Coffee Review – Ethiopian Harrar Decaf

June 8, 2010 at 8:58 pm | Posted in Coffee Reviews | 1 Comment
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On our continuing search for a good decaf we were looking forward to trying this coffee. It was roasted by Johnny Milton, Jr. (www.baristaonduty.com) in Georgia. He is a nano-roaster roasting very small batches and made to order roasts. This particular roast is a water process decaf medium roast. It is packaged in unique jars and the jar we received was enough for two cups. On the jar it was written that it was born 1-11-10 and pan roasted and hand crafted. I found out from his blog that he is a 3rd generation farmer and Marine. What’s not to like about this guy?

Because there was only enough for two cups we decided to brew the coffee using the French Press. We thought this style would help us extract the entire flavor from the coffee. The beans have a mild aroma even after grinding. I put the ground beans in the press and added the proper amount of water, stirred it up and smelled the aroma. Next was waiting for coffee to be poured.

I poured two cups and we sat down to taste. We really had to think about this coffee as we drank it. We also didn’t have the comfort zone of two more different brews. So we drank slowly and talked about what we tasted. This is a complex coffee, it’s almost like there are different flavors. It has a medium body and is a little dry in the mouth. After you swallowed the taste did not seem to linger too long.

But there was a kind of fruitiness also. We had a hard time distinguishing, but maybe blueberry was what we tasted. So we drank and tasted slowly discussing the coffee. Kim thought it would go good with a heavy dessert because it seems light. If you prefer mild coffees you will enjoy this one. This roast of Ethiopian Harrar would be a good afternoon or early evening coffee.

We usually like a little bolder coffee but this is a good coffee and we would give it two thumbs up and 3.25 out of 5. We wished we had more to brew and we would definitely share it with friends. We received this coffee for free and offer objective feedback.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill and Kim

Romans 15:13; Psalm 34:1-10

Prayer Conference for Revival

June 8, 2010 at 4:58 pm | Posted in prayer, revival | Leave a comment
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If you are interested in the simulcast of a prayer conference on revival taking place in Vancouver, B.C. you can get there from here: http://www.sermonindex.net/. This site is great for listening to sermons from men of God who are now in the presence of the Lord. There are sermons from men of God who are still alive and serving the Lord and His Church today too. This is a very good site.

It started June 8 and goes through June 10. I have been blessed and challenged by the little I have been able to listen to. God bless you.

The Christian In Complete Armour – Aim Your Heart Toward God

June 8, 2010 at 10:33 am | Posted in Devotional, Spiritual Warfare | Leave a comment
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Wisdom from William Gurnall Aim Your Heart Toward God

Today’s excerpt from Gurnall really spoke to me. I read a lot of material regarding men and men’s ministry. I have been involved in helping men grow and starting men’s groups. I have friends, some close and some more like acquaintances that lead or start men’s groups. In some way the simplicity of this spoke to me. I hope it speaks to you too.

“The world’s true man is one who will not wrong another man. Some boldly remind God that they would not steal a dime from their neighbor; yet these same people are thieves in far greater matters than all the money their neighbor is worth. They steal time from God and consistently conform the Sabbath to their personal plans instead of His. They purpose to sanctify God’s name and even pray often for His will but their unholy hearts insist on compromise even though they know His will is sanctification.

But God’s true man desires to be first true to the Father and then to man for His sake. For example, when Joseph’s brothers feared he might deal with them brutally he freed them from suspicion: ‘This do,’ he responded, ‘and live; for I fear God’ (Genesis 42:18). He assured them, ‘Do not expect anything from me except what is right. You might think because I am a man of authority you would have no one to intercede for you if I take advantage. But I see One who is above me – infinitely higher than I seem to be above you; and I fear Him.’ – from The Christian In Complete Armour, edited by James S. Bell, Jr., Moody Publishers.

Have you ever stolen time from God? Sure you have. Have you ever used the Sabbath for your personal pleasure or benefit? Sure you have. There is only one person that we cannot lie to, fool or mislead and you and I know who that is; Almighty God. Yes, our God is a forgiving Father, but He is also a consuming fire.

