The Hardest People To Say Goodbye To [part 2] 

IMG_6309I really wanted to see Martin and say goodbye.  He was at the second to last pizza night but not the last one.  I told him I was moving to TN, he also responded with a puzzled look and the question why.

We sat on the grass as he ate his pizza and we talked.  I asked him if I could pray for him.  He stared at the ground and reluctantly said yes as if he was ashamed.  I asked him what he needed prayer for and he said he wanted to quit drinking, that he knew he needed to stop drinking.  I put my hand on his shoulder and prayed for him, asking God to help him break free of his addiction.  We talked a bit about how his environment will play a huge part in his freedom to addiction.  He knew that too, he knew that his friends were a bad influence on him.

When I came back the last Tuesday I was in Hawaii he wasn’t there.  But I really wanted to say goodbye.  So one night Jess and I and Tyler and Samantha, who had done pre-marital counseling for went down to Waikiki to get some ice cream.  I prayed that I would find Martin.

We walked up Kalakaua and found him a few pavilions up sitting with some other guys.  He had his head down on the table and was passed out.  I tapped him on the shoulder and said his name.  He stared up at me with bloodshot eyes and I could tell he couldn’t tell who I was.

“Hey Martin, it’s Jim, I’m leaving for Tennessee soon and wanted to make sure I said goodbye.”
“Bye.”  He mumbled.
“Can I grab a photo with you so I can remember you?”
I took a selfie with a very drunk Martin.
“I’m hungry man can you get me something to eat?”  Martin asked
“Sure, I’ll grab you guys some mcdonalds is that good?”
All the guys nodded their heads and smiled and thanked me.

Samantha was excited because one of her homeless friends that she had met as a student doing outreach was there and she hadn’t seen him in a while.

Joe who I’ve had a couple of run ins before was talking to Jess.  He’s a gospel piano player, always drunkenly singing praises to God and the same guy that accused me of being a cop and then threatening me.

Joe’s m.o is this, he makes sure he separates you from the group, and stands uncomfortably close to you, usually with his hand around your shoulder.  Then he speaks slowly and methodically while grinning making sure to monopolize all of your time.  As I looked over he was doing this to Jess, and touching her face commenting about her dimples.

We walked to mcdonalds and picked up some stuff off the dollar menu and brought it back.  All of the guys were thankful.  Joe again had his arm around my wife’s shoulder.  I could tell she wasn’t comfortable so I loudly said alright we’re gonna go.

Joe’s demeanor changed.  “Hold on wait a minute, come over here man.  See I don’t need that food that you just bought but you need to sit down and talk with these guys while they eat.”

I didn’t have the patience to deal with Joe so I shrugged his arm off my shoulder and told him we were leaving in a voice loud enough that everyone else could hear me.  Tyler and Sam stopped their conversations and started saying goodbye.

Joe stuck his finger in my face and raising his voice said “you can’t just buy us food and then leave man, you need to sit down.”

“Nope, we’re leaving.”  I said firmly and I walked away from the finger pointed in my face

“This is why no one respects you down here.”  he snarled as I walked away.

It’s almost like he knew what words would get under my skin.

I walked away angry.  Angry that at 8pm Martin was passed out drunk.  Angry that a drunk Joe was a master of manipulation.  But I was proud of myself for drawing a good boundary and walking away.

Sometimes in doing ministry I think that I have to be overly nice to people and forget that I’m allowed to draw boundaries.  I don’t have to listen to drunk people rant about nothing while they are invading my personal space.  Dealing with drunk people means they have no boundaries and certainly won’t respect yours.  Doing ministry doesn’t mean you’re a doormat.

I’m praying for Martin, I’m praying that he gets set free of his addiction and gets off the streets.

Who do you know that needs freedom?  Take some time to pray for them right now.

Linky Wednesday 09.02.15


Did you see this?  Karate Kid was my favorite movie growing up.  It’s amazing how important context is and how you can twist a story to be anything you want it to be.  Remember that next time you’re watching your favorite news station.  :)


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If you haven’t already check out this weeks episode of Doing Ministry Well!  This week we interview Rick Thompson.   Rick teaches on Christian world view, talks politics and shares 3 practical steps on how to do ministry well listed below.  If you haven’t yet PLEASE rate, comment and subscribe on Itunes to keep up with the most recent episodes!


