Friday Stream of Consciousness – 132

stream of consciousness

Here’s what’s on my mind this morning:

  • This roughly the 200th installment of this column–which used to be called, Mind Jambalaya waaaay back in the day. For those new to the blog…this is literally a stream of consciousness…featuring few edits and a steady stream of thought. Read it as such 🙂
  • I’m reading Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, by Greg McKeown. A key thought: “Remember that if you don’t prioritize your life someone else will.”
  • Another: “You cannot overestimate the unimportance of practically everything.”
  • If you’re looking for an obscure book that will make a real impact on you, I recommend The Wisdom of Pelicans, by Donald McCullough.
  • There’s a really interesting article in the Wall Street Journal, entitled, ” Why Children Need Chores.” It’s a terrific article, but I smirked at the title a bit–which exhibits the very child-centeredness the article says chores help combat. Since an editor probably made that call, I’ll give the author a pass.
  • The number one indicator of whether a person gives regularly to their church is their attendance.
  • There was a 70ish-year-old man doing naked lunges in the locker room in the gym this week. Come on, man! If I’d had a tazer handy…
  • McFarland, USA is a GREAT movie to take your kids to and to discuss race and poverty issues in a non-charged way.
  • And then there’s the Starbuck baristas being encouraged to strike up conversations on race with their customers.
  • The problem with planned discussions about race in an environment like Starbucks is people won’t get far because authentic conversation is usually built on trust and relationship. If the baristas write something on a cup–that’s even worse.
  • Then, there’s the perceived hypocrisy of Starbucks–selling five dollar coffee while wanting to discuss race and poverty.
  • There are no Starbucks in Selma or Ferguson.
  • And Starbucks executive Corey DuBrowa deleted his Twitter account after receiving harsh tweets in response to the campaign. If the point is to talk about delicate subjects openly…well, when you delete your own Twitter account because you don’t want to hear harsh criticism…well…
  • Then, I feel bad for the Starbucks employees. Awkward. 40% of Baristas are minorities.
  • But nearly all of Starbucks upper management is white. Click here for a Twitter exchange  featured in a Washington Post article highlighting sentiment around this fact.
  • None of this means the campaign is wrong. It just undercuts credibility.
  • However…we also can’t get on companies for only being about profit and then getting angry when they try to do something helpful for society–even if we think it misguided.
  • All of this brings up the subject of propriety when bringing up certain things. I don’t like watching love scenes in movies around my mother. Neither do you. That doesn’t make us people who can’t talk about love or sex. It’s a context issue. Some things are worthy conversations–but the context is wrong. Some are bad conversations in any context. Race isn’t one of them. That’s a conversation we need to have…in the right ways.
  • So, how much should the church venture down the road of “politics,” assuming we can distinguish “politics” from living righteously as a disciple of Jesus? It seems to me there is a difference…but a difference that isn’t easily distinguished.
  • Perhaps the best way to tell is to ask if Jesus informs your politics or your politics is a primary informer your view of Jesus. This too is difficult to distinguish.
  • Some would say no one is free of bias. Perhaps–but some are more free than others–no? And, all bias is not created equal–no?
  • Well, I’ll just have to ask my local barista.
  • OK, that was sarcastic.
  • So is this: I can’t wait for the next Star Wars movie.
  • Go see McFarland, USA if you want to see a movie that talks about race and poverty in a way that isn’t awkward or unduly preachy, offers a hopeful portrait of positive race relations…and is pretty fair to everyone involved. It may have a little rose-tint to the glasses. But, with the constant negative press we’re given every day on the subject of race relations–why not indulge in some hope? It’s a terrific movie.
  • In the Myth of the Shiksa, Edwin Friedman offers a portrait of Satan as the first family counselor in the Garden of Eden. Satan says, “Why did I give advice to Eve instead of going directly to Adam? I knew I would never be able to stop the Creator’s overall plan, but I thought I might really be able to frustrate it if I could screw up some relationships.” And a fine job he’s done…but we remain convicted that the one who is in us is greater than the one in the world.
  • I picked Duke to win it all.
  • We are just a couple of weeks away from Opening Day of the baseball season–the most wonderful time of the year.
  • OK, off to Starbucks.

Dr. Tim Spivey is Pastor of New Vintage Church in Escondido, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on numerous websites, including:, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.