About Sandy Quandt

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When No One’s Watching

Photo by Gabriel Meinert on Unsplash

The other day, I drove through the neighborhood as the elementary school dismissed. I chuckled when I noticed one particular boy. Once he was out of sight of the police officer directing traffic, he removed his bicycle helmet and hung it from the bike’s handlebars.

However, after he turned onto my street, things changed. He placed the helmet on his head. A few houses later, he pulled to the curb and tightened the straps under his chin.

When he believed no one was watching, he acted one way. When he knew there was the possibility his parents might see him, he acted another. Obedience had nothing to do with it. Doing the right thing had nothing to do with it. Getting caught had everything to do with it.

While I found the incident rather humorous, it led me to wonder. How often do I, do we, behave one way when we believe no one’s watching, and behave another way when we believe they are? Not really out of obedience to God or out of love for him, but out of the fear of being reprimanded for not wearing our helmets?

We don’t need to look further than the third chapter of Genesis to see this played out in the lives of Adam and Eve. After they were deceived by the serpent, they tried to hide from God. Things did not work out as they thought they would.

When the LORD told Abraham he and Sarah would have a son in a year’s time in Genesis 18, Sarah laughed. She thought God wouldn’t hear. Guess what? God heard.

Before we leave the book of Genesis, there’s the story in Genesis 37 of Joseph and his ten older brothers. Out of jealousy, and believing no one would find out, they threw Joseph into a dry cistern. They planned on leaving him there and concocted a wild story to tell their father Jacob about how Joseph died. But then some Ishmaelite merchants traveling to Egypt arrived. The older brothers sold their younger know-it-all brother into slavery. The going price? Twenty shekels of silver. They didn’t think anyone would find out. Boy were they wrong. What they planned for evil when no one was watching, God planned for good.

The Bible is filled with stories like these where people thought they could do whatever they wanted when they believed no one was watching. The Israelites and that golden calf of theirs recorded in Exodus 32. Jonah and the large fish he found himself taking up residence in recorded in the book of Jonah. Ananias and Sapphira and their land deal recorded in Acts 5 shortly after the New Testament Church began.

Regardless of the situation or reason, when we act as if no one’s watching and do wrong, we forget a very important fact. We can’t fool God. God sees. God hears. God knows. We show our love for God through our obedience, whether anyone sees us or not.

Instead of removing our helmet when we think no one’s watching and then putting it on when we think they are, what say we act like God’s watching? Because, you know, he really is. Not as someone looking to punish, but as someone who loves us too much to allow us to harm ourselves through disobedience.

Which story in the Bible about someone doing something when they think no one’s watching is your favorite?

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.

Jesus answered him, “Those who love me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and my Father and I will come to them and live with them. Those who do not love me do not obey my teaching. And the teaching you have heard is not mine, but comes from the Father, who sent me.” John 14:23-24 (GNT)

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

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Gluten-free Sour Cream Pound Cake Recipe

This gluten-free Sour Cream Pound Cake recipe has been in my family for decades and never ceases to impress.

  • 2 1/2 sticks of butter
  • 3 C sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 C gluten-free flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 C sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

Cream butter and sugar.

Add eggs one at a time.

Add baking soda to flour.

Gradually add flour to bowl, alternately with sour cream.

Add vanilla.

Pour batter into greased and floured tube or bundt pan. Bake for 15 minutes at 300 degrees F. Then bake at 275 degrees F for 75 minutes longer, or until done.

Cool completely before removing from pan.

Enjoy!

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

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Who Will Call Him King of Kings?

Photo by Sean O. on Unsplash

Easter is over for one more year. Now what? Has anything in our lives changed since Sunday in how we respond to that most glorious news; He is Risen! He is Risen indeed? Or are we living pretty much unchanged? Like the disciples we are called to let the whole world know Jesus is the resurrected King of kings and Lord of lords. So how are we doing with that?

Jesus told the disciples to meet him in Galilee after his resurrection. The disciples did just as Jesus told them. There they worshiped him. At this time, before he ascended back to his throne at the Father’s right in heaven, Jesus commissioned the disciples to go into all the world, ALL the world, and make disciples in all nations, baptizing them, and teaching them to obey all the commands Jesus gave them. (Matthew 28:16-20) The disciples went everywhere preaching, and the Lord was with them and confirmed what they said by the miracles that followed their messages. (Mark 16:20)

As Christ-followers we are called to spread the Good News of a Risen Savior who loved us so much he willingly took our sin stain on himself, paid the debt we owed but could never pay, all so none would perish, and could live with him forever. This great commission is not just for the season surrounding Resurrection Sunday, but for every day of our life. Amen?

Who will call him king of Kings?

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.
 
