Category Archives: Perseverance

Reading More and Dusting Less

Reading more and dusting less this year.

Well we have made it through the first week of a new year, how are you doing on your resolutions lol? No matter where you are on keeping your goals you set last week I do love those set in this little story. I read this a while back, though I am not sure really where it comes from. What I do know is that it is a great addition to the new year. Even if we do not do each thing, looking at what we can add to our lives will only make it richer.

“I’m reading more and dusting less. I’m sitting in the yard and admiring the view without fussing about the weeds in the garden. I’m spending more time with my family and friends and less time working. Whenever possible, life should be a pattern of experiences to savor, not to endure. I’m trying to recognize these moments now and cherish them.

I’m not ‘saving’ anything; we use our good china and crystal for every special event such as losing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, or the first Amaryllis blossom. I wear my good blazer to the market. My theory is if I look prosperous, I can shell out $28.49 for one small bag of groceries. I’m not saving my good perfume for special parties, but wearing it for clerks in the hardware store and tellers at the bank. ‘Someday’ and ‘one of these days’ are losing their grip on my vocabulary. If it’s worth seeing or hearing or doing, I want to see and hear and do it now.

I’m not sure what others would’ve done had they known they wouldn’t be here for the tomorrow that we all take for granted. I think they would have called family members and a few close friends. They might have called a few former friends to apologize and mend fences for past squabbles. I like to think they would have gone out for a Chinese dinner or for whatever their favorite food was. I’m guessing; I’ll never know.

It’s those little things left undone that would make me angry if I knew my hours were limited. Angry because I hadn’t written certain letters that I intended to write one of these days. Angry and sorry that I didn’t tell my husband and parents often enough how much I truly love them. I’m trying very hard not to put off, hold back, or save anything that would add laughter and luster to our lives.

And every morning when I open my eyes, I tell myself that it is special. Every day, every minute, every breath truly is a gift from God.”

{Want more devotions? I’m A Sword Wielding Devil Slayer; Declaring the Word of God and Taking Back What the Devil Stole from Me!}

Shaken or Shaped – Your Choice!

Shaped or shaken over a situation. The choice is yours. God is a faithful God; He has promised you, in His Word, He would never leave you and never forsake you {Deuteronomy 31:6}. His Word is truth. As you look around, the times you are facing are tough. If you watch the news, you will hear story after story revealing the tough times you are in. You girlfriend, have walked through tough times in your life, I know. However, God is a good God. He is a faithful God!

It is written in Deuteronomy 33:25, “…and as your day, so shall your strength, your rest and security, be.” Notice, it says your days will be strengthened. You will have rest and security. The words, “And as your day” refers to the times you are in – your day in history now. Your days will be tough at times; the Word has told you that. However, when you set your mind, your heart, your lips, and your feet, on Him and His Word, you shall be strengthened! God is always there supporting you and sustaining you – no matter what!

Vance Havner said “Sometimes your medicine bottle has on it, “Shake well before using.” That is what God has to do with some of His people. He has to shake them well before they are ever usable.” Look at your past. Look at where God has already brought you through! You may be in the midst of a storm right now, but you can get through it. In the past, if this storm had been in your life, you could not have stood up against it, but, because of what you have already gone through, you can walk through this storm stronger! God strengthened you in the last storm to prepare you for this storm. He is strengthening you in this storm to prepare you for the future! His future for you is good! You can – because you already have! You already have been through and came out the other side victoriously! Do you face storms? Then you will have strength! Do you have burdens? Then you will have strength! You will have strength, rest, and security in the hand of the Almighty God. He HAS strengthened you for this time, and He IS strengthening you for the future!

The storms, which come into your life, can either shake you or shape you. The choice is yours.

{Excerpt taken from Sandra’s 40 Day Devotional “I’m a Sword Wielding Devil Slayer!” Now Available}

I'm A Sword Wielding Devil Slayer

The Wait Is Over!

I'm A Sword Wielding Devil SlayerFinally the wait is over! Women have asked me sooooooooo many times when my newest book would arrive and it has – just in time for Christmas! I thought as a sneak peek I would give you the Introduction of this 40 day devotional after the tease – so here goes the tease:

“Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet.” Ephesians 6:13-18 (Message Translation)

The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. Jesus used this spiritual weapon when tempted by Satan in the desert. Each time Satan attempted to deliver a blow, Jesus blocked the attack with the Word of God by quoting scripture.

