About Sandy Quandt

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Come Ye Thankful People Come

barn with autum treesHappy Thanksgiving to everyone here in the States.

As God’s people everywhere, he has given us so much. As God’s people, it is only right we come before him with thanksgiving. Not just one day a year. But every day of every year. Amen?

Today I’d like to add Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation, given for the first time during the War Between the States in July 1863 as recorded by the National Parks Services.

Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

In July 1863, the Battle of Gettysburg resulted in more than 50,000 American casualties. Despite these losses, the United States gained a great victory during these three days. On October 3, 1863, with this victory in mind, as well as its cost, President Lincoln issued a proclamation:

I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, …to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving… And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him …, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.


This proclamation is viewed as the beginning of the national holiday of Thanksgiving Day. It was one of nine similar proclamations that Mr. Lincoln issued during the Civil War. Mr. Lincoln issued the proclamation, but he did not author it. Secretary of State William Seward penned the October 1863 proclamation.

I pray each of you have a blessed day of thanksgiving, being thankful for all the rich blessings God has given you this past year, and looking forward to all he has in store in the upcoming year.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

Shout with joy before the Lord, O earth! Obey him gladly; come before him, singing with joy.

Try to realize what this means—the Lord is God! He made us—we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Go through his open gates with great thanksgiving; enter his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and bless his name. For the Lord is always good. He is always loving and kind, and his faithfulness goes on and on to each succeeding generation. Psalm 100 (TLB)

You can find my November Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Am I watching for God’s wonderfulness? Psalm 126

Bible open to the Psalms courtesy pixabayToday’s guest post, Am I watching for God’s wonderfulness? Psalm 126 written by Anthea Kotlan first appeared on antheakotlan.com.

As a little girl, I remember my family rarely spoke about my grandmother’s family of origin. Finally, after many curious questions, my mother explained that Ivy Chapman Wiles was forbidden to marry Mark Anthony Lindsey (my grandfather). When they tied the knot, Ivy’s family disowned her. World War II broke out shortly after the wedding, and the estrangement became set in stone.

Tragically, Mark Anthony Lindsey proved to be exactly what Ivy’s father feared. He left Ivy a few years later in the middle of the war. Ivy was a single mother of two small children, living in London as bombs dropped all around them. I believe there is a harshness that settles into the hearts of war survivors. By the time I met my grandmother, she had firmly closed this sad chapter of her life. Our entire family felt honor-bound to respect her wishes to never even try to find our long-lost relatives.

Sometime around 2000, a young lady was assigned a family history project which she took quite seriously. She began looking for her grandfather’s long-lost older sister. With some internet sleuthing, she found my grandmother. In 2002, during a visit with my family to England, I met my Uncle Charlie for the first time. He and Ivy remained closely connected with regular phone calls and visits until his death. It was a dream come true for my entire family to gain relatives after all those years of sad separation. Watching my grandmother spend time with her beloved brother was a sweet gift at the end of a difficult life.

It must have been something like this for Zion’s exiles and those they left behind when they returned to Israel.

It seemed like a dream, too good to be true when God returned Zion’s exiles. We laughed, we sang, we couldn’t believe our good fortune. We were the talk of the nations—“God was wonderful to them!” God was wonderful to us; we are one happy people. (Psalm 126:1-3 The Message)

God returned his people to their homeland after decades in Babylon. Amazing reunions between those who left and those who stayed would have filled the air with laughter and tears. Instead, these exiles were taken away in a time of war and despair. Those who were left behind must have been shocked to see them again. Had they all lost hope of this ever happening?

Can I hold onto hope in a season of despair?

God delights in reconciliation, and such joyous reunions are worthy of celebration. But do I take time to celebrate God’s goodness? Do I really recognize and take time to mark those moments when He brings about reunions, miraculous provision, and joyful surprises? Instead, I tend to look ahead and get into the habit of focusing on the next thing or the new plan. If I am forever focused on what is coming up, I might miss the blessing right in front of me.

Can I take time today to recognize what God is doing for me right now?

Another truth I see in these verses is how God can be wonderful to them, and God can be wonderful to me. He has an unlimited flow of goodness. I can refuse to believe in scarcity and know God has plenty of goodness to go around. He gives to them and to me and still has more left over.

