Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Gratituesday: Enough

 In this world of advertising and subtle (and often not so subtle) messages that we must have more: more money, more clothes, more food, more craft supplies! --okay, maybe not everyone gets that last one.  But the message is out there. What you have now is dated, worn out, old. You have to have bigger, better. You can't be happy living in a two bedroom, one bath house with no cable or dsl and the newest gadgets known to man. You have to keep up with the Joneses and the Martins and the Smiths. 
  Lately though, I've finally caught on to a very good lesson: I don't need more. I have enough. Except for Netflix, we are television free. Have been for a little more than two years. At first it was a financial decision, and a hard one at that. At first I lamented not having anything to do. On some Mondays I would go to my mother's house so I could visit and watch a tv show or two with her. But I stopped doing that so much. Although there are times, like holidays, that I miss some of the movies and such, I do not miss all the commercials.
  I do live in a two bedroom house, and am looking to move into another two bedroom home. Would I like a three bedroom home so that i have more room? Oh yes! Anyone who has heard me talk or read about my dream home    knows that I would love more space. But I'm learning to live within the confines of our budget, and I'm learning to be happy with what I've got. I have a hard time figuring out what needs to stay and what needs to go still, and if I see a craft catalog or am near a craft store, I begin to drool like a kid in a candy store. I'm still learning the meaning of enough with that subject. (smile)
   While I still have my eye on markers and card stock and new stamp sets, I know that a little at a time is okay, and they will most likely be available. For day to day living, though, I'm learning to trust that God is in control. We don't have a lot, but we have enough. It was a lesson He wanted to teach the Israelites after they left Egypt. They were given manna to gather each day. If they tried to gather more than they needed for the day, the leftovers would go bad. If they gathered what they needed each day, they had enough. I am thankful for enough.
Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

A Morning Cup of Tea: Jesus arrives in Jerusalem

Good morning! I'm sorry I'm a little later this morning getting the posts out. I slept long and hard last night, for which I am thankful. But because I woke late, everyone is awake, demanding attention. My sweet husband is making breakfast so I can begin writing. He enjoys cooking, sometimes more than I do.
 Today we are beginning in verse 28 and finishing up Luke 19. Jesus and his disciples are closing in on Jerusalem. They come near to Bethphage and Bethany, and Jesus sends two of the disciples ahead to find a colt that was tied. No man had ever ridden this colt. They were to bring the colt to Jesus, and if anyone asks why they are taking the animal, they are to reply that the Lord has need of it. Of course, the owner did ask why they were taking his colt. They answered and the man let them take it. The disciples, once the colt was brought to Jesus, placed their clothes on the back of the colt and Jesus sat on it, and they led him into town. People were cheering and praising him all the way through. The Pharisees told him he should rebuke them for what they were saying. Jesus told the Pharisees that if the people should stop,  "the stones would immediately cry out." (v 40). Can you imagine? What a wondrous thing that would have been to witness. 
  But Jesus looked around at the city of Jerusalem and wept. He told them that the city would be destroyed, and it could not be helped. They had not listened to the prophets of old who had told them this. They wouldn't listen now. Some probably had the idea that although they knew they sinned, they were God's chosen ones, so surely God would not allow Jerusalem to fall.
  It was during this time in Jerusalem that Jesus drove out the people selling and profiting from a holy place from the temple.  Luke tells us that Jesus taught daily in the temple at this time, and scribes and chief priests sought to destroy him. They just didn't know what to do yet, because the people were very attentive to Jesus' teachings.
 Have a wonderful day.

Monday, January 30, 2012

A Morning Cup of Tea: Parable of Ten Pounds

Good morning! How are you today? I hope you had a pleasant Lord's day, as I did. My husband, son and I went to worship, then spent the afternoon quietly together, resting  and talking and reading and creating just a little. Last night was our monthly singing night in our congregation. Such beautiful hymns the congregation chose for the evening.
  Today's reading is Luke 19:11-27.  Jesus told a parable of a nobleman who went into a far off country to receive a kingdom then return. Before he left he called his ten servants and gave each of them a pound. They were to handle things till the nobleman got back. 
  The man was hated, and his citizens said we will not have this man rule over us! When the man took the kingdom and came home, he called his servants to him one by one. One servant told him, I took the one pound and now I have ten pounds. The nobleman praised him for such good work and rewarded him with authority over ten cities. Another servant had taken the one pound and now had five pounds. Again, the nobleman praised the servant and rewarded him with authority over 5 cities. But there was one who had taken the pound and wrapped it in a napkin and hid it away. He had not gained anymore.
  The nobleman rebuked him for this. Because he did well with what he owned and gained more, he expected his servants to do the same. He took the pound away from that servant and gave it to the one who had ten pounds. 
  The nobleman is Christ. We are the servants. We are supposed to do his will until he returns. We should be teaching others, through example as well as in word, whether it's our children, other family members, our friends, or just simply someone  with whom you strike up a conversation. My mother in law told me that while she was in the hospital after having one of her children --my husband I think -- the woman in the bed next to hers noticed mom reading her bible. The woman asked her which church she was a member of, then told her about the Church of Christ. You never know when an opportunity will present itself.
 Have a wonderful day.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Morning Cup of Tea: Zachaeus

 Good Sunday morning! Today's reading is Luke 19:1-10. Do you remember in bible class a song about Zacchaeus? Zacchaeus was a wee little man, and a wee little man was he; he climbed up in a sycamore tree to see what he could see, to see what he could see.  My mind is a bit fuzz on part of it, but Jesus stopped and said Zaccheus, you come down from there! For I'm coming to your house today, I'm coming to your house today.
  Zacchaeus was chief of the tax collectors and he was very rich. He had heard that Jesus was coming through Jericho, and he wanted to see him for himself. But many other people wanted to see Jesus as well, and because Zacchaeus was small he couldn't see past all the other people. He climbed up into a sycamore tree. Sure enough, Jesus walked by and saw him there. Jesus told him, Zacchaeus, hurry down from there. I'm coming to your home today.  Verse 6 says that Zacchaeus received him joyfully. 
  Of course there was the usual back talk from others. Look! Jesus associates with sinners! But Jesus wasn't there to save those who were "good", he came to save the lost. Zacchaeus told Jesus that  he would give half of his goods to the poor and if he had taken anything from anyone falsely, he would repay it four fold. Jesus told him that that very day salvation had come to his household.
 10. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
  Jesus spent a lot of time with sinners, teaching them and loving them. He taught truth to all who would listen.  His time here on earth was short, but he did so much. He didn't keep himself from the ones who needed the message, wanted to hear it. He did not sin so he didn't participate in anything that was wrong, but he was accessible. 
  A friend brought us some greens from his garden yesterday. He shared with us that when a friend of his taught him and he obeyed the gospel, the friend later admitted that he thought, because of the way my friend lived, he would be unwilling to even hear. People will surprise you. Show you love and care for them first. Don't be so quick to judge who will accept or who "can" become a Christian. 
 On a personal note, I am thankful to have the chance to continue learning. Some things hit me as I read, some come as I write. I have so much to learn. I am happy to have you along for the journey. If you take the time to read my posts, thank you. Have a great day. 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Morning Cup of Tea: The Blind Beggar

