The mysteries of Christ are meant to be explored by everyone. Every background, every race, every spiritual heritage is invited. Yet, it might not seem that way; Christianity can often seem foreign and awkward, even to new Christians.
The Tea Room Scrolls is a bridge in the Asian garden. At the height of the bridge, two groups of people will meet in this study: those familiar with Asian spiritual traditions, and Christians wanting to explore Jesus’ teachings from a new vantage point. From the safety of the bridge, and with no pressure to step off the bridge, you will explore the mysteries of Jesus Christ in a fascinating format.
Mankind has questions—about the purpose of life, the path of blessed living, the way to live in peace, the pursuit of abundant joy. The Tea Room Scrolls is a mindful and spiritual adventure you will never forget as you ponder Jesus’ answers to the most important questions of life.
Come up onto the bridge and enjoy the view in this series of seven courses--each course is designed as an eight week self-study course.
The Tea Room Scrolls were first birthed during the writing of Slow Brewing Tea.
In 2017 God asked me to start writing a novel. I knew not why. I am not a novelist, nor am I inclined to read novels. Like Isaiah in Slow Brewing Tea, I am a shy pragmatic math and science oriented business owner. My reading material throughout most of my adult life was limited to business and leadership topics. In 2008 when I finally let Jesus into my life, my reading material changed to just the Bible and scripture commentary. When God asked me to write a novel in 2017 it seemed silly to me. However, the one thing I love most about my life is watching God work--through me and others. So, I agreed to start writing a novel as He instructed.
My writing method was to pray and seek His guidance, then move forward writing what I heard. Repeat. Sometime in the next twelve months, the scene in the tea room came alive to me in my imagination. Once I realized the scrolls in the tea room revealed an entire grid of scripture that taught God's word, I stopped the novel and spent months in prayer to choose the scripture carefully. It was a blessed time with the Lord!
My thirty five years in pursuing Asian faiths became instrumental in choosing scripture that would illuminate God the Father's truth, but in the context of the directions, East, South, West, North and the Middle Way.
With one main scripture on each scroll there were only five scriptures to represent the entire message of the Bible. What must they be? For the uninitiated, for the Japanese person who knew nothing about Christianity, what must you tell them about Jesus, if all you had were five scriptures to paint on scrolls and hang on your walls?
Furthermore, nobody needs to be plucked completely out of their context, forced to abandon everything they have ever known and coerced into learning a "foreign language." This is particularly relevant when your culture is already convinced that foreigners will never truly understand you!
I know that feeling! Therefore, the Tea Room Scrolls bring Christ to the Asian, brings Asia to the Christian and challenges all of us to love like Him!
YOUR PERSPECTIVE IS ABOUT TO BE STRETCHED BECAUSE...
Best-selling author Randy Loubier spent 50 years pursuing the Asian spiritual traditions of Shinto, Taoism, Hindu and Buddhism, all the while convinced that Christians were weak people who were deluded by a book written by ancient kings to control the masses. When he finally read the Bible for himself, he discovered something extraordinary: Jesus’ teachings not only brought radical joy to his life, but are a far better fit to the Asian culture than the West!
“Western Christians are often blind to some vital teachings of Jesus!”
“Asian spiritualists are closer than they think to the Kingdom of Heaven!”
The Top Five
An Asian Exploration of the Mysteries of Christ
Volume 1 contains vital introductory material. We start our exploration with a foundation of mutual respect and love.
Most students will enter this study with some level of discomfort. The Asian non-Christian may be the most skeptical since they may be thinking, "If I sense any level of animosity to my culture and my heritage I am out!" The western "Asian-leaning" spiritualist (like my former self and Isaiah from Slow Brewing Tea) may be next in line in skepticism--they may feel "This Jesus thing is just a hoax--but...I'm curious." Thirdly, the western Christian is coming to this study with some trepidation that since Jesus was not Asian, and did not teach anything remotely Asian, they may be wondering, "How could this study not cross over into blasphemy?" And finally the Asian Christian may be the most excited to join this study, since they may be wondering if they have finally found "A Bible study that honors my background!"
In all cases, I am confident that by the end of the third week you are going to feel comfortable and ready to dive into THE TOP FIVE TEACHINGS OF JESUS!
The Eight Points of Blessed Living
How Do I Find Joy In My Current Life?
Volume 2 follows the left column of The Tea Room Scrolls Grid. If you read Slow Brewing Tea, you will remember Akira teaching in the tea room on the Eight Points of Blessed Living. This session in the tea room impacted Isaiah powerfully; you will be changed by this teaching, too! Every human being, regardless of spiritual background, ethnicity and culture wonders "HOW DO I FIND JOY IN MY CURRENT LIFE?"
As you and I struggle to maintain a balance between work, family, health and faith we frequently ponder, "Is there a better way?" We wonder, why didn't God give us a simple path to joy? Why can't I catch a break? Why can't I just pray a prayer and start to live with God's favor?
If you are self-reliant you assume you just need to try harder. If you are a Buddhist you try to meditate your way into joy. If you are a Taoist you seek guidance from the I-Ching to find a new path of joy amidst the latest winds of change. If you are a Shinto you try to appease the good spirits to find favor and joy. If you are a Hindu you double down on your meditation and prayers to find favor and joy.
