Coffee with God

ESV Coffee BibleHow is your time with God?  When you spend time with Him, do you see Him as pure or does He seem tortuous (Ps. 18:26)?

How about your intentional time in His Word?  Is it “more to be desired…than gold [and] sweeter also than honey” (Ps. 19:10)?

When spending time the the Lord in His Word, the prayers of Psalm 19:13-14 (ESV) become more than words and t-shirt verses:

Declare me innocent from hidden faults.
Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins;
let them not have dominion over me!
Then I shall be blameless,
and innocent of great transgression.
Let the words of my mouth and
the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Bill Hybels has a great video about how time with Jesus, time of coffee, the Word, and a rocking chair, changed the life of a man:

More Reasons to Drink Coffee Every Day

11 Reasons Why You Should Drink Coffee Every Day

By Renee Jacques

coffee loveThere really can’t be any adult in this great big world that has never tried coffee. It’s consumed everywhere, and judging by the amount of Starbucks locations in the United States alone, (in 2012, there were 10,924!) we love our caffeine.

And that’s fine. In fact, there are many advantages to being one of the 54 percent of Americans over 18 who drink coffee everyday. Coffee can be pretty amazing for your brain, your skin and your body. Read on to discover 11 reasons you should wake up and smell the coffee…

1. Americans get more antioxidants from coffee than anything else.

According to a study done in 2005, “nothing else comes close” to providing as many antioxidants as coffee. While fruits and vegetables also have tons of antioxidants, the human body seems to absorb the most from coffee.

2. Just smelling coffee could make you less stressed.

Researchers at the Seoul National University examined the brains of rats who were stressed with sleep deprivation and discovered that those who were exposed to coffee aromas experienced changes in brain proteins tied to that stress. Note, this aroma study doesn’t relate to stress by itself, only to the stress felt as a result of sleep deprivation. Now, we’re not entirely sure if this means you should keep a bag of roasted coffee beans on your nightstand every night, but feel free to try!

3. Coffee could lessen the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

ScienceDaily reported in 2012 that drinking coffee may help people with Parkinson’s disease control their movement. Ronald Postuma, MD, the study author, said, “Studies have shown that people who use caffeine are less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease, but this is one of the first studies in humans to show that caffeine can help with movement symptoms for people who already have the disease.”

4. Coffee is great for your liver.

A study published in 2006 that included 125,000 people over 22 years showed thatthose who drink at least one cup of coffee a day were 20 percent less to develop liver cirrhosis — an autoimmune disease caused by excessive alcohol consumption that could lead to liver failure and cancer. Arthur L Klatsky, the lead author of the study, told The Guardian, “Consuming coffee seems to have some protective benefits against alcoholic cirrhosis, and the more coffee a person consumes the less risk they seem to have of being hospitalised or dying of alcoholic cirrhosis.”

Studies have also shown that coffee can help prevent people from developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). An international team of researchers led by Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School revealed that drinking four or more cups of coffee or tea a day may be beneficial in preventing the progression of NAFLD.

5. Coffee can make you feel happier.

study done by the National Institute of Health found that those who drink four or more cups of coffee were about 10 percent less likely to be depressed than those who had never touched the java. And apparently it’s not because of the “caffeine high” — Coke can also give you a caffeine high, but it’s linked to depression. Study author, Honglei Chen, MD, PhD, told Prevention.com that the proposed reason coffee makes you feel good is because of those trusty antioxidants.

6. Coffee consumption has been linked to lower levels of suicide.

study done by the Harvard School of Public Health determined that drinking between two and four cups of coffee can reduce the risk of suicide in men and women by about 50 percent. The proposed reason is because coffee acts as a mild antidepressant by aiding in the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline.

7. Coffee could reduce your chances of getting skin cancer (if you’re a woman).

Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School followed 112,897 men and women over a 20-year period and, apparently, women who drink three or more cups of coffee a day are much less likely to develop skin cancer than those who don’t.

8. Coffee can make you a better athlete.

The New York Times reports, “Scientists and many athletes have known for years, of course, that a cup of coffee before a workout jolts athletic performance, especially in endurance sports like distance running and cycling.” Caffeine increases the number of fatty acids in the bloodstream, which allows athletes’ muscles to absorb and burn those fats for fuel, therefore saving the body’s small reserves of carbohydrates for later on in the exercise.

