No Compromise

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Compromise. Good or bad?

We understand compromise is a necessary part of every relationship, but is it ever okay to compromise our beliefs for the sake of a relationship? Should there be a line we draw that says, “I will go this far, and not a step further.”? 

Properties have fences to set their boundaries. Places of business and institutions set boundaries for those within them. Parents set boundaries with their children. So why do we sometimes look at the boundaries set for us in the Bible and believe they are merely something for us to think about, not something to actually stay within?

Reading the account of the beheading of John the Baptist; that honey and locust eating, camel hair wearing, repentance preaching prophet, cousin of Jesus Christ the Messiah, started me thinking about compromise and how far we are willing to bend before we say, “No more. Not now. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not for money. Not for power. Not for favor. Not for prestige.”

John stood up to the religious leaders of the day and called them vipers. He told them their reliance on church membership wasn’t going to get them into heaven. Only repentance and forgiveness through the coming Messiah would get them past the Pearly Gates. This did not endear John to them.

The prophet preached the Truth God gave him to preach regardless of the listener’s fame, fortune, or position.

And that included Herod, which led to John’s death.

John stayed within the boundaries God set. He refused to compromise God’s truth.

He prepared the people’s hearts for the coming Messiah. Hopefully, we are doing the same.

Do we have godly boundaries established we are unwilling to step beyond?

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Now Herod had arrested John and bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, for John had been saying to him: “It is not lawful for you to have her.” Herod wanted to kill John, but he was afraid of the people, because they considered John a prophet.

On Herod’s birthday the daughter of Herodias danced for the guests and pleased Herod so much that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” Matthew 14:3-8 (NIV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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[bctt tweet=”We understand compromise is a necessary part of every relationship, but is it ever okay to compromise our beliefs for the sake of a relationship? ” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

On Christ The Solid Rock

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Here in the Houston, Texas area the last week of August was a memorable one. It was the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey. That unprecedented catastrophic event which still has some unable to return to their homes which were flooded.

If you missed it, here’s one of the posts I wrote at that time.

For some around here, even the thought of a downpour brings back the fear and uncertainty they lived with during the deluge and rising waters of Harvey. PTSD for those who lost so much is a very real thing when the weather forecast calls for heavy rain.

We don’t need to go through something as terrible as a hurricane, however, to understand the importance of firmly grounding our lives on Christ the Solid Rock.

Everyday events can be enough to shake us. Clouds of uncertainty gather overhead. Winds of change toss us about. Waters of deep struggles rise and threaten to drown us.

Fears of every imaginable kind tug at us and throw us off balance.

As I write this, friends and family members face job uncertainty, the prospect of losing their home, severe health concerns for themselves and loved ones, cancer, heart surgery, betrayal, emotional stress and physical stress from demanding situations.

I’m sure you can add to this list. None of us is immune to the effects of living in a fallen world.

But the hope we cling to. The truth we remember. The anchor for our soul is the good news we are loved by a living God who spoke the world into being.

A God who controls the winds and the rains.

A God who allowed his only son, Jesus, to take the curse of a fallen world from us and placed our feet on the Solid Rock, so when the waters of uncertainty and lose threaten to pull us under, our feet will stand firm on him.

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But the solid foundation that God has laid cannot be shaken; and on it are written these words: “The Lord knows those who are his” and “Those who say that they belong to the Lord must turn away from wrongdoing.” (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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[bctt tweet=”You don’t need to go through something as terrible as a hurricane to understand the importance of firmly grounding our lives on Christ the Solid Rock. ” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

Submit to God

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

God is Adonai. Lord and Master. We might know that intellectually, but have we put that truth into practice?

Will we submit to God?

Being under a Lord or Master is probably foreign to most of us, yet that does not excuse us from submitting our will and our lives to God and Jesus.

In studying the names of God, I discovered the word Lord indicates a relationship. Because God is the Creator and we are the created, he has the right to possess us, and expect our total submission to him.

 

God has the right to expect his children live as he commands us to live. He has the right to expect we follow the example set by his Son. He has the right to expect we treat others with respect and dignity.

There are responsibilities as well as benefits when we submit to God as our Adonai, Lord and Master.

