Tea Among Friends

  A friend loves at all times, and is born, as is a brother, for adversity. Proverbs 17:17

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Our Glorious Hope

Posted by [email protected] on December 16, 2014 at 9:45 AM Comments comments (0)
When we look upon the life of Jesus Christ in the light of scripture, there is so much beauty for our hearts and minds to see. There is humility in His birth. Forgiveness in His redeeming work. Riches in His grace. He is light to guide our footsteps. Authority in His position, at the right hand of God. And His name is exhalted above every name, now and forever. Jesus Christ, is our glorious hope. ???I pray that your hearts will be flooded with the light so that you can understand the wonderful future He has promised to those He called. I want you to realize what a rich and glorious inheritance He has given to His people.??? Ephesians 1:18 NLT

Hula Hoop

Posted by [email protected] on December 15, 2014 at 1:40 PM Comments comments (0)
As a child, I had an all time favorite toy. A hula hoop. My friends and I would spend hours on the playground perfecting our techniques and seeing who could keep the hoop circling our waist the longest. Over the summer, while at the park, I watched as children of all ages and sizes try their hardest to keep a hula hoop from falling to the ground. They twisted, twirled, shimmied, and turned with all their might, but despite their efforts the hoop always ended up on the ground. Then I watched as a girl probably early teens, pick up the hoop and moved it smoothly and rhythmically up and down from her waist to her shoulders and back to her waist. The younger children were in awe. I admit, I was too. Her success depended on strategic movement, not vigorous motion. In relation to our spiritual lives, we oftentimes spend way too much time and energy trying to keep up with others in our service to God. However, working ourselves to complete exhaustion is definitely not a virtue. Whatever skills, talents, and gifts that have been granted us by God, are sufficient to get the purposes He has for our lives completed. He doesn???t need our frantic exertion or comparing ourselves to others to get it done. The only thing required is our quiet, steady, obedience. Jesus wants our willingness, not our weariness. We may not actually be using a hula hoop in service, but lets all work with what God has given us, for His glory. ???Let us not grow weary while doing good.??? Galatians 6:9

Mary's Song

Posted by [email protected] on December 10, 2014 at 8:20 AM Comments comments (0)
Of all the women in the world: young or old, rich or poor, of high or low status. God chose a young girl from an unimportant, backwater province to bear Jesus Christ, our Savior. Mary???s response was, appropriately, a song of joy and praise, one of the most moving prayers in the Bible in my opinion. Why? Because Mary understood that God had given her a great honor that would be remembered for all eternity and she welcomed it, along with every responsibility that came along with it. Yes, she welcomed the good and bad all with joy. God also blesses our lives in many many ways every day too. May we joyously receive His blessings with a song of thanksgiving. ???My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.??? Luke 1:46-48

Always With Us

Posted by [email protected] on December 9, 2014 at 10:15 AM Comments comments (0)
With our faith in Jesus Christ. We will never take a step without Him walking beside us. He will correct us, when we are wayward. When we face lack, He will provide. There will never be any circumstance that we will ever face that He can???t bring us through victoriously. Thats right. He is right there! We can take courage that even during those dark times in our lives, He is our light. He is our security, guidance, and peace. Therefore, with faith and hope we can move in confidence, knowing that we are following Him toward all things that He has prepared for us. Our heart response should be one of praise and worship for the wisdom of His ways, the beauty of His character, and again the many blessings of His goodness that He showers upon us. The depth of His love toward us cannot be meaured. ???Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out.??? Romans 11:33 NKJV

Christmas

Posted by [email protected] on December 8, 2014 at 8:55 AM Comments comments (0)
Holy Spirit draws us to the core of our faith, to the still waters of our salvation, to a humble place of worship, to the peace of His presence, to the simplicity of the cross, to the beauty of our Lord and Savior, and to the goodness of God given to us through Jesus Christ. Let us not forget the only reason for the season, Jesus Christ!