The Evangelism Conversation No One Is Having – Carey Nieuwhof


Is The Smartphone Killing Weekend Church Services? – Carey Nieuwhof

Are you liking Wednesday links?  Did you find any of these links useful?  Share with us some of the links you’ve been finding interesting this week!  Let us know in the comments!

Are We In The End Times? How Can We Prepare


There’s been a lot of chatter about September having some catastrophic event.  Something about a blood moon, and the Jewish Calendar, the stock market crashing and a meteor?

I believe we are in the end times.  But I believe we’ve been in the “end times” for the last 2000 years.  We can do a deeper study of the end times later if you want.

The world very well could end in September.  I don’t think it will, but it could.  No one knows the time or the hour.

But if you’re concerned about it, the first step to preparedness is:

Get right with God.

Admit that you’ve sinned against God and that there is nothing you can do to absolve that.  Ask Jesus to forgive your sins and allow Him to be Lord over your life.  Find a good church body and be known there and get involved.  Get in relationship with other Christians who can help you grow in your journey.  If you want help with this process e-mail me and lets chat.


Recently Jess and I lived in Hawaii, one of the most remote places in the world.  Living on an island in the Pacific made me start to think differently about “preparedness.”

As a way to get more involved in my local community I joined Be Ready Manoa a disaster preparedness group.  This also got me thinking.

Hawaii is days from resupply.  Everything is flown or shipped in.  If one of those methods of transportation goes down like a company going on strike (which was threatened while we were there) there are only 3 days worth of food on the shelves.

Hurricane warnings meant bottled water was sold out everywhere and stores were packed with people.  I don’t care to be standing in long lines right before a storm.

Even on normal days in Hawaii, there was multiple times where I’d go looking for a specific item and that item would not be on the shelves.   Sometimes for months at a time.

Buy and have TWO of regularly used items.

Since I saw that sometimes items could be off the shelves for months, I started always buying TWO of things.  That way when I ran out of the first one I had a back up.  As soon as I used the first one up and started in on the second item I’d put that item on the grocery list so I would soon have 2 again.

I hate the label “prepper” because its carries with it an extreme paranoia.  You buy insurance for emergencies and hope you never have to use it right?  That’s how I see these small preparations.

Here is a list of things I think you should buy and think of the investment as insurance.  This won’t get you through a long term disaster, but will give you a leg up in most situations.

5 Gallon Water Container.  $12.00

Buy at LEAST one per person that lives in your house hold.  Rinse them with soap and water* and then fill them with tap water.  Switch out your water every 6 months when you change your fire alarm batteries.

You do change your fire alarm batteries don’t you?

Water is one of the first things you should have stored up.  Emergency preparedness sites say AT LEAST 1 gallon per person per day for drinking.

I once bought the 7 gallon ones but they were to heavy to comfortably move.

*Make sure you RINSE them real well with soap before filling them, I had shards of plastic come out of mine from the first few rinses.

Sawyer Water Filter – $49.99


If the disaster is lasting longer than you thought it would and you’ve poured out your last drop of water from the above containers that means you’re going to need to find a natural water source.  Can you collect rain?  How far are you from the nearest stream?  Water found from natural sources may need to be filtered before drinking.  If you’re in an area that doesn’t get much rain and are really far from a water source, I’d make sure you added more stored water.  This filter comes with a 5 gallon bucket attachment.  Which leads us to…

5 gallon FOOD GRADE buckets with gamma lids $29.95

Buy two of these.  You’re going to store  rice and beans in mylar bags in this bucket, along with the water filter.  Rice and beans when sealed properly can last for 30 years.  Food grade with gamma lids might be a bit overkill since we’re going to put them in mylar bags with oxygen absorbers but if this is going to last 30 years then a back up measure isn’t a bad idea.

You can actually pick up food grade buckets with gamma lids for about half the price at Lowes.

One of these will also act as your water filter if it comes to that, and the other one can be used to collect water.

1 Gallon Mylar Bags and Oxygen Absorbers – $12.99

I chose 1 gallon bags so that you can open one small bag at a time instead of having to open the whole 25 lbs of rice and beans.  Fill ALL of the bags up about half to 3/4 full of rice or beans (don’t open the o2 absorbers yet).  Then drop two o2 absorbers in each bag and double seal with a hair straightener.  If you’ve got questions about sealing let me know.

