Pause for Poetry Learning to Wait

Welcome to Pause for Poetry, featuring a poem, Learning to Wait, written by my writer-friend, Frances Gregory Pasch.

Learning To Wait

 

Lord, I’m learning

That when You don’t answer

My prayers right away,

There’s a good reason.

Perhaps I need to change first,

Perhaps I need to grow more,

Perhaps I can’t handle the outcome.

So I’m learning to rest in You

As I wait for answers.

I know that You only want

What’s best for me.

I’m learning that You are able

To reveal the reason for Your delays,

But You may not always do that.

I’m learning that Your ways

Are always better than mine;

That You are able to bless me

Abundantly more than I ever dreamed.

Lord, I’m learning.

 

©Frances Gregory Pasch

Frances Gregory Pasch’s devotions and poems have been published hundreds of times in devotional booklets, magazines, and Sunday school papers since 1985. Her writing has also appeared in several dozen compilations. Her book, Double Vision: Seeing God in Everyday Life Through Devotions and Poetry is available on Amazon. Frances has been leading a women’s Christian writers group since 1991 and makes her own holiday greeting cards incorporating her poetry. She and her husband, Jim, have been married since 1958. They have five sons and nine grandchildren. Contact her at http://www.francesgregorypasch.com.

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I wish you well.

Sandy

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When Our Arms Grow Tired

For Christmas this past year, Pie gifted Pilot and me with tickets to a Beach Boys’ concert which the three of us attended several months ago. We each thoroughly enjoyed the event. Especially Surfer Boy, Pilot.

Near the beginning of the concert Mike Love, one of the remaining original Beach Boys, asked everyone in the audience to take out their cell phones and turn on its light.

He then instructed us to wave our phones through the air while the band played one of my personal all-time Beach Boys’ favorites, Surfer Girl.

It was great. Arms waved back and forth in the audience in time with the song.

Well.

Pretty much.

Some folks were a little off beat.

Nevertheless, it was great.

Until …

I looked over the audience and noticed some arms no longer waved. They’d grown tired. They couldn’t keep up the pace. They fell in defeat.

After thinking about it, several things came to mind. One of those thoughts I’ll share with you today.

When we’re on the front lines for God, doing his work, fighting his battles, we can grow tired. Can we not?

Our arms can grow weak. We might want to fall on our knees in defeat to all the opposition thrown at us. It doesn’t matter our age one bit.

Just like Moses in the desert fighting the Amalekites, we need help.

As Joshua and his men fought the Amalekites, Moses stood on a hill overlooking them. As long as Moses kept his arms and staff in the air, the Israelites prevailed.

Whenever Moses’ arm dropped, the Amalekites prevailed.

Moses’ arms grew weary. He couldn’t help it. No matter how hard he tried to keep his arms in the air, he just couldn’t.

That’s when his brother, Aaron, and friend, Hur, stepped in. The two men found a large stone for Moses to sit on. Then they stood on either side of Moses, holding up his arms.

With the support of these two men, Moses was able to keep his arms and staff held high. Because of that, the Israelites were victorious over their enemy.

Don’t you think we need the support of those around us to fight our daily battles when our arms grow tired, too ?

Some days we’re Moses. Some days we’re Aaron and Hur.

When it’s our turn to hold up our friend’s arms, let’s not hesitate to step up. When we grow weak and need help, let’s not hesitate to ask.

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The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, “Pick out some men to go and fight the Amalekites tomorrow. I will stand on top of the hill holding the stick that God told me to carry.” Joshua did as Moses commanded him and went out to fight the Amalekites, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his arms, the Israelites won, but when he put his arms down, the Amalekites started winning. When Moses’ arms grew tired, Aaron and Hur brought a stone for him to sit on, while they stood beside him and held up his arms, holding them steady until the sun went down. In this way Joshua totally defeated the Amalekites. Exodus 17:8-13 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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The Heart of a King Book Review

In The Heart of a King, Jill Eileen Smith’s latest biblical historical novel, she takes a fictionalized look at four of the women in King Solomon’s life: Naamah the Ammonitess and mother of Solomon’s son, Rehoboam. Abishag the Shunamite who was one of David’s wives before she became Solomon’s wife after David died. Siti a daughter of Pharoah. Nicaula, Smith’s name for the Queen of Sheba.

Basing her book on part biblical account and part author’s imagination, Ms. Smith weaves in familiar words from the Song of Solomon, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes to her story of Solomon and these four women. She adds bits of Solomon’s story found in the pages of the Old Testament alongside those of her imagination. She shows through the lives of these women and Solomon how a man God honored with wisdom, through his actions and disobedience to God’s laws, proved anything but wise.

