Where Do We Put Our Trust?

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

There are many things in this world we trust in. We flip a light switch, and trust the light will go on. We put our car in gear, and trust it will go the direction we chose. We sit in a chair, and trust it will not break.

Most of us trust when we board an airplane it will not fall from the sky. We trust if someone gets up and walks to the back of the plane, the plane will continue to fly in a straight line. (Smiling at you, Sissy.)

We trust the pilot flying the Triple 7 knows what she’s doing. (Waving at you, Carmela.)

If it is so easy for us to trust in these things, I wonder why we find it difficult to trust in Jesus alone for our salvation. Far too often we trust in our accomplishments, our busyness, or our goods works to save us; and they can’t.

Each and every one of us is going to be held accountable for everything we’ve ever said and done. Everything.

When we stand before the Righteous Judge and trust in the amount of money we gave to our church, or the number of missions trips we went on, or how often we sat on a church pew those things will not save us. They are outward signs of our inward faith and trust just as stepping onto a boat is an outward sign we trust it will not sink.

 

Our salvation depends on whether or not we put our trust in Jesus. Our forgiveness comes through Christ’s sacrifice alone to pay the penalty for our sins.

Nothing else will matter except what we’ve done with Christ in our lives.

So I ask again. Where do we put our trust?

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 answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6 (NIV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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God is a Consuming Fire

courtesy pixabayby Sandy Kirby Quandt

Through the years I’ve witnessed first hand how absolutely destructive fire can be. And let me say, it isn’t pretty. Because of this, and probably for other unknown reasons, I’ve been reluctant to embrace the thought that God is a consuming fire.

The first time I read the words stating God is a consuming fire in Hebrews, I shuddered.

The first time I watched Third Day’s rather apocalyptic video, Consuming Fire, it frightened me.

Yes. I sang Refiner’s Fire at church along with everyone else. Sure, I wanted to be holy, set apart for God’s use. Didn’t we all?

courtesy pixabayI longed to be a clean vessel God could use, but there was that fire thing again.

Couldn’t I just be scrubbed clean with soap, or something?

Did it HAVE to be fire?

This morning as I listened to Meredith Andrews’ song, “Burn Away” it hit me.

Looking back I see where God took his refining fire to my heart multiple times. I’ve been in the crucible and held over his consuming fire more times than I care to remember. But remember I must.

And you want to know why we must remember the times God’s consuming fire burned courtesy pixbayaway the things in our lives that are not of him; that kept us from being all he designed us to be? Because it is in those times of trial and testing we are purified to become vessels he can use.

So, instead of shrinking from the flames and being fearful, I have a new perspective. If God’s refining fire is what it takes to make me more like Jesus, then burn away.

How about you?

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.

Since we have a Kingdom nothing can destroy, let us please God by serving him with thankful hearts and with holy fear and awe. For our God is a consuming fire. Hebrews 12:28-29 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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God’s Word Never Fails

courtesy pixabayby Sandy Kirby Quandt

Summer’s scorching heat is upon our area again. The grass withers. The flowers fade. Leaves on shrubs wilt. Brown grass crunches underfoot. The heat is just too much, and rain is nowhere in the forecast.

This heat will pass, I know. Refreshing rains will return. The grass, flowers, and leaves will perk up. Come winter we’ll barely remember the heat and how wilted everything was. Until it strikes again the next time.

The scorching heat of life beats down on us, too. It withers and fades our souls just as surely as the summer sun’s heat withers and fades grass and flowers under its hot afternoon sun. Oppression beats down on us. Obstacles won’t budge. We long for relief, but it seems out of reach.

courtesy pixabay

At those times when our souls feel wilted, God’s word stands ready to refresh and nourish. His words above everything else strengthens and renews. God’s words are life. They are full of his promises and his everlasting love.

Maybe we aren’t the ones fading, withering, or wilting at the moment. Maybe we aren’t bothered by the heat of problems today. Instead, maybe God placed us in a position to bring his words of life and renewal to those around us who are feeling the heat of life.

Everything in this world will fade away like grass and flowers baked in the scorching heat. Only God’s word endures forever. No matter what we face, we can hold onto the same truths the ancients penned centuries ago. The LORD truly is our eternal shepherd. We need not want.

courtesy pixabay

Could it be God wants us to speak his everlasting words of love that will never fade or wither to those around us, more than he wants us to speak words that will fade away?

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.

