Tuesday, January 27, 2009

This morning
3 p.m.

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrr, baby its cold outside!

How cold is it? Its 19 degrees! 
We've had ice since yesterday, sleet today, and snow coming tonight. 
Our city doesn't have the equipment northern cities do to clear streets so our neighborhoods are difficult, at best, to maneuver to/from work. Lucky for me, the one patient I was to see discouraged me from even trying to see him today in his home. 

I obliged. 

Today, I've had a restful, warm day sitting with a lapful of yorkies & my trusty Apple laptop, 
of course I had hot tea at hand.

My only sadness is that my Bible study class was unable to meet. But that gives us all another week to meditate upon the Beatitudes and chapter 5 of Matthew. It is an overly full chapter that gives us the character of those who are citizens of the Kingdom of God. Its humbling, convicting, and gives me a picture of how I am to live. If you have a moment, check it out

I have picked up my knitting bag, re-organized it, looked over some projects I have been wanting to complete or start . . . and so after this post I'm casting on for a scarf in a green yarn I purchased in Parma, Italy in October of this year. I bought the yarn for the purpose of making a scarf and I'm narrowing down just what pattern of scarf to knit up. . . fan and feather? classic cables? farrow rib? broken or mistaken rib? It will 'tell' me as I try a few rows of each.

Tonight I will read the week's reading for our Perspectives class. In the likelihood that we meet I want to be prepared to think with the speaker as we hear him speak on the subject of "Your Kingdom Come" 

I wish you warmth, safety, knitting, and the opportunity to serve as the Lord nudges you!

Truth For Life
Be imitators of God,
therefore, as dearly loved children
and live a life of love,
just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us
as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Ephesians 5:1,2

Sunday, January 18, 2009

January, the month of tea!

I received four gifts of tea for Christmas, each presented by a dear friend. . . they know I'm not indulging myself in the buying of teas as I had in the past. Each gift has been sampled and enjoyed with many more cups ahead. My winter is looking good!
One dear friend gave me a gift just last week, our belated time together for Christmas - a delicious and new favorite of mine. Its a black blend, a specialty blend in honor of historical locations: Harney & Son's Tower of London Blend. It is described as: chinese black tea with honey flavor. 

It is delicious and the sachets are the lovely nylon-like sachets that are so feminine and appealing to the eye and hand. I took one in a jewelry sized zip-loc bag to church today. As others sipped their coffee, I prepared myself my first cup of this tea - and the fragrance, oh, my, was wonderful, the taste, delightful! I wished I had a larger cup in which to steep it and regretted needing to toss the sachet after one 6 oz. cup was prepared. Sigh. 

Another gift this friend gave with the tea is a new travel mug made by Starbucks for the very purpose of preparing and keeping tea warm. The inside of the mug is lined with clay, as in the Xixing clay teapot. . . I haven't used it yet as I need to dedicate the mug to one type of tea as the flavor will be imbedded into the clay forever. Hmmmm, which tea? Time will tell.

Here is to Hot Tea sippin' all month long for January IS the month of HOT TEA!
Stay warm, sip some tea, sit under a hand knit afghan, rest, relax, and enjoy!

Truth for Life
He has made everything beautiful in its time. 
He has also set eternity in the hearts of men;
yet they cannot fathom what God has done
from beginning to end.
Ecclesiastes 3:11

Monday, January 05, 2009

Ten Questions For The New Year

I listen via podcast to Revive Our Hearts programs which feature Nancy Leigh DeMoss. She had a program last week that I've found to be perfect for discerning toward what this new year's direction should be aimed. There is a list of questions that are worthy of reading, meditating upon, and responding to. The list is called Ten Questions For The New Year and its available in a pdf format in order that you may print it out and refer to it daily during your time alone with God. There are actually more than 10 questions but the first 10 are enough for many of us. 
This may guide you to a happy new year.

The first question, for those who want to see it here and now is:
What's one thing you could do this year to increase your enjoyment of God?

I may post one question a day for you, dear readers. 
Take it one a day and it will give you time to ponder, 
listen, develop an action plan, and then do the action planned. 

Truth For Life
Yes, joyful are those who live like this!
Joyful indeed are those whose God is the LORD.
Psalm 144:15

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Epiphany Tea

Today held the surprise of discovering my youngest sister and her family were in town! 
We had a brief moment of one hour carved out of a busy weekend of visiting their former church, family and friends. . . so we had tea at my home. 

I had wanted to try a new recipe I'd read about online, it was a tea cake recipe from Lottie Moon, a missionary to China. She used tea cakes as a means of earning the trust of the people in her village in China. She became known amongst the children as 'the cookie lady' instead of 'foreign devil'. You can read about it at the website when you click her name above in this paragraph.

While her recipe used teacups for means of measuring - I used the adapted recipe which used measuring cups. I baked many dozen and had to lower the temperature a bit with each batch to until finally my last 2 dozen were baked just right. The temperature in the posted recipe is WAY too hot and results in burnt cookies. (not the fragrance I wanted in my home as I greeted my sister, but, well, sometimes that is the way things go with hospitaliTEA!) 
I used 350 for 5 1/2 minutes to get perfectly crisp but not burnt cookies.

Since it is Epiphany Sunday I baked the cookies as stars to represent The Star Of Bethlehem. 
We nibbled upon these tea cookies with some flowering tea - 
a delightfully light and beautiful tea to share on a very cold wintry day.

We shared prayers, I gave her her birthday gift (her birthday is Tuesday, the actual day of Epiphany!) and we shared about our families. Then we said our goodbyes.

As my sister headed back to her awaiting family for their next planned visit, 
my husband and I headed out to our church's Ephiphany service. 

It was a pretty perfect day!

Truth For Life

You are the light of the world. 
A city on a hill cannot be hidden.
Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. 
Instead they put it on its stand, 
and it gives light to everyone in the house.

In the same way, let your light shine before men,
that they may see your good deeds 
and praise your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:14-16

The front of the sanctuary is all lit up and now we light one anothers tapers

This is my favorite service of the year at our church - Epiphany Sunday. It is the pivotal beginning of my year. It is an annual commissioning for the purpose of our lives and the focus of our year due to the manner in which our church celebrates. For us, its a reviewing of the coming of the wise men to find Jesus, the history of our Bible's gospels, the apostles of Christ, and finally, our place in the line of called ones who are to carry the light into our world today. As the history is read, candles are lit one by one at the front of the sanctuary until it is all aglow. Then tapers are lit and the taper held by the person seated nearest the aisle on each row of pews is given a light. One by one we light each others tapers and rapidly the entire sanctuary is aglow from front to the narthex. The hallelujah chorus is played while we light the tapers and when it is completed we depart in silence walking out two by two into the night, 
taking our tapers with us. 

Happy New Year to you and yours!

Truth For Life
He has showed you, O man,  what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8