Tag Archive: coffee

Micropoem: coffee


i know

that i don’t

need you

at all

i tell myself

as i reach

for my

next cup

[For more of my Micropoetry, click here]

if i ever met you and we got to sit down together, perhaps over a cup of coffee [a mocha, or if it’s later in the evening a kahlua coffee perhaps, sprinkle of choc on the cream], there are some things i would love for you to know… and there are a lot of things i would like you to know, but here are some of the important ones…

[1] i would want to tell you that you are important and you are loved. i don’t think that we can hear that enough and i wonder when last it was that someone told you that. perhaps those around you in your life have slipped into the assumption that you know those things as far as they are concerned and it has just been a little too long since they said them. perhaps you are in a space of life right now where it doesn’t feel like ‘those people’ even exist at all – i would want you to hear that they are out there, and they are out there for you and i would hope that it won’t be too long before you have them in and around your life again. but even if you are surrounded by people who let you know you are important and loved, i don’t think you can hear it enough. so i would want to start there.

[2] i would want to you to know that for the duration of the time we are going to be spending together, that my cellphone is turned off. my laptop is packed away in its bag and my tablet is lying on my floor back home. for however long you have chosen to sit with me and talk and be listened to, i want you to know that i am unplugging myself from as much other noise as i can and am going to focus my attention on you. i am going to try to really listen and want to create a space where you feel free to speak about absolutely anything, that you can set the boundaries in terms of what we talk about – whether you are wanting to go deep and intimate and really share some things that are maybe hurting you or causing you confusion or fear, or if you are wanting to keep it light and informal and talk about which upcoming holiday movie you are most looking forward to seeing and whether or not you think Anchorman II has a chance of being half as good as the original. i want you to really get that you are that important to me right now.

[3] i would want to tell you that God loves you more than you know. maybe you are someone who doesn’t believe in God or maybe you used to and now you’re not so sure… perhaps He just seems really far away right now, or the questions you have about life are really challenging His existence to you… well then in any of those scenarios let me tell you that God really loves you so much more than you know or feel or believe… maybe if you don’t believe in God you would be brave enough to close your eyes and even just consider the possibility that He does exist and that this Love i speak of is real and directed at you. i would love for you to know that.

[4] i would want to tell you that if you are not happy in your job at the moment, or maybe in the place where you are staying, or if things in your dating relationship are not going so well, that if you are feeling burdened by the responsibilities you have taken on at church or that you are feeling a little overwhelmed with some of the meetings you have committed yourself to every week, that it does not have to remain that way. 

– you can leave your job, and, if you are up for the challenge, you can even choose to start a new career or maybe head back to study something different

– you can find a new place to live which could mean a new living arrangement in terms of the people you are currently staying with, it might mean a new neighborhood or even a new town or city, and it may even look like moving to another country

– if you are dating someone and you know that this relationship is not the one you want to invest in for the rest of your life then you can get out of it. it very likely won’t be pretty, but then most relationships that end or transition aren’t and that is okay, but what is not okay is if you end up staying with this person with the knowledge that you really shouldn’t simply because you couldn’t bring yourself to end it

it is easy to get caught up in the rhythm and cycle of how life is and sometimes all you need is for someone to simply say to you – “It doesn’t have to be this way” – and don’t let age or money or circumstance stop you – there is always a way – if you have a lot of people who love you in and around your life then easier still as there are a number of them who would jump at the chance to help you move towards a place and space and context where you can be more you

[5] i would want to strongly encourage you to stop. to just stop and be. for five minutes a day. or thirty minutes a week. or maybe even a few hours on a weekend once a month. if you are aware of God then to be still and know that He is God. time to unplug yourself from technology and the busyness and business of the day. i know you might protest and say that you don’t have time, but even if it starts out being an intentional minute where you just freeze and close your eyes and put your head down and just listen and be and focus on one thing you are grateful for at that exact moment, then i would love for you to do that. to go outside if possible and sit on a bench in a park and people watch and nature appreciate and smile quietly to yourself and take in the feeling of the current weather conditions on your face and arms and just glory in the stoppedness of it all. because life travels faster than it was ever meant to and it is dragging you with it and so sometimes you just have to rebel and throw your hands up in the air and shout “Enough!” i might encourage you to do it right now, just for a minute, as that would surely be enough to give you a taste of what it to come. i would love for you to incorporate something like that into the regular rhythm of your life, because i know how good it has been for me.

