Remember, Not All the Heroes Come Home

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Towards the end of the Viet Nam war, I was in high school and worked part-time in the Navy Exchange store at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, outside Washington, D.C. You might not think of a hospital as a place full of heroes, but let me tell you, NNMC was.

Throughout the time I worked during the war, the thump-thump-thump of rotary blades atop approaching military hospital transports was a sound I heard on a regular basis. Incoming.

By the time the helicopter landed on the heli-pad, several of us had run outside to stand on the pad’s perimeter; our silent presence welcoming the wounded to the hospital.

We watched doctors and nurses hustle gurneys to the helicopter, load the wounded, and rush them inside.

I seriously doubt those wounded warriors knew anyone cared enough to be present when they arrived, praying for them, thanking them, appreciating their sacrifice.

To those of us keeping vigil, it didn’t matter if the soldiers knew we were there, or not. For me what mattered was the fact I made the effort to show my appreciation for their sacrifice.

Among other things available to military personnel and their dependents, of which I was one thanks to my father’s military service, the Medical Center housed a theater where for twenty-five cents you could watch some really awful movies. What a deal. Definitely not first-run, that’s for sure. Nevertheless, that didn’t keep Sissy, my girlfriends, and me from showing up.

To get to the theater we walked the hospital corridors. I’m sure you’ve walked through a hospital, so you get the idea, but these corridors were filled with wounded personnel on stretchers, in wheelchairs, or walking the halls; bandaged from one part of their body to the next, making their way to the theater.

These men paid a heavy price for the freedom I enjoyed.

That included the freedom to walk down the same corridors they walked to watch really awful movies for twenty-five cents.

It also included the freedom to walk back down those same corridors and out that hospital at the end of the movie while they made their way back to hospital rooms that became their new normal.

In this country we have days set aside to remember the sacrifices our military and their families made so we can enjoy our hamburgers, watermelon, and pool parties.

Sometimes we might pause and remember those service personnel, or maybe even say, “thank you” on those set-aside holidays. But what if we made it a habit to remember, honor, pray for, and thank our military every day, realizing not all the heroes come home?

On this July 4th, Independence Day here in the States, will you join me in honoring those who give their all, so the rest of us don’t have to?

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 your people go out to fight their enemies along some road on which you send them, your people will pray to you, facing this city which you have chosen and the Temple I have built for you. Then hear in heaven their prayers, and do what is right. 2 Chronicles 6:34-35 (NCV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — P.E.A.R.L.S. for Dad

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

With today being Father’s Day I thought of what each of us could give those in our lives who are either our fathers, have been like a father to us, or are the father of our children. P.E.A.R.L.S. for dad. That’s it. And the best part is they won’t cost us a thing.

P.E.A.R.L.S.

Pray. We know how effective it is to pray for one another. Mountains are moved. Burdens are lifted. Peace is restored. The dads in our lives need prayer on a daily basis, just like everyone else. Why wouldn’t we pray for them?

Encourage. We all need to be encouraged when the going gets tough. And even when it’s smooth sailing. We need to be reassured what we do is important. That we matter. That someone’s in our corner cheering us on.

Appreciate. This is a biggie. Everyone likes to know someone appreciates the effort they put into what they do. How difficult is it to tell someone you appreciate them? It isn’t difficult at all. Just do it. Say thank you.

Respect. No rolling our eyes. No muttering under our breath. No snide remarks. Respect. That’s what I’m talking about. Yes. Aretha Franklin’s song is humming through my brain. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Find out what it means to me. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Take care, TCB.

Love. Okay. There are a lot of songs running through my brain on this one, but how about we go with a song from my church camp days. Love, love, love, love. The gospel in a word is love. Love thy neighbor as thy brother. Love, love, love. When was the last time we said, “I love you” and really meant it? Or better yet, let’s show our love by doing something we know dad would like without being asked.

Support. It may appear our dads don’t need our support, but I believe that would be a wrong assumption. They’ve started another DIY project … support their effort regardless of the results. Another hobby added to the list? If you can’t be an active participant, at the very least, be interested. Facing a tough place? Stand by them.

Although these P.E.A.R.L.S. today are directed to dads on Father’s Day, if you think about it, they apply to each and everyone of us. Dad. Or not. What pearls would you add to the string?

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.

Honor (respect, obey, care for) your father and your mother, so that your days may be prolonged in the land the Lord your God gives you. Exodus 20:12 (AMP)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Hallelujah

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Easter Sunday as Pilot and I listened to the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah, my mind began to contemplate different aspects of the song. You might say my mind wandered … as it is prone to do. When I shared my thoughts with Pilot on the matter, he said it sounded like a blog post, so here it is. 🙂

At first as I sang along with the song, I marveled at how glorious it might be in heaven every Resurrection Sunday as the angelic beings sing their version of the Hallelujah Chorus to Jesus Christ the Resurrected Lord and King, who reigns forever and ever and ever. It gave me goosebumps to imagine it.

Then, I thought about the verses in Revelation that speak of the multitudes who sing their praises to Jesus day and night, without ceasing.

After I cogitated on that awhile, a different thought came to me.

