Superior Way

Is there anything in your home you replaced because it was obsolete? Maybe an electronic device which was the absolute must have until the next latest and greatest superior thing came along? I believe it safe to say each of us has something like that.

For me, something I needed to replace was my Nikon FE2 camera. Not because I thought it inferior, but because I broke it during a tragic fall wandering around the Aztec ruins of Chichen Itza, Mexico.

Long story.

I loved that camera. It accompanied me on numerous trips all over the world. It was familiar. Comfortable. I knew how to operate it. I knew how it performed. I saw no reason whatsoever to look for a replacement until that fateful day.

Although I did revert to a different Nikon I already owned after losing the FE2, in my mind nothing was superior to that camera. Nothing.

Through the years Pilot tried to convince me to give up shooting pictures with film, and switch to digital. Nope. Wasn’t interested. Until one Christmas I gave in, and he gifted me with a digital Nikon D5000.

The new camera has its advantages.

Lighter. Less cumbersome. Ability to see pictures I shoot immediately.

No need to purchase film or have it developed. Definite plus these days.

Still … I attached quite a bit of sentiment to the FE2.

Comparing my resistance to changing my camera habits reminds me of the Jewish leaders who insisted on sticking with the old, comfortable, familiar way they practiced their religion.

They knew what they needed to put into their religion, and knew what they could expect from it. They saw no need to change, even when the Superior Way of Jesus Christ stood right in front of them.

Some of us react the same way today when we study a familiar scripture, and God sheds light on a different way to look at what his words say.

Or maybe that familiar passage requires us to examine our lives in a way we’d rather not, because doing so means we must change how we live or how we treat others or how we treat God.

We like our traditions. We like our comfortable, reliable.

We don’t like thinking maybe there’s a better, superior way than what we’re already doing.

There are aspects of my FE2 I miss. But you know what? I don’t want to return to it. Just as I sure wouldn’t want to return to a religious system that required an animal or grain sacrifice every time I sinned.

I am so very grateful for Jesus Christ, The Superior Way. The Son of God. Perfect Sacrificial Lamb who died once. For all.

Amen?

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Christ is not like other religious leaders. They had to give gifts every day on the altar in worship for their own sins first and then for the sins of the people. Christ did not have to do that. He gave one gift on the altar and that gift was Himself. It was done once and it was for all time.  Hebrews 7:27 (NLV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Jesus is Our Living Hope

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Hallelujah, Jesus Christ is our Living Hope.

The Lion of Judah roared mightily that Resurrection Day so long ago, and his victorious voice continues to speak to all with ears to hear.

He set us free. He broke every chain that bound us to the evil one.

Jesus is the Victor. The Mighty Warrior. The Conqueror. He defeated Satan, hell, sin, and death.

Jesus Christ is the One in whom our hope is found.

He sits at the right hand of his Father in heaven, waiting for the day he returns for his Bride, the Church. On that day, Christ will take those who confess their hope, trust, and allegiance to the King of kings and LORD of Lords with him to their eternal home in heaven.

Christ is risen. He is risen indeed.

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Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you.” Matthew 28:5-7 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Remember Me

We remember on the day the crucified Christ died alongside two criminals, one of the men mocked Jesus. The man told Jesus, if indeed he was the Messiah sent to save the world, Jesus should save himself and the man who hung beside him as well.

The other criminal recognized Jesus as the sinless Christ. God’s Only Son. Savior. Redeemer. Messiah.

This man admitted he deserved to die for his sins, but Jesus didn’t.

Acknowledging who Jesus was, this second man asked Jesus to remember him when he came into his kingdom.

Upon hearing the man’s confession of faith, Jesus assured the man he would be remembered. Jesus said he would be with Christ in Paradise that very day.

Although Jesus accepted the sins of both men upon his perfect sinless self; the one who believed and the one who mocked, only one of the men would be with Jesus in Heaven.

One of the criminals on the cross recognized the truth of who Jesus is. He admitted his sinfulness deserved punishment. He confessed his belief in Jesus as Lord. Because of that, Jesus gave his solemn promise the man would be in Paradise.

The other man’s lack of faith and sin separated him from Christ.

Jesus died for all so we could have life eternal with him in Heaven. It’s up to each individual to decide whether to accept Christ’s invitation or not.

Jesus paid the debt we could never pay with his life.

The decision we must make is what will we do with that sacrificial gift.

Accept it? Or reject it?

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One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!”

