Yes, there were older establishments going all the way back to the White Horse Tavern in Rhode Island. But taverns focused on alcohol, and cafes on coffee, tea, and pastries, and that is exactly what the original Delmonico's Café served. Meanwhile, in France, a tavern keeper named Boulanger began serving simple meals he called "restoratives," or in French, "restaurants." The Delmonico brothers took their inspiration from him, buying the building next to their café and opening what they called a "restaurant francais," which eventually became one of the most famous restaurants in the country. And yes, in case you are wondering, the Delmonico steak became the house cut between 1840 and 1850. But back to that original café, or coffee house. It reminds me of a little story.
I put the cup of coffee down in front of Keith and he looked at it disdainfully. “What are you? A waitress?”
You see, I hadn’t filled it to the brim. Since, just like a waitress, I had to carry it from the kitchen to the table, to have done so seemed impractical to me. Despite another snide comment about “a half-full cup of coffee,” it was plenty full for carrying, about a half inch from the top.
Everyone knows what happens when you fill something to the brim and then try to carry it—it sloshes out all over the place. In fact, whenever Keith fills his own cup, I wind up wiping coffee rings off the table and counter, and splashes in the floor because he fills it to the top. Filled to the brim is fine when you don’t plan on carrying it anywhere—for most things, anyway.
…And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith…, Acts 6:5.
Stephen is the perfect example of a man filled to the brim with faith. It sloshed out all over everyone who came near him. How can you tell? Just look at Acts 6 and 7.
Because of being full of faith, he was also “full of the Spirit and wisdom,” 6:3. Notice: this was before the apostles laid hands on him, 6:6, so we don’t have that excuse for a lack of wisdom and spirituality. We can have those things too if we are filled to the brim with faith.
Because Stephen was full of faith, no one could “withstand him” when he spoke, 6:10. And how did he speak? He knew the scriptures. From start to finish, he told his listeners the history of Israel, 7:1-50. Could we come even close?
He was unafraid of confrontation, 7:51-53. He never ran from opposition, even when it became clear he was in physical danger. Discretion, according to Stephen, was cowardice, not valor. We are often full of excuses for not speaking, instead of enough faith to speak out.
Stephen was completely confident of his salvation, 7:59. He knew the Lord was waiting to receive him. He didn’t flinch from saying so, and certainly never hemmed and hawed around about “maybe going to Heaven if he was good.” He kept himself so that there was never any question, and his faith was probably no more evident than in that one statement, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Can we make the same statement?
His faith also showed by his forgiving others. Just like the Lord he followed to death as the first Christian martyr, he asked Jesus to “lay not this sin to their charge,” 7:60. The disciples recognized their own need and begged for more faith when Jesus told them they had to forgive over and over and over, (Luke 17:3-5). Here is the proof they were correct—a man “full of faith” forgave his own murderers. Can we even forgive the driver in the next lane?
What are you spilling on people? What completely fills your heart and mind every day? Is it politics? Is it the latest Hollywood gossip? Is it the stock market? Is it complaints about anything and everything? Is it the weaknesses of your brethren, and any slight, imagined or real, they might have done to you?
Whatever we are full of will slosh out all over everyone who comes near us. If we are full of faith, our lives will show it. Don’t be a waitress when you fill your cup.
Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, in the power of the Holy Spirit. And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another. Romans 15:13-14