 It was not long afterwards that he rose into the sky and disappeared into a cloud, leaving them staring after him. As they were straining their eyes for another glimpse, suddenly two white-robed men were standing there among them, and said, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing here staring at the sky? Jesus has gone away to heaven, and some day, just as he went, he will return!” Acts 1:9-11 (TLB)
 
You can find my April Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well,

Sandy

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Christ is Risen

 

 

Christ Is Risen

by Frances Gregory Pasch

Let’s look beyond the Easter scene
Of colored eggs and jelly beans.
Let’s set our eyes upon the Lord
And feast instead upon His Word.

Let’s not forget that we’d be lost
Had Jesus not died on the cross.
He nailed our sins upon the tree
And rose again so we’d be free.

So let’s sing out in jubilation!
Christ, alone, is our salvation.
Lord and Savior…Counselor, King,
Great Provider…Our Everything.

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.

Very early that Sunday morning, the women made their way to the tomb, carrying the spices they had prepared.  Arriving at the tomb they discovered that the huge stone covering the entrance had been rolled aside,  so they went in to look. But the tomb was empty. The body of Jesus was gone!

 They stood there, stunned and perplexed. Suddenly two men in dazzling white robes shining like lightning appeared above them. Terrified, the women fell to the ground on their faces.

The men in white said to them, “Why would you look for the living On in a tomb? He is not here, for he has risen! Have you forgotten what he said to you while he was still in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man is destined to be handed over to sinful men to be nailed to a cross, and on the third day he will rise again’?”

 All at once they remembered his words. Luke 24:1-8 (TPT)

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 April 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!

Jesus Died So We Wouldn’t Have To

The movie depicted the life of Jesus. The title was King of Kings. Jeffrey Hunter portrayed Christ. Harry Guardino portrayed Barabbas. The scene in the movie where the people cried for the release of Barabbas instead of Jesus is seared forever into my memory. It didn’t matter how fine an actor Guardino was in later movies, I never particularly cared for him because of how good a job he did presenting Barabbas.

During Christ’s interrogation before Pilate, Pilate had a choice. Release an innocent man, Jesus, in exchange for a convicted criminal, Barabbas. Or cave to the demands of the religious leaders and crucify Christ instead of Barabbas. Pilate gave in to the people. 

Pilate had the power and authority to make the decision to release Jesus, but he decided to grant the demands of the shouting crowds. As a result, an innocent man died in the place of a criminal.

We might look at the scripture that recounts these details and think, “That isn’t fair. Barabbas broke the law. Everyone knew it. He deserved to die. Jesus was innocent. Sinless. He did nothing worthy of the punishment he received.”

That’s the way my brain reasoned as a second grader when I listened to the crowds in the movie chant for Barabbas to be released. Tears ran down my face because Pilate didn’t make the right choice. I wanted to tell Pilate, no! You have to release Jesus. You just have to! Don’t release Barabbas. I wanted Jesus to live. I wanted Barabbas to be punished.

But you know what? It could just as easily have been my name that was called out to be released. Or your name. Because, really, isn’t that what happened? You and I have broken God’s law. We know it. Jesus knows it. We deserve to die. We deserve to be punished.

Instead, an innocent man, Jesus, died in the place of a criminal, put your name here.

Jesus took our sins upon his perfect, sinless self. He paid the penalty for the debt we owed but could never pay.

We are the prisoners, the law-breakers, who should die. Instead, we are shown God’s great mercy.

Don’t you want to thank him for that great gift by living a life worthy of being called a Child of God?

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.

Then Pilate summoned the chief priests, the officials and the people and addressed them in these words. “You have brought this man to me as a mischief-maker among the people, and I want you to realise that, after examining him in your presence, I have found nothing criminal about him, in spite of all your accusations. And neither has Herod, for he has sent him back to us. Obviously, then, he has done nothing to deserve the death penalty. I propose, therefore, to teach him a sharp lesson and let him go.”

But they all yelled as one man, “Take this man away! We want Barabbas set free!” (Barabbas was a man who had been put in prison for causing a riot in the city and for murder.) But Pilate wanted to set Jesus free and he called out to them again, but they shouted back at him, “Crucify, crucify him!”

Then he spoke to them, for a third time, “What is his crime, then? I have found nothing in him that deserves execution; I am going to teach him a lesson and let him go.”

But they shouted him down, yelling their demand that he should be crucified.

Their shouting won the day, and Pilate pronounced the official decision that their request should be granted. He released the man for whom they asked, the man who had been imprisoned for rioting and murder, and surrendered Jesus to their demands. Luke 23:13-25 (Phillips)

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

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Red As Scarlet

Photo by Andre Benz on Unsplash

Red dye stains on my favorite light blue blouse. I couldn’t believe it. All because I hung a red blouse to dry next to the blue blouse, and they pressed against each other.

