Monday, April 19, 2010

this blog goes Historical

This Blog is officially closed... It shall remain as an historical record of how we got from Fayetteville to Alabama. if you're new here I suggest you start here and read your way to the present...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Running a coffee shop is a very random thing. There is no discernible pattern to how business will flow from week to week. Some days the caffeine zombies attack at dawn with a relentless stream of bodies like a trail of ants flowing through the shop. Other days they hold back and bide their time, waiting to attack at 8:30 with an overwhelming wave striving to pillage our precious stores of muffins and lattes.

All your caffeine are belong to us!

Today was the latter, which left me with a quiet, contemplative morning of introspection. As many of you know I like to walk and pray, its a luxury I don't get much these days. As I was walking in short laps up and down the counter this morning I noticed that I couldn't think of much to say. It was nice and peaceful, my heart was light and I found myself giving thanks for the many ways God has been blessing.

Last winter my prayers were very different, I had lots to say and most of it was very chaotic.

”Lord help us!”

“Lord provide for us!”

“Lord what is the stinking deal?”

We were short of everything: cash, time, sleep and patience to say the least. I wanted to quit, cry , scream and kick someone all at the same time. If you have ever actually screamed at God (and lived to tell the tale) then you know what my state of mind was like. Our Father is patient though and in the few lucid moments I had with His Word He took me to scripture after scripture. In the end I learned a little about real faith, real trials and a real walk of dependence upon Him. The funny thing is that not much has really changed. Business is better, we are even expanding our hours but we are still short of everything. What has changed is that instead of frenzy there is peace and trust.

I have not arrived, but I did have a great morning and for that I can say “Thanks God!”

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

odds n ends for the week

My return to Facebook
Yup, I left but I am tired of the incessant whining of my family, so I came back :) I got tired of hearing “Dad did you see So and So's new pics on Facebook? Oh, wait you don't have Facebook anymore” or “Honey, did you hear what so and so said on Facebook? Guess you will never know...”

Is my family ruthless or what?

Supposedly my account resumes just like I left it but there was a disclaimer that somethings (friends?) might not come back and may need to be re invited. Sorry if you got dropped. Anyway, I'm there and you are free to pelt me with your wit and wisdom again.

New business hours
Starting Monday we are expanding our daily hours to 6am-9pm and Saturdays hours to 8am - 8pm. Nate is going to be working in the evenings until he leaves for Basic Training. Our hope is that our hours will get established enough in June and July that we will be able both justify and afford to hire someone to work a few hours a day. Its scary to think that we might have our first employees by August. Pray for us.

Walking under rainbows...

What a beautiful night we had. It started with a great pork BBQ dinner with family and friends. From there we caravaned over to the Bates Memorial Stadium which is lovingly referred to as “the Hole”. It was a hot and sweaty southern summer evening and there were about 2000 of us anxiously checking our cellphones to see if the threatening clouds were gonna unload on us. Sure enough just as the Seniors were all lined up to enter the stadium, the lightning flashed, the thunder rolled and the rain came down. We quickly retreated to nearby Hillcrest Baptist Church and waited about 30 minutes for a gentle summer rain to pass us by. When we returned to the Stadium we basked in the glow of rainbows and parted clouds that were alight with the amber rays of the fading sun. The rain cooled us down and turned disaster into a lovely lower Alabama evening. It was a hopeful backdrop for one of the most important nights in the lives of 378 Seniors who had gone through the storm and overcome.

Enterprise celebrates newest graduates The Enterprise Ledger

It was such a blessing to see Nathan walk across that stage and complete this leg of his journey. Thank you Lord that we were privileged to see our son finish well. How sobering it was to think that there were 8 sets of parents who didn't get to see their child walk last Thursday. I pray the Lord is a constant comfort to them as they rejoice despite their tears and heavy hearts.

We are so excited about the opportunities God has opened up for our boy in the Army. Nate we are proud of all you have accomplished. Be strong and courageous, do not fear, do not doubt what God has called you to or what He can do through you. Mom and I love you very much.

