Tag Archives: enjoying God

Coffee bowls and 2-handled mugs- Jehovah Java

I’ve posted two other posts on coffee, (Free coffee post,and “is coffee spiritual” post) and how the enjoyment of it is a true spiritual practice. I’ve wanted to find more information about the Carmelite monks who use no handle mugs so they can be fully present, and appreciative to their Creator during their daily practice of sipping their warm brew.

Jehovah Java-the God who provides coffee? Okay, I’m not sure about the Hebrew on that one, but here are more information and links for coffee lovers, or people who love them.

What is a coffee bowl? Used is Peru, France, and various other places in the world, a coffee bowl is grasped with two hands and coffee is sipped. This also keeps the hands warm. (You can locate the one pictured below, here.)

coffee bowl

café au lait bowl


Here’s another item that promises to warm up hands when filled with hot cocoa or coffee. (find it here)

no handles

This “Mystic Monk (2-handled) Mug” looks like a practical joke. It harkens back to the idea of the hands-on method of drinking coffee, and it’s a bargain among the others here, at only $6.99. Mystic Monk Coffee is a brand created and Carmelite monks in Wyoming who roast their own blends to support their solitary life of prayer. They have many varieties, including a fair trade blend, Carmel, Cowboy Blend, Hermit’s Bold Blend, and Midnight Vigil, among them. They also have a sampler pack with free shipping, and a coffee club-how handy.

Modern monk style mug

Modern monk style mug



Coffee Taste-tester Monk

Coffee Taste-tester Monk


What’s your favorite container to hold coffee, and why?

Fall Favorite – Apple Dumplings + update & photos

When the apples are at their peak, one of my favorite things is to have apple dumplings. They go great with good coffee, and whipped cream on top, or a side of vanilla ice cream, or surrounded in a bit of milk. Around here, the Pennsylvania Germans have crafted a true delicacy. I’m making them today with a friend who knows what she’s doing. I’ll take some photos to show you when they are done. (the one a plate came from here)

What fall traditions, treats, or joys are your favorites?


THAT was fun! These are delicious. Here’s photos of the process. If I get enough requests, I could be talked into posting the recipe. (Get a petition going in the comments, if you’d like.)

(reader response) Doing what you don’t want to do



Here is a response from Veronica:

I’m glad to come to your site, and start thinking more seriously about my own spiritual growth. I want to keep it in the front of my mind. Well, I guess you could say, I want to “make the main thing the Main Thing.” Wasn’t that a catch phrase once?  I get together with a friend to pray, and keep accountable spiritually. Last week we started talking about having trouble with doing the things we are trying so hard not to do. Really, it’s like how Paul says it in Romans-

Romans 7:19 “I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.”

For me, it’s pride. As I start to work on it, I basically get puffed up as I feel I have a handle on it. I catch myself in false modesty with others too. So, really it’s a step backwards. I’m doing what I don’t want to do.

For my friend, she says she struggles with keeping on a good face for show, or pretense. She feels like a fake. She says the more she tries to not put up a front, the more she feels that is exactly what is happening. She is even more conscious of herself, and in the end is more phony. Maybe it has to do with self absorption. Do other people feel this way? Do you have any suggestions? 

Thanks for allowing me to post this Veronica. I can’t say with 100% certainty, but I think what you reveal is quite a common situation. And perhaps you’re right. We might be worse off as we focus on our problem (as you say, self-absorption) rather than pour our adoration into God, follow him, and really turn to him and trust him to make us more like him. Doing what we don’t want to do proves our desperate need for total dependency on God. The more we struggle to do better, the more we’ll find we come up short. I believe relinquishing our control of our own sanctification process (the development of our godly character) is something that is necessary to have freedom, enjoy God’s love, and progress toward the likeness of our Redeemer. It isn’t something we can ever manage, or do well our selves. For me, it is a continual surrendering/yielding process where I humble my will, and heart to God, and give God the timetable for my character restoration, as I recommit to participate fully in his process. (It has to be continual, because I don’t do well for very long!)

Anybody else have suggestions for Veronica?

Coming Soon…

My August project will be to summarize some helpful spiritual disciplines, and design some easy-to-understand materials. Tell me what disciplines or spiritual formation topics you’d like to know about, for yourself, your small group, church, family, or other uses. Different forms of prayer? Lectio Divina? Meditation? Fasting? Sabbath? Examen? Spiritual Direction? It’s time to put all these graduate school studies to good use!

enjoying God

If one begins to study ancient pagan deities, and what was required for proper worship, it seems a poignant attribute comes to the surface. Pagan gods needed a lot of service from humans, and much was required to appease them. In stark contrast, the Treaty of Sinai set up an agreement, of asking very little of its loyalists, by comparison. Every thing from sacrifices making one ready for priestly participation, to tributes, to honor requirements to their Sovereign were truly turned upside down.

For example, all regional deities had huge temples for themselves, some up to a mile long. God’s temple for many years occupied the size of five car lengths by three car lengths. (puny) It wasn’t made from exotic materials, but worshipers could dismantle the tent structure, and reassemble it at a new spot. Very Convenient. Fit for the God of the universe? God thought so. He’s what you would call the modest type. Regional gods demanded temple prostitutes, infant, toddler, and virgin sacrifices, and that humans degrade themselves in all kinds of ways to secure the god’s position as ruler. God forbade any such things, and protected his people from degrading themselves for him, or with each other. Their clothes were even fashioned with tassels to resemble a priestly class, no matter what their clan or economic status was. This was to honor them as treasures and royalty. Again, a role reversal. Regional gods demanded literally hundreds of sacrifices per day of expensive animals to stay in their good graces. God asked for one per year for the whole nation as a tribute. Most “animal sacrifices” required throughout the year consisted of burning a bit of animal fat, giving a slice of the meat to the priest to enjoy who’s been the butcher, and having the rest for a BBQ picnic with family and friends. Very enjoyable. The list goes on and on.

This really shows us something that should sink in deep, today. The character of God isn’t one that is demanding that we serve him. It may please him when when do, but that’s not at all the point. It seems we are here so he might serve, and honor us. How sweet and gracious! He seems to want us to enjoy life, (working and playing) enjoy “him,” and enjoy each other. We are not slaves to him, like property or indentured servants, and were never suppose to be. It is a relationship of respect and regard, mutually–when we understand it rightly.

He really offers us a life of emotional enjoyment and relaxation in knowing he loves us. Sometimes with this in mind, it makes the perception of a burden, the one we’ve strapped on ourselves, melt away, and we can begin to love and yield our whole lives and heart to God in a new way.