Jesus Calls His Own By Name

courtesy pixabayby Sandy Kirby Quandt

If you have ever cared for children, or been cared for as a child, one thing I believe would be safe to say is you recognize their voice. Mothers know when their child cries out among a throng of others on a playground. Children know when the voice calling them belongs to their parent.

During the years I taught students in elementary school I knew for a fact which one of my them called out to me, and they knew for a fact when I called out to them.

courtesy pixabay

Jesus is called the Good Shepherd. He knows us, his sheep, so intimately he hears our faintest cry and immediately puts a name and face to that cry.

As his sheep we in turn can discern his voice and distinguish it from the noise of the world.

I think that’s pretty amazing.

courtesy pixabay

To think the King of kings and Lord of lords can pick out our voice among the multitude of voices and put a name — our name — to it is pretty special. Wouldn’t you say?

God is the one who created us. He is the one who knows us intimately and has a plan for us.

Our value and worth lies in him, the One who knows our name, not in anything we could ever accomplish on our own. His is the voice we need to listen for and long to hear.

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The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. John 10:3 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Our God is Awesome

courtesy pixabayby Sandy Kirby Quandt

If you are familiar with the Pixar animated movie “Monsters, Inc.”, then you may remember the scene where top scarer James P. “Sulley” Sullivan and his friend Mike Wazowski walk into their place of employment at Monsters, Inc. and two other monsters gush over how awesome Sulley is.

This past month I found myself gushing over how awesome God is when I spoke with friends about what’s going on with my writing. I realize awesome is an overused word in today’s world, so I try to use it carefully. If everything is awesome, then nothing is. Right?

courtesy pixabayIn today’s world everything’s awesome:

  • Awesome shoes.
  • Awesome car.
  • Awesome food.
  • Awesome house.

And on and on and on.

But are those things truly awesome? I’d have to say, no.

One definition I read defined awesome as causing or inducing awe; inspiring an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, or fear.

Now that’s what I’m talking about when I say God is awesome.

He is beyond compare; deserving of our deepest reverence, admiration, and fear for who he is and for what he is capable of doing.

When Moses met God at the burning bush I imagine Moses thought, courtesy pixabayAwesome!

When the Israelites walked across a dry sea bed and escaped Pharaoh’s army I imagine they thought, Awesome!

When the walls of Jericho fell at the trumpet blast I imagine those witnessing the feat thought, Awesome!

The Bible is full of awesome times when, as Girlfriend says, God showed up and showed out. What are some of your favorites?

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Come, everyone, and clap for joy! Shout triumphant praises to the Lord! For the Lord, the God above all gods, is awesome beyond words; he is the great King of all the earth. Psalm 47:1-2 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — Cutting Out Empty Calories

Isaiahby Sandy Kirby Quandt

For most of us cutting out empty calories is difficult. It’s also difficult to lose the extra pounds those calories add. Often, we falsely believing it will be easy to drop the additional weight and don’t pay attention to how much junk we put into ourselves.

The same can be said about the empty things we fill our lives with. We believe we’ll be able to cut back on the unnecessary things without any effort, but that isn’t always the case.

Recently I watched a local news report about a woman who lost an amazing amount of weight in a relatively short amount of time. Seems she limited her caloric intake to 500 calories every other day, didn’t go crazy overboard on the other days, and kept her calorie intake moderate.

Well, I decided to give a moderated version of this diet a go. I decided to limit myself  to 1,000 calories three days a week. It’s extremely difficult on those limited calorie days, that’s for sure, and I know I don’t always stick to 1,000, but I do try not to add any sugar those days.

Full disclosure … this limited calorie thing went right out the proverbial window the week I spent in North Carolina attending the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Conference; as evidenced by the pounds I re-gained. What did I expect eating bacon, eggs, grits, and potatoes every single morning? Oy, vey.

Once the numbers on my scale started to go down I told myself cutting out the sugar, chips, and soft drinks three times a week was worth it. I also realized just how insignificant losing five pounds was. I needed to lose more than that to make any noticeable difference.

As I limited my caloric intake and got rid of some of the empty calories that provided no nutritional value, I considered what happens when we gorge ourselves on the empty calories we take into our minds either through what we read, watch, or listen to during our day.

If we stuff ourselves with meaningless things that have little or no real value, we leave little room for the things that are valuable. Things that are noble, true, pure … things Paul tells us to think about.

It may be difficult to limit the empty caloric things we fill our days with, but perhaps we could start small. Perhaps we could set a limit on how much time we spend watching TV or surfing the web or spent on social media and see what happens. It might surprise us.

