Sunday Scriptures — Noah’s Wife

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

While reading the account of the flood in Genesis 8 recently, I spent time pondering how Noah’s wife might have felt during the whole event.

At the beginning of the chapter it says God didn’t forget about Noah and all the animals in the boat, and 150 days after it rained for forty days and forty nights, the boat came to rest upon the mountains of Ararat. Three months later, the waters continued to go down. After another forty days, Noah opened a porthole and released a raven and a dove to search out dry land. The dove returned. The raven didn’t.

Again Noah released the dove one week later, and another week after that. Twenty-nine days after that, Noah opened the door to look and the water was gone.

Eight more weeks went by. Then at last the earth was dry, and God told Noah, “You may all go out.”

Okay. Did you do the math? For over a year Noah, his wife, three sons and three daughter-in-laws, plus countless smelly, stinky, noisy, animals of all kinds lived together on a gigantic boat as water destroyed everything they’d ever known.

It was the end of the world as they knew it, and I doubt they felt fine.

Can you imagine it? I’m not sure I can. They never experienced rain before, much less flood. Now, here they were on a boat hoping it stayed afloat, trying to go about their everyday lives as if nothing epic was happening.

Did Noah’s wife wonder if they brought enough food? Did she wonder how she would keep the clothes clean? What about taking care of the animals? And the water! Did you ever see such a sight? Let’s hope she and the daughter-in-laws had good relationships.

Oy, vey.

Do you think she wondered if they’d ever get off the boat? Do you think she wondered what their new lives would be like? After all, it was just the six of them now. Do you think she ever questioned God? Or questioned Noah?

Do you think when the dove returned the first time with no evidence of land, she felt disappointed? Maybe even distraught. Possibly depressed. Or do you think she took it all in stride, got out her broom and swept the deck … again. What about the second time the dove returned?

What would we have done? I guess to answer that we can look at our lives and what  we do when our expectations aren’t met. When our hopes are dashed. Our dreams go unfulfilled. How do we react?

Looking at how we deal with the events of our life might give us insight as to how we might have dealt with the flood if we’d been Noah’s wife. Probably not many of us have dealt with anything as historic, but we’ve got to be faithful in the little things to be faithful in the big things, right?

So what do you think? Would you have been a happy boater or not?

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Then God told Noah, “You may all go out. Release all the animals, birds, and reptiles, so that they will breed abundantly and reproduce in great numbers.” So the boat was soon empty. Noah, his wife, and his sons and their wives all disembarked, along with all the animals, reptiles, and birds—all left the ark in pairs and groups. Genesis 8:15-19 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Pause for Poetry — My Prayer For You In 2018

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

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

My Prayer For You In 2018

by Frances Gregory Pasch

My prayer for you this new year

Is that God will pour on you

An anointing of His Spirit

Over all you say and do. 

May His love flow through your actions.

May His joy show on your face.

May others feel His presence…

It’s called Amazing Grace. 

May each new day be special

Filled with blessings from above.

May you feast upon His goodness…

Then with others share His love.

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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Bossy Pants

courtesy pixabayby Sandy Kirby Quandt

An acquaintance of mine often brags she was called Little Miss Bossy Pants when she was young. Well. I’ve got news for her. She’s still a bossy pants. And it’s not attractive.

I should know … I have my own unflattering moments of bossiness.

Thinking about being bossy and how those of us who are bossy believe we’re right, and it’s our duty to tell others how to do things, I thought about how sometimes we take that bossiness into our relationship with God.

You know what I mean?

We think we know better than the Creator of the Universe how he should handle things.

We tell him how to solve what we believe he’s leaving unsolved.

We take our problems to God right along with a list of how he should work them out.

 

Because our minds are oh so small and limited, we don’t get it that God doesn’t need our suggestions or our help.

He can manage fine without us telling him what to do. He created the world without us telling him where to place the sun, didn’t he?

Maybe we need to step back, realize who God is and who we are in relationship to him, and stop trying to bring him to our level.

Who can fathom the mind of God?

Certainly not any of us, no matter how bossy we are, or how wise we believe ourselves to be.

Just look at Job.

Start at chapter 38 if you need a refresher course in God’s authority.

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The Lord went on:

 “Do you still want to argue with the Almighty? Or will you yield? Do you—God’s critic—have the answers?”

Then Job replied to God:

“I am nothing—how could I ever find the answers? I lay my hand upon my mouth in silence.  I have said too much already.” Job 40:1-5 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Jesus Forgives Us

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Recently, a friend and I discussed how easy it is to acknowledge the truth Jesus forgives us, yet not forgive ourselves. We believe God forgives those who come to him in full repentance, turn from their sins and claim Jesus as Lord, yet we often don’t extend that forgiveness to ourselves. It’s as if we want to keep feeling lousy for our sins because we rationalize after all, we deserve it.

