Sunday Scriptures – Friends

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

While I do believe there are random encounters in our lives, I also believe God places specific people — friends — in our lives either for us to be enriched from the relationship, or for them to be enriched through us.

With that thought in mind, I have a suggestion for us today. Let’s look back and consider those who have loved, cared for, taught, discipled, encouraged, or mentored us, and thank God for them.

Paper and pencil ready? Then, let’s go.

Who comes to mind first? Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, spouses?

What about ministers, youth leaders, Sunday school teachers, any other person whether in an official, or unofficial capacity who helped further our Biblical knowledge and understanding?

Are there friends we’d add to the list? Co-workers? I sure hope so.

Teachers? There’d better be one or two on the list.

Our list will consist of those who helped shape and mold us into the people we are today. Of course, each of us knows life is not a bowl full of jello, despite what Knucklehead Nellie sang in South Pacific, and there have been toxic people in our lives, as well. But we’re not going to think about them today.

Nope. Today is for thanking God for those positive people in our lives who helped make us better than we were before we met them. Today is also a time to reflect and consider whether our name will show up on the positive side of anyone’s list. Hmmm.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. Proverbs 27:17 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Pause For Poetry — Believing is a Must

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

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

Believing is a Must

by Frances Gregory Pasch

Before I knew you, Jesus,

I would worry and I’d fret.

Each time bad news came my way,

I’d really get upset.

Now I try to analyze

The news that I receive;

I look beyond the surface

So I will not be deceived.

I have learned, dear Jesus,

At times I must bear pain.

I also know it won’t be long

Before you will explain.

I’m learning to accept what comes…

In You, alone, I trust,

For if I’m to be faithful…

Believing is a must!

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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Love One Another As I Have Loved You

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Love, love, love, love, the Gospel in a word is love. Love thy neighbor as thy brother. Love. Love. Love. Those are the words to a chorus we sang when I was at Indian Lake Christian Service Camp during senior high school. Perhaps you sang it, too? Whether those words come to mind from a song, or from the written Word of God, they are words we need to hold onto, live out, and never abandon, don’t you agree?

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:34-35 (NKJV)

“You should love the Eternal, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.”  The second great commandment is this: “Love others in the same way you love yourself.” There are no commandments more important than these. Mark 12:30-31 (VOICE)

Love does no wrong to anyone. That’s why it fully satisfies all of God’s requirements. It is the only law you need. Romans 13:10 (TLB)

Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters. Hebrews 13:1 (NLT)

So. How are we doing in loving others as Christ loves us?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

I may be able to speak the languages of human beings and even of angels, but if I have no love, my speech is no more than a noisy gong or a clanging bell. I may have the gift of inspired preaching; I may have all knowledge and understand all secrets; I may have all the faith needed to move mountains—but if I have no love, I am nothing. I may give away everything I have, and even give up my body to be burned—but if I have no love, this does me no good.

Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail.

 Love is eternal. There are inspired messages, but they are temporary; there are gifts of speaking in strange tongues, but they will cease; there is knowledge, but it will pass. For our gifts of knowledge and of inspired messages are only partial; but when what is perfect comes, then what is partial will disappear.

When I was a child, my speech, feelings, and thinking were all those of a child; now that I am an adult, I have no more use for childish ways. What we see now is like a dim image in a mirror; then we shall see face-to-face. What I know now is only partial; then it will be complete—as complete as God’s knowledge of me.

Meanwhile these three remain: faith, hope, and love; and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Click For Babies Cap Campaign

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

According to the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome, CLICK for Babies is a grassroots public education campaign organized by the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome (NCSBS) in partnership with hospitals, public health and child abuse prevention groups to create awareness of the leading trigger for infant abuse, frustration with infant crying.

When I saw an article on this, I knew I had to participate.

PURPLE Acronym

After I pulled out my crochet hook, organized the purple yarn I had, and bought more purple yarn, I set about crocheting tiny little purple hats. As I created each hat, I prayed for the baby receiving the hat, and the parent or caregiver in charge of raising that child. Childrearing is a tough job.

While crocheting I paid attention to something that happens every time I knit or crochet … the center of the yarn, the core which is pulled out before the outer section, collapses on itself. When it collapses, the yarn often becomes tangled and unusable. At that point, all creating must stop until the tangled knots are removed.

In my early days of knitting decades ago, I’d get frustrated with the tangled yarn and just cut it. I didn’t take the time to untangled, just tied another section of yarn past the tangle and kept going. That really is not the best way to handle knots, by the way.

Nowadays, whenever I start a project, Pilot asks if I need him to roll the yarn into balls for me. Often the answer is yes, thank you, but not this time.

Life is a lot like a skein of yarn, don’t you think?

We pull and pull and tug and tug at our core working, moving, doing, until our center collapses. We deplete our core, and in the process become a tangled knotted mess. At that point we need to stop and take the time to untangle. To seek God. To pause in order for God to untangle our mess and refill us with himself so we can be useful for his purposes once more.

It’s not a good idea to sever the yarn that attaches us to God like I once did when my yarn knotted. We need to stay attached to the One who is capable of untangling the knots in our life. It’s also a good idea to have people in our lives who are willing to roll that skein of yarn into a manageable ball when the going gets tough before we become all knotted up.

If you knit or crochet, please consider creating some tiny purple hats for the Click for Babies campaign. But hurry. All hats need to arrive at the clearing house by September 30, 2017 to be distributed to families in November.

Thanks for considering helping this important campaign.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:40 (NIV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — In Our Weakness

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

The story is told in the Gospel of Mark of a woman who had exhausted her resources in search for a cure to the bleeding she’d endured for countless years. None of the physicians she saw could help. Not only had her resources been depleted, so had her strength. Yet, at the point of her deepest weakness she found hope and healing in Jesus.

Each of us faces weakness in our lives at some point in time, whether it is a physical ailment that debilitates, relational difficulties, or emotional hurts; we all will find our problems beyond what we can handle on our own.

Throughout Jesus’ life on this earth he met people who were weakened by their circumstances. Their weakness led them to seek out Jesus for healing. Our weakness should lead us to seek Jesus’ help first, but often that is not the case.

We may make attempts to heal our wounds through various methods, as the woman with the issue of blood did, but the ultimate healing, just like hers, comes through our encounter with Jesus. When we admit our weakness, it opens our eyes to just how strong he is, and we discover Jesus is more than enough.

Do you find Jesus is the first place you go with your weakness, or do you try to fix things yourself first?

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“She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe. For she thought to herself, ‘If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.’ Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition.”  Mark 5:27-29 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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So God Made a Dog Book Review

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

In April I mentioned a devotional book I was a part of and promised I’d let you know when the book with my dog devos, So God Made a Dog, came out. Well. Here it is! So excited to hold this book and read not just the eleven devotions I wrote, but all the other dog-lovers’ devotions about the various dogs we each have shared our lives with.

Fifteen different writers contributed a total of ninety different dog devotions to show us that just like humans, every dog is unique and has lessons to teach us. In reading these devotions, if we look closely, we see stories of compassion, stubbornness, loyalty, grace, honor, and strength. Traits our dogs exhibit which can have a spiritual meaning for us all.

On the pages of So God Made a Dog are stories which are funny, poignant, and sweet. They touch hearts and make us laugh. They are stories which need to be read more than once.

In my devotions I write about Bear, Kirby, Buckshot, Samantha, Shadow, Shang, Timothy, and the Iditarod sled dogs. These dogs all hold a special place in my heart. Because of that, I hope you’ll pick up a copy of So God Made a Dog, and learn what made each writer feel their dog’s story needed to be told.

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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