We Are Covered in the Storm

I thought it was just a small diversion to explore a new city after driving for four hours from North Carolina toward Philadelphia as we prepared for a church meeting my husband had been invited to. I told him, “let’s take this exit and see what’s there.”

The city looked inviting after driving through woodlands. It would be something different. We exited and noticed that there were very few cars in the area even though it was just past the drive time hour. Strange, I thought as we looked for a parking space. We spotted a beautiful white building that was surrounded by construction and detour signs. “This would be a nice place to walk around,” I said to my husband. He has slowly learned to give in to my detour requests as many times what happens afterward ends up in his sermons. He’s an evangelist.

We stopped the car and asked a mom and her two kids for directions to a restaurant. It was dinner time. Nothing seemed strange about the request. The mom pointed to a couple of restaurants. After, we found a parking space and noted, again, that it was weird that there were so few people walking on the streets.

“I’m not sure it’s safe to walk here,” I commented as I spotted a few people on the streets. There were unkempt looking skater men and homeless people. Please note that I love talking to homeless people in downtown San Diego where we live, it was just that this place seemed different. My husband didn’t say much as he parked the car. We found our sneakers and put them on. We needed a bathroom so we headed toward a 7-11 and CVS but when we got there both of their doors were locked. Weird, again as it was only about 6:30 p.m. when places like that are normally open.

We peered down the street and looked for open doors. At about the same time one man started walking in back of us and another joined up with him shortly after walking dangerously close to us. They were the only other people on the street. I started to look behind me but my husband told me not to look back as he grabbed my hand. We found a waffle and chicken place that was thankfully open and walked inside, glad to lose the men trailing behind us.

My husband asked the young guy behind the counter, who appeared nervous, why the streets were so empty. He said a big storm had just passed through and everything had closed early.

From WBBT’s website

It was sunny with just a few clouds by the time we arrived in the city. We decided to eat at the small restaurant and prayed about what to do next. I wanted to see the old architecture of the city but it didn’t seem safe with so few people around. We decided to walk back to our car and drive around before heading back on the road.

As we were driving I decided to do a google search on the area. We had dropped into Richmond, Virginia, a place I had never visited before. I found that the city has the highest crime rate in the country, and there had been three separate shootings in the area over the previous weekend.

“Just this past weekend eight people were shot in about a 12-hour span,” noted a segment from an article posted on the area’s CBS 6 website.

We gave a sigh of relief as we drove onto the freeway leaving the deserted city behind us. We gave thanks to God for protecting us in the middle of the storm.

1 Thessalonians 2:2-We had previously suffered and been treated outrageously in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in the face of strong opposition.

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First Day of Summer Tea Party

We decided to celebrate the first day of summer 2019 by having an English Tea Party at a cute Tea House in La Mesa called Aubrey Rose Tea Room. The event was exciting because we introduced the English Tea tradition to some of the Syrian Refugees in our community. Most of them speak Arabic and just a little bit of English, but the universal language of love cut through the language barrier and luckily one of them was able to translate.

 The history of how English Tea got started is interesting. Here is a brief discussion of it.

Afternoon Tea History

Tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world after water, according to Lifestyle Lounge.  The origin of tea can be traced back to the year 2737 BC when people boiled water for health reasons. A Chinese Emperor named Shen Nun was drinking a cup of hot water. The wind blew some dried leaves into his cup.  He fell in love with the smell and taste. British afternoon tea became popular in England in the 1880’s. At that time Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, became hungry at around four o’clock.  The evening meal was usually served at eight o’clock. So, she would order a tray of tea, bread and butter and she would invite friends to join her.  Anna’s tea with friends started in her private living quarters in the summer and she would include a walk in the fields. After Anna started afternoon tea it became fashionable with the upper-class women. They would dress up in gowns, hats and gloves. Later tea ended up taking place primarily in drawing rooms–rooms in a house where visitors are entertained. The popularity of tea coincided with the Enlightenment period when intellectual and creative thoughts were pursued. Some people also believe that it played a part in the British Industrial Revolution by giving people an extra energy boost from the stimulants in tea.

