Posted by: Sandra Brown | October 24, 2013

I Want the Real Thing

It has been over a decade since all my children sat down at my dinner table to have
a meal together. Oh how time flies, and we get so very busy with our own agenda’s. The next thing you know, we are missing very important events in our life. They are moments that you never get a second chance to repeat.

Would you say, it is futile, all that busy work, and for what? Well, I can say that I am quite a few years older. However, not too sure what I can show you for all that business.

Being alone for the last eight years now, one would think that I would have gotten it all together. Nevertheless, that simply has not been the case. Too busy with the counterfeit of the world, things that, I should have seen, and known were imposters!

One day, I wake up and wonder how in the world all of that time has gone by. Looking in mirror, I hardly even recognize myself. Have I gotten bigger, or smaller, with a few extra winkles? Yes, that is me all right!

Not all is lost however. Because, I am assured, by my loving Heavenly Father that he is not through with me yet. Knowing that His mercy and goodness is new every morning gives me the hope to carry on.

As I opened the sliding door to the balcony, feeling the cool breeze and sunshine on my face, I knew, that was the real thing! This is a sweet and refreshing gift, just for me, from my loving Savior.

Watching the water ripple and the sailboats go by, is another beautiful sight for me to enjoy on this day that the Lord hath made!

As I washed the dishes in the kitchen, I counted nine doves in the tree outside my window, why they couldn’t have been more than five feet from me. It was truly an amazing sight! Thank you, Jesus!

I am so longing for only the real thing! Being distracted by chasing after what the world offers, is so tiring, and in the end, only brings disappointment. No matter who or what it is… simply does not compare to the real thing!

Jesus has given us a Comforter. He did not leave us alone in this world to fend for ourselves. I am grateful He has dried my tears and wrapped His arms around me tight, but tenderly.

“…weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” -Psalm 30:5.

As the song goes, “Do you know Him Today? He won’t turn you away”.

Tired of going around in circles all the time, and not getting anywhere, guess what? There is another answer…and I promise it is the real thing!

In His Service,

Sandra Brown

Response2s.brown@gmail.com

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Posted by: Sandra Brown | October 18, 2013

To All of God’s Daughters

No matter what the addiction is, I believe we can agree on one thing for sure. That is, we have indeed been missing something in our lives. Always seeking, but never finding.

My problem, was wanting love and affection, you know, wanting to be deeply loved by a man. Oh, how I tried to be all the right things, and make all the right moves. Not to mention, keeping up my appearance was always a number one priority.

In the end though, I could never accomplish what I thought I needed in life to be successful. Do not get me wrong…by the grace of God I have four beautiful children, one of whom is already a victor, as he is living in the presence of Almighty God. My other three children are very happy, well adjusted, with full lives of their own.

I have no one to blame, but myself, for the choices I have made over the years. Some goals of mine were indeed very selfish, while others were just plain bad choices. However, most of my intentions were well meaning. Do you get any stickers for well meaning intentions…I think not!

For those in my generation, I always wanted to be a, “Donna Reed” or a, “June Cleaver”. Come on now, to all who know what I am talking about, give me an, Amen! What made me high was the constant echo of family and friends close by. There is nothing quite like having love, to close the gaps of loneliness and feelings of despair.

I do not see my children or grandchildren very much and to be honest, that hurts. I am learning though, to do what I can, when I can, to see them and have “fellowship” with them. We all live in different cities and it is difficult to get everyone together at the same place and time.

Keeping all the wonderful memories of my children and grandkids close to my heart, I reach in from time to time and pull those memories out, when I truly need to refresh myself.

Back in my younger years, when my children were small, I was sure I had everything under control. Now that I’m older, I realize I am in control of nothing! That is a good thing, as I have learned to turn over my control or (lack of) to the One who can make a difference. I also have learned we do not have to be victims, His Word states we are victors, that we are the head and not the tail.

The Bible teaches us, “we reap what we sow”, I can attest to that statement being very true. My prayer in writing this blog, is that you may gain some tidbit of information that will ring true for you and help you on your journey.

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I cherish the time I spend with my Lord. I’ve learned that no one on earth can replace His presence in my Life. What I have also learned, is reading His Word never gets old. The deeper you dig in, the stronger your relationship grows. This relationship with Him is definitely worth the effort. Sisters, trust me on this, He does not disappoint you and will not break your heart.

Now that I am older and wiser (ahem)…I can certainly see the places where I have taken a wrong turn. You know what they say about hindsight though. Nevertheless, I cannot change my past.

Therefore, here is an important message that I would like to share with the younger generation of women.

1. Always guard your heart.
2. Stay grounded in the Word of God.
3. Treasure every day, for there is no promise of tomorrow.
4. Love as Christ loves you.

You do not have to be loved by a man in order to be fulfilled. Do not push yourself on anyone. You are a treasure in God’s eyes and heart. Seek your fulfillment in Him, first and always. If you follow Him, he will guide and keep you.

Did I mention that I am older now? Well, take it from someone who lets say, has been around the block a few times.

It does not matter what your addiction was, or is. While it is true, that you cannot change your past, you can look forward to a bright future with Jesus at the helm.

There is so much wisdom for the taking, if only you read His Word! It is refreshing to your soul like nothing else in this world!

Insecurities come and go, so do addictions, people and things! Save yourself from much heartache and troubles, by sticking like glue to the One you can put all your faith in.

The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever”. (Isaiah 40:08, NLT).

