Sunday Scriptures — The King’s Table

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

After David became king of the united tribes of Israel, he wondered if any of Saul’s family remained he could show kindness. That in itself was a shock to those who understood how the succession to a throne usually went.

No new king looked for his rival’s family members to show them kindness. They looked for family members to eliminate.

You see, David made a promise to one of Saul’s sons, Jonathan. He and David were best buds. Jonathan knew God choose David over him to become king when Saul died. He didn’t try to get in the way of God’s plan. In fact, Jonathan risked his life at the hands of his father’s wrath to protect David. Because of that, David was determined to keep his promise to protect Jonathan’s family.

As it turned out, there was a son of Jonathan’s, Mephibosheth, still alive. David sent for Mephibosheth. Understandably, when he arrived at the palace in front of the king, Mephibosheth expected the worse. As he had every right to expect.

But David told him not to be afraid. He wanted to show kindness to Mephibosheth because of his friendship with Jonathan. He restored everything that belonged to Mephibosheth’s grandfather, Saul, and told Mephibosheth from that day forward, he would live in David’s palace and eat at the king’s table as if he were one of David’s sons.

Amazing.

When I think of this story, which I absolutely love, I connect the image of Mephibosheth eating at the king’s table, with The King’s table which is prepared for us by our Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ. Our Shepherd prepares a table before us in the presence of our enemies.

I imagine sitting at the king’s table, and eating with David’s sons, made Mephibosheth believe he sat in the presence of his enemies. I doubt David’s sons, especially Absolom and Amnon, were pleased to have Saul’s grandson treated like one of them.

What others thought didn’t matter. David was king. He invited Mephibosheth to eat at his table, and Mephibosheth would eat at the king’s table.

We have a place at the table Jesus prepares for us. He is King. He’s the one in charge. If he believes us worthy enough to eat in his presence, no enemy can keep us from pulling up a seat.

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“Don’t be afraid!” David said. “I intend to show kindness to you because of my promise to your father, Jonathan. I will give you all the property that once belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will eat here with me at the king’s table!” 2 Samuel 9:7 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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[bctt tweet=”After David became king of the united tribes of Israel, he wondered if any of Saul’s family remained he could show kindness.” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

Sunday Scriptures — Who Is Your Neighbor?

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Today’s Sunday Scriptures post, Simple Truth, is written by my writer-friend, Phyllis Farringer.

I don’t remember her name. I don’t remember if I even knew it, actually. The details of a decades-old event have receded to a dusty, untended memory shelf. We occupied a waiting room at the Presidio Army hospital, both awaiting surgical outcomes. A year into our marriage, my husband needed major kidney surgery. Far from family, and miles from the Air Force Radar Site where he was stationed, I was alone. I was 19, self-absorbed, and scared. Would he lose a kidney? Would he die?

She had a young son in open-heart surgery. I don’t know why her husband wasn’t with her. We were at a military hospital. It is likely he had been deployed somewhere. I don’t know because I never asked.

What I do remember is her kindness. While she had to be concerned about her son’s serious surgery, she displayed only peace and a serene, confident spirit. She asked me about my husband. She reassured me the doctors at the Presidio were some of the best anywhere. She got coffee for me. She kept me from feeling alone. She may have spoken about God being in charge, but I’m not sure. Just her presence helped me get through the long wait.

After several hours, surgery over, the doctor assured me all was well and I could see my husband. I left the waiting room and never followed up with the woman about her son. She had lavished kindness on me and received nothing in return.

In Luke 10, Jesus was asked by an expert in the law what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus asked this expert to tell Him what he already knew about that from Scripture. He knew he was to love God with all his heart and love his neighbor as himself. Jesus told him his knowledge was correct. What he needed to do was live it.

The lawyer wanted to justify himself. He asked, “Who is my neighbor?”

As is often the case, Jesus didn’t answer the question that was asked; He answered the question that should have been asked: “How do we do that?” Through the parable of the Good Samaritan, He teaches us not to try to decide for whom we may or may not be responsible, but instead to be a neighbor to whomever in our path is in need.

