Spiritual Nuggets from a Brewery 

God is always speaking – even through a brewery.

*Disclaimer: I am not a beer drinker. This post is not about alcohol. I am not promoting alcoholism. I have been a volunteer speaker for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) for five years. My husband’s death was an indirect result of him being hit by a drunk driver. I promote responsible drinking as a MADD volunteer, and as a minister, I look to Romans 14. So please don’t let the fact that I toured the Guinness facility distract you from the message. I’m trying to share what the Lord shared with me while I was there.

Summer camp is over, and my children are out of state visiting their grandparents for the entire week. My fiancé and I are using the time to date, connect, wrap up our pre-marital counseling and finish our wedding plans. A year ago, we saw major construction in Baltimore County and were curious about what they were building. It turned out to be the Guinness Open Gate Brewery and Barrel House. This is the first Guinness Brewery in the United States since 1954. The brewery now brings a lot of traffic and visitors to the area. So, last year, I asked my fiancé to take me there because I wanted to see what the hype was all about. I drive by it every day so I wanted to know what was on the site. As I said in the disclaimer, I am not a beer drinker, so I wasn’t really familiar with Guinness or its history.

We went on a guided tour of the facility this week. The history of the site and company, the renovations, and the facility are quite impressive. Of course, the Lord spoke to me during the tour because there were so many nuggets of spiritual wisdom to glean from the company’s history, their brewing process and what it took for the company to go from a small brewery in Ireland to where it is today, over 200 years later. The preacher in me always sees spiritual illustrations in everything – even in a brewery – so I want to share with you.

Here are a couple of spiritual insights I gleaned from the tour (This may be a two-part blog post).

Your expertise, gift, or skill may seem small, but it could be the missing, transformative link.

“The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you!’”—1 Corinthians 12:21 (NIV)

The tour guide told us that in the 1950s, Guinness Extra Stout was their most popular beer. However, as it became popular to have beer on tap or “on draught,” they couldn’t dispense the beer because it was “too lively.” They couldn’t dispense it with standard CO2 like other beers (I’m a writer so all this is over my head). To solve the problem, Guinness brought in a mathematician, Michael Ash, to solve the problem. He worked on it for four years, but ultimately discovered a way to use nitrogen to “draught” the beer. Guinness had been around since the 1700s.

Michael Ash was a mathematician. Mathematicians do not do their work in the limelight. They are not on center stage. They work behind the scenes in most cases, but that doesn’t mean their work is not important. The inability to pour Guinness on tap could have been the end of the company as the world of beer evolved. However, a mathematician came along and discovered the missing link that would take the company to the next level and secure its future and success. I don’t know about you, but this is a word for me.

You may think that your gift is insignificant. Your gift may be one where you don’t receive much recognition, but your gift is absolutely imperative to what God wants to do through you. You have no idea the impact you can have if you trust God and put your gift to His use. Your gift could be the one that enables a ministry, company or evangelist to take its message, services or whatever to the world or to the generations. Don’t underestimate the impact and influence you have because your gift doesn’t come with spotlights.

Building a legacy, leaving an inheritance and sticking with it

“A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.”—Proverbs 13:22 (NIV)

The tour guide told us of how Guinness started in 1752 with Arthur Guinness of Celbridge, County Kildare in Ireland. He inherited money from his godfather, Archbishop Price, and set up an ale brewery in Leixlip, County Kildare in Ireland. In 1803, Guinness’ son inherited the business, and it continued down through generations, from 1752 to 2019. This is generational wealth and legacy. Arthur Guinness didn’t live see what his business would ultimately become, but he had the vision and he stuck with it. He didn’t quit because he didn’t become a billionaire in his lifetime.

Many of us are starting to wake up and think about leaving a legacy and trying to lay the foundation to build generational wealth for our children. However, many of us don’t start or give up in the process because we don’t see major gains or the advancements that we think we should see. However, as the Bible talks about in Hebrews 11:13 when it speaks of Abraham and the other great patriarchs and matriarchs of the faith, they died never receiving the promise.

“All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth.”—Hebrews 11:13 (NIV)    

They never received the promise, but God gave them a vision of it and they held onto it and they stuck with it. They saw the generational consequences of their obedience to and faith in God. We have to have that same kind of vision and endurance. Many of us have already laid the foundation to leave a Christian legacy to our children. We are raising them in the faith and training them up in the way they should go. However, we have to think about the inheritance we want to leave for them. We have to have a greater vision and think about how we can give our great-great grandchildren the best “leg up” – and I’m not only talking about spiritually and financially – but that can include thinking about the environment, developing certain trades and skills to hand down or land ownership. It’s time for the people of God to use the power the Holy Spirit gives to us and get a greater vision for the future.

Part 2 “Spiritual Lessons from Yeast” forthcoming…

He’s trying to date me this week. lol!

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