Press on, dear daughters of God…He is waiting to unfold newness into you like never before.You see, there is no excuse, because God does not mind the dirtiness of your life, or your age, or what you look like. He loves you unconditionally! He is able to pick up the pieces, put them back together, and make a life worth living.

Can you say that with certainty about anyone or anything else? I did not think so.

Accept the fact that you can rest peacefully in His arms tonight. Crawl up on His lap; enjoy that comfort in knowing you are Daddy’s Little Girl.

In His Service,

Sandra Brown

Response2sbrown@gmail.com

Posted by: Sandra Brown | October 13, 2013

Looking for Molly?

When is the last time you went looking for Molly? Did you find Molly, or was it an imposter? Are you aware of the imposters, lurking around every corner just waiting to entice you with the promise of those good feelings… the ones only Molly can give?

Life is hard to say the least, and sometimes you feel the need for something to add just a little excitement…get away from all the mundane of the ordinary, or perhaps even unload the heavy unpleasant baggage from time to time.

May I share a dream I had last night with you? OK? Thank you, well… here goes…

I met a new person, she was definitely agitated, and she appeared to have a lot on her plate. I asked if she would like to go for a ride out in the country. I thought the fresh air and some different scenery certainly couldn’t hurt. She agreed.

She added not much in the way of conversation, as we started out on our little adventure. However, that didn’t bother me much at the time. I continued to drive happily toward our destination.

Soon, we are not in the country anymore, but in a rather large bustling area that happened to be populated with multitudes of people. Visitors everywhere, no one seemed to live there. Why it was kind of like an amusement park!

Luckily, I found a place to pull into, as it seemed to be the only one spot open. As we got out of the car, I pointed toward some “attractions” up ahead. My new friend followed quietly, again not talking much.

Thinking my “newfound friend” was somewhat slow, I picked up the pace of our walking, just a little. She picked up her pace too. That was a good thing, as I do not have much patience with someone, or (something) standing in the way of my happiness.

The next thing I know…my friend is no longer enjoying the sights and attractions around us. She has come to a total stop. I have to carry her and she is like dead weight!

She didn’t appear to be too heavy for me and I could still move right along. At first, I could handle this.

However, it was beginning to get dark and the streetlights were coming on. At that moment, I just wanted to find my car and head home. I had had enough!

To make matters worst it started to rain. My “friend” wasn’t even talking to me anymore, and could no longer help me in anyway. What a burden she is!

I am exhausted carrying her, and trying to remember where I parked the car is getting old. I cannot find it anywhere! Panic is beginning to set in. I’m lost and can’t find my way!

With so many people wandering about, one would think I would ask for directions. I even saw a police officer at one point, but with all the hustle that whirled by, it was just too much trouble to ask for help.

I kept trying harder, on my own, to get back to the safety of my vehicle. What I found instead, was some dark rooms…people all over, but with no one really caring about me at all.

Up and down the streets I went, all to no avail. What torment! The struggles I was facing were simply too big and I could not find my way home!

This scary scenario was only a dream…however, if we are going to tell the truth, as we should, every single one of us has been here, in one form or another.

You do not have to settle for an imposter to bring an everlasting hope and joy into your life.

You, my friend, can have the Real Deal! But, listen up…there is only One Way! Plug into the real Person of Jesus Christ! Accept Him and let Him, help you find your way home.

Satan wants you to believe his lies, don’t do it! He has no truth in him!

God can make a way. Don’t linger, you do not have to wait until you are cleaned up or good enough. The truth is we are never good enough. However, the Father wants you and loves you beyond measure!

“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” (Matt 16:25, KJV)

Seek the One who can make a lasting difference in your life today!

In His Service,

Sandra Brown
Response2sbrown@gmail.com

Posted by: Sandra Brown | October 6, 2013

Inside the Belly of a Whale

You certainly do not like where you are! It is very uncomfortable, dark and positively daunting. This infirmity, you decide, definitely takes first place over any other set of circumstances in your whole life!

You decide to explore these unfamiliar surroundings. Using your own intellect, you start to grapple with thoughts of what to do, to make yourself more comfortable. You wrestle with building a fire to give yourself some warmth and a little light. However, after just a short time, the fire goes completely out…it’s just too damp and wet. After what seems like an eternity of flailing, thrashing, and bobbing, you look around; you see nothing that resembles anything like you have ever seen before!

Not much comforts of home in this place. Boy, what you would give, just to have a nice spot to lay your head down, to refresh yourself; for surely then you would be able to think straight, after resting you would know exactly what to do. Wrong, it isn’t happening! There just isn’t any way to rest or think, not in this atmosphere.

You don’t have any drugs left either, to help you out of this mess. Clumsily you dropped them and cannot see where they have fallen! You are shaking uncontrollably. You notice you are becoming weak, very hungry and thirsty. Being anxious and so very tire, you begin to weep.

Could I please just have a clean glass of cold water, you’re asking? What in the world, is a person expected to eat around here? The smells are utterly disgusting…not to mention the fact, that if you did happen to find some morsel or tidbit, you certainly can’t prepare it!

Problem after problem, no end in sight, they just continually multiply! After having a few fits, along with three or four temper tantrums, you tell yourself, you are intelligent; that you can and will figure this dilemma out. All you need is a little more time.

Now the oxygen level is dropping and you are wondering, are these calamities for real or just a figment of my imagination. You lapse in and out of consciousness… is my life ever going to get any better, or is this it?

You are playing over the memories of your life. You quickly are processing thru them all, those scenes…it appears, as, if it was all just yesterday. Your choices… yeah, they were your choices to make, true. More important, how many others will be affected by choices of yours? Who is being affected now? In addition, who will be affected in the future?