For those who don't live in the politically incorrect south let me say what a blessing it is to live in a part of the country that still prays before High School events. We had two key note speakers, our state Governor Bob Reily and Mrs. Kathy Strunk who's daughter Katie was killed in the tornado that destroyed EHS. With all due respect to the Governor, Mrs. Strunk owned the stage. Kathy opened up her heart and poured out a survivors tale of her search for peace in the whirlwind that took Katie and temporarily derailed her teaching career. In her words... “I opened the Bible and looked for the reason that God took my daughter, but what I found was my first love.” Perhaps one day, by God's grace, I will teach just one sermon that will be of equal caliber to the message we heard. It was all Jesus, all gospel and all heart.

To put the evening in perspective, my brother Mike, who lives in San Diego, said “If this graduation had happened in California a dozen lawsuits would have been filed before it ended.” God Bless the South!

It was a good night :)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Resurrection Week

God is so good, He gave me a wife who remembers everything. I have a tendency to get busy and myopic so she reminds me about things like appointments, commitments, major church holidays like Resurrection Sunday... you know those things that people tend to forget.

Resurrection Sunday just snuck up on me this year. I did feel better last Sunday when only one person (besides Denise) knew it was Palm Sunday - good job Rosemary. We are going to do two things this year as we celebrate the Resurrection this year.

On Friday night we are going to have a mini Passover Seder at 6:30pm at Sam and Selina's house. it will be a pot luck dinner so if you want to attend call Denise or Selina to coordinate what to bring. The address is:

507 East Hickory Bend
Enterprise, AL 36330

On Sunday we will have a time of worship, communion, and celebration at the coffee shop. You know any Calvary Chapel celebration will involve food so bring your favorite breakfast treat to share - cheerios are ok but we prefer scrambled eggs, fried ham, biscuits and sawmill gravy.

Last Sunday in Genesis we watched as God started stirring Jacob up to go back to Canaan. In a unique series of events God transfers Laban's flock to Jacob and unites the family in preparation for the journey south. We learn about how God stirs us when He has plans for us. We also take a look at Laban's main problem - He loved money and used people rather than loving people and using money. Click here to listen in: Gen 30:25-31:16

Remember, if you miss a Sunday or want to catch up with our study you can always go to:

God bless you as you remember our Lord's death and glorious resurrection this week.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Catching up

So much for resolutions... on the up side I have worked hard to maintain my Worst Blogger of 2008 title.

Here is my catch up post.

We have been continuing thru Genesis, spending time looking at Jacob and Esau as adults. This is very familiar territory for most of us, watching Rebekah and Jacob conspire to deceive Isaac and steal a blessing that was already his. There is so much good application in chapter 27, we took our time going thru it slowly over 3 weeks.

Week one: Gen 26:34-27:29 - I'm sorry, I forgot to hit record on the DVR.

Chapter 27 captures one family's worst day. Everyone is messing up and God records it all for us in all its gory detail for us to see and learn from.

We looked at how Isaac's walk with God had cooled to the point that he was willing to deceive his wife and knowingly give the blessing to Esau, despite the fact that he knew that God intended to give it to Jacob. In Isaac's life the cooling seems to be a result of the combination of parental favoritism (He loved Esau over Jacob) and feeding the flesh.

We also looked at Esau's selfish character traits. He rebelliously took multiple wives, which were a grief to his parents. Even worse, his view of the Blessing and the Covenant were completely skewed. He wanted the material blessing but had no desire to walk with God or carry on the covenant relationship God established with Abraham and Isaac. This is such an easy trap for us to fall into today.

