Mundane Moments

bored woman at computerMundane

According to the Oxford dictionary, mundane means very ordinary and therefore not interesting. Is that how you might describe your everyday life?

Ordinary.

Not interesting.

Boring.

Maybe we could add insignificant or useless? Do you think that’s how Moses felt before the burning bush?

Same Old Same Old

After Moses fled Egypt and left his princely title, and before God met him at the burning bush, Moses’ life could be described as mundane, don’t you think? Very ordinary. Not overly interesting.

As a shepherd in the wilderness tending his father-in-law’s flocks, Moses’ life was rather isolated. Not much going on except maybe a few marauders to chase away every now and again.

His routine was the same day after day. Nothing exciting there. Mundane.

In the Middle of the Mundane

Yet, that’s where God met Moses. In the middle of the mundane. In the middle of Moses’ ordinary, everyday activity, God showed up.

Moses was being faithful where God had him at that moment. He was doing the job he’d been tasked to do. Shepherd Jethro’s flocks. He no longer resided in Pharaoh’s palace, nor anywhere else in Egypt. He was in the middle of nowhere. The wilderness.

God Works in the Mundane

After living in Egypt for forty years, Moses was a shepherd for another forty years before God called him to return to Egypt and lead God’s people to the Promised Land.

For forty years of those everyday, mundane moments God prepared Moses to be the leader he needed. The leader he wanted. The leader God knew Moses could be.

God worked in those moments to shape and mold Moses into the man who would bring God’s people home.

Redeem the Mundane Moments

In those moments when it might seem as if what we do doesn’t really matter, perhaps we can look at ways God would like for us to redeem them.

If we pay attention, we might discover God is calling us to a new thing. A new job he has for us to complete. A new season of service.

Or he might be asking us to pay attention to those around us who might benefit from an encouraging word, a shared prayer, an act of kindness. We never know what divine appointments our mundane moments might hold.

Your Turn

Most of our lives are not burning bush moments. Still, even when it seems like nothing is happening in our everyday mundane moments, God is at work. He is shaping us. Molding us to be the tool he wants us to be. And in those moments, just as it was for  Moses, we are right where God wants us to be.

How do you view your mundane moments? As something to avoid, or something to embrace?

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.

One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Sinai, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up. Exodus 3:1-2 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Something Greater Book Review

I found much to ponder and glean from Something Greater, by Jentezen Franklin. In this book, Jentezen suggests we can discover God’s best for our life right where we are by looking for buried acres of diamonds. He references Russell H. Conwell’s lecture, Acres of Diamonds, to remind us that although we may think the place where we are right now is worthless, there is hidden potential.

With examples from Scripture, Jentezen’s life, and the lives of others, Jentezen suggests we must learn to see, value, and grow what we have. Right where we are. He recommends we don’t worry about what tomorrow will bring, and stop living in regret of what we did or didn’t do yesterday.

Jentezen concludes by saying our joy, purpose, peace, and hope are here and now. He suggests we start digging in our own backyard for these things, and watch as God unfolds diamonds in places we think is a valley of dry bones.

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

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

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Seven Anchors for the Storms of Life

small boat in storm courtesy pixabayStorms of Life

When I turned on my computer to write yesterday, I saw a notification saying we were under a tornado emergency. Before the storm was over, homes and businesses in the area were damaged. Thankfully, my neighborhood was spared.

This tornado was unexpected. A little like the storms of life at times. Some storms sneak up on us. Some we’ve watched form on the horizon. Other storms we know are coming, but truly wish they weren’t.

In the Middle of Our Storm

In the middle of our storm, we may feel like we’re spinning out of control on Disney’s Mad Hatter’s tea cup ride. Even if we are, that’s okay, because God remains in control.

The ride is going to stop at some point. We may need assistance getting off it, but the ride will stop when God tells it to. And when it stops, we’ll find God is standing right there with us.

Whether the storms occur in nature or in our personal life, they will occur. It’s all part of life. With that in mind, I would like to share seven anchors Preacher said to hold onto during the storms of life.

Anchor #1 God is in Control

God is in control of every situation in our life. Since God is in control, our storm did not surprise him. Whatever storm reaches us has to pass through God’s hand first.

The Lord has made the heavens his throne; from there he rules over everything. Psalm 103:19 (NLT)

Anchor #2 God Has a Plan

When we’re in the middle of the storm, we often focus on what’s wrong, believing all is lost.

When we’ve lost what seems like everything, we need to remember God still has a plan for our future. We might not see it right away, but it’s there nonetheless.

