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Drowning in Spiritual Gatorade

From 4 days ago: The red light was on. The humidifier needed water. As I was taking care of it, an old song floated through me: “Fill my cup, Lord…I lift it up, Lord…come and quench this thirsting of my soul.”

The NFL players come off the field to the sideline.

Some head for the bench, some stand alone, some find another player to talk with or yell at, some go to their coach.

All of them have people with Gatorade bottles around them ready to rehydrate them.

It’d be weird to see a player grab one bottle after, drain about five down his throat, and then complain of still being thirsty.

Stranger yet would be to see that same player not want to get back onto the field.

But that’s what some of us have done: gone from a small group to a Bible Study to a worship service to a new book to an accountability partner to a dvd study to whatever the latest hot trend in Consumer Christianity might be…and then we still complain of our souls not getting what we think we need…and worse, we turn away from the playing field.

That classic chorus we’re thinking about here for a couple of days points not to endless activity. It directs us to being aware of our Lord’s presence. It then leads us to be expectantly still long enough to experience God’s willingness to quench this thirsting of my soul.

So, where are you in all of this today? Running off the field, breathless? Having your soul’s thirst quenched, or looking for a never-ending supply of spiritual Gatorade from someone? Ready to get back into the action, or looking longingly towards the locker room before the game’s over?

Even more importantly, where does our Lord want you right now?

See you back here tomorrow.

 

 

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Don’t Stay Thirsty, My Friends

From 3 days ago:  The red light was on. The humidifier needed water. As I was taking care of it, an old song floated through me: “Fill my cup, Lord…I lift it up, Lord…come and quench this thirsting of my soul.”

In a subtle way, that classic chorus reminds you and me of a responsibility we have.

Its second phrase is a call to action: I lift it up, Lord.

I can be in the kitchen, be thirsty, know that there’s a variety of beverages in the refrigerator and an even greater assortment of glasses in the cabinet, and stay thirsty.

Connecting a glass with a beverage and then drinking the contents are the only ways to quench my thirst.

True for our spirits as well.

We can be reading and studying The Bible, be in a small group, participating in a worship service, and stay thirsty.

Instead, “Fill my cup, Lord…I lift it up, Lord…come and quench this thirsting of my soul.” 

How are you lifting up the cup of your very self to our Lord today?

Because in this instance, “Stay thirsty, my friends” is not good advice.

 

Fill My Cup

From two days ago: The red light was on. The humidifier needed water. As I was taking care of it, an old song floated through me: “Fill my cup, Lord…I lift it up Lord…come and quench this thirsting of my soul.”

When will it happen for you this weekend?

At church? When someone greets you? During a song, or the sermon? A prayer? Hug or handshake? A moment of stillness and silence?

In Sunday School or Bible Study? Reading a Scripture passage? Listening to someone? Sensing something new of God’s grace? Getting a deeper understanding of what you thought was familiar?

Ask our Lord to fill your cup and get ready to be amazed.

Fill My…Grandma’s?

From yesterday: The red light was on. The humidifier needed water. As I was taking care of it, an old song floated through me: “Fill my cup, Lord…I lift it up Lord…come and quench this thirsting of my soul.” 

Mrs. McCellan was my second grade teacher at Irving Grade School and then my third grade teacher in Sunday School. One of the first things she had us learn was The 23rd Psalm in the King James Version, which included the phrase “my cup runneth over.”

I would laugh every time we got to that line.  The image — my grandmother sitting at the kitchen table pouring coffee into her white flowery cup while it ran over into the matching saucer and then sloshed onto the tablecloth which soaked it up for a little bit before the dark red linoleum floor started to get noisy as her overflowing coffee hit it while she just kept on talking — hilarious to third grade me!

Time went by.

“My cup runneth over” became an underlying theme of my life as opportunities and more presented themselves. At the risk of sounding hokey, blessings abounded. Many of them I took for granted or even missed at the time, only becoming aware of their significance later.

How about you?

In spite of our less than Blimp Worthy moments, and often in the midst of those very experiences, I’m guessing “my cup runneth over” was true for you and me both…because God’s still in business.

Today, let’s appropriate another layer of meaning to the KJV’s “my cup runneth over.”

And let’s be thankful.

It’s still a present tense statement.

It’s still a personal affirmation of faith.

It’s still true.

Join me: “My cup runneth over.”

Yours. Mine. They really do.

 

 

Fill

The red light was on.

The humidifier needed water.

As I was taking care of it, an old song floated through me: “Fill my cup, Lord…I lift it up Lord…come and quench this thirsting of my soul.”

What are you doing today to meet that need in your life?

I’d love to hear from you, and I’ll see you back here tomorrow.

Which Way Today?

“It’s hard to follow Jesus if you’re going in the wrong direction,” says Adrienne Sparrow Trevathan in today’s entry in Disciplines 2018.

Boom.

Let me add some good news: “There’s still time to change the road you’re on.” That’s of course from a classic Led Zeppelin song. But it’s true.

So, to flip over to the Old Testament, “Choose this day whom you will serve.” (Joshua 24:15)

Let’s do. Today.

Let’s make whatever necessary changes are necessary to stop “going in the wrong direction.”

And join me in this prayer Adrienne offers: Empowering God, help us to orient our lives so that we can respond wholeheartedly to your call to follow. Amen.

 

Learning Lessons from Pew People

A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
Proverbs 17:22

As a newly-retired pastor, I’m still trying to get used to sitting in the pew.

I’ve spent decades leading worship and preaching, which put me up front. Patty’s in the Choir, so she’s still up front.

Fortunately, the people in the section where my mother-in-law and I sit are very friendly, as if they’re gregariously on steroids or something.

Okay, I’ll be honest: they’re a bunch of rowdies!

And it’s wonderful.

This past Sunday we were talking and laughing to the point that one of the ladies blurted out, “We’re not allowed to have this much fun in church!”

We all froze. Side-eyed each other.

Then we burst out laughing.

After all, The Bible does say,

A cheerful disposition is good for your health;

    gloom and doom leave you bone-tired.

— Proverbs 17:22, The Message version

Our section has yet to leave worship with a spirit of gloom and doom, nor are we bone-tired.

How about you?