How Do We Describe Peace?

pen and paperHow do you describe peace?

Merriam-Webster defines peace as a state of tranquility or quiet such as:

a : freedom from civil disturbance

b : a state of security or order within a community provided for by law

2 : freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions

3 : harmony in personal relations

4a : a state or period of mutual concord between governments

b : a pact or agreement to end hostilities between those who have been at war or in a state of enmity

In her book, God is My Hiding Place, Corrie ten Boom said as Christians, our peace does not depend on our circumstances, but on our trust in God. She said being a Christian does not mean there are no more battles. Instead, it means we have a strategic point of victory, joy, and abundance in the battle.

She continued that it is God’s intention for his children to not be bogged down under heaviness and stress. God wants us to be strong, free, peaceful, and happy. Corrie stated that in order for us to do that, we must choose to live from a place of internal victory. Even when the external circumstances contradict what we see.

In her devotion, Corrie gave a practical tip for how we can live more peacefully. She suggested we take notice of all the blessings God gives, and all those he has given in the past. She cautioned not to just blurt out a few, but to write out as many as we can. Big and small. They all matter.

In conclusion, Corrie said, “When we set out to be mindful of our daily gifts, it sends us on a quest to find God’s hand throughout the day.”

What a wonderful thought. Set out to look for all the many ways God is blessing us throughout our day. Perhaps if we spent more thing doing that, we would experience more of God’s peace amid the hectic and stressful events of our lives.

What do you think?

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.

He will keep in perfect peace all those who trust in him, whose thoughts turn often to the Lord! Isaiah 26:3 (TLB)

You can find my May Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Do You Have a Trouble Suitcase?

teddy bear in suitcaseDo you have a trouble suitcase? A place you carry all your troubles and cares that becomes so heavy and burdensome, you can barely go on? Is casting all your cares on God and leaving them there, something you have a problem doing?

It is for me. And apparently, it was for Corrie Ten Boom as well. In her book, God is My Hiding Place, she tells the story of a time she spoke about her trouble suitcase in a church in Tokyo shortly after World War II.

As an object lesson, she carried a heavy suitcase into the room where she spoke. She struggled to lift the suitcase, and placed it on top of a table. She said she was carrying the heavy trouble suitcase, and mentioned her heart was like that until she read 1 Peter 5:7, which reminded her to cast all her cares on the Lord.

To demonstrate casting her cares on God, Corrie opened her trouble suitcase. One by one, she removed each item. With each item, she mentioned a particular care, burden, or worry she carried. In the end of her demonstration, she closed the empty suitcase. She pretended to walk out of the room, suitcase swinging lightly at her side.

After the meeting ended, Corrie refilled her suitcase with all the items she removed and left the building.

While she was in Berlin years later, a man approached Corrie. He was in the church where she spoke in Tokyo. He told her every time he heard her name, he thought of her trouble suitcase.

Corrie was flattered. She told the man she was glad he remembered what she said that night.

To that the man replied, “It wasn’t what you said that I remember. It was what you did. After you finished, you put all the objects back in the suitcase and walked out just as burdened as when you came in.”

Oh, my goodness. We do that, don’t we?

We empty our trouble suitcase at the feet of Jesus, then we repack that suitcase right back up, and walk away carrying the same heavy weight we came in with. We might come to Jesus in the morning, tell him all the things which weigh heavy on our heart; all the hurts, troubles, concerns, problems, and worries. Often, though, thoughts of those concerns sneak back into our mind before the day ends.

Sometimes they don’t sneak, they rush in like a torrent intent our sweeping us clear away.

At the end of Corrie’s devotion, she suggested those of us who unpack our trouble suitcase and hand over our heavy concerns only to pick them back up again, ask the Holy Spirit to teach us how to pray. Teach us how to leave those burdens in God’s faithful care once and for all.

We know Jesus is able to take all our burdens and lighten our load. He tells us to come to him, all who are weary, and he will give us rest.

Yes, Jesus will carry our burdens, but we need to bring them to him. When we do, we need to stop grabbing them back.

How about you? What do you do to keep from repacking your trouble suitcase once you’ve emptied it at Jesus’ feet?

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.

 Let him have all your worries and cares, for he is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you. 1 Peter 5:7

You can find my March Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

When It’s Hard to Forgive

forgiveIn Tramp for the Lord, Corrie ten Boom recounts a time when in 1947, at a church in Munich, Germany, she was asked to forgive one of the cruelest prison guards she knew during her time as a prisoner at the notorious women’s death camp, Ravensbruck. A prison where over ninety-six thousand women died.

Although the former guard did not remember Corrie as one of the women he had charge over at Ravensbruck, she certainly remembered him.

