Thursday, August 29, 2013

lostcoffee 3980 Limelight Ave, Castle Rock, CO 80109

LC, lostcoffee, not sure of the name. By that i simply mean i don't know why they chose that name, if there is some significance to it or not, some story behind it, etc. It seems an odd name to me. Regardless of the name the coffee is great. The atmosphere is nice, as they flood the room with Christian music. Hungry? That's ok, they have an assortment of food to tie you over. With reasonable pricing, this will be a frequent work space for me.

It is locally owned and operated, with two locations, this one located just down the hill from the house makes it extremely convenient. It has a homey feeling, this morning when i left i said, "i am off to the office." i came here yesterday for the first time. Today i have sent emails, made phone calls and enjoyed coffee. i will be preaching this week at the Connection Church of the Nazarene in Castle Rock, CO, therefore i will be also doing some sermon prep here as well. i will also be returning as i work on the funeral service for my grandma. i am extremely honored and humbled that i was asked by the family to officiate her funeral as well as the inurnment the following week in Washington.

It's going to be a good day, in-spite of the fact that the neighbor backed into my jeep this morning. It's a good thing that i had the doors off or the damage really would have been bad. As it is the one who hit my parked jeep got the worst of it. He was apologetic and will be making restitution. All is good.

Monday, August 12, 2013

the Electric Bean

i didn't get electrocuted when i drank the coffee and so i took it as a good sign. The Electric Bean is a very youth oriented coffee shop. Equipped with free wifi, electrical outlets and USB ports for your cell phone and other chargers it really makes their slogan, "A Place to Recharge," come to life. The uniqueness of this coffee shop doesn't end there, in the corner sits a large stage for Friday night concerts and an open mic night. But wait there's more! On Saturday this place has either two church services...5pm and 7pm or one church service 5 to 7...the font makes it hard to understand but either way...this coffee shop by day is a Church by night and i think that is pretty sweet!

They are also advertising a community revival which will take place at 814 15th Ave in the parking lot of the Longview Church of the Nazarene...now that is pretty spectacular! August 23-25, 2013. From what i understand the coffee shop is a non-profit and therefor all the proceeds get turned back into the community.

Here is the only catch i have seen so far, i have been here nearly all day. Arriving just after 9am, i did leave for lunch before coming back, at present it is 4:30pm, and i am one of only a dozen customers. Located on the corner of 10th Ave and Washington Way in Longview Washington, but you wouldn't know it if you weren't looking for it. It sits at the end of a building that houses, "Vacuums and More" and that is the sign you see.
 A hidden treasure in Longview. i had a coffee in the morning and a smoothie in the afternoon and both were very good. If you find yourself in Longview, know someone in Longview or plan to move here, put the Electric Bean on your list of places to visit and come enjoy the coffee and a concert on Friday night, or bring your talent and perform during one of the open mic's. My recommendation for a Church in Longview is the Church of the Nazarene, located at 814 15th Ave...the Pastor there is awesome!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Would you like fries with that?


There are few times in my life that i have felt like this, you may know the feeling. Its that feeling you get when you are standing at a crossroads, regardless of the amount of directions that are ahead of you to choose from the decision of which way to go can make you feel like this. The feeling, overwhelmed. Its one reason i like routine, i am comfortable with as little decision making as possible. i like In'n'Out Burger, not very many decisions necessary necessary, "Would you like fries with that?" is about as hard as it gets there or Taco Bell, although there are many things on the menu i know what i want and i am comfortable getting the same thing every time. Jen and i have made some really big decisions. These decisions have made way to greater decisions and those have opened more and more decisions to make, couple that with moving, kids, pets and family and voila, you have OVERWHELMED the "chris" system.

So here i sit, a new place, with that said, it is a Starbucks so there is familiarity at least in the coffee. Although, Starbucks has sort of lost its appeal to me, i would much rather find a small hole in the wall shop with a cozy atmosphere, (i will search for one here in Castle Rock, CO). My mind wanders with all of the options and decisions that need to be made. i know what needs to happen but at the same time i don't know where to start. There are some big things that are happening that at this point i don't have much say in or control of and so i wait. i know that these are blocking up the system some and i know that when these decisions are made it will free me some to focus, regardless of the outcome as it will put into motion the reality of the situation that i will have to function in.

