Sunday Scriptures – It Doesn’t Hurt To Be Nice

Isaiahby Sandy Kirby Quandt

The other day as I drove to my son, Pie’s, apartment located across from one of the local high schools, a teenage boy sped across the divided four lane highway on his skateboard. Ninny. You could get yourself killed. I thought.

As I parked the car and walked across the parking lot to Pie’s apartment, who should scoot past? The Ninny. I mean, the teenager.

The way I saw it, I had three choices.

  • Be polite, smile and say hello
  • Let the parent/teacher in me out and lecture him on the danger of riding his skateboard across a busy street
  • Or ignore him altogether

Can you guess what I did?

I smiled, said hello and you know what? He raised his silver-studded lip into a smile, waved and said hello back.

Are there ever times when we see someone and become standoffish just because of their age, looks, or demeanor without any real basis for that reaction?

I’m not talking about tuning away from someone when the spidey-sense God gives us goes off when we’re walking through a dark parking lot alone, or when we find ourselves someplace we probably shouldn’t be.

I’m talking about refusing to acknowledge someone just because we’ve allowed a negative stereotype to take hold.

From the way the skateboarder smiled after I spoke to him, I believe he was surprised I acknowledged him at all. He may have been accustomed to adults turning away and ignoring him, for all I know.

Back to my three choices … I could have lectured him for the careless way he rode through traffic. I could have ignored him completely as if he didn’t even exist. But by being nice and not lecturing, not ignoring, maybe God used my few simple words to speak to the teen in some small way.

You never know.

Have you ever let discomfort keep you from being nice when it wouldn’t have hurt to do so?

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.

It is God himself who has made us what we are and given us new lives from Christ Jesus; and long ages ago he planned that we should spend these lives in helping others. Ephesians 2:10 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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I would like to wish each of you who is either a mother, or mother-figure, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! And yes, parents of pets count. 🙂

Pause for Poetry — Gracious

pauseby Sandy Kirby Quandt

Welcome to Pause for Poetry featuring a poem written by my writer-friend, Shirley Specht Johnson.

Gracious

by Shirley Specht Johnson

Gracious
are the gentle words
to the one that wanders so.

Gracious
is the water
quenching the thirsty soul.

Gracious
is the star
guiding in the night.

Gracious
is the hope,
the mercy,
the light.

Gracious
is the desert
where one thirsts and grows.

Gracious
are the flowers
that bloom in valleys low.

Gracious
are the hours
given in a day.

Gracious
is the voice
taking time to pray.

Gracious
is the groom
waiting for his bride.

Gracious
is the Father’s love
never leaving our side.

Shirley Specht Johnson loves to share inspiration and encouragement through her writing. She is a member of SCBWI. She loves to read and has volunteered at her local Public Library as an Adult Literacy Tutor. She shares moments of inspiration and her writing life at her blog.

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.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Restore My Soul – Book Review

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Tyndale House Publishers’, Restore My Soul, by Ann-Margret Hovsepian is not your mother’s devotional book. In fact, I’ve never read a devotional like it before. This book of reflections on Scripture is designed to connect our creative side with the Creator of the universe. What’s so different about this book? Well, for one thing, it allows you to color along as you read the short scripture meditations.

Before I received the book from Tyndale for this review, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I’d noticed the many coloring books designed for adults that have popped up all over the place lately, but had never seen one that included scripture and devotional thoughts to go along with the designs. Restore My Soul is labeled a coloring book devotional journey, and that is exact what you’ll find within its pages.

Each devotion begins with a scripture verse. Ann-Margret then gives a brief meditation around the verse, and closes with encouragement to explore the verse further, spend time with God, and reflect on how your life relates to the devotional while you color the design on the opposite page.

If you’ve looked at a coloring book for adults and thought about giving it a go, might I suggest you grab a copy of Ann-Margret Hovsepian’s beautiful book, Restore My Soul, give yourself permission to slow down, pick up your colors of choice, and see where it leads you.

