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?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject.

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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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A Special Deposit

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Last week I volunteered at our church’s Christmas luncheon for the homeless in our area. Although I had conversations with several of the folks invited to the celebration, my conversation with a new member to our church, who was also there to volunteer, is what I’d like to write about today.

My new friend is recently from Iran; a Muslim country where professing to be a Christian has severe repercussions including not being allowed access to education and job opportunities. My friend, husband, and son are here while her husband studies at the local university.

In the short amount of time, months actually, since my friend arrived in America, she became a Christian. She felt something in her heart which drew her to Christ. That something is the special deposit God places within us to draw us to himself. That special deposit is his Holy Spirit.

As we talked, I asked if she’d told her parents about her decision to become a Christian. No.

They could face persecution if anyone knew she had chosen to follow Jesus.

I asked if she could ever go back to Iran. No.

Let me back up to the first few words my friend said when we were introduced. She told me she missed her family, and it was hard being away from them. Take a moment to read that again.

This woman willingly gave up her country, family, language, and everything she knew to embrace the Savior of the World. She has no regrets. Her heart overflows with joy. She felt the Holy Spirit’s tug, and responded to the special deposit God placed within her.

At one point in our conversation she said, “We don’t choose where we are born. God is the God of everyone. No matter where they live.”

God is the God of everyone. No matter where we are born, or where we live.

Those of us in America sometimes falsely believe we have the corner market on Christianity. God puts his special deposit of the Holy Spirit in people all across the world. He calls them to himself. He cherishes them as much as he cherishes us. He wants everyone to be saved and none to be lost. ALL nations are under God.

As you prepare to celebrate the birth of the Savior of the World, pause and give him thanks for the special deposit he placed within your heart and let the whole world, or at least those within your sphere of influence, know what that gift means to you.

How will you share what Jesus has done for you?

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And so God makes it possible for you and us to stand firmly together with Christ. God is also the one who chose us and put his Spirit in our hearts to show that we belong only to him. 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 (CEV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — Spilt Milk

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, “Don’t cry over spilt milk.” Well, I’d like to tell you a story about a friend who did just that.

As an adult Connie attended church but hadn’t given her life to Christ. That is, not until she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. When Connie realized this life is finite, eternity is forever, and Jesus offers eternal life in heaven with him to those who claim him as Savior, she knew what she needed to do. Connie gave her life to Jesus.

Now, while this was indeed a wonderful time of celebration, not everyone in the congregation felt that way. Some long-time members criticized Connie. They said the only reason she wanted to be baptized was because of her disease. They said without the diagnosis, she’d never have done it.

Okay. Made me mad. It also reminded me of Jesus’ parable about the disgruntled workers who were paid the agreed upon wage for a day’s work, but grumped when those who came to work in the last hour were paid the same.

As Connie’s disease progressed, she lost her eyesight and use of her limbs. One morning before she was confined to a wheelchair, she went about fixing her cereal for breakfast; only it didn’t turn out well.

When she poured the cereal, most of it ended up on the floor instead of in the bowl.

After she swept up the cereal and threw it away, she was more careful with the next attempt. Mission accomplished, she went on to pouring the milk.

In those days, before handy plastic milk jugs, our milk came in slippery, bendable paper cartons which often needed two hands to manage.

With unsteady hands, Connie began to pour. The carton slipped out of her hands, landed at her feet, and spilled all over the floor.

At that, my friend sat down in the middle of the mess and cried over her spilt milk.

Who wouldn’t given the circumstances?

But there’s something I want you to know. Connie didn’t cry because of the spilt milk, and she didn’t cry because she felt sorry for the condition she now found herself in. Connie cried because she understood her body would no longer be able to do all the many, many things she longed to do for her Lord and Savior whom she loved so very much.

None of us has a guaranteed next breath, next hour, next year. We make plans as if we do, and we put off things for later. Only, sometimes, later doesn’t come. Or if it does come, we find we are no longer physically able to do what we planned to do.

2017 is coming to a close. Do you have anything you’ve put off you need to do before it’s too late? I know I do.

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All of us must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent me, for there is little time left before the night falls and all work comes to an end. John 9:4 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Dogs or Equals?

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

After conducting some rather unscientific research that left me pondering, I’ve concluded there are two types of dog owners. Those who consider their dogs dogs. And those who consider their dogs equals.

This is not a commentary on which is correct. Just an observation I’ve discussed with Baxter’s vet, who happens to agree with me. 😉

Thinking about dog owners who treat their pets as equals got me thinking about how we often treat God as our equal. You know what I mean?

We forget God is Sovereign over us, and act as if we’re on equal footing with him in all ways. Intellect. Ability. Wisdom. Holiness.

We act as if God is our best bud, our equal, and because of that, we don’t show him the proper respect he deserves.

We believe we’re entitled to whatever we want, and it’s God’s job to give it to us, regardless of how he might feel about it.

We consider our life our own to live the way we want, and ignore the rules God established for us.

We ignore the fact without God we are nothing, and push him to the side until the time we need something.

God is not our equal.

He is the Sovereign LORD who sits upon his throne and graciously provides for our needs. We are dependent on him and the salvation he freely gives to all through his son Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection.

The moment we snarl at God, and begin to believe we are his equal is the moment we need to stop and remember HE is God and we are not.

This list is not exhaustive by any means. But it got me thinking. Hopefully, it got you thinking also. Tell us what you would add to the list.

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Shout with joy before the Lord, O earth! Obey him gladly; come before him, singing with joy.Try to realize what this means—the Lord is God! He made us—we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Psalm 100:1-3 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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If you wish to use any of my blog posts, please contact me through the comments section for permission first. All written material is copyrighted.

Give Thanks Unto the Lord

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. As we reflect on how richly we have been blessed by the Lord of heaven and earth, let us sing his praises and give him our thanks; recognizing he is the Giver of every good and perfect.

“Oh, give thanks to the Lord and pray to him,” they sang.
“Tell the peoples of the world
About his mighty doings. 

Sing to him; yes, sing his praises
And tell of his marvelous works.
Glory in his holy name;
Let all rejoice who seek the Lord.
 Seek the Lord; yes, seek his strength
And seek his face untiringly.

O descendants of his servant Abraham,
O chosen sons of Jacob,
Remember his mighty miracles
And his marvelous miracles
And his authority:
He is the Lord our God!
 Sing to the Lord, O Earth,
Declare each day that he is the one who saves!

Show his glory to the nations!
Tell everyone about his miracles.
 For the Lord is great and should be highly praised;
He is to be held in awe above all gods.
 The other so-called gods are demons,
But the Lord made the heavens.
 Majesty and honor march before him,
Strength and gladness walk beside him.

 O people of all nations of the earth,
Ascribe great strength and glory to his name!
 Yes, ascribe to the Lord
The glory due his name!
Bring an offering and come before him;
Worship the Lord when clothed with holiness!
 Tremble before him, all the earth!

The world stands unmoved.
 Let the heavens be glad, the earth rejoice;
Let all the nations say, ‘It is the Lord who reigns.’
 Let the vast seas roar,
Let the countryside and everything in it rejoice!
 Let the trees in the woods sing for joy before the Lord,
For he comes to judge the earth.
 Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
His love and his kindness go on forever.

 Blessed be Jehovah, God of Israel,
Forever and forevermore.”

And all the people shouted “Amen!” and praised the Lord.

1 Chronicles 16 (TLB)

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I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

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If you wish to use any of my blog posts, please contact me through the comments section for permission first. All written material is copyrighted.