Third Places are sometimes more churchy than church

It slips my mind, sometimes, that someone reading my posts may not know where they are written. With very few exceptions, most of my writing is done in Starbucks. If I didn't write the actual post there, I at least scribbled notes to remind me later of the direction I'm going to take. I don't know all the reasons why Starbucks is my choice, but one of them is because it simply isn't HOME. I can come here and focus,…

Coffee Shop Review: Java Jax, Live Oak, FL

Last month David and I stopped into a little coffee shop in the tiny town of Live Oak, Florida. We were passing through on our way to Mom's new retirement village, Dowling Park. The Java Jax logo was gleaming in the parking lot of the local Publix (where we had stopped to get our cream for our Starbucks Via instant coffee packets). Who could resist? Java Jax is a hip envionment, decorated well with lots of good spots to sit…

What makes community?

Going back to the roots of Coffee Shop Journal for a few minutes, I've been thinking today about what it really takes to feel like you are in a community. We've all known people on the fringes of a real community who just never seem to fully enter into the common life. There are also times in my own life when I feel as if I am "in" a community, but not really feeling as if I belong. And yet…

Are you a regular?

It's all about people. I think that might be my mission statement in life. I am passionate about connecting with people, whether in the community, the church, or online! One person I have connected with -- and adore -- is Jenni Catron. As brand new bloggers last year, we managed to find each other as we both began talking about an upcoming conference we were both going to attend. Then, at Q (some of the most transformational days I've ever…

Waffle House Update

Please go watch this video! And no...Buddy is not the pastor in this story! Waffle House Wedding

Waffle House is a cultural third place — really!

Can you tell we are traveling through the deep south? You know you're in the south when you can write a post like this one, in which you honestly argue that Waffle House is a valid third place for a community, a place where diverse people come to connect with each other in a familiar and comfortable environment. Nevertheless, that's what I'm going to say today! Our first exposure to Waffle House came from our friends, Buddy and Jody Hoffman.…

Stumptown Coffee, Portland Oregon

Continuing with my series of cafe wanderings, I dragged my family into Stumptown Coffee, a Portland Oregon based roaster and brewer. They have five locations in this area, and I was excited to find one and try it! So here are my impressions. I was in their Belmont location, a newer venue in the downtown area. They have four other locations, each with its own personality. The decor was industrial in nature. There were tables and a long banquette-type seating…

Gold Cafe, Lancaster, PA

I read about this unique coffee shop in the book "Authenticity" by James H. Gilmore and B. Joseph Pine II. In trying to create a new blend (pun intended) of services, Union National Community Bank decided to open a full service coffee shop, which can also provide banking services. It is called Gold Cafe. The book claims that the customer perceives this blend as an authentic offering because it is unique. I would love to see this in action. Would…

Reconnecting with life at the mall

  For something a little bit different, I picked up a book called The Culture Code by Clotaire Rapaille. The author is a social researcher who is on retainer by half of the Fortune 100 companies. His specialty is performing "discovery sessions" to determine what Americans (or other cultures as opposed to Americans) truly feel about any given subject. He uses three hour sessions during which he brushes away the debris of what we say we believe and uncovers what…

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