What’s in a Name?

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

William Shakespeare wrote, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” What something is matters more than what it is called. So what’s in a name?

With the addition of a new puppy to our home, the task of giving him a name was high on our to-do list.

Because our new puppy is black with a little white on him, Pilot thought the puppy’s name should have something to do with black. He suggested Darth Vader and Johnny Cash. Both of which I quickly vetoed. So Pilot went with his next choice, Baxter Black, after the NPR Cowboy Poet. Fine with me.

In elementary school I remember some of us girls went through a phase where we absolutely detested our names. We wanted a different name. A new name. Something we felt identified us better than the name our parents gave us. I have no recollection of what name I felt suited me better, but I’m sure it was stunning. 😉

Of course, along the road of life we are often given nicknames people feel identify us more accurately. I love a cartoon I saw of two dogs discussing their names. One dog tells the other, “My real name is Brutus, but my family calls me Mr. Handsome Pants.” Too cute.

At the end of our lives the Bible tells us Jesus will give those of us who belong to him a white stone, and on that stone a new name will be engraved that no one understands except the one who receives it.

While we may not be pleased with the names our parents gave us, I’m sure our new names that are written down in glory will be stunning.

How could they not be? Our LORD Jesus is the one who chose it for us.

So what’s in a name? Do you think it matters what we call something? If you have pets, how do you go about choosing a name for them?

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Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious I will give some of the manna that has been hidden away in heaven. And I will give to each one a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one understands except the one who receives it. Revelation 2:17 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Pieces of the Quilt

courtesy pixabayby Sandy Kirby Quandt

Both my grandmothers and my mother made full-sized quilts. Sissy makes smaller quilted pieces. I have material stashed away that I’ve kept from the seventies in the hopes of someday making a quilt.

Each of those pieces of material I’ve saved tell a story, because each piece was cut from a garment I owned. I even have multiple quilt pattern books for the unlikely day I actually make a quilt.

Well. I did actually start a quilt when Pie was a baby, but never completed it. And I have sewn a quilted top to a bottom with batting in between, but in my mind those don’t count for creating a quilt from start to finish.

Recently, I thought about the fact quilts are made up of individual pieces of varying sizes, shapes, and colors.

Often, as in the case of the quilts my grandmothers made, those smaller pieces came from a larger garment or piece of material.

Those scraps, re-purposed from cloth no longer useful, created an item that was.

By now you may be thinking, “She’s getting ready to draw a spiritual insight between quilts and something.” And you’d be correct. So here’s what I’ve been pondering.

Our lives are made up of individual pieces, just like a quilt. Some pieces remind us of happy times. Some remind us of sad times. Some pieces are bright and colorful. Some are muted and gray.

Those individual scraps of our lives no longer define who we are. They are only a glimpse, a reminder, of who we once were.

However, when we take all those tiny pieces of our life experiences, hand them over to Jesus, and allow him to sew the pieces of our life together into a new creation, we find they become a beautiful, useful quilt.

Jesus re-purposes those events in our past, even the painful ones, that make us who we are into the person he intends us to be today.

Are you a quilter? If so, what part of the quilting process do you enjoy the most, other than the finished project? 🙂

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Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The past is forgotten, and everything is new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (CEV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — Made in the Shade

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Have you ever noticed the difference between plants and grass that are constantly exposed to the heat of direct sunlight, compared with plants and grass that receive shade? The shaded plants and grass seem better able to thrive when the intense summer heat comes than those that do not get any relief from the heat. Simple right? Makes perfect sense. The shade offers relief.

Let’s look at our lives and think of them as plants in the direct heat of irate employers or customers. The heat of strained relationships. The heat of worries and cares that feel as if they will burn us to a crisp. The withering heat of condemning words. False accusations. Endless pain.

I’d venture to guess we’ve all had our share of being scorched without the relief of a bit of cooling shade. It hurts. It wilts our soul. It zaps our energy and strength. It leaves us listless and ready to give up.

