This “Tea Set” stamped made in Germany was given to me many years ago by my friend Kathy Wellde with her husband, an Ambassador. Over the years she and I shared many stories over tea and her delicious baked breads. She later wrote her very own cookbook which one stays close by me. The Ambassador died young leaving Kathy with 5 precious children to rear. We had much to share with and about her children. At this particular time I didn’t have children so I spent much time being a part of their lives. I always loved hearing about the times she got to dance with King Hussein among other notable happy times as they served America as an Ambassador and family.
So many in my story including the Ambassador and King among many others have been dead for many years. I often stop and wonder at times if I even remember her stories correctly or if and why I even heard and commented on them. Yet, the “Tea Set” remains just as beautiful as it was when the giver and stories of that day were still earth living.
Another great ONE, another KING, “that was and is” lived long before the Ambassador and earthly King in my “Tea Set” story was even born. He told us an even greater story about Himself and baked bread; Jesus, the King of Kings said, “I am the bread of life.”-(John 6:35) He goes on to say if you eat of this bread you will live forever. Awesome story!
What does this all mean, kings, breads, dances and giving and sharing of story. Kathy, told me many stories about her faith, her husband, their children and the life of a working woman, artist and writer. She was a mentor in many ways. What does King Jesus telling me, one of His ambassadors,*that He is the bread of my life mean? His Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105) His words of forgiveness and the heaven-earth-cross connection has nourished my wounded soul in times when wounds just did not want to heal. He is a healer. I think we have found the connectors: just as Kathy’s homemade baked bread, story and tea satisfied and nourished my body, Jesus satisfies and heals our souls when we allow Him to be Our Shepherd. He sets a table before us in the presence of our enemies. (Psalm 23)
We gather at tables, enjoy tea and bread, share stories of The King, desiring to know how to be better Ambassadors* for Him. Sharing stories of our lives and lives of our families and friends until we join The King of Kings, other kings and ambassadors to live out the vision set before us. Have you noticed stories seem to take us back to a life no longer with us but we have a small token of their life to remind us of a lesson taught, and a lesson learned. Do you have a “Tea Set” story?
*2 Corinthians 5:11-21
A sighting in NC
“In your minds you must be the same as Jesus Christ: His state was divine, yet he did not cling to his equality with God” —Philippians 2:6, Jerusalem Bible
Recently as I meander along through a well-kept small fruit field in NC, as long as I kept my eyes focused on the field acre or so that was well kept and diligently showing beauty in its summer season I was energized with hope and joy. When I allowed my eyes to roam in the field adjacent to my walking path I saw an unkept field where weeds were almost my height and its friends seem to lurk in my mind. My mind said weeds in a field might bring mice, 🐀 snakes🐍 and pricks from bramble and briars. My steps slowed, heat from the day seemed unbearable and my body just wanted to run and hide.
I quickly gave my mind full permission to send my eyes back to the butterflies I saw often in the field where fruit, berries and blooms were frames and sustenance for butterflies and bees 🐝alike. The sights, sounds and smells were just to wonderful to tell. As I sheep-graze my eyes upon the butterfly and flower in our photo I am filled with the sweetness of honey singing from my heart; “O taste and see that the Lord is good to you… and See the Lord is Good…The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, …And rescues them. O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! “(Psalm 34:7-8 NASB)
When we allow the mind of Christ to seasonally shape our viewpoint, we follow His path into the treasure- trove of a creative creator, displaying glorious sightings all around us. O Look and see and dare yourself to take a test taste. And, let us complete His joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, 💟 being in full accord and of one mind. 👨❤️👨Philippians 2:2 ESV
“Teacher, which commandment is the greatest in the Law? 37) Jesus declared, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38) is the first and greatest commandment.…” Matthew 22:37
I have come to understand in order for me to obey the greatest commandment ever I need to love myself! Yes, love myself. I have lassoed this command by understanding the second command of importance. “And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:39
Have I listened to my heart recently? What is it telling me? Do I have an open, and seeking heart that is willing to listen, hear, and acknowledge the joyful, beautiful, loving SOUL that I am? Do I love my neighbor as myself? Is this the water that floats my boat 🚣🏽of showing if I love the Lord my God with all my heart and soul and mind?
Would love to hear how you self-talk with your heart and show your beauty for others to enjoy. I know I have published Violette’s art before but this hearing heart surely keeps speaking to me. Listen in!💟🕊
“One who forgives an affront fosters friendship, but one who dwells on disputes will alienate a friend.” – Proverbs 17:9 (NRSV)
As I thought on this wisdom provided by the Book of Proverbs I tried to interpret the action that comes with the wisdom from an all inclusive perspective. I was delighted that this wisdom speaks to friends and the cycle of friendship. Thinking from this point I don’t think it would call for to much effort not to dwell on a dispute or not forgive an affront.
I tried to arrange a beautiful bouquet from this understanding. A single fragrant Southern white Magnolia floating in an oblong water bowl with their leaves of shiny wax green floating near by with a few unscented small candles lite and glowing and directing light showing it’s dignity and beauty. In my mind this gives a perfect photo of a friend and shows the harmony of a friendship. A friend and friendship is value that only becomes devaluated when one allows unforgiveness which might just happen when one dwells on a dispute.
When I feel to enter the mind spin zone of dwelling on the negative and causing the wind of my words to blow out the candles and open my mouth to affront a harmless negative I run into Colossians 3:12-17. It is a great Book to find directives to redirect my thoughts and continue to enjoy the magnolia fragrance of friendship!
Psalm 42:1, NRSV “As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God.”
Do I even know how a deer longs for a flowing stream? Do you? Share your story of a longing deer for a stream.
“A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. . . . Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.” – Matthew 7:18, 20 (NIV)
“Fruit takes time to develop and grow. Over time we will get to know others by the fruit that the Holy Spirit grows not only in them but in us as well. The apostle Paul lists that fruit: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23, CEB).”
*art by Rena Oynes -garden fruit grown by Chris Holton 2016
June, you remind me of flash cards.
You flash into our lives with a host
of flair and fanfare!
Birds sing with summer flowers
harmonizing; signaling summer
fruit is just a pick away!
June, the brightest card of your flash
is when graduates show us their
embossed diplomas making
12, 14, 16 or even 18 years
look like a flash of lightening!
Congrats are in order for
all our Grads.
You have done your family, community and
We stand and applaud your June, 2016,
With Hope for all your June’s!
Thank you, June
for stopping by each year.
Our hearts are lighter,
our eyes are brighter
when June greets us
each and every year!
Sara Craddock M (c)2013