Coffee, Tea or Me?

I learned the power of a catchy title ages ago when I was a kid, from a movie having the title “Coffee, Tea, or Me?” It was more a mom kind of movie than a kid movie, so I don’t remember hardly any details.  And back then in my earlier years, I wasn’t even a coffee fan, but the title has bounced around in my head ever since.

I always remember my mom with her morning coffee when I was growing up—along with the coffee battles between her and my dad that often came with it, as her coffee was always too weak for him.  I’m not sure, but instant coffee may have even saved their marriage!  So now that I am a coffee drinker, and have been trying to be more consistent in calling the mama, I try to call in the morning to “have coffee with her.”  Last weekend I had coffee with her talking in the morning sun by my budding new garden, and this morning, NOT by my garden, fretting with her over the risk to my garden from the late frosts today, tomorrow, and maybe even yet again.

The tea with my mom was always iced tea.  The classic “tea time” might be more a mom and daughter thing, doing tea parties, the tea room—I remember Karol talking about her tradition with she and her mom going to the Tea Room at some fancy department store in Miami (to which I was never invited)– or with us at Twin Falls, our Tea Ladies.  (Does that mean if “tea time” is for moms, is “tee time” for dads?  That’s also a great way to share time together!)  But whether its coffee or tea, these hot (or cold) beverages have become icons for time together—for each of us to share the “me” with the mom, or some other close soul friend. 

So as we’re approaching Mothers Day, my morning coffee has taken on that new dimension of bringing out thoughts and time with mom.  And isn’t that what most any mom of any age really wants most anyway?  Isn’t it crazy that in our normal times, we usually complain about being too busy, but many people now with being stuck at home, are complaining about having TOO MUCH time on their hands?  Perhaps we could invest this time more in sharing ourselves with coffee and tea, or to use Jesus’ words, to “abide” together—whether with the mom in spirit or in truth, or with other soul friends whose care is as sweet as a mother’s love– because that’s where our lives are able to bear much fruit.

Is it tea time yet?  Rev. Jim

Reverse PLOM with a Reverse Easter Egg Hunt

Are you familiar with the PLOM syndrome?  It’s where for various reasons, Bad Things happen, people shift focus on “Poor Little Ol’ Me” (that’s “PLOM”), the Bad Things become the only reality the person can see, and things go from bad to worse.  It’s often a very individual thing, where a person faces a series of failures or losses, until that’s all they can see, and their collection of Poor Little Ol’ Me scripts keep playing in the head.  The isolation of the current crisis is the perfect breeding ground for the PLOM syndrome on a massive scale.   

This crisis coming on the doorsteps of Easter makes me all the more glad that the Powers That Be recognize that religious activity is just as much of a social essential as groceries, pharmacies and medical care, because the practice of faith is the practice of active hope, and the practice of active hope is probably the best treatment for PLOM.  Maybe I’m just making up this phrase of the “practice of active hope” to concisely describe what we churchy folk do, but it fits well.

“Practice” implies continual effort—not just an occasional thing, not something we wait till we’re perfect for, but doing it again and again while we are, in Methodist words, “moving on to perfection.”  “Active” means it’s something we DO, and do NOW, not just sitting back and expecting “faith” or “hope” to happen like a sunrise, without any effort.  “Hope” is that light at the end of the tunnel, that recognition with the ancient wisdom that “this, too, shall pass,” that holding onto the trust when though things can be bad now, new life is coming.  I heard a great preacher focused on this theme with Good Friday in Easter in mind, who kept coming back to the refrain, “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming!”

So what can we DO to “practice active hope”?  My son was on the swim team, my daughter on the hockey team in high school.  Both entailed early morning practice—whether you feel like it or not—get up, go in and practice (and dad get up too to drive them in…).  Likewise, whether we feel like it or not, get up to “practice” this active hope—do the things that flesh out the connection with God and with others, even when we can’t get together.  And this is not just for adults, but kids too, as kids are also having their worlds turned upside down. 

Kids and Easter make me think of Easter Egg hunts.  I’ve been really struggling with how we might do one this year, as they’re a great, easy way for churchy type people to take hope and the church outside the walls.  I think I had a visit from the Holy Spirit recently with a little inspiration on how we might put together a REVERSE Easter Egg Hunt—and this is one that families can do themselves, or that churches can organize to make it even better.  Here are some thoughts:

Families still have to go out a bit for groceries and other necessities.   People still have dogs to walk, and on the nicer days, I’ve been seeing more families out taking walks together than in a very long time. Might we be able to turn these kinds of outings into blessings of active hope through a kind of REVERSE Easter Egg Hunt?  Perhaps “hunt” for ways to sneak a little Easter hope into others’ lives, that might be more about sharing the Good News of Easter, and might better reflect our memory verse: “Don’t do anything only to get ahead. Don’t do it because you are proud. Instead, be humble. Value others more than yourselves.” (Phil. 2: 3)

Read on for some thought, both for ourselves, and that may be worth sharing with other churches!

Keep being an EASTER blessing and share!

Rev. Jim Lewis, with other “Easter Eggs” at

Easter Surprises


Either with kids or not, when going to the store, when walking the dog or walking in the park, bring your Easter Basket and “hunt” for ways to share through this REVERSE EASTER EGG HUNT!  

To plastic eggs, tape a YARN loop big enough to loop onto any car door mirror (or home door handles).  Remember to have your teams work with clean hands!  Attach a (decorated!) small note to yarn loop, saying something like—

A Touch from Heaven, even when people can’t touch!

To remind you of our Easter Hope—that New Life WILL come!

(remove with key or stick)

This Egg is as EMPTY as Jesus’ Tomb—even death can’t win!

From Neighbors who care at (or YOUR church website!)