Sharing the Coffee

October 11, 2010 at 6:57 pm | Posted in Coffee Reviews | Leave a comment
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Webster’s dictionary defines, to share as, dividing or using with others. It may be me, but I think that sharing coffee helps make the whole drinking experience better. We had another opportunity recently to share some Newhall Coffee (www.newhallcoffee.com) with some friends at a dinner party. When we were invited I asked the host if I could bring some coffee and my Chemex coffee maker. He likes coffee so he was all for it.

I took an Ethiopian Harrar and a Tanzanian Peaberry along with my Chemex and grinder. The plan was to make one batch in an auto-drip, then another in the Chemex. We would drink it and talk about it and compare the flavor of the different brews. The good thing that I found out was that no one there had ever tasted coffee from the Chemex. They were all familiar with an auto-drip and most have had coffee from a French Press. This was going to be fun.

We started with the Tanzanian Peaberry. We brewed it in the auto-drip and 10 cups in the Chemex. It had a nice aroma and was slightly acidic. The taste seemed to go over the whole tongue, but leaves quickly. As I started to make the coffee people were spread out through the kitchen, dining room, family room and outside on the deck. As the aroma started to go throughout the house more people came into the kitchen. The Chemex drew a lot of attention.

As the coffee began to cool in the Chemex (www.chemexcoffeemaker.com) the guests wanted more of that and less of the coffee from the auto-drip. One man standing and looking at his cup said, “Man, this is good coffee.” It was beginning to cool and there were comments about the slight change in the taste. There were comments like, “slightly roasty, a little tart, bittersweet, and light.”

I did something similar with the Ethiopian Harrar and the taste from the Chemex was preferred over the auto-drip. This coffee had a milder aroma and a smooth, darker roast flavor. It also had subtle fruity and earthy undertones. Different conversations were going on through the kitchen and dining room, but when people made their way back for more coffee they chose the Chemex again. Of the two coffees we had after dinner the Tanzanian Peaberry was the overall favorite.

At these coffee tasting parties I am trying to give a brief overview of tasting coffee and trying to help others see how easy it is to make good coffee from whole beans. I also want to teach others about how many good coffee roasters there are. With the Newhall Coffee there is the added benefit of sharing about their “coffee for a cause” (www.newhallcoffeeforacause.com). They are trying to raise 1 million dollars to help win the fight against leukemia. They also have Operation Gratitude where they have donated over 4 million cups of coffee to service people in combat.

In the future I hope to tell you more about Newhall Coffees and their “coffee for a cause.” The coffees that we tried and shared at our friend’s party were good. They desire to make a difference in world by helping others. If you want to drink coffee and make and help make a difference we would encourage you try these coffees. We received these coffees for free and offer objective feedback. Until next time remember to stop and enjoy the coffee and conversation.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill and Kim

Romans 15:13; Psalm 34:1-10

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O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing

October 10, 2010 at 5:15 am | Posted in hymns | Leave a comment
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O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing

By Charles Wesley, sung in 3/2 time

1.      O for a thousand tongues to sing, My great Redeemer’s praise, The glories of my God and King, The triumphs of His grace.

 2.      Jesus! The name that charms our fears, That bids our sorrows cease, ‘Tis music in the sinner’s ears, ‘Tis life and health and peace.

3.      He breaks the pow’r of cancelled sin, He sets the prisoner free; His blood can make the foulest clean; His blood availed for me.

 4.      Hear Him, ye deaf; His praise, ye dumb, Your loosened tongues employ; Ye blind, behold your Savior come; And leap, ye lame, for joy.

 5.      My gracious Master and my God, Assist me to proclaim, To spread thro’ all the earth abroad, The honors of Thy Name.

Years ago when I was a young Christian and started listening to Christian radio stations there were only two to choose from where I lived. One station was fm and the other was am. I used to set my clock radio to the fm station and during the week the early morning disc jockey would play loud marching music to help people walk up. I think he would also play the sound of a rooster every now and then too. He was very energetic and talkative and some people probably didn’t like it. But I did! I kind of miss it every now and then, but I am a morning person.

