Let God Lead

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Our dog, Bear, likes to lead. He isn’t fond of being led. I attribute this to the fact he truly is an intelligent animal. Not all that obedient, but intelligent, nonetheless.

Bear believes he knows where we are headed when we go for a walk. He thinks it’s up to him to set the pace and direction. Bear strains against his leash and tries to pull us his way, his pace, urging us to follow his lead. Only, more times than not, he doesn’t know where we’re going, and he doesn’t know the pace we want to set.

As aggravating and annoying as it is when Bear behaves this way, I can’t get too upset with him. You want to know why? Because I’m very much like Bear, and perhaps you are too.

We’re intelligent creatures. We know what’s best. We have a plan, and set a pace to get where we’re going. We don’t need to follow anyone. Sometimes we head off down a wrong path, and urge God to follow and bless the way we’ve chosen instead of following God’s lead. Sometimes we set a time frame for achieving our goal, and don’t pay a bit of attention to the pace God sets in his perfect timing.

When Pilot and I moved to Texas from Florida, we had a plan and a timeline. God had a different plan and timeline.

When I set out to write books, I had a plan and timeline. God had a different plan and timeline.

Walking with Bear would be so much easier if he followed our lead and went at our pace.

I believe walking with God would be so much easier if we followed his lead, and went at his pace. God leads. We follow. Simple as that. God does have our best interest at heart, you know.

Do you have trouble allowing God to lead?

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For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps. 1 Peter 2:21 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — Relics of Kings

Isaiahby Sandy Kirby Quandt

The Dom in Cologne, Germany truly is a magnificent masterpiece.The cathedral is the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe and has the second-tallest spires. Declared a World Heritage Site in 1996, UNESCO has this to say about the cathedral:

Begun in 1248, the construction of this Gothic masterpiece took place in several stages and was not completed until 1880. Over seven centuries, successive builders were inspired by the same faith and a spirit of absolute fidelity to the original plans. Apart from its exceptional intrinsic value and the artistic masterpieces it contains, Cologne Cathedral testifies to the enduring strength of European Christianity.

The Dom’s original medieval builders envisioned the cathedral as a grand reliquary to house the remains of saints; such as bones, pieces of clothing, or other relics associated with saints or religious figures. Of course, the authenticity of said objects was often a matter of debate.

The relics themselves were considered more valuable than precious stones and to be esteemed more than gold. As a result, they were enshrined in containers crafted of, or covered with, gold, silver, gems, ivory and enamel.

During the 16th-century Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther opposed the use of relics; believing they led to the worship of something other than God.

While I respect the traditions of differing cultures toward the dead, I have to tell you when I walked past the numerous containers of relics placed throughout the Dom during my visits to the cathedral, it gave me the willies. I even found myself occasionally holding my breath as I passed them.

In case you are wondering where in the world this blog post came from, the reason behind this discussion of relics and the bones of venerated people was sparked by several verses I read in Ezekiel.

The Lord told Ezekiel God was the living One who dwelt among the people, and he would not have the people defile his holy name any longer by honoring the relics of their kings who had died.

So I’m wondering … have we erected a reliquary of any kind where we venerate or hold up in worship anything; dead or alive, other than God?

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.

And I heard someone speaking to me from within the Temple, while the man who had been measuring stood beside me. The Lord said to me, “Son of man, this is the place of my throne and the place where I will rest my feet. I will live here forever among the people of Israel. They and their kings will not defile my holy name any longer by their adulterous worship of other gods or by honoring the relics of their kings who have died. They put their idol altars right next to mine with only a wall between them and me. They defiled my holy name by such detestable sin, so I consumed them in my anger. Now let them stop worshiping other gods and honoring the relics of their kings, and I will live among them forever. Ezekiel 43:6-9 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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God is a Consuming Fire

courtesy pixabayby Sandy Kirby Quandt

Through the years I’ve witnessed first hand how absolutely destructive fire can be. And let me say, it isn’t pretty. Because of this, and probably for other unknown reasons, I’ve been reluctant to embrace the thought that God is a consuming fire.

The first time I read the words stating God is a consuming fire in Hebrews, I shuddered.

The first time I watched Third Day’s rather apocalyptic video, Consuming Fire, it frightened me.

Yes. I sang Refiner’s Fire at church along with everyone else. Sure, I wanted to be holy, set apart for God’s use. Didn’t we all?

courtesy pixabayI longed to be a clean vessel God could use, but there was that fire thing again.

Couldn’t I just be scrubbed clean with soap, or something?

Did it HAVE to be fire?

This morning as I listened to Meredith Andrews’ song, “Burn Away” it hit me.

Looking back I see where God took his refining fire to my heart multiple times. I’ve been in the crucible and held over his consuming fire more times than I care to remember. But remember I must.

And you want to know why we must remember the times God’s consuming fire burned courtesy pixbayaway the things in our lives that are not of him; that kept us from being all he designed us to be? Because it is in those times of trial and testing we are purified to become vessels he can use.

So, instead of shrinking from the flames and being fearful, I have a new perspective. If God’s refining fire is what it takes to make me more like Jesus, then burn away.

How about you?

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Since we have a Kingdom nothing can destroy, let us please God by serving him with thankful hearts and with holy fear and awe. For our God is a consuming fire. Hebrews 12:28-29 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — God Can Use Our Little to Accomplish His Big

Isaiahby Sandy Kirby Quandt

Often we feel as if our little isn’t worth much, but in God’s hands he can use what we offer to accomplish his big plans.

Recently a fabric store near where I live went out of business. In the final days before the store closed the price of remnants; small pieces of material, ribbon, whatnots, were reduced to a fraction of their original cost.

Although I no longer sew as much as I used to, I still saw potential in each piece of leftover material, and fought the impulse to purchase yards of material I really do not need.

Two yards of material may not make a dress, but it could make a skirt. One yard of material may not make a blouse, but pieced together with other leftover material, it could make a quilt.

When we look at our talents, abilities, gifts, we may believe they are little more than remnants; not worth a whole lot. But when we offer our little to God, he can take what we give, and use it to accomplish the big plans he has.

On our own our ability may not save the world, but in God’s hands it can help our neighbor.

On our own our one yard of material may not cover the needs of all the homeless in our area, but combined with the one yard of material from others it can.

Instead of looking at our little, and believing it too small or insignificant to be of any use we need to look to the One into whose hands we place it, and see the big he can accomplish.

And praise him.

That’s what happened to the disciples when Jesus took five loaves of bread and two small fish, and fed over five thousand people, after all.

Do you see potential in remnants and turn them into projects?

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 But Jesus replied, You feed them!”

“Why, we have only five loaves of bread and two fish among the lot of us,” they protested; “or are you expecting us to go and buy enough for this whole mob?” For there were about 5,000 men there!

“Just tell them to sit down on the ground in groups of about fifty each,” Jesus replied. So they did.

Jesus took the five loaves and two fish and looked up into the sky and gave thanks; then he broke off pieces for his disciples to set before the crowd.And everyone ate and ate; still, twelve basketfuls of scraps were picked up afterwards! Luke 9:13-17 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Pause for Poetry — God is Everywhere

pauseby Sandy Kirby Quandt

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

God Is Everywhere

by Frances Gregory Pasch

He’s the smile on a face…

A note in the mail.

The breeze on the ocean

That propels a sail.

Food in the pantry…

Wood on the fire.

Shoes on our feet…

Words that inspire.

Let’s not get so busy

That we miss all His signs…

They’re His way of blessing

Both your days and mine.

  ©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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