Saturday, May 30, 2009

Tea, Anyone!

Over the years I have become a fairly confident person in the kitchen except in one area. I break into a cold sweat when I think I might have to make tea. In my defense, neither hubby nor I know what tea is supposed to taste like. To our palates it tastes foul. So when we make it and do the taste test we have no way of knowing if what we are tasting is a good foul or a bad foul. We just know it is foul.
Hubby is part of a Celtic Choir. He invited the choir to our house last night after their performance. Everyone in the choir is of British descent and most of them are older than hubby. What would I do? I just had to serve tea. For this crowd it’s a staple. Well I asked a dear friend (you know, the kind of friend who never scoffs nor snickers) and she guided me through the process. She loaned me her tea pot and slowly recited her instructions .
“Just put three tea bags in the bottom of the pot. Fill the pot with boiling water. Leave it for five minutes and then scoop the tea bags out.”
“Do you want me to come and make it for you?” she asked.
I swallowed hard while building up my courage. “No I can do this. I’ve been on earth over fifty years and I do have a university degree.”
Being the organized person that I am, I knew I wouldn’t enjoy the concert if everything wasn’t in order before I left the house so I got out the tea pot and inserted three tea bags. Later fidgeting hubby walked past the tea pot. He paused and placed three tea bags in the pot. As soon as I arrived home I plugged in the kettle and did just what my friend had told me to do. I put three tea bags in the pot. Hubby heard the kettle whistle and being the helpful person that he is, he put three tea bags in the pot. I came back, poured the water in the pot and waited five minutes. When five minutes had past I took out the three tea bags but to my surprise there were still more tea bags in the pot. I kept fishing them out until I had twelve tea bags. Hubby came along and tipped the tea pot. I’d never noticed before how much tea looks like maple syrup.
Older British people are so charming. When I asked if they would like a second cup of tea they all had the same response. “Oh no, deary. I really must be going.”
Maybe you would like to stop by for a wee cup.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Mighty to Save

This has become one of my favourite songs and my prayer.

Everyone needs compassion,
Love that's never failing;
Let mercy fall on me.

My prayer is that I will be compassionate and will have unconditional love for others. I pray that mercy will flow to others through me.

Everyone needs forgiveness,
The kindness of a Saviour;
The Hope of nations.

I think of all the broken relationships and people who are hurting. I think of Ephesians 4:32. When I’ve been wounded until my heart’s about to break, it’s impossible for me to forgive until I consciously extend kindness to the person who hurt me. That paves the way for empathy and compassion for that person which in turn enables me to forgive. We all have been gifted with the ability to enable others to see the Saviour when we extend forgiveness. I pray that God will open the hearts of people who are wounded too deeply to open them themselves and enable them to forgive.

Saviour, He can move the mountains,
My God is Mighty to save,
He is Mighty to save.

Forever, Author of salvation,
He rose and conquered the grave,
Jesus conquered the grave.

Forever, Author of salvation,
He rose and conquered the grave,
Jesus conquered the grave.

I think of all the people I know and love who are indifferent toward God’s love or have turned their backs on Him. I pray that God will move the mountains in their lives.

Verse 2:
So take me as You find me,
All my fears and failures,
Fill my life again.

I give my life to follow
Everything I believe in,
Now I surrender.

I think of Ephesians 1:19-20. The power in us is the same as the strength that God used when he raised Christ from death and he ascended to heaven. Wow! I pray that I will be humble enough get out of the way and surrender to Him.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Lessons from my Father

1. A sound knowledge of theology is not a prerequisite for walking with God.
2. The prayer “We thank thee, O heavenly Father, for this food (rhymes with good) that thou has provided for us. We ask that thou be with us and ever help us to do thy will. We ask it in Jesus woody (worthy) name, Amen.” pretty much says it all, especially for those who accept Jesus as the bread of life.
3. It’s better to be humble and poor than arrogant and rich.
4. A submissive attitude can quench the flames of wrath.
5. People with mental health issues are worthy of my love and respect.
6. People with intellectual challenges are worthy of my love and respect.
7. People with addictions are worthy of my love and respect.
8. One’s perception of oneself often drives one’s behaviour.
9. Not everyone can wear the same size of shoes and we should never expect them to.
10. We were all created equal. It is never right to be condescending or judgmental.
11. Never let your gender define who you are.
12. On a wet and dreary day a small child or a baby animal is like a ray of sunshine flickering through the clouds.
13. “Dog gone it!” is a valid expression of frustration. The correct response is empathy.
14. If you feel like a boa constrictor who has just eaten a goat, it’s okay; have a nap. Life will still be waiting for you when you wake up.
15. The greatest gift you can give me is to delight in me; however, when you die it feels like a supporting pillar has been knocked out of my structure.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Lessons from my Mother

There is just a short window of time between Mother's Day and the anniversary of my mother's death. I often find myself reflecting on her during that time. Here are some nuggets of wisdom that I gleaned from her.
1. Embrace your faith.
2. Think!
3. Say what you think.
4. Brains work best when given regular exercise.
5. Your most creative thoughts come to you in the still of the night.
6. For every point of view there is an alternative point of view. Know what you think, why you think it, what the alternative view is and the loop-holes in the alternative point of view.
7. There’s nothing like a good argument.
8. Don’t be defined by your gender.
9. Cleanliness is not next to godliness.
10. Good hygiene does not lead to good health.
11. Undergarments are highly over-rated.
12. Animals are animals.
13. Reduce. Be prudent in your use of water, electricity and gas. Only purchase what is necessary.
14. Reuse.
15. Don’t let sales people or the media dictate your wants.
16. Live in such a way that you could adapt to another depression.
17. No matter how bad things get, there are people worse off than you.
18. No matter what the scales may say, take heart, there are people more portly than you.
19. Vanity, vanity, all is vanity.
20. Pride cometh before a fall.
21. Follow your dreams.
22. A job worth doing is not always worth doing well.
23. Bask in the bliss of self-indulgent.
24. A nice long chat on the phone, a good book, or a favourite t.v. show can be therapeutic.
25. Happiness is circumstantial.
26. Don’t be too quick to trust people. People are not always what they seem.
27. The term “nursing home” is a synonym for the phrase “living in the lap of luxury.”