Friday, October 31, 2014

TEA-ditions

Written in my head but too tired to put on paper 'til the morn!!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

"PUMPKIN-SPEAK"

A NEIGHBORHOOD ANNOUNCEMENT......
AS ONLY THE YOUNG AND CREATIVE COULD DO!!!

A Grande Cuppa Gra-TEA-tude

And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name. 
(1 Chronicles 29:13, ESV)

Big things.  Favorable carotid artery report. Good hospital care for relatives. Answered prayers. Seeing a 7 yr old "king" at Kids' Karnival. Lesson input from a daughter-in-law.

Little things. A "positive" phone message. A relevant bookmark. Rye bread for a pimento cheese sandwich. Finding one more Tesco decaf teabag. A quote in a note.

Hard things. Suffering that draws others close. Privilege of praying God's word for others with difficult and challenging prayer needs.

"Giving thanks always and for everything..." as it says in Ephesians 5:20.
Malcolm Muggeridge, who came to know the Lord later in life, says it well, “Every happening, great and small, is a parable whereby God speaks to us, and the art of life is to get the message.”
Perfect quote in a note to enjoy with a cuppa gra-TEA-tude, brewed with Tesco decaf, compliments of son, Josh.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Mys-TEA-ry of Prayer

My sheep listen to my voice; (John 10:27, NIV)

It's been said that the only way to really get to know some one is to "shut-up and listen." At our house "shut-up" is considered an "S" word, so we say "hush" or in this context, "Be quiet and listen." 
I think that bodes well for our prayer times as well. God already knows us---inside and out. But, if we want to really know Him, maybe we need to say less and listen more.

Prayertime isn't just some grocery list where we go thru the quick check with our items---cross them off our list and hurry on to "our" real agenda. 
God's children have ears to hear---the question is, "Will they use those ears to hear the voice (Word) of God? (Amos 8:11-12)

Listening requires one to "tune in" to Him, which for me means "tuning out" the audible distractions of the world (“Take heed what ye hear.”--Mark 4:24-25) & even the whirring thoughts that can creep into my thinking. Thus an open Bible--a tool used to keep me focused on His word as I meditate and pray. 
Meditation helps this sheep stayed "tuned in" to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, who will enable me to hear the very, and often exact, word I need to help get through my day. Mysterious, I know......but when God's Spirit speaks, we need to be still and "tuned in" in order to truly listen.
Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17)
As I sip my cuppa, filled with the beauty and mys-TEA-ry of prayer, I pray “give me, thy servant a hearing heart,” just as Solomon prayed.* (1 Kings 3:9)

*In the Hebrew, "understanding heart" is literally translated as "a hearing heart."

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Palette of Plen-TEA -ful Beauty

The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:12, NASB)

Dropping temps once again prompted our "favorite season" discussion at water aerobics. Most tended toward the temperate months tho there were a few "hot-weather" die-hards. 
A last vestige of summer against a brilliant fall sky.
Among the temperate climate lovers, autumn seemed to be the winner. Color being the reason.
Certainly there is much beauty to behold this time of year, especially if you, as friend Jerrie, are a fan of orange. 
This past week in the mountains, I once again had my eyes wide open to God's offering of "fantastic foliage n the foothills." It seems in the fall that even if you're just squinting, there is color everywhere, even in flat Memphis, where pumpkin orange is prolific! Pumpkins on parade. 
A true palette of plen-TEA-ful color served in a cuppa beauty. 

All by God's design. God saw that it was good and I do as well.

Monday, October 27, 2014

A Cuppa Necessi-TEA


......And what does the LORD require of you But....to love kindness, And to walk humbly.... ?(Micah 6:8, KJV)
A cup of tea, fast internet connection and a trustworthy best friend are some of the bare necessities of modern life, according to a Daily Mail internet survey. Also included were television, iPhone, and a car. Naturally, a cup of tea was #1, as the survey was done among the Brits. As a tea lover, I concur. I would also add a crossword puzzle to my list and a FRIXiON Clicker 07 erasable pen. 

This past week I have experienced life in a place with no daily weather reports, (unless one requested them)----we just walked outside for a temp ck and looked up to see the cloud cover---or lack there of. At home, the weather can tend to rule conversation and scheduling. 
I knew little of the world's happening---Seattle slayings or Ebola possibility until I returned home. It was a welcome respite from the barrage of negative news which tend to overtake our media and can make me feel sad and helpless.

No cell reception, limited TV (by choice) and a car that stayed "mostly" parked was very welcome. We tooled around in a golf cart. Even food, which is a universal necessity, was "eating what was at hand." (OK, so much of what was "at hand" was delivered by Chef, Simon.) But....bacon and eggs and a simple grilled cheese are equally good to curb one's hunger.
Much of the preceding list was "tongue-in-cheek" as a way of emphasizing some of the less important things which many folks consider physical necessities. What about spiritual necessities?