Long ago, a stranger showed mercy and compassion to me in my need. At the time, I could have quoted the Greatest Commandment and I knew about the Good Samaritan. The difference between us then was that she was living it out. Even now, the Lord is using her example to help me understand what He is teaching me.

Phyllis Farringer delights in proclaiming God’s goodness. Her work has appeared in various periodicals including Decision Magazine, Focus on the Family publications, and Christianity Today Bible Studies. She has also written for several compilations including Cup of Comfort for Moms and God Allows U-Turns. She and her husband live in North Carolina. They have two married children and seven grandchildren.

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(Jesus said,) “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” Luke 10:36-37 (NIV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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[bctt tweet=”Jesus teaches us not to try to decide for whom we may or may not be responsible, but instead to be a neighbor to whomever in our path is in need. ” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

Sunday Scriptures– The LORD Fights Our Battles

By Sandy Kirby Quandt

There was a battle going on. The Israelite army stood on one hillside. The Philistines  on the other. In the valley between the two stood the Philistine champion, Goliath. At over nine feet tall he was a rather intimidating foe.

For forty days Goliath shouted challenges and defied the God of the Israelites. The men of the Israelite army were scared. The Bible says they were “dismayed and terrified” and “ran from him in great fear”.

Then in walks David; probably a teen at the time. He brought food to his three older brothers who served in King Saul’s army. Asking what was going on, he found out, and decided to do something about it.

You remember the story … David kills the giant. But David doesn’t take credit for the defeat. He gives the glory to God who delivered David from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear. The battle was the LORD’s.

We face giants today. Some days, our battles are fierce. Other days just naggingly annoying. Some days the battle has raged for a long time. Other days we’re blindsided. Either way, if we go out in our own strength we’re sure to fail, or at most, win only a partial victory.

While my recent battle with resolving the hack/hijack/redirect issue with Woven and Spun was huge for me, I know it is extremely minor compared with the battles many folks face on a daily basis. Flooding from Hurricane Florence last month, and Hurricane Michael this month being two such things.

God gave us tools to fight our battles. His Holy Word and his Holy Spirit. In order to use those weapons, we must train to do battle. We’re only fooling ourselves if we believe we can win in our own strength.

We need to give our battles to the LORD. He is the one who gives the victory.

The Battle is the LORD’s.

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All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands. I Samuel 17:47 (NIV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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[bctt tweet=”God gives us tools to fight our battles. His Holy Word and his Holy Spirit. We fool ourselves if we think we’ll win in our own strength. ” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

This is an updated version of a post that originally appeared on Woven and Spun May 9, 2014

Sunday Scriptures — Misaligned

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Ever since new progressive lenses were placed in my eyeglasses six months ago, I haven’t been able to see clearly through them, no matter how I try to adjust them on my face. Rather frustrating.

At my most recent eye exam I again mentioned the problem. Because the prescription is correct, a tech in the optical department made sure the lines of the progressives were aligned correctly. They were not. They were misaligned. Off my a milli-fraction.

New lenses were ordered and she aligned them herself.

Yay!

The problem may have been barely discernable and the misalignment minute, but it affected my vision nonetheless.

Whenever I think of people in the Bible with misaligned vision of who Jesus was, I think of the Pharisees. Their vision was not off by a fraction. It was off by a mile. And then some.

The Pharisees believed they knew everything and interpreted the biblical laws correctly. They were so very wrong.

Sometimes we might do the same thing. We might rely on past understanding of scripture or what someone told us, without studying to see if what we’ve held as truth is actually true; believing we are fully aligned with the Scriptures.

We need to check to make sure our understanding of Scripture is aligned with what God says. If it isn’t, even if only off by a milli-fraction, it’s misaligned just as surely as my lenses were and needs corrected.

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All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for showing people what is wrong in their lives, for correcting faults, and for teaching how to live right.  2 Timothy 3:16 (NCV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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[bctt tweet=”We need to check to make sure our understanding of Scripture is aligned with what God says. If not, it’s misaligned and needs corrected. ” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

Sunday Scriptures — Psalm 5

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

When David wrote Psalm 5, he poured out his discouragement to God about the way things were in his life at that point in time. Within the first few verses different translations say David asked the LORD to hear his prayer, listen to his plea, consider his groaning, and heed the sound of his cry for help.

