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Dear Devotional Readers:

Many of you are going through really hard circumstances right now. Believe me when I say that I understand what you are facing. Perhaps this devotional will encourage you.

Blessings. SandyC


Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4: 6-7

This devotional is for those of you who seem to live in the path of the storms. Regardless of what you do, the storms keep coming at you. It is wearing you down and covering you up. Well, it’s time to dig out. I hope this will help you because I am just like you. I constantly face adversity in my life and at times I can’t see the surface from the pit I seem to be in. Can you relate? This is not a pity party devotional. It is a call to action. We’re digging out!

I loved March this year. The weather was perfect for launching a massive project to clear out a fence row filled with underbrush. The grape vines and climbing brush were literally suffocating our trees. We couldn’t even see the beautiful field adjacent to our property. For years we had planned to clear out the fence row and take the fence out. We found a friend to help and before we knew it, we were outside with chain saws, clippers, shovels, rakes and other tools to get the job done. Every day Bruce and I went outside and worked until lunch time. Then we would quit and do his dialysis. Most of the time we were out again later in the afternoon if Bruce felt like it.

It was a wonderful time. We both got banged up and bruised at bit, but it was fun. Then, the first assault came in April. Bruce fell down when a tree branch he was sawing with the chain saw rebounded back and threw him to the ground. He suffered a huge skin tear. I rendered first aid and thought it was secure, but in the middle of the night he woke me up with severe bleeding. After two visits to the ER; a wound clinic visit; 48 hours later the wound stopped bleeding.

In May we got a double attack. Bruce injured his wrist. We think it was while using a posthole digger to dig holes for tomato plants. We had moved on from the fence row to the garden. The fence row was clean and the beautiful meadow next door was fully exposed. Then, Bruce spiked a fever during dialysis and we were in the ER for blood cultures. The next night, he was awakened in the middle of the night with pain in the wrist so severe that I had to take him to the ER for pain medicine. They gave him steroids and a hand splint.

The blood cultures were negative, so they chalked it off to a virus. It took almost a month to find out that Bruce’s wrist had multiple stress fractures and get it into a cast. The breaks didn’t show up on the x-rays and the doctor didn’t think an MRI was necessary. Bruce suffered and took strong pain pills before the doctor decided to do the MRI and found the fractures.

Bruce had stomach pain; saw a GI doctor; he did an upper GI scope and found an ulcer. He was placed on medication for it. Then, he developed signs of a GI virus which eventually led to the ER with diarrhea and bleeding. All this was going on at the same time – wrist pain, stomach pain, diarrhea, bleeding. It calmed down a bit only to start up last Friday with a spike in fever and chills at the end of dialysis. He had an appointment with a new doctor who is an infectious disease doctor. She drew blood cultures and MRSA grew out. Now, he is on IV antibiotics and we have to go into the Dialysis Clinic three times a week for treatment. He may have to have his dialysis catheter pulled and a new one placed. He may even have to have surgery to try to get a dialysis fistula in his arm. The storm is still raging and causing turmoil all around us.

Last week I felt the weight of it. At times I felt like I was suffocating. I kept praying and praising. I knew God was where my help comes from. I did two other things to get free. First, I had Bonnie give me an oils massage. It freed my soul and relaxed my body. The healing oils calmed me and got me in a place where I could receive from the Lord. The other thing I did was started reading in a book from my library that the Holy Spirit led me to. It is called Be Anxious for Nothing by Joyce Meyer. Perhaps many of you have read it. It reminded me that anxiety and stress will steal my joy and keep me focused on the storm instead of the Lord. That is why He tells us to be anxious for nothing – not just the big things, but all things. He tells us to come to Him in prayer because He is waiting to hear from us. He knows the circumstances are getting you down, but He wants to lift you up out of that pit and place you on higher ground.