anyways, there are many other things i would love for you to know, if i could get to sit down with you at that coffee shop table, but these feel like some good ones to begin with…

is there anything you would want me to know?

[For some more things i would love for you to know, click here]

Have i ever been a mentor to someone? It’s hard to say. I HAVE had a lot of regular weekly ‘coffee, breakfast and working through a chapter of the Bible or some book’ sessions with a whole bunch of different guys over the last couple of years though, in various contexts and places.

As i continue to participate in NaBloPoMo, otherwise known as National Blog Posting Month, in which the invitation or challenge is to post a blog every day, i decided to continue my answer to this prompt they so kindly prompted:

Do you have a mentor? Tell us about him or her. Are you a mentor to someone else? Tell us what that relationship has added to your life.

mentorI already looked at some aspects of being mentored over here. But what about mentoring? It sounds so official and what if I am not qualified enough?

Well, the way I see it, if you can shine a light on a step that someone else has not yet walked on, you have it in you to mentor.

I would suggest that it will generally be someone younger than you and usually someone of the same gender, but those are not fast rules.

And for me, possibly the greatest gift of mentoring someone is Time. Being intentional about building relationship with another person over time, giving them a space to speak and be really heard [a safe place where they can free to share anything without risk of judgement]. Being a cheerleader who is present for them whether times are good, bad or less than photoshopped.

I also imagine a lot of mentoring is done in secret. It is not so important that someone knows or understands that “they are being mentored” – what is important is that someone knows they are loved and important enough for you to spend time with them.


Jesus hung out with 12 men for three years. And so i guess another term for ‘mentoring’ could be ‘discipleship’ because ultimately that is what it is. And He didn’t work through the latest book or program with them. He ate meals with them and He demonstrated His mission on earth and for a while they got to observe Him and then at some point He gave them the opportunity to step out and try it themselves. So often Jesus stepped away from the crowds that would gather around Him, simply to teach His twelve. And within that there were even times where He would take Peter, James and John aside and give them special attention and opportunities.

Sometimes it can look like a cup of coffee every now and then, or perhaps, if you’re an outdoor person, an invitation to a hike or a regular run or game of squash. I personally believe it is likely to be more beneficial to meet on a more regular and set-timed basis [and I have always viewed this as a two way thing – as the older person I might have lots to share through experience or from having been taught certain things, but the other person will have the benefit often of seeing life or a passage through younger and fresher eyes and so may see things i have never thought of and so as i pour into them, i am always gaining something back, although that is never the point].

 So at the moment I have coffee or breakfast every Friday morning with two younger guys and we are working through the book of Ephesians a chapter at a time. When I was in Stellenbosch it was morning coffee or breakfast [spotting a trend? caffeine and food!] with a number of different guys over the six years i was there, sometimes one at a time but often two together. Back in East Claremont days, three of us used to meet once or twice a week in the earlyish morning for prayer [when we would all wake up].

We worked through a chapter of an inspiring book or the bible every week and then would come together and share something that had ‘jumped out at us’ or that we had found particularly meaningful, or brought a question about something we didn’t understand. There was also time to check in in terms of how the week had been, or current temptations we were struggling with or help with decisions that had to be made.

And at the end it really looks like friendship. 

The question i have for you is, who are you mentoring or discipling? And what does it look like? Would love to hear some stories in the comments…




coffeefastIn the Anderson household [Val is away in Atlanta this week] a variety of yellow post-its have suddenly appeared saying things like ‘No coffee’ and ‘Coffee fast’ as reminders to me of what i have committed myself to.

