Saturday, February 14, 2015

Misconceptions about the Bible

I would like to clear up some misconceptions about the Bible.

You see, so much is “done” in the name of “God.” So many are hurt, killed, murdered, or whatever in the name of some religion (namely ISIS at the moment), and since I’m a Christian and believe in the Bible, I feel compelled to share with you what IT (the Bible/God, our Creator) actually says about how we are to treat one another.

When someone asked Jesus what the “greatest commandment” is, here’s the answer He gave in Mark 12:30-31, “… you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

These verses are the crux of how a true Christian should behave. Anyone behaving otherwise, is not portraying how Jesus taught us to be. Period. And the fact that this commandment originated from God Himself, tells me what kind of Person He is: all good and all loving.

As it says in 1 John 4:8

“The one who does not love does not know God,
for God is love.”

If someone claiming to be a “Christian” commits an abominable act in the name of God, please know, they are doing something despicable in God’s sight.

So, whether or not you’re a believer of God and/or the Bible, and especially if you DO believe, let’s try to love one another.

Matthew 5:44, “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

One last thing, I may be throwing around scripture, but that doesn’t make me any more “perfect” than the rest of us.

That’s why we ALL need Jesus.

Romans 3:23

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”


John 3:16

“For God so loved the world,
that he gave his only Son,
that whoever believes in him

should not perish but have eternal life.”

Monday, February 2, 2015

I'M A CONTRADICTION

I don't know how God puts up with me. When I had cancer, I KNEW He could heal me. I had no doubts! I KNEW IT! I just didn't know if it was His WILL. I remember talking to Him about it, saying, I knew He could cure me. And if it wasn’t His will to do it, He'd have to find someone to raise my kids, someone who would love them as much as I do and bring them ALL to heaven. If He could do that, then I’m ready to go. (Just a side note: He could have done that, you know. He is GOD, the creator and inventor of EVERYTHING, after all.)

Then . . . God healed me! Now I'm living my life!!! But there are times, I get in such a tizzy of worry and feeling overwhelmed. Today, I was driving to the store for the umpteenth time and I said out loud, “I’m overwhelmed. I have so much to do, I don’t know how I’m gonna get it all done.”

My little Chelsea (who’s seven, btw) heard me from the back seat and declared, “Take it one day at a time, Mommy. Just one day.” Then she went on to remind me that I taught her that when she’d get overwhelmed because she had to read all those words on one page. She said, “You told me to just read one word at a time and don’t look at all the other words. Just read one word at a time. You taught me that, Mommy!” If she wasn’t in her booster seat, she probably would have patted me on the shoulder as if we were “girl friends” and given me a hug.

My response: “And now you’re teaching it back to me.” She’s my blessing. God is teaching me through her. From the mouths of babes.

Before this, I was worrying about something the other day, and close to freaking out about it, then I remembered to PRAY, asking God what I should do. That’s when Philippians 4:8-9 came to mind:

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, DWELL on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and THE GOD OF PEACE WILL BE WITH YOU (emphasis of all-caps is mine).

It’s so NICE to know God loves me! He answered that prayer immediately by giving me that verse. And He loves me through my precious little girl who re-teaches me the lessons I’ve taught her. I’d say this is also a blessing of homeschooling. She’s reading with fluency now. So, so proud of her! But more importantly, so glad I get to be her mother.

Thank You God. Thank You my precious, heavenly Father for letting me LIVE. Now I just ask for the same kind of faith I had over the great big ugly cancer . . . that I can apply it to these trivial things in life. Silly that I don’t, huh?


One thing I learned about getting sick and not being able to function. Life goes on. With or without you. Somehow, things get done. And what doesn’t get done . . . isn’t the end of the world. Just trust in God. TRUST in HIM. He is able!!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

OUT OF THE ASHES

I have to share the gorgeous cover to my next historical romance novel, which I pray will release this June. This is assuming all the edits run smoothly and nothing goes wrong! In the meantime, here's the unveiling of the cover, and a book jacket description so you can have some idea of what this book is about! I give ALL the credit to my amazing book cover designer, Roseanna White. She was able to implement everything I asked, even the royal-blue color for the dress! Her gorgeous design is what I believe will sell this book. I know, I know. They say, "Don't judge a book by its cover." But people DO! And she makes my book look good!