But the other criminal protested. “Don’t you even fear God when you are dying? We deserve to die for our evil deeds, but this man hasn’t done one thing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”

And Jesus replied, “Today you will be with me in Paradise. This is a solemn promise.” Luke 23:39-43 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Bring Them Both

Have you ever read a passage of scripture in the Bible and found something you hadn’t noticed before?

For me it was the words bring them from Matthew’s account of Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, the week before he died for the sins of the world on the cross of Calvary.

That was an A-ha moment.

There’s no telling how often I’ve either heard or read that passage. And never before did I noticed the word them.

Until now.

I remember Jesus sent the disciples to bring the colt he rode into Jerusalem, but this was the first time I noticed Jesus said bring them. Not one, but both. Mother and child.

Have you missed that too?

Jesus rode the colt. He had no need of the mother. Yet, he said to bring them both.

Now, to my maternal instinct I can understand why Jesus didn’t want to separate the two. What mother wants to be separated from her young child, no matter how noble the reason? I believe Jesus sympathized with the mother. He would not cause her or her child distress for his sake.

Bring them both.

Maybe she walked beside her young colt, kept an eye on him, and held her breath he wouldn’t stumble. Maybe she was led by one of the disciples, so she wouldn’t interfere. Maybe the mother told her colt to pay attention. This is Jesus, God’s son. Show him respect. Don’t go stepping in the mud puddles. Look sharp!

This whole idea of Jesus requesting both donkeys got me to thinking.

Jesus wants parents to bring their children to him. He wants children to bring their parents. He wants us to bring our co-workers. Our friends. Even our enemies.

Jesus told the disciples to bring them to him. Not just one donkey, but both. Not just the colt, but the parent also.

Just as he requested both animals, Jesus asks us to come to him and bring those we love along.

Sometimes that’s easier said than done.

Nevertheless, it is what Jesus requests.

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As Jesus and the disciples approached Jerusalem, they came to the town of Bethphage on the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent two of them on ahead. “Go into the village over there,” he said. “As soon as you enter it, you will see a donkey tied there, with its colt beside it. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone asks what you are doing, just say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will immediately let you take them.” Matthew 21:1-3 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Follow the Leader

In preparation for several upcoming road trips, we needed to drop our RV at the dealership. Pilot led the way in the RV and I followed in my car.

While playing Follow the Leader on the playground in days of old brings back fond memories, following Pilot through heavy early morning traffic, road construction, fog, and drizzly rain does not. Especially when unsure of the route he chose to travel.

Being behind something the size of the RV, which blocks any view of what’s ahead, meant I had to stick close, but not too close. I had to prepare to stop quickly, get through yellow lights before they turned red, and switch lanes as soon as Pilot turned on his blinker.

Although I had no idea if there were obstacles ahead, traffic lights, or lanes which ended abruptly, Pilot did. I needed to trust him and stay vigilant. I needed to keep my eyes on the signal lights at the back of the RV and respond correctly. This was definitely not a time to allow my eyes to wander.

We sped up and slowed down. We wove around construction barrels and potholes. We crawled past concrete barriers and machinery.

Although I usually allow vehicles to scooch in between me and the vehicle in front of me, not this day. No siree. Sure. I could still see the top of the RV if another car or truck got between Pilot and me but I wouldn’t be able to see the indicator lights. I wouldn’t know when I needed to change course.

During this drive I thought of how we are to Follow the Leader – Jesus. We need to keep our eyes on his indicator lights to see the direction he wants us to go. We can’t see ahead in the fog and drizzle of life, and aren’t sure of the path ahead. But Jesus knows the way we should go.

We need to be prepared to stop quickly or change lanes immediately to avoid potholes and debris. If we pause to analyze or debate the decision, we might find our self in an unpleasant situation, or dead end lane we could have avoided.

We also need to be willing to press the gas pedal to make it through those yellow lights. We don’t want to be left behind and lose sight of our Leader.

Like Pilot and my route through miles of road construction, life can be filled with unending delays, setbacks, frustration, and short tempers.

We need to be mindful of things in our life which try to get between us and our Leader. We don’t want to allow anything to get between us and Jesus which blocks our view of him. If we do, we might miss a turn and have to circle back to find the correct road.

Sometimes we may question the path Jesus takes us down. We may believe we’d do a better job leading. We might even head out in a different direction to prove our point, believing there surely must be a better, more convenient, less stressful way to get where we’re going.

It’s during those trying times we need to scooch closer, trust he knows where we’re going, and keep our eyes on his signal lights so we don’t miss a turn or run into the debris in our path we aren’t able to see.

So what do you think? Do you find it easier to lead, or to follow?

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Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21 (NIV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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