Today’s hymn reminded me of those early mornings back in the day. To me each individual line builds in volume and intensity. And all the lines together build in volume and intensity. The instruments are playing and the singers are singing and together they are leading the people in praise of Almighty God! How could you not want to sing out loud and strong to the great God who has saved your soul?

I hope you offer up your voice in praise to God today. Think about the work He did to save you. Think about all that He has forgiven you. Take all your cares and worries and lay them at His feet because He cares for you. O what a great God and Father we have who watches over us.

Stay faithful and hopeful,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13

Psalm 33:20-22

(20)We wait in hope for the LORD; He is our help and our shield. (21)In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His holy Name. (22)May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in You.

Coffee Review: Community Coffee Cafe Special Decaf

October 8, 2010 at 4:40 pm | Posted in Coffee Reviews | 2 Comments
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We like Community Coffee. Some of their coffees we like more than others, but overall they seem like a good company. It seems like they have an offering to satisfy every coffee drinker. As we continue to search for good tasting decafs this Café Special would soon be brewed. It is described as offering a satisfying semi-sweet, full bodied flavor that is perfectly balanced and strikingly distinctive. It is a medium roast with mild acidity and a full body.

There is a nice nutty aroma that greets you when you open the bag. This aroma is enhanced after the beans are ground. The aroma was not that strong as the coffee brewed in the auto-drip. It feels to me like a medium to light bodied coffee as you drink it. The acidity is very mild and the flavor spreads out over the tongue.

Next up was the Clever Coffee Dripper and I am liking this little brewer more each time I use it. The nutty aroma from the beans is very inviting. The grind for the CCD is similar to a French Press. I like to brew mine for about 6 to 7 minutes. The taste of the coffee is a little more pronounced with the nuttiness and a slight smokiness coming through. It is a little stronger taste

Finally we used the Chemex coffee maker to brew this decaf. There is a slight semi-sweetness and a mild acidity. The aftertaste seems to hit the sides and front part of the tongue. The body felt light to medium here.

This is an average decaf coffee. It is low cost and comes in whole beans which makes it inviting to try. It is o.k. but Community Coffee has some other decafs we would like to try. We received this coffee for free and offer objective feedback. Until next time remember to stop and enjoy the coffee and conversation.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill and Kim

Romans 15:13; Psalm 34:1-10

Choices Reveal – and Make – Character

October 6, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Posted in A. W. Tozer | Leave a comment
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Insight from A. W. Tozer

Into nine words, having altogether but eleven syllables, Luke packs a world of universal truth: “Being let go, they went to their own company” (Acts 4:23).

Every normal man has a “company,” however small, where he feels at home and to which he will return when he is tired of being alone.

The important thing about a man is not where he goes when he is compelled to go, but where he goes when he is free to go where he will.

The apostles went to jail, and that is not too revealing because they went there against their will; but when they got out of jail and could go where they would they immediately went to the praying company. From this we learn a great deal about them. The choices of life, not the compulsions, reveal character………………

There is always danger that a free nation may imperil its freedom by a series of small choices destructive of that freedom. The liberty the fathers won in blood the sons may toss away in prodigality and debilitating pleasures. Any nation which for an extended period puts pleasure before liberty is likely to lose the liberty it misused……………

The Christian gospel is a message of freedom through grace and we must stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free. But what shall we do with our freedom? The Apostle Paul grieved that some of the believers of his day took advantage of their freedom and indulged the flesh in the name of Christian liberty. They threw off discipline, scorned obedience and made gods of their own bellies. It is not difficult to decide which company such as these belonged to. They revealed it by the company they kept.

Our choices reveal what kind of persons we are, but there is another side to the coin. We may by our choices also determine what kind of persons we will become. We humans are not only in a state of being, we are in a state of becoming; we are on a slow spiral moving gradually up or down. Here we move not singly but in companies, and we are drawn to these companies by the attraction of similarity.

