God Is Good

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

During a recent conversation with Pie, he said he was glad something he wanted, prayed for, and was disappointed not to get, didn’t happen.

Hindsight, right?

I imagine we’ve all been there. There is that certain something, or somethings, we desperately desire. We take our request to God knowing he hears and answers prayer, only he doesn’t answer our prayer the way we hoped.

When we pray expecting God to answer our request as we want it answered, because we trust in his mercy and grace, we can also accept when he tells us no, because we trust in his mercy and grace.

When we go through that hurt and disappointment of a no, it’s rather difficult to count it all joy, or to believe God in his infinite wisdom did what was best for us. But that’s exactly what he did.

How many times have we asked God for something, and just like Pie, in hindsight, thanked him for not doing it?

For me, I’d have to say a lot of times.

It’s during those times we need to go back to what we know. God is good. Not just when things go smoothly for us. God is good all the time. That includes when things don’t go so smoothly for us.

Difficult.

My most vivid memory of beginning to accept this truth was decades ago, standing in a convention center surrounded by fellow Christians singing, “God is so good” while tears streamed down my face. I knew it to be true, but at that very moment events in my life were anything but good.

Even though the events in that situation were not good, God never changed.

He remained GOOD.

Isn’t that where we need to find ourselves?

Regardless of whether the things happening in our lives at this point in time are good, we declare God is good.

Like I said, difficult.

Have you had times when you prayed for something that didn’t come out the way you hoped, only to be grateful they didn’t?

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Don’t be anxious about things; instead, pray. Pray about everything. He longs to hear your requests, so talk to God about your needs and be thankful for what has come. Philippians 4:6 (VOICE)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Prayer Is A Privilege

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Prayer is a privilege God grants us.

He invites us to come to him at all times and in all situations. As we pray, we also need to listen. God longs to hear from us. To know and be known. Each prayer is an opportunity to know God, but in order to know him, we must also listen to him.

There are all kinds of prayers. There are prayers praising God for who he is and what he has done. There are prayers of deepest despair and petition.

There are prayers we memorize as children. There are prayers in which we vent our frustrations and yes, our complaints.

Prayer is a conversation. Not a one-way monolog. God wants to hear from us. He also wants us to hear from him. The only way we can do that is to stop talking and listen.

When we have conversations with those we cherish, don’t we listen to what they say in addition to them listening to what we say? Why then, do we often forget to listen to God when we pray?

Yes. Prayer is a privilege, but along with that privilege comes the responsibility to listen to God when he speaks to us.

How do you make sure you let your words be few, and listen when you pray?

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Don’t make rash promises, and don’t be hasty in bringing matters before God. After all, God is in heaven, and you are here on earth. So let your words be few. Ecclesiastes 5:2 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Click For Babies Cap Campaign

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

According to the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome, CLICK for Babies is a grassroots public education campaign organized by the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome (NCSBS) in partnership with hospitals, public health and child abuse prevention groups to create awareness of the leading trigger for infant abuse, frustration with infant crying.

When I saw an article on this, I knew I had to participate.

PURPLE Acronym

After I pulled out my crochet hook, organized the purple yarn I had, and bought more purple yarn, I set about crocheting tiny little purple hats. As I created each hat, I prayed for the baby receiving the hat, and the parent or caregiver in charge of raising that child. Childrearing is a tough job.

While crocheting I paid attention to something that happens every time I knit or crochet … the center of the yarn, the core which is pulled out before the outer section, collapses on itself. When it collapses, the yarn often becomes tangled and unusable. At that point, all creating must stop until the tangled knots are removed.

In my early days of knitting decades ago, I’d get frustrated with the tangled yarn and just cut it. I didn’t take the time to untangled, just tied another section of yarn past the tangle and kept going. That really is not the best way to handle knots, by the way.

Nowadays, whenever I start a project, Pilot asks if I need him to roll the yarn into balls for me. Often the answer is yes, thank you, but not this time.

Life is a lot like a skein of yarn, don’t you think?

We pull and pull and tug and tug at our core working, moving, doing, until our center collapses. We deplete our core, and in the process become a tangled knotted mess. At that point we need to stop and take the time to untangle. To seek God. To pause in order for God to untangle our mess and refill us with himself so we can be useful for his purposes once more.