  Good morning! Today is fairly chilly so far. I know we are going to have winter in here somewhere but the last two days I've allowed myself to go barefoot some and I've seen dandelions popping up. 
  Today we are finishing chapter 18. I'm a little slow reading the bible, but I don't learn as much if I speed through it like some of the other books I read. There are many many lessons in the bible. I don't know that I will learn them all in my lifetime, but i want to learn as much as possible.
   Its always harder for me when I know Jesus is heading toward Jerusalem. I know what happens and I know why he did it --so that you and I could have eternal life if we obey the gospel. It's the greatest love story ever. 
  Sorry, getting thoughtful there. Back to the reading in Luke. As stated earlier, we are finishing chapter 18, verses 26 through 43. I only bring out parts of the reading, and being human, I may make a mistake. I encourage you to read it for yourself.
  After hearing Jesus tell them that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven, someone asked, Who can be saved?  Jesus' answer,  The things which are impossible with men are possible with God (v 27) makes me wonder if the person who asked that had begun to doubt that anyone at all could be saved. While we aren't anywhere near perfect though we try to be, God can help us. 
  In verses 29 and 30 Jesus reassured his followers, and us, that those who give up homes and family will receive so much more in heaven. This doesn't mean that we are to drop everything and everyone around us. But some will leave loved ones behind to go into the mission field abroad or here at home. The desire to reach and teach others, sometimes at the risk of their lives because of where they choose to spread God's message, is stronger than the desire to have a typical job and a typical home with the cable tv and the electronic whozits and whatzits that keep us busy.  Some get told, in one way or another, to choose between God and family. 
  Jesus took his twelve disciples and told them they were going to Jerusalem, and the writings of the prophets about Christ would be fulfilled. He told them that he would be beaten and killed, but he would rise again on the third day. They did not understand this. During that time, I probably wouldn't have understood either. 
   They came near to Jericho and a blind beggar was on the side of the road. He heard the multitude passing by and asked what it was all about. When he was told that Jesus was going by, he called out  Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me (v38). Others told him to keep quiet, but he was not going to be deterred. He got even louder. Thou son of David, have mercy on me!
  The man was not going to give up. He knew who Jesus was and he had faith Jesus could help him. Jesus came to him and asked what he wanted. The man replied he wanted his sight.  Jesus told him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee. 
 43. And immediately he received his sight, and followed him (Jesus), glorifying God: and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God.
  Immediately he received his sight! I love that. The man knew Jesus could give him his sight. He asked in faith, and was rewarded for it.  And those who saw the miracle performed and those who later saw that the beggar could see gave praise to God. That was the purpose of miracles, to glorify God, and I think, to show that Jesus was the one that God had promised.
  Have a great day. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

A Morning Cup of Tea: "Sell All that Thou Hast"

 Good Friday morning to you! Hope you rested well last night. Today we are reading verses 15-30 of the eighteenth chapter of Luke. 
  The first few verses of this section always makes me smile. Jesus is still talking with the people, and they begin to bring their children to him. The disciples think that Jesus has no time for such foolishness so they rebuke the people and try to stop it, but Jesus says "Suffer the little children to come unto me." (v 16) Let the little children come. 
  Jesus knows his time is growing short and still there is much to yet he doesn't turn away the young ones. Why? Because of their innocence! They know nothing of holding a grudge, or wanting to hurt another person. They don't care about riches, or fame, or any of the things that tend to make us adults stumble. They have innocent, loving hearts, willing to trust that Jesus loves them.  Jesus said that unless we are like the children, we won't enter the gates of heaven. 
  Children trust that their parents or guardians will love them and take care of them. They want to do what is right and make their parents happy. We adults think we have to do it all ourselves, have things done our way. We hold onto the things that matter little in the long run and let the important things go as if they mean nothing.  Take for example the rich young ruler who wanted to follow Jesus.
  The ruler asked Jesus what needed to be done to enter heaven. Jesus told him: Do not commit adultery. Do not kill. Do not steal. Do not lie. Honor your father and mother.  The man replied that he had followed those things since he was a child. Jesus replied that he lacked just one thing: sell all you have and give to the poor. Do that and you'll have treasure in heaven. Do it and come follow me.  The man went away sorrowfully because he had great riches and wasn't ready to give them up.
  Jesus said in verse 25 that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. I think its not so much the wealth that is the problem. It's wanting to hold onto it. 
  In today's world money is a great divider. Most likely was back then as well. But today politicians use money, or the lack thereof, as a way to divide the people. Some insist that the rich have too much money and should be forced to share. The people who have very little money tend to agree: Rich people should be taxed. They should give up some of their money so that we all can have money. Notice though, that the ones who insist that the rich need to part with their money, usually aren't that willing to give up their own. The politicians aren't counting themselves as part of "the rich." No one seems to notice that little detail though. But its not just the rich who hang on to what they have. Some of us who don't have much in the way of the green stuff still have our possessions that we hold tightly to: food, material items we've bought, families. 
  I love my books and my crafting supplies. Money is tight so I usually buy books on sale, as in from the clearance bins or yard sales. I can find some great books that way. My art supplies, on sale, on clearance, an item here or there when I get a chance. If something gets damaged or lost, I get a little upset. I'm getting better at that. After all, that stuff can be replaced or I'll find something else that catches my fancy on down the line. Family though. I hold a lot tighter to those who are dear to me. I don't like giving them up. But if a loved one tries to sway me from keeping my eye on Jesus or tells me if I continue in a Christian life I can't have anything to do with them anymore, I'm going to be sad. I would like to think that I have the faith and the strength to let that person go. I dont know for sure though. I hope I am never faced with that choice. Others have had to make that choice. It's not always easy, but when we give up something or someone, God has something better in mind for us. This world is temporary. The next one isnt.
  Have a great day.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Morning Cup of Tea: At Least I'm Not...