Perhaps the most sobering picture for us is when Jacob enters the tent to deceive his father. All of Isaac's senses failed him. He was blind and couldn't see that it was Jacob, His hands were fooled by the goatskin, his nose was thrown off by the scent on Jacobs stolen clothes. Only His hearing told him that it was Jacob, but he disregarded the one sense that was reliable. We have the same problem when we go to make decisions based on our faulty feelings and senses. Throw in a heaping scoop of the flesh and dash of rebellion and you have the makings for a catastrophic decision. Romans 10:17 tells us that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Safe and Godly decisions come from our time in the Word and active relationship with our Father in Heaven, not by our faulty feelings, fleshly opinions and unreliable senses. In all, Chapter 27 is a sad look at believers who are messing up. They are not believing or trusting God; rather they are operating in the flesh; lying to, cheating and disrespecting one another.

Week two - Gen 27: 30-28:9

We continue the story in Genesis 27 this week, picking up with Esau and Isaac realizing they had been outmaneuvered by Rebekah and Jacob. Esau goes into full victim mode, crying, begging and revising history. Some of us know this drill well because we use it to manipulate those who are easily swayed by a tear and a heavily manipulated story. Oh look Esau is crying, hes been done wrong, someone give him a hug and a special blessing. Forget the fact that he is a fleshy, selfish co-conspirator in and attempted blessing heist. It's not a pretty picture to look at when we realize its ourselves we are looking at in the pages of Scripture.

Esau, instead of repenting and spending time talking it out with the Lord seeks comfort in sin. He plans to murder his brother after his dad dies. There is nothing like a little more sin to make us feel better when we get busted in our sin.

We end this week watching Rebekah continue to manipulate her husband, convincing him to send Jacob to her brother Laban's house, to get a wife. Jacob is about to meet his match when it comes to swindlers. More importantly, God will use Jacob's time there to begin the transformation from "heel catcher" to "Israel".

Week three - Gen 28:10-22

As we pick up the story In Genesis 28 Jacob is running for his life from his manly man, wookie-looking, expert hunter, outdoors man brother. I bet his neck was very sore from looking over his shoulder. As he reaches Luz he pulls up a rock, collapes in exhaustion and meets the God of his fathers. His experience is very reminiscent of our early experiences with God as new believers. He hears from God in a dream, sees how active God is in his life, utters his first, clumsy prayer and starts his walk of faith. You know its a great Sunday when you can talk about dreams, angels, Led Zepplin and God in the same teaching.

Week four - Gen 29

This week Jacob makes it to Haran, meets Rachel, falls in love and gets married. In the process he gets to see how ugly his sin looks when Laban turns the tables on him and shows the "heel catcher" what its like to be caught. Thru Jacob's life we see how awful it is to "reap what you sow". We also see how dangerous it is to make decisions "in the world" by negotiating with Laban rather than seeking the Lord for direction. Like many of us Jacob is trying to make it using the Frank Sinatra "I did it my way" approach. God will show him how well that works out. Its a tough week for our friend Jacob, he wastes 14 years of his life in servitude to a cruel master to get what he thinks he wants and ends up with more than he bargained for. Sadly, like many of us who have been here, he never talks to God once. Hang on guys, this does get better :)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Spotlight on Isaac

We looked at Genesis 26 this week, the only chapter in Genesis that deals exclusively with Isaac. Like his daddy Abraham's story, chapter 26 starts with a famine. God often tests us with situations to see where we will turn. Isaac was headed in the wrong direction, towards Egypt. God intervened and kept him in the land but unfortunately, like many of us He chooses to live on the edge of obedience. In Gerar, Isaac struggles with honesty and the consequenses of living on the edge. Finally has to confess his lie but when the sin is confessed and cleared up, God blesses him with the provision that makes him the envy of his neighbors. Finally God uses a series of moves to get Isaac back to the place he needs to be and finally gives him rest at Beersheba.

In this chapter we see so many of the struggles we each encounter on a daily basis: dealing with sin; trusting the Lord; learning to walk with him in the Spirit; conflict with our enemy (the Philistines) and finding His promised rest.

Here is the link for Sunday's teaching: Gen 26

I hope you enjoy some time with the Lord in His Spirit and find your rest this week.