I just hope the inside of this book meets the expectations that this cover evokes!


Nathaniel Ward, wealthy entrepreneur, needs a wife. But he’s not interested in the preening, high-society women who are offered to him on a silver platter. He wants one woman, and one woman alone—a girl he met on the streets in Colorado when he was destitute after escaping the Great Chicago Fire that took his family. He sets out to find this woman and discovers she’s unattached. There’s only one problem, a shotgun wedding may be able to bind them, but will he ever be able to win her heart?

Amelia E. Taylor blows a kiss to a street rat. Little did she know that kiss would follow her years later to Green Pines, Colorado. When a handsome stranger arrives in her hometown, she guards her heart from the stirrings this man ignites. Despite society’s disapproval of spinsterhood, she is determined not to marry, having witnessed first hand the lack of love and horrors that accompany marriage. But will a shotgun wedding reveal the blessings that can arise out of the ashes?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

THE LORD'S LADY


So . . . despite being such a mess, here's something I've come up with that I realized I should share with all of you.

In my quest to rediscover myself, I started this new blog titled THE LORD'S LADY. If you want to know what this blog is all about, how it got its title, etc. just click on the link above to learn more.

I was at first very excited about this endeavor, and one of my amazing writer friends, Roseanna White, designed the header for it. (I've had so much support from so many people, it's mind boggling!) Anyway, I've written a few posts for it, and maybe I'll share some of them here. But there's a part of me that thinks maybe I need to just stick to "teaching" the "word" in my novels. It comes more naturally to me that way. It's a more "personal" situation that way too. I'm also much better at one-on-one Bible studies, verses teaching to a multitude of women from several backgrounds, understanding and knowledge, I'm almost overwhelmed with how I can reach or touch so many lives on so many levels. Where does one start?

I'm learning, it's one thing to "know" something, but it's a completely different story when trying to "teach" or "explain" what you know or have learned to someone else. In many ways, it's just like writing a book. As writers, we've got to make sure we "show" the reader every aspect of a scene: setting, characters, emotion, etc. so they know where they're at, both physically and internally. But when imparting "knowledge" or "wisdom" (which I'm still a LONG WAYS in learning these things myself, so please realize I'm not thinking "I know better") it's different. In fact, I'm hoping we can learn from each other. There's so much I have to learn and discover. That's what The Lord's Lady is all about.

Either way, I've got a gazillion "ideas" for posts for this new blog, and I'll just see where it leads. At the moment, my favorite post is titled DON'T CLING TO PAPER NAILS if any of you would like to read it. And if you'd like to read the other posts, I'd be thrilled. Again, I really don't "know it all." I just LOVE talking about God's word and discovering His Truths and sharing His Truths.

As my seven-year-old daughter likes to say, "God is such a GOOD Person! He is so BIG and He's even bigger than our house! I just love Him, Mommy." Yes, those are her words. She has a lot to be grateful for since He allowed her mommy to stick around a bit longer. He's all she talks about.

I often thank God for letting me live. So often! When I get to witness conversations like the one above, when I get to teach my son a new lesson about life, when I get to sit and read a story to my youngest, when I get to run my two older daughters from school to work, I thank God that He let me live! During this process, however, I also recall the story of Hezekiah in the Bible and how he was sick, but God gave him sixteen more years, and during those sixteen years, he completely blew it and pretty much handed God's people over to the enemy. Anyway, when I thank God for letting me live, I also ask him to help me NOT be like Hezekiah. Gulp! I really don't trust myself. After all, if Hezekiah can blow it, not to mention David, Solomon, ETC, (and these folks had close communication with God!), how much better could I possibly do? So, yeah. I pray that as well.

Okay . . .

Sometimes I feel like there's so much in my head that I have to get it all OUT. So, I guess my braincells aren't completely fried. Right?

Enough rambling. I hope you like THE LORD'S LADY.

Monday, September 22, 2014

I'M A MESS

Ever since SURVIVING cancer, I can't seem to get myself in order. The collateral for my new publishing company fell through, and honestly, I'm fine with that. I prayed and asked God to open and close the doors. He clearly closed that one. So, I'm simply going to save what I can to publish one of my own stories and let one of my books be the guinea pig before I branch out with other people's books. But that means . . . I have to write. Me. No one else. It's all up to me to be the one to WRITE.