25 lbs of White Rice – $9.99

White rice when stored in mylar  bags with o2 absorbers will last for 30 years.  Brown rice has more oils in it so it will not store as long.

Go buy the equivalent of 25 lbs in smaller bags at your local grocery store.  The shipping on the above item is ridiculous.

25 lbs of Black Beans – $35.99

You can buy whatever type of beans you want if you prefer pinto beans buy those.  Rice and beans will keep you full and provide a complete protein and is a staple food for much of the world.

Again, go to your local grocery store to pick up the beans too, I’m sure you can find it cheaper in smaller packages.


If you don’t want to put in that effort to seal mylar bags or don’t like rice and beans you can always go the freeze dried food route.

Mountain House Just In Case: $64.95

12 pouches 29 servings and all you have to do is add boiling water.  I’ve had a bit of one of these on a camping trip and honestly felt like they tasted really sugary and kind of plasticy.  But if it was an emergency you’d eat it.  They last 12+ years.  Figure out if those 12 pouches really are 29 servings to you and your family and buy as many as you need accordingly.

Do you have any kind of emergency preparations stored up?  Is there anything essential missing from this list?  Let us know in the comments.

Cheryl BakerSeptember 1, 2015 - 6:31 am

We do thanks to you :)

Cheryl BakerSeptember 1, 2015 - 4:31 pm

We do thanks to you :)

The Hardest People To Say Goodbye To [Part 1]


It was my last night in Waikiki for Pastor RK’s homeless outreach pizza night.  There had been a few people that I had really connected with over the 3 + years I had been going down there off and on and I wanted to make sure I said goodbye.

I got to see Jersey Joe, he always had such a positive outlook on things.  And I got to see Cindy who always greeted me with a hug.

I really wanted to see this guy Martin.  And Barbara.  I didn’t see either of them.

I asked around.  A guy I hadn’t met before heard me and described Barbara to me and asked me if that was her.  Based on his description I figured it was, and he said she was sitting over by the zoo.  I walked with this new guy through the food line and then followed him over to the zoo.

There was Barbara sitting on a bench.

It’s been over a month since this happened, but the conversation went something like this:

“Barbara!”  I exclaimed.
She looked at me with squinted eyes, taking a few seconds to register who I was.
“Eh-ta!”  She always said that when she saw me, I don’t know what it means.
“It’s my last week, I’m moving to Tennessee but I wanted to make sure I said goodbye.”
She cocked her head to the side and asked me why I’d move to Tennessee.
“Great question.”  I responded.
“Sit down, do you want some of my pizza?  I’ve got some granola bars here.”
“No thanks Barbara, I just wanted to say goodbye, can I get a photo with you?”
“Sure” she said smiling.
I noticed that she had a black eye, I didn’t ask about it, but it wasn’t the first time I had seen her with a black eye.
The guy that led me over to her said he’d take the photo.
Barbara smiled and joked and then on the last photo kissed me on the cheek as she said goodbye her eyes started to well with tears.  “I love you.”  She shouted as I walked away.

I said goodbye and walked away and began to tear up as I returned to the pavilion.

Homeless people in Waikiki are valuable to the King of Kings.

And that’s what RK wanted us to do.  His objective in handing out pizza every single week for more than 3 years has been to show those people that they are valuable to God.  When teams come down, he asks them to find someone, remember their name, ask them how you can pray for them and then come back next week and call them by name and let them know you prayed for them.

Click here to read a recent blog post from RK about the generosity of God.

I read James 2 this morning.  And it convicted me that I need to be involved with the poor here in Tennessee too.

Maybe when we work with the poor, it’s not so much about us helping them.  Maybe it’s more about me realizing how much mercy has been extended to me.  And through working with them I’m given an opportunity to extend that same mercy and grace.

Do you work among the poor?  Where can you extend mercy and grace today?  Let us know in the comments.

5 Lessons Learned From A 90’s Movie


Jess and I went to Pisgah Alabama this past weekend for our team retreat.  We were blessed to stay in Camp To Know Him’s nicest cabin.  I now have a new life goal to have a home with an indoor swing.