 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

Anchor #3 God is With You

Storms can make us feel all alone. They can isolate us. Some storms make us feel as if no one cares.

God cares. He is with us. He’ll never leave. We may not  see him, but we can be confident he is always working on our behalf.

No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Joshua 1:5 (NLT)

Anchor #4 God is Bigger Than Our Storm

God is the Creator of the earth and sky. The sea and everything in it. He controls the wind and the rain, and he controls our storm.

When we feel as if we are about to go under during the storms of life, Jesus reminds us he is in our boat with us. He is the one who commands the wind and rain to cease.

They were all terrified when they saw him. But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage! I am here!Then he climbed into the boat, and the wind stopped. They were totally amazed … Mark 6:50-51 (NLT)

Anchor #5 God Will Get You Where You Need to Be

Since God is in control, has a plan, is with us, and bigger than our storm, he will get us where we need to be.The storm might cause us to take a detour as we stumble over debris fields, but we’ll get to the place God prepared for us.

The storm, no matter how devastating, destructive, damaging, or overwhelming, can not keep us from completing the good works God created us to complete.

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6 (NLT)

Anchor #6 God’s Timing is Perfect

During an especially difficult time in my life I purchased a small plaque. It is a picture of a sailboat on the water. The words on the plague say, This too shall pass.

Regardless of what storm we face, in God’s perfect timing, it too shall pass. Just as Annie sang in the musical of the same name, the sun will come out tomorrow.

But I will call on God, and the Lord will rescue me. Psalm 55:16 (NLT)

Anchor #7 There is Life After the Storm

After the storm, life goes on. The storm is a disruption. A pain. Something we’d rather do without, but it is not the end.

Today, the day after the tornado ripped apart homes and businesses, there is life as people go about the business of assessing damage, and moving towards restoration.

Sometimes, after a storm rips through our life leaving a debris field miles wide and long, that’s all we can do.

When Job prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes. In fact, the Lord gave him twice as much as before! Job 42:10 (NLT)

Your Turn

I try to remember something Preacher said whenever storms come into my life. Perhaps it will comfort you in the midst of your storms of life.

“The Lord wouldn’t have allowed this storm into your life if he didn’t have something good on the other side of it.”

There you have it. Seven anchors worth holding onto during our storms of life.

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.

For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him! Isaiah 64:4 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Quiet My Soul Psalm 131

Bible open to the Psalms courtesy pixabayToday’s guest post, Quiet My Soul Psalm 131 written by Anthea Kotlan first appeared on antheakotlan.com.

Can I quiet my soul?

The quiet before the storm is ushered in when the forecast is finally settled. When my home was once again in a tropical storm’s predicted path in September 2021, life got upended. Decisions were suspended, and I waited. A heavy hush fell in the waiting room where I had gathered my supplies. Will this unwelcome guest rake havoc on my area? Will he overstay his welcome? Will my little portion of the piney woods see long-term damage? Questions roll in waves: uncertainty ebbs and flows.

Psalm 131 was written to be read aloud by those who were making their yearly pilgrimage to Jerusalem. This arduous trek would have involved steep inclines and desert wanderings. God’s people needed encouragement to keep going and to prepare themselves for an encounter with God in the Temple.

1 O Lord, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. Psalm 131:1 ESV

Planning

I am a planner. I love to make plans and predict what will happen next. My heart and eyes focus on the next thing, the next challenge, and the next worry. When I do this, is it because my eyes are straining beyond what God has for me now? Am I missing the quiet before the storm because the noise in my head is drowning out God’s presence?

I know it is easy for me to catastrophize about what I think I see ahead. I try to figure out my disaster plan and response before anything goes wrong. Instead, the psalmist chooses not to occupy himself with things too marvelous for him. Where I focus my mind and heart are my own choices.

What if, now that I have gathered my storm supplies, I take some time to sit with the Lord and see what He has for me in this time of waiting? What if I set a timer and sat quietly before him and listened? (For me setting a timer creates a gentle boundary to keep my focus on the Lord.)

2 But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. Psalm 131:2 ESV

Be Still and Snuggle

My youngest grandchild, Ian, is a snuggler. He loves to be rocked to sleep and held. While his older sister is quick to wriggle out of my arms, he is content to settle in. Nothing is more calming on earth than a child sleeping peacefully on your chest.

Can my soul snuggle up with God this day and rest peacefully, knowing God has a plan? Can I push pause on the doing, going, getting, and achieving for even fifteen minutes? Can I choose to quiet my soul in this waiting time? The psalmist is creating a peace-filled liturgy for himself. He is singing a lullaby over his soul.