Gears and Gifts

Posted by [email protected] on December 5, 2014 at 10:10 AM Comments comments (0)
My first bike as a child had one gear, and that was whatever speed my little legs could peddle. The next had three gears: one for level ground, one for uphill, and one for going downhill. The last bike that I had was a ten speed. It allowed me when necessary to maneuver according to the terrain. I never used all of the gears for every trip out. Some were used for the initial start, some for climbing, gaining speed, and then those just for cruising. Ok...enough about gears. Let me make my point in relation to our personal lives, gears, and gifts. Even though I had a choice in the gears needed for my intended journey, that didn't mean that I would use them all for every trip. The same is true in regard to our abilities and spiritual gifts. During times when we feel that we are not being used to do certain things that we once did, instead of feeling useless and unappreciated we should instead thank God for the "gear" we are currently coasting in and able to use. Just because a skill isn't needed in the current conditions, doesn't mean it is no longer necessary and won't be used again. Our spiritual gifts are needed at different times and for different purposes. Needs and circumstances change frequently like the terrains while riding a bike. The apostle Paul reminded Titus, to "Be ready for every good work." (Titus 3:1) This definitely holds true for you and I as well. Needs and circumstances change frequently and in unforseeable ways. We just need to keep our tools ready! They will definitely get used in God's timing and for His divine purpose.

"As Is" Condition

Posted by [email protected] on December 3, 2014 at 8:30 AM Comments comments (0)
???For You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood.??? Revelation 5:9 A house listed for sale ??? As Is??? typically means the homeowner is unable or unwilling to spend any money to make it beautiful or make any repairs. Therefore, leaving any improvements to the new owner. ???As Is??? screams buyer beware. Significant investment may be required. Most would simply walk away, but not God. (Jumping up and down) How remarkable that when Jesus died, He paid the highest price for each and every one of us, regardless of our condition. He willingly purchased us for God with His blood. Yes, with all of our defaults, defects, and much needed renovation included. Now, by faith we are under His ownership,in the process of being remodeled for God???s glory. You???re jumping up and down now, aren???t you? God knows us inside and out, and declares that ???nothing is too hard??? for him to renovate. ???As Is??? is His specialty!

