could, but sometimes it was in too many pieces, so she threw it away.

For many years I had a favorite teacup I used every morning. I would put the teacup in one hand and the Bible in the other. We were a trio on a mission. It just felt so right!. That teacup caught many a tear as I read God’s Word as He was cleansing my soul. Then one day, I missed the table and it went crashing to the floor. I frantically tried to catch it, but it shattered into pieces at my feet. I felt like I lost a faithful friend. (It took me forever to break in a new one.)

I have lived long enough to know that some things can be fixed by human hands, but there are some things that can only be fixed by the hands of the Lord.

What are you going to do when your world comes crashing down and shatters at your feet? You stand there in bewilderment as you look down and wonder how on earth did this happen? You feel your heart beating frantically as you realize that your heart is breaking and you cannot pick up all the pieces. There is no getting away from it. The pain is there and it will follow you everywhere you go.

It is on days like this, I hope you know there is a God because He is the only one that can fix your broken heart. He is the Potter, you are the clay. (Isaiah 64:8)

You need to pick up the pieces of your broken heart and run to the Cross of Calvary as fast as you can. As the tears run down you face, lean over and lay the broken pieces at the foot of the Cross. Ask Him to put it together again. Ask Him to make you the person you need to be. Ask Him to make you whole again. He is there waiting to take the clay and reshape your life. He did it once, He can do it again and He will never throw the clay away.

The only problem is it takes time to knead and shape the clay into the image He wants. Then it has to set or it would crack. He uses the hands of time so your wounds can heal.

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Let the Glory Roll

Instead of taking a stroll down memory lane, let’s take a glimpse into our future. I have often heard that earth is not our real home; we are just passing through.  So where are we headed?  When the roll of glory is called up yonder where will we end up?  Well, we only have two destinations to choose from – the high road that leads to Glory or the low road  that leads to hell.

Without a shadow of a doubt, I have chosen the high road.  I am headed for the pearly gates and to see my Savior face to face. All my loved ones who have gone before me will be there to welcome me.  What a day of rejoicing that will be!

I never heard much about heaven when I was growing up. The only time I remember hearing about it was when I sang the little song “O You Can’t Get to Heaven.”  I remember the stanza, “you can’t get to heaven on roller skates because you will roll by those pearly gates.”  Now that is not something I want to do because that is my long-awaited destination.

I wish every one I knew would follow the high road with me, but I know that is not the case.  Satan is doing his best to keep as many as he can off the high road to heaven.  Nothing makes him happier.   Warning: Please do not let the father of lies (satan) tell you that you have all the time in the world.  One never knows when he will will take his last breath.  Here today – gone tomorrow.  Before you know it you have reached your destination where the worm dies not and the fire is never quenched.  That is a tragic place to spend eternity.

If you are reading this blog and not sure of your destination, I do not think it just happened.  I think the Lord is giving you another chance to ask Him into your heart,  He gave His life for you so you could have eternal life in heaven with Him.  He wants you to place your hope in Him.  All you have to do believe in Him, ask Him for forgiveness and invite Him into your heart.

Hopefully, one day we will meet on the High Road to Glory!

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Lord, Do You Have a Moment?

Good Morning Lord,

Do you have a moment? I have just been listening to the song, “Why Me Lord?” It has brought tears to my eyes, humility to my heart and questions to my mind.

Remember when I was 18 and I got cancer of the tongue? Why did you let me live? I know I went to church, I knew you existed, but for the life of me, I did not know you were my Savior. I did not know that you held my soul in your hands. I even picked up the Bible once a week to dust it. I handled it with care because my mother said it was Your Word. The only problem was I never opened it. It was your love letter to me and I never picked it up to find out what You wanted to tell me.

What really blows my mind was your lovingkindness and mercy. You were so merciful and I was so clueless. You had to love me from a distance because that is where I put You. Days passed into months and months passed into years. Thirty-two years you waited and waited. You never gave up on me! How could you love me so much when I did not even give you the time of day?