Using a sword is something that takes time and practice. A soldier must practice using his sword to defeat his enemy. In order to use your Sword, you must also practice and use it. That means being in the Word every day and knowing what is says.

This 40 day devotional will teach you how to pierce through the lies and deceptions of the enemy. Jesus knew the Word of God and was able to defend and attack the devil by using the scriptures to attack and drive His enemy away. You, girlfriend, will learn to do that too!

It’s time to take back all the enemy has stolen from you by putting on your stilettos and crushing the enemy’s head! You must keep him where God has already destined him to be – under your feet!

So unsheathe the Sword of God, girlfriend, and wield it over your life and stop the enemy and his invasions!

Introduction:

You, wonderful lady, were born for such a time as this! Do you realize that? You are valuable and necessary to God! As you take the time with your Heavenly Father, He is going to give you answers to questions you have been asking. You are about to learn how to take the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. You are going to wield it over your life and see the enemy run! Do not doubt the value of what you have in your hands; your Sword; God’s Word! Ephesians 6:17 says, “And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God.” The word “wield” according to the Merriam’s Dictionary means, “To handle {a tool} effectively, to exert one’s authority.” According to Charles B. Williams, The New Testament: A Translation in the Language of the People, verse 17 here in Ephesians is explaining the Spirit is the subject or agent of the verbal action. And, Hebrews 4:12 says the Sword of the Spirit is a two-edged sword – The Greek translation says a two mouthed sword. {Now stay with me here, I said a huge mouth full to show you something exciting!} A two mouthed sword means, you speaking out the Word of God on one side, and the Spirit of God speaking out on the other! Do you get it? As you speak out the Word of God over your life, the Spirit Himself speaks out the Word of God over your life as well! You are speaking or wielding, and He is wielding as well, as Ephesians 6:17 says! Girlfriend, if you missed that back up and read it again to get a revelation on this now before you go any further! This understanding is what will help change your life! {I’ll wait for you- go ahead, read it again!}
Notice also, a sword is an unmistakable weapon and can be used as a tool for offense and defense. While you are on the offense you speak out the Word of God {wield it} which will cause you to win. When you are on the defense you declare the Word of God out {wield it} to keep the enemy from scoring! Remember, this is no ordinary Sword! This Sword is made of the Spirit {Holy Spirit} and the Word {Bible}. In spiritual warfare the battles are fought with words. Words packed and backed up with the Spirit of God, as you declare them over your life! That is how you wield your Sword!
Over the next forty days you are going to learn just how to take the Promises God has given you and take back all the Devil has stolen from you! Why forty days you ask? The number forty is very important to God, obviously. There are at least ten instances in the Old Testament and New Testament where the number forty occurs. This may have been in years or days.
It rained forty days and forty nights on Noah and his family. The flood waters covered the earth for forty days and forty nights. After forty days the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. When Joseph’s father Jacob died he mourned him for forty days.  Moses was on top of Mt. Sinai for forty days and forty nights with God. For forty years the children of Israel wandered in the desert. Forty days and forty nights the giant Goliath defied the armies of the Lord. Jesus fasted for forty days and forty nights after the Holy Spirit came on Him; before starting His earthly ministry. And Jesus was seen on the earth for forty days after His crucifixion. The number forty represents to us, whether it is days, months, or years, a period of tests, trials, and chastisement {not judgment}, and, hallelujah, it ends with a period of restoration, revival, or renewal! {Are you excited about restoration, revival, and renewal? I am!} It is a time for you, mighty woman, to draw closer to God and to stand on His Word! You will begin to cultivate a deeper relationship as you spend intimate time with Him. You will grow and He will give you fresh anointing. God will develop your patience and He will show you His protection and give you supernatural direction from Him.
You will learn how to take the Word of God – The Sword of the Spirit, and to wield it over your family, finances, health, mind, and relationships – your entire life!
At the end of each day there is a section named, “Wield your Sword” where you will declare out the Word of God. Feel free to add to any of the declarations you want to add, but remember, you wield by speaking out loud God’s Word. So girlfriend, for the next forty days you will learn to wield God’s promises and take back what the Devil has stolen from you!
Look at this verse in Ephesians 6 in the Message translation, “Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet!”
Girlfriend, you will be on your feet as a stiletto wearing, Sword wielding devil slayer! And if you do not wear stilettos that is OK, just be a flip-flop wearing, sword wielding devil slayer! Either way, girlfriend, shoes or no shoes, YOU will be standing on your feet victorious and YOU will stop the enemy! ~ Excert from I’m A Sword Wielding Devil Slayer book

