Sunday Scriptures — Others Don’t Define Us

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

One semester in college I took Archery for my summer P.E. credit. Once we left the classroom instruction and headed outside for target practice, the instructor informed us as soon as we hit a bull’s eye we would receive an A and be finished with the course.

He added a caveat.  No girl had managed that feat in the shortened number of weeks that were left in our semester.

Gauntlet down. I determined to show him I was not just a girl.

Mind you, at the time I took that Archery class I was not fresh out of high school. Shoot. I couldn’t even technically be called a girl. Those days were long gone. Regardless, I was determined to do everything in my power to show that instructor females could hit a bull’s eye no matter how short the time frame.

It didn’t happen on the first try, and not the second, but I’ll never forget the day I stood up to the line, took my stance, faced the target, pulled back the string and let that arrow fly. Maid Marion had nothing on me.

Not only was I the first girl to hit the bull’s eye, I whacked the skin off my arm in the process. If you’ve ever had the bow string thwack across your forearm, you know the pain. And the swelling. And bruising. (Arm guards don’t help me. I need two of them on the same arm because my arm juts out at a funny angle.)

After my arrow sank into the target, my archery partner said something like “Way to go” as he and I high-fived. YES!

We were stationed near the end of the line of targets away from the instructor. When he noticed my bull’s eye, he called down the line, “Which one of you boys hit that?”


I stepped out of the line and faced him as my male partner, who had not yet scored a bull’s eye, shouted back, “She did!”

The instructor’s stunned silence was priceless. When he gave us the all clear, I stepped forward, tugged my arrow from the hay target, walked back to my partner, and told him so long.

Of course, archery isn’t the only area where others try to define us, our worth, or our ability. It happens all the time in all arenas.

Our parenting skills are lacking.

Our financial resources are lacking.

Our relationship status is lacking.

Our skill set is lacking.

Our education is lacking.

Our house is lacking.

Our car is lacking.

Our biblical knowledge is lacking.

Our sport ability is lacking.

Sure, there are areas where we are not able to perform as well as others. You all should know by now I am NOT the chef extraordinaire Pilot is. But I can whip up rather decent desserts. And if you were to ask him, I believe he’d tell you I do a better job with the laundry than he does.

But our abilities do not limit us from being used by God. It is our availability and desire to be used that do that. God can use each of us if we’re willing to let him. Our worth is in the fact we belong to Jesus. And because we belong to him, our desire is to be the best at whatever he wants us to be. God has given us a goal, to strive towards whatever lies ahead.

Others are not who define us. God is. And he thinks we’re pretty special. Special enough to allow his son, Jesus, to die a horrid death so we could be called his child. I’d say that’s pretty special.

Any toxophilites out there with archery stories to share?

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.

Yet, my brothers, I do not consider myself to have “arrived”, spiritually, nor do I consider myself already perfect. But I keep going on, grasping ever more firmly that purpose for which Christ grasped me. My brothers, I do not consider myself to have fully grasped it even now. But I do concentrate on this: I leave the past behind and with hands outstretched to whatever lies ahead I go straight for the goal—my reward the honour of being called by God in Christ. Philippians 3:12-14 (Phillips)

I wish you well.


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The Real How-to Book

bing imagesBy Sandy Kirby Quandt

Some of you may remember the plethora of self-help books that flooded book shelves in the early 80s. Got a problem? There’s a book with a fix for that.

A book I purchased at the time was The Messies Manual. When searching for links I noticed Messies has been updated. Guess there are a lot of messy people out there. 😉

While I purchased this book with every intention of reading, highlighting, and putting into practice the wisdom held within their pages, I didn’t.

I managed to get to page 96 before I placed the book in the drawer of my nightstand…and left it there until today. I have pages underlined up to the section on appliances.

I underlined Don’t forget to vacuum the refrigerator coils regularly…the refrigerator has coils?

Remember to clean the drip pan under the refrigerator regularly…seriously?

Who was I kidding? Sissy may have done that, but not me.

My house keeping skills, or lack of, are dismal, and believe me I used to beat myself up over that fact many a day. I tried. Man, I tried, but I never seemed to get it right. Over the years I’ve learned to let it go. Partly because I truly don’t have the energy or strength for it anymore.

There was a time, however, when my house looked pretty spiffy. I threw myself into scrubbing and scouring. Picking up and putting away. That was during a very unhappy time in my life and I falsely believed looking good on the outside was the important thing. When on the inside, I was completely falling apart.

bing imagesWhile my hope in buying that how-to book was to make necessary changes, I found the real changes that needed to be made were in my relationship to God and how he viewed me as his child. I needed to see me as Jesus saw me.

I needed to beware of what I allowed to define me.

My worth isn’t wrapped up in a clean house or any other earthly thing. My worth comes from the fact I am someone Jesus loved enough to take all my sin upon his sinless self.

I’m worthy enough for Jesus to die a horrific death on the cross to pay the penalty for the debt I owed but could never pay.

And so are you.

It doesn’t matter if we are a messy, or not. It doesn’t matter how much dust, or sin, has bing imagesaccumulated under our bed. It doesn’t matter if cobwebs collect in every corner of the house reminding us of our failures, like a scene of Miss Havisham’s house in Charles Dickens’, Great Expectations.

It doesn’t matter if we fall as long as we fall at the feet of Jesus.

There is one how-to book that can truly help us make the changes we need to make. It’s called the Bible.

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.

Remember my words with your whole being. Write them down and tie them to your hands as a sign; tie them on your foreheads to remind you. Teach them well to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 11:18-19 (NCV)

I wish you well.


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