Real Or Imitation?

By Sandy Kirby Quandt

I have a special tea I purchase at the Oriental grocery store near my home. Loose Jasmine tea. I love the aroma. I love the taste. I love the whole morning ritual of scooping the loose tea leaves into my mesh tea ball, placing it into my cup of choice, and pouring boiling water over it. It is perfect to my way of thinking.

On one visit to the Dead Animal Store, as I fondly call it due to the abundance of animal carcasses hanging from various hooks throughout the store, (Yuck-o) I absently reached for my favorite tea and placed the tin in my basket. It wasn’t until I prepared my tea from this new tin that I realized something was amiss.

This tea did not smell the same as my regular Jasmine tea. And worse, it did not taste the same, either. I looked closer at the container. The colors were similar. The wording appeared the same. But this was not my tea.

Jasmine? Yes. My Jasmine? No.

Similar. But not the same. One was genuine. One was not.

So I’m thinking…am I the only one tricked by imposters?

I don’t think so.

Other things besides tea trick us, don’t they? We come upon imposters almost daily.

We meet people who say things we want to hear although we know what they’re saying doesn’t exactly line up with what God tells us in his Bible. Still, we listen. Maybe even go along with what we’re being told.

We read something on the internet and it has to be true, right? Even if it is written from a view outside of God’s. We don’t consider checking the Bible to see if the facts line up.

We hear a message from a persuasive speaker with a friendly smile and believe it. Hook. Line. And Sinker. We’re reeled in before we realize it.

Imposters. One and all.

How do we discern the real from the fake? The Truth from the lies? Genuine from imposter?

I believe we need to make sure we know the real thing. The authentic word. The reliable source. The tin of tea that is marked correctly. Not the one that looks like it is.

We need to be so familiar with the real deal, we aren’t tricked by the imposter.

We need to study God’s word, the Bible, so we aren’t easily bamboozled.

While picking up the wrong Jasmine tea is not a dreadful thing in the big picture, picking up the wrong beliefs, the wrong teaching, the wrong truth, certainly can be.

Ever since that day I picked up the dragon tea, I’ve paid attention to the tin I wrap my hand around and place in my basket. I’m equally attentive to the Truths I take hold of and assign a place in my life.

How about you? Ever grabbed onto something you believed was right, only to find out later it wasn’t?

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Dearly loved friends, don’t always believe everything you hear just because someone says it is a message from God: test it first to see if it really is. For there are many false teachers around, and the way to find out if their message is from the Holy Spirit is to ask: Does it really agree that Jesus Christ, God’s Son, actually became man with a human body? If so, then the message is from God. If not, the message is not from God but from one who is against Christ, like the “Antichrist” you have heard about who is going to come, and his attitude of enmity against Christ is already abroad in the world. 1 John 4:1-3 (TLB)

I wish you well.


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Gluten-free Turtle Pumpkin Pie Recipe

By Sandy Kirby Quandt

This delicious, easy to make, no-bake Turtle Pumpkin Pie recipe is definitely a keeper. The recipe is compliments of

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons caramel ice cream topping, divided
  • 1 ready to use gluten-free graham cracker crust
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped pecans, divided
  • 2 packages (3.4 oz each) JELL-O Vanilla flavor instant pudding
  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 8 oz tub whipped topping, thawed

Pour 1/4 cup caramel topping onto bottom of pie crust. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup pecans.

Beat next 5 ingredients in large bowl with whisk until blended.

Stir in 1 1/2 cups whipped topping. Spoon into crust.

Refrigerate 1 hour. Top with remaining whipped topping, caramel topping and nuts just before serving.


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I wish you well.


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Sunday Scriptures — Delayed Answers

Isaiah 40By Sandy Kirby Quandt

John 11 records the account of the death of Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha.

The Bible tells us the two sisters sent word to Jesus that Lazarus was sick. Their expectation was that Jesus would come to Bethany right away and heal their brother. Why wouldn’t he? They knew Jesus had the power to heal. They knew Lazarus was Jesus’ friend. They had hosted Jesus and his disciples on many occasions. Surely, Jesus would fulfill their request.

But that isn’t what happened.

When Jesus received word about Lazarus’ condition, he stayed where he was for the next two days. It wasn’t until the third day Jesus told his disciples they were headed to see about Lazarus. Jesus knew Lazarus had died. He also knew this was another opportunity for people to believe in him.

By the time they arrived in Bethany, Lazarus had been in his tomb for four days. Martha heard Jesus was on the outskirts of the village and went to meet him. She told Jesus she knew if he’d been there, her brother would not have died.

Mary said the same thing when she fell at Jesus’ feet outside the village…if only you’d been here, my brother would not have died.

At that point, the Bible tells us Jesus was deeply moved and wept.

Jesus went to the cave where Lazarus was buried and shouted, “Lazarus, come out!”

Out came the no-longer-dead-man, still bound in his grave cloth.

There’s a PS to this story.

Verse 45 says, “And so at last many of the Jewish leaders who were with Mary and saw it happen, finally believed on him.” (TLB)

Jesus delayed on purpose so God’s glory would be shown and others would believe in him.

Sometimes Jesus does the same with our requests, doesn’t he?

He delays. We know he can. No doubt. We pray he will, realizing he may not.

Struggling with delayed answers? Maybe those delayed answers are to show us God’s glory and sovereignty, and so others will believe on him.

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When Mary arrived and saw Jesus, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

“Where have you put him?” he asked them.

