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Gluten-free Coconut Macaroons Recipe

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

This incredibly simple, awfully sticky, extremely sweet gluten-free coconut macaroons recipe is courtesy Blind Pig and the Acorn.

  • 5 1/3 cups (14ozs) flake coconut
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla

Mix all the ingredients together.

Drop by spoonfuls onto well-greased cookie sheets. The cookies are sticky and difficult to remove from the pan. Aluminum foil didn’t help. Next time, I’ll use parchment paper and see what happens.

Bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes or till lightly browned.

Once cookies are done, quickly remove them from pan and allow to cool on a cookie rack. The cookies will not hold their form, but that’s okay. Once cooled, you can form them into balls.

Store coconut macaroons in an air-tight container with plastic wrap or parchment paper between each layer to keep them from sticking together.

Enjoy!

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — Looking to the Past Year

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

How much time do you spend contemplating the past year when you head into a new one? In Billy Graham’s Hope for Each Day devotional book, his December 31 entry talks about looking back to the previous year.

He asks several preliminary questions, then says regardless of our answers he suggests we pause and prayerfully ask our self the following additional questions.

First, how do we think God looks on this past year in our life? Did it bring us any closer to Him? Did it expose any weaknesses or find us wandering from His way? Was He disappointed in our responses to its challenges?

Second, what lessons will we take from this year into the next? What did God teach us? What did He try to teach us? What needs to change–and how will it happen?

Dr. Graham concluded his devotion by saying we should not be bound by the past and its failures, but we also should not forget its lessons.

Like Paul, we need to forget the past and press on in obedience to Christ. Amen?

If you are like me, these are not easy questions with simple answers. These are questions that require thought and honest reflection. Will you join me in taking the time to consider how these questions relate to our life?

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Of course, my friends, I really do not think that I have already won it; the one thing I do, however, is to forget what is behind me and do my best to reach what is ahead. So I run straight toward the goal in order to win the prize, which is God’s call through Christ Jesus to the life above. Philippians 3:13-14 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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When Our Timbers Get Shivered

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

According to the etymology resources I investigated, shiver me timbers means:

to break in or into many small pieces, c. 1200, from the source of shiver (n.). Chiefly in phrase shiver me timbers (1835),

To cause (a material thing) to ‘start’ or break away from its place; to displace by pressure or strain. Of a ship. To suffer the starting or giving way of (a plank, etc.).

The word shiver originally referred to a small piece, fragment, or splinter of something, or to the act of breaking something into many small pieces. Hence, “shiver my/me timbers” refers to the splintering of wooden ships upon rough seas.

Well. The last half of 2017 was a time when my timbers were shivered with one continuous thing after another. For sure.

Details aren’t necessary.

But I will say if you’ve ever been caught in a rip current, pulled under water repeatedly, popped up for a gasp of air only to be pulled under again, you might have an idea of what I’m talking about.

While I believe we are meant to learn from our past, and nothing is wasted, for this discussion I’m going with what Kylo Ren told Rey in the latest Star Wars movie. “Let the past die. Kill it, if you have to. That’s the only way to become what you were meant to be.”

The last week of December 2017 I felt God reorienting the ship of my life. Although the tides of life pulled me gradually off course, pieces of wood shivered and lay splintered on the deck, my main mast split in two, and my sails tore; God began turning me back to his guiding star.

When our timbers get shivered it requires a deep trust in God to steady the ship.

It requires stepping away from the steering wheel and allowing God to take over the helm.

It requires continuous reorientation to the Guiding Star that is constant and never moves.

Is it easy? Nope. Is it doable? Yep. With God all things are possible. Even putting the shivered pieces of our life in their proper place.

Have your timbers been shivered lately?

If you usually skip over the music videos, please listen to Andrew’s song which explains what I’m trying to say so much better than I can.

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Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end. He did not give up because of the cross! On the contrary, because of the joy that was waiting for him, he thought nothing of the disgrace of dying on the cross, and he is now seated at the right side of God’s throne. Hebrews 12:2 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Work In Progress

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

In the writing world a Work in Progress, or WIP, is the story or article we happen to be working on at the moment. It is unfinished.

We usually know what we want to write when we begin. We have characters and a story line in mind. Most of the time we head off in the right direction with a happily ever after planned. Sometimes, however, the characters in our stories take on a life of their own, and morph into something we hadn’t expected. They just won’t behave.

Perhaps an unexpected monster raises its head and traps the fair maiden or gallant knight, threatening their happily ever after ending. Or the characters foolishly walk into situations they should have stayed away from.

When that happens, writers step back, take another look at our story, figure out how our characters got themselves into the situation they are in, come up with a solution, and then forge ahead.

