Monday, June 26, 2006

yes is yes; no is no Why do we needlessly feel that we must explain ourselves? And, why do we ask others to promise that they really mean what they say? During wedding week, my mom and I started saying "no explaination needed." Yes, we will have different opinions and ideas, but since we were all competent women we could trust that even though they were different they were still all good ideas. There was no real need to explain and justify every decision we made. Oh, it made life so much easier. We didn't have to defend everything; we argued less because we just trusted each other and quit justifying everything. Recently when someone was going on ad nauseum about their answer when a simple "yes" or "no" would have sufficed, I remembered something my dad taught me a long time ago. I had asked him to do something. He said "yes." I then asked him to "pinkie swear" that he really would do it. He responded that his "yes was enough." He then quoted the second half of James 5:12 "Let your 'Yes' be yes, and your 'No,' no." My eathly father was teaching me, but my Heavenly Father was convicting me. I really did not need to ask others to promise above and beyond their "yes" and "no." I needed to trust others and allow my own "yes"s and "no"s to simply be yes and no. You know what? Life is actually much easier when we know someone's "yes" is yes and their "no" is no. No need to doubt. No need to question or beg. We can trust that they mean what they say. Life is also eaiser when we don't have to "pinkie promise" or explain why. So, I am consiously trying to once again be aware of the command in James 5:12--and be obedient. Trust me; it's not as easy at it might seem.
old man's tea Even though it was nine years ago, I still remember the very first time I saw a coffee mug full of green leaves and water. I was shocked! "What is that?" My student laughed at me and said, "It's tea." TEA!?!?! To me, tea was some brown substance folded inside a small white filter (AKA: a tea bag), brewed hot, drunk cold. He offered me a little paper cup full of green leaves topped off with hot water. I tried it, and it was B.I.T.T.E.R. Now, I love that bitter drink and serve it myself. In fact, if you want to really "serve tea" in Taiwan there is an entire process that must be followed. However, unlike the Japanese tea ritual, the tea ritual in Taiwan is more relaxed. But, it does last a long time. Brew a little, pour a little, drink a little. Brew some more, pour some more, drink a little more. Repeat. This process is lovingly referred to as "old man's tea." All over Taiwan, you can find groups of people sitting around drinking tea and socializing: at a souviener shop, in a temple, at the automechanic's, in front of their homes. Everytime I see a group of people sitting around drinking tea, I think: "that could be a church!" I pray that one day it will be a group of believers sitting around discussing what God is doing in their lives as they sip their green tea at the end of the day, a Bible study group meeting to discuss the book of John, a family gathering to pray for each other and their lost neighbors. Oh, may it one day be true!! In order to reach other cultures for Christ, we do not necessarily need to "change" them. God can redeem cultural traditions in order to bring greater glory to Himself. Isn't that cool? This post was submitted to the Carnival of Beauty hosted and sponsored by Sallie at A Gracious Home. This week the theme was The Beauty of Coffee and Tea.

Recent Comments