Gluten-free Cabbage Patch Stew Recipe

I adapted this yummy gluten-free Cabbage Patch Stew recipe from Blind Pig and the Acorn. Pilot made dumplings to go with it, but we decided it’s better without them.

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped cabbage
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 16 oz stewed tomatoes
  • 15 1/2 oz kidney, OR black beans
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoons chili powder

Cook and stir ground beef in Dutch oven until brown. Drain

Add onions, cabbage, and celery. Cook and stir until vegetables are light brown.

Stir in tomatoes, beans (with liquid), water, salt, pepper, and chili powder.

Heat to boiling. Reduce heat.

Cook uncovered over low heat 10 minutes.

Cover and cook an additional 10 minutes.

Enjoy!

You can find my August Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Man’s Traditions or God’s Commands?

A fiddler on the roof. Sounds crazy, no? But in our little village of Anatevka, you might say every one of us is a fiddler on the roof, trying to scratch out a pleasant, simple tune without breaking his neck. It isn’t easy. You may ask, why do we stay up here if it’s so dangerous? We stay because Anatevka is our home. And how do we keep our balance? That I can tell you in a word–tradition….Tradition. Without our traditions, our lives would be as shaky as–as a fiddler on the roof!

(Tevye. Fiddler on the Roof based on Sholem Aleichem’s Stories. Book by Joseph Stein. Music by Jerry Bock. Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick.)

Tradition, tradition–Tradition. Tradition, tradition–Tradition.

If you’ve seen the musical, Fiddler on the Roof, or listened to the recording, or read the play, perhaps the catching little phrase from the first scene is running through your mind right now.

If you are unfamiliar with this story, which ranks up there among one of my favorite musicals, it is the tale of Tevye, a hard-working dairyman whom God has blessed with five daughters. Tevye loves his family and his God. Traditions are extremely important to him. But times are changing in Tsarist Russia in 1905, which make Tevye question some traditions he once held as irrevocable. Mainly the need for a matchmaker to choose husbands for his daughters.

Before you scratch your head and wonder why I’m discussing Fiddler on the Roof, I’m getting there.

The other morning as I read the seventh chapter of Mark, Fiddler on the Roof came to mind.

Tradition.

Jesus rebuked the religious leaders as frauds and hypocrites because they held to man-made traditions. They abandoned God’s commandments so they could keep their rituals. Then Jesus added, “How skillful you’ve become in rejecting God’s law in order to maintain your man-made set of rules.”

Tradition.

We all have them. They are a part of who we are. Like, say, eating German Chocolate Cake for breakfast on your birthday. Many of us continue traditions we grew up with. Perhaps we adapt them to fit the times, but we still have them. And that’s okay. Where I believe we have problems is when we cling to man-made traditions, much like the religious leaders of Jesus’ day, and in doing so we deviate from God’s commandments.

In one of my college classes, the professor told a story. One day a mother and daughter prepared a roast. After the mother cut the roast into two pieces and placed each piece in a separate pan, the daughter asked why. The mother replied that was the way her mother did it. They then asked the grandmother why. The grandmother said she cut the roast in two because she didn’t have a pan large enough to put the whole roast in.

Tradition.

Spoiler alert ahead.

By the end of Fiddler on the Roof, three of Tevye’s daughters marry. For the first daughter, he concocts a bizarre dream scene to explain breaking the tradition of a perfect match made by the matchmaker. The second daughter’s decision to marry causes a little more unease for Tevye. He notes breaking tradition is like pulling out a thread…where will it lead? When the last daughter decides to marry someone outside the Jewish faith, this tradition Tevye cannot agree with.

As I considered this passage in Mark alongside this musical, I wondered how much do I, do you, cling to man-made traditions, giving little regard to God’s commands? Do we value looking good in the eyes of men above pleasing our Father? Do we abandon living as Jesus lived and instructed us to live, to fit in with the world around us and keep men’s rituals?

Tradition.

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Jesus replied, “You are frauds and hypocrites! How accurately did Isaiah prophesy about you phonies when he said: ‘These people honor me with their words while their hearts run far away from me! Their worship is nothing more than a charade!  For they continue to insist that their man-made traditions are equal to the instructions of God.’