In Britain today, afternoon tea is a luxury for the residents. They will indulge for a birthday,  a special event or when they are out shopping with friends.  

Did you know that…

  1. Tea first became available in London coffeehouses in the year 1647.
  2. Tea rooms may have helped women win the privilege to vote as they had a place to talk about politics in a neutral setting.
  3. The Twinings Tea Shop is the first known tea shop and opened in 1706. It has been at the same location since its opening; 216 Strand, London.
  4. Sometimes tea or lunch breaks for British workers are called “elevenses” because 11 a.m. is a good time for them to take a break before their traditional lunch time of 1 p.m.
  5. Britains like to dunk biscuits in a “cuppa” (cup of tea) and this custom is now in many parts of the world.

References:  History of Tea, Retrieved from http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com/lounge/history-of-tea-1842.html; Johnson B. Afternoon Tea  Retrieved from https://www.historic-uk.com/CultureUK/Afternoon-Tea/; 10 Fascinating Facts about the History of Tea in Britain. Retrieved from http://britainandbritishness.com/?s=history+of+tea.

الشاي يعتبر ثاني  اشهر مشروب  في العالم بعد الماء بناء على مجلد الحياة لقد اكتشف الشاي في عام 2737 قبل الميلاد عندما كان الناس يغلون الماء لكي يصحوا .  و يحكي أن امبراطور  ياباني اسمه شان نن كان يغلي ماء في كأس والرياح اطاحت ببعض الأعشاب اليابسة في كأس الماء المغلي فاعجبتة  راءحة   الأعشاب  جدا في الماء وشربه.  

 إن الشاي الإنجليزي في الظهيرة من اشهر  ما يعمل في إنجلترا نحو ١٨٨٠ . في مثل هذا الوقت الملكة أنا ملكة اليونان شعرت بالجوع نحو الساعة 4:00 مساء . وكانت من عادتها ان تأكل العشاء نحوالساعة  8:00 مساء.  فكانت تطلب صنية فيها كوب شاي وخبز وزبدة  وتدعو صديقاتها للحديث معا  في بداية الصيف في وقت الظهيرة.  منذ ذلك الوقت صارت  العادة وكانت تدعو صديقاتها في منزلها الخاص وصارت موضة بين الاغنياء

 اللذين كانوا يجتمعون ويلبسون أفخم الثياب والقبعة على رؤوسهم وجونتي في اياديهم.  وتطورت العادة وصار الشاي جزءا من الحياة اليومية في المنازل من خلالها يدعونه أصدقائهم في البيوت ويتكلمون معا.   

وانتشرت العدة بشرب الشاي في أوساط المفكرين والباحثين عندما يجتمعون معا والبعض يؤمنون انه جزء من البيئة الإنجليزية الذي  يعطي الناس  دفعة وطاقة من خلال مكونات الشاي.

 وانت شاب العادة بالشغل بشاهي في أوساط المفكرين والباحثين عندما يجتمعون معا والبعض يؤمنون انه جزء أن من البيئة الإنجليزية لي أعطي الناس دفعة أولى دفعة وطاقة لهم طوال اليوم .

في إنجلترا اليوم شرب الشاي في الظهيرة من الامور الراقية  جدا في المجتمع وصار جزء أن من أعياد الميلاد والمناسبات الخاصة أو في  التسوق . 

هل تعلم هذه الحقائق عن الشاي: 

 الحقيقة الأولى : ان شرب الشاي سار  متداول في إنجلترا نحو عام 1747 

 الحقيقة الثانية :  التفاف النساء حول الشاي ساعدهم جدا في دخولهم السلك السياسي للحكومة ومجالات الانتخابات لان التفافهم  حول الشاي ساعد  الكثيرين  يجتمعون ويتكلمون في السياسة 

 الحقيقة الثالثة : أول محل لبيع الشاي افتتح في عام 1756 وما زال هناك بالرغم من وجود 216 فرع لي الشاي في لندن 

 الحقيقة الرابعة: صارت العادة في إنجلترا ان الناس يشربون الشاي الساعة 11:00 ظهرا وفي هذا الوقت يستريح الناس والعمال والموظفين من اعمالهم وخلالها يشربون الشاي  وياكلون الطعام

 الحقيقة الخامسة الإنجليز يحبون شرب الشاي مع الحلويات الكعك وأصناف أخرى من البسكويت.

