Our Choice

Whatever the circumstance, each of us chooses how we will respond. We can respond in anger or we can respond in humility. Our response can inflame a tense situation or it can restore calm. We can use our words to bring peace or bring chaos. We can make excuses or face the truth of our part in the situation.

It’s our choice.

Too many times I haven’t taken the time to consider the best way to respond in each circumstance that presented itself. I’ve excused my behavior often with words like, “It’s his fault. He’s just a big dodo bird.” “If she wasn’t so annoying I wouldn’t get mad.” “It isn’t fair. Why do I have to say I’m sorry first?” And no. These are not just phrases  from my younger days. Unfortunately.

I’ve been hurt by harsh words and intentional slights, as I’m sure most of you have. And that’s where we go back to the fact how we respond is our choice. We can respond in kind, inflicting as much or more pain as was inflicted upon us, or respond as Scripture points out we should respond. In love, patience, kindness, gentleness…

Today I’m looking at the relationship between Saul and David to see what we can learn from how David choose to respond.

After King Saul threw a spear at David’s head one too many times, David fled into the night to escape the madness. For over ten years, David ran and Saul pursued. Saul’s men and resources certainly could have been used in better ways. Like fighting the Philistines instead of spending energy chasing a loyal subject all around Israel and slaughtering innocent priests.

Many of David’s psalms were written during this time of pursuit. Even though David called upon God to deal swiftly with his enemies, when it came to Saul, David himself never lifted his hand against the man. He mourned deeply when Saul died and instructed the nation to mourn as well.

There are two incidences during David’s time on the run where he had the opportunity to kill Saul and didn’t. One involved a piece of cloth cut from the corner of Saul’s robe. (1 Samuel 24) The other a spear and water jug. (1 Samuel 26) Both times David showed restraint. He had the upper hand but refused to take advantage of the situation. He could have pressed his advantage, proven himself superior, and scored points with his men. Still, he took the higher ground and responded in humility and love.

Although we may not be presented with opportunities to physically harm our enemy, I believe it’s safe to say we’ve been presented with times to choose whether or not we harm someone just as surely with our careless words. As with David, just because we have the opportunity to do harm doesn’t mean we should.

It’s easy to take offense and seek revenge when others attack us. Are you kidding me? That’s usually our primary desire. Instead of striking out, we can pause, keep our eyes focused on Jesus, and pray for the strength to respond in humility and love. It’s our choice.

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But then a black mood from God settled over Saul and took control of him. He was sitting at home, his spear in his hand, while David was playing music. Suddenly, Saul tried to skewer David with his spear, but David ducked. The spear stuck in the wall and David got away. It was night.

1 Samuel 19:9-10 (MSG)

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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Pause for Poetry – At Eventime

At Eventime

James Arnold Blaisdell

Riches of Grace a Collection of New Songs and Standard Hymns‎ page 105

Tonight, my soul, be still and sleep;

The storms are raging on God’s deep–

God’s deep, not yours; be still and sleep.

Tonight, my soul, be still and sleep;

God’s hands shall still the Tempter’s sweep–

God’s hands, not yours; be still and sleep.

Tonight, my soul, be still and sleep;

God’s love is strong while night hours creep–

God’s love, not yours; be still and sleep.

Tonight, my soul, be still and sleep;

God’s heaven will comfort those who weep–

God’s heaven, not yours; be still and sleep.

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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An Appalachian Summer Book Review

An Appalachian Summer by Ann H. Gabhart, set in Appalachian Kentucky during the Depression of 1933, is a wonderful book filled with relatable characters who face challenges without giving up.

Piper Danson is faced with deciding whether she should go along with her father’s decision she marry a man she’s not met before to secure her financial future, or marry the man she has loved since they were children with little prospect of financial support.

To give herself time and space to think without either of the men around, Piper leaves her home with all its comforts in Louisville to volunteer as a Frontier Nursing horseback courier in the mountains where comforts as she’s known them are replaced with an awareness of God’s beauty and presence.

An Appalachian Summer skillfully draws readers into the world of the Frontier Nurses, the couriers, and the people of the mountains, presenting each as an individual with hopes, dreams, needs, and resilience.

I highly recommend this book for those who want to read a heartfelt story well told.

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

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

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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Why Do You Worry?

Why do you worry? What possible use does your worrying serve?

Those two questions caught my attention as I read Charles H. Spurgeon’s words in the devotional book, Streams in the Desert.

Why do I worry? As the famed poet once wrote, let me count the ways. I find I worry about way too many things. Most of which I have absolutely no control over. Eliminate COVID-19? Not my specialty, but I can take necessary precautions to keep from catching and spreading it. Peace on earth? Again, my ability is limited. As the song says, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”

Mr. Spurgeon went on to say, “You are aboard such a large ship that you would be unable to steer even if your Captain placed you at the helm. Do you think all the commotion and the uproar of this life is evidence that God has left His throne? He has not! His mighty steeds rush furiously ahead, and His chariots are the storms themselves. But the horses have bridles, and it is God who holds the reins, guiding the chariots as He wills!”

I love that. The horses have bridles to which God himself holds the reins and guides as He wills. God remains on his throne. He alone is the One in charge.

In the same devotion Madame Guyon states, “I implore you to not give in to despair. It is a dangerous temptation, because our Adversary has refined it to the point that it is quite subtle. Hopelessness constricts and withers the heart, rendering it unable to sense God’s blessings and grace. It also causes you to exaggerate the adversities of life and makes your burdens seem too heavy for you to bear.”

In times of distress and trouble it is tempting to fall into despair and hopelessness. There are times we are to act. There are times we are to wait on the LORD to act. In either situation, we are called to pray. And as we pray, we seek discernment and strive to sense God’s blessings and grace which surround us, even in times of adversary.

If, like me, you are a worrier, why do you worry? What possible use does our worrying serve? Perhaps it’s time we step away from the helm and hand the reins back over to God.

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.

God said to them, “Here is a place of rest; let the tired people come and rest. This is the place of peace.” But the people would not listen. Isaiah 28:12 (NCV)

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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Gluten-free Pistachio Torte Recipe

This super simple Gluten-free Pistachio Torte recipe has been adapted from The Ultimate Kids’ Baking Book by Tiffany Dahle. It is absolutely delicious!

  • 2 cups gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 lb (2 sticks) butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 8 oz frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 2 boxes (3.3 oz each) pistachio pudding mix
  • 2 cups milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, use two forks to combine flour and butter until dough resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in pecans.

Pour into 13X9 inch baking dish. Press crumbs into a smooth crust along the bottom of the dish.

Bake 18-20 minutes, or until lightly toasted. (It took longer in my oven.)

Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature.

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese on medium speed until smooth. Add powdered sugar and beat until well combined. Fold in 1 cup whipped topping.

Carefully spread cream cheese mixture over prepared crust and smooth with a spatula.

In medium bowl, beat together pudding mix and milk for 2 minutes on high speed.

Spread pudding mixture evenly over cream cheese layer. Spread remaining whipped topping evenly over pudding.

Chill in the refrigerator 1 hour before serving.

Enjoy!

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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