This however, can not be an excuse for non-action, when it comes to everything else. i have to find a temporary normal at the very least. Once again i am faced with the necessity to live the ministry i am called to, Staying the Journey. Enacting the principles i have found to be good, i must focus on recognizing Jesus. What is He doing in me and through me, moment to moment, day to day, etc. Jesus is my Strong Tower, the righteous run into it and they are safe. Proverbs 18:10. What is He doing in me? Strengthening my resolve and faith in Him as the one who answers prayer.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree
    Planted by the rivers of water,
    That brings forth its fruit in its season,
    Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.
Psalms 1:2,3

What is Jesus doing through me?
"Pastor Chris has a unique and very effective method of connecting with teens. He is able to quickly build trust and credibility with teens and then present the Gospel in a way that provides built-in practical application. I have had the privilege of observing Jesus working in and through Pastor Chris in youth ministry for most of the last five years. He will preach Jesus and Jesus alone to your teens."
Pastor Jim Beach 
Wasilla Christian Church

In His Word what is He saying to me?
[chris] know that the Lord [I Myself] has set apart [you] for [Myself] who [are] godly;
[I] The Lord will hear when [you] call to [Me].
[chris] Be angry, and do not sin.
Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. 
[son] Offer the sacrifices of righteousness,
And put your trust in the [Me].
[you know] There are many who say,
“Who will show us any good?”
[I the] Lord, [will] lift up the light of [My] countenance upon [them].
[I will] put gladness in [your] heart,
More than in the season that their grain and wine increased.
[Because of Me] [You] will both lie down in peace, and sleep;
For [I] alone, [Am the] Lord, [and I] make [you] dwell in safety.
Psalm 4:3-8

Thank You Lord, for Your Love and Faithfulness!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Last Two Coffee Stops in Alaska

Dark Horse,  in Downtown Anchorage...good coffee, good food...fun atmosphere, little but busy! The final meeting with Brian of New Hope went down here. We entered this place and i was at first claustrophobic given its size and the amount of people in the building. After sitting down and sipping my coffee i settled in to the atmosphere and it was quite enjoyable from a people watching perspective. The location of it being downtown was fun too as it gives yet another option for coffee and a light breakfast or lunch option. Next time you are in downtown stop by the Dark Horse.

Vagabond Blues, Palmer Alaska. This is a great little place for coffee and sandwiches. If you are in the area for lunch or want a nice place for coffee...Vagabond Blues is a great place to try.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

you keep using that word, i do not think it means what you think it means. Safeway Gas, Eagle River.

This morning i stopped at the Safeway gas station in Eagle River, (Carr's for those of you who like to hold onto the past). i paid with cash so i needed to go inside to pay, surprisingly after i filled up, you don't see that much anymore. Anyway, Jim, the gas station attendant was slow to get up and informed me that his back was hurting. i then asked him if i could pray for him, his response, "sure go ahead, but it aint gonna work." As i thought of a response he continued, "I have a friend who had 7 back surgeries and none of them worked. I told him he was going to the wrong place. He need to talk to God about it. You know he did and a couple of days later he told me that God had healed his back." i don't know if people know who i am by just looking at me or what but he then went on to tell me about how he was brought up in the Catholic Church and he went there up until about 5 years ago. He has only been back for the baptism of his grandson. He told me about his kids and church for a good 30 minutes pausing only to help the few costumers that entered the little station store.

He kept on using the word condone, "God's not gonna condone me for not going to church" or "God's not gonna condone my step son...". As he was using the word i figured out, at least i am 99.99999% sure, he meant to say "condemn" "He made us, He isn't going to condone us." And yet his use of it perhaps divinely inspired, he just hasn't realized it yet. Even still, as soon as i figured out what he was trying to say that line from Princess Bride began running through my head, "You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means." i didn't correct him, i didn't want to squash the Spirit or our conversation, he was being open and honest with me about his feelings and that is far more important at this point.

The more we talked the more he began to remember of God and His faithfulness. i was going to go to Starbucks for coffee but decided that my time would be better spent in this little store, so i grabbed a cup and filled up with some Seattle's Best from a pump thermos. It was a truly divine conversation, with what i hope ends up being a Kingdom outcome. Towards the end i went to pray with him but a large group of workers came in and he politely wrapped up our conversation. As i walked out i said, "it was good to meet and talk with you Jim, i will be praying for you." He responded with a wave and a "thank you." 

