BAM!

There are coffee lovers, and then there are COFFEE LOVERS. Yes, I am the “capital letters” category. And, I like my coffee strong and the caffeine potent. Basically, I want my coffee to kick me in the pants. It helps me wake up in the morning…or afternoon. Well, coffee isn’t the only thing I want bold and vivacious – I want my life to be bold and vivacious as well. Apathetic, languid living is to me like a cup of cold, watered-down coffee that’s been sitting on the table for far too long. I mean, who would drink that and enjoy it? One of the things I’ve learned in life is that passivity makes one miserable. That feeling you have when you’re not really going forward or backward is agonizing. The problem is, life sometimes puts you in such a tornado of emotions and circumstances that you revert to feeling indifferent because it’s easier or because you feel it offers you some sort of protection from being hurt – or so you think. I would like to tell you today that you don’t have to feel that way any longer and you can heal from your wounds. How is this possible? Because God is BIGGER than your problems and He doesn’t want you to feel destitute anymore. See, God is bold and vivacious and also compassionate, loving, and merciful. He’s the mighty Lion of Judah that fights for you, protects you, and looks your enemies in the face and says, “Back away from my child! I will fight for them!” And, He is the gentle Lamb who wipes away your tears, calms your fears, and welcomes you into His loving arms unconditionally. He is everything you need and more. And God, only God, can drive any kind of apathy away from you! He wants you to get up each morning full of purpose, full of a never-say-die attitude. All you have to do is lay down your cares before Him and ask Him to give you direction. If you feel aimless, tell Him. If you feel like you just don’t care anymore, tell Him. He wants you to be honest with Him. He wants you to ask Him for help. Ask Him to take your life and re-energize it with His mighty power. He longs to see you become all that He made you to be and He’s ready to place His hands on your heart and breathe life back into your soul.

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The Best Part of Waking Up

When I get up in the morning, one of the things I look forward to the most is having my first cup of coffee. I have a certain way of preparing it, and when everything – creamer, sweetener, etc. –  is stirred in just right, that first sip tastes absolutely remarkable. You probably have a certain routine in the morning, too. Something that gets your jets going, makes you feel refreshed. Well, have you ever thought about having a routine conversation in the morning? I dare say there is something we can do when we first wake up even before the coffee brews. What, you ask? Commune with God. Yep, have a conversation with the God of the universe, the Creator of the stars. Sometimes it seems unfathomable that we can open our eyes in the morning, put on our slippers, and say, “Good morning, Abba Father.” But, let me tell you, we can! And not just in the morning – we can talk to God anytime, anywhere! When I woke up this morning, I said to God, “Lord, thank you for how you are going to bless this day.” You know, He loves to hear your voice. He loves when you talk to Him. And He will speak to your spirit, too. And believe me, His voice is the most beautiful sound you will ever hear.

“In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.”
Psalm 5:3

Published in: on January 16, 2010 at 10:32 am  Comments (1)  
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Fill Their Cup

Coffee has become somewhat of a universal beverage. It has also become symbolic of relational warmth. How so, you ask? Well, when you visit someone, what is usually one of the first things they ask you? Yep, you got it: “Would you like some coffee?”. Offering someone coffee, bringing someone coffee, pouring coffee into someone’s half-empty mug – all of these gestures can be symbolic of friendliness, thoughtfulness, etc. Well, I wonder, what else should we offer to others? What else should we “pour” into people’s lives? The horrific situation in Haiti has sparked much thought in my mind. I see the pain and desperation of those affected by the great earthquake. It truly breaks my heart. Hence, I pray for them. I pray to Jehovah Jireh that He will provide for them – provide help, hope, healing, whatever they need. While thinking about prayer, I thought about how prayer is something vital that we should be pouring into each other’s lives. When we pray for each other, we lift people up to the One, Yahweh, who can do all things, knows all things, and can mend, restore, and heal. Praying for others releases God’s power into their lives – and into ours at the same time. When we give out selfless prayer for another, God’s power manifests itself even more strongly in us. Indeed, we cannot even fathom the difference we are making in the receiver and the giver when we pray. I encourage you today to pray for someone. And, I want you to know, I am praying for you.