“You abandon God’s commandments just to keep men’s rituals, such as ceremonially washing utensils, cups, and other things.”

Then he added, “How skillful you’ve become in rejecting God’s law in order to maintain your man-made set of rules.” Mark 7:6-9 (TPT)

You can find my August Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Use What God Gives

In the third chapter of the Old Testament book of Judges, we read God wanted to give opportunity to the people of Israel to exercise faith and obedience in conquering their enemies. It was a test to see whether they would obey the commandments the Lord gave them through Moses. But the people didn’t destroy the enemies of God. Instead they adapted their ways and disobeyed God. So God’s anger flamed out against Israel. (Judges 3:8)

After Israel cried out to the Lord, he raised up a judge, Othni-el, to reform and purge Israel to help conquer their enemies. For forty years there was peace in the land. When Othni-el died, however, the people of Israel turned once again to their sinful ways. So God let them be conquered by their enemies.

The cycle repeated. The people cried out to God. This time he sent Ehud, a left-handed man, to save them. After Ehud’s death, the people again sinned against the Lord, so he let them be conquered.

The judge following Ehud was Shamgar. We have one verse in the Bible to tell us about Shamgar. In that one verse we learn Shamgar used what he had, an oxgoad (cattle prod). By using what he had, Shamgar saved Israel from disaster.

Shamgar was a herdsman when God called him to go against Israel’s enemy, the Philistines. He was a simple man going about his everyday, maybe even mundane, job in a non-specific place far from the spotlight. Nothing heroic about that. Kinda reminds me of how Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars movie started out.

Shamgar wasn’t a soldier equipped with a sword. His weapon was what he had on hand, what he was comfortable using. An oxgoad. And actually, few in Israel even owned a sword at this time since they lacked the technology to forge one. (1Samuel 13:19-22)

One thing though, Shamgar’s willingness to be used by God ranks as heroic in my eyes, regardless of the weapon. Even more so. He offered God what he had, the thing God gave him, in the place God put him, and let God take care of the rest.

Use what God gives you. Easy to say, right? How often do we actually follow through with that thought?

More times than not, I suspect we look at what God gives us and believe it is too small to be of any use. Or that whatever we have couldn’t possibly serve any real purpose. Maybe we believe what God gives us is nothing compared to what our enemy comes against us with.

When we tell ourselves these things, we lean toward believing in our inability more than we believe in God’s ability.

Maybe we look at our oxgoad and wish for a sword to do God’s work, thinking surely we’d be more effective holding something else. Maybe we look at our ordinary world and believe we could accomplish more to advance God’s kingdom if we lived somewhere else. Maybe instead of doing all that, we should look at Shamgar’s example and willingly offer God what we have, leaving the results up to him.

There be giants in the land, my friends. Giants as large as any Goliath. God calls us to use what God gives us to battle those giants. He wants us to use the tools he places in our hands. It might be a slingshot and a stone. It might be an oxgoad. Doesn’t matter. When we willingly use what God gives, giants will fall and mountains will move.

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The next leader was Shamgar son of Anath. He too rescued Israel, and did so by killing six hundred Philistines with an oxgoad. Judges 3:31 (GNT)

You can find my July Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Guest Post – I Am Gideon

Today’s guest post, I Am Gideon, written by Dave Peever first appeared on Live 4 Him.

I Am Gideon

Oh how I love this name! When you say it, it just rolls off the tongue without effort and yet it seems to be less poetic and more powerful. Okay enough of my silly musings about the name Gideon. As much as I like it I am not changing my name to Gideon nor am I asking that my grandchildren bear this awesome name that I have fallen in love with. If the name was Bob, a name so simple it can be spelt backward and still be the same (sorry to all the Bobs out there) I would say I am Bob just as I have said in past posts, I am Paul, Mary, Thomas, Samuel, Peter, Adam, Judas, The Rich Young Ruler and  Coca- Cola™ because a part of me is just like Bob, I mean Gideon.

I have been called to fulfill God’s plan.

The call was unmistakable and my response, well, let’s just say it was more like Gideon’s.

