Give Thanks Unto the Lord

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. As we reflect on how richly we have been blessed by the Lord of heaven and earth, let us sing his praises and give him our thanks; recognizing he is the Giver of every good and perfect.

“Oh, give thanks to the Lord and pray to him,” they sang.
“Tell the peoples of the world
About his mighty doings. 

Sing to him; yes, sing his praises
And tell of his marvelous works.
Glory in his holy name;
Let all rejoice who seek the Lord.
 Seek the Lord; yes, seek his strength
And seek his face untiringly.

O descendants of his servant Abraham,
O chosen sons of Jacob,
Remember his mighty miracles
And his marvelous miracles
And his authority:
He is the Lord our God!
 Sing to the Lord, O Earth,
Declare each day that he is the one who saves!

Show his glory to the nations!
Tell everyone about his miracles.
 For the Lord is great and should be highly praised;
He is to be held in awe above all gods.
 The other so-called gods are demons,
But the Lord made the heavens.
 Majesty and honor march before him,
Strength and gladness walk beside him.

 O people of all nations of the earth,
Ascribe great strength and glory to his name!
 Yes, ascribe to the Lord
The glory due his name!
Bring an offering and come before him;
Worship the Lord when clothed with holiness!
 Tremble before him, all the earth!

The world stands unmoved.
 Let the heavens be glad, the earth rejoice;
Let all the nations say, ‘It is the Lord who reigns.’
 Let the vast seas roar,
Let the countryside and everything in it rejoice!
 Let the trees in the woods sing for joy before the Lord,
For he comes to judge the earth.
 Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
His love and his kindness go on forever.

 Blessed be Jehovah, God of Israel,
Forever and forevermore.”

And all the people shouted “Amen!” and praised the Lord.

1 Chronicles 16 (TLB)

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I wish you well.

Sandy

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Talking to Jesus Book Review

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

In Talking to Jesus: A Fresh Perspective on Prayer, Jeannine Blackmer takes stories from the book of Matthew that tell of Jesus’ encounters with the people around him and imagines what those interactions may have been like. In doing so, she hopes to give the reader a new perspective on prayer.

Within the pages of her book, Jeannine covers the stories of the leper, centurion, scribe, disciples, the paralytic, the ruler, the woman with a bleeding disease, two blind men, John the Baptist, Peter, the Canaanite woman, a father, and the rich young man.

Each chapter begins from the character’s viewpoint and includes their encounter with Jesus. Following the telling of the story the author describes her own personal response to the story, offers several scripture verses for reflection, and ends with a section for the reader to record their observations on what they’ve just read.

While reading the chapter on the disciples during the storm on the Sea of Galilee, I wrote my name into the story and sat right alongside the disciples as the storm raged and the waves threatened to overtake them. I looked at the story and wrote my story of situations where chaos replaced calm; and fear replaced faith.

In the midst of the storm while Jesus slept in their boat, the disciples, and I, cried out, “Save us LORD, for we are about to drown!” At our cry Jesus woke, asked why our faith was so weak that we were afraid, and then told the wind and sea to be still.

As Jeannine states in her book, fear is a struggle for her — and for me, perhaps for you also. Even though we know Jesus can change circumstances in a moment, we’re afraid he won’t. It is at those times we, like the disciples, need to cry out to Jesus and plead in prayer for him to save us; for we are about to drown. At that point we can rest assured in his calm presence knowing he hears, and will act according to his purpose.

I’d encourage you to do the same thing. Find your favorite scripture or story from the Bible and write your name in it. By writing your name in the stories, does it give you a new perspective on how to talk to Jesus on a more personal level?

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

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below.

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I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — Come and Help Me

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Do you have difficulty admitting you need help? Do you reluctantly accept help, fearful you may appear weak? Or are you comfortable admitting you need help and gladly accept it when offered?

During David’s time as king, an Ammonite king died and David sent ambassadors to the king’s son to express his regrets concerning the king’s death. But the son’s officers told him the ambassadors were sent as spies. Believing the lies, the son took the men, shaved off half their beards, cut their robes off exposing their buttocks and sent them home in shame.

This did not sit well with David.

Realizing they had a fight on their hands, the Ammonites hired thirty-one thousand Syrian mercenaries and sent them to fight the Israelites. Some guarded the city gates. Others went to the fields to fight.

When David heard about this, he sent Joab and the entire Israeli army to attack them. Realizing he would have to fight on two fronts, Joab split his army. He took the best fighters under his command to fight in the fields, and left the rest with his brother, Abishai, to attack the Ammonite’s city. Before they split up, Joab told Abishai to come to him if Abishai needed help. Likewise, Joab would help Abishai should he need it.

