Stay in the Rut

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

I’ve never heard people say, “Stay in the rut”, have you? Usually, we hear the opposite. “Get out of your rut.” I wonder why that is.

Pilot and I walked in some of the ruts of the Santa Fe Trail through Kansas. Those ruts were dug deep into the soil making it difficult to simply hop out of them, or step over them. Once you were in them, it was easier to stay in the rut than get out of it.

As we drove along the highway next to the trail, the ruts were still visible. Amazing. Simply amazing after all these years.

In the days of the pioneer wagon trains ruts were essential to following the path westward. There was an awful lot of wide open prairie to traverse, and with no road signs other than the occasional rock formation with names inscribed on it, an inexperienced traveler could very easily get lost. I get lost driving through major cities even with road signs. I shudder to think what would happen if I set out across the prairie.

When wagons came upon the well-worn ruts of previous caravans, they knew they were headed in the correct direction. I think as followers of Jesus, it is beneficial for us to stick to the ruts laid out by those who’ve gone before us.

We need a guide. That’s where godly counsel comes in.

We need a map. That’s where the Bible comes in.

We need a fixed destination so we aren’t wandering around in circles. That’s where heaven comes in.

When Jesus called his first disciples he told them to follow him. He tells us the same.

We need to search out the path Jesus has placed before us, put our wagon wheels in it, and stay in the rut to our new home.

Have you ever seen the ruts left my wagon trains across the prairie?

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Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” And they left their nets at once and followed him. Matthew 4:19-20 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures – Betrayal

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Right now two people I care about are struggling with the betrayal of false accusations, lies, and venom which is being spewed towards them.

Being subject to such betrayal is nothing new in this world, but the worst part is the spewers are people these two have worshiped with and worked alongside for years to further God’s kingdom.

Like I’ve said before, Christians are the only army I know who intentionally shoot their own.

Jesus warned his disciples to expect persecution. After all, he was persecuted and betrayed. He warns us of the same. Whenever we work to advance the Kingdom of God, we can expect opposition. Satan will do everything in his power to stop us. He may even use people who sit in the church pew right beside us to accomplish his goals, if necessary.

Satan is crafty. He is a lion that prowls the streets looking for someone to devour. That’s why we need to be on our guard. We need to be vigilant. And when we are attacked for doing God’s work in this world, we need to realize those who attack us are merely pawns in the Great Deceiver’s hand. Lest we get puffed up — we can be used just as easily.

We need to keep our eyes on Jesus, the Sustainer of our faith. We need to guard our mouths and make sure we don’t lean toward the side of vengeance in our desire to set the record straight. We need to remember God is the One who’s opinion matters. Not those who choose to spread lies. We need to remember the truth of who God is, and who we are in his eyes.

What steps have you taken to move past the hurt of betrayal when you’ve been unjustly attacked?

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Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. John 15:20 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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What’s in a Name?

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

William Shakespeare wrote, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” What something is matters more than what it is called. So what’s in a name?

With the addition of a new puppy to our home, the task of giving him a name was high on our to-do list.

Because our new puppy is black with a little white on him, Pilot thought the puppy’s name should have something to do with black. He suggested Darth Vader and Johnny Cash. Both of which I quickly vetoed. So Pilot went with his next choice, Baxter Black, after the NPR Cowboy Poet. Fine with me.

In elementary school I remember some of us girls went through a phase where we absolutely detested our names. We wanted a different name. A new name. Something we felt identified us better than the name our parents gave us. I have no recollection of what name I felt suited me better, but I’m sure it was stunning. 😉

Of course, along the road of life we are often given nicknames people feel identify us more accurately. I love a cartoon I saw of two dogs discussing their names. One dog tells the other, “My real name is Brutus, but my family calls me Mr. Handsome Pants.” Too cute.

At the end of our lives the Bible tells us Jesus will give those of us who belong to him a white stone, and on that stone a new name will be engraved that no one understands except the one who receives it.

While we may not be pleased with the names our parents gave us, I’m sure our new names that are written down in glory will be stunning.

How could they not be? Our LORD Jesus is the one who chose it for us.

So what’s in a name? Do you think it matters what we call something? If you have pets, how do you go about choosing a name for them?

