Tea at Easter…

All was hushed, there seemed to be a sacred expectancy to this event… Welcome  to our time of tea & reflection together…

As we waited, with the cold creeping into our bones & the deafening quietness of our surroundings, all feeling tired from the two hour hike in the dark but also excited…it began…

At first there was just a glimmer, then it grew brighter with hues of orange against the dark sky giving a breathtaking contrast in spectacular colors of blues & purples…we were on the mountain top looking across the bay for this special sunrise…the water below reflected & magnified the effect… it was easter Sunday…watching God create a new day in all of it’s breathtaking beauty, from a mountain top perspective was amazing…& one I will never forget…

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Then as the dawn turned into morning, we enjoyed hot tea boiled in the Billy on the campfire, as we thawed our freezing bodies beside it & awaited breakfast of bacon, eggs & toast cooked over its hot coals.

As we drank our iconic Australian Billy tea sweetened with sugar & taken with milk, & chewed mouthfuls of our delicious breakfast, we reflected upon the reason for our time together upon this mountain. We were all Missionary & Bible College students, we varied in ages. But that morning we were there to celebrate that special morning long ago that changed the course of mankind, forever, when the tomb of Jesus was found empty.

That Easter mountain top experience was many years ago…You may ask the following….Why does Jennifer believe in Jesus & His life, death on a cross, resurrection & ascension to heaven & in His love for her? Is it because of the following…evidence?…tradition?…knowledge?…experience?

My answer is; No none of those is the reason, although all of them have credence! I believe & accept Jesus as my Lord & Savior through faith, because He first loved me & because of His sacrifice for me…I don’t just believe but I also live in God’s amazing love, grace & forgiveness through His Son Jesus.

I am not perfect, I do screw up at times, I am still living this side of heaven but I live in His love because of His continual kindnesses to me…please read Wisdom. He is the bridge to an amazing relationship with the Father through His sacrifice & resurrection. Our many times great grandparents created a huge gap in their & our relationship with the Father through their deliberate rebellious choices at the beginning of our family history. We inherited their legacy but through Jesus we can once again enjoy a personal relationship with God the Father & Jesus the Son through being born anew in His Spirit!

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It is totally an individual choice to have this relationship…However it doesn’t just happen automatically…You need to choose, believe, accept & open the door of your heart to Jesus & His Spirit to be born anew…asking for this new life & acknowledging Jesus’ work for you to Him personally (Refer). I did this in quiet prayer 38 years ago…

Have you ever thought of where you will spend the rest of Eternity? Did you know that each one of us are already living eternity, as death is not the end of our existence (this I not only believe but have also experienced in a NDE). It is entirely your choice as to where you will spend the rest of eternity…please choose wisely…enjoy Blueberry tea time…

Well it’s now time for my afternoon tea with a cup of Chai & some fresh apple chips, until next time…

Blessings to you this Easter dear friend & may you know God’s amazing love & grace for you,

Jennifer

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Heart matters!

We are having tea with a difference today, I have been able to travel to the ferry terminal, not far from my little village, to cross the Harbour to a quaint Italian Cafè to meet with an old friend. These outings are particularly precious these days…

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She is waiting…we order a Chai tea Latte made on almond milk & a flat white coffee. We both decide to have the Vanilla Bean Panna cotta with Berry sauce & strawberries.

We have known each other over 32 years & have been through the changing seasons of our lives together, giving & receiving much needed support along the way. This dear friend brings great joy & laughter to my heart. We have mutual respect for each other & can laugh at the silly things in life.

Our order is served by a friendly young man, as we sit looking out across the Harbour as huge ships sail into port, people amble past & the occasional squawk of a seagull can be heard. We happily chat, drink & eat the delightful Panna cotta which is creamy smooth with the contrasting tartness of the strawberries & the sweetness of the berry sauce…making a delectable combination. My Chai tea latte is particularly good.

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I share that recently I made a comment to a fellow blogger, about being heart broken in a particular situation..my words were “it absolutely broke my heart“. We have a lot of sayings about the heart….don’t we…as mentioned above this friendship brings great joy & laughter to my heart. I have also heard statements like; heart attitude, heart ache, heart glad, desires of the heart, wears their heart on their sleeve, put their heart into it, makes my heart sing…& the list could go on…

What are all these statements actually trying to say? It’s a way to convey the seriousness & depth of the emotion we are feeling behind the words. If it involves the heart, the very core of life itself, than its of the utmost importance! The Heart is what keeps every other organ alive! It keeps the flow of oxygen & nutrients to nurture all within….without it, there is no life, it is crucial to life itself!

Recently, one particular statement has stuck with me, as I seem to be hearing it at every turn…

Being true to one’s heart”…

What does this actually mean…we ponder….

It means… following the core values, convictions, beliefs & choices of one’s life. Being true in how you live your life, within the choices you have chosen. I wholeheartedly agree with this statement, I need to live my life to the values & beliefs I have chosen…conversely I need to also respect the right for others to do the same & they too, need to demonstrate that mutual respect in return!

