Not All Storms In Life Are Hurricanes

By Sandy Kirby Quandt

Tired of hearing about hurricanes?

I’m sure folks in the path of the storms sure are. I know I am. Those of us who live in hurricane prone areas know hurricane season runs from June through November, with September starting peak season. We know that. And each year we keep our eyes on anything that forms off the west coast of Africa and in the Gulf of Mexico.

We just do.

But as I thought about how destructive hurricanes can be, my thoughts turned to how destructive the hurricanes in each of our individual lives can be. You know; the things we struggle with on a regular basis just as sure as we struggle with weather events.

Relationship problems. Financial worries. Family issues. Addictions that flood our lives and leave our homes wreaked. We all don’t face the same storms, but we all face storms, do we not?

Maybe our storms crop up in certain situations or seasons, much like the storms off the coast of Africa.

Family gatherings. Work get togethers. Unexpected expenses. These are what I call unpredictable predictables. We may not know when the storm will hit or how devastating it will be, but we know the storm clouds are forming.

So just as preparations need to be made long before a hurricane makes landfall, preparations need to be made long before we encounter the events we know are destructive to the extent we are able.

Maybe the best way to deal with the inevitable hurricanes of life is to do a little prep work.

Stock up on the essentials. Faithful friends, sound Biblical knowledge, teachable spirit to learn the lessons God wants us to learn from the storm, humility to admit when we’re wrong. Add your own essentials here. _____________

Gather information from reliable sources, assess whether we need to evacuate, then make the correct decision.

Leave those toxic situations that flood our very being with unhealthy habits and thoughts. Work through those that don’t.

Monitor the situation. Keep in close contact with God. Stay vigilant. Have accountability partners and prayer warriors nearby at all times.

We shouldn’t wait until the rain pours into our home to prepare for the storms of life. The time to prepare is before they become an issue. Pray up. Stay connected to God and his people. Be willing to ask for help, and be willing to help when asked.

So how do you prep for the storms of life?

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.

When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. Isaiah 43:2 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

Not All Storms In Life Are Hurricanes Click To Tweet

The lyrics aren’t completely accurate in the video around 1:40 … here’s how it should read:

they say if the storm keeps coming
and if the water keeps rising
and if the levee starts caving
then we’re sure to quit
Oh but I know that you won’t let me go
Lord I know you’ll keep me from this storm

Sunday Scriptures–Hope Amid the Storms of Life

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

When Hurricane Irma formed recently, folks weren’t sure where it would go. Some dismissed it as a Florida or Atlantic coast storm, and saw no need to pay much attention to it. As the storm advanced and changed course, new areas were in its sites, and folks who before had no need to be concerned found they now needed to be prepared.

In thinking about preparing for storms several thoughts came to mind from things I’d heard said as Houston dealt with Hurricane Harvey. Be prepared. Don’t lose your humanity. Still we will rise. Stay strong.

So let’s see if any storm preparation wisdom can also be used for life preparation.

  • Be prepared. Just as we can’t predict the actual path of a hurricane until it hits, we can’t predict everything that will happen in our lives, but we can prepare ahead of time for when our lives get shaken, by keeping our anchor and hope in Jesus.
  • Don’t lose your humanity. There are a lot of people who act in inhumane ways, especially during crisis, but we don’t need to be one of them. The Golden Rule of do unto others as you would have them do unto you comes to mind.
  • Still we rise. Even though we may be knocked to the ground by circumstances in our life, we can rise above it when we reach out to the God who lifts us out of the slimy pit and sets our feet on solid ground.
  • Stay strong. It’s hard to keep going when you get beat up by the storms of life. It’s real hard. But we know that when we belong to Jesus, his Holy Spirit lives in us and greater is HE who is in us than anything the world throws at us. Our strength to stay strong doesn’t come from us. It comes from God alone.

We may not be going through a storm in our lives at this point in time but just as some people didn’t take Irma seriously until it was on their doorstep, we need to be sympathetic towards those in the eye of the storm and be watchful, knowing it could just as easily be us next time.

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.

