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From our Readers




Of Faith

From Jan's Desk



A SeBreTaKen Publication

2004 Edition      June 2004      Volume 600.1




Fellow writer, Dianne E. Buttes currently working on a new book publication "Where Grace Abounds: True Stories from Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers"  If you have a true story you want to submit for publication in this book - you may contact her for more information at:

For more information, visit her site at: Dianne Writes


Jan Verhoeff has new items available at the Ponder Store.  For more information contact her or visit her site at: Words to Ponder, Inc.

Ponder EZINE now in Publication

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Lamar Writer's Group

We need article submissions for our latest book in progress, Children's Stories. The articles should be 3 - 7 pages in length, single spaced with appropriate illustrations. Please submit them in photo ready copy. For more information about this - please contact Jan at:


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Lamar Writer's Group Meeting - (NEW MEETING LOCATION) Lamar Chamber of Commerce Office at the Lamar Train Depot on Main Street just south of the Rail Road Tracks.  Don't miss the meeting!!!  We want to see you there.  Bring something to share and a snack if you'd like.  We are looking forward to a great time of fellowship, fun, and learning about writing!

The meeting was great! We had donuts and coffee. Mary found a new science project in progress while there - but other than that - everything was really great at the new location. I want to invite anyone interested in any form of writing to participate in our meetings. Karen is bringing snacks for the next meeting (this is your reminder, Karen ;) )! Virginia shared her interest/concern over the local prison to be built soon. Mary, Jan, and Karen submitted stories for review and critique. Carol shared some information about local Arts Events, up and coming. I'll be posting many of those in the Ponder WebLog - available at Ponder Blog. And to share a quote by our most infamous local historian "A good time was had by all!"




Ideas and objectives

(thoughts from  our readers - please feel free to submit your own thoughts and opinions)

Courage Under Fire

By: Brenna VerHoeff

September 12th 2001. Not as meaningful as September 11th but it still holds a lot of history. It was on this day that President Bush had to make a very difficult decision for himself, his family, and his country. He declared war on all terrorism, but more particularly the Al-Queida. Since then it has been called America's War On Terrorism. Everywhere Americans look there is something about the war, "Another soldier was killed for America" "A new message from Osama Bin Laden" "Anthrax letters litter mailboxes". This war has affected every person in America, including President Bush. But have you ever wondered what has really been going through President Bush's head as this war unveils around us? Well, I don't believe anybody but President Bush knows what’s going on in his head. But I think its possibly that under the dark blue suits and the Texan accent, there is a man that is just as concerned for America as everyone else. How do I know this? Just look at his actions and they alone will prove them.

The difference between President Bush and the regular "Joe Shmo" on the streets of America, is that President Bush knows what it will take to defeat the Taliban, and he is executing that plan. He is striking out against them and letting them know that America will not tolerate this kind of abuse any longer. Even at the cost of American lives, President Bush is pushing America forward and defending this country in a way that will make students in the future stand up and say, "President Bush was an amazing man and a great leader." Moreover, I believe students will want to stand up against terrorism in much of the same way that President Bush is doing now. President Bush is not only a role model for this generation but also a role model for the coming generations. But does this matter to President Bush? To some extent yes, but I think he has a greater and stronger feeling of responsibility for what is going on now in that, what it will be like in the future. Why? Well, for the obvious reason, if he looked at this war as what its going to be like in the history books, we might have lost a lot more soldiers than we have so far, and also I think America would be a lot more vulnerable now than we actually are. I look back at the year 2000 election, and I thank God every day that President Bush got elected instead of Gore. To think of what kind of shape we could be in now had Gore been elected into office, I wonder if we would even been able to call ourselves Americans.

RECIPES - From our Food Editor

Chicken Breasts with Cherry Tomatoes, Zucchini and Olives

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 medium zucchini, cut in 1-in. pieces
2 Tbsp finely chopped shallot
2 cups (12 oz) halved red and yellow cherry tomatoes or whole small cherry or grape tomatoes
1/3 cup pitted, coarsely chopped black Mediterranean olives
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp each salt and freshly ground pepper
4 skinless, boneless chicken-breast halves (about 6 oz each), tenders (thin strip on underside of each breast half) removed
1/2 cup dry white wine or vermouth

1. Heat 1 Tbsp of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.

2. Add zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, 6 minutes or until lightly browned. Add shallot; stir 1 minute or until soft. Add tomatoes, olives and rosemary; cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes or until tomatoes are hot but not collapsed. Season with 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper. Transfer to a plate.

