Sunday, September 29, 2019

Confessions of a Coffee Drinker

Today is National Coffee Day in the United States. According to a study by the National Coffee Association, 64% of Americans drink the stuff. Some people consume it throughout the day. Normally I have just two or three cups in the morning.

Growing up I didn’t really like coffee. Nevertheless, one of my chores was making coffee for my parents. The first device I used was a Mr. Coffee machine. Mom and Dad later got one from Norelco featuring “Dial-A-Brew” that adjusted the strength of the coffee. Around this time I bought my father a humorous card found in a drug store. It showed a roaring lion with the caption: “I’m not worth a damn until I had my morning coffee.”

It wasn’t until my mid-thirties when I developed a taste for coffee. A friend from church often bought me cappuccinos from convenience stores whenever we stopped for gas. Another friend regularly patronized coffee shops and kept offering to buy me drinks there. I ordered coffee with added condiments such as flavored syrup and whipped cream. Gradually I switched to honey to cut down my sugar intake.

In 1999, I started hanging out at Caribou Coffee, a chain of shops based in the Twin Cities area. There was one in Maple Grove, Minnesota a fellow evangelist referred to as our “office.” We studied our Bibles there and often ministered salvation to young people walking by the parking lot. In recent years, I’ve also gone to McDonald’s and Panera Bread for coffee especially if there’s no Wi-Fi at the place I’m staying at.

Another brand of coffee I like is Tim Hortons. This Canadian-based chain has recently expanded to the Upper Midwest. This year I stopped going to Tim Hortons after they temporarily changed their logo to recognize “pride month” (for similar reasons I won’t patronize Starbucks). In addition, I prefer places that give free refills of coffee while you remain in the store.

I’ve heard people admit to being addicted to coffee. Occasionally, I go for days without it to prove I can live without drinking the stuff. Some religious folk such as Mormons and members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church avoid caffeinated drinks. However, coffee isn’t as dangerous as alcohol. When was the last time you heard of a drunk driver under the influence of caffeine?

1 Timothy 6:17 says God “…gives us richly all things to enjoy.” So if you like your morning cup of Joe, fell free to brew some at home or go to your local coffee shop (some are doing specials for National Coffee Day). If you do the latter, look for opportunities to share the gospel there. Every place is a potential mission field.

“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” - Psalm 34:8

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