Published in: on January 15, 2010 at 8:45 am  Leave a Comment  
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It’s Complicated…Or Is It?

Have you ever noticed how many drink combinations there are at Starbucks? What may have originally been called “tall white mocha” on the menu can end up being individualized into “tall one pump extra hot no whip white mocha”. I’ve always admired the baristas at Starbucks that can so easily decipher their customers’ many drink “codes” – it’s like a coffee morse code! Well, have you ever noticed how life can become really complicated, too? I’m sure you have. What began as a normal, friendly relationship with a coworker can become romantic, then breakup painfully; and then, suddenly, you can’t even stand being around that person anymore. Or, you think your career is going great. You’re moving up the ladder and nothing and no one is slowing you down. Then, poof, you lose your job.  Now you have bills you can’t pay and a wounded spirit. Wow, life can become so complicated. But, you know what’s not complicated? God’s love and provision. And you know what He promised He would do in every painful, complicated, confusing situation? Be right beside us and give us victory. I can think of so many complicated, gut-wrenching situations that I have faced – situations that I thought I would never be able to handle. Yet, I chose to trust God. I decided to lay the situations at His feet instead of trying to carry the burden on my shoulders. And guess what? He never failed me. He guided me through the valleys and fought my battles for me. When I look back at these tough situations in my life, I can see God’s hand so clearly. He moved the boulders that could have crushed me. He shielded me from arrows that could have killed me. He can do the same for you. Give Him your troubles; lay down your cares at His feet and ask Him to help you. What have you got to lose? He wants to be your warrior.

Published in: on January 12, 2010 at 11:43 am  Leave a Comment  
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Beyond Espresso

Since this is a coffee shop, you might have guessed that I like coffee – a lot. I drink a bold brew in the morning with breakfast, drink some kind of coffee drink in the afternoon, and then brew another pot in the evening. It’s like a little piece of heaven for me – that extra boost to propel me throughout my day. If you’re a coffee-lover like me, you know what I’m talking about. Well, have you ever had a day when you weren’t able to drink any coffee? Maybe you were on the go every minute and coffee was simply passed by. You reasoned, “Well, I don’t really need it; I’ll be fine.” Then 3PM comes around. How do you feel? AWFUL! Your head hurts, you feel sluggish, and you realize that your body is crying out for a caffeine boost. Well, I had one of those days not too long ago and it got me thinking. If my body cries out for coffee when it doesn’t get any, are there bigger, more life-altering things that it could be crying out for? When I’m feeling depressed or angry for no apparent reason, is my body – or rather, my soul – crying out for something or someone? Well, I read this little tid bit the other day, and it shook my mind up, to say the least: “When I was in great pain, I cried out to the Lord. He answered me and set me free” (Psalm 118:5). Wow, the Lord can set me free? I just have to cry out to Him? So, I tried it. I cried out to Him. And, you know what? He did set me free. He set me free from my past, he showed up in my present, and He promised that He would bless my future. And, you know what the best part is? He loves me. He really loves me. Turns out, He hates pretenses and charades just as much as I do. Yep, He’s the real deal.

If you’re having a bad day, a bad year, or well, a bad life, I would be more than happy if you just spilled your guts to me. Tell me what’s happening, who you’re mad at, what you want to change – all of your “issues”. I would consider it my privilege to cry out to God for you. I will be your advocate. I will be your intercessor. And, I would love for you to cry out to Him, too. He loves to hear your voice, you know.

Published in: on January 11, 2010 at 10:47 am  Comments (2)  
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Come On In!

Need somewhere to go where you can breathe? Need to relax for just a minute without your blackberry beckoning or your to-do list staring you in the face? Well then, you have come to the right place. At Around the Clock Coffee Shop, you can kick off your shoes, exhale, and treat yourself to a warm, frothy drink of relief and peace. There are no pretenses here, no playing charades. Just real people with real issues. Enjoy your stay and come by often.

Published in: on January 10, 2010 at 11:36 am  Leave a Comment