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?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

 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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The Wonders of Nature — Book Review

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

In June 2016 I received a contract to contribute twenty devotions celebrating God’s gift of nature in the world around us to Worthy Publishing for their upcoming devotional book. The Wonders of Nature 365 Devotions Celebrating God’s Beauty was published in November 2016 as a custom devotional done exclusively for Books-a-Million. A different version will be published in the fall of 2017 and available in more venues. That devotional will be titled, Let All Nature Sing.

The Books-a-Million site describes The Wonders of Nature 365 Devotions Celebrating God’s Beauty this way:

The world we live in is an ever changing testament to the imagination and creativity of our God. His mighty hand crafted the tallest mountain and the most delicate snowflake. More than thirty writers share their observations and reflections of God’s goodness in the beauty and wonder of nature. Begin each day knowing that the same God who cares for the hummingbird also watches over you.

As one of those thirty-plus writers, I encourage you to pick up your copy of the devotional,  and be blessed by what each of the writers observed about God’s goodness in the beauty and wonder of nature. Be sure to look for devotions about hummingbirds, skunks, sharks, bats, squirrels and other creations. If you do, you just might be able to guess who the author is. 😉

If you read The Wonders of Nature 365 Devotions Celebrating God’s Beauty, or Let All Nature Sing when it comes out, let me know if you figure out the twenty devotions I contributed to the book.

Be on the lookout for further information regarding an upcoming Worthy Publishing devotional book that includes my devotions about dogs. And yes, devotions about Kirby and Bear are in there.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Goodbye, Sweet Bear

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened. Theodor Geisel. Better known as Dr. Seuss.

Bear was two months shy of his fifth birthday last August when we received the news he had one month to live. The diagnosis of lymphoblastic sarcoma came two weeks before Pilot and I set out with Bear on a 10-day vacation through Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. By my calculations, that meant Bear might not make it back home.

This past month the cancer aggressively attacked. On Friday, March 31, 2017 the cancer won, and after a heart-wrenching decision to spare him anymore pain, Bear was euthanized.

When our vet first mentioned the word cancer, I pleaded with God to take away the cancer and spare Bear — and Pilot and me — from this early, unexpected death of our beloved dog.

To say Pilot, or I, either one slept that night, and did not shed a flood of tears as we struggled with God’s will in this situation, would be a lie. The same would hold true now as we struggle to move on without our pup and close companion. We’ve been through the death of our dogs before. We know the tears will continue to flow and the pain will resurface raw as the last time we held him, especially during the former “routines” we shared with Bear.

Routines like waking up, and not seeing his face and wagging tail to greet us. Not having him to go get the paper or take that early morning walk with. Taking rides in the car and not being able to tell him to “hold on” as we turn left into our neighborhood. Coming home and not finding him waiting at the front door, or watching how excited he got when Pilot’s car pulled into the driveway after work.

The list of missed routines goes on, and so will the hurt. I think what makes it especially difficult is the fact this is the first time in twenty-five years Pilot and I don’t have a dog.

After we received the sad news of Bear’s diagnosis, we overloaded him with his favorite treats. One of Pilot’s co-workers made special heart-shaped doggie cookies for Bear when she heard the news, and another gave Bear multiple bags of chicken jerky treats. That stuff was like crack cocaine for him.

One of Bear’s favorite things to do was go to Dairy Queen, drive up to the window, show the worker inside he was there, and receive his puppy cup of soft-serve vanilla ice cream. While we sat on the floor in the vet’s office last Friday and talked with him about Bear, before Bear received his injections, I mentioned we’d taken Bear to get a puppy cup three days earlier. As soon as I said, “puppy cup”, Bear’s head swiveled my direction. He knew exactly what puppy cup meant.

Like Pilot said the morning after Bear died; we won’t need to spell anything now to keep Bear from knowing what we’re talking about. He was one smart pup.

During the beginning of our trip last September I worried and I fretted.

What if Bear died while we were on the road? Would we find a veterinarian? What would we do with his body?