Have you ever gone to God with prayers that plead, groan, and cry out for help? I have.

After his plea for help, David described what God is like, what he himself is like, what his enemies are like, and what the righteous are like.

David ended his psalm praising the LORD for being a promise-keeper. He was confident God heard his prayer, and would act on his behalf.

In Chuck Swindoll’s book, Living the Psalms, he points out David asked God to lead him throughout the conflict in righteousness, so he wouldn’t become like his enemies and resort to the tactics they use.

I found that thought interesting. How many times do we get so beat down by the discouragement and disappointment of life that we lose our joy and dwell on the bad, instead of God’s good that surrounds us in the midst of our pain?

Deep down inside we know God fights our battles. We know he hears us when we pray. We know he has a plan for us to prosper and not for harm.

But we also recognize the fact we live in a fallen world full of evil and evildoers whose actions sometimes affect our lives in a negative way.

Chuck Swindoll offers these guidelines as we pray to overcome discouragement.

  • Describe your attitude and how deeply you hurt.
  • Review the attributes of God.
  • Ask for opportunities to do things his way.
  • Be specific in your prayers.
  • Remind yourself of his defense.
  • Recall the Lord’s promises.

He finally suggests when we’re too down to pray for ourselves, and ask someone to join us in prayer on our behalf.

One thing I began doing years ago is read through the Psalms when I’m troubled. As I read, I write out the psalm that speaks to me at that moment. I also list all the attributes of God mentioned in the psalm.

When life knocks me for a loop and I feel defeated, discouraged, and upended, I pick up that journal and read through it, noting God’s attributes. In doing this, I am reminded who God is. That in turn helps me remember who I am in relation to him.

What do you do to turn your pleas to praise?

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O Lord, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I pray to no one but you. Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly. Psalms 5:1-3 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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[bctt tweet=”When David wrote Psalms 5, he poured out his discouragement about the way things were in his life at that point in time to God. ” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

Sunday Scriptures — Simple Truth

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Today’s Sunday Scriptures post, Simple Truth, is written by my writer-friend, Phyllis Farringer.

The Pharisees translated all of God’s commandments into a system of rules – rules for righteousness. As they checked off the things on their lists, they fooled themselves into believing they were righteous. They missed the whole point of the Law. The commandments teach us how to live in ways that please God, but they can’t make us righteous. The purpose of the Law was not to make us righteous, but to reveal that we are not. No matter how good we try to be, we fall short of God’s perfect standard (Romans 3:23; James 2:10).

Rules can’t save us. God placed Adam and Eve in a perfect environment and gave them one restriction – one rule to follow. It evidently wasn’t long before they replaced God’s rule with their own (Genesis 2, 3). Every person since – each one of us – has repeated our own version of their story. That’s why Jesus came. We need a Savior. God knew from the beginning we needed Jesus. Jesus gave human shape to all the grace and truth and goodness of God’s character. Jesus paid the penalty for our inability and unwillingness to obey the requirements God rightfully expects of each one of us.

How great and gracious God is. All of human history is a record of His faithfulness amidst our unfaithfulness. That is the essence of what the Bible teaches from Genesis to Revelation. If we think we can do enough good in order to be good enough, we deceive ourselves. We need a Savior. We are incapable of attaining righteousness and a right relationship with our Creator without help. The real ‘work’ God requires of us is to believe in Jesus (John 6:28,29). Once we put our faith in Jesus, we demonstrate our love for Him by our obedience to his teaching (John 14:21).

Jesus summed it up even more simply. He told us to love God and love our neighbor. If we just do that, it takes care of all the other requirements. But if we are honest with ourselves, we know we don’t do that. We can’t do that perfectly. Pride, selfishness, self-centeredness, ambitions, and mountains of other things, get in the way of loving God and loving others as we should. Once we recognize that, He can work on our hearts. It is the condition of our hearts that matters to God.

God is patient with us. He wants us to get it right. Outward behavior, though important, is not enough to make us right with God. The commandments teach us how to live, but really, once we put our faith in Jesus, the key to living righteously is to learn to love better.

