Tom’s Paddle Out

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

In an earlier post I mentioned Pilot’s oldest brother, Tom, died suddenly in his sleep June 1, 2017. Following Tom’s formal service under the pavilion, friends and family wearing floral leis took to their surf boards for a surfer’s paddle out in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean off the Florida coast.

As is the custom within the surf community, where friends and family gather at the deceased’s favorite local surf break and paddle out beyond the break, Pilot joined the group. Straddling their surf boards, they formed a circle, shared remembrances of Tom and said a prayer. Afterwards, they splashed water in celebration of a life well-lived, and threw flowers into the center of the circle before turning back to shore.

As I watched each surfer walk away from the water, the words to Kari Jobe’s “I Am Not Alone” ran through my head.

I am not alone. I am not alone. You will go before me. You will never leave me.

Tom Quandt has gone on before us, yet his family and friends are not left alone because Jesus has promised to never leave or forsake those of us who belong to him. Jesus goes before us and walks with us through the valley of the shadow of death. Jesus is our strength and refuge. Amen?

No matter where we might be right now in our life, what we’ve been through, or what is  staring us in the face, one thing remains sure and true: We are not alone.

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The following scripture is taken from the Hawai’i Pidgin translation, and may prove difficult to read, but I felt this translation appropriate for this post.

Den I wen hear someting dat wen sound like get plenny peopo making big noise, jalike big water pounding, an jalike loud thunder. Dey say,

“God, he da greatest! Hallelujah! Cuz he da Boss dat stay in charge, An he da King ova all! He da God Dat Get All Da Power! Now we can feel good inside, An dance an sing, An tell how awesome he stay! Cuz now, get da big lu‛au Fo Godʼs Baby Sheep Guy! He goin take his peopo fo be wit him, An dey wen make demself ready fo him, Jalike da groom take his bride An she wen make herself ready fo him.” Revelation 19:6-8 (Hawai’i Pidgin)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures – Where Have You Put Him?

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Where have you put him?

That’s the question Mary Magdalene asked when she saw the empty tomb where the body of her Lord was placed three short days earlier.

We can ask ourselves the same question Mary asked. Where have we put him?

Is Christ at the center of our life, or have we shuffled him off to a corner somewhere and forgotten him, until we need something?

Do we seek out Jesus first thing in the morning the way Mary did? Or do days, weeks, months pass before we even give him a second thought?

Do we long to see our Savior’s face and glorify him? Does he fill our days with the joy only he can give? Do we live to serve him and him alone?

When people look at us and ask, “Where have you put him?” can they see Jesus living in and through us?

Are our lives a testimony to the truth our Redeemer forever lives? And because our Redeemer lives, we can too.

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Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been taken away from the entrance. She went running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

Then Peter and the other disciple went to the tomb. The two of them were running, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and saw the linen cloths, but he did not go in. Behind him came Simon Peter, and he went straight into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there and the cloth which had been around Jesus’ head. It was not lying with the linen cloths but was rolled up by itself. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in; he saw and believed. (They still did not understand the scripture which said that he must rise from death.)

John 20:1-9 (NCV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Trust God, Not Chariots

courtesy pixabayby Sandy Kirby Quandt

Trust. Assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something. One in which confidence is placed. That’s how Webster’s dictionary defines the word.

Throughout history God gives his people a choice. Trust God. Trust man. We will all give an account for where we placed our trust. We need to choose wisely between the two.

Some may try to set themselves above God, but God alone is LORD.

Some trust in power. Some trust in wealth. Some trust in their work. Some trust in status.

In reading the history of the nation of Israel recorded in the Old Testament, we see people who trusted in all of those things. We also see the reliance of many nations upon their military might and weaponry.

Many of those nations did not trust God, and did not rely upon him. Those who relied on their own devices usually failed, unless God used their victory for his own purposes. Those who trusted God and relied on him usually succeeded, unless God used their defeat as punishment.

courtesy pixabay

Those who did not trust God trusted their chariots and horses. They trusted their weapons of iron. They trusted their enormous numbers. They trusted in the fear their name produced.

Time and again we see that God is not interested in chariots, weapons, numbers, or pedigree. God is interested in obedience and trust in him.

The God who raises up, also tears down. Despite what some may say, God still reigns on his throne. God is still El Elyon, the God most high. God is still above all. Everything is still under him.

courtesy pixabay

We would be wise to make sure we place our trust in God and God alone.

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Some trust in chariots, others in horses, but we trust the Lord our God. Psalm 20:7 (NCV)

I wish you well,

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures – Jesus is The Victor!

Isaiahby Sandy Kirby Quandt

It is finished!

Jesus has done it!

Life conquered death, he has won the battle for us!

Satan is defeated and Jesus, King of kings and Lord of lords Lives and Reigns forever!

He is the Victor who was and is and is to come!

Praise God!

