Wishful Thinking

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

In last Thursday’s post, Complain, Complain, Complain I wrote I would refrain from eating dairy for 3 weeks per my doctor’s orders. Actually, I have to be dairy-free for at least 3 MONTHS. Guess I was guilty of wishful thinking.

Webster’s online dictionary defines wishful thinking as an attitude or belief that something you want to happen will happen even though it is not likely or possible.

In 4th grade I prayed, hoped, dreamed I would not come in last place in my backstroke heat during our swim meet.

Wishful thinking.

When I finally hauled myself out of the pool, I was grateful I didn’t drown in the last lap.

In junior high I tried out for cheer leading.

Wishful thinking.

I did end up on the pom pom squad in high school, though.

When I completed my middle grade historical novel…I use the term completed loosely…I knew for a fact the first editor who set eyes on the masterpiece would snap it up in an instant.

Wishful thinking.

I would be embarrassed if it published at that time.

Some people feel it is wishful thinking to believe our sins can be forgiven and the chains of guilt and condemnation Satan throws on us removed.

They can’t or won’t accept the free gift of grace Jesus offers through his sacrifice, resurrection, and ascension into heaven where he sits at God’s right hand pleading our case daily. They falsely believe there has to be more to it than a confession of faith in Jesus as Redeemer, Savior, Lord and King.

Believing we can receive forgiveness and grace is not wishful thinking. It’s the truth. Jesus paid the price for the debt we owed but could never pay. It is by grace we have been saved through Christ, not by works.

I don’t think I’m the only one guilty of wishful thinking, so share the things you’ve thought wishfully about obtaining or achieving during your lifetime.

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.

But now God has shown us a different way to heaven—not by “being good enough” and trying to keep his laws, but by a new way (though not new, really, for the Scriptures told about it long ago). Now God says he will accept and acquit us—declare us “not guilty”—if we trust Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, by coming to Christ, no matter who we are or what we have been like. Yes, all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious ideal;  yet now God declares us “not guilty” of offending him if we trust in Jesus Christ, who in his kindness freely takes away our sins.  For God sent Christ Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to end all God’s anger against us. He used Christ’s blood and our faith as the means of saving us from his wrath. In this way he was being entirely fair, even though he did not punish those who sinned in former times. For he was looking forward to the time when Christ would come and take away those sins. Romans 3:22-25 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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One of my posts will appear on Inspire a Fire today, July 7, 2015.

God’s Perfect Plan

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

While meditating on the Easter message of how God gave his son, Jesus, up on the cross of Calvary to save mankind from our sins, I thought about multiple things. One I’ll share here.

Sometimes we are called to surrender our loved ones to God’s plan, when that plan may not seem like the best plan to us.

Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase, “There will be hell to pay…” I never quite understood that phrase but knew it sounded dreadful, so I looked it up. It means “great trouble”. As in, Jesus’ great love for us and his obedience to the will of his Father caused great trouble, or hell to pay, when he bore God’s cup of wrath on his perfect sinless body so we, in all our sinfulness, wouldn’t have to.

In Andrew Peterson’s “The Chasing Song” one line is seared into my brain. He chased my sin to Calvary and he caught it on that hill.

Jesus paid hell to release us from Satan’s clutches.

God allowed his blessed son to endure the unimaginable. He gave Jesus up to the cross when that probably did not seem like the best plan to his disciples.

But thanks be to God for the sacrifice and resurrection! Major fist pump, here.

Often times as parents we might be hesitant to release our children to God’s perfect plan for their lives. Although we love them deeply, we need to realize God loves them more.

In thinking of Jesus, our Sacrificial Lamb who saves those covered by his blood, I thought of the Israelites in Egypt. I thought about the passover lamb whose blood spared those under it when the Death Angel passed over.

As is my way, I followed those thoughts and they led me to Jocebed, Moses’ mother. She knew God had a plan for his people, but didn’t know what that plan was.

When her son, Moses, was born I am positive it caused her great trouble to put her 3-month-old baby in a papyrus basket and place him along the reeds in the crocodile infested waters of the Nile River.

Jocebed’s love for her son left him in God’s loving hands. Not an easy task at times.

Has God called you to release someone precious to you so he can work in that person’s life to complete his perfect plan in and through them? Has God asked you to give them up to his loving heart? Is the releasing process causing you great trouble?

When asked to place our child in a papyrus basket, set it in a crocodile infested river, and leave him or her to the Father’s care, we can take heart and rest confidently in the fact God loves our children more than we ever could.

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.

About this time, a man and woman from the tribe of Levi got married. The woman became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She saw that he was a special baby and kept him hidden for three months. But when she could no longer hide him, she got a basket made of papyrus reeds and waterproofed it with tar and pitch. She put the baby in the basket and laid it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile River. Exodus 2:1-3 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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One of my posts will appear on Inspire a Fire today. Please stop by and check it out.

No Fairy Tale

bing imagesBy Sandy Kirby Quandt

What do you look for in a story? A fantastic setting that whisks you away? A scene so real you can smell the air around it? Characters you easily relate to? A plot with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing? A hero or heroine so incredibly wonderful you can’t help but fall in love with them? A villain so vile you can’t wait for him to be destroyed?

Writers invent settings, scenes, characters and plots that, hopefully, will entrance readers Bing Imagesand have them turning pages until The End. It’s our job. It’s what we do. Sometimes we do it more successfully than at other times. But weaving words together in a pleasing way is the ultimate goal. We want to tell a good story with a satisfying ending.

Before I begin to craft my historical fiction worlds and characters, I do a lot of research. I plunge deep into resources to make sure I get the facts correct. My favorite type of resource is called primary. Those eyewitness records are not second-hand stories. They are not made up. They are true.

