Sunday Scriptures — Senseless Act

Isaiah 40by Sandy Kirby Quandt

I’m sure you’ve heard…nine people were killed Wednesday night by a gunman at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina. The suspected gunman spent nearly an hour at the church in a prayer meeting before shooting the victims.

“We cannot make sense of what has happened, but we can come together.” Rev. George Fielder pastor of the New Hope AME Church.

My first response to the news was to pray for the families and friends of those killed. My second was to pray for the suspected shooter’s family, especially his mother. Finally, with great difficulty, I prayed for the suspected gunman.

Fortunately, I have never lost a loved one to a violent crime. Thank you, Jesus. And I pray to the LORD God Almighty I never do. Besides the horribleness of the actual act, I’m not so sure I would be able to honestly forgive the perpetrator, and I know God would expect that of me.

Withholding forgiveness would leave the door wide open for Satan to come in, set up residence, and rule my life. Definitely not a good thing. So I pray for comfort for the deceased’s families, and for God to give them the grace and strength they need to forgive.

The suspect’s uncle voiced words to my thoughts regarding the need to pray for the suspect’s family when he said the whole world would be looking at the family and mother who “never raised him to be like this.”

That’s what we do, isn’t it? We look at the family and ask what their problem was to have “created” someone who would commit such a crime. So I pray for them.

Kevin Hodge, a minister at the Shiloh AME Church in Galveston, Texas was quoted as saying, “It is a tough and trying time. A lot of people see this as a hate crime. I see this as a spiritual attack.”

I see this as a spiritual attack…

Friends, last week I asked you to pray for those affected by the Sockeye Fire in Willow, Alaska. Today I find the need for us to be on our knees for the families affected by a senseless act of violence that occurred last Wednesday evening in a church in South Carolina.

Satan is alive and well roaming the night like a lion searching for those to devour, but his days are numbered, thanks be to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen?

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.

Then there was war in heaven; Michael and the angels under his command fought the Dragon and his hosts of fallen angels. And the Dragon lost the battle and was forced from heaven. This great Dragon—the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world—was thrown down onto the earth with all his army.

Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens, “It has happened at last! God’s salvation and the power and the rule, and the authority of his Christ are finally here; for the Accuser of our brothers has been thrown down from heaven onto earth—he accused them day and night before our God. They defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony; for they did not love their lives but laid them down for him. Rejoice, O heavens! You citizens of heaven, rejoice! Be glad! But woe to you people of the world, for the devil has come down to you in great anger, knowing that he has little time.” Revelation 12:7-12 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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All quotes taken from the Friday, June 19, 2015 Houston Chronicle.

Sunday Scriptures — Pray Up

Isaiah 40by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Temperatures in the 90s here in my part of the world, and I’m surrounded by skeins and skeins and skeins of yarn.

I recently completed and mailed off a knitted baby blanket for the expected arrival in September of the latest Seattle Seahawks fan.

Another knitting project I completed this past week is a sweater for Knit for Kids. Lots more yarn is waiting for the rest of the sweaters I hope to complete and send out before winter hits.

Over a dozen completed crocheted hats sit waiting for the hundred or more additional hats I’ll crochet and send downtown for distribution to the homeless this fall.

But there’s lots of time before fall, you might say. And there is. So why the rush to deal with yarn that has a tendency to make one hot in a season where you don’t need anything else to add to the heat?

Experience has taught me life doesn’t always go as planned, and time has a way of slipping away with interruptions and assorted other emergencies.

I’m learning to do the work ahead of time.

If I wait until later these projects won’t get done. So, I’ve got to get working on them now. And in reality, all the sweaters I want to knit probably won’t get completed this year. Instead, what I don’t finish now will be there for me to complete and send next year, along with more crocheted hats.

So I’m thinking…is there a comparison between my projects and prayer?

Just as I need to get these projects completed ahead of time so the recipients will have them when needed, I believe we should be prayed up ahead of time before those prayers are needed.

God’s not bound by time so there’s no reason to worry about approaching him too early with our requests. Right?

Why wait until you walk into the interviewer’s office to pray for the right words to say during the job interview?

Why wait until the doctor’s report comes back before you pray for good results?

Why wait until your child heads down the wedding aisle before you pray God will provide the perfect spouse? Or provide you with the perfect mate?

God knows what we have need of before we even ask, true, but he still wants us to ask so we can see his hand at work in the answer. We can never ask too early.

Anything on the horizon you need to start praying for now? There sure is for me. What say we commit to being prayed up?

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.

Then you will call out, and the Lord will answer. You will cry out, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’ If you stop making trouble for others, if you stop using cruel words and pointing your finger at others, if you feed those who are hungry and take care of the needs of those who are troubled, then your light will shine in the darkness, and you will be bright like sunshine at noon. Isaiah 58:9-10 (NCV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Pray First

Courtesy WikimediaThis past week I’ve been busy getting several writing projects finished, and sent to their respective audiences. I still have a long writing to do list sitting in front of me.

All this busyness does not, of Stack of Bookscourse, even touch on the other things which need attention in my life. Pilot. Kirby. Bear. Me. Emails to answer. Books to read. Knitting projects. House and yard to contend with. Exercise.

Let’s see…what have I forgotten? Oh, yeah. God.

OUCH.

Courtesy WikimediaNot that I have forgotten God, actually, but I noticed the other morning, He did not come first, as is my norm. I know if I do not start my day off with time devoted to listening and talking to God, I get busy with one thing after another, and before long, it’s lunch time, and I’ve neglected my time alone with the Creator of the Universe. Not good.

In my mind’s eye, when I neglect to have my prayer time first thing, I see a look of disappointment on Jesus’ face. I also see Satan doing a happy dance.

Sure, I send up prayers throughout the day, but I need to sit before the throne of grace early in the morning. Every morning.

As I’ve mentioned before, I am still learning how to be still before God. I’m learning how to slow down my busyness, and just sit. Operative word — learning.

Prayer is a privilege we have been granted through the torn curtain, which was the body of Christ on the cross. Through prayer, we are allowed access to the King of Kings and LORD of lords. Oh. My. Goodness.

Think of how much we look forward to spending time with a loved one. Wouldn’t we set aside our busyness to spend quality time with them? Multiply that feeling, and realize how much greater it is to spend time with our Savior.

Lord, every morning you hear my voice.
    Every morning, I tell you what I need,
    and I wait for your answer.  Psalm 5:3

Do you need to slow down your busyness to spend time with God?

I wish you well.

Sandy

PS

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