Can I take time to rejoice with others?

When I truly rejoice with others about their greatest blessings, a more resilient community is strengthened. God encourages me with stories of His faithfulness to those I care about, and God uses me to encourage others with my own stories of His provision. Perhaps if we were more willing to share our God stories with everyone, God’s blessings would become the talk of our community. If my eyes were seeking evidence of God’s goodness, would I see more of it? Can I choose to share a story about God’s provision and then ask others about how God has provided for them in good and beautiful ways?

Prayer

God, thank you that You are in the business of unexpected reconciliations and restorations that provide wonderfulness for me and mine. Help me to take time to celebrate the amazing provision You make for me as often as you provide. Help me to keep an eye out for your goodness and be faithful to share it with others. Amen

Anthea KotlanFor over thirty years, Anthea Kotlan has served as a women’s ministry leader in the church and community. She has a passion for discipleship and encouraging women to walk confidently in their God-given calling. She designs women’s retreats, teaches Bible studies, writes, and enjoys speaking at events. Recently, she began serving on a church plant team in Conroe, Texas with her husband, a bi-vocational priest. Every chance she gets, she spends time laughing with her two adult daughters or snuggling her two grandchildren. Check out Anthea’s blog for weekly soul-tending devotionals from the Psalms. antheakotlan.com 

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

You can find my November Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Pause for Poetry-Guide Me, Lord

meadow lake

Guide Me, Lord

 by Frances Gregory Pasch

When I complain,

Set me straight.

When impatient,

Help me wait.

When too busy,

slow me down.

When I’m cranky,

Erase my frown.

Guide the path

Where I’m to go.

Teach me all

That I must know.

Hold my hand

Along the way;

Don’t let Satan

Lead me astray.

Let me live

For you alone;

When life’s over,

Take me home.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

You can find my November Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

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. Frances’ latest book, Greater Than Gold is available on Amazon. Her first book, Double Vision: Seeing God in Everyday Life Through Devotions and Poetry, which was published when she was eighty years old, is also 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 http://www.francesgregorypasch.com.

The Blackout Book Club Book Review

women in libraryThe Blackout Book Club by Amy Lynn Green is the tale of four different women who form the Blackout Book Club at the beginning of World War II. The author tells the story alternately from each women’s view point, giving insight into their personality and backyard.

As they meet, these very different women discover they aren’t so different after all. Each is affected by the war that has come to the shores of their small Maine town. Each has secrets she tries to hide. And eventually, each woman realizes, no matter how different they may appear, they need each other.

The author gives a glimpse into wartime America at the beginning of WWII through her characters, what they do to support the war effort, and letters they receive. Along the way, the author introduces readers to the books the book club is reading.

If you are looking for a story about friendship with a bit of history mixed with secrets and intrigue, then perhaps The Blackout Book Club is the book for you.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

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

You can find my November Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Flurry of Activity

red donate please buttonFlurry of Activity

A flurry of activity and requests for our time, talent, and resources happens at this time of year. Not only do church, school, and community activities ramp up with a need for volunteers during the last two months of the year, but appeals for charitable donations do as well.

Not Necessarily Bad

This increase in requests is not necessarily a bad thing. Many of these appeals come from very worthy causes. This is where caution and discernment come in when the flurry of activity hits. With each appeal, we should ask ourselves what is the best way for us to spend our time, talent, and resources?

Something to Remember

While certain events, like Christmas programs, only happen in December, let’s remember that need goes beyond the last two months’ flurry of activity in any given year. Every day people go hungry. Every day people are homeless. Children need mentors. Charities need volunteers. Nursing home residents need visitors.

Avoid Overload

Although the increase in requests for our time, talent, and resources comes strongest at the end of the year, I believe one way to avoid flurry of activity overload might be to spread our time, talent, and resources out over the course of the year.

Steps to Take

A good first step to accomplish that might be to take an inventory of our interests. What do we enjoy spending our time doing? What are we good at? Is there something we could teach someone else? How can we turn those interests into volunteer opportunities?      

Another step might be when we go to the store. If they have special deals, or buy one get one coupons, perhaps we could donate the extra product to a charity.

We can look into church outreach programs, community involvement opportunities, ministries, schools, nursing homes, and see if any of those would be good fits for us.

