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.
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.”
‘Transformational Grace’ is truly transforming, as you read it and examine yourself it gives you a deeper insight of where you are in God and what you need to do for God to use you.
The Poems will open your eyes to see clearly what God requires of you in every situation. The poem Emancipation has truly blessed me. It has given me a release in my spirit that cannot be explained in the natural.
I am always in a hurry but while at the Mentor’s table, the Lord showed me in the spirit the word Patience and that not everything has to be rushed for My sake, but that patience will result in a greater reward. Psalm 150: 6 says, ‘Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord’.
I give praise to God for you Rev. Hadland and the work you are doing on His behalf.
Spiritual Growth, Changing of the Mind, Fellowship, Transparency, Breathing life into me, Giving, Sharing, Knowledge. Reverend Hadland has taught me to trust the Lord, in order to receive fortitude.
The first poem is titled “Look to The Source.” My written notes had six bullet points that started with “Holy Spirit help me with” all the bullet points had to do with Transformation, i.e., body weight, self-worth, stop judging my brother’s pace, finishing home projects, renewal of my heart, soul, and mind. Just words on paper, the essential bullet not listed is, to know Christ. WOW, nothing listed about knowing Christ. January 3, 2021, I was in a place of internal battle, not of peace. Any time we pray, we are praying for change. We pray to God to take hold of a sin that binds our soul; we WANT OUT; we WANT PEACE; CHANGE!
1997 was the beginning of my Transformation to know Christ, and I am still being transformed and will continue to be transformed. There are times we get lost in our transformational journey. The Mentor’s Table under God’s Grace, Rev. Hadland’s lectures gave me an understanding of the poems. Her teaching put me back on course to grow in Christ so the Holy Spirit can continue to transform my life. Rev Hadland, by the Holy Spirit, is leading and guiding us into the righteousness of God’s word. She is God’s Grace, a gift to us. Romans 12: 2. “be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” By having a relationship with God, our lives are being transformed. He does not condemn or accuse. He teaches us how to get out of what we no longer want to be, under sin.
Each session, each lecture, each poem allowed us to disclose our imperfect life without being judged by our group. It takes courage to share your flaws, in addition, to receive Rev. Hadland’s feedback on our answers to the questions which we clearly did not understand. Rev. Hadland, through the Holy Spirit, gives us clarity to become better versions of ourselves.
I have applied these sessions to my life by dealing with my imperfections, such as the embarrassment I caused others by my actions and learning to forgive myself. Also, by confronting people who have wronged me, I have started that journey of forgiveness in order to be free.
The Mentor’s Table has helped me to continue to seek Christ, keep my eyes on the prize. I am a work in progress. The question is, ‘How can I better myself if I can’t see where I need to improve?’ The answer is, ‘I can’t do this alone. I need our Lord’s continuous help. The Bible is our life instructional booklet, stay in scripture and stay in prayer.’
Yes, my spiritual growth is gradual; closing my eyes afraid to see the truth is not for me.
One of the highlights of my weekly journey was the teaching of the poem ‘Emancipation’ which says it all for me. It is the fact of the process of being set free.
I can safely say one of the set of footprints of the Holy Spirit led to my enlightenment of not judging my brothers because everyone is at a different spiritual level.
Thank you, Rev. Hadland, for creating a safe space for women and teaching us to further our relationship with God.
My favorite poem is ‘Emancipation’. No longer in bondage, I am being set free.
December 31, 2020, New Year’s Eve, I got a special surprise phone call from Rev. Sandra Hadland. God had placed me in her spirit. At that time I was very low in spirits, because of what was happening in my body.
Rev. Hadland encouraged me with the word of God, and then prayed with me.
On January 23, 2021 Rev. Hadland invited me to the Mentor’s Table. When I joined on January 25, 2021, the poem was “The Beauty of the Rose”.
The Mentor’s Table has given me the opportunity to study and understand more about God’s Word in practical and meaningful ways. I have met people from other countries. It is a place where I have felt that I was with family, and a place of comradeship. I have developed bonds with persons who were initially strangers who I became comfortable with and able to share my deep inner feelings with.
I have opened up about troubling issues that have been in my life. I have gained an understanding of how to cope and to work with some difficult issues, and I have matured spiritually and psychologically.
The poems, scriptures and lectures at the Mentor’s Table have given me opportunities for self-reflection of the ‘exposed me’. I have been more able to examine the underlying reasons that these issues have occurred and to see them as opportunities to grow and to strengthen my relationship and dependence on God our father.
In Rev. Hadland’s lecture on “The Beauty of the Rose” she explained the process of how the rose becomes beautiful with its wonderful fragrance with help from the watchful care-tending gardener. I came to see how I must allow God through the power of the Holy Spirit to guide and assist me in accepting His purpose for my life and the challenges, struggles and trials that are part of my life. I came to learn that I should let nothing prevent me from becoming who God wants me to become.
The sessions at the Mentor’s Table have impacted my life, I have made amends in areas as I came to understand that I needed to from the insights that I have gained through the poems from “Transformational Grace,” scriptures, the lectures and the experience of the boot-camps. Some areas that I have gained insight into are: the need for forgiveness, the need to be aware of a tendency to allow a controlling spirit to rule, and idolatry, allowing people and things to take precedence before God.