It’s not a good idea to sever the yarn that attaches us to God like I once did when my yarn knotted. We need to stay attached to the One who is capable of untangling the knots in our life. It’s also a good idea to have people in our lives who are willing to roll that skein of yarn into a manageable ball when the going gets tough before we become all knotted up.

If you knit or crochet, please consider creating some tiny purple hats for the Click for Babies campaign. But hurry. All hats need to arrive at the clearing house by September 30, 2017 to be distributed to families in November.

Thanks for considering helping this important campaign.

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The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:40 (NIV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — When We Refuse to Listen to God

Isaiahby Sandy Kirby Quandt

How often do we go to God in prayer asking him to approve the plan we have, instead of seeking the plan God has for us? When his plan deviates from our plan, we refuse to listen.

In the forty-second chapter of the book of Jeremiah a group of army men, led by Johanan, came to Jeremiah asking the prophet to pray to God that he would tell them where they should go, and what they should do.

These men recently engaged in a fight with Ishmael son of Nethaniah, and rescued Ishmael’s captives. But Ishmael and eight of his men escaped, and ran away to the Ammonites.

Fearing reprisal from the Babylonians, Johanan and his men decided to run away to Egypt. Before they reached Egypt, they asked Jeremiah to seek God’s will for them. That’s what they said, at least. It seems what they really wanted was God to approve their plan.

Jeremiah went to God on the men’s behalf and promised to tell them everything God said. And that’s exactly what the prophet did.

Only …

Jeremiah told Johanan God said if Johanan stayed in Judah he need not fear the Babylonians. God would protect them. But if he disobeyed and went to Egypt, it would not go well. There would be war, famine, and disease from which Johanan would not escape.

Given that choice you would think Johanan listened to what God told him, but Johanan refused to listen. Instead he accused Jeremiah of lying to make them stay and be killed by the Babylonians.

Johanan said he wanted God’s clear direction, but in truth he wanted God’s approval of the plan Johanan knew he was going to go ahead with no matter what Jeremiah said.

This takes me back to my original question. How often do we go to God in prayer asking him to approve the plan we have instead of seeking, and accepting, the plan God has for us?

Just as things did not go well with Johanan and his men when they refused to listen to God, it does not go well with us when we go to God in prayer with our plans all laid out and refuse to alter them when God gives us an answer we don’t particularly care for.

Instead of refusing to listen to God’s direction, don’t you think we should stop stubbornly insisting on our own way, and trust God knows what he’s doing?

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Johanan son of Kareah and the army officers, and the people along with them, wouldn’t listen to God’s Message that they stay in the land of Judah and live there. Jeremiah 43:4 (MSG)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Prayer is a Privilege We Have Been Given

courtesy pixabayby Sandy Kirby Quandt

Prayer is one of the privileges I believe Christians have been given. Because of Jesus, we have the opportunity to approach the throne of the Holy God who spoke the world into being. We can come before the Righteous Judge with our requests and petitions for both ourselves and for others.

And you know what else? Others can bring their requests and petitions to the Father who gives good gifts and rescues on our behalf as well.

I’ve written numerous posts about prayer. One spoke of standing in the gap between God and others on their behalf. In a different post I mentioned what Max Lucado said one time about taking our problem to Jesus and leaving it there.

courtesy pixabayOne thing I’ve mentioned is the fact we need to be prayed up ahead of time, and not wait until we are in need before we start to pray.

If we know a situation is coming up that will need prayer support, we should ask those around us to pray for the situation ahead of time.

I love the story of Daniel and how he refused to stop praying while in Babylonian captivity. He didn’t let man’s dictate keep him from doing what he knew God wanted him to do. He continued to pray three times a day.

We don’t have to have long eloquent prayers to be heard by God. Ann Lamot says there are three types of prayers. “Help.” “Thanks.” and “Wow!”

Whenever someone’s name or face floats through my brain I take that as a sign I need to courtesy pixabaystop whatever I’m doing and pray for that person. I don’t need to know the specifics of their situation. God knows what’s going on. He’ll handle the details.

Whenever my name or face floats through someone’s brain, I hope they stop whatever they are doing and say a prayer, or two, on my behalf.

Prayer is a privilege. Let’s not take it for granted.

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Listen, Lord, to my prayer; hear my cries for help. I call to you in times of trouble, because you answer my prayers. Psalm 86:6-7 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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