The Lesson in The Tea Bag

Our family enjoyed showing hospitality.  Our daughters delighted to host “Teas” in our home.  This was a lesson I taught at a “Tea” we had in our home for our church ladies as we celebrated our Pastor’s wife’s Birthday.

The Lesson In the Tea Bag

In Luke 10:38-42, Mary and Martha showed hospitality to Jesus.  When I stand before the Lord, I want Jesus to say of me as He said of Mary, “She hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”  Three times Mary is mentioned in the Bible, and all three times Mary is at the feet of Jesus. Mary stayed in the place of humility, the place of worship. If we stay close, we stay clean.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with Martha wanting to serve Jesus. The problem was that Martha was not getting her way and she grew anxious, worried and annoyed. Martha was like the tea bag when heat is applied.  What is inside the tea bag will come out. Frustration filled the room. Martha did not realize she was missing out on the best.

What comes out when heat is applied to our lives?  Many Christians experience burn out because they are busy and not drawing their strength from the Lord.  Mary stayed close to Jesus.  Mary learned from Jesus.  I need to stay close to Jesus to learn from Him.

Just as drinking tea is refreshing and just as food is nourishing to our bodies, the Lord wants us to spend time with Him before we get “busy” with our day, so we will be refreshed and nourished in our spirits.  He talks to us through His Word.  The Bible is God’s love letter to us. We do not know what each day may bring, but the Lord knows.  When things don’t go well, when the going gets rough, a trial comes into our life, the Holy Spirit will speak into our hearts in that still small voice the special Scripture we read that morning and give us that peace that passeth all understanding.

Mary went through a difficult trial.  We read in John 11, Lazarus, Mary and Martha’s brother died.  Days after Lazarus had died, Jesus answered Mary. This is another time when Mary was at the feet of Jesus.  “Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at His feet and cried out to the Lord.”  When trials do come our way, the Lord wants us to cry out to him. The Lord wants us to tell Him everything. Many times in Psalms, David, the man after God’s own heart, cried out to the Lord.  The Lord wants to strengthen us.  God is our refuge and strength a very present help in trouble.

Because Mary stayed close to Jesus, Jesus revealed a secret to Mary no one else knew. The third time Mary is at Jesus’ feet is in John 12. We read, “There was made for him (Jesus) a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.  Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment.” In Luke 14, Mary broke an alabaster box and poured it on His head and anointed Jesus’ head and feet with the costly perfume.

The secret the Lord had revealed to Mary was this: Mary comprehended Jesus must die soon. The disciples complained of her wasting the perfume on Jesus and Jesus said, “Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this.” Mary knew something no one else knew, because she stayed close to Jesus. When we spend time with Jesus, He will reveal more and more to us. Because Mary stayed close to Jesus, she had wisdom. The Lord will give us wisdom in all situations when we stay close to Him.

I love my house to smell nice.  I burn scented candles for the fragrance to fill the home. Teas are aromatic.  Before I buy a flavored tea, I smell the box to see if I like the scent.  Mary broke the alabaster jar and Scripture says “the odor filled the house”.  Real devotion to the Lord will fill our homes with a sweet savor.  Real devotion to the Lord affects our family and those we come in contact with.

How much time am I spending with Jesus?  Proper worship of Jesus will cost something.   The perfume in the alabaster jar Mary broke to anoint Jesus, cost Mary a years’ wages.  Mary offered all she had to Jesus.  Do I go before the Lord broken?  Something has to be broken within before real love can be poured out.  “Only one life,’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.”(C.T. Studd) If I have done what I can, then I have done all I can.

 

My Journal~ You are the Potter

Dear Heavenly Father,

Psalm 37:2 “he delighteth in his way.” Thank you for delighting in me.  You enjoy watching me.  I want to please You, Lord. As I read Genesis, You created all the beauty for my pleasure.  You created me, because You loved me.  Even before You created the world, You were thinking about me.

Genesis 5:22 “And Enoch walked with God.” Lord, let this be me.  I sometimes forget to walk with You. I start focusing on problems and then I start worrying.  If I walk with You, Lord, then I cannot walk in worldliness.  If I trust You, I will not worry.  Worry is the opposite of Truth.  You are Truth. Worry is thinking on what might happen.

Lord, I present myself to You today.  Take all of me including my mind, will and emotions and make me more like You.  You are my Potter! I am Your clay.  Mold me and make me like You today!

