Sowing and Reaping

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Today’s post, Sowing and Reaping, is written by my writer-friend, Phyllis Farringer.

I read somewhere that for optimum emotional health we need 12 hugs a day. It makes sense, really. Studies of babies raised institutionally have shown that those who are held and cuddled thrive in comparison to those who merely have their physical needs met.

People who are involved in a good church may get 12 hugs in a matter of minutes on a typical Sunday morning. Perhaps that helps explain why people at church often appear happier than those we meet randomly everywhere else.

A hug benefits both giver and receiver. What a wonderful illustration God has given us concerning giving in general. Whatever we give away tends to come back to us. Those who give away hugs get hugged a lot. Those who give away anger and hostility generally encounter anger and hostility wherever they go. Those who are generous with their resources usually don’t live in want.

A friend of mine once observed that God measures His provision for us the way we measure brown sugar– pressed down and overflowing. There is nothing stingy about the way He pours out blessing. What would happen if we lived with brown sugar generosity about everything?

The Bible commends generosity. A poor widow, in obedience to God, shared what she thought was her last meal with Elijah the Prophet, then experienced supernatural abundance in the midst of a drought (1 Kings 17). Jesus took notice of another poor widow. He said her gift at the temple of two small coins was greater than that of all the others because she gave out of her poverty, and they gave out of their wealth (Luke 21:3,4).

God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7). The amount is not as important as the willingness to share what we have (2 Corinthians 8:12). Whether our time, energy or material goods, “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly and whoever sows generously will also reap generously,” (2 Corinthians 9:6). When we give liberally, God liberally provides what we need (2 Corinthians 9:11). Everything we have comes from God. Giving is an expression of our faith that God will continue to provide for our needs.

Christmas is the season of giving. In the prevailing spirit of happiness and friendliness, people are kinder, even to strangers. Of course, celebrating the birth of Jesus is cause for joy, but Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus all year long. It could be the extra measure of joy and happiness evident this time of year is related to a focus on giving away good things.

Since generosity seems to produce joy, maybe a key to lifting our spirits is to give something away. It may be as simple as finding someone who needs a hug.

Phyllis Farringer delights in proclaiming God’s goodness. Her work has appeared in various periodicals including Decision Magazine, Focus on the Family publications, and Christianity Today Bible Studies. She has also written for several compilations including Cup of Comfort for Moms and God Allows U-Turns. She and her husband live in North Carolina. They have two married children and seven grandchildren.

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Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Luke 6:38 NIV

I wish you well.

Sandy

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This post was originally scheduled to appear November 25, 2018.

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When We Run Aground

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

The other morning a devotion I read in Streams in the Desert said, “You will never learn faith in comfortable surroundings.”

The devotion stated God gives us promises then steps back, allows the Tempter to come with a test that seems to contradict everything God promised, and God waits to see how much we believe.

Referencing the apostle Paul’s shipwreck as a prisoner on his way to Rome, the short devotion ended with this statement. “This is the time to look up through the storm, and among the trembling, frightened sailors declare, ‘I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me.’ ” (Acts 27:25)

Well. Not being satisfied with relying on my memory of this episode near the end of Paul’s life, I went to Acts chapters 27 and 28. Like Reading Rainbow used to say, “Don’t take my word for it. Read the book yourself.” Or something like that.

The verses in these chapters reminded me of several things I’d like to share with you.

When we go through the struggles and storms of life, our faith tells us one way or the other we’ll get to the other side. Nevertheless, like Paul, before we get on the other side, we’ll  probably run aground on some island. (Acts 27:25-26)

God knows where we’re going to run aground. He knows when and how it will happen. He knows the outcome and how beat up, bruised, and broken we’ll be when we reach it. God also knows that when we give thanks to him in the midst of our storms, we’ll be strengthened to keep on keeping on until the storm ends. (Acts 27:33-36)

After that, daylight comes.

BUT before we reach the calm bay in the distance, we hit a sandbar which destroys our ship. (Acts 27:39-41)

Jumping into the waves and grabbing onto the ship’s broken planks that float by, we finally reach the shore. (Acts 27:44)

Only to be bitten by a viper while gathering firewood. (Acts 28:3)

Seriously?

Onlookers gather around and speculate about what we must have done to displease God so much to deserve all we’ve endured. They wait for us to die from the viper’s venom.

But.

We don’t.

Instead, the viper is thrown into the fire and dies. (Acts 28:4-6)

The best part of all?