Finally, the day came, when life became larger than my being. I had reached the end of self and called out to you. With tears in my eyes and panic in my heart, I ran to find my Bible in the bottom of my closet . I picked it up and said, “God, if you are in there, please come out.” In a matter of minutes, I felt Your presence in my spirit and Your peace in my soul. I bowed the knee and invited You into my heart. Best thing I ever did. No longer did I have to carry the worries of the world on my shoulders. From now on we would do it together.

The next question that comes to my mind, is “Lord, how can I ever repay you? What can I do? What can I say?” The only thing I can think of is I want to thank you for loving me, thank you for dying on the cross for me and thank you for not giving up on me. The only other thing I know I can do is tell others what you have done for me. You see Lord that is why I started this blog. I want them to know that Your way is so much better. I want them to know that you will help them if they will give you a chance. I want them to know that you are not just a Man in a Book! I want them to know you hold their souls in the palm of Your hands.  So with that being said, if You give me the words you want them to hear, I will use my fingers to type them!  To God be the Glory!  Great things He has done!

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Have you ever carried a burden that was so heavy you thought you might be crushed by the weight of it all?  You realized you could not take one more step by yourself?  I understand, I have been there more than once in my lifetime.

I do not believe there has ever been or ever will be a moment in time that someone is not hurting or feeling hopeless.  Life has a way of making that happen.  Sooner or later it will come.  Who will you turn to – the world, drugs, alcohol, or God?  The choice is yours.  How do you make that right choice?  I wish I could tell you I always made the right one, but I cannot lie to you. I turned to the world.   The problem was they had good intentions, but not the right answers.  I needed someone to give me a thread of hope to hold on to.  I kept looking in the wrong places.

It took awhile, but I finally realized that when my world was falling apart, I needed to be standing on a solid foundation.  That foundation was a rock.  A rock called Jesus Christ.  He can be your rock also  if you will give Him a chance.  How do you do that?  Easy – you just tell God you cannot make it on your on.  You tell Him you need His grace!  He will give you more than a thread of hope – He will give you a cross to hold on to.  You might have to hold on to it so long you will get splinters in your hand but He is the only way!  Take it from someone who knows.

I believe this song will say it all!  Please take the time to listen!  It just might show you a whole new way and you will never have to carry another burden by yourself!


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Precious in His Sight

There is a song I remember in years past entitled, “You’re Nobody Until Somebody Loves You.”  It might have just been a song, but the words were very true.  I believe that every person in life needs to be not only loved, but needed as well.

Growing up was easy for me because I felt very loved by my parents.  They made me feel special.  I, in turn tried to do the same for my daughters.  You know the saying, “no one loves you like your mama!

Now I know that I am very much loved by my husband and family, but life gets so crazy sometimes,  we do not remind each other of that often enough.  Then life happens and you wake up one morning wondering why you even exist.   It seems like no one needs you or loves you.   You are just there occupying space.  So you throw a pity party and invite all to come.  They show up for the first one and if you are lucky, a few might attend the second.  After that, you are the only one in attendance.  That is definitely not any fun.  Misery enjoys company!  So it is time to regroup and renew your mind.

First of all,  God does not make “nobodies” or  “has-beens”.  When you were a twinkle in your mother’s eye, God knew you.  He knitted you together in your mother’s womb and  He created you for a purpose.  Now what we do with that purpose is totally up to us.  I know that God doesn’t make junk.  We do that ourselves.

It took me many years to meet the God that lived in that book called the Bible.  For years I attended church, but  the  only time I picked up the Bible was  to dust it and put it back on the coffee table.  You see, i knew He existed, but I did not have a clue he had a purpose for my life.  I knew He died for others, but not for me.  Then one day someone took the time to  tell me, “Sandy, if you were the only person living on this earth, the Lord would have died on that cross for you.  Well, believe it or not, that made a big impact on my life.  If He died for me, I must have a purpose.  If I have a purpose, I am a “somebody” and He is not finished with me yet.  I am not a “has-been” either!

Well, I have not quite figured out how or why He uses me, but somehow, someway He does.  It might just be to smile at someone, say a kind word, or touch someone on the shoulder to show that they are not alone.  God works in mysterious ways and little ways that mean a bunch.  So with that being said, I give each day to the Lord and tell Him it is His.  He can use me as He will.  That is all He is waiting for.  It does not mean you have to be perfect or have your act together in every way.  Thank Goodness!  You see I learned a long time ago God uses broken vessels and cracked pots.  That way His love can come through.

