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.

Is Your Bottom Right Side Up?

happy-coffee-92313-436Keurig—if you’re not familiar with the word, you may think I’ve started speaking a foreign language. If, however, you recognize the word, you know it’s a handy device for quickly making a fine tasting cup of coffee.

Even though I rarely have any problems with my coffee maker, I do have an “oops” moment from time to time. Because I had one such moment yesterday, I’ll share a tip with you: Make sure your coffee cup is right side up when you place it under the spout of the coffee maker.

If you place the coffee cup under the spout upside down you end up with a rather large mess—coffee everywhere except in the cup. When the cup is inverted it’s impossible to fill it with freshly brewed coffee. You can smell the tantalizing aroma of your favorite blend; however, you there’s no tasting what you’re craving.

A person’s life can, at times, be a mess because he is out of position with God. The blessing is present and ready for you to receive, but you are upside down in your relationship with God.

To get your life headed in the right direction, listen to the words of the Psalmist: “The Lord is good and upright; therefore He shows sinners the way. He leads the humble in what is right and teaches them His way. All the Lord’s ways show faithful love and truth to those who keep His covenant and decrees (Ps. 25:8-10)”

Commit yourself to keeping “his covenants and decrees,” and you’ll be at the right place at the right time to drink from the fountain of His “faithful love and truth.”

The Morning Essential: Caffeine

timcupI’m going to confirm what you may have suspected for some time: I’m a head-case. Not only am I a head-case, I’m a government certified, card-carrying, head-case!

Without boring you with too many details, I sustained a head injury while I served in the Air Force, and I’ve been plagued with daily headaches since 1972. Many different formulas have been prescribed to try to help me manage the pain, but nothing seems to work.

One of the pills I’ve tried consists of a blend of acetaminophen, butalbital, and caffeine. The acetaminophen is used to relieve inflammation and pain; the butalbital acts as a sedative relaxant; and the caffeine enhances the effects of the acetaminophen and butalbital.

Without the caffeine, the acetaminophen and butalbital would have some effect; however, for maximum effectiveness, the pill needs the presence of the caffeine.

I see a correlation between the effectiveness of the caffeine and the empowering and enlightening of the Holy Spirit that Paul wrote about in Ephesians: “I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, would give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the perception of your mind may be enlightened so you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the glorious riches of His inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power to us who believe, according to the working of His vast strength.”

I guess you can say my morning routine includes caffeine and more caffeine. I begin by popping a K-Cup in my Keurig, going to my chair, and sipping my coffee as I ask for God’s Spirit to enlighten me as I read His word.

I know that I need to start every day with a fresh cup of His wisdom, and I invite you to join me—sip it in and live it out.