Nevertheless, here you are, and there is nothing else to do! You are powerless to help yourself!

You cry out, “God, please help me. My ways don’t work and I need you”!

Why do we always turn to God as our last resort?

When is the last time you were “Jonah”? Don’t know the story of Jonah? If you want to find out…simply, read the book. It is toward the end of the Old Testament, in the Holy Bible; look after the book of Obadiah and before Micah.

Compare and see if this parallels to your life in any way. I know it did mine. Being stubborn and trying to rationalize your actions apart from God is a very foolish thing to do. But, it is never too late to change.

Putting the pieces back together, is truly not of our making. God does have a plan for each and every one of our lives. Unbelievably, He does not need your help in making it happen! What He does need is your cooperation and trust in Him.

Isaiah 55:8-9
New International Version (NIV)

8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

What do you have to lose?

In His Service,

Sandra Brown

Response2sbrown@gmail.com

Posted by: Sandra Brown | October 2, 2013

When We Accept

When we accept, where we are today and stop pretending, we are at the beginning of seeing the Light. This is not an easy thing to do, especially if we come from a super dysfunctional atmosphere.

When we realize, that we have been trying to escape from the present, to quickly move forward to the future, we don’t give ourselves the opportunity to grow into “the today of our lives”, the same can also be said for trying to live in our past.

When we begin, to truly have a thankful heart and concentrate on what is good and refuse to keep dwelling on bad things in our lives, we are moving ever so slowly to becoming whole again.

When we say aloud, we will give praise to the Holy One…even now, in our present state.
Because, we know, because we have learned, that He alone is our Redeemer, we can rejoice and begin to accept our “today” and find hope for our tomorrows.

When we look around, we see hurting people, and that, my dear friends, is never going to change. However, what can change is our resolve to be different!

When we have, even just a little faith, God can begin to remove the mountains, roadblocks, and all your enemies, which are wanting to bring you further down in deep despair.

When we open our minds, and allow Jesus to move, in only ways that He can, we will be in awe over the amazing gifts, with which He showers us.

When we make the deliberate decision, to change and no longer be, what we used to be the heavens are rejoicing!

“Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise”. Philippians 4:8 NLT

Rest, dear friends, it has been a long day! Nevertheless, it has also been a day with many rewards!

My prayer is that you, will truly seek His face, and feel His presence and lean wholly on Him. He cares for you, more than you can ever imagine! Bring everything to Him, big and small; He wants to be your Source!

It would be great to hear from you! Always remember, to keep up the good fight!

In His Service,

Sandra Brown

Response2sbrown.wordpress.com

Posted by: Sandra Brown | September 18, 2013

Adversity

Is your life full of adversity?

More and more people are saying this is so.

What is going on in your life that is making things spin totally out of control?

Are you responsible for it, do you have a part to play in bringing about well being, and happiness, leaving the chaos behind? Good question, I am certainly glad you asked.

When arriving at the bottom of the barrel, one always feels there is no other place to travel. You feel as if you are totally incapacitated. You simply cannot move, you are stuck, so to speak. If you have ever been there, you know very well what I am saying; it is not a comfortable place! No one likes to be uncomfortable!

Let us find out where this adversity is coming from. Is this self induced, or have you simply found yourself in a set of circumstances that are not of your making, and you feel unable to cope?

Either way, what do you plan on doing… something has to be done, right? I mean, if you continue to live your life this way nothing will ever change! Are you ready to change the status quo?

I believe you are, otherwise you would not continue to read this article!

Congratulations, my dear friend, this is the first step in making something good happen. You have made an excellent choice in deciding to help yourself and turn your life in a positive direction.

Take a very close look at yourself. When you do, you will begin to see that you cannot handle all of the complexities of your life on your own. No one can, really, but the good
news is people are not meant to handle everything alone!

Every one of us needs to be able to connect with others. Look around and you will see that there are support groups readily accessible for whatever your need may be.

At first, you are only seeking help for yourself, and with that goal in mind a group might not be what you are looking for. However, there are many options available, so don’t make a snap decision. You might surprise yourself and be a lot more comfortable having others around than you think.

Also being able to bring something into the group, such as, your knowledge and experiences, will help others, and give you a feeling of reward and a sense of giving back.

Life is indeed hard. Therefore, why not share and strive to bring about a renewed source of strength and awareness to everyone we meet.

Now, you and I are choosing to live our life in new ways, shedding those old destructive habits that brought about an unhealthy lifestyle. We refuse to be brought down any longer!

Remember, using drugs and drinking, did not bring about the happy outcomes as you once expected. After the high was over…where were you? Being honest, you have to admit that you were right back at the bottom of the barrel again!

As you may already know, I am a Christian. I believe Jesus has so much to offer! Don’t limit yourself to the things of this world. Jesus wants to share so much more with you!”

It is not my intention to push my Lord and Savior on anyone. That decision is totally up to you. However, if you do not know Him and would like to become acquainted, it is very simple.

“For God loved the world so much that He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” ( John 3:16 NLT)

I pray that you will not leave Jesus at the door of your heart. Invite Him in and experience His joy, peace, and comfort. If you do so, please drop me a line and let me know. I would love to hear from you!

Does this mean you will never face adversity again? NO. Nevertheless, I would rather have Jesus than to face this world all alone.

In His Service,

Sandra Brown

Response2sbrown@gmail.com

Posted by: Sandra Brown | August 1, 2013

Misused Prescription Drugs

Misused prescription drugs are wreaking havoc!