3. Add remaining 1 Tbsp oil to skillet. Season chicken with remaining 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper. Cook, turning once, 8 minutes or until browned on both sides and firm when pressed in center. Transfer to a plate; keep warm.

4. Add wine to skillet and bring to a boil. Return vegetables; cook 1 minute, stirring once or twice, to reheat. Transfer to a warm platter; top with chicken breasts.

Tastes great served over rice, either brown or white!


  From Jan's Desk...

Perpetual bliss rarely is a happening on the plains of Colorado! Life seems to come in turmoil and crisis more often than not.  But there are moments of excruciating enjoyment - even here.  One of those happened recently for me while I was talking to my son about bad behavior issues.  It isn't often a mother actually makes an impact on her son in normal voice tones without abrupt action, but this time seemed to have impact not only on him, but also on me.  

While talking to him, I chose to listen to his comments... Thinking I might gain insights into whatever he might have been thinking that made him misbehave.  

What he said next was profound and so honest that I found myself identifying with him.  He said, "Mom, I just get tired of being good all the time, and then I do something stupid and I feel bad, but I do it anyway."  

Oh, how many times I've been tired of 'being good' and just wanted to do something stupid, so I didn't get referred to as 'Miss Goody Two Shoes' or worse by those around me who were always doing something 'stupid'?  And how many times has that little voice inside stopped me with the realization that I would feel bad if I did what I wanted - instead of what I should?  And then, how many times have I once again been called "Miss Goody Two Shoes" because I chose to do the right thing? 

While I stood there contemplating my response to him.  I wondered if this was one of those times I would regret too?  And I decided that I really don't regret doing the RIGHT thing.  I actually am rather proud that as I look back over my life, I took the high road in most instances, choosing to overlook what was done to me by others, and love them just the same.  

So it was, that I responded to my son, "I know what I'm going to say to you isn't going to feel good right now, but you'll understand some day exactly why I'm saying this.  You'll understand that life isn't always the good stuff, and sometimes we will make choices that aren't right. But whenever we are faced with one of those choices, we need to remember that our testimony to God is at stake and we must choose the right thing to do.  We must make the right choice for us.  It doesn't matter what others do, we aren't responsible for them, but we are responsible for our own behavior. So, whenever that choice comes up again, you need to think about whether you want to take the high road and be proud of your choices, or take the easy road, do something stupid, and be ashamed of yourself afterward.  The choice is yours.  Make the one you can live with and want to remember for the rest of your life - because you will."

Today our lesson is about making choices. We all have them coming at us from a million angles and everywhere we look is a new one waiting to be made.  How will we choose?  I'm hoping that we will take the high road and make the right choice no matter the cost.  There is a price to pay - if no where else on earth, we pay that price in our minds every day. Do you want it to be the price of joy and pride that you did the right thing?  Or would you rather be embarrassed and ashamed that you did the wrong thing?




  Of Faith...

"Therefore I tell you, whatever you have asked for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."                     ~Mark 11:24~

Faith rewards us with many things, but more than the things it gives, faith is something we CAN give.  As a person, I often realize that life isn't what I want it to be, and I start searching out the reason I've missed the mark.  Quite often I realize that I've missed my goal, simply because I lacked the faith to pursue it.

How often do we write down a goal, or even think it in our minds, and cast it aside without even really giving it a chance to come into being, because we lack the faith to step out and start making the goal happen.  Sometimes we even lack the faith to pray for what we want or need, because we lack the faith to believe it will happen.  

IF you desire something, you must ask for it, then believe you have received it, and it will be yours.  Trust the Lord to do that which he has promised!  Have faith. 



Write your life...

It's quite the rage today to write the story of your life.  Your goals and accomplishments are important, and they mean something. You have something to say and it is important.  So, you put it all on paper and look it all over, it looks good to you.  You share it all with your best friends and they all think you have style.

Journaling has become a national pastime.  We journal our ideas, goals, daily activities, life events, prayers, children, etc.  If you believe you have something worth publication, you probably do, whether it is a simple format, or a deeply intense book you want to produce. Consider your purpose for journaling and the content.  If you have discovered some interesting truth about life in your situation, and your situation is something other's face, you have a marketable product. If your journal offers support for a group of people, then your writing has merit. 

It's time to find an editor/publisher who will read your work and consider it for publication.  

Let the good folks at SaBreTaKen Press help you find a publisher for your work.





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Contact Information

Jan Verhoeff - email any concerns, ideas, or thoughts to Jan - or add them to the blog above.

Words To Ponder