Jesus has a lot to say about finding joy in your current life. He talked far more about this life than the afterlife. He claims there is a path you can follow to find joy, in your current life, in all circumstances! This powerful eight week self-study course will open up the scriptures to you and change you forever.
How Do I Grow?
In Love, Compassion, Trust and
Jesus was prolific in His teaching on growing in love, compassion, trust and spiritual enlightenment. Indeed, when you decide to step off the bridge in the garden and make a commitment to following Jesus' path, you are in for a lifetime of adventurous growth. Jesus doesn't invite you to join a club where you say a prayer, visit a building once a week, and suddenly you are spiritually mature. The after-life may be secured instantaneously with Jesus, but spiritual growth in this lifetime is the most rewarding reason to stay alive!
The Hindu, Buddhist and Taoist will find kinship with Jesus in this topic. Jesus taught spiritual enlightenment as a pursuit, though not over multiple lifetimes, but one. Jesus wants you and I to grow spiritually! And He taught extensively on the subject! He told the woman at the well, "If you knew the gift of God, you would ask for it!" The gift of spiritual enlightenment is that extraordinary! You don't want to miss out on His gifts.
As you metaphorically face east, and ask Jesus, "How Do I Grow?," you will follow Jesus' advice from Point 1 to Point 8 and uncover the mysteries of Christ regarding growth in love, compassion, trust and spiritual enlightenment. Life-changing growth--emotionally, intellectually and spiritually--is not only possible but will produce extraordinary fruit in your relationships with God, your spouse, your family, friends and co-workers.
Where Is My
For Life, Love and God
Young or old, we can get to a place in our life where we wonder, "Where did I lose my fire?" You remember a time in your life when you were on fire. You had energy, drive, passion. You had a desire to pursue the mystery, to take the road less traveled, to explore the recesses of your creativity, to think out of the box, to discuss topics into the wee hours of the night and to to see the world.
Where did you lose that? In your job, in your struggles with a relationship, in addiction, in disappointment?
Inevitably, all of us find ourselves in this place. But, Jesus doesn't want you to live there! He has other plans for your life! He wants you to metaphorically face south and let Him rekindle your fire! In this study you will join Jesus as He teaches you to reach out to Him, and pursue His path of fire. An adventurous life of passion is waiting for you!
"Good" For Me?
How Do I Gain Confidence in Making Choices?
Some of us seem to be naturally inclined to making decisions quickly and confidently. Others of us are agonized, even frozen in despair, over making "the right" choices. Yet, it doesn't take long in life for everyone to reach a point where they desire a supernatural answer to dawn on them as the exact right answer for the exact situation they are in. Maybe we are in a foreign complicated land, maybe we see an ethical conundrum, maybe we face a fierce and powerful enemy, maybe we are experiencing shame.
The Taoist reaches for the I-Ching, the Buddhist and Hindu meditates, the Shinto asks their ancestor, the spiritualist looks for signs or consults a medium, the self-reliant pours over the research again, the emotional thinker asks their friends to tell them or pray for them.
But what does Jesus say to do? In this study, you will metaphorically face west and you will seek and find the "good way," a path set out by Jesus in which you will find confidence, peace and the right answer for your situation.
How Do I
How Do I Develop Mental Toughness and Aquity?
Shortly after I started reading the Bible I met a man who told me that the Bible contains everything I would ever want to know about being a man, a husband, a father, a friend and a business executive. I was surprised by the last in his list, a business executive. I have been in business since I was eleven years old. Prior to being saved by Jesus, nothing intrigued me more than being a great business executive, business has been a lifelong focus of achievement and success.
It turns out that man was right. Jesus doesn't want you to be a puppet. He wants you to be wise, pursue truth and develop a mental toughness that will keep you focused on your mission, His mission for your life, no matter what obstacles you face. He wants you to get up, get going, use your brain, use your body, and win the race.
In this study, you will metaphorically face north and discover how Jesus gives the gift of wisdom and mental toughness.
How Do I Find The Central Purpose of My Life?
There are many "ways." There are many paths in front of us. Most of us never really choose a path. Sadly, we tend to meander in the direction of our family, our ancestors, our local culture. Rarely do we examine the path beneath our feet. Therefore, we never get to Volume 7. Not many will make it this far, metaphorically or literally. It's too much work to look at our path and wonder--is this the right path for me? And lest you think westerners have the corner on individualism and find it easy to choose a path less traveled, all humans are equally blind, and worse yet, westerners are without the excuse of Wa, face or shame to blame it on.
Jesus asks you to find a path that will illuminate your purpose in life. Not so you can be a "good person," not so you can get rich, not so you can be famous. He reaches out His hand to you and says, "I have birthed you for a purpose. Yes, you. Just you. I gave you unique gifts for that purpose. Take my hand and follow me. I have all of it figured out ahead of time for you, if you will but trust me. Wa, face, shame, disappointment, worry, fear, anxiety, failure, embarrassment, ridicule, persecution, torture and death. All of it will melt away in my arms. Trust me and follow me. You will never look back. I am the middle way! I am."