Sunday Scriptures – Where Does Our Worth Lie?

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

I love the stories told in the two books of Samuel, especially those stories about Saul and David.

Saul was chosen by God to be Isreal’s first king after the people begged God to give them one. They wanted to be like the nations around them. They wanted to fit in, not be set apart for God as God intended.

When the prophet Samuel went to Saul at God’s direction and told the future king God tapped him for the job, Saul told Samuel he must be mistaken. Surely Saul was not king material, despite the fact God was the one who chose him.

Do we ever think as Saul did when God calls us to take up a job for him? I’m a nobody. What have I got to offer? Surely you are mistaken, sir.

Fears and insecurities pull us back and keep us from boldly stepping into God’s plan for us. We falsely believe our worth lies in the things of the world and man’s opinion of us, instead of the truth our worth is found only in Jesus.

For the record, Saul wasn’t a “nobody”. He came from a wealthy and powerful family. He was tall at a time when being tall instilled confidence and commanded respect. Yet, even after God gave Saul many victories as king, Saul continued to be jealous and obsessed with people’s opinion of him. He was insecure, deceitful, and arrogant to his own detriment.

It wasn’t enough God thought him worthy to be king, what people thought of Saul; his image, was more important to him to the point it cost him his kingship.

God can use each of us when we are willing to be used by him, realizing if he’s called us to something, he must think we’re capable of completing it through his power and grace.

The world’s standards of success or lack of are not the measuring stick Christians should use to measure our worth. Our worth lies in the favor we have found through a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. The only one whose opinion matters.

Instead of looking at what we lack, as Saul did, let’s look at what God gives us, and thank him for those things.

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“Pardon me, sir,” Saul replied. “I’m from the tribe of Benjamin, the smallest in Israel, and my family is the least important of all the families of the tribe! You must have the wrong man!” 1 Samuel 9:21 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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All She Left Behind Book Review

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

All She Left Behind, written by Jane Kirkpatrick, tells the story of Jennie Pickett in 1870s Oregon Territory. This book is filled with hope and disappointment. Love and betrayal. Courage and desperation. What I found most interesting with All She Left Behind is the way Jane Kirkpatrick wove her details into a compelling story based on the lives of real individuals.

Jennie wants to help people and uses her skill with herbs as one way to do that, hoping to turn that skill into a medical career. Trusting those closest to her proves costly, and deception sends Jennie on a path she wasn’t expecting to walk as she deals with the very real issue of alcoholism in her area and family.

Through to the final pages of All She Left Behind Jennie continues to follow her dream and refuses to give up.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below.

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I wish you well.

Sandy

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Revell provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

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Not All Storms In Life Are Hurricanes

By Sandy Kirby Quandt

Tired of hearing about hurricanes?

I’m sure folks in the path of the storms sure are. I know I am. Those of us who live in hurricane prone areas know hurricane season runs from June through November, with September starting peak season. We know that. And each year we keep our eyes on anything that forms off the west coast of Africa and in the Gulf of Mexico.

We just do.

But as I thought about how destructive hurricanes can be, my thoughts turned to how destructive the hurricanes in each of our individual lives can be. You know; the things we struggle with on a regular basis just as sure as we struggle with weather events.

Relationship problems. Financial worries. Family issues. Addictions that flood our lives and leave our homes wreaked. We all don’t face the same storms, but we all face storms, do we not?

Maybe our storms crop up in certain situations or seasons, much like the storms off the coast of Africa.

Family gatherings. Work get togethers. Unexpected expenses. These are what I call unpredictable predictables. We may not know when the storm will hit or how devastating it will be, but we know the storm clouds are forming.

So just as preparations need to be made long before a hurricane makes landfall, preparations need to be made long before we encounter the events we know are destructive to the extent we are able.

Maybe the best way to deal with the inevitable hurricanes of life is to do a little prep work.

Stock up on the essentials. Faithful friends, sound Biblical knowledge, teachable spirit to learn the lessons God wants us to learn from the storm, humility to admit when we’re wrong. Add your own essentials here. _____________

Gather information from reliable sources, assess whether we need to evacuate, then make the correct decision.

Leave those toxic situations that flood our very being with unhealthy habits and thoughts. Work through those that don’t.

Monitor the situation. Keep in close contact with God. Stay vigilant. Have accountability partners and prayer warriors nearby at all times.

We shouldn’t wait until the rain pours into our home to prepare for the storms of life. The time to prepare is before they become an issue. Pray up. Stay connected to God and his people. Be willing to ask for help, and be willing to help when asked.

So how do you prep for the storms of life?