How is it possible to make a difference in the war against drugs? I am certainly glad you asked that question!

First, and foremost, we can never give up!

I believe the good Lord asks us to become good stewards in the world that He has prepared for us. His Word says, He wants to see us grow, become more like Him and to be an encourager to those around us.

Isn’t it heartbreaking, to see families being robbed from the horrific toll that Drug Abuse is playing in so many lives around us today? You don’t have to look far to see that destruction. It could possibility even be someone in your own family or circle of friends.

I, for one, am not going to be silent against this needless indignation befalling our neighborhood, cities, the United States and the entire world.

We need to rally and we need to do it now! We simply have no time to waste! People are dying every day from an overdose. Whether it is intentional or not, misused prescription drugs are becoming more and more the reason.

Yes, prescription pain medicine is killing our children, mothers, fathers, and even our grandparents! There is no age limit for what is happening! When is it going to stop?

Sadly, it isn’t, not until we make a unified effort to do all we can to prevent these medicines from getting into the wrong hands. Education has to become a major factor as well. Are you willing?

Campaigning Against Drugs…is my battle cry. Will you please join me?

I would be happy to speak with you more in length regarding my testimony and the work I do for a better impact within the family structure.

Please, pray for me, as I commit to seek only His Will and knowledge, along with His abounding Grace to help fortify humanity and break down this stronghold against our society.

In His Service,

Sandra Brown

Response2sbrown@gmail.com

Posted by: Sandra Brown | July 4, 2013

Drugs Are… Destroying our Families

As the title states, drugs are destroying families at an alarming rate!

There is new evidence everyday showing that prescription painkillers are becoming more popular as a drug of choice, and very convenient to buy and sell.

Who do you know in your family that has been affected by this problem? Are any of your close friends being controlled by substance abuse? How about you, do you use drugs? If so, did you start out by taking a pain relief prescription, the one you received for a minor surgery, and now you are hooked?

If you don’t care about your family and loved ones, then by all means you may quit reading this article. However, I know that most of us do, so please stick with me here.

What can we do about this problem, you ask. The answer starts at home. Communication has to be open with everyone in your household. The age-old adage, “ignorance is bliss”, in this case, simply does not work; in fact, it could turn deadly.

You need to become educated and keep a watchful eye, constantly looking for signs and symptoms related to substance abuse. Do not think that this is just a youthful fad or phase that will disappear on its own. It will not go away, and in most cases only gets worse and then totally out of control.

Seek professional help immediately! You will need it! Do not hem haw around, because procrastination only makes the matter worse. Look in your phone book for someone local, getting help from someone close makes things a lot easier than having to drive clear across town.

Once a substance abuser decides to stop using, getting a partner of accountability will be a lifesaver! So with that in mind, remember, support groups are necessary! It should be very easy to find a group in your neighborhood…Google away, now is not the time to be shy.

As I have stated before, there are support groups for the abuser of the drugs and their whole family. Everyone is affected, so be sure and get everybody involved. Learning to cope and handle certain situations provides stability for other family members.

Don’t you dare sit by and do nothing! Life is precious and there are too many resources available to provide the help needed.

Please take this pledge with me today:

Today, I ____________, will no longer sit by idly and watch the destruction caused by substance abuse. I will educate myself, and my household. I will be diligent and support this cause to eradicate this monster, known as Substance Abuse, the one that wreaks havoc on our loved ones.

Signed: _____________________Date:_______________

If you have taken this pledge along with me, I would love to hear from you.

In His Service,

Sandra Brown

Response2sbrown@gmail.com

Posted by: Sandra Brown | June 29, 2013

Independence Day

What comes to mind for you on Independence Day?

The Constitution of the United States

Sparklers and Fireworks

A Picnic at the Park

A Day off from Work

Freedom

Ah, freedom it can mean a good many things to different people:

Freedom is…The immigrant from another country who sees the Statue of Liberty, and tears stream down his face.

Freedom is…The crowd singing the Star Spangled Banner at the baseball game, while looking at Old Glory flying high in the breeze, and getting goose bumps all over.

Freedom is…A wife and children standing at the airport waiting patiently for their soldier to step off that plane and into their arms.

Freedom is…Crying parents waiting at the terminal and seeing the flag draped coffin transported onto the tarmac.

We, my friends, live in the best country in the world!

Some say, America has lost her greatness, that we are a lesser country than we used to be. I say NO! You are wrong and I thank God for the privilege to be an American!

I would like to thank the military and their families, and our veterans, for they are indeed our HEROS! The sacrifices they make ensure we are safe, and our liberties remain. Words of thanks fall so very short.

Prayer, yes I said prayer… is what’s needed, and should be offered up every single day for our Military and their loved ones! Will you commit to the task?

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land”. (2Chron 7:14) NKJV

I Love America, the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave!

Today, as you celebrate this 4th of July in whatever manner you choose, I would also like to ask you to thank someone in our Armed Forces for their services. Let them know they are not forgotten, but greatly appreciated!

Stand up, Christians, on this great day, for you live in America… our Great Nation. Pray to the One who has all in His Mighty Hands!

May God Bless America!

In His Service,

Sandra Brown

Response2sbrown@gmail.com

Posted by: Sandra Brown | June 27, 2013

Live for Today

There is something to be said about living in the moment. However, I think a lot of us are missing out, because we fail to see what is actually going on in our lives this day. So many of us, myself included, are thinking about what’s next, what is going to happen around the bend?

Let us take a moment right here, and right now, truth is…God has provided me with everything I need for this day! I do not have to worry!