I've been so disillusioned because I haven't been able to write! There are so many reasons why.

Chemo/radiation did something to my brain. I remember it happening, how I couldn't think as sharply, suffering from forgetfulness and making the stupidest mistakes in spelling, it's really laughable. Back in January when I took on homeschooling, I approved of my daughter's spelling of "doll" as "DALL," until my son noticed it and made the correction. I mean . . . who does that? Of course, that was months ago, way back in January, and I've "learned" how to spell "doll" since then, LOL, but that's the kind of stuff I was facing. Actually, homeschooling has been a good "brain gym" exercise for me, and I can feel myself resharpening those "brainwave" connections.

I was also hoping to get my third book back from my publisher. They won't release the contract, and so I said I'd never write it. Not as a punishment, but just because it wasn't worth it financially. Ya know? It's A LOT of work writing a novel, especially one that long and that full of emotion and strife. But then, I keep getting this nudge from God about how my "yes should be yes, and my no should be no." After all, I DID sign a contract. I feel like I'm such a horrible person. My publisher helped me when I was sick, they stuck out their necks for me during that time, and prayed for me. And here I am begging to have my book back. Of course, it was all related to finances. But you know . . . I need to LET GO of my focus on MONEY. It truly is the root of all evil.

When I was dying, God provided for us in many "portions and in many ways." It's pretty foolish not to lean on Him now. Not to trust in Him after everything He's done for me. He CURED ME of cancer! What a fool I'd be NOT to TRUST Him now. I mean, really!

So . . . if DeWard will still have me, I WILL one day write that third book. I've got the story in my head. It needs to come out. But I just need to ask all of you for your understanding. For your patience. As I am not the same "Sandi" I used to be, and I'm still trying to figure "me" out, and I pray you'll forgive me when I make those foolish, perhaps "unfeeling" mistakes, as I'm trying to find this new path God has set me on. The only way that third book is going to be any good is if I "practice" a bit and warm up some by writing other things.

I'm working on a light story right now, and for the first time since before cancer, I've actually written two full chapters! For most writers of novels, that's not much, but for me, it's HUGE! It's GINORMOUS! I can also tell it's good for my "brain." So few understand what I've been going through. Just because the cancer is gone, doesn't mean the side-effects from all that poison put into me is gone. I'm constantly faced with remnants of it on a daily basis.

Focusing my time, my MIND, on my kids has been thee BEST thing I could have done. Teaching them, and giving them my ALL . . . I can't go wrong there. Ya know? Now, I'm comfortable enough to branch out a tiny bit more.

So, I'm asking for your prayers. You see, the other reason I couldn't write is because it became my idol. It was ALL I did. I neglected giving my kids the time and attention they deserved and needed when I was writing. I DON'T WANT to become that person again. I pray constantly that I won't, and right now, it's NOT a temptation. I'm not as OBSESSED as I used to be about writing. I enjoy it, but I don't NEED it. I'm not living, breathing, eating it. If that makes any sense. So now you know. That's my confession, and my sin. Despite that, I think God is slowly giving this gift back to me, little by little, in slow increments. And I'm happy to go slow, happy to move in three speeds: slow, slower, and slowest when it comes to writing. I don't ever want it to take over my family and my life like it did in the past.

Well, that's all I have to say. Time for bed, and I pray those people I've disappointed and have hurt will have the heart to forgive me. So many had done things for me while I was sick, and I was too sick and oblivious to realize just "how much" they did, and I know I've hurt some people's feelings by not expressing enough gratitude for what they did do. On top of that, I can't keep up on all the good that was done for me. I can't keep up with all the thanks I owe to so many! Please know, I'm grateful! I'm thankful! But most of all, I'm thankful to my Holy Father because HE'S the one who brought me all these wonderful gifts through all of you. Thank you for being willing to let Him use you as His instrument. I pray He blesses you for blessing me.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

SAYING "GOODBYE" TO THE PAST, AND "HELLO" TO THE FUTURE

BIG CHANGES are underway.