Benefits:

  • God provides refuge and is always with us.
  • God gives the victory in our battles.
  • Jesus redeems us through his blood sacrifice.
  • Christ makes us joint heirs with an inheritance in heaven.
  • God’s loving kindness is everlasting.
  • God supplies what we need to do his will.

 

Responsibilities:

  • If we call Jesus Lord, then we do what he tells us to do.
  • As followers of Christ, we model our lives after his in all things.
  • We respect and honor who God is, and serve him accordingly.
  • We willingly submit to God.
  • We trust God.
  • We obey God.

God and Jesus are Lord and Master. We are the servant who seeks to do Adonai’s will.

How is that evident in our life?

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“Why are you so polite with me, always saying ‘Yes, sir,’ and ‘That’s right, sir,’ but never doing a thing I tell you? These words I speak to you are not mere additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundation words, words to build a life on.” Luke 6:46 (MSG)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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[bctt tweet=”God is Adonai. Lord and Master. We might know that intellectually, but have we put that truth into practice? Will we submit to God?” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

Stand in the Gap

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

A friend of mine signs his correspondences, Standing in the Gap. He believes in the power of intercessory prayer. He believes in standing in the gap between God and man on man’s behalf. Just as the saints of God have done throughout the ages.

When Abraham learned God planned to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah because of their wickedness, he petitioned God on the people’s behalf. He was willing to stand in the gap on their behalf and asked the LORD to spare the people. Abraham whittled his bargaining number of how many righteous people it would take to spare the cities, from fifty, to ten. Not even ten righteous people lived in the cities, yet God spared Abe’s nephew, Lot, and his family.

As Moses led the Israelites through the wilderness from Egypt to the Promised Land of Canaan, many a time he fell on his face before the LORD. He was willing to stand in the gap on their behalf between the punishment their unfaithfulness deserved, and God’s righteousness. To the point of being willing to offer his own life and place in God’s kingdom, if necessary.

 

At the time of the prophet Ezekiel, God listed the sins of his people and pronounced his coming punishment upon them. To God, his people had become dross. What once was precious to him became worthless through their continued blatant disobedience. The LORD told Ezekiel he looked for a person among them who would build up the wall that broke between them and God, but found no one worthy to stand in the gap. There was no one to save the people from God’s righteous destruction.

Like my friend, are we willing to stand in the gap on someone’s behalf? Are we willing to be an intercessor between them and God? Our gap-standing circumstances don’t need to be as dire as those of Abraham, Moses, or Ezekiel.

We all have needs. We all need a Savior. We all like sheep have gone astray. We all need someone who is willing to step up, stand in the gap, and plead our case before the LORD.

 

But the greatest of all persons to ever stand in the gap between our sins and the Holy Righteous God is Jesus. The Way, the Truth, the Life, and the Gate through which all must enter. He is the one who knew no sin, yet took our sins upon his perfect sinless self and payed the price we owed, but could never pay.

How are we doing with standing in the gap on someone else’s behalf? Do we thank God for those who stand in the gap on our behalf? We should, you know.

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I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn’t have to destroy the land, but I found no one. Ezekiel 22:30 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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[bctt tweet=”Like my friend, are we willing to stand in the gap on someone’s behalf? Are we willing to be an intercessor between them and God? Our gap-standing circumstances don’t need to be as dire as those of Abraham, Moses, or Ezekiel.” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

Jesus Can Restore What’s Broken

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

There is an area of our yard under a large mulberry tree that is filled with asparagus fern, Thai and ginger plants. When I noticed shredded leaves on the Thai and ginger, I couldn’t figure out what caused the damage.

Then I realized the leaves were fine before I relocated the bird feeder to that area.

Seems the squirrels used the leaves as safety nets when they tumbled from the feeder and destroyed the leaves in the process.

Easy enough to restore what’s broken. I moved the feeder.

As I pounded the metal pole holding the feeder into the ground at its new location, I thought about the times our lives are exposed to toxic sharp nails that shred our souls just as easily as the squirrels shred my plants.

Although the problem of restoring the beauty of my plants was a simple matter of relocating the bird feeder, it is not always so easy to restore what’s broken in lives that have been shredded by life.

It takes courage and strength to remove the destructive elements from our life.

And it takes the love of a Savior to restore what’s broken.

Separated from the squirrels’ destructive sharp nails my plants are thriving. You might say they even look happy!

God promises us the same can happen when we separate ourselves from the things we know harm us. He can repair what’s been shredded, restore what’s broken, and turn our sadness into beauty.

Anything you need to move away from so your joy and beauty can be restored?

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… to provide for those who mourn in Zion; to give them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, festive oil instead of mourning, and splendid clothes instead of despair. And they will be called righteous trees, planted by the Lord to glorify Him. Isaiah 61:3 (HCSB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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This updated post first appeared on Woven and Spun June 19, 2016.

[bctt tweet=”God promises us the same can happen when we separate ourselves from the things we know harm us. He can repair what’s been shredded, restore what’s broken, and turn our sadness into beauty.” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

Let Nothing Entangle

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

This morning I cut back fern fronds and philodendron vines which surround snake plants, and noticed something that shouldn’t have surprised me, but did.

The dead fronds and vines entangled several of the snake plant leaves, pulling them down to their level, and keeping the snake plant from reaching to the sky. I thought the leaves were strong enough to fight against the things pulling them down, but they weren’t.

As I cut away the dead, I released the living.

While I thought about my plants, I thought about our lives.

Sometimes the fronds and vines of life which used to be alive and thriving shrivel and die. If we aren’t careful, those dying things can entangle us, and pull us down to their level. They can keep us from reaching the sky and our full potential.

The things that entangle can be lies; our lies, or the lies of others. Past hurts and unforgiveness can drag us down. Carrying the burden of slavery to sin keeps us from reaching our potential.

How can we move forward if we’re always looking behind us?

Fortunately, just as I was able to cut away the dead that entangled my plants, Jesus Christ is able to cut away the dead in our lives that entangles and keeps us from reaching our full potential through his power. He is the One who removes the shackles Satan loves to entangle us with.

So, who’s with me? Let’s take those shackles off our feet so we can dance, and praise the Gardener who lovingly snips away the dead to release the living.

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Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you. Galatians 5:1 (MSG)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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[bctt tweet=”Sometimes the fronds and vines of life which used to be alive and thriving shrivel and die. If we aren’t careful, those dying things can entangle us, and pull us down to their level. They can keep us from reaching the sky and our full potential.” username=”SandyKirbyQuandt”]

God Forgives Over and Over

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

This past quarter our Sunday School class has studied the life of King David in 2 Samuel. Anyone who has read Woven and Spun for any length of time probably realizes David’s life is one I never get tired of studying.

Why?

Through David’s life God allows us to see the good, the bad, and the ugly. That gives me comfort because I, and possibly you, have my good, my bad, and my ugly. It comforts me to know when I repent of my sin and turn back, God forgives over and over and over again. Just like he did with David.

Following our lesson a week ago, I spent the days thinking about David and the later part of his life which was anything but commendable, yet this was a man God called a man after God’s own heart.

If we look at David’s life and focus on some of the things he did that make us shake our head and ask, “How could a man after God’s own heart do that?”, and falsely believe his sins were more grievous, more sinful, more heinous than our little mistakes, errors of judgments, and short comings, we forget an important thing about God’s holiness.

 

ALL sin is against God. All sin is grievous and heinous in God’s eyes. There is no big sin. There is no little sin. Sin is sin, and God hates sin. Not the sinner. He hates the sin because that sin separates us from him.

Looking at the record of David’s life we may say, “I’ve never committed adultery or had their spouse murdered to cover up a pregnancy that resulted.” The Bible tells us anyone who looks on another with lust in their eye commits adultery in their heart.

If we have maligned another, spewed venomous words, slandered, or gossiped, we’ve left mortal wounds just as deadly as an onslaught of enemy arrows to the heart. The book of James has a lot to say about the tongue.