Anxiety causes worry and worry saps you of your energy. What can you do about it by worrying? Can I get rid of the circumstances surrounding me? Can I stop the storms from coming? No, but I don’t have to worry about them. God has me and He has Bruce. It may not seem like it if you look at the wall of problems we have been facing, but God does have us. He dropped this little phrase into my heart last week while I was sending out a prayer request:

Prayer is the answer that leads to the solution.

The plan of the enemy is to get us so focused on the problem that we forget to bring it to God. Prayer is always the answer. In it the solution is found. Maybe that is why we are instructed to bring our petitions with thanksgiving. The solution is already there. Prayer activates it. I may not see it or it may not come as I expected it to appear, but the solution is in the prayer. Sometimes God even gives you the answer as you pray. You know what He is going to do. Even if you don’t, casting the care of it and settling down in the peace of God will keep you while you wait.

If you feel weighed down like I did, you can listen to His voice inside of you. He may tell you to go do something to help your body or He may direct you to a book. However you do it, you must get your focus off the problems around you and trust them to the only One who can help you. He doesn’t need us to worry or be anxious to get the circumstances to change. We need to stand in faith and join in prayer with our prayer partners until we see deliverance. The peace of God promises to guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, if we don’t worry, but pray.

I am still living out this storm, but each day brings new hope and perhaps God will bring a new surprise that will change things. If not, I will continue to pray and listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit for help and encouragement. The Psalms are definitely my friend. Don’t stay in the pit. Reach up and let God plant you firmly on solid ground, even while the storm rages.


Dear Devotional Readers:

I tried very hard to write a devotional yesterday, but couldn’t send it out. Something just wasn’t right with it. I now know that it wasn’t that devotional that God had planned for you this week. It didn’t happen until today, so here it is fresh off the press.

Blessings, SandyC


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. Romans 8:28

It is not for man to understand the reasoning of God. It is enough to know that His reasoning is far above our own…Seedsower7

Disappoint: to fail or satisfy the expectations of someone. Webster’s Dictionary

Yesterday seemed like just an ordinary day until the call came. We weren’t expecting it and to be quite honest could not believe that it had come. The call was from the transplant coordinator where Bruce is listed on their kidney transplant list. She stated that they had a potential kidney for Bruce. This means that they needed to run some more tests on it and possibly on Bruce, too. He was instructed to hold his blood thinner medications last night and not to eat after midnight. He was to come to the hospital and be at the lab to have blood drawn at 7:00 a.m. when the lab opened. If all checked out with him and the donor kidney, then he would be admitted for any tests the transplant doctors might deem necessary. If all that went well, he could have a new kidney by the end of the day.

We were both excited, but almost numb. We weren’t expecting the call, even though we had been praying for a kidney transplant. The reason is that he has been on the inactive list for a few months due to health issues from a dialysis catheter infection to a gastrointestinal bleed, which resulted in four blood transfusions. The doctors went in and fixed a few things and so far the bleeding has not returned. They are keeping his Coumadin level down so the intestines can heal. Bruce has been feeling good for the past two weeks and had regained his energy. We found out that his transplant coordinator had taken another position and had not put him on the inactive list. That is why the call came.

By the time we got to the hospital and had the labs drawn the numbness had turned into excitement. Bruce was as excited as a cat on a hot tin roof! His adrenaline was flowing as he repeated the news to various friends over the telephone. The more he talked, the more hyped up he became. I have to admit that I was a bit animated as I praised God to those I contacted. In my zeal, I even named the donor kidney. I didn’t like referring to the kidney as an “it” since it would be giving Bruce life. The kidney was alive, even though the soul of the donor had departed. I knew that it came from a female donor, so I named her Mary because Mary brought the Savior into the world. As I prayed for Mary, she became more than an organ. She became very real to me. I found myself thanking God for her life and praying for her family.

They called for Bruce to go up to the Transplant Clinic. When we arrived, the transplant doctor that Bruce had spoken with yesterday came in to talk with us. It seems that Mary didn’t meet the transplant criteria. She could not be transplanted into Bruce’s or anyone else’s body. There would be no transplant today.

