Monday, August 24, 2009

The Coffee Pot

I love stories that make points. I also have the background of a classic worrier. I was brought up that way. My parents are great but they have always been either tied up with some problem or fear, or else searching for one, because life is just too weird and empty for them when there isn't something to worry about. It's interesting that patterns like this, which aren't formally taught, are the sorts of lessons that kids 'catch.' For several years, fearful possibilities have seemed to zoom into my head without my going out of my way to think of them. Even though I've come a long way, I still have to be on my guard.

As I approach my 40th birthday in December (I was born on Christmas Eve 1969), I'm aiming to weed this sort of catastrophic thinking out of my brainwaves completely. At the moment I have to admit that even though I've developed skills to deal with them when they come up, I'd far prefer it if they stopped coming up needing to be dealt with. But I know that would take nothing short of some sort of brain transplant. I know that is possible, and that the key to this is in the Biblical instruction to let our minds be renewed. So I decided that if this is to be achieved, the Word of God in the Bible is going to have to be the means of doing it. People like me (and maybe some of you) are the sort of people who have to make a full-on decision that God's Word is true, His promises found within are certain, and no circumstances will make us think the opposite.

So here's this story about the coffee pot that makes me understand the thing is possible. It's from a book called "Overcoming Doubt" by Neil T Anderson.

"Think of your mind as a coffee pot. You desire the water inside to be pure but unfortunately you have added coffee grounds. There is no way to filter out the coffee once it has been added so the water inside becomes dark and polluted. Sitting beside the coffee pot is a huge bowl of crystal-clear ice which represents the Word of God. You can only put in one or two cubes so your efforts at clearing up the dark, polluted water seem futile at first. But over the course of time the water begins to look less polluted. When you taste the water to which you once added coffee grounds you can hardly taste or smell the presence of coffee anymore. The process works provided you stop putting in more coffee grounds."

He assures us that the was is winnable. But we must fill our minds with the crystal-clear word of God. There is no alternative plan. Just trying to stop thinking fearful thoughts won't work. And rebuking obsessive thoughts alone won't work either. So I'm continuing the process of replacing those coffee grounds daily and at the end of the year, we'll see how far I've come.

Oh, off the topic, the cover design for my new book "A Design of Gold" is now up on my website, in the toolbar under New Book Coming Soon. Please see what you think of it!


  1. Umm...could you use tea for the imagery next time? Coffee keeps me going. :o)

    I do agree that we need to make an effort to pour good and nourishing thoughts into each day. I've come a long way since my angst-ridden teen and twenties years, but I still have to catch myself if I feel those coffee grounds of negativity and doubt stir up.

    The cover looks good! I'm glad to see you're bringing some of the characters back from your last book. I'm one of those people that likes to know that the characters are doing OK. :o)

    Peace and Laughter,

  2. I love the coffee pot analogy. Weeding out negativity is hard. I still really battle in this area. Thanks for sharing. I am excited about your new book. :)

  3. I constantly battle negativity. I think some personality types struggle with it more than others.... thanks for the encouragement.

  4. I also battle with negativity. Arrr! Thanks for the great analogy!

  5. True! It doesn't seem like we'll see a difference at first, but it really does. I literally have to walk myself through Phil. 4:6-7 so frequently, but there's peace at the end of the trip...whew!

  6. I'm looking forward to your next book - I didn't want the characters from your last book to just stop existing, I wanted them to continue! Oh, I do like the cover - it says to me, "Who is that girl and who is she painting and why?" Is that a beach in Australia?

    My spiritual life has been sluggish lately - thanks for the reminder that only through God can we live, really live. This world and it's woes cloud our judgment and our thinking. I have started praying for my kids in more specific ways lately, perhaps I need to add myself to that list.

    Don't think too much about turning 40. Just remember to celebrate it - even if you have to do it before or after Christmas Eve. Try to do something you really want to do. And remember ... I'll always be older than you (aren't you fortunate!)

    Your friend,