Our Declaration of Independence

In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 4th in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was read, voted on, and approved. With that declaration, the Continental Congress announced the thirteen American colonies were no longer part of the British Empire.

Although July 4, 1776 was the day of America’s declaration of independence, those all over the world who claim Jesus as Lord of our lives celebrate Resurrection Day as our declaration of independence from the chains of sin.

The Declaration of Independence penned by Thomas Jefferson, and approved by committee, justified the independence of the United States by listing colonial grievances against King George III. It asserted America had certain natural and legal rights.

Among the most famous words of the Declaration are:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. 

My dad was a member of the US Navy when I was born in Morocco on the USAF base near Rabat. Although I was born in Africa, I have a birth certificate issued by the US State Department which proves I am an American citizen born to American parents on a US military base.

While my earthly citizenship is in the United States of America, my eternal citizenship is in Heaven courtesy of Jesus Christ. I am a joint heir with the King. That’s where my first allegiance lies.

America’s freedom from tyranny was purchased at the price of many lives on both sides of the battlefields that spread out across the thirteen colonies.

Freedom from the tyranny of sin was purchased at the price of one life, God’s only Son, on the cross of Calvary.

Jesus Christ is the true Declaration of Independence.

As those of us in the United States of America reflect on the continued sacrifice and cost of our freedom from the chains of tyrannical leaders, let’s not forget what it cost our Savior to purchase our freedom from the chains of sin.

If you live in the States, any special way you celebrate Independence Day?

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But there’s far more to life for us. We’re citizens of high heaven! We’re waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like his own. He’ll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around him. Philippians 3:20 (MSG)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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God Is Our Solid Rock

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

I didn’t think God would use a church service under a tent flap during a Civil War reenactment to speak to me, but that’s exactly what happened at Fort Richardson in Jacksboro, Texas last weekend.

My main purpose for attending the service was to gather research for a future book to learn how a post-Civil War church service would be conducted. I spoke with the Chaplain reenactor previously, and knew his portrayal would be spot-on. Yet I believe God’s purpose for me being there went beyond gathering information for a book. I believe God wanted to remind me that no matter our circumstances, or where we might find our self, we can rejoice in the God who is our strength and our shield.

When Pilot and I arrived a little before the service began at 10 am, we were offered a folding stool in the shade, which we gladly accepted on that bright sunshiny 80 degree November morning.

The bell rang announcing the service would soon begin. Folks gathered, and Preacher opened with prayer. He led the assembly in three “line-out songs” where he sang a line, and the congregation repeated the song one line at a time.

Preacher’s message was taken from the Old Testament book of Habakkuk. I smiled as he read the familiar verses from chapters 2 and 3.

I’ve written blog posts on these favorite verses here, here, and here.

One take-away I received from Preacher’s sermon last Sunday was that despite troubling circumstances, we are to live by faith in Yahweh God alone.

During Habakkuk’s time, and ours, the world was full of evil. Enough evil to rock even the strongest Believer’s faith. Habakkuk questioned why God allowed such evil to continue.

Like the prophet, we might ask God the same thing. “Why do the wicked prosper and the righteous suffer?”

We want Yahweh Jehovah God to intervene. To punish the wicked. To remove evil from the world.

God reminded Habakkuk of several things when he went before God with his questions. God gives us the same answers he gave the prophet. God is aware of what goes on in the world. Nothing happens he didn’t plan or permit. God will punish evil his way, in his timing, and by his methods.

As Preacher reminded those of us under that tent flap, God still exists regardless of the circumstances we face. God sees. God knows. God’s still in control. We should not allow our circumstances to dictate our actions; or our faith.

Our faith remains in God whether the fig tree blossoms or there are grapes on the vines. We place ourselves under his protection. He is our Shalom. Our Rock. Our Anchor and Deliverer.

So take heart dear friends. Trust in Christ alone, the Solid Rock on which we stand.

How do you choose to live by faith and not by the circumstances that surround you?

One of the songs we sang during the service is the familiar “Solid Rock”.

I’ve included a song by Tasha Cobbs and Jamie Grace that’s updated from the original, but has the same message … Christ is the Solid Rock on which we stand. All other ground is sinking sand.

Amen?

You are my Solid, my Solid Rock. Sing it like no one’s watching you!

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The Lord God is my strength: he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. Habakkuk 3:19 (GNV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Shortly after this church service at Fort Richardson ended, a gunman opened fire in a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas killing twenty-six people and wounding many more. Christ is our Solid Rock in a world of chaos and evil. Our faith remains in Yahweh God and him alone.

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If you wish to use any of my blog posts, please contact me through the comments section for permission first. All written material is copyrighted.

Remember, Not All the Heroes Come Home

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Towards the end of the Viet Nam war, I was in high school and worked part-time in the Navy Exchange store at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, outside Washington, D.C. You might not think of a hospital as a place full of heroes, but let me tell you, NNMC was.

