Friday, June 27, 2008

Never Deny A Man His Coffee

Over the years I've been blessed and enriched by the written ministry of Lloyd Ogilvie. Several of his books are on my shelves. This morning I read the following story on my friend Stephen Weber's online devotional site.

Here's the story:

One Sunday when Lloyd Ogilvie was the Senior Pastor of Hollywood Presbyterian Church, he awoke early because he wanted to go over his sermon a few more times.

Before he left his home, he grabbed some bills from the top of his dresser so that he could buy a cup of coffee on the way to his study. When he arrived at a convenience store near the church, he parked his car and got out.

Suddenly, a group of men emerged from the darkness and surrounded him ominously. One of them said in a rough voice, “We want you to buy us some coffee.” Obviously this was not what Lloyd had planned to do with his time or his money. But he sensed the danger of the moment, and wanted to act with kindness even in this situation. So he counted the seven men who stood before him, and then counted the bills in his pocket. Luckily, or perhaps providentially, he had seven one-dollar bills, which he doled out to the men. As they retreated into the shadows and Lloyd started to get back into his car without a cup of coffee, one of the man said, “Thanks, Dr. Ogilvie.” With a start, Lloyd realized that this man knew who he was.

Later that morning, this same man came to the worship service where Lloyd was preaching. After the service he came forward for prayer. He needed healing in his life in a desperate way, and found elders of the church who were willing to pray for and care for him. Lloyd felt grateful that he had fought off the temptation to deny the men the coffee that they had demanded. Perhaps God had used his kindness to make a real difference in the life of this one troubled individual.

Years later, when Lloyd was Chaplain of the Senate, he flew to Alaska to lead a prayer breakfast there. The morning of the breakfast, he awoke early to go to the venue and be sure everything was ready. As he emerged from the elevator, he faced an impeccably dressed man who was a leader of the prayer breakfast. This impressive man said to Lloyd: “Dr. Ogilvie, you don’t remember me. But many years ago, some men and I asked you for coffee outside of the Seven-Eleven store. Your kindness got me to church that day, where God began to turn my life around. Now I’m a vice president of a radio station up here, and God is doing wonderful things in my life.”


  1. quite the story, thanks for sharing...made me think

  2. i ahve witnessed the same transformation in my husbands life, because his parents and so amny other god-fearing people praying without ceasing. thanks for sharing the story