 Good morning! Please excuse my yawning. It's not the company, be assured. Its the fact that I woke up on husband time  (his alarm woke me up, then J was awake, along with the cats) this morning and instead of getting on up and getting the day started I foolishly tried to go back to sleep. Didn't happen. First shift can be such fun, let me tell you. That's okay though. A more relaxed schedule is on tap for the next several days. In the meantime I have a cat asleep on my arm as I type and J has let me know he's ready for breakfast. As long as I talk to him, I have a few minutes to write so I'll hush with the gabbing and get today's reading started. : )
  Today we are reading Luke 18:9-14. How many of us has ever heard heard herself or someone else say, "Well at least I'm not a murder (or an adulterer, liar, cheat, or other sin that is "worse" than what we do)? We may not actually say those words but its hard not to think it sometimes when we think about the hierarchy of sin. That's human speak, by the way.  As humans we tend to like to put things in perspective. Oh, I only fibbed and told Margaret that dress looked good on her. That's only a little white lie. It's not like I cheated on my taxes or killed somebody! 
  Jesus told a parable about a Pharisee and a publican, or tax collector. Tax collector's had a bad rep even then. Both these men went to the temple to pray. The Pharisee was loud and proud in his prayer, telling God all the things he did, such as tithing of everything he possessed. "God, I thank thee that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican." (V 11)
  Can't you just see him saying this with a sneer on his face? Almost as if he hated to even say the word publican.
  The publican, however, stood in a corner and wouldn't even lift his eyes heavenward. He thumped himself on the chest and said God, be merciful to me, a sinner.
14. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for every one that exalteth himself  shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
 To God, sin is sin. We all sin, even after baptism. We are not better than anyone else even though we try not to sin. Even a murderer can be forgiven and be a Godly person if he is repentant. Look at King David. He went after another man's wife, and deliberately placed him in the front lines during a battle, knowing he would be killed, so he could marry the woman. That's murder. Yet God considered him a man after God's own heart. 
 How wonderful to know that when we mess up, if we are repentant we can be forgiven. 
  Have a great day. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Morning Cup of Tea: Continue in Faith

 Good morning! I'm wrapped in a blanket listening to my son this AM. He's happy and slightly bored, with hungry thrown in. Therefore, today's reading is going to be fairly short and sweet.
  I began reading chapter 18 of Luke and decided to split it into separate lessons.  When I try to go through a whole chapter that has several lessons all at once I tend to fall into the and then.. and then.. and also... rut. Not pretty. It also, in my opinion, glosses over too much of what we could be learning. 
   Today we are focusing on verses 1-8. Jesus wants us to pray and not give up. True, the answer is sometimes no or wait awhile instead of yes, but don't give up.  Jesus taught this by way of the parable of the judge and the widow. The judge did not believe in God, nor did he care much what his fellow man thought. The widow lived in the judge's city, and she came to him, asking him to avenge her of her adversary. The judge at first would not do anything. But she kept coming and kept persisting, until he finally realized she wasn't going to give up until she got what what she wanted . He granted her request. 
  We should remember that God's time in answering prayer isn't always our time. While we want something now, we may not always get what we are looking for instantaneously. Continue on in prayer. There will be an answer. Don't give up.
 In the meantime, it's time to answer my sweet son's petition for breakfast. :) Have a great day.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Speak to Me

  The most frustrating thing for a mother, or a parent for that matter, is to know her child is upset but not know why.  J is taking a bath at the moment but just a few minutes ago he was crying and inconsolable. Most kids can tell you what's wrong. J can't. Through the fun of 20 questions he finally nodded at me. Tummy ache. It breaks my heart that I pretty much have to guess at what he needs or wants even though we've worked on and off for years on communication. (before I get tons of emails slamming me for being inconsistent with that work, I simply mean that its a continuing thing for him and we tend to get stuck in certain areas of communication.) 
  Sometimes I don't think its a tummy ache or even a head ache that upsets him. I wonder if he simply doesn't know how to let me know he's just having a bad day or something is bothering him. J is a rather independent child. Always has been. Instead of using words to get what he wants he'd rather do it himself. If I forget and hand him a shirt that has a tag in the back, I hear the rip that signals he's gotten rid of the offending irritant.  If he's hungry and my mind reading skills are on vacation, he can be found rummaging through the cabinets or the freezer. 
  I sometimes miss out on so much because he either can't or chooses not to speak or sign. he can say some things, although you have to listen somewhat carefully to understand him when he does use words. A lot of it is echolalia --he's simply repeating what he's heard before --but some words are appropriately used. While running his bath water I clearly heard him say "stop it". as if he was telling the tummy ache or whatever is bothering him to leave him alone. 
  Most of what I know about my son is through pure studying him. He giggles happily when he finds a (rare) stash of chocolates and thinks he's gotten away with something sneaky. Given the choice between pizza and shrimp, he will almost always choose the shrimp. Cats are fine as long as they stay out of his room and off the furniture. And for whatever reason, he does not like to see his dad wearing a black tee shirt. He tries his best to convince him to take off the offending item and J promptly throws it away. I would love to figure that one out. 
  I know in heaven my son will no longer have a disability. He will be whole, as the rest of us will be. I fancy myself asking him then about all the secrets that he had here on earth, but when that time comes I honestly don't think any of the earthly things will matter anymore.  For now we will continue to encourage speech and communication. I will continue to watch him, learn from and about him, and love him. And I will never give up the hope that he will one day speak to me.