I think it might be well for us to check our spiritual condition occasionally by the simple test of compatibility. When we are free to go, where do we go? In what company do we feel most at home? Where do our thoughts turn when they are free to turn where they will? When the pressure of work or business or school has temporarily lifted and we are able to think of what we will instead of what we must, what do we think of then?

The answer to these questions may tell us more about ourselves than we can comfortably accept. But we had better face up to things. We haven’t too much time at the most. – Taken from Man: The Dwelling Place of God, pages 158-161. Christian Publications, Inc. 1966.

The Importance of the Shield

October 5, 2010 at 10:04 am | Posted in William Gurnall | Leave a comment
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Wisdom from William Gurnall

In old time the shield was prized by a soldier above all other pieces of armor. He counted it a greater shame to lose his shield than to lose the battle; and therefore he would not part with it even when he was under the very foot of the enemy, but esteemed it an honor to die with his shield in his hand. It was the charge which one mother laid upon her son going into war: “Either bring your shield home with you or be brought home upon your shield.” She would rather have seen her son dead with his shield than alive without it.

The apostle further attached another noble effect to faith. We are commanded to take the girdle of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, and so on, but it is not specified what each one of them could do. Yet when the apostle spoke of faith he ascribed the whole victory to it. This quenches “all the fiery darts of the wicked” (Ephesians 6:16). And why is this true? Are the other graces useless, and does faith do everything? If so, why must the Christian arm himself with more than this one piece?

I answer that every piece has its vital use in the Christian’s warfare. No one part can be spared in the day of battle. But the reason that no single effect is attributed to each of these, but that all is ascribed to faith, is to let us know that these graces – their power and our benefit from the – must operate in conjunction with faith.

Plainly it is the design of God’s Spirit to give faith the precedence among all those graces entrusted to our keeping. But be careful not to become indifferent or careless in your dealings with the other graces just because you are more excited about getting and keeping this one. Could we warn a soldier to beware of a wound at his heart but forget to guard his head? Truly, we would deserve cracked crowns to cure us of such foolishness. – Taken from, The Christian in Complete Armour, October 3. Edited by James S. Bell, Jr. Moody Publishers, 1994.

No Fruit, No Conversion

October 5, 2010 at 5:26 am | Posted in Devotional, Quotes | Leave a comment
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I want to thank Eric from www.jcrylequotes.com again for today’s quote. It should make you think, read the Word and pray.  Do you agree with Ryle or not? Anything you question about your life? Do you hear much preaching or teaching like this now? Personally I think we are way past easy believe-ism to everyone does what’s right in their own eyes and calls it “church.” We can learn a lot from some of these brothers from days gone by.

(19)The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; (20)idolatory and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions (21)and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

(22)But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (23)gentleness and self-control. Against such there is no law. (24)Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. (25)Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. (26)Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. (Galatians 5:19-26)

Thank God for His forgiveness and grace! We can trust Him to help us live in such a way as to bring Him honor and glory with our thoughts, words and deeds. We don’t have to live changed lives alone, or try to bear fruit alone. He will help us! Praise His wonderful Name!

Stay faithful and hopeful,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13

No Fruit, No Conversion

Let it be a settled principle in our religion that when a man brings forth no fruits of the Spirit, he has not the Holy Spirit within him. Let us resist as a deadly error the common idea, that all baptized people are born again, and that all members of the Church, as a matter of course, have the Holy Spirit. One simple question must be our rule: What fruit does a man bring forth? Does he repent? Does he believe with the heart on Jesus? Does he live a holy life? Does he overcome the world? Habits like these are what Scripture calls “fruit.” When these “fruits” are lacking, it is profane to talk of a man having the Spirit of God within him.

~ J.C. Ryle

Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: Luke volume 1, [Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1986], 192.

