When was the last time your doctor said, "Eat as much of your favorite food as often as you want?" To those of us whose teeth are almost permanently sweet, this is a welcome but fanciful idea.

Yet this is about what Dr. Peter Martin, director of the Institute for Coffee Studies at Vanderbilt University(yes, "Institute for Coffee Studies" - only in America), says. His exact words: "What I tell patients is, if you like coffee, go ahead and drink as much as you want and can."

So reports Lindsay Abrams in her Atlantic article, “The Case for Drinking Coffee.” The article presents a remarkable array of information about the benefits of java and concludes:

The evidence remains overwhelmingly in coffee's favor. Yes, it was observational, but the study published in May in the New England Journal of Medicine looked at hundreds of thousands of men and women and found this bottom line result: people who drank coffee lived longer than those who didn't. And the more they drank, the longer they lived. If you're into that sort of thing.

As one most assuredly “into” both long life and coffee, Ms. Abrams has brought a great deal of sunshine – or, perhaps, caffeinated liveliness – to my day.

My large suburban church now has a small coffee bar in our atrium and since its inception, I’ve noticed a new spirit of love and forgiveness flowing throughout the congregation. Well … maybe that’s just my imagination.

Still, as someone who regards his morning as ill-begun without either the Bible or coffee, I find this news about the abundant benefits of the brown bean to be words of comfort and joy. Apt for this season.

For a non-comprehensive but helpful list of Christian coffeehouses across the country, click here.