Gratituesday: Washers and Dryers

  Each Tuesday Laura from heavenly homemakers    invites us to share what we are grateful for. Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

  Last Wednesday, after several months of going to the laundromat and washing and drying only what was necessary (and watching with dismay as a growing pile was left at home) I received a phone call from a brother in the congregation. "When's a good time to come by? I've got a washer and dryer for you." I was speechless. I handed the phone over to my husband and really didn't know what to do with myself. I knew someone was planning on helping us with a dryer, and I knew that perhaps soon my sweet husband would have the time to fix our washer so we wouldn't have to spend time, money and gas to get the laundry done. 
  Our friend and brother in Christ and his assistant brought us the washer and dryer that very day, set them up, and took the old washer back with them. I've been so grateful to God and to our friends who helped make this happen. And as much as I love my clothes line outside, I've been keeping the dryer fairly busy as well, with  the rain and sometimes just needing something washed and dried fairly quickly. 
  I'm enjoying getting back into the routine of laundry at home, and hanging sheets and clothes outside on the clear days, and loving the chance to have warm, fluffy towels straight from the dryer and not having to depend on sunny days or trips to the laundromat when the weather is bad. The dryer is a luxury we haven't had in years, and although I never really missed it much, I'm so happy to have it now. We are truly blessed; not so much with material things, but with family and friends who love us and help us when they can. I can only hope and pray that we can be a blessing to others.

A Morning Cup of Tea: The Kingdom of God.

 Good morning! I've been awake since about 4:30, 5:00. I just could not get back to sleep and then J woke up, so I'm thinking (hoping, really) a nap will be in my future. We will have to play this one by ear. 
  I've read Luke 17:20-37 yesterday and again this morning. I'm still not sure I understand it fully, but I think I understand the basic points of this one. During the time of John the baptizer's preaching, and Jesus' own ministry, the message was the same: Repent; the kingdom of God is at hand.The Pharisees in this chapter are demanding to know, when is the kingdom arriving?  Jesus told them you're not going to see it coming from any direction. The kingdom is among you. The believers are the kingdom.
  He then explained a little about the second coming. It will happen quickly, and without warning when it does happen. We've already been told to prepare.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Confessions of a Disorganized Housewife

Hey y'all! How is your day going so far? So far I've done my bible reading, fed the cats, fixed breakfast for J and myself (cheesy scrambled eggs and green smoothie), and managed about 10 minutes with my new exercise dvd. That's right, yup yup yup, I did not make it past the warm up stage. And I'm not even close to getting the warm up routine down yet. I am however, having fun with it. That's the main thing for me. I'm having fun and I'm getting my body some much needed exercise. Both J and I took our meds this morning as well, so we're doing pretty good so far. 
  Speaking of medicines you take each day, if you remember to take it each day like clockwork, no forgetting, congratulate yourself. If on the other hand you tend to get busy and forget like I do, I have some tips for you.
  • Write out a schedule and leave space for check marks, especially if you're taking more than one medicine and the dosage times are scattered throughout the day. The schedule can be on the fridge, in your control journal, or your day planner if you have one. 
  • Set an alarm (or as many as you need) on your cell phone to remind you its meds time.
  • One person I follow on Pinterest said she turns her bottle upside down until she takes her pill, then she turns it right side up again so she can tell at a glance.
  •  Also on pinterest was a picture of a bottle of a liquid medication. The back of the bottle had AM and PM written on the top with lines unerneath it for each day the syrup had to be taken. Place a check mark in the correct spot each time you take it and you can tell at a glance if you've missed.
 I know we are already receiving February issues of magazines, but I just had to share something I found in the January 2012 issue of Martha Stewart Living. She spoke of having an entire homekeeping room (!) where she can keep her extra cleaning supplies and have space to do any cleaning or repairs on her furnishings and decorative items. For most of us that is just not possible, but I loved the idea. I continued reading. I decided that surely I could come up with a central space for needed household items such as cleaning supplies, and i can set up a broom organizer such as this gadget here  found on Amazon.com. You can also find them at Walmart or Target or the local hardware store. Your broom and mop are off the floor and out of the way. It can be installed in a coat closet or even behind the kitchen door if you're short on space like I am. I'm thinking of something similar possible for the rake and other outside tools. 
  Also Martha had a fabulous idea: in the magazine article she posted a list of kits that she has in her own home so that you can find what you're looking for in an instant. A few suggestions are a first aid kit, a battery kit (how nice to have a container for the batteries you buy on sale, in different voltages so you don't have to hunt through the house or "borrow" the batteries from Junior's  noisy firetruck to keep the smoke detector working), a picture hanging kit --nails, picture wire, all those little things needed. She had several others on her list so either decide what you need for your home or check out the issue next time you're at the library. 
  So what do you have on the cleaning agenda today? I still need to clean my dishes and my main area of attack today is my bedroom closet. It's time for me to purge and organize. If it no longer fits or it hasn't been worn in a long while, out it goes. This weekend I plan to buy a hook for the outside of the closet door to hold the next day's outfit. This will encourage me to prepare for busy mornings the night before and will make mornings, especially Sunday mornings, run a lot smoother!  
  Until next time, have a great day. Let me know how you're doing!

A Morning Cup of Tea: The Ten Lepers

Good morning! I'm listening to the quiet in the house as my son and the cats sleep. I know it wont be quiet later in the day, he he! When J wakes up to the time he goes to bed he's usually singing, giggling, bouncing, or all three! He radiates joy most of the time because his needs are simple: good food, good rest (although admittedly not much of that is needed sometimes for him), someone to show him love and attention, and something to do. I am very thankful for him.
  If you are on Facebook or Pinterest, no doubt you've seen the quote that says "What if you woke up this morning with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?" It's an interesting thought. 
  Today we are reading verses 11 through 19 of chapter 17. I won't take the time to write out all the verses but I do hope you read it.  Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem, and he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. Ten men with leprosy were near where he passed by and they called to Jesus. By law lepers had to be quarantined away from others. They were considered unclean. These men kept their distance from Jesus but they called to him and asked him for mercy. Jesus told them to go show themselves to the priests; he had healed them. On the way to see the priests, only one turned back and glorified God. He worshiped at Jesus' feet and thanked him for healing him. The one who turned back happened to be a Samaritan. Because the man was so thankful and acknowledged what Jesus had done for him, Jesus told him in verse 19:
  Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.
  I have much to be thankful for, no matter my circumstances. God knows our hearts, but he likes to hear from us. Do I tell him how grateful I am for the blessings he bestows on me: another day to be with my family and (hopefully) teach others about God through word and action, a place to live, food to eat, the washer and dryer given to us by a sweet couple, the friendship of others? Or do I simply expect those things to be? God is not so petty that he would take away the things we don't thank him for, because it rains on the good as well as the bad. But neither are we guaranteed tomorrow or that people in our lives will always be there. Lives change. May we all remember to be thankful for what we have in our lives, and what God does for us, and for the people in our lives. 
  Until next time, have a great day.  