I have become more patient and less anxious about things that I cannot control.
The Mentor’s Table has had a tremendous impact on my life and I thank God for the Transformation. I have become more selective in my life’s activities, and things that I allow to take my attention and my energy. I am more focused on the things of God and His Word, and less perturbed by the things happening around me and to me.
Some of the highlights of my weekly journey at the Mentor’s Table were “the Break Out Room”. We shared about many things, the poems scriptures and the lectures, examining what was to be learnt, and how it could have impact in our lives. We prayed together, we encouraged each other, gave advice and generally gave support.
Most of the poems from Transformational Grace, the scriptures, and the lectures, directed me through the Holy Spirit to trust God more, to persevere through the challenges and tribulations and to become who and what God intended me to be and to release myself through obedience to the will of God.
Finally I wish to say a little about my recent experience with the COVID-19 infection. At one point after being told that I had tested positive, the question of going to the emergency room at the Princess Margaret Hospital for treatment discussion was taking place, because my temperature had risen to 104 degrees. In my mind I did not wish to go to the hospital. I knew that if I had been admitted to hospital that I would be alone as family could not visit. I saw this as being left to die alone and I made it known that I preferred to stay at home. My husband agreed and we decided on treatment at home, no matter what.
I called Rev Hadland and informed her about my dilemma and she agreed to pray for me, she called upon the prayer warriors of the Mentor’s Table to trouble the throne of God on my behalf. My husband contacted a family friend, a medical colleague who agreed to assist us.
In less than forty-eight hours the temperature became normal, and I credit this all to the prayers and support from the Mentor’s Table and the support from my team here at home. I give God all praise and thanks.
The Mentor’s Table means a gift from above. It’s a time given to me to reveal God’s will and teachings that I need, and hearing from other women. By applying God’s words of wisdom in these beautifully written poems, the Spirit of the Lord is present and transforming. During our sessions, I discovered the Mentor’s Table to be a time for healing and an opportunity to share my personal experiences and expressions about the poems. The Mentor’s Table gave a unique opportunity to fellowship with women from all across the world who also desire to seek places in their lives for discovery of how to grow and strengthen their walk with the Lord.
I have identified with the poems from transformation grace scriptures in a revolutionary way by being honest with myself as God’s Word unfolds my own self-discovery through the poems. The poems helped me identify and relate to areas of my life where I need to heal and grow. For example, one poem entitled “Stand Firm in the Storm” was shared at the table when I needed it most. The beauty of the Mentor’s Table is how God’s timing is flawless. I didn’t realize how much I needed that poem until later. The words in the poem and guidance from Reverend Hadland, showed how important it is for me to hold on, walk in obedience, and when I have done all that I can do…“Stand”! How powerful that phrase meant to me. During a time of uncertainty, I needed to hear from God on how I should handle a situation in my life. Instead of making a decision, God wanted me to trust Him and stand firm. Thanks be to God, I was able to go through the storm, and come out with peace.
These poems offer a beacon of light and strength in discovering where my challenges are in my spiritual walk. There are times reading the poems I am reminded how truly I am well equipped to overcome anything that I am faced with in tribulations and trials. I need to trust God in the healing process that is often present at the Mentor’s Table. I have learned the importance of trusting God in ALL things. I am open to the healing power that the Mentor’s Table provides in/outside of our weekly sessions with others.
Like the title of the book, ‘Transformational Grace’, says it all. These sessions at the Mentor’s Table are a perfect blend of transforming with God’s grace from once a broken vessel to whole vessel filled with God’s perfect love and purpose for life. Each week, the session gives a theme. They allow me to receive what the Lord has given through the poems and the mentorship of Reverend Hadland. Through these sessions I am able to focus not only on the poems that are well and beautifully written but also, appreciate how similarities that each of the women at the table shares and experience in each of our lives strengthen one another. The sessions allow healing for me and the women at so many levels. Through hearing the words which are found in the poem, I apply whatever God shows me to do in my life. I love each session and look forward to the fellowship and God’s presence. I am able to release whatever hindrances, or strongholds are holding me back and surrender to God’s healing power. In these sessions, God brings true deliverance, and while the sessions are only two hours, following the sessions, I still experience the workings of God’s healing after our sessions.
I have applied these sessions to my everyday living. Listening during Mentor’s Table and sharing my experiences at the Mentors Table, I am able to reflect the words of wisdom and spiritual awakening through the poems. I find the lessons shared are similar in nature like the parable in the Bible. Through the stories and the depictions captured in the poems, I learn valuable lessons of how to apply things into my personal life. Each poem is impactful in the sessions that occur weekly, and also Boot Camp sessions, which are custom-made sessions that emphasize topics that are also led by Reverend Hadland.
