God’s Word Never Fails

courtesy pixabayby Sandy Kirby Quandt

Summer’s scorching heat is upon our area again. The grass withers. The flowers fade. Leaves on shrubs wilt. Brown grass crunches underfoot. The heat is just too much, and rain is nowhere in the forecast.

This heat will pass, I know. Refreshing rains will return. The grass, flowers, and leaves will perk up. Come winter we’ll barely remember the heat and how wilted everything was. Until it strikes again the next time.

The scorching heat of life beats down on us, too. It withers and fades our souls just as surely as the summer sun’s heat withers and fades grass and flowers under its hot afternoon sun. Oppression beats down on us. Obstacles won’t budge. We long for relief, but it seems out of reach.

courtesy pixabay

At those times when our souls feel wilted, God’s word stands ready to refresh and nourish. His words above everything else strengthens and renews. God’s words are life. They are full of his promises and his everlasting love.

Maybe we aren’t the ones fading, withering, or wilting at the moment. Maybe we aren’t bothered by the heat of problems today. Instead, maybe God placed us in a position to bring his words of life and renewal to those around us who are feeling the heat of life.

Everything in this world will fade away like grass and flowers baked in the scorching heat. Only God’s word endures forever. No matter what we face, we can hold onto the same truths the ancients penned centuries ago. The LORD truly is our eternal shepherd. We need not want.

courtesy pixabay

Could it be God wants us to speak his everlasting words of love that will never fade or wither to those around us, more than he wants us to speak words that will fade away?

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Yes, grass withers and flowers fade, but the word of our God endures forever. Isaiah 40:8 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — Speak, For Your Servant Is Listening

Isaiahby Sandy Kirby Quandt

During a recent study of 1 Samuel 3 which records God’s call on the prophet Samuel’s life, I thought about an incident that happened in the early 1970s when a friend and I attended the opening of a new shopping center.

As we walked through the shopping center, a 6 foot tall Squirrel called out my friend’s name. (Think Alice in Wonderland and the White Rabbit. No. Hallucinogenics were not involved.)

My friend looked my direction. I shrugged. It wasn’t me.

Not sure what was going on, we kept walking.

I should probably mention the name of the shopping center was Walnut Grove; so it made perfect sense to have a 6 foot Squirrel as their mascot walking around talking to people, but it did not make sense that the Squirrel knew my friend’s name.

The Squirrel followed, and called out again.

When we stopped, and turned toward the Squirrel she explained who she was. She and my friend knew each other in elementary school.

It was rather unsettling for my friend, and humorous to me, to have a Squirrel calling after him, and following us through the shopping center. He wasn’t expecting it, and didn’t really know how to respond. So he did what made sense to him. He tried to get away.

When God called Samuel as he slept, Samuel wasn’t expecting it, and didn’t really know how to respond. He did what made sense to him. He went to see what Eli, the priest, needed. Only Eli was not the one who called the boy.

After the third time God called Samuel, Eli figured out who called Samuel, and told him to go lie back down, and if God called him again Samuel was to say, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

And that’s exactly what Samuel did.

There may be times when God calls us to do something for him, but we don’t recognize his voice. Or if we do, we don’t want to listen to what God has to say, and we walk away.

One of the commentators I read during my study of this part in Samuel’s life said:

Trying to hear God’s call in our lives can be like trying to hear a conversation in a busy room full of people. He’s speaking, but the clutter of noise and distractions around us means we aren’t hearing much of what he says. We need to be intentional about carving out time and space in our lives to listen to God.

When God calls us, we need to be like Samuel and say, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

How are you intentional in carving out time and space in your life to listen to God?

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Then the Lord called Samuel.

Samuel answered, “Here I am.” And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”

But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down. …

A third time the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”

Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”

Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:4-5, 8-10

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Incomplete Obedience is Not Obedience

coutesy pixabayby Sandy Kirby Quandt

During a recent study of King Saul’s incomplete obedience to God’s word found in 1 Samuel 15, once again I was reminded there is no right way to do the wrong thing. To obey is better than sacrifice.

No matter how much we rationalize or kid ourselves, incomplete obedience is not obedience. As my minister said during a sermon on this topic last year, “If we refuse to listen to and obey God, we choose to stand outside of God’s blessing and purpose for our lives.”

When we do not fully carry out God’s directions, we make the choice to stand outside God’s blessing and purpose for our lives.

That’s what King Saul did.

When Saul fought the Amalekites, he choose to do things courtesy pixabayhis way; not God’s way. God told Saul to completely destroy the Amalekites and their property.