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Morning Cup of Tea: Unprofitable Servants

Good morning and happy Lord's day to you! I'm still working on getting organized enough so that my Sunday mornings run a little more smoothly. Last minute preparations are underway  so that we will make it to worship on time. My goal is to make it to morning bible class as well. It will happen if my family and I continue working at it. Today, however, I'm happy we are able to attend both worship services.
  Today's verses are few: Luke 17:7-10. Jesus asked his listeners, (paraphrasing here, please read the scripture yourself. No matter who quotes or rephrases scripture, always read it for yourself) if you have a servant, do you tell him to forget his work and go to dinner? No, first he takes care of you and his other duties, then he goes to eat. And do you thank the servant for doing his job? Most likely not. Although it is nice to be thanked for doing our duties --caring for others, teaching, etc, we shouldn't expect it. If we are doing things for show or for recognition, we are doing these things for the wrong reasons. Jesus was using the Pharisees once again as an example, as almost everything they did was for show. They wanted the glory and attention. 
  I hope you have a wonderful Lord's day.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Morning Cup of Tea:Forgiveness

Good morning! How are you today? It's a beautiful day beginning out here. My husband has made it safely home after working a double shift and being up nearly 24 hours straight. 
  I began reading chapter seventeen, and then did a little bit of research on one thing, so we're going to focus on verses 1 through 6 today. Jesus started out speaking of offenses, and how they are going to happen from time to time. It's all but impossible to go through life and not be offended sometimes. But listen to verse three:
  3.Take heed to yourselves; If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.
  And verse 4 continues:
  4. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.
   Now. Jesus has said when someone does something against us we are supposed to tell that person. If he or she repents, we are supposed to forgive them.  Sometimes that's hard enough for our stubborn little selves. Let's take husbands, for example. In stereotypical fashion, especially according to jokes and tv, hubby does something to hurt wife's feelings or make her mad. Doe she tell him? No. She folds her arms and pouts. She'll tell anyone and everyone his offense but she wont tell him. When he asks 'what did I do?' the retort is a snippy 'Well if you don't know I'm certainly not going to tell you! You know what you did!'  I will admit here and now, I've had that attitude once or twice.  Trust me. It doesn't get you anywhere. It's like spinning your wheels when you're stuck in the mud. It gives the appearance of working to get out of the mess but its not going to get you anywhere.  Sitting there nursing that grudge is only going to make you madder, and the person who "did you wrong" may not even have a clue what they did.  Speak up. Not in a hateful manner, but just simply say, 'You know, that remark hurt my feelings.' 
  Then Jesus really lets us know how we are supposed to be. He said if someone offends us seven times in a day, and they repent seven times, we are to forgive them seven times. What's the first human reaction? Nah uh. One or two times I might forgive, but after that, they ain't sorry.  Read verse 4 again. Did Jesus give us permission to decide if the person was truly sorry or not? No. He said if they repent, we are to forgive them.
  It's not always easy to do as Jesus commands us, and forgiveness is a hard one for sure sometimes, depending on what the other person did or said. Even Jesus' disciples understood that this command would be hard to follow sometimes so they asked Jesus to increase their faith.  Jesus told them if they had faith the size of a mustard seed (teeny tiny little thing but it can grow to be a very large tree) they could tell the sycamine tree (he was probably pointing at one near them)  and tell it to be picked up by the roots and be planted in the sea, and it would be done. Interesting stuff there.
   I looked up the word sycamine, and the sites I saw said that Luther called that a mulberry tree. However, I read an article  by a man named Rick Renner on just this subject. He said in his posting that the mulberry and the sycamine are cousins.  The sycamine has a very deep root system that reaches far down into the earth. Those trees get a really strong grip on the earth and don't tend to want to let go. Kind of like when we let a misunderstanding or or other hurt fester into anger and resentment and bitterness. We do like to hang on to our grudges sometimes, don't we? Mr. Renner had quite an interesting post there comparing the sycamine to anger and bitterness and I hope you get a chance to read it.  He said something interesting that stuck with me: the sycamine tree is pollinated by wasp stings. The wasp stings the fruit and the tree and that's how it does its thing.
  I don't like wasps. I've been stung by a few. I'm allergic to those little critters, or at least their stings. What do some people say when they don't want to forgive another? 'He stung me once too often. I'm not going to forgive him.' And the bitterness  grows and bears more fruit. But. Let's look at our own lives. What have we done to offend God? Even after baptism we continue to sin, unknowingly as well as knowingly. We continue to ask forgiveness and God continues to forgive.  He knows our hearts. If God does that for us, shouldn't we do the same for those who hurt us? Luke 11:4, in the model prayer that Jesus gives as an example of how to pray says  And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. 
  Have a great day.   