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How To Trust God When Your World Is Falling Apart

How to trust God when your world is falling apart. Sandra Hersey Ministries “It is a poor faith which can only trust God when friends are true, the body full of health, and the business profitable; but that is true faith which holds by the Lord’s faithfulness when friends are gone, when the body is sick, when spirits are depressed, and the light of our Father’s countenance is hidden.” These words spoken by Charles Spurgeon are true, yet they sting. It is easy to ask God to do for us and bless us. We certainly do not like to think we have poor faith; at least I do not.

I know walking in times of trouble are hard and it is easy to fall into the “Why me God, and where are you God?!” moments. If it makes you feel any better our Lord and Savior Jesus, in his agony on the cross chose to quote Psalm 22, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” When in fact He could have quoted the 23rd Psalm, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.”

Yet my friend, our promise from God is not freedom from pain, but companionship from our Lord and Savior; “Lo, I am with you always to the close of the age!” When our world falls apart, the great good news is we are not alone; Jesus IS with us!

I once heard a sermon that was prompted by a great skyscraper about to rise up into the heavens. The preacher continued to say over and over in his sermon, “the higher you want to rise the deeper you have to dig your foundation.” So if you want a 50-story skyscraper that’s one thing; but if you want to soar 100 stories, then the foundation has to be deeper, much much deeper.

It’s the same with our faith – the higher we want our faith to be, the deeper we must dig our foundation of faith. But how? Through His Word and prayer! Two very simple things, yet we do not always do it.

According to the Bible, the power of prayer is the power of God who hears and answers our prayer. We must remember in the tough times:

~ God Almighty can do all things; there is nothing impossible for Him {Luke 1:37}.

~ God Almighty hears the prayers of His children. He commands us to pray, and He promises to listen when we do. “In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears” {Psalm 18:6}.

~ God Almighty answers prayer. “I call on you, O God, for you will answer me” {Psalm 17:6}. “The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles” {Psalm 34:17}.

~ God Almighty invites His people to pray to Him. Prayer to God should be made persistently {Luke 18:1}, with thanksgiving {Philippians 4:6}, in faith {Mark 11:23}, within the will of God {Matthew 6:10}, for the glory of God {John 14:13-14}, and from a heart trusting in God {Proverbs 3:5-6}.

When your world is falling apart, after you stop weeping, dig deep; make those foundations deeper, stronger, and unshakable through prayer and His Word. Trust God and wait for Him to move; because He will! Getting knocked down is not the worst thing that can happen to you; refusing to trust God and not getting back up is!

{Know someone who is facing hard times? The Drying Pot; And The Refining Fires Necessary To Become A Vessel Used By God}

Becoming A Person Of Unwavering Faith

How to Become A Person Of Unwavering FaithAs Christians we must be a people of unwavering faith – faith that is not compromised by what we see in this world, but a faith that trusts completely and totally what God says in His Word! The mother of Moses was such a person.

We are not told much about this woman; but her story is important because it shows how God respects and honors people of unwavering faith!

Hebrews 11:23, “By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.”

To protect Moses from Pharaoh’s command that every male Hebrew child be killed, Moses mother, Jochebed placed Moses in an ark of safety and sent him down the Nile river. After Pharaoh’s daughter discovered the baby Jochebed became his nurse. The writer of Hebrews places Jochebed in the Lord’s “Hall of Fame” gallery as a “Hero of the Faith!”

We see the quiet strength that comes from unwavering faith unfold in her life! We see her faith unfold as a mother: defying Pharaoh’s command, unafraid of the king’s power, trusting God to protect her baby, placing the child in a basket on the Nile River – knowing that He that is in her, is greater than he that is in the world! Jochebed loved God; and that love gave her strength to walk by faith in what seemed like an impossible situation!

Charles Spurgeon once said, “Faith and obedience are bound up in the same bundle. He that obeys God trusts God; and he that trusts God obeys God. He that is without faith is without works: and, he that is without works is without faith.”

