Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Starbucks, Muslims, and Coming Home

Most of you are aware that I've been in Seattle since Monday for a conference to learn more about multiple-site churches. Outside of the valuable information and tools learned as a result of the conference, there are a couple of other things I learned I believe are worth mentioning.

#1 Starbucks (my second home) was founded in Seattle -- but did you know yours truly actually taught a couple of Starbucks workers about the "Red Eye"? The "Red Eye" is a cup of coffee with a shot of espresso. There is also the "Black Eye" - two shots, and the the "Jet Eye" - three shots of espresso in the coffee (only get one of these if you plan on staying up for 48 hours straight). These are not very known in the public and not found on the menu, but the true "Starbuckers" know about these. Apparently, a few of Starbucks very own, in Seattle, did not - and I taught them.

#2 Would you believe me if I told you that their are Muslims who know more about Christianity than Christians? They do...at least the taxi driver who drove us to our hotel yesterday evening did. He was a Muslim man from Egypt - extremely nice and conversational. He asked about why we had been at the church and then asked if we were Christians. We told him yes and then he asked us a couple of questions (I was thinking uh-oh!). Each of his questions were asked to see if we knew the answers, not because he was seeking answers to things he had been pondering.
His first question was: where was Jesus raised as a toddler? The answer is Egypt, which is why we found out he was from there. This led to some dialogue with him about his home town and history of Egypt. He then asked, why was Jesus in Egypt for? The answer I told him was because of the news the prophets in Judea were sharing, that a King of the Jews had been born. This prompted the leading officials to start killing off thousands of babies in an effort to kill the supposed newly born king. Joseph and Mary then fled to Egypt with Jesus for refuge - this is all from Matthew 2. The Muslim man then asked his third and final question: was it the Romans who were responsible for trying to kill Jesus? The answer is no, it was Herod, the Jewish ruling king, under the authority of the Roman Empire who wanted the babies killed. Another supposed Jewish king was a threat to his kingship and power - another reference to Matthew 2. The Egyptian Muslim man expressed how impressed he was at my knowledge of the Scriptures and history, because he said, "most Christians don't know very much about their Christianity" -- ouch! Unfortunately, I couldn't disagree with him. I enjoyed my conversation with this man and pray a Muslim loving Christian somewhere in Seattle will invest in a relationship with this guy and be used by God to bring this man into relationship with Jesus, not just a knowledge of him.

I'm leaving for the airport right now - it is 4:30am Seattle time, 6:30am Nashville time and I'll be arriving back home this afternoon. Be praying for me and Kim, that our flight would be smooth, and we return home safely. I can't wait to see Katrina and Kaleb.

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