Bossy Pants

courtesy pixabayby Sandy Kirby Quandt

An acquaintance of mine often brags she was called Little Miss Bossy Pants when she was young. Well. I’ve got news for her. She’s still a bossy pants. And it’s not attractive.

I should know … I have my own unflattering moments of bossiness.

Thinking about being bossy and how those of us who are bossy believe we’re right, and it’s our duty to tell others how to do things, I thought about how sometimes we take that bossiness into our relationship with God.

You know what I mean?

We think we know better than the Creator of the Universe how he should handle things.

We tell him how to solve what we believe he’s leaving unsolved.

We take our problems to God right along with a list of how he should work them out.

 

Because our minds are oh so small and limited, we don’t get it that God doesn’t need our suggestions or our help.

He can manage fine without us telling him what to do. He created the world without us telling him where to place the sun, didn’t he?

Maybe we need to step back, realize who God is and who we are in relationship to him, and stop trying to bring him to our level.

Who can fathom the mind of God?

Certainly not any of us, no matter how bossy we are, or how wise we believe ourselves to be.

Just look at Job.

Start at chapter 38 if you need a refresher course in God’s authority.

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The Lord went on:

 “Do you still want to argue with the Almighty? Or will you yield? Do you—God’s critic—have the answers?”

Then Job replied to God:

“I am nothing—how could I ever find the answers? I lay my hand upon my mouth in silence.  I have said too much already.” Job 40:1-5 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Jesus Forgives Us

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Recently, a friend and I discussed how easy it is to acknowledge the truth Jesus forgives us, yet not forgive ourselves. We believe God forgives those who come to him in full repentance, turn from their sins and claim Jesus as Lord, yet we often don’t extend that forgiveness to ourselves. It’s as if we want to keep feeling lousy for our sins because we rationalize after all, we deserve it.

Reminds me of the Medieval monks and their excessive self-criticism and self-flogging. Also reminds me Satan is hard at work to get those of us who belong to Jesus to doubt who God is. Did God really say ALL your sins were forgiven? What about the time … ?

We know in our heart we’re forgiven. We’re no longer bound by the chains Satan wraps around us, yet we  might feel, for possibly one brief instant, God couldn’t possible forgive us.

Could he?

We have no problem believing God forgave someone with the absolute exact sin as ours, but forgive us?

Could it be we believe God’s grace can’t reach us?

Could it be we’ve allowed other’s opinions to define who we are, and we believe their lies we are unworthy, instead of believing God’s truth he loves us with an everlasting love?

Why can’t we just accept what God says about us and leave it at that?

Why do we keep holding onto things God’s told us he no longer remembers?

I don’t know. I don’t have answers. I just have questions. 🙂

My friend and I didn’t come up with any profound revelation on the matter. Just more questions.

That plus grateful thanks to Jesus for his willingness to be the Sacrificial Lamb who was slain for the sins of the world.

Jesus forgives us.

Yes. Jesus forgives us and loves us this we know. And aren’t we forever grateful?

Have you ever pondered such things?

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Praise the Lord! Give thanks to the Lord, because he is good; his love is eternal. Psalm 106:1 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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The Joy of the LORD is Our Strength

courtesy pixabayby Sandy Kirby Quandt

How would you define joy? Is it a feeling? Is it a state of mind? Is it dependent on outward circumstances? Are joy and happiness the same thing? What about the joy of the Lord?

Webster’s dictionary defines joy as:

 a : the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires

b : a state of happiness or felicity

          c : a source or cause of delight

It defines happiness as:

a : a state of well-being and contentment joy

          b : a pleasurable or satisfying experience

In defining both words, joy and happiness were used in the definitions. Interesting.

courtesy pixabay

Years ago one of my ministers said joy and happiness are not the same thing. He said joy is dependent on our relationship with God. Happiness is dependent on our outward circumstances.

There are those I know who seem to have an overabundance of joy regardless of the things going on in their lives. They have a perpetual smile. It’s not that they are always happy, it just seems as if their happiness isn’t dependent on their circumstances.

There are those I know who seem to always be joyless. They rarely smile. Are their circumstances stealing their happiness along with their joy?

As much as I’d like to say I’m joyful and positive all the time. That’s not true. I’d have to say I’ve had my fair share of joyful/happy days, as well as my share of joyless/unhappy days. I’ve enjoyed times of joy amidst utter despair, and experienced joylessness amidst times of your basic run-of-the-mill annoyance.

In our times of joylessness, one thing to remember: God never changed in those times. What changed is what we allowed to bother us; steal our joy, and how far we allowed  our self to drift from praising God. No matter what.

The joy of our LORD is our strength, is it not?

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I will shout for joy as I play for you; with my whole being I will sing because you have saved me. Psalm 71:23 (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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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?

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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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