Friday, January 20, 2012

A Morning Cup of Tea: the Rich Man and Lazarus

Good morning! Just a quick note about yesterday's appointment. For those who were praying for me, thank you. It went well and I am thankful my husband had the time off to be with me. He will pull a double shift today, but then he's off for the weekend and the three of us can be at worship on Sunday!
  Today we are finishing up chapter 16, beginning with verse 14. The Pharisees had heard Jesus' words about being friendly toward others and not being able to serve two masters, and derided Jesus about it. But Jesus had this to say to them:
15. And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth you hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.
   Jesus reminded them that the law and the prophets were there until John came. Then began the teaching of the kingdom of God, and every man needed to hear this.  He also told them that whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery. And whoever marries the divorced woman commits adultery. 
  Then Jesus told the parable of Lazarus and the rich man. The rich man was clothed in purple--if Armani and other high price names had been around back this man would be wearing those labels. He ate sumptuously every day, never missed a meal.
  Meanwhile, Lazarus was a beggar at the rich man's gate. He hoped only to have the crumbs from the rich man's table to eat, and he had no one to care for him and dress his sores except the dogs who licked his sores.
  Both men died. The angels came and delivered Lazarus to Abraham's bosom, while the rich man was sent to hades. The rich man felt the fire and the heat and was very uncomfortable. He appealed to Abraham to send Lazarus to him, that he might wet the tip of his finger and cool the rich man's tongue a bit. Abraham told him no. The rich man knew only good things in his life; Lazarus had suffered greatly. Now Lazarus need not suffer any longer. Besides this, there was a huge chasm between hades and Abraham's bosom. No one could cross over from either side to the other.
  The rich man appealed to Abraham once more. Please send Lazarus to my father's house, he pleaded. I have five brothers who need to hear his message so they won't know torment like I do. Once again Abraham told the rich man no. They have Moses and the prophets. They should listen to them. The rich man said they wouldn't but surely they would listen to someone from the dead!. Abraham told the man that if his brothers would not hear the words of the prophets they would not hear anyone else, even if they had come from the dead.
  We are all given the opportunity to hear the word of God through the bible. Hopefully we do more than just hear or read the word--we heed it and try to live according to God's plan and to teach others. We each have that choice: to hear and do, or to reject. Ebeneezer Scrooge may have been persuaded by 4 ghosts to change his ways, but that is not the way real life works. 
  Have a wonderful day. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Morning Cup of Tea: The Parable of The Unjust Steward

Good morning! I'm happy to say I have a few minutes before heading out the door to my appointment to write my thoughts on today's lesson. Today we are reading chapter 16 of Luke, verses 1 through 13. This concerns the parable of the unjust steward. The steward  had been accused of wasting his master's goods and the master wasn't going to put up with it anymore. The man was in danger of losing his job. Now, he knew that he wasn't really cut out for strong manual labor and begging just seemed shameful to him.  He knew though, that he had to do something that would make those on the outside friendlier to him in his time of need. So he called the master's creditors to him and made a deal with them. He asked what they owed and he gave them a smaller number to write on the bill. This way the debotrs had less that they owed and the master, although not getting all of his goods back, would at least have a better chance of getting repaid. If that was not enough for the master, the steward would have a chance at getting a similar position elsewhere.
  Jesus said in verse 9,  And I say unto you, Make yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into  everlasting habitations.
   Jesus isnt giving us his blessing to go over to the dark side, so to speak. I read the thirteen verses, then I read that verse again. And twice more. Then I called to my husband. We discussed it, and since  the Pharisees are still there hearing Jesus speak, he's saying don't hold yourself so high up in your own mind that you can't possibly be friends with others who may be sinners. We are all sinners. Don't fall into their habits just to be friends with them, but don't think of yourself as better than everyone else simply because you've been forgiven. Although you've heard the word, repented of your sins, confessed that Jesus is Lord and have been baptized and are trying to live a righteous life, you're still human. And you're going to mess up. And those who see that you think you are better than they are and can't associate with them aren't going to be very friendly toward you when you fail. It's so much harder to reach someone when you are way up high on a pedestal of your own making and the rest of the poor sinners are down at your feet.
  Until next time my friends, have a great day.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Morning Cup of Tea: The Prodigal Son

 Good morning! It's a beautiful, fairly cloudy day here in my area. I must apologize for not posting yesterday. We had an early appointment in another town and because of the lateness of time in getting back to our area, my son J and I spent the rest of the day at my mother's while my husband scurried off to work. It was nearly midnight when we finally came home. I may have to start writing the posts the day before and setting them to publish at the same time, but I need to become more self disciplined in order to do that, I think. I was successful at it for a few days and then my mind began wandering. I could probably do it for other posts but my morning cup of tea posts, I prefer reading  during the morning. It sets the proper tone for the day, I think. I'm more clear headed  in the mornings (most times) and I can usually focus on it without distraction.
   Today we are on chapter fifteen of Luke. The tax collectors and other sinners are gathering closer to Jesus so they can hear what he has to say. The Pharisees of course don't like this because for one, Ugh! How disgraceful to be friendly toward sinners and actually eat with them!  Personally I wonder if part of the problem was they just plain didn't like the fact that others were listening to Jesus when they felt the attention should be on themselves, the Pharisees. After all they did know the law!
  Jesus began to tell them parables about a shepherd who has a hundred sheep. When one goes missing he leaves the others and searches diligently for the one that is lost. And when the sheep is found he calls to his friends asking them to rejoice with him because the one that was lost is now with him and safe again!
 Verse seven of the chapter says I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repenting.
 I love that verse. He loves us all, and there is much joy when we realize we are a sinner and come to repentance. 
  Also is the parable of the woman who has ten silver coins and loses one of them. She will sweep and carefully search the house to find the one that is lost. 
  Jesus then told the parable of the prodigal son. Merriam-Webster defines prodigal this way:

Definition of PRODIGAL

: characterized by profuse or wasteful expenditure : lavish <a prodigal feast> <prodigal outlays for her clothes>
: recklessly spendthrift <the prodigal prince>
Ouch! Profuse or wasteful spending. Recklessly spendthrift.  Not wise at all with money.
   But the parable tells us this young man was impatient for his inheritance. He asked his father for his portion now. His father obliges him and a few days later, the young man is off to see the world. He's spending his money right and left, partying, having a grand old time while his older brother is still at the family home working for his father. But soon the money runs out, as it often does when we spend as if there is no tomorrow, and the land he is in begins to face a serious famine. 
  The young man decides to make himself  a servant and he is sent out in the fields to feed and care for the hogs. Big change there! At his father's house he wanted for nothing and had servants to help him with things, and now he was a servant himself. A rather lowly one at that, since he was beginning to look at the pods for the hogs as something possibly good to eat.
  The young man thinks about what he's done with his life. He wants to go home now, but he doesn't feel he deserves to be his father's son anymore. So he decides he will go home and ask to be a servant for his father.
    Like most if not all parents, the father sees his son coming down the road and his heart is filled with joy. He rushes out to meet the son he hasn't seen since he was given his inheritance. The son is truly repentant of his actions, and asks to be made a servant. But his loving father embraces him, calls to his servants to bring the finest robes! Put a ring on his hand! Kill the fatted calf and prepare it! He wanted to feast to celebrate the return of his son.
   Then there's the older brother. He's been the faithful one, the dutiful one. He hasn't gone off squandering money on wine, women and song. He's been working hard for his father and dad hasn't even given him so much as a goat so that he could feast with his friends!  Yet my bratty little brother goes traipsing off pretty as you please and when he comes back he's treated so wonderfully!
   His father explains to him, Son, you are always with me and all that I have is yours. It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is now found (verses 31, 31)
  How wonderful that when we come back to our heavenly Father, he will receive us with open arms, rejoicing that the one who was dead is now alive.   God is so good. All the time.
   Before I end this I have a prayer request. I have a doctor appointment tomorrow morning  (I will try to have tomorrow's morning cup post ready tonight but no promises. It may become an afternoon or evening cup depending). I'm a little concerned over the whole doctor visit but I probably shouldn't be. Will you keep me in prayer for peace and that all goes well? Thank you. Until next time, have a wonderful day. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Confessions of a Disorganized Housewife

