Thursday, August 23, 2012

Herbal Iced-Teas . . . Yum!

Herbs contain natural therapeutic properties. We use them regularly in hot tea, so why not iced-tea? Take any herbs you grow in your garden or find at the farmer's market. Get creative, add fruit and various fresh herbs to black or green tea, or skip the tea and just use herbs.

I saw one iced-tea recipe with sage leaves and apple slices. I'm going to try it with a black sun tea, then mix with half apple juice, topped with apple slices and fresh sage in the glass. 

Do you feel tired? Add lavender to your iced-tea for a pick-me-up. Have you had a stressful day? Try some fresh mint in a tall glass of iced-tea for relaxation. Lavender and Mint can refresh as well as relax. 

Here are a few more recipes I found, but don't hesitate to venture out in your own creativity.

Herbal Iced Tea Recipe: Lavender Lemon Quencher

May/April 2008 Dawna Edwards
Fresh and thirst-quenching, this cool summer tisane is perfect for a garden party or simply to calm nerves and aid digestion. Makes about four 8-ounce servings.
• 1/4 cup fresh lemon balm leaves, chopped OR 1 tablespoon dried leaves
• 1 tablespoon fresh lavender buds OR 2 teaspoons dried buds
• 2 cups hot water
• 2 cups cold water and ice
• Fresh lemon for garnish
1. Steep lemon balm and lavender in hot (80- to 90-degree) water about 3 minutes.
2. Add cold water and ice.
3. Serve over additional ice with lemon wedges.

Herbal Iced Tea Recipe: Peach Pick-Me-Up

April/May 2008 Dawna Edwards
Make the most of summer’s most heavenly flavors with this sprightly tea. Fresh, fully ripe peaches are best, of course, but you can substitute canned or frozen peaches in juice (not syrup) when fresh peaches are not available. You can prepare the mint tea ahead of time, but always mix in the peaches just before serving. Makes about six 8-ounce servings.
• 1 tablespoon dried mint leaves
• 4 cups water
• 2 cups pureed peaches, chilled
• Fresh mint leaves for garnish
1. Steep mint leaves in hot (80- to 90-degree) water for 3 minutes.
2. Pour peaches into a sieve to remove chunks.
3. After the mint tea has cooled completely, mix it with the strained peach puree. Serve cold, garnished with fresh mint leaves.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Loose the Energy of Money

I've been thinking about something recently. If it ever caught on it could be a world-changing movement. Want to know what it is? Want to be part of something that has such a huge positive impact on the world?


Yup. Simply put it's sharing with those in need. I mean think about how great it could work. (Especially in the Church). If someone has money in the bank, they could offer to lend it to someone who has an urgent need. No interest charged. The person would plan to pay the donor back as soon as they could or a repayment plan could be arranged. 

The banks don't give any interest on savings worth speaking about anyway. And this would help someone in need as well as building treasure in heaven. (Side note: I think our currency in heaven is going to be those things we did that pleased the Lord--we might call that currency "Pleasing Points.")

Granted, we may not be paid back, and here's the rub. . . we have to be okay with that. We must continue to love without any animosity, trusting the Lord to be our Provider, as His Word promises.

When we share like this, it's best to consider it a gift and then if the person is able to pay it back and they do, we'll be pleasantly surprised. But if they can never repay us, be assured the Lord will not be outdone in generosity.

But if we give to others in their time of need, the Lord will make a way for us in our time of need. Then everyone will have provision enough.

Doesn't this sound like the New Testament church?

(Please repost this to Facebook or Twitter or something and see if we can generate some interest).

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Olympic Inspired What-Ifs

The Olympics are so inspiring.

Have you ever met young people with such dedication and commitment? These people in their teens and twenties are focussed on one thing alone. They don't go out late with friends, they don't eat junk food, they don't see the newest release from Universal Studios, they don't even get jobs to buy that nice car they saw for sale down the street. They eat, sleep, practice, work out, practice, do some school work-if they're still in school, practice some more, go to sleep then get up and do it again. They give almost every waking hour preparing in some way to be the best in their sport...they hope...the best in the world.

This isn't pie-in-the-sky hope. This is hope with feet. This is the kind of hope that gained people in the ancient world approval, according to Hebrews 11. We might view this kind of approval in the same way we view a gold medal. This is the approval by the world of a job well-done. Hope that moves a human to such effort that the results bring this kind of approval is more than a wish.

This hope is what Hebrews 11 calls faith, or conviction. I think we relate better to the word "conviction."

If I have the conviction that I can be the best in something, it motivates me to action...or does it? That kind of dedication and effort is very rare today. I can honestly say I've never been that dedicated to anything in my life.

The sad part about that confession is that I've never even given that kind of effort to Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God interceding.

And all for me.

Those drops of blood he sweated out due to severe emotional stress...those were for me. The crown of thorns pressed down into his forehead and temples...that was for me. The suffocating anguish He endured while hanging on a wooden crossbeam by gigantic nails pierced through his wrists and feet...that was all for me. For me and for you.

There are so many promises I see in scripture, promises of God's kingdom power available to us here and now. Promises I don't see fulfilled.

But what would happen if I dedicated myself to prayer? What if I prayed and kept on praying until I knew how to pray?

What might be possible if I read the Bible and believed those promises were for me today? What if I put feet to faith because of the conviction that nothing is impossible with God?

What if...?