Why am I so sad? Why am I so troubled? I will put my hope in God, and once again I will praise him, my savior and my God. Psalm 42:5 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

Hope Amid the Storms of Life Click To Tweet

An Ever-Present Help in Times of Trouble

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

After Hurricane Irma passed over the hotel where Sissy and Chief evacuated, they found God to be their ever-present help in times of trouble. Again. For you see, when they found Sissy’s car, they discovered a huge oak tree sitting on top of it.

BUT GOD …

While they stood there trying to figure out who to call to get the tree off the car, a National Guard Humvee pulled up to the hotel. Coincidence? Hardly.

Sissy, Chief, and the Guardsmen had a conversation, and then Sissy headed back to the hotel.

When I spoke with her on the phone as she stood outside the hotel she said, “Here comes my car!” It wasn’t being towed. Chief was driving Sissy’s dent-free, barely-scratched car toward her.

Amazingly, the three Guardsmen lifted the tree off the car while Chief slid in from the passenger side, over the console, and into the driver’s seat where he proceeded to drive the car out from under the tree.

Seems when the hurricane uprooted the tree, it landed over the car, but not directly on the car.

Apparently, a branch large enough to support the tree hit the parking lot and kept the tree from crashing down on the car and crushing it. And that, my friends, is a major yay, God. Is it not?

God is our hope. An ever-present help in times of trouble. It doesn’t matter what our trouble is, God is able to do exceedingly more than we could ever dream, hope, or imagine.

He is our Jehovah-nissi who covers us in the shelter of his hands and fights our battles for us. Now. And forever.

When have you witnessed God’s help in your times of trouble?

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.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1 (NIV)

 

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

An Ever-Present Help in Times of Trouble Click To Tweet

Suicide Awareness Month

By Sandy Kirby Quandt

September is suicide prevention month. Did you know that?

In hopes of raising awareness of this staggering problem that affects so many, I’m re-posting this from 2014 .

This morning I listened to a CD I haven’t listened to for some time … James Taylor’s Greatest Hits. The songs brought back t-o-o-o-ns of memories. Some good. Some not so good.

Hearing “Fire and Rain” again took me back to the Valentine’s Day after my 19th birthday, when I attended the funeral of a friend while another friend played Taylor’s song on his guitar. I still remember the navy blue dress I wore.

What do you say to the parents of a teen who drove too fast, too drunk, on black ice that was too slick?

Thinking of Vaughn’s funeral reminded me of the beginning of my senior year in high school when a friend told me Karen died in a car accident on the way home from the Homecoming dance. Her boyfriend drove too fast, too drunk, and left Karen decapitated after she flew through the car’s windshield.

My mind wandered further and stopped for a moment on Bruce.

On the way to English the week before high school graduation, I learned my friend drowned in the Potomac River while skipping school. I’d skipped during Senior Week and gone to Great Falls, too. But not with Bruce.

Before leaving these very sad memories, I thought of Greg. Greg called a couple weeks after his 30th birthday to chat. During the conversation he told me something I considered strange. He wanted me to write a story he thought of. At the offer of the story, my Spidey-sense went off and the hair on my arm prickled.

To this day, that story remains in my mind alone, but I should have paid closer attention to what Greg was really saying when he told it to me. He was giving away something that belonged to him. That’s what folks contemplating suicide do, you know.

Still, I didn’t ask the questions I should have asked. I didn’t take the conversation in the direction I should have taken it. Maybe if I had, Greg’s wife wouldn’t have become a young widow two days later when Greg placed a gun to his head and pulled the trigger.

And that, my friends, is the reason for this post.

SAVE Suicide Awareness Violence Education says:

  • Suicide takes the lives of nearly 40,000 Americans every year.
  • Over half of all suicides occur in adult men, ages 25-65.
  • Over half of all suicides are completed with a firearm.
  • For young people 15-24 years old, suicide is the second leading cause of death.
  • Suicide rates among the elderly are highest for those who are divorced or widowed.
  • 1 in 65,000 children ages 10 to 14 die by suicide each year.

Among the information The Center for Disease Control has on their website regarding the signs, risk, and prevention measures for suicide, they state suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. (homicide is 16th).