When we deceive ourselves into thinking we have control over most of the affairs of our life, we are indeed in a very sad state. The truth is…we are not in control at all. While some may argue that point, they have no concrete evidence to back up that kind of thinking.

How many times have we planned on doing something and it does not happen due to unforeseen circumstances? Is that just a coincidence, I do not think so.

The big picture is all in the hands of the Lord Almighty. We are His people and the sheep of His pasture!

I have decided to rejoice in this day! I am not going to look ahead and drum up unnecessary problems that may or may not occur. Life is short; we need to savor every minute of the time we are allowed on this earth.

Knowing God is in control of the world gives us complete peace … that is, if you decide to accept Him and His love.

We think circumstances and things make us happy; but those things change quickly, therefore, it is unhealthy to rely upon worldly objects and people to meet that huge task. More importantly, it would be better to seek joy, and that joy my friend, is Jesus Christ! He is the only One that can give anything of lasting value!

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Phil 4:8) KJV

As I say so frequently, we all have choices to make. How about deciding to live for today? Are there people with whom you want to reconnect? Do you want to stop using and drinking? Do you want to have a clear mind and loving heart?

If you have said yes to any of those questions above, guess what, there isn’t a better time than NOW! As the slogan goes…just do it!

May this day be one of joy for us all! May God Bless you and your loved ones,

In His Service,

Sandra Brown

Response2sbrown@gmail.com

Posted by: Sandra Brown | June 20, 2013

Staying Isolated

Are you in the habit of staying isolated as much as possible? Do you enjoy keeping all those secrets to yourself? Are you afraid if you are around people they will find out who you really are and the habits you keep?

STOP! Please don’t stay with that mode of thinking any longer. You are not bad! However, you do have some problems that need to be dealt with in a healthy manner. Don’t worry what others are thinking. No one is going to judge you. Quite the opposite, because it truly takes courage to come forward and seek the lifestyle you want so desperately.

If you want to recover, you must get around others who are committed to gaining the same goals as yourself. Having a support system is a big factor in reaching those goals and staying clean.

Keeping yourself away from people does not help your recovery one little bit. It is when we take the time to expose ourselves and bring to light our worst nightmares that we can begin to heal.

You have to start by trusting someone. Do you already have someone in mind that you look up to and feel he or she is trustworthy? If you do not, there are organizations out there to speak with, as I have mentioned in previous articles.

For example, I had the good fortune to meet the Operations Director of Epic Behavioral Healthcare Center in Saint Augustine, FL. His name is Tim Alexander. He took me on a tour of the facility and explained a lot about what they do there. He also explained that they do not turn anyone away because of the inability to pay!

Check in your area to see if there is the same type of system set up. Stop making excuses, you want to make this work or you don’t. Yes, it is so very hard, but nothing in life is really that easy, is it?

Once you have gotten yourself clean, there are many programs to help you stay that way!

Remember, do not stay in isolation…keep going to your meetings! It is there you are going to find the strength and encouragement to overcome your biggest obstacles! It always helps to talk it out with someone who has been there and has conquered the demons you are now facing.

You, my friend, are much stronger than you give yourself credit. In addition, Jesus is here, and He wants to give you His strength and His power to help you rid your body of those vile toxins that are trying to take you down the road of despair and death! Remember, Jesus said, “I have overcome the world”.

Ask Jesus to help you right now, right where you are. In your lowest moment, He is there waiting for you to seek His help. Trust Him!

Now get busy and surround yourself with others; it might be you will need to do this every day! That is okay…just do not isolate yourself.

In His Service,

Sandra Brown

Response2sbrown@gmail.com

Posted by: Sandra Brown | June 16, 2013

Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day

This Father’s Day finds me thinking of all my childhood memories as well as
recent memories…you see my Dad is still with me. He is 92 years old, and doing very well, in fact, he can still run circles around most of his children!

Talking with him on the phone today was a special gift. God has blessed him with wonderful endurance, love and care for his family, and all who meet him.

Several times each week, he travels to different nursing homes to sing and play his guitar, as he has been doing for years. Daddy often takes requests and happily sings, but his favorite tunes are mostly southern gospel songs. He is very talented, even if I do say so myself; and the folks there always love to hear him play.

My Dad started playing at a very early age. He was actually a member of a Country Western band. They called themselves, “The Suwannee River Playboys”. I think their gigs were mostly for fun on the weekends. I remember seeing pictures of the band and thinking how handsome my Daddy looked. From head to toe all decked out, cowboy hat, western ware, and boots, he sure looked mighty fine!

I could go on and on about my father, there are simply so many wonderful and endearing stories that come to mind.

However, let me turn this around…what are your memories with your Dad? Are they comfortable ones you would you want to share with others, or are your memories something you prefer to keep to yourself?

Look back as far as you can remember… what picture comes to mind when you see your Dad…are you laughing, happy, hurting, angry, or just plain sad? I think of the time, my Dad was moving the lawn sprinkler (back in the old days when people used to do that sort of thing), he asked me to go turn off the water, and then turn it back on after he replaced it elsewhere in the yard.

I was obedient; I went and turned off the water just as my Dad had instructed me to. Then, I just don’t know what happened! As he bent over to place the sprinkler back down in a different location …something told me to turn the water on full blast! And I did!

As soon as I did the deed at hand, I sprang up and started to make a run for it! Well, so help me… getting up so quickly to make my get away, I hit my head on the window, (in those days the windows rolled out away from the house), and I almost saw stars, as a matter of fact, I think I definitely saw a few!

