I Want To Be A Part Of The Story

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

This time of year is a flurry of activity with plays, music performances, Nativity reenactments, and stories galore. Seems everyone wants to be a part of the story of Jesus’ birth.

The Christmas before Pie’s fifth birthday he was a shepherd in the church Christmas program. He knew his part, and the parts of everyone else in the play. When the teen next to Pie forgot his part at one point of the performance, Pie nudged him with his elbow and said, “It’s your turn.” And fed the boy his lines. Too cute.

 

While we want to be a part of telling the story of Jesus’ birth through plays, concerts, and stories, I wonder. Are we equally excited to be a part of telling the story of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, and what that means to the world?

As the last days of the Apostle Peter’s life drew near, he made it his mission to remind his listeners of the truths he told them. He wanted to “wake them up with a reminder” so they would not forget the story of Peter’s life that was entwined with the life of Christ.

The words Peter preached were not cleverly contrived myths. They were eyewitness accounts of Christ’s majesty.

Peter warned the early believers not to become complacent. He warned them not to let the things of the world influence their life story. The same warnings hold true for followers of Jesus today, just as surely as they did when Peter spoke them.

Peter was an eyewitness to Jesus’ glory. He heard God say Jesus was God’s son in whom God was well pleased. Peter was part of Jesus’ story.

 

While we may not be a part of the Christmas pageant, we can be part of Jesus’ story by being eyewitnesses who share the story God is writing on our life with others. Our story is not cleverly contrived. It is the truth as God has shown it to us.

How are you a part of someone else’s story?

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I plan to keep on reminding you of these things even though you already know them and are really getting along quite well! 2 Peter 1:12 (TLB)

I wish you well,

Sandy

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The Past Has Passed

courtesy pixabayby Sandy Kirby Quandt

Before the rooster crowed  on the night Jesus was betrayed, Peter denied Christ three times. We remember this as part of the Crucifixion story. I’ve written about Peter several times on Woven and Spun. It seems lately I learn something new through studying Peter’s life.

Several weeks ago the lesson we studied in our Bible Study class centered on the story of Tabitha, also know as Dorcas, as recorded by Luke in Acts 9:36-43. Tabitha became sick and died. As a result, her friends sent for Peter.

Tabitha was not buried right away, as was the custom of the time. Instead, she was courtesy pixabaywashed and placed in an upstairs room. That tells me her friends expected a miracle; and Peter was the one they expected God to use to perform it.

Were they aware of Peter’s past? Did they know the story of how he turned his back on Jesus? Had they heard how he failed?

Perhaps.

Whether they knew any of that or not, the fact is they expected Peter to be God’s tool. His vessel. The conduit through which their friend, Tabitha, would be raised to life. And they sent for him.

As I studied this lesson I wondered how Peter felt the instant Tabitha opened her eyes, saw Peter, and sat up. Among the things I believe he may have considered, because it is something I may have considered had I been him, beyond immediate thanks and praise to Jesus for Tabitha’s healing, is thanks to Jesus for restoring and forgiving Peter and using him despite his past failures.

courtesy pixabayI don’t believe Peter dwelt on his past mistakes when he entered the room where Tabitha lay. I believe he dwelt on the power of the One True Lord and King that flowed through him.

He didn’t dwell on then. He dwelt on now.

Wouldn’t you say we need to do the same?

Do you find it difficult to let go of past mistakes and embrace what God has prepared for you today?

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Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. Acts 9:40 (NIV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Lord, What About Him?

courtesy bingby Sandy Kirby Quandt

The book of John is my favorite Gospel. Maybe it is the storyteller in me, but I love the way John presents Jesus and how Christ interacted with those around him.

Today, I’m focusing on the last chapter of John.

By now, Jesus has been crucified, resurrected and appeared before Mary Magdalene at the tomb. He suddenly appeared in the locked room where the disciples, minus Thomas, hid. He appeared again eight days later in the same locked room when Thomas was present. He met the two on the road to Emmaus. And now waited on the shore beside the Lake of Galilee, preparing the disciples’ breakfast.

courtesy pixabay

We may remember this as the scene where Jesus pointedly asked Peter if he loved him. Three times. And each time Peter said he did.

After Jesus told Peter to “feed his little sheep” and predicted the kind of death Peter had in front of him, Peter turned, saw John, the disciple Jesus loved and asked, “What about him? What sort of death will he die?”

Jesus replied, “If I want him to live until I return, what is that to you? You follow me.”

That’s the line I love most. Always have. But it wasn’t until recently I related it to my writing and looked at it in a way I’d never looked at it before.

Jesus called Peter to feed his sheep by preaching about the resurrected Lord. I believe as a writer, Jesus has called me to feed his sheep through the words I write.

Regardless of what abilities God has given each of us, he has called us to follow him.

Peter was given his commission but behind the one question he asked, I believe a multitude more where in his mind. What about John? What was going to happen to him? Was he going to suffer or skate through life untouched? Was John’s ministry going to be bigger than Peter’s? Was he going to receive more pats on the back? More awards? More atta’ boys? Was John going to be more popular than Peter?

Jealousy.

That’s an emotion I believe each of us can understand. Maybe we’ve had similar thoughts about those we work with. What about them? How come they got the promotion, the raise, the praise? We compare. We compete. We wonder if maybe, just maybe, God loves them more.

courtesy pixabay

In writing, the whole purpose is to get what I write published so people can read it. Makes sense, wouldn’t you say? I send my writing to editors and often, not always, but more times than I’d like, I receive a rejection.

They wish me well and I keep writing and waiting. At times like this it’s easy to say, “What about them, the person who just got the contract, or just won the award? Does God love them more than me?”

These last verses in John tell us Jesus has a plan for each of us, and that plan is not cookie-cutter sameness. How could it be? We are all different. We don’t think alike. We don’t work alike. We don’t communicate in the same way. We have different abilities and personalities.

If what I write only reaches the editor who rejects my story, I pray God uses that story to touch that one life. I’m not going to kid you here, if I send something to an editor it is because I’m praying they love it enough to publish it and it reaches the multitudes.

courtesy pixabay

Still, I have to remember my job is to write to the very best of my ability. God’s job is to get what I write in front of whomever he wants it in front of.

Even if that is the editor who sends me the “Sorry. Not for us.” rejection letter.

If Jesus wants someone else to win the awards, get the promotion, receive the atta’ boys and atta’ girls what’s that to us? He’s called us to follow him. And that’s exactly what he expects us to do.

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 Peter asked Jesus, “What about him, Lord?”

Jesus replied, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? As for you, follow me.”  John 21:21-22 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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