Throughout the time I worked during the war, the thump-thump-thump of rotary blades atop approaching military hospital transports was a sound I heard on a regular basis. Incoming.

 

By the time the helicopter landed on the heli-pad, several of us had run outside to stand on the pad’s perimeter; our silent presence welcoming the wounded to the hospital.

We watched doctors and nurses hustle gurneys to the helicopter, load the wounded, and rush them inside.

I seriously doubt those wounded warriors knew anyone cared enough to be present when they arrived, praying for them, thanking them, appreciating their sacrifice.

To those of us keeping vigil, it didn’t matter if the soldiers knew we were there, or not. For me what mattered was the fact I made the effort to show my appreciation for their sacrifice.

Among other things available to military personnel and their dependents, of which I was one thanks to my father’s military service, the Medical Center housed a theater where for twenty-five cents you could watch some really awful movies. What a deal. Definitely not first-run, that’s for sure. Nevertheless, that didn’t keep Sissy, my girlfriends, and me from showing up.

To get to the theater we walked the hospital corridors. I’m sure you’ve walked through a hospital, so you get the idea, but these corridors were filled with wounded personnel on stretchers, in wheelchairs, or walking the halls; bandaged from one part of their body to the next, making their way to the theater.

These men paid a heavy price for the freedom I enjoyed.

That included the freedom to walk down the same corridors they walked to watch really awful movies for twenty-five cents.

It also included the freedom to walk back down those same corridors and out that hospital at the end of the movie while they made their way back to hospital rooms that became their new normal.

In this country we have days set aside to remember the sacrifices our military and their families made so we can enjoy our hamburgers, watermelon, and pool parties.

Sometimes we might pause and remember those service personnel, or maybe even say, “thank you” on those set-aside holidays. But what if we made it a habit to remember, honor, pray for, and thank our military every day, realizing not all the heroes come home?

 

On this July 4th, Independence Day here in the States, will you join me in honoring those who give their all, so the rest of us don’t have to?

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When your people go out to fight their enemies along some road on which you send them, your people will pray to you, facing this city which you have chosen and the Temple I have built for you. Then hear in heaven their prayers, and do what is right. 2 Chronicles 6:34-35 (NCV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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The Final Victory

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Yesterday, May 8, was the anniversary of Victory in Europe May 8, 1945. Although V-E Day was a major victory, it wasn’t until September 2, 1945 World War II officially ended with V-J Day and the formal surrender of Japan. As the people in Europe celebrated their liberation from the enemy, I believe at the back of their mind they realized there was still a final victory yet to come.

While I contemplated the significance of those two days in history, I considered the major victories Christians have through our Savior Jesus Christ that lead up to the final victory over the enemy the day God tells his Son, it’s time. Go get your bride.

We are grateful for the liberation from God’s enemy, but we realize there is still a final victory yet to come.

Jesus’ death for the sins of the world, his resurrection and defeat of hell, sin, Satan and death, his return to his throne in heaven-where he sits at the right hand of his Father and  prepares a place for believers to live with him as he awaits the day of his return-are victories that will culminate in the grand, final defeat of Satan. Glory hallelujah!

Although it was a major victory, V-E Day was not the end to World War II. Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection, and ascension were major victories, but not the end of the spiritual war. That victory is yet to come. But it will come.

While we wait for the Final Victory, let’s not grow weary in doing good.

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Then I saw heaven opened, and there before me was a white horse. The rider on the horse is called Faithful and True, and he is right when he judges and makes war. His eyes are like burning fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him, which no one but himself knows. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven, dressed in fine linen, white and clean, were following him on white horses. Out of the rider’s mouth comes a sharp sword that he will use to defeat the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will crush out the wine in the winepress of the terrible anger of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his upper leg was written this name: king of kings and lord of lords. Revelation 19:11-16 (NCV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — Gratitude Not Unforgiveness

Isaiahby Sandy Kirby Quandt

Thanksgiving is only a few days away.

With the day often comes family and friends. For some that is a good thing. For others it isn’t.

While some folks celebrate the day with gratitude and thankfulness, some folks spend the time together in unforgiveness rehashing past transgressions, wounds and hurts.

When I taught elementary school one thing I liked to do as a pre-Thanksgiving craft was have each child spread out the fingers of their hand and trace around them.

If you use your imagination, this looks like a turkey. Construction paper feathers of multiple colors were glued to the four fingers. An eye was drawn on the thumb, or turkey’s face. On each feather was written a different thing the child was thankful for. These turkeys were presented to family members on Thanksgiving Day.

Might I suggest instead of coming to Thanksgiving with thoughts of unforgiveness in our hearts, we make hand turkeys and fill them with thoughts of gratitude to distribute to those we’ll spend Thursday with?

Is there a special way you show your gratitude to those in your life?

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Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Colossians 3:12-13 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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