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Saturday, February 27, 2010

HITTING AN OUTHOUSE WITH A GOLF CLUB

Something has been haunting me all week. It is a story a Christian friend of mine shared about something his young son accomplished. My friend is having a home built and his wife recently received a call that someone had seen a young black man enter the porta-pottie on their property and he had been in there for quite some time. So my friend's wife and young son drove to the construction site armed with a golf club. Smiling, my friend told about how his son walked up to the porta-pottie and with a mighty swing struck the plastic side of it as hard as he could. He said immediately there was a loud scream and within seconds a young man with painted nails who was dressed funny scrambled out fearing for his life. My friend said his son was so proud of himself and others around me laughed. I thought, "What a picture of who we as Christians have become."

We live in a world overrun with humor. We have even learned to use humor to disquise our sin. If you know me, you know that I love to laugh more than anybody. But this simply wasn't funny. Here was a young man struggling with sexual identity, perhaps homeless, certainly confused, now afraid, and thankfully he met some Christians...who had a golf club.

I am not writing to attack my friend but rather to let all the Green Frog Blog fans out there know that God spoke to me deeply through this story. He reminded me that Christians should not cherry pick who we love. He also reminded me that we should check our hearts often and compare them to His. He never wielded golf clubs, he never laughed at the wounded, he simply loved us all.

Which is more repelling, a young man who acts weird and needs counseling, or an afluent Christian who goes to church but still takes there swings. Again, this speaks to me deeply. When we meet these needy people we should remember how lucky they are that we have come along because Christ live in us....doesn't He?

We've watered down what it means to be a Christian to make it more comfortable. I'm sorry if I am being rather blunt but I needed to get this off my chest...and into my own heart. I pray that this helps us all who humbly seek God.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW


Ja Ja's was the birthplace of my dream of a touch of country with a touch of class. This endearing location offered some of the best scenery and ambiance in West Tennessee but unfortunately never offered cash flow. Although it will always hold fond memories for me and several other people, I have decided to close Ja Ja's effective 5pm February 27th. But there is some good news.

I will be opening a second location in Jackson that will offer the convienence of a drive-thru window and a 16 flavor ice cream dipping cabinet. The new location will be in the new Flash Market on Hollywood Dr right next to I-40. I am shooting to open this location by March 22nd. This will hopefully serve several commuters who travel the 412 corridor. We hope to see you there!

More good news is that I will be reducing our ice cream prices by 20%. A new contract for cream with Turner Dairy has made this possible. I wanted to pass the savings on to you. We will also be reducing our tasty grilled cheese sandwich by 25%. Another price cut will be our new daily dollar menu which will feature one of many of your favorite items for only a dollar when you buy a large drink. These are savings up to 33%. We will also be adding Mississippi Mud Cake (Fly Pie) and Apple Pie A-la-Mode to the menu. So more selections and better bargains at Green Frog Coffee Co.

Don't forget we still offer our portable coffee bar for larger events. You will get to see our coffee bar in action at the Jackson Farmer's Market every Saturday morning from May 1st- August 31st. We hope you stop by and see us at our coffee bar, in our downtown store, at our Hollywood Drive location, or in Dyersburg across from Lowe's next to El-Patio. Green Frog Fans keep us in business. We are thankful for you and will continue to try to meet your needs and expectations. Star who? The buck stops here! Maggie who? The ice cream starts here!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

THE LESSON OF A SNOWMAN


Love, like water, comes to us in many forms. Romance erupts like a thunderstorm from the clouds, piercing our hearts with its thunder. Friendship gathers like daily dew in the morning quenching our thirst in small ways. And the love of God falls like snow in silent beauty covering our crimson wounds with His forgiveness. In this strange life love is often enhanced by harsh, cold realities. Against the background of winter love comes to us in the darkest hour, into the coldest heart, revealing God's undeniable beauty.

My love of winter runs deep and wide. As most children, I cherished snow days, bowls of warm chili, and cups of steaming hot chocolate. Yet I was prematurely aware that winter was more than a pause, it was God's season of rest-for all of us. With longer nights forcing us to retire from days of farm work earlier after harvest had past we found time for each other. And as if we were being pleasantly punished, the occasional ice storm marched us to family conversations huddled around the pale but perfect light of a fireplace. And the smell of smoke, the smell of pine, and the smell of nutmeg made us pause from the distractions of busy daily life to acknowledge the brilliant plan of discipline by our Creator. God wants us to rest and will use force to make it happen.

Our abundance of snow this winter inspired my inner child to gather a few friends, take a break from the coffee shop, and try to break my personal record of a twelve foot snowman. So one sunny, but cold, afternoon five of us spent four hours rolling snowballs in less than perfect conditions. We actually had to use a flower watering can to moisten the snow so it would stick. Eventually we managed to create our own personal tower of Babel complete with a fifty-five gallon trash can for a hat. Any higher and it would have caused a plane crash.

The next day our giant dirty snowman became an instant celebrity with several people stopping by to pose for a photograph beside the behemoth. One young man submitted his photo with our snowman to a Memphis television station and took credit for our giant piece of ice. The young people who helped me build the snowman were very upset that someone else had stolen their claim to fame. It was a beautiful life lesson that people take credit for stuff that isn't theirs all the time. Al Gore created the Internet. All pie is mine.

The second life lesson followed just four days later when under the cover of darkness someone came and knocked our snowman into the road. I knew it was almost guaranteed to happen. Teenagers cannot resist the challenge of tipping over a monument that would naturally disappear on its own. Cow tipping is a myth. Snowman tipping is real. The lesson here is a very important one: snowmen and pyramids disappear, but love last forever.

We seek to define ourselves by our accomplishments and wrap our lives around the lie that people will cherish the things we leave behind. There is nothing we can build that will last. It will all melt or be buried by the sands of time. What does remain is the love we share along the way. Love endures every season and comes to us in many ways. Love never ceases.

I pray that we all pause while nights are still long and the air is still cold to rest in the fact that we are loved by God. I seriously doubt if our snowmen or our pyramids have ever impressed God. I seriously doubt if God can be impressed. But He can love and be loved. And so can we. You can spend your whole life building snowmen to have someone knock them over or watch them melt. Never fall in love with a snowman, fall in love with the people who help you build it, and a God who provides the snow, the sun that melts it, and the storm that makes it fall again. And remember, yellow snow is dangerous but reminds us we are not alone. Love never ceases.

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