9. Coffee could reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Coffee also lowers risk of Type 2 diabetes, according to a study from The American Chemical Society. The study’s researchers found that people who drink four or more cups of coffee a day reduce their chances of developing Type 2 diabetes by 50 percent. Subsequently, with every additional cup, the risk gets lowered by 7 percent.

10. Drinking coffee could help keep your brain healthier for longer.

Researchers from the University of South Florida and the University of Miami found that people older than 65 who had higher blood levels of caffeine developed Alzheimer’s disease two to four years later than others with lower caffeineDr. Chuanhai Cao, a neuroscientist at the USF, and co-author of the study, said, “We are not saying that moderate coffee consumption will completely protect people from Alzheimer’s disease. However, we firmly believe that moderate coffee consumption can appreciably reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s or delay its onset.”

11. Coffee may make you more intelligent.

You usually drink coffee when you are sleep-deprived, right? Well, that much-needed jolt not only keeps you awake, it makes you sharper. CNN reports that coffee allows your brain to work in a much more efficient and smarter way. TIME reporter, Michael Lemonick, says, “When you’re sleep-deprived and you take caffeine, pretty much anything you measure will improve: reaction time, vigilance, attention, logical reasoning — most of the complex functions you associate with intelligence.”

Moral of the story? COFFEE IS THE BEST THING EVER. KEEP DRINKING IT.

 

Coffee Hydrates as Well as Water

Coffee Hydrates as Well as Water, Study Says

By Rebecca Voelker

New research dispels the belief that coffee drinking causes dehydration. (Image: marcomayer/iStock.com)Researchers in England have reassuring news for coffee lovers worried that their daily dose of java may leave them dehydrated: a few cups of joe count the same toward a person’s fluid needs as an equal amount of water.

The belief that caffeinated drinks such as coffee could cause dehydration is based on a 1928 study that demonstrated caffeine’s diuretic effect. Since then, only 2 studies have tried to show whether evidence exists to support that belief. Results were mixed, so investigators at the University of Birmingham in England devised new research to compare whether drinking coffee affected hydration differently than water consumption.

“Our research aimed to establish if regular coffee consumption, under normal living conditions, is detrimental to the drinker’s hydration status,” lead author Sophie Killer, a doctoral researcher, said in a statement. The study was published online today in the journal PLOS ONE.

Killer and her colleagues enrolled 50 men, all moderate coffee drinkers who didn’t take diuretics or caffeine-containing medication. Women weren’t included in the study because menstrual cycles may cause fluid balance fluctuations. In the study’s first phase, investigators randomly assigned the men to drink 4 cups of black coffee or an equal amount of water daily for 3 consecutive days. After a 10-day “wash-out” period, the groups switched. Coffee drinkers changed to water and vice versa.

The investigators analyzed hydration status with several established measures—body mass, total body water, and blood and urine tests. They found the hydration effects of coffee or water did not differ significantly. The study participants lost a small but significant amount of body mass each day during both study phases, 0.2%. Several factors may explain the body mass loss, the investigators wrote. One possibility is that the men simply didn’t drink enough fluids during the study. Even so, the men weren’t near the clinical dehydration level of 1% to 3% body mass loss, the investigators noted.

“Consumption of a moderate intake of coffee, 4 cups per day, in regular coffee-drinking males caused no significant difference across a wide range of hydration indicators compared to the consumption of equal amounts of water,” Killer said.

She and her colleagues noted that public health recommendations to exclude caffeinated beverages from daily fluid needs or to drink a glass of water for every cup of coffee or tea consumed “should be updated to reflect [our] findings.”

Will We Drink Coffee on the New Earth?

I admit that when I first saw the title of Randy Alcorn’s article “Will We Drink Coffee on the New Earth?” I immediately clicked on the link, and not really for any spiritual reason.  Sure, I assumed that Randy would be making some spiritual point, but I just liked the idea that somebody put the word “coffee” in an article about eternity with God.   I really enjoy coffee, if you can’t tell.

That said, I wasn’t sure where he was going to go with the article.  I thought it was simply a teaser question that would go off in another direction altogether.  Instead, Alcorn stayed on task and made a nice case for drinking coffee on the new earth in eternity.  

Will we drink coffee on the New Earth?

Coffee in the eternal Heaven?Both Nanci and I love a good cup of coffee. Actually, I like about three good cups of dark, strong coffee—preferably French Roast, with milk. I’m like one of my fictional characters, homicide detective Ollie Chandler, who drank enough coffee that Juan Valdez named his donkey after him.