Until we pen the final word of our story, it is not finished. It remains a work in progress. No matter how detailed or outlined it may have been at the beginning, something can always be added or subtracted before the end.

In writing the story of our life, God’s plan is perfect. He has a happily ever after ending planned for us. Sometimes, though, we think we know better, take the pen into our hands, and try to write it our own way.

We know what God expects from us and are determined to do it, but then something happens that knocks us off track; either through our willfulness or the actions of others. Before we know it, an unexpected monster raises its ugly head and traps us until God comes in with his eraser, rewrites the scene, and sets us on the correct path again.

You and I are works in progress. WIPs. Until God writes The End, we’re unfinished.

Once we accept Jesus as our personal Savior Lord and King, our happily ever after is waiting no matter what twists and turns we might take to get there.

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For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us]. Ephesians :10 (AMP)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Perhaps you watched the Peach Bowl Championship game yesterday? Yep. Those are Pilot, Pie, and my UNDEFEATED UCF Knights with their happily ever after 2017 football season. Go Knights!

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Sunday Scriptures — Gifts Fit For A King

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Although many nativity scenes place the Wise Men and their gifts at the manger where Christ was born, Jesus was probably one or two years old when the Wise Men found him. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph were no longer in the manger. They were living in a house in Bethlehem.

The Bible doesn’t tell us much about these men, only that they knew the Old Testament prophesies and followed the heavenly star traveling from the east toward Bethlehem. We sing “We Three Kings”, but just because someone penned a song about three kings does not mean there were three wise men, or that they were kings.

We do know from the scriptures they presented Jesus with gifts fit for a king. Gold. Incense. Myrrh. These gifts were not second-hand leftovers. These gifts came at a cost to the giver. The journey to Bethlehem itself cost time, resources, and effort. These were all valuable commodities the men were willing to pay. Because, after all, their gifts were given in honor of the newly born King.

In the Wise Men’s story I find it interesting they did not go back to the earthly ruler, Herod, with news of Jesus’ location. After being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they listened to the True Ruler of Heaven and Earth, and returned home a different way. They obeyed God instead of man. How refreshing.

What gifts fit for a King will we offer Jesus to honor him and show our gratitude for what he has done for us? Maybe the best gift we can give is our self.

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Herod secretly called in the wise men and asked them when they had first seen the star. He told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, let me know. I want to go and worship him too.”

The wise men listened to what the king said and then left. And the star they had seen in the east went on ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. They were thrilled and excited to see the star.

 When the men went into the house and saw the child with Mary, his mother, they knelt down and worshiped him. They took out their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh and gave them to him.  Later they were warned in a dream not to return to Herod, and they went back home by another road. Matthew 2:7-12 (CEV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Give Jesus Your Brokenness

courtesy pixabay

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Ready for 2018? Well, ready or not, it’s just around the corner.

In My Utmost For His Highest Oswald Chambers wrote that sometimes we allow the memory of yesterday’s sins and mistakes; what I’ll call our brokenness, to dampen our present enjoyment of God’s grace. Mr. Chambers states, God allows the memory of our mistakes for spiritual growth in our future, not to keep us chained to the past.

God’s wants us to learn from our failures and stop sinnnig. Satan, on the other hand, wants to use our mistakes and sins to make us feel unworthy of Jesus’ love.

Even though I know I have been forgiven through my Savior Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, I’m guilty of allowing the father of all lies, Satan, to beat me over the head with my brokenness and sin.

Do any of you have this problem, or is it just me?

Some of our yesterdays hold broken and irreversible things. Just like water that flows downstream, there were lost opportunities that we’ll never get back. But when we let him, Jesus can take our brokenness and transform it.

If we truly consider what we’ve done, what we want to do, what worked, what didn’t, learn from our mistakes, and keep Jesus in the center of it all, we just might find 2018 is our best year, yet.

New year. New opportunities. Opportunities to put our past mistakes into Christ’s open hand, and allow him to take our brokenness and direct us in the way we should go.

May 2018 be your best year, yet.

Are you ready for a new year?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject.

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The book of Isaiah the prophet was handed to him, (Jesus)and he opened it to the place where it says:

 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; he has appointed me to preach Good News to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted and to announce that captives shall be released and the blind shall see, that the downtrodden shall be freed from their oppressors, and that God is ready to give blessings to all who come to him.”

 He closed the book and handed it back to the attendant and sat down, while everyone in the synagogue gazed at him intently. Then he added, “These Scriptures came true today!”

All who were there spoke well of him and were amazed by the beautiful words that fell from his lips. “How can this be?” they asked. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” Luke 4:17-22 (TLB) 

I wish you well.

Sandy

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