We Are Aliens In This World

Although this post first appeared October 4, 2016, I felt it worth re-posting.Hope you agree.

Last month during our trip through the Southwest, Pilot and I went through Roswell, NM on our way to Carlsbad Caverns. Although our intent was to visit the International UFO Museum Research Center to see if the truth really is out there, a tornado threatened to send us sheltering beneath the Roswell Museum and Art Center where Pilot soaked in the history of the Robert Goddard exhibit, so we decided to get out of town. Fast.

It seemed everywhere I looked between Roswell and Carlsbad there were aliens.

And this got me thinking about those of us who belong to Jesus.

We are in this world, but not of it. We are aliens, if you will. Sojourners traveling through this world, waiting for the day Jesus takes us to our eternal home in heaven.

To quote Henry David Thoreau, we march to the beat of a different drum. At least we should. People should be able to look at what we do, what we say, where we go, how we treat people, and notice we are different.

We are to reflect Jesus, not the world.

The patriarch, Abraham, was called out of the land of Ur to travel to a place God would take him; Canaan, the land the Israelites called the Promised Land. Abraham was an alien in a foreign land. He was just a-passin’ through.

We are called to be different from the world around us. We are called to a higher standard. A standard set by God. Not a standard set by the culture that surrounds us. God has chosen us to be holy and pure. We belong to him, as such, we are his ambassadors to people who do not yet know him.

This world is not our home. We are aliens. And that’s a good thing, don’t you think?

The truth is out there, and it isn’t found in a science fiction tv show. It’s found in the Words of Truth recorded in God’s Holy Bible.

Have you visited the International UFO Museum Research Center?

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But you are not like that, for you have been chosen by God himself—you are priests of the King, you are holy and pure, you are God’s very own—all this so that you may show to others how God called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.Dear brothers, you are only visitors here. Since your real home is in heaven, I beg you to keep away from the evil pleasures of this world; they are not for you, for they fight against your very souls. 1 Peter 2:9 & 11 (TLB)

You can find my November Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

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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Don’t Ignore the Prompt

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Have there been times in your life where out of the blue someone’s name flashes across your mind?

What about situations where you find yourself in a conversation with a stranger, and feel it wasn’t a coincidence?

Some might call situations like those Divine Promptings.

So let’s say a friend’s name does cross our mind unexpectedly. What should we do about it? We can ignore it, send up a prayer for them, call and check up on them …

We can do a lot of things, but in situations like that, my default is to send up a prayer, whether I have any idea what’s going on in that person’s life at that particular point in time, or not.

God knows, and he just might have put that prompt into our brains for a definite reason.

What about times where we have a conversation we weren’t intending to have?

This happens to me often. More times than not, it’s with a stranger. Don’t know what it is about me. Maybe I appear approachable, or maybe it’s another God prompt.

For those of you reading this who may not know me personally, I am not overly outgoing. Quite the opposite. I’m a shy introvert. I’m more of an observer than a conversationalist.

Go figure how I ended up a teacher.

I know I’ve been on the receiving end of others’ prayers on my behalf when they had no idea what was going on in my life, but prayed for me or my family anyway.

I imagine you have to, even if you don’t know it.

Prayer is a privilege allowing us to go before the very throne of God with petitions and request not just for ourselves, but for others.

How amazing is that?

Because we have this amazing privilege, I believe we should take advantage of it, especially when we feel God’s prompt, and bring our requests daily. Don’t you?

Especially those prayers that seem to come to us out of the blue.

At those times when a friend’s name comes to mind, don’t ignore the nudge. It just might be God prompting us to pray.

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.

Then the religious leaders and Levites stood and prayed that good would come to the people. And their voice was heard. Their prayer came to the Lord’s holy place in heaven. 2 Chronicles 30:27 (NLV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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[bctt tweet=”At those times when a friend’s name comes to mind, don’t ignore the nudge. It just might be God’s prompt to pray for them. ” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

Mercy and Grace

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Mercy and grace. We hear those words often. They are quite similar, yet different.

Miriam-Webster dictionary defines mercy as:

1a : compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender or to one subject to one’s power also : lenient or compassionate treatment

b : imprisonment rather than death imposed as penalty for first-degree murder

2a : a blessing that is an act of divine favor or compassion

b : a fortunate circumstance

3 : compassionate treatment of those in distress

It defines grace as:

1a : unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification

b : a virtue coming from God

c : a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine assistance

Years ago one of my ministers explained mercy and grace this way.

We’re speeding down the road and get pulled over by a police officer. We deserve a ticket, but instead, the officer gives us a warning.

That’s mercy.

Not getting what we deserve.

Before the officer leaves the side of our car, however, the officer pulls out two sought-after tickets to our favorite event.

That’s grace.

