Category Archives: Uncategorized

Crawling Through the Charleston, S.C. Coffee Scene

Let me begin by saying that the Charleston, S.C. coffee scene is ALIVE and WELL!
Keep reading to discover why!

Vacation

I can’t tell you about the coffee in Charleston without first telling you about what got all this started. Last week we went to Charleston to see our oldest daughter and son-in-law (Alicia and Josh), and, of course, our first grand-baby, Emma Louise.

Emma Lou and Me (I don’t know why she looked worried)

We had a wonderful time staying with Alicia and Josh and Emma, but what made it great was that Emma puked on everyone else but me! YAY me!

We were there from Sunday night till Saturday afternoon, and I had plenty of time to read, study, and eat shrimp and grits. But during our visit I thought it would be great to spend some quality time with my youngest, Haley, who is also a coffee lover. Therefore, I came up with the idea to visit at least 10 (we ended up with around 14, I think) of the “best” coffee shops in the Charleston area.

Backstory… A few years ago a day came when I had to visit four (4) funerals in one day. Being the dutiful PK (preacher’s kid), Haley went along with me. So, in order to put the “fun” in funeral (sorry), we came up with a contest – which funeral home had the best coffee? So, now you know why this idea for a Coffee Crawl through Charleston didn’t seem that crazy.

The Plan

The plan was simple: Go visit at least 10 (ended up with 14) coffee shops in the Charleston area, primarily in the downtown area where they’d be closer together. One reason for keeping it close to the downtown area was the time involved: I wanted to do this quickly, hopefully in one day. The other reason was that I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on gas!

Since I only knew of one coffee shop in the area, the one where my son-in-law buys all his coffee, I did a quick Google search. From that I was able to pull a list of the most recommended establishments and their locations, and from that I developed an agenda.

Unfortunately, the best-laid plans are always subject to unplanned events. So, when 4 inches of rain fell in a few hours and the alternator on my car died (which Josh and I had to replace), the Charleston Coffee Crawl got spread out to a total, including the final visit to buy a bag of beans, of four days! In the video I made I only mention two days, but I wasn’t trying to mislead.

Below you will find a list (in order of our visit, not ranking) of every coffee shop, cafe, and roaster we visited, along with what we thought about each one. There will also be links to their websites and such in the reviews so that you can find out more about them and hopefully pay them a visit 🙂

1. The Orange Spot

From Haley’s Instagram 🙂

1101 East Montague Avenue, North Charleston, South Carolina 29405

The Orange Spot was the first place we visited. If I had gotten the hang of things a little earlier, I would have done some video there, but I didn’t. Nevertheless, Haley and I really liked the little place. The atmosphere was inviting and casual (as most places are), and evidently a great place to hang out – we couldn’t even find a seat!

Jenny was the lady we spoke with, and she was the first to hear our idea for the coffee crawl. We asked for a sample of their regular coffee – the already-brewed kind – and she was happy to oblige. When we tasted it, I thought it had a hint of citrus and a slight acidity; Haley thought it was bitter. I did think it had a smooth finish, however. Jenny said that she likes it a little “zippy.”

The Orange Spot wasn’t exactly in downtown Charleston, but we decided to drive through North Charleston on the way from where we were staying with family.

Overall: Good coffee. If I lived in North Charleston, I’d definitely go back.

2. Mercantile and Mash – Gourmet Foods Emporium

701 East Bay Street, Charleston, SC 29403

Mercantile and Mash is located in a “recently renovated cigar factory,” and it was our next stop on the crawl. We were nearly blown away by the merchandise of this mercantile, so it took a little longer than we planned as we strolled around. Unlike any of the other coffee shops, this place actually had a meat shop! I mean, they sold gourmet cuts of meats, not your average hamburger.

Not a dedicated coffee shop, Mercantile and Mash is also known for its adult beverages, specifically the kind with a little more kick than caffeine. However, even though coffee wasn’t the big seller, the folks behind the counter were happy to talk and offer advice.

They were the first to offer us samples of coffee in actual espresso cups, and that set a new standard for the rest of the crawl. And as for the coffee, I thought their basic black coffee was excellent. Haley said, “This is some of the best black coffee I’ve ever had!” It was light, low in acidity, but rich in flavor.

Overall: Great place. Great atmosphere. Lots and lots of seating with room for computers or books. LOTS of stuff besides coffee. Dustin served us, and he was originally from Tennessee 🙂

3. The Daily

Coffee samples at The Daily

652-B King Street, Charleston, SC 29403

The Daily was a hoppin place! I’m talking busy! After getting our samples, along with a wonderfully-moist and tasty lemon cake-like-thing, I proclaimed that the basic coffee they gave us was the best-tasting coffee so far – and it ended up being my favorite of the whole trip. They offered a blend roasted by Springbok Coffee Roasters (affiliated with Kudu Coffee) called “Butcher and Bean.”

