Carl Anderson – the Voice of an Angel

The Easter holiday brought back the memory of a special being I met at the Agape International Center of Truth in Los Angeles during the time period 1991-1999 while I was studying for the ministry under Rev. Michael Beckwith. His name was Carl Anderson.

Carl Anderson – cover photo on his album “On & On”

He was the most outstanding singer with the most beautiful humble spirit. And there was an indefinable quality to Carl’s voice that set him apart from any other singer.

“How do you keep the music playing” by Carl Anderson

That voice and his acting talent and his extreme good looks had earned him the role of Judas Iscariot in the hit Broadway musical, “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

Shortly before I went back to South Africa to start my multiracial ministry in 1999, I had the good fortune to connect with Carl personally one Sunday morning at Agape. What an elegant soul! He was very supportive towards me and my mission. I invited him to South Africa to sing at my church – a church which did not even exist at that time except in my 12 year-old vision. He nodded and smiled and told me to contact him when I was ready.

Once I got back to Johannesburg in early 2000, the vision started taking form and the spiritual community of Soul Home began to grow. It was all quite miraculous and I was constantly in awe but I was often very homesick for Agape and all of my friends, colleagues and teachers.

One night in 2001, about 16 months after my return to S. Africa, I was in a deep well of loneliness mixed with exhaustion, and I prayed for a sign that I was loved and not alone.

Quite randomly, I was moved to switch on the TV, and I started watching a documentary about the role of black musicians in the development of Western music. And within a few minutes, guess who came onto the screen, right there in my living room in Johannesburg – it was none other than Carl Anderson singing in his role as Judas on Broadway! I cried. It was the perfect answer to prayer – to have the Agape consciousness brought to me direct and reminding me that I was never alone.

(Note to my younger readers: The miracle is that this happened four years before Youtube became available!)

A medley of songs sung by Carl in Jesus Christ Superstar

Three years later, on 23 February 2004, while I was still in Johannesburg running Soul Home, Carl made his transition in Los Angeles. He had been diagnosed with Leukaemia in 2003. In the days before Facebook, I had somehow heard that he was sick and in hospital but I was unaware that he had left the planet on that particular day. For reasons I did not understand then, at the very same time that he transitioned, I suddenly became obsessed with the song “If it’s magic” by Stevie Wonder. I kept singing it to myself in my car day after day and, eventually, I pulled off the road and went into a mall where I bought a Stevie Wonder CD of ballads with that particular song on it. And then I played it on repeat once I got it home.

Carl’s memorial was held at Agape a few days after his transition and facilitated by Rev. Michael Beckwith. A dear friend of mine from Agape, Rev. Diane Hogan, kindly emailed me after the service was over and told me that Stevie Wonder had flown in specially from New York and had sung a tribute to Carl in person. The song he chose was “If it’s magic.”

“If it’s magic” by Stevie Wonder

In doing the research for this blog post, I learned that Carl collaborated with Stevie Wonder on one of the most popular albums ever: Songs in the Key of Life. I loved that album. I was 18 when it came out and I can still remember dancing to it at a party in my friend’s squat in Amsterdam. That was in 1977. I believe that I was connecting with Carl’s consciousness via that album all those years ago – 22 years before I actually met him at Agape in Los Angeles.

How exquisite this cosmic web is, bringing people together at the perfect time and in the perfect way.

Bless you, Carl. I expect you are giving singing lessons to the angels in heaven now. It was a privilege to know you and to hear you.

Appreciating the miracle of global communication via technology.

All blessings,

Rev. Steph

“The Miracles of Earth are the Laws of Heaven” – Johann Richter

If you would like to read more of Rev. Steph’s blog posts on the theme of “Miracles, Miss-Stories and Metaphysical Musings,” please go here.