Maybe Daddy felt sorry for me, hitting my head like that and all; because I did not get into the trouble I thought I was in for. Please remember that my Dad was very stern back in the day!

What are your memories today? Take the time and revisit them if you can, savor the moment and share what you may. If they are not as happy as you wished for, would you consider letting them go, so you may begin to heal and make new memories.

Tomorrow is a new beginning…don’t waste it! God has given you an opportunity to change your circumstances.

Happy Father’s Day to all Daddies out there!

In His Service,

Sandra Brown

Response2sbrown@gmail.com

Posted by: Sandra Brown | June 15, 2013

Get Your Life Straightened Out

How many times have you said that you wanted to be obedient to God, get your life straightened out and be used for His glory? It sure sounds like you’re thinking in the right direction…but do you really mean it?

Life is difficult and the pulling of the flesh is very real! Maybe you decide you only want to follow God and be used by Him on your own terms? That way it wouldn’t be too hard and you can still do some of the things you want.

The truth is, you cannot have it both ways! If you think it is possible to please your flesh and God, then you, my friend, are only deceiving yourself!

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their lifef will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it…” (Matt 16:24-25) NIV.

God wants us to have his very best. However, to receive His very best we have to be willing to lay aside all our wants and desires. At times, in the flesh, we think we just cannot do that.

Again, the truth is we can’t, not on our own! It takes the blood of Jesus to help us reach the goals He has in store for us! Sometimes people grasp this concept very quickly, and others, well, they travel through this life fighting, kicking and screaming the whole way.

Do you think your problems are over now? No, they are not. As a matter of fact, Jesus said we will have troubles and tribulations, and to get ready for them!

Circumstances here on this earth are never going to be perfect. The good news is, the very same Jesus who told us to take up our cross and follow him, has given us a helper. If you are born again, that helper is the Holy Spirit who dwells within you!

Becoming mature in life takes time, just as our walk with Jesus takes times. As soon as you accept Jesus into your heart, you are His forever. That is the greatest decision you will ever make! As you begin your new relationship with Him, you will want to learn more about him, and who he is. An excellent way to do this is to get into His Word.

Remember… you can’t start reading your Bible one day and the next day know it all. Remember… you are still going to have problems. How would you get your life straightened out if you never had any adversity to help you grow and make godly decisions, where would you be?

Let me give you an example. This week my AC went out! I do not like to be hot! I thought I was going to die! (well not really, but kinda, sort of), the repair people had to order a part and it wasn’t coming soon enough for me! But, as you can see, I haven’t died.

Now let’s think about this…at times sweating is a good thing. As our bodies become hot we start to sweat, that in turn helps us to cool down, it also helps to rid our body of toxins, and you start feeling better. You might perhaps even lose some weight! Exerting yourself to the point of sweating may be uncomfortable; but afterwards you feel so much better.

The same thing applies when you go through hardships. After coming off drugs and alcohol, initially you don’t feel all that well; however, once you have accomplished that feat you realize how much better you feel, and that it was worth the struggle.

Life is a process of making decisions. God has always given us the option to make our own decisions; He will not make them for you. However, remember He is always there to go through all of life with you.

I remember saying to my friends at church and Bible study group, “oh, how I want to be like Paul and bring encouragement and the Good News to others!”

At the time I made that statement, I wasn’t thinking about the transformation that first had to take place. Remember, Paul was Saul of Tarsus, first. He went through all kinds of difficulties and hardships to get to the place where the Lord could use him.

How many times have you wanted to get your life straightened out so that you can be used by the Lord? Keep pushing forward toward the goal! You can attain the richness of His plan for your life!

Stick with the program, do your best, and God will do the rest!

In His Service,

Sandra Brown

Response2sbrown@gmail.com

Posted by: Sandra Brown | June 10, 2013

My First Time at Celebrate Recovery

The first time I went to a Celebrate Recovery meeting was shortly after my husband committed suicide. As I have mentioned before, he was addicted to prescription drugs.

Not knowing what to expect, I was pleasantly surprised. It felt good to be out amongst people again. I cannot say enough good things about the overwhelming welcome I received upon entering the building.

The next thing that absolutely grabbed my attention… is how open and transparent everyone there was. I could hardly believe it! I mean, there was no pretense, people didn’t hide behind anything. They were themselves…and it was all ok!

The agenda for the meeting that evening went something like this…

First, there was a nice, but simple meal brought in for all to enjoy.

Second, everyone gathered in a large group for a time of worship and fellowship

Third, everyone broke into small groups and had discussion and support time

Last, everyone came back together for dessert and coffee

It was truly a wonderful and eye opening experience for me! There was no judging going on whatsoever! People could talk and express their feelings without condemnation.

When I left that night, my spirits had been greatly uplifted! I couldn’t help but think of my late husband, and wishing he could have known about this addiction recovery program.

While, I don’t know if his demise would have been any different, I am convinced he would have had a huge support team. Others would have been able to share with him their struggles, experiences and hopes, things that worked and did not.

The sad part is, I couldn’t relate with him at all…I simply did not understand the things he was going through. All I could do was sympathize with him and that is not good enough!

I have to thank a friend of mine for introducing me to the world of Celebrate Recovery.

Ever since then, I have been a huge advocate for the Celebrate Recovery Program.

The wonderful thing about Celebrate Recovery is that it’s not just for one type of problem. There are many different groups to choose from, including help for family members.

Just maybe, you or someone you know might be able to benefit from these meetings. Is there anyone that comes to your mind?

