The Finished Product

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Much like many things, you and I are not a finished product yet, and we won’t be this side of glory.

If you’ve ever observed a product on a conveyor belt, you understand what starts out at the beginning of that conveyor belt undergoes multiple changes before it completes its journey and becomes the finished product it was meant to be at the end.

What starts out at the beginning of the process is still there. It’s just improved. Changed. Mo’ better.

One of my favorite things to watch move down a conveyor belt was Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Oh, yeah! That’s what I’m talking about. But alas … being gluten-intolerant put an end to those happy days. I still grieve the loss. Seriously.

And if Doc is reading this … I know. As you like to remind me every time I’m in your office, sugar is bad for me and addictive.

But I still enjoy it and would eat those doughnuts again if they were gluten-free. Especially if they were “Hot to Go.”

When we lived in Orlando, Florida there was a Krispy Kreme bakery in our path between the theater where we watched plays and listened to concerts, and our home.

You better believe if the red neon “Hot to Go” sign was lit, our car pulled into that parking lot. We’d go inside and drool as those doughnuts moved down the conveyor belt toward the hot sugary glaze they’d be dropped into before becoming the finished product we couldn’t wait to devour.

As soon as we got our hands on those hot doughnuts, we’d grab one or two before they had a chance to cool. Oh my. Bliss.

So let’s turn our attention from Krispy Kreme doughnuts to us.

We’re like a product, in this case doughnuts, on a conveyor belt. What we start out as in the beginning of our journey is not the finished product we end up as at the end.

Through the power of Christ in us we are changed; conveyed, as we move down that grand conveyor belt of life into the product God had in mind the moment he knit us together in our mother’s womb. Woven and spun into the creation he designed us to be.

Any other Krispy Kreme fans out there?

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He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.  (NKJV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — Anything Goes

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

In thinking about what is acceptable these days compared to what used to be acceptable decades ago, I thought about Cole Porter’s song, “Anything Goes.” In that song, Mr. Porter states how times have changed, and the things that used to shock no longer do.

For those too young to remember what used to be considered acceptable in television shows, go watch some re-runs of “The Andy Griffith Show”, “The Dick Van Dyke Show”, the original “MacGyver”, or “Murder She Wrote”.

On one writers loop I receive the conversation often cycles around to whether or not those of us who call ourselves Christian authors should use profanity in our novels. Each time this subject comes up, there is considerable discussion with voices on both sides of the debate. One argument on the “yes” side is that profanity in our writing is “authentic” and shows how the real world talks and lives.

The decision of whether to lace our writing with profanity or not is up to each individual. But for me, I believe followers of Christ are called to a higher standard than whatever the world currently deems acceptable at any given point in time.

I don’t think it matters what our occupation is; author, police officer, banker, secretary, waitress, engineer, landscaper, cashier, stay at home parent, hourly employee or executive, retired, work in construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, leisure and hospitality, or government, when we align ourselves with Christ, we are to imitate him. Not the world.

So what do you think? As Christians does it matter how we represent Jesus to the world around us in our everyday lives? Anything goes, or not/

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So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. Romans 12:2 (MSG)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Gluten-free Sausage Noodle & Apple Casserole Recipe

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Pilot adapted this gluten-free sausage & apple casserole recipe from a cookbook I found during our trip to the World War II museum in New Orleans, Louisiana, titled, “Cooking On the Home Front” with favorite recipes of the World War II years by Hugh and Judy Gowan.

  • 1 pound sausage links
  • 3 cups gluten-free elbow macaroni noodles, cooked
  • 1 cup sweetened applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

Prick the sausage well with a fork, lay them in a pan, and bake at 400 degrees F for 25 minutes, or according to package directions. Turn once of twice to brown evenly. Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons of the drippings.

Stir 2 tablespoons of the pork drippings into the noodles and arrange half of them in a greased medium casserole. (For a healthier meal, eliminate the drippings.)

Combine the applesauce, lemon juice, and nutmeg, and pour on top of the noodles.

Add the rest of the noodles and lay the sausages on top.

Sprinkle with cheese and bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees F, uncovered.

Enjoy!

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Hallelujah

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Easter Sunday as Pilot and I listened to the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah, my mind began to contemplate different aspects of the song. You might say my mind wandered … as it is prone to do. When I shared my thoughts with Pilot on the matter, he said it sounded like a blog post, so here it is. 🙂

At first as I sang along with the song, I marveled at how glorious it might be in heaven every Resurrection Sunday as the angelic beings sing their version of the Hallelujah Chorus to Jesus Christ the Resurrected Lord and King, who reigns forever and ever and ever. It gave me goosebumps to imagine it.

