No Fear of Running Out of Tickets

By Sandy Kirby Quandt

In the late 1960s, my parents and I visited my dad’s brother and sister-in-law. During that trip, Uncle Aylen and Aunt Leila took us to Disneyland. What a treat!!!

Unlike today, at that time you purchased individual coupon books for the rides. Inside each book were coupons listed “A” to “E”. “A” tickets got you a ride on the Main Street bus. With a “B” ticket you were able to walk through Sleeping Beauty’s castle. Not all that exciting. “C” got you a spin on the Madhatter’s Tea Cups. The Jungle Cruise cost you a “D” ticket. With an “E” ticket, you were allowed onto the Matterhorn bobsled and the Santa Fe & Disneyland Railroad. A must for us, since Uncle Aylen was a conductor for Santa Fe.

The “A” tickets were the smallest, and least exciting. The tickets worked their way up from there to the most advanced and most popular “E” rides.

Those coupons were great! They helped me learn to prioritize because once I’d spent that ticket, it was gone. The major drawback with the coupon book was the fact there were more “A” tickets in each book than there were “E” ride tickets. Imagine that. I don’t remember leaving Disney without experiencing all the rides I desired, but I sure did wish some of my leftover “A” tickets could have been spent on  “E” rides.

Thinking about those tickets got me to consider God and how very grateful I am he doesn’t dole out his mercies the way Disney doled out tickets to “E” rides.

What if all we got in life was a bunch of boring, small sized “A” ride blessings? You can only ride up and down Main Street so many times you know, before you begin to wish for something more.

Maybe there would be a few “C” rides thrown in to appease us where we controlled the table of the tea cup and made it spin like crazy, until we were so dizzy we couldn’t walk straight when we exited.

But a chance to sit up front on the Matterhorn bobsled as it pops out of the mountain, eases over the edge, and plunges through the water at the bottom like I did with my uncle and father? Priceless.

God’s mercies are new every morning. We won’t ever have to worry about using them all up. Those mercies may not all be “E” rides, but then even the Matterhorn bobsled would grow tiresome if that’s all you ever rode. Don’t you think?

But for those of us who acknowledge Jesus as Lord of our lives, we’ll be able to walk the streets of heaven with him. Talk about an out-of-this-world “E” ride!

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 faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. Lamentations 3:22-23 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — The Bride of Christ

Isaiah 40By Sandy Kirby Quandt

In my last post I mentioned a wedding Pilot and I attended recently.

Before this wedding could become an enjoyable memory, two people first had to commit their lives to each other. A public engagement announced their intent to love each other for the rest of their lives. At that point, preparations for their wedding began in earnest.

As his bride walked down the church aisle, the bridegroom beamed with joy. A ceremony commenced which declared the two husband and wife until death parted them. The wedding feast for family and friends celebrated the beginning of the bride and bridegroom’s new life together.

The Bible speaks of a similar wedding. The wedding of Christ and his bride, the church. It tells how Jesus laid down his life for his bride, ascended into heaven to prepare a place for her, and will return to take his bride back home with him to heaven.

When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior we enter into a covenant with him, just as through an engagement a couple commits to each other. There will be a day when those who are Christ’s Bride approach him with the confidence of his love as he takes us to his home. At that time, there will be a marriage feast unlike anything the world has ever known.

In Revelation John speaks of the new Jerusalem, that place prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband, as the dwelling place for those who claim Jesus as their Lord and Savior. (Revelation 21:2)

Isaiah speaks of God rejoicing over us the way the bridegroom rejoices over his bride. (Isaiah 62:5)

The Bible also tells us we won’t know the hour or the day when God tells his son, “Go get your bride.” What the Bible does say is we need to watch and wait for that day, and be ready. (Matthew 24:36-44)

How are we preparing ourselves as the Bride of Christ to make sure we are ready for our special wedding day?

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.

Let us rejoice and be happy and give God glory, because the wedding of the Lamb has come, and the Lamb’s bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given to her to wear.” (The fine linen means the good things done by God’s holy people.) And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who have been invited to the wedding meal of the Lamb!” And the angel said, “These are the true words of God.” Revelation 19:7-9 (NCV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Follow His Lead

bing images

By Sandy Kirby Quandt

Last Saturday, Pilot and I succeeded in doing something we tried, and failed, to do when we moved to Texas fourteen and a half years ago…Texas Two Step.