Yes, grass withers and flowers fade, but the word of our God endures forever. Isaiah 40:8 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Heat It Up

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Among the many wonderful things about the YMCA at Estes Park, Colorado where the Colorado Christian Writers Conference is held are the fireplaces in the Assembly Hall between Ruesch Auditorium and Long’s Peak Lodge. I love love love them.

The first year we were at the Y after the fireplaces were installed, it snowed about six inches overnight. It continued snowing throughout the week. Beautiful!

The blaze which ignited within those stone structures each day and night was indeed a glorious, welcomed sight.

This year, however, although it did rain and hail there was no snow. To see the unlit fireplaces was disappointing. Especially when I knew what they could do.

Instead of the cheery, welcoming blaze I’d grown used to, the fireplaces were cold and dark.

It may seem a bit bizarre to talk about fires and fireplaces the first week of  June for those of us seeing temperatures in the 90s, but I’m thinking…how many times are we like those unlit fireplaces?

The expectation is we’ll be burning bright for Jesus. Instead we are cold, dreary and disappointing.

That is, until our spark is lit and we roar to life.

Then BOOM.

We’re on fire. Alight and blazing for the LORD. The way we were created to be.

So what keeps us from staying lit, I wonder? Is it a lack of fuel? Lack of courage? Lack of desire or preparation?

After spending time in the Colorado Rockies amid God’s glorious grandeur, I realize I am guilty of letting my flame grow dim far too many times.

Does that ever happen to you?

My desire is to be on fire for Jesus and accomplish the great things he wants me to accomplish, but too many times I allow circumstances to get in the way and dim the flames.

I want God to set my soul on fire.

Blazing.

Restored.

Renewed.

I don’t want to be a disappointing cold fireplace.

What about you? How’s your fire burning?

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.

 But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. 1 Corinthians 3:13 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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If you were alive in the 70s, possibly you sang the song, “It Only Takes a Spark“. Great song, although a bit plodding. Brings back lots of memories, but that’s not the song I’ve chosen to leave you with today. I’m featuring a song that’s a bit more upbeat with an equally good message.

One of my articles will appear on Inspire a Fire today. Please stop by and read it.

When We Need a Miracle

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

I received a text from one of my girlfriends. She’d been listening to a preacher and thought of me. The preacher said something about being someone else’s miracle.  Ella felt I fit that category and wanted to tell me I was her miracle.

Although extremely humbled, I don’t see myself the way she sees me. I see myself as a sinner saved by grace. Someone God has used in his timing and in his way to speak to her through the years. Maybe somehow through me, God did work a miracle. I’m not saying one way or the other. Just not taking the credit.

Some folks don’t believe in miracles. Some folks do. Which camp are you in?

For those in the Don’t Camp, they believe miracles are things of the past. You know…God parted the Red Sea so the Israelites could flee Pharoah’s army…Jesus Christ turned water into wine at the wedding feast…He raised Lazarus from the tomb…Jesus was resurrected and ascended into heaven. You know. Bible times miracles. Not miracles today.

They discount what others would call a miracle today as coincidence. Happenstance. Freak of nature. Definitely nothing beyond explanation.

The Do Camp believes God is alive and well. Working in people’s lives today as he worked in people’s lives long ago. They believe there is no other explanation than BUT GOD

Ella and I met at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference.

We happened to sit next to each other during an early bird workshop led by Patricia Raybon.

We coincidentally kept running into each other until we decided we were meant to spend the rest of the conference together. We opened up to each other and discovered we had more in common than wanting to become writers.

We exchanged contact info and each left for our corner of the world. It was over two years before we reestablished contact. I’d lost her info. She’d lost mine…BUT GOD had other plans and his timing was perfect.

While emptying out one of her bags, Ella found my information and got in touch. That was over four years ago.

Ella has prayed for me. I’ve prayed for her. She’s given me sound advice. She says I’ve done the same for her. She’s listened when I poured out my heart. I’ve listened when she’s poured out hers.

A miracle? Maybe. What I know is God’s hand has been in the midst of it all.

I know I’ve learned not to question when I’m nudged to pray for someone. I pray.

Usually, I find out later the person I prayed for had a specific need at that specific time.

The same has happened to me in reverse.

Friends have emailed or called and told me I was on their mind and they’d prayed. They weren’t aware of the struggle I was having at the time, BUT GOD knew, and they were obedient to his nudge to pray.

In need of a miracle? Let God know what’s on your mind and heart. You just might find he shows up through another person who might be your miracle.