Getting something we don’t deserve.

Jesus told a parable on mercy and grace in his story about the unforgiving servant.

The servant owed a great deal of money to the king, but begged for mercy when the king ordered the man, his wife, his children, and all he had be sold to repay the debt. The servant fell on his knees begging for mercy, promising to pay back all he owed.

The king in his mercy and grace took pity on the servant and forgave him his debt.

But when the servant left the king’s presence, he came upon an acquaintance who owed him a mere pittance. He demanded the friend pay back the money right away.

The friend begged for mercy, asked for patience, and said he would pay back the debt. The ungrateful servant who had been forgiven much, refused. He had his friend who owed him little thrown into debtor’s prison until the debt was paid.

When the king heard of this, he called the wicked servant to appear before him. He reminded the servant, he expected him to give mercy as he’d been given mercy.

In anger the king turned the servant over to the jailers to be tortured until the servant could repay the enormous debt he owed.

God poured his mercy and his grace upon us when he allowed his son, Jesus, to take on the sins of the world and die in our place. Jesus paid the debt we owed but could never pay.

Just like the king in Christ’s parable, because God has shown us mercy and grace, he expects us to be merciful and gracious to others in return.

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Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt.

 “That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.” Matthew 18:32-35 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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[bctt tweet=”God poured his mercy and his grace upon us when he allowed his son, Jesus, to take on the sins of the world and die in our place. ” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

Further Upstream

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Last year I wrote a post about the Israelites crossing the Jordan into the Promised Land. There’s a significant aspect of that crossing I believe worth discussing today.

Four days after the Israelites camped for the night at the banks of the Jordan River, Joshua went through the camp telling the people to prepare, because the Lord was about to do a great miracle.

God would drive out all the people who opposed him from the land the Israelites were about to enter. The Lord would lead them across the river.

At the time of the river crossing, the Jordan overflowed its banks. The moment the priests stepped into the water, the river began piling up further upstream as though blocked by a dam.

The people couldn’t see God working on their behalf further upstream.

All they knew was a flooded river, which they were supposed to cross, stood between them and the Promised Land.

They didn’t know the water in front of them would drain to the Dead Sea.

The only thing they knew was what they saw in front of them at that moment in time.

They didn’t realize all they had to do was wait for the river in front of them to flow past. Then they could walk across a dry riverbed to their new home.

If you are like me, perhaps there are times in our lives when we stand at a swollen riverbank, waiting for the waters in front of us to flow downstream so we can cross on dry land.

We wait for health issues, wayward children, financial concerns, jobs, relationship problems, less strife more peace to all drain away so crossing whatever this moment in time holds will be easier.

Like the Israelites we oftentimes don’t see God’s hand working on our behalf further upstream.

We might wonder why he delays. We might doubt we heard him correctly — is this the river he intends for us to cross?

And if so, has he heard our cries for help in the crossing?

And when is he going to step in and save us from the rising waters?

While God works upstream out of sight, we stand on the riverbank and wait. We wait fro him to intervene, to hold back the river, and lead us across on dry land.

It may take awhile, longer than we would like, but we can trust he is working.

Anything you are waiting for right now while God is at work further upstream?

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It was the harvest season, and the Jordan was overflowing its banks. But as soon as the feet of the priests who were carrying the Ark touched the water at the river’s edge, the water above that point began backing up a great distance away at a town called Adam, which is near Zarethan. And the water below that point flowed on to the Dead Sea until the riverbed was dry. Then all the people crossed over near the town of Jericho. Joshua 3:15-16 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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[bctt tweet=”Like the Israelites we oftentimes don’t see God’s hand working on our behalf further upstream. It may take awhile, but we can trust he is working. ” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

Drop It

Author Tosca Lee’s puppy, Timber, devouring her book, FIRSTBORN.

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

One of the first commands many dog owners teach their pet is, Drop it!

Much like babies, puppies have a strong tendency to snatch whatever they find and chew on it. Doesn’t matter what it is.

Sometimes what they pick up could harm them. Sometimes what they pick up could harm another creature. Sometimes what they pick up they have no business carrying around and it flat-out needs to be dropped.

I was reminded of that last sentence as not-so-pleasant thoughts about a person I know flooded into my brain recently.

I fussed, fumed, and pretty much allowed Satan to take over and make me miserable.

Then it was as if I heard myself telling one of our dogs, Drop it! Did you hear me? I. Said. Drop. It!

I’d picked up something that was not beneficial, could do harm not only to me, but the person I thought of, and I had absolutely no business whatsoever carrying around the attitude and thoughts that slammed through my brain.

I paused. Took a breath. Quit ranting and giving reasons why I had every right in the world to feel the way I felt about the person. Confessed I shouldn’t have snarled like a dog who refused to give up the bone they gnawed on, and waited for Satan to slink off.