Yes, I know. Not that significant to some, but to me? Very. Let me tell you about it, and hopefully, by the end of this post you’ll see a connection you can apply to your own life, whether you ever move your feet to dance, or not.

bing imagesGrowing up, I was one of those fortunate enough to have a musical father who loved to dance.

Often times, my father held my hands and sashayed me around the room. He was not one of those who allowed his daughters to stand on his shoes, however. Dad was patient in teaching me to dance. He felt it important for me to follow his lead by the subtle pressure of his fingertips on my back, especially when the song was Glen Miller’s “In the Mood” and I was ready to quit before the song finished.

When we moved to Texas one of the first school events Pilot and I attended was the dance…where of course it was assumed everyone knew the Two Step. When I was placed on the stage — literally — because my students loved me so much and clapped the loudest, or wanted to embarrass me the most, to dance the Macarena, I did okay. Pilot and I danced that at UCF football games much to Pie’s horror as he watched from the press box. But the Two Step? Never heard of it.

For the uninitiated, here is what Wikipedia says, “The two-step is a partner dance, consisting of a “leader” (traditionally a man) and a “follower” (traditionally a woman). The leader determines the movements and patterns of the pair as they move around the dance floor. It is a progressive dance that proceeds counterclockwise around the floor.”

I wasn’t real keen on being pushed around the cafeteria backwards, thank you very much. I like to see where I’m going. Pilot might add, I also like to be in charge of where I’m going.

So that first attempt at the Two Step was not what I would call pleasant. I’d rather dance the Ma-ca-re-na.

Moving forward in time to the wedding reception last Saturday night.

Before the wedding party arrived at the reception a group gathered to learn how to dance the two step. Pilot and I watched from our seats before we decided to approach the group for a better look. Some on the dance floor obviously knew what they were doing. Others fell more into Pilot and my category…had no clue.

Wouldn’t you know it, just when we gathered enough courage to make fools of ourselves, the lessons stopped.

After dinner we resolved to give the Two Step a chance. It did not help when Pilot said, “Remember…you have broken your hip.” Such an encourager. I wanted to tell him I hoped he wasn’t planning on pulling me to the ground like Bear had when I fell last year, but figured to just smile sweetly.

We decided not to enter the circle of dancers next to the ones who knew what they were doing. We slid in next to the ones who were struggling. Maybe that would help us look good?

The music was pretty slow, so not too difficult. It was actually fun. It took a while before I realized I was digging my nails into Pilot’s right shoulder, and decided to relax a bit. Feeling overly confident, we decided to try a twirl. Not a good idea, so we stuck to Pilot pushing me around counter-clockwise.

Tri-ple-step. Pause. Tri-ple step. Pause. (Pilot had to remind me about the Pause.)

Then the music changed. It got faster.

Alabama’s “If You’re Gonna Play in Texas”…

When the song ended, Pilot and I decided it was time to gather our things, tell the bride and groom good-bye, and make our way to the car.

Here’s the lesson I learned. When you dance, someone has to lead. Someone has to follow. Hopefully, the one leading knows what he/she is doing.

bingJust as my dad wanted me to learn to follow him by paying attention to his gentle touch on my back, Jesus wants us to follow him. Sometimes, the pressure he applies is subtle and if we aren’t paying attention, we might miss it. Other times the pressure is intense.

When I first attempted to learn the Two Step fourteen years ago, I resisted Pilot’s attempts to lead. It was not enjoyable for either of us. When I allowed him to push me backwards, counter-clockwise around the dance floor last Saturday, things went smoother.

When we allow Jesus to lead us, even if it means getting pushed backward, counter-clockwise through life, things will go more smoothly than if we keep insisting on leading.

Anyone else find it difficult to be pushed around backwards?

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.

When he brings all his sheep out, he goes ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. John 10:4 (NCV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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No Need for Comparisons

bing imagesBy Sandy Kirby Quandt

I have a problem, and I don’t believe I’m the only one who has struggled with it. The problem is comparing ourselves to others and feeling like we don’t measure up. It’s easy to do, but I don’t believe it is emotionally healthy to do it.