Reminds me of the Medieval monks and their excessive self-criticism and self-flogging. Also reminds me Satan is hard at work to get those of us who belong to Jesus to doubt who God is. Did God really say ALL your sins were forgiven? What about the time … ?

We know in our heart we’re forgiven. We’re no longer bound by the chains Satan wraps around us, yet we  might feel, for possibly one brief instant, God couldn’t possible forgive us.

Could he?

We have no problem believing God forgave someone with the absolute exact sin as ours, but forgive us?

Could it be we believe God’s grace can’t reach us?

Could it be we’ve allowed other’s opinions to define who we are, and we believe their lies we are unworthy, instead of believing God’s truth he loves us with an everlasting love?

Why can’t we just accept what God says about us and leave it at that?

Why do we keep holding onto things God’s told us he no longer remembers?

I don’t know. I don’t have answers. I just have questions. 🙂

My friend and I didn’t come up with any profound revelation on the matter. Just more questions.

That plus grateful thanks to Jesus for his willingness to be the Sacrificial Lamb who was slain for the sins of the world.

Jesus forgives us.

Yes. Jesus forgives us and loves us this we know. And aren’t we forever grateful?

Have you ever pondered such things?

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Praise the Lord! Give thanks to the Lord, because he is good; his love is eternal. Psalm 106:1 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — Jesus Will Shepherd His People

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

In Isaiah 40 we read that the Sovereign Lord would come to rule with power. He would shepherd his people and carry them in his arms. No one compares to him. No one is his equal. He is the one who created the stars and knows them by name. He knows our troubles. He cares for us in our weakness.

If we find ourselves wondering if God sees our struggles and cares for us, all we need do is read to the end of the chapter. There we are reminded God does see our struggles, and he does cares for each of us. He is the one who gives strength to the weary, and helps us through our difficulties.

Sometimes in the midst of our struggles and pain we might wonder if God sees our troubles, and if he does, then why doesn’t he do something about them?

Well, God did do something the day he sent his son, Jesus Christ the Messiah as a tiny infant into our world to save us from our sins.

He sent a Redeemer who has conquered hell, sin, Satan, and death.

He sent a High Priest who knows what it’s like to live in this fallen world, yet be victorious.

God sent his only begotten son into the world that it might be saved through him.

The people who lived at the time of Isaiah waited for the Messiah to be born. Those of us living this side of the manger and the cross wait for the King of kings and Lord of lords to return in triumphant victory.

Because Jesus came into this world as an infant and died as our Savior, all is well.

What do you do to remind yourself all is well in your moments of doubt or despair?

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Israel, why then do you complain that the Lord doesn’t know your troubles or care if you suffer injustice? Don’t you know? Haven’t you heard? The Lord is the everlasting God; he created all the world. He never grows tired or weary.
No one understands his thoughts. He strengthens those who are weak and tired. Even those who are young grow weak;
young people can fall exhausted. But those who trust in the Lord for help will find their strength renewed. They will rise on wings like eagles; they will run and not get weary; they will walk and not grow weak. Isaiah 40:27-31 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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The Joy of the LORD is Our Strength

courtesy pixabayby Sandy Kirby Quandt

How would you define joy? Is it a feeling? Is it a state of mind? Is it dependent on outward circumstances? Are joy and happiness the same thing? What about the joy of the Lord?

Webster’s dictionary defines joy as:

 a : the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires

b : a state of happiness or felicity

          c : a source or cause of delight

It defines happiness as:

a : a state of well-being and contentment joy

          b : a pleasurable or satisfying experience

In defining both words, joy and happiness were used in the definitions. Interesting.

courtesy pixabay

Years ago one of my ministers said joy and happiness are not the same thing. He said joy is dependent on our relationship with God. Happiness is dependent on our outward circumstances.

There are those I know who seem to have an overabundance of joy regardless of the things going on in their lives. They have a perpetual smile. It’s not that they are always happy, it just seems as if their happiness isn’t dependent on their circumstances.

There are those I know who seem to always be joyless. They rarely smile. Are their circumstances stealing their happiness along with their joy?

As much as I’d like to say I’m joyful and positive all the time. That’s not true. I’d have to say I’ve had my fair share of joyful/happy days, as well as my share of joyless/unhappy days. I’ve enjoyed times of joy amidst utter despair, and experienced joylessness amidst times of your basic run-of-the-mill annoyance.

In our times of joylessness, one thing to remember: God never changed in those times. What changed is what we allowed to bother us; steal our joy, and how far we allowed  our self to drift from praising God. No matter what.

The joy of our LORD is our strength, is it not?

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I will shout for joy as I play for you; with my whole being I will sing because you have saved me. Psalm 71:23 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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