The Mentor’s Table poems have helped me grow both physically and spiritually. When I started attending the sessions, most of my experiences were through observation and interacting at the table. Over time, those sessions transformed me to be able to identify whose I am in Christ. The poems helped me to put down my “Mask” so that I can be real with myself and walk with the Lord. Some of the highlights in pure discussion at the mentors table were: consisted of breakthroughs in strongholds that I was holding on throughout my life for 55 years; living being able to speak and express words of encouragement and confirmation of the importance of my relationship with the Lord; renewed strength has allowed me to gain more insight about my own personal growth. Reverend Hadland played a pivotal role as the server at the Mentors Table. She not only offered the main course with passion but led us with intention. Through her leadership she has lifted up a standard to be on time and be intentional. She also played an intricate part of my growth at and away from the table. She often contacted me and was available for personal coaching and reaffirmed what was taught during the sessions.
My footprints of the Holy Spirit let me grow in two areas in my life where healing was very much needed. Oftentimes, I am reminded through God’s word the importance of my obedience and willingness to obey God’s word. My family benefited through my sessions at The Mentor’s Table. I can apply them to my own life but also share what I learned from each session with my family. Each session occurred via zoom which allowed me to be at home listening, growing and sharing while at the same time offering the same sense of purpose.
I am very grateful for being part of The Mentor’s Table. It has been a life changer. I could not have gained the level of healing and support of those other strong women within a short period of time. The sessions will always be a reminder of where I came from and where I ended up. Looking back years from now, I will be forever grateful with The Mentor’s Table, a time of reflection. Timing is everything and applying the word along with the lessons taught at each session has helped me grow. This was a unique opportunity for me to come together with other women who are also seeking a greater understanding of God and His love for us. Thanks be to God for this opportunity, I have been blessed at these sessions.
Proverbs 3: 5 – 6
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”
When I think of the Mentor’s Table, three specific things come to mind: unification, sisterhood and spiritual bonding.
Unification for how we have all come together as one, to build a sisterhood through spiritual bonding each week. A bonding, in the name of Jesus, that strengthens my/our relationship with the Lord.
Reading the poems each week has allowed me to relate to past as well as present trials and situations in my life. With the lectures and breakout room discussions, I am able to understand feelings that I did not understand previously. I am able to apply the poems and lectures to my day-to-day life, to allow God to pull me out from the darkness that I have been in. Through the Mentor’s Table, I have learned that I am not alone. That God in His infinite wisdom sees all and knows all.
The Mentor’s Table has helped me during my darkest days with coping from the grief of losing my husband. I have realized that through my weakness and heartache that my comfort and strength to go on, comes from the Lord. This new sisterhood that was formed from the Mentor’s Table has helped me grow tremendously. By opening my heart to Jesus and allowing Him to direct my paths; that I am not alone; that I am not in control. He is! It is not my will, but God’s will. Through this Table, I was able to release a lot of old feelings that I did not even realize I still carried with me.
The boot camp sessions and breakout rooms were the biggest highlights. They really dug deep into the poems and word of God. Here the poems were broken down in a way that I could understand and identify things that have kept me in bondage. I learned how to release those things to become free indeed, allowing me to move closer to the purpose that the Lord has for me. In the breakout rooms each week I was lifted up by my group and felt comfortable. I have become more confident in everything I do. I found myself looking forward to Mondays!
I would like to thank Reverend Hadland from the bottom of my heart. For all the hard work she has put into this Table. I appreciate the teachings and guidance through the Holy Spirit that was poured into her, and poured out to myself, as well as the rest of us sisters in Christ. I would like to thank my breakout room group as well, for always lifting me up and for sharing your own personal trials with me. I cherish our new found friendships. God bless you all!
I arrived at the Mentor’s Table with uncertainty. I didn’t know what to expect. However, I was also hungry. The baby formula on which I was being nourished was no longer sustaining me.
Boy, oh boy, have I been fed. Intention. Introspection. Challenged. Stretched. Pushed. Encouraged.
How do I reflect Christ? Am I working for God or am I allowing God to work through me?
This has been an experience and opportunity to grow in my relationship with Christ that I am so grateful for. I stepped out of my comfort zone and the Lord met me, fed me and has grown me.
To God be the glory for Rev. Hadland’s obedience and allowing Him to use her via The Mentor’s Table.
The Mentor’s Table is exactly what I have yearned for, to learn how to put into action God’s word, making it more than words on a page but real in my life. Over thirty weeks Reverend Sandra Hadland, our server, has gracefully guided us on a journey of introspection uncovering those hidden places in our lives in preparation for growth. It has not always been easy, and at times painfully difficult to see the mess, but getting unstuck is what this is about. The spiritual poems from ‘Transformational Grace’, along with the Scriptures at the end of each poem, lectures, boot camps and even the exercises, have been taught in an experiential way to give a revelation of the person of Jesus Christ and His standard for living. Moreover, the Scriptures found at the end of each poem have been made known in a way for real understanding that we are not only hearing it but living it. I learned that being intentional about the work that needs to be done means accepting the challenge, facing the truth, and trusting God. The work done at the table is where God is made real.
All the poems have spoken directly to me causing a change in my life. While I have been affected by each of the poems there are simply too many to go through individually.
“Look to the Source” is one poem that pushed me to accept responsibility for my choices without making excuses justifying my actions or anything that does not match up to God’s standard. In addition, it stretched me to take a step of faith into an opportunity for the office that I might otherwise not have done, simply by doing it afraid.
