Sunday Scriptures — Eliezer Prayed

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

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

It was no small request. Abraham wanted his servant to find a wife for his son. The unnamed servant, probably Eliezer, (Genesis 15:2) would travel several hundred miles, find Abraham’s relatives, convince them he was on a legitimate mission, then convince one of them to return with him to marry Abraham’s son, Isaac. Oh my!

The story unfolds in Genesis 24. A quick reading could seem to indicate a series of convenient coincidences brought Eliezer to the right place. Eliezer arrives in Nahor, stops at a well and Rebekah shows up at just the right time to relieve his thirst and that of his ten camels. Rebekah just happens to be the granddaughter of Abraham’s brother. Her family welcomes him and offers him their spare room. The next morning Rebekah begins the long journey back to Canaan with this servant who had arrived a stranger.

A closer reading reveals the whole process was steeped in prayer. Abraham’s prayers are evident in the guidance he had already received. He knew where to send his servant to find a wife for Isaac, and he had confidence God would lead Eliezer (vs. 7). Eliezer’s prayer in vs.12, seems to pick up an ongoing conversation. When he finds success in his mission, and gives the Lord all the credit for leading him, it is clear he had been relying on Him since he saddled up the camels.

When we don’t know what to do, where to go, or how to proceed, the best course is to pray. God is faithful to lead, if we just ask Him. Step by step, He reveals His plans.

Amazing. Guidance, protection, provision–available just for the asking. So many times I have experienced God’s leading and provision just as I needed it. Daily, actually. In one of the bigger for instances, my husband received a stage 4 cancer diagnosis. The doctors suggested drastic measures, with an uncertain outcome. We didn’t know what to do. We wanted a second opinion, but didn’t even know where to go to get it. We prayed. God led us to that second opinion, and to a course of treatment that, we believe, ultimately saved my husband’s life.

Another time, our family was comfortably settled where we thought would be home for the rest of our lives. We began to feel an unexplained restlessness. We had no idea what it meant. We prayed. Over time, little by little, God led us to pick up and make a move across the country. He has since confirmed, repeatedly, it was the right thing for us to do.

On another occasion, reduced income and a limited budget disturbed my thoughts as I entered the grocery store. I prayed. I bought everything I needed to feed our family for the week, but at about half our usual grocery bill. All the right things were ‘coincidentally’ on sale.

The secret to Eliezer’s success–and any believer’s–is prayer.

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.

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.

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. (Colossians 4:2).

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Wounded By God’s People Book Review

Woundedby Sandy Kirby Quandt

In the book, Wounded by God’s People, Anne Graham Lotz uses the Old Testament story of Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar to show how God’s people wound others. She also candidly shares her own personal experiences of how she has been wounded, and how she has been a wounder.

If you’ve never experienced pain or hurt at the hands of a fellow Believer, or if you have never inflicted hurt on others, maybe this book isn’t for you. But if you fall in either of those categories like I do, then maybe this book should be on your To Be Read list. I know I appreciated the wisdom and insight found within its pages.

Throughout Wounded by God’s People, Anne Graham Lotz tells us:

  • Don’t blame God for the wounds his people inflict
  • Repeatedly opening your wounds to sympathetic ears intensifies the wound by repeatedly exposing it
  • We have to come to a turning point where we want to be healed more than we want to be wounded
  • You can’t drive forward by looking in the rear view mirror
  • The healing antidote to wounds is forgiveness
  • Sometimes wounds that have not healed properly need to be lanced to allow deep healing to begin

And finally, Anne tells us to let go of the past, so we can embrace the future God has for us. Especially when it is different from the future we had planned.

Wounded by God’s People is written in an easy conversational style that is not overbearing or judgmental. It is a book to revisit and reflect on each time we find ourselves in the place where we are either being wounded, or are being a wounder.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

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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Take That Leap of Faith

courtesy pixabayby Sandy Kirby Quandt

Faith is a theme that runs through many of my blog posts. Maybe you’ve noticed. Abraham. Moses. Esther. To name a few.

During the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference last month, I spent time with other writers as we encouraged each other in our writer’s journey. For those who do not write, you may not understand how much faith it takes to believe God has called us to weave words together for him to use.

It’s a privilege that requires large quantities of faith.

The same amount of faith it takes any of us to accept the privilege God gives to use the abilities and skills he’s placed within us. It takes faith to make that incredible leap to step out and trust.