Who is up for a new challenge?

So by now if you’ve been following this blog you will know that tbV and i are leading a book study of Mark Scandrette’s book, ‘Free: Spending your Time and Money on what matters most’ and have been engaging in a variety of experiments which i have been inviting others to join in via this blog and the book of facings.

First up was the invitation to stop rushing and to be still and it was most excellent reading the feedback in the comments section of others who gave it a try with me [so thank you for that gift!]. Next up was the gratitude log, making a note of at least five things every day for ten days that you are thankful for [and the feedback post for that will be coming later this week].

This coming week the chapter we are looking at is titled, ‘Believe you have enough’ and the experiment we have been invited into looks like this:


‘We are challenged to believe that we live in a world of abundance and that our true happiness comes from receiving the lives we’ve been given. As with all of His teachings, Jesus’ instructions about money and wealth point to the heart and invite us into greater freedom. They are designed to help us see accurately that we live in a world where God provides all that we need.

Take a voluntary fast. To experience the freedom of enough requires us to take new risks of action and practice.

For thousands of years the discipline of fasting has helped earnest spiritual seekers to curb the desire for more and to distinguish between needs and wants. Jesus seemed to have assumed that His followers would fast [Matthew 6.16] A fast can also help to reveal our disordered attachments – those things we habitually go to that are not a true or lasting source of comfort. Many people find that abstaining from something they normally us as a coping mechanism brings them face to face with pain, worries or deeper wounds they have been avoiding. Dallas Willard suggests that fasting helps prepare us to do good, because it trains us to say no to bodily desires in favour of intentional choices of obedience.

What do your patterns of spending or consumption reveal about a potential disordered attachment? Is there something that you consume on a daily or regular basis that would be revealing for you to abstain from this week [snacks, coffee, alcohol, media, meat]? As an act of contentment commit to a seven-day fast from something you regularly enjoy… Remember, your fast is something between you and God. Jesus taught that fasting should be done discreetly, in a way that wouldn’t be obvious to others. [Matthew 6.16] 

You may also want to consider the potential benefits of a longer-term fast of some kind. Our friend Melanie has challenged herself to live on $1.50 a day for forty days, giving the money she saves on daily living expenses to an organisation that helps people get access to food or clean water. The next year she tried to live on $1 a day. Each year our friend Darin gives up something he enjoys and will miss as a reminder that his true happiness isn’t dependent on always having more or getting what he wants.  One year he might abstain from meat or caffeine; another year he might abstain from watching movies or buying books. Many people have found it helpful to fast from shopping or buying new clothes for a specified time. To make it more fun, people often make these commitments with a group of friends.’


So i am inviting you to join me in a week’s fasting of something you enjoy. I have chosen to abstain from coffee for the week. And I know there is the line about keeping fasting to yourself but I am going to invite you to share with us what you choose to fast from as a form of accountability. So don’t make it a status and let everyone else know, but if you choose to join us on this, then leave a comment telling us you’re in and letting us know what you will be choosing to abstain from for the next seven days [if you start this late just do seven days from when you begin]

As with the other challenges, i will do a follow up post later and you will also be invited to let us know how it went.

So is anyone with me and what is your thing?

[For the Final Part Summary and Conclusion and Invitation to you to get involved, click here]

the other day, for fun, i googled the phrase “fun silly pictures of strange weird” and came up with this strange assortment of pics… it felt like time for a revisit to the strange wonderfulness and weirdosity that exists in the google image page of that residence and so here are some more that are fun or silly or really quite strangeweird [it’s a word!]:

For those to whom the complexity of the attaching of the modern day bicycle helmet to the head feels a little overwhelming

Sometimes there are no words. But there is comfort. Or possibly fear.

So we start off with some helpful instruction and a weird kind of pink thing…

Imagine the size of the one your cat would have to wear.

Forget Spider-Pig, here is Baconcat… a cat with the body of a… um… bacon?