We might look at David’s parental skills and find them lacking compared to ours. None of our sons raped their sisters, or murdered their brothers, or overthrew the throne. But have we ever displayed less than stellar parenting skills through our humiliating words of condemnation, or comparisons? Have we lashed out in anger or refused to forgive? Proverbs tells us to train up a child in the ways of the LORD, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Then there is the issue of that census David took which brought calamity upon the nation of Israel. Was it pride? Lack of trust in God? Boredom? When we examine our lives, have we ever taken credit for something we didn’t deserve the credit for? Have we ever gone ahead of God out of fear he might not take care of things the way we know they should be taken care of? Have we grown lazy in our devotion to God? Jesus said to seek first the kingdom of God and all the rest will be given to us.

Lots to think about. Lots to reflect on. Lots to be grateful for. Especially the fact God does not treat us as our sins deserve. His mercies are new every morning. He loves us with an everlasting love. He allowed his son to die a horrendous death and be separated from him so we wouldn’t have to be. And he tells us to judge not lest we be judged, and to be sure we get the plank out of our eye before we attempt to remove the speck from our brothers’.

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No condemnation now hangs over the head of those who are “in” Jesus Christ. For the new spiritual principle of life “in” Christ lifts me out of the old vicious circle of sin and death. Romans 8:1 (JB Phillips)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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[bctt tweet=”Through David’s life God allows us to see the good, the bad, and the ugly. That gives me comfort because I, and possibly you, have my good, my bad, and my ugly. It comforts me to know when I repent of my sin and turn back, God forgives over and over and over again.” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

Weighed on the Scales and Found Too Light

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Just as was true with Babylonian ruler, Belshazzar, during the Israelite captivity the days of each and every person who ever walked on this earth are numbered. Each of us will be weighed on God’s balances. It matters not our position or status in this life. Our deeds will be weighed.

If we honor Jesus as Lord and Savior of our lives and live according to his teachings, when we are weighed on God’s scales, we will not be found wanting, because Jesus tips the scales in our favor.

When we follow Jesus, we empty ourselves of us and fill ourselves with Christ. We commit to living a life more like him, and less like the world.

 

So. How are we doing with that?

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Daniel answered the king, “Keep your gifts or give them to someone else, but I will tell you what the writing means. Your Majesty, the Most High God gave sovereignty, majesty, glory, and honor to your predecessor, Nebuchadnezzar.  He made him so great that people of all races and nations and languages trembled before him in fear. He killed those he wanted to kill and spared those he wanted to spare. He honored those he wanted to honor and disgraced those he wanted to disgrace.  But when his heart and mind were puffed up with arrogance, he was brought down from his royal throne and stripped of his glory.  He was driven from human society. He was given the mind of a wild animal, and he lived among the wild donkeys. He ate grass like a cow, and he was drenched with the dew of heaven, until he learned that the Most High God rules over the kingdoms of the world and appoints anyone he desires to rule over them.

“You are his successor, O Belshazzar, and you knew all this, yet you have not humbled yourself.  For you have proudly defied the Lord of heaven and have had these cups from his Temple brought before you. You and your nobles and your wives and concubines have been drinking wine from them while praising gods of silver, gold, bronze, iron, wood, and stone—gods that neither see nor hear nor know anything at all. But you have not honored the God who gives you the breath of life and controls your destiny! So God has sent this hand to write this message.

“This is the message that was written: Mene, mene, tekel, and Parsin. This is what these words mean:

Mene means ‘numbered’—God has numbered the days of your reign and has brought it to an end.
Tekel means ‘weighed’—you have been weighed on the balances and have not measured up.
Parsin means ‘divided’—your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”

Then at Belshazzar’s command, Daniel was dressed in purple robes, a gold chain was hung around his neck, and he was proclaimed the third highest ruler in the kingdom.

That very night Belshazzar, the Babylonian king, was killed. Daniel 5:17-30 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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[bctt tweet=”If we honor Jesus as Lord and Savior of our lives and live according to his teachings, when we are weighed on God’s scales, we will not be found wanting because Jesus tips the scales in our favor. ” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

Killer Bees

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

I watered the shrubs in the front yard last week. A rather benign task, right? One would think so. Yet, apparently the Killer Bee that attacked my leg thought otherwise.

Man.

As far as I remember from the brief glance I caught of the thing as I flicked it off my leg, it was a thin, good-sized menacing monster with black and yellow stripes. A hornet.

