Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday Reflection...

Every person has failed at one time or another, and I'm glad the phrase "failure needn't be final" is true.  We just concluded a sermon series at church titled, "Failures: What God Can Do With Our Mess-Ups."

The Bible's pages are filled with people who failed, but were forgiven and restored by God's grace - Moses, David and Paul to name a few.  One of my favorites is Peter.  Even though his intentions were good, he 'messed up' on several occasions.

Matthew's Gospel gives the account of Peter's denial of our Lord before His arrest and cruxificion, fulfilling Jesus' prophetic words to Peter, "...before the rooster crows, you will deny [disown] me three times."  After it happened, Peter was filled with remorse and wept bitterly.

He could have become mired in defeat every time he heard a rooster crow after that dreadful night of betrayal. But after Jesus' forgiveness and restoration a negative reaction became a beautiful reminder of second chances and new beginnings.  The rooster's crow became a love message from his Lord and Savior - "Cock-a-doodle-doo - Peter I love you! 

Peter learned from his failures, and became a leader in establishing the early church.  I'm so glad failures aren't final!

May God bless your week!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Cranbrook's Holiday Tables

On October 24th I wrote a post about ordering my ticket to attend Cranbrook House and Gardens 2014 Holiday Tables.  [The post can be read here.]  This year's theme is Illuminate the Season. Holiday Tables has been a 39-year holiday tradition sponsored by the Auxiliary of Cranbrook House and Gardens, and this year's presentation is the Grand Finale.  It has not been announced yet what event will take the place of Holiday Tables next year. 

Cranbrook was the home of George and Ellen [Scripps] Booth [newspaper magnates], and the second floor is now used for offices of Cranbrook Educational Community.

Yesterday, Holiday Tables was my first Christmas event of 2014.  With snow falling and temperatures in the mid-20's, combined with live Christmas music played on a Steinway piano, it did indeed feel like Christmas.

Below is the front of Cranbrook House, named after the English town from which the Booth family came. Exterior renovations are currently being made to the mansion as you can see in the scaffolding on the right.

Front Entrance - notice the year 1908 above the door - the year the Booth family moved into their new home.

~ Entryway ~

Holiday Tables have been a fundraising event with proceeds going towards preservation and restoration projects.  The Steinway piano in the library was one of the restoration projects, and it provided wonderful ambiance at the event.  It was played by a talented, long-time volunteer.

There were 18 tables this year, and tablescapes 1-6 were in the library, the largest room on the first floor.

Opening day of the three day event was well attended.   I arrived at 11:00 a.m. when the tour began, and left at 1:00 p.m., but the tables could be viewed until 3:00 p.m.

Table #1 - "Home for the Holidays"
Black and Crystal

Each place setting had different china.

Table #2 "Rhapsody in Blue"

Given my love for blue, silver [the table's jewelry], and crystal, this was my all-time favorite. It was put together by four generations of family members, and was absolutely stunning!

Table #3
"Dinner on Board R.M.S. Titanic"

Table #4 "After the Hunt"

~ A place card for Teddy Roosevelt ~

Table #5 "A Pastoral Christmas at the Country Manor"

Table #6 "A Holiday Gathering by Candlelight"

Yesterday's event included a lovely formal buffet tea, which I will include in my next post along with the remaining 12 tables.  

Thursday, November 20, 2014

European Table Art

Anyone who knows me well, knows I love blue and white dishes.  When a girlfriend and I met up today for two tea activities [blog posts will be forthcoming], she gifted me with six European style hardboard, cork-backed place mats [pictured below]. I've seen coasters, but never place mats. They're referred to as "art for the table," and I just love them!  You can be sure some will make their way onto the new shelves in my living room when the project is completed.

In the meantime, I'll enjoy them in the dining room. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Christmas Candle

If you're like me, you enjoy watching Christmas movies.  Last November Max Lucado's, "The Christmas Candle", was released and shown in select theaters across the country.  I looked for it, but it wasn't shown in my area.

It's now available on DVD and Blu-Ray, so I ordered it last week.  It arrived in yesterday's mail, so after dinner I watched it.  While it's not my favorite Christmas movie, it is a nice addition to my Christmas DVD library.

Following is the plot summary printed on the DVD jacket:
     Deep in the heart of the English countryside lies the enchanting village of Gladbury.  
     Legend has it every 25 years an angel visits the village candlemaker and touches a
     single candle.  Whoever lights the candle receives a miracle on Christmas Eve.  But
     in 1890, at the dawn of the electric age, this centuries old legend may come to an

     When David Richmond, a progressive young minister, arrives in Gladbury, the 
     villagers discover a new formula for miracles:  good deeds and acts of kindness.
     While David's quest to modernize Gladbury sets him at odds with the old world
     candlemaker, he finds an unlikely ally in the lovely skeptic, Emily Barstow.  Now,
     the fiery candlemaker must fight to preserve the legacy of the Christmas Candle.
     But when the candle goes missing, the miraculous and human collide in the most
     astonishing Christmas the village of Gladbury has ever seen.

If you're an Anglophile, you will enjoy this movie.  There are several tea scenes for tea lovers, and all viewers will benefit by being reminded that miracles come to those who believe.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Scrapbook Teacups

My girlfriend, Lori, recently gave me some teabag holders and teacups that are made with scrapbooking supplies.  She bought them as patterns.  The teacups are filled with candy, and would be great favors at a tea-themed shower.  

~ Another teacup style ~

Aren't they cute?  Thanks, Lori!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Shopping at Meijers

I stopped at a local Meijer's store this afternoon, and happily found JELL-O's seasonal Pumpkin Spice instant pudding and pie filling.  I heard about it last year, but was unable to find it, so I'm anxious to give it a taste test.

 I also spotted some terrycloth tea-themed dish towels that went into my grocery cart.

Hendrik Meijer opened his first grocery with his 14 year old son, Frederik, in 1934 in Greenville, MI [near Grand Rapids on the western side of the state].  In 1962 Frederik and his father opened the first "supercenter" store called Meijer Thrifty Acres - a one-stop store combining food and general merchandise.  There are now 106 stores in Michigan, as well as locations in four other states - Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky.

Frederik Meijer Gardens is a 132-acre botanical garden and outdoor sculpture park that opened in 1995.  

[Internet Photo]

I've known it was there, but have never visited.  That will change in 2015, however.  I recently read that it was named one of the top "30 must-see" places in 2009, and is Michigan's second largest tourist attraction [Mackinaw City is #1].  

A Japanese Tea Garden will be completed in June 2015 with an authentic Japanese tea house that was constructed in Japan by skilled Japanese craftsmen, then dismantled, shipped, and reassembled at Meijer Gardens.  Twenty-two million dollars have been spent to create the Tea Garden, which will offer Japanese tea ceremonies by appointment.  I'll definitely be making an appointment!

[Internet Photo of  a pond in the Tea Garden]

Pictured below is a statue of Fred and Lena Meijer in the Sculpture Park.

[Internet Photo]

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday Reflection...

In 11 Timothy, chapter 3, the Apostle Paul reminds Timothy that from infancy he has known the holy Scriptures, "which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus." Then Paul states in verse 16 "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man [woman] of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."

I'm so pleased Brooke, my granddaughter, is diligent to study God's Word, and was recently a 1st place gold metal winner on the district [70 churches] Bible Quiz team.

She's discovering young that God's Word is a lamp to her feet and a light for her path!