I scrubbed, and scrubbed, and scrubbed. I tried various stain removal products. Nothing helped. The stains would not budge.

While I worked on this dilemma, it dawned on me. Isn’t that the way it is with the sin in our lives? We don’t have to be wrapped in it, smeared by it, or even dunked into it to have sin stain us. No amount of washing, scrubbing, or product can remove it from us either. The stain is permanently inked on our heart.

Although I ended up getting rid of my blue blouse because I couldn’t remove the stain, we need never wonder if God will get rid of us because of our sin stain. He tells us when we give our lives to him, he will remove all our sins through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross of Calvary.

Because of Jesus’ blood, though our sins are red as scarlet, they will be made whiter than snow and remembered no more. Thank you, Jesus.

Like me, do you have scarlet stains of sin that need removed? Tell Jesus. Nothing but his blood will do the job.

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.

Come, let’s talk this over, says the Lord; no matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can take it out and make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you white as wool! Isaiah 1:18 (TLB)

You can find my March 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!

Flooded Book Review

In Flooded Nicki Koziarz looks at the biblical account of Noah and five decisions he made. Decisions we, too, can make to help quiet fear, resist the urge to try and control the uncontrollable, and find the familiar faithfulness of God when everything is falling apart.

Through examples she shows us:

  1. Noah was able to rise above the doubt his assignment could have caused by making the decision to walk with God.
  2. Noah listened and obeyed whether he agreed with God or not.
  3. Noah didn’t try to make sense of what God asked him to do.
  4. Noah remembered who was in control and believed God had a plan.
  5. Noah held to the familiar faithfulness of God when he stepped off the ark.

Using events from her own life interspersed throughout the book, Nicki shows how, like Noah, she worked through these decisions.

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 March 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.

Pause for Poetry – Heavenly Treasures

Welcome to Pause for Poetry featuring a poem, Heavenly Treasures, written by my writer-friend, Frances Gregory Pasch.

Heavenly Treasures

Dear Jesus, You have shown me

By Your guidance and Your love,

The things that I must strive for

Are the things that are above.

They’re the only things that matter.

They’re the only things of worth.

For when I die I cannot take

My treasures stored on earth.

So help me, Lord, to concentrate

On ways to love and share.

Show me where I’m needed

Let others know I care.

Don’t let the devil fill my mind

With thoughts of fear and dread,

Just let me feed upon Your Word

And trust in You instead.

Frances Gregory Pasch

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.

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 March Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.
I wish you well.
Sandy
Please sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

Scarcity Mentality

“Most people are deeply scripted in what I call the Scarcity Mentality. They see life as having only so much, as though there were only one pie out there. And if someone were to get a big piece of the pie, it would mean less for everyone else.” – Stephen Covey

I hadn’t thought much about the term scarcity mentality until I reread the account of the Israelites in the wilderness. It’s the second month of their journey since they left Egypt. They grumbled against Moses and Aaron. “If only we had died by the LORD’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this assembly to death.” Exodus 16:2-3 (NIV).

Selective memory, it seems. Had they really forgotten they were slaves in Egypt?

So God told Moses he would rain down bread from heaven for the people in the morning and meat at twilight. But there were a couple rules first. Everyone was to gather only as much as they needed. An omer for each person in their tent. They were to go out each day and gather enough for that day. No one was to keep any of it until morning.

However, some of them paid no attention to Moses. Scarcity mentality. They kept part of it until morning. Imagine their surprise when they woke to find the food full of mold and maggots.

On the sixth day they were to gather twice as much food, because on the seventh day there would be no food on the ground. Nevertheless, some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather and found none. 

Like the Israelites wandering in the desert, we too, can have a scarcity mentality at times. That’s when the what ifs start bombarding us. What if there isn’t enough manna and quail tomorrow? But the thing is this, it didn’t matter if the Israelites gathered a lot or a little, whatever they gathered was always sufficient.

Are there times you feel the pangs of a scarcity mentality? If so, how do you push beyond it in gratefulness for what God has provided?

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.

And when they measured it by the omer, the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed. Exodus 16:18 (NIV)

You can find my March 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!

Gluten-free Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cranberry Cookie Recipe

This hardy gluten-free Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cranberry Cookie recipe with a soft and chewy center is super simple to make. The recipe is adapted from Jocelyn Delk Adams of Grandbaby Cakes.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or coat with nonstick cooking spray.

  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup applesauce
  • 2/3 cup peanut butter (I used chunky)
  • 1/2 cup mashed ripe banana
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

In a large bowl combine quick oats, ground cinnamon, ground allspice, salt, applesauce, peanut butter, banana, and maple syrup.

Fold in dried cranberries.

Drop dough from a tablespoon onto the baking sheet. Press down slightly.

Bake 15-17 minutes or until tops are browned.

Enjoy!

You can find my March 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!