Like me, have there been times in your life when the great deceiver dredged up your hurt, pain, abuse, mistreatment, loneliness …

Things we believed we let go of and moved past, only to be pulled back into those places all over again?

Those are the times when we need to remember who we belong to, the price paid for our adoption into God’s family, and tell ourselves to Drop it!

Satan is defeated. He’s been crushed. He has no power except what he is given. Christ alone is our strength. He is our victory.

So when the father of lies comes around next time, let’s agree to tell him Drop it. Drop the accusations, and move on.

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.

Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Hebrews 2:14 (NIV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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[bctt tweet=” Satan is defeated. He’s been crushed. He has no power except what we give him. Christ alone is our strength. He is our victory. So when the father of lies comes around next time, let’s agree to tell him to Drop it. ” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

Beware Malicious Attacks

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

During the recent hijack of Woven and Spun, one of the things I learned is to set up a defensive force to protect against malicious attacks. I also learned humans are just as vulnerable to malicious attacks as computers, and we need to make sure we have a defensive force in place as well.

I wish I could say I understood everything about computers and what happened during the attack, but I’d be lying. I wish I could say the attack didn’t bother me, or cause me great stress. Again. I’d be lying.

What I can tell you is I was unprepared for the malicious attack and because of that, spent way more time fretting and worrying than I would have if I prepared for such a thing ahead of time.

I can tell you ignoring a problem won’t make it go away, no matter how desperately we wish it would.

And I can tell you when we are attacked, we should not hesitate to call in the professionals.

Perhaps, like my computer, those malicious things are already lurking about. You know. Things like malicious thoughts, weak areas in our spiritual lives, areas where we’ve grown lazy in our walk with Jesus.

We’ve dropped the defenses that protect us: Bible reading, meeting together regularly with fellow followers of Christ, prayer …

We’ve thrown off the Helmet of Salvation and our minds are wandering, no longer fixed on God. Our Shield of Faith is around here somewhere. And where did we put that Sword of the Spirit?

The Deceiver of all deceivers is standing by, ready to exploit any weak area and hijack our thoughts. He’ll slither in undetected through unprotected areas and spread his maliciousness; infecting our core.

Removing the source of attack may push us out of our comfort zone. We don’t want to deal with the problem. We aren’t really sure we can.

It might require us to be honest with ourselves about the severity of the attack and the damage it caused. On top of that we’ll have to admit our inability to fix it on our own.

Once the malicious attack is removed, we aren’t done. We have to stay vigilant. We have to keep those backdoors closed and reinforce our defenses.

Satan isn’t going to go away. He’s gonna hang around waiting for us to let our guard down again.

When attacked by malicious forces we have options.

  • Prepare for the attack ahead of time, and be ready.
  • Ignore the problem, hoping it will disappear on its own.
  • Call in the professionals, and follow their advice.

How do you protect against malicious attacks?

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.

A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:10-12 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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 [bctt tweet=”During the recent attack on Woven and Spun, I learned computers and people both need defense to protect against malicious attacks. ” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

Leave Worries Behind

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

In the sixth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus told his listeners to leave their worries behind and trust God instead. He gives us the same invitation today.

Jesus tells us not to worry about things; food, drink, clothes, and I might add computer issues. He asks if by worrying we can increase our lives by an hour.

No.

But the stress of worry can sure steal our enjoyment of life from us.

If I’m truly honest with myself, it seems the root of all my worries is a lack of faith in God’s ability to solve whatever problem I’m encountering at the moment.

All throughout the Bible we read of people God forced out of their comfort zones into a place of total dependence on him before he could use them.

Abraham. Moses. Joshua. Rahab. Ruth. David. The list goes on and on and on.

We know God has the power to overcome any obstacle we face. We absolutely know it. Putting that faith into practice and stepping into the unknown is where the true test comes.

Jesus reminds us if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won’t he more surely care for us?

He continues by saying our heavenly Father already knows all our needs before we even ask.

We are told to seek the Kingdom of God above everything else and live righteously.

Then God in his wonderful mercy and grace will give us everything we need.

Everything we need, not necessarily everything we want.

Do you have any trouble leaving worries behind?

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So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. Matthew 6:34 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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[bctt tweet=”In the sixth chapter of Matthew, Jesus told his listeners to leave their worries behind and trust God instead. He gives us the same invitation today. ” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

In memory of Rich Mullins’ life and untimely death September 19, 1997, here’s his song, Hold Me Jesus.

Hold On Your Tomorrow’s Not Today

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

If you listened to the band Kansas in the late seventies early eighties, I’m sure one song you remember is Kerry Livgren’s “Hold On”. I didn’t know until much later Kerry was a follower of Christ, but I suspected it when I first heard “Dust in the Wind”.

