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Prayer, Plain and Simple

I’m thanking God today for volcanoes, Kona and great coffee. Trivial you say. I don’t think so.

A moment ago I stood on the balcony of our hotel on the Big Island of Hawaii looking west over the Pacific Ocean and finished a cup of fresh brewed Kona coffee. I’m still somewhat on Minnesota time, so I’m rising even earlier than usual. This morning, coffee was an answer to prayer. And Kona coffee on Kona itself… Just imagine with me!

They began growing coffee here on the Big Island in 1828. 500 feet above sea level on the slopes of a still active volcano they found what is now called the Kona coffee belt. The volcanic soil is rich and the afternoon clouds and the rainfall and the shelter from wins create an idea condition for an extraordinary coffee bean. In my worldview God did this. He created this little spot on the planet for this very treasure…

These are small delights and seemingly little gifts from God. But if I cannot thank him for the small things like fresh pineapple and snorkeling with sea turtles and the cooing of doves, how can I know to thank him for the big things like life here and now, and marriage, and children, and forgiveness, and life forever? So here’s a pray of thanks for the wonderful gift of good coffee…

God, you make many wonderful things. You give us many small delights and all deserve our gratitude and our thanks. Thank you. Today I enjoyed a precious cup of coffee brewed from beans grown on the slopes of a volcano here in Kona. Your world is filled with secret wonders like this. Some I will never know. Some, like this gift of coffee I find quite by accident. Teach me along the course of my life to keep my eyes open for the ambush of joy. Your gifts are all around me. But often I either miss them or take them in never remembering to consider where they come from, or to pause and pass along my appreciation. I want to become a grateful person. For gratitude is the true source of joy. Give me this gift of grace – to see and then acknowledge the good gifts in my life, and to see them as gifts from You, my God and Father. As James 1:17 says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” Thank you today for another day, for breath and rest and food and the love of my family and the confidence that my life is given and sustained by you, now and forever. Thank you too for the small gifts you add in, including, today, a great cup of coffee! In Jesus…”

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