Lessons about church from 'pasgetti' sauce

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*I know I spelled the word spaghetti wrong in the title. And I do it again further along in this blog post (This is so all you Grammar Nazis can continue reading).

I am not completely sure where I'm going with this, but here it is anyways—maybe this is written so you can add your two cents worth.

In Malcolm Gladwell's 2044 TED Talk on "Choice, happiness, and spaghetti sauce," he talks about the power of choice and the importance of understanding universals and variables when making choices. He talks about the cooking/food industry search for cooking universals—one way to treat all of our food desires and taste for food. What they discovered was there wasn't really any universal food desires or tastes.

As I watched Gladwell's TED Talk, I kept thinking about what my buddy Mike Packer has told me,

"It takes all kinds of churches to reach all kinds of people."

In a way Gladwell's TED Talk sort of spoke to this point. The researcher in his story proved while it seems on the outside everyone wants or desires the same thing, in reality many don't. So food manufactures, in their effort to be on top of the food industry, needed to broaden their choices they offer to consumers.


Now I know watch your thinking! Is Joe advocating for consumeristic churches—ones that offer everything under the sun or what i like to call Buffet Churches. The answer to this is NO, NO no and no (See I stopped my yelling)... I think a consumeristic bent on Christianity has been the devil's tool to weaken the church. Enough on that, I've blogged about this several times.

I've been there and done that. I am sure it works for some people, but I've been hard-pressed to see costly discipleship. From my experience, people who have latched onto what Bonhoeffer calls "Costly Grace" and are living out a costly discipleship, don't take advantage of the Buffet menu.

I am simple making an observation. Much like what my buddy Mike has shared with me, there is a need for churches of different flavors, worship styles, of different sizes, and etc... It takes all kinds of churches to reach all kinds of people.

Much like pasgetti sauce... There is not one right way to be the church.

News flash for you! Not everyone in your city will go to your church. And not everyone will like the way your church does church. So let's stop telling each other how each of our churches should be functioning. Allow the Holy Spirit to shape you, your people, and your church.

God has big plans for you and your church. Stop trying to be like everyone else. Quit being a schizophrenic church.

No more competition. No more Jealousy. Just BE the church the Holy Spirit has called you, shaped you, and allowed you to be.

Do me a favor and read the words of the image to below to yourself three times out loud.


Image found via loswhit


Yeah. Jealousy is a lie.


Let the conversation begin...

Coolest Thing I've Heard This Week


One of the coolest things I've heard this week,

"Because your church provided dinner for us, we were able to eat together and not be spread all over the place." - A teacher from one of the schools we served.

I love it when the church helps create community. Some how and some way it's part of us fulfilling the gospel and Jesus' command to love our neighbors.

And a BIG THANKS to Eastside Church for partnering with us.

Happy National Coffee Day

National Coffee Day

I must first apologize. I haven't written a blog post in sometime. If you didn't know, the area in Northern Colorado where I live was hit hard by flood waters about two weeks ago... The church I am on staff at took a huge role of serving as an evacuation center and now we are in full recovery mode, and I have been fully involved in helping lead some of the work being done.

In saying all this, I really haven't had any time to blog.

My hope is to write a post about all we are experiencing and learning as we served our community as an evacuation center and now as a leader in the recovery phase of the natural disaster, to which the National Weather Service called, "a flood of biblical proportions..."

And now to the reason for this blog post and something dear to my heart...

It's National Coffee Day!

I am not a coffee expert, but I love coffee. I love strong black coffee. No cream. No sugar. No foo-foo stuff. In fact I do not consider foo-foo coffee to be coffee at all. Sorry, but it is not coffee. They have other names for it; like Latte, Mocha, and etc.

What I consider coffee is something that is brewed, poured over, dripped, French pressed, Chemex Brewed, expresso, Moka Pot, and I'm sure there is a couple of other ways that I am not mentioning. One of my favorite ways is to brew it over an open fire.

My favorite coffee shop in Astoria, OR.

I just want to take a blog post and share some of my favorite coffee beans with you as we celebrate a gift from God.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Peet's Gaia Organic Blend - A bounteous world blend of certified organic coffees from Africa, Indonesia, and the Americas.

Flavor Notes: Naturally complex — vibrant, earthy, and juicy, with blossom and cacao notes.

This is my favorite bean! I really like the way it leaves a chocolate coding at the back of your tongue.

Peet's Major Dickason's Blend - Conceived by one of the first Peetniks, a loyal customer of their original Berkeley store, retired army officer Key Dickason brought the idea to Mr. Peet in 1969. Mr. Peet refined it and this premier blend is one of their all-time bestseller.

Flavor Notes: Rich, smooth, and complex, with a very full body and multi-layered character.

This coffee bean is a staple in my house. It is my default bean when I run out of the Gaia Organic blend and can't make it to Peet's for more beans.

Starbucks PIKE PLACE ROAST - In 2008 Starbuck's master blenders and roasters created a blend so consistent and harmonious that no single characteristic dominates—or disappears.

Flavor Notes: A smooth, well-rounded medium blend of Latin American coffees with subtly rich flavors of cocoa and toasted nuts.

When I go to Starbuck's this is what I get. On occasion I might get an Americano, but Pike Place is my coffee of choice, in a mug not in a paper cup.

gaia coffee beanThere are other beans that I enjoy. Some are obscure that you probably never heard. One is the bean that my friend Mike Packer and I used to roast, well he did the roasting and I did the drinking and talking...

I hope you have an amazing day of drinking coffee.

Happy National Coffee Day!