A pivotal poem was “A Letter to God”. It was a place of surrender where my focus shifted from myself to God. Reverend Sandra Hadland encouraged us to write our own letter to God and to share it with the group. It was in the action of doing it, that I got to see me for me with all my striving and busyness to succeed by doing it myself. God got my attention. It was time just jump in by trusting Him. And that I did by offering to be an intercessor and pressing further, agreed to be the lead intercessor for the Mentor’s Table.
Participating in the discussions both in the breakout rooms and the larger group have afforded the opportunity to share the pains, and embarrassments that come simply by living, in a safe, nonjudgmental environment. The support has been encouraging, the stories inspiring and together we have grown through the experience.
The two boot camps revealed to me a deeper understanding of who I have been created to be and what holds me back from being free to live in the power of God’s grace. These powerful messages opened my eyes to see things more from God’s perspective.
My life has been transformed by the grace of God and the experience of The Mentor’s Table. I look for Him in the ordinary, push beyond my own limitations and see His overflowing grace in the lives of others in ways I have not before. Absolutely Grateful! The culmination of this transformative thirty-week journey is a celebration of praise on to the Lord.
Are you ready for the change? It is time to just jump in.
The Mentor’s Table has been a rewarding, fruitful, and fulfilling experience. The poems through reflection, meditation, and response to each poem with Scripture opened my eyes to reflect on myself and my true intentions for a better relationship with the Holy Spirit. With prayer, I was drawn closer to God through Rev. Hadland’s teachings, and the discussions in our breakout sessions. It meant so much to me that the women came to know each other through this experience and could share our life stories with one another.
I identified with each poem in a special way because it showed me that I was trying to take care of my own circumstances instead of my need to let the Holy Spirit guide me. It was amazing to find that in some cases, we all had similar circumstances and no matter what the circumstance, we all were very supportive of each other. Our meal at the Mentor’s Table with the ladies will always be special to me and the bond made with my breakout group was extra special. I identified the most with the poem, “Transformational Grace.” This was because I walked in fear and anxiety trying not to show it and this poem helped me to realize I had to learn through this process to rest in Him. These words in the poem helped me:
“His presence brings assurance-He is in control; though the battle rages deep within my soul, there is a presence that fights to be released.”
These sessions have been very effective in that it has helped me to begin to overcome my fears and anxieties and move forward to have more confidence in myself. One of my fears that I expressed was the fear of praying before a group. Maybe because of my position in the church, I had a fear of using the correct words instead of letting the Holy Spirit guide me.
My prayer life is more effective now because I am relying more on the Holy Spirit for guidance and His protection from distractions and overextending myself. I am praying for guidance to continue to improve my self-confidence, fear of failure, and learning to move out of my comfort zone. Now I find it has helped me to prioritize what is most important to the least important place and put it before the Lord that His will be done in my life.
This experience has helped me to grow in my spiritual life. When the circumstance of a problem arises, I would become anxious and try to handle the situation when I know better. Now I keep my eyes focused on God and “Look to the Source” as it is so eloquently stated in the first poem. At times I would hide behind helping others and not being able to help myself. Now I wonder how I could feel that way.
Every week, was a new experience of God’s Grace and Mercy and we were always served a delicious spiritual meal!!! The highlights of our weekly journey were being able to be satisfied and full of the Holy Spirit after we had dined sufficiently and still wanting more time together.
The footprints of the Holy Spirit led me to know that He is always with me and will never leave me, especially in times of need. Each week, our prayer was to make us aware of the changes needed in our lives and then give us the mind and strength to follow through. Thank You, Holy Spirit, for Your Footprints. Thank You for making me truly aware of the gifts and talents which You poured into me and equipping me, not only to help others, but to help myself, as well. One of our sessions was to write down and then go before the Lord with a plan of action to see how our hindrances could be moved and it was challenging for me. The problem was I had to put my focus on Him and not the distractions in my life.
First, I thank God the Father our Source, the Son, our Word, and the Holy Spirit our Power!!!
I thank God for being our Mentor and giving Reverend Hadland the gift of the Mentor’s Table and being our server. She has been a blessing and is an anointed servant of God with the Power of the Holy Spirit. I thank God for the women at the Mentor’s Table who were awesome as we shared our experiences and I’ve grown to know and love them. Some took on leadership roles as well as those who shared as break out room leaders or intercessors to support Reverend Hadland
Thank you, Rev. Hadland, for your powerhouse of knowledge that you brought to us through your teaching the Mentor’s Table and Boot Camps. May God continue to bless you as you continue to serve Him. We love you!!! This has been an inspiration for me and has allowed me to grow in my relationship with the Holy Spirit!!! Hallelujah!!! Amen!!!
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.
The Mentor’s Table has and is such a blessing to me. Reverend Hadland is an excellent mentor and teacher. She believes in the excellence of God and demonstrates that in the ministry of the Mentor’s Table. I had previously read the book ‘Transformational Grace’ and used it for the Church of the Redeemer’s bible study. I was so truly blessed by the book that I did not hesitate to be a part of the Mentor’s Table.
God spoke to me about the real me and my relationship with Him. The book, Transformational Grace, exemplifies the Grace of God as I was transformed each week. God was peeling the layers of the world from me like an onion. I was learning who I really am and not what other people think I am. Each week I saw myself through each of the poems. There was no hiding. I especially loved the poem “The Journey”. This poem spoke to me that I cannot take shortcuts in life. There are trials and tribulations on this journey of Life that I must endure and God is with me. The Holy Spirit is my guide and is guiding me during this journey at the Mentor’s Table. The truth is making me free from my fears and bondages. I see the purposes and destiny that God has for me. I highly recommend the Mentor’s Table and the book ‘Transformational Grace’.
The Mentor’ Table is a place to go to for understanding what is being taught to you through the poems that were presented and how to understand them through the scriptures of God.
I have identified with the poems with my own feelings and experiences about what was being read to us. I tried to identify with these feelings in my own life and how I have overcome them or how I am still dealing with them. I know that I have the scriptures to help me approach and deal with them.
These sessions have helped me to understand more about the way I feel and how to handle my feelings and experiences by giving them to God and know that I cannot fix them on my own.
I am applying these sessions in my life by being more honest with myself and not trying to hide my feelings and the issues I am facing and to deal with them though the word of God.
It has helped me to see that I was not reaching out to God enough and was depending on myself for healing and getting through difficult situations. I am growing with knowledge of what God wants for my life.
I know I can get through any situation if I depend on and give my situations to God. I was always looking forward to hearing Rev. Hadland explain the poems and when we all shared our experiences with each other. There was such a similarity of what we shared. We were also being blessed at the same time. We all could relate to each other. There was support and understanding from everyone.
It was leading me to keep attending the weekly Mentor’s Table workshops when I wanted to give up many times. I did not want to feel those feelings sometimes. It led me to not giving up because I was being feed the word of God. I know I need to depend on the Holy Spirit through everything that I go through in my life.
It’s by no accident I was placed at the Mentor’s Table early this year. God doesn’t make accidents. It was designed by Him and thank God I was obedient to His calling. I first heard about the book “Transformational Grace” from my dear friend, Gwen Hepburn, a few years ago, when we were searching for a book to discuss at our prayer meeting. I actually gave the book away before getting a chance to dive deeper. But the message found its way back.
The morning of the first poem, Gwen mentioned to me that her sister, Rev Hadland, was going to start a zoom class that evening at 7 p.m. Anyone who knows me well, knows that I get up in the morning with the birds and go to bed at sundown. In other words, I’m not a night person. However, there was no hesitancy when I hung up the phone from Gwen. I immediately went on Amazon, downloaded the book on my Kindle and found myself sitting at the Mentor’s Table that evening.
Like many of us, my 2020 had its twists and turns. Shortly after the pandemic started, I lost my job of seventeen years and although I tried to stay in the Word, constantly reading my devotions, participating in zoom meetings for Church, Prayer and Bible study, trusting God to see me through, I still didn’t feel fulfilled. I felt empty. I longed for a change within me, but didn’t know what direction to turn. There were unresolved areas of my life that I was not addressing and this is what God was trying to say to me. I was afraid to face them and found every excuse not to deal with them. Of course, it was easier to delay and ignore. From the very first meeting, and throughout the sessions, the poems have opened my eyes and made me aware of my downfalls and if I truly want to honor God – as I do, I had to start working on them. I was uncomfortable talking about what the poems meant to me. Now looking back, I realized that God was asking me to stretch. He continues to take me out of my comfort zone and I now know this is outside of my comfort zone is where I belong; it’s the only way I am going to grow into the person God created me to be.
And I have grown. Of course, it’s still a work in progress. I have overcome some fears; one that weighed heavily on me last year: the situation with my boss. And wow, what a relief – the burden that left me once I was bold enough to address it. I was able to peacefully sleep, forgive and move on. I’m finding myself more willing to jump into situations: ‘Just do it,’ instead of putting things off. I say to myself afterwards, “Well that was easy, why didn’t I do that a long time ago?”
I know that I have to be honest with myself. I know that I have to stop striving for a predictable and safe lifestyle, acknowledging of course, that I can’t do this journey on my own. In order for God to do a new thing in me, I have to stop going back to my old ways of trying to control and predict everything on my own and truly seek God in greater depth and breadth; truly trusting God on this journey for He has never failed me.
As the first poem indicates – “Look to the Source,” for my security rests in God alone. I’m excited to experience all that He has prepared for me. I truly believe that everything is in God’s timing and that I need God in every step of the way. Acknowledging this is one thing; walking and living in this mindset daily is another.
I don’t believe I would have been willing to make the necessary changes in my life, if not for studying this book at our prayer meeting. Rev. Hadland pouring herself into the Mentor’s Table has surely brought me to a better place in my life and I will always be indebted to her obedience to God. I thank Rev. Hadland and all of you who shared on this Mentor’s Table.
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.
