Do I Believe What I Write?

If you read my blog last December, then you are aware I did not celebrate Christmas 2013 in my usual way. Nope. Christmas 2013 found me nursing a broken left hip, courtesy of a freak fall I took November 30, 2013, in a Tallahassee, Florida gas station while trying, unsuccessfully, to contain a very skittish Bear.

As a result of the fall, emergency surgery was performed at our final destination, Waycross, Georgia, December 1, 2013.

Fortunately, I had all my December posts written and in place before we started our trip.

As I sat on the couch last December and re-read everything I’d written as the posts came out, I was forced to ponder several things. Primary among the ponderings was do I believe what I write to be true?

During a season where we did not put up a tree because my walker couldn’t get around it, and decorations were very limited…presents were gift cards, because I hadn’t done my shopping before Thanksgiving…highly anticipated events — there were three big ones, several smaller ones — were missed because I just didn’t have the strength to handle them…and, I was unable to bake my favorite Christmas dessert…in light of all of this do I really, truly, believe Christmas is about the cross?

Oh, and did I mention Pilot came down with a stomach virus the second week of December, mere days after we returned home from Georgia, yet found the strength to get to the guest room to help me when I muttered to myself I’m stuck, as I floundered like a turtle on its back trying to get out of the bed?

Or tell you about the disastrous two-week dishwasher delivery that began the day after we returned?

Or tell you about the washing machine drain that backed up and gushed water all over the laundry room floor?

Or relate the tale of the two-month-long-delayed foundation repairs to our house?

For me, although I was surrounded by God’s daily mercies, no matter how hard I tried, it was a struggle not to let the disappointments that abounded sink me into a deep, dark, depression.

So I pondered…

Do I really believe what posted December 3, 2013?

Just as God heard the cries of his people all those years ago, he hears our cries today. Jesus is as real today, as he was yesterday, and as he will be tomorrow. He is our deliverer. Only he can remove our shackles.

Do I really believe what posted December 5, 2013?

What if there was someone we could hand all our problems and cares over to, and he’d take care of everything. He’d walk along beside us, and support us every second of every day. And give us peace in the process. Wouldn’t we want to be around him?

Do I really believe what posted December 12, 2013?

Just as God used these five women, he can use us. We can all be redeemed, and put back together through his grace. All we have to do is have faith enough to say yes to God, and his son, Jesus Christ.

Do I really believe what posted December 19, 2013?

God continues to use his people to accomplish his plans. We won’t give birth to the Messiah, but like Mary, we carry Christ inside us, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Once we claim Jesus as our LORD and Savior, it then becomes our responsibility to praise God for the great things he has done for us through his love, mercy and grace, and share that wonder with those around us.

Most importantly, do I believe what I penned sometime in September, 2013, that posted December 24, 2013?

Next to the manger scene I set up each December, hangs a cross, and a crown of thorns. Lest I get caught up in the presents, the baking, the decorations, and the carols, I need a reminder in front of me. Christmas is about much more than a baby, gifts, and family. Christmas is about the cross. It’s about the sacrifice, the suffering, and the Savior who died and rose again so we might live.

Yes. Yes I do believe the truth Jesus led me to write months before I stared up at the clouds from a parking lot in Tallahassee, Florida.

Even though Christmas 2013 has come and gone, and Christmas 2014 will soon be a memory, no matter where life might find us right now, I hope we all believe this Christmas and every Christmas that follows…it’s about the cross.

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.

This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.             John 3:16-17 (MSG)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Thanksgiving, Not Just A Once A Year Thing

By Sandy Kirby Quandt

Here in the United States, today is the day set aside as a day of Thanksgiving.  All through the Bible we read of times of praise and thanksgiving. Not just once a year. It was a continual occurrence. I believe the same should hold true for us. I believe we should have thankful hearts every single day of the year.

During the time of King David, the sacred Ark of the Covenant was captured by the prayingPhilistines. When it was returned to the Tabernacle, David wrote a song of thanksgiving to the LORD.

On that day David gave to Asaph and his fellow Levites this song of thanksgiving to the LordGive thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done. Sing to him; yes, sing his praises. Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds. Exult in his holy name; rejoice, you who worship the Lord. 1 Chronicles 16:7-10 (NLT)

Many of David’s psalms expressed his gratitude to God for who God was, and what he had done.

 Oh, how grateful and thankful I am to the Lord because he is so good. I will sing praise to the name of the Lord who is above all lords. Psalm 7:17 (TLB)

In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul eloquently expressed how grateful we should be empty tomb2for the victory we have over death because of Jesus’ victory over death.

 So when this takes place, and the mortal has been changed into the immortal, then the scripture will come true: “Death is destroyed; victory is complete!”

 “Where, Death, is your victory?
Where, Death, is your power to hurt?”

