Showing posts with label coffee. Show all posts
Showing posts with label coffee. Show all posts

Monday

Northern Ireland Barista Championship 2015 - Xtra Special Day


This weekend saw the Northern Ireland Barista Championship take place in Belfast.

Yes I know I love Coffee but not so much that I would be interested in this event

EXCEPT

that my son was taking part on behalf of Common Grounds Coffee Shop of which he is the manager.

Now Daniel has worked in other coffee shops and has trained but now that he is a manager he is not doing the actual manual work every day of the week because of the many other tasks that fall to him.

So off he went on Saturday for the first round of the challenge.

He even missed his favourite football team Tottenham Hotspurs win against ......  well some other team - I'm not a football fan.

He had some tickets and I would have loved to have been there for this event but I was ill.

Yes - An Xtra Special Day for our family and I'm stuck at home with a throat infection.


You can imagine our excitement when he messaged later in the day to say that he was through to the final on Sunday.

We were delighted that he had got through to the final and more people will hear about the good work of Common Grounds.



On Sunday

He was the first one up of the 6 for the final.




His wife Suzie was there with him and the credit for these photos go to her.

As you can see from the pic above he was on at 11am.





No idea what they had asked him but no doubt he was having a bit of fun with them as he did not think he stood a chance of winning.





Apparently cameras and notes were important and everything focussed on how Daniel made the various coffees.


So Suzie messaged us with some pictures and then of course the other 5 baristas had to make their coffees.



We were making a late Sunday Lunch when the message came just after 4.15pm




HE WONNNNNNN!!







So proud of our son 
and of 
Common Grounds Coffee Shop


If you have not read my other post about Common Grounds and their charity work 
and their Suspended Coffees 
then click HERE



Why not use this twitter link to let others know about the good work of Common Grounds


Great coffee, great charity at Common Grounds Belfast


Wednesday

I Had Plans and So did He! - A Dose of Encouragement


Yes I really had plans.

But the painters changed my plans.





I was going to have a special post today about Christmas Tree Ornaments but seeing as we can't get our tree up yet because of the painting of the house, my plans were ruined.


So I shall tell you about last Friday instead when yet again I had plans; but my plans were changed.
Notice I didn't say ruined this time because how the day turned out was not a ruin.


I may have mentioned before that I would love to have a






but alas even after all my overhauling of the house this year I am still so far from this ideal.


I could blame it on the painters at the moment and that would be a good excuse and a true reason because we had to clear out rooms to other rooms and that just causes more mess and lot's of things end up not even being in their proper rooms let alone being in their right, exact, place.


Anyway back to Friday.

It was Black Friday and when we lived in the US we did not go shopping on that day because of the crowds but of course in Northern Ireland we didn't have Black Friday - until this year.

I saw some things on the internet about shops having special sales over the weekend but did not register the fact that it was related to Black Friday and I just never linked any thought in my head to how that might mean busy, busy, shops and Shopping Centres. 

I had arranged to have coffee with 2 friends from church at 2.30pm in the town where our church is which is 20 mins from our home.  Then on Thursday night I decided that I would also go to a large Shopping Centre on Friday 10 mins further on from the town and get some Christmas Cards (there's another story for you sometime too), a wedding gift, some other little things and also post my Christmas cards that were ready to go to the US and South Korea.  I worked out the timing and knew what time I would have to leave home so that I would have plenty of time to do that and be back to meet my friends for coffee.


So on Friday morning after breakfast, my bible reading, emails, list made out for what I wanted to get, checking my blog post was finished & scheduled for that afternoon and a couple of cups of coffee I was ready to get my handbag and keys and head off.


That was when I couldn't find




(no not my keys)

 my little wallet with my credit card and debit card and store cards in it.



The search began!



I searched upstairs and downstairs and in the last few handbags I had used, then pondered over in my mind the last time I could remember using any of my cards and I couldn't remember.


Not having found it and not remembering anything to help me I prayed that I hadn't lost it outside the house and felt sure that I hadn't. Then I prayed that God would remind me where to look.

No inspiration came, and I have to say that type of inspiration has come often enough in the past, so I just started and searched all the same places again because I knew I must have just overlooked it.



Again no joy.

Now that had taken me quite some time.