Bing images I read primary sources to get a feel for the experiences of those who lived in years past. I read diaries, letters, and first person accounts. I read old recipes and marvel at the cookware used. I visit historical museums. I walk battlefields that ran red. I look at photographs. I study mannequins’ clothing…

My goal in doing all of this is to experience the truth, the reality of what it was like to live in whatever time period I happen to be working on, so I can recreate that reality in my fiction.

The writers of the Bible were primary sources. They were eyewitnesses to the events that unfolded before them. Through the Holy Spirit’s inspiration, they were given the characters. The plot. The scenes. The twists and turns. The heroes and villains.

In the years following Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension back into heaven to sit on bing imageshis throne at God’s right hand, his followers were under attack. Many people accused them of inventing a clever story. Their testimony of a risen Lord was too fantastic. Too amazing. Too hard to believe. But it was the truth. It was real.

Instead of accepting the Apostles’ eyewitness testimony, people accused them of being deluded. They didn’t trust the primary source.

If we can visit museums, walk battlefields, and read diaries  written by people who lived centuries ago and believe the words on the page to be true, shouldn’t we believe and trust the words that are written in God’s Holy Word by eyewitnesses, when so much more depends on it ?

It isn’t a made up fairy tale, you know.

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.

We were not following a cleverly written-up story when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ—we actually saw his majesty with our own eyes. He received honour and glory from God the Father himself when that voice said to him, out of the sublime glory of Heaven, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’. 2 Peter 1:16-17 (Phillips)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Christian Devotions Needs Your Help

Isaiah 40Friends, the following is information regarding a Cyber Attack on Christian Devotions website which I hope you will read, pray about, and contribute too, if at all possible.

On August 17, www.christiandevotions.us experienced a cyber attack that corrupted all their website files. This attack corrupted www.inspireafire.com, www.devokids.com & Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas sites as well. However, their primary site of Christian Devotions was lost in its entirety.

Christian Devotions is delivered to over 3,000 individuals. As long as the site is down, these folk do not have the opportunity to read their daily devotions. For some, this is their only exposure to the Word of God.

A campaign entitled, Rise from the Ashes, has begun to raise the $1,500.00 needed to rebuild and secure the site. Currently they are at the 1/2 way point.

Christian Devotions is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. All donations are tax deductible. Visit their campaign Rise from the Ashes to learn more, and help them restore their site so the Word of God can be sent around the world once again.

Please share the link with your friends on Facebook and Twitter as well.

As an unpaid contributing author for both Christian Devotions and Inspire a Fire, I truly believe in their ministry of getting the Word of God out to the world, and ask you to consider ways you might be able to help.

• PRAY for Cindy Sproles and Eddie Jones and this ministry
• Visit the temporary site www.christiandevotions.us – encourage your friends to visit. Traffic to the site welcomes new eyes on the purpose of the ministry – to read devotions that teach, comfort and heal.
• Share this need on your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Help raise the funds to rebuild a professional site that will serve God for years to come.
• You can use the Indiegogo share tools too.

Thank you for remembering Christian Devotions, Cindy, and Eddie in your prayers. It is much appreciated.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Is This Opportunity My Assignment?

By Sandy Kirby Quandt

Lysa TerKeurst of Proverbs 31 Ministries recently wrote something I found profound. “Not every opportunity is meant to be my assignment.”

I don’t know about you, but this is an area I’ve had problems navigating. Someone asks me to do something and I feel compelled to comply, regardless of how that something will impact my life or the lives of those around me.

Serve on this committee? Sure thing…even though it means one more evening away from home.

Be an active member of this ministry? Sure thing…even though I do not have the strength or the energy.

 

Volunteer to house, feed, clothe? Sure thing…even though it will stretch my resources to the breaking point.

Take on one more extra task at work? Sure thing…even though I’m barely keeping my head above water as it is.

Attend an event with friends? Sure thing…even though relationships are strained and it will cost me emotionally.

Most of us want to be available to others. We want to be active participants in worthy causes. We truly do. Sometimes, though, in our eagerness to please, we overlook our own needs.

As Lysa states, just because an opportunity arises it doesn’t necessarily mean it is our assignment to complete.

In the third grade, I asked my teacher for extra math worksheets so I could practice. The worksheets were opportunities for me to learn and improve. The math problems were not assignments. And as weird as it may seem, especially given my aversion to math, I really enjoyed doing the extra work. I even audited a math college class for the same reason. It was not assigned. Neither of those opportunities cost me anything I couldn’t afford to give, and I reaped a benefit.

But there have been way too many times I’ve looked at opportunities as missions from God, as the Blues Brothers said, and paid for not seeing the opportunities were not my assignments to take on.

In Lysa’s post she offers 5 questions to ask ourselves in evaluating our situations.

1. Do I have the resources to handle this request along with my current responsibilities?

2. Could this fit physically?

3. Could this fit financially?

4. Could this fit spiritually?

5. Could this fit emotionally?

Important questions to ponder. Wouldn’t you agree?

The next time we are asked to do something, maybe we should use Lysa’s 5 questions to filter our decisions.

Maybe we better think …

Leave your 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 want to build a tower, you first sit down and decide how much it will cost, to see if you have enough money to finish the job. If you don’t, you might lay the foundation, but you would not be able to finish. Then all who would see it would make fun of you, saying, ‘This person began to build but was not able to finish.’  Luke 14:28-30 (NCV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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One of my posts will appear on Inspire a Fire Tuesday, August 12, 2014. Please stop by and check it out.

Here you go, Girlfriend. u know 🙂