Death gets its power to hurt from sin, and sin gets its power from the Law. But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! 1 Corinthians 15:54-57 (GNT)

Finally, Paul again tells us to be thankful…all the time. Even when we are going through tough times.

Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ. This is what God wants you to do. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (CEV)

What do you think?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Just Because

By Sandy Kirby Quandt

Now for something completely different…

I’m sending this out just because I can.

As the holidays approach I hope this song by Andrew Peterson and the verses from the New Testament book of Revelation touch and comfort those of you who have lost loved ones as much as they touch and comfort me.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below. If you believe others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

 I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The first heaven and the first earth had disappeared, and so had the sea. Then I saw New Jerusalem, that holy city, coming down from God in heaven. It was like a bride dressed in her wedding gown and ready to meet her husband. I heard a loud voice shout from the throne: God’s home is now with his people. He will live with them, and they will be his own. Yes, God will make his home among his people. He will wipe all tears from their eyes, and there will be no more death, suffering, crying, or pain. These things of the past are gone forever. Then the one sitting on the throne said: I am making everything new. Write down what I have said. My words are true and can be trusted. Revelation 21:1-5 (CEV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures –Take the Problem To Jesus and Leave It There

Isaiah 40By Sandy Kirby Quandt

In Max Lucado’s book, Before Amen The Power of a Simple Prayer, he discusses Jesus’ first miracle recorded in John 2. Jesus’ mother, Mary, told her son the wedding feast was out of wine.

Max writes that Mary wasn’t bossy. She didn’t tell Jesus what to do. She wasn’t critical of the host. She didn’t blame Jesus for allowing the problem to arise in the first place. And she didn’t blame herself for the problem.

Jesus replied his time had not come, nevertheless, his mother told the servants to do whatever Jesus told them to do.

Max suggests we are to be like Mary when we encounter problems:

  • Identify the problem
  • Bring the problem to Jesus
  • Leave the problem with him and trust him
  • Resist the urge to take back the problem

So I’m thinking … often we go to Jesus with our problems as a last resort, don’t we? We try to solve the situation on our own instead of going to Jesus first. Then once we do go to him, we try to tell Jesus how we want the situation resolved.

In his book, Max says Mary didn’t complain or accuse. She didn’t question why Jesus allowed the problem in the first place. Nor did she keep snatching it back and fret over it.

Mary identified the problem, took it to Jesus, and left it in his hands.

Perhaps it is time we do the same. What do you think?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

 The wine supply ran out during the festivities, and Jesus’ mother came to him with the problem. John 2:3 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Keep the Flame Burning Bright

bing imagesBy Sandy Kirby Quandt

One of the things I learned to do well while I was in Girl Scouts was build a fire. Whenever Pilot and I went camping, he put up the tent, and did most everything else, and I was in charge of building the fire. My favorite type, and the one I have the most success building, is the tepee.

For any type of fire, you need tinder. Something that flares up when you touch it with the bing imagesflame from a burning match. That could be dead bark chips, dead twigs, pine straw, dry leaves.

bing imagesOnce you gather your tinder, you need kindling. Kindling catches the flame from the tinder. Kindling can be dead sticks or small branches that snap in two. As the saying goes, “If you can’t snap it, scrap it.”

Next comes the fuel. This is where you get the larger dead branches about a foot long.

For the tepee fire, you place a large handful of tinder on the ground, preferably in a fire pit. Lean a circle of kindling sticks around the tinder. The tips of the sticks should meet at the top like poles on a Native American tepee.

With your back to the wind, light the tinder. After the kindling is blazing, feed the fire with bing imagesyour fuel sticks. Start with thin pieces at first, then add thicker pieces. Continue feeding the fire until it is the size you want.

Now that you know how I make a fire, let me explain how I see this apply to our lives.

As Believers in Christ Jesus, we start out as tinder. We’ve turned our back to the world and allowed Jesus’ word to start a spark inside us. We flare up when we’re touched by the Word of God through his Holy Spirit.

But if we don’t add kindling to take us to the next step, and allow all the dead stuff we carry around inside to be destroyed through Jesus’ refining fire, our flame’s gonna’ die out. We need to study the Bible. We need to surround ourselves with the right kind of friends. We need to support one another through prayer. We need to apply what we’re learning, to take our spark to the next level.

bing imagesBut we can’t stop with tossing a couple scripture verses or prayers on our fire. We need to add solid fuel that comes from digging deeper into the Bible. Without constantly feeding the flames with thicker branches, the fire’s gonna’ sputter and turn cold.

At some point, we need to step up and become the fuel, the spark, the flame, for others that will help feed their fire.

What do you think? Any campfire experts out there? Is it time for us to build a fire?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

 Don’t hide your light! Let it shine for all; let your good deeds glow for all to see, so that they will praise your heavenly Father. Matthew 5:15-16 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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