Let’s try to live upright and holy lives in these last days. Let’s try to live and talk and work and play in a way that shows who we belong to. Any of us who are Christians have been bought with a price, we are no longer our own, we belong to God. What would God want you to change in order for your life to be more conformed to the image of His Son? Let’s redeem the time because the days are evil. Just something to think about.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13

(28)Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, (29)for our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:28-29)

Coffee Shop Review – Stauf’s Coffee Roasters

June 7, 2010 at 6:37 pm | Posted in Coffee Shop Reviews | Leave a comment
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We’ve traveled through Columbus Ohio on I-71 many times without exploring what coffee roasters might be available simply by taking a short detour off the freeway. Well, enough is enough, so I went online and picked Stauf’s to be our first Columbus coffee roasters’ visit. Stauf’s (www.staufs.com) is located at 1277 Grandview Ave. Getting there we also passed our favorite peanut butter producer without knowing we would.

Stauf’s is located on a nice little street with a number of restaurants and shops nearby. There is a patio area with tables and chairs right in front of the shop. You are greeted by the smell of coffee as you walk in. To your right is their flavored coffee and there is a lot of it. I’m not a flavored coffee fan but just a little walk and turn to the left and there is the coffee!

We were also greeted by a helpful salesman by the name of Andy. He offered assistance and information and was not pushy. He answered all of our questions and when asked he told me what his personal favorites were. We interacted with two other salespeople who were equally as friendly and helpful.

As we made our way past all of the coffee beans we went to the counter to order a cup of coffee. Kim and I both ordered a dark roast called Baba Budan. The young man at the counter asked if we would mind waiting because he had to make a fresh pot. We gladly assured him that we would not mind waiting for a fresh pot of coffee.

I bought a cookie and ate it as we waited for the coffee. There was a lot of activity and you probably couldn’t do much reading or studying there. But it is a good place to have a cup of coffee and conversation. Doesn’t coffee seem to taste better when you have it and talk with someone? There is food you can purchase too and it really does look like a good place to go to eat and drink coffee.

We ordered the coffee to go and when it was ready that is what we did. The only negative is that the coffee was so hot you could not hold the cup long even with the sleeve. We may have even burned our tongues a little because of how hot it was. But it did have a good bold taste that lingered after you swallowed. We would definitely get it again. The staff is friendly and helpful and the coffee is good. We would definitely return.

We’ll be looking for other coffee shops to visit and review on our travels. Until next time enjoy the coffee and the conversation.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill and Kim

Romans 15:13; Psalm 34:1-10

Book Review – Sammy and His Shepherd: Seeing Jesus in Psalm 23

June 7, 2010 at 5:17 am | Posted in Book Reviews, Children's Books | Leave a comment
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I just posted another children’s book review by my wife Kim. You can read it by going to the book review page. This is some information on the book:

Hunt, Susan  Sammy and His Shepherd: Seeing Jesus in Psalm 23Lake Mary, FL: Reformation Trust Publishing. 2008. 59 pp.

Coffee Review – Coffee Labs Roasters Ethiopian Amaro Gayo

June 5, 2010 at 10:22 am | Posted in Coffee Reviews | Leave a comment
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Does the experience of trying new types of coffee ever get old? I don’t think so. This is our second coffee from Coffee Labs Roasters (www.coffeelabsroasters@mac.com or www.coffeelabs.com) and we were looking forward to trying it. This is a light roast or city roast and it’s from the Sidamo region. It is processed naturally. We invited a friend of ours toshare the first brewing of it and he seemed to look forward to it as much as we were.

So I open the bag and we all take turns smelling the beans. They have a nice aroma and it gets better as the beans are ground. There seem to be hints of blueberry in the aroma. After the coffee is brewed I poured three cups and we sipped and talked. My first reaction is there is a taste that really stands out, almost catching me by surprise. It has a clean smooth feel in your mouth and there is a slight acidity. It is naturally sweet and none us of used any sugar or cream. At our friend’s suggestion we let some of the coffee cool so that we could taste the flavor profile. This was a great idea and if you’ve never tried it you should. Three thumbs up here.