But God.....has a way of narrowing down true necessities to kindness and humility----using those "times away" to draw one unto Himself. Heart preparation can occur in the still moments so that the bulldozer of God's Spirit can arrive and begin to touch our soul each day in a new way. True relational necessities linked and strengthened with those spiritual chains of shared-faith.
Sharing morning devotions around a table after laughing over unique breakfast choices, think "sweets." Sharing and caring. 
Celebrating life.....whether in song and dance with "toasts," or in the simple acts of a Scrabble game or singing hymns with lots of la-la-las when no one can quite remember all the words.
Doing dishes together at the sink. Pooling our minds together to come up with a crossword answer or just a random fact that somehow escapes our memories.....until later. Then, we're free to shout it out, without condemnation.
A cuppa spiritual necessi-TEA sweetened with relational integrity and served with kindness and humility.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

SABBATH SNAPSHOT : Locali-TEA----Aus-TEA-ralian Outback

One of 150 recopies of this historical fiction---not even a copyright. The book was the result of Amereon LTD in order to keep availble unusual copies.
Written by Norwegian author, Nevil Shute, the book is based on the Japanese invasion of Sumatra and the journey of 80 women and children in a forced 2 1/2 year journey around the island. This vast journey ended with only 30 of them alive. The Author's Notes are a MUST!
The chapter designations start in the middle of a page. Not dust jacket. A gentle find.
Time frame--World War II. 
Setting--Malaysia, England, Australia, with a brief visit to Scotland in the beginning.
To find "A Town Like Alice," and fully understand the title----read to page 162....and there are only 277 pages in the book. An intriguing book which I happen to like.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

A Cuppa Mountain Majes-TEA

Yours, LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. (1Chronicles 29:11, NIV)
How much easier for me, it is to praise the Lord when surrounded by the glory and grandeur of mountains!
Those feet would be mine but the colorful trees, majestic mountains and fluffy clouds are all HIS!

A cuppa majes-TEA that is filled with praise for HIS creation!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Clari-TEA of Hearing

And He was saying, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear. (Mark 4:9, NASB)

Scripture teaches much about the Lord, our creator. From Genesis 1 to Romans 1:19-20. Words of truth can jump off the pages. Often the wonder of creation jumps out at me the minute I open my eyes in the morning.......if I "have ears to hear and eyes to see."

This week those truths have been exemplified visually and aurally as I have walked through the fields and in "The Garden" at Blackberry Farm. From pigs and birds to rustling wind and babbling brooks. What awesome reminders!
"This is my Father's world and to my listening ears, all nature sings and round me rings, the music of the spheres..."
from memory----also found in hymn 144 of the Cokesbury Hymnal.
May the Lord grant clarit-TEA in my cuppa as I walk among the sights and sounds of His creation, wherever I may be.

This is my Father's world----oh let me ne're forget! 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Quotabili-TEA : a Visual

He that hath knowledge spareth his words: (Proverbs 17:27, KJV)

In my opinion, folks with top-notch writing ability can say the most with the fewest words.
Pithy with a punch. For me, nothing jogs my memory better than a pithy quote......whether it's written in my Bible maginalia, my journal or seen on a creative craft.
Quotabili-TEA---good quotes, great pithy quotes, quotes worth sharing. From spiritual or intellectual to relational and funny.
Often, as the saying goes, a picture is worth a 1,000 words.

  • We must allow ourselves to be interrupted by God. (Bonhoeffer)
  • All of life must be given to the Lord----spiritual and secular are not separate. (1/1990 Serendipity Bible)
  • I am afraid that the schools will prove the very gates of hell, unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures and engraving them in the heart of the youth (Martin Luther)

Humility---this highway doesn't have too much traffic in politics (7/2006, Howard Clark)

  • Sooner or later even the upbeat soul gets beat up by life (R.Morgan, The Promise, p,.2)
  • "Life huggers"--people who hang on to this world because they think this is it. (Richard Paul Evans)

Somethings do require cake---but at Blackberry Farm one might substitute pecan pie, fudge, iced brownies or Dove Bars.
Cuppa Locali-TEA in a quote---
Tea definition--

  • No two persons ever read the same book. (Edmund Wilson)
  • There's no such thing as a good book written just for children. If it's good, any age can enjoy it. (Dotsy)


So many quotes so little time and space----My Bibles are filled with quotes.....as is the internet. But.....these are the ones that ring true with me and my cuppa quotabili-TEA to share with others.