When something like this happens, sadness floods your soul. You want to ask why, but you know it won’t change the outcome. You feel the disappointment starting to settle into your heart. This is a normal response to pain. All throughout the Bible we see the expectations of God’s people dashed in the realities of life. Joseph wanted to go home. He experienced many disappointments at the hands of others decisions. How disappointed he must have felt when the Pharaoh’s chief cupbearer had seemed to have forgotten all about him after he had interpreted his dream. Think about how betrayed and disappointed David was when Saul turned on him, even though he knew God was calling him to be King. All throughout the Bible, disappointment can be seen as what we are hoping for or expecting God to do doesn’t happen. So, what will you do when disappointment comes?

First, remember that hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled is a tree of life (Proverbs 13:12). If you let the discouragement steal your hope then your heart will get sick. This leads to a loss of faith in God to do what He said He will do. God didn’t tell us how He was going to deliver Bruce from kidney disease, but He did say that He would heal him. He didn’t promise him a transplant today, but He hasn’t said no to tomorrow. Faith is not believing in what you think is going to happen. It is accepting that regardless of what you see, God is working things out for your good. If you will remember the promises of God in times like this, you won’t lose heart. You will be able to rejoice in the Lord always and regardless of what the day brings. You will declare that God has His hand on you and that is all you need. Disappointment has to flee, for it is just a spirit sent to cause you to stumble in your faith walk.

I have found that God never leaves you without hope. Remember, I told you that the coordinator had taken another job. Well, this put all the load of the coordinator position on one lady. She has been trying to keep her head above water so to speak and has not been able to attend to some of the less acute problems that arise. We have a potential live donor who went to have her blood tested to see if she is a match over a month ago. In spite of her frequent calls to find out if she is a match for Bruce, she has not heard anything. We were able to bring this to the transplant surgeon’s attention and she said she would check on it and find out what the holdup was. It may simply be that no one has had time to take care of it. Since Bruce is at the top of his blood type donor list, they know that they must get everything in order as soon as possible, which includes finding out if the donor is a match and if she is; getting her tested right away.

Next, Bruce is already scheduled next week for his annual re-evaluation for being on the list. All the tests are already scheduled. I have hope that it will all come together in God’s perfect timing. He may have used little “Mary” to get the ball rolling. Anyway Bruce is on their radar and that gives me hope. So, Dear Ones, give thanks to God in all things. Lift up praise, for He is always worthy to be praised. Don’t lose heart – look for the silver lining in the cloud. But, most of all remember who you are in Christ and that is really all you need to face anything this life may bring to you. We are still standing in faith and waiting expectantly to see what God is going to do next!


Dear Devotional Readers:

It happened again. I had it all set what I was going to write about and the Holy Spirit derailed me.

Blessings. SandyC


A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35

Happy: Having, showing, or causing great pleasure or joy – Webster’s Dictionary

Today I was sent a Facebook post that seems to be going viral. I don’t pay much attention to social media, but this one caused me to look closer in response to a check in my spirit. It was about an exhortation given in a sermon by Victoria Osteen, co-pastor at Lakewood Church. It caused quite a stir because she seemed to be saying that we obey God and do good for our own self; that the key to making God happy is to first make yourself happy. This was not a direct quote of what she actually said.

On the surface this sounds like she is advocating pleasing yourself above pleasing God. I don’t think that was her intent at all. After listening to the video, I’m sure of it. Her intent was to simply encourage people to be happy because it pleases God when His people are happy. If you look at the definition of happy, you will see that happiness is linked with joy. We know that the joy of the Lord is our strength and Jesus gives us joy. But, happiness is a choice that we must make every day. What she was saying is we’re not making a decision to be happy for God, but for what it does for our own souls. It pleases God when we make a decision to be happy regardless of our circumstances and live in the joy of the Lord. Victoria could have said it better, but it wasn’t rehearsed and sometimes the words don’t exactly express what is in our hearts.

