Dogs or Equals?

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

After conducting some rather unscientific research that left me pondering, I’ve concluded there are two types of dog owners. Those who consider their dogs dogs. And those who consider their dogs equals.

This is not a commentary on which is correct. Just an observation I’ve discussed with Baxter’s vet, who happens to agree with me. ūüėČ

Thinking about dog owners who treat their pets as equals got me thinking about how we often treat God as our equal. You know what I mean?

 

We forget God is Sovereign over us, and act as if we’re on equal footing with him in all ways. Intellect. Ability. Wisdom. Holiness.

We act as if God is our best bud, our equal, and because of that, we don’t show him the proper respect he deserves.

We believe we’re entitled to whatever we want, and it’s God’s job to give it to us, regardless of how¬†he might feel about it.

 

We consider our life our own to live the way we want, and ignore the rules God established for us.

We ignore the fact without God we are nothing, and push him to the side until the time we need something.

 

God is not our equal.

He is the Sovereign LORD who sits upon his throne and graciously provides for our needs. We are dependent on him and the salvation he freely gives to all through his son Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection.

The moment we snarl at God, and begin to believe we are his equal is the moment we need to stop and remember HE is God and we are not.

This list is not exhaustive by any means. But it got me thinking. Hopefully, it got you thinking also. Tell us what you would add to the list.

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

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Shout with joy before the Lord, O¬†earth! Obey him gladly; come before him, singing with joy.Try to realize what this means‚ÄĒthe Lord is God! He made us‚ÄĒwe are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Psalm 100:1-3 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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The Refiner’s Fire

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Okay. I realize this is another post about fire, but believe me…I’m not a pyromaniac, or anything.

During a recent study of the Old Testament book of the prophet Malachi, I rediscovered something I’d learned long ago.

Malachi told the people the Day of the Lord would come. It would be a time when God would judge the sin of unbelievers, he would cleanse his people’s lives, and he would save his people.

In the process, God would refine and purify them like silver and gold.

His judgement against sin would be swift and impartial.

Those who did not fear God and filled their lives with wickedness would receive their just punishment.

Malachi also mentioned God would send his messenger, John the Baptist, to prepare the way of the Lord, Jesus.

Among the fascinating things I relearned during my study were the following:

  • The melting point of silver is about 1,760 degrees Fahrenheit
  • As molten silver is stirred, the lighter impurities rise to the top
  • The refiner scraps the impurities away
  • Not until the refiner sees his reflection in the molten metal is the metal pure and ready for his purposes

For those of us taught about God’s holy refining fire, we understand the illustration to represent our lives which God tests to a very significant degree to remove our impurities.

Jesus is the one who scrapes our impurities away by the power of his sacrificial blood shed on the cross of Calvary, when we accept his gift and claim him as Lord.

The part of this lesson which I’d forgotten is the last phase of the refiner’s process…the refiner doesn’t quit refining until he can see his own reflection in the molten silver of our lives shining back at him.

Wow.

Jesus loves us so much he will not leave us partially refined. He is going to keep working on us, stirring us up, removing our impurities until we reflect his image right back at him.

As I prepared to write the word dross, I looked up its definition. Here’s what I found:

1. Waste or impure matter.

2. The scum that forms on the surface of molten metal as a result of oxidation.

3. Worthless, commonplace, or trivial matter.

That’s what Jesus removes from us…our dross.

Worthless, impure scum that forms in our lives as the result of living in this fallen world.

When we are in the midst of the refining process it can be anything but pleasant.

I know.

Tortuous comes to mind.

But as Jesus heats us to 1,760 degrees, stirs us until our head spins and we cry out for relief, perhaps we need to remind ourselves he loves us too much to leave us with a coating of scum covering his reflection.

And really, we don’t want that either, do we?

Do you feel like you’re in the refiner’s furnace?

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.

He will come to judge like one who refines and purifies silver. As a metalworker refines silver and gold, so the Lord‘s messenger will purify the priests, so that they will bring to the Lord the right kind of offerings.¬†Then the offerings which the people of Judah and Jerusalem bring to the Lord will be pleasing to him, as they used to be in the past. Malachi 3:3-4 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Grand Prix Lessons

By Sandy Kirby Quandt

While Pilot and I attended our first Grand Prix race last weekend, compliments of our son, Pie who was involved with the event, I discovered several lessons which I believe we can  apply to our everyday life.

As this was our first time at the race Pilot and I wandered a bit before finding a great seat on Turn 2. Because of not knowing our way around, we took a side-track after the race that may have contributed to a major disappointment.

Lesson?

Study up ahead of time, no matter what it is we’re undertaking, to make the most of the moment. Be prepared.

  • Unless you want to be lapped and come in last, don’t tap your brakes before Turn 2

Every time a certain driver, who shall not be named, approached Turn 2 he slowed down before he proceeded.

Lesson?

We do that sometimes, don’t we? We’re not quite sure how to proceed. The life-turns look a little scary so we back off the gas and slow down. If we expect to win the race God’s set before us, we shouldn’t back off when the going looks frightening. Especially when we’ve been around the same turn 33 times.

  • Cautions are a time to clean the track

When the yellow flag came out the track-cleaning trucks took over. (I’m sure there’s a specific name for these trucks, but I don’t know what it it.)