In the middle of trying to figure out what I should do, or could do, about the hack/hijack of Woven and Spun, and becoming more and more frustrated with the whole thing, I pulled out a Kansas CD and popped it into the player.

Not that big a deal except just before the moment I chose to look for the CD, I told myself I didn’t want to play a CD by Big Daddy Weave, Rend Collective, Mercy Me, etc., which is my normal morning routine.

To show how very much God is in control, when I listened to “Hold On”, it was as if my ears opened to the meaning behind the song for the very first time.

I definitely never looked at the lyrics as having a spiritual meaning before, but man by the end of the song I felt like God spoke those words straight into my core.

When things around us are spinning out of control and we feel like giving up, hold on. The things we dream of may be lost, but hold on.

Why?

Because our breakthrough, getting on the other side of this present time of distress and trouble, is closer than we think possible. We’re right there on the brink of overcoming whatever’s holding us back.

Our tomorrow’s not the same as today. There’s hope for a brighter future.

One verse of the song mentions recalling how we felt when someone stood beside us. It was a face we should have known at those times we try to run away when things get too hard to bear. The question is asked, “Who do you turn to when there’s nobody there?”

As believers we know Jesus is the one standing right there next to us in the midst of our mess; even when we feel like fleeing. Even when we can’t see him.

“Hold On” wraps up with the fact the One standing next to us is outside our door waiting for us to invite him in, and once we do that’s the point where we are on the right track.

That song improved my outlook greatly.

It turned my eyes from the waves threatening to pull me under back to Jesus where they belong.

Are things looking pretty bleak right now?

Quoting Kerry Livgren, “Hold on. Your tomorrow’s not the same as today.”

There’s someone standing at the door, waiting for us to invite him into the middle of our mess, so hold on.

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.

“Look! I have been standing at the door, and I am constantly knocking. If anyone hears me calling him and opens the door, I will come in and fellowship with him and he with me.” Revelation 3:20 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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[bctt tweet=”If you listened to the band Kansas in the late seventies, early eighties, I’m sure one song you remember is Kerry Livgren’s Hold On. ” username=”SandyKirbyQuandt”]

The Twenty-third Psalm

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

As Hurricane Florence barrels toward the east coast of the United States, my thoughts and prayers are with all those in its paths. I pray the LORD will spare you and your families the devastation and pain I know can come from disastrous storms like this.

I pray God will fill you with his peace and presence and comfort you as only he can.

And for those not in this storm’s path, I pray for you also.

Why?

Because the storms we face in life are not limited to those of nature.

 

The Twenty-third Psalm has been on my mind quite a lot over the past few months. The more I study the words David penned all those many centuries ago, the more I appreciate his words, and find renewed comfort in them.

In my study I’ve discovered several important things to note in the Twenty-third Psalm. Perhaps you understood these points years ago, or like me, maybe they are points to an oft-quoted passage in the Bible we need reminded of.

Because God is our shepherd, we have everything we need. We don’t lack anything, even when we may feel otherwise. When our world is anything but peaceful, our Shepherd pulls us aside where the waters are calm. Away from the noise and strife of the world, to a place of rest in him.

When we walk in the midst of dark troubling paths, even to the valley of death, we don’t need to be afraid, because Jesus is walking that path right alongside us. He is guarding us. Guiding us. Staying close because he loves us, and nothing reaches us he didn’t plan or permit.

 

The rod of his power and strength are ready to protect us from the things that could harm us. His shepherd’s crook pulls us back to him when we go off on our own wayward path like the not-so-bright sheep we truly are.

The banquet set before us is just for us. Our enemies are left outside; staring in. They aren’t invited as we enjoy the goodness, mercy, and unfailing kindness of our Shepherd.

When our time here on earth ends, Jesus, our Good Shepherd, will take us to his home where we’ll live with him forever in the mansion he prepared for us. The mansion will be glorious, yes, but the most wonderful thing will be the fact we will be in the presence of God forever.

Do you have any addition thoughts on what the Twenty-third Psalm means to you? I’d love to hear them.

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.

The Lord is my shepherd; I have everything I need. He lets me rest in fields of green grass and leads me to quiet pools of fresh water. He gives me new strength. He guides me in the right paths, as he has promised. Even if I go through the deepest darkness, I will not be afraid, Lord, for you are with me. Your shepherd’s rod and staff protect me.

You prepare a banquet for me, where all my enemies can see me; you welcome me as an honored guestand fill my cup to the brim.I know that your goodness and love will be with me all my life;and your house will be my home as long as I live. Psalm 23 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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[bctt tweet=”The Twenty-third Psalm has been on my mind quite a lot over the past few months. The more I study it, the more I find renewed comfort in its words. ” username=”SandyKQuandt”]