Wednesday, October 30, 2013

All In

I have been challenged by Mark Batterson's writing, and his latest book, All In, is no different. I have a book blog for book reviews only, and did one for All In. I would like to add a few more quotes because I love how it connects with what I am doing at Ebenezers Coffeehouse:

"Your workplace is your mission field. Your job is your sermon. Your colleagues are your congregation. The's why we often end out services [at NCC] with this benediction. When you leave this place, you don't leave the presence of God. You take the presence of God with you wherever you go" (79).

It has been beautiful seeing how NCC challenges people to be the priesthood of all believers and realize marketplace/ministry, work/faith can intersect in beautiful ways. Have eyes to see people in front of you and love them deeply.

On page 99 of All In, Mark describes how Ebenezers came to be. "The original vision was to create a place where church and community could cross paths.... Coffeehouses are postmodern wells! But instead of water, we serve coffee. Actually, coffee with a cause. Ebenezers Coffeehouse gives every penny of profit to missions.... None of us had even worked in a coffeehouse. And I didn't even drink coffee! We lacked experience and necessary expertise" (99).

Still so incredibly thankful to God for intersecting stories in so many ways. Life is better than I would have ever dreamed it to be. That being said, it is also not without hardships, but I am thankful for them as well because they help shape character.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Ebenezers Coffeehouse video

Here's a video from 2008 (two years after Ebenezers Coffeehouse opened) to help you better understand what Ebenezers Coffeehouse is designed to do.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Importance of Orange

I recently saw Reggie Joiner speak... Once at Catalyst and another time for the Orange One Day Event.

Orange is a great a concept that combines the heart of the home (red) and the light of the church (yellow) to partner together to give kids the orange experience that comes from the two working together.

It is common at Orange events to see a jar of marbles representing how many weeks from birth to high school graduation your kids have left. The pictures above are a reality that childhood/young adulthood is a process of letting go. Reggie read this letter , and it was very touching. His daughter Hannah painted the pictures above and replied with her own blog post in response.

"When you see how much time you have left, you'll take the time to get serious now."

"The greatest gift you can give someone is time."

"How you love kids when they are still kids will dramatically affect their future."

"When you start imagining the potential of a child's future, you will invest more in them now."

  1. You will die sooner than you think
  2. You will be forgotten
  3. You will only be remembered by the people who know you now.
If you are a parent, Sunday school teacher, volunteer, ministry leader... don't give up! Keep at it. What you are doing matters!

"Every week matters. Be consistent. There's no single event that will make or break a kid. It's having a history with kids. You're making history. Keep investing in what you cannot see."

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Fundraising Update

You can check out my fundraising update total here. While Razoo is great for visualizing how much has been donated, the best way to donate is by check (online through NCC website or mail a real check to the church). Either way, the memo needs to include my name and protege program. Reminder of all the ways to give are found here.

My goal is $18,000 for the year ($1500 month).

It is incredible to see my community of friends and family support me this year. Thank you to those who have been in on this from the beginning. It is not too late to join in what God is doing in my life now. There are ten months left and every little bit helps.

Even $5 (the price of a cup of coffee) helps. One of my former youth group students (currently in college) is helping to support me. It is so amazing to me the people God is using to provide. Family, close friends, former partners in ministry, former employers, even people I don't know donated!

Thank you!

Philippians 1.3: I thank my God every time I remember you.

Monday, October 14, 2013


Catalyst was overwhelming to me in a lot of ways. The music, lights, and sounds, plus tons of people... So many well-known speakers.

Surprisingly my favorite person was Angela Ahrendts, the CEO of Burberry. I dress for comfort, not so much for fashion (most of my cool clothes come from my fashionista mother's taste -- ha). Whether it was an actual pause or pre-planned, Angela paused before answering most questions. I liked it because she was not afraid to be different. She's a girl from Indiana who happens to be making history in the fashion world. She's a powerful woman in business and I liked her story. As a child, she was a loner, a dreamer, and loved to listen.

She talked about having a clear simple vision and to over communicate with people so there is no fear of where things are going.

