our work

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Hey, Preacher . . .Leave My Joe Alone!

I love to read.  I would read all day if I could. I love fiction, biographies, Bible commentaries, mysteries and teen literature like "Twilight" and "The Hunger Games".    I recently read two books that I would consider life-changing and have discussed one of them on this blog many many posts ago. The books are "Radical" and "Radical Together" by Dr. David Platt, a young and very passionate pastor from Birmingham, Alabama.

Long before I laid eyes on these books, God led our family to do a few things that may seem a little radical. He convicted us to downsize our home and to become debt free.  These are not things we did for the sake of the "doing" but in order to free up our finances for whatever He calls us to.  My hope has always been that He would call us to foreign missions in The Philippines.  He may. He knows our hearts are open. 
In any case, because our family was already re prioritizing, some things, these books "hit the spot" and I devoured them in a day or two each.    My husband did as well.

There was one discussion in "Radical Together" that is, what I would consider a "speed bump" in my complete agreement with Dr. Platt. It's the notion of cofffee and lattes as symbols of our American misprioritization.  Yes, silly and trivial, I know.  It seems to come up periodically in blogs of the mission-minded and now, in the pages of my own favorite extra-Biblical material.  Apparently, those of us who enjoy a latte should be pierced with guilt when we buy one.  Check out this blog post by a big, beautiful, multi racial family that seems to truly be seeking to change the world for Jesus click here .  Again, a woman I'm sure I would find like-minded and passionate. Someone I could sit down over a cup of . . . er . .  .water with and talk about the ways we want the Lord to use us during this short run on Earth.  We would probably be kindreds.
It appears that impugning fellow Believers for buying $5 coffee at Starbucks is perfectly acceptable among those who are globally aware and have a heart to meet the physical needs of the lost and dying around the world.   I  am always confused and often irritated at the fact that COFFEE has become the litmus test for our spiritual priorities.   Why not toothpaste???? Why don't books and blogs scoff at those who buy the expensive "Crest Complete" rather than the 98 cent "Aim"?   Why don't we nag families who claim to love the poor and yet purchase Nike's rather than thrift store tennis shoes for their children?  How about those ipods and hand held video games?  Wouldn't THAT money be better used in Botswana?  Do you see where I'm going with this?   Do you understand why the "latte argument" is a strawman discussion?
Nobody knows the heart of another by what is in their paper coffee cup.  Nobody!     The amount of  money that we give to further the cause of the gospel is between Believers and their Savior.  If you are convicted to switch to Folgers, by all means, switch.    Could we do more? Certainly. Our family could do more, give more, use less, be MORE Radical.  But that is conviction that can only come from the Spirit of God. 
Do you want to go REALLY radical?  Ask God what He would have you sacrifice to further His kingdom and then do it - without expecting others to have the same convictions.  
I am off to have my Latte Vente without the two lumps of guilt!


  1. Amen!.....says another coffee lover. And what about the coffee growers? The workers at Starbucks? Would we be more holy if we put them out of work? What about that Proverbs 31 woman...she wore FINE LINEN and had the nerve to clothe her family in SCARLET....the equivalent of wearing haute couture!! Okay stepping off my soapbox....obviously I've had too much caffeine this morning. ;-)

  2. Ha! Love this! I will not give up my coffee nor my McDonald's tea addiction!! Good point about the toothpaste too!