Friday, April 18, 2014

Why do I want to be a Barista?

So, I have entered the Barista Guild Of America "Win a Trip to Barista Camp" photo contest.
You can vote HERE

However, maybe you would like to know why I am trying to go to barista Camp before you vote.
Well, here are the main reasons.
1.) I love coffee. Anybody that knows me knows after Jesus and my family my next love is coffee...those may be interchangeable depending on the time of day. :-)

2.) About a year ago I developed a coffee shop business plan that is amazing. It is an idea that I have never seen done in any coffee shop I have ever been in; which is both exciting and extremely scary!

3.) I am not a barista. I love coffee and I know a good amount about the coffee process but I am not going to be pretentious about where I am at on this journey. I need to learn more before I launch. This camp helps me grow!

4.) As a coffee shop owner I can provide jobs. With this training I will be able to train others in the art of being a coffee barista. It is also my desire to build genuine, mutually beneficial, sustainable relationships with coffee farmers all over the world, making the value and impact of one little cup globalized.

5.) Community. There are pockets of Columbus that do not have a coffee shop. Shocking, isn't it? There is a ton of room for specialty coffee to grow in Columbus! Everybody, I believe, should have a coffee shop close enough to walk to and enjoy a cup of coffee with a friend. This is my mission.
I hope in several years I can look back and thank each of you for helping me win this contest, go to barista school, and help launch this dream!

Thank you in advance for all your support!

Now go vote and spread the word!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Confession: Sometimes I say I'm busy when the truth is I'm not.

The truth is, I've set my life up in an intentionally peaceful pace that allows time for what's important. The problem is, that when somebody asks "How are you?" I instantly feel the need to say "oh, I'm just busy, you know"  Our culture says to have value, you must be busy.

If you aren't busy what are you? Lazy?

I fall to this lie all the time and feel the need to justify my less than busy schedule. 

There is a third pace of life though! What I love about following the way of life modeled by Jesus is that he allows and offers a life that includes intentional rest. Not to merely kick up our feet, grab a beer, and sit poolside; though that is not always a bad thing. No, it's so much more. It is a call to pause our life, look at him, and be reminded of His strength and love for our lives. 

Or as our Pastor, Nick , stated on Sunday:

"Rest is a test of our trust in God's omnipotence"

Check it out here:

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Be a Boy : UBUNTU

In my life, up to this point, the things that have meant the most to me almost always revolve around other people. Life is simply better when other people are around. 

Having somebody to throw a baseball with as a young boy. 
Having a sweet brown eyed girl to listen to on the other end of the phone line. Having a family to squeeze around a small kitchen table. 
It really does not get much better than that.

I am not sure who instilled this philosophy into me, but the importance of choosing good friends because you become like your friends was something I can remember hearing often as a child. In many ways this is true. 

You will not always support the same sports team, 
delight in the same books or enjoy the same foods 
but you will develop a desire to love and help them 
and the things they are most passionate about.

Maxton, Deacon, and Rohan, this is why it is important to choose your friends wisely. If you choose friends that seek status, pleasure, comfort and a carefree life those will be the things you seek. There is nothing wrong with seeking to improve yourself. I am not saying do not seek to become a better employee, boss, husband, father, or citizen.Work hard at those things; be excellent at all that you do.

What I want you to think about is why.
Why do you want to succeed?
Do you want to succeed so that you can have a comfortable life?
Do you want to succeed so that you have a nice family?
Do you want to succeed so that you are respected?
Do you want to succeed so that you feel like your life has meaning?

You may have wondered why I started out talking about friendship and it would seem like I just switched to a different subject. 

What I want you to see is that your desires 
for personal growth, success, and meaning 
are not wrong 
but should be intricately connected
 to friendship and community.  

When people use their time, talents and treasures to better all others in their community then life can become beautiful.

A part of doing community life well is give, for sure, but it is also being able to receive from that community as well.

“A person is a person through other persons. None of us comes into the world fully formed. We would not know how to think, or walk, or speak, or behave as human beings unless we learned it from other human beings. We need other human beings in order to be human. I am because other people are. A person is entitled to a stable community life, and the first of these communities is the family.” -Desmond Tutu

Notice, Desmond says that we "need others" in order to be human. You need to receive from people. 

help, care, love, laughter, joy, support, 
gifts, healing, conversation, smiles, 
food, a place to rest, acceptance....

When you receive you show that you are in need, that you are not just some kind of god that needs nothin-from-nobody. 

When you receive you are enriched and in return you can enrich others lives around you. Ubuntu is cyclical. When somebody is helped they in return desire to help.