Shifting Priorities


In the last blog post, I wrote about how all my priorities shifted at the beginning of the year 2018 after my stepfather died on 29 Dec. 2017.  All the things that had seemed so important faded into insignificance and dealing with the aftermath of death took precedence.

remembrance, loved one

My stepfather

Before I published the last blog post, (No. 47 Perfect Communication and a Perfect Storm) I was reading through it and editing. This was on Friday morning last week before taking my mum to the gym for her post knee-op rehabilitation session with her private trainer.

The phone rang suddenly.  It was my mum’s trainer.  In great distress she told me that a man had had a heart attack on one of the machines at the gym and she had called the ambulance.  She warned us not to come if we did not want to see a man who might not make it.  I was not concerned.  I asked the trainer if the man was her client and if she needed to be with him.  She said “No.”  So I said we would still come and she was fine with that.  I figured that the man would have probably been taken to hospital by the time we got there.  I did not realise how serious the incident was.

When we arrived at the gym, the trainer was in even more distress.  The ambulance had arrived and the paramedics were doing their best but it did not look good.

I walked downstairs to the loos so that I could have a quiet chat with the man who seemed to be on the edge of life and death.  I asked him if he wanted to stay or go.  I sensed he wanted to stay.  So I told him he had to fight to bring himself back because I could feel he was more out of his body than in.  I prayed for him.  Back upstairs, I sat down to comfort one of the female gym members who was crying uncontrollably.  As I sat rubbing her back, I had a direct view of the man on the floor even though the gym manager had tried to shield both him and the paramedics from onlookers.  His chest rose and fell violently, like a lifeless balloon that was being blown up and then instantly deflated.  The paramedics were doing their best to keep him alive but I could sense it was to no avail.  The woman who had been crying turned to face me, her eyes reddened and her face ashen, and told me she had to leave to go to a funeral that afternoon.

As the man lay on the floor, a few metres away from me, I could only see the top of his head   As I looked at him, there was a moment when I saw his energy shift and his skin went grey.  I knew it was over, his spirit had left.  I silently told the paramedics that they could stop trying to jump-start his heart: it was too late. Of course, they knew and they stopped in that instant.

The trainer was distraught and in no position to train anyone.  I tried to get coffee for her but the manager had closed the cafe in the gym – it was too close to where the paramedics were working and now covering up the body in silver foil so that it could eventually be discreetly removed.

gym, cafe, coffee, conversation

Cafe area of the gym

Mum and I then offered to take the trainer to the hotel cafe on the 13th floor.  She had cancelled her next client and was relieved to get out of the gym with us.  Once seated, we listened to her and fed her hot tea with honey to help her deal with the shock.  She knew the dead man from her Schul as well as from the gym and she was berating herself for not doing more to save him.  Actually she was the one who had had the presence of mind to call the ambulance and run down to the street to show the ambulance driver the best way to enter the building in order not to lose precious time.

We finished our drinks and I offered to go back to the gym to validate our parking tickets but the trainer said that we should just follow her to the exit and she would explain to the parking guards what had happened and they would then let us out.

“Where are you parked?”  she asked

“4th floor,”  we answered

“Oh me too!  Lets go down together and I will show you where my car is.”

We got out of the lift on the 4th floor and both of us automatically turned left towards our cars.  That was already weird because most of the parking space is on the right side of the lifts.  The trainer asked us where we were parked .

“Right here,” we said.

‘Me too,” she said.  Miraculously, in among the 400 plus parking spaces in the multi-storey car park, we were parked right behind her new car which we had, of course, not recognised.  Therefore, we were perfectly ready to follow her out.

Parking miracle

As we drove away, much later than if my mum had had a regular hour of training, I realised that once again the Law of Attraction had been in operation upon my thoughts.  I had been thinking about how priorities change when someone dies and immediately manifested a man dying at the gym and priorities shifting to taking care of the trainer rather than mum’s rehabilitation exercises.

Where is your attention focused?  And what are you consciously or unconsciously expanding in your experience?  Leave a comment below.

