Sunday Scriptures — Friendship

Isaiah 40by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Recently I was thinking about friends I knew during my high school years. Two in particular stood out because of what they wrote to me.

Karen and I were best friends. You’d call us BFFs today. We shared much of ourselves with each other during our senior year of high school and vowed to stay in touch, despite the fact our roads after graduation would take us down different paths. Unfortunately, we never saw each other again once we hugged good-bye the day we held our diplomas in our hands.

While in Senior English, we studied Jean Anouilh’s play, Becket, about King Henry II and Thomas Becket’s friendship. We both fell in love with it, got mad at Henry for his treatment of his friend, and wept for Becket.

I don’t need to see my yearbook to remember the inscription Karen wrote…To Becket, from Henry. I was humbled she considered me a person who stood up for what I felt was right, and  who didn’t compromise my beliefs.

A friend I met at church camp signed his letters using a phrase from Charles Dicken’s Great Expectations. Referencing the conversation between Joe and Pip, Paul always wrote, “Ever the best of friends.”

Paul and I ran into each other several times through the years at various conventions but eventually, lost contact. Yet I know, were we to meet today we’d still be ever the best of friends.

As a writer, books are important to me. I enjoy reading them. I enjoy writing them. While Becket and Great Expectations are classics, and I appreciate them both, there is one book that is far superior, and has many more memorable lines in it.

Yep. I’m talking about the Bible.

So I’m wondering…

Do we include scripture references when we speak or write to others, the way my friends included literary works when they wrote me? Do our friends know the stories from the Bible which thrill our hearts? The ones that bring us joy? The ones that reduce us to tears? If we quoted a verse, would they know it’s importance to us?

Jesus is our true BFF. He shares our hurts, our joys, our failures and our successes with us each and every day. He will never harm or destroy us the way King Henry did Becket. Jesus will never abandon or reject us the way Pip did Joe. Jesus wants us to keep in touch.

Our Savior loves us with an undying love. He wants us to stand up for what is right. He longs for us to be ever the best of friends.

Are there friends from high school you are still in contact with? If you mentioned something from those days, would you feel like you were there all over again?

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 Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. Jeremiah 31:3 (NIV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Right now I’m in the process of preparing several pieces of writing for submissions to contests and conferences. One of the things I’m preparing is a proposal for a devotional book based on my blog posts.

Will you help?

If any of my posts have resonated with you in a positive way, helped you see something in binga new light, encouraged, or helped, other than the yummy recipes :), would you tell me? I’d like to know your favorites so they can be considered for inclusion in my book proposal.

One way to let me know your choices – tell me as many as you’d like – is to put them in the comment section. If you’d rather not have the whole world see what you picked, you can send the titles to me through the Contact Me tab at the top of the page.

Thanks so much for your help with this. I’m looking forward to reading your messages!

Mark Hall’s Surgery Went Well

Mark HallAccording to the Christian Post, Casting Crowns’ lead singer, Mark Hall, is out of surgery, and all went well.

Praise, God!

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.

With God’s power working in us, God can do much, much more than anything we can ask or imagine. To him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus for all time, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21 (NCV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Life Is Not Fair

bingby Sandy Kirby Quandt

The older I get the more I realize life is not fair. No big revelation, there. Just an observation.

As children we often expected life to be fair and were shocked to find someone else was picked for a part in the play when it should be obvious to everyone around, we were the best choice. Sometimes that same mindset follows us into adulthood. “They got the promotion over me? How is that possible?”

But have there been times when you were actually glad, after the initial irritation wore off, that you didn’t get the part in the play, or the promotion? Probably.

That’s where God’s sovereignty comes in. That’s where trusting he knows what he’s doing comes in.

Because those of us who live in America don’t have a sovereign over us, that’s what our bingrevolution was about after all, it is sometimes difficult for us to submit to God’s sovereignty. Especially when life isn’t fair.

Right now several of my friends are going through some really rough stuff. One is suffering with pain and healing doesn’t seem to be anywhere in sight. One’s kid made a bad choice that impacts the whole family adversely. One is struggling with the demands of a feeble family member and decisions that need to be made. One is caught between caring for an aged parent, adult child, and infant grandchild on her own.

bingLife doesn’t seem fair. Yet, none of these friends are wallowing around in self pity. None of them are accusing God of not doing things right. None of them are complaining.

