On Christ The Solid Rock

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Here in the Houston, Texas area the last week of August was a memorable one. It was the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey. That unprecedented catastrophic event which still has some unable to return to their homes which were flooded.

If you missed it, here’s one of the posts I wrote at that time.

For some around here, even the thought of a downpour brings back the fear and uncertainty they lived with during the deluge and rising waters of Harvey. PTSD for those who lost so much is a very real thing when the weather forecast calls for heavy rain.

We don’t need to go through something as terrible as a hurricane, however, to understand the importance of firmly grounding our lives on Christ the Solid Rock.

Everyday events can be enough to shake us. Clouds of uncertainty gather overhead. Winds of change toss us about. Waters of deep struggles rise and threaten to drown us.

Fears of every imaginable kind tug at us and throw us off balance.

As I write this, friends and family members face job uncertainty, the prospect of losing their home, severe health concerns for themselves and loved ones, cancer, heart surgery, betrayal, emotional stress and physical stress from demanding situations.

I’m sure you can add to this list. None of us is immune to the effects of living in a fallen world.

But the hope we cling to. The truth we remember. The anchor for our soul is the good news we are loved by a living God who spoke the world into being.

A God who controls the winds and the rains.

A God who allowed his only son, Jesus, to take the curse of a fallen world from us and placed our feet on the Solid Rock, so when the waters of uncertainty and lose threaten to pull us under, our feet will stand firm on him.

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But the solid foundation that God has laid cannot be shaken; and on it are written these words: “The Lord knows those who are his” and “Those who say that they belong to the Lord must turn away from wrongdoing.” (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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[bctt tweet=”You don’t need to go through something as terrible as a hurricane to understand the importance of firmly grounding our lives on Christ the Solid Rock. ” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

Step Aside

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Watching the Winter Olympic Games got me thinking about how the Olympic Torch is handed off. After each person does their job, they step aside, much like runners in a relay race.

That thought took me to look at Moses and David. Near the end of both their lives, one thing they pursued was not theirs to complete. God chose another to fulfill what these two dreamed would be there’s.

For forty years Moses led the Israelites from Egypt to the Promised Land of Canaan, which the Lord promised his people. But as Moses stood at the entrance to the land, God told Moses he would not lead the people in. Joshua would.

From the time David was king, maybe even before, he dreamed of building a temple for the Lord his God. He had magnificent plans for a building that would surpass all others. One fit for the presence of Jehovah God.

But God had other plans.

God did not let David build the temple. Instead, God chose David’s son, Solomon, to build it.

I imagine both of these men were crushed at the outcome of their service and work for God. We see no grumbling or complaining to the fact, however. What we do see is these two men of God accepted his decision, and stepped aside for the one who came after them.

They didn’t selfishly insist on fulfilling the own ambitions. They didn’t get in the way of the one God chose to complete the task. They simple handed off the baton, and stepped aside so someone else, a person of God’s choosing, would complete the race they began.

Maybe we’ve come right to the gate of our long-held dreams, only to have God hand the baton to someone else to complete the race.

How do we respond when that happens? Do we, like Moses and David, step aside, or do we cling to what we believe is our right and refuse to yield the project to someone else when it’s their turn?

Finishing well does not always mean seeing a project through to completion. Sometimes it means we step aside so others can share in the glory of the task God called us to begin.

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I planted the seed, Apollos watered the plant, but it was God who made the plant grow. The one who plants and the one who waters really do not matter. It is God who matters, because he makes the plant grow. There is no difference between the one who plants and the one who waters; God will reward each one according to the work each has done. 1 Corinthians 3:6-8 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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[bctt tweet=”The Winter Olympic Games got me thinking about how the torch is handed off. After each person does their job, they step aside. ” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

Jesus Forgives Us

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Recently, a friend and I discussed how easy it is to acknowledge the truth Jesus forgives us, yet not forgive ourselves. We believe God forgives those who come to him in full repentance, turn from their sins and claim Jesus as Lord, yet we often don’t extend that forgiveness to ourselves. It’s as if we want to keep feeling lousy for our sins because we rationalize after all, we deserve it.

Reminds me of the Medieval monks and their excessive self-criticism and self-flogging. Also reminds me Satan is hard at work to get those of us who belong to Jesus to doubt who God is. Did God really say ALL your sins were forgiven? What about the time … ?

We know in our heart we’re forgiven. We’re no longer bound by the chains Satan wraps around us, yet we  might feel, for possibly one brief instant, God couldn’t possible forgive us.

Could he?

We have no problem believing God forgave someone with the absolute exact sin as ours, but forgive us?

Could it be we believe God’s grace can’t reach us?

Could it be we’ve allowed other’s opinions to define who we are, and we believe their lies we are unworthy, instead of believing God’s truth he loves us with an everlasting love?

