When Gators Line Our Path

Earlier, I mentioned I broke my right hip while Pilot and I camped over Thanksgiving. What I didn’t mention were the gators which lined our path as we rode bikes mere hours before my fall.

This park in southeast Texas is known for its overabundance of alligators inhabiting the lakes in the park. That’s fine. I have no problem with gators staying where they belong.

In. The. Water.

The day after Thanksgiving, as we rode the trails around several lakes, we counted twelve gators ranging in length from three to over six feet within a fifteen minute period of time.

On. The. Trail. NOT in the water.

When we met some hikers who told us there were two six foot gators stretched across the full length of the trail facing each other up ahead, I was cautious. When we met a man who said he saw an eight to ten foot gator on the edge of the trail in front of us, I told Pilot I wanted to turn around.

Always the adventurer, Pilot thought we should keep going. I said no and turned around; realizing we’d still have to run the gauntlet of more alligators until we made our way clear of all lakes.

Each time I came upon one of these gators, I remembered what David told King Saul before David went out to face Goliath in battle. Substituting gators for lions and bears.

As far as I was concerned, these prehistoric reptiles where as big a threat as any lion or bear. I don’t care how sluggish they looked to the unsuspecting passer-by, I gave them as wide a berth as I could without running into the gator lying in wait on the other side of the trail.

And I didn’t care how much Pilot wanted to get up close and personal with the ten-footer, I wasn’t about to.

So I couldn’t help but laugh after I fell and broke my hip. I’d escaped harm from the mega-gator, only to break my hip back in the safety of our campsite. Too funny.

You may never have to stare down alligators which block your path, but I bet you’ve faced your share of tests, trials, and uncertainties which are just as fierce. Even more so.

None of us will get through this life unscathed without being touched by pain and sorrow.

Fortunately, we don’t have to travel down these paths alone. No matter where we are, what type of bear or lion or gator we face, God is with us when we call out to him. Whether we feel like it or not. He will never leave or forsake us. He is our rescuer, our shield, our defender.

It may feel like as soon as we move past one gator, there’s another, larger, one waiting around the bend. And there just might be.

The key, however, is to remember the God who already delivered us from the jaw of the previous gator will deliver us from the next.

Even if the next is a broken hip.

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“The Lord who saved me from the claws and teeth of the lion and the bear will save me from this Philistine!”

Saul finally consented, “All right, go ahead,” he said, “and may the Lord be with you!” 1 Samuel 17:37 (TLB)


I wish you well.


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During the Detours of Life

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Recently, I read an article by Tony Evans. In this article, Mr. Evans used Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego as an example of how God is with us during the detours of life.

How many times have we set out to accomplish something we feel God has called us to, only to hit an impasse and be sent another direction? Can I get an Amen?

In Mr. Evan’s article the point was brought out that God’s powerful presence was with the three men in a situation-the fiery furnace-that should have killed them, but didn’t. The same goes for those who claim Christ as their Savior. God’s powerful persevering and preserving power can help us through those fiery furnace detours of life we face.

I’d like to share Mr. Evan’s words from the article with you.

It is only when we align our understanding of obedience with God’s overarching sovereign hand of purpose (and even pruning) that we will be able to approach and go through our detours with faith, trust and dignity rather than doubt.

God didn’t keep Daniel from the lion’s den; He met him in it. He didn’t keep Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the fiery furnace; He joined them in it. He didn’t keep Joseph from being a slave to Potiphar; He gave him favor in it. And He met him in the prison as well. The proof in knowing you are where God wants you to be in your detour is that God doesn’t deliver you from it but rather joins you in it.

The next time we face one of those detours of life, whether God delivers us from it, or not, we can be confident no matter what, he is walking right alongside us in our detour.

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Suddenly the king jumped up and shouted, “Weren’t only three men tied up and thrown into the fire?”

“Yes, Your Majesty,” the people answered.

 “But I see four men walking around in the fire,” the king replied. “None of them is tied up or harmed, and the fourth one looks like a god.” Daniel 3:24-25 (CEV)

I wish you well.


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Jesus Carries Us


by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Perhaps you are familiar with the poem, Footprints in the Sand?

According to the website of Mary Stevenson, she is the anonymous author of the poem said to be written in 1936. Wikipedia says there could be several other authors of the poem.

Seems confusion abounds as to who wrote the poem, but whoever did pen it left a clear description of Jesus’ love for us that states Jesus never leaves, and oftentimes carries us through our struggles.

The Apostle Paul tells us whenever we are weak that’s a good thing, because when we are weak, then the power of Jesus works in us to make us strong.

Our strength does not come through anything we could possibly do on our own.

Our strength comes because Jesus is carrying us.

While there may be confusion as to who indeed penned Footprints in the Sand, there should be no confusion, whatsoever, that Jesus Christ does indeed carry us when we are too weak and weary to make the journey on our own.

When we find ourselves in a difficult place might I suggest we do what Jesus asks us to do?

Lay our burdens on him. Cast our cares his way. Lean into him and be comforted by his promise to never leave or forsake us. Jump into his loving arms and allow him to carry us.

As the poem says, it is at our lowest, most trying times in life that Jesus picks us up and carries us, burdens and all, until we have the strength to walk beside him.

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.

Give your burdens to the Lord. He will carry them. He will not permit the godly to slip or fall. Psalm 55:22 (TLB)

I wish you well.


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Do I Believe What I Write?