Lives are being changed from hopelessness to a recovery and freedom!

Please check it out today…it could possibility mean the difference of having your spouse come back home.

In His Service,

Sandra Brown

Response2sbrown@gmail.com

Posted by: Sandra Brown | June 9, 2013

Do Not Let Just Anybody Make Your Decisions

How easy it is to get into a rut and start asking, “what is wrong with my life”?

As you attempt to decipher what is actually going on, you get a headache… and the more you think about it, the more confused you get. You know something is definitely wrong; however, you simply cannot put a finger on it.

After tossing ideas around in your head for days and still not coming to any conclusions, you decide to ask somebody else for suggestions.

Is that a good idea? If you truly cannot get a handle on whatever is taking place in your life, then yes, you probably should be talking to someone.

Nonetheless, I do not believe you should be talking to just anyone! Some very well meaning people could give you advice that would be just the opposite of what you really need to hear.

Others may try their best to tell you what they think you should do, reciting a story that happened to “Uncle Jim” over ten years ago, but do they really know what’s best for you?

What am I saying here? Do not let just anybody make your decisions! The Bible tells us, it is a good thing to seek wise counsel. So when asking for help, you need to decide if the people you are asking have the right credentials in place.

Do your homework before you start asking for help. Is this person…?

1. An upstanding representative in the community
2. A person that leads by example
3. A trustworthy person
4. A person with life experiences and education

What I am trying to say is this; don’t make matters worst and share intimate details with someone who cannot help you. Sometimes we might not know if they are the right person to talk with. In that case, you have to go with your intuition. (which for Christians, is the prompting of the Holy Spirit).

Taking the time to ask yourself the questions above should prove insightful. Then you won’t let just anybody make your decisions!

May you receive the stability and peace of mind that you are searching for.

My God is able! Trust in Him to lead you toward a better life.

In His Service,

Sandra Brown

Response2sbrown@gmail.com

Posted by: Sandra Brown | June 4, 2013

My Pot is Definitely Cracked

My Pot is Definitely Cracked

Let me share a reality with you. I now realize I definitely have a cracked pot! It is actually more than cracked and sometimes I think it to be totally broken with no value at all! However, I do know better than that.

You see, months ago, I felt it was the right time to start the journey that was birthed in my mind back in 2005. This new journey, my ministry at Addiction and Cures is to give hope and awareness to those struggling with addictions. While I was not sure exactly where to begin, I just jumped in, so to speak.

Since then, I have had some developments in my life, ones that I would never choose for myself; but I have decided to count them all joy. Knowing this must seem a little odd to you, so let me explain.

These developments have been exceedingly hard and that my friend is putting it mildly. Nevertheless, during these difficult times, God has been bringing me closer to Him and that is something I have so longed for!

In order to be closer to my Lord, some things needed to change. You cannot move forward if you are standing still. Being stagnant does not bring about all God wants to achieve in ones life.

It is so easy to say you are a Christ follower when life is rosy and all is well. However, let us suffer some gut wrenching pain and agonies…are you still the follower of Christ you say you are? It is easy right about now to think, what’s the use…this is just not working.

I can say firsthand, it is always a good feeling to be on the mountaintop. I have found though, when I hit bottom and deep despair…that is where my growth takes place. In addition, the Comforter, (Higher Power) takes over and allows His peace to transfer me into a place of calm.

Don’t get me wrong, I do not enjoy pain and suffering! It really does hurt badly! Nevertheless, what comes from these experiences brings about a greater understanding and a closer walk for me with my creator, my Abba Father.

Through these storms I will continue to praise Him! It reminds me of the great pains of childbirth. Oh, the excruciating pain a mother goes through when her child is being born! Then, a little while later, you have unspeakable joy, a joy greater than you could ever imagine!

“2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
(James 1:2-4 NIV)

Therefore, as I am going through this valley…I will praise Him, and allow Him to do in my life what only He can do. I am absolutely certain that He can fix my cracked pot and make me a vessel fit to serve Him.

Is your pot cracked too? If so, why not get it fixed. Call upon the name of Jesus and he will answer you. Discouragement, drinking, using, depression and worry can be over come and healing is available, no matter where the cause comes from.

In His Service,

Sandra Brown

Response2sbrown@gmail.com

Posted by: Sandra Brown | June 2, 2013

Manipulative

Manipulative

Today is the day you are doing a moral inventory of your life. You have come to understand you are where you are, because of the choices you have made. At this point in your life, you are not blaming anyone else for who you have become. You are also not depending on others or stuff to make you happy!

It takes a lot of courage to set down and work hard on understanding what makes you tick. Most of us do not do this until we are forced to. Nevertheless, once you are here it can be quite liberating; and really does emancipate you!

Mulling over the things you have done and seeing yourself for who you are, gives much to consider. Have you lied, cheated, and abused yourself and others to accomplish the goals you had in mind?

Being the sinner I am I must confess that I have. Sad to say, the truth is we all have done some of the above mentioned at one time or another.

If you have bent the truth even just a little to try to convince people of seeing things your way, you are being manipulative! It doesn’t work very well, does it? Oh, you might manage to keep things running smoothly for a matter of time, however, in the end things go amuck and fall apart!

Here is the good news…you have realized what you have been doing. WOW, you never believed yourself to be that person. You thought the problem was with someone else!

I am proud of you! Congratulations for discovering and owning up to your life! Knowing the truth really does set us free, right? Seeing for yourself is half of the battle!