We agree that God has given every person the freedom & right to choose how they will live their life & what they will do with their choices of their hearts. It doesn’t mean they have to come & join us in ours nor we in theirs.  This is what mutual love & respect for others is…join us in a cup of Iced Wine tea…

Of course I am not talking about any type of criminal behavior here, no one has the right or freedom to bring any type of harm to another whether physically, mentally, emotionally, socially or spiritually! Ever!

What we need to remember though…my dear friend…is that each of us, will face the consequences of our heart choices. Whether these will bring eternal blessings…will be seen…when each of us gives an account for the chosen values, beliefs & convictions of our individual lives…

We need to ask ourselves…are our heart choices nurturing our spirit for eternal blessing…

Well I am now traveling back across the Harbor, having said farewell to my dear friend. I am enjoying this ride on the ferry with its rhythmic rocking across the waves, people quietly chatting around me & the sight of passing bright colored sail boats. Until next time…

Jennifer

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Blueberry tea time…

Welcome dear friend, it is so lovely to have you drop by for our time of reflection…

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Blueberries, flavouring black Ceylon tea is my choice today, taken with Lf milk & a touch of raw sugar.  A Macadamia & honey bar is my treat of deliciousness.

Blueberries are great boosters to our immune system & make this particular tea blend very satisfying & healthy at the same time! I have a little Blueberry bush growing in my garden, the bush gets full of plump juicy little dark blueberries, just ripe for picking, when a sneaky little Wattle bird decides to have a feast & I am left with only a few! Oh well, she finds our garden a haven in which to raise her chicks, so I don’t really mind. We also have a Macadamia orchard in the area, these trees flourish here in Australia, my absolute favorite in the nut family, combined with honey this sweet bar is perfect with this tea blend…

We glean so much in childhood from the positive examples around us…don’t you think….I grew up in a home that followed God’s principles & was taught in schools that gave reverence, awe & respect to Him.

The positive legacies left to us from those who have gone before are also very important & influential (enjoy reading Ginger tea time…)… Some of the blessed legacies I gained from my grandparents, were knowing my father’s parents met at a church picnic. And observing my mother’s parents loving & honoring God in their lives. I was fascinated to hear the story of my great Aunt spending her adult life helping & ministering to those suffering from leprosy on a remote Island in the Pacific, where she ultimately gave her life, surrounded by those same sufferers, who had grown to love her.

While these examples & legacies are very positive signposts for us on the road of faith…we were created for a unique relationship with our Creator & each of us has an invitation to go on our own spiritual journey to find that personal relationship with Him…this search may take some to exotic destinations (mine was to Penang Island, Malaysia), some will experience distractions & get side tracked, some will of their own choosing take alluring detours along the way, while others will remain in safer locals….or procrastinate…

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But the name on the ticket to this adventure is your’s alone, it is not transferable & remains an open ticket only for the time that is allotted to you, it’s your individual journey to choose to travel or not…

A point to reflect upon though…is….none of us know the date, time or place of our final departure, my advice to you my dear friend…is…don’t wait or procrastinate too long. The invitation & ticket for the adventure of your life is there waiting, it has already been paid with a great high price…whether you have got distracted, side tracked, detoured or are yet to begin the journey…He is calling out to you….please enjoy a Hibiscus & Cranberry tea

I can attest that it will be the greatest adventure you will ever have (poetry Wisdom)…Just like the Macadamia & blueberry plants…you too will grow & flourish….When planted in His care…

The honey of the nut bar has my fingers all sticky & the blueberry tea is but a drop in the bottom of my cup now…Until next time…

Jennifer

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Ginger tea time…

How lovely to have you drop by, shall we begin our time of reflection together….

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The aroma of ginger triggers pleasant memories of a time with my father in childhood. When I was 5 years old he taught me how to tell the time with a toy clock that had movable hands. Each night after dinner, he would sit & help me to understand what the numbers & the various position of the hands meant. I eventually came to understand the concept through Dad’s patient tutelage… Dad would often enjoy a Gingernut cookie, an old favorite of his, with a cup of tea at this time.

Ginger root, apple pieces, white & red hibiscus & licorice root are the ingredients for this tea. The tasty treat for today is an Gf Orange & Poppy seed cake with orange sauce. The ginger in the tea is definitely fiery upon the tongue with the first sip but then quickly mellows. It is an enjoyable tea blend & the cake is so moist & delicious…this treat reminds me of my paternal grandmother who would always have delicious freshly baked goodies for our visit.

The passage of time, is a topic that has come into the spotlight in my life… time is such a strange concept to grasp & experience…don’t you think…it seems to go slow & speed up depending on what activities we engage.

I remember many years ago when my grandmother turned 80, I asked her how it felt to be that age. She said that she still felt like the young woman of 25 in spirit but her body just would not cooperate anymore. Adding how incredibly fast that time had passed! I was a busy young Mum back then, so I didn’t understand this concept of time…but now as a grandmother myself with my eldest granddaughter living & working overseas, I grasp exactly what she was conveying & experiencing in the passage of time. I can now attest to the same sentiment! It has gone amazingly fast!