Theirs was a mutual agreement. If you need help, I’m there. If I need help, you’re there.

In our humanness we often falsely believe we don’t need any help from anyone. Including God. How wrong that belief is.

We were created to be in community with others. God said it was not good for man to be alone. Solomon said a cord of three strands is better than a cord of one strand. For if one should fall, the others can pick him up.

We need each other. We need to be willing to admit when we need help. We need to be willing to help as we can, and accept help when it is offered.

Do you find it easy or difficult to admit you need help?

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Joab saw that the enemy troops would attack him in front and from the rear, so he chose the best of Israel’s soldiers and put them in position facing the Syrians. He placed the rest of his troops under the command of his brother Abishai, who put them in position facing the Ammonites. Joab said to him, “If you see that the Syrians are defeating me, come and help me, and if the Ammonites are defeating you, I will go and help you. Be strong and courageous! Let’s fight hard for our people and for the cities of our God. And may the Lord‘s will be done!” 2 Samuel 10:9-12 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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P.S.

If you want to know what happened, you’ll have to read the rest of the story in 2 Samuel 10. 🙂

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Pause for Poetry — God’s Blessings

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

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

God’s Blessings

by Frances Gregory Pasch

As we gather round the table

We bow our heads in prayer

To thank You, Lord, for loving us

And for Your constant care.

We thank You for our houses,

Our friends and families.

We thank You for Your guidance

And for Your perfect peace.

Thanks for all Your blessings,

The big ones and the small,

Especially for Jesus

Who gave His life for all.

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.

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I wish you well.

Sandy

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The One Who Fights For Us

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

I certainly did not expect to have a meaningful theological discussion with a man who lived in the bushes near the pavilion on the Florida beach where we held Pilot’s brother’s memorial service.

But that’s exactly what happened as the mourners who filled the pavilion shuffled off after Tom’s paddle out this past June.

As Tom’s service unfolded with dinner beneath the pavilion following the paddle out, Steve and others with nowhere else to go waited respectfully nearby. I saw them watching us, and realized the pavilion we occupied must be where they spent their days. Probably even their nights. Each man carried his possessions in backpacks or strapped to their bicycles.

After most people left to go home, the back area of the pavilion opened up, and one by one the homeless men reclaimed their space.

While I picked up flowers from one table near the back, Steve approached pushing his bike beside him.

He paused, and asked why all the people were there. I explained about Tom. He offered his condolences, we shook hands and introduced ourselves.

It was then God opened the door for the two of us to have a conversation about the One who fights for us; Jesus Christ, God’s son.

Steve and I talked for awhile about his life and things he dealt with on a daily basis. I’m really not sure how we got around to talking about the Bible, but I do know it was a natural progression within our discussion. As Steve and I shared scripture back and forth, I found myself envious of his ability to quote massive sections of scripture from all over the Bible.

I do remember one verse I shared. I’m sharing it with you today. It’s the verse I started, Steve joined me in, and both completed together.

It’s the last verse we quoted before I shook his hand again, wished him the best, and promised to pray for him; which I have done.

But I should have prayed with him right there on the spot as well.

Because Jesus, the Sacrificial Lamb who was slain for all, tore the curtain which separated mankind from the throne of God, we can boldly approach God knowing he is there, and welcomes each and everyone of us who come through his Son.

There is now no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus, the One who fights for us, no matter who we are, or where we lay our heads at night.

Amen and amen and amen. Thank you Jesus.

Do you find it easy or difficult to share your faith with others?

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So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. Romans 8:1-2 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Gluten-free Ice Cream Cake Recipe

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

This super simple gluten-free ice cream cake recipe is courtesy Blind Pig and the Acorn. I made a few changes to the original recipe. Be forewarned: this is really sweet.

  • 1 stick butter melted
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 4 cups crushed rice Chex cereal
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup pecan pieces
  • 1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream
  • Chocolate syrup

Combine butter, coconut, Chex cereal, sugar, and pecans. Mix thoroughly.

Layer half of the mixture in the bottom of an oblong plastic dish with a lid.

Spread softened ice cream on top of mixture. Ice cream will spread easily if you set it out for 10-15 minutes. You can beat it with a mixer if you’d like. I didn’t.

Top with remaining Chex mixture. Cover and put in freezer until firm.

Drizzle with refrigerated chocolate syrup, if desired, and serve.

Enjoy!

I wish you well,

Sandy

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