"I have chosen to remember where I came from."

"It's crazy to me to think people wouldn't be authentic."

I was able to see Priscilla Shirer live. I did a Bible study earlier this year that included video from her. She's a gifted speaker of truth.

I have yet to jump in on the Duck Dynasty bandwagon. My dad bought me their book last year for Christmas. Uncle Si was at Catalyst.

"The networks try to figure out why Duck Dynasty is so successful. They leave out the God factor."

"If hunting was only about pulling a trigger, I wouldn't get out of bed. It's a time to be with my Creator. I've got orders from HQs to kill it and grill it."

He also explained how his infamous cup was a gift from his mom while he was over in Vietnam. That cup is not for sale... and he drinks unsweetened tea in it.

So grateful to have experienced Catalyst this year.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Catalyst Labs

How do you ever put into words an event like Catalyst?

I am really glad I paid the extra money to go to Catalyst Labs. I liked the smaller feel to it and it provided the breakouts that I was expecting to be a part of the regular Catalyst program. I was shocked that it was two days of sitting in an arena listening to speaker after speaker.

The labs were a nice setup for Catalyst. There were a few people from NCC staff who went early (our flight was at 6am, so I shared a cab with my boss who lives a few blocks from me).

I saw a few people I haven't seen in years. It was so good to reconnect.

It was amazing seeing Bianca live since I have followed her and her sister Jasmine on their blogs for years now.

I also noticed Los Whittaker's girls hanging out in the lobby area and was shocked to recognize them from the photos on his blog.

Breakout One was my favorite. It was Bianca and Rebekah Lyons. Someday I want to write a book. I found it very inspiring hearing a little bit of Rebekah's journey with writing, but also coming to grips with her weakness of anxiety. It has become her ministry.

I went to hear Mark Batterson talk about his new book, All In. It is always great to hear him because he loves to tell the stories of how far God has brought NCC. It's an amazingly rich history that I am blessed to be a part of now.

"Leaders are those who take the first step and trust God to reveal the second step." ~Mark Batterson

Bob Goff and Donald Miller closed it out... and what a way to go!

"Love God. Love others. DO STUFF!"

"It's the book of ACTS, not opinions."

"Stop calling it ministry. Call it Tuesday."

Monday, October 7, 2013

Arlington National Cemetery

Yesterday I went to the Lincoln Theatre launch:

(I am in the picture.... You can click to enlarge it. I'm all the way to the left side) Photo credit: Adam Mason

It was a great morning to be at a theatre with a great history that can be part of an amazing Church future. God is doing amazing things in DC and I am lucky to be a part of it all!

That afternoon, I met up with my good friend Emily, her parents, and her boyfriend, Greg. It was nice to spend time with friends and tour Arlington Cemetery, a new experience for most of us. It was so much bigger than I had pictured it.

I love history and there is so much of it in the city. I feel ill-prepared most of the time, but you just need to experience it, even if you don't know everything about it. I would love to learn more about the requirements for the soldiers who guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

I was telling Emily's mom, Marji, that this protege experience at NCC has been even better than I had imagined it would be. I heard the following verses quoted that morning at Lincoln Theatre, but it applies so much to my protege year already:

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3.20-21) 

PS -- the exclamation point in verse 21 is in the Bible. Love that! :)

Saturday, October 5, 2013

DC needs your prayers

Growing up in a church that regularly put "pray for our nation's capitol" in the bulletin (do churches even have those anymore?), I never really followed through with that request.

Living in DC, it is so clear to me that the people here need prayer! It has been crazy these last few weeks with the Navy Yard Shooting, Government Shutdown, the woman in the car and man on fire making news.

I just got back from Catalyst (which deserves several posts) and went to Mark Batterson's breakout session. He reminded people that "National news is our local news" and that "even though the government shutdown, NCC is not shutdown". A lot of our NCCers are on "vacation" this week.

Greater things have yet to come, Greater things are still to be done in this city.

I am thankful for this time in DC. I am grateful to be part of a city of leaders.

Please note: this is not a political post and I do not want any comments based on sides.