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.

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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?

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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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When Life Doesn’t Match Our Dreams Book Review

In When Life Doesn’t Match Your Dreams author Jill Eileen Smith joins her skill as a novelist with biblical research to explore the stories of twelve women from the Old Testament whose life didn’t match their dreams. In these pages Jill takes these women’s stories and points out areas where their lives relate in some way to the lives of women today.

Each chapter begins with a section which narrates the biblical event from the women’s point of view, then moves to how Jill feels these events relate to her own, and possibly the reader’s, experiences.

The chapters end with thoughts to ponder and questions to spur further self-evaluation and application of lessons learned from these twelve women’s lives.

The lives of Eve, Noah’s wife, Sarah, Hagar, Lot’s wife, Rebekah, Rachel, Leah, Dinah, Potiphar’s wife, Tamar, and Zipporah are explored in When Life Doesn’t Match Your Dreams.

While I didn’t always see how the dots and points the author used between the women of the Bible and women today connected in every story, there were several I did.

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.

Because God is For Us

Because God is for us, nothing can separate us from his love. And because of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, we’ve been made more than conquerors.

In the eighth chapter of the book of Romans, Paul begins with these words. There is now no condemnation for those who live in union with Christ Jesus. What a comfort.

Near the middle of chapter eight Paul reminds us the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness and pleads with God for us when we don’t have the words to express how we feel.

The oft quoted Romans 8:28 says we know in all things God works for the good of those who love him. Those he’s called according to his purpose.

Going further to verses 31 and 32, Paul tells us if God is for us, sent his son to die for us, and prepares a place in heaven for us, who then can stand against us?

Since Jesus is on our side as our Advocate, Intercessor, Mediator, and High Priest cheering us on from the sidelines, no one and nothing can separate those who claim him as their Savior, Lord, and King from his unfailing love.

When we are unsure of our future, God is for us and nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.

When we fall short of his standards, confess, and turn back to him, God is for us and nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.

When we feel abandoned and alone, God is for us and nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.

When the Tempter knocks at our door, God is for us and nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.

When pain, sorrow, or grief seizes our heart, God is for us and nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.

When confusion or doubt overwhelm, God is for us and nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.

In wrapping up Romans 8 Paul concludes by saying we are more than conquerors.

In a world filled with uncertainties, isn’t it comforting to know since God is for us, we have been made more than conquerors through Christ Jesus and nothing can separate us from his love?

Do you have a favorite verse from Romans 8?

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What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Romans 8:31-32 (NIV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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