Yes. Easter is the day on our calendar we celebrate Jesus’ victory over hell, sin, Satan, and death. Glory hallelujah. The Resurrected Savior reigns now and forever.

But. Celebrating Jesus’ victory is not just a one day a year event. It is for every day of every year from now through eternity.

Jesus is King of kings. LORD of lords. His reign shall never end.

I believe it is a glorious thing to remember Jesus’ sacrifice, death, burial, and resurrection during the Easter season, but I also believe it is a glorious thing to remember Christ’s sacrifice, death, burial, resurrection, and return every other day, as well.May we join our voices with those in the heavens who raise their praises to our Lord day after day and night after night. It will be wonderful practice for the day we see Jesus face to face. Don’t you think?

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Each of these living beings had six wings, and their wings were covered all over with eyes, inside and out. Day after day and night after night they keep on saying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty— the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come.” Revelation 4:8 (NLT)

Then I began to weep bitterly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll and read it. But one of the twenty-four elders said to me, “Stop weeping! Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the heir to David’s throne, has won the victory. He is worthy to open the scroll and its seven seals.” Then I saw a Lamb that looked as if it had been slaughtered, but it was now standing between the throne and the four living beings and among the twenty-four elders…He stepped forward and took the scroll from the right hand of the one sitting on the throne. And when he took the scroll, the four living beings and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp, and they held gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. And they sang a new song with these words:  “You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals and open it. For you were slaughtered, and your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.” Revelation 5:4-9 (NLT)

Then I looked again, and I heard the voices of thousands and millions of angels around the throne and of the living beings and the elders. And they sang in a mighty chorus:  “Worthy is the Lamb who was slaughtered—to receive power and riches
and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing.” Revelation 5:11-12 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures – Where Have You Put Him?

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Where have you put him?

That’s the question Mary Magdalene asked when she saw the empty tomb where the body of her Lord was placed three short days earlier.

We can ask ourselves the same question Mary asked. Where have we put him?

Is Christ at the center of our life, or have we shuffled him off to a corner somewhere and forgotten him, until we need something?

Do we seek out Jesus first thing in the morning the way Mary did? Or do days, weeks, months pass before we even give him a second thought?

Do we long to see our Savior’s face and glorify him? Does he fill our days with the joy only he can give? Do we live to serve him and him alone?

When people look at us and ask, “Where have you put him?” can they see Jesus living in and through us?

Are our lives a testimony to the truth our Redeemer forever lives? And because our Redeemer lives, we can too.

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.

Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been taken away from the entrance. She went running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

Then Peter and the other disciple went to the tomb. The two of them were running, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and saw the linen cloths, but he did not go in. Behind him came Simon Peter, and he went straight into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there and the cloth which had been around Jesus’ head. It was not lying with the linen cloths but was rolled up by itself. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in; he saw and believed. (They still did not understand the scripture which said that he must rise from death.)

John 20:1-9 (NCV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Pause for Poetry – Fatherly Love

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

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

Fatherly Love

Our Father flinched as they hammered each nail,

But He had to endure His son’s cry.

He planned that Christ’s blood would redeem us…

The reason Christ came was to die.

With each blow, our sins were heaped on Him;

Their weight caused unbearable pain.

Yet He never complained for one moment…

The Perfect Lamb had to be slain.

For unless we had a Redeemer,

Heaven’s gate would forever be closed…

But thanks to God’s love and forgiveness

It opened the morning Christ rose.

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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The Day Jesus Christ Died

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

This past Sunday, Palm Sunday, we celebrated Jesus Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Crowds lined the road. As Jesus passed by, they shouted out their hosannas and praises. Yet, within five short days those praises turned to condemnation and calls for Jesus’ death.

Crucify him! Crucify him! Crucify him!

Although Pilate could find no wrong in Jesus, he capitulated to the crowd’s demands and  handed Christ over to be crucified. After that, Pilate washed his hands of Christ’s innocent blood.

Jesus was the sacrificial Lamb of God. He willingly endured God’s wrath against mankind’s sins upon his sinless self, so we wouldn’t have to. Christ’s sacrifice allows those who claim Jesus as their Lord and Savior entrance into the very presence of God.

By Jesus Christ’s suffering and death our sins are forgiven. He who knew no sin took on the sins of the world, so that by His wounds we can be healed. No one made him do it. He did it because of his perfect Love.

Before you get to the music video at the bottom of the page, this video of a trauma surgeon describes the effect of crucifixion on the human body.

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 we were unable to help ourselves, at the right time, Christ died for us, although we were living against God. Very few people will die to save the life of someone else. Although perhaps for a good person someone might possibly die. But God shows his great love for us in this way: Christ died for us while we were still sinners. So through Christ we will surely be saved from God’s anger, because we have been made right with God by the blood of Christ’s death. While we were God’s enemies, he made us his friends through the death of his Son. Surely, now that we are his friends, he will save us through his Son’s life. And not only that, but now we are also very happy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we are now God’s friends again. Romans 5:6-11 (NCV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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This post originally appeared on Woven and Spun March 26, 2013.