Wednesday, November 14, 2007

CAFFEINATED: Long-distance creative brainstorming (reach out and blog someone)

Ah, Compass Community Church. My home away from home (and where my heart still years for in many ways), and the place where I still get to take part in the Creative Team...especially when my "expertise" is needed.

Their current series? Caffeinated.

Something that I clearly have no experience with...

Read on, faithful blog monkeys:

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So - in an effort to bring you broad knowledge on the subject of coffee into play...This week we are in Phil 3 - The Aroma of Life we're calling believing

As Caffeinated Christ Followers (CCFs) we will be known by our SMELL...AROMA

So, how do we safeguard this CCF Aroma/Smell...

Paul speaks to this in Phil 3by telling us to:
Resist Legalism (3:1-7) - Refocus Ambitions (3:8-10) - Reject Complacency (3:13-14)

Now the Sonny Part - Coffee Lingo aka translation...

As CCFs our Aroma can
Offend or Attract (3:1-7 -dealing w' the legalism)
???? Or ????? (3:8-10 - dealing w' the refocusing of Paul's live - trading in His Glory for God's Glory...Paul's Vision for God's Vision for his life...Paul's Passion for God's Passion)
Be Postive or Negative (3:13-14 - dealing w' complacency - either focusing on negative of the past or the positive of a future in Jesus)

Thoughts - Ideas (especially for 3:8-10 part - don't have that one yet) -Tweaks....

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My responses?

YOU can't believe you're doing CAFFEINATED without me? Follow this up with a LORD OF THE RINGS series or a follow-up to LOST (FOUND 2.0) or HEROES 2.0 and we'll have words, Carpenter. I know you want me to come back, but you don't want me to come to exact my righteous vengeance. :)

Now - my thoughts:

- the aroma of coffee/the QUALITY of the aroma of the coffee can be measured in part by where it's coming from. For me, I go into a coffee shop and I immediately know that the smell I get hit with is welcoming and reminds me of why I'm where I am. Phil 3:2 is the hinge on this: same as with church - I go into a church that has a heart (aroma) I am going to connect with, I can easily sync up with the CCF's there. I go into, say, a truck stop that yes, sells "coffee," but the smell of the carafe that's been on the burner for HOURS and is now stale, acidic and has had the flavor literally burned out of it - that's a mutilator of the bean, not so much the flesh (verse 2).

Invert this with how many large, legalistic churches "look" like a church should look, but what you get there is stale, been warmed-over, and well past its prime. Finding a quality brew in, say, a church that meets in a warehouse is - for many - akin to finding a Fair Trade brew being served at a Texaco. It's not what you expect, and it's only because the baristas (the ministry team) care enough to brew the very best.

Plus - really. What IS more pretentious or proud of the culture in a coffee shop than the people who have, say...a Starbucks logo mug, keychain, travel mug, coffee scoop...they're all about the "pedigree" of the coffee - because it comes with a "name" - than they are about the coffee. Sometimes, the people who get a half-caf, no foam, skim-milk latte with a shot of sugar-free hazelnut sound like a pretentious jackass in line. The people at the local shop, for example, KNOW me and know that when and what I order, I know what I'm getting. If anyone tries to "call me" on not knowing what I'm ordering, I wind up spouting off a deal of information about the beans, the roast, the region they come from - but I don't just blurt this out willy-nilly because I'm not a braggart.

- coffee beans not used once roasted go stale and lose flavor and aroma, even if you store them in the freezer (as my parents like to do). Verses 10-11: I have experienced redemption in Christ and in the sacrifice of His life, so I want to share in those sufferings. I have roasted coffee beans that I want to enjoy, so I want to grind those beans up - and to somehow attain a buzz. :) Use it or lose it, really. Yes, some jackanape might want to argue the "once saved" debate, but really - it's more like getting saved and then moving to a commune because you want to keep that first connection/"salvation high" alive in your heart. If you don't USE the beans, you LOSE the beans. You're left with something mildly resembling that which you paid a high price for. Same as with your salvation - it came at a high price, so if you don't use your gifts/abilities as a CCF, you're putting that light under a bushel, so to speak.

Don't miss the HUGE point that for as good as coffee smells, it's not until it's crushed that it fulfills its true purpose. For as good as Christ's teachings were, it wasn't until HE was crushed that he could come into His true purpose.

- rejecting complacency is like moving from a pre-ground, sold-in-bulk cheap coffee to getting a bag of fresh-roasted, vacuum-sealed beans. Coffee drinkers are ALWAYS on the look for the next great brew. Why else would Jittery Joe's continually try to improve it's beans (having "not yet taken hold" of the best brew), not continuing with the things that didn't sell or were met with disdain by the drinkers ("forgetting what is behind") and they press on (even with a French press) toward "the goal of the prize."

Peace,
- Sonny
taste and see that the brew is good...

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