MEET YOUR SERVER
Reverend Sandra Hadland
Rev. Sandra Hadland is an ordained minister and has been engaged in ministry for over twenty years. She is the Special Assistant to the Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Stratford, Stratford, Connecticut. In this role, she seeks to provide pastoral care to those entrusted to her. Over the years, she has been actively engaged in various aspects of ministry throughout her community and within the Baptist Denomination, to include President of the American Baptist Churches of Connecticut (ABCCONN). Her passion though is not constrained to denomination only but is more centered on the wider context of building the kingdom of God, by any means possible.
Rev. Hadland is actively involved in preaching, teaching, facilitating workshops, and public speaking, mentoring the young and old alike. Over the years, her Christ-centered passion has been intentionally committed to evoking an insatiable hunger and thirst for Christ by generating enthusiasm that will become contagious to incite the downtrodden and despondent to vision, will and action. It is out of the experiences of ministry and life’s daily encounters, coupled with a dynamic radical passion to help others that Rev.Hadland has intentionally chosen to take her ministry beyond the four walls of the church building to wherever the Holy Spirit would lead. She is receptive and committed to building one life at a time, as is witnessed by her book of poems “Transformational Grace,” a language of the transforming power of God’s grace through poetry.
Rev. Hadland is a native of Nassau, Bahamas, the mother of three sons Sidney, Julian and Robert, and has nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
WHY I WROTE THESE POEMS
The poems began many years before the publication of this book as a way of personal expressions of my own feelings of hurt, pain, frustration, disappointment, and trying to make sense of life in general. They were not meant to be shared with anyone else but rather, written as a way of release. Somewhere along the way, as I grew and matured in spiritual growth, it became apparent to me that there are so many others who can be helped from my experiences of being helped through the Grace of God. I simply want to pass it on. Hence the book “Transformational Grace.” For more information, please also read the “Preface” to the book.
Transformational Grace provides an opportunity to explore the Christian walk through beautiful poems, scriptures and illustrations. I have been challenged to spend time in self-examination, self-evaluation to assess my past and present condition.
Facing my truth heals and liberates me to be who God has called me to be. I have been reminded that God, my Source, plots my course, His Holy Spirit provides direction, the Bible as a manual to pursue a path that is uniquely mine. I must accept His mission by faith in Christ. As a willing participant, He empowers me through His Spirit to face any and all situations in the present and future. The workbook provides a thought- provoking tool for intentionally developing the discipline of putting what I learn from each poem and the scripture reference into practice.
‘The Naked Truth’ invites us to confront our reality, face our shortcomings, admit to wrong and be free of guilt and shame. Nothing is hidden from God. The choice is to stay bound by secrets, lies or to surrender, admit the truth and break free from bondage… to soar!
My responsibility, having committed to this journey is to stay connected by faith. Even when I am uncertain, to hold fast to the knowledge that God does not change. The author skillfully uses the imagery of the river, the seed and the rose to illustrate the process of growth and maturity which happens when we embark on the journey of living for Christ. Getting to higher heights and deeper depths as we co-labor together with God, keeping our destination in focus does not happen overnight. Eventually, we soar, living out our purpose.
I am so excited to continue to study and share the nuggets in this inspirational book with others. It is filled with encouragement to press on, no matter what.
When I found myself at a spiritual standstill, uncertain of my direction and purpose I met Sandra and her book on Transformational Grace. Through the words of her poems and the workshops she leads, Sandra’s work has guided me into the deep places where God and Spirit dwell. I have appreciated that her poetry comes from her own life experiences and her searching for understanding and meaning. They are prayerful and pastoral and have opened up places for my own reflection and exploring. The book has been so helpful to me in my spiritual journey that I have used it with individuals and groups in my work as a pastor. God called her to provide spiritual direction to those of us on the journey. I am thankful that she accepted God’s call.