Earlier this year when I wrote the new intro to our book Help for Women Under Stress, I had to confess that though I have lived well by the exercise chapter in the book these past 27 years, I have not been so strict with the nutrition chapter, particularly in reference to the warnings against too much coffee!

And yes, a question I’ve been asked is “Will there be coffee in Heaven?” I’ll address it in this blog not simply for the benefit of coffee lovers but because it’s a revealing test of whether we’re more influenced by biblical teaching or Christoplatonism. Someone may say, “I sure hope there’ll be coffee in heaven.” But it’s a statement that few would attempt to defend biblically.

But consider the facts. God made coffee. Coffee grows on Earth, which God made for mankind, put under our management, and filled with resources for our use. When God evaluated his creation, he deemed coffee trees, along with all else, to be “very good.” Many people throughout history have enjoyed coffee—even in a fallen world where neither coffee nor our taste buds are at their best.

God tells us that he “richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (1 Timothy 6:17). Does “everything” include coffee? Paul also says, “For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer” (1 Timothy 4:4-5). Again, does “everything” include coffee?

Given these biblical perspectives—and realizing that caffeine addiction or anything else that’s unhealthy simply won’t exist on the New Earth—can you think of any persuasive reason why coffee trees and coffee drinking wouldn’t be part of the resurrected Earth?

Will the New Earth have fewer resources for human enjoyment than Eden did or than the world under the Curse offers? If you’re tempted to say, “But in Heaven our minds will be on spiritual things, not coffee,” your Christoplatonism detector should go off. It’s fine if you don’t like coffee, but to suggest that coffee is inherently unspiritual is . . . well, heresy. It directly contradicts the Scriptures just cited. God made the physical and spiritual realms not to oppose each other but to be united in bringing glory to him.

On the New Earth, we will “drink . . . from the spring of the water of life” (Revelation 21:6). God will prepare for us “a banquet of aged wine . . . the finest of wines” (Isaiah 25:6). Not only will we drink water and wine, we’ll eat from fruit trees (Revelation 22:2), and there’s every reason to believe we’ll drink juice made from the twelve fruits from the tree of life. So, along with drinking water, wine, and fruit juice, is there any reason to suppose we wouldn’t drink coffee or tea? Can you imagine drinking coffee or tea with Jesus on the New Earth? If you can’t, why not?

If for health reasons you shouldn’t drink coffee now, then don’t. But aside from personal preference, the only compelling reason for not having coffee in Heaven would be if coffee were sinful or harmful. But it won’t be. If drinking coffee would be unspiritual on the New Earth, then it must be unspiritual now. And unless someone’s a caffeine addict, under bondage to coffee and not to Christ, or if a person’s health is at stake, there’s simply no biblical basis for believing drinking coffee is sinful. Those who shouldn’t consume alcohol or caffeine now will be freed from addiction on the New Earth. Adverse health effects simply won’t exist.

Those who for reasons of allergies, weight problems, or addictions can’t regularly consume peanuts, chocolate, coffee, and wine—and countless other foods and drinks—may look forward to enjoying them on the New Earth. To be free from sin, death, and bondage on the New Earth will mean that we’ll enjoy more pleasures, not fewer. And the God who delights in our pleasures will be glorified in our grateful praise.

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Defeating Alzheimer’s with Coffee

Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease.  In addition to playing crossword puzzles, chess, sudoku, reading, and other mentally stimulating activities, there are some foods that can help cut the risk of having the disease.  My favorite on the list: 3-5 cups of coffee a day.  Take a look below for some more healthy choices form the article How to Lower Your Risk of Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, accounting for between 50 and 80 percent of all cases.  Researchers are closer than ever to finding a cure, but sometimes prevention is the best medicine.  Dr. Manny Alvarez, senior managing health editor of FoxNews.com, said there are some easy things you can do to prevent developing Alzheimer’s:

• Add cinnamon to your diet – consuming a teaspoon of this spice has been shown to block the production of proteins in the brain that contribute to the onset of Alzheimer’s.

• Drink apple juice – it boosts the production of a chemical compound in the brain associated with learning, memory, mood and muscle movement.

• Drink coffee – it acts as an anti-inflammatory that can block cholesterol buildup in the brain. One large study showed that men and women who drank three to five cups of coffee a day reduced their chances of dementia by 65 percent.

• Socialize more – studies show that a busy social life can improve your cognitive abilities.