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A few of my new friends


Meet Anna Maria, the rag doll.

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The Father’s Heart

My husband and I have been traveling on the East Coast spreading the gospel to many churches and people we meet outside of churches.  Our most dramatic experiences with people have been while we were traveling and taking what we thought were little off the road side tours to see sights but we realized later were divine appointments.

We have seen many salvations, healings and deliverances during these times. Mark 16:18. We are thankful the Holy Spirit is with us as we meet these people.  We are also very grateful for the many churches who have hosted us along the way.

We helped the Father’s Heart Ministries in Rochester, New York with their food ministry for the needy on one of the worst streets in the Rochester area. We met many wonderful people who were open to the gospel and welcomed prayer and ministry. The food they give out to the needy is restaurant quality. We were served a delicious pasta dinner for helping out!   www.thefathersheartroc.org

 

 

 

 

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A Little Bit of Hope

Tammy was sitting down near the fence of the downtown San Diego Salvation Army. My husband and I had decided to walk to breakfast when we first spotted her. I wondered out loud if they were feeding the homeless that day and if anyone was praying for them. I had spent a little time praying for people at a food and prayer time at one of the local churches and thought it would be a good idea. Before I could finish my thought Tammy seemed to be reaching out to me. I asked her if she wanted prayer. She did.

Eventually we found out what her name was as we were praying. She had spent a lot of time on the streets of San Diego and her face and hands were littered with tumors. She did her best to hide the ones on her face with a scarf. I asked her if she could stand up. She said it was too painful but with encouragement, prayer and our hands helping, she lifted her body up from her squatted position.

Tammy had multiple strokes and heart attacks. I was amazed she was still alive. She was hard to understand, possibly from all the strokes. More prayers and she started to sing old gospel songs. She said she knew God and she believed He was with her on the streets. Another man came by with a bible and he started to pray with us too. We all ended up at breakfast together. She said the women’s shelter wouldn’t house her the night before because she wasn’t complying with some of their rules. I wanted her to go to the hospital but she said most who did that from the streets didn’t come out alive.

After we left we promised Tammy we’d bring some clothes and blankets to her that night but when we went back we couldn’t find her. She seemed to be popular with the homeless crowd but no one knew where she was.

Sometimes I still look for her in the faces of other homeless people downtown and wonder if she’s doing OK. Homelessness is a big problem, but maybe that day we gave Tammy just a little bit of hope in a dark place.

 

 

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Courage in the Face of Adversity

CourageWhat do you do in the face of adversity?  Do you run and hide, clench your fists, get upset, shut down or become discouraged?  I confess I’ve done all these when crushing circumstances, events and people rained down more than I could bear. For a while I couldn’t understand how my God, the one I submitted to again and again, could allow so many disappointments and pain all at once. I kept searching my heart and posing questions in prayer–Have I done something awful that I’m not even aware of to cause this?  Sometimes I would be shown what I needed to work through and that was the easy part because I could work on my own stuff. But the hard part was dealing with what others had done against me. I didn’t know how to handle the wisdom while the offenders showed no sign of repentance or responsibility. I had to ask in prayer so many times to please help me forgive because I knew I wouldn’t be able to on my own. I was assured that God was there to help but there were times the adversity was so intense that the only way to handle it all was to pray sorrowfully–sometimes for hours.

Eventually, I started to learn to be thankful even in the midst of the pain. I’d sing and give praises looking for anything small that I could be grateful for–A bird singing, a new bud on a rose bush or a summer rain storm.

There are many good biblical examples of a single person overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds, like Queen Esther, Daniel, and David, but when your story steps into that picture of odds stacked against you it’s not easy to walk through it all. We are told that God is with us though and that’s where the comfort comes from. His presence of peace is worth more than any human can offer. And, what or who can stand against the great I Am? That knowledge alone can make us courageous in the face of adversity.