God sends encouragers alongside to strengthen us for the next go ’round. Until such a time as God allows the Tempter to show up again, and we face life’s storms once more. (Acts 28:15)

Whether we are in a season where we need to be encouraged, or a season where we are called on to be an encourager, whenever we hit a sandbar and run aground, our Mighty Father is right there with us helping us make it safely to shore. Is that not so?

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 take courage! For I believe God! It will be just as he said! Acts 27:25 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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God’s Word Does Not Change

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

During junior high school, one of my home economics teachers told the class fashion trends recycle every twenty to thirty years.

To prove her point, Ms. Hazzard said due to a fabric shortage during World War II, the skirts she wore then were as short as the mini-skirts our class wore.

We young teens were skeptical.

As I’ve aged through the decades, I’d have to admit my teacher was correct.

Fashions do tend to recycle on a regular basis. All we need do is look at pictures of our self through the previous years or watch old movies and television shows to see proof.

Hair styles. Make-up. Skirt lengths. Cotton. Polyester. Loose. Tight.

One thing, thankfully, which never changes is God’s word. God’s word does not change, just as God does not change. What the Bible says today, is what it said twenty years ago, and what it will say twenty years from now if Christ doesn’t return before then.

God is immutable. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He won’t advocate short permed hair one year, and long straight hair the next.

He is dependable. His word is dependable. We can count on the fact God won’t say one thing one day, and something completely different tomorrow.

God does not lie nor does he contradict himself.

How unsettling would it be if we never knew how God expected his people to live?

We have enough change and chaos in our world that keeps us off-balance and upsets our equilibrium without throwing uncertainty about who God is into the mix, don’t you think?

Christ is the solid rock on which we stand. All other ground is sinking sand. The Bible reminds us to build our life on Jesus and the truth found in God’s word.

When we build our life on the unshakable truth of the Bible, we’ll never need to look back at old pictures of our spiritual life, see those regrettable years of permed hair and unwieldy shoulder pads, shake our heads, and wonder, What was I thinking?

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 he who is the Glory of Israel will not lie, nor will he change his mind, for he is not human that he should change his mind! 1 Samuel 15:29 (NLT)

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!

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God’s Unchanging Word

courtesy pixabay

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

During junior high school, one of my home economics teachers told the class fashion trends recycle every twenty to thirty years.

To prove her point, Ms. Hazzard said due to a fabric shortage during World War II, the skirts she wore then were as short as the mini-skirts our class wore.

We young teens were skeptical.

As I’ve aged through the decades, I’d have to admit my teacher was correct.

Fashions do tend to recycle on a regular basis. All we need do is look at pictures of our self through the previous years or watch old movies and television shows to see proof.

Hair styles. Make-up. Skirt lengths. Cotton. Polyester. Loose. Tight.

One thing, thankfully, which never changes is God’s word. God’s word does not change, just as God does not change. What the Bible says today, is what it said twenty years ago, and what it will say twenty years from now if Christ doesn’t return before then.

God is immutable. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He won’t advocate short permed hair one year, and long straight hair the next.

He is dependable. His word is dependable. We can count on the fact God won’t say one thing one day, and something completely different tomorrow.

God does not lie nor does he contradict himself.

How unsettling would it be if we never knew how God expected his people to live?

We have enough change and chaos in our world that keeps us off-balance and upsets our equilibrium without throwing uncertainty about who God is into the mix, don’t you think?

Christ is the solid rock on which we stand. All other ground is sinking sand. The Bible reminds us to build our life on Jesus and the truth found in God’s word.

When we build our life on the unshakable truth of the Bible, we’ll never need to look back at old pictures of our spiritual life, see those regrettable years of permed hair and unwieldy shoulder pads, shake our heads, and wonder, What was I thinking?

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 he who is the Glory of Israel will not lie, nor will he change his mind, for he is not human that he should change his mind! 1 Samuel 15:29 (NLT)

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!

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Pause for Poetry — Nurture Me, Lord

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Welcome to Pause for Poetry, featuring a poem, Nurture Me, Lord, written by my writer-friend, Frances Gregory Pasch.

Nurture Me, Lord

Fill me

with the rich soil

of Your Word.

Plant in me

seeds of kindness,

goodness and love.

Drench me

with Your living water

that I may grow

in Your image

and bloom

forever

in Your heavenly garden.

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 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.

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!

[bctt tweet=”Welcome to Pause for Poetry, featuring a poem, Nurture Me, Lord, written by my writer-friend, Frances Gregory Pasch.” username=”SandyKQuandt”]