The Bus Isn’t Leaving

On October 30, 2021, our sweet friend and neighbor, Ron Staley, was handed the keys to his mansion in Glory. He is survived by his wife Marsha, daughter Lynn, son Jim, 5 grandchildren, and sister. Plus his best little buddy, Jo-Jo.

I’m not sure how long it will be before I stop looking across the street to wave at Ron, expecting him to greet me with a big smile and thumbs up in return. I expect it to be quite some time, though.

During Ron’s memorial service this past Saturday, one of his nephews said when Ron watched his son and daughter, whom he coached, play tennis, if they missed a point, Ron reacted as if he missed the point. If they scored a point, Ron reacted as if he scored the point.

Referencing Psalm 23, he went on to say that’s what a good leader, a good shepherd, does. A good shepherd feels what we feel. He mourns when we mourn. He rejoices when we rejoice.

I liked that picture of a good parent. A good leader. A good shepherd. Ron wasn’t distant in his children’s lives. He was an active participant. Coaching them not only through tennis, but through life as well.

It’s the same with our relationship with our Heavenly Father, isn’t it? God is not a distant father. He is an active, hands-on, walk alongside us coach. A Father who wants us to do our best. In those times when we can’t return a shot and miss a point, God aches with us. In those times when we score the point and win the match, God celebrates with us.

Ron’s daughter shared some of the lessons she learned from her father. Here are a few of the things on Lynn’s list, to give you a brief glimpse of the man she called dad.

  • Always give your best effort.
  • Always have a Plan B.
  • Give people the benefit of the doubt until they prove you wrong.
  • Everyone is dealing with something.
  • There are two sides to every story.
  • Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.

Although you may have heard most, if not all, of the above sayings before, I’m thinking you may not have heard this last one. “The bus isn’t leaving.” (Stop rushing.) I can almost hear Ron, in his Reading, Pennsylvania accent, say that.

And maybe, our Father in Heaven might say the same thing to us. Stop rushing through this life. The bus isn’t leaving quite yet. Pay attention to those around you. Lean in. Take time to listen to their stories. Lend a hand when you can. Ache when they ache. Celebrate when they celebrate. We’re all in this together.

As far as I know, Ron never said the following to Lynn, but it’s something my dad said to me, and I’d like to share it in this post. “Life’s too short to hold a grudge.”

Ron will be dearly missed by his family and all those who knew him. Pilot and I consider it a deep privilege to have called him friend.

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 not your heart be troubled. You are trusting God, now trust in me. There are many homes up there where my Father lives, and I am going to prepare them for your coming. When everything is ready, then I will come and get you, so that you can always be with me where I am. If this weren’t so, I would tell you plainly. And you know where I am going and how to get there.” John 14:1-4 (TLB)

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

I wish you well.

Sandy

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When Our Heart Is Troubled

courtesy pexelsRecently, my heart has struggled not to be troubled. Whether real or imagined, multiple things conspired to trouble my heart. As soon as I believed I put one trouble to rest, another popped up with greater vengeance, and another, and another…

This past Sunday I recited a verse from John 14 which tells us not to let our hearts be troubled. Monday morning, while looking for a document in my computer writing folder, a blog post I wrote several years ago popped out at me. The post was titled “Don’t Allow Your Heart To Be Troubled”. Then, when I found the article I looked for, an article I wrote about an event in my life which took place over four decades ago, the article pretty much said the same thing in a different way.

That is when I realized maybe someone else needs a reminder God is in control, and therefore, we need not be troubled.

With that in mind, the following is a re-posting of the original Woven and Spun blog post from June 25, 2017.

Last month multiple things conspired to steal my joy right out from under me. And I let them. For awhile.

As I lamented with several friends about how I felt, one sweet friend told me something profound. She said, don’t let your heart be troubled. Another told me something equally important. Be gentle and give myself grace. Wise women.

Today I’m going to look further into the thought of not letting our hearts be troubled.

You need to understand, the verse my friend alluded to is one of my absolute all-time favorite passages of Scripture. I memorized the King James Version of John 14:1-4 when I was in elementary school. Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me…

I’ve repeated that passage to myself countless times over the decades.

Yet, it wasn’t until my friend moved the emphasis onto the word let that I saw this verse in a whole different light.

Thank you, Jesus.

Up until that time I thought of let as don’t worry. I never looked at it as I have the power to decide whether my heart is troubled, or not. Wow.

It’s up to us whether we allow our hearts to be troubled. We have the power through the Holy Spirit who lives in us not to let our hearts be troubled. It’s a choice. We aren’t defenseless victims. We are more than conquerors.

Oh, how very grateful I am for that reaffirmation of truth.

