Ahhhh the aroma of that first cup of coffee. Getting that first cup of brown, liquid java some mornings doesn't come quick enough. There are so many ways to brew
addiction... coffee, whether from a Mr. Coffee coffee pot, a Keurig or a French Press, which I currently use.
To make a great cup, only three things are needed. Water, coffee grounds and heat. Using a press, water is heated to 212 F, coffee grounds are added to the bottom of this container, the plunger is removed first. The boiling water is poured over the grounds, replacing the plunger, I let it set for 4 minutes for the coffee to steep. The plunger is then pushed to the bottom of the pot, pressing the water through the grounds resulting in the best cup of coffee to be poured and consumed.
Think about where a choice up of coffee begins. A green bean is roasted to perfection over heat, crushed to fine grounds, heated with scalding liquid, pressed and poured out.
And so it is with followers of Jesus who have left everything to walk in the dust of their Savior who died for us. God's goal for each disciple is to be conformed to the image of His Son(Romans 8:29). Conforming to look like Jesus will take heat and pressing. (2 Corinthians 4:8) The Greek word for press is
thlib? (thl?'-b?) defined as to press like grapes(BLB)
but not crushed.
but not in despair .
but not abandoned.
Struck down, yes,
but not destroyed. We do not give up in the pressing because the treasure is the unfading glory of our Savior. 2 Corinthians 4:7-10)
Sometimes the more humble the container, the more glorious its precious contents appear.(HSCB note)
There is so much to be perplexed about, to feel we are abandoned at times and in despair. Even though we cannot always feel God's presence, He promises to never leave or forsake us. Jesus does know how we feel when the darkness overwhelms and there seems to be no end to the despair. On the cross Jesus cried out, 'my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?' (Matthew 27:46)
The gospel declares to us that God has made Himself close in Christ, holding us even tighter than a mother holds a newborn child. (Isaiah 49:15) When our feelings tell us that is not true, we must defy those feelings with faith in God's promise. J.D. Greear
Feeling pressed today? In despair and feeling the darkness will overwhelm? Faith my friends...God is near.
I wrote this a year ago, but loved reading it again as I have been considering and reading about friendships the past couple of days.
My shortest relationship began and ended in disaster.
His mother worked at the bank with me a million years ago...well maybe not that long ago. I've been with my husband for so long it seems there was no one before him.(I mean that in a good way dear hubby!!)
Sadly I cannot remember the name of the sweet guy who sent me roses on Valentine's Day. Maybe because it was 1985 and that was a long time ago. Weren't you married in 1985 you ask? Yep! That's another romance story. But this was February, and Rob and I were not speaking. He was in Arizona, probably not giving me a second thought..you may have to ask him about that!!
For this post's sake let's say his name was Doug, I think that's close enough. As I said, I worked with Doug's mom who was a typical mother, looking for a sweet girl for her son to date. The roses were beautiful he sent that year along, with a request for a date. I wonder what she told her son about me. We had never met but he wanted to go out. I said yes. He arrived one evening at my upstairs apartment bearing more roses. He was early, anxious to get the date on it's way or get it over.
I ran to the door with plunger in hand as my toilet decided it was the perfect time to run over. I was dressed and ready to go, but toilet duty called meaning, water needed to be cleaned up before it drowned the downstairs neighbors. I'd like to think Doug rolled up his sleeves and helped me, but memory again fails. With the mess cleaned up we were on our way for an hour car ride to see the magician David Copperfield. Plunger disaster averted. Doug was the perfect gentleman that evening. I wish I could remember what we talked about. He was as sweet as his mom. We had a great time together, but the second disaster hit when he called the following week for another date and I had to turn him down. I worked fulltime, baby-sat a couple of evenings for a friend, was involved in ministry at church and played volleyball. I didn't have a free evening. I'm sorry I was never able to explain my reasons. He never got up the courage to call on a girl who was too busy for him, I'm sure he thought. His mother was gracious and never asked. We went our separate ways, I married and went my merry way, hearing several years later he had died of cancer as a young man and never married. I hope I wasn't the one who turned him off to dating.
This brief time in my life makes me think about how busy my life can become, believing everything else in life is so much more important than taking the time to spend with friends. Work beckons, babies and teenagers seem to write our schedule with church and community activities rounding out the calendar. Where does that leave those we call our friends?
I had a wake up call seven+ years ago when I was very busy taking care of my growing family and trying to keep up with a very active church life. When death suddenly arrived at my doorstep, it was like chains fell from my sides and life as I knew it would never be the same. NOT that family and ministry are chains, but that weekend when my dad entered heaven, God was showing me what really mattered. I was so busy doing, I had failed to stop and just be...whether it was taking the time to be with God, stop and enjoy my family rather than rushing from one activity to the next or stopping to enjoy coffee with friends. Maybe that is why, over that past few years, I have come to enjoy coffee so much more. I don't think it is the taste or the caffeine(might be though). The simple act of enjoying a cup of coffee causes me to slow down, to enjoy the moments with my Bible, or across the table from my kids, friends and loved ones.
All this rambling to say we need friends. Even if it just one or two people we can count on no matter what, friendship is so important. And if you're married girlfriend..don't expect your husband to fill all your needs when it comes to friendship. As one husband who will remain un-named told me so many years ago..."I'm not your girlfriend and I don't want to be your girlfriend." If you are un-sure about that quote, give me a shout and we will have some girl time. In the mean time, let us take time for friendship.
If I had a plot of land and the financial resources to do with it whatever I please I would welcome everyone with open hearts and a full cup of coffee into J~lynne, my coffee house. A warm, inviting cafe bustling with anyone who needs to not be rushed by the worries of this world. A place where fresh roasted coffee would be on the menu along with morning fresh banana muffins or cinnamon chip scones, tried and true recipes I've already been collecting for this venture. My favorite guests would enjoy long, unhurried conversations with family or friends or a private table where you can bring your computer, hook it up to free wi-fi to write about your own dreams or start that book you've always said you were going to write.
I don't envision this bistro built in the hustle and bustle of a big city. I would build it in a small town where I would get to know your name as you walked through the door of Jlynne on a regular basis. I would make it my goal to find the best coffee from a source that helped the farmer make a good living and he was free to do business as well. It would be a welcoming place for teens, college students who needed to write a research paper...they still do those right? I would love to see women from every walk of life walk through my doors to have a few quiet moments with a jolt of caffeine before they head back to the world of family and jobs. The male population would include farmers talking over the latest prices of corn and soybeans, or how to get the farm work done in the dead of winter. I can see my daughters decorating it with the latest vintage and my mom and mother-in-law behind the counter pouring you your coffee. I have a sister who loves numbers so she would make sure I didn't go in the hole and another sister who would be my head baker.
Awww..what a dream. A girl can dream right? Who knows, someday I maybe looking for property to open J~lynne!
What would you do with a plot of land and cold hard cash to realize your dream?