I’m not so concerned with Victoria as I am with the Body of Christ which is so quick to judge another in the high court of social media. I wasn’t there. I didn’t hear the whole sermon. I wasn’t sitting in the presence of the Holy Spirit. I saw this clip that could have been interpreted as heresy, but instead a voice inside of me said, “Defend her”. I know that voice well. He gave me no other instructions, but I knew what I had to defend.

I may not know what makes God happy, but I do know what grieves the Spirit. We are not to judge each other. Every follower of Christ has already been judged and found guilty. It is only through the blood of Jesus that we stand in righteousness. Jesus gave us another commandment to add to the original ten which would sum them all up into one commandment. We are to love one another. When we look in the Word at what love is to God we see that love is patient, kind, doesn’t envy, is not proud, not self-seeking, not provoked, thinks no evil … Let’s stop there. It thinks no evil. In other words, we don’t think evil of those we love. We give them the benefit of a doubt. We do not criticize or slander others, especially in gossip. We support and defend those who are under attack.

This is a pastor who has devoted her life to the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ and shepherding His Church. Can we not protect her from the wolves? The enemy is always looking to get a mob gathered to attack someone who makes an innocent mistake. Jesus never said or did anything against the will of the Father, yet he was falsely accused and murdered because those who claimed to love him deserted him and some even joined the very mob that crucified him. This ministry has suffered attacks before and will continue to do so, but not at my hand. I believe that it makes my Father happy when I walk in love with my brothers and sisters in Christ. They aren’t perfect. They make mistakes. But if they need correction, the Father knows how to correct His children and it is always in love and to bring them to repentance. It is never to tear them down for the sake of gossip in the social media.

Our leaders are under severe attack by the enemy of our souls. He is pulling every evil trick that he can find to bring them down. Love conquered him before and it will continue to defeat him because it never fails. We can’t keep ripping each other apart in the social media sites as we hid behind our laptops and smart phones. I remember Jesus asking for the accusers to step forward when a woman was being accused of adultery. They all had sin in their hearts and He made them see that they were no better than this woman. If you are perfect and have never said anything that others misunderstood your meaning, then perhaps you can put your self-righteous post on Facebook. If, like me, you remember the pain of having those in the family of God turn on you, perhaps, you will decide not to get involved in this feeding frenzy. Instead, lift Victoria up in prayer. If she has strayed in her thinking, the only true righteous Judge will correct her. Regardless of whether she was wrong or right, refuse to persecute her.

Part of the reason that it is so hard to get people to come to church or even consider Christ is the fact that Christians no longer stand together. They have become as nit-picky as the ungodly. We have to stand up against sin and beware of false teachers, but many times it’s not about cleansing the church that sends us off on witch hunts. We are to protect each other in love because our adversary the devil is roaming about stirring up trouble hoping that we will kill one for him to devour.


Dear Devotional Readers: Today’s devotional is a reminder that you already have all you need even in the worst circumstances. Blessings, SandyC


“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10

But though He had performed so many signs before them; yet they did not believe in Him. This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet which he spoke: “Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” John 12:37-39

We’ve all experienced receiving bad news which sometimes steals our dreams or hopes. We’ve felt that sick, sinking feeling inside the pits of our stomachs as the bad news penetrates our realities. We may respond with questions like, “How could this happen?” or perhaps, “It’s not supposed to be this way.” We may sink into despair or even depression as no way out is the only option. The thief has come and stolen from you or killed your dream or destroyed your future. That’s bad news.

Bruce experienced one of those bad news days recently. He has been hoping and faithfully waiting for a kidney transplant. He got a call just a few days prior for a transplant, but the donor organ wasn’t viable. The upside was that he knew he was at the top of the transplant list and another organ would become available within a few months or even weeks. However, all his hope of this happening was dashed when the doctors discovered that he had developed cirrhosis of the liver. This disease process made him ineligible for a transplant. All the years of waiting and hoping meant nothing. He wasn’t going to get a transplant.