Then there are these two which are, well, um yes…

You know when you really got to go, but you walk into your friend’s bathroom and…

When I’m done with this cup I don’t think I’ll be asking for a number two.

And the last two are just… well… i don’t know which one is worse…

looking at life-transforming changes you can bring to yourself in 2012, here is another great idea:

if you sneak your car in front of me when i am in a long line of traffic heading towards the off-ramp, i can respond in two ways – swear loudly and flip you the finger while holding my hand down on the hooter [horn to the americanese!] or i can choose to smile and give you the spot and enjoy the extra few moments i get to listen to music in my car while i drive home…

if you greet me in the morning with a grumpy face and don’t even greet me, i can choose to respond in kind or else i can realise that you had a late night and aren’t feeling so good are still on the way towards the coffee pot and flash you a smile and greet you warmly and then go and make you some coffee…

and so on. as the saying goes, “Offence isn’t given, it’s taken.”

Uncle Google seems a little unsure as to who coined the phrase first, but it is a deep truth. If we look at the life of Jesus, we see that He was given many opportunities to show offence [He was doubted, beaten, betrayed, denied, mocked, spat on, crucified] and yet the only times we see Him taking offence are when people are exploiting the poor in the temple grounds and when the religious teachers are exploiting the masses. On so many other occasions Jesus responds with a gentle response or a calm action or simply walks away from the fight. Jesus demonstrates this thing is possible.

and it will revolutionise your life once you get it. i am still working on it for sure, but i am a lot better than i used to be. choosing not to be offended when the opportunity for offence presents itself sucks the wind out of a potential fight or protects a relationship from being wounded.

getting offended and responding in offence is a choice. sometimes people or circumstances help to make that choice the easier one to go to, but it is always a choice. you do not have the power to offend me – i alone have the power to become offended. but it would help if you didn’t help so much.

try this for a week – choose for the next seven days to not get offended no matter what life or people throw at you – and report back here when you’re done and let me know how it goes… your life will be changed forever.

on Christmas day, tbV and i went to visit a church called Epic that our friends Cody and Lyndsey go to and really had a great time – they meet in a cinema and we were greeted with good coffee and donuts, so pretty much everything i look for in a church [harr!] and then we found the one thing we had been missing in a bunch of churches we have visited since being in Philly which was a great message…

using clips from Elf [which we watched later that nite with some kids from the block cos we were so inspired, what a fun movie] and Charlie Brown Christmas [Linus the evangelist, who knew] Kent preached a simple yet powerful message on the need for us to learn from and be inspired by and emulate a lot of what kids, and specifically his kids, live.

from Psalm 118.24 “this is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it” he spoke about the unbridled passion and abandon that kids often have about life and used the example of a child opening a present [the real way] by just ripping it apart and trying to get to the gift [whereas the adult is being all mature and old and worrying about saving the paper and the ribbon and so on]

then in the Message, Matthew 6.34 reads “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”

the focus is on ‘what God is doing right now’ – often we have ideas of how and where God works and often He throws that on its head by working in different places and differently to how we might expect and part of our job is to take time to be still and observe and listen and watch to see where God is at work right now and where He is wanting us to get involved – it may not look like what we would expect, but by doing what we expect He would say, we may well be missing what He is actually calling us to – are we really being led by God. i would never have imagined that tbV and i would be living and working in the Simple Way, even after being so inspired by the book years ago, but we took time to wait on God and hear and none of us have a doubt now that this is where we are meant to be living and ministering…

lastly he mentioned the story in Acts 16. 22-26 which starts with Paul [and Silas] being stripped and beaten with rods and goes directly to him praying and singing hymns to God – how do we respond to adversity? one of the things children love to do is sing – with reckless abandon, any time any place. why don’t we sing any more?

and why do we sing songs to God in church? is it because He has forgotten how good He is? No! It is because we need to be reminded regularly how awesomely good our God is.

Grow up and become like a child. Your life [and living as opposed to existing] might depend on it.

%d bloggers like this: