Quibbling Over Semicolons and Sawdust

When my high school English teacher taught the class the proper use of semicolons, I never quite understood the concept, even though I asked her to explain it to me further after class.

All these years later, I still question whether I use them correctly.

I have numerous grammar books to help with my semicolon dilemma. Noah Lukeman’s book, A Dash of Style has this to say.

It is hard to underuse the semicolon, since a work can exist perfectly well without one. That said, there are cases when it is called for…

Oy, vey.

So why am I discussing semicolons today?

Well, it’s all our son, Pie’s, fault.

One of Pie’s college degrees is Journalism. He wrote for several newspapers both in Florida and Texas before putting his skills to use in the space industry where he often works with non-native English speaking international partners.

During one particular meeting, one of the international partners corrected Pie on his semicolon use.

To which Pie replied, “I don’t use semicolons.”

Dilemma solved.

Quibbling over semicolons this way led me to think of a time Jesus said do not judge, or you too will be judged.

 

He told the multitudes not to look at the speck of sawdust in someone else’s eye without first paying attention to the plank in their own.

Jesus warned we must remove the plank from our eyes before we can help anyone else.

I know at times I misuse semicolons, even though I try not to.

I also know at times I unjustly criticize and find fault, even though Jesus told us not to.

How can we help someone remove the speck of sawdust from their eyes when we can’t see past the huge beams in our own?

Do you have problems with quibbling over semicolons, or with quibbling over sawdust?

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.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:3-5 (NIV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

[bctt tweet=”Quibbling over semicolons led me to think of a time Jesus said do not judge, or you too will be judged. He told the multitudes they shouldn’t look at the speck of sawdust in someone else’s eye, and not pay a bit of attention to the plank in their own. ” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

 

Allowing Clutter to Accumulate

courtesy pixabayby Sandy Kirby Quandt

Allowing clutter to accumulate, and not paying close attention to it, can build up and little by little become a big problem.

Pilot and I aren’t certified pat rats – yet- but we do have a tendency to save things. While the things in themselves aren’t bad, they become a problem when left to pile up, take up valuable space, and get in the way. Before we know it, things are out of control and the thought of reigning in the chaos seems daunting. So we keep putting it off.

Ever been there?

It’s nothing we set out to do, certainly. It’s a gradual, subtle progression.

So, I’m thinking … is that what happens in our relationship with God? Do we allow the clutter of disobedience to accumulate little by little until we don’t even realize how big a problem it has become?

Does our disobedience take up valuable space in our lives, leave no room for Jesus, and get in the way of our daily walk with God?

More times than not, the disobedience starts out in small things, but soon turns to larger things without even a second thought. It is a subtle slow fade. Before we realize it, our disobedience becomes second nature instead of the exception.

It’s sorta’ like the story of the frog who was placed in a tepid pot of water on top of the stove. Sensing no danger, the frog did not try to escape. Little by little the temperature of the water increased. The change was so subtle. The frog never realized he was in a life-threatening situation until it was too late.

I guess what Pilot and I should do about the clutter is not let it into the house to begin with. We should also be willing to let go of the things that are taking up valuable space, getting in our way, and causing us to stumble.

It takes a lot of vigilance and hard work to keep clutter from accumulating, but the end result is well worth it.

The same could be said about not allowing the clutter of disobedience to accumulate. We need to get rid of the stuff that takes up valuable space, gets in our way, and causes us to stumble before we become comfortable with it, and ignore its negative effect on our lives.

How do you keep from allowing clutter to accumulate?

Disclaimer – none of these pictures are of our house. 😉

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.

Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts. Proverbs 4:23 GNT

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

The Past Has Passed

courtesy pixabayby Sandy Kirby Quandt

Before the rooster crowed  on the night Jesus was betrayed, Peter denied Christ three times. We remember this as part of the Crucifixion story. I’ve written about Peter several times on Woven and Spun. It seems lately I learn something new through studying Peter’s life.

Several weeks ago the lesson we studied in our Bible Study class centered on the story of Tabitha, also know as Dorcas, as recorded by Luke in Acts 9:36-43. Tabitha became sick and died. As a result, her friends sent for Peter.

Tabitha was not buried right away, as was the custom of the time. Instead, she was courtesy pixabaywashed and placed in an upstairs room. That tells me her friends expected a miracle; and Peter was the one they expected God to use to perform it.

Were they aware of Peter’s past? Did they know the story of how he turned his back on Jesus? Had they heard how he failed?

Perhaps.

Whether they knew any of that or not, the fact is they expected Peter to be God’s tool. His vessel. The conduit through which their friend, Tabitha, would be raised to life. And they sent for him.

As I studied this lesson I wondered how Peter felt the instant Tabitha opened her eyes, saw Peter, and sat up. Among the things I believe he may have considered, because it is something I may have considered had I been him, beyond immediate thanks and praise to Jesus for Tabitha’s healing, is thanks to Jesus for restoring and forgiving Peter and using him despite his past failures.

courtesy pixabayI don’t believe Peter dwelt on his past mistakes when he entered the room where Tabitha lay. I believe he dwelt on the power of the One True Lord and King that flowed through him.

He didn’t dwell on then. He dwelt on now.

Wouldn’t you say we need to do the same?

Do you find it difficult to let go of past mistakes and embrace what God has prepared for you today?

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.

Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. Acts 9:40 (NIV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

Lord, What About Him?

courtesy bingby Sandy Kirby Quandt

The book of John is my favorite Gospel. Maybe it is the storyteller in me, but I love the way John presents Jesus and how Christ interacted with those around him.

Today, I’m focusing on the last chapter of John.

By now, Jesus has been crucified, resurrected and appeared before Mary Magdalene at the tomb. He suddenly appeared in the locked room where the disciples, minus Thomas, hid. He appeared again eight days later in the same locked room when Thomas was present. He met the two on the road to Emmaus. And now waited on the shore beside the Lake of Galilee, preparing the disciples’ breakfast.

courtesy pixabay

We may remember this as the scene where Jesus pointedly asked Peter if he loved him. Three times. And each time Peter said he did.

After Jesus told Peter to “feed his little sheep” and predicted the kind of death Peter had in front of him, Peter turned, saw John, the disciple Jesus loved and asked, “What about him? What sort of death will he die?”

Jesus replied, “If I want him to live until I return, what is that to you? You follow me.”

That’s the line I love most. Always have. But it wasn’t until recently I related it to my writing and looked at it in a way I’d never looked at it before.

Jesus called Peter to feed his sheep by preaching about the resurrected Lord. I believe as a writer, Jesus has called me to feed his sheep through the words I write.

Regardless of what abilities God has given each of us, he has called us to follow him.

Peter was given his commission but behind the one question he asked, I believe a multitude more where in his mind. What about John? What was going to happen to him? Was he going to suffer or skate through life untouched? Was John’s ministry going to be bigger than Peter’s? Was he going to receive more pats on the back? More awards? More atta’ boys? Was John going to be more popular than Peter?

Jealousy.

That’s an emotion I believe each of us can understand. Maybe we’ve had similar thoughts about those we work with. What about them? How come they got the promotion, the raise, the praise? We compare. We compete. We wonder if maybe, just maybe, God loves them more.

courtesy pixabay

In writing, the whole purpose is to get what I write published so people can read it. Makes sense, wouldn’t you say? I send my writing to editors and often, not always, but more times than I’d like, I receive a rejection.

They wish me well and I keep writing and waiting. At times like this it’s easy to say, “What about them, the person who just got the contract, or just won the award? Does God love them more than me?”

These last verses in John tell us Jesus has a plan for each of us, and that plan is not cookie-cutter sameness. How could it be? We are all different. We don’t think alike. We don’t work alike. We don’t communicate in the same way. We have different abilities and personalities.

If what I write only reaches the editor who rejects my story, I pray God uses that story to touch that one life. I’m not going to kid you here, if I send something to an editor it is because I’m praying they love it enough to publish it and it reaches the multitudes.

courtesy pixabay

Still, I have to remember my job is to write to the very best of my ability. God’s job is to get what I write in front of whomever he wants it in front of.

Even if that is the editor who sends me the “Sorry. Not for us.” rejection letter.

If Jesus wants someone else to win the awards, get the promotion, receive the atta’ boys and atta’ girls what’s that to us? He’s called us to follow him. And that’s exactly what he expects us to do.

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.

 Peter asked Jesus, “What about him, Lord?”

Jesus replied, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? As for you, follow me.”  John 21:21-22 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

If you want to re-post any of my blogs on your own blog or website, please contact me using the Contact Me form at at the top of the page for permission first.

When Life Comes Crashing Down

pixabayby Sandy Kirby Quandt

What can we do when life is falling apart around us?

This question, and others, have come up in conversations I’ve had in the past week with three friends. I’m going to call these friends Widow, Caregiver, and Young Wife.

Widow is in her late seventies. Her husband died unexpectedly several months back. pixabay

When I spoke with her, one of the things she said won’t leave my brain.

“I don’t want to do this.”

I don’t want to walk this path alone.

I don’t want to carry on as if everything is okay, because it isn’t.

I don’t want to put on a smile when my heart is torn in two and it will never be right again.

I don’t want to go out with friends because they are all couples and have no idea what I’m going through.

pixabayCaregiver is in her late sixties.

Her husband recently survived a life-threatening car accident. Last week he took his first few steps since the accident with the help of a walker. While she tried to put up a good front, I saw past her facade, because I’ve been where she is.

Although you are grateful for the spared life, your life has changed drastically and there is no way to go back to the way it was before.

As we spoke, she said, “You do understand.”

Yep.

Isn’t that what we want?

Someone who understands. Someone who has walked where we’re walking? Someone who won’t judge when we let the mask slip and show our vulnerability and pain?

Young Wife is in her late twenties. She has two children under the age of six.

She and I pixabaymet five years ago. We’d not seen each other for almost a year.

My heart aches for this Child of God and the difficulties she continues to experience in her marriage.

As we spoke she smiled and said, “We just have to have faith, right?”

So. Back to my original question.

What can we do when life is falling apart around us?

The Bible tells us God is the husband to the widow and father to the fatherless. We are told Jesus is our strength when we are weak. He gives us the power to keep going when we want to give up.

Christ will never leave or forsake us. He’s got our back and holds every tear we have ever cried.

All very very true.

pixabayYet …

He uses people like you and like me to step up and be the hand to hold, the shoulder to lean on, the ear that listens.

Like I’m fond of saying right along with the Apostle Paul, comfort as we’ve been comforted.

Do you find it easy to share your experiences so others may be comforted, or be honest so you can be comforted?

Why or why not?

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.

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!