The enemy had tried to kill Bruce many times, but the Lord had always protected him. The enemy has destroyed so much of the things that he loves to do by destroying his health. Now, he had stolen his hope of a transplant. Jesus said this could happen in John 10:10, but He had an answer for it. He said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Right after telling us what the enemy is capable of doing to us, He told us what He is able to do in response to it. He said that He was going to give us abundant life.

In your darkest hour it may be hard to grasp this promise. All you can see is the destruction around you. However, God is never defeated by anything that the enemy can do. He always has a plan to do good for you. So, if Jesus promises abundant life and God is never defeated by the plans of the enemy, what should our response be to a bad report? The Apostle Paul gave us his take on a bad report

In Philippians 3 and 4:

But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ. 3:7-8

I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. 4:12-14

In other words, the only thing worth holding on to in this life is Jesus. It would be great to receive a new kidney, but that is not what Bruce’s life is about. If he lives only for a new kidney, then he misses out on everything else God has planned for him. We don’t always understand the ‘whys” of God, but we do know for certain that God is in control of the life of a person submitted to Him.

Bruce and I have chosen to just live life. We don’t look at man’s rejection of him as a rejection from God. We don’t see man’s inability to give Bruce a kidney as having anything to do with God’s ability to perform miracles. So, where is our hope? It is right where it was before the bad news came. It is in Jesus Christ who said that He has given us life abundantly. This means that healing is ours. This means that our needs are met. It means that even bad reports will work out for our good. As a child of God, we don’t see man’s no as God’s no. All His promises are yes and amen. That means if He has promised something, then He will do it. God didn’t promise a transplant, but He promised healing by the stripes of Jesus. That’s enough.

So, if you find yourself face to face with a really bad report, remember that God is for you. He loves you and Jesus died to fulfill every promise God has ever made to His children. All you have to do is stand in faith, holding on to your hope and trusting in the One who not only created it all, but keeps it running in accordance with His divine will. Just continue to live your life in the abundance of Christ and who knows what miracles God has planned for you in the future.


It’s been a few months since I last posted a devotional. I’ve been in an unfruitful season so to speak. I hope this devotional stirs you to action and alerts you to hidden dangers in this age.

Blessings. SandyC



“Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep.

But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the prudent answered, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’

1And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. 11 Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’

12 But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour. (Matthew 25)


In my prayer time today, I started thinking about this parable. I know if you have been in church circles for very long you have heard at least one sermon on the ten virgins. I sat down and wrote three different devotionals after hearing one of those sermons. Yet, my eyes fell on something that I had not seen this time as I read it again because of my prayer time reminder of it.

I have been reading a lot about revival in the Church. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that our world is spinning out of control and the Church seems to be going down the funnel of destruction as well. Hideous sins like homosexuality and same sex marriages are being embraced in many Christian churches – oh Lord, how far we have fallen! However, this is not the focus of this devotional.

I truly believe that we will see a great awakening of spiritual power and purity in the Church before the coming of our Lord. I believe there is an end time’s harvest of souls waiting for the Church to get her act together and get back into the fields and gather in those precious souls. Don’t misunderstand what I am saying. There are many devoted men and women of God working diligently toward this harvest.  The problem lies in the sleeping five.

What God showed we today is that in our good fortune and lavish blessings, many have been lulled to sleep. Others are battle worn and have given up. In the fires of revival, people are reaching out to God and expecting Jesus to come. In the compliancy of playing church, the foolish virgins have gone to sleep.

Notice they are still virgins – washed in the blood which makes them righteous; however, they have left their first love and the excitement of His coming has been replaced by the deceitfulness of all the pleasures this world has to offer.

Many idols have sprung up in the hearts of the Church and there is no fire or passion for the coming Bridegroom. We have grown fat and lazy and contend; so we sleep.  The anointing oil in our lamps is very low and our light is dim.  Looks pretty bleak, doesn’t it.