Give, yes! Give generously of your heart, soul, mind and being to those in your community. Lavish others with goodness. Seek to become the best you can so that you can give the best away. But also, find friends that do the same and stay close, receive from them. Don't let them go. If circumstances take them away, stay close in whatever way you can. You will become like the people you love the most and if your closest friends are seeking Ubuntu, you will too.

UBUNTU : Respectful, helpfulness, sharing, community, caring, trust, unselfishness


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wonderstruck #32 : Garden of Wonders

What I love about planting a garden is that...well there are several things actually.

  • I love seeing passion flow from my wife. She is passionate about a lot of things but taking care of her garden is definitely one of them. The other day, I accidentally stepped on an onion and about lost a foot! :)
But seriously, she is a nurturer by nature and its a thrill to see that come alive in the garden! I am always amazed at how natural taking care of something is to her. Whether a plant or a child, she just does it incredibly well.
  • Another thing I love about the garden is that it is a place for the boys to get dirty. They love getting out their tools and getting to work with mama.

"Go inside? I don't think I heard you correctly. Did you say it was time to stay outside? yeah, thats right!"

Seriously, look at Deacon following his mama and learning lessons about working hard. Does it get much better?

The final thing that I love about gardening (although there are many others) is that it truly is a place to feel the presence of God.  You start out with a little seed and although you do care for it by watering and weeding you are completely dependent on something else to make that little seed grow.

Just like children, you can nurture them all you want but their everyday protection and health is dependent on something else. That something is a somebody. God breathes life into the nostrils of our children and fills our gardens with nutrients and sunlight to make them all grow.

This is humbling because I am not in control of the destiny my garden, or my kids. We have a lot less control even on our own life for that matter!

I am wonderstruck when I look at how my garden grows. If God takes such care of these little delicious (seemingly insignificant) veggies how much more does he care for me and my family. That is not to say that rain and storms will not come in my life. However, when the rains come I can be sure God is doing a work that produces life. 

Oh, and I also started a flower garden a couple of weeks ago! This should be fun!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Be A Boy #12: Cheetos

  • There is no greater snack for boys than Cheetos. 
Seriously, if you are going to do the sensational summer snack do it right. Go in head first and eat the whole bag.

Ok that might be over the top but there are a couple helpful hints.

Eat'em outside (no shirt works well too)

Share'em with a bro

Seriously, he will love you forever if you share'em with your brother.

The age old question? Napkin or lick'em? OK, that's not really a question...lick'em everytime :)

Wonderstruck #31 : Wonder-maters

It is that time of year. Mother's day has come and gone and in Ohio it is now safe less risky to plant your garden. 

This year Gina and I are going all out. In fact, we purchased a garden tiller and tripled the size of our grow zone.   

This year's line up includes
  • Corn 
    • Yes, corn! come on, this is Ohio!
  • Tomatoes
  • Green Pepper
  • Jalepenos
  • Green Onion
  • Carrots
  • Lettuce
  • Cucumber
  • Watermelon

With the absolute perfect garden growing weather we have had in Columbus this Spring everything has taken off. We look forward to the thrill of enjoying and share all of the goods that God will grace us with this summer. 

Gina was pulling weeds yesterday when something caught her eye. She is meticulous in her planting (as noted by the tape measure in the picture above) and when she noticed a plant spring forth "out of line" it caught attention. No, it was not a weed; it was simply a volunteer tomato plant (two of them in fact, side by side).

Tonight, I took a few minutes to go out to the garden and check in on everything (because I am extremely impatient). I'm not sure why I look at the garden everyday. I know each plant has only grown millimeters over night but it just fascinates me to no end that something so small can become something so great. 

As I studied each plant I looked at the two little green plants growing out of line. In that moment, I was Wonderstruck. If you have been reading you know this is the word used by Margaret Feinberg in her latest book to define the moments in life when our sense are awaken to the nearness of God. He is with us everyday and nature is screaming out his existence and closeness in our world.

We are often so busy that we don't pay him much attention. Wonderstruck. This really is a simple word but it has caused me to stop. breathe. and recognize that moments in life are not just moments. Often, God is speaking to you and I through are natural experiences each day. Of course God uses scripture to penetrate our hearts, to comfort and correct, to satisfy and sanctify. But we must not miss the little moments in every day when God, through his creation, reminds us of his care for us.

These little volunteer tomatoes did just that.

In that moment I felt God say this.