There was a VCR in the room and Jess found an old VHS tape of October Sky.  Sunday was our anniversary and there was nothing scheduled for Sunday so we relaxed in the beautiful setting and took our time before leaving.

Here’s 5 things I learned from watching October Sky.

 1.  Deep down we know there is more to life than the expected norm.

The story took place in Coalwood, a coal mining town.  All of the boys were expected to graduate from high school and go work in the mine.  The rare way out was a college football scholarship.  People love a story about breaking free from normal expectations and pursuing what you are passionate about.

The main character (Hickam) had been inspired by Russia’s sputnik and believed that he too could make a rocket that would go to space.  There was a constant tension and battle between the expectations from the norm and what he felt he was called to do.

2.  We love reconciliation between fathers and children.

Hickam’s dad was the foreman of the coal mine.  He thought that his son was wasting his time with rockets and should start working in the mine.  The father never went to any of the rocket tests and was quite antagonistic towards it.  The final rocket test his dad showed up to show support.  It was a beautiful scene.

There’s something in the heart of man that connects with a father’s love.

3.  We all want to stand up against injustice.

Hickam and his buddies get arrested falsely for starting a forest fire.  One of his friends is getting beat by his step dad outside of the police station.  Hickam’s dad intervenes, gets the step dad to stop, calls the step dad a drunk and tells the friend to get in the car.  As they go to pull away the father tells the friend that his real dad was a great man.

 4.  There are inventions that we take for granted that aren’t that old.

I’ve grown up with us exploring space and being able to buy model rockets.  I forget and take for granted the advances we’ve made and the countless experiments it took.  I just assumed that we’ve always had rocket technology, but the technology has been developed in the past century.

5.  Persistent small beginnings and failures can lead to amazing huge successes.

Learning to launch a small rocket into the air, led us to be able to put man on the moon.
Which of these things do we need to focus on to be living a better story?  Do you need to take a leap of faith out of the norm to pursue what you feel called to?  As a father do you need to reconcile with your child?  Do you need to be bold and stand up for an injustice you see?  Do you need to be more aware and thankful for the things around you?  Or do you need to keep plugging away at a project you’re working on so that you can bless the rest of the world?  Let us know in the comments.

Linky Wednesday 08.19.15


Sorry for missing the past two weeks of linky wednesday.   We’re back though!


This weeks interview on Doing Ministry Well is Dan Baumann a friend of mine who spent 9 weeks imprisoned in Iran.  He mentioned the above song and it’s pretty amazing.


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If you haven’t already check out this weeks episode of Doing Ministry Well!  This week we interview Dan Baumann.   Join us as Dan talks about his experiences in prison, intimacy with the Lord and shares the 3 practical steps on how to do ministry well listed below.  If you haven’t yet PLEASE rate, comment and subscribe on Itunes to keep up with the most recent episodes!


Some New (And Better) Rules For Your Next Vacation – Carey Nieuwhof


One simple way to figure out which criticism to listen to. – Jon Acuff


Are you liking Wednesday links?  Did you find any of these links useful?  Share with us some of the links you’ve been finding interesting this week!  Let us know in the comments!

The 9 Books Jess Will Read Over The Next 3 Months

Just a little light reading…


 OR    We bought both… maybe she’ll read both of these.

 This is the only one we don’t have yet, do any of you have it?

My wife is a rockstar.

Have you read any of these books?  What do you think?  Let us know in the comments.

Jeanne Bull JohnsonAugust 14, 2015 - 4:19 pm

I have read lots of books but not any of these. Enjoy!

AbigailAugust 14, 2015 - 7:37 am

YES!!! Is this the reading program that Ron Smith started? I’m into “The Book That Made Your World” right now.

Jeanne Bull JohnsonAugust 15, 2015 - 11:47 am

I have read lots of books but not any of these. Enjoy!

Jeanne Bull JohnsonAugust 15, 2015 - 2:19 am

I have read lots of books but not any of these. Enjoy!

Pat HatchAugust 16, 2015 - 3:17 am

Good to hear from you both and know how the Lord is leading you.

For some reason, none of the nine books is showing up on my screen!

Jim BakerAugust 26, 2015 - 5:41 am

Pat, that’s strange, I’m not sure why :( Did you try from a different device?

