Digging for treasure…

It’s is cold here today, the breeze is particularly chilly, so we are having our time together in the warmth of my lounge room…

brown beside fireplace near brown wicker basket

I have a different blend for us today…Cranberry & Pomegranate tea, delicious served either hot or iced…our treat is a Gf fig & almond biscotti… Now we are seated in the warmth with our treats,  I’d like to share an archeological adventure I began many years ago that I am still enjoying to this day…

As a child I loved stories of treasure hunts, especially treasure that had laid undiscovered throughout the ages. I also loved detective stories, who done its…those clever people who found clues to reveal the truth. When I heard stories or watched movies of  discoveries of ancient treasure, I dreamt of being an Archeologist one day,  going to far off places of the world, looking at the clues in the sands of time down through history to find the treasures of past civilisations for all to see. I loved all things ancient & historical.

When I finally had the opportunity to go to far off places it was not as an Archeologist however, but a wife & mother, raising a young family & caring for their needs. The bonus of living in a foreign country was being able to enjoy the surrounding cultural aspects of the exotic location… but I soon realized that the love of archeology had not left me but was burning deep within…a search for discovering treasures of spirituality had begun…my grandmother had asked me before I left Australia, what would I like as a Bon Voyage gift…my reply, a Bible please. I had never owned a Bible.

When I received the gift, I started reading Genesis, but then got to the begats & put it to one side. I had started to question many of the religious practices & their relevance that I had been taught throughout childhood…& had dutifully gone through for church membership as a child & young teen but had erred in my late teens…

Now as a young wife & Mama I wanted to look at the clues in the sands of time & dig down deep through the layers of traditions to reveal the truth behind the riddles of ritualized practices, that were beckoning to be revealed…so began a spiritual archeological dig…

shallow focus photography of hourglass

I asked the director of this dig, God, the Creator of the universe to reveal His truth to me, to strip away the layers of man made practices, rituals & traditions…to excavate & reveal His truth…revealing who He really is & what He wanted from us & specifically from me…

I observed the various local religions surrounding me while living in this exotic far off destination, their beliefs & practices… But all seemed to be even more steeped in burdensome traditions & rituals rather than the spiritual freedom I was searching for…

However, I kept coming back to the ancient script that I had requested from my grandparents…I started to dig into the differing texts within these scripts to broaden the excavation site of my spiritual archeological dig…both in the old testament section & the new testament section…rather than my dig stalling at the site of the begats.

I found so many on site discoveries as I reached each level, going deeper & deeper clearing away the sands of religious traditions…to the raw truth of God & His seemingly mysterious ways…

At the Isaiah 1:11 dig site in the old testament section I discovered that God too, had grown weary of ritualized practices in the past…

“What are your multiplied sacrifices to me?” says the Lord. I have had enough…”

And then I found a treasure in Jeremiah 29: 13…

“..you will seek Me & find Me, when you search for me with all your heart.”

I was so encouraged by these finds, they were tablets of solid script….almost directly answering my questions on this spiritual quest…

At the new testament section of the dig site in Matthew 13:44 I uncovered another site treasure….in the words of Jesus Himself;

“The kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid; and from joy over it he goes and sells all he has, and buys the field.” 

Then as I cleared away the sand at Matthew 13: 44 I found verse 45a…

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls…”

I didn’t quite understand the script & what it was saying but it was about finding rare & precious spiritual treasure…I asked the director of the dig to reveal the fine intricate detail of this find to me…

Then I met two amazing ladies whom you can meet in Penang, Pearl of the Orient  (If you click on the blue highlighted words above you will be able to read an exciting & very inspiring part of this archeological journey that was a direct answer to my request above…)

Well our time has now come to an end, I hope you enjoyed visiting me on our first part of this exciting archeological dig site…Until next time dear friend,

Jennifer

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Penang, Pearl of the Orient

We are going on a trip down memory lane today…I’m so excited that you are here to join me in this time of reflection together over a cuppa…

person running on seashore under white clouds

I thought we would have a tea that was introduced to me when I lived in Penang…a fragrant Oolong tea & our treat is a local specialty…a crisp sweet delicious peanut pancake, made with coconut milk & cane sugar, that I used to get every market day from a food hawker also known as a Mukken cart, in the Pulau Tikus markets. I do have coffee if you prefer, would you like to try a hazelnut blend…

We are reminiscing in the warm indoors today as it’s a very cold wintery day here in Australia…Now we are seated & enjoying our treats, let’s get started on our journey through time…

Living on Penang Island, Malaysia was a 30 month posting on attachment, many years ago…I absolutely loved the multi cultural experience of this time & immersed myself in learning about the different cultures & languages that surrounded me…Bahasa Malay, Hokkien, Cantonese, Tamil but couldn’t quite master any of the dialects but did learn enough Hokkien for market days…there was also a large expat community with a mixture of Australian, American & English young expats. Our home was across the road from an American boarding school called Dalat…This would become very pivotal in my spiritual journey….