Negative Expectations/Inner Vows

Posted by [email protected] on December 2, 2014 at 8:35 AM Comments comments (0)
This was such an insightful lesson study, that I felt led to share with the Tea Among Friends followers. I certainly pray that it is as revelatory to you as it was to me. November 20, 2014 Lesson Notes/series: Negative Expectations/Inner Vows Instructor:Graves Negative expectations are unbiblical belief systems that generate sin energies. Negative expectation defined: an unbiblical belief system which has been established in your heart. It may be against yourself, others, authorities, institutions, or God. Most of these are established on an unconscious level, so we are generally unaware that we are holding them. Yet all must be repented of. They can come from word curses spoken over you or word curses you speak over yourself. Someone may tell you that you are stupid or you may tell yourself you are stupid. Both of these word curses will likely produce a negative expectation that you should act as if you are stupid. Negative expectations can also come from your heart digesting a negative experience and then creating a negative belief from the experience. For example, if you open your mouth to share and are ridiculed for it, you could begin to believe the lie that, ???If I ever open my mouth, I will be put down.??? The list of negative beliefs are endless. Negative expectations Activate the Law of Faith: Often these expectations are self-reinforcing, for whatever you expect and believe will happen, most likely, will happen. The Bible is clear to say that whatsoever one believes for he will receive. ???According to your faith, be it unto you.??? (Matthew 9:29) ???All things are possible to him that believeth.???(Mark 9:23) One???s faith makes even what appears impossible, possible. So, even if it were unlikely that I would fail in life, if I believe I will, I will. Because I have sown a judgment or belief system in my spirit saying I am going to fail, several biblical laws are activated in my life. ???As a man thinketh so is he.??? (Proverbs 23:7) Negative expectations Activate the Law of Judgment: The first is the law of judgment which says, ??? Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with that judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged.??? (Matthew 7:1-2) Therefore, there is now an opposite force that is activated in the universe that comes back against me and performs the judgment on me which I have made about others. If you judge(or expect) people to be unfriendly, they will be unfriendly toward you. Obviously, it may take some extremely unfriendly people awhile to warm up to your friendliness. This is where the law of sowing and reaping comes in. You sow into a person???s life for a while and eventually you reap a harvest. Negative Expectations Activate the Law of Honoring, Loving, Fearing rather than a negative judging of others: The Bible tells us what our attitude is to be: ???Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.??? (1Peter 2:17) Remember, we will receive back the judgment we send out. Wouldn???t it be nice to receive back honor and love from others and blessings from God, because we reverence and obey Him? When we disdain others, we cut off any gifts or blessings God may have planned for that person to give us. Honor obviously begins with our parents, as that is one of the Ten Commandments. God even has a promise for keeping this particular commandment. ???Honor thy father and thy mother; that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.??? (Exodus 20:12) Negative Expectations Activate the Law of Sowing and Reaping: According to the law of sowing and reaping, I must reap a harvest in light of what I have sown. ???Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.??? (Galatians 6:7) ???Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy.??? (Hosea 10:12) ???Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.??? (Job 4:8) This would mean I should expect judgments to come back to me in the same areas I have made them. For example, if I have made a judgment against people who are overweight, then I may find that I have put spiritual laws in motion which end up myself becoming overweight. Or I might find that I draw an overweight spouse to myself. Even if she is slender when we marry, my gale-wind judgment being constantly sent forth from my spirit says I don???t like people who are overweight, and that I won???t approve of her if she becomes heavy. This will cause a constant belittling of her self-worth as I criticize any and every activity that I see her doing that could cause her to gain weight. Eventually she succumbs to the constant criticism and the negative expectation that she will become heavy, and I receive back exactly what I???ve judged. I now have an overweight spouse. Negative Expectations Activate the Law of Multiplication: ???For they sow the wind and reap the whirlwind.???(Hosea 8:7) When sowing a negative expectation, I sow to the wind, and now I must reap the whirlwind. You may only sow a small seed of anger, but you will reap an entire crop of wrath, because one little seed sown can produce hundreds of seeds in return. In conclusion: Examine your beliefs and judgments to ensure they line up with the Bible. Those that don???t line up with the Bible need to be repented of and replaced with a more biblical belief system. The goal is to remove all negative judgments and expectations about the world, life, people, institutions, and God that attract negative to you, and replace with Biblical expectations that release God???s grace and life out through you and to you. The reverse of negative expectations is Spirit-anointed expectations. You will receive whatever you believe because your faith ensures that you will receive. Your faith draws it to you. Speaking the word has the power to transform. (Hebrews 4:12) Questions for Discovering the need to replace Negative Expectations: 1. Lord, what negative confessions come out of my mouth? 2. Lord, what negative expectations are in my heart? 3. Lord, what things do I believe that do not line up with what the Bible and Spirit are revealing to me? 4. Lord, what expectations are robbing me of love, joy, and peace? 5. What expectations keep me from giving thanks for all things and in all things?

Make It Count

Posted by [email protected] on November 28, 2014 at 11:50 AM Comments comments (0)
We often forget that our lives are intricately written by the hand of God, full of twists and turns. Some chapters are pleasant and joyful, while others not the case. Yet, until we reach the vantage point of eternity, we will not be able to see the full picture. Only then, when we no longer ??? see through a glass darkly,??? will every piece to our puzzle fall into place and make sense. Every ???coincidence??? will then utter it???s true purpose. ???Ah ha???.Now I understand.??? Will be our response. Our individual stories began on the day of birth, and doesn???t end when we step into eternity. We merely begin a brand new chapter, more exciting than the last. Remember you are the lead character in a very personal story. Your Life! Make it count.

People

Posted by [email protected] on November 24, 2014 at 10:25 AM Comments comments (0)
People important to you, people unimportant to you cross your life, touch it with love or carelessness and move on. There are people who leave you and you breathe a sigh of relief and wonder why you ever came into contact with them. There are people who leave you and you breathe a sigh of remorse, and wonder why they had to go away and leave such a gaping hole. Children leave parents, friends leave friends, acquaintances move on. People grow apart. Friends love and move on, you think of the many who have moved into your hazy memory. You look on those present and wonder. I believe in God???s master plan. He moves people in and out of each other???s lives, and each leaves his mark on the other. You find you are made up of bits and pieces of all who every touched your life. You are more because of it, and you would be less if they had not touched you. Pray God, that you accept the bits and pieces in humility and wonder. Never question and never regret. Unknown

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