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?

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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.

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“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”]

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”]