Phyllis Farringer delights in proclaiming God’s goodness. Her work has appeared in various periodicals including Decision Magazine, Focus on the Family publications, and Christianity Today Bible Studies. She has also written for several compilations including Cup of Comfort for Moms and God Allows U-Turns. She and her husband live in North Carolina. They have two married children and seven grandchildren.

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Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all you soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40

I wish you well.

Sandy

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[bctt tweet=”Today’s Sunday Scriptures post, Simple Truth, is written by my writer-friend, Phyllis Farringer.” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

Sunday Scriptures — Pray For Our Pastors

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

How often do we pray for our pastors? Daily? Weekly? Rarely? Never?

Those God calls as shepherds over his flock have a big job. Hopefully, they preach the truth found in God’s Holy Word, encourage us, lead us, pray for us, correct us when necessary, plus a multitude of other things depending on the collective of believers they minister to and with. Things we often have no idea they do. And truthfully do not need to know they do.

Along with shepherding the members of their congregation, many also have families to raise and be there for.

If we consider the different people in the seats around us each week, there may be those whose personalities grate on us right along with personalities that mesh with ours.

Imagine what it must be like for a pastor. They come in contact with many of us throughout the week, not only during weekly worship time. If not in person, I believe it would be safe to say they receive phone calls or emails. Many of which I doubt are encouraging or uplifting.

Perhaps I’m being cynical. Perhaps all the words sent their way, and about them, are encouraging and uplifting. I’m not a pastor, nor am I married to one, so I don’t have firsthand insight. But I think I know a little bit about how people act. I know how I act.

We can be downright mean. Our default seems set on finding fault, questioning decisions made by leadership, being critical, and feeling slighted.

So I’m wondering … what would our churches look like if each person; everyone of us, committed to earnestly pray for our pastors daily?

Do you think it would make a difference not only in the life of our pastors, but in the life of our church, and yes, even in us?

What say ye, should we give it a go and find out?

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Finally, dear brothers, as I come to the end of this letter, I ask you to pray for us. Pray first that the Lord’s message will spread rapidly and triumph wherever it goes, winning converts everywhere as it did when it came to you. 2 Thessalonians 3:1

I wish you well.

Sandy

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[bctt tweet=”So I’m wondering … what would our churches look like if each person; everyone of us, committed to earnestly pray for our pastors daily?” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

Sunday Scriptures — Overabundance of Mosquitoes

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Due to the copious amounts of rainfall our area of Texas experienced the past month, with more predicted to come with the current disturbance in the Gulf, we have an overabundance of mosquitoes. Sigh.

I have no proof to back it up, but I believe those pesky blood-sucking insects snuck onto Noah’s Ark on the back of some unsuspecting creature. I certainly do not want to think their survival from the flood was intentional.

Folks around here are used to mosquitoes, but not in these proportions and these sizes. Seriously. I know … the saying, goes, “All things are bigger in Texas”, but that does not need to include mosquitoes.

Pilot went to the store to buy citronella plants since ours died in the winter freeze. We should have acted sooner. The stores are all out. He bought yard spray and set to work spraying, in hopes some of the pests will die before the next deluge.

He placed bucket-sized citronella candles near the front door and lit the citronella tiki lamps in the back.

He even bought a mosquito zapper for me to use inside. He said they have several of them in his office, and they work.

Being inside is not a guarantee you won’t get bit. These things sneak inside no matter how fast you close the door, or pat yourself down before entering. Pie saw the fly swatter on the kitchen counter when he visited yesterday and said, “Fly swatter?” then swatted at a mosquito and understood.

You don’t have to live in a mosquito-infested area to understand how annoying being surrounded by something intent on attacking, biting, sucking the life out of you, and keeping you on edge can be.

If you are alive in this world, you understand because more than likely you’ve been attack, bitten, had the joy of life suck out of you, and kept on edge by the constant buzz around you at least once.

Just as Pilot put up a barrier around our house to protect us, each of us needs to put a barrier around our lives to protect against unwanted attacks. We need to put on the Armor of God. As Paul stated in Ephesians, our battle is not against flesh and blood. It is against the spiritual forces of evil.

