Sunday Scriptures — Anything Goes

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

In thinking about what is acceptable these days compared to what used to be acceptable decades ago, I thought about Cole Porter’s song, “Anything Goes.” In that song, Mr. Porter states how times have changed, and the things that used to shock no longer do.

For those too young to remember what used to be considered acceptable in television shows, go watch some re-runs of “The Andy Griffith Show”, “The Dick Van Dyke Show”, the original “MacGyver”, or “Murder She Wrote”.

On one writers loop I receive the conversation often cycles around to whether or not those of us who call ourselves Christian authors should use profanity in our novels. Each time this subject comes up, there is considerable discussion with voices on both sides of the debate. One argument on the “yes” side is that profanity in our writing is “authentic” and shows how the real world talks and lives.

The decision of whether to lace our writing with profanity or not is up to each individual. But for me, I believe followers of Christ are called to a higher standard than whatever the world currently deems acceptable at any given point in time.

I don’t think it matters what our occupation is; author, police officer, banker, secretary, waitress, engineer, landscaper, cashier, stay at home parent, hourly employee or executive, retired, work in construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, leisure and hospitality, or government, when we align ourselves with Christ, we are to imitate him. Not the world.

So what do you think? As Christians does it matter how we represent Jesus to the world around us in our everyday lives? Anything goes, or not/

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So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. Romans 12:2 (MSG)

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.

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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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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.

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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.

Are We Imitators of Christ?

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

During our recent trip to Goliad, Texas Pilot and I couldn’t help but notice a small boy and his grandfather. Precious is the word that comes to mind. It seemed to me this little boy desired to imitate his grandfather.

Looking at these two caused me to think about my relationship with Jesus and ask myself, “Do I imitate Christ?” Perhaps you can think about your relationship with Christ along with me, and ask yourself the same question.

This grandfather and grandson clothed themselves alike and appeared inseparable throughout the entire weekend. It appeared the little boy trusted his grandfather and wanted to be wherever he went.

The Bible tells us those who are baptized into Christ are clothed with Christ. We are children of God through our faith in Jesus. (Galatians 3:26-27) Since we are clothed with Christ, our desire should be to follow wherever he leads.

Even as things wound down, the little boy looked to his grandfather and imitated him. We are to be imitators of Christ and follow his example. (1 Corinthians 11:1)

Come to find out, the whole family was reenactors. The boy’s grandfather, mother and aunt were with the Mexican cavalry. His father was part of the Texian cavalry. I wonder which side he’ll “fight” on when he grows older.

If I had to bet, I’d say he’ll stick with Grandpa.

In life we might have people who imitate us. When they imitate us, are they also imitating Christ? Are we clothed in robes of righteousness? Do we follow in Christ’s footsteps and point others to him?

When we “grow up”, will we fight on God’s side or Satan’s?

Is there someone in your life you imitated when you were younger?

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 Jesus said to all of them, “If people want to follow me, they must give up the things they want. They must be willing to give up their lives daily to follow me.  Luke 9:23 (NCV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures – Palm Sunday

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

The Bible tells us Jesus wept. We understand that emotion when we read Jesus wept at his friend Lazarus’ death, but it seems strange to think of Jesus weeping right before his triumphal entry into Jerusalem on this day we celebrate as Palm Sunday.

Before all the hosannas and praise, Jesus wept because he knew what awaited the people who chose not to accept him as God’s son, and the peace he offered.

Christ’s three-year earthly ministry was rapidly coming to a close. In a few days Jesus would be arrested, tried illegally, and sentenced to die a horrific, tortuous death at the hands of sadistic men.

So on this Palm Sunday, let us sing our hosannas and praise the Savior who entered this world as a baby, lived a sinless life on this earth, became the Sacrificial Lamb who took the sins of the world upon himself, paid the debt we owed but could never pay with his life, rose victoriously from the grave, defeated hell, sin, Satan, and death, reigns eternally with the Father in heaven, and will return for those who accept Jesus’ invitation to claim him as God’s only son, King of kings and Lord of lords.

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As He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it [and the spiritual ignorance of its people], saying, “If [only] you had known on this day [of salvation], even you, the things which make for peace [and on which peace depends]! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. For a time [of siege] is coming when your enemies will put up a barricade [with pointed stakes] against you, and surround you [with armies] and hem you in on every side, and they will level you to the ground, you [Jerusalem] and your children within you. They will not leave in you one stone on another, all because you did not [come progressively to] recognize [from observation and personal experience] the time of your visitation [when God was gracious toward you and offered you salvation].” Luke 19:41-44 (AMP)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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