I don’t know about you, but whenever I sip on a cup of tea, it brings feelings of relaxation to me. It rejuvenates me and helps me to carry on with the rest of my day in a more serene state of mind.
Tea is made from the leaves of a small shrub or tree. The leaves are delicate, so even today tea leaves are harvested by hand, then laid upon a tray to dry in the sun.
There might be some legitimacy as to why I feel better after consuming tea. I read a verse in the bible that indirectly mentions the leaves of trees being used for healing.
And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither, nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.
For the past few months the lives of people everywhere have been unleveled by the numerous changes caused by COVID-19 and you are not alone if your mind is filled with fears and uncertainties about the future of the world.
Almost everything we do must take into consideration the mandates in place regarding staying safe during this COVID-19 pandemic. It can be overwhelming and it can cause us to become emotionally fatigued to deal with this and surrounding issues day in and day out. No human can endure this kind of stress on a long-term basis and so it is important to do what you can to de-stress yourself.
Take care of yourself
We all need to take care of ourselves both physically and mentally. For example, to stimulate your physical well-being a light walk may serve to rejuvenate your body. Stretching exercises may help circulate the blood through your body, giving you a more refreshed feeling. Eating healthy foods, for example incorporating fresh fruit and vegetables into your diet may bring wellness. And, just about every nutritionist will advise you to stay hydrated by drinking more water.
Your mental well-being may come from knowing that God has everything under control. Knowing that God will take care of you can be the start of bringing peace into your soul.
Whenever I need to remember that God is my shepherd, that He loves me and He takes care of my needs, I sit quietly, sometimes with a cup of tea. I enjoy listening to worship music such as the one embedded in this post. The song, “All Who Are Thirsty,” brings me to a place where I can allow the Holy Spirit to come into my heart and give me peace of mind.
As I mention drinking a cup of tea (made with water), I am reminded of the following verses.
John 4:14 (NIV)
But whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a fount of water springing up to eternal life.
Isaiah 55:1 (NIV)
Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
I encourage you to take a break from all of the turmoil going on in the world around you. Prepare your favorite cup of tea. Sit, relax, and enjoy. Know and believe with all of your heart that God is in control. He knows how to protect you. He will see you through this and all things.
Rest in the goodness of God.
Today's Video: All Who Are Thirsty
Performance by: Charlie Hines
It is springtime and flowers are blooming everywhere in the mountainous area where I live. Everywhere I look, there are multitudes of indigenous flowers blooming prolifically and they are all gorgeous and vibrant, adding color to a landscape that through wintertime, was bleak and barren.
Now, there is one flower that does not grow indigenous in this area and that is the tulip flower. It is a beautiful flower and while I see tulips blooming in the neighbor’s yard, tulips, while hearty flowers, must be planted first before we begin to see them growing in our own yard.
Recently, someone gave me a bouquet of tulips. The bouquet was beautiful. The tropical-colored buds were gorgeous in their own right, but then two days later the buds opened up and I had the unexpected pleasure of seeing the inside of a tulip. I was amazed. It was extraordinarily beautiful. Each petal had the exact design of intricate shapes and colors. I was fascinated to no end.
Now that I have seen the inside of a tulip, I enjoy them more than I ever have in the past.
Friends, have you ever seen the inside of a tulip? If not, please treat yourself to one of God’s great visual miracles on this planet.
Like tulips, friendships are beautiful on the outside. You spend time with your friends. You enjoy each other’s company. I call this surface friendship. It’s all wonderful. We all need each other to survive. But, have you ever taken time to see the inside of your friend? Beyond the initial, outward attraction, which some call chemical attraction, have you ever thought about what it is about your friend that makes you like them so much? I would bet that if you ever opened up to your friend and if your friend ever opened up to you, you would discover something about them and they would discover something about you that is so wonderful that you would be drawn closer to each other in ways you could never imagine.
There is nothing wrong with surface friendship. After all, we live in a world where sometimes survival means being with others merely for comfort and camaraderie. A community coming together to help each other in times of need is a basic survival technique that we desperately need to keep planted in society. In times of trouble, the people in the community ban together as friends.
But, have you ever thought about going deeper with the person you call your friend? Have you ever thought about discovering and uncovering that which makes your friend who they are? What makes them tick? What are their likes and dislikes? What do you have in common? Oh, what about discovering what makes the two of you different? I believe that when friends open up to each other, they are in for a world of marvelous discoveries about each other and this discovery will tie the friendship together in ways that are extraordinarily wonderful.
Our #1 Friend
We have a friend in Jesus. He is our #1 friend and I believe that if we open up our hearts and let Jesus see us for who we are (sharing the good and the bad), and if we look into the heart of Jesus, we will discover a friend with unlimited, unconditional love.
Jesus is the best friend a person can have on earth and into eternity. He is the perfect model of what friendship is all about because He loves us without limits. He gave everything, including His life for us so that we could have freedom from sin and a life of eternity with the Almighty God, the King of all Nations.
How much of you does your earthly friend ask of you? In contrast, Jesus (our Heavenly friend) doesn’t ask much of you. In fact, all He asks is that you believe in Him. And, truly, that’s not much.
Believe in Jesus and you will discover a world of beauty.
The bible says:
“No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends.”
John 15:13 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
Include your friend Jesus among those you call your best friends and you will be surrounded by good, caring friends who will carry you, with joy, through the life you deserve.
The bible says:
“Oil and incense bring joy to the heart, and the sweetness of a friend is better than self-counsel.”
Proverbs 27:9 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
I think Cicero, the famous Roman statesman, also said it well:
Nature loves nothing solitary, and always reaches out to something as a support, which ever in the sweetest friend is most delightful.
Take delight in the beauty of friendships and cherish your friends forever.
Today's Worship Video: What a Friend I've Found
Words and Music: by Martin Smith
Copyright: 1996 Curious? Music UK
He has risen!
In my blog post about Good Friday, I spoke about the sacrifice of Jesus Christ who died on a cross so that our sins could be forgiven. But, there is more to this true story. Jesus rose again on the following Sunday and we call this day Resurrection Sunday. Some people also call this day Easter and reference the Easter bunny and other such pagan rituals that should be discussed separate from this blog post.
In any event, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is a critical part of the story about how Jesus died for our sins. His death was important because his death was the living sacrifice that was needed in order for our sins to be reconciled. However, Jesus’ resurrection, following his death is critical because as the story goes, Jesus made many promises that his death would not be the end. He promised he would come back to life.
Now Jesus was going up to Jerusalem. On the way, he took the Twelve aside and said to them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!
He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again.
Matthew 28 tells the story of how on the third day after His death (Sunday), an angel from heaven came down from heaven and opened the tomb. When Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb, they found it empty. The angel told them that Jesus had risen, just as He said he would.
They went and saw the place where Jesus laid and were happily amazed. So they hurried away to go tell Jesus' disciples. And then suddenly Jesus, himself met with them and said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
Resurrection Sunday… He Rose!
Because Jesus came back to life as he promised, we can believe this and all of the promises he made to us. Jesus’ resurrection changed many doubters into believers. By raising Jesus, God showed the world that they would ultimately answer to Him for all sins.
Jesus kept his promise then and he will keep his promise now.
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Today's Video: Amazing Song About the Resurrection!