Sunday Scriptures – Friends

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

While I do believe there are random encounters in our lives, I also believe God places specific people — friends — in our lives either for us to be enriched from the relationship, or for them to be enriched through us.

With that thought in mind, I have a suggestion for us today. Let’s look back and consider those who have loved, cared for, taught, discipled, encouraged, or mentored us, and thank God for them.

Paper and pencil ready? Then, let’s go.

Who comes to mind first? Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, spouses?

What about ministers, youth leaders, Sunday school teachers, any other person whether in an official, or unofficial capacity who helped further our Biblical knowledge and understanding?

Are there friends we’d add to the list? Co-workers? I sure hope so.

Teachers? There’d better be one or two on the list.

Our list will consist of those who helped shape and mold us into the people we are today. Of course, each of us knows life is not a bowl full of jello, despite what Knucklehead Nellie sang in South Pacific, and there have been toxic people in our lives, as well. But we’re not going to think about them today.

Nope. Today is for thanking God for those positive people in our lives who helped make us better than we were before we met them. Today is also a time to reflect and consider whether our name will show up on the positive side of anyone’s list. Hmmm.

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.

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. Proverbs 27:17 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — Friendship

Isaiah 40by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Recently I was thinking about friends I knew during my high school years. Two in particular stood out because of what they wrote to me.

Karen and I were best friends. You’d call us BFFs today. We shared much of ourselves with each other during our senior year of high school and vowed to stay in touch, despite the fact our roads after graduation would take us down different paths. Unfortunately, we never saw each other again once we hugged good-bye the day we held our diplomas in our hands.

While in Senior English, we studied Jean Anouilh’s play, Becket, about King Henry II and Thomas Becket’s friendship. We both fell in love with it, got mad at Henry for his treatment of his friend, and wept for Becket.

I don’t need to see my yearbook to remember the inscription Karen wrote…To Becket, from Henry. I was humbled she considered me a person who stood up for what I felt was right, and  who didn’t compromise my beliefs.

A friend I met at church camp signed his letters using a phrase from Charles Dicken’s Great Expectations. Referencing the conversation between Joe and Pip, Paul always wrote, “Ever the best of friends.”

Paul and I ran into each other several times through the years at various conventions but eventually, lost contact. Yet I know, were we to meet today we’d still be ever the best of friends.

As a writer, books are important to me. I enjoy reading them. I enjoy writing them. While Becket and Great Expectations are classics, and I appreciate them both, there is one book that is far superior, and has many more memorable lines in it.

Yep. I’m talking about the Bible.

So I’m wondering…

Do we include scripture references when we speak or write to others, the way my friends included literary works when they wrote me? Do our friends know the stories from the Bible which thrill our hearts? The ones that bring us joy? The ones that reduce us to tears? If we quoted a verse, would they know it’s importance to us?

Jesus is our true BFF. He shares our hurts, our joys, our failures and our successes with us each and every day. He will never harm or destroy us the way King Henry did Becket. Jesus will never abandon or reject us the way Pip did Joe. Jesus wants us to keep in touch.

Our Savior loves us with an undying love. He wants us to stand up for what is right. He longs for us to be ever the best of friends.

Are there friends from high school you are still in contact with? If you mentioned something from those days, would you feel like you were there all over again?

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

 The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. Jeremiah 31:3 (NIV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Job Knew Something We Sometimes Forget

I received word July 10, 2013, an article I wrote for Today’s Christian Woman, “Letting Go” went live on TodaysChristianWoman.com’s ParentConnect site.

The post I wrote July 9 talked about opportunities God gives us to trust him. “Letting Go” tells of an opportunity God gave me to trust him, over 30 years ago. Today’s Christian Woman has asked me to spread the word about the article, so that’s what I’m doing. 😉

If someone mentions the name, Job, from the Old Testament, what’s the first thing we usually think of?

Patience.

But I would like to submit to you, that the Book of Job is sooo much more than merely a beautifully written, poetic story about exhibiting patience, and enduring troubles.

Have you spent much time considering Job’s friends? I use the term, friends, loosely here. I know I’ve had people like them in my life before. Still do.

Friends who tell us our troubles are all our fault. Even when we know for a fact, we haven’t done a thing to deserve what is happening. Or who tell us how stupid we were/are.

Friends who are ready to lecture and give advice, but who haven’t a clue what they are talking about. They aren’t the ones who went through the experience.

When, all the time, what we really need is a true friend. A friend who will sit with us in the ash heap, among the pottery shards of our life. Fortunately, I do have a couple of those. Thank you, Jesus.

And then there is Job’s Curse God and die, wife. Oh. There’s someone I’d like in my life. Not.

Wicked Witch

Near the very end of the Book of Job, (39-41) God tells Job to brace himself like a man. Then God starts questioning Job.

Where were you when I made the earth’s foundation? Who shut the doors to keep the sea

Oahu Photo SQuandt

Oahu
Photo SQuandt

in when it broke through and was born? Where were you when I said to the sea, ‘you may come this far, but no farther’? Have you ever ordered the morning to begin, or shown the dawn where its place was? Tell me if you know all these things.

Job, wisely, admitted he had no answers to the Almighty’s questions.

But, before Job’s questioning by God, Job did know something we sometimes forget, even being this side of Calvary.

I know that my Redeemer lives, and in the end he will stand upon the earth. Even after my skin has been destroyed in my flesh I will see God. I will see him myself; I will see him with my very own eyes. How my heart wants that to happen!

Job 19:25-27 

The story of Job is not just a story of patience and suffering. It is a story of hope. Hope in a risen Savior. Hope in a Redeemer. Hope in Jesus Christ as LORD. It is a story that should give us hope, even in the midst of our worst trials and troubles.

This is the story of a man who lived in the days of the old and ancient before Jesus walked this earth. A man who knew the truth. A man who knew his, and our, yours, and my, Redeemer lives!

Going through some tough stuff in your life? Hold onto the hope we have in Jesus as our LORD, Savior and Redeemer.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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