Then the next morning Kim and I brewed it in the French Press. That nice aroma was a little more pronounced and again that first taste grabbed my attention real quick. It is like a tangy taste that is hard for me to pick out. It is an intriguing coffee, it makes you think. The natural sweetness of this coffee really stands out here because even though the coffee is stronger or bolder there is still no need for any sweetener or cream. Two thumbs up.

Lastly was the auto-drip and we were really looking forward to it. When Kim had her first cup she asked me if this was the same coffee we had the other two days. I told her that it was the Ethiopian Amaro Gayo and asked her if she liked it. She did, in fact she was surprised at how good it tasted in the auto-drip. The natural sweetness is there, and that smooth, clean feeling in your mouth and the taste of blueberries. Two thumbs up again.

We brewed enough coffee to put some in the refrigerator for iced coffee. The coffee is much stronger cold and there is no bitterness. It has a deep, balanced coffee flavor. We both liked it cold. Two thumbs up and I think I’m becoming an iced coffee drinker too.

We liked this coffee and gave some beans to friends to try at home. If you are looking for a good light roasted Ethiopian coffee this would be a good choice. Kurt at Coffee Labs Roasters knows his craft. We received this coffee for free and over objective feedback. Until next time, enjoy the coffee and good conversation with friends. Be sure to check out some of our other reviews too. Thanks.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill and Kim

Romans 15:13; Psalm 34:1-10

Pray for the Pastor’s Children

June 4, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Posted in prayer | Leave a comment
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Here is a subject that is near and dear to my heart. I was not raised in a pastor’s home but my sons were. The spiritual warfare around a pastor’s kids is every bit as real as the spiritual warfare around the pastor of a local church. The expectations for those kids can be unrealistically high at times. They do get judged differently than other kids. They are expected to behave better than most other kids in church. Sometimes that just comes with the territory.

But a dad who is a pastor can still love, support, communicate and discipline in a Biblical way that is not based on worldly higher expectations. That consistent love in both words and deeds toward the children can make all the difference in the world in helping the kids go through the expectations placed upon them by others. What is really good is that the children can grow through the unbiblical and unrealistic expectations of others because of their confidence in the love of their father.

Pastor’s kids can grow through unfair and unrealistic expectations and become successful, victorious adults. They can learn to be responsible for their attitudes and behaviors in spite of how others treat them or their parents. They can become “more than conquerors through Him who loves them.” But they still need prayer. Maybe our intercessory prayers will help them more than we can imagine. Please take some time and pray for your pastor’s children.

Let’s pray for:

1.      Their dad (the pastor) to love them with God’s help

2.      Their dad to pray for them and with them

3.      Their dad to love their mom and for the kids to see and hear tangible aspects of that love

4.      Their dad to choose to spend quality time with them to get to know them and to teach them about life

5.      Their dad to ask them questions and listen to the answers. This is a big one because I think most pastors like to talk and are not good at listening. For example: Pastor Dad, what is each of your kid’s favorite color? Sandwich? Movie? Book? Toy? You get the idea. Answer quickly without thinking too much. If you don’t know the answers, go back spend some time with your kids and listen to them and pay attention.

6.      Their dad to teach them Bible stories in word and deed

7.      Them to have other adults in the church to love them and support them

8.      Them to have some adults who can act like grandparents (if they live far from extended family)

9.      Them to have good wholesome friendships with saved and unsaved

10.  Them to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior at a young age and live for Him all the days of their lives

11.  Them to want to lead others to Christ and make disciples in their own way and time

12.  Any other way you feel led.

I guarantee that your pastor and his wife would be thrilled and appreciative if they knew you were interceding for their children. They may never know that you are praying, but God does. Your prayers will make a difference. Thanks for praying.

