Can Christian’s enjoy Yoga?

Just like many women I thought I would look at doing some exercise. I was interested in a few different idea’s. A Christian friend of mine was thinking of joining a yoga class and asked for my opinion. I always had an ick kind of feeling about the thought of joining a mystic type yoga class and the more I looked into it, the more I wanted to stay away from it. Hinduism and also New Ageism seems to be creeping it’s way into our modern culture and Yoga is becoming very popular in the west. I certainly don’t fully agree with everything said on this video but I certainly do believe in being cautious when it comes to spiritual matters. I don’t think all Yoga is a simple way to stretch and be healthy I feel there is a lot more to it than that. There are lots of different types of Yoga but it is essentially derived from Hinduism and in the very least at it’s core has a spiritual element. That spiritual element is not based on Jesus or in Christianity. Since I am a Christian I don’t believe that there are many different God’s or I am my own divine God or I will be reincarnated. I also don’t want to be meditating on anything but my Lord and Saviour. I don’t want to hum, meditate or pose my physical body to represent idols or false Deity’s. Really Yoga is not for me. As a Christian we don’t play “Christian” tennis or “Christian” baseball but none of those sports have a mystic or spiritual element. With everything it is good to research, test and look into things for yourself. Perhaps there maybe a way to do pure “Christian” Yoga? Although once you know the history of Yoga it might be tricky to get your head around it? So as far as yoga goes, I won’t be doing any yoga classes but I will have a look at biking, hiking and swimming (swimming if the weather ever gets warm enough?) Hmmmm… maybe Pilates but I will have to do a little research on that too. I hope you find this video interesting and thought provoking. Hope you are having a lovely day 🙂
~ Sarah xxx

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A Good Cup Of Tea

A Good Cup Of Tea…

I definitely love coffee especially to kick start the morning. I have a yummy Fair Trade Organic Coffee that my Husband and I love. BUT I also like to have a good cup of tea too. It has taken me a long time to find Tea that I love. If I don’t love it then I won’t drink it. Maybe you are the same?

Below is a few general tips on how to make a good cup of tea.

My favourite tea at the moment is Japanese Green and Mint Sencha Tea. Brewing loose leaf tea produces a yummy cup of tea. I prefer to use loose leaf tea because I can always taste a slight paper taste if I use tea bags especially in Green Tea. Some stronger Black Tea you may not notice any paper taste. I think brewing loose tea leaves captures more of the tea’s flavour. Typically I use individual stainless steel tea infusers but a pot of tea is always lovely when you have more than two friends over for morning or afternoon tea.

Best advice is to make tea the way you like it. And if you don’t know how you like it, try making teas lots of different ways until you find a tea you love.

General Rules for Tea making: Use 1 teaspoon per cup. If using a teapot add an extra spoon for the pot. Well that is what my Grandma always did so I do it too.

Warm your Cup and/or Teapot. This only takes a minute and really does make a difference.

You want to use good clean fresh water. Tap water is ok if you have fantastic water. I use filtered water.

Do not over boil the water. It drains the water of oxygen.

Brew Time:
Do not brew your tea for too long. Over brewing will leave a bitter aftertaste. Larger leaf teas can be brewed for longer than the small cut leaf.

Brew large leaf teas for around 3-5 mins and finer cuts teas between 2-4 mins.

Black teas that will be served with milk or lemon should be brewed a little longer, 4-5 mins for large leaf and 3-4mins for finer cut teas.

Green Tea should be brewed in water that is below boiling point. Try using 1/4 cold and 3/4 boiling water. Green Tea can be brewed several times.

White Tea should be brewed in water that is below boiling point.
Try using 1/4 cold and 3/4 boiling water. White Tea can be brewed for up to 10 minutes and brewed several times over. Each brew reveals a new layer to the tea.

Rooibos tea can be brewed as long as you like without ever going bitter in taste, unlike other tea there is no tannin in Rooibos tea.

Herbal tea: Use one teaspoon of herbs for each cup. Add boiling water to plunger/teaball or teapot. Let the herbs infuse for at least 5 minutes to ensure all the goodness is released. Add honey or lemon as desired.