It is hard to trust what you cannot see, but that my friend is what trust is all about. The definition of trust is “a person on whom or thing on which one relies.” When we cannot see what is ahead we must come to rely on God, and by relying on Him we can give our situation to Him and allow Him to work it out! Trust is not going back over and over again worrying and fretting over the situation. If you are missing peace then you are not trusting God! Trust is a calm in the midst of a raging storm; knowing He is faithful to take care of what we give to Him. God wants you to live by the knowledge that He loves you and will help you, not living by head knowledge. Head knowledge is walking by sight, and anytime we are walking by sight we are out of faith.

One of my favorite scriptures is James 1:4, “But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing!”

I do not want any defects in my faith and I for one do not want to be lacking in anything, so as James says as you let the work be done first, then you will be lacking nothing!

The more you trust Jesus and keep your eyes focused on Him, the more your faith will grow! Then you will be at a place just as Moses’ mom was, a mother trusting God as she placed her newborn baby into a basket to float him down a river! Now that is trust for sure! When we trust, it brings life to our faith and rest to our situation!

{Need more help? Help! I’m Alone with My Mind; A Guide To Gaining Victory Over Your Thoughts}

Being Equipped for Your Life’s Valleys

How to handle tough decisionsWe all experience different seasons in our lives. Seasons of greatness and seasons which we would rather skip all together. Psalm 84:6 says, “Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.” The word “Baca”, according to some scholars, signifies a mulberry tree. A mulberry tree grows in dry, barren, and sandy places. Which makes me think of a valley. A valley can be dry, barren, and even sandy as opposed to a mountain top which is refreshing, fertile, and bountiful. It is in the valley season where we look around trying to figure out how we got there. A season of difficulty is the signal we are in a valley. So just how do you equip yourself for those valley seasons in your life? You spend time building up your faith in the high seasons. You spend time reading the Bible, because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Your faith is only built up by hearing the Word of God. Think of it as preparation before a dreaded decent to the valley. It will help you remember the God of the mountain is indeed the God of the valley as well!

Since most associate the valley seasons with storms it makes me think about raging storms. In Florida we have hurricane season and that means when the TV weather person tells us a storm is coming we know we must prepare by buying supplies that we can use when our power is out for weeks and even covering our windows so we can be safe from flying glass and debris. Preparation for your daily walk is no different really. Yet most people tend to turn to God only when a storm is already in full force with no preparation at all.  However, the key is to learn to equip and prepare yourself before everything is shaking and breaking. If you grow your faith during the good seasons of your life, you are preparing yourself and becoming fully equipped for the storm or the valley. Not only are you equipped to come through the valley, but you begin your climb back up the mountain.

It all starts in your prayer and Bible time. If you do not have time for this in your life you are indeed setting yourself up for failure when the decent down the mountain starts. You can become dependent on Him but you want to prepare yourself to know what He has already done for you and what He will do for you now. It has been said that success is where preparation meets opportunity. I say you prepare on the mountain and then give God the opportunity to meet you in your valley.

{Know someone who is facing hard times? The Drying Pot; And The Refining Fires Necessary To Become A Vessel Used By God}

Peace To Deal With Our Present and Courage To Deal With Our Future

Peace To Deal With Our Present and Courage To Deal With Our FutureIt’s not a surprise to hear we live in a world of turmoil. Wars are being fought all over the world, news reports tell us of shootings, failing economy, and natural disasters. Even as you listen to the news, or even get your news off of Twitter as I do, you hear of so much tragedy. How do we find real peace and walk in peace each day in the midst of such chaos? It all goes back to the words of Jesus; living the Red Letter Lifestyle of His words in John 16:33. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” What is important to know, is that these very words Jesus spoke, came just a few hours before He Himself would be crucified; rocking the very foundations of the lives of the disciples who had come not only to follow Him, but to love Him. They would soon see that the Messiah they had hoped for and believed in, would die a horrible death. This also meant that they would live in fear for their own lives. Jesus spoke these words because He knew that the world was at odds with the purposes of God. But the good news is that both then and now Jesus offers us peace. His very own peace! “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27). He wants you and I to have His peace!

But how do we have peace to deal with our present situation and courage to deal with our future in unsettling times? By putting first things first- gaining peace with God. You can’t have the peace of God until you have peace with God. The fact is that outside of Christ you are not a child of God. That is the lot of all who do not accept Jesus Christ, or refuse to accept His offer of eternal life which He purchased on the cross for everyone! Jesus said we can be God’s child- He wants you as His child, and He sent Jesus into this world to make that happen.

