Click For Babies Cap Campaign

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

According to the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome, CLICK for Babies is a grassroots public education campaign organized by the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome (NCSBS) in partnership with hospitals, public health and child abuse prevention groups to create awareness of the leading trigger for infant abuse, frustration with infant crying.

When I saw an article on this, I knew I had to participate.

PURPLE Acronym

After I pulled out my crochet hook, organized the purple yarn I had, and bought more purple yarn, I set about crocheting tiny little purple hats. As I created each hat, I prayed for the baby receiving the hat, and the parent or caregiver in charge of raising that child. Childrearing is a tough job.

While crocheting I paid attention to something that happens every time I knit or crochet … the center of the yarn, the core which is pulled out before the outer section, collapses on itself. When it collapses, the yarn often becomes tangled and unusable. At that point, all creating must stop until the tangled knots are removed.

In my early days of knitting decades ago, I’d get frustrated with the tangled yarn and just cut it. I didn’t take the time to untangled, just tied another section of yarn past the tangle and kept going. That really is not the best way to handle knots, by the way.

Nowadays, whenever I start a project, Pilot asks if I need him to roll the yarn into balls for me. Often the answer is yes, thank you, but not this time.

Life is a lot like a skein of yarn, don’t you think?

We pull and pull and tug and tug at our core working, moving, doing, until our center collapses. We deplete our core, and in the process become a tangled knotted mess. At that point we need to stop and take the time to untangle. To seek God. To pause in order for God to untangle our mess and refill us with himself so we can be useful for his purposes once more.

It’s not a good idea to sever the yarn that attaches us to God like I once did when my yarn knotted. We need to stay attached to the One who is capable of untangling the knots in our life. It’s also a good idea to have people in our lives who are willing to roll that skein of yarn into a manageable ball when the going gets tough before we become all knotted up.

If you knit or crochet, please consider creating some tiny purple hats for the Click for Babies campaign. But hurry. All hats need to arrive at the clearing house by September 30, 2017 to be distributed to families in November.

Thanks for considering helping this important campaign.

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The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:40 (NIV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — In Our Weakness

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

The story is told in the Gospel of Mark of a woman who had exhausted her resources in search for a cure to the bleeding she’d endured for countless years. None of the physicians she saw could help. Not only had her resources been depleted, so had her strength. Yet, at the point of her deepest weakness she found hope and healing in Jesus.

Each of us faces weakness in our lives at some point in time, whether it is a physical ailment that debilitates, relational difficulties, or emotional hurts; we all will find our problems beyond what we can handle on our own.

Throughout Jesus’ life on this earth he met people who were weakened by their circumstances. Their weakness led them to seek out Jesus for healing. Our weakness should lead us to seek Jesus’ help first, but often that is not the case.

We may make attempts to heal our wounds through various methods, as the woman with the issue of blood did, but the ultimate healing, just like hers, comes through our encounter with Jesus. When we admit our weakness, it opens our eyes to just how strong he is, and we discover Jesus is more than enough.

Do you find Jesus is the first place you go with your weakness, or do you try to fix things yourself first?

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“She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe. For she thought to herself, ‘If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.’ Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition.”  Mark 5:27-29 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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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 approach 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.

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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

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Grab Hold of God’s Promises

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

I’m finding in order to grab hold of God’s promises for us, first we must trust him enough to release what we grasp in our hands, or mouth, as is the case for Baxter.

As I mentioned earlier, Pilot and I have a new puppy. At twelve weeks Baxter is quite interested in gnawing on stuffed animals, sticks, and rocks; when he isn’t gnawing on Pilot or me. The trick is to re-direct Baby B’s attention from what he shouldn’t be chewing to something he should be.

In order to do that, Baxter must release what he is holding and grab what we offer him. Sometimes he tries to hold onto a stone and grab a stick at the same time. That, however, rarely works.

