The Full Armor of God

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

If you have even the slightest interest in space exploration and America’s space flight history, and have the opportunity to visit the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Cape Canaveral, Florida, I strongly suggest you go.

Pilot, his father, and our son, Pie, all have ties to America’s space flight history and I couldn’t be prouder. I’ve been privileged to meet numerous astronauts and have my own very small part in the adventure. I guess you could say space excites me.

On a recent visit to the Kennedy Space Center, one thing that especially caught my attention was the astronaut suit display. This was not my first time examining the Pumpkin Suit, as it is called. I’ve seen it many times before but this was the first time I made a spiritual connection with the suit and the armor of God.

Boots : Heat resistant, strong but flexible, allowed astronauts to run if necessary.

Astronaut class badge: Designated which class the astronaut was a part of by year.

The bright color orange: Used because it stood out so well against any background.

Gloves: Textured to allow astronauts to throw switches, push buttons, and turn knobs.

Helmet: Connected to suit via a locking metal ring. Contained all communication equipment needed to talk to each other and mission control during launch and landing. Heavy reflective tape on outside aided in search and rescue.

Helmet Visor: Provided a large enough field of vision to see front and sides. Sunshade could be brought down to block the sun’s glare.

Personal pocket 1: Used for various personal items such as glasses, medicine, a watch, calculator, note pads, pencils, personal photos.

Personal pocket 2: Carry anything that fit there, mostly pens.

Right leg survival gear pouch: Radio with 24-hour battery, earphones, spare antenna, motion sickness pills, signal mirror visible up to 40 miles away, one survival mitten.

Left leg survival gear pouch: Strobe light visible up to 50 miles away, two glow sticks, flare kit with seven cartridges, one survival mitten.

Just as the astronauts suit-up with the equipment especially designed for their missions in space, Paul tells us in Ephesians we are to suit-up with the Armor of God to be equipped for our missions here on earth.

I know there are other comparisons that can be made regarding uniforms designed to protect the wearer, but this was the one that came to mind while I was at Kennedy.

What other uniform comparisons come to your mind?

They aren't called Pumpkin Suits because they make you look thin, you know.

It isn’t called a Pumpkin Suit because it makes you look thin, you know.

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In conclusion be strong—not in yourselves but in the Lord, in the power of his boundless resource. Put on God’s complete armour so that you can successfully resist all the devil’s methods of attack. For our fight is not against any physical enemy: it is against organisations and powers that are spiritual. We are up against the unseen power that controls this dark world, and spiritual agents from the very headquarters of evil. Therefore you must wear the whole armour of God that you may be able to resist evil in its day of power, and that even when you have fought to a standstill you may still stand your ground. Take your stand then with truth as your belt, righteousness your breastplate, the Gospel of peace firmly on your feet, salvation as your helmet and in your hand the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. Above all be sure you take faith as your shield, for it can quench every burning missile the enemy hurls at you. Pray at all times with every kind of spiritual prayer, keeping alert and persistent as you pray for all Christ’s men and women. Ephesians 6:11-18 (Phillips)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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One of my posts is scheduled to appear on Christian Devotions September 21, 2015. Please stop by and check it out.

Prepare To Be Ready

My research into the Tuskegee Airmen recently took me to Internet Archives Digital Library, and a fifteen minute video tribute. I found the video fascinating. Once again I was impressed with the sacrifices men and women in the various military services of the United States have given for this country, and what they have accomplished through their efforts.

Thank you one and all.

Near the end of the internet video, General Chappie James said:

“Freedom must be re-purchased by every new generation. Prepare yourself so that when your Tuskegee appears, you will be ready.”

Prepare yourself to be ready for your Tuskegee. Your opportunity. Your moment to shine. The dream God has dreamed for you.

I expect my Tuskegee looks different from yours. My Tuskegee involves me being prepared to write what God wants me to write, send it where I think he wants it to be published, and get it in front of the people I believe he wants it in front of.

Some of you reading this post are also writers. You know what I’m talking about.

Some of you may be preparing to venture out into new areas in your careers, or relationships, or ministries. You’ve done your homework. Prepared yourself. Got your ducks in a row, as my mother would say. You’re ready.

Prepare yourself so that when your Tuskegee appears, you will be ready.

Sounds good, but how might one go about doing that?

For me, I believe no matter what is around the corner, we need to be grounded in God’s word. Seek to know his will. Strive to please him above all others.

It took fourteen years before God moved David from shepherd to king, but when the time finally came, David was prepared for his Tuskegee.

Just as the Airmen needed to understand their equipment and study their manuals, so do we. We need to study God’s word DAILY. Not just once a week. We need to listen to Godly counsel. Pay attention to the things God’s showing in his world that he wants us to apply to our lives.

It won’t do any good for someone to read an instruction manual, sit in on class lectures, study weather charts and navigation, then turn around and forget all that information once they get into a plane. That plane’s not gonna’ fly.

Pilots can fly airplanes because they’ve trained and studied the flight manuals. We can navigate life and be prepared for what’s around the corner because we have studied our manual – the Bible.

I pray each of us is ready when our Tuskegee comes. Ready for the dream God has dreamed for us.

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.

Work hard so God can say to you, “Well done.” Be a good workman, one who does not need to be ashamed when God examines your work. Know what his Word says and means. 2 Timothy 2:15 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Tell a Veteran Thanks

My dad (the one w/ the puppy)
proudly served in the Navy during
WWII

Happy Veteran’s Day to all those who are serving, and who have served in our military. Thank you very much for your sacrifices, and the sacrifices of your families.