Each of us has been made by a God who loves to be creative. He doesn’t punch us out of a plastic mold. We are uniquely and wonderfully made. We have different abilities. Different strengths. Different weaknesses. Different purposes for being.

It’s taken me a very long time to understand this truth. I’ve suffered through many years of comparing myself to others and coming up short in my mind more times than not.

bingFor example, there was my friend, Cindy. A married banking professional who had no children.

How insignificant I felt compared to her. I did not rule the board room like she did. I felt dismissed because I was just a stay-at-home-mom who spent her days baking cupcakes for Pie’s school, and corralling his Cub Scout den every Wednesday afternoon.

I didn’t attend exclusive weekend getaways like Cindy did. I spent my Saturdays finding containers to accommodate the various critters Pie inevitably found which needed a home. Or nursing one more sick hamster back to health. Or trying to convince him the snake he had backed into the corner of the fence was a water moccasin, not one he should keep as a pet.

I didn’t dress in the latest fashions like Cindy did. More times than not, I was in shorts and bing images  a tee shirt shooting hoops or tossing a football in the back yard with Pie, cheering on his sports efforts from the stands, or riding bikes with him through the park.

When conversations with Cindy turned to the world of banking, I felt totally undereducated. But if the conversation centered around Pie’s plastic G.I. Joe figures Duke, Snake Eyes or Scarlet…

I’m a slow learner. That’s a true fact. I take my time cogitating. What I’m learning is we all need to embrace where God has put us at each particular moment in time. We need to stop yearning to be someone or something we aren’t. God put the things in us he wants in, and left the things out he wants out. We should follow where he leads us, however that manifests itself.

When others say we don’t measure up, Jesus says we matter to him. A lot. Enough to die for us. When we allow deceiving voices to condemn, criticize, say we aren’t enough — whatever enough means — we need to listen to Jesus’ voice of truth. He says there is no condemnation to those who belong to him. We are precious. We are loved.

We need to realize we were made for a purpose. We need to do our best to accomplish that purpose. God’s plans and purposes do not call us to compare ourselves with the standard others have set for themselves. His plans and purposes call us to compare ourselves with the standard he has set for our lives.

Am I the only one who has struggled with this problem of comparing myself and abilities to those of others?

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.

Men have different gifts, but it is the same Spirit who gives them. There are different ways of serving God, but it is the same Lord who is served. God works through different men in different ways, but it is the same God who achieves his purposes through them all. Each man is given his gift by the Spirit that he may make the most of it. 1 Corinthians12:4-6 (Phillips)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — Run To Jesus For Protection

Isaiah 40By Sandy Kirby Quandt

In many of the movies I’ve seen depicting a military war zone, there was an alert soldier guarding the perimeter of camp to protect those inside. At the sound of sticks snapping or leaves rustling, the soldier would shout out, “Halt! Who goes there?”

If the reply was from a friendly then all was well, and he was admitted into the safety of the camp. If the reply was from the enemy, a fight ensued.

I was thinking about this scenario the other day when I considered the things that try to enter my camp and destroy me. Discouragement. Anxious thoughts. Pain. Fatigue…Things which the enemy is intent on lobbing like a grenade into my productivity, peace and pleasure.

Perhaps you deal with similar struggles. The day is going well until you receive a phone call that puts you into a tail spin. You plan a pleasant outing with friends but old wounds are opened and left to bleed out. The doctor’s report is anything but encouraging and you don’t know what your next step should be.

Something I am trying to put into practice is to entrust my day to Jesus. We need to be alert to those things that crop up and threaten to undo us. We need to hand them to Jesus as soon as we recognize them. When Satan’s lies bombard, we need to yell, “Halt!” Then immediately ask Jesus to put his hands over our ears so the deceiver’s venom can’t reach our brain and destroy.

We have to choose Jesus’ protection. Choose him as the guard of our camp to keep the enemy’s destruction out. We need to take refuge behind the walls of Jesus’ security and run to his open arms of protection.

If the enemy is trying to sneak his way into the safety of your camp, would you join me in telling him to halt! and ask Jesus to protect you?

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 Most High, have pity on me! Have mercy. I run to you for safety. In the shadow of your wings, I seek protection till danger dies down. Psalm 57:1

I wish you well.

Sandy

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