But we do not have to live in the blazing heat of day because God is our protector who shades us with his love. Just as the cool shade of a large oak offers relief, the shade of God’s love offers us relief from the heat of our world.

Unlike plants and grass that can’t get up and relocate to a shadier spot, we have the choice of whether to rest and be refreshed beneath the shade of God’s love, or stubbornly stay outside it withering in the heat we face day after day.

Our choice. Which will you choose? Shade or heat?

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The Lord is your protector, there at your right side to shade you from the sun. You won’t be harmed by the sun during the day or by the moon night. Psalm 121:5-6 (CEV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Gluten-Free Honey-Chile Chicken on Coconut Rice Recipe

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

This delicious Gluten-Free Honey-Chile Chicken on Coconut Rice recipe comes from Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, 13X9 the Pan That Can. It makes 8 servings.

  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 cups water
  • 1  14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 1/4 cups uncooked jasmine rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped yellow and/or red sweet pepper
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons Asian chili paste – Pilot used red curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons gluten-free soy sauce
  • 3 cups chopped cooked chicken breast

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 3-quart rectangular baking dish with cooking spray.

In a small saucepan bring the water and coconut milk to boil. Pour into prepared baking dish. Stir in rice and salt. Bake, covered, 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, cook onion and sweet pepper in hot oil over medium heat about 5 minutes, or just until tender. Stirring occasionally. Add ginger and garlic. Cook and stir 1 minute more. Stir onion mixture and peas into partially cooked rice.

In a medium bowl, combine the next four ingredients. Stir in chicken. Spoon chicken mixture over rice mixture. Bake, covered, 15-20 minutes more or until heated through and rice is tender.

Enjoy!

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Clearer Vision

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Two weeks ago I had surgery to remove a cataract from my right eye. Today surgery on my left eye is scheduled. As with all cataracts, mine built up over the years, clouded my vision, and kept me from seeing things clearly.

The day after the removal of the first cataract, I visited my optometrist for my follow-up appointment. My doctor told me everything looked excellent. Yay, God!

Walking around with clearer vision in my eye got me thinking about what it takes to walk around with clearer vision in my heart.

In the same way I needed to have the clouded lens removed to see through my eye more clearly, we need Jesus to remove the clouded heart-lens we look through so we can see things through his eyes more clearly.

As with my cataracts, our clouded heart-vision doesn’t develop overnight. It takes years to harden our hearts to look at things in distorted ways God never intended. It takes years to allow prejudice and hurt to build up and blind us to the truth; God loves everyone. No exceptions.

Having clearer heart-vision means allowing Jesus to take his laser, or scalpel, to the opaque lens that covers our hearts, ridding us of unhealthy habits, and letting us see his plan for our lives with better focus.

Because of my astigmatism, I’ll still need glasses. And I’m okay with that.

The way I see it, (no pun intended) continuing to need glasses keeps me dependent on something outside myself to have clearer vision.

Just as being dependent on Jesus clears up my heart-vision.

What do you do to keep your heart dependent on Jesus for clearer vision?

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For we live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7 (NIV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — Our Founding Fathers Prayed

In Billy Graham’s devotional book, Hope for Each Day, he mentions a time at the early beginnings of the formation of the United States of America during a meeting of the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. The purpose was the ratification of the constitution.

The delegates to the Congress became angry with each other, and because they could not resolve their conflicts or agree on anything at all, the delegates gathered their belongings and headed for the door.

Reminds me of the attitude children have when they can’t get there way. If I don’t get my way, then I’ll take my ball and go home.

Fortunately for our country, one man had enough sense to offer the correct solution.

Benjamin Franklin spoke to the delegates. It is reported these were his words.

Wait a minute, gentlemen. This country was conceived in faith in God. Many of us here believe in prayer. Let us get upon our knees and pray to Almighty God and see whether God shall give to us the answer to our dilemma.

The delegates to the Constitutional Convention put aside their differences, and for the good of our country surrendered their egos to God, got on their knees and prayed. The Constitution of the United States of America was the result of their prayers.

We have no lesser challenge today.

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Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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