I’ve mentioned before that my father served in the US Navy, and was on board a ship at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, when it was bombed on December 7, 1941.

My dad didn’t talk much about his experiences in the war. Although I wish he had, I understand why he didn’t.

I asked my niece’s son who served in Afghanistan, if he ever talked about his war experiences. No. Only with those who’d been there. I get it. How can anyone who hasn’t been there truly understand what it was like for you to go through what you went through?

There were a few things my dad did tell me.

He told me how difficult it was to watch the buddy he fought next to get killed, while Dad was physically, unscathed.

He told me how he walked into a restaurant, and someone he knew was shocked. They’d heard Dad’s ship was destroyed. It was, but Dad had been tendered to another ship, to take over for their deceased gunner, before Dad’s ship was hit.

My father told me how much it hurt to come back to the States, the country he’d proudly fought and sacrificed for, to see a sign in front of a business that said, Sailors and dogs keep off the grass.

He put his life on the line for this?Keep off the grassRight now, I’m researching the Tuskegee Airmen, and their contributions to winning the Double Victory. These men and women, like Dr. Bickham and Mr. Harold Alston, Sr. who have helped me with my research, made sacrifices to defeat Hitler overseas and Jim Crow at home.

They returned to the States to face much worse than signs telling them to keep off the grass. (Please join me in praying for Mr. Alston’s family, at his passing this week.)

And here’s where Jesus comes in. Jesus left his throne in glory to come to this earth as a man to fight for us. To win the victory over sin for us. He endured all things we as humans endure to pay the price for our freedom from Satan’s claws of death.

Jesus knew the joys. The pains. The prejudices. The humiliation. The betrayal. The love. The loss.

pathwayWhile I can sympathize and get upset about the unfair treatment others face, unless I’ve walked a mile in their moccasins, I cannot truly comprehend the raw emotions and pain events in their lives cause.

But Jesus can.

He won the victory. He is the conqueror. His death and resurrection bought our freedom. Praise God.

It’s obvious, of course, that he (Jesus) didn’t go to all this trouble for angels. It was for people like us, children of Abraham. That’s why he had to enter into every detail of human life. Then, when he came before God as high priest to get rid of the people’s sins, he would have already experienced it all himself—all the pain, all the testing—and would be able to help where help was needed. Hebrew 2:16-18 (MSG)

 

scarvesKnow a veteran? Tell them thanks. Even better, join Sissy and me, as we create knitted Knit Your Bit Scarvesand crocheted scarves to donate to VA Centers across the US. Here is a link for info on the National WWII Museum’s Knit Your Bit campaign.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Independence Day

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

There have been two times when I was not in the United States on July 4th. My first birthday, when we lived in Morocco, Africa, and when I toured Greece. Obviously, the first time I was oblivious, but the second time it was a weird feeling. Don’t know why. Just was. Felt strange not to be putting out the Stars and Stripes, or wearing red, white and blue.

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, including the right to revolt.

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. 

As I mention on my bio page, 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.

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.

Christian’s freedom from the tyranny of sin was purchased at the price of one life on the cross of Calvary.

Jesus Christ is the true Declaration of Independence.

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

PS

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B-17 Flying Fortress

B-17 Flying Fortress Lone Star Flight Museum Galveston, TX

B-17 Flying Fortress
Lone Star Flight Museum
Galveston, TX

Recently, Pilot and I had the waaay cool experience of flying in a B-17 Flying Fortress.

Waist gun

Right Waist Gun

The B-17 Flying Fortress was an Army Air Corps heavy-duty bomber from World War II. These four-engine aircraft flew strategic bombing missions over Europe, armed with .50 caliber machine guns and five thousand pounds of bombs. 13,000 B-17s were produced over the course of the war. Only 13 airworthy B-17s remain today.

The first B-17s saw combat in 1941, when the British Royal Air Force took delivery of several B-17s for high-altitude missions. As World War II intensified, the bombers needed additional armament and armor.

SQ walking through bomb bay

Walking through the bomb bay to the nose of the plane

In the Pacific, the planes earned a deadly reputation with the Japanese, who dubbed them “four-engine fighters”. The Fortresses were also legendary for their ability to stay in the air after taking heavy artillery attacks. These planes sometimes limped back to their bases with large chunks of the fuselage shot off.

If you have watched movies such as Memphis Belle, you get the idea. Being in that bomber gave me a greater appreciation for what the men who flew those birds dealt with, in a very small way. I truly cannot imagine what it would have been like to be in that plane during wartime. I especially cannot imagine what it would have been like to have fought from the ball turret. While it was totally impressive to sit in the bombardier seat at the nose of the plane, and watch the ground sail passed, I was not facing enemy fire.

Bombardier Bay looking toward the ground

Bombardier Bay looking toward the ground

My hat is off to all the brave men who flew their missions, and the support crews who kept them flying.

Thank you.

So, I’m thinking…is there any spiritual application to all this? Yep.

Just as the Flying Fortress was heavily armed, fought many a battle, was often beat up by the enemy, and limped back to base, life can be the same with us. We go out to battle the Enemy, only to face flak and ack-ack from all sides. Exhausted, we limp back home. We live to fight another day, until the Great War is over.

The only way we are able to win the battle is if God goes before us. He is our Strength. He is our Shield. He is our Rock of Salvation. God alone, is our Mighty Fortress.

I look up to the hills, but where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

Psalm 121:1-2

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject.

I wish you well.

Sandy

PS

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