Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day


I wanted to share how absolutely awesome my mom is.. 

My mom is not a Christian which is heartbreaking for me but if a girl has to have a non Christian mother, she needs one like mine. While I do not agree with everything she taught me or with all of the ways the raised me, I do know she has always loved me and most of the time, encouraged me to be me. 

Today I had a conversation with a young woman who chose a different path and I was appalled. Not that she chose to walk a different faith, we all have to make our own choices. What appalled me was her total lack of information. Information that has been documented through out history. Information that even the church she has decided to join, has begun admitting to. 

Here I sat discussing some well known facts with her and she got that look we all get.. that "you have no clue what you are talking about and I am right look." I listened.. I mean I have been wrong that one other time. I listened and didn't argue, then when she left.. I did my homework and gathered my facts. Just in case we ever had the conversation again. But the sad fact is, this girl is being brainwashed and it breaks my heart. 

Now what does that  have to do with my mother? 

Well, when I accepted Jesus into my life and became a Christian my mother totally supported me. All she asked was that I know what I believed and why I believed it. So I wouldn't look like some brainwashed idiot spouting inaccurate platitudes. 

She also drove me every Sunday to and from church, approx 20 away and paid for all church choir tours and retreats AND she allowed me to go to private protestant High School (go Heralds). Paid the bill and never commented on the sacrifice the family was making so I could go. 

Awesome much? Because my mother allowed me to have a relationship with Jesus (I would have had it anyway but it would have been much harder) Because my mother supported my relationship with Jesus, I received an amazing foundation in my faith. And the wrath of all my Bible teachers because believe me, my favorite question was why? When told later that I was one of his most difficult students and asked why I had so many questions. I was able to tell him..

Because I asked why, I know what I believe and why I believe it. I don't sound like some brainwashed cultist spouting off ignorant non facts.. 

So thanks mom for your awesomeness

Shauni

Monday, April 6, 2015

Iris, A Review @KyleReardon

Tea and Book was first created so I could introduce you all to new writers. Over the three plus years it has been in existence, I have been thrilled to introduce you to some really excellent authors. Today, I am going to do it again. And this time, it's a brand new format for us! 

Author Kyle Reardon is bringing us the first part of his brand new comic book, Iris. 

Iris addresses some issues that we may soon have to deal with..

BLURB: IRIS BRECKENRIDGE, gold medal Winter Olympic athlete, has met an early and tragic end. A science and technology firm, BIOSTRONOMY, resurrects her by filling her body with nanobots - tiny microscopic robots repairing and replacing every broken and damaged cell in her body. These nanobots also have a knack for making her stronger than ever - more powerful every day. IRIS now faces an uncertain future.  Given a second chance at life she never thought she would need, IRIS faces a world convinced her body is a piece of technology BIOSTRONOMY believes they own,.  IRIS searches for meaning and uses for her growing physical strength, encountering difficult questions of faith along the way. She is a woman once dead but alive again, however unnaturally. What debt does she owe and to whom? And what of her soul?

Hmmm, some pretty heavy thoughts for comic book.. They sure have come a long way since we had that grocery bag full of Superman Comic books (and yes we gave them away).

I was uncertain just what I would think when I received this ARC.. but I truly liked the premise and the concept. So I thought what the heck, let's give this a try. What I discovered was a well thought out storyline about things that are not really Science Fiction. This certainly could be happening in the very near future Shoot Lyndsay Sands has an entire series based on nanos keeping her people in "peak physical form" but Kyle takes it one step further, his heroine was brought back from the dead. And now she has to face some ideals and concepts that no one has had to face before. 

I really appreciated how Kyle addressed both medical advancement and military greed. Trying to make the perfect soldier? And in just 28 pages he starts the fight for who Iris "belongs" to. Is she still a human or is she just a shell? 

28 pages? that's it? Because it has just begun and already he has me thinking.. Is Iris a "person" or is she a shell? I have my own opinions but can't wait to see how Kyle draws this out.. 

Never fear fans this was just book 1, there are more to go and hopefully, Mr. Reardon will allow us to review them.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
"Kyle Reardon grew up reading comics and watching cartoons, but as he grew into an adult he decided to study SERIOUS subjects like Creative Writing and Film Studies in college. As a grown-up Kyle decided that comics and cartoons were way more fun and devoted years of free time practicing his comic art. Iris is his first comic. Kyle lives and works as a graphic designer in Washington, DC."
Want to find out more about Kyle? You can find him on

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KyleReardon.Iris
Twitter: @kylereardon   https://twitter.com/kylereardon His Website: http://www.kylereardonart.com/#illustration2

This young man has an exciting future ahead of him and I am so excited that I get  to be  part of it.

Shauni

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Sunday, October 5, 2014

You Will Not Abandon My Soul Psalm 16


Psalm 16

16 Preserve me, O God, for I take refuge in You.
2 I said to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
I have no good besides You.”

3 As for the saints who are in the earth,
They are the majestic ones in whom is all my delight.

4 The sorrows of those who have bartered for another god will be multiplied;
I shall not pour out their drink offerings of blood,
Nor will I take their names upon my lips.