3 O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forevermore. Psalm 131:3 ESV

In the final verse of Psalm 131, the psalmist gives me a glimpse of the future. Hope in the Lord is available for me now and forever. However, in the quiet before the storm, will I be found in my father’s arms at peace in that hope, or pacing around as if it all depends on my efforts?

Prayer

Lord, please help me quiet my soul and come more completely into your presence. Could you help me to release my concerns and plans and rest in your arms? Thank You for always being available and never being too busy for your daughter. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen

How do you quiet your soul?

Anthea KotlanFor over thirty years, Anthea Kotlan has served as a women’s ministry leader in the church and community. She has a passion for discipleship and encouraging women to walk confidently in their God-given calling. She designs women’s retreats, teaches Bible studies, writes, and enjoys speaking at events. Recently, she began serving on a church plant team in Conroe, Texas with her husband, a bi-vocational priest. Every chance she gets, she spends time laughing with her two adult daughters or snuggling her two grandchildren. Check out Anthea’s blog for weekly soul-tending devotionals from the Psalms. antheakotlan.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

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

Pause for Poetry- O You of Little Faith

meadow lake courtesy pixabay

The following poem, O You of Little Faith, is selected from Streams in the Desert.

O you of little faith,

God has not failed you yet!

When all looks dark and gloomy,

You do so soon forget–

Forget that He has led you,

And gently cleared your way;

On clouds has poured His sunshine,

And turned your night to day.

And if He’s helped you to this point,

He will not fail you now;

How it must wound His loving heart

To see your anxious brow!

Oh! doubt not any longer,

To Him commit your way,

Whom in the past you trusted,

And is just the same today.

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

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

Gluten-free Cream of Chicken with Rice Soup Recipe

chicken rice soupNot only is this gluten-free Cream of Chicken with Rice soup tasty, it’s super simple to fix. Win-win!

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked rice
  • 4 cups chicken broth (If boiling chicken for this recipe, you can use the broth from that.)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 stalks celery, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, finely diced (Or you can use a 12 oz can of chicken.)
  • 15 oz can cream-style sweet corn
  • 3/4 cup half and half
  • Pepper to taste

Make rice.

Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a 4 quart stock pot.

Add the garlic and celery to broth. Lower heat and cook for 10 minutes.

Add the chicken, corn, and rice. Cook for 10 minutes over medium heat.

Lower heat. Stir in the half and half.

Cook for 5 minutes, until heated through.

Enjoy!

I wish you well.

Sandy

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What Are You Passionate About?

pen and paper courtesy pixabayWhat are you passionate about?

What have you spent time studying? Perfecting? Enjoying?

Pilot can tell from the sound of an engine what kind of plane is overhead. Once the plane is in view, he can tell you pretty much everything there is to know about it. He’s passionate about planes and flying.

Me? I hear the same engine whine. I look up. Two wings? Larger than a bird? It’s a plane! Now, let an Apache chopper fly over the house, which for some reason they do quite frequently, and I can definitely identify that bad boy by it’s sound.

Pilot can pick up an instrument and teach himself to play it rather quickly. No problem. He’s proven this to be true time and again.

Me, however? I look piano lessons in elementary and junior high school. The day my instructor handed me one of Mozart’s masterpieces, you know, the ones where the left hand and the right hand play two completely different songs at the same time, I begged my parents not to force me to go back. Much to my piano teacher’s great relief, I am sure.

Sissy and Butter played in their school bands. My dad played in the Navy’s band as it marched across the Oakland Bay Bridge the day the bridge opened. Musical talent abounds in my family. It just got all used up before I was born.

I have a heart for mission work. I even contemplated becoming a foreign missionary. That is, until I took two years of Spanish in high school and two semesters in college. I realized I am not a linguist. Yo no hablo Espanol.

God Provides The Passion

So what am I passionate about? What do I have a spark for? A light for? A shot to the heart for?

There are several things I have a passion for, but if I was forced to choose one, besides my passion for Jesus, it would have to be writing. Writing is something I have enjoyed, loved, and created since I was a wee lass. Writing is something I believe God placed inside me. I believe it is something he wants to use for his purposes and glory.

Sometimes, we believe we are the ones who choose what we are passionate about, the thing we enjoy doing. The thing we are good at. But I think, we’ve got it backwards.

God is the one who knit us together in our mother’s womb. (Psalm 139) He is the one who placed the passion, the desire, the ability, inside us to accomplish what he wants to accomplish through us. After that, we either pursue that passion, or we don’t.