My two older daughter’s who were two & four years of age at this time, loved playing outdoors, having a large shaded, fully fenced & secure yard…being in the beautiful tropics, they did this most of their waking hours. The house we lived in was located between two roads…the frontage was on the main arterial road to Batu Ferringi & the back was a smaller access road leading down to a Kampong (village) & a Hindu temple…

Life there was always so full of interesting activities, especially in this location with Hindu festivals going past our back gate with such vibrant colors in costumes, drums & cymbals…Chinese funerals going in the opposite direction past our front gate with full brass bands leading the way. Being in a Muslim country we often heard the call from the Mosques. Yes life was full of interesting cultural festivals & fascinating practices…

On one of these hot tropical days, my daughters who had been playing in their cubby house ran excitedly inside, to tell me that a Clown was on the back road, I thought this really odd & thought they may have mistaken a person in festival costume going past relating this to the clowns in their story books. When we got out the back though I couldn’t see anyone at all… so didn’t think anymore on the subject…until…

aquatic beautiful bloom blooming

A few weeks later, two older American ladies called out from the back gate. I soon found out that there had indeed been a Clown visiting Dalat a few weeks earlier…& that some of the neighboring children had had photos taken with the Clown & these were the photos being shown to me now…the ladies thought they may have been my girls in the photo when they saw my girls playing in the yard…I knew who the children were in the photos so pointed them in the right direction & invited them back for a cuppa once their photo delivery was completed…

Let me introduce you to these two amazing women who became very dear friends, mentors & great inspirations, true pearls found in the Orient…they have both passed now but their legacy & influence in my life & my children’s lives is forever an eternal blessing, Betty MitchellMary Lois Chandler whom I knew as Lois…if you click on their highlighted names above, you will be inspired by their amazing lives, (please note; you need to scroll down the page at Lois’ link until you get to her who is the 9th person honored on the list).

A beautiful time of community & friendship followed with Betty, Lois & the other international staff at Dalat, after being invited to a Friday night potluck later that week…

Well my tea & delicious peanut pancake are now finished…I hope you enjoyed our little trip down memory lane & meeting these amazing women…until next time…dear friend…

Jennifer

Copyright: teawithjennifer.blog   Photos by Pexel

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Eternity

Welcome dear friend, we are going to have such a wonderful time today, I have already prepared a tray with cups, sugar & milk for us…our treats are waiting…

pexels-photo-280248.jpeg

I thought as its such a beautiful sunny autumn day we would sit under our front pergola watching the birds who come & visit our garden each morning. This black tea blend has many ingredients including cinnamon & peppercorns…our treat is a toasted banana bread slathered with Lemon butter, made from homegrown lemons.

Our front area is protected from the cold winds as we sit in the filtered sunshine, a Kookaburra has just landed on the branch of our umbrella tree. He laughs his laugh…as I sip my tea, I can definitely taste the cinnamon & the peppercorns…very tasty…perfect with the banana bread.

gray and brown medium size beak bird on tree branch

This month, was my daughter Candy’s birthday & anniversary, you see she was born sleeping (stillborn) many years ago, so her birthday is also the anniversary of her death. I haven’t had the raw grief of her loss crash over me for a long time… for I know where she & her little brother, my son Benjamin, also born sleeping within a year of his older sister are….both are living in eternity…

How can I be so confident you may ask…is it faith…yes & I would also like to share my very personal experience in the following…from an excerpt from my book…I go to prepare a place for you…..to read this precious & profound experience please click on the following…Excerpt

I hope reading my experience in Excerpt has given you renewed hope & thoughts for deeper reflection of where you may be spending eternity dear friend, you see its a choice. We choose as to where we will spend eternity, its not an automatic event as popular culture would have us believe. We need to be prepared for our eternal existence….my choice is with the Creator of the universe & His Son Jesus…& we need to be prepared for His return…next time I will share how we can do this…

Jennifer

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