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Archive for the category “coffee”

Freshly Ground Heaven

COFFEE (n.) liquid that smells like freshly ground heaven.
PROCAFFEINATING (n.) the tendency to not starting anything until you’ve had a cup of coffee.
DEPRESSO (n.) the feeling you get when you run out of coffee.

I like coffee. A lot. Just black and hot. None of that iced coffee or latte stuff for me. Give me a deep, dark roast you can smell through thick walls. No sugar, no milk, just freshly brewed as coffee is supposed to be. (Latte, by the way, is Italian and means, “You paid too much for that coffee.”)

My only real exception to black coffee is Cuban coffee. It’s a liquid shot of dynamite served in tiny cups to keep you from exploding. Gloria Estefan describes Cuban coffee as, “Very powerful, very sweet, and a little dangerous — just like the people who drink it.”

My Grandpa on my Mom’s side was Swedish. My memories of him are few, but I do remember he loved coffee. His son, my Uncle Paul, insists my love of coffee is due to the Swedish blood running thick through my veins. It may be true. I do suffer from “depresso.”

I’ve never really concerned myself with any “how coffee is made” details. I’m just glad that after watching his goats get all excited from eating coffee berries, the 9th century Ethiopian goat-herder decided to smash some up and run hot water through them. The next thing you know, we’re drinking over 500 billion cups of coffee every year, employing over 25 million people, supporting a $100 billion annual industry (Business Insider), and offering PhD’s in coffee studies.

Not only that, but depending upon which scientific study you read, coffee is shown to decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, anemia and even heart disease. On the other hand, a different study suggests coffee increases the risk of anemia and heart disease. It seems then, depending upon the genes God gave you, coffee can either be your medicine or poison. Guess you’ll have to figure that one out for yourself.

I couldn’t help but once again consider how incredibly amazing, creative, and full of potential God made us. When He created us in His image (Genesis 1:26), it was the most unique, creative, amazing, and loving thing in all of creation. God blesses us with his very own “personal touch,” creating us to resemble Him. That means we can reason and choose and possess unbelievable potential, grace, and love. “Anytime someone invents a machine, writes a book, paints a landscape, enjoys a symphony, calculates a sum, or names a pet, he or she is proclaiming the fact that we are made in God’s image” (gotquestions.org).

Just consider what man has done with the coffee bean. And with that, I’m going to fix another cup. After all, you may only need one cup of coffee to get you going, but just to be safe, I’ll have another.

Writing Stories

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View from the outdoor cafe

I’m sitting at an outdoor coffee bar that serves a lot more than just coffee. It overlooks a sports arena, downtown buildings, and a commuter train railway. There is also an airport close by. A few minutes ago an airplane flew past while at the same time a train and a bus rolled along. Everyone is going someplace.

It’s interesting to observe the mix of people in this place. There are all shapes and sizes and I count at least six different nationalities. Most seem quite happy. I suspect the median age is late 30’s and I suddenly realize I’m pulling the curve up instead of down.

Most conversations I overhear seem pretty light. If I had to guess, I would say there is one budding romance across the way. They are all smiles and laugh even if what was said may not have been particularly funny. A trio of ladies have gathered for drinks and are swapping stories about their respective “crazy” day. An elderly man is by himself staring into his glass deep in thought.

I wonder what their stories are?

We all have them. We’re all on a journey. All of us are hopeful our story comes to a happy and peaceful conclusion. We’re all writing stories.

I can’t help but wonder how God’s eternal and perfect plan—His story for us—is possibly taking place at this exact moment in each one of our lives. There just seems to be too much going on, too many  details, too many people, too many possible outcomes. How can it be that God is in control and that “…every day of my life was recorded in His book and every moment laid out before a single day had passed” (Psalm 139:16)? How can this be true right now, right here in this coffee bar?

I know God lives in eternity and is outside all of nature’s laws regarding time and space. It is difficult to try and comprehend. My Dad loved to tell me that this meant “God has all the ‘time’ in the world to focus on me and me alone for my entire life—every moment of every day.” That both thrills and terrifies me. But I do believe that in some mysterious God-ordained-free–will way, we write our story with uncoerced choices which fit exactly into God’s eternal plan. 

Maybe David was sitting in a coffee bar (circa 1000 BC) drinking a strong black coffee (no way King David drank lattés) thinking about some of these things. Why does the Almighty God–with that kind of power and ability–unconditionally love and care for someone like me? Why would he even care about my story and even desire that “through his mighty power at work within me, accomplish infinitely more than I might ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20)? It’s too outlandish to imagine.

But He does. And so David had to say what I’m feeling at this moment, “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand” (Psalm 139:6).

I need another strong black coffee.

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