How to live in the peace of God:

1. Understand God is sovereign.

As we give God our lives, He is in control from beginning to the end, and we must remember His plans will succeed. Jesus said that He has already overcome the world in His death. He conquered sin and its power, then He went on to conquer death and its power in His resurrection! He has also given us His Living Word – The Bible. The Bible allows us to find direction and comfort in Him and His promises; and these promises cannot be thwarted by anyone! Understanding He ALONE is sovereign goes a long way to help you live in His peace. Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

2. Pray

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

We are also instructed to “pray without ceasing” which means to continue to be in an attitude of prayer throughout the day. God hears you and He moves on behalf of His people. He is not deaf to your concerns and prayers. I once read that the average person has more than two hundred negative thoughts a day! We have worries, jealousies, insecurities, and the list goes on! It has been reported that those who are depressed have as many as six hundred negative thoughts running around every day! We may not be able to eliminate all the troublesome things that go on in our lives, but we can learn to stop invasions in our mind and have victory over our thoughts! (Read my latest book: Help! I’m Alone With My Mind! A Guide To Having Victory Over Your Thoughts!”)

One of the best ways to reduce the negative thoughts invading your mind is to turn them into prayers. It is important that we also pray according to God’s Will. What is His Will? The Bible! When faced with a concern we are to find scripture to cover our situation in prayer; according to what God has already promised us. Instead of, “God help I am broke!” You pray according to the Bible – “Father you know that I am in need of money right now, but I trust you Lord and I confess your Word that You are my provider and I trust in you Father to look over your Word that you said and to perform it! I thank you that you are supplying even now.” When we spend time praising and thanking Him for the answer before it comes- not just our concerns, we find peace in the fact that God is active in our situation and peace will flood our minds. Look at Daniel 9:23 and what the angel of God said to Daniel about the fact he was praying, “The moment you began praying, a command was given.” Now look at Isaiah 65:24 “I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers!” God doesn’t have to check his Facebook inbox or text messages to see when we send up a prayer to Him. He hears immediately and He immediately answers, however those prayers are not always revealed for us immediately in the natural for many different reasons. But take comfort in knowing God hears us and answers us, and it is our responsibility to trust Him and His Word and wait for the manifestation of the answer!

3. Fix your mind; Having a Biblical Mindset

Ecclesiastes 5:1 (Amp.) “Keep your foot, give your mind to what you are doing.” We are to listen to the voice of God. How? By prayer and reading His Word. Then we will be able to give our mind to Him instead of our worries. People who adopt a Biblical mindset and who are Christ-centered and focused on others can live in peace. Why? Because the world’s value systems do not determine your outlook or outcomes – the promises of the Bible does! That’s not to say that you will never be affected by this world. But by having a Biblical mindset you choose to believe the Bible is true and correct in all it teaches. When you are faced with a time of unsettling, pick up your Bible and read. I like to start with the book of Psalms. I read them aloud as prayers to God. Soon I feel His presence and I feel the weights of worry lifting. Then find scripture to cover your present situation. {Coming Soon my newest book on how to do this: I’m A Sword Wielding Devil Slayer!}  Above all you are to think on what God instructs you to think on – not what the world is dishing out. Philippians 4:8 gives us specific instructions, “Whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].” Then look at verse 7, “And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

4. Keep Moving!

I know when disaster hits we feel like we just can’t continue to get up again and again. I know we wonder why we even bother with moving ahead. Remember God is still God no matter what we see with our eyes and hear on the news. We have a future and a hope the Bible promises us, so we should look to the future. But as we do that, let’s look at Proverbs 16:9, “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.” We are not to plan for the future in despair, but rather to plan with the Lord’s purposes in mind. 1 Corinthians 9:24, “Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!” Run to win it says! That means keep on running and don’t stop no matter what, and it also says YOU WIN when you keep running! Glory!

5. Live in anticipation!

God’s Promises help us get through the grind of day-to-day living. The best way to have peace is to read those promises on a daily basis. You’ll be surprised what God has for you in there. One of my favorites is Lamentations 3:22-23, “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” God’s faithfulness is always in play, and I thank Him for that. We can live in anticipation that His Word is true and it never fails. If He promised it to you it is yours now! God gave you peace and He promises to never leave you or forsake you. That is something to be thankful for! Live your life in anticipation of what He is going to do in you and for you! You are His child! He loves you!

Peace to deal with your present circumstance and to face your future does not have to be overwhelming-IF we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us into the greatest peace of all- Jesus’ very own peace! John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

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