Why can’t we just accept what God says about us and leave it at that?

Why do we keep holding onto things God’s told us he no longer remembers?

I don’t know. I don’t have answers. I just have questions. 🙂

My friend and I didn’t come up with any profound revelation on the matter. Just more questions.

That plus grateful thanks to Jesus for his willingness to be the Sacrificial Lamb who was slain for the sins of the world.

Jesus forgives us.

Yes. Jesus forgives us and loves us this we know. And aren’t we forever grateful?

Have you ever pondered such things?

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Praise the Lord! Give thanks to the Lord, because he is good; his love is eternal. Psalm 106:1 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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[bctt tweet=”We believe Jesus forgives us, yet we often don’t extend that forgiveness to ourselves. It’s as if want to keep feeling lousy for our sins.” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

Work In Progress

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

In the writing world a Work in Progress, or WIP, is the story or article we happen to be working on at the moment. It is unfinished.

We usually know what we want to write when we begin. We have characters and a story line in mind. Most of the time we head off in the right direction with a happily ever after planned. Sometimes, however, the characters in our stories take on a life of their own, and morph into something we hadn’t expected. They just won’t behave.

Perhaps an unexpected monster raises its head and traps the fair maiden or gallant knight, threatening their happily ever after ending. Or the characters foolishly walk into situations they should have stayed away from.

When that happens, writers step back, take another look at our story, figure out how our characters got themselves into the situation they are in, come up with a solution, and then forge ahead.

Until we pen the final word of our story, it is not finished. It remains a work in progress. No matter how detailed or outlined it may have been at the beginning, something can always be added or subtracted before the end.

In writing the story of our life, God’s plan is perfect. He has a happily ever after ending planned for us. Sometimes, though, we think we know better, take the pen into our hands, and try to write it our own way.

We know what God expects from us and are determined to do it, but then something happens that knocks us off track; either through our willfulness or the actions of others. Before we know it, an unexpected monster raises its ugly head and traps us until God comes in with his eraser, rewrites the scene, and sets us on the correct path again.

You and I are works in progress. WIPs. Until God writes The End, we’re unfinished.

Once we accept Jesus as our personal Savior Lord and King, our happily ever after is waiting no matter what twists and turns we might take to get there.

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For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us]. Ephesians :10 (AMP)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Perhaps you watched the Peach Bowl Championship game yesterday? Yep. Those are Pilot, Pie, and my UNDEFEATED UCF Knights with their happily ever after 2017 football season. Go Knights!

[bctt tweet=”Work In Progress” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

God Doesn’t Judge As Men Judge

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Shang was the runt of the litter and not worth keeping. At least that’s how my dog-breeder sister judged him. Marie had little hope for the small German Shepherd puppy when he was born. Because my sister doubted she would be able to sell Shang, Marie gave us her cast-off. And am I ever glad.

I loved this puppy and he loved me back. He was perfect. Shang followed me around and protected me from anyone or anything that threatened to harm me. That included my brother, which made me especially happy.

Through Shang’s first year he proved Marie a bad judge of his potential. Shang grew to over 100 pounds, and when he stood on his hind legs and placed his paws on my shoulders, he could look me in the eye. If Shang was a runt, I didn’t want to see how big he could be if he wasn’t.

My oldest sister made the same error a lot of us do. We look at someone and judge their potential based on what they look like, the clothes they wear, the color of their skin, where they live, how much money they have …

Often, we write people off as runts without taking the time to get to know who they really are. Fortunately for us, that’s not how God judges.

God sent Samuel the prophet on a mission to the town of Bethlehem, to the home of Jesse. As Samuel listened for God to tell him which of Jesse’s sons to anoint as Israel’s future king, Samuel discovered God does not judge as men judge. God does not judge on outward appearance the way Samuel judged. God judges on what lies within a person’s heart.

When Samuel saw how handsome Jesse’s sons were, he thought surely one of them was God’s chosen. But they weren’t. No one had even bothered to call God’s chosen, David, in from the sheep fields to be included in the prophet’s selection process. That’s how little David’s father, Jesse, thought of his runt.

Because I didn’t judge as man judges, I didn’t base Shang’s worth on what he looked like when he first came into my life. Nor did I base his worth on someone else’s assessment of his potential. It would not have matter to me if Shang remained small for his bred. I would have loved him no matter what.

God doesn’t measure our worth based on what we look like. It’s what’s inside our heart that matters to him. Are we passionate for Christ? Do we desire God above all other persons or things? Are we willing to do what God asks of us? Those are the things God looks at.

Outward appearances don’t fool God. He knows what we’re really like. And he loves us no matter what.

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But God told Samuel, “Looks aren’t everything. Don’t be impressed with his looks and stature. I’ve already eliminated him. God judges persons differently than humans do. Men and women look at the face; God looks into the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 (The Message)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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