Coffee Review: Land of a Thousand Hills Rwandan Decaf

October 4, 2010 at 10:53 am | Posted in Coffee Reviews | Leave a comment
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We are always on the lookout for a good decaf coffee so we were looking forward to trying this one from Land of a Thousand Hills (www.drinkcoffeedogood.com). One of the things we appreciate about this roaster is how they trying to help the farmers in Rwanda. They focus on Community Trade, paying farmers a fair living wage for their coffee while working to build relationships and promote community. They grant micro-finance loans to widows and bikes to farmers through Sustainable Cycle. They care for orphans in Bukonya and build community with a sustenance farm and soccer filed. It really sounds like they are trying to help improve the lifestyles of the farmers through many good works.

As usual we started out with the auto-drip for an early evening cup of coffee. This water processed decaf has a nice roasted, spicy aroma which seems to be enhanced after grinding. It has a good naturally sweet flavor. There is also a little bit of tanginess to the coffee.

Next was the French Press and here the naturally sweet, roasted flavor comes through strong. Though this is a dark roast, it is not over roasted and the subtle flavors are not covered up. It feels like a medium body and has a spicy, cinnamon aftertaste. The aroma is more pronounced in this brewing style. It paired well with cinnamon graham crackers.

We also used the Clever Coffee Dripper to brew this coffee. For people who just want one cup of coffee this brewer is ideal. We find we use it more and more and like it a lot. The acidity is mild and seems to hit the front half of the tongue. This coffee is naturally sweet and has a clean feel. Both of us enjoyed the taste of this coffee.

Our friends who are decaf drinkers liked this coffee also. They also liked learning about Land of a Thousand Hills and what they are doing to help the coffee farmers of Rwanda. This seems like a good coffee roasting company/ministry. If you like decaf coffees we suggest you try this Rwandan Decaf. We and our friends enjoyed it. We received this coffee for free and offer objective feedback. Until next time, remember to stop and enjoy the coffee and conversations.

Much GRACE and peace to you,

Bill and Kim

Romans 15:13; Psalm 34:1-10

Praise Him! Praise Him!

October 3, 2010 at 6:39 am | Posted in hymns | Leave a comment
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Sunday’s Hymn

(11)But let all who take refuge in You be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread Your protection over them, that those who love Your Name may rejoice in You. (12)For surely, O LORD, You surround them with Your favor as with a shield. (Psalm 5:11-12)

What a way to wake up and begin your day. Pray and thank God for who He is, read a Psalm of praise and an old hymn of praise. It is good to know Jehovah God as Father God through being forgiven and purchased by the blood of the Lamb (God the Son) and to be baptized into the body of Christ and sealed for eternity by God the Holy Spirit. Not three gods, but One God who has revealed Himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is better known as the Trinity. There is some mystery to this. No man can fully explain this. But I believe it and rest in it.

Here is a second short hymn of praise known as the Doxology. Some churches will sing this after the offering is taken and a prayer of thanks is given. It is in 4/4 time and can be sung at any time.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him all creatures here below.

Praise Him above, ye heavenly host. Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Stay faithful and hopeful,

Bill (a fellow-servant)

Romans 15:13

Praise Him! Praise Him!

By Fanny J. Crosby, sung in 6/8 time

1.      Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer! Sing, O earth, His wonderful love proclaim! Hail Him! Hail Him! Highest arch angels in glory; Strength and honor give to His holy name! Like a shepherd, Jesus will guard His children; In His arms He carries them all day long.

(Refrain) Praise Him! Praise Him! Tell of His excellent greatness; Praise Him! Praise Him! ever in joyful song!

2.      Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus our blessed Redeemer! For our sins He suffered, and bled, and died. He, our Rock, our Hope of eternal salvation – Hail Him! Hail Him! Jesus the Crucified. Sound His praises! Jesus, who bore our sorrows; Love unbounded, wonderful, deep, and strong!

(Refrain)

3.      Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer! Heav’nly portals loud with hosannas ring! Jesus, Savior, reigneth forever and ever. Crown Him! Crown Him! Prophet, and Priest, and King! Christ is coming, over the world victorious; Pow’r and glory unto the Lord belong!

 (Refrain)

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