Far Side of the Sea Book Review

In a war-torn country filled with espionage and spies, who do you believe when placing your trust in the wrong person could cost your life?

This is the question British Intelligence Officer, Lieutenant Colin Mabry, must ask himself after he receives a desperate message from France asking him to come at once because of a promise of love.

Set in1918 Europe during World War I, Far Side of the Sea, by Kate Breslin, tells the story of Colin Mabry and Johanna Reyer, a woman who works in a dovecote for the French Army Intelligence. Together, they search for Johanna’s half sister who one year earlier helped save Colin’s life.

With believable characters and historical facts that lend authenticity to Far Side of the Sea without bogging down the reader, I highly recommend this fast paced book full of unexpected twists and turns is a must read for fans of historical romance laced with wartime suspense. The inclusion of messenger pigeons was a plus for me.

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 Bethany House for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

Follow the Leader

In preparation for several upcoming road trips, we needed to drop our RV at the dealership. Pilot led the way in the RV and I followed in my car.

While playing Follow the Leader on the playground in days of old brings back fond memories, following Pilot through heavy early morning traffic, road construction, fog, and drizzly rain does not. Especially when unsure of the route he chose to travel.

Being behind something the size of the RV, which blocks any view of what’s ahead, meant I had to stick close, but not too close. I had to prepare to stop quickly, get through yellow lights before they turned red, and switch lanes as soon as Pilot turned on his blinker.

Although I had no idea if there were obstacles ahead, traffic lights, or lanes which ended abruptly, Pilot did. I needed to trust him and stay vigilant. I needed to keep my eyes on the signal lights at the back of the RV and respond correctly. This was definitely not a time to allow my eyes to wander.

We sped up and slowed down. We wove around construction barrels and potholes. We crawled past concrete barriers and machinery.

Although I usually allow vehicles to scooch in between me and the vehicle in front of me, not this day. No siree. Sure. I could still see the top of the RV if another car or truck got between Pilot and me but I wouldn’t be able to see the indicator lights. I wouldn’t know when I needed to change course.

During this drive I thought of how we are to Follow the Leader – Jesus. We need to keep our eyes on his indicator lights to see the direction he wants us to go. We can’t see ahead in the fog and drizzle of life, and aren’t sure of the path ahead. But Jesus knows the way we should go.

We need to be prepared to stop quickly or change lanes immediately to avoid potholes and debris. If we pause to analyze or debate the decision, we might find our self in an unpleasant situation, or dead end lane we could have avoided.

We also need to be willing to press the gas pedal to make it through those yellow lights. We don’t want to be left behind and lose sight of our Leader.

Like Pilot and my route through miles of road construction, life can be filled with unending delays, setbacks, frustration, and short tempers.

We need to be mindful of things in our life which try to get between us and our Leader. We don’t want to allow anything to get between us and Jesus which blocks our view of him. If we do, we might miss a turn and have to circle back to find the correct road.

Sometimes we may question the path Jesus takes us down. We may believe we’d do a better job leading. We might even head out in a different direction to prove our point, believing there surely must be a better, more convenient, less stressful way to get where we’re going.

It’s during those trying times we need to scooch closer, trust he knows where we’re going, and keep our eyes on his signal lights so we don’t miss a turn or run into the debris in our path we aren’t able to see.

So what do you think? Do you find it easier to lead, or to follow?

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.

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21 (NIV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Pause for Poetry — More Like You

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Welcome to Pause for Poetry, featuring a poem, More Like You, written by my writer-friend, Frances Gregory Pasch.

More Like You

Today, Lord, I feel like violin strings

being tuned.

With each twist of Your fingers,

You adjust the tension

As you stretch me

To be more in harmony with Your will.

I want to say “Stop!”

But Your Word says

You refine those You love.

How blessed I am

that You care enough

to fine-tune me

to sound more like You.

© 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.

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 wish you well.

Sandy

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Gluten-free Cabbage Soup Recipe

The other day a friend gave me a huge cabbage from his garden. So what better to do with it than make delicious gluten-free cabbage soup? This recipe is super simple and makes six servings.

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium-sized onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 32 oz bottle V-8 juice (spicy works great)
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 head cabbage, shredded

In a 4 quart stock pot, saute the onion and celery in the oil for 5 minutes.

Stir in the V-8 juice, tomato sauce, chicken bouillon cube and garlic powder.

Bring to a boil.

Stir in the shredded cabbage, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 1 hour.

There you have it.

Enjoy!

I wish you well.

Sandy

When the Way is Dark

Several years back, Pilot and I visited Oahu. One of the many wonderful things we did was hike through Diamond Head. It was quite a hike.

At 0.8 miles one way with a 560 foot ascent to the 750 foot tall volcano straight up, it was strenuous but very much worth the effort.

After we wound our way upward through the mountainside for half an hour, we reached 99 steep, concrete stairs.

Following the stairs, we reached the 225 feet long narrow, winding, pitch black, scary tunnel. You truly can not see your hand in front of your face.

BUT …

Because I read the guidebook. I was prepared. I had a flashlight!

Once we passed through the first tunnel, there was another shorter tunnel.

Here we climbed up a three-leveled spiral staircase which ended in a bunker.

The only way out?

Through narrow slits designed for guns to poke through. Not people.

I was afraid I’d end up like Winnie-the-Pooh when he ate too much honey in Rabbit’s house, with one half of me sticking outside the opening and one half stuck inside.

I wasn’t sure whether to have Pilot go out first so he could pull me through if I got stuck, or have him stay behind so he could push me out.

Even after we got out from the tunnel, we weren’t finished.

Ahead of us stood 54 more stairs to the summit.

This hike is not for the claustrophobic, those afraid of the dark, or those unable to crawl through tiny bunker slot-windows.

Was it worth it?

You bet it was!

The 360 degree panoramic view from the top of Diamond Head Crater of Waikiki and beyond was literally breathtaking.

We made it through the dark tunnel without serious injury and without needing to turn back because I read the guidebook.

We weren’t sure how long the darkness would last but we had a light with us, so weren’t afraid.

If we hadn’t gone through the tunnel, if we weren’t willing to go the distance and take each challenge as it came, we’d never reach the summit. We’d never see the splendid view.

Same with life.

You and I have to read the guidebook. God’s Word. The Holy Bible.

Life is tough. When the way is dark, straight up hill, or so constricted we don’t think we will get through, our only hope is to hang onto the Light of the World, Jesus Christ.

Just like getting through that 225 foot dark, scary, winding tunnel, when we walk with the Light, things aren’t quite so bad. The final reward, the end prize, the splendid view, will all be well worth the effort it took to get there.

Have you visited Diamond Head and gone through the tunnel? What was your experience like?

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.

Your words are a flashlight to light the path ahead of me and keep me from stumbling. Psalm 119:105 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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