Sand Dollars– by Parris Bailey (Frank is driving)

“Who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; and shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.” Mal.3:2

The trip to Destin in mid-winter was perfect timing. I loved the solitary walks on the beach listening to my headphones to worship music. The year was 1997 and I had just recovered from a biopsy from a bad mammogram. I had other things on my mind, sure the ordeal of the cancer scare was crazy but deep inside I knew something was wrong. I was angry, the kind of anger that comes from focusing on all the negatives and “who did me wrongs”. Name it and we probably had the problem– all of them going on at once. The biggest one of all screamed inside of me- it’s name was betrayal. We all have had that one, certainly even I knew I wasn’t being singled out, but it had to be dealt with plain and simple.
I can still remember the song that day on the beach, it was Rita Springer singing “Ask of me, and I will give the nations for your inheritance”. Yes I was crying because I had gotten so off course from His precious presence.
The waves begin to crash upon my scribbling on the sand and also tearing away the sand castles in my head. I found myself rededicating my commitment back to Him. Our lives were meant for the nations and our quest is souls. Funny how we always ask for a sign of His love and how sweetly He must laugh and go along with our childish requests.
As I walked along I was seeing the usual broken shells and sand dollars. Then out of nowhere I saw a rather large broken sand dollar. At first I passed it up, but soon noticed that this sand dollar was broken exactly in half. Somehow I knew that this sand dollar represented my life in Christ. Yes it was broken and making a sweet smelling sacrifice to him. He would keep the other half in heaven where He would give me the assurance that the work he started, He would certainly finish. By now I knew that it was operation time in the Holy Spirit. I asked Him to get this anger out and He came to do just that.
Back to the feelings of betrayal. We had been in revival a few years and as much as it brought life, healing and joy in the Holy Ghost, well let’s just keep it nice and say not everybody was happy. I found myself holding that silly broken sand dollar that day and crying-” please take this anger and betrayal out of me for I simply cannot do it.” In one instantaneous moment I felt a fire shoot through my belly and purge out all the voices and scenes of the people who, in my world, had done me wrong. I cannot recall any other time in my life that I literally felt something leave me. His peace and presence returned, and I had experienced a supernatural work!
I still have that sand dollar. In fact it sits on my mantle in my office forever reminding me of the power of the love of God. He upholds all things by the word of His power. He is holding on to the other half of me. It is not unusual for me to find broken sand dollars for other wayfarers on God’s highway.
What a great way to live! I believe Joseph, while living in that dungeon for so many many years, went through a major soul cleansing transformation. He even named one of his children Manassah expressing the thought “forgotten”.
What about you? How long will you allow the root of bitterness to corrode the very life of God out of you? Take the walk, face your brokenness and release it back to God. Allow the Holy Spirit to bring refiner’s fire and the fuller’s soap (CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S BLOG ).
Sand Dollars anyone?


  1. Excellent Pastor Parris. The Lord is dealing with me regarding this and someone who “did me wrong”. I went to a healing service last night and the Lord shined his big spotlight on a major “did me wrong” and I have to deal with it because I will not let this person rob me any longer of the love, joy & peace that is mine through Him, I don’t hate them but I don’t trust them either.

  2. Hello, Paris,

    As always, thank you, for being so transparent —sharing how Jesus makes a way where there seems to be no way. I appreciate this teaching very much. Thanks

  3. Brovo pastor parris, the broken sand. Dollar reminds me of myself. I was full unforgiveness and bitterness because I felt cheated out of real love ,until the sweet voice of the lord said I love you. Than I was able to let go of everything,
    And. Experience and taste real and true love.

  4. Ok now…The message is loud and clear. I dont know if you remember the first week of Broad. You asked if we had a word for the new year. Mine was Mal 3 and John 15 (The Refiner and The Vinedresser). Thought it was a word for the people.
    Little did I realize it was for me….I can relate to the whole molten metal thing, since I work in a foundry….metal does a funny thing when it is heated up…the junk comes to the surface. But even that doesnt expose all of the dross…cause it also sticks to the side of the pot and must be stirred up and the heat increased. Our Lord has let me know that my life is a reflection of that pot of metal…I am so thankful for the HEAT and THE STIRRING….ever changing me.

    I appreciate you and Pastor Frank very much…thank you very
    much for all you do. Bless you.

  5. Connections!!!!!!! As I think back over the past blogs I see a thread of connections. I also see connections to events in my recent life. Of course it could just be my imagination but you judge. For me it started all the way back in 2010 in ‘Isaiah’ class. Then there was the preparation for the ‘Feast of the Prodigal Son’ in February of 2011. All the while I was being nudged to visit God’s alters in my life. More recently I read the blogs; Kiss me, Kiss me again, Homeless Nicaraguan, Fire in the wax museum and Sand dollars.
    Call it what you want; visiting God’s alters, re-digging ancient wells, or seeing a gift from your Father in your mind’s eye (half a sand dollar) but it is the same. It is God’s children looking back at undeniable events in their lives when their Father intervened or just smiled at them!
    For me it started my in Isaiah class with this scripture, Deuteronomy 8:6-16. That scripture haunted me for a long time – in a good way. I was led to share ‘an alter’ at my family’s gathering for the ‘Feast of the Prodigal Son’. Last Thursday night I could not help but share with my daughter different times God has spoken to me through His word. We looked through my bible, stopping at every book mark that indicates a huge God moment in my life. I told each bookmark’s story. It was important cause this will be her bible one day and those alters will help her sit at God’s feet when the world would have her do otherwise. Hopefully she will share those stories with her children. That time spent with my daughter got me so fired up I shared it all over again with my mom on Friday night.
    Though many of those times represent moments of uncertainty, anger, regret and bitterness they glorify my loving Father because of what he did when I was out numbered, out gunned and overwhelmed. WAHOO! If I could type in tongues this is where it would happen. OH YEAH! If I may be so bold to give my advice, visit those events in your life often so when this world comes knocking, kicking, swinging and slinging its junk, and it will; you too can joyfully praise God with David when he penned Psalm 63. You can live in the peace of knowing ‘He will prepare a table before you in the presence of your enemies (and no one or nothing can stop that); He continues to anoint your head with His oil (peace& joy); your cup overflows. (Psalm 23:5 – personalized).
    One question – do you have that half of sand dollar physically or keep it stored in your treasure box (heart)?

    1. Thanks to both Pastors for sharing their lives with us; struggles, failures and because God’s faithfulness, their victories when all was stacked against them. It is awesome to stick yourselves out there where others can see and ridicule; but for some it edifies! That is evident by the response to this blog. It definitely builds me up to hear of God’s work in other’s lives and to be encouraged to look at my life to recognize Him and seek Him. Thanks

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s