While Jesus is a friend to all of us, and is available all hours everyday to listen and to help, sometimes it’s up to those of us wandering this earth to let people know they’ve got a friend in us, as well. Someone with skin on them. For those of us needing a friend, we need to speak up, reach out, grab hold of those friends.

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or visit National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Awareness is the beginning. We can all be a part of throwing out a lifeline and help prevent suicide.

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.

Whenever you possibly can, do good to those who need it. Proverbs 3:27 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

If you know someone who would be blessed by this post, feel free to share it on social media. Thanks a bunch!

Suicide Awareness Month Click To Tweet

Sunday Scriptures — Burden of Sin

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Several weeks ago, I wrote about Psalm 51. This week is a continuation of David’s petition to God to forgive, restore, and lift his burden of sin. Although Psalm 32 is placed before Psalm 51 in our Bibles, it was actually written after Psalm 51.

In Psalm 51 David confessed his sin before God and begged God to blot our David’s rebellion. In Psalm 32 David rejoiced over the fact God had not charged David’s sins against him, but had lifted the burden of sin from David and washed him clean.

David thanked God for the forgiveness of his rebellion against God’s law. David rejoiced that he owned the reality of his sin, and did not deceive himself into believing what he did was right.

After God forgave David, he covered David’s sin, and did not charge David’s sin against him.

When those of us who belong God to repent, God lifts the burden of sin we lug around and throws it into a pit, never to be seen again. When God looks at us he doesn’t see our sin, instead he sees Christ’s blood covering our sin. God does not charge us with our sin because Jesus already paid the price for our forgiveness.

Those are the things God does, but David also wrote down the things we must do.

We must acknowledge our sin, not try to conceal it, and confess we have broken God’s law. We can’t hide our sin from God. He knows everything. When we refuse to confess, and fall before God in humble repentance, we are only fooling ourselves to think God doesn’t know what we’ve done.

Something that always impressed me with these two psalms of David’s is the fact he saw no need to dwell on the lurid details of his sins. Instead, David chose to dwell on God’s forgiveness and cleansing. Oh that we would do the same.

How many times have we been more interested in learning all the details of the person’s sin than rejoicing in their forgiveness? Even if it’s only been one time, that’s one time too many.

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.
Happy is the person whose sins are forgiven, whose wrongs are pardoned. Happy is the person whom the Lord does not consider guilty and in whom there is nothing false. Psalm 32:1-2 (NCV)
I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks.

Sunday Scriptures -- Burden of Sin Click To Tweet

Before the Throne of God

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Someday each of us will stand before the throne of God. It won’t matter if we chose to serve God, or not. Everyone is subject to God’s authority and rule. But those of us who named Jesus as our Lord and Savior have the privilege to come before the throne in confidence, boldly even, as joint heirs to the King.

One of my favorite names for God is El Elyon; the God Most High. As Yahweh, Adonai, and El Shaddai, God is LORD, Master, and the All-Sufficient One. Everyone and everything is under God. He lacks nothing. Everything we need is found in him. God sits on his throne and reigns now and forever. Always has. Always will.

I love that image. God reigns supreme. We are ALL under him. No exceptions. We are not God’s equal. We are not his best buds. We are subject to his authority. He is God and we are not.

One thing that fascinated me about the various castles I have toured is the opulence of each.

Especially the throne rooms with their raised dais that made sure the kings’ or queens’ heads were above all others in the rooms to emphasize the power of the ruler, lest anyone who entered forgot.

God and Jesus are seated in the throne room of heaven. I imagine their thrones are quite marvelous to behold, don’t you? Beyond description.

Because Jesus paid the debt of sin for those of us who claim him as our Lord and Savior, we can boldly stand before the throne of God without fear or trembling. We aren’t allowed entrance because of anything we’ve done. No. It is because of what Jesus did on the cross that makes us right with God. Christ’s sacrifice made a way for us to be adopted into the King’s family.

As spectacular as heaven’s throne room is, Jesus invites us to come. Not just to come, but to come boldly to the throne of grace. Wow.

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.

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. Hebrew 4:16  (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

the Throne of God Click To Tweet