Have you read, er, colored this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

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.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

Another Lesson From Our Hawks

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

This morning as I searched the trees for one of our resident hawks, I heard a call I at first thought a juvenile hawk, only to have it give way to an incessant squawking. My juvenile hawk turned out to be a blue jay.

It didn’t surprise me to hear the jay, but it did surprise me to see where it was. Sitting on a branch near the hawk.

If you’ve read my previous entries about the hawks in our backyard, then you know they like to seek their prey in our backyard. And that was the reason for my surprise. Knowing hawks eat other birds, why was that blue jay pestering the hawk?

More puzzling, why wasn’t the hawk going after the jay?

So I did some research and discovered:

  • The blue jay can be beneficial to other bird species, as it may chase predatory birds such as hawks and owls, and will scream if it sees a predator within its territory.
  •  It has also been known to sound an alarm call when hawks or other dangers are near, and smaller birds often recognize this call and hide themselves away accordingly.
  •  It may occasionally impersonate the calls of raptors, especially those of the red-tailed and red-shouldered hawks, possibly to test if a hawk is in the vicinity.

Seems the jay was warning surrounding birds and animals of the predator. Guess the hawk figured it would stay put since he’d not be able to find anything to eat with all the squawking going on.

Although I’ve written before about the need to tell those around us who Jesus is, there were several things I discovered from my observation of the blue jay and the red shouldered hawk that apply to us as well.

The jay stood his ground. He sounded the alarm and warned those around of the predator who lurked.

Good thing for the other birds the jay wasn’t complacent.

The musician, Keith Green, called people who get comfortable with their own salvation and don’t feel the urgency to tell others who Jesus is, “Asleep in the Light.”

Like the blue jay, we can be beneficial to others by screaming if we see predators in our territory. We can sound the alarm to take shelter under God’s wings. We can be vigilant and make sure we know when the enemy is in the vicinity.

In my research I never did find out why the hawk didn’t go after the jay. Do any of you know?

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.

I urge you, Timothy, as we live in the sight of God and of Christ Jesus (whose coming in power will judge the living and the dead), to preach the Word of God. Never lose your sense of urgency, in season or out of season. Prove, correct, and encourage, using the utmost patience in your teaching. 2 Timothy 4:1-2 (Phillips)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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One of my articles is scheduled to appear on Inspire a Fire May 3, 2016. Please stop by.

Sunday Scriptures – God Is In The Details

Isaiahby Sandy Kirby Quandt

The Bible tells us to be specific in our prayer requests. We are to bring every detail to God. Even the ones we think are small.The more specific and detailed we are, the more readily we can see God’s hand at work in the answers.

Years ago I mentioned a specific thing I’d prayed for to a friend, and she said, “Really? I’d never pray for something that small.” To which I told her what another friend of mine says, “It’s all small to God.” (By the way, God answered my small prayer in a big way!)

Everything matters to God. He’s in the details. He wants us to bring it all to him and allow him to handle it. The things we consider “big” in our lives are all small to the One who spoke the world into being, correct? So nothing is too big or too small to bring before his throne.

I remember a friend telling me about a week-long camping trip she and her family took many years ago. The day they packed up their car and prepared to leave their cabin, her youngest daughter started to cry. She couldn’t find the pet frog she’d found, put in a box, and intended to take home with her.

The family looked all over and couldn’t find the frog. Finally, they decided to pray for God to help them find the frog.

Now, some reading this may look at the world around them and think praying for a lost frog rather silly and small. And I’m sure you know where this story is going.

As the father prepared to lock up the cabin he bent down to hug his distraught daughter, looked into the cabin one last time, and from that vantage point saw a shoe box with holes in it balanced in the rafters for safe keeping.

And joy was felt throughout the land!

God is in the details. He cares about little girls and little frogs. He cares about big girls and broken hearts. He cares about little boys and broken toys. He cares about big boys and lost jobs.

There is nothing too big or too small for our God.

Do you find it difficult to bring every detail of your needs to God?

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.

Don’t worry over anything whatever; tell God every detail of your needs in earnest and thankful prayer, and the peace of God which transcends human understanding, will keep constant guard over your hearts and minds as they rest in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (Phillips)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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