If we spread our time, talent, and resources out over the course of the year, then when the flurry of activity arrives at the end of the year, we’ll be better prepared to respond.

Your Turn

How do you handle the end of year flurry of activity? Any tips you’d like to share?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Galatians 6:9 TLB

You can find my November Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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What To Keep

What to Keep

In the mid-1990s my mother’s house was hit by lightning and burned to the ground. Following the fire, she faced the decision of what to keep from the little that remained. She refused to leave her property in the country and move to town. Instead, she purchased a mobile home and placed it on the land which had been in her family for generations.

One of the things Pilot and I did to help Mom after her new home arrived, was go through the few belongings which survived the fire to help her decide what to keep and what to throw away.

Opinions Differ on What to Keep

Funny how what one person treasures, another finds little use for.

I have vivid memories of Pilot and me sweating under the very hot southern Georgia summer heat, as we washed various kitchen items that survived. As we washed, my mother, aunt, and uncle sat chatting inside the air conditioned living room.

Whenever I found something I felt was beyond saving and should be thrown away, I had to clear it with Mom first. I’d hold the item up to the sliding glass window, and she would shake her head yes or no.

Before I washed the dull, long-bladed knife which had been around since before I was born, I knew for sure Mom would agree it needed to be tossed.

The point at the end of the knife broke off long ago when Mom used it to pry something open. Spots of rust dotted both sides of the blade. Surely she would agree there was no need to keep the thing.

Still, I knew I needed to get her approval first before I threw it away.

I held the knife to the slider. Mom shook her head no. 

Not satisfied with her answer, I opened the slider and explained the obvious reasons why I should not waste time washing something so useless. “I started housekeeping with that knife.” was all she said, and I proceeded to wash it. Shaking my head and grumbling.

I’m not sure how many times Mom used that knife after that, but I do know the dull, broken, long-bladed, rust-spotted knife stayed in Mom’s kitchen until the day we moved her into a nursing home decades later.

Struggling to Know What to Keep in our Spiritual Life

As I pondered this memory, I thought of how sometimes we struggle with knowing what to keep and what to throw away in our spiritual life.

Sometimes we hold onto beliefs we learned years earlier in our Christian walk which, upon closer inspection and deeper biblical study, are not scriptural.

We believe certain things because our parents believed them.

We heard a preacher say something once which we kinda still believe, but aren’t really sure.

Some author somewhere wrote something people talked about, so it must have some basis for truth.

Discerning What to Keep

Instead of relying on things we’ve heard others say, how about we search the scriptures and discover God’s truth for ourselves?

What say we become students of the Word to gain a clearer understanding, and once we gain that understanding, apply God’s truth to our lives?

Instead of using a dull, broken, long-bladed, rust-spotted, incomplete understanding of the Truth, let’s determine to sharpen our learning so our knowledge will lead us to a fuller understanding of what to keep and what to throw away.

Your Turn

Is there anything around your home you’ll admit you hang onto that should be thrown away? I know there are many things Pilot and I have we should toss.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. 1 Corinthians 13:12 (NLT)

You can find my November Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

In Case You Missed It

In case you missed it, here is the link to Tuesday, November 8, 2022’s post. Gluten-free Crock Pot Chocolate Peanut Candy Recipe.

I apologize for all the confusion pertaining to this post. Thank you for your patience as I work through this glitch.

The candy really is good. 🙂

Gluten-free Crock Pot Chocolate Peanut Candy Recipe

I wish you well.

Sandy

Gluten-free Crock Pot Chocolate Peanut Candy Recipe

chocolate peanut candyAfter I tasted this gluten-free crock pot chocolate peanut candy our friend gave us, I knew I had to get the recipe to share with you.

The recipe is super simple. The crock pot does all the work. The hardest thing for me was finding enough muffin tins to hold all the candy. This recipe makes A LOT.

What I did was set the candy in the mini muffin liners in muffin tins for a few minutes, then transferred the candy to multiple cookie sheets and a pizza pan, while I filled up the muffin tins over and over.

If you place a clean kitchen towel over the crock pot under the lid, it will absorb any condensation, and keep it out of the candy.

