Okay folks. Here is MY picture of the cool kids. It seems it's all the rage these days to have a picture of Tom and Ape on your blog. Me, not wanting to be left out - decided to get in on the action. This is a special moment - one in which I won't soon forget.
They are a dear family and a whole lot of fun. We have had the opportunity to have them at our home with another family every other Friday for bible study. It has been very convicting and I have learned so much about myself in the light of scripture. I will share just one illustration from the book (we are only on chapter 3) - it is very good.
Lessons from a Tea Bag:
When we take a tea bag, place it in a teacup and fill the cup with hot water, the water activates the tea in the bag, unleashing its taste into the water around it. The hot water didn't create the taste; it merely revealed, or drew out, what was already in the bag. This depicts what happens in the human heart. The pressures around us (the unfavorable circumstances, the temptations, and the commands of God to love Him and our neighbor) merely draw out of our heart what is already in it. We cannot blame the hot water for the taste in the cup. The contents of the tea bag determine the flavor of the tea. If we don't like that particular taste, we need to put into the water a bag containing a different kind of tea. Similarly, we cannot shift the blame for any bitterness, anger, despair, deception, cruelty, and so forth that we display when we are under pressure. The pressures merely expose how unlike Christ we really are.
Do you get that? Let it soak in for a moment. It is not the situation - rather how we react (both within and without) to the situation.
I hope that is an encouragement for you to focus on Christ and not your "hot water."