“Sing to the Lord! For though I was poor and needy he rescued me from my oppressors.”  Jeremiah 20:13

 

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Living Out Loud and the Power of the Cross

Have you ever read What Color is Your Parachute? It’s the book they recommend you read after high school or college to figure out how to get a job.

I hadn’t read it until recently I decided to pick it up at the library after being stumped as to why I was having difficulty finding more work projects.

umbrella

One of the chapters in the latest version talks about how Google is your new resume. So I naturally did a Google search on my name and found an article I had written just a year before saying the salvation prayer at a Joel Osteen event. I had forgotten I wrote it as a guest blogger on a friend’s blog. After reading the article I began thinking, uh, oh this is one of those things the book is talking about scrubbing.

My first instinct was to contact my friend and ask that he remove the article or at least take my name off it, but as I was brushing my teeth this morning a new thought came to me. What if that article shows the power of the cross and how it can change people’s lives? I could hide from it by asking that he remove it. But was the better response to keep it as a way to show how I’ve changed to someone who is continually changing? Could it also reveal the beauty of how Christ, in his kindness, showed reasons for that behavior? We are told that he doesn’t leave us half finished but carries us all the way through. I decided that’s the better story and made a decision to keep it out there.

Matthew 10:26  says “Do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.”

So I guess it comes down to this. Will the person who is googling my name really believe 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. Or will I be judged as if I am still that old person? The chapter in the book I’m just starting to read is titled “You Need to Understand More Fully Who You Are” based on the author’s idea that rather than finding a job that you can change for, you match a job to who you are. That sounds like a great plan and one we were told about in Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…”

So I’m going to make a bold statement. Why not display some of the things you aren’t proud of doing before you became a Christian to show people how far you’ve come? It can be dangerous. People may mock you, scold you or make you an outcast but at least unbelievers will have a harder time using that word that keeps them away from us “hypocrites”.

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Cinderella Story

Cinderella Story

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Paper Doll Love

Style photo

As an adult, I still like to play with paper dolls so here’s me cutting out outfits from fashion magazines and pretending like I’m 7 years old again.  It’s my Throwback Thursday Thing.

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Celebrating 12 Days of Christmas-Epiphany Day 12

Like most of the research I conducted earlier regarding the celebration of the twelve days of Christmas, some of the meanings of each day’s celebration tended to get a bit blurry so after day seven I stopped recording until the last day,  Epiphany.
Some of the things I did on the days leading up to the end of the Christmas season included meeting with my sister and her two kids in Newport Beach where we exchanged presents. They were visiting from out of town.  We ate pizza at a traditional looking Italian pizza parlor and navigated a shaky four seater bicycle down the boardwalk–her kids in the adult seats while we adults crammed into the kids’. Since it was snowy and cold at their home, it was a big change for them to be on the beach boardwalk.
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As the work week began the season seemed to get lost until Epiphany. On that day, the best present I received was an answer to prayer in attracting like-minded people to my spontaneous writing group. Two new people showed up–one was producing a movie about two friends, one with a disability and in a wheel chair and the other pushing him on the 500 mile journey of the Camino de Santiago in Spain.  The other person quoted a verse from 1 Corinthians in her writing.  Then, I decided to get a late lunch after a staff meeting and ran into a writer that had previously attended the group.  I had lunch and good conversation with her and her friend.  That evening, I read a new book about a California mission. So, I learned more about the history of the church, overall a great way to celebrate the last Holy day.
According to ChristianityToday.com, “Epiphany is the day the celebration of Christmas comes to an end…Epiphany commemorates the beginning of the proclamation of the gospel—Christ’s manifestation to the nations, as shown in three different events: the visit of the Magi, the baptism of Jesus, and the turning of water into wine.”

The article from ChristianityToday continues, “Following Jesus, we have been baptized into his death and resurrection. Whether we are called to martyrdom, or to prophetic witness, or simply to faithful living in the joys and sorrows of our daily lives, we live all of our days in the knowledge of our dignity, redeemed through Christ and united to God. We are part of the strange society of people whose world has been turned upside down, and we go out to witness to this topsy-turvy truth: “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us…”

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