There are times when thoughts imposed on me by memories of past hurts would make me wonder how God’s purposes could be glorified by these bitter experiences. Rev. Hadland’s uplifting poems, from her book, “Transformational Grace” spoke volumes to my spirit by giving me real life experiences of how to confront these deep hidden thoughts and hurts. They declare to me the weight and soundness of God’s love and revealed His always present grace. These poems exposes the real enemy of faith to me by helping me gain a more revealed and intimate understanding of God’s transforming plans for me.
Dear Pastor Hadland, The Transformational Grace book of poems was so life changing. We read the book as part of our Bible Study. The members were touched by the Word of God as He spoke to us through the poems. People were healed from past trauma from their life’s experiences. The words were so powerful and revealing. The poems made you reflect on your own personal life and the Holy Spirit spoke to you in ways no man could. Thank you for sharing your life’s experiences through the poems especially the “Letter to God”. God Bless you for allowing God to use you.
What I love about Transformational Grace is how it speaks directly to my life. No matter which poem I read it makes me say “hey that’s me, that’s my life, that is what I am going through”. Sandra Hadland has captured so well the emotional highs and lows we experience on this journey of life. These are not just words, but her experiences poured out so that others may learn, grow, and be changed. “Come Into The Deep” is one poem that God used to encourage me to step out on faith and trust Him regarding a decision that would ultimately stretch me for His purpose. While reading the poem it deeply touched me with God’s assurance that He knows my struggle, and my concerns giving me the confidence to move forward. With such an impact, I have shared Transformational Grace with my friends, colleagues, and other people struggling or going through something whom I believe would also find inspiration and hope within these poems. And the way it has influenced my own spiritual development, led me to hold a couple small group sessions with Sandra guiding us in a personal discussion, and helping us to see the depth within. Truly transformational, and profoundly grateful.
Transformational Grace, is like reading the Psalms for today’s world. I could see myself, be inspired and challenged all at the same time. A friend of mine called me not long ago very distraught about some decisions that need to be made. I listened and prayed with her then sent her the poem, “Look to the Source” along with the worksheet. Two weeks later I heard how reading the poem several times did not give her the answers she needed but it gave her the place where she needed to start; not with her own mind but with God. It was the ‘kick’ to move her from her anguish to peace because it reminded her that she was leaving God out of her decision making. Thank you Sandra for sharing your heart and God’s wisdom.
Transformation Grace book of poems has truly blessed me and is indeed transformative. I found that I was able to identify with each poem. However, “Perception Of The Bitter Pill” spoke volumes to me when I read it. It was like a light bulb went on that has been out for most of my life. It was as though Sandra was telling my life’s story. These poems are encouraging, so much so that I have given “Transformational Grace” to my friends and encouraged others to purchase this book of poems which I assured them will assist them in whatever they are going through. I am looking forward to the workshops.
Thank you Sandra for your obedience to God in sharing your journey in life through poems. You made me realize I was being refined to fulfill my purpose.
I have since changed my way of thinking and my response to certain situations in my life.
I now look from the inside out recognizing, as stated in another poem, “The Beauty of the Rose”.
I do feel energized and transformed when I read this book “Transformational Grace.” This book has helped me to remember and anchor myself in my belief and faith, It is a book of poems yes indeed, however, they are not just mere words. But is a vision and an experience in everyday or anyone’s life. There is a poem that is suitable for each and everyone, in whatever situation you may be facing no matter how difficult it maybe there is a poem that will suit your needs and situations.
Although I do enjoy and receives blessings through many of the poems, none has such an effect on me as “The Source” I can never get enough of that one I read it with tears and no tears in my eyes because I know it is and has spoken to me through the pain and disappointments in my life,!I know, I know! that “the source” was written for me it speaks to me directly. Anchoring myself in “the source” has enabled me to increase my understanding of the God I serve by building a deeper and personal relationship with him. That poem has taught me so much that it is difficult to put into words, these poems are written and can be used by anyone to increase their Spiritual growth and development on life’s journey.
I am here to encourage any and every one no matter what difficulty you are going through Transformational Grace will make you stop and think about your relationship with God and where he fits in your life.
Thank you Sandra Hadland for sharing your experiences and visions as I continue to grow in my faith and a deeper and meaningful relationship in “The Source.”