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 But at the first signs of dawn on the first day of the week, they went to the tomb, taking with them the aromatic spices they had prepared. They discovered that the stone had been rolled away from the tomb, but on going inside, the body of the Lord Jesus was not to be found. While they were still puzzling over this, two men suddenly stood at their elbow, dressed in dazzling light. The women were terribly frightened, and turned their eyes away and looked at the ground. But the two men spoke to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here: he has risen! Remember what he said to you, while he was still in Galilee—that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men, and must be crucified, and must rise again on the third day.” Luke 24:1-7 (Phillips)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Olly Olly in Come Free

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Hide and Seek. What a fun game if all the conditions are right. Don’t you think?

My early pre-school attempts at the game found me standing in the middle of the yard in full view of everyone with my eyes closed. I couldn’t see them so they couldn’t see me, right? Wrong.

By elementary school, I knew enough to hide. There were a dozen of us kids from four houses who enjoyed playing hide and seek on dark summer nights. One problem though, was when the older kids decided it would be more fun to include the ravine that sat behind all our houses as a place to hide.

The ravine that held copperhead snakes.

The ravine that dipped to a treacherous bottom that made the climb back up difficult.

The ravine covered with tree roots, large rocks, poison oak, and who knows what else, that waited to snag an unsuspecting sneaker and fling its owner to the ground with a thud.

Yep.

The ravine my best friend and I were scared of at dark. The ravine we hid in together to stay safe. The ravine we tugged the other through to reach home base so we wouldn’t be left alone, or until the person who was It called “Olly olly in come free.”

Sometimes I ended up being the Seeker, It. Let me tell you I dreaded that. Those wily junior high kids sure could zip to safety without me ever getting to base first. There was too much territory to search through. I wasn’t fond of going beyond the glow of the back porch light to look behind trees. And I definitely did not like it when everyone got home free and I had to be It. Again.

Whenever I got stuck being the Seeker several times in a row, Butter, bless his soul, sympathized and took my place. Besides, he knew where the other older kids hid and could out run them. Even the couple who preferred to stay together in their hiding spot looong after the game was over.

Some nights I didn’t want to keep seeking. I didn’t want to stare into the dark abyss and search for people who could see me but whom I couldn’t see.

I didn’t want to keep rushing to home base, only to trip and fall over rocks in my path. I didn’t want to keep getting beat by those who weren’t afraid of snakes, or tree roots, or scary sounds in the night.

My heart was no longer in the game. I wanted to give up and go back home.

The Bible says when we seek God with all our heart, we’ll find him.

Unlike hiders in a game, God doesn’t make us dodge boulders, tree roots, snakes and darkness in our search for him. He stands out in the open light for everyone to find.

Jesus doesn’t run faster than we can to beat us to home base. He waits with open arms. Arms that stretched all the way across the rough beams of a cross on the hill called Calvary so we could go home free.

And like my brother, Jesus takes over when we’re too tired, too afraid, too defeated to keep going.

This life we travel is full of ravines populated with tree roots, boulders, snakes, darkness and scary noises, is it not?

Fortunately, we don’t have to travel it alone. Jesus wants to go with us and make sure we reach home safe and sound. Once we seek him with all our heart, he will be found.

Jesus is the True One who calls out, “Olly olly in come free” and means it. There is no reason to hide from him.

Any Hide and Seek adventures you’d like to share?

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.

You will look for Me and find Me, when you look for Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13 (NLV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Got Problems? Get Jesus

the scream_Bing photosAre there ever any times in your life when you feel totally overwhelmed? Are there times when you shake your head, and struggle to remember the times when life didn’t overwhelm?

Sometimes, it seems as if trials, troubles and adversities pile up, and hit relentlessly, without any sign of letting up. Disappointments. Frustrations. Set-backs. We get attacked from every side. It’s enough to bring us to our knees.

Maybe that’s where we should be. On our knees. Surrendering. Not to defeat, under Bing photospressure, but surrendering to God’s sovereignty, under His grace.

When life beats us up and threatens to undo us, whether it’s illness, loss, estrangement — fill in your own personal blank — peace can be found in remembering all that Jesus has done for us, and simply telling our Savior we love him.

Taking our focus off our problems can be difficult sometimes. We try, but then something else attacks us, and brings us right back to the center of worry, disappointment, pain.

Bing PhotosIn marbles, there is a game, Bombardier, where the players hold their shooters over the ring of unsuspecting marbles below. The released shooters fall, smack into the marbles, and scatter them every which a way.

Life can be a lot like that.

 

That’s when we need to be mindful that every good and perfect gift comes from the Father above. Savor those gifts. Take them into our being, and thank Him.

First sip of hot tea, or coffee in the morning…Jesus, I love you.

First bird song of the day…Jesus, I love you.Bing Photos

The presence of a friend…Jesus, I love you.

Smile from a stranger…Jesus, I love you.

Food in the pantry…Jesus, I love you.

Rest from a day well-lived…Jesus, I love you.

Forgiveness from our sins…Jesus, I love you.

When we take our eyes off our problems and disappointments, and direct them to the goodness around us, how can we not tell Jesus we love Him?

What are your thoughts on the subject?

 I (Jesus) told you these things so that you can have peace in me. In this world you will have trouble, but be brave! I have defeated the world. John 16:33 NCV

I wish you well.

Sandy

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One of my devotions will appear on Christian Devotions May 5, 2014. Please stop by.