While contemplating this, I thought of how sometimes we hold onto things that aren’t good for us, like Baxter chewing on rocks, and try to grab hold of God’s promises at the same time.

We aren’t so sure we want to exchange what we have for what God promises. We want it both ways.

Jesus paid the price for an abundant life to those who belong to him and claim him as Lord, yet we often settle for less. We shortchange ourselves and chew on rocks, refusing the good things God offers.

Baxter may understand he can trust us. He may understand what we offer is good. He may. I don’t know.

But until he trusts us to the point he willingly drops the harmful things he picked up, and grabs hold of what we offer, he won’t enjoy the rich, full life we have planned for him.

We may understand we can trust God. We may understand what God offers us is good. We may. I don’t know.

But until we trust God to the point we willingly drop the harmful things we’ve picked up, and grab hold of what God offers us, we won’t enjoy the rich, full life God has planned for us.

Chief says Baxter is one lucky pup for having us as his owners because of how spoiled he will be with everything we want to give him. Like Baxter, those who belong to God are indeed blessed above all others because of how much God wants to give us.

Anything you need to let go of in order to grab hold of God’s promises?

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That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9 (NLT)

 I wish you well.

Sandy

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Dig Deep Roots

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Despite having a landscaper lay sod, dirt, and grass seed in our yard several months ago, areas of hard dirt remained where no grass grew. So Pilot spread a new layer of dirt over the dry, hard-packed soil in hopes the grass will spread into the newly placed dirt, dig deep roots, and thrive.

Makes sense to me. The grass needs something to dig its roots into that will encourage  growth. It needs a nourishing environment to thrive. Without some place to put down roots, the grass will struggle and eventually die.

Come to think about it, the same holds true for us humans, don’t you think?

We need a fertile place to dig our roots into that encourages the growth that comes when we believe on the Word of God for our strength and renewal.

We need a spiritually nourishing environment to thrive and gain knowledge of who God is, and who we are in relation to him.

If we aren’t digging deep roots into the Word of God and studying what the Bible teaches us to a level that goes below the surface, we’ll struggle through our days and possibly give up.

I’m optimistic this new layer of dirt Pilot placed in the backyard will be what the grass needs to spread its roots, be renewed, and thrive. I’m also optimistic when we dig our roots deep into God’s word, we are renewed, come alive, and thrive.

What about you?

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Your hearts and minds must be made completely new, and you must put on the new self, which is created in God’s likeness and reveals itself in the true life that is upright and holy. Ephesians 4:23-24 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Stay in the Rut

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

I’ve never heard people say, “Stay in the rut”, have you? Usually, we hear the opposite. “Get out of your rut.” I wonder why that is.

Pilot and I walked in some of the ruts of the Santa Fe Trail through Kansas. Those ruts were dug deep into the soil making it difficult to simply hop out of them, or step over them. Once you were in them, it was easier to stay in the rut than get out of it.

As we drove along the highway next to the trail, the ruts were still visible. Amazing. Simply amazing after all these years.

In the days of the pioneer wagon trains ruts were essential to following the path westward. There was an awful lot of wide open prairie to traverse, and with no road signs other than the occasional rock formation with names inscribed on it, an inexperienced traveler could very easily get lost. I get lost driving through major cities even with road signs. I shudder to think what would happen if I set out across the prairie.

When wagons came upon the well-worn ruts of previous caravans, they knew they were headed in the correct direction. I think as followers of Jesus, it is beneficial for us to stick to the ruts laid out by those who’ve gone before us.

We need a guide. That’s where godly counsel comes in.

We need a map. That’s where the Bible comes in.

We need a fixed destination so we aren’t wandering around in circles. That’s where heaven comes in.

When Jesus called his first disciples he told them to follow him. He tells us the same.

We need to search out the path Jesus has placed before us, put our wagon wheels in it, and stay in the rut to our new home.

Have you ever seen the ruts left my wagon trains across the prairie?

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Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” And they left their nets at once and followed him. Matthew 4:19-20 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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