I would not now have enough time to do all that I had intended and indeed did not have enough cash to do all of it.







My plans were ruined (well would at least have to be changed).


So I decided I would just go to the Post Office to post my cards and call in at the Bible Book Shop to get more Christmas Cards before that Coffee Date with my friends.


But even that was not going to happen.


As I drove along in the car I heard a message ding in my phone which lay in the front seat beside me.

I don't normally stop for a message but there was a good spot to pull in just a bit ahead so I did just that.

It was a message from a friend who had got some news that bothered her and I could tell she was quite upset and wasn't sure what to do about it.
I messaged back and said where I was and if she was home I could be with her in about 15 mins.
She said yes please and off I drove again.

I really did not have much experience in the matter that was troubling her so I prayed about what to do and suddenly remembered that another friend would know more than me.  This other friend lived on the way and I knew she was probably at home so I called her, explained briefly what had happened, and asked if she would like to come with me.

Give me 5 mins and I'll be ready, was her reply.







Well an hour later when our friend was feeling much better and things had been set in motion to sort out her situation I mentioned about how I had been planning to go to the Shopping Centre earlier but couldn't go because I couldn't find my cards.

The two of them laughed at me and said I wouldn't have wanted to be there because there had been trouble between shoppers because of Black Friday Bargains and the police had been called.

Not only would I have not wanted to be there when there was fighting over products but I would also have hated it being so busy.


So not being able to find my cards had stopped me being there.   

Good Change of Plans I was thinking.


Then I realised that if I had been at the Shopping Centre my phone would have been in my handbag and I would not have heard the message come in (anyone that knows me well will know that sometimes I don't even hear calls coming through).  I would not have known our friend needed help and I wouldn't have been available to take my other friend (who cannot drive at the moment) to help her .


So not being able to find my cards not only kept me from being at the Shopping Centre but meant that I was in the right place at the right time with the car to be of help.


Good Change of Plans I was thinking.


No. Great Change of Plans!


These are the things that may seem like little things, but these are the things that demonstrate how much God cares for each of us.

God cared that our friend was getting news that would upset her.
 He had the whole process in His plan so that she would know she was not on her own and by this I don't mean about us, I mean that God was with her and that He was in control of the situation.









Over an hour and a half later than arranged I was sitting having coffee with my friends.  Were they annoyed?   No, they were very gracious because they knew someone had needed a helping hand.







I really enjoyed that coffee and the scone with strawberry jam, that I probably should not have been eating, as we all laughed about the fact that I didn't know it was Black Friday.



Oh and the cards?

Well I found them on Saturday of course.



Where?

In one of the places I had searched twice on Friday!   Where else?











The Coffee Mug - A Dose of Encouragement


I have a very annoying habit 
             -  according to my husband Fred.  

     You see everywhere I go in the house, I leave a trail of coffee mugs behind me.  Well really I think it's only in our bedroom and study and the living room, but I suppose that's bad enough.



      


Admittedly I do love my coffee in bed on a Saturday morning (compliments of Fred) but then Fred enjoys his tea and toast too!   

      Now my coffee has to be made just right, and sometimes for a treat some cinnamon added and it all frothed up in the mug, a home-made cappuccino.  

     



Anyway I do tend to take a mug of coffee with me to the study when I'm working at the computer and I never really drink all of it.



So you've guessed it - 


Fred found a mug of coffee in the study the other day which had congealed and was (according to him)


         "considering becoming an experiment for new life forms".  


He was not amused. 


"How can you ever drink out of that mug again?"  he said,

as he carried it at arms length into the kitchen.  


     Well to me that was no problem because I am a great fan of boiling water and dishwashers.  I left the offending mug to soak in boiling water planning to put it through a couple of cycles in the dishwasher later. 


      A few hours later I was passing the mug when I noticed how all the gunge had come away from the sides and bottom of the mug and was ready to be poured out.  


     Suddenly it struck me that exactly the same thing happens to us as we sit in the presence of the Lord each day - all the ugliness that has caught hold can be gently drawn out by God's Spirit.  Then as we confess to God and accept His forgiveness we are made clean and pure again just like the mug when it was finally taken out of the dishwasher.  

