From Yesterday to Tomorrow

kenyan_aaMaybe it’s the Kenyan AA, the Costa Rica by the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Company, the Three Continent, or perhaps it’s Tully’s Hawaiian Blend, that does it to me.  I’m not sure if it is the coffee or something, but there are some mornings that I become acutely curious about the mental path my mind travels.

When I find myself wondering about the wandering of my mind, and I question the wisdom of the words that travel from my neural pathways to the tip of my keyboard, I may need to think about my drink:  Does the blend of coffee influence my thoughts?

My first cup of coffee this morning was Kenyan AA.  As I was sipping it, I thought about the Beatles and the resurrection.  Did this best blend of coffee from Kenya ingest a strange correlation between England’s Fab Four and Jesus?

Yesterday is one of the better-known songs by the Beatles, and a line in the song says:  “Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far way . . .” As I thought of those lyrics, I thought they might have been the exact words of Jesus’ disciples immediately following His arrest.

I took another sip and “yesterday” was my thought in a little different context.  I wondered about a couple of things:

  • How did the disciples think about “yesterday” the day after the resurrection of Jesus?
  • I wondered about Paul McCartney’s words: “I’m not half the man I used to be . . .”

Because of the resurrection I’m not half the man I used to be: I’m a whole person due to the fullness of Jesus.  This relationship is clarified by Paul in his letter to the Ephesians:

My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.

God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.

Glory to God in the church!

Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus!

Glory down all the generations!

Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!

I’m not sure how your “yesterday” was, but I do know the hope you can have tomorrow through the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love.

Water: An Essential of Life

kenya-water-crisis-projectI think it was Abraham Lincoln who said that, “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”  Whenever I think of this quote, the subject of statistics comes to mind.

People use statistics for different reasons. Someone has said that, “Figures don’t lie. But all liars figure,” and I think it was Vin Scully who said, “Statistics are used much like a drunk uses a lamppost: for support, not illumination.”

Some statistics are profound and purposeful, while others are simple and of little value.  I’ll let you be the judge as to the value of the list below:

  • Studies show that 3 out of 4 people make up 75% of the population.
  • More than 10 people a year are killed by a vending machine.
  • The most children born to one woman was 69, she was a peasant who lived a 40 year life, in which she had 16 twins, 7 triplets, and 4 quadruplets.
  • During the first year of its life, a new baby will deprive each of its parents around 350-400 hours of sleep.
  • The human eye blinks an average of 4,200,000 times a year.

I think this second list contains some statistics that are truly worthy of your attention:

  • 783 million people do not have access to clean and safe water. 37% of those people live in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • According to the World Health Organization, for every $1 invested in water and sanitation, there is an economic return of between $3 and $34.
  • Nearly 1 out of every 5 deaths in children under the age of 5 is due to a water-related disease.
  • 1 in 9 people worldwide do not have access to safe and clean drinking water.

When I washed my truck today, I wasn’t thinking of the few people who die because of a vending machine.  I did, however, wonder about what I should do to help the 283,710,000 people in Sub-Saharan Africa who don’t have access to clean and safe water.

I also thought of something else.  It was the discussion that Jesus had with a woman who was drawing water from a well.  In His typical fashion, Jesus used a common site and a traditional practice to teach a spiritual truth:  Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life (John 4:13-14).”

Based on what Jesus said, 100% of all people need to look to Him for salvation (John 14:6).  Take a close look at Him; study Him intently, and drink the cup of salvation that He offers you.