Driving away i was reminded of Philippians 4:4,5
"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near." The Lord is truly near. i was in awe of how quickly Jim turned from God not being able, to God is the source of all things just by talking about Him and allowing Jim a gentle listening ear. 

Rejoice in the Lord always; again i will say rejoice! 

Friday, March 29, 2013

"sanctuary" 4025 W. 88th Ave

i have been spending a lot of time at the watering hole known simply as, Keurig. Which happens to be located in my study at the church. It sits right behind my desk, i simply spin around in my chair, pop in a K-Cup, hit the flashing blue button and in just seconds, i am enjoying a hot cup of coffee. It isn't the best, but its nearly instant and there at my disposal at any moment. See there, i just spun around and am just moments from a fresh, hot cup of joe.

my study is a nice place to study, pray and sip coffee. Few distractions on days like today. In fact the phone hasn't rang once since i have been here...a few text messages and i placed one call but in each instance i instigated. There is however no food, except for some peanut brittle, Red Vines and a drawer full of Taco Bell fire sauce. So i have had some distraction from what Winnie the Pooh would call, a rumbly in my tumbly, http://youtu.be/4gQaOvqmj34 but little else. 



This cozy little hole of mine, my place under a rock, has recently seen a make over, fresh paint, new floor and some rearranging. It is quite nice; with some some soft music playing in the background, currently http://youtu.be/uUxzGF5RGZg it is my sanctuary.  Here in my sanctuary, i was reading 2 Corinthians 4 and this particular passage stood out: "We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;  persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies." As i meditated on this passage it struck me, Christ was afflicted for our sins, perplexed over the burden as He prayed in the garden, persecuted for the sake of the world, struck down because of our fallen nature...YET, He was not crushed, He did not despair, ultimately He was not forsaken and although everything was against Him, He was NOT destroyed. 


As we reflect on this most Holy week, let us always carry the remembrance of the death of our Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible to those around us, in us. It is His victory over sin and death that gives us the hope of this passage...and although we may be afflicted, we can know we will not be crushed; even when we are perplexed, we can rest knowing that we need not despair; when we feel persecuted, we can stand, for we are never forsaken; we may get struck down, but we will never be destroyed! For our victory belongs to Christ, it is in Christ and it is for Him. 

Unwavering is Your voice

Unwavering is Your hand
Unwavering is the heart that bled for the sins of men
Unwavering is Your will
Unwavering is Your plan
The fount of salvation on which we will stand          Matt Maher- Unwavering 

If you are ever in town around Jewel Lake and 88th stop on by...my little "sanctuary" is always open and my Keurig always on.  

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Bagel Factory (100 W. 34. Ave. Anchorage)

It's been awhile, if you follow this only, you won't how busy my life has become, so i will just say...its been busy. However, today instead of having our ministry meeting at the church or at Elim Cafe as we normally rotate between those two places, we chose to branch out. This morning we met at "The Bagel Factory" on 34 Ave. across from Outback Steak House. i had actually pinned this place awhile ago as a place i wanted to go to after eating at Outback Steak House with my amazingly wonderful bride Jen.  So when the discussion opened to have our ministry meeting over breakfast, i saw the opportunity.

i arrived first, well walked in first anyway, went to a table in the back ordered three waters, a cup of coffee and grabbed a high chair for my Youth Pastor's one year old. i won't bore you with our ministry meeting but i will say that sometimes just getting together with the leadership team is all that is needed, as we build camaraderie and synergy within the ministry of Jewel Lake Community (www.jlcn.org).

As you may be aware, one of the reasons i like to check out new coffee shops is to find a place to work from on those days i just need to be out of the office but have things to do. A place to read, write, think, pray...yet have the distant fellowship of others in space. i will begin my critic of "The Bagel Factory" by saying this meets non of those requirements. The place is bright, the tables are pressed in, there is no wi-fi available and the intent of the staff seems to be, "turn the table".  Although friendly, (i could say something here but will refrain, for some insight on why, click here.

Just because this restaurant doesn't meet my previously stated needs, doesn't mean it isn't a good place. The food was good, coffee Kaladi's, and overall atmosphere was pleasant. The prices are a bit high for my pocketbook, even for the quality of the food, which i stated was good not great. i am going to give "The Bagel Factory" 3 cups...and that third cup might not be completely full but over half.

The Bagel Factory U> U> U> (good for bagels, not for work)