Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I like my coffee like I like my women: [fill in the blank]. The very statement is suggestive without the punch line. Some answers I’ve heard are cute – others pretentious or suggestive. All in all, I like coffee enough that I keep a cup with some to sip on it throughout much of the day. Generally, I’ll take it any way I can get it, but I prefer it sweet with cream and any of a variety of flavors. I can say that I like my coffee like I like my women. Since I’m married, I should qualify this: I like my coffee like I like my wife:

Strong

Over the years I have come to appreciate strong coffee. You may think of strong coffee as being highly caffienated. Granted, caffeine has its benefits as well as its drawbacks. But The strength I like has more to do with taste. I don’t like watery coffee. It’s bland. I like espressos and dark roasts for the fullness of strength in aroma and taste.

The strength I refer to is not the mere strength of body or intellect, although I can appreciate both. It is the strength of character. We like to see strong people in positions of leadership. However, we often confuse confidence and bullheaded opinion for strength of character. Confidence is a dubious word anyway. The word “confidence” literally means, “with faith”. Too often, however, the faith of someone who has confidence is in themselves. A godly leader, by contrast, realizes his flaws and does not have faith in his self. A godly leader has faith in God. We do a great disservice to our fellowship by following leaders who have confidence primarily in themselves and failing to follow people who have placed all their confidence in God. I desire my wife to have that confidence in God, recognizing her own flaws in humility and seeking to grow according to our Lord and His commandments. That’s what it means to be “with faith”: confident; strong in the Lord.

Fresh

I like fresh beans, freshly roasted, freshly ground, freshly brewed. Only then can you get a good sense of the intention behind the blend of beans.

People are best when fresh. When we get caught up in the status quo, we tend to stagnate. Christians will become less effective as ministers. The truth must remain fixed, but the truth remains fresh despite its steadfastness. We may claim to be steadfast while dying the death of irrelevance. The weightlifter once arriving at his desired strength or form doesn’t proclaim that he has arrived and promptly stop working out. He will become flabby. He must continue to lift weights afresh each day to remain strong. A good woman likewise recognizes that she must continue her life each day in prayer and praise to our Lord, ministering according to the needs of those to whom she is called. Otherwise, she will become bitter…

Not bitter

A poor blend of beans, beans that have not been grown properly or coffee that is old will grow bitter.

As people age, their hearts may also become old. I know it’s anachronistically cliché, but there’s something to the “Young At Heart” at many churches. But one doesn’t have to have many years to have a heart that is old and bitter. It is not simply an attitude of being young, but of being able to adapt to the changes that God has for us to undergo, for these changes are here to improve us like aging a wine rather than by placing new wine in old wineskins. I like a woman who heart has remained steadfast in the Lord, but pliable enough to be used as an instrument to guide younger people without spoiling or souring them with bitterness.

Sweet

I’ve been using artificial sweeteners long enough to prefer them to sugar. Either way, I like my coffee like southerners like their tea – thick enough with sweet stuff to stand a spoon in.

Doug Savage of Savage Chickens recently drew a panel where a chicken was walking through “happy land” and everything was sickeningly sweet. This sort of sweet is sickening because the sweetness is disingenuous. I’ve known church members like this. Fortunately, none of the people I know in my church right now are like this to any discernable degree of sickening-ness. There is a sweetness to a heart that is genuinely concerned and compassionate for the needs of others. There is no degree of sweetness in this regard that is sickening. I like a woman who has this genuine sweetness that is so thick, honorable men are happily emboldened to arise and stand in her presence and her children learn the courage to stand on their own.

Warm

Coffee is best made when it’s hot. However, I hate having my tongue burnt – you can’t taste the coffee very well with a burnt tongue. You have to wait until it is warm and cozy. I like the mug to be inviting for me to wrap my hands around when it is cold.

When the world is lonely and cold, it is good to have a wife who will give a warm hug and a kiss and invite her husband to a comfortable place in his home where the chill of the world is dispelled.

Smooth and Creamy

I'm a vocalist. Drinking coffee with a lot of cream coats my throat and gets into my vocal chords. It's not good to sing with all that cream all over my throat. Nevertheless, I love good cream in my coffee. It really takes the bite off the coffee.

I can appreciate the fact that people who are raising their kids alone have a difficult task. Even just being single without kids can be difficult without a partner of some sort. When you have a partner, the idea is that the work is split up between the two of you. You can even get used to not having to do a lot of things. A good wife makes it possible for all things to be covered so that life goes smoothly.

