God Is Our Solid Rock

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

I didn’t think God would use a church service under a tent flap during a Civil War reenactment to speak to me, but that’s exactly what happened at Fort Richardson in Jacksboro, Texas last weekend.

My main purpose for attending the service was to gather research for a future book to learn how a post-Civil War church service would be conducted. I spoke with the Chaplain reenactor previously, and knew his portrayal would be spot-on. Yet I believe God’s purpose for me being there went beyond gathering information for a book. I believe God wanted to remind me that no matter our circumstances, or where we might find our self, we can rejoice in the God who is our strength and our shield.

When Pilot and I arrived a little before the service began at 10 am, we were offered a folding stool in the shade, which we gladly accepted on that bright sunshiny 80 degree November morning.

The bell rang announcing the service would soon begin. Folks gathered, and Preacher opened with prayer. He led the assembly in three “line-out songs” where he sang a line, and the congregation repeated the song one line at a time.

Preacher’s message was taken from the Old Testament book of Habakkuk. I smiled as he read the familiar verses from chapters 2 and 3.

I’ve written blog posts on these favorite verses here, here, and here.

One take-away I received from Preacher’s sermon last Sunday was that despite troubling circumstances, we are to live by faith in Yahweh God alone.

During Habakkuk’s time, and ours, the world was full of evil. Enough evil to rock even the strongest Believer’s faith. Habakkuk questioned why God allowed such evil to continue.

Like the prophet, we might ask God the same thing. “Why do the wicked prosper and the righteous suffer?”

We want Yahweh Jehovah God to intervene. To punish the wicked. To remove evil from the world.

God reminded Habakkuk of several things when he went before God with his questions. God gives us the same answers he gave the prophet. God is aware of what goes on in the world. Nothing happens he didn’t plan or permit. God will punish evil his way, in his timing, and by his methods.

As Preacher reminded those of us under that tent flap, God still exists regardless of the circumstances we face. God sees. God knows. God’s still in control. We should not allow our circumstances to dictate our actions; or our faith.

Our faith remains in God whether the fig tree blossoms or there are grapes on the vines. We place ourselves under his protection. He is our Shalom. Our Rock. Our Anchor and Deliverer.

So take heart dear friends. Trust in Christ alone, the Solid Rock on which we stand.

How do you choose to live by faith and not by the circumstances that surround you?

One of the songs we sang during the service is the familiar “Solid Rock”.

I’ve included a song by Tasha Cobbs and Jamie Grace that’s updated from the original, but has the same message … Christ is the Solid Rock on which we stand. All other ground is sinking sand.

Amen?

You are my Solid, my Solid Rock. Sing it like no one’s watching you!

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The Lord God is my strength: he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. Habakkuk 3:19 (GNV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Shortly after this church service at Fort Richardson ended, a gunman opened fire in a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas killing twenty-six people and wounding many more. Christ is our Solid Rock in a world of chaos and evil. Our faith remains in Yahweh God and him alone.

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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?

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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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The Final Victory

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Yesterday, May 8, was the anniversary of Victory in Europe May 8, 1945. Although V-E Day was a major victory, it wasn’t until September 2, 1945 World War II officially ended with V-J Day and the formal surrender of Japan. As the people in Europe celebrated their liberation from the enemy, I believe at the back of their mind they realized there was still a final victory yet to come.

While I contemplated the significance of those two days in history, I considered the major victories Christians have through our Savior Jesus Christ that lead up to the final victory over the enemy the day God tells his Son, it’s time. Go get your bride.

We are grateful for the liberation from God’s enemy, but we realize there is still a final victory yet to come.

Jesus’ death for the sins of the world, his resurrection and defeat of hell, sin, Satan and death, his return to his throne in heaven-where he sits at the right hand of his Father and  prepares a place for believers to live with him as he awaits the day of his return-are victories that will culminate in the grand, final defeat of Satan. Glory hallelujah!

Although it was a major victory, V-E Day was not the end to World War II. Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection, and ascension were major victories, but not the end of the spiritual war. That victory is yet to come. But it will come.

While we wait for the Final Victory, let’s not grow weary in doing good.

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Then I saw heaven opened, and there before me was a white horse. The rider on the horse is called Faithful and True, and he is right when he judges and makes war. His eyes are like burning fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him, which no one but himself knows. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven, dressed in fine linen, white and clean, were following him on white horses. Out of the rider’s mouth comes a sharp sword that he will use to defeat the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will crush out the wine in the winepress of the terrible anger of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his upper leg was written this name: king of kings and lord of lords. Revelation 19:11-16 (NCV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — Gratitude Not Unforgiveness

Isaiahby Sandy Kirby Quandt

Thanksgiving is only a few days away.

With the day often comes family and friends. For some that is a good thing. For others it isn’t.

While some folks celebrate the day with gratitude and thankfulness, some folks spend the time together in unforgiveness rehashing past transgressions, wounds and hurts.

When I taught elementary school one thing I liked to do as a pre-Thanksgiving craft was have each child spread out the fingers of their hand and trace around them.

If you use your imagination, this looks like a turkey. Construction paper feathers of multiple colors were glued to the four fingers. An eye was drawn on the thumb, or turkey’s face. On each feather was written a different thing the child was thankful for. These turkeys were presented to family members on Thanksgiving Day.

Might I suggest instead of coming to Thanksgiving with thoughts of unforgiveness in our hearts, we make hand turkeys and fill them with thoughts of gratitude to distribute to those we’ll spend Thursday with?

Is there a special way you show your gratitude to those in your life?

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Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Colossians 3:12-13 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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The Full Armor of God

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

If you have even the slightest interest in space exploration and America’s space flight history, and have the opportunity to visit the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Cape Canaveral, Florida, I strongly suggest you go.

Pilot, his father, and our son, Pie, all have ties to America’s space flight history and I couldn’t be prouder. I’ve been privileged to meet numerous astronauts and have my own very small part in the adventure. I guess you could say space excites me.

On a recent visit to the Kennedy Space Center, one thing that especially caught my attention was the astronaut suit display. This was not my first time examining the Pumpkin Suit, as it is called. I’ve seen it many times before but this was the first time I made a spiritual connection with the suit and the armor of God.

Boots : Heat resistant, strong but flexible, allowed astronauts to run if necessary.

Astronaut class badge: Designated which class the astronaut was a part of by year.

The bright color orange: Used because it stood out so well against any background.

Gloves: Textured to allow astronauts to throw switches, push buttons, and turn knobs.

Helmet: Connected to suit via a locking metal ring. Contained all communication equipment needed to talk to each other and mission control during launch and landing. Heavy reflective tape on outside aided in search and rescue.

Helmet Visor: Provided a large enough field of vision to see front and sides. Sunshade could be brought down to block the sun’s glare.

Personal pocket 1: Used for various personal items such as glasses, medicine, a watch, calculator, note pads, pencils, personal photos.

Personal pocket 2: Carry anything that fit there, mostly pens.

Right leg survival gear pouch: Radio with 24-hour battery, earphones, spare antenna, motion sickness pills, signal mirror visible up to 40 miles away, one survival mitten.

Left leg survival gear pouch: Strobe light visible up to 50 miles away, two glow sticks, flare kit with seven cartridges, one survival mitten.

Just as the astronauts suit-up with the equipment especially designed for their missions in space, Paul tells us in Ephesians we are to suit-up with the Armor of God to be equipped for our missions here on earth.

I know there are other comparisons that can be made regarding uniforms designed to protect the wearer, but this was the one that came to mind while I was at Kennedy.

What other uniform comparisons come to your mind?

They aren't called Pumpkin Suits because they make you look thin, you know.

It isn’t called a Pumpkin Suit because it makes you look thin, you know.

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In conclusion be strong—not in yourselves but in the Lord, in the power of his boundless resource. Put on God’s complete armour so that you can successfully resist all the devil’s methods of attack. For our fight is not against any physical enemy: it is against organisations and powers that are spiritual. We are up against the unseen power that controls this dark world, and spiritual agents from the very headquarters of evil. Therefore you must wear the whole armour of God that you may be able to resist evil in its day of power, and that even when you have fought to a standstill you may still stand your ground. Take your stand then with truth as your belt, righteousness your breastplate, the Gospel of peace firmly on your feet, salvation as your helmet and in your hand the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. Above all be sure you take faith as your shield, for it can quench every burning missile the enemy hurls at you. Pray at all times with every kind of spiritual prayer, keeping alert and persistent as you pray for all Christ’s men and women. Ephesians 6:11-18 (Phillips)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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One of my posts is scheduled to appear on Christian Devotions September 21, 2015. Please stop by and check it out.

Prepare To Be Ready

p-51 Moton Field, AL cpyrightedBy Sandy Kirby Quandt

My research into the Tuskegee Airmen recently took me to Internet Archives Digital Library, and a fifteen minute video tribute. I found the video fascinating. Once again I was impressed with the sacrifices men and women in the various military services of the United States have given for this country, and what they have accomplished through their efforts.

Thank you one and all.

Near the end of the internet video, General Chappie James said:

“Freedom must be re-purchased by every new generation. Prepare yourself so that when your Tuskegee appears, you will be ready.”

Prepare yourself to be ready for your Tuskegee. Your opportunity. Your moment to shine. The dream God has dreamed for you.

I expect my Tuskegee looks different from yours. My Tuskegee involves me being prepared to write what God wants me to write, send it where I think he wants it to be published, and get it in front of the people I believe he wants it in front of.

Some of you reading this post are also writers. You know what I’m talking about.

Some of you may be preparing to venture out into new areas in your careers, or relationships, or ministries. You’ve done your homework. Prepared yourself. Got your ducks in a row, as my mother would say. You’re ready.

Prepare yourself so that when your Tuskegee appears, you will be ready.

Sounds good, but how might one go about doing that?

Bing imagesFor me, I believe no matter what is around the corner, we need to be grounded in God’s word. Seek to know his will. Strive to please him above all others.

It took fourteen years before God moved David from shepherd to king, but when the time finally came, David was prepared for his Tuskegee.

Just as the Airmen needed to understand their equipment and study their manuals, so do we. We need to be studying God’s word DAILY. Not just once a week. We need to listen to Godly counsel. Pay attention to the things God’s showing in his world that he wants us to apply to our lives.

It won’t do any good for someone to read an instruction manual, sit in on class lectures, study weather charts and navigation, then turn around and forget all that information once they get into a plane. That plane’s not gonna’ fly.

Pilots can fly airplanes because they’ve trained and studied the flight manuals. We can navigate life and be prepared for what’s around the corner because we have studied our manual – the Bible.

I pray each of us is ready when our Tuskegee comes. Ready for the dream God has dreamed for us.

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Work hard so God can say to you, “Well done.” Be a good workman, one who does not need to be ashamed when God examines your work. Know what his Word says and means. 2 Timothy 2:15 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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