Appreciating the miracle of global communication via technology.

All blessings,

Rev. Steph

“The Miracles of Earth are the Laws of Heaven” – Johann Richter

If you would like to read more of Rev. Steph’s blog posts on the theme of “Miracles, Miss-Stories and Metaphysical Musings,” please go here.

Mother Mary – direct connect

In 2008, when I first started working for English in Action Ltd in the Marketing Department, I felt like an outsider in the office.  I was about the same age as the majority of the female staff but the difference was that they were settled in the UK. At age 50, I had just left my church behind in South Africa to start a brand new life of adventure and travel through Europe!  My life was anything but settled and I liked it that way.  I did not have the courage to share with my colleague about my activities outside of work – the books I was writing and the people I was meeting.  Nor did I have much to contribute to their conversations about new recipes or popular TV programmes.  I just kept my head down and got on with my work.

And then Jo’s mum died.

Jo was a committed Catholic and had a strong faith in Jesus and the power of prayer.  Much as I liked her and respected her faith, I did not venture to share my own unconventional spiritual convictions with her.

Jo called the office distraught from her mum’s home where the transition had taken place.  She wanted to talk to her best friend at work and try to get some solace.  I overheard the phone call and I sensed that Jo was not getting the comfort she was seeking.  Not many of us are skilled at these conversations, having had no training in our culture to deal with death – our own or anyone else’s.  Silently, I prayed for Jo, that she would be supported and assisted from Upstairs to move through this very painful rite of passage.

The next Sunday, very early in the morning, I was in a taxi being driven to Gatwick airport for one of my many marketing trips around Austria. I don’t remember  thinking about Jo but, suddenly, I became very aware of the spirit of her mother.  Jo’s mum was telling me that she was fine and she wanted me to reassure Jo that all was well on the Other Side of the Veil.  And then she showed me an image of the Virgin Mary and some red roses.

The Virgin Mary, Creative Commons License, free for commercial use

I had a great sense of peace when I received this message.  Of course, I wanted to pass this blessing on to Jo but how would I do that?  My fear of  being persecuted as a witch, and destroying any modicum of respect I had built up with my colleagues, completely paralysed me.

I decided I would not risk saying anything to Jo.  I tried to put Jo’s mum out of my mind and engaged the taxi driver in conversation.  But Jo’s mum was insistent.  She would not let me go.  Finally, I surrendered and I sent Jo a message on my blackberry regarding what I had seen and sensed in communication with her mother.  I was not sure if I wanted to hear back from her or not.  In any case, there was no reply before I boarded the plane for Vienna.  Once the plane had landed,  I picked up the keys for my rental car and was just walking through the underground parking lot looking for my vehicle when I noticed a message on my blackberry.  It was Jo!!  Her reaction was a thousand times more positive than I had predicted. She was delighted and grateful to get the message from her mum via me.  Phew!

When I got back to the UK office a few days later, Jo gave me the biggest hug and told me excitedly that she had been praying to God for a sign from her mum.  Days after her mum’s transition, God had still not answered. Jo was so worried.  Her mum had been in pain and distress when she left her body and Jo was desperate for reassurance that her mum was OK.  Jo’s husband was distressed to see his wife so distressed and felt so powerless to help.  But then he had a moment of insight: instead of praying to God for a sign from Jo’s mum, why not pray to Jo’s mum directly?  So he did.  And it was a few seconds after he began his prayer, that my message came through on Jo’s phone….

Blessed Virgin Mary by Ernest on Flickr,

Furthermore, Jo confirmed that the funeral service had been held in a Catholic Church dedicated to the Virgin Mary and that she had thrown red roses on the coffin before it went into the grave.

While I was away in Austria, Jo had told all her colleagues in the office about the message from her mum that Stephanie had picked up psychically.  Rather than condemning me, my former colleagues embraced me:  I had been able to help their beloved Jo in a way that none of them could and they were so grateful and relieved to see the burden of worry lifted from Jo’s shoulders.