They told him, “Lord, come and see.”  Then Jesus wept. John 11:32, 34-35 (NLT)

I wish you well,


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Deep Roots Support Our Limbs

bing imagesBy Sandy Kirby Quandt

I’ve just finished reading Casting Crowns’ lead singer, Mark Hall’s book, Thrive. Great book!

In his book, Mark talks about an enormous oak tree in Alabama. He explains that the invisible roots that support everything going on above ground are as massive as the visible limbs that we are able to see.

He compares the tree to us.

We need deep roots to support our limbs. We need to dig deep into the Bible to learn how we should live, but we need to move from merely studying. bingWe need to reach out our limbs to help others, and apply the knowledge we gain by allowing God to use us.

Mark says we were made to thrive, not just survive. He writes that the only way to thrive is to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.

To do that, we have to study who the Bible says God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are, and who we are in relation to them.

It is our personal relationship with Jesus that defines us. Not our parents’ relationship. Not our siblings’ relationship. Nor our neighbors’ relationship. But OUR relationship.

In writing this book, Mark’s goal is for us to realize a relationship with Christ doesn’t happen just because we sit in a church. Or because our family did. We have to make the commitment to continue to grow in our own personal relationship. That’s the roots.

Strong roots support the tree during life’s storms.

When I was a pre-schooler living in Norfolk, Virginia, a hurricane uprooted a huge Weeping Willow tree in our back yard and sent it crashing through the back porch, and through part of my bedroom. That tree looked healthy on the outside, but  underneath, it’s roots were shallow.

We can look like we’re living the life God wants us to live with all the busy-ness of “good works” we’re involved in, but if we haven’t dug our roots deep into the Bible, we’re apt to topple over when the storms hit. Just like that Weeping Willow in my backyard.

On the other hand, we can spend all our time studying, studying, studying, digging those deep roots, and never bing imagesreach out and apply what we’re learning to help others.

That’s what a friend of mine calls a stinky sponge. You know, the sponge that has soaked up the water and is left to sit on the counter without being used.

If the water is never squeezed out, that sponge is going to stink.

Let’s not be a stinky sponge. Let’s dig our roots deep into the Word of God, and then squeeze it out through our limbs of outreach to others.

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Oh, the joys of those who do not follow evil men’s advice, who do not hang around with sinners, scoffing at the things of God. But they delight in doing everything God wants them to, and day and night are always meditating on his laws and thinking about ways to follow him more closely. They are like trees along a riverbank bearing luscious fruit each season without fail. Their leaves shall never wither, and all they do shall prosper. Psalm 1:1-3 (NLT)

I wish you well.


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Unfortunate Encounter

By Sandy Kirby Quandt

Around 0 Dark Thirty Halloween night, I was wakened by the smell of coffee. Not the fragrant aroma I so loved as a child when I stood in the coffee aisle at the local A&P store. Nope. What I smelled was the stench of burnt coffee.

Realizing both Pilot and Bear were missing, I left the bedroom to search for them.

While I briefly entertained the thought that our neighbor’s cat had startled a skunk under the bedroom window, my walk through the house, and outside through the garage, confirmed what I feared.

Bear had been the one who riled a skunk with disastrous results. I found Pilot up to his elbows in a solution of baking soda and peroxide, leaned over our very odoriferous pup.

“Why didn’t you wake me? I could have helped,” I asked. Although, in reality, I’m glad Pilot didn’t wake me. Have you ever been around a dog who has just been shunked?

By the time I offered assistance, Bear had already been rubbed down three different times, with one more washing left before he was declared passable enough to be banished to the garage until morning.

The tee shirt Pilot wore throughout the ordeal was destined for the trash can.

Bear saw the skunk and couldn’t control himself. Must be whatever part of Terrier/Lab/ Australian Shepherd, and possibly Boxer, is thrown into the mix of his lineage. Or, it could just be his obstinance.

Either way, Bear refused to listen to his master, Pilot. He refused to retreat from the impending doom, and lunged headfirst, literally, and paid the consequences of having to endure repeated scrubbings to remove the stench he caused.

While this will be one more dog story Pilot and I have to go along with the countless others we’ve accumulated over the years, there are several things I believe we humans can learn from it.

  • When we don’t listen to our Master, Jesus’, voice, we end up in stinky situations
  • When we chase after things we shouldn’t, the consequences can be disastrous
  • When we get close enough to our Adversary for him to spray his stench all over us, we carry that stench with us until it is washed away
  • We can’t get the stench off on our own, we have to depend on our Master to do that
  • Our unfortunate encounters may lead to banishment

Fortunately, like Bear, we have a kind, loving, sacrificial Father who allowed his Son to take our stench upon himself and face brief banishment from the Father, to make us clean.

Jesus willingly left his throne in heaven, came to earth as a man, endured all the hardships we endure so he would know what we face, be sympathetic, and plead our case to his Father.

Jesus took our sins – our stench – upon himself and faced, for the first and only time, God briefly forsaking him because of those sins.

Jesus allowed the men he created to murder him horridly on the cross, without an ounce of mercy.

All so you and I could be washed clean by his precious, sacrificial blood.

Jesus paid it all so we wouldn’t have to.

Thank you, Jesus.

Pie…your pop needs a new Dallas Cowboys tee shirt, and you know I’m not about to get it for him. 🙂

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Remove my sin, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Psalm 51:7

I wish you well.


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One of my posts is scheduled to appear on Inspire a Fire November 4, 2014. Please stop by.