Jim BakerAugust 26, 2015 - 5:47 am

@ abigal – it is indeed Ron’s course. Are you enjoying reading other books besides the Bible right now?

Our Transition to Tennessee

So we’ve lived on the mainland now for over a month.

We spent almost half of that on the road but we’re back now.

There’s a supernatural grace.  I expected to be heartsick, missing Hawaii.  Neither Jess and I feel that way.

Maybe when it gets cold.

Franklin is a nice town and we have no business living here.

As I sat down to write this there was a segway tour stopped across the street looking at all of the historical houses.  Probably the ones selling for 3.5 million.  5.5 million.  I always joked and half prayed that God would send me to the rich and not the poor.  haha.

There’s an area called cool springs that’s about a 10 minute drive.  It has every restaurant you could ever want and I’ve wanted chipotle.  No chipotle’s in Hawaii.

Jess and I laughed as we looked around.  Well manicured, fit looking people.  Sharply dressed, tailored fitting clothes and fresh hair cuts.  Fresh off the road I hadn’t cut my hair in a few weeks or shaved and was wearing my usual gym shorts and v neck solid colored t.

Our first day in Tennessee we told some store clerks that we had just moved here from Hawaii.  Their first response was WHY?!  And then they very politely welcomed us to Tennessee.

We like the volunteer state so far.  Have you ever visited Tennessee?  Let us know what we should check out in the comments below.

CorrieAugust 14, 2015 - 11:32 am

Rose Peppers Mexican restaurant in east Nashville. I mean… Unreal. Also there’s a pub called tin roof which has some pretty epic queso dip if you’re into that thing… Which, who isn’t into queso dip?

Jim BakerAugust 26, 2015 - 5:47 am

QUESO DIP!!!! Thanks for the suggestions, we’ll have to check it out.

Happy Sunday

Hey friends.

We got back Friday from our whirlwind road trip.  Had a great time and are taking the weekend to recover.

Thank you to everyone who made time for us, met with us, fed us, housed us and gave us gas money!

Sorry to everyone who we were unable to see, hopefully next time.

I was going to take a hiatus from blogging and social media but I think that I was just overwhelmed from being on the road.  So we’ll see what happens.

If you enjoy reading the blog please let me know, your encouragement keeps me going:)

I missed LINKY Wednesday last week, so check out last weeks episode of Doing Ministry Well below.

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If you haven’t already check out this weeks episode of Doing Ministry Well!  This week we interview Derek Schoenhoff.  Derek pastors The Little Red Church on the Big Island and speaks internationally about reconciliation.  If you haven’t yet PLEASE rate, comment and subscribe on Itunes to keep up with the most recent episodes!


Love you guys, thanks for reading.

Inspired Mondays! :: Brian from Mighty Mo Coffee


Happy Monday everyone!  I NEED inspiration in my life.  I feel at my best when I’m inspired.  I’m blessed to know a lot of inspiring people.  So from time to time on Monday’s I’m going to highlight someone I know that inspires me and interview them!



I met Brian in Gig Harbor Washington in 2013.  I was doing photography for a friends wedding and he was one of the groomsmen.  We got to talking throughout the course of the weekend and I found out he was starting up a coffee company.  We’ve kept in touch and I’ve been inspired by Brian’s entrepreneur drive.

Check out Mighty Missouri Coffee Company online!

Brian, tell me what do you do?

I am a big dreamer and the President/CEO of Mighty Missouri Coffee Co., a startup coffee roasting company in Bismarck, North Dakota. I am also active in communications.

How’d you get started in that?

I had a desire to build a brand, and I was addicted to coffee. At some point, the two things collided in my head and Mighty Missouri Coffee was born. I grew up on the south shore of Lake Sakakawea, a beautiful lake and part of the Missouri River system, and the whole brand is built around those experiences. Coffee is a big world and I took classes and job shadowed some great folks, but otherwise, sort of paved my own way.

What is the most amazing thing you’ve seen?

Starting a business has been an exercise in faith. I think it sort of took some people for a loop because it is an uncommon career choice, and it’s come with enormous challenges, especially having started from scratch. But at every impassable obstacle, something happens that helps the business move forward.

What is the most heart warming thing you’ve seen?

