Posts made in July, 2015

“Hands On”

“Hands On”

I have a few friends who are unfamiliar with my pod coffee maker because they’ve never used one. They’ve seen them, but don’t own one, and have had no occasion to put their hands on one, so the process seems a bit of a mystery. My brother, a very capable techie person, recently stood in front of mine, “How does it work?” This is probably the only time in my life where I knew how to operate something and he didn’t. Should have taken a picture! “It’s not difficult.” I echoed the same words he had said to me dozens of times regarding the computer and relished the way it sounded on my tongue. But as simple as the familiar is to a user, it’s equally not as simple to someone unused to it. A few other friends don’t drink coffee—that’s right, don’t drink coffee—I love them anyway. They’re completely at a loss regarding water to grounds portions for brewing a pot in a standard coffee maker. The same goes for making a drinkable beverage in a large, spigot-dispenser kind. It’s simple. Unfamiliarity stumps us. The Bible is like that for many people. Like my inexperienced, coffee-making friends, they know about it, may have tasted it, but are baffled when faced with reading it themselves. If they attend church, they drink their “cup” of Bible there, but avoid the intricacies of opening the Word and filling up at home. Those of us who have gained some proficiency in the Bible, can have the delight of sharing how we read and study our Bibles. Peter encourages us to employ our skills “to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” Let’s take what we know and share the knowledge. Who would you like to learn from or share...

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Reheated

Reheated

Lukewarm coffee. Yuck! For years I drank mine hot, not scalding, mind you, but comfortably warmed. The microwave was a great invention, allowing me to reheat that half cup by pressing a few buttons. Then iced coffee debuted. As a southern girl, I grew up with iced tea as a standard mealtime beverage, so trying out iced coffee was an easy experiment to make. Living in Florida with its seven-month summers, this new twist was a welcome addition to other heat-beaters. Hot. Cold. Opposites. Both palate pleasers. But lukewarm? Flat. Tasteless. Even God isn’t pleased with tepid. In Revelation he addresses the church of Laodicea with the words, “I know your works, that you are neither cold or hot. I wish that you were cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of my mouth.” Lukewarm believers present a bigger problem. Beverages cool quickly, but decreasing faith takes longer. Just as the Lord invites us to taste him and see that he is good in Psalms, so he tastes us to see if we are good. An interesting thought. We bring pleasure to the Lord with the fervor of our souls. But why would he say be hot or cold? If you’re cold, you know it, and have the choice to do something about it. Lukewarm, on the other hand, is sneaky. It’s a slide into pew perching, looking okay on Sunday, not being okay the rest of the week. When my delight in the Lord cools off, not only do I not taste good to him, but my life loses its flavor. I drift into seeking savory refreshment in temporary things. The best thermometer for our souls is the Word. No matter where we read, God speaks, bringing truth to us from all parts of the Bible. If we look and listen, he’ll ignite our souls again—the best “re-heater” ever. What’s your temperature...

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My Favorite Cup

My Favorite Cup

I have a favorite cup for my coffee, a gift from a friend several years ago. The thin ceramic isn’t as delicate as fine china, and requires less careful handling, and it’s less clunky than diner mugs. My favorite shades of aqua and teal dominate the pattern. The size is perfect for eight ounces. Inside the rim in black script on a white background, words from Jude 2 remind me that intangibles are more important than the beverage I choose. “Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.” I like the silent reminder with each sip. In the same way, I need regular prompts to hold onto correct priorities. We each have ideal fits—in jobs, friends, in goals and activities. We’re like Goldilocks, trying one thing and another, looking for the fit that isn’t took big or too small, but just right. By starting each day with the Lord, we acknowledge the eternal in the midst of our lives. If I begin with Him, my cup holds the right amount of activity, neither too much nor too little. Some goals will take part of a day, others weeks, and yet others the rest of my life. But pursued properly, each one is like a cup at a time, the right amount to tackle, so that I’m busy, not overburdened, making time to work and to relax. Your favorite cup can remind you to create life-enhancing habits, beginning with a mental and spiritual boost each morning. Your point of balance may be a favorite cup or chair. Choose things that start your day well, whether rising for a quiet few minutes before the rest of your family, reading a well-loved devotional or your Bible, or using a journal with scripture prompts to focus the hours that stretch ahead. What favorite things help begin your...

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