God is not through with me nor you!  Each day is a blessing, do not waste it!  There are hurting people everywhere.  Go out and touch someone’s life.  If you do not want to venture very far, look around your home.  Someone living there just might need a kind word and a tender touch!

















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The “if Only”

Have you ever had “If Only” moments? I have to admit I have had more than my share. I doubted if I had done the right thing, said the right thing or had been in the right place at the right time. Sometimes those moments turn into days of worry and stress, especially if I realize that I had done the wrong thing, said the wrong thing and had been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Have you ever spoken something hurtful to someone and knew immediately it was too late to take it back. Words leave deep scars!
I know I have been the victim and I have been the one inflicting them.
If only I had counted to ten before I opened my mouth.

My mother use to say, “Sandy, it is not necessarily what you say, it is how you say it that gets you into trouble.” If only I had gotten the rotten attitude out of the way before I opened my mouth.

So many times I have put my own needs before others. I had to have my way then, there and NOW! Get out of my way and give me what I want NOW! Once I got it, I realized it wasn’t worth the trouble. It always looks like the grass is greener on the other side and when you get there you realize it is not even edible. Why did I not realize that God did not want me to have it, If only I had stopped and asked Him what He wanted. But no,
I had to do it my way.

If the “if only’s” were not enough, the wrong choices I made really got to me.

Choices! If only we would make the right choices all the time – that would certainly make life easier. I remember reading an article and a young man asked his father, “what can I do in life to determine my destiny?” “‘The father replied, son, it is the friends you keep and the choices you make”’.

I sure wish someone had told me that! Maybe it would have made me stop and think, “is this going to have a consequence?” Is this really worth the trouble it is going to cause? Right or wrong, choices make a difference
Always have, always will. Right ones bring blessings, wrong ones can bring a lifetime of regret.

So where did I take my “if only’s and wrong choices?

I took them to the only place that mattered. I took them to the cross and laid them at the foot of it and said with remorse, “Lord, I blew it again, can you help me clean up this mess? Some how, someway can you bless this mess? And you know what, He did! He reached out his hand and pulled me out of that miry pit and restored my soul. Now that is a Savior! Do I still have consequences? Yes! Do I still have some scars? Yes! Have I learned my lesson? Yes. How did He restore my soul? His Grace, His Amazing Grace.

Why don’t you take your “If only’s” and wrong choices to the cross? Believe me, it is worth the trip!

If you have the time, click on the link below, highlight it and copy it into your browser. Scroll down until you see the video. I think God has something He wants to tell you!


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Hello world of bloggers! Here I come ready or not!

I have been so excited about setting up this blog and sharing what was on my heart.  Now that I am ready to go, I cannot think of a single word to say.  However,  since I am a sanguine personality, it  should only take a minute before something comes to mind.

You see, I am a people person.  I have the ability to make friends in the grocery line.  I see nothing wrong with giving someone a smile and telling them hello.  Some people smile and say hello back, others give me “the look” for invading their space.  I do not get my feelings hurt because I figure life got in their way that day.  Sometimes life just does that.  I have come to the conclusion life does not always tunr out the way we had planned.

I love to laugh, but have had my share of tears.  I came to realize that we need them both.  One brings joy to the soul, the other cleanses the soul.  I can laugh with the best of them and cry with the best of them.  I have met alot of hurting people in my life and I want to hand them more than a bandaid and tell them to get over it!  I may not have all the answers, but I know someone who does.

Before we begin sharing this blog together, I need to tell you I love the Lord.  Once I found out that He loved me enough to die for me, I decided to love Him back.  I want to be flat dab in the middle of His will.  I tried it my way, but His way is so much better.  I may not always understand His way, but I have learned to trust Him.

Now if you are okay with that,  I would love to blog my journey of life with you!  If you are not okay with that, that is okay too because maybe I can convince you He loves you too!

Posted in Hope | 8 Comments