Well, I’m here to tell you it’s not too late to go buy your oil. Yes, it costs something. It will cost you everything, just as the prudent virgins have already seen. How can I speak this way. Dear Ones, I was a sleepy virgin for several months. The circumstances of my life had left me battle worn and exhausted.

I had a vision in which I saw a solider standing on the battlefield. He was so tattered looking. As he looked out over the battlefield, he saw that it was clear, so he walked over to the sidelines and took off his armor one piece at a time and laid it down on the ground. Then, he laid down and went to sleep. Oh, how good it felt to sleep. The battle wasn’t raging. He wanted to stay there. The solider was me.

I found myself pulling away from the things of the Kingdom. I had no desire to read or study the Word. I couldn’t pray. I became irritable, critical and negative. My thoughts were filled with things of fear or accusation. I knew I needed to get away from them, but the sleep was good. The battle was gone. So, I slept and slipped deeper and deeper into compliancy and dullness.

Every now and then, especially at church during worship, I would feel the pull of the Holy Spirit to move towards Him. I felt new resolve, but alas, the sleepy soul won out. I found myself in front of the television set watching the worldly programs. I knew much of the content was ungodly, but rationalized it was okay to watch the good and complain about the bad in it.

God puts up with things for a while, but then He sends deliverance. It then becomes our choice whether we will reach out and take it or not. My heart ached because I knew things weren’t right. I held on and began waking up a little when a ladies bible study was held in my home. I ended up teaching it (by God’s design) which made me start opening the Word and digging again.

After the study was over, I found myself lost again. God directed me to a book called The Next Great Move of God by Jennifer LeClaire. I was led to purchase it. It started shaking my soul almost immediately. By the end of the book I was on fire again. My eyes were opened as I stood up and looked again at the battlefield. It wasn’t calm at all. The battle was raging even more than before. How could I have been so deceived?

Remember, that our battle is not with flesh, but spirits. I will probably write about this in another devotional, but it is part of the enemy’s plan to keep us asleep through deceiving, seductive spirits. They are so cunning that if we get too weary fighting the physical battles and neglect the Lord, they come in and set up shop.

My focus today is on the foolish five virgins who are still a part of the Church – the Body of Christ. He is the Bridegroom coming for His virtuous Bride. Why would He tell us about her condition before He arrives? I believe it is so that we can fervently intercede in prayer that the foolish five will awaken and fill their lamps and become alert and awake like the other five.

Five is the number of grace. Jesus chose this number to remind us that grace covers us even when we slumber. I know that it did me. Prayer Warriors have been surrounding me with prayers for my strength in the midst of my circumstances. Their faithfulness to pray brought me out of bondage.

If you are a prudent virgin don’t look over at the foolish ones and become prideful that you are ready for Jesus to come. Pray for the whole Church to awaken and revival to sweep our land and beyond. Pray that the glory of God will cover the earth as the waters cover the seas. Pray that no one will be left behind outside the door and miss the marriage feast.

If the Church humbles itself and prays – first for the Church to awaken and revival fires to burn once again in the hearts of Believers – and seeks His face on our knees, and turns from our wicked ways of sleeping and neglecting our lamps – then, then God will hear our cries and heal our land before the Bridegroom comes and the harvest will be great!



Sandy Culbertson is a true woman of God and her excitement and passion for Him is evident to everyone when they meet her.  Sandy was “Ordained” and recognized by Firestorm Ministry August 8, 2012 at the Firestorm Conference. She has been recognized and called out, not only for sharing her devotionals through Firestorm, but for the love of God in her, which comes forth to God’s People and the Call of God upon her life to go forth.  Sandy is a very blessed prophetic dancer.  You will be blessed, find encouragement and learn more about Yahweh by reading her devotions.  Sandy is also a published author and you can purchase her book“Seeing Your Life Through God’s Glasses” on Amazon (See below).