• Protect your vision – your eyes are a good indicator of how your brain is functioning. Preserving your vision can actually cut your dementia risk by 63 percent.

• Meditate – this will lower your blood pressure and reduce stress, and it increases blood flow to the brain, which is why researchers believe it helps us retain mental acuity as we age.

• Eat a Mediterranean diet – a diet rich in leafy greens, fish, fruit, nuts and a little red wine can cut your dementia risk in half because it’s chock full of brain-protecting antioxidants.

“Taking steps to prevent dementia now will help cut your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease as you age,” Alvarez said.

5 Reasons to Continue (or Start) Drinking Coffee

I was skimming through some health news and came across an article about coffee.  As I had a cup of coffee to my lips, savoring the taste and aroma, I was pleased to read the title: 5 Health Reasons to Not Quit Coffee by Kerri-Ann Jennings, M.S., R.D., Associate Nutrition Editor at EatingWell Magazine.  Here are the five reasons she lists to continue drinking coffee (click the link for the rest of the article):

1. It protects your heart: Moderate coffee drinkers (1 to 3 cups/day) have lower rates of stroke than noncoffee drinkers, an effect linked to coffee’s antioxidants. Coffee has more antioxidants per serving than blueberries, making it the biggest source of antioxidants in American diets. All those antioxidants may help suppress the damaging effect of inflammation on arteries. Immediately after drinking it, coffee raises your blood pressure and heart rate, but over the long term, it actually may lower blood pressure as coffee’s antioxidants activate nitric oxide, widening blood vessels.

2. It diverts diabetes: Those antioxidants (chlorogenic acid and quinides, specifically) play another role: boosting your cells’ sensitivity to insulin, which helps regulate blood sugar. In fact, people who drink 4 or more cups of coffee each day may have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to some studies. Other studies have shown that caffeine can blunt the insulin-sensitivity boost, so if you do drink several cups a day, try mixing in decaf occasionally.

3. Your liver loves it: OK, so the research here is limited, but it looks like the more coffee people drink, the lower their incidence of cirrhosis and other liver diseases. One analysis of nine studies found that every 2-cup increase in daily coffee intake reduced liver cancer risk by 43 percent. Again, it’s those antioxidants—chlorogenic and caffeic acids—and caffeine that might prevent liver inflammation and inhibit cancer cells.

4. It boosts your brain power: Drinking between 1 and 5 cups a day (admittedly a big range) may help reduce risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as Parkinson’s disease, studies suggest. Those antioxidants may ward off brain cell damage and help the neurotransmitters involved in cognitive function to work better.

5. It helps your headaches: And not just the withdrawal headaches caused by skipping your daily dose of caffeine! Studies show that 200 milligrams of caffeine—about the amount in 16 ounces of brewed coffee—provides relief from headaches, including migraines. Exactly how caffeine relieves headaches isn’t clear. But scientists do know that caffeine boosts the activity of brain cells, causing surrounding blood vessels to constrict. One theory is that this constriction helps to relieve the pressure that causes the pain, says Robert Shapiro, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of neurology and director of the Headache Clinic at the University of Vermont Medical School.

Improve Your Exercise With Coffee

I love a good cup of coffee.  Especially in the morning.  It provides that nice jump start to the day and apparently it can also give a person’s exercise a beneficial boost.

A couple points from How Coffee Can Energize Your Workout gives these refreshing points for the coffee lover:

Go by the clock (and calendar). If coffee is programmed into your exercise schedule, drinking it 30 to 60 minutes before you start will put your blood level of caffeine at a peak during your workout. If you are a coffee regular and a big event is coming, like a marathon or 100-mile bike race, [Nicholas] Gant [director of the Exercise Nutrition and Metabolism Laboratory at the University of Auckland in New Zealand] recommends that you gradually taper down the week before, so that a modest amount the day of competition will get you going.

Don’t sweat dehydration. Too much coffee and your body will suffer because caffeine is a diuretic and make you lose vital fluid—or so goes the belief. It’s not true, says [Leslie] Bonci, [registered dietician and director of sports nutrition at the UPMC Center for Sports Medicine in Pittsburgh]. “It’s a common misconception that when you consume caffeine sometimes you feel the urge to void,” she says. “But in studies that looked at the urine volume produced over 24 hours whether or not someone consumed caffeine, there’s not a significant difference.” The problem with the misconception is that it leads many a coffee drinker to compensate by drinking much more water than necessary, and that could send any jogger running for the nearest bush.