Monthly Archives: April 2012

Believers and the Barista Challenge

As is evident in past blog posts, I *Really Enjoy* coffee.  A flavorful brew just makes me happy.  If I’m honest, it is part of my daily routine.  Whether I make it at home or swing into the Starbucks in my building, it is, for the most part, a constant.

The thing is, I don’t just enjoy the drink, but the atmosphere.

The smells, the ambience, the crowd…and the Baristas!

Second to coffee itself, Baristas are the best part of the coffee culture.
(And can I just give a shout out to the crew at the Starbucks on West End across form Centennial Park?) 

Those cats know their stuff…and their customers.  And I don’t just mean their drink of choice.

They have noticed everything, from every hair cut to new glasses to “How was your vacation in Tampa last week?”  They ask questions and *gasp* remember the answer.

When Jeremy commented on my recent hair cut last week, I found myself strangely convicted.

You see, I’ve grown up in church.  I’ve done full time ministry.  I’ve served Jesus my whole life and I don’t think I’ve ever been as consistent at asking, remembering and following up as he is.

And isn’t that what ministry is all about?  Knowing God and knowing people?

I’m always so blessed when my barista friends remember a small detail or comment on something insignificant.  When I was on staff at a large church, I remember I felt so overwhelmed when they began pushing us to “get to know” at least three people every weekend and follow up with them at the next service.  I was so busy, remembering the little minutia was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

But you know what?  Jeremy is busy too.  Making coffee, working the register, stocking and cleaning and learning new products; and I guarantee there are more customers coming through his store every day than I interacted with in a Sunday at church.

But he still remembers.  He still asks.  He still cares.

It’s what makes Baristas great.  And it’s what makes going to get coffee, even though it takes more time and costs me more in the long run, worth it.

This got me thinking-church is the same way.

People can have their time with Jesus at home-every day even and they will grow.  But God created us for community.  How great is it we get to have Jesus and interact with people, who despite their busyness, care?  As it trickles down, it just gets better-they start to care and extend it to others around them.

Jesus is the purpose and let’s face it, enough in and of himself.  But the community found in a fellowship of believers, expressing concern and love opens a whole new realm of awesome. 

So, just as Jesus said if the people were silent, the stones would cry out in their place (Luke 19:40), I’m embracing and extending a challenge.

I’m not going to get a Barista love in my place.

It’s not just a command or a commission, but a privilege and an honor.

Let’s give Starbucks a run for their money and know those around us and care enough to follow up.

When is a time that you have been blessed by someone caring enough to know?  How can you extend that to someone this week?


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Toilet Paper and the Denominational Gap

A few years ago, I had a leader pose this question as an ice breaker for our leadership team.  Yeah, I was surprised too.  What’s your name, how old are you and do you fold, crunch or wrap your toilet paper?  I guess that covers just about everything.

Once our surprise and chagrin passed, there was actually dialog.  You got it-we talked about our preferred method of toilet paper etiquette and that progressed into why and sundry other bunny trails.

The other day, thanks to a random flashback, I found myself revisiting that conversation, and, as is all too often the case, the Holy Spirit made a clever warp drive leap to a word picture.

Denominations are like toilet paper etiquette.

Yes, you read that right.  Think about it.  Regardless of the church you attend, the focus is on getting clean and getting prepared to go back out.  Whether you fold, wrap or crunch (although, why anyone feels that is effective…just kidding) your toilet paper, at the end of the gig, the end goal is to get cleaned up and prepared to go back out.  It all comes down to preference.

Most of us have reasoning behind why we attend where we attend or why we affiliate where we affiliate or however you want to say it.  But for the most part, we believe the same things.  Jesus, son of God, born of a virgin, fully man, fully God, died to pay the price for our sin, rose again to finish the work and is the only source of restoration for the relationship of God and man forever more.  That’s the toilet paper.

How that message is presented or recognized-how it functions, etc, really boils down to taste.  The cool thing is-I’ve personally experienced awesome Churches that span the denominational gauntlet and I’ve seen God in those places, regardless of what ever Frist <fill in the blank> Church is displayed on their marquee…if they even have one.

So what if I fold and you roll.  The job is getting done.

Maybe I raise my hands in worship, maybe you reflect quietly.  Maybe you have lights swirling around and maybe I’m content with a clean, calm set.  Maybe you stand and kneel and connect to those who have gone before through prayers and affirmations that have been passed down while I freestyle and paraphrase the psalms.

It’s still worship, either way. 

So, why are we judging each other?  Why are we letting something as little as fold v. crunch separate us?  I mean, you wouldn’t judge your friend because they roll their TP and you don’t, right? (If you would…well, that’s a little sad).  We’ve bought into a lie that says my way or the highway, when I’m pretty sure God is the one who makes the fair or foul call on what is the narrow way and what isn’t.

Now, there is something to be said for the quality of the TP used (we’ve all been in the public restroom that have replaced the roll with the tissue squares that just don’t cut it).  Looking back at the list above, if one of those keys is missing, chances are you’re going to end up in a messy situation.

I’m just saying; let’s do our best not to confuse the aesthetics of a thing with the function of it.

So, if you are a roller, roll on.

If you’re a dancer, dance on.

If you’re a cruncher, crunch on.

If you’re a contemplator, contemplate your little heart out!

And we can all rejoice that we use toilet paper/are in a God glorifying community, as can those around us.

Do you roll, fold or crunch?
Do you have any denominational prejudice? What can we do to break free of being more concerned with a camp line that going after the people who have no camp?

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Throwback-Remember When TV Taught You Something

I know, long time no blog. Between travel, moving, school and insanity, it has been quite a while. The good news-Fog For Muses is back up and running and we’ve got some awesome guest blogs, reviews and all around adventures coming down the pipe-so stay tuned. But, as Robin Goodfellow sought to make amends, so I too, have a treat for you. I was in Florida with the wonderful Christian Enright a week or two ago and I don’t know if we took a wrong turn at Albuquerque or what, but memory lane took us flash dancing down with LaVar Burton and PBS awesomeness. So, check it out and enjoy!

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