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Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious I will give some of the manna that has been hidden away in heaven. And I will give to each one a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one understands except the one who receives it. Revelation 2:17 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Pieces of the Quilt

courtesy pixabayby Sandy Kirby Quandt

Both my grandmothers and my mother made full-sized quilts. Sissy makes smaller quilted pieces. I have material stashed away that I’ve kept from the seventies in the hopes of someday making a quilt.

Each of those pieces of material I’ve saved tell a story, because each piece was cut from a garment I owned. I even have multiple quilt pattern books for the unlikely day I actually make a quilt.

Well. I did actually start a quilt when Pie was a baby, but never completed it. And I have sewn a quilted top to a bottom with batting in between, but in my mind those don’t count for creating a quilt from start to finish.

Recently, I thought about the fact quilts are made up of individual pieces of varying sizes, shapes, and colors.

Often, as in the case of the quilts my grandmothers made, those smaller pieces came from a larger garment or piece of material.

Those scraps, re-purposed from cloth no longer useful, created an item that was.

By now you may be thinking, “She’s getting ready to draw a spiritual insight between quilts and something.” And you’d be correct. So here’s what I’ve been pondering.

Our lives are made up of individual pieces, just like a quilt. Some pieces remind us of happy times. Some remind us of sad times. Some pieces are bright and colorful. Some are muted and gray.

Those individual scraps of our lives no longer define who we are. They are only a glimpse, a reminder, of who we once were.

However, when we take all those tiny pieces of our life experiences, hand them over to Jesus, and allow him to sew the pieces of our life together into a new creation, we find they become a beautiful, useful quilt.

Jesus re-purposes those events in our past, even the painful ones, that make us who we are into the person he intends us to be today.

Are you a quilter? If so, what part of the quilting process do you enjoy the most, other than the finished project? 🙂

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Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The past is forgotten, and everything is new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (CEV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — Made in the Shade

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Have you ever noticed the difference between plants and grass that are constantly exposed to the heat of direct sunlight, compared with plants and grass that receive shade? The shaded plants and grass seem better able to thrive when the intense summer heat comes than those that do not get any relief from the heat. Simple right? Makes perfect sense. The shade offers relief.

Let’s look at our lives and think of them as plants in the direct heat of irate employers or customers. The heat of strained relationships. The heat of worries and cares that feel as if they will burn us to a crisp. The withering heat of condemning words. False accusations. Endless pain.

I’d venture to guess we’ve all had our share of being scorched without the relief of a bit of cooling shade. It hurts. It wilts our soul. It zaps our energy and strength. It leaves us listless and ready to give up.

But we do not have to live in the blazing heat of day because God is our protector who shades us with his love. Just as the cool shade of a large oak offers relief, the shade of God’s love offers us relief from the heat of our world.

Unlike plants and grass that can’t get up and relocate to a shadier spot, we have the choice of whether to rest and be refreshed beneath the shade of God’s love, or stubbornly stay outside it withering in the heat we face day after day.

Our choice. Which will you choose? Shade or heat?

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The Lord is your protector, there at your right side to shade you from the sun. You won’t be harmed by the sun during the day or by the moon night. Psalm 121:5-6 (CEV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Gluten-Free Honey-Chile Chicken on Coconut Rice Recipe

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

This delicious Gluten-Free Honey-Chile Chicken on Coconut Rice recipe comes from Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, 13X9 the Pan That Can. It makes 8 servings.

  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 cups water
  • 1  14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 1/4 cups uncooked jasmine rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped yellow and/or red sweet pepper
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons Asian chili paste – Pilot used red curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons gluten-free soy sauce
  • 3 cups chopped cooked chicken breast

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 3-quart rectangular baking dish with cooking spray.

In a small saucepan bring the water and coconut milk to boil. Pour into prepared baking dish. Stir in rice and salt. Bake, covered, 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, cook onion and sweet pepper in hot oil over medium heat about 5 minutes, or just until tender. Stirring occasionally. Add ginger and garlic. Cook and stir 1 minute more. Stir onion mixture and peas into partially cooked rice.

In a medium bowl, combine the next four ingredients. Stir in chicken. Spoon chicken mixture over rice mixture. Bake, covered, 15-20 minutes more or until heated through and rice is tender.

Enjoy!

I wish you well.

Sandy

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