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When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. Isaiah 43:2 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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The lyrics aren’t completely accurate in the video around 1:40 … here’s how it should read:

they say if the storm keeps coming
and if the water keeps rising
and if the levee starts caving
then we’re sure to quit
Oh but I know that you won’t let me go
Lord I know you’ll keep me from this storm

Sunday Scriptures–Hope Amid the Storms of Life

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

When Hurricane Irma formed recently, folks weren’t sure where it would go. Some dismissed it as a Florida or Atlantic coast storm, and saw no need to pay much attention to it. As the storm advanced and changed course, new areas were in its sites, and folks who before had no need to be concerned found they now needed to be prepared.

In thinking about preparing for storms several thoughts came to mind from things I’d heard said as Houston dealt with Hurricane Harvey. Be prepared. Don’t lose your humanity. Still we will rise. Stay strong.

So let’s see if any storm preparation wisdom can also be used for life preparation.

  • Be prepared. Just as we can’t predict the actual path of a hurricane until it hits, we can’t predict everything that will happen in our lives, but we can prepare ahead of time for when our lives get shaken, by keeping our anchor and hope in Jesus.
  • Don’t lose your humanity. There are a lot of people who act in inhumane ways, especially during crisis, but we don’t need to be one of them. The Golden Rule of do unto others as you would have them do unto you comes to mind.
  • Still we rise. Even though we may be knocked to the ground by circumstances in our life, we can rise above it when we reach out to the God who lifts us out of the slimy pit and sets our feet on solid ground.
  • Stay strong. It’s hard to keep going when you get beat up by the storms of life. It’s real hard. But we know that when we belong to Jesus, his Holy Spirit lives in us and greater is HE who is in us than anything the world throws at us. Our strength to stay strong doesn’t come from us. It comes from God alone.

We may not be going through a storm in our lives at this point in time but just as some people didn’t take Irma seriously until it was on their doorstep, we need to be sympathetic towards those in the eye of the storm and be watchful, knowing it could just as easily be us next time.

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Why am I so sad? Why am I so troubled? I will put my hope in God, and once again I will praise him, my savior and my God. Psalm 42:5 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Pause for Poetry — My Best Friend

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Welcome to Pause for Poetry featuring a poem written by my writer-friend, Frances Gregory Pasch, My Best Friend.

My Best Friend

by Frances Gregory Pasch

Jesus is more than my Savior

He’s also my very best friend.

He’s here whenever I need Him.

On Him I can always depend.

He wakes me every morning

He’s with me all through the day.

And when I’m ready to go to bed

With me all night He will stay.

I have no other friend like Him.

He answers whenever I call.

He only wants what’s best for me.

He picks me up each time I fall.

He knows all of my weaknesses

And from His path I might stray.  

Yet I’m assured He’ll forgive me

If I turn to Him and pray.

And although He is my best friend

He can be your best friend, too.

For His love has no boundaries

He has lots left just for you.

So stop and take a minute;

Welcome Him into your heart.

You’ll sense a wonderful feeling

That only His peace can impart.

Frances Gregory Pasch’s devotions and poems have been published hundreds of times in devotional booklets, magazines, and Sunday school papers since 1985. Her writing has also appeared in several dozen compilations. Her book, Double Vision: Seeing God in Everyday Life Through Devotions and Poetry is available on Amazon. Frances has been leading a women’s Christian writers group since 1991 and makes her own holiday greeting cards incorporating her poetry. She and her husband, Jim, have been married since 1958. They have five sons and nine grandchildren. Contact her at www.francesgregorypasch.com.

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I wish you well.

Sandy

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An Ever-Present Help in Times of Trouble

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

After Hurricane Irma passed over the hotel where Sissy and Chief evacuated, they found God to be their ever-present help in times of trouble. Again. For you see, when they found Sissy’s car, they discovered a huge oak tree sitting on top of it.

BUT GOD …

While they stood there trying to figure out who to call to get the tree off the car, a National Guard Humvee pulled up to the hotel. Coincidence? Hardly.

Sissy, Chief, and the Guardsmen had a conversation, and then Sissy headed back to the hotel.

When I spoke with her on the phone as she stood outside the hotel she said, “Here comes my car!” It wasn’t being towed. Chief was driving Sissy’s dent-free, barely-scratched car toward her.

Amazingly, the three Guardsmen lifted the tree off the car while Chief slid in from the passenger side, over the console, and into the driver’s seat where he proceeded to drive the car out from under the tree.

Seems when the hurricane uprooted the tree, it landed over the car, but not directly on the car.

Apparently, a branch large enough to support the tree hit the parking lot and kept the tree from crashing down on the car and crushing it. And that, my friends, is a major yay, God. Is it not?

God is our hope. An ever-present help in times of trouble. It doesn’t matter what our trouble is, God is able to do exceedingly more than we could ever dream, hope, or imagine.

He is our Jehovah-nissi who covers us in the shelter of his hands and fights our battles for us. Now. And forever.

When have you witnessed God’s help in your times of trouble?

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God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1 (NIV)

 

I wish you well.

Sandy

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