After completing her message where she said, “When we confess our sins, God casts them into the deepest ocean, gone forever. And even though I cannot find a Scripture for it, I believed God then places a sign out there that says, NO FISHIING ALLOWED,” the former guard approached Corrie.

The man told Corrie he became a Christian after his time at Ravensbruck. He knew God forgave him for the things he did there. The man stuck out his hand to Corrie. He asked if she would forgive him as well.

As Corrie stood there with coldness clutching her heart, she knew forgiveness is not an emotion. It is an act of the will. She prayed for Jesus to help her forgive the man standing in front of her for all the evil he committed. And Jesus did.

With Jesus’ help, and through his Spirit’s power, Corrie was able to tell the cruelest prison guard she knew during her time at one of the cruelest places on earth, she forgave him.

Corrie forgave the former prison guard not because she felt like it, but because God commanded her to forgive him.

The message Corrie shared with her audience and lived out in a church in Munich in 1947, is the same message the Bible tells us to live out today. It is the message that God’s forgiveness has a prior condition. “If you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”

When we consider the slights, hurts, injuries, and wrongs we suffer at another’s hand, may we remember what Corrie ten Boom remembered. God’s forgiveness has a prior condition.

If we want God to forgive us our trespasses, we must be willing to forgive the trespasses others do against us.

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.

“If you forgive others the wrongs they have done to you, your Father in heaven will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive the wrongs you have done.” Matthew 6:14-15 (GNT)

You can find my February Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

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 Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

Practical Advice on How to Study the Bible

man reading BibleWith a new year just getting underway, perhaps you are looking for practical advice on how to study the Bible. Taken from Corrie ten Boom’s writings in the book God is My Hiding Place, here are some suggestions which might help.

  • Realize the Bible is God’s love letter to you. It is a living book full of rich treasures.
  • Ask the Holy Spirit for his help in reading it.
  • Choose a book to study and read one chapter or part of a chapter.
  • Ask yourself what the most beautiful verse was to you and why.
  • Look through the passage again and consider whether there is a promise for you in that section. A verse that seems to leap from the page and excite you or fill you with faith.
  • Examine the passage to see if there is a warning in it that you need to pay attention to or implement in your life.
  • Ask yourself whether a prayer came into your heart while reading a particular verse of section.

Corrie concludes that Bible study is not difficult. Understanding the Bible does not depend on the wisdom of our minds. We must not worry about what we do not understand in the Bible. Instead, we should be concerned about what we do understand but do not live by.

Amen?

Do you have a particular method for studying the Bible? What has and what has not worked for you?

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.

The whole Bible was given to us by inspiration from God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives; it straightens us out and helps us do what is right. It is God’s way of making us well prepared at every point, fully equipped to do good to everyone. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (TLB)

You can find my January Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

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!

Photo by Aaron Owens on Unsplash.

It’s Almost Christmas

Christmas decorated streetIt’s almost Christmas. Only two more days to go. In nine more days we enter into a new year. How did it get to be the end of 2021 so soon? I’m still trying to figure out what happened to 2020.

With those thoughts in mind, I would like to give you a few quotes to remind us why we celebrate the birth of our Savior, in the hope we remember the reason for the holiday every day throughout 2022.

“Who can add to Christmas? The perfect motive is that God so loved the world. The perfect gift is that He gave His only Son. The only requirement is to believe in Him. The reward of faith is that you shall have everlasting life.” ~ Corrie Ten Boom

“Christmas is that moment in time when God, in His unconditional love, stepped out of heaven onto earth, in order that we might one day step out of earth into heaven.” ~ Charles F. Stanley

“The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God.” ~ C.S. Lewis

“How many observe Christ’s birthday! How few, his precepts! O! ’tis easier to keep holidays than commandments.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

“We tend to focus our attention at Christmas on the infancy of Christ. The greater truth of the holiday is His deity. More astonishing than a baby in the manger is the truth that this promised baby is the omnipotent Creator of the heavens and the earth!” ~ John F. MacArthur, Jr.

“The very purpose of Christ’s coming into the world was that he might offer up his life as a sacrifice for the sins of men. He came to die. This is the heart of Christmas.” ~ Rev. Billy Graham

“The Almighty appeared on earth as a helpless human baby, needing to be fed and changed and taught to talk like any other child. The more you think about it, the more staggering it gets. Nothing in fiction is so fantastic as this truth of the Incarnation.” ~ J.I. Packer

Which of these quotes is your favorite?

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.

He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God. So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. John 1:10-14 (NLT)

You can find my December Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

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 Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

Thankful for the Fleas

man praying

Thankful for the fleas? Seriously? Betsie and Corrie ten Boom were.