Hi there! Oops, you caught me--I'm on Pinterest again. I'm sitting here eating breakfast and browsing that addictive site.  LOL. Actually, I'm checking through some of the pins on my better organized board. I have very little space in this house and I truly need some organizing ideas!  This one from i heart organizing
shows how to organize the freezer. I love the idea of compartmentalizing the foods in plastic baskets and plan to put that into use, especially when I can get a small freezer. I have many plans for extra freezer space. In the meantime though, I have implemented the idea of pouring soups and stock into freezer bags and freezing them flat so they can be stacked upright like vinyl record albums (Did I just date myself there? Please tell me you remember those). They take up less space that way.  
   I heart organizing also has some adorable free printables   to help you schedule your day. Please go check her out! I know I will be reading her blog as I can. I need all the help I can get!
  I know I discussed the freezer a bit but today I'm going to be working mostly in my bedroom. It has become a catchall for everything. I was able to see the top of my vanity in there -a week ago. I need to find it again and put away the laundry. 
  I do have one tip of my own that has nothing to do with kitchens or bedrooms though. My son and I both take meds and vitamins and supplements. When we leave the house its ususally for a good bit of the day depending on what's on the agenda so I bought two pill boxes from the dollar store. That way I wouldn't have to carry a huge load of bottles inside my purse. Well... the single pill box (one row of mini boxes, one for each day of the week) works so much better--almost too good; some of the days are tough to open--than the double sided morning and evening box. The lids to that one opens willy nilly and I've found pills at the bottom of my purse. So not fun.  Needless to say, that pill box has been banished to household use only. 
  To make a long story even longer, if you have a pill organizer that is simply taking up space, it can be used to hold lipsticks that have broken --just mash it up in one of the compartments and use a lip brush to apply. It can also be used in your crafting area to hold tiny embellishments, small punch outs you want to save for later use, or use it as a small artists palette for your young artist or yourself. Most pill boxes have compartments the right size to hold or mix paint for your projects. 
  As much as I would love to sit and browse Pinterest and other sites, time is slipping by on me. Until next time, have a great day!

Oh! If you have a comment or a tip to share, please feel free. I love hearing from you!

A Morning Cup of Tea: Count the Cost

 Good morning! I hope you are having a good start to your day. I'm cuddled up in a quilt, surrounded by some of my cats and listening to my son in the other room. His joy touches me no end. 
  Before we continue with the verses that will end chapter 14 of Luke, I feel I must apologize and clarify a point I made in yesterday's Cup of Tea post concerning excuses for missing worship. I am sorry if I offended anyone with the way I worded it. I did not attend services yesterday. I was home with my son. My husband had to work a twelve hour shift yesterday and because his weekend morning shift lasts from 6:30 AM to 6:30 PM and we have one car, that keeps me at home one Sunday a month. We live about 52 miles from my husband's work and (don't quote me on this, my husband is asleep and I haven't paid much attention to mileage when it comes to distance to the church building) are about 45 I'm guessing miles from the building -- in the opposite direction.  At any rate, the mileage alone would prohibit me from taking my husband to work so that we could attend services and I don't feel comfortable asking someone from the church to drive out of their way to come get J and me.  To some, including myself, those are excuses. But it's also fact. If we lived closer to the church, which we would love to do, we would be that much further from my husband's work. If we moved closer to my husband's work (which we are looking into) it would most likely take us away from a congregation we dearly love. There are some fine congregations in the area where my husband works, don't get me wrong. But I hesitate because not everyone "gets" my son. He is comfortable with the church members here and they love him as well. They talk to him directly, not through my husband or myself, and have since day one. Our church has been such a blessing to us.  My husband has been looking into finding work closer to home so we can stay in the area and possibly move closer to the church, and I pray that he does. But I also have to realize that this is not in God's plan. In the meantime, I'm doing the best I can to do what is right. 

  I am sorry. I meant to apologize, clarify and move on but there is my life in a nutshell. If you're still with me, thank you.  I'll take a deep breath and move on to today's lesson. Yesterday Jesus reminded the Pharisees that if the ox is in the ditch on the Sabbath you arent going to leave the poor animal until the next day. Same with us on the first day of the week. Sometimes there is an ox in the ditch and you have to take care of it. If you are a single mother and the child is sick, of course you're going to miss service. But if you are married and the child or the husband is sick, why miss both services? Surely one can stay home while the other cares for the sick child, then switch for the evening service. 
  Today Jesus reminds his followers , which includes us , to count the cost of what we are doing. In verses 26 and 27 of chapter 14, Jesus told us that if we do not hate our father or mother or other family members we cannot be his disciple. Or if we will not bear our cross and follow him, we cannot be his disciple.  Does this mean we cannot love our family members? No. It means that we shouldn't love them so much that we cannot give them up. Missionaries leave their families (minus their wife and kids if they have them and it's possible for them to go as well) to go to sometimes dangerous places in the world to teach others about God.  It is not an easy life.  And sometimes, in becoming a Christian, we may be forced to choose between our Christian family and the family we grew up with. This is all part of counting the cost. 
  We each have to deal with the situations in our lives. Hopefully we don't deal with them alone. We should be able to talk to our brothers and sisters in Christ and they should pray with us. We should encourage one another, and help one another as best we can. 
   I've talked your ear off enough for one post. If you have any comments, good or bad, please feel free. I would enjoy hearing from you and maybe we can learn together. Until next time, have a wonderful day! :)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Morning Cup of Tea: The Parable of the Feast

