How Can We Keep From Singing?

By Sandy Kirby Quandt

Since the LORD is the lord of heaven and earth, tell me, how in the world can we keep from singing? Regardless of what he permits or plans for our lives?

Can the clay pot tell the potter he didn’t get it right? “Uh, this handle seems a little thick. Could you pinch off some of the excess?”

After sharing the news regarding my recent diagnosis of Lupus, I received mixed reactions. Some have been sympathetic. Some have been silent. Some have responded in anger at the very idea.

Like many of you, life events and circumstances have beat me up and spit me out many, many times. When people question with a “Why you?” I respond with a “Why not me?”

Many of you face ordeals that are enough to put someone into an unrecoverable spiral. Yet, by the grace of God, you still stand to face another day.

God is faithful to bring beauty from the ashes. Thank you, Jesus.

Among Pilot’s talents and abilities is his love for playing music. Most evenings, he pulls out one instrument or the other. His songs of praise are an offering to the maker of that music.

When I step outside and listen, the birds’ choruses rise to the heavens. Somewhere in their songs I believe is praise to the Creator.

To my memory, my dad whistled or sang most days. I believe it pleased God to hear Dad express both his pain and joy that way.

Music.

One way to express our joy. One way to express our pain. One way to acknowledge the God who is much, much, bigger than we are. The God who holds us in his righteous hand, and will never leave or forsake us.

No matter what the future holds we need not fear, for we know who holds tomorrow.

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But let everyone who trusts you be happy; let them sing glad songs forever. Protect those who love you and who are happy because of you. Psalm 5:11 (NCV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Ever on the Level

Among the variety of things that bug me, are un-level wall hangings. Pictures. Mirrors. Plaques. Whatevers. I can’t help it. I notice them everywhere I go.

When I see pictures in our house that need straightened, I must straighten them. Do you have any idea how much restraint it takes not to reach out and straighten things in others’ homes or offices? Especially all those crooked posters in doctor’s offices. Sigh. Although, I will admit, if I’m staying in your guest room, and something is crooked, I will straighten it.

There is an incident, from my teen years, that I doubt I’ll forget. Like many families, our family had a large painting on the wall behind the couch. When I walked into the living room one day, I told my father the picture was crooked.

He looked at the painting, and replied, “No, it isn’t.”

“Yes, it is.”

“No. It. Is. Not.”

“It is to-oo.”

I know…Bad, Sandy. You do not argue with your parents.

My dad left the room, and returned with his large, metal level. He placed the level on top of the picture frame. Dad looked at the level. He looked at me. Dad shook his head. Then he straightened the painting.

It was off by some miniscule amount, but I noticed. It was crooked. It needed to be fixed.

Cute story, but where am I going with this, right?

Well, just like it bothers me to see things hanging on a wall that are not level, I am sure it must bug God to look at our lives, and see them deviate, even by a miniscule amount, from his “level”. His truth.

We might look at ourselves and think we aren’t that bad. We’re only a little off-kilter. It isn’t that big a deal. No one will notice.

But God notices. It’s a big deal to him. So much so, he went to great extremes to make sure we had a way to get level. To get straight. To be pleasing to him, through our acceptance of His son, Jesus, as our Savior and Lord.

Maybe we’re un-level because our foundation’s cracked. Maybe we’re un-level because we’re lining ourselves up with those on the wall beside us. Maybe we’re un-level because we’ve been jarred by knocks we’ve taken, or because our frame is warped. Whatever the reason, the solution is to pull out God’s level – the Bible – read the directions, and measure ourselves against it. Then, and only then, will we be able to do what I often heard my dad say, “Straighten up, and fly right!”

So what bugs you? What’s that one irritating thing you have trouble looking passed? I’d love to hear what it is.

I wish you well,

Sandy

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Bless the Lord O My Soul

 

Happy 2013, Everyone!

365 days of opportunities stretch out before us.

Opportunities to refine skills. Gain new knowledge. Explore new ideas, and new places.

Opportunities to be nicer, kinder, more loving, more gracious.

Opportunities to fix the things that need fixing. Leave the things that need leaving. Embrace the things that need embracing. Finish the things that need finishing. Start the things that need starting.

Lots of opportunities to accomplish lots of different things.

In this video, Matt Redman suggests what should be a top priority everyday. 10,000 Reasons.

I wish you well.

Sandy

PS

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Gluten-free Snickerdoodle Cookies Recipe

Recently, I found a wonderful cook book. The Cake Mix Doctor Bakes Gluten-Free, by Anne Byrn. I was already a fan of Anne Byrn, after using her The Dinner Doctor cook book. I highly recommend both of these books. Although Dinner Doctor is not G-F, there are lots of yummy recipes in it.

Snickerdoodle cookies have long been one of Pie’s favorites, and when I saw this new cook book had a recipe for them, I decided to give it a go.

