Sunday, September 23, 2018

Strong & Sweet: Thoughts on Coffee & Faith

by Rhonda Rhea @RhondaRhea

For me, coffee isn’t quite strong enough until it holds the spoon up by itself. I like it when it’s somewhere close to chewy. Coffee you can sink your teeth into. That’s perfection.

I’ve heard you can tell a lot about people by the way they take their coffee. Me? I’m all in. Full strength with everything added. A lot of everything. When I order coffee at a restaurant and the waitress asks if I would like cream, I usually tell her yes and that she should bring enough for my four or five friends that I’m not expecting to show up. So if it’s true that you can tell a lot about people by their coffee, one of the things mine says about me is that it’s unlikely I’ll ever have to worry about osteoporosis.

When it comes time to add the sweeteners, I ask my friends, real and imaginary, to look away so I’m sure no one will see how many packet tops I’m tearing off. I confess, I drink it crazy-sweet. Coffee with dessert? How about coffee FOR dessert! Keep giving me sweetener packets and I’ll keep enthusiastically pouring them in. While I think of it as supplementing my coffee, others might think of it more as a new way to make syrup. For me, when it’s pour-it-over-waffles, insanely sweet, THAT’S when coffee is served. 

For our faith to become strong and sweet, we need to keep on pouring the right things into our lives with the same kind of enthusiasm. “Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ,” (2 Peter 1:5-7, NLT). 

Did you notice how it wraps up with brotherly affection and love for everyone? And did you also notice that all these things work together to make us more productive and help provide a life of usefulness? Loving and serving is at the heart of our faith. Paul said “those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, ‘How can I help?’” (Romans 15:1-2, MSG).      

I’ve seen people through the years who initially thought they were too busy for service. Or who thought they were unqualified for service. I’ve enjoyed those times I could simply watch as God added them to the ranks of the faithful. I’ve seen Him transform their unwillingness, resistance, doubt and insecurity into fervor, victory, boldness, and ultimately, fruit. 
The more we get to know our Heavenly Father and the more we understand His call to service, the more we understand that He never calls us to do anything He doesn’t equip us to do. He “fills our cup,” so to speak, with everything we need. Peter said, “If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies,” (1 Peter 4:11). 
Every time I read that, I’m encouraged and inspired to be always “all in” where service is concerned. I think I’ll go chew on it again. While I also chew on this cup of coffee. 

Strong & Sweet - Thoughts on Coffee & Faith from @RhondaRhea on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Serving—And Serving Coffee - Thoughts on Faith from @RhondaRhea on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Rhonda Rhea is a humor columnist for lots of great magazines, including HomeLife, Leading Hearts, The Pathway and more. She is the author of 10 nonfiction books, including How Many Lightbulbs Does It Take to Change a Person? and coauthors fiction with her daughter, Kaley Faith Rhea. She and her daughters host the TV show, That’s My Mom, for Christian Television Network’s KNLJ. Rhonda enjoys traveling the country speaking at all kinds of conferences and events. She and her pastor/hubs have five grown children and live in the St. Louis area.


  1. What a great post Ms. Rhonda. I've always told folks "I like my coffee like my wife, sweet and blonde." I like your "sweet and strong" description for both my coffee and my wife better. I pray with you that everyone reading this finds the true joy in serving our Lord in faith. God's blessings ma'am.

  2. That's sweet, Jim--in every way. Praying that prayer with you! Blessings right back to you!

  3. I'm catching up today. Can't believe I got so far behind. This was excellent. That's the way I like my coffee as well, but not so much on the sugar. Just a couple of teaspoons does me. Have a good one, Rhonda ;)