Freedom Is Not Free

I am enjoying a quiet, reflective Memorial Day weekend. Taking care of personal and household tasks, while watching two Ken Burns documentaries on Amazon Prime:  The National Parks with its history of passionate individuals striving to preserve the natural wonder, beauty, and wildlife of the wide open spaces in America and The War (WWII) with its history of brave men, women, and children of four American towns struggling, fighting, dying, and surviving in that horrific world wide war of terror.

I am reminded — appropriately — that freedom is not free. It always comes at a great price. I am sipping my tea and enjoying tasty maple almond tea cake (low-carb and grain-free), remembering these sacrifices for my freedom and realizing that I too must sacrifice for others. We are not all free — there are battles yet to be fought for those who struggle, fight, die, and survive today.

tea break

A Tradition of Tea

Another tradition my friend Tanya and I have is taking afternoon tea. We’ve enjoyed tea at the Drake Hotel Palm Court (Chicago), the Mandarin Oriental Hotel (Bangkok, Thailand), and the Pink Bicycle (Virginia).

We’ve just added the Arizona Biltmore to the list!

IMG_4726IMG_4725IMG_4727

Looking forward to more tea adventures!

Valentine Scone Love

Valentine Scone Love

My Valentine’s Day was full of goodness from start to finish! Traveled to Denver with mom. Breakfast at Snooze. Denver Art Museum. Cream scones at House of Commons. Fabulous dinner prepared by my brother. Then, home to make a special dessert. All good. Beautiful, easy-going sunny day.

Mindful

Cucumber White TeaEven if we believe God is strong, we often act as if he were a weakling. I am sitting here, drinking my cucumber white tea, thinking hard about strength and power.

Do we make God out to be a weakling? Do we “wimpify” God? Tea can be weak. A wimp is a weakling. But, we do not find a wimpy God in the book of Daniel, nor do we find weak men.

In Daniel 3, the Israelite captives Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego will not bow to the image of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. Furious, the king summons them, but they will not bend. They even say, “We have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” (v. 17-18).

The king orders for them to bound and thrown into the furnace – a furnace so hot that those who throw them in are killed.  The king is astonished by what he sees…  He looks in and sees four men unbound, walking around inside the fire – not hurt at all.

“And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together and saw that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men. The hair of their heads was not singed, their cloaks were not harmed, and no smell of fire had come upon them.” (v. 27)

I love that sensory detail.  One thing I know for sure, burnt things have an immediate and distinct smell.  But, their hair was not singed, and their cloaks were not harmed.  There was no smell of fire on them.

I am struck by this mighty God and by the bold courage of these three men.  And, any situation that seems too big… well, it isn’t.  I want to remember that.