Let me prepare myself for temptation today by remembering: When I am tempted, I have the awesome opportunity to show You, Lord just how much I love You. Lord, today and always I want you to say about me: “Linda walked with Me!” I totally surrender.  Not my will, but Thine.

My Journal~

Acrylic Painting by our daughter, Melinda: The Potter

With Young Children, How Do I Make Time For My Quiet Time?

I was asked the following Question:

“Do you have some tips about finding/making time to get alone with the Lord to read and pray and seek Him–while your kids are little and underfoot?  I struggle some in this area. I’m starting to find some ways to make it work, but I’d love to hear your ideas.”

My Answer:

At this season of my life, I have the luxury of being able to enjoy an hour long Quiet Time plus a steaming cup of coffee with Jesus first thing every morning.  It was not always like that.  At one time, I had a colicky baby waking up several times during the night, a two year old that did not require much sleep and a four year old. I was sleep deprived myself, and our home seemed like a “zoo” at times.

I remember getting a phone call when the toddler was crying. It was one of those “zoo” days in our home.  On the other end of the line, my relative inquisitively asked, “And you are planning on homeschooling?”   I think I may have had a sheepish answer. Having a low confidence level, I was wondering how I was going to homeschool too. All I understood was that God had led us to Homeschool, so by His grace it would happen.

Personal Devotions~I knew:

  • It was God’s will that I have a Daily Quiet Time with Him.
  • Even though it seems impossible, I must never give up on having my Daily Quiet Time. With God, all things are possible. He will make a way.
  • I must daily be in the Word and in Prayer to be better equipped as a wife and mother.  How could I ever get wisdom to be a good wife and mother if I did not seek God in His Word? Where would I get strength if I were not in God’s Word?

I must purpose to make My Quiet Time happen!

I had to learn to be flexible and creative during those years when the children were four and under. Being persistent was key in making my Daily Quiet Time happen. I made up my mind that I would not sleep until I spent time with the Lord.

Susanna Wesley was the mother of the incredible Hymn Writer (and Minister), Charles Wesley and the bold Preacher, John Wesley.  What truly amazed me about Susanna was this: her husband was not helpful and she had nineteen children.  Susanna was a godly lady who led a disciplined life. Even with her nineteen children, she managed to have a Daily Quiet Time with the Lord. How did she do it?  Susanna had a “signal” for her children to be silent.  When mother raised her apron over her head, her children knew that signal meant mother needed time alone with the Lord.  The Lord blessed Susanna Wesley’s faithfulness to Him!

The Bible does not give a time frame on how long our Daily Quiet Time should be.  My one hour Quiet Time I have now is wonderful, but my 25 minute Quiet Time when our children were small was just as wonderful. 15-25 minutes may work well for Moms with little ones. Fifteen minutes a day with the Lord is much better than no minutes with the Lord.

What God does say is this: “Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

I begin my Quiet Time by saying, “Lord, I love You. I want to know You. I empty myself of me, and I surrender my all to you.  Fill me with the Holy Spirit. Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.”

When our children were little, I daily read a page in the Old Testament, marked it with my Bible marker and read a page in the New Testament, marking it too. The next day, I knew where I left off.  I would start with page 1 of Genesis and Page 1 of John. With this Bible Reading Plan, it takes about 4 years for me to read through my Bible. I take pleasure in taking it slow and meditating on special Scriptures God illuminates. If I come to a passage that speaks to me personally, I pray it back to God and make it my own. I pray while I am reading my Bible to experience God and I pray when I finish my Bible reading.

I had Plan A, B, C and D in order to make My Quiet Time happen.  If Plan A did not work out that day, I went to Plan B and so on.  Here are some suggestions.

  • Plan A.  Rise up earlier than the household and find a quiet place to spend time with the Lord.  Jesus was surrounded by people, so this is what He did to get alone with His Father: “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he (Jesus) went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.”  Mark 1:35
  • Plan B.  Nap time (or rest time) for children in their room.  At the same time, Mom can have rest time and a Quiet Time in her own quiet place.  “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. “ Matthew 6:6
  • Plan C.  In the evening, ask Dad if he would watch the children so Mom could spend 25 minutes with the Lord. This was my “take me away” time. Another thought is to put the children to bed 25 minutes earlier than normal.  “And when he (Jesus) had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.” Matthew 14:23
  • Plan D.  Have a signal in which your children understand, “Mama is going to spend time with Jesus. I will be back in 15 minutes”  The baby can be put in his bed. Three and four year old children can be put in the playroom with the door closed, so Mom can get refreshed from the Word.  You could try throwing your apron over your head. Sure worked well for determined Susanna Wesley.