"In life you are like this plant. There will be seasons when you are a seed that lies dormant under a dark, cold, and dreary place of isolation. You will feel forgotten. You will feel unacceptable, thrown out to rot and die. Your life will seem worthless. You will feel trapped, weighed down by the pressures and harshness of the earth. This seed lay in isolation and darkness for an entire winter season and the world will look at this seed and say, "It is dead, there is nothing good that can come from this seed". The world probably did not even know this seed existed. It had no identity and value to the world. Know this. I am your God. I love you and I am with you even in the midst of this darkness. What everybody else counts as worthless, I value. I can breathe life into anything I choose. I am the author of life. Believe in me. Trust me. I make all things new and can use anybody that has faith. Rise up little seed. Rise to the heavens. Be bold. Do not listen to fear. Listen to my voice and rise to me. Like this little seed your story has a purpose. This seed carries the ability to share life giving nutrients and so your story also carries the message of life. You were lost but I found you. You were alone and I am with you. You were dead and needed life and I gave it to you...share this love."

What about you? Have you been Wonderstruck in your garden? What have you learned about the love of God in the garden this year? 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Be a Boy #11 : "I can do that"

When I was a young boy I used to love art. I still enjoy it but it definitely is not a high on my priorities during this season of my life. 

As a child I would absolutely love watching the incredible American painter and TV host Bob Ross make happy little scenes, with happy little trees by happy little rivers. It was a happy time and every tree had a little friend. "Everyone needs a friend" you know.

I remember, very vividly watching (probably completely obvlivious to the world around me) Ross swirl around paint on his palette and gently lift just the right amount of paint off with a brush. He would slowly make simply stroke that seemed to fall effortlessly onto the canvas. He made it so simple and as I watch I remember even more vividly this thought going through my mind...

"I can do that"

The best part of this thought, in that moment, is that I actually believed it!

I literally believed, without a hint of doubt, that I could match the patient skill, stroke for stroke, of Bob Ross by simply watching a couple of episodes of The Joy of Painting.

20 years later.....

Maxton, my 3.5 year old, absolutely loves gymnastics and he does not even know what that word means yet. He loves cartwheels and tumbling and especially standing on his hands. a lot. Today I got home from work and we had a 15 minute conversation while he was staring at me upside down.

Before every drop of blood rushed to his head I told him I want to show him something. So we headed over the the laptop and I asked him if he likes gymnastics.

"nope" he said.

"Do you know what that is?" I asked

"nope" he replied again.

I turned on the laptop and headed over to Youtube, the place any good father takes his son to teach him a lesson. and showed him this video.

At first I thought he was stunned at what he was witnessing, but right there, right in the middle when the guy just sticks a quadruple back flipimmajig Max looks me right in the eyes and boldly declares to all of the witnesses in the room

"I can do that"

The best part of this was that in that moment he actually believed it!

I love that about kids. I wish that we could all have that kind of confidence about our dreams. I wish that we didnt listen to fear so much. I wish we had people so passionate about changing the world and doing good for others that they the believed they could solve life's biggest problems.  Listen...

If you want to go to Central Africa say..."I can do that"
If you want to adopt a child say...."I can do that"
If you want to change careers at age 45 say...."I can do that"
If you want to develop a plan to get water to every person in the world say..."I can do that"
If you want to go to college say..... "I can do that"
If you want to walk across the street and meet a neighbor say..... "I can do that"
If you want to end the sexual slave trade say...."I can do that"
If you want to get out of debt say..... "I can do that"
If you want to save yourself for marriage say..... "I can do that"
If you have desire to go back to school say.. "I can do that"
If you want to write a book say ... "I can do that"

There is something in your heart stirring to get out. You have a dream and passion to make this world better than when you started. You have to decide to pursue it.

Will there be setbacks? of course
Will you fail? absoluetely
Will fear (and maybe even friends) tell you not to do it? no doubt

Will it take a lot of time? anything important does
Will you doubt it? probably everyday
Will you actually do it? Maybe

Maybe. That seems anti-climatic but its the truth.

I would be a fool to tell you that you will achieve 100% of your dreams! The reality is that you might not. But you must realize that you just might. 

"What if" is such a cool place to think about.

What if we did cure cancer.
What if you did write an all time best seller
What if every child in the world could go to school
What if people accepted everybody regardless of choices they made.
What if nobody had to worry about where clean water would come from.

The road to success of "What if" always leads through maybe. You will never achieve a dream or change the world turning away from "Maybe". You will never reach the goal by going to the valley of "I can't".

One final thought...honestly, sometimes you can't. again that's the truth. A 5 Gallon bucket can never ever hold 6 gallons. We all have limits. If "I can't" creeps into the landscape of your life remember than when "I can't" remember you are not alone and "We can".