East Coast Barista

Monday, September 13, 2004

God, Coffee, Guitar, Life

Good Morning!
Life is full of changes and challenges. Exciting ones.
God: I have always had a portion of my life that I have not allowed God to fully take a hold of. More recently though I have been challenged by friends, by life and the decisions that I have been contemplating (some life altering, some not so much so) but all in all It has led me closer to God. So close that those areas of my life that are not submitted to Him become blindingly obvious. I have passed a cross roads in my walk with the Lord. In the word, as Christians, we are instructed to "delight ourselves in the Lord" but I have been waiting till the feelings come to do this....I am now putting myself in His presence daily and emerging myself in the word and prayer, MAKING my delight be the Lord. So radical right?....Wrong. It's normal. The normal Christian life. I am simply overcoming my own stiff necked past with the help of the Holy Spirit. His mercies are new every morning. I was at a worship service this past weekend in Ithaca called Praise Alive...Before going , while I pondered everything that was on my mind, I simply asked the Lord.-What should I do?- As we worshiped I felt the answer come to me-"Seek me Chris, Please seek me"- Then I read in the scriptures "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Phil. 4:6-7 Then the Lord confirmed this through two words given that God, that night was saying, that He wants people to pursue Him, as He does us. So there you go. This then is my Modus operandi---- Seek the Lord and His face first and He will give me wisdom and boldness to deal with circumstances and make decisions that affect my future, and all that He has planned or it.
Coffee: I've been The Bar Trainer here at gimme! Coffee for a few months now and I am really starting to get a solid routine down that produces good, if not great results. This largely depends on the time allotted for training and the individuals mental dispositions. Some learn fast, some don't. But my job of training is on going. Teaching the new Baristi to be passionate and vigilant behind the bar. To foster an attitude of respect for the art of espresso. It is an ever evolving industry and art form and I am blessed to be a part of it.
I've had some success in the industry with Latte art. Winning the D.C. latte art competition and now going to Portland to help make a Late art video and then on to compete again in Seattle. (All in October) This is an all expense paid trip, and then some. Come 2005 I will be flown out to Chicago and Seattle to do more latte art along with other past winners of Latte Art comps. We will also be teaching latte art at the event. cool eh? Plus they are paying us.
Right now I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of my latte cups from espresso some neat new art tricks to practice!
Also, gearing up for the United States Barista Championship(USBC) in April 2005. 15 min to present 4 espresso, 4 cappucino, and for signature drinks....all the while being judged on every variable imaginable.....taste, form, presentation etc. It is going to be challenge...but I am confident....I have alot of practicing to do.
Gods glory is inseparable from our abilities, both what we have now and what He allows us to gain is a gift from Him. Just Like....Exodus 31:3-5 "And I have filled Him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze,in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in ALL manner of workmanship."....I believe espresso too!
Guitar: Not much here...I've been really in to Joe Bonamassa and Stevie Ry Vaughn lately and have been participating in the open mic blues night here called blue Monday at a bar called The Nines. It's fun now...where before when I first started I was very nervous and would play pretty bad as I was all knotted up etc. But I'm over it.
Life: Life is Beautiful!

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Some mild rambling on life

I am very excited...Fall...the best season of them finally hear!
I know most people like the summer but I am a sucker for foliage on Up-State NY hills, The mild temperatures,the easy attitude folks have, seasonal foods etc. It's just great! It has some nice spiritual conotations to it as well. All of our lives have seasons and many times our dreams that have been realized or the hope of dreams yet to be realized...have to die...only to be reborn at a later time. But never exactly the same as before. We get busy with all of lifes details and the stress builds and builds. We experience the Joy of seeing plans or desires come to fruition and we don't mind investing the energy it takes to keep the ball rolling. But everything has a maximum point of growth.
The maple leaf...depending on the circumstances it is placed it, can only grow so large. After that...the tree cuts of chrorophyll (the plants life blood, and the stuff that makes leaf green)by growing a thin layer between the leaves stem and the branch...not only that ...this layer weakens the leaves hold to the branch allowing it to fall easily in the wind. The colors we see in the foliage are the leaves true colors...they were there all along. Strange that the more impressive colors, the leaves true colors, are only visable at the end of it's life cycle...yet they were there all the time....Man looks at the outward apperance, but God looks at the heart. He sees our tue colors even though we might not be able to becuase of the clutter of life.
We all have seasons in our life and I believe that the fall season in life is meant to simplify, to bring to a close some areas weve been burdend with maintaining, to(sorry for the cliche) let go and let God. It's at this time...when we(as Christians) let go...and allow the Spirit to strip away the layers of calouses, un-necessary responsabilities and worries, and we Relax in Him. Have confidence in Him.
He knows our growth potential in the circumstances where He has placed us. And he will give you signs that He is bringing certain things to a close. As he does all the colors you have gained over that time will become evident...a testament to God's beauty developed within you through those circumstances. Take heart this fall season...Because He who has begun a good work IN you...will be faithful to complete it.
God Bless