On Thanksgiving Day

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. However you spend today, I pray the day is a joyful time full of thanks and gratitude for God’s bountiful rich blessings.

Amid all the joy of celebration, this day can sometimes be a challenge. Especially if there is an empty seat at our table. Or health issues restrict our ability to spend the day as we would like. Or others are unable to join us for whatever reason. Or unresolved problems threaten to steal our joy and thankfulness.

As we spend the day with those we love and enjoy, there might also be those with whom we disagree. Sandpaper people who irritate us and rub us the wrong way.

But you know what? They may feel the same way about us.

In Romans 12:18 the apostle Paul said, “As much as is possible, live peaceably with all men.”

Do you think Paul meant for us to live peaceably even during holiday get togethers when stress is at an all time high?

Probably.

Maybe Paul meant for us to live peaceably with others, as much as it depends on us, especially during holiday get togethers.

In preparation for Thanksgiving get togethers, one thing we might do is ask God to clothe us with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, and self-control. We might ask for his power to help us bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances we have against one another. Forgive as we’ve been forgiven. Love as we are loved.

May not just today, but everyday, be filled with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, forgiveness, patience and self-control.

How do you like to spend Thanksgiving?

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.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14 (NIV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Clothe Yourself With Love

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Last week I had four medical appointments within four days. Two appointments on Monday. Two appointments on Thursday. Both days the second appointment was unexpected and a result of what the doctors discovered during the first appointment.

As anyone who has sat in a waiting room knows, your scheduled appointment time is only an approximate. They aren’t called waiting rooms for nothing, you know.

During each of these appointments God gave me the opportunity to be his hands and feet. Thankfully, I wasn’t so self-absorbed with my own concerns as is often the case, that I missed the opportunities.

Because God has given me experiences caring for loved ones who have mobility issues, and because I’ve used crutches, a cane and a walker at various times myself, I know first hand this world is not friendly to those who use any kind of assistance to mobilize.

Therefore, when I saw the door next to me open and a frail older woman struggling to back her husband’s wheelchair out the door I hopped up, grabbed the door for her, and escorted them out that door and the next two.

When will doctors’ offices, especially those that cater to folks in wheelchairs, on canes or walkers realize automatic door openers need to be installed? Or at least have their staff offer assistance?

The last appointment of the week found me in a hospital registering for an x-ray. The admitting clerk kept getting interrupted during the process and it took longer than normal. By now, it was close to 4:00 PM. My original expectation when I left my home earlier this day was to be back long before now.

So, I was presented with choices…get aggravated by the necessity of the unexpected procedure, the amount of time it was taking to register, knowing there’d be further waiting once I was in the system before actually having the test and leaving, the fact my needs weren’t being taken care of before all the other interruptions, or I could be patient.

I chose to be patient. Not something that comes naturally to me.

The clerk apologized repeatedly for the delays. Instead of blaming or belittling, I silently prayed for her, and told her not to let the interrupting phone calls steal her joy.

When she asked where I worked and I told her I’m a writer, she asked what I wrote. Christian historical fiction.

Now, you tell me…if I’d been a huffy-puffy with a me-first attitude, how do you think she’d feel to my being a writer of Christian anything? Instead, she told me she felt God had me there for a reason. And so did I.

Oftentimes we falsely believe life is all about us. That the sun revolves around us. Hate to burst any bubbles, but it doesn’t.

Every single day we are presented with choices. We can be self-absorbed and think only of our needs, our wants, our interests and how those can be met, or we can be aware of those around us and the fact that God may be using us to bring a spark of joy, peace, compassion, kindness, patience…to their lives.

It’s not about us.

Some days I do better than others. That Thursday was one of those days. Thank you, Jesus.

How have you seen God work through you to touch someone else’s life?

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.

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. Colossians 3:12-14 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Holiday Gatherings

Ahhh, Christmas. The Norman Rockwell pictures of loving families, beautifully decorated homes, where laughter, and gaiety abound. Is that a picture of your family gatherings?

Or is your family more like National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, or Robert Earl Keen’s song, Merry Christmas From the Family?

Would it be accurate to say there were one or two in the crowd, who either carry a

decades-old grudge, they make sure everyone knows about – again, or who believes it is their responsibility to point out others’ short-comings and flaws, in case anyone forgot?

Maybe there are unmet expectations. Unintentionally hurt feelings. Losses. Squabbling relatives. Sullen teens. Painful scars. Secrets. Denial. Resentment.

Sometimes, getting together with family and friends, can be a trying time. Don’t you think?

In Romans 12:18 the apostle Paul said, “As much as is possible, live peaceably with all men.”

Do you think Paul meant for us to do that even during holiday get togethers, when stress is at an all time high?

Probably.

Maybe, Paul meant especially during those times.

So what should we do? A friend of mine suggests we all, “Get over yourself.”

Here’s what Paul said.

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3:12-14.

Forgive as the LORD forgave you, and put on his love.

Wow.

There is a line in Dougie MacLean’s song, We’ll Be Together Again, that I absolutely love. I  need it engraved on my heart.

…and the venom stays asleep in the tooth of the snake, and we don’t hold against us the mistakes that we made, we’ll be together again.

How many times has the venom left the snake’s tooth, and spewed, unchecked? Past mistakes brought up, and played over and over again; ad nauseaum? What keeps us from being together again?

In as much as it depends on you.

In this video, Jill Phillips, sings Andrew Peterson’s song, Labor of Love, while her husband, Andy Gullahorn, plays the guitar. God’s gift of the Redeemer, and Christ’s sacrifice, continues to be a labor of love.

There were no mid-wives to be found, on the streets of David’s town, in the middle of the night.

May your holiday gatherings be filled with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, forgiveness, and patience. And may all venom be kept in the tooth of the snake.

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

I wish you well.

Sandy

PS

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