However, Saul believed he knew better than God, and spared the Amalekite king, Agag, plus the best of the livestock, and everything else that appealed to Saul and his men.

When the prophet Samuel confronted Saul with his sin, Saul tried to justify his disobedience by saying he kept the best animals for a sacrifice to God. Doubtful.

Saul was a great military leader. This could have been his greatest victory with many more to follow. If only he obeyed God completely. God gave Saul and his men victory over the Amalekites. God expected complete obedience. King Saul obeyed partially, and falsely believed God would be okay with that.

courtesy pixabayBecause Saul disobeyed, he removed himself from God’s best for his life.

As a result of Saul’s disobedience God removed Saul’s crown and the kingdom of Israel from him.

God wants our obedience given out of grateful hearts for all he has done, will do, and is doing in our lives. Through obeying God we show God we trust he knows what’s best for us. We show we believe God is a loving, kind, and good father.

When we disobey, even partially, it’s still disobedience. Disobedience says we think we know better than the God who spoke the world into being, and knit us together in our mother’s wombs.

It’s easy to justify and rationalize our disobedience, isn’t it?

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But Samuel answered, “What pleases the Lord more: burnt offerings and sacrifices or obedience? It is better to obey God than to offer a sacrifice. It is better to listen to God than to offer the fat of male sheep. 1 Samuel 15:22 (ICB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Gluten-free Sausage Alfredo Recipe

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Pilot whipped up this delicious gluten-free one dish Sausage Alfredo meal the other night. It’s simple and quick.

  • 1 pound package smoked sausage
  • 8 oz gluten-free pasta, cooked, drained
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 – 2 tsp salt-free Cajun seasoning (salt to taste)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Prepare gluten-free pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Saute sausage for 5 minutes.

Add cream and Cajun seasoning and boil. Reduce heat. Simmer 3-4 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken.

Stir in Parmesan cheese.

Add pasta and toss.

Enjoy!

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I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — Lord, We Want To See

Isaiahby Sandy Kirby Quandt

This past week I sat in a chair surrounded by the weird-looking optical equipment of an optometrist as he examined my right eye. This visit was unexpected. Seems I have a problem. The problem could be worse, so I’m praising God because it isn’t. A follow-up visit is scheduled, and we’ll go from there.

The day after my eye appointment, one of the devotions I read mentioned the story recorded in Matthew 20 of two blind men who called out to Jesus when he passed by them. God’s prefect timing.

The men knew of Christ’s power, and sought him out for healing. The crowd surrounding the men told them to hush up, but they wouldn’t. Instead they called out all the louder.

When Jesus stopped in front of the men he asked, “What do you want me to do for you?”

The men replied, “Lord, we want to see!”

Jesus touched their eye, and instantly they could see.

That wasn’t the end of the story, however. Matthew tells us the men followed Jesus.

One major thing I’ve learned about prayer and requests is we need to be specific. Jesus the Great Physician already knows what we need. He knows everything. When Christ asked the blind men what they wanted it wasn’t because he didn’t know their need, it was so they would know he was the one who answered their request.

When we pray specifically we are able to see God’s hand at work, and like the two once blind men, we are able to recognize the answer came from God, and follow him.

Yes. I want to see. I want to be healed. I’m praying specifically for those requests. But I also want to see who Jesus is more fully and completely so I, too, will praise him for his answer, and follow him more closely each and every day.

Jesus asks each of us, “What do you want?” He already knows, but Jesus wants us to tell him.

So what is it you want?

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“Two blind men were sitting beside the road. When they heard that Jesus was coming that way, they began shouting, ‘Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!’
“‘Be quiet!’ the crowd yelled at them.
“But they only shouted louder, ‘Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!’
“When Jesus heard them, he stopped and called, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’
“‘Lord,’ they said, ‘we want to see!’ Jesus felt sorry for them and touched their eyes. Instantly they could see! Then they followed him.” Matthew 20:30-34 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Pause for Poetry — Why, Lord?

pauseby Sandy Kirby Quandt

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

Why, Lord?

by Frances Gregory Pasch

Why do we only call You

When in trouble or in pain?

When things are going our way

There’s no reason to complain.

But as soon as there is conflict,

And we don’t know what to do,

We lift our eyes and raise our voice

And plead our case with You.

Why is it that we keep in touch

Just when we need Your help?

Why do we try continuously

To do things by ourselves?

Why don’t we come to recognize

That Your way is the best;

That if we learn to lean on You,

Our lives will be at rest.

© Frances Gregory Pasch

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’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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