Stay faithful and hopeful,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13; Isaiah 50:7

“Fathering is unpredictable, untidy and frequently confusing. That is why there are so many fathers who have children, but so few children who have fathers.”

–         Tim Hansel, What Kids Need Most in a Dad

_____________________________________________

“Wherein you reprove another be unblamable yourself, for example is more prevalent than precept.”

–         George Washington, The Rules of Civility

Thursday’s Hymn – Grace Greater Than Our Sin

June 3, 2010 at 9:27 am | Posted in hymns | Leave a comment
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Grace is a wonderful reality. Grace for forgiveness, grace for growth, or grace for life; no matter how you look at it, it’s wonderful. As a Christian I know first-hand that I am now saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). Maturity in my Christian walk depends on my growing in the grace and knowledge of My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18). When I get tired or discouraged and feel like giving up, He gives more grace to help me keep pressing on (Hebrews 4:16; James 4:6). There is even more that I could say about grace.

You see GRACE is a wonderful reality for the child of God. Not because of who the receiving person is, but because of Who the Giver of GRACE is! Can I get an amen? I cannot explain everything about GRACE, but I can say I have, I am and I will experience it in my life. I am grateful for God’s grace. How about you?

Stay faithful and hopeful,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13; Hebrews 4:14-16

GRACE GREATER THAN OUR SIN

by Julia H. Johnston, 1849-1919

1.      Marvelous grace of our loving Lord, Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt, Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured, There where the blood of the Lamb was spilt.

(Refrain) Grace, grace, God’s grace, Grace that will pardon and cleanse within; Grace, grace, God’s grace, Grace that is greater than all our sin.

 2.      Sin and despair, like the sea waves cold, Threaten the soul with infinite loss; Grace that is greater, yes, grace untold, Points to the refuge, the mighty cross.

(Refrain)

3.      Dark is the stain that we cannot hide, What can avail to wash it away? Look! There is flowing a crimson tide; Whiter than snow you may be today.

(Refrain)

4.      Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace Freely bestowed on all who believe; You that are longing to see His face, Will you this moment His grace receive?

(Refrain)

Coffee Review – Nacha Thai

June 2, 2010 at 8:37 pm | Posted in Coffee Reviews | 1 Comment
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We were looking forward to trying this type of coffee and it would be our first experience with a coffee from Thailand. Nacha Thai (also known as Nacha Original) is described as an Arabica Typica coffee that has won international and SCAA cupping competitions and is bringing worldwide renown to Thailand and Nacha Estates. It is a versatile coffee and can be used for Phin or French Press, drip, or even espresso. The Nacha bean is very stable and keeps for longer than an ordinary bean. It is a medium-dry bean that works well in all grinders. These coffees are grown with high concern for the ecology and all are sold by the producers themselves, so they net all the proceeds.

You know we use three different brewing methods in tasting the coffee and then compare the results. The Nacha Thai has a mild aroma and I was a little surprised since it is a darker bean. Even while brewing in the Chemex there was only a slight earthy aroma. The flavor though was very tasty; it reminded Kim of eating toast which is one of her favorite breakfasts. It tastes good black and has a mild tangy acidity. It has a light body in your mouth and a clean aftertaste. Two thumbs up. I did something a little different, but I’ll get to that later.

Next up was the French Press and here the aroma was stronger and the taste was bolder. Even though it seemed the taste was amplified there was no bitterness and the body felt fuller but still smooth. It has an earthy flavor to it. This was Kim’s favorite way to enjoy the coffee. She thought it mixed well with the dried cranberries she was eating. She was also thinking of other foods to pair this coffee with. Two thumbs up again.

Lastly was the auto-drip and after the last two tastings we were a little disappointed. Maybe I’m not preparing the coffee correctly, but it was very mild and had very little aroma here. It felt very smooth and light in your mouth and the aftertaste was gone quickly. This was our least favorite method of brewing and tasting.