The author gives readers a sense of time and place in this book with the details of everyday life she includes. Always a plus in my opinion when I read historical fiction of any kind.

If you enjoy biblical historical fiction, perhaps The Heart of the King is a book to put on your To Be Read list.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

I wish you well.

Sandy

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

Allow Love to Rise Above Misunderstandings

Once upon a time, long ago in a land far away, an innocent man was betrayed by a friend. Wrongly convicted of a crime he did not commit, he faced an illegal trial and was sentenced to death.

The man’s heartbroken widowed mother attended her son’s execution.

During the condemned man’s final moments, he looked at his mother. Understanding the gravity of his death upon her, he spoke to a cousin standing beside his mother. The dying man asked his cousin to take care of the grieving woman.

The cousin willingly agreed. Taking his aunt into his home, he treated her as his own mother.

Despite the unimaginable torture Jesus endured during his crucifixion, he was concerned for his widowed mother, Mary. In his final moments, Jesus made preparation for her care. He entrusted Mary to John, one of Jesus’ closest disciples the son of Salome, Mary’s sister.

I believe many thoughts probably flooded Mary’s mind as she witnessed Jesus’ excruciating death. Perhaps among those thoughts were the words said over her eight-day-old baby boy in the temple thirty-three years earlier by the aged Simeon.

I have seen God’s salvation, which God prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of God’s people Israel! This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, and many others to rise. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul, Mary. (Luke 2:30-35)

Do you think it possible Mary didn’t always understand the reasons Jesus did what he did, or the way he went about his ministry?

From my experiences, I’ve found misunderstandings have a way of causing confusion which can escalate and separates people. If there were any misunderstandings between Mary and Jesus, it doesn’t appear those misunderstandings affected their loving relationship.

There might be times our children don’t understand the reasons we do what we do. There might be times we don’t understand the reasons our children do what they do.

This lack of understanding can result in misunderstanding. Fertile ground for confusion and estrangement. Fertile ground for loving relationships to diminish.

As the day set aside here in the States to remember the women in our lives who nurtured and loved us approaches on May 12, perhaps instead of letting our differences separate and divide us from people we love, even in the worst of times, we’d be wise to  consider Jesus and Mary’s example.

Perhaps we should make sure we allow love to rise above any misunderstanding that threatens to separate us from those closest to us.

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Standing near his cross were Jesus’ mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the follower he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the follower, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, the follower took her to live in his home. John 19:25-27 (NCV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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It’s A Sign

One of my fellow teachers often replied to unexpected occurrences with “It’s a sign.”

Sometimes I’ll jokingly say the same thing. I don’t know about you, but I like to have assurance I’m heading the right direction whether that means driving in downtown traffic, which I strongly resist, or following God.

Throughout the Bible people asked God for signs to know they understood him correctly. Gideon and his fleece come to mind, as does Moses. In Gideon’s case, God provided a sign – twice – before Gideon acted. In Moses’ case, God told Moses he’d see the sign when he brought the people up out of Egypt.

It’s been said the most compelling signs are revealed after faith is exercised, not before. Funny how things become clearer when we look back on a situation, and see all God did to get us on the other side of it.

When God addressed Moses from the burning bush, and tasked him with bringing the Israelites out of bondage, God believed in Moses even before Moses believed in himself. It’s the same with us today. We believe in our I CAN’Ts more than we believe in God’s YOU CANs.

Moses’ mission wasn’t all on his shoulders, although at times he sure thought it was. His mission was accomplished through God’s power every step of the way. Moses’ job was to trust God completely and absolutely, then act on that trust.

God led the Israelites through the wilderness. He didn’t simply give Moses a job, then disappear. He accompanied Moses every step of the way.

Moses had plenty of reasons to fear returning to Egypt. Plenty. There was great risk involved. There was also the issue of a former prince of Egypt returning as a humbled shepherd.

Like Moses, when we accept the mission God has for us, when we step out even while shaking with fear, we see God work, we see his sign, and our faith has a chance to grow stronger.

When have you seen God work in your life after accepting the mission he sends you on?

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God answered, “I will be with you. And this is your sign that I am the one who has sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God at this very mountain.” Exodus 3:12 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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I know I said I wouldn’t post videos due to the large amount of media space they take up on the blog, but after hearing a group play Take Your Shoes Off Moses last month at the Ozark Mountains Dulcimer Festival, I couldn’t resist. Hope you enjoy this song.