Then, I thought about the verses in Revelation that speak of the multitudes who sing their praises to Jesus day and night, without ceasing.

After I cogitated on that awhile, a different thought came to me.

Yes. Easter is the day on our calendar we celebrate Jesus’ victory over hell, sin, Satan, and death. Glory hallelujah. The Resurrected Savior reigns now and forever.

But. Celebrating Jesus’ victory is not just a one day a year event. It is for every day of every year from now through eternity.

Jesus is King of kings. LORD of lords. His reign shall never end.

I believe it is a glorious thing to remember Jesus’ sacrifice, death, burial, and resurrection during the Easter season, but I also believe it is a glorious thing to remember Christ’s sacrifice, death, burial, resurrection, and return every other day, as well.May we join our voices with those in the heavens who raise their praises to our Lord day after day and night after night. It will be wonderful practice for the day we see Jesus face to face. Don’t you think?

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Each of these living beings had six wings, and their wings were covered all over with eyes, inside and out. Day after day and night after night they keep on saying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty— the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come.” Revelation 4:8 (NLT)

Then I began to weep bitterly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll and read it. But one of the twenty-four elders said to me, “Stop weeping! Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the heir to David’s throne, has won the victory. He is worthy to open the scroll and its seven seals.” Then I saw a Lamb that looked as if it had been slaughtered, but it was now standing between the throne and the four living beings and among the twenty-four elders…He stepped forward and took the scroll from the right hand of the one sitting on the throne. And when he took the scroll, the four living beings and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp, and they held gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. And they sang a new song with these words:  “You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals and open it. For you were slaughtered, and your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.” Revelation 5:4-9 (NLT)

Then I looked again, and I heard the voices of thousands and millions of angels around the throne and of the living beings and the elders. And they sang in a mighty chorus:  “Worthy is the Lamb who was slaughtered—to receive power and riches
and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing.” Revelation 5:11-12 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures – Where Have You Put Him?

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Where have you put him?

That’s the question Mary Magdalene asked when she saw the empty tomb where the body of her Lord was placed three short days earlier.

We can ask ourselves the same question Mary asked. Where have we put him?

Is Christ at the center of our life, or have we shuffled him off to a corner somewhere and forgotten him, until we need something?

Do we seek out Jesus first thing in the morning the way Mary did? Or do days, weeks, months pass before we even give him a second thought?

Do we long to see our Savior’s face and glorify him? Does he fill our days with the joy only he can give? Do we live to serve him and him alone?

When people look at us and ask, “Where have you put him?” can they see Jesus living in and through us?

Are our lives a testimony to the truth our Redeemer forever lives? And because our Redeemer lives, we can too.

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Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been taken away from the entrance. She went running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

Then Peter and the other disciple went to the tomb. The two of them were running, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and saw the linen cloths, but he did not go in. Behind him came Simon Peter, and he went straight into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there and the cloth which had been around Jesus’ head. It was not lying with the linen cloths but was rolled up by itself. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in; he saw and believed. (They still did not understand the scripture which said that he must rise from death.)

John 20:1-9 (NCV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Pause for Poetry – Fatherly Love

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Welcome to Pause for Poetry featuring a poem written by my writer-friend, Frances Gregory Pasch.

Fatherly Love

Our Father flinched as they hammered each nail,

But He had to endure His son’s cry.

He planned that Christ’s blood would redeem us…

The reason Christ came was to die.

With each blow, our sins were heaped on Him;

Their weight caused unbearable pain.

Yet He never complained for one moment…

The Perfect Lamb had to be slain.

For unless we had a Redeemer,

Heaven’s gate would forever be closed…

But thanks to God’s love and forgiveness

It opened the morning Christ rose.

Frances Gregory Pasch’s devotions and poems have been published hundreds of times in devotional booklets, magazines, and Sunday school papers since 1985. Her writing has also appeared in several dozen compilations. Her book, Double Vision: Seeing God in Everyday Life Through Devotions and Poetry is available on Amazon. Frances has been leading a women’s Christian writers group since 1991 and makes her own holiday greeting cards incorporating her poetry. She and her husband, Jim, have been married since 1958. They have five sons and nine grandchildren. Contact her at www.francesgregorypasch.com.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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