So, my friends, if you find yourself in a place where the things of life are doing their best to pull you under, be gentle and give yourself grace.

And remember what Jesus told his disciples, and us. Do not let your hearts be troubled.

My devotion, Loving Prickly People, is on Inspire a Fire today, February 4, 2020. I’d love for you to stop by and read it.

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.

“Do not let your heart be troubled (afraid, cowardly). Believe [confidently] in God and trust in Him, [have faith, hold on to it, rely on it, keep going and] believe also in Me.  In My Father’s house are many dwelling places. If it were not so, I would have told you, because I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and I will take you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also. And [to the place] where I am going, you know the way.” John 14:1-4 (AMP)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — Don’t Allow Your Heart To Be Troubled

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Last month multiple things conspired to steal my joy right out from under me. And I let them. For awhile.

As I lamented with several friends about how I felt, one sweet friend told me something profound. She said, don’t let your heart be troubled. Another told me something equally important; be gentle and give myself grace. Wise women.

Today I’m going to look further into the thought of not letting our hearts be troubled.

You need to understand; the verse my friend alluded to is one of my absolute all-time favorite passages of Scripture. I memorized the King James Version of John 14:1-4 when I was in elementary school. Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me … I’ve repeated that passage to myself countless times over the decades.

Yet, it wasn’t until my friend moved the emphasis onto the word let that I saw this verse in a whole different light.

Thank you, Jesus.

Up until that time I thought of let as don’t worry. I never looked at it as I have the power to decide whether my heart is troubled, or not. Wow.

It’s up to us whether we allow our hearts to be troubled. We have the power through the Holy Spirit who lives in us not to let our hearts be troubled. It’s a choice. We aren’t defenseless victims. We are more than conquerors. Oh, how very grateful I am for that reaffirmation of truth.

So, my friends, if you find yourself in a place where the things of life are doing their best to pull you under, be gentle and give yourself grace, and remember what Jesus told his disciples; and us. Do not let your hearts be troubled.

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.

“Do not let your heart be troubled (afraid, cowardly). Believe [confidently] in God and trust in Him, [have faith, hold on to it, rely on it, keep going and] believe also in Me.  In My Father’s house are many dwelling places. If it were not so, I would have told you, because I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and I will take you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also. And [to the place] where I am going, you know the way.” John 14:1-4 (AMP)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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God’s Love Is Not A Fairy Tale Story

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Perhaps you have a favorite fairy tale story. The story probably transported you to another time and another place. Most fairy tales have a love element with a happily ever after ending. And while the Bible is a love story with a happily ever after for those who know and love God, God’s love is not a fairy tale story. It is truth.

After a recent discussion with my son, Pie, today I’m taking another look at The Princess Bride, a fairy tale love story that ends with a happily ever after. It is a story I rank as most enjoyable. The movie has become a classic with as many favorite lines and scenes as there are people you could ask to name one. If you remember my earlier post about this story, I hope you won’t mind revisiting it with me today.

Westley’s “As you wish.” Vizzini’s “Inconceivable.” Inigo Montoya’s “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” Miracle Max’s line about a paper cut and lemon juice. Fezzik’s rhyming, or “I don’t think that means what you think it means.”

As easy as it is to rattle off a line from The Princess Bride, or any other pop culture media, I wonder … do we recite verses from God’s love story as readily?

For God so loved the world … There is now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus … Greater is he who is in us, than he who is in the world …

 

In The Princess Bride there are the Cliffs of Insanity. The Fire Swamp with its R.O.U.S. — Rodents of Unusual Size. The Pit of Despair. And, of course, the Castle.

I’m sure many of us have felt as if we were teetering on the cliffs of insanity, stranded in the fire swamp facing R.O.U.S., or trapped at the bottom of the pit of despair.

While in those dreadful places, we need to hang onto the truth. Jesus is preparing a place for us; a castle in the sky, where there will be no more pain. No more tears. No more sorrow. No more pits. And definitely no R.O.U.S.

 

At the heart of God’s love story is the love our Savior Jesus has for his bride the church. And the love our Heavenly Father has for us his children.

Inconceivable.

Westley promised Buttercup he would return for her. And he did. Jesus promised he would return for us. And he will.

Facing the cliffs of insanity, fire swamp, R.O.U. S., or pit of despair ? Hang on. Don’t give up. Hold tight to the promise Christ will return. God’s love is not a fairy tale story. It’s the truth.

“Have fun storming the castle!”

What’s your favorite fairy tale?

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.

Jesus said, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust in me. There are many rooms in my Father’s house; I would not tell you this if it were not true. I am going there to prepare a place for you. After I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me so that you may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”  John 14:1-4

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Going Home

By Sandy Kirby Quandt

Last week Pilot, Pie, and I stood in a small cemetery in Georgia and bid a loved one good-bye.