I recently had the pleasure of starting a line of coffee with friends at Blood:Water, an organization working to end the HIV/AIDS and clean water crises in Sub-Saharan Africa. They were really kind in helping see it through, and it’s been an amazing experience so far, reaching outside of our little land-locked community in the middle of the continent to people around the world, and it’s been humbling and exciting. (

What is the craziest thing you’ve ever seen?

Bacon lattes.

Sounds delicious…:) 

What is the most encouraging thing anyone has ever said/done to you?

I have been fortunate to find a great group of folks to surround myself… and I’ve found encouragement in each, but it is especially encouraging when someone who has found their success reaches out to help me get where I am going. You have to be careful what voices you let in the room, because the loudest one usually wins. I think it’s really important to fill your head with positive noise because it doesn’t take long to get dragged down. It’s also encouraging to encourage others, strange as it may seem.


What’s your biggest mistake?

I allow myself only one gigantic mistake per day, because it was getting out of hand! Mistakes are the quickest way to learn, and the bigger the mistake the bigger the lesson. I think my biggest mistake in recent memory was an epic miscommunication where each party expected something different out of the other. It caused a lot of stress and I’m still working it out… but through that process I think the vision has become even more refined with even greater possibilities. That’s looking at it positively! But, lesson learned – clarity is important.

What’s your biggest struggle and how did you overcome it?

Building a company is a struggle every day because it’s you against yourself, to some extent. There’s a lot of self-doubt and “what am I doing?!” going on. I think it’s important to make things to look forward to and to create stair-step goals to achieve the big ones… otherwise you get lost in this sea of possibility and that is paralyzing.

What keeps you inspired to keep going/creating/working?

I look up to some really great artists who are good at what they do, and that is inspirational. I actually am pretty in tune with the professional surf scene, which is weird having lived in North Dakota my whole life (and never touched a surf board). But there are some pro surfers who have built a big brand and done some incredible things. And there’s something about me and water… I don’t know what it is, but to watch Noah Snyder or Matt Beacham or the Hobgood Brothers doing their thing… that’s inspiring. Strange but true.

 It’s also been important for me to make space for pure fun – something to totally disengage my mind from work. Usually, that’s been swimming, biking, or running, but lately I’ve thrown spikeball and water sports into the mix.

Who or what resource has been inspiring you lately?

My family is a big inspiration – my mom and dad are great examples of living selflessly, always helping and volunteering their time. They teach me a lot. My brother is a big inspiration as well. He’s overcome more than I think I could and does it with a big grin and great sense of humor.

Michael Jordan is still a big deal… so I would definitely add Space Jam. At least the Space Jam soundtrack. That mix has inspired me for 20 years.

Space Jam!  Haha.  What gear have you been using that you are loving?

Sanuks keep me comfortable through it all.

What disciplines in life do you depend on to be consistent?

My spirituality. Work is spiritual, play is spiritual. If I’m inconsistent in that, then I don’t even have a direction in the morning (which has happened).

 What does your average day look like?

I roast a lot of coffee in a week and have an office there, too. Every day is different, but it’s been good. Recently, we added a new distribution channel that helps keep me off the road doing deliveries, which has been an enormous time saver.

Any encouragement for people wanting to get into a career like you are in?

Anybody can be an entrepreneur, but the people I’ve found to be most successful are good communicators. Have fun with what you do because fun is contagious, and more people become more excited about your brand.

If you had a million dollars what would you do with it?

I would try to find its rightful owner.

 What’s your most recent go to favorite food/restaurant?

For Bismarck – a place called Oahu. It’s a Hawaiian grill and sushi bar. Super good. There’s also a café in town I like called the Little Cottage. I get a lot of good thinking done there.

Whats music have you been listening to lately?

Inland by Jars of Clay

Medicine Bow by Jonathan Stark

New Constellation by Toad the Wet Sprocket

George Strait music because it’s summer

What tv show have you been watching?

Seinfeld… still

What’s the latest movie that inspired you?

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Share with us something most people don’t know about you?

I’m a big fan of Jimmy Stewart. Big fan.

What have you been doing for fun? A current hobby?

Spearfishing, with snorkel or SCUBA. Crazy fun!

Brian thanks so much for being interviewed and we wish you the best with your endeavors!  

Support Brian and try out one of his coffees by clicking here.