The Mentor’s Table to me was a place of restoration, where wounds were exposed, cleaned, treated and bandaged so that the healing process could take place. With transparency, honesty and willingness and sometimes, not so willing to share, brokenness, frustration, bitterness, anger, jealousy, loneliness, unforgiveness, spiritual barrenness and all other strongmen of the sins that so easily beset us were exposed. The reality was I was not alone; there were other broken vessels, shattered pieces longing for healing and mending. And so, the Mentor’s Table became a place of acceptance, come as you are; a safe haven, a place of refreshing, renewal, revival, comfort, security, spiritual stability and yes, Love.
The poems from Transformational Grace, scriptures and lectures were so intertwined, matter of fact and direct that choices had to be intentional. My willingness to make God my source must be from that point where I am willing and prepared to get out of my comfort zone and lunge into the deep. Take responsibility, no excuses. It has to be intentional, all or nothing.
These sessions are enabling the process of my healing. My perspective is different and I realize that my expectations of people are just that, my own. People have to be accepted for who they are and at the place where they are. No one is perfect. I am not perfect, therefore to try to expect perfection is not reasonable. I am less judgmental and more forgiving.
Remembering my first dinner at the Mentor’s Table I reflect on the emotionally crippled person, crying, heavy laden with pain, hurt, depression, oppression, suppression, betrayal and disappointment from people whom I trusted and thought had my back; now I could only smile, oh but the grace of God. That deep feeling of emptiness and asking myself, “Is this all to my life?” They are no longer my friends!! I am in control of my own joy. I determine whether I am going left or right.
Nothing comes easily, suffering, disappointments, hardships are all a part of the journey and building of character and perseverance, olives have to be crushed to make oil. I am being led to be still, no complaining or murmuring but praising my way through.
Rev. Hadland is the server of God’s Word. She helps us understand that Jesus is our standard for living. Throughout her book, Transformational Grace, her poems illustrate what the grace of God means.
The book with its poems is another way of explaining Jesus and since I’m a Christian who is saved by God’s grace, I’m able to identify the relationship of the 5 books of poems that are in the Bible. It was positive and was written by someone know who is a follower of Jesus.
In 2018, I purchased 6 of the books and distributed them to family and friends. I use the book as a devotional guide and read sections of it daily. Jesus is the center of my life and the book reaffirms that. It has helped me to grow spiritually and has enabled me to add Transformational Grace to the 5 books of poetry that I have read in the Bible. They are: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Songs of Solomon.
I have grown because the class was very diverse. There were many people from different nationalities. It was very interesting meeting them. Zoom played a very important part in keeping us all together.
Each week Rev. Hadland gives a summary of the poem she has teaches and dictates questions regarding it. We are sent to our groups to work together to answer the questions.
The footprint the Holy Spirit led me to page ten in the book. It requested that we write a letter to God. I wrote a letter to God. It was quite an experience as I had never written a letter to God before. The Holy Spirit has also led me to encourage persons to take this course.
As a little girl, my mother always talked about Jesus and cornbread was always on the stove. My testimony to this day is Jesus and cornbread.
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”.
The Mentor’s Table for me has been an enlightening, inspiring, and strengthening experience. It has taught me to take my relationship with Christ more seriously; allowing me to see my shortcomings and equipping me with the necessary tools which I need to bring about a change in my life.
I now know that in order for this change to take place, I have to give more of myself in terms of the time I spend with the Lord in prayer, fasting and meditation. I also must be intentional about the amount of effort I put into building this relationship. In other words, I can no longer just talk the talk but I now have to walk the walk. It is no longer just okay for me just to say that I’m a Christian or that I believe in Jesus and His resurrection, but that I have to be so invested in our relationship, that through me, others will come to glorify Him. This investment I know requires determination, sacrifice, discipline, and just plain honesty with myself and with God. However, the end result will bring about a transformational change in my walk with the Creator.
The poems and lectures have really impacted my life, in that I have grown since starting this journey. I’m more aware of the choices I make and the way I think. Two of the poems that really hit home with me were “Born to Be Free But Still Lived in a Cage and Sacrifice Is Eminent to Reaping The Harvest’. In Born to Be Free But Still Lived In A Cage, I realized that even though I thought I was free, I was really living in bondage that was created by me and for me. The cares and worries of this world had me enslaved, non-important things such as my work assignment or work scheduled had me enslaved, even something as important as caring about those I loved had me enslaved. By accepting the fact that I allowed myself to be caged, has caused me to begin my journey of transformation through His Grace.
The poem ‘Sacrifice Is Eminent to Reaping the Harvest’, has brought to light the fact that everything I do for God has to be intentional and takes some amount of sacrifice on my part. It reminds me of the story of Cain and Abel, how God favored Abel’s sacrifice over his brother’s, and that’s what I want for my life, that whatever I do for Him is acceptable and favorable in His eyes. The breakout room and answering the questions together have brought about a sense of comradary for me. Listening to others share their experiences and stories has inspired me and has caused me to focus less on myself and to be less critical.
Overall, I have grown in strength since starting the Mentor’s Table, I know that I still have a lot more growing to do, but now I’m more determined, because these past few months have touched my heart and my life. The fellowship we shared is truly amazing and I thank God the day when Rev. Hadland invited me to join, because I have truly been Blessed!!!
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.
Enlightening…awakening… uncovering…As the weeks went by, my knowledge grew and my weight was lifted.
