SPRING HILL — Author Jacque Coffee greeted the women with a smile, displaying an eagerness to participate in their support group for women in ministry.
Whether in person, in her prose or on her website, Coffee exudes enthusiasm and positivity — an attitude of proactive faith that she says came from understanding how "gung-ho" God is about her.
"How could I reach for less than that?" she asks.
A baby boomer with grandchildren, Coffee looks younger than her years. Like many people, she has had her share of hard knocks. She says God used those life experiences to equip her to reach out to others, giving her the ability to be a good listener and encourager.
"I've lost much and gained more," Coffee said. "I'm thankful, and I have a lot to tell that can help someone else. Why waste it?"
In a book for Christians released last year, Your Gung-Ho Life! The ABCs of Proactive Living, Coffee shares the recipe she has used to "lock into God's goals" for her life.
Her ministry is coaching others to live the same way. Her tools include her book and a motivational website.
"This is your Gung-Ho life," Coffee writes at jacquecoffee.com. "Pour in the boldest, brightest blend of God's supernatural life, stir yourself to action with your talent, energy, gumption and grit, watch your life soar with the message you were created to carry."
In her 288-page book, published by Jumping Canvas Press, Coffee uses each letter of the alphabet to motivate readers toward proactive living. "A" instructs the reader to "Ask the Right Questions." "E" stands for "Essential Elements of Enduring Peace." "L" tells people that "Love Licks Fear."
With verses from the Bible to support her advice, Coffee uses her reader-friendly format to teach practical ways to cope with problems, stop worrying and recognize that God has a plan for everyone. Hundreds of motivating ideas encourage people toward "God-powered living."
Coffee said her book can easily be used as a reference guide.
"It's a great refer-back-to encourager, while also nudging a God-inspired internal dialogue," she said, noting that she has written a companion workbook that addresses deeper issues in a fun and interactive way. The book and workbook are designed to facilitate Gung-Ho groups.
"The main objective is to get out there and live the real life of Christ in the place you find yourself today, with freedom to your focus and feet to your faith," Coffee said.
The book was written for both men and women.
"I believe and wrote it to speak to all people who have called themselves Christian, because at one time or another they called on his name to invite him into their lives," she said. "The message is, forget about your discouragement, hurt feelings or emotional hit list and get back to Jesus; drop your 'fulfillment' issue and get proactive with your faith; carry your brokenness to God and ask him to turn your captivity; redirect your search for purpose to take you to the throne room of the Most High."
Though she has a master's degree in theological studies ,Coffee, who is also an artist, Bible teacher and life coach, says she didn't intend her book to be an academic or intellectual work, but rather a "hands-on application in basic everyday language."
"(My degree) is secondary to the fact that when I gave my heart to the Lord Jesus, I knew that choice meant giving my life to him in entirety," Coffee said. "Your Gung-Ho! Life is a ministry for me, but so is every day. So is every conversation, workshop, friendship, website post, and get-out-of-bed-in-the morning. God first. Then everything else is, hopefully, a worship to him, a ministry of him."
Feedback from readers has been encouraging, Coffee says.
"One lady, 40 years living in Christ, wrote to me, 'This is the greatest depth of Christianity in the simplest terms I have ever read,' " she said. "Boy, that made my day."