While I what-ifed, I left God out of the equation. I prayed Bear would make it home, but I feared he wouldn’t. I had a lot of trouble leaving the situation in God’s hands.

The Saturday before we left on our trip I read a devotional that should have comforted me immediately, but it took over a week on the road before I internalized what I read, grabbed hold of the truth, constantly reminded myself of it, and hung on with all my might.

The devotion asked these four questions:

Is Jesus with me during this situation?

Has Jesus handled difficult situations for me in the past?

Can Jesus handle this situation?

Will the outcome of this situation affect my salvation?

These are four excellent questions to ask ourselves no matter what difficult situation we face. These are questions I continue to ask as Pilot and I seek God’s comfort and peace.

Bear didn’t die as quickly as the vet predicted and his longevity is a puzzlement. As with all the dogs we shared our hearts and home with, Pilot and I value each and every second we had with Bear. We did everything we could to make his final days as pleasant as possible, and we try to remember … don’t cry because Bear’s life is over, but smile because he was in our lives.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

“… he will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” Revelation 21:4 (NLT)

I wish you well,

Sandy

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One of my posts is scheduled to appear on Inspire a Fire April 4, 2017. Please stop by and read it.

Sunday Scriptures – When Reality and Expectations Collide

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Last month when Pilot and I traveled to Florida and Louisiana to celebrate our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, I discovered what happens when reality and expectations collide, and let me tell you, it wasn’t pretty.

I had really high expectations of what our vacation would be like. We’d planned and anticipated this time away for almost a year. We knew where we wanted to go, and what we wanted to see.

We knew we headed to Florida during peak Spring Break traffic, but didn’t realize it would be THAT bad.

We didn’t expect rain and cold to cancel our beach plans.

We didn’t realize how bad an idea driving a 25 foot RV through New Orleans’ narrow streets would be.

We were unaware the KOA we stayed at for three nights was RIGHT next to a railroad track with trains that ran ALL night long and blew their whistles the ENTIRE way.

I also didn’t realize what a sense of humor God has. For you see, on Thursday, March 16, during our trip when my disappointment with the way things were turning out was at a high level, a post I wrote a month earlier went live. The title of the post is “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff“.

I had to laugh.

So, I readjusted my expectations to match the reality.

The traffic was horrendous, but we reached all our destinations safe and sound.

Although we hoped not to need it, we were prepared clothing-wise for cold, rainy beach weather.

When the RV got stuck between two parked cars on a residential street in New Orleans, with cars backed up behind us, a man popped up in one of the parked cars and offered to move his car enough for us to edge by. Only God …

Yes. The train noise made it extremely difficult to sleep, but our site was right next to the laundry facility, making it easy to wash and dry our clothes.

When reality and expectations collide in our lives, we can give in to Satan’s desire to steal our joy and make us grumpy, which I certainly did, or we can take a deep breath, remember God is Sovereign and in control, and press on.

Have you experienced a time in your life when reality and expectations collided?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

I love the Lord, because he listens to my prayers for help. Psalm 116:1 (NCV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Pause for Poetry – On That Day

pauseby Sandy Kirby Quandt

Welcome to Pause for Poetry featuring a poem written by my writer-friend, Shirley Specht Johnson.

On That Day
by Shirley Specht Johnson

With a broken heart, HE died for thee.

All His love upon that tree.

Never knowing the debt he paid,

on that dark and lonely day.

Sin and sickness of every soul.

What great love did he hold?

People grieved, people mourned.

The sun was darkened; the veil was torn.

But then,

on another day.

They found the stone was rolled away.

He rose from death in that tomb,

knowing souls before their mother’s womb

He walked with grace, He saw with love,

He spoke of hope from above.

He left a word “Do not grieve.”

“I’ll send you comfort.” “Just believe.”

So, walk with grace, see with love,

Speak of hope from above.

For on that day He died for thee,

He died for all humanity.

Shirley Specht Johnson loves to share inspiration and encouragement through her writing. She is a member of SCBWI. She loves to read and has volunteered at her local Public Library as an Adult Literacy Tutor. She shares moments of inspiration and her writing life at her blog.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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