The only positive I saw from the encounter is when I jerked away from the hornet, its stinger detached from its body, staying in my leg.

Hopefully, that killed the bee, but if not, at least it prevented multiple stings.

I’ve been stung by various types of bees throughout my life, but this one was the granddaddy of them all.

Trying not to be over dramatic, but I endured extreme, intense pain for more than twelve hours after the sting. (Cue violins. 😉 )

Fortunately, by the next morning, the pain subsided to the mere feeling of my leg having been slammed with a baseball bat.

Repeatedly.

The venom from the sting continued to course through my body, but its manifestation was not as severe as when first attacked.

While I pondered my predicament, I realized there are other Killer Bees in our lives that have nothing at all to do with the insect variety.

These are the Killer Bees of bitterness, backstabbing, betrayal, insult, slander, gossip, lies, personal attacks, exclusion, ridicule … and these attacks hurt just as surely as that hornet hurt my leg.

It takes time to recover from the pain of these bees, and the bruises they leave take even longer to heal.

The deliberate attacks of these Killer Bees are spiteful with the intent to inflict as much pain as possible. They maliciously spread their poisonous venom through our veins. Their toxins destroy and damage the core of our being.

It doesn’t matter one bit to the attacker whether a part of them is destroyed in the process of hurting us. They believe it is all worth it to inflict pain and damage.

I’ve looked at this from the point of view of the attacked; the one suffering from the awful sting, but we should also search our soul to see if we’ve been the one to spew venom.

And if so … stop.

There are remedies to counteract the physical poison of the insect Killer Bee stings.

There are also remedies to counteract the emotional poison of the human Killer Bee stings.

Draw close to God. Seek him in his Word. Speak and listen to him through prayer.

When attacked, we need to remember God’s love for us despite whatever venom-spewing toxin attacks us.

Most importantly, we need to remember: God’s opinion of us is all that matters.

And he thinks we’re pretty special.

Any experiences with Killer Bees, insect or human, you’d care to share?

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Stop being mean, bad-tempered, and angry. Quarreling, harsh words, and dislike of others should have no place in your lives.Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God has forgiven you because you belong to Christ. Ephesians 4:31 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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[bctt tweet=”The deliberate attacks of those killer bees are spiteful with the intent to inflict as much pain as possible. They maliciously spread their poisonous venom through our veins. Their toxins destroy and damage. ” username=”SandyKirbyQuandt”]

Sunday Scriptures — God Remains Faithful

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Last week was a doozy on many different levels.

BUT God remains faithful. He is not just good, he is good, good, oh good. Amen?

Sunday was a lovely day capped off by a great Mexican dinner with Pilot after my writing critique group following church.

Monday was pretty uneventful.

Then came Tuesday. Wham! The primo event of the day, among a day of headshaking and thinking, really? regarding an email correspondence, was being attacked by a killer hornet. Yeah. That was fun. You can read about the event on Thursday, July 26th. 🙂

BUT God remains faithful. When the hornet attacked, its stinger lodged in my leg. Painful, yes. But without its stinger that bee could no longer continue to attack as is their aggressive way. Yay.

Wednesday I was in recovery mode from the vicious sting.

Thursday the doctor appointment I’d scheduled on Tuesday was cancelled.

BUT God remains faithful. I had an additional appointment previously scheduled for Thursday with a different doctor, and she was able to address the issue of the sting, plus the issue I’d originally gone to see her about.

As I write this, it is Friday morning and all is once again uneventful.

And God continues to remain faithful.

I don’t know how your week, or month, or year has been, but what I do know is God remains faithful. He is good, good, oh good. Amen?

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Give thanks to the Lord, because he is good, and his love is eternal. Let the people of Israel say, “His love is eternal.” Let the priests of God say, “His love is eternal.” Let all who worship him say, “His love is eternal. “ In my distress I called to the Lord; he answered me and set me free. The Lord is with me, I will not be afraid; what can anyone do to me? Psalm 118:1-6 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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[bctt tweet=”I don’t know how your week, or month, or year has been, but what I do know is God remains faithful. He is good, good, oh good. Amen?” username=”SandyKQuandt”]