Stick To What We’re Passionate About

I can’t identify planes like Pilot, or play an instrument like my dad could. I can’t converse in any language except English. However, God didn’t put those things in me. Because he didn’t place those abilities in me, it would be silly for me to moan about what I cannot do. Instead, what I need to do is celebrate what I can, and work at it with all my heart.

Your Turn

So, I ask you again. What are you passionate about? What would you feel lost without pursuing? Figure that out and go after it. Because you know what? That’s what God designed you to be passionate about. That’s what he created you to do.

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.

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.  Ephesians 2:10

I wish you well.

Sandy

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When We Feel Sad

boy looking out window Courtesy PixabayHere we are almost two weeks into 2023, and some of us might be feeling a little sad. If that’s us, what should we do?

Reasons For Our Sadness

Some of us may feel sad because of broken relationships. Or because we miss loved ones who are no longer with us.

Perhaps we feel sad because of our health or financial situation.

Maybe our sadness isn’t because of something affecting us. It is because of situations affecting our loved ones or friends.

There are many reasons why we might feel sad. Sometimes we may even feel a deep sadness, yet aren’t exactly sure why.

Overwhelmingly Sad

Overwhelmingly sad. That’s how one friend told me she felt. Overwhelmingly sad for no apparent reason. She couldn’t understand it, and didn’t like it one bit. She turned on the radio to distract herself. She tried to think positive thoughts to pull her from the sadness. Anything to stop feeling so sad. But nothing helped.

Perhaps you can identify with the oppressive weight she felt. I know I can.

Out of the Blue

Sometimes, for no apparent reason, all of a sudden we might feel sad and not understand why. Like my friend, we find ourselves spiraling deeper and deeper into a funk, despite our best efforts to do the opposite.

We’re auguring in. All the while we’re yelling, “Pull up! Pull up!”

Sometimes we know the reason for our sadness. Broken relationships. Loss. Conflict. Discouragement. Difficult decisions. Whether we know the reason or not, the sadness is real.

Why is My Heart So Sad?

In Psalm 42 and Psalm 43, within a total of 16 verses the following lines are repeated three times.

Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again–my Savior and my God!

As sadness enveloped David, he remembered God. He remembered the Lord who pours his unfailing love upon us. He remembered his hope is in God alone.

Our Best Defense in Times of Sadness

When sadness hits, perhaps like the psalmist, our best defense is to remember God’s provision. Remember past victories. Be specific in remembering what God has done for us. Remember what God brought us through. And keep at it for as long as it takes to turn the sadness around.

Keeping a written record of all the times God showed up and showed out in our lives makes the remembering easier and more concrete. That way, when sadness strikes, we have a record of all the times God was faithful. Armed with that knowledge, we can ask ourselves why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad?

Our Hope is in God

As it was with David when he wrote his psalms, when we feel sad, our hope is in our Savior and our God. The One to whom all our praise belongs.

Your Turn

What do you do to combat sadness when it strikes? Do you have a specific way to remember all of the time’s God proved himself faithful in your life?

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.

Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior and my God! Psalm 43:5 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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The Rose and the Thistle Book Review

The Rose and the Thistle book cover One of the things I like about The Rose and the Thistle by Laura Frantz, is the way she gives enough historical facts and details to ground the reader in the time and place of the story without bogging it down.

Another thing I like is the masterful way she wove suspenseful intrigue throughout the book through the lives of her characters which kept me turning the page until the end of the book.

Set in 1715 Scotland during the Jacobite uprising, The Rose and the Thistle is the story of Lady Blythe Hedley who flees northern England for safety in southern Scotland at the home of her godfather during the political unrest. There she finds shelter under the care of Everard Hume, the current Lord of Wedderburn Castle.

If you enjoy intriguing Christian historical romance that keeps you turning pages until the end of the book, then The Rose and the Thistle may be the book for you.

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

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

Six Things to Consider in the New Year

courtesy pixabayHere are six things for us to consider in the new year.

Trust God Completely with Everything

O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge. Psalm 62:8

Be Patient

Better to be patient than powerful; better to have self-control than to conquer a city. Proverbs 16:32

Balance Work and Rest

Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich. Be wise enough to know when to quit. Proverbs 23:4

Don’t Panic

When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer. Psalm 94:19

Let Go Of Worry

“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” Matthew 6:25, 27

Count It All Joy

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1:2-4

Your Turn

What additional thoughts would you add for us to consider as we go forth and conquer 2023?

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.

So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. Matthew 6:34 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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