Lesson?

There are times when junk gets spewed over our path that can do serious damage if we don’t stop and remove it.

  • Just because we were first yesterday doesn’t mean we’ll be first today

The driver who came in first on Saturday was the first driver to leave the race Sunday on lap two.

Lesson?

Don’t rest on our laurels. The great things we accomplished yesterday are history. Today is the present we are given to keep doing the great things God has planned for us. There’s no guarantee we’ll have a tomorrow. Do it today.

  • Every driver needs a pit crew

Oh, yeah. This is majorly important. Can you imagine a Grand Prix where the driver has to hop out, put gasoline and new tires on his car before getting back on the track?

Lesson?

We all need a support group. Not only a group who assist us physically with the flat tires of life and add gasoline when we’re running on fumes, but especially a pit crew of prayer warriors.

 

  • Even when you’re down 5 laps don’t give up

Our cautious driver from a previous point never gave up. Because of that, Pilot and I eagerly looked for him and found ourselves cheering for him the whole way.

Lesson?

Don’t give up. Never, never give up. Keep fighting. Stay in the race until the checkered flag flies.

  • You’ve got to finish the race to win

Two of my favorite drivers both hit the wall and left the race. One was knocked out on the final lap AAAGGGHHH!

Lesson?

It doesn’t matter how many times you’re in the lead going around the track, you’ve got to finish the race to win.

  • You never know what you’ll find

After the race Pilot made a wonderful discovery.  A dog sled! And a display for Iditarod musher, Dee Dee Jonrowe! One of my all time favs.

Lesson?

Keep our eyes open. The unexpected both good and bad, may catch us unaware just around the next corner.

  • Even in disappointment there can be reward

Unfortunately, Dee Dee had just left. This goes back to the first point…know the lay of the land. But…Sandra was there and she gifted me with an amazing book full of photographs taken by renowned Iditarod photographer, Jeff Schultz. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Lesson?

Don’t despair. Don’t grump. There’s no telling what treasures God may have hidden in our dark places.

  • Everybody has a fan

At the end of the race every car that passed the grand stands had cheering fans.

Lesson?

Even when it may not seem like it we’ve got a fan. Our greatest fan is Jesus who claps and cheers us on every second of every day.

  • Watch out for that pesky wall

As I mentioned earlier, my two favorite racers, except for the one who came in last ;), hit the wall and didn’t finish the race.

Lesson?

Watch out for those pesky walls that pop up and threaten to knock us out of the race. Keep our distance from the walls. Especially when others try to shove us into them.

So, there you have it. Lessons learned from my recent Grand Prix adventure.

What helps have you found that keep you on track in this race we call Life?

You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally. 1 Corinthians 9:24-25 (MSG)

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

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Tomorrow, July 4, 2014, I am the guest blogger on Inspire a Fire. Please stop by.

One of my devotions will appear on Christian Devotions July 5, 2014. Please stop by.

Pushing Too Hard

I’ve never been known for my high energy level. Compared to Energizer Bunny, Sissy, I’m standing still. That woman never slows down. Makes me tired just watching her. But, when I’m injured or sick, I put my efforts into over-drive. I don’t like being dependent. I try to push through. Soldier on. Keep going. Stiff upper lip, and all that.

In the past, I’ve made record-time recoveries from surgeries, and paid the price for that stupidity. During the rehab with my ORIF hip surgery, I was in danger of doing the same thing. Pushing too hard, and paying the unnecessary price for such stubbornness.

People who know about such things, instructed me to slow down. Rest more. Stop trying to do too much.

But that’s not wired into my DNA. Not when recovery is concerned. I don’t like feeling weak.

My hesitancy to lean on others finds its way into my relationship with God. It’s the same thing. I’m hesitant to lean on Him. I have this warped idea that I’m fine. Okay. Can muddle through on my own. WRONG!

There have been several times in my life where God has had to knock me to the ground to get my attention. November 30, 2013, being a very literal example.

I think God knocks our feet out from under us to remind us who’s in charge, in case we get too close to forgetting. I think He does it to remind us how fragile life is, in case we start to waste the days He has given us.

I think God knocks us to the ground to remind us how important the people around us are, in case we start to take them for granted. And I definitely believe God knocks us down, to show us how weak we truly are. That apart from Him and His power, love, mercy and grace, we can do nothing.

Ever been there, done that?

In my office, I have sticky notes all over the place. One note I wrote several years ago says, LORD, help me be strong enough to be weak. Don’t remember exactly what prompted me to have that thought, but it’s one worth remembering. We need the strength to give up our false belief we can do it on our own. We need the strength to admit we’re weak. That we need God’s help. His strength. His power.

Perhaps you’re in the same place. The good news is, we don’t have to pretend to be so strong. We don’t have to manage on our own.

There is someone who is waiting to carry our load. Help us manage. Help us navigate the craziness of this world. We’ve just got to be strong enough to admit our weakness, and accept his perfect strength.

How awesome is God as he comes from his sanctuary‚ÄĒthe God of Israel! He gives strength and power to his people.¬† Praise God! Psalm 68:35

I wish you well.

Sandy

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