Lookout Mountain rises 2,000 feet above sea level, offering views of the Cumberland Plateau, the Tennessee River, and the surrounding mountains and valleys. While that is the most familiar and popular natural wonder of this area of America, what is deeper inside is more impressive.
1,120 feet below the surface of Lookout Mountain is our country’s tallest and deepest underground waterfall - Ruby Falls. Ruby Falls opened to the public in 1929. The historic landmark, which welcomes more than half a million guests annually, offers 3 tiers of tours, all of which start off in a glass elevator that takes tourists 260 feet into the heart of the cave. From there, tourists explore the natural beauty at the place selected by the tourist.
In a higher and holier sense, this hidden wonder speaks to what Jesus is saying to His listeners then, now, and always. Our spiritual growth is related to the pace and depth we desire to have in our relationship with Him and His Word.
Jesus wants the bottom of the ocean-deep relationship with us. Our relationship with Him is limited only by 1) how deep we ourselves will delve; and 2) by how deep we'll allow Him to penetrate our hearts and lives. He is a gentleman. He will walk and talk with us only as much as we want Him to walk and talk with us.
"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God" (Ephesians 3:16-19, NIV).
We’ve all heard the age-old advice to drink eight cups of water a day. But if you fall short of drinking your 64 ounces, don’t worry. New information published in the journal Science suggests that advice is wrong anyway.
The results of this new research says that for most healthy adults, drinking eight cups of water a day is completely unnecessary. The advice is misguided in part because it doesn’t take into account all the water we get from our food as well as other beverages like coffee and tea. The research found that our water needs vary from one person to the next depending on factors like age, gender, size, physical activity, and the climate we live in.
The advice to drink eight cups of water a day stems from a 1945 recommendation from the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council, which encouraged adults to consume about 64 ounces of water daily.
The advice is so widely ingrained that many companies use it to market products. We can buy 64-ounce water bottles designed to motivate us to drink the equivalent of eight cups of water daily. There are even water-bottle sensors that will track our water intake and remind us to “hydrate” every 30 to 40 minutes.
"So how much water should you drink?" asks Washington Post journalist Anahad O’Connor. "The answer is simple according to this research: Drink when you’re thirsty. Prioritize water. Try to avoid sugary drinks. Coffee and tea are fine. Keep in mind that we get water from our food as well. Some water-rich foods are fruits, vegetables, beans, yogurt, brown rice, and soups."
This research helps us learn how much H2O we really need. But what about our need for Living Water, as Jesus describes Himself. How much of that water do we really need?
We both drink of Him, once unto salvation, and we drink of Him daily, moment by moment, unto our sustanence and sanctification.
Prioritize the Living Water! Come to Him. Drink Him in, and you will never thirst again! What other motivation do we need to drink a steady stream from this well?
As Jesus said to the woman at the well,“Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water” (John 4:13-15, ESV).
Legendary rock star David Cosby delivered many memorable hits, including the classic, “Turn! Turn! Turn!” Part of the lyrics are: “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die.”
January 19, 2023, was a time for him to die. Just one day prior, Crosby tweeted a message about heaven. He said, ”I heard the place is overrated….cloudy.”
His snarky comment was in response to another tweet -- a screenshot of a Google search for the phrase, "Can we go to heaven with tattoos?” According to the Twitter user, the top response reads, "People with tattoos will not go to heaven. People who drink alcohol will not go to heaven. People who eat too much pork will also not go to heaven. Short people will not go to heaven."
Certainly, David Crosby has since learned that heaven is not “overrated." He has learned that what St. Paul said in his letter to the Corinthians was true: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have it entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” He has learned that someone with tattoos or who drank alcohol or ate too much pork can go to heaven. And, yes, even short people.
Hopefully, in the time between his snarky tweet and his time to die the next day, his heart was made right with His Creator, so that he might now be personally experiencing the joys of Heaven. God alone knows.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9, NIV).