Do you find it difficult to limit the time you spend watching TV, surfing the web, or on social media?

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Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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When Satan Attacks Us

courtesy pixabayby Sandy Kirby Quandt

When Satan attacks us we have a choice to make. We can do nothing and let him defeat us. Or we can counter his attack and call on the name of Jesus. In Christ’s power and strength we can resist the devil and he will flee. Satan is a defeated foe. At the name of Jesus the devil doesn’t stand a chance.

This month I’ve been working to meet several writing deadlines. Each one is doable and within my ability to accomplish, but when I let Satan’s lies penetrate my core and tell me otherwise, I doubt. I waver. I hesitate.

While completing these projects I felt overwhelmed. Not defeated. Yet.

But I’ve traveled that path enough times to understand I was being attacked.

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I had a choice to make. And the choice I made was to reach out to friends and ask for specific prayer as it related to my writing.

After sending the emails requesting prayer, I decided to look for a video to go with a song I heard over the weekend. Instead of finding the song I wanted, I found a song God wanted me to find. I think it’s a song God wanted you to hear, as well. I’ve attached it to this post. (As a P.S. I found this video three days after it was published. 🙂 )

Perhaps the devil has been attacking you trying to keep you from accomplishing something God wants you to accomplish. If that’s the case, I hope you realize, like Crowder sings, we’ve got something make the devil run … devil got none … we’ve got THREE. We’ve got the King of kings and the Lord of Hosts. We’ve got the Angel Armies and the Holy Ghost. We’ve got a Cross. A Hill. And an Empty Grave. We’ve got our Jesus and the devil gotta run.

Glory Hallelujah! There’s victory in Jesus!

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So submit yourselves to the one true God and fight against the devil and his schemes. If you do, he will run away in failure. James 4:7 (VOICE)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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My article, “How to Write a Devotional in 300 Words or Less”, is on WOW! Women on Writing e-zine. Please drop by and check it out.

Father to the Fatherless

Pie and Pilot

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Sunday here in the States, we celebrated Father’s Day. For some this day is a day of celebration. For some it is not. For some memories of a loving relationship bring smiles. For some memories of a painful relationship being tears.

Even though our family enjoyed a nice lunch together after church Sunday and happily celebrated Pilot, there was sadness in my heart. I longed for my father’s presence even after all these years since his death. 36 to be exact. That’s a long time to still miss someone, but I do.

My dad and me

For one of my friends it took decades before she could call God Father because of the dreadful abusive relationship she had with her biological dad. Her experience of a father was the exact opposite of who we know God to be.

Perhaps you can relate to her situation.

It took her decades to understand who God truly is.

God is our Protector. Our Provider. Our Healer and Defender.

He does not inflict pain on us. He does not withhold his affection from us. He binds us up when we hurt.

He is All Loving. Patient. Kind.

God does not treat us as our sins deserve.

Although I miss my dad and look forward to the day we will be united in heaven, I praise God as my Heavenly Father for not leaving me orphaned.

courtesy pixabay

God is the Father to the fatherless. That means he loves us beyond measure. It does not  matter if our earthly dads have died physically, or if they withdrew their love from us and are emotionally dead to us.

Whatever your relationship with your dad, I pray you know your Heavenly Father loves you with an everlasting, unconditional love that will never fade.

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Sing praises to the Lord! Raise your voice in song to him who rides upon the clouds! Jehovah is his name—oh, rejoice in his presence. He is a father to the fatherless; he gives justice to the widows, for he is holy. Psalm 68:4-5 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Africa Study Bible Kickstarter Campaign Wrap-up–Final Results

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Earlier I told you about the Africa Study Bible Kickstarter Campaign. Today I received an update I’d like to share with you.

While we raised nearly $40,000, we unfortunately did not meet our $100,000 goal. Because with Kickstarter it’s “all or nothing,” Oasis isn’t able to collect those gifts. ( No one will be charged for a pledge towards a project unless it reaches its funding goal.) However, some good news! Due to gifts previously received outside of the Kickstarter platform, we will be able to move forward with the printing of the ASB, though on a slightly delayed timeline and potentially fewer copies. We know God still has a plan for the ASB!

Although Oasis did not reach their Kickstarter goal, they are pressing on. Their website states, “With your help Oasis International will launch the Africa Study Bible across the continent. Future leaders, pastors and communities will have the material they need to be effective and grow. Parents will have the resources they need to raise godly children. Evangelists will have the tools to preach the Gospel.”

If you would like to donate to the Africa Study Bible project, here is the link to Oasis International for more information.

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How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns! Isaiah 52:7 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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