Circuitous Paths

bing imagesby Sandy Kirby Quandt

Every adventure begins with a first step, or so it is said. We must take a step, whether in the right direction or wrong before progress can be made. Though we may not realize it at the time, even our circuitous paths are able to bring us home when we allow God to lead the way.

When you were younger, were you positive you knew exactly where you were going in life and exactly how you would get there?

bingI remember sitting around my room with girlfriends in elementary school telling each other the type of house we would live in, the number of children we would have, what our husbands would look like …

I can’t speak for the others, but I know I didn’t end up in the house with the white picket fence, and to be truthful, I’m glad.

My elementary school plans were so limited. I didn’t have vision beyond what I saw on the covers of magazines and in television shows, or what I read in books.

And I definitely didn’t give thought to the fact God was the one who should direct my path.

As adults, sometimes we might play the same game. We know for a fact what job we will have, who our friends will be, how much money we will retire with. But we haven’t given much thought to the fact God is the one who should direct our path.

When Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, it took them eleven days to reach the Promised Land. (Deuteronomy 1:2) Yet, due to their unbelief God refused to let them enter. (Numbers 13 & 14) As a result, they wandered through the Sinai desert for 40 years. They took a circuitous route because they grumbled, complained, rebelled and didn’t believe God. Their vision was limited. They couldn’t see beyond their next campground.

In fact, they spent most of their time looking backwards at where they’d been and wishing they were still there. They didn’t take hold of the vision God had for them even though his presence led them.

God had a plan from before the beginning of time for what he would accomplish through his bingpeople. He has a plan for what he wants to accomplish through us.

Sometimes the way seems clear and we’re right on track to living in the house with the white picket fence, then boom! Something happens that knocks us sideways and we end up wandering in the desert.

Sometimes God takes us on winding journeys through the desert to bring us back to him. He won’t leave us in the desert as long as we continue to trust him.

Though we may take a circuitous route to get there, our home in heaven is so much better than any white picket fence we could imagine. Wouldn’t you agree?

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

Show me the right path, O Lord point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you. Psalm 25:4-5 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — God Cannot Lie

Isaiah 40

By Sandy Kirby Quandt

Liar, liar, pants on fire!

Have you ever said that? Has anyone ever said that about you?

I’ve said it. Not recently, but I’ve said it.

I’ve lied. Not recently, but I have been a liar, liar pants on fire.

While reading the account in Numbers 23 of Balaam when he agreed to curse the Israelites for a fee the fact was stated; God is no mere human. He does not lie like we do. In fact, God cannot lie. He couldn’t even if he wanted to. That’s not in his nature.

Thinking about the way we humans sometimes project our human attributes on God, like lying and not keeping our promises, instead of realizing he is not human nor does he act like humans led me down another rabbit hole.

I thought of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and a battle scene in The Return of the King.

Spoiler alert – if you’ve not seen Return of the King, or read the book and intend to, the following gives away a plot point.

In The Return of the King, Eowyn, niece of Rohan’s king, disguised herself as a man in order to fight in a battle she’d been forbidden to enter, yet felt was her right.

During the battle she came face to face with the terrifying Lord of the Nazgul while trying to protect her uncle after he was injured. The Nazgul threatened to kill Eowyn, boasting that “no living man may hinder me,” referring to a 1,000-year-old prophecy foretelling that the Witch-king would not fall “by the hand of man”.

Eowyn threw off the helmet that had disguised her and declared:

“But no living man am I! You look upon a woman…”

She was no mere man.

The Witch-king attacked Eowyn, shattered her shield and broke her shield-arm with his mace before his attention was diverted as he was stabbed behind the knee by one of the Hobbits. At which time Eowyn seized the opportunity to strike the Nazgul with a deadly thrust of her sword.

As Eowyn’s sword shattered, the Nazgul’s withering form collapsed and he vanished with a final cry of anguish.

Now the connection…

The Nazgul erred in thinking Eowyn was a man. We err in thinking God is human.

God is not a human. He is the Great I AM, who has no beginning and no end. He is the Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent one who cannot lie.

Satan’s the true liar, liar, pants on fire. He’s the one who tries to deceive us and lead us away from God’s truth. Like the over-confident Nazgul Witch-king, Satan is wrong to believe he will not be defeated.

Jesus Christ took care of that when he died and rose again to sit at the right hand of the Father in heaven.

God cannot lie…he keeps his promises. Satan is going down!

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

God is no mere human! He doesn’t tell lies or change his mind. God always keeps his promises. Numbers 23:19 (CEV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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God’s Perfect Plan

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

While meditating on the Easter message of how God gave his son, Jesus, up on the cross of Calvary to save mankind from our sins, I thought about multiple things. One I’ll share here.

Sometimes we are called to surrender our loved ones to God’s plan, when that plan may not seem like the best plan to us.

Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase, “There will be hell to pay…” I never quite understood that phrase but knew it sounded dreadful, so I looked it up. It means “great trouble”. As in, Jesus’ great love for us and his obedience to the will of his Father caused great trouble, or hell to pay, when he bore God’s cup of wrath on his perfect sinless body so we, in all our sinfulness, wouldn’t have to.

In Andrew Peterson’s “The Chasing Song” one line is seared into my brain. He chased my sin to Calvary and he caught it on that hill.

Jesus paid hell to release us from Satan’s clutches.

Bing PhotosGod allowed his blessed son to endure the unimaginable. He gave Jesus up to the cross when that probably did not seem like the best plan to his disciples.

But thanks be to God for the sacrifice and resurrection! Major fist pump, here.

Often times as parents we might be hesitant to release our children to God’s perfect plan for their lives. Although we love them deeply, we need to realize God loves them more.

In thinking of Jesus, our Sacrificial Lamb who saves those covered by his blood, I thought of the Israelites in Egypt. I thought about the passover lamb whose blood spared those under it when the Death Angel passed over.

As is my way, I followed those thoughts and they led me to Jocebed, Moses’ mother. She knew God bing photoshad a plan for his people, but didn’t know what that plan was.

When her son, Moses, was born I am positive it caused her great trouble to put her 3-month-old baby in a papyrus basket and place him along the reeds in the crocodile infested waters of the Nile River.

Jocebed’s love for her son left him in God’s loving hands. Not an easy task at times.

Has God called you to release someone precious to you so he can work in that person’s life to complete his perfect plan in and through them? Has God asked you to give them up to his loving heart? Is the releasing process causing you great trouble?

When asked to place our child in a papyrus basket, set it in a crocodile infested river, and leave him or her to the Father’s care, we can take heart and rest confidently in the fact God loves our children more than we ever could.

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

About this time, a man and woman from the tribe of Levi got married. The woman became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She saw that he was a special baby and kept him hidden for three months. But when she could no longer hide him, she got a basket made of papyrus reeds and waterproofed it with tar and pitch. She put the baby in the basket and laid it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile River. Exodus 2:1-3 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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One of my posts will appear on Inspire a Fire today. Please stop by and check it out.

Sunday Scriptures — Jesus Christ is Alive!

Isaiah 40by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Go and tell the disciples INCLUDING Peter.

If we remember the story of Jesus’ arrest, then we remember Peter denied he ever knew Jesus. Not just once, but three times. Exactly as Jesus predicted.

In the Resurrection account recorded in Mark, specific mention was made that Peter be included in the telling of the Good News of Jesus’ resurrection. Peter needed to know Christ had risen from the dead. Peter needed to know Jesus was, and is, alive! Peter needed to know he was included in Jesus’ story.

Maybe we’ve been like Peter and denied we knew Jesus. Maybe we’ve hid our light under the bushel. Maybe we’ve turned our back on the Son of God. Maybe.

But you know what? Jesus loves each of us. He really does. He loves us so much he willingly paid the price for our sins so we wouldn’t have to. He took the nails and sadistic lashes we deserved. Jesus took the punishment and wrath of God that was headed our way upon his perfect, sinless self. He did that for you. For me. All so we could be included in his story.

Even after Peter denied he ever knew Jesus, Jesus included Peter in his invitation to eat some grilled fish by the seashore. His invitation includes each of us, as well. The question for us is, what are we going to do about it?

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

The next evening, when the Sabbath ended, Mary Magdalene and Salome and Mary the mother of James went out and purchased embalming spices.

Early the following morning, just at sunrise, they carried them out to the tomb. On the way they were discussing how they could ever roll aside the huge stone from the entrance.

But when they arrived they looked up and saw that the stone—a very heavy one—was already moved away and the entrance was open! So they entered the tomb—and there on the right sat a young man clothed in white. The women were startled, but the angel said, “Don’t be so surprised. Aren’t you looking for Jesus, the Nazarene who was crucified? He isn’t here! He has come back to life! Look, that’s where his body was lying. Now go and give this message to his disciples including Peter:

“‘Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died!’” Mark 16:1-7 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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April 7, 2015 one of my posts will appear on Inspire a Fire. Please stop by and check it out.

Pause for Poetry — An Ordinary Day

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Welcome to Pause for Poetry featuring a poem written by my writer-friend, Shirley Specht Johnson.

An Ordinary Day
By Shirley Specht Johnson

In the simplicity of life,
in an ordinary day.
You minister to those,
you encounter along the way.
Frightened from the storm,
your baby wakes and cries.
You calm all her fears,
with a simple lullaby.
Soon the sun peaks inside your window,
and it is time to start your day.
You ask God for strength,
He helps you along the way.
The morning routine is done,
like so many times before.
You give your children praise and hugs,
as you head out the door.
At the local coffee shop,
you buy a coffee just for you.
The clerk gives you back too much change,
and you know just what to do.
You give it back with a smile, and tell her to have a great day.
She says “THANK YOU VERY MUCH!” and you go along your way.
At work your boss gives you another project to do,
only because he knows he can count on you.
You call your parents on the phone,
just to say a very quick hello.
You always laugh together,
before you have to go.
Back at home, its homework and dinner for everyone,
you wish the day was over,
but it is far from being done.
Your little boy’s baseball game,
starts in less than an hour.
You ask God for strength,
and somehow feel His power.
There you are in the stands,
cheering louder than anyone,
because you are so proud of him,
because he is your son.
He hits the ball, his first home run,
runs the bases, then home plate.
His favorite thing was when you smiled at him,
and said that was really, really great.
Back at home the nightly routine,
everyone doing their share.
You tell your children that you love them,
and say the night time prayer.
You thank God for strength, love and mercy too,
You say “I wish I had time to do so much more for you.”
He whispers to your heart,
“If you only knew the hearts that you touched today,
In the simplicity of life, in an ordinary day.”

Shirley Specht Johnson loves to share inspiration and encouragement through her writing. She is a member of SCBWI and is currently participating in 12X12. She loves to read and has volunteered at her local Public Library as an Adult Literacy Tutor. She shares moments of inspiration and her writing life at her blog.

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

I wish you well.

Sandy

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