Recommended water temperatures for different Teas.

Black Tea
Around 88°C to 94°C
3 to 4 mins
Tiny bubbles begin to thread along the surface.

Green Tea
Around 65°C to 77°C
2 1/2 to 3 1/2 mins
Column of steam just begins to rise.

Oolong Tea
Around 82°C to 94°C
5 to 6 mins
Tiny bubbles begin to thread along the surface.

Red Tea
Around 88°C to 99°C
3 to 4 mins
Just under a full boil.

White Tea
Around 77°C
5 to 7 mins
Column of steam just begins to rise.

Herbal
Around 82°C to 94°C
5 to 15 mins
Tiny bubbles begin to thread along the surface.

What about adding milk to your tea?
It’s all about individual taste. Milk is acceptable in most Black teas. It can however mask some of the delicate flavours. I add milk and sugar because that is the way I like to drink my Black tea.

Green tea, White tea, Oolong and Herb tea don’t taste very nice with milk. These teas are normally made black.

Rooibos: In South Africa it is more usual to drink rooibos with milk and sugar, but elsewhere it is usually served without and is served black.

To sweeten or Not to sweeten?
Honey is recommended as a sweetener, sugar is also fine in most tea. I use honey or white sugar in tea. I use raw brown sugar in my coffee. Remember it is your tea and you should make it the way you like it.

Fruit Blend Teas are the most recommended for an Iced Tea Infusion, however most teas can be used.

Iced Infusion:
Use cold water and mix approx 1 tablespoon / litre.
Leave in the fridge for 4-8 hours.
For the best result, leave overnight.
Then serve over ice.
Add lemon or fruit to bring out the fruity flavour.
Add honey or sugar syrup as a sweetener.
To make sugar syrup – combine equal parts sugar & boiling water, stir until dissolved.

What kind of glasses do you wear…?

Today I was reading in Mark where Jesus is telling his disciples about how he will be leaving. James and John ask Jesus if they will sit beside him on the throne in heaven? Effectively James and John wanted to be with Jesus but they also wanted recognition and honour. They learn a lesson about how their lives, (and by extension also our lives) need to be completely focused on looking at everything with “Kingdom Eyes”. You know those scriptures about how “the first will be last” and “the last shall be first”. How we are to be servants and how Jesus came to serve and not to be served. Jesus gave his very life. Aren’t we suppose to do the same? Don’t we need to see our lives with Kingdom Eye’s and to see things as they truly are? If we focus on this world and on things in this world and look at life with earthly or worldly eyes, then we will always be disappointed. As Christians we don’t belong in this earthly kingdom we belong to God’s heavenly Kingdom and that is where our home is. It is not here on earth.

So do we live our lives to serve? In what manner do we serve God and in what way do we serve others? Or do we put ourselves first before serving God and others? Do we know what God’s will is for our lives and what he is wanting us to do? Do we know God well enough to know what he is wanting us to do and what he is wanting for our lives? Are we going to humble ourselves to be like Jesus and to serve as he served. Are we going to focus and see things as they really are with Kingdom Eye’s and give up our worldly wants, desires and live as Jesus did?

Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with living in this world. There is nothing wrong with having good things either. God loves us and wants good things for his children. What I am suggesting is to take a closer look at ourselves to make sure we are on track and doing God’s will and not our own will. We need to try not to be caught up buying, thinking, doing or focusing on the wrong things. If you want to have Kingdom Eye’s then you have to start looking through the right pair of glasses. Not glasses of this world but with God’s Eternal Glasses.

Ministry can be awesome sometimes…

Today I had a couple of meetings, it was a fairly intense. Seems there is a lot of heart ache for a number of women going through some tough times ATM.

My third visit was late in the day. I was dropping off a lasagna for a young single mum of four kids including a new-born baby. Don’t get too excited I bought the lasagna as there was no way I was going to have time to cook. She and her kids surprised me with a beautiful bouquet and the most gorgeous heartfelt card. I could not be more thrilled. It is so nice to be appreciated instead of criticized. Sometimes being a Pastor’s wife is a thankless job BUT not today 🙂 Today was awesome!