I haven't spent much time writing on this blog. After beating cancer, I really didn't want to sit down on the couch (where I spent two whole years) and stare into my computer screen when I could be staring into my children's beautiful faces.

Since "re-learning" how to live, in January, I started homeschooling my two youngest children. I never thought I was "smart enough" to take on such a task, but a close friend (who has a teaching degree), told me I CAN do this! And . . . I CAN! YAY! Anyway, I'm homeschooling for a number of reasons. I wanted to make up for lost time, plus, they weren't doing all that well in school. So, ever since starting with homeschooling, everything is going GREAT!! They are happy to have one-on-one with Mom, and I'm happy to see them grow, make progress, and hug and snuggle with them while we read together. I will say, those first few months of homeschooling were stressful with no set curriculum and just trying to get them "caught up." There was no time for friends or writing on blogs or books. Anyway, I've learned a lot since then, and things have calmed down significantly. But one thing is certain, my God will always come FIRST, then my husband, and then my kids. Books and writing are LAST on my list.

I used to think offering one of my books to God was a big thing. After all, I wrote it to glorify Him! But I've come to realize there are greater things to bring to His throne, and it's an offering that I know without-a-doubt is pleasing to Him (not to mention, something I can take with me to heaven): My children. Now, instead of visualizing myself entering into that throne room with my book in hand, I envision myself carrying my children in my arms and laying them at the feet of my heavenly Father who gave me these precious beings to mold and shape into people who will glorify and honor Him. Only with God's strength can I be successful at doing that! Honestly, homeschooling is an amazing way to make that happen. My six-year-old no longer comes home (she did this in kindergarten) saying "Oh, my G_ _!" And I remember registering my son for preschool years ago, and one of those preschoolers was using the "F" word! Nice to know they no longer will have those "lovely" influences. They were doing very well despite those things, but it required a lot more work, keeping on them and staying ahead of the game. Not to mention hours upon hours of homework for my oldest, and hours of homework for my first-grader because she didn't complete her assignments in class, and no time to play at home after school because of that! Whew! Now, I have no one to combat but our own little selves, and the kids can PLAY like kids are meant to do! We meet up with other homeschool kids in the neighborhood, and the children go at it, having a blast!

Now, back to books . . . many of you have asked when that "third book" will be coming out. I'm afraid I've only reached Chapter Two (that was last year or so), and I haven't moved forward since. I can't write it because it's kind of "dark" like the first two books, and after spending so much time on death's doorstep, I just don't want to "go there." I also thought, if I could self-publish my book, maybe I could write it because I'd make more money. So . . . I BEGGED my publisher to terminate my contract with them for the third book so I could earn full profits on it. After twenty emails back and forth, they've put down their foot and have refused to release me of my contract. That means . . . my third book will never be written. Yes, you heard me right. My third book will NEVER be written. And what's crazy is . . . I'm RELIEVED. I begged and begged to have my book back, and finally when I realized it wasn't going to happen and had to let the story go, I surprisingly felt relief. I think ultimately, I simply didn't want to write another intense, "dark" story. Plus, chemo has taken it's toll on my brain, and focusing on a blank page, knowing I have to complete an entire novel . . . hmm. It's been a challenge.

It's really time to move on. So, I'm saying "goodbye" to the past and "hello" to the future.

And . . . I'M STARTING MY OWN PUBLISHING COMPANY! I've done a lot of work for others and their publishing companies, and I feel like if they can do it, surely I can too! So, please pray for me as I take on this new venture. Doing this actually inspires me to WRITE! I may not be able to write that third book, but I can write LOTS of other books! And I have LOTS of ideas! In the meantime, I've been editing and making some much needed money, so why not publish other authors who can't get their books into the bigger houses? There are so many amazing, talented authors with great stories out there who can't get their foot in the door with those bigger publishing companies. Well, I want to be the one to discover them and make their work shine! AND this is where I can publish my own work. The word-count can be what I want it to be, and I can write ANYTHING I want! YAY!

Life is GOOD. Thank you God for giving me a second chance!

***Click on the link to see my new (unfinished) website for TULPEN PUBLISHING.

WHEN THE WORLD SAYS YOU CAN'T, FAITH SAYS YOU CAN!