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Ray Morris
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People have always struggled to grasp the concept of our coffee shop. Almost invariably, their initial reaction upon learning of it is something like "That's brilliant! Selling coffee to fund the church!" But the reality is much different. Our little congregation has always carried the cost of the coffee shop.... Continue reading
Joel and I had just finished making breakfast burritos when the coffee shop door opened. A woman in despair walked in. My first thought was that she was had heard about our homeless breakfast and didn't realize it was now held at the park. "Good morning, can I help you?"... Continue reading
"I'd love to see you without clothes." That line really caught me off guard! It's not every day someone says that to me. Ok... let's be honest... that's the FIRST time someone EVER said that to me! What was really weird, though, was the fact that it was coming from... Continue reading
I knocked on her car window to offer her a breakfast burrito. She eagerly and thankfully accepted. She took one look at me and said "You're from that Renaissance place, aren't you?" Surprised, since I didn't recognize her, I replied in the affirmative. She followed up with "You're Josh's dad!"... Continue reading
If you read my blog regularly (I know, that would require that I write regularly), then you might remember me talking about the young schemer who came in looking for encouragement. While we were in agreement that it would be a bad idea to give him cash, we made it... Continue reading
"This is gonna sound weird, and you might think I'm crazy. I was in here a while back and talked to a man. I don't know if he was connected to the coffee shop or just in here. He was a Christian man and he really encouraged me. I wasn't... Continue reading
I expected yesterday to be a rough day. But I had no idea. There are some things that I just never get over. Maybe I'm deficient; I honestly don't know. I do know that it's hard to be parents to disabled kids. Most of the time, I ignore their disabilities.... Continue reading
This is another musing on new metrics for success in ministry. Wanna know a secret? I'm fat. My experience tells me that you will have one of two responses to that statement. Either you'll tell me that I'm not fat (thanks for being nice, but yes, I'm fat. My BMI... Continue reading
(This post is a part of a series on redefining success in ministry.) One day last week, a man from our neighborhood came into the coffee shop to hang out and chat with me. For several hours. Honestly, when I saw him coming, I groaned inwardly. He's socially awkward (it's... Continue reading
In a previous post, I mentioned the "traditional" measures of success in ministry. I'll just call them the three B's... buildings, butts and bucks. During my lifetime, we've developed a culture of "success" in the Church in America. When I say that, I don't refer to a particular local church,... Continue reading
Several years ago, as I prayed about a seeming plateau in our church size and the financial struggles that accompanied it, God spoke to me. "If I told you that you'd spend the rest of your ministry career in this building, with this size congregation, would it be enough for... Continue reading
Last spring, a young man came to pick my brain. He and a partner are dreaming of planting a church in another city. But not just a church, a church in a coffee shop. As I shared about my experiences and where we've ended up as a congregation, he got... Continue reading
I've always been a starter... an entrepreneur. When I graduated from high school, rather than head off to college, I decided I was going to start my own business. I asked everyone to give me cash for graduations gifts. I took that cash and whatever I could pull together and... Continue reading
I was reading a book on marriage (Intimate Allies by Dan Allender and Tremper Longman) this morning. The following passage really struck my heart. “One's spouse is a mystery-- a terrain that each year will reveal more depth and beauty than could have been imagined when we walked out of... Continue reading
"My chains are gone, I've been set free. For Christ my Savior has ransomed me. And like a flood, His mercy reigns, unending love, amazing grace." Every time I sing that song, I remember... She climbed out of her beat up van and walked up to the front door. As... Continue reading
Every Friday afternoon, we host an event at our coffee shop. Renaissance Gaming. It's a chance for people to get together and play tabletop games. You may or may not realize that tabletop gaming has grown up. The games often are rather complex and take a significant amount of time... Continue reading
Thanks for the kind words, Ron and Cathe!
Toggle Commented Mar 22, 2016 on Tessa at Mundane Musings of a Middle-aged Minister
It is so freeing to realize what is my job and what is the job of the Holy Spirit!
Thanks for the encouragement. I believe that it's part of my calling to "live life out loud" for precisely the reason you mention. Too many already believe that Christians should put on a false front to present a certain image. So I endeavor to be honest even when it's uncomfortable.
Toggle Commented Mar 22, 2016 on The Pit at Mundane Musings of a Middle-aged Minister
He looked rather disheveled. Life hasn't treated him well recently. His clothes were clean, but his hair was a mess. His face even thinner than I remembered. But it's probably been a year since I've seen him. At least this time he wasn't high. Years back, he was a good... Continue reading
Back in January, I wrote about The drunken prophet. Several people have asked about him. Here's the latest. Eventually, Malcolm (still not his real name) returned. This time he made a point of getting here in time for church to start. He proudly informed us that he was "just a... Continue reading
March 3, 1996... I can't believe it's been twenty years... but on the other hand, it seems like another life... It was just another Sunday for most people, but for Deidre and I, it was a day to change our lives. We were young. We'd been married for less than... Continue reading
In 1519, Hernando Cortes left Cuba with 600 men in 11 ships, headed for Mexico. Stories of gold and silver in abundance drew the Spanish empire into Mexico. Cortes was commissioned to develop trade and scout out the Aztec empire for future colonization. Right before the expedition, Cortes' commission was... Continue reading
Recently, in my devotions, I read the following C.S. Lewis quote: "If you asked twenty good men to-day what they thought the highest of the virtues, nineteen of them would reply, Unselfishness. But if you asked almost any of the great Christians of old he would have replied, Love. You... Continue reading
We were just wrapping up a guys only night (teaching on relationships) at church Saturday when we heard a knock at the door. Joel got up to check it out, declaring on the way "this ought to be interesting." He was right. The older man who stumbled in was decidedly... Continue reading