Firmly grounded

Good coffee has been ground to perfection for the method of brewing. It takes more than the cheap little coffee grinder I have. It does well enough, but a good grind will make the perfect cup.

A good woman as far as I'm concerned is firmly grounded in the Christian faith. Learning and applying the truth of the gospel of Christ revealed in the Bible is the key method by which the Holy Spirit perfects us.

Spicy

I like coffee with a lot of flavor in and of itself. However, I also like flavor added. There are many that I have enjoyed. Vanilla and hazelnut are common favorites. I like raspberry and white chocolate, ginger or nutmeg, cinnamon or chai spice. There are many others. Spice is the little creative something that keeps things interesting.

Not only can a person stagnate, but a relationship can stagnate. When you get used to a routine, the fun you had learning and establishing a routine goes away. Spice is when you get creative and break out of your routine. It keeps the relationship interesting. A date night can do this as long as your date nights are not always to the same places doing the same things. I like it when my wife and I do something a little different. In Venezuela one evening, my wife had worked out that we would go to a fancy restaurant across town - alone. This was a bit of a surprise to me. Some of the church members helped out as far as breaking us away from the team, transporting us to the restaurant and helping us order some of the fancy foods they had there. The interesting thing was that the restaurant was completely devoid of patrons save for us. We had the entire wait staff to ourselves. We ditched the kids for our anniversary. I got a room with a jacuzzi here in town and spent the afternoon decorating the room with flowers, petals and night time refreshments. These are the things that make life spicy.

The kind you can wake up to… …and the kind that can keep you going all day long…

Yes, caffeine can enhance your energy usage. If I drink coffee after supper, it's decaffeinated. I have trouble enough sleeping without adding to it. However, I'm not much of a morning person and my mind is rather muddled until I get a good dose of oxygen flowing through it. Caffeine helps kick the body into breathing deeper by requiring more oxygen.

This is where the similarity ends. Coffee keeps you up because it's a drug you use. But my comment here refers to a woman who knows how to commit and to whom I am willing to commit. I am comforted because my wife has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to me and our marriage. I have made a similar commitment to her and have striven to demonstrate it. In the morning when I wake up with my bride asleep next to me, I know that I can go to work and she will be with me. For I do not belong to myself. I belong to my Lord and He has given me to my wife for as long we both live.

I thought this video was neat. Coffee as an art form. That's a little more cream than I would use, though.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Coffee puts the system under the strain of metabolizing a deadly acid-forming drug, depositing its insoluble cellulose, which cements the wall of the liver, causing this vital organ to swell to twice its proper size. In addition, coffee is heavily sprayed. (Ninety-two pesticides are applied to its leaves.) Diuretic properties of caffeine cause potassium and other minerals to be flushed from the body.

All this fear went away when I quit, and it was a book that inspired me to do it called The Truth About Caffeine by Marina Kushner. There are five things I liked about this book:

1) It details--thoroughly--the ways in which caffeine may damage your health.

2) It reveals the damage that coffee does to the environment. Specifically, coffee was once grown in the shade, so that trees were left in place. Then sun coffee was introduced, allowing greater yields but contributing to the destruction of rain forests. I haven't seen this mentioned anywhere else.

3) It explains how best to go off coffee. This is important. If you try cold turkey, as most people probably do, the withdrawal symptoms will likely drive you right back to coffee.

4) Helped me find a great resource for the latest studies at CaffeineAwareness.org

5) Also, if you drink decaf you won’t want to miss this special free report on the dangers of decaf available at www.soyfee.com

Wed Nov 14, 02:32:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Mark Pemberton said...

First off, good post bro! I to enjoy a good cup of coffee, and a good wife. Good comparison.

Second, that comment by anonymous has me rolling on the floor!!!!! I can only assume someone actually meant that, but it's so far extreme that I categorize it as a joke. I didn't see them state anything good that comes from coffee. I'll give you one. Let's just say a good cup or two of coffee each morning keeps me pretty regular. :)

Wed Nov 14, 04:11:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Jim Pemberton said...

Anon,
I appreciate your concerns about the negative impact that women have on the environment. I gotta tell you, personally, I've aged 12 years since my wife and I got married...

Bro,
Thanks. You got it. I like to add a little levity where serious matters such as commitment and unity within a marriage are concerned. I still think about how the Venezuelans drank their coffee communally. It was a means of unity for them.

Wed Nov 14, 08:01:00 AM GMT-5  

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