We find a wonderful prayer in the Bible that puts this request to God and we know that what we ask of Him believing in Him, He will keep His Word to us.







But you know what the good thing is, with God it doesn't have to take as long as the mug soaking and going through the dishwasher.



                  Now guess what is sitting beside me as I type this - 








Yes!  


Another coffee mug
   and I will try to remember to take it with me 
when I leave the study this time.




A Dose of Encouragement from a Coffee Mug.


Thanks for dropping in today and remember 


God wants to make us clean.



Are you a coffee fanatic like me?

I'm thankful God loves coffee drinkers like me, are you?







Daddy ........ Chips??? - A Dose of Encouragement


Decisions, decisions, decisions!!!

Who likes to have to make them? there must be someone?







Several years ago there was a television ad in the UK for McCain oven chips

Daddy ........ Chips?


Our family loved it and forever, yes even still now we go "Daddy.......chips", when there are two things we would like but have to make the decision between the two.  It's our way of saying this is very tricky as we really like or want to do both and a sort of plea of

Do we have to decide?


Oh why can't things be simple we often say. Sometimes I am heard to complain why do things all happen together, why can't we have events spaced out more? Why does one week have to be very busy and the next one relatively free?

Why is it that when you want to go away for a while there will be something just have to occur in the middle of that time frame?

One month we were so busy and made several trips back to our birth town of Londonderry each just for a few days but for several months before that we weren't back there at all.  Then I saw the clippers were coming into Londonderry at the end of that month but just felt that we couldn't really justify the 2 hour journey each way to go back yet again.



Sad to say we missed a really great event.






Sometimes I like to make the effort to do different things even if they are sort of smaller things but may turn out to be quite enjoyable.

The first Sunday of the this month we went to Belfast to have lunch there with our son Daniel and then went on into the city centre to see the street theatre the circus school were organising. Fred was a bit dubious but I assured him we would have a relaxing time and be entertained. Well he enjoyed it - I could tell by how he clapped and laughed.







Now do we mention the restaurant or not?

Daniel says it is what you call modern /cool but I didn't think it was either. The food was okay, but I think that if I am paying to go somewhere and eat that I want nice surroundings and comfortable seats. I really don't want to be in a room where they have mismatched, chairs, plates etc.
Okay so I'm not cool!

We didn't have time to sample their coffee however and as it was an Italian place 
the coffee could have made a big difference.

I would have liked to have been able to go back to Belfast each Sunday afternoon this month and enjoy the Street Theatre & I am hoping for good weather.

But  

It did make our Sunday rather busy with Church in the morning, driving to Belfast, lunch, street theatres, driving home again, preparation for the music for church in the evening and then church itself again.

However 

Every day can be busy and we need to remember to keep time in each of those days for God

                    especially on Sunday

                                        but not just on Sunday

And 

That is often where we have to make another of those  Daddy ........ Chips? decisions

Bible Reading & Prayer  ....... TV, Book, Tidy up etc.


I know for some people first thing in the morning is just not the suitable time for us to read and pray regularly so some other time in the day needs to be found.
This is also not always easy with busy homes, families, work schedules and we are often left feeling tired, too busy ..... and it is so tempting to go for the Chips decision - you know the one where we get to have what seems nicest and tempts us with relaxation and a treat maybe.

But

Look at that other word in our phrase

Daddy

and think of how spending time with God our Father can teach us, refresh us and encourage us for the next busy day, week, month .....






At that decision time let's be ready to plump for the one that is going to be a lasting help and comfort and not the temporary one.


Do you have a Daddy ........ Chips? decision time?



Well we also had tea and biscuits after the evening service that Sunday so we didn't get home until after 9 o'clock to be greeted by the phone ringing and our oldest son Jonathan declaring


 "Are you only getting in now?   

What kept you?    

Well my day has been busy!"


He just had to hold on for a while until I made a cup of tea for Fred and got a coffee for me and then we sat down and listened to his day.






There could have been the temptation to say.

Coffee ........ Jonathan? 


but fortunately for him there are some pleasures you can have together and not have to make the big decision, because that could have been a difficult one, seeing how fond I am of my coffee.








Do you have a Daddy ........ Chips decision time?



You are very welcome to read my other  Doses of Encouragement