I am thankful for the thirty weeks when our server labored to passionately deliver each helping…from appetizer to entrée to dessert…there was a lingering, satisfying, refreshing word to digest each week. As each poem was offered as a weekly meal at the Mentor’s Table, our server, writer Rev. Sandra Hadland invited me to unmask, level with myself before God and listen for instructions. I was equipped to exercise recognizing and discerning the Holy Spirit’s voice and encouraged to be obedient and follow God’s directions.
I had to deal with uncomfortable and difficult truths which were previously avoided, buried or suppressed. I developed an appreciation for the work of facing my issues, past and present, deep below the surface for so long. How liberating to bring them to the surface and allow God to heal my hurts, aches and frustrations. The workshops provided a practical manual for overcoming in real life.
The Mentor’s Table afforded a safe space where I could admit that I was wrong. I realized that as the lessons were taught week by week, I had an opportunity to show the Master if I got it. The tests would follow. It became clearer and clearer… theory, and then practical application. Knowing the word was not enough… I had to apply it daily to my situation. Working out my soul salvation with fear and trembling…
Boot Camps I & II were must haves. There was always a conflict tempting me to skip. I learned to be intentional, lift up a standard, to choose to do what God says promptly and offering excellence to God. Learning to say ‘No’ to what was/is not God’s priority and the cost of obedience were my biggest takeaways from the Mentor’s Table. Having a seat at the table helped me to navigate some impossible situations where I proved God to be real and on time. ‘Dare to Believe’ came to life for me. I can testify that from this first season at the Mentor’s Table anyone can come as you are, this is a Safe Space, you can dig deep, and you can expect to (re) discover your Purpose, Sharing and Listening, Support, Accountability, Commitment, Prioritizing, the Integrity- Lifting up a Standard, Excellence, Lesson… then the Test. I learned that Journaling is important so I will not forget what God has done.
The vision board exercise was demanding and was so worth the effort. It was a practical way to get our vision plainly in front of us. I look forward to seeing where God leads me next. It has been a privilege to serve as a breakout room leader and to see my sisters and I grow together. God be praised for the dedication of our celebration committee which I had the honor to chair. Rev. Sandra Hadland thanks for being God’s obedient server. You are humbly demonstrating what it is to await instructions and follow through of what our Mentor, God directs through His Holy Spirit.
Relationships were built here as we fellowshipped at His Table as one. I learned something from everyone one of my sisters. It is amazing how by the end of thirty weeks, two hours went by faster than on week one. My transformation continues….
I have found the Mentor’s Table to be a safe place where you can be yourself, by removing the mask and allowing transparency to take place.
In reading the poems of Transformational Grace, I was able to identify with them as they related to what I was going through. The fact that they were written from Rev. Hadland’s own experience gives me hope.
The scriptures and lectures caused me to be more intentional about lifting up a standard unto the Lord and to do an introspection of myself, which brought awareness to certain areas in my life that needed to be changed.
The sessions along with the Boot Camps were very enlightening for me. As I listened to the questions and answers I soon realized that I was not alone in the things that I was struggling with i.e. Self Control; Fear of not being good enough; Low self-esteem; Indecisiveness and Insecurity.
However, the weekly lectures and boot camps brought clarity that these were ploys of the enemy, which could only hurt you if you accept them.
I can truly say; before sitting at the Mentor’s Table, I wore a mask for quite some time, I was not my true authentic self, but my false self. “I once was blind, but, now I see.”
Being at the Mentor’s Table these past weeks and being taught and encouraged in the word of God have brought me to a higher level of maturity in Christ. The mask is off and transparency has taken place.
The Footprints of the Holy Spirit have led me to be more intentional in lifting up a standard unto our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and … Walk the Walk I Talk.
The Mentor’s Table is a place of spiritual renewal, challenges, enlightenment, inspiration, encouragement, obedience, family, and love in the presence of God!
The poems, scriptures, and lectures were multifaceted tools in my life. Week after week I felt squeezed, bruised, stirred, and pruned. All the issues which were deeply rooted, previously un-dealt with, that did not belong there, were eradicated out of me. The word of God enlightened me because knowing and believing the word of God is not enough in itself. Therefore, I placed what I know, the word of God, and my belief in Jesus Christ to work. Faith without works is dead! I also realized that I must deny my fantasy to live my reality according to God’s perfect purpose, will, and plan for my life.
The continued applications from the poems, breakout rooms, and boot camp were challenging but were true to the core of the word of God. It was inspiring, encouraging, and so freeing to forgive what I thought was unforgivable. I learned the benefits from life circumstances, pain and sufferings that were beyond my control. I’m now able to understand, how God works everything together for my good. The Mentor’s Table has truly helped me to understand John 8:31-32.
31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” I will no longer live my life controlled by feelings and I will make a conscious effort to make the word of God the key tool to my freedom! What is the truth? The truth is who I am in Jesus Christ, my position in Jesus Christ, and my possession in Jesus Christ.
One of the biggest highlights for me was learning to identify evil spirits and using the word of God to conquer them. In Luke 4:34-35. “Go away! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God!” 35 Be quiet! Jesus said sternly. “Come out of him!” Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him.
