Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Best Place For Me


I cannot deny what’s
Obviously true
The best place for me
Is right next to you

A bus or a train
A window seat view
The best place for me
Is right next to you

Mass at St. Mary’s
Just filling a pew
The best place for me
Is right next to you

The living room sofa
Watching episodes new
The best place for me
Is right next to you

Cosy at night time
The day travelled through
The best place for me
Is right next to you


(c) Melanie Kerr    
Feb 2013


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Waiter! Waiter! There's a flower in my tea!


There wasn’t much point ordering desert.  My long absent appetite had returned but left the taste buds behind.  I ate my soup with relish, not because it tasted delicious, but because it was the first thing I had wanted to eat since Friday night.  I ate my beef stew in hope that the strong spices might track down the taste buds and resuscitate them, but it didn’t happen that way.  Blind fold me, put a fork in my hand and ask me to identify what I was eating and I wouldn’t have had a clue.  So desert was off the menu.  Desert is all about taste and nothing about nourishment at all.

In the absence of desert, and more than half the newspaper still to read, we opted for a cup of tea.  Well, one of us opted for a normal pot of tea.  The restaurant was offering floral teas.  There was a leaflet with pictures of the varieties they had on offer.  A wine glass, filled with hot water, and something lurking at the bottom of the glass – the flower apparently.  To be honest, I could have passed on the flower part of it, but something to ease a chesty cough, something to restore harmony to the body and give my organs a bit of a breather – that was the selling point. 

Flora Teas (Flowering teas) are,”  according to the Flora Tea Company UK Limited website,  hand-tied individual tea (Green tea) leaves with selected dried aromatic flowers forming a tea ball/heart, which reveals its secret centre when placed in boiling water, blooming into an artistic and captivating flower display with an enriching taste."  They go on to promise “an artistic and high quality experience unlike any other”.

The tea arrived.  Joe’s came with the teapot, the cup and saucer and the milk jug.  Mine came in the wine glass with something lurking at the bottom.  I was given instructions to wait until the flower unfolded and then throw in some ice cubes to cool the water down.

I had the attention of the surrounding tables.  We all watched in fascination as the flower unwound itself – a tiny white lily in a sea of green spiky leaves and red feathery fronds.  It looked just like the picture on the leaflet as I pointed out to people.  It was a work of art in a glass but, at the end of the day, it was a cup of tea.

Cold tea, or luke-warm tea, has never held any appeal, so I passed in the ice cubes and sipped away slowly, the flower in its bed of leaves swaying from side to side like an sea anemone on the barrier reef. 

The taste buds remained mute, but the eyes enjoyed the whole experience. 

That said, I am unlikely to rush out and buy a pack of Flora Tea.  It made for an interesting culinary experience.   I might return for a repeat performance once my taste buds have come home.  It would be nice to find out if the tea tasted as good as it looked.


Thursday, February 07, 2013

God's Word Spoken


I have just finished reading through the book of Joshua.  I have the last chapter or two to finish.  The aim of the study that I am following is to remind me that God keeps his promises. 

The book begins with God promising to give Joshua “every place where you set your foot.” The whole land it Joshua’s for the taking.  Forty years before that, Joshua had insisted, that regardless of giants and fortified cities, and being the size of grasshoppers, they could take the land because God was with them, fighting for them.  Forty years on, Joshua, crossed the Jordan and began to place his feet in the Promised Land.

What follows on from there is one battle after another, with the occasional blip, where cities are set on fire and the inhabitants are put to the sword – men, women, children, cats and dogs, sheep, goats and camels.  It makes for grim reading. 

God’s instructions are clear and not to be diluted.  There were times when the Israelites were allowed to take some plunder, but they were never allowed to let people live.  God was concerned that those spared, allowed to live side by side with the Israelites, would eventually lure them away from worshipping God to worshipping idols – which is what happened in the end.

In my work place, I don’t really have the option of putting anyone to the sword.  I work side by side with people who have very different ideas to me.  Many of the people I work with don’t share my beliefs and are all too ready to pour scorn on faith.  I don’t think it’s so much God they disapprove of but God’s people. 

I’m very much out numbered.  I know that the Bible promises that with God’s help I can rout a thousand and send tens of thousands running away, but that’s not always my experience.  Too often I feel like the routed one, the one that would very much like to run away.

More often, though, I feel lured away.  Their way of thinking and dealing with things slowly soaks in through my soul-skin and my spirit-skin.   I find I am not listening to God’s inner voice, but behaving just like them.  My thinking is small and petty.  My words have a slightly destructive edge to them. Love is not unconditional. I cease to be salt or light. 

I am glad that God tells me these things and that I listen, and I repent and I pray about it.

Our ladies Bible study group have just commenced a new study book.  We are about to dive into the book of Revelation.  The very first study suggested that we read through the whole book together, out loud, each of us reading in turn.  We needed, the book said, to see the big picture before we began to tackle chapters and verses.

There are places in the Bible where it speaks about God’s word being read aloud in the presence of all the people.  Ezra did it.  He read the book of the law while people stood and listened.

I took us an hour and a half. 

It was wonderful.

Scary!

A bit of a mystery!

Vivid!

Familiar in places!

Comforting!

Convicting!

As we read through one chapter after another, my spirit was stirred.  I am surprised that I didn’t leap up out of my seat at times, or fall down on my knees at other times.  Maybe I should have done, but I was aware we were dealing with a time limit.  There wasn’t time to stop and take a break and collect thoughts.  It was a roller coaster of a read. 

Through it all I felt, as I sat beneath God’s spoken word, I was being washed.  The stuff of the world that had soaked into my soul and spirit were gently washed away.  Sometime it wasn’t so gentle.  Sometimes it was like standing under a torrent of water, stripping away all that wasn’t Jesus. 

The word of God has been spoken over me – His transforming word:-

“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:10-11