We need a Quiet Time with the Lord daily! We must purpose to make it happen! Wouldn’t it be incredible to reach age 60 and be able to say, “By the grace of God, I have never missed my Quiet Time in 20 years (or more).” What a testimony to God and to others of your faithfulness! You can be that person!

I would love to hear other ideas of what mothers with preschoolers do/did in order to have their Daily Quiet Time.  Would anyone like to share?

 

 

 

Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Who’s The Fairest of Them All?

Recently, we watched Snow White with our grandchildren at their house. The wicked witch was pleased when the mirror told her she was the most beautiful woman, but jealousy soon overtook her when the mirror said that Snow White was the most beautiful. The wicked witch did not like the honesty of the mirror.

As I am getting a little more mature, I sometimes do not like my mirror being so honest either. 🙂  Mirrors “say it like it is.” Daily, we look into the mirror, so we can make adjustments and the necessary improvements to ourselves.

God compares the Bible to a mirror.  “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2Cor. 3:18

The mirror of God’s Word has the power to make us beautiful on the inside if we look into it daily and allow God to make the changes in us! God’s Word is a mirror that is alive. The mirror of God’s Word is an honest mirror.  It speaks to me. I can see my flaws when I look into God’s mirror.  When I agree with the Lord I have those flaws, then the Lord works in and through me to change me. Heb. 4:12

The mirror of God’s Word does not do anyone any good sitting on the table collecting dust.  We must get close to the mirror of God’s Word daily and look into it, so we can see ourselves as God sees us. As we keep looking into the Word of God, and making the necessary adjustments, we become more Christlike within; we become beautiful.

Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?

  • She is the beautiful lady who spends time in the mirror of God’s Word asking God to make the changes in her.
  • She is the beautiful lady who reflects the mirror of God’s glory to others she comes in contact with.

People see Jesus in this beautiful lady because she makes the world a better place to live. Even in her sufferings, she is beautiful, knowing God is using her to glorify Him. Some of the most beautiful ladies I know are in their eighties.  They radiate beauty, because they have come to realize it is not all about them; it is all about the Lord.

I pray you and I would be beautiful ladies today within our home and outside our home.  I pray our beauty within will spill over to others because we have spent time in the mirror of God’s Word and are reflecting His glory.

How to Have Peace!

In the 1960’s, it seems most mothers did not work outside of the home.  I had never heard of a daycare until the 1970’s. Husbands worked outside the home, and mothers worked in the home taking care of the family.

When I was a little girl, my mother brewed coffee when a neighbor popped over for a visit.  Mmm~ I thought the coffee smelled delicious.  When I asked my mother if I could try the coffee, “You need to wait until you are an adult” was her answer.

As an adult, I did not drink coffee until recently.  The new findings show that a little coffee and a little chocolate a day are good for a person. I am really glad about the chocolate findings. 🙂

I have a new tradition which I enjoy.  I have coffee with Jesus as I spend time with Him in the mornings.

This morning, as I was having coffee with Jesus, I counted this same Scripture repeated 17 times: “Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”  2Thes. 1:2

This is what God showed me:

  • The way to have grace and peace is from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Grace always comes first; then peace follows.
  • For God to repeat this Scripture 17 times, I need to take note.

  1.   The moment we trust God through His saving grace, we have peace with God.
  2.   I also need to ask for daily grace for myself and others to be able to overcome life’s situations.  Daily grace is “The Divine influence upon my heart giving me the desire and power to do God’s will.”  Grace is a free gift of God when I surrender and ask. As I receive the daily grace of God, I get the inner peace of God.  No matter what is going on around me, God’s daily grace gives me inner peace.
  3.  We are commanded to grow in both grace and knowledge of our Lord. “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”  2 Peter 3:18  How do we grow in grace? By yielding and asking for daily grace.  How do we grow in knowledge?  By spending time with Jesus in His Word. My life glorifies God and God enjoys me more as I grow in grace.

My friends, I wanted to visit with you and share what I learned this morning having coffee with Jesus! Today, let us look at the problems of life through the eyes of the Lord by asking for His grace. He is that calm inner strength. Peace is not the absence of troubles; peace is the presence of Jesus.

“Lord, I pray Your daily grace and inner peace will be with all the ladies reading these words today…  In the precious name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”