What each of them is doing is hanging onto the truth. God is sovereign. He is good. He is faithful. He loves them and will never forsake them.

Even when the world is shaking around them.

If your life seems unfair right about now, hold onto truth. God is still good. He still loves you. He is still sovereign over us.

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 Lord says: “My thoughts and my ways are not like yours.
 Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, my thoughts and my ways are higher than yours. Isaiah 55:8-9 (CEV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Please Pray for Casting Crowns’ Mark Hall

Mark Hall

By Sandy Kirby Quandt

Friends, I’ve just been made aware lead singer with Casting Crowns, Mark Hall, will have surgery March 11th, 2015 to remove his right kidney due to a solid mass presumed to be cancerous.

Please lift Mark, his family, and Casting Crowns up to the Great Physician for peace, comfort and complete healing. Thanks.

Quoting from his announcement that he released on the group’s Facebook page, the singer states,

 

“Hey Casting Crowns Family, I would appreciate your prayers.

Doctors found a solid mass in my right kidney about a week ago. They are 90% sure it’s cancer and they are going to remove the entire kidney next Wednesday, March 11th. They believe the cancer is contained in the kidney, which is also a great hope. They will know more once it is out and Pathology can see it.

I’ll be in recovery for a month or a little longer because of the surgery. Please pray for healing and for God’s peace for my family.

Praising Him in This Storm,
Mark Hall”

Leave your 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.
With God’s power working in us, God can do much, much more than anything we can ask or imagine. To him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus for all time, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21 (NCV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

Sunday Scripture — Praise Before Deliverance

Isaiah 40by Sandy Kirby Quandt

While on a missionary journey to Philippi, Paul and Silas were thrown into the inner cell of a jail. Their feet fastened in the stocks. All because they cast out a demon from a slave girl who predicted the future. Before entering into the cell, Paul and Silas were severely flogged. Guess you could say they had an extremely bad day.

While most of us have not been in the same situation as these two men of God, it would probably be true to say we have had our extremely bad days.

Ill health. Lost job. Financial concerns. Accidents. Misunderstandings blown way out of proportion. Estranged family members. False accusations. Death of loved ones. Dashed hopes. Too many demands. Not enough time.

Paul and Silas could have dwelt on the unfairness of their situation. They could have been mad at God. They could have complained to those around them. The could have stewed about their predicament and made each other more miserable than they already were. They could have spiraled down into an unrecoverable funk. But they didn’t.

Instead, these two prayed and sang hymns to God. They sang so loud, the other prisoners heard them. And you know what happened? You do, don’t you? Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake, it shook the foundations of the jail. The prison doors flew open and everybody’s chains fell off. Not just Paul and Silas’ chains. Everybody’s.

When the jailer woke up and saw the doors open, he drew his sword, ready kill himself for allowing the prisoners to escape. Before he could do that, however, Paul shouted out to him, letting him know no one had escaped.

Praise could not control the situation Paul and Silas were in, but it could control their attitudes. They didn’t wait for God to deliver them before they praised him. Praise came before deliverance.

Often times we can’t control the situation we are in, but we can control our attitudes about it. Instead of grumping, we can praise.

What do you do to turn your grumps into praise? How do you handle those extremely bad days?

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.

Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off! Acts 16:25-26 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

Right now I’m in the process of preparing several pieces of writing for submissions to contests and conferences. One of the things I’m preparing is a proposal for a devotional book based on my blog posts.

Will you help?

If any of my posts have resonated with you in a positive way, helped you see something in binga new light, encouraged, or helped, other than the yummy recipes :), would you tell me? I’d like to know your favorites so they can be considered for inclusion in my book proposal.

One way to let me know your choices – tell me as many as you’d like – is to put them in the comment section. If you’d rather not have the whole world see what you picked, you can send the titles to me through the Contact Me tab at the top of the page.

Thanks so much for your help with this. I’m looking forward to reading your messages!