Gideon replied, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, give me a sign that it is really you talking to me… Judges 6:17(NIV)

I heard God’s call, or at least what I thought was God’s call. It wasn’t as much that I was afraid to live out the call or to step out in faith. My fear stemmed from my understanding of me. I was afraid that I would jump at any chance to do ministry especially one that included music and theatre because I love doing music and theatre and now I could be doing it for God who I also love! Mix what I want to happen with a perceived call from God and I am all over it. To avoid godizing my dreams I asked for a sign. I am Gideon.

If this is what you want me to do…

I have questioned God and I continue to do it to this day. I have heard that it is wrong and I guess you could, in a perfect world, with perfect people, argue that once God has spoken there is no room for questioning. I am not in a perfect world and I am far from perfect. There have been times that God has spoken and I have acted without question. In these cases it was clear that my personal desires were not creating the appearance of God instructing me to pursue an action and my fears and the reality of the situation were not calling into question what I thought I heard. Outside of this situation, I am Gideon.

I think Gideon gets a bad rap.

It isn’t because I think I am like Gideon. I am not trying to defend him and therefore defend me. I believe that Gideon had it right even if he took a long time to come around. If you put yourself in his shoes maybe you would have trouble believing that you had a call from God and a visit from one of his angels.

Gideon, just as the rest of the Israelites, had a deep desire to be rescued from captivity.

Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the Lord for help. Judges 6:6 (NIV)

Gideon couldn’t fathom God using him in a mighty way.

The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”

“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” Judges 6:14-15 (NIV)

Gideon fought his own doubts and needed God’s assurance.

 Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised— look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.” And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew—a bowlful of water.

Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece, but this time make the fleece dry and let the ground be covered with dew.” That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew. Judges 6:36-40 (NIV)

I am Gideon and before you judge me hear me out.

I am imperfect and weak, capable of acting or not acting based on my own desires and fears. I’d rather question God over and over again because I am not sure I have heard Him right than wrongly assume I have heard Him correctly because I don’t want to question Him over and over again.

Who is Dave Peever? I am a follower of Jesus the Christ. My specific call is to creatively present various aspects of life as a Christ follower and as a member of a collective of Christ followers I use my background as an actor, director and playwright/writer as well as my music, preaching and leadership skills to assist churches in transition (between pastors) with their desire to be more effective. I have been married for 31 years. We have 3 sons and 4 grandchildren all who currently reside in central Ontario Canada. I have been in ministry for 22 years.

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.

You can find my July Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Security in Jesus

In her devotional, Jesus Lives, Sarah Young writes, “Your security rests in Me alone: not in other people, not in circumstance.” She goes on to say one of the main ways Jesus blesses people is through the loving acts of others. However, we need to remember every good and perfect gift is ultimately from Jesus. Even if it comes to us through human hands.

As I considered this devotion, I saw how we might place our dependence on something or someone other than Jesus. Not only can doing that disappoint us, it can also lead us to worship that something or someone instead of worshiping God.

We needn’t look far beyond the current pandemic situation to understand how quickly our life, people we love, our jobs, and things we depend on can change. Or how quickly they can be taken from us.

Jesus won’t leave. He won’t change. He hears us when we cry out to him. Regardless of how he answers our requests, Jesus provides for our needs in ways which are best. And in the process, we can be assured of his love.

The Lord Will Silently Plan for Thee

The Lord will silently plan for thee,
Thou object of omniscient care;
God undertakes Himself to be
Thy Pilot through each subtle snare.

The Lord will silently plan for thee,
So certainly, He cannot fail!
Rest on the faithfulness of God,
In Him thou surely shalt prevail.

The Lord will silently plan for thee
Some wonderful surprise of love.
Eye hath not seen, nor ear hath heard,
But it is kept for thee to prove.

The Lord will silently plan for thee,
His purpose He’ll to thee unfold;
The tangled skein shall shine at last,
A masterpiece of skill untold.

The Lord will silently plan for thee,
A happy child kept in His care
As though no other claimed His love,
But thou alone to Him wert dear.

Emily May Grimes

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.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17 (NIV)

You can find my July Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!