I wrote two books while I worked at English in Action:  the first edition of my autobiography “The Miss-Adventures of an Irreverent Reverend” and “Down Dirty and Divine: a spiritual ride through London’s underground.”  And each time, Jo was there to help me with proofing and formatting, completely setting aside her own strict Catholic views in order to support me in the communicating of my irreverent spiritual approach and my bad-girl life experience. 🙂

I love how life works and how everything works out when you and I follow the promptings of our heart.

Appreciating the miracle of global communication via technology.

All blessings,

Rev. Steph

“The Miracles of Earth are the Laws of Heaven”   Johann Richter

If you would like to read more of Rev. Steph’s blog posts on the theme of “Miracles, Miss-Stories and Metaphysical Musings,” please go here.

The Flight of Birds and Souls

cedric memorial service

Just before Christmas, in December 2017, I was sitting with my mother in her veranda and starting to notice the many varieties of African birds that were performing their aeronautics in front of the large glass veranda doors.  Previously I had taken them for granted but, for reasons I don’t understand, I started to really look and be curious.  Out loud, I expressed my wish to have a bird book just like my stepfather’s so that I could identify some of the birds in the garden.

Indian Birds Book

What’s that Bird? by Kenneth Newman

At the time I happened to be sitting in the armchair that my step-father used to sit in when he was still living at home with my mother.  He also used to watch the birds and would point and comment on them.

My step-father, Cedric, in his favorite bird-watching armchair

My step-father, Cedric, in his favorite bird-watching armchair

The disease of Alzheimers had been taking its toll on his brain for a number of years and he was not able to remember any of the bird species even though he might have known them well at one time.  In 2015, all he was able to say was: “Look, there is a bird sitting on the wall!”  Or “There is a bird flying on to the roof!”  He announced these local events with a certain forcefulness and compelled those around him to stop what they were doing and pay attention. My mother and I would look at each other and raise our eyebrows, a little irritated.  We did not appreciate how those birds filled his span of attention. They were the only things that existed in that moment for him and, therefore, unquestionably worthy of comment.

Shortly before his 90th birthday, in October 2015, my stepfather moved into long-term residential care so that he could get the medical attention he needed.

My sister kindly bought him a bird book for his 90th birthday. She hoped, as we all did, that we could salvage what was left of his brain by presenting him with images and words that he was interested in.  From his favorite armchair in his new room, however, he could not see the birds too well: his room was on the ground floor and there were net curtains at the window for privacy.  The bird book stayed on the side table and was only opened when one of his private nurses thought to entertain him by leafing through it with him.  But by then, it was all too abstract.  He could no longer make the connection between the photographs in the book and the live birds in the sky outside.

A few weeks after his 92nd birthday, just before the end of 2017, he was rushed to hospital with pneumonia.  The next day, the sister in charge of his ward, called us to tell us that he was not doing well and that we should come quickly.  We raced over to the hospital but we were too late – his spirit had flown out of his body about 30 minutes before we arrived at his bedside.

After we had kissed his still warm form “Goodbye,” my mother and I took his private nurse back to his old room to gather up her belongings.  As we sat in his room, trying to recover from the shock and take in the fact that we would never see him again, my mother noticed his bird book on the side table.  “Weren’t you just saying last week that you wanted a bird book like Cedric’s so that you could identify the birds in the garden?” she asked as she handed me the book.

“Yes,” I answered. “And I had that very book in mind but I didn’t mean for it to come to me this way!”

“Well, have it.” my mother said.  “Cedric won’t be needing it anymore.”

She was right.  He had flown the coop of his mental prison and had become as free as a bird.  And I had the bird book that I had wanted.  It was a great demonstration of the truth: how my desires manifest for me is none of my business but I can have faith that the Law of Attraction works with mathematical precision.