But you know what?

fearNo matter how fantastic the opportunity, facing the unknown can be frightening. Especially when doing so seems … crazy.

We might listen to Satan’s lies telling us we aren’t good enough.

Who are we kidding?

What have we got to offer?

Why do we think we’re capable?

It’ll be too difficult.

And on and on and on.

So this post is for all of us who need a little encouragement to step out in faith no matter courtesy pixabayhow crazy it may seem.

Encouragement to grab hold of all the marvelous things God has waiting for us and trust he knows what he’s doing when he calls us to be a part of his plan.

Am I the only one who struggles with a lack of confidence that can morph into a lack of faith that can become a lack of obedience when I face the unknown?

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.

What is faith? It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead. Hebrews 11:1 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Do You Have Enough Containers?

bingby Sandy Kirby Quandt

Hello. My name is Sandy and I have a problem. I hold onto plastic containers and precariously pile them into the cabinet in case I need them later.

This may be a trait I inherited from my mother. I don’t know. I just know whenever Sissy bingand I visited Mom’s house, Sissy went through Mom’s plastic containers like a wild woman. She made sure each bowl had a matching lid and threw out whatever she believed to be unnecessary.

Yes. I know. My cabinets could use Sissy’s intervention, but I wonder … is it possible in all my messy saving of plastic containers, it might be biblical?

Hmmm …

Several scriptures come to mind when I think this may be true. Instances where it was a good thing to have extra containers.

Abraham was told he would have descendants too numerous to count. More than the grains of sand on the shore. No amount of containers would be able to hold them.

bingDo you remember the widow in 2 Kings 4?

Creditors were coming to take her two sons as slaves. She went to the prophet Elisha and he told her to go around to all her neighbors, asking for empty jars. Then he told her to fill them with oil.

When she reached her last jar, she asked her sons for another, but there were no more. That’s when the oil stopped flowing. The jars of oil were sold to pay their debts and save the sons.

Sounds to me like it’d be good to have extra containers in our cabinets.

God’s mercies are new every morning. There aren’t enough containers to hold them and there isn’t enough ink or paper to record them.

We are told God’s blessings will be poured out on us and we will receive a full measure,  pressed down and overflowing.

And finally, Paul tells us we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives.

Sissy may be disciplined enough to limit the number of plastic containers she stores, but bingnot me. You never know when you might need more. And I’m thinking, it really could be biblical. 🙂

While I can’t say for certain whether having extra containers is a good thing, one thing I can say for certain is we’ll never have enough containers to hold all the many rich blessings God bestows on us each and every day.

Do you have more plastic containers in your cabinets than you really need, or do you hold onto a couple more … just in case?

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.

There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit! Romans 5:3-5 (MSG)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Step Out In Faith

ISS Courtesy NASA imagesBy Sandy Kirby Quandt

Fourteen years ago, Pilot received word he was transferring from working on Space Shuttles at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, to sitting in the Mission Control Room of Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, where he would work with astronauts on board the International Space Station.

Life was in flux.

photo SQuandtAs we approached the anniversary of our move, I thought of someone who made a much greater move. Abraham. Husband of Sarah. Father of Ishmael and Issac.

Father of the Arabs, Jews, and Christians. From whose line Jesus Christ was born.

God called Abe to leave everything he knew. Everything he had built up. Leave his extended family and possessions.

Leave civilization and live a nomadic life in a tent, and go to a land God would show him.

Canaan.

Abe obeyed, and God blessed him. Just as he promised.

bing imagesAre you in a place where you feel God’s asking you to step out in faith? Venture into the unknown? Go to a land he will show you?

Maybe it’s a career decision. Maybe a relationship decision. Maybe God’s asking you to take on a ministry that’s out of your comfort zone.

Maybe God’s asking you to trust him with your finances. Trust him with your children. Your spouse. Your health.

Perhaps doing so means listening to God’s voice and shutting our ears to the lies of Satan.

bing photoMaybe we need to step out in faith, and trust God to lead us to the land of Canaan where he is calling us. Whatever our Canaan might look like.

Or as Star Trek beckoned, boldly go where no one has gone before.

No one except God, that is. The One who has already gone before us and prepared the way.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject.

Abraham trusted God, and when God told him to leave home and go far away to another land that he promised to give him, Abraham obeyed. Away he went, not even knowing where he was going.                            Hebrews 11:8 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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