De-licious!

The second chapter of Matthew in the Bible, tells us the Magi from the east came to Jerusalem, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Although tradition tells us there were three wise men, the Matthew account never mentions a number. Tradition also says the Magi were present at Jesus’ birth. The Bible says the Magi went to the house where Jesus was. Not the stable.

Through the month, I’ve shared some of my favorite Christmas songs with you. I’d love to hear what songs are some of your favorites.

 

  • 1 package (15 oz) yellow gluten-free cake mix – I use Betty Crocker
  • 1/4 C lightly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 8 tablespoons butter, cut into tablespoons – you can substitute vegetable shortening if dairy sensitive
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon sugar – you can buy this, or make it yourself – Stir 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon into 1/4 C of granulated sugar

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Set aside 2 ungreased baking sheets.

Place the cake mix, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Combine. Add the butter (or shortening) to the bowl, and mix until crumbly. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until dough comes together in a large ball.

Scoop the cookie dough into 1-inch balls and arrange on each baking sheet, 2-3 inches apart. Sprinkle the top of each ball of dough with a little of the cinnamon sugar. If you want crisp 3-in cookies, press down on the balls w/ the bottom of a small glass to flatten them. If you prefer chewy 2 1/2 in cookies, do not flatten.

Okay, I tried it both ways. The ones I flattened were just as crispy as those I didn’t flatten. Also, the ones I flattened were gooey-er, and more difficult to get off the cookie sheets. I didn’t smoosh ’em, just tapped them lightly w/ the bottom of the glass. Maybe you’ll have different results. Regardless, gooey, or not, they were still tasty.

Place the baking sheets in the oven and bake the cookies until golden brown, 8-12 min. Using a metal spatula, (Not sure why she says to use a metal spatula. She wrote the cook book, so I followed directions.) Immediately transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely, 15 mins.

Makes 3 1/2 dozen cookies

Enjoy!

I wish you well,

Sandy

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Gluten-free Oktoberfest Sausage Supper

Here is an easy recipe that I like to make when the weather starts to cool off. I’ve been making this since Pie was a wee bit of a lad. It makes about 4 servings, so if there are more people eating, or if you would like left-overs, which actually taste better the next day, double the recipe.

It’s also a good break from Thanksgiving leftovers!

  • 1 lb Smoked Sausage. I usually use Kielbasa
  • 1 lb can Bavarian sauerkraut
  • 1 T bacon drippings
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium apple cored and thinly sliced. I like to use tart Granny Smiths
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 t celery seed
  • 1/2 t dill seed
  • 1/8 t black pepper
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1/2 C water

In heavy medium-size pan, heat bacon drippings and add onion to saute’. Add remaining ingredients, except sausage. Cover and cook slowly for 15 minutes or until apple slices are soft. Add quartered sausage and continue slowly cooking, covered, until sausage is heated through.

Did you make this recipe? If so, let me know how you like it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

PS

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 Falling in Love With You

Veteran’s Day

November 11 is Veteran’s Day.

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations …”

An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday—a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as “Armistice Day.”

Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation’s history; after American forces fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting in its place the word “Veterans.”

With the approval of this legislation  on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

To all the many men and women who are serving, and who have served, in ourarmed forces throughout the history of the United States of America, thank you so very much.

Your dedication, sacrifice, and honor, and that of your families, are greatly appreciated.

I, indeed, salute you.

I wish you well,

Sandy

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Who Sets the Pace?

Bear and I went for a walk. Actually, it was more like a tug.

 

Next month, Bear will be 1-year-old. Maybe by then, he will calmly walk beside me, instead of trying to drag me down the street.

Every two or three strides of our walk, I dug in my heels, told Bear to sit. He sat. Then we started to walk all over again.

Bear looked up at me when he sat.  He took his first step obediently in the heel position. After that, though, it was, “Let’s see how far I can tug Mom down the road, before she makes me sit, again.”

By the time our walk ended, both of my arms were tired from keeping a firm grip on the leash.  I was exhausted.

It would have been easier to let Bear do whatever he wanted to do. I could have pretended to jog behind him, like I was the one in charge. But, then, Bear would never learn to walk with me, instead of ahead of me.

Maybe I’m more like Bear than I would like to believe. How many times do I race off ahead

of God, confident I know where I am going, and set my own pace to get there?  How many times has God  planted his feet, refused to budge, and waited for me to sit, and look at him?

On the homeward bound half of our excursion, a weary Bear tried to turn into every driveway we passed. He was hopeful we were at our final destination.

Each of us is homeward bound. There is one, final, destination ahead. I need to sit and listen to my Master’s voice. I need to follow the pace he sets. Not run ahead. Not lag behind. I want to be certain I end up going down the correct driveway.

 

How about you?

Jesus Draw Me Nearer sung by Kristyn Getty.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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