It just occurs to me now, as I write, that when I led Cedric’s memorial service two weeks after his transition, the song I was inspired to play while people were leaving the chapel, was an old recording by Frank Sinatra: “Come Fly With Me.”  I picked it because Cedric loved travelling and I wanted the guests to leave on a high note.

The altar at Cedric’s memorial service

The altar at Cedric’s memorial service

Well, obviously, Cedric picked that song – not me!

Wing your way heavenward, Cedric.  All blessings on your flight.

Appreciating the miracle of global communication via technology.

All blessings,

Rev. Steph

“Earth’s Miracles are Heaven’s Laws”  Johann Richter

If you would like to read more of Rev. Steph’s blog posts on the theme of “Miracles, Miss-Stories and Metaphysical Musings,” please go here.

How DIY Sacred Ceremonies was Birthed

This is no ordinary business.  The idea was communicated to me one night during my sleep state. This is how it happened….

In early February 2014, I had a melt-down.  I had enrolled in an online group coaching programme designed to support its members to successfully design and run an online business which they could operate on the road or from anywhere in the world.

I got lost on one of our early group coaching calls in the 6-month programme and I was so frustrated. All the other participants seemed to be moving forward with their business and asking questions which I did not even understand. This meant that I could not learn from the answers which our teacher so eloquently provided. The reason I could not participate was because I did not have a concrete business idea beyond “an online global ministry.”  Try as I might to come up with a genius idea, I was stumped!

A few days later, I hit bottom completely. Finally, after much mental agonizing, trying to come up with the perfect business idea, I accepted that I could not figure out this business in my own head and surrendered it to Spirit. This was on 9th February 2014.

As I got into bed and switched out the light, I inwardly committed to simply sitting in meditation until the idea came to me rather than struggling to come up with something myself.  But lo!! A few hours later, at 3:00 am, Spirit woke me up by tapping me gently on my left shoulder.

Luxor Temple – looking up at the columns at night 

I became aware of a Presence that was asking me to listen and start taking notes. Obediently, I switched on the light and grabbed my journal and a pen.  And then the Divine Download started in which I was given the perfect business idea for me: helping people to create their own sacred ceremonies.  I was told to call it “DIY Sacred Ceremonies” and it was explained to me that DIY stands for “Do It Yourself” but, more importantly, it also stands for “Divine In You.” 

The reason for helping people create and lead their own sacred ceremonies was so that they would not feel bound to any religious institution to perform this service, especially if the particular religious ideology on offer did not match their or their loved one’s spiritual or philosophical outlook.  The way for me to help was by creating templates of the ceremony scripts which my customers could fill in for themselves and also by offering coaching if they needed more guidance on delivering the ceremony on the big day.

The idea was imparted in waves from 3:00 am till 7:00 am.  I tried to sleep in between but kept getting woken up with more ideas.  It was SO COOL!!!  And so elegant. I knew it would be an effortless joy for me to do this business because creating and leading sacred ceremonies was definitely my greatest passion during my ministerial career and something I had become well-known for at Agape in America and at Soul Home, my church in South Africa.

The next day, I checked on the internet and could not find anyone else in the world who was doing anything similar to help people in a time of transition, especially in death.

Luxor Temple at night

Not only had Spirit provided me with the perfect business idea for me, It had also shown me a gap in the market – a unique way to serve people which had not been available before.

I love when stuff like that happens.

All blessings,

Rev. Steph

I would like to offer you a complimentary copy of my ebook “7 Steps to Creating a Healing Memorial Service for a Loved One” Please use the button below to enter your email so we can send you a copy. Along with my book, you will receive an invitation to a complimentary 20- minute exploratory session regarding any kind of ceremony you would like to create.

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Are you planning a ceremony and wondering how to make it perfect for all involved? You are welcome to contact me for a free 20-minute exploratory session so that we can decide on the best approach for the ceremony you want to hold.