Daily Devotions

Empty Your Cup

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Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. (Psalm 19:14)


Melissa Chu, in her article, “The Empty Cup,” tells the story of a Zen master who people far and wide would come to visit, seeking enlightenment. As the master received his guests, he would simply pour them tea. One day a scholar came to visit the master to find out what the enlightenment talk was all about. The scholar had a number of questions and comments.


Finally, the master walked over to the fire, picked up the pot, set the cup in front of the scholar and began pouring his tea. He kept pouring until his cup overflowed, and the master kept pouring the tea all over the table. The scholar hollered out, “Hey, stop pouring, it is overflowing!” “Exactly,” the Zen master replied with a smile. “You are like this cup — so full of ideas that nothing more will fit in. Come back to me with an empty cup.”


While this is a Zen tale, it could very well have been a Biblical account. We have so many  preconceived notions and prejudices, it leaves little room for the Holy Spirit to “enlighten” us. Our routines and demands require so much of our time, that we have little room left in the cup of our soul. It sounds so easy to empty your cup, but it is painfully difficult.


Today, sit down and attempt to empty your mind. The more we are able to empty our minds, the easier it will become to empty the cup of our soul. Sitting in complete silence, letting the mind empty, gives the soul a chance to rest and heal. Even more importantly, emptying provides room for the Holy Spirit to speak and fill the cup of your soul with peace, hope, and love. That is worth a few minutes of silence. Give it a try.

Warren Buffett Powerful Sleeper Hold!

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We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us. (Romans 12:6)


I heard Warren Buffett interviewed saying he was “lucky.” I don’t think he meant lucky to be rich.  What he seemed to be saying is that he was lucky to have a mother who was good with numbers and a father who was a stock broker, and both were driven people who loved him. They expected him to do well and gave him the tools to succeed.


Warren Buffett was lucky in a number of other ways. First, if Warren Buffett had been born 20,000 years ago, he would have been little more than a snack for a saber tooth tiger. He is small of stature, and probably was never an Olympic quality runner. These were qualities required for survival in prehistoric time.


Second, Warren Buffett, according to Niklas Goke, in his article “How to Really Develop Self-Awareness,” likes to speak about his “Circle of Competence.” Buffett says, “I stay within that circle and I don’t worry about things that are outside that circle. Defining what your game is, where you’re going to have an edge, is enormously important.” Goke continues, “When it comes to stocks, this translates to only investing in industries he understands, businesses he can evaluate, and people he can judge accurately. Looking back on his stellar track record, it’s clear Buffett nailed this process of defining his circle of competence.”


Buffett believes in focusing on the areas where he has natural inclination and avoid those areas where he would probably never make a meaningful difference. Hence, why Buffett never tried to be a professional wrestler. I believe another way of describing his “Circle of Competence” is to say, one’s Circle of Competence is our divine giftedness. When we act on the gifts God has given us, God multiplies those gifts, allowing us to make a bigger difference than we ever thought possible.


Today, think about your own areas of giftedness. Where have you been trying to become something outside your Circle of Competence, and what ways are you responding to your divine giftedness? If your life is full of frustrations, you may just be trying to do something like Warren Buffett trying to fly off the top rope, and pile driving Hulk Hogan. Prayerfully ask God to join your life’s work to your divine giftedness. If you bring those two things together, your life will feel meaningful and whole.



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