  • 2 cups dry roasted peanuts
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 ½ cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1 lb vanilla almond bark
  • 1 lb chocolate almond bark
  • 12 oz dark chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup sprinkles optional
  • Muffin tin
  • Mini Muffin liners

Add the almond bark, chocolate chips, peanut butter, peanuts, and pecans to your crock pot.

Cook on LOW for 2 hours or HIGH for 1 hour. Stir every 20 minutes.

Once candy is completely melted, give the mixture another stir.

Place the muffin liners into muffin tins. Doing this will help the muffin liners keep their shape.

Spoon two teaspoons of the chocolate mixture into each muffin liner.

Top with sprinkles, if using.

Place in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours until firm. Keep refrigerated.

Enjoy!

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Remember

courtesy pexels

Remember What God Has Done for Us

Last month I mentioned bitterness as it related to Jennifer Rothschild’s Bible Study, Amos An Invitation to the Good Life. Today, I’m talking about our need to remember what God has done for us, also taken from Jennifer’s study.

In talking about remembering, Jennifer states

Remembering God’s goodness helps us to live faithful because the more we become forgetful, the more we become unfaithful.

Haven’t you seen that true in your life? I know I have.

Remember Through a Thankfulness Journal

I’ve mentioned before that I keep a thankfulness journal where each morning I write one thing I’m thankful to God for. Only, it can’t be the obvious … Christ’s sacrifice, my salvation, God’s faithfulness, etc.

Although I am absolutely grateful and thankful for those things, for my thankfulness journal each day what I am thankful for needs to be something different. And it can’t be something I’ve already mentioned in my multiple years-long journals.

Some days, I find it’s easier for me to remember something to be thankful for than on other days. On those days, I need to sit awhile to remember something to write down.

God Reminded the Israelites What He Did for Them

In the second chapter of Amos, God reminded the Israelites of the many things he did for them in the past. Not the least of which was deliverance from Egyptian slavery.

Just as with my thankfulness journals where I put down the small things, the little mercies and kindnesses God bestows, God wanted the Israelites to remember all the things he did. Both large and small. I believe God wants us to do the same.

Through remembering, God desired his people to see that although they were unfaithful and left him, he was always faithful and never left them.

Several Things To Help Us Remember

Here are several things I received from Jennifer’s lesson on Amos chapter 2 to help us remember. I’m paraphrasing, but this is the general idea.

It’s in the details.

Be specific about who God is to us and what he has done for us.

Intentional remembering can lead to intimate reconnecting.

Forgetting to remember God’s faithfulness to us in the past can make us forget to be faithful to him in our present.

Something Jennifer suggested we do to help us remember God’s faithfulness is to write down whenever a good thing about God comes to mind. Then at those times when we become forgetful about his mercies, look at our list and re-calibrate our feelings. I like that idea.

Your Turn

What do you do to remember the times God showed up in your difficult situations and seasons?

Do you have something special you do to remember what he’s already brought you through, that help enable you to trust him with your future?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

“Yet think of all I did for them! I cleared the land of the Amorites before them—the Amorites, as tall as cedar trees, and strong as oaks! But I lopped off their fruit and cut their roots. And I brought you out from Egypt and led you through the desert forty years, to possess the land of the Amorites. And I chose your sons to be Nazirites and prophets—can you deny this, Israel?” asks the Lord. Amos 2:9-11 TLB

You can find my November Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

Soul Care for the Battle Book Review

Soul Care for the Battle A Guided Journal by Susie Larson is designed to take you deeper into the biblical truths and battle strategies from Susie’s book, Strong in Battle which I reviewed here. While you may want to read Strong in the Battle as you journal, it isn’t necessary.

I’ve never worked through a guided journal, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. What I found is 218 pages of scripture, quotes, prayer prompts, and questions designed to take inventory of thoughts and feelings on a deeper level, to be better equipped to stand strong in the everyday battles Satan works hard to defeat us in.

Some of the journaling prompts are Precious Memories, Thoughts about God, Laments, Blessings, and Taking Thoughts Captive, but there’s much more.

One section I look forward to journaling through is the section on Expectations versus Expectancy.

If you enjoy guided journaling, or if you are new to it, perhaps you should give Soul Care for the Battle a try.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

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

You can find my November Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!