Breaking up with your coffee shop

Coffee shops are basically relationships.

You know what it is like to go to a certain coffee shop for quite a while and find, later, another coffee shop you would like to start attending but struggle inside over the decision to change.

You know what it feels like to go BACK to that old coffee shop because you happen to be in the area.  You know the sense of disappointment you get from the barista when they ask you,

"Hey!  Where have you been?  We haven't seen you in a long time."

You know the answer...the true answer.  You know you have fallen in love with another cooler place with much better coffee, cheaper prices and better looks, but you cowardly remark, "Yeah!  I've been real busy lately."

For 6 months?  You've been "busy" for the last 6 months????

Of course not!  You know that you've found a better place to go, but you don't want to say anything there.   You don't want to face the looming sense of cheating you feel deep down.  You know where you have been the last several months, and it hasn't been "busy".

Its also kind of like running into an old girlfriend who you have long forgotten but who is still kind of into you.

You know what I'm talking about in those times you are sipping freshly roasted and brewed coffee while you enjoy fast broadband wireless Internet in your plush, plump chair...the whole time thinking:

"I'm so bad!"

Starbucks in the year 2111

Sitting here in Starbucks, I have a wonder in my mind.  I wonder how much art has been created here at this Starbucks.  How many books!  How many poems!  How many songs! How many sketches turned paintings!  How many screen plays!  How many dreams and brainstorms! I find myself wondering how many of those things have been created here, and then I wonder how many Starbucks there are in the country; in the world.  How many coffee shops are there out there?  These little easy bake ovens for art everywhere!

What are these places and what about them lends the heart to create?

Then I wonder what these places will look like years from now.  It is so cultural now, and yet I am thinking many years from now.  I am thinking about vacations I have been on to areas with old ghost towns, museums, and reenactments.  It makes me wonder if 100 years from now there will be families walking through THIS Starbucks layered in dust and time.  Will the tour guide be wearing a tattered green apron and pointing out different things the kids could not care less about?

"Over here we have an espresso machine from about the year 2004.  The barista would stand back here and ask if there was anything he could get started for the next person in line."

"Over there is where they would sell Starbucks brand cups, pointless gear, and overpriced coffee makers for the wealthier customers."

Will the tour guide tell about the culture surrounding coffee that just blew up in American society?  I wonder if she will merely be explaining what Starbucks "used to look like" because the company will have continued to dominate the economy and look entirely different then.

I wonder if you can go to old towns where there would be poorly done reenactments by costumed high schoolers who have no idea what our culture really looked like.

Will there be "old style Starbucks" still open to run "like they used to" for the sake of nostalgia and tourism?

I wonder!

People Can't Believe I Don't Like...

dark roast coffeePrincess Bride, Goonies, Ferris Bueller's Day off Blue Moon, Fat Tire, or IPAs baseball or baseball players (mostly) a lot of female vocalists (but not all) sushi John Eldredge AND Wild at Heart black ink most chocolate stuff in my pockets Radiohead or U2


Which of these are YOU surprised to hear?

Lethargic Liturgy

Tomorrow begins Lent. It is the forty-day period before Easter. This year it begins February 17. Lent is a chance and challenge to refocus your life, withdraw from usual practices, and draw closer to the heart of God.

I'd like to invite you to joining me in a prayerful and reflective Lent. Click this link to receive daily emails during Lent containing passages from Dr. Crabb's new book to help you focus your thoughts and begin your own conversations with God. Emails will begin on February 17.

In hopes of true sacrifice and empathizing with my pregnant wife, I intend to give up coffee and caffeine for Lent. I don't tell you that here as a cry for attention, but for a request of accountability.

Help challenge me through the lethargy and headaches that are soon to ensue.

Will you join me? What do you choose to give up?

Simple Coffee

Simplicity is not poverty, and it is not simple. In fact simplicity requires considerable thought as you sort through various things to determine which resources can be limited in order to actually rely on God. But another significant aspect of simplicity is the intentional celebration of life; enjoying the good (and often overlooked) things of life.

I have been reading through a reader called "Praying with Francis of Assisi" by Joseph Stoutzenberger, and there is a chapter about simplicity. Stoutzenberger writes an exercise I chose to take hold of while I sat in a Charlotte coffee shop with my buddy Justin Wallace as he prepared to speak for his group of college students that evening.


He writes:

Pour a glass of your favorite beverage, or slice up a piece of your favorite fruit, cheese, cake, pie, or bread. Set the glass or plate in front of you. Reflect on the wonder of drink and food, their color, texture, and composition from earth to their present state.

Next, savor the smell of the beverage or food. Finally, take one sip or bite, roll the drink around your tongue or chew the food slowly. Closing your eyes may help to get the full effect.

Finish drinking the beverage or eating the food very slowly, pausing between each sip or bite.

End this action by praising God for His simple wonder.