What is integrity?
• Incorruptibility: firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values
• Soundness: an unimpaired condition
• Completeness: the quality or state of being complete or undivided
Integrity is synonymous with honesty.

Digging deeper into our self, we don’t like much of what we are seeing.

But take heart, you haven’t come this far to throw it all away now. You are getting stronger day by day! Those who listen to Joyce Meyer know she has a saying, “I’m not there yet, but praise God, I’m not where I used to be!”

You my friend are taking the steps to becoming a completely new you! The one that can enjoy life, in spite of the struggles you may face. With all of life’s up’s and down’s you are taking a stand and developing a healthy lifestyle, no more drinking and using for you!

Continue to work on yourself, be diligent and do not slack up! The opportunity to achieve your greatness is now! God is there waiting to walk every single step with you.

Thank You Lord Jesus for bringing me to where I am today. You alone are worthy! I surrender every ounce of my being over to you right now, this very instant. I know that you are completely able to transform me into the person you want me to become. Now I rest in your Holy Arms this very day. In Jesus Precious Name, Amen and Amen.

In His Service,

Sandra Brown

Response2sbrown@gmail.com

Posted by: Sandra Brown | May 29, 2013

One’s Thoughts

One’s Thoughts

One’s thoughts can be a stronghold of complete destruction if we are not careful to keep a check on what we allow into our mind! It starts out very subtle and eventually it takes over without our even realizing.

Where are these thoughts coming from is a question we need to ask ourselves everyday. People tend to play with fire, but until they are burnt, they don’t know how hot the flames actually are.

What is the best way to keep our thoughts in check?

The very best way I know is to line up our thoughts with the Word of God. If you do not know what His Word says, you will stumble and fall very easily.

One needs to set aside a time daily to get into the Word and worship our Heavenly Father. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. God knows our heart!

Don’t try and praise Him, just to get what you want from Him. He sees right through that.

Getting real with God and earnestly seeking Him and Him alone is the way to find true peace and happiness. So when something doesn’t go the way you planned, trust that our God is Sovereign and He does not make mistakes.

We can and do make mistakes all the time; none of us is perfect. When we realize we have made a mistake, we need to say it’s okay…we can back up and take a different course of action.

God takes our mistakes and uses them for His good, no matter what the intention was from the onset. God can turn any situation around if we allow Him.

Where we get into trouble is by following our own stubborn will. We have a habit of not wanting to let go of certain things or people in our life. In other words, we want to handle everything all on our own!

The problem is, this is not the way God intended. He wants us to engage with Him daily, and to seek His wisdom.

One’s thoughts can be dangerous and detrimental, such as to keep on using; or you can control your thoughts and allow them to guide you into seeking professional help from addictions and gain a healthy lifestyle.

Posted by: Sandra Brown | May 29, 2013

Where Do You Go?

Where Do You Go?

When you feel as if your whole life is a disaster…that nothing you do works the way you want it to…

When all of your relationships have turned sour and your many marriages did not work…

When you feel useless to society…

When you are all alone day in and out…

When you don’t have a job and aren’t sure where next month’s rent is coming from…

Under these circumstances, it is very difficult to keep a positive attitude. The worldly approach would be to give up and say you’re done.

You are simply not going to try anymore to fix your life and the environment around you.

The truth is the devil would like nothing better for you than to believe these lies. If he can convince you to buy into his lies that everything is indeed very hopeless, then you will not bother to try anymore. You will continue to look for your next hit or bottle! He will keep you right where he wants you. In a word, defeated!

Because even if you are a Christian, if the devil can sabotage and control your thinking you will be of no value to God or yourself!

You cannot go by the way you feel today. The truth is…Greater is He that is in you than he who is in the world.

Jesus still has a plan for your life regardless if you feel like it or not! Trust Him to prove to you that His way is much better than the one you have been traveling.

Where do you go when you are alone, hurt and sad?

You go to the One who created the world you live in! He made you; He is the One who understands better than anyone else what you are going through!

Give God all your sorrows and insecurities, because He truly cares for you.

Speak to Him now and receive the hope that He has waiting!

In His Service,

Sandra Brown

Response2sbrown@gmail.com

Posted by: Sandra Brown | May 26, 2013

Guard Your Heart

Guard Your Heart

Is your heart happy or hurting today? Are you allowing people or negative situations to make your heart sad?

Most of us would not intentionally agree to have the wrong type of people in our lives, much less let negative situations influence the way we think and live.

We certainly cannot blame anyone other than ourselves for the condition of our lives.

I’m sure you have heard that hindsight is 20/20. While that may not help us with our past, it can be a great help for our future.

Having said that, how do we keep from being blind-sided and quit doing the things we don’t want to do?
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Are you making the effort it takes to keep the boundaries of your world healthy? We know that with addictive personalities there are definite things that trigger our weaknesses. You cannot keep doing the same things constantly and expect a different outcome.

Check to see where you are headed in your life. Do you have a good and positive program lined up? If not, what are you going to change?

You are here on this earth for a short while, and only have one go- around. Start making your greatest decisions for a healthy and prosperous life TODAY!

You already know the areas in your life that need to change. The people that drag you down and tempt you with unhealthy desires…GET RID OF THEM!

DO NOT keep making excuses and blaming others for your lifestyle! Get the professional help you need; choose a completely new group of friends if you have to.

“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make…” (Deu 30:19, NLT.)

Don’t hurt any longer…guard your heart, be happy! You can start making the changes in life now to receive abundant blessings!

May God be your comforter and guide. He alone gives peace like no other.

In His Service,

Sandra Brown
Response2sbrown@gmail.com

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