While I have not yet reached octogenarian status, a way to go yet,  the unwelcome tenants (introduced in Vanilla Rooibos Tea)   have caused a rapid increase in how time has affected my body… my hair once deep strawberry blonde is now white, my skin has lost most of its elasticity. Energy & resilience has massively decreased while muscle, joint pain & stiffness have majorly increased. To be able to have a verbal telephone conversation is now on my personal most endangered list!

However, time marches on, it stops for no one…. we need to ask ourselves…. What are we to do with the time that is left to us? This is the great question…isn’t it…

We can look at our circumstances & spiral downward into a thick blanket of despair, spending precious time focusing on the negative or we can look at them from a positive perspective…

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As I look in the mirror, I can choose to see a rapidly aging woman who’s life has been turned upside down by nasty tenants & wonder what time is left to her… or I can look at the reflected image before me…choosing rather to see a woman who has triumphed over many tragedies throughout her life (shared in The Marie Antoinette tea Tea by the sea…  ), one who has been faithful in following her Saviour, encouraging others to also experience His amazing love. A woman who is definitely feeling 25 in spirit but who’s body just won’t cooperate anymore. And if I look very closely I can see past & present generations reflected back at me….

What positive aspects can you chose to see in the image that is reflected before you as you look in the mirror?

You see we leave a legacy… in what we have done with the time that has been given to us…it will be either a legacy of blessing or not, for those who follow.

Have you thought of the legacy you will leave behind……thought provoking isn’t it!

Once again my tea is delightfully consumed, my taste buds are tingling with citrus tangyness & our time has now come to its end…until next time…

Jennifer

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Hibiscus & Cranberry tea

How lovely to have you here for a time of quiet reflection…have you got your beverage & tasty treat…you do, let us begin….

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The main ingredients for my tea blend today are rather unusual; Hibiscus, Apple pieces & Cranberries. I was introduced to this tea last month, a small pack was included in a birthday gift, our twin 3 year old grandsons proudly marched up to me with big smiles on their faces, jointly holding the gift bag for Nanny! Very cute!

As I brew this interesting tea blend in the beautiful cup & saucer of pink, white & gold, also a part of that gift, I am reminded of two things, seasonal & generational change. My tasty treat is a home baked savory cheese & herb muffin with a blob of butter, slowly melting upon its oven warmth, placed on a scalloped, gold edged plate. This tea is a sweet mellow blend, a very enjoyable combination, I can detect the individual ingredients as I sip. It is a perfect accompaniment to my savory muffin…

Reflecting upon seasons & generations, they both signal change…Don’t they…. we are experiencing seasonal changes that come with our Australian Autumn, the cooler weather has begun leaving the sweltering hot summer days behind. It is most welcome, with cooler nights comes a cosy & more restful sleep!

As the generations change, there are some precious things that thankfully don’t… we are left great pearls of wisdom & encouragement by those who have already done the hard yards of life. I was reading one such ancient transcript this morning…It was wisely informing us to take courage & not to be afraid of the things in life that seem overwhelming, because there is always one who is near to help. Let me set the scene for you for this ancient pearl…

Those following Immanuel had gone on ahead to cross the large body of water, they were approximately halfway to their destination when a huge storm suddenly surrounded them, they struggled against the overwhelming power of the storm, wind & waves that fiercely tossed the boat to breaking point….

In the mean time Immanuel, having had an exhausting day, teaching & miraculously feeding five thousand people a delicious picnic, from one child’s lunch, stayed behind to assure all the crowd left safely. As He waved them goodbye, He took time to commune with His Father, before it was time He too was on His way. He left the shore…Walking towards those in the boat, who were now exhausted in their own battle against the power of the storm, raging around them.

Those in the boat saw a figure coming towards them, walking upon the water, they were overwhelmed with terror, as they thought it was a spectre… when Immanuel called out to them, they recognized Him. He calmed both storms, the storm upon the water & the storm of terror in their hearts as He entered their boat. Ref

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As you may have gleaned by now, this ancient wisdom is very real & relevant for us today. There are seasons in our lives that seem overwhelming struggles against storms that toss us into places of terror. These storms can come in the guise of financial struggles, chronic health issues, mental health challenges, difficulties in relationships, the loss of a loved one or something very significant in our life, maybe the consequences of unwise choices or behaviors.  We see Immanuel walking towards us, which may add to our battle anxiety, as we perceive that He is something different to who He actually is!

He is calling out to us dear friend not to add to our anxiety but because He cares. He has come to calm the storm in our hearts, minds & spirits. Our part is to allow Him to do so… you see He will never force His way into our lives, He is the ultimate gentleman…we need to allow Him into our boat (life) just as the ancients did. What ever condition or circumstance, whether we have known Him for a long period or don’t know Him yet, He is the calm for the storm we are battling…

Well my savory muffin is now reduced to only a few crumbs left on the scalloped gold edged plate, my tea has been totally consumed with the taste of cranberries left upon my tongue, until next time…

Jennifer

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