thinking out loud

…things that are on my mind, heart, and soul

Hanging at the "A"

I am spending the day hanging out at the “A.” For those of you unfamiliar with the “A,” please allow me to introduce you. The “A” is actually Affogata Coffee Bar, located in Bellevue, PA just outside Pittsburgh. It is a funky, eclectic old/school/new school coffee house. The “A” has a real coffee bar that seats about dozen people and features an array of tables and chairs that look like they were collected from the curbside. While the coffee served up is great, my favorite treat is the daily special muffin, buttered and grilled (if I lived any closer to the “A,” I would weigh about 300 pounds). Today it was blueberry – amazing! As an extra bonus, parking is only a quarter for 60 minutes – the parking authority in Mt Lebanon should learn a lesson from Bellevue.

Here’s the deal: I spent quite a bit of time working in coffee shops like Aldo, Uptown Coffee, and Mojo. I love these places and am thankful we have some great coffee spots right in my own backyard. But the operative word here is work; the majority of my time spent in these places is doing stuff. My relationship with the “A” is different. Once a month or so, I escape to the “A” simply to be. To be refreshed and renewed – to be opened to God’s presence and activity in my life in a fresh way. To clear my head and to dream. To be still and to know.

Recently, I came across a formula coined by Mark Batterson of National Community Church. He says:

change of place + change of pace = change in perspective

The change of place and pace today has been energizing. My perspective perhaps hasn’t so much been changed but enhanced, shifted, expanded, and enlivened (and it’s only 1:30 PM – who knows what else might happened). Today I read a chapter from Margaret Feinberg’s book, Organic God, reflected deeply upon John 10:1-6, viewed a talk by Chris Seay on consumerism, had my heart touched by a song from Eddi Reader and another one from Brooke Fraser. My soul has been enlarged and I have been renewed.

It’s been a great Monday at the “A.” You should stop by someday. Perhaps God will meet you here as well. Tell Vicki I sent you.

Stay connected…


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have the peace that passes understanding at the heart of yourself, but do not be at peace with the world. for the world is more malleable than we think and we must wrestle it from fools. (bono)
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