Coffee with John

Let’s face it, we’re all caffeinated Christians. Well, maybe you aren’t, but everyone else with a cup of coffee nearby is. I even woke up with an acid stomach this morning, and still, the first thing in my mouth was a sip of Starbucks French Roast. That’s because I’m a creature of habit and I needed my routine to feel better about feeling bad. And I do feel better. There’s some security in these little morning. rituals. I can’t even tell how I am without a half a cup of coffee in me. And don’t preach at me. For every ten articles about how bad coffee is for you, there’s one that points out actual benefits. I have all those articles in a drawer somewhere.

I’m sure you’ve heard that you can feed the world and fund fifteen worthwhile projects for the cost of two lattes a week, but don’t worry, you will never hear anything like that from me. For me the price of a latte is well beyond what I pay for it in the store. I’m paying for the experience, the warmth, the barista who calls me by name, the casual chat with a stranger, the opportunity to have a reason to sit and reflect. All for the price of a latte? Heck, it’s the best deal in town. I would never ask anyone to give that up for anything.
But I’ll tell you what I will do: I will tell you to go spend whatever it costs for that latte or whatever drink you like, get yourself comfortable at a table or one of those soft chairs if they have one free, get out your phone and figure out how much you can give to the Catch on this the last day of our end-of-the-year-beginning-of-the-next campaign. I know; I can hear you moaning from here. Think of it like those campaigns on public radio or television that everyone has to put up with for a week or so. Hey, it’s got to be done so we can suck it up for a while.
That’s why we try and make it entertaining. You’ve got to admit I make a pretty darn good Captain Hook (see the video on our contribution page). Anyway, we have just a little over $2,000 to go so we’re almost done. I think we can do that today if you can help. Join our growing list of amazing people who are behind us.
Well, I’m on my second cup now and I hope you’ve enjoyed this little chat. I have. And if you feel like you got cheated out of something spiritual, I will point out to you that there isn’t anything more spiritual than normal life and connecting with others over something we care about. Nor is there anything more spiritual than investing in the dissemination of the only message that will set men and women free for eternity by the only means that can reach everyone, everywhere. We may have a long way to go, but we can make it, and if not in my lifetime, then in the lifetime of those who come after us and carry this vision on into the new frontier.
So get out your credit card and click on the clock and let’s get this done. And, by the way, you have a couple options. You can give a one time gift to reduce that $2,000 we need for the ongoing work of Catch Ministry, or you can check the box for “Make this a monthly donation,” and become a MemberPartner with a sustainable gift that keeps on giving, plus you will be getting us closer to a $500 MemberPartner match put up by one of our Accountability Commission members who will come on at $500 a month if we can show a matching $500 in new subscriptions and/or upgrades for current MemberPartners willing to increase their monthly commitment. Phew. That’s a ing sentence, but I think you got it.
And don’t forget, all those who give to this campaign will receive a free download of my landmark 1969 album, The Cold Cathedral, newly remastered by Dan Collins. These are the first songs of the Jesus movement – songs that actually played a significant role in starting it. You will be receiving advance access because it is not going to be available to the general public for a while.
So that’s it for now. Can’t wait to see what you come up with. Look for another coffee break in an hour or so. Who knows? I might just spend the whole day chatting with you from Starbucks.
Click on the Clock
Join these investors who understand the work of the Catch Ministry
Peter, Edmonton, Alberta
John, Tonawanda, New York
Theodore Phillips, Tustin, California
Mark, East Hampton, New York
Margaret, Cordova, Tennessee
Gary, Rathdrum, Idaho*

