Sunday, February 24, 2008

God is Faithful--Even in the Small Stuff Too

We've got lots of things to share today. God is in the big and small stuff.

  • House Update. First, our house closes on Friday, Feb. 29. Looks like it's a go. The only concern was a higher radon reading during the inspection with a rather odd reading that started at around 14 and then plummeted and bottomed out. Radon is fairly common around these parts, especially in finished basements and the safe level is between 1-4. We asked the seller to take care of the problem. He agreed to pay for a second test, since no one is sure what the problem was. If it fails this second time, he will put in a venting system to take care of the problem.

  • Movin in Date. Our move in date to move into our house is March 1. So if you're in the area and want to help well be starting at around 8:30. We are still a bit short on strong-armed help. If you'd like to pitch in, drop us an email at Jeff at (replace the at with the @ sign). Our new address will be 6191 Mountainside Drive, Hickory, 28601.

  • Coffee Shop Locations. We've called on several potential locations and have peered in the windows of a few more. The one that looks most interesting is a closed Chinese Restaurant on Hwy 321 which is not far from our new house. The building is on an end unit in a small strip mall and would even allow room for a drive through window. We learned that someone is already interested in that side of the building and the owner is willing to divide up the space. So we are not out of the running yet. We were told to check back with them in a few weeks to see what the latest is. This seems like an ideal location as it is on a route with plenty of traffic, no coffee shops, quite a few business including offices and has nearby neighborhoods--just the mix we are hoping for.

  • Coffee Shop Stuff. We continue to work on the business plan and are down to the nitty gritty of figuring out cost of supplies and potential suppliers. Think we may have found a nearby coffee roaster which we definitely need since our coffee supplier in CA has decided to close up shop. For furniture, we like the look of the school house style chairs. These are sturdy, slat-backed chairs. Teena stumbed on to one set of dining chairs that were very close to this style at Goodwill. They just need a little touching up with stain but she was thrilled to find 5 chairs that might serve our purposes. They just need some of her famous refinishing tlc.

  • Fundraising. As you probably already know, this coffee start up will not be cheap so the more we can whittle down the amount we need to take out in loans, the happier we will be. Teena put into a call to an organization through the Escript site. (Escript is one of the ways we are asking our supporters to help us at no cost to themselves). The auto auction folks take car donations and then give the bulk of the income raised back to the charitiy. Many schools and other non-profits use this organization to raise funds. Looks like it might bear some good financial fruit. More on that in a later post. But if you know anyone with a car, boat or even airplane they might want to donote on our behalf, tell them to contact us. We haven't yet set up our account with them but hope to very soon.

  • Networking. God is doing some amazing things in the realm of networking. We have been invited to share the Java Journey vision with First Baptist Church in Taylorsville (just outside of Hickory). We have also been attending a young church in Clemmons, NC called Crossfire while we waited to settle on a house. Today pastor David asked us to share a bit about Java Journey with their congregation. What a nice surprise. He wants us to have lunch with him soon to discuss possible ways the church can support the coffee shop ministry.

It has been such a delight so far to see how diverse and loving the body of Christ is. We hope Java Journey will be a ministry that allows many different Christians from many different churches to pull together to reach people for Christ. It is exciting to see the possibilities.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Maybe, Perhaps, Possibly...

We're feeling positive about this one. Inspection revealed no major problems. We only have one inspection left and that has to do with the septic system. We're away from the city, but not far. We'll tell you more when we proceed on this.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Your Mind on Caffeine

A good friend of ours (Tom Lindholtz) passed this along from a good friend of his (John Fischer). He describes very well what we've been conveying to others about the passion we have in our vision.

Researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia have released a recent study showing that caffeine makes people more open to logical argument, even when it runs counter to their previously held opinions. The caffeine group, across the board, tested out as being consistently more open-minded than the decaf group. This would definitely lend new credibility to the belief that conversations over coffee are a good thing. An open mind is necessary for any relationship to grow. You have to be open to another way of thinking to relate to someone, because we are all different – we have different backgrounds, different gifts, and we see things from different points of view. Lasting relationships grow out of accepting one another's differences. We appreciate each other more through consensus than through conformity. This kind of open-mindedness in relationships is important for more reasons than just our differences. It is important because we are always changing, and since we are all in process, we have to remain open to that process in each other. My road will not be yours; yours will not be mine, even if we walk together. God has different plans for each of us. Jesus Christ did not die to create clones. He died so He could fill each one of our unique natures with Himself. And finally, part of who we are becoming involves those closest to us. We are not who we are in a vacuum. We are a product of the people we know and how we have grown together. We shape each other. When this aspect is strong, there is a healthy push and pull at work. "As iron sharpens iron, a friend sharpens a friend." (Proverbs 27:17 NLT) Belief has commonly been associated with a closed mind. This is unfortunate because nothing could be further from the truth. Belief opens you up to God and gives you his Spirit to help reinterpret the world around you. Belief is all about discovery, and just as our relationships with each other are not static, neither is our relationship with God. We are constantly discovering more about God and his world, and we are constantly discovering more about ourselves and those around us. So pour another cup of brew for you and that friend. Open your hearts and minds to each other, and get ready for a surprise.

Wow! Very profound that "We appreciate each other more through consensus than through conformity." And all these years we've been working with the premise that inviting them to come to a place we like to gather for one hour a week will cause them to reconsider whether God cares and actually lives or not.

This is why we are rethinking "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us."

Jeff and Teena

Bulk Coffee Alert


Saturday, February 9, 2008

...Michael Finnigin...

Mercy! You probably remember the old song well, we've gotta "beginigin." Thank God for revealing mercy.

Much has happened since our last post. NO GO on that house. We have been so busy with all the hoops of financing and having the house inspected, that we didn't take time to journal all the steps involved. Long story short - the inspection revealed some much need major repairs - we asked for them to be done, the seller did very little to correct what was asked or to even offer some type of reasonable and agreeable solution. All the goings on dissipated our trust and so we decided to bite the bullet (2 inspection fees and the essence of time) and walk away.

We were both upset about this for a very short time. It amazed us how quickly we recovered sensing a very powerful potion of inner peace (the one that boggles the mind passing all understanding- - -). In unison we've assessed that "God is watching our butts."

We were able to go on a blitz tour of homes with our persevering realtor (Theresa Harrison of Property Shop) over a few days and made an offer today on a Williamsburg-style house northwest of Hickory ("Northlakes" in Caldwell County). It's a lovely home near Lake Hickory in a very pretty part of the area. I will not post a picture until we know that we're clear of all obstacles.

We'll let you know when we're "in" probably after the first load gets shuttled inside.

As for coffee shop progress, we've started working on a business plan and have called on a few possible locations. We've decided the ideal footage would be about the size of a Burger King or Arby's, a bit bigger than some of the small coffee shops you see. This would give us enough room for worship and possible separate space for small meetings.