5 The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and my cup;
You support my lot.

6 The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.

7 I will bless the Lord who has counseled me;
Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night.

8 I have set the Lord continually before me;
Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

9 Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will dwell securely.

10 For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol;
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.

11 You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.


Now this is a hallelujah Psalm if ever there was one. You shall not abandon my soul.. WOW!!

But this is more than just rejoicing, there are lessons to be learned.

Choose your friends wisely

3As for the saints who are in the earth,
They are the majestic ones in whom is all my delight.


Rejoice with the saints of the land. Share your concern, your prayers, your activities with those who also serve God. Allow them to be there you as well as you be there for them.

4 The sorrows of those who have bartered for another god will be multiplied;
I shall not pour out their drink offerings of blood,
Nor will I take their names upon my lips.


And accept that those who serve other gods will fail. Will suffer, the victory might momentarily be theirs but in the end, the triumph is ours. And by gods, I don't just mean other religions or known "gods". There are those who worship greed, fame, power, etc...

Worry not about their "success" for "Indeed we have a beautiful inheritance"

And we when we struggle, when we are tempted, when we doubt. Remember listen to God because
"He will make known to us the path of life"

Shauni

*remember these are my thoughts on this verse and what I took away from my Bible study.. feel free to add yours to the discussion.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Who Shall Dwell in the House of the Lord, Psalm 15


Whom shall dwell in the house of the Lord?

Psalm 15
 
15 O Lord, who may abide in Your tent?
Who may dwell on Your holy hill?
2 He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness,
And speaks truth in his heart.
3 He does not slander with his tongue,
Nor does evil to his neighbor,
Nor takes up a reproach against his friend;
4 In whose eyes a reprobate is despised,
But who honors those who fear the Lord;
He swears to his own hurt and does not change;
5 He does not put out his money at interest,
Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things will never be shaken.

Now as Christians we understand that our place is guaranteed in heaven. That Jesus' death wiped away all of our sins. But that doesn't mean we should just run around sinning willy-nilly. No it means that there is a conduct of behavior that is expected of us.

Yes, we have the privilege of having the Holy Spirit live within us but we still have to consciously decide to allow the Spirit to flow through us at that moment of temptation.

But I look as this psalm as a litany of temptations. We are tempted to:

  • Walk an unrighteous life
  • Gossip
  • Lie
  • Respect evil
  • Enact revenge
  • Accept bribes
  • Lend money to our benefit
  • Judge our friends..

And that is what David is warning us against. Of course the "big" sins are things we are aware of.. murder, stealing, adultery, etc... those are obvious. But the "little" sins are equally unrighteous and all it takes is one step on the wrong path.

And right at the end of vs 5

He who does these things will never be shaken

What does that mean? Well I read this to mean, when we do these things we are not serving God, we are not glorifying God, we are falling into sin and closing our hearts to God.

So as Christians we need to walk with integrity.. to live the life God has planned for us and then we can take vs 5 in an entirely different manner.. He who does these things shall not be moved. Living a righteous life, allowing God to flow through us.. then "just like the tree that's planted by the water.. we shall not be moved!"

Shauni

*remember these are my thoughts on this verse and what I took away from my Bible study.. feel free to add yours to the discussion.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Folly and Wickedness of Men Psalms 14


Psalm 14
 
14 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds;
There is no one who does good.
2 The Lord has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men
To see if there are any who understand,
Who seek after God.
3 They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt;
There is no one who does good, not even one.
4 Do all the workers of wickedness not know,
Who eat up my people as they eat bread,
And do not call upon the Lord?
5 There they are in great dread,
For God is with the righteous generation.
6 You would put to shame the counsel of the afflicted,
But the Lord is his refuge.
7 Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion!
When the Lord restores His captive people,
Jacob will rejoice, Israel will be glad.


This has become such a prevelant problem in our society. Somehow we have allowed those who have closed their hearts to God, to be in control. We have given them the power and now are suffering for it.

We are a generation that is searching. Because we crave that connection with God but as time has passed and it has been declared "There is no God" the people look elsewhere to fulfill their needs. We rarely call them cults anymore, instead we have watched them infiltrate our society and our minds.

"They have turned aside together they have turned corrupt"

That insidious whisper of promise has slithered into them until they believe in the power of greed. Of might making right. Of silencing those who stand for God. The problem is, our souls cry out for more. So we seek but not for God because "God does not exist". It's only when someone finally listens finally opens their eyes that they discover what they were seeking has been there all along.

That God will fill their spiritual coffers. That they are free in God's love. That those other "religions" are mere imitation. That true knowledge comes from God.

I can hear the voices now.. the outcry, the accusations. We must be tolerant of those who believe differently from ourselves. Must we? We must love them, yes, we must show God's love, yes. But be tolerant.. I wonder. I know I don't judge those who honestly show their faith in something other than my God. I would enjoy a lively discussion.. a meeting of minds. But these aren't even the people I speak of. I speak of those who are "spiritual" or have found the religion of conformity.. who disclaim God with one breath and spout their foul beliefs with the other.  The ones who blame Christians for being Christians and mock our beliefs while spouting tolerance.. Those people.. I find my tolerance factor is busted.

Shauni

*remember these are my thoughts on this verse and what I took away from my Bible study.. feel free to add yours to the discussion.