Any hints on how to defeat mosquitoes?

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That is why you need to put on God’s full armor. Then on the day of evil you will be able to stand strong. And when you have finished the whole fight, you will still be standing. So stand strong, with the belt of truth tied around your waist and the protection of right living on your chest. On your feet wear the Good News of peace to help you stand strong.  And also use the shield of faith with which you can stop all the burning arrows of the Evil One. Accept God’s salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times with all kinds of prayers, asking for everything you need. To do this you must always be ready and never give up. Always pray for all God’s people. Ephesians 6:13-18 (NCV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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[bctt tweet=”Just as Pilot put up a barrier around our house to protect us, each of us needs to put a barrier around our lives to protect against unwanted attacks. ” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

Sunday Scriptures — Yes Jesus Loves Us

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Once a month Pilot and I assist with worship service held at a local assisted-living facility. He leads singing. I give a devotion. Near the end of our time together, Pilot asks for requests. One song I suggest we sing is Jesus Loves Me.

It warms my heart and makes my eyes misty to hear these beloved souls sing with all they have in them the words to this song many of them learned as children seventy-five, or more, years ago. But the biggest thing about their singing is this: many of those in attendance reside in the Memory Care Unit of the facility. They may not remember many things, but they remember Jesus loves them.

Jesus tells us we are to humble ourselves and become like little children before him. We are to welcome children because when we do, we welcome Jesus.

Some may look at the group of senior adults who assemble in our little worship service and dismiss their worth or their value. But I’m here to tell you, although some may now have child-like minds, they are more than welcome in the Kingdom of Heaven. Amen?

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About that time the disciples came to Jesus to ask which of them would be greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven!

Jesus called a small child over to him and set the little fellow down among them, and said, “Unless you turn to God from your sins and become as little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. Therefore anyone who humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. And any of you who welcomes a little child like this because you are mine is welcoming me and caring for me. But if any of you causes one of these little ones who trusts in me to lose his faith, it would be better for you to have a rock tied to your neck and be thrown into the sea. Matthew 18:1-6 (TLB)

 

Jesus loves me!
This I know,
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong;
They are weak but He is strong.

Jesus loves me! Loves me still,

Tho I’m very weak and ill,

That I might from sin be free

Bled and died upon the tree.

Jesus loves me!
He will stay
Close beside me all the way.
Thou hast bled and died for me;
I will henceforth live for Thee.

Chorus:
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.

–Anna B. Warner, 1820 -1915

I wish you well.

Sandy

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[bctt tweet=”Many of those in attendance reside in the Memory Care Unit of the facility. They may not remember many things, but they remember Jesus loves them. ” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

Sunday Scriptures — Finding Peace In Christ

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Peace. Shalom. Pax. Paz. Paix. Solh. der friede. Tutkium.

There are many different ways to say the word Webster defines as freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility. The state of harmony characterized by the lack of violence, conflict behaviors and the freedom from fear of violence.

Be at peace. Hold your peace. Peace of mind. A moment’s peace. Peace and quiet. Peace and goodwill. Rest in peace.

How many of us strive for peace in our lives? We look for peace in our homes. We look for peace in our jobs. We look for peace in our neighborhoods. We desire the absence of conflict. The freedom from fear of violence. We long for things to be copacetic. Hunky-dory. Ducky. All right.

The apostle Paul told the people in Colossi true peace comes from allowing Jesus Christ to rule in our hearts.

When it feels as if our lives are disturbed to the point of falling apart, conflict surrounds us on every side, or people just can’t seem to get along … we need to throw out the anchor and ground ourselves in the truth of where we can find peace.

Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace. It is in him alone we are able to find true, lasting peace. Peace the world can’t understand, but peace that takes away our fears nonetheless.

Maybe peace begins with always being thankful.

Where do you believe peace begins?

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And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Colossians 3:15

I wish you well.

Sandy

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[bctt tweet=”Jesus is the Prince of Peace. In him alone we find true, lasting peace. Peace the world can’t understand, but peace that takes away our fears nonetheless. ” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

This post originally appeared on Woven and Spun November 3, 2013.