We learned something new to do when tasting coffee and I tried it during our Chemex taste. A friend of ours (let me give a shout out to Jonathan) said to let some coffee sit and cool down or put it in the refrigerator and drink it cold and then taste the flavor profile. I am not one for iced coffees but I am one for learning and trying new things. So I made extra coffee and put it in the refrigerator. It really had a deep, bold, strong earthy flavor. Its tangy, spicy flavors are more pronounced and it needs no sweeteners. It made an iced coffee believer out of me.

We are looking forward to sharing this coffee with friends, even iced at picnics.  Nacha Thai is available at www.vietnamese-coffee.com. We received this coffee for free and offer objective feedback.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill and Kim

Romans 15:13; Psalm 34:1-10

Insight from Tozer – Faith: The Misunderstood Doctrine

June 2, 2010 at 11:05 am | Posted in A. W. Tozer | 1 Comment
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This chapter can be found in Man: The Dwelling Place of God, pages 29-33. It speaks to the importance of Christians both understanding and applying faith in their lives. Tozer starts by saying, “In the Divine scheme of salvation the doctrine of faith is central. God addresses His words to faith, and where no faith is no true revelation is possible. ‘Without faith it is impossible to please Him.’

Every benefit flowing from the atonement of Christ comes to the individual through the gateway of faith. Forgiveness, cleansing, regeneration, the Holy Spirit, all answers to prayer, are given to faith and received by faith. There is no other way. This is common evangelical doctrine and is accepted wherever the cross of Christ is understood.”

If we accept the words of Tozer and think about the doctrine of faith, then what do we do? If we accept the witness of the Words of Scripture as more important than the words of Tozer and we do, then what do we do?

First I think we accept the Word of God that says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who come to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). We accept God at His Word and since we enter the relationship with Him by faith, we understand that we will grow in that relationship with Him by faith.

Second, we ask ourselves how do we grow in faith? We find part of the answer in Romans 10:17, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” We have to get into the Word of God. I would even suggest reading it out loud at times. Literally hear the Word and let it sink into your mind and heart. If you don’t know the Word, how can you really know God who has revealed Himself through His Word?

Tozer goes on to say, “True faith rests upon the character of God and asks no further proof than the moral perfections of the One who cannot lie. It is enough that God said it, and if the statement should contradict every one of the five senses and all the conclusions of logic as well, still the believer continues to believe. ‘Let God be true, but every man a liar,’ is the language of true faith. Heaven approves such faith because it rises above mere proofs and rests in the bosom of God.”

To use an old cliché, “God said, I believe it, that settles it!” Is that enough evidence for today’s Christian? Almighty God has spoken and I believe His written revelation is enough to build my faith and for my faith to help me live. Do today’s Christians want to be known for simple faith or for having answers to other’s objections to faith?

There are many well meaning Christians who seek to be able to answer critics of the Bible with good enough answers. Maybe we Christians don’t want to look stupid or out of touch with culture or society. But Tozer says there is only one real answer.

“What these brethren do not see is that the very fact that they feel a necessity to seek proof for the truths of the Scriptures proves something else altogether, namely, their own basic unbelief. When God speaks unbelief asks, ‘How shall I know that this is true?’ I AM THAT I AM is the only grounds for faith………Faith as the Bible knows it is confidence in God and His Son Jesus Christ; it is the response of the soul to the divine character as revealed in the Scriptures; and even this response is impossible apart from the prior inworking of the Holy Spirit. Faith is a gift of God to a penitent soul and has nothing whatsoever to do with the sense or the data they afford. Faith is a miracle; it is the ability God gives to trust His Son, and anything that does not result in action in accord with the will of God is not faith but something else short of it…….The man that believes will obey; failure to obey is convincing proof that there is not true faith present.”

There certainly is a lot to think about from the selection I’ve chosen from this chapter. My hope is that we will think about our faith in God and His Word and how it is lived out in our thoughts, words and behaviors. May we who say we believe that God’s Word is inspired and without error live lives in faith and obedience to His Word.

Here is a good site I recently learned about: http://awtozerquotes.wordpress.com/. If you appreciate Tozer you will like this site.

Stay faithful and hopeful,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13; 2 Peter 3:18

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