Daryl, Cherhill, Alberta, Canada* 

Lisa, Sunland, California*

Cynthia, Harlingen, Texas*

Robert, Nashville, Tennessee

Sharon, Visalia, California
Jaymi, Nebraska City, Nebraska
Hilbert, Muskego, Wisconsin
Doyle, Berea, Kentucky
Jennifer, Wesley Chapel, Florida
Tim, Seattle, Washington
Amanda, Visalia, California
Shelley, Clarksville, Texas
Steve, Benicia, California
Lisa, Sunland, California*
Ray, Spokane, Washington*
Dick, East Amhurst, New York*
Jack, Templeton, California
Tim, Hillsboro, Oregon
Kristin, Chesterfield, Missouri
Margaret, Midland, Texas
Andrew, North Richland Hills, Texas
Gary, Rathdrum, Idaho
Merlyn, Goodyear, Arizona
Allen, Exton, Pennsylvania
Mark, Raleigh, North Carolina
Mayre, Santa Cruz, California
Priscilla, Spencerport, New York
Sandy, Englewood, Colorado
John, Coralville, Iowa
Arthur, Arlington, Virginia
Robert, Miami, Florida
Keith, Portland, Oregon
Markus, Koln, Germany
Frank, Las Vegas, Nevada
Ralph, La Habra Heights, California
Sara, Boerne, Texas
Victor, New Castle, Pennsylvania
George, Barefoot Bay, Florida
Chan, Hong Kong
Shari, Laguna Beach, California
Laura, Phoenix, Arizona
Mark, Garden City, Michigan
Merlyn, Goodyear, Arizona
Mike, Sacramento, California
Hal, Lititz, Pennsylvania
Noel, Blue Hill, Maine
Neil, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
David, Lakeville, Minnesota
Laura, Lubbock, Texas
David, Kati Kati, New Zealand
Darin, Cozad, Nebraska
Linda, Rugby Warwickshire, U.K.
Kent, Bryan, Ohio
Christopher, Edwardsville, Illinois
David, Liberty Lake, Washington
Roger, Whittier, California
Laura, Phoenix, Arizona
Paul, Wayne, Pennsylvania
Paula, Decatur, Alabama
Linda, Bainbridge Island, Washington
William, Huntsville, Alabama
John, Cupertino, California
John, Chicago, Illinois
Tom, Washington, D.C.
Patrick, Dundee, Michigan
Lisa, Sunland, California
Joe, Sugar Land, Texas
Cynthia, Harlingen, Texas
Garry, Ozark, Arkansas
Pat & Dave, Normandy Park, Washington
Christina, Columbia, Maryland
Michael, Tucson, Arizona
Dick, East Amhurst, New York
Mike, Cambria, California
* Multiple gifts
Tick Tock … Click on any Clock!
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4 Responses to Coffee with John

  1. I must cautiously rebuke you for encouraging your followers to put themselves into deeper financial debt in order to deliver you from your own financial struggles.

    You should NOT be encouraging anyone – especially millennials! – to use their credit cards unless they have the good sense and self-discipline to pay them completely off to a zero-balance each billing cycle.

    We are all called upon to be good stewards of the resources and monies God gives us and we are all asked to obediently give according to our abilities and abundance in whatever way He Himself leads.

    But, to ask people to dig their debt hole even larger – no matter how noble the cause – seems irresponsible, self-serving, uncaring, and even manipulative of those with big hearts and small savings.
    We are to forgive our debtors but we are warned not to be indebted to anyone, especially those who (legally and illegally) engage in the practice of usury, i.e.: credit card companies.

    So do not confuse a line of credit with free gifting or lending. If one has to borrow in order to give then one is being a poor steward of that which God has already given them.
    As we enter a new year it’s a good time to evaluate our spending and giving practices .


    • I think the point is not to go into debt but to use the credit or debit card as a convenient method of making a contribution. I don’t think anyone suggested borrowing money just using the credit (or debit) card as a tool for making a contribution.

      • But how many people who are already in debt quickly reach specifically for a credit card for the sake of convenience – even when they know they don’t have the actual money to cover their purchases or donations? (And then pay only the minimum amount required each month rather than pay off their debt in full?) Isn’t that how the majority of us got ourselves into debt in the first place? Is this part of the reason why the Catch is struggling financially?
        In the realm of contributable giving we may mistakenly assume that credit + convenience = charity with blessings.
        And when a leader – spiritual or otherwise – authorizes such a practice as using credit cards, it then justifies the action in our hearts even though our heads and wallets know better.

        Need, greed, or desire mingled with impatience and an opportunity for instant gratification are the devilish bait on a gleaming fishing hook waiting to snag us to our financial doom.
        That’s exactly how marketers, spin-doctors, spammers and televangelists work:
        knowing and exploiting the dreams and weaknesses of their target audiences in order to lure them toward purchasing their commercial products, political agendas, other nonsense, or “holy” causes.

        Now, I have no Issues with debit cards since the money is usually already there in your bank account. Even money orders, personal checks, and Western Union are superior options to using credit cards. Even cash, if it can be sent securely.
        But even then wisdom, restraint, and conviction by way of the Holy Counselor should always be preeminent.

        When it comes to money matters, everyone should revisit the books of Proverbs and also re-learn from the tragic stories of King Saul, Ananias and Sapphira, and other biblical examples of how not to squander that which God has given us.

        Be loving, wise, giving, and forgiving – be awake and aware.

        “Listen to advice and accept discipline,
        and at the end you will be counted among the wise.” — Proverbs 19:20


      • An addendum:
        If one has an abundant overflow of blessings then one should joyfully share those blessings.
        However, contributing to the cause of Christ shouldn’t necessarily be a “convenience” but rather a willingness to sacrifice; to give what you have and treasure; to give your all if necessary; to risk pain or discomfort now for the fuller secure future – not to “borrow” against an empty and vague uncertain future.
        I’m thinking of Abraham and Isaac.
        I’m thinking of David’s men risking their lives for a cup of water.
        I’m thinking of David’s quote in 2 Samuel; ” I don’t want to offer to the Lord my God burnt offerings that have cost me nothing.”
        I’m thinking of the widow and her two mites.
        I’m thinking of Barnabas who sold his field.
        I’m thinking of Jesus, our ultimate Sacrifice.

        A ministry that professes a faith in God that requests its followers to flirt with creditors and financial misery is not much of a faith-based ministry.

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