If you read my blog last December, then you are aware I did not celebrate Christmas 2013 in my usual way. Nope. Christmas 2013 found me nursing a broken left hip, courtesy of a freak fall I took November 30, 2013, in a Tallahassee, Florida gas station while trying, unsuccessfully, to contain a very skittish Bear.

As a result of the fall, emergency surgery was performed at our final destination, Waycross, Georgia, December 1, 2013.

Fortunately, I had all my December posts written and in place before we started our trip.

As I sat on the couch last December and re-read everything I’d written as the posts came out, I was forced to ponder several things. Primary among the ponderings was do I believe what I write to be true?

During a season where we did not put up a tree because my walker couldn’t get around it, and decorations were very limited…presents were gift cards, because I hadn’t done my shopping before Thanksgiving…highly anticipated events — there were three big ones, several smaller ones — were missed because I just didn’t have the strength to handle them…and, I was unable to bake my favorite Christmas dessert…in light of all of this do I really, truly, believe Christmas is about the cross?

Oh, and did I mention Pilot came down with a stomach virus the second week of December, mere days after we returned home from Georgia, yet found the strength to get to the guest room to help me when I muttered to myself I’m stuck, as I floundered like a turtle on its back trying to get out of the bed?

Or tell you about the disastrous two-week dishwasher delivery that began the day after we returned?

Or tell you about the washing machine drain that backed up and gushed water all over the laundry room floor?

Or relate the tale of the two-month-long-delayed foundation repairs to our house?

For me, although I was surrounded by God’s daily mercies, no matter how hard I tried, it was a struggle not to let the disappointments that abounded sink me into a deep, dark, depression.

So I pondered…

Do I really believe what posted December 3, 2013?

Just as God heard the cries of his people all those years ago, he hears our cries today. Jesus is as real today, as he was yesterday, and as he will be tomorrow. He is our deliverer. Only he can remove our shackles.

Do I really believe what posted December 5, 2013?

What if there was someone we could hand all our problems and cares over to, and he’d take care of everything. He’d walk along beside us, and support us every second of every day. And give us peace in the process. Wouldn’t we want to be around him?

Do I really believe what posted December 12, 2013?

Just as God used these five women, he can use us. We can all be redeemed, and put back together through his grace. All we have to do is have faith enough to say yes to God, and his son, Jesus Christ.

Do I really believe what posted December 19, 2013?

God continues to use his people to accomplish his plans. We won’t give birth to the Messiah, but like Mary, we carry Christ inside us, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Once we claim Jesus as our LORD and Savior, it then becomes our responsibility to praise God for the great things he has done for us through his love, mercy and grace, and share that wonder with those around us.

Most importantly, do I believe what I penned sometime in September, 2013, that posted December 24, 2013?

Next to the manger scene I set up each December, hangs a cross, and a crown of thorns. Lest I get caught up in the presents, the baking, the decorations, and the carols, I need a reminder in front of me. Christmas is about much more than a baby, gifts, and family. Christmas is about the cross. It’s about the sacrifice, the suffering, and the Savior who died and rose again so we might live.

Yes. Yes I do believe the truth Jesus led me to write months before I stared up at the clouds from a parking lot in Tallahassee, Florida.

Even though Christmas 2013 has come and gone, and Christmas 2014 will soon be a memory, no matter where life might find us right now, I hope we all believe this Christmas and every Christmas that follows…it’s about the cross.

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.

This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.             John 3:16-17 (MSG)

I wish you well.


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Sometimes God Comes in the Clouds

Sissy lives in the lightning capitol of the world, and is well accustomed to storm clouds. She’s had more than her fair share of life-storms, as well. Next week, Sissy is facing majorly serious surgery. For those of you who are so inclined, I would sincerely appreciate your prayers on her behalf.

Sissy told Chief she wasn’t trying to compete with me to see who gets the most metal surgically implanted in their bodies. I told her she could win…don’t want any more metal in me, thank you very much.

But, you know what? I’ve lived in that very same lightning capitol, and equally dealt with more than enough life-storms. What I’ve observed, however, is the sun does eventually come back out. Maybe not as soon as we’d like, but it does come back out. You can count on it. And if you look hard enough, sometimes, you even get to see a rainbow, or two.

Near the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry, he took three of his closest followers up a high mountain. While on that mountain, Peter, James and John witnessed something no other human had ever seen. Right before their eyes, Jesus was transfigured…his appearance changed. His face shone like the sun. The brilliance surrounding him was nothing man could create. It was from God. (Matt 17:1-13, Mark 9:2-13, Luke 9:28-36)

Then, who should appear out of nowhere? Moses and Elijah. Oh, yeah. This was definitely a God-thing.

So, Peter gets really excited, and decides three shelters should be built. One for Jesus. One for Moses. One for Elijah. While Peter was still making plans for these structures, a bright cloud enveloped them, and God spoke. After the disciples picked themselves up off the ground, literally, there was no one with them except Jesus.

And he was more than enough.

Storm clouds of life come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. They can hover over us, or hover over our loved ones. They can blot out the sun and leave us dreary and depressed. They can seem foreboding and impenetrable. Just like the disciples on the mount discovered, God can speak through the clouds, if he’s so inclined.

Whatever cloud is blocking your sunshine right now, don’t give up. Don’t give in. Remember everything God’s already brought you through. Remember he will never leave or forsake you. No matter how dark the clouds become, Jesus is always right there with you.

Suddenly, when they (Peter, James and John) looked around, Moses and Elijah were gone, and they saw only Jesus with them. Mark 9:8 (NLT)

I wish you well.


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