Over the last year I have become acquainted with it, past the prepackaged boxes you find in the grocery stores, and to the family of loose leaf.
My daughter started this merry adventure when she discovered that she had a passion for tea. A joy that has been fanned by the various flavors she has tried at tea stores. Flavors that range from the common to strawberry lemonade.
Her growing devotion to tea also captured the interest and enthusiasm of her older sister who found the enticing flavors even included an assortment of chocolates, I believe that was the clincher for her, a chocolate drink that had a minimal amount of calories in it.
For me, it has been an education learning about the different types of teas, but there is one that has caught my interest above all.
Not because of the variety or even the flavor, but because of it's distinctive presentation, the tea is carefully shaped or bundled together like a ball.
These are called blooming teas, they are unique in that they are brewed directly in a clear pot or tall glass, so that you can see what happens as heat is applied and they become hot, they open up into ornate pretty flowers.
This previously unheard of creation has captivated my attention as it reminded me of something more stunning and beautiful, the blessing of seeing my Lord in the witness of others.
Those that are poor.
(Luk 21:1) And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury.
(Luk 21:2) And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites.
(Luk 21:3) And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all:
(Luk 21:4) For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.
What can God do with a little?
(Mat 14:17) And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes.
(Mat 14:18) He said, Bring them hither to me.
(Mat 14:19) And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.
(Mat 14:20) And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.
(Mat 14:21) And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.
Those that are young.
(1Sa 17:32) And David said to Saul, Let no man's heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine.
(1Sa 17:33) And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth
What can God do with faith?
(1Sa 17:42) And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance.
(1Sa 17:43) And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.
(1Sa 17:44) And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field.
(1Sa 17:45) Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.
(1Sa 17:46) This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.
(1Sa 17:47) And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD'S, and he will give you into our hands.
(1Sa 17:48) And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.
(1Sa 17:49) And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth.
(1Sa 17:50) So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David.
Those that are in sin.
(Joh 4:15) The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.
(Joh 4:16) Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither.
(Joh 4:17) The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband:
(Joh 4:18) For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.
What can God to with a testimony?
(Joh 4:28) The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men,
(Joh 4:29) Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?
(Joh 4:30) Then they went out of the city, and came unto him.
Those that are sick.
(Mar 2:3) And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.
(Mar 2:4) And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.
(Mar 2:5) When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.
What can God do with a miracle?
(Mar 2:12) And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.
When the world presses in hard against us.
(Jas 5:11) Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
What can God do with a prayer?
(Jas 5:13) Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
(Jas 5:14) Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
(Jas 5:15) And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
(Jas 5:16) Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
There are so many more that can be found in the Bible, and from them we can learn so much to help us in our walk with the Lord.
But don't discount the breathtaking walks of strength and courage that are here and now. They are among us in the church, our loved ones, our neighbors, and in our very own town.
They are found in the laughter of those who see His beauty even when their hearts are broken, who show His love when they have received hate, who show His strength when they are weak, and those who cling to Him when there is nothing left to hold onto.
Remember the word of our Lord, in
(Pro 3:5) Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
and be a beautiful witness when the heat is on.
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