On November 6, 2014, Jesus escorted my mother, Edna Mae Hinson Kirby, (9/16/19 – 11/06/14) to her forever-home that he prepared just for her.

I imagine my dad is showing Mom around as they make their way down those streets paved with gold and introducing her to all his new friends.

I imagine friends and relatives who preceded Mom will eagerly embrace her and talk about all they’ve done since they last met.

At some point in time that only God knows I too, will leave this world and join them.

Some of you reading this have met my mother but for those who never had that privilege, I’d like to tell you an anecdote about her.

About a year and a half ago when Mom was seriously ill and very much near death, Pilot placed an order for a floral arrangement to be delivered to her hospital room.

The floral shop had already closed for the day that Saturday but the owner answered the phone anyway.

We’d ordered flowers from Sapp’s Florist several times before. The first time was for Mom’s 92nd birthday, mere weeks after she moved into the nursing home. I cried as I gave the owner Mom’s new permanent address. So maybe our phone number came up on his caller ID and he decided to answer. I don’t know why he took the call, but I’m glad he did.

The next day, Sunday, he hand delivered the flowers to Mom’s hospital room.

When I called that day to check on Mom I was surprised when she told me how the flowers had been delivered.

In typical Edna fashion Mom said, “When the man came into my room carrying that big ole bunch of flowers I wanted to tell him, “Lord, I’m not dead, yet!”

To which I replied, “If you’re doing that well, send the flowers back!”

That was my mom. Feisty to the end.

Mom has run her race and fought the good fight. She has left a legacy for those who come behind.

Her blood courses through my veins and through my son, Pie’s, veins and through all her descendants for generations to come.

Woven and spun.

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for my mother’s life and for knitting me together in her womb.

 “Let not your heart be troubled. You are trusting God, now trust in me. There are many homes up there where my Father lives, and I am going to prepare them for your coming. When everything is ready, then I will come and get you, so that you can always be with me where I am. If this weren’t so, I would tell you plainly. And you know where I am going and how to get there.” John 14:1-4  (TLB)

I wish you well,

Sandy

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Inconceivable

The Princess Bride. What a fantastic movie. A classic, based on William Goldman’s novel by the same name. There are as many favorite lines and scenes in that movie, as there are people you could ask to name one.

Westley’s “As you wish.” Vizzini’s “Inconceivable.” Inigo Montoya’s “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” Miracle Max’s line about a paper cut and lemon juice. Fezzik’s rhyming, or “I don’t think that means what you think it means.”

As easy as it is to rattle off a line from The Princess Bride, or some other pop culture media, I wonder … do we recite Bible verses as readily?

For God so loved the world … There is now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus … Greater is HE who is in us, than he who is in the world …

In The Princess Bride, there are the Cliffs of Insanity. The Fire Swamp with its

 

R.O.U.S. — Rodents of Unusual Size. And the Pit of Despair. There is also the Castle.

Many of us, no doubt, have felt, at one time or another, we were teetering on the cliffs of insanity, stranded in the fire swamp facing R.O.U.S., or trapped at the bottom of the pit of despair.

While in those dreadful places, we need to hang onto the truth. Jesus is preparing a place for us. A castle in the sky, where there will be no more pain. No more tears. No more sorrow. No more pits. And definitely, no R.O.U.S.

 

Beyond the love Westley and Buttercup have for each other in The Princess Bride, there is also the love that developed between a grandson for his grandfather.

At the heart of our story, is the love our Savior Jesus has for his bride, the church. There is also the love our Heavenly Father has for us, his children.

Inconceivable.

Perhaps we have a Dread Pirate Roberts in our lives who tells us, “Good night, Westley. Good work. Sleep well. I’ll most likely kill you in the morning.” That’s when it would be wise to remember David. The shepherd who became king. More than once, King Saul probably said “Good job”, before he hurled a spear at David’s head, or chased him around the countryside. As God was with David, he is also with us. Protecting us from our Dread Pirate Roberts.

Westley promised Buttercup he would return for her. And he did. Jesus promised he would return for us. And he will.

Facing the cliffs of insanity, fire swamp, R.O.U. S., or pit of despair ? Hang on. Don’t give up. Hold tight to the promise Christ will return. It isn’t a storybook story. It’s the truth.

“Have fun storming the castle!”

So, what’s your favorite line from The Princess Bride?

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.

Jesus said, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust in me. There are many rooms in my Father’s house; I would not tell you this if it were not true. I am going there to prepare a place for you. After I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me so that you may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”  John 14:1-4

I wish you well.

Sandy

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