Always We Begin Again Book Review

Always We Begin Again by Leeana Tankersley is a book of 100 short meditations on life experiences. On her first page she credits the Rule of Saint Benedict as a lifeline; Always we begin again, stating Benedict’s rule for monks called to the holiness of repetition, even the spiritual efficacy of it, giving a certain grace to beginnings.

In several meditations Leeana calls those distractions or things which want to paralyze, shame, suffocate, embarrass, and silence us Soul Bullies. I like that term. In talking about these bullies, she says although the Soul Bullies will never fully go away, we have the power by the grace of God to put them in their place, remembering there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ. Reminding us, we can begin again.

While discussing the subject of waiting she writes, “Sometimes it’s OK to just not know, to not know the end from the beginning, to not understand how we’re going to get there from here.” Then she concludes by saying if we could see the answer from here, we wouldn’t need God.

Much to think about in Always We Begin Again.

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.

God Never Leaves or Forsakes

Have there been times in your life when you’ve wondered where in the world God went? You felt him right there with you a minute ago, but during the midst of a time of utter despair, he seemed to be MIA?

We cry out, and our cries seem to fall unheard. If God promised to never leave or forsake us, then what’s the deal? Doesn’t he care?

Yes. God cares. He sent his son, Jesus, to the earth to pay the debt we owed. A debt we couldn’t pay. A get out of jail free card. God definitely cares.

And no. God is not missing in action. He’s still here with us. Right where he’s always been. The same place he was when he allowed his son to suffer and die on the cross of Calvary.

When you were young, did you ever pretend your were invisible?

You know, close your eyes, and believe that because you couldn’t see someone, they couldn’t see you? Even when you stood in plain view? I did. But just because I couldn’t see someone, it didn’t mean they couldn’t see me.

Same with God.

Just because we can’t physically see God with our eyes, doesn’t mean he doesn’t exist. It doesn’t mean God doesn’t care. It also doesn’t mean he can’t see us. Doesn’t mean he isn’t watching over us. Loving us. Protecting us.

Even when we feel as if God’s MIA, he’s on duty. During those times we feel God left or turned his back on us, we need to hold onto the truths we find in his Holy Word.

Remembering nothing reaches us God didn’t plan, or permit.

Going through a rough spot? Hold onto God’s promises.

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So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.  2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (MSG)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Pause for Poetry Godly Advice

Welcome to Pause for Poetry, featuring a poem, Godly Advice, written by my writer-friend, Frances Gregory Pasch.

Godly Advice

 

On days when things get hectic

And my head is spinning around,

Jesus takes me by the shoulders

And He gently sits me down.

He whispers, “Do not panic…

Relax and stop a while.

Fatigue causes tension

And robs you of your smile.

“Put everything in order,

Get your priorities straight…

Forget unneeded details,

On key things concentrate.

“Stop all of your rushing,

Tackle one thing at a time…

Slow down and take it easy,

As the ladder of life you climb.

“You don’t have to impress me,

It’s not how much you do,

It’s the way in which you do things…

Just keep My will in view.

“For whatever you accomplish

It’s not for you, but “Me.”

If you put Me first, you’ll triumph

And dwell with Me eternally.”

 

©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.

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

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Tired of Waiting

When God set his timetable for giving Moses the commandments written in stone, the Israelites felt God’s timetable was too drawn out. They were tired of waiting and decided to do something about it.

Frustrated by Moses’ long absence, the Israelites grew impatient. They asked Aaron to replace Moses and the God who led them out of slavery with something Aaron could fashion with his own hands. A golden calf.

We might look at the Israelites, and others whose stories are recorded in scripture for us to learn from, shake our heads, and wonder what their problem was. When we do that, I’m afraid we forget about all the times we feel God’s timetable is not to our liking.

Maybe we don’t create a golden calf to replace the God who led us out of our slavery of sin, but do we fuss and fume and get upset when God isn’t working as quickly as we believe he should?

The longer the Israelites waited for this Moses to return, the more they doubted and failed to trust. They also forgot what God through Moses had already accomplished on their behalf.

Escape from Egypt? Red Sea? Manna? Quail? Water from the rock?

Cloud by day? Fire by night? Clothes that never wore out?

When we grow tired of waiting, like the Israelites, we have choices. We can look back and see all the times God provided for us, especially in those tough times of our wait, continue to wait upon the Lord, and trust he’ll continue to provide. Even when his timetable is not our own.

Or we can forget all the times God provided for us, especially in those tough times of our wait, and decide we’re tired of waiting, abandon God, and make some god to lead us.

If we’re smart, we’ll realize God’s timetable is perfect, providing exactly what we need at exactly the right moment.

What do you do when you grow tired of waiting?

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.

When the people saw how long it was taking Moses to come back down the mountain, they gathered around Aaron. “Come on,” they said, “make us some gods who can lead us. We don’t know what happened to this fellow Moses, who brought us here from the land of Egypt.” Exodus 32:1 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Gluten-free Chicken and Spinach Pasta Bake Recipe

Rotisserie chicken is the key to this delicious gluten-free Chicken and Spinach Pasta Bake recipe.

  • 8 oz. uncooked gluten-free rigatoni
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 3 cups chopped rotisserie chicken
  • 14 1/2 oz. can Italian-style diced tomatoes (An additional can of diced tomatoes can be added if you’d like.)
  • 8 oz. container chive-and-onion cream cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 6 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare rigatoni according to package directions.

Meanwhile, spread oil on bottom of an 11 X 7 inch baking dish. Add onion in a single layer.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes or just until tender. Transfer onion to a large bowl, and set aside.

Drain chopped spinach well, pressing between layers of paper towels.

Stir rigatoni, spinach, chicken, and next 4 ingredients into onion in bowl.

Spoon mixture into baking dish, and sprinkle evenly with shredded mozzarella cheese.

Bake, covered at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 more minutes or until bubbly.

Enjoy!

I wish you well.

Sandy

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