Near the end of World War II when Corrie ten Boom and her sister Betsie first entered their barracks at the notorious women’s death camp, Ravensbruck, where over ninety-six thousand women died, besides the stench of backed up plumbing and rancid bedding, they discovered their new residence was swarming with fleas. As Betsie prayed, she told Corrie they were to be thankful in all circumstances. Even for the fleas.

Corrie agreed to be thankful the two of them were still together. She agreed to be thankful they were able to smuggle in their Bible. But when Betsie told Corrie to be thankful for the fleas, she balked. Surely God did not expect Corrie to be thankful for the fleas that bit her.

It wasn’t until Betsie was assigned to a knitting job in their barracks with some of the other prisoners, that Corrie understood to be thankful for the fleas. You see, because of the fleas, the guards refused to enter the barracks. Without the guards coming in, Betsie was able to read aloud from their forbidden Bible to the other ladies in the group. Not only did the fleas allow Betsie to read the Bible to those around her, it also protected the women in the barracks from being assaulted by the male guards.

Not only during this time of Thanksgiving, but everyday, may we be like Betsie and Corrie. May we decide to be thankful for the fleas, however they manifest themselves in our lives.

Oh come, let us sing to the Lord!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.

Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
For the Lordis the great God,
And the great King above all gods.
In His hand are the deep places of the earth;
The heights of the hills are His also.
The sea is His, for He made it;
And His hands formed the dry land.

Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture,
And the sheep of His hand.

Today, if you will hear His voice:
“Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion,
As in the day of trial in the wilderness,
When your fathers tested Me;
They tried Me, though they saw My work.
For forty years I was grieved with that generation,
And said, ‘It is a people who go astray in their hearts,
And they do not know My ways.’
So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest.’ ” Psalm 95

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.

You can find my November Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

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!

Photo by Terren Hurst on Unsplash

God is My Hiding Place Book Review

Based on the writings of Holocaust concentration camp survivor, Corrie Ten Boom, God is My Hiding Place is a collection of 40 timeless devotions which are as applicable today as they were when Corrie wrote them before her death on her 91st birthday in 1983.

Full of encouragement and simple truths, this is a devotional book to keep close by on a shelf to read over and over.

Within the 40 devotions are rich pull-out quotes gems to hold onto. One of my favorites is The center of God’s will is the safest place for me to be. In this devotion, Corrie relates how during the war, after she was released from Ravensbruck, a man asked Corrie to go back to the prison with him to seek release for a friend. Through circumstances while there, she realized this was not the work God had called her to. She says, We must be careful not to hold on to what we had when God calls us to move on.

But the devotional thought I hold dearest is this. When we are willing and obedient, He bestows upon us the wisdom, strength and courage of heaven. We are never too old to begin something new when we do it with Him.

I highly recommend God is My Hiding Place to all those in search of devotions to strengthen their faith.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

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

You can find my October Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

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!

Why We Celebrate Jesus’ Birth

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Once again Christmas has come and gone.

As we put Christmas 2016 behind us for another year, here are a few quotes to remind us why we celebrated the birth of our Savior two days ago, in the hope we remember the reason for the holiday everyday throughout 2017.

“Who can add to Christmas? The perfect motive is that God so loved the world. The perfect gift is that He gave His only Son. The only requirement is to believe in Him. The reward of faith is that you shall have everlasting life.” ~ Corrie Ten Boom

“Christmas is that moment in time when God, in His unconditional love, stepped out of heaven onto earth, in order that we might one day step out of earth into heaven.” ~ Charles F. Stanley

“The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God.” ~ C.S. Lewis

“How many observe Christ’s birthday! How few, his precepts! O! ’tis easier to keep holidays than commandments.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

“We tend to focus our attention at Christmas on the infancy of Christ. The greater truth of the holiday is His deity. More astonishing than a baby in the manger is the truth that this promised baby is the omnipotent Creator of the heavens and the earth!” ~ John F. MacArthur, Jr.

“The very purpose of Christ’s coming into the world was that he might offer up his life as a sacrifice for the sins of men. He came to die. This is the heart of Christmas.” ~ Rev. Billy Graham

“The Christ child in the manger is forever an indication of the great lengths God will go to reconcile his creation, a savior willing to descend that we might be able to ascend with him…” ~ Ravi Zacharia

“The Almighty appeared on earth as a helpless human baby, needing to be fed and changed and taught to talk like any other child. The more you think about it, the more staggering it gets. Nothing in fiction is so fantastic as this truth of the Incarnation.” ~ J.I. Packer

Which of these quotes is your favorite?

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.

 He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God. So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. John 1:10-14 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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