The Holy Spirit has led me to a place of surrender, commitment, and obedience unto God. He has given me the patience to wait, faith to believe, and the power to stand!
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.
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.
Life is a journey that is taking me on dissimilar highways, routes, and back-roads. The Mentor’s table has helped me to recognize the significance of my adventures and it’s provided me with much-needed guidance. Not realizing it, but God had His hand on me the entire time. The journey doesn’t end here and so with God’s loving guidance, it’s just the beginning of new expeditions in my life.
In my journey of the Mentor’s Table, I traveled on a fast pace Highway, I-95. The insight opened my eyes that revealed to me, I should be more Christ-like and take my relationship more seriously with God. What a turning point in my life! I’ve sowed into the Mentor’s Table for months of studying, praying, sharing, and listening. Because I now take time with my heavenly Father and as a result, I hear the Holy Spirit speaking to me. He gives me direction and answers to questions that I’ve been wavering on. I devote more time to the Lord by reading my Bible, Daily Bread, and daily devotions. Therefore, I’ve learned to put my faith in God.
Another excursion took me on Route 15, The Merritt Parkway which was a place where I can be transparent, vulnerable, and learn about myself; a place where the members of the group could share their concerns. In one of my moments of true transparency, I realized that I was not alone in what was hidden deep down inside of me. It was a place of refreshment in the Lord.
The Mentor’s Table especially helped me to work through those bumpy and windy back roads. Those roads can be dark, scary, and fearful.
- One road was dealing with my son’s passing and my surgery. The poems from “Transformational Grace” helped me to press on. Giving my struggles to God and believing that he will heal and give me peace through it all. I just had to simply trust in God and put Him first in my life.
- Another back-road had so many hills that I thought, “How can I make it up this hill?” The sessions reminded me that I was not patient, not to take matters into my own hands, learn to forgive, do not be bitter, and more importantly, rebuke the devil at all times in all situations. Since he stays busy, I have to stay busy as well.
This journey has not been comfortable, but what I can take from it, is priceless. The aspects of what I’ve learned has taught me to be patient, spend quality time with God, get rid of the junk that I was carrying around, be obedient to God’s will, don’t be so quick to judge, speak to others in a Godly manner, and to forgive others as well as to pray for them.
God is bigger than any of my obstacles. He is there to support me in the resolution of my problems and comfort me in my pain, hurt, and sorrow. The Mentor’s Table is a place to explore yourself and understand that the ‘Perfector’ of your faith takes care of His children. “Come Into the Deep,” a Mentor’s Table poem showed me how deep my problems were buried. I realize I have to give it to God, trust in Him, and let Him guide me on this journey. I had a lot of work to do and am still working on it. As I mentioned before, it doesn’t end here it’s just the beginning of a new expedition.
Thank you, Rev. Hadland for your teachings, spiritual guidance and dedication to me these past thirty weeks. You have helped me tremendously. I thank God for you because of His Grace given you in Christ Jesus.
Many thanks to my breakout room sisters, your sweet spirit made it easier to be able to share my experiences.
The Mentor’s Table meant a lot to me in helping me with my walk with God. I am truly happy to have been able to be a part of the family. The poems and sessions opened my eyes to look deeper within myself. I knew my weaknesses and my strengths. The sessions made me examine myself and made me more conscious of them. I have been taking more time in prayer with God and asking Him to help me correct my life.
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.
The Mentor’s Table for me is a safe and fun environment for a group of sisters in faith to share our experiences, learn and grow through each other’s story and journey.
All the poems have connected me in different ways but I am especially touched and identified with two poems: “Emancipation” and “Destined to Soar As An Eagle”. These two poems allow me to have a clear vision of what God wants me to be for His Glory.
Every week I look forward to the bible study, enjoy the meal with my sisters in Christ. The content of the bible study is well organized and flows nicely through each course. However, I especially enjoy the breakout sessions, as I feel the deeper connection with my fellow sisters thorough our sharing and listening. This discussion allowed me to understand the journey of faith and comforted me in knowing that I am not alone.
These sessions have taught me the importance of staying vigilant in faith and in prayer. The readings and discussions have opened my heart to hear God’s calling for me and His path for me.
It has helped me to be calm and grounded in faith. Instead of rushing to do or say out of my emotional response, I now pause to let the Holy Spirit work in me. I have grown in faith through learning to listen and share; especially knowing that I am not alone in this journey had given me a new prospective on what I am going through. I have also learned to recognize my emotions and refocus to God through prayers and ask for Peace and Wisdom.
“STAND FIRM IN THE STORM” is my favorite topic. I am gaining my trust in HIS promises and purpose for my life every time I face challenges.
Becoming a disciple to GOD is not easy, but He has promised that He will be with me till the end. My footprints of the Holy Spirit had led me to accept the calling from God, be His messenger. When my life on earth is done, I want to hear His confirmation saying, “Well done, my faithful servant”.
Thank you, Terry, for introducing and inviting me to Mentor’s Table. Thanks Rev. Hadland for welcoming and taking me to another level of spiritual growth experience. And thanks to all sisters in Christ for sharing your journeys with me, you all are instruments of God. I am humbled and honored to be amongst you all.