So, which camp are you in? Don’t believe? Do believe? Anybody you know who you’d say God has used as a miracle in your life? Have you been a miracle in someone else’s life? Where have you seen a BUT GOD?

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.

There are many other things Jesus did. If every one of them were written down, I suppose the whole world would not be big enough for all the books that would be written. John 21:25 (NCV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Lessons Learned From Pulling Weeds

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Pulling weeds can be a lot like removing sin.

Several days ago I lamented about the dreary weather we experienced throughout the first month of 2015. Today, however, the sun did indeed come out again! And with it, I was outside by 9 am determined to tackle some of the weeds in the patch of earth by our back fence.

This is the same area of real estate I commit to clearing up each year. Something I’ve noticed is, I never quite get the whole fence row looking as it should. More often than not I give up one third of the way through. And mind you, our yard is not large. I just get tired and quit worrying with the weeds.

I pull those pesky weeds, lay a “weed resistant” blanket over the dirt, and cover that with mulch.

Last year I discovered the squirrels had dug up the weed blanket and carried it off to their nests. Hope it met their needs.

Because of all the rain we’ve had recently, pulling the weeds was easy-peasy. An unexpected answer. Thank you, Jesus.

As I pulled I thought…

  • If we don’t dig out the root of sin, it will just pop right back
  • If I don’t get the whole root, the weed will just come right back
  • Some of the weeds sneaked under the fence from the neighbor’s yard
  • If we aren’t careful our neighbors’ sins can become our own
  • Getting rid of weeds is a lot easier if done when they are small
  • Getting rid of sin is the same thing
  • Those weeds I didn’t get rid of last year had time to grow and become tougher to remove
  • The sins we don’t deal with when we first notice them will be more difficult to remove the longer we allow them to take up residence
  • Weeds with shallow roots weren’t hard to remove
  • Sins we haven’t allowed to get deep into our soul are easier to remove
  • Although the weed resistant blanket doesn’t keep all the weeds out, it helps
  • We need a barrier between us and those habits that can turn into sins
  • All the weeds may not get removed in one day
  • Our sins probably will not magically disappear the first time we try to remove them
  • When removing weeds, care must be taken to keep the healthy plants intact
  • Ruthless efforts to remove sin may cause damage
  • Pulling weeds and taking steps to keep them from returning is a lot of work…I’ll probably enlist help to complete the job
  • Getting rid of our sins is work…we need to enlist help from Jesus, the one who paid the price so our sins could be rooted out and removed forever

Got a garden full of weeds in your life? What steps are you taking to get rid of them? Maybe the first step is admitting there are weeds in our garden and determining to do something about them.

Leave your comments below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

“I—yes, I alone—will blot out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again.”

Isaiah 43:25 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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One of my posts will appear on Inspire a Fire today. Please stop by.

Ultimate Power Source

The other morning, I was checking e-mail on the lap top. I happened to notice the battery was low, and ignored the nudge I felt to plug the computer into the electrical outlet.

A few minutes later, 11 minutes left on battery popped up. Eleven minutes? Plenty of time. No problem.

Before long, the Plug into power source now warning appeared.

Okay.

I rummaged for the power cord in the bag by my side, and fumbled behind me to plug the  cord into the wall socket, before the computer died.

As I continued checking e-mail, confident the power would last as long as I needed it, I began to ponder.

Isn’t that a lot like how we handle life? We run on our own, limited, battery power, knowing we are depleting our energy, but we refuse to take the time to plug into the ultimate power source that is available to us.

We refuse to access Jesus either through prayer, counsel from Godly friends, or through studying God’s word, the Bible.

Sometimes, we falsely believe we can make it the last eleven minutes, last two days, last 4 weeks, last whatevers, on our own before we crash. Depleted. Exhausted. Done in.

As I’ve mentioned before, Jesus is our true power source. He is always there. He’s got our back. He is waiting for us to plug into him for our strength. Our energy. Our everything.

Unlike in the movie, Flash Gordon, where Dale says, “Flash, I love you, but we’ve only got

14 hours to save the earth!” Jesus’ power is not limited. He is not bound by time, like we are. Jesus’ power is greater than anything we could ever accomplish on our own.

Whatever it is that we are trying to get through, we need Jesus. And you know what the great thing is? Jesus is more than willing to extend his power to us.

All we have to do to receive his help, is cry out to Jesus.

Is anyone crying for help? God is listening, ready to rescue you.

Psalm 34:17 The Message

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject.

I wish you well.

Sandy

PS

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