Good morning! Being the first day of the week many of you are probably at worship at the time of this writing. I usually try to have it written earlier but I over slept. Today I am home. My husband is working. 
   Today's lesson is Luke 14:1 - 25.  Jesus has been invited to dinner at the home of the ruler of the Pharisees. A man with dropsy was there. Dropsy is what we know as edema, or swelling, usually the legs and such, oftentimes due to congestive heart failure. Although no one said anything about it being the Sabbath, Jesus obviously knew what they were thinking because he reminded them that if an ox was in the ditch they would pull it out, no matter the day of the week. 
 Jesus then began to talk with them about not automatically sitting in places of honor at gatherings, but to sit in a lesser place. That way their host can choose to ask  them to move up to a better place instead of asking them to give up their seat to someone of more importance. Those who try to exalt themselves usually find themselves humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted (v 11).
  Then he spoke to them about not inviting friends or family to feasts, who can and will repay with invitations to dinner, but to invite the poor and others who cannot repay. 
  Jesus told them a parable of a man who decided to have a great feast. He invited all his friends. One by one, they all sent their regrets. One said he had just married so he could not come. One just bought a piece of land and needed to go see it. One bought 5 yoke of oxen and needed to test them. Lame excuses indeed!
  When the master heard these excuses he was angry. He sent his servant out to the streets and told him to bring in the poor and the lame and the maimed and the blind. The servant did so and reported to the master there was still room at the feast. The master sent him even further out, to the highways and the hedges to bring people to the feast. 
   This one made me think, how often do we make excuses not to go to worship or to do what God wants us to do, such as visiting the sick, or simply writing a note to someone in need of encouragement?   I can't go because little Johnny is sick. I can't do it because I don't feel good. We all know the excuses. Some may be legitimate reasons but sometimes its because we just plain don't feel like it.
  Also, I think there is a parallel between the feast and our command to go and teach. Many of our friends and loved ones may give excuse as to why they cannot come to worship with us, or why they can't do a bible study with you. We are to move on to others whom we don't know, and teach them. We should continue further outward to bring others in. 
  What are your thoughts on this? I'd love to hear your comments and questions. If I don't know the answer right away I can surely find the answer. Until next time, have a great Lord's day.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A Morning Cup of Tea: Journeying Toward Jerusalem Teaching

Good morning! I hope you had a great day yesterday and are enjoying the beginning of today. I was blessed to spend most of the day with family. It's always good to see my loved ones and I wish I could see all of them more often.
  From what I understand, Jesus is traveling toward Jerusalem here in chapter 13 of Luke. Many things are going on in this chapter. The first few verses Jesus and others are discussing some deaths of Galileans, caused by Pilate.  I'm afraid I don't know much of the history of that time but I do know that Rome had a firm hold on the area and the people were living under Roman rule.  Common belief was that great suffering was the result of sinful living. 
  Jesus addressed this belief when he asked if the people who died there were more sinful than others, (v 2) and also of the ones who died in Siloam when a tower fell (v 4). In each case Jesus said they were not worse sinners than anyone else. However, he used these examples to warn those who listened that if they did not repent, they too would die.  These words are for us as well. He did not mean the death that all of us will someday face, but the final death --separation for eternity from God. 
   Jesus tells us that some will be turned away even though they (we) have done good works in his name.  There is a pattern for us to follow. If we do not follow it to the best of our ability then we will be lost. Jesus knows that we are not perfect and we will make mistakes. But he also knows our hearts. If we continually read his word then we know how we are supposed to live. It's when we try to do things our way, or see one or two verses and decide that this is all we need to do then continue on living as the rest of the world lives that we err.
  Continuing on. Jesus always taught  in the temple on the Sabbath. On this particular instance Luke tells us that there was a woman present who had had an infirmity for eighteen years and could not raise herself up ( v10).  Jesus saw her and cured her, saying Woman you are loosed from your infirmity. The leader of the synagogue was not at all happy that Jesus did this. After all, it was the Sabbath and no one works on the Sabbath! Jesus asked if there was anyone there who would not take an ox or a donkey from his stall and lead it to food and water on the Sabbath. Satan had hold of this woman for 18 years, was it not proper to loose her from her bonds, no matter the day of the week?
  What is the kingdom of heaven like? It is like a mustard seed which was planted and grows into a large tree, and many birds can rest there.
  He then tells us to strive to enter through the narrow gate (v24 - 30). Many will try but few will enter.  He was telling them and us to be careful.  
  He was warned during this time to get out of town because Herod wanted to kill him. Jesus knew that his life was in danger, and his time here on earth was growing short. He was not afraid of Herod, he would continue driving out devils and teaching  and healing along the way till he died but on the third day his body would be perfected. Yet he did move along because he knew that what had to be done would be in Jerusalem.

Friday, January 13, 2012

A Morning Cup of Tea: Luke 13: New Beginning

Good morning! I hope you had a Merry Christmas and enjoyed the beginning of the new year with the church as I did. How wonderful indeed to have the year begin on the first day of the week!
    For anyone who reads this blog regularly I must first apologize. I havent written since before Christmas. I've spent the time with family, and cleaning, and stretching my wings a little in other areas. I even wrote a few pages of fiction. But I confess, other than worship and bible study with the church, I've neglected my own personal bible study.  It is so easy to let the busyness of life get in the way of our spiritual life. I've missed it. I felt the prodding, urging me to get back to where I belong. And then I lost my bible. I've looked almost everywhere in the house where I think it might be, but I still haven't found it.  I even used that as an excuse. Can't write the Morning Cup of Tea, bible is missing. Still that inner voice was saying to me, there's the other bible in the car. 
   This morning I was awakened in part by my son who wanted my spot in bed. I thought I would lie there and relax, try to get a little more shut eye, but my brain was already off and running. I got dressed, fed the cats and went out to the car to fetch the bible.
  Those of you who have read the short chapter already are probably thinking, Jesus speaks of repentance and heals a woman of her infirmity on the Sabbath, and alludes to his death. Where is she getting a new beginning from?
  The new beginning is the new year. I've asked God for forgiveness for neglecting my study, and I'm asking you for forgiveness as well.  I hope you will join me in bible reading each day. Tomorrow we will discuss Luke 13. I've read it this morning but I want to read it again a few more times before talking about it. I'd love to hear your comments today and tomorrow, or anytime for that matter.  In the meantime, have a wonderful day.