Interesting note: Come to find out, several of the coffee shops that didn’t roast their own coffee used Springbok Coffee Roasters beans or specialized blends (like the “Restoration Blend” made for the hotel in which The Rise coffee shop is located).

Overall: Wonderful place. Fast-paced initial atmosphere, but plenty of room to sit, chill, and sip a fantastic cup of coffee.

4. Babas On Cannon

11 Cannon Street, Charleston, SC 29403

The rain really put a damper on our tour of Charleston, and as you can see in the video I’ve attached, many roads were actually closed! However, as we were driving out after leaving The Daily, a random turn led us right by Babas on Cannon. Here we thought we were done for the day, but the next thing we knew we were in unique coffee heaven.

Go to their website (linked above) and you will find that Babas is not your average coffee shop. As a matter of fact, the barista who helped us that day (I never got his name, but his photo is in the video) was the most hospitable, proud-of-what-they-offered kind of guy we met! Not only did he gleefully agree to give us samples of their regular coffee, he practically pleaded with us to let him make for us two other drinks to try! One was a tall, cold, shaken coffee that was as smooth as water; the other was a shaken, cold, foamy espresso that left Haley and I speechless – except for “wow.”

Overall: Totally unique. Great coffee and service. Very hospitable. Quaint.

5. The Rise Coffee Bar

75 Wentworth St, Charleston, South Carolina 29401

The Rise was the only coffee shop that we visited that was attached to a hotel. By comparison, the Rise was small. It really didn’t offer too much by way of coffee options, options for food, or even merchandise to take home to the waiting family. No, The Rise was simply a place to get a good cup of coffee made with beans specially roasted by the Springbok folk.

As strange as it may sound, two things made our stop at The Rise memorable: the marble counter and the reading room. Well, I don’t know if the counter where we sat was actual marble, but it was certainly nice! But it was the suggestion from the barista to walk through a door into the library and reading lounge of The Restoration (a hotel) that made all the difference.

I’ll be honest, it was really funny when I stepped out of the men’s room at The Restoration and was met with “What did your bathroom look like? Was it nice?” Haley was totally impressed with the ladies’ restroom, so much so that she had to show it to me…and it was fancier than the men’s – just saying.

Overall: The Rise is a good place to pick up a cup of coffee as you’re passing through to see the sights, read a book in the library, or before you visit the swanky restrooms. Oh, and sitting at the white marble bar asking strangers what they think about it is fun, too 🙂

6. Second State Coffee

70.5 Beaufain St. Charleston SC 29401

Second State Coffee was the first one of the coffee shops that we visited while walking around downtown Charleston. And let me just say that doing the walking tour of coffee bars is totally worth it. I mean, it’s not just the coffee that makes the walking worth it; it’s the sights you see along the way, especially the ones you miss while driving, that add to the experience.

My first impressions of Second State were that it was very friendly, cute, bright, and lively. Those might not be words you’d choose, but surely charming and inviting might be. I just loved the look of the old place from the outside, then fell more in love as soon as I opened the door.

Second State serves their own roasted coffee blends, and the day we visited they served us an Ethiopian blend that had a “sour” tang to it, was a little acidic, but needed no creamer, that’s for sure. Ethiopian blends are not my personal favorite, but this one was nice. Haley said it “wasn’t her favorite.”

Overall: This is the kind of place where college students and professors alike come to sit, compute on their MacBooks, and enjoy a good cup of coffee prepared by people who care about what they do. I’d go back in a heartbeat.

7. City Lights Coffee

141 Market St, Charleston, South Carolina 29401

When I think of a “bar,” coffee is not the first thing that comes to mind. What comes to mind is either a smoky dive where unhappy people consume beverages meant to numb their pain, or the stereotypical “Cheers” place where everybody knows your name. City Lights Coffee had an atmosphere a lot like the latter.

I’m not  joking when I say this, but “character” was the first word that came to mind when I walked into City Lights Coffee. And I’m not exaggerating when I say that the girl who served us seemed more like a sympathetic bartender than someone who works at a coffee bar. The next time you lose your job, or should your wife leave you for a millionaire, instead of getting drunk at some dive, pay a visit to City Lights – the coffee will do you good 🙂

Overall: I really liked this little place. Keep in mind, it’s not a place you drive to, park, and then go inside. There is literally NO parking; you have to walk to it. They served an Ethiopian roast that Haley actually liked.

8. Bitty & Beau’s Coffee

159 Church Street, Charleston, SC 28403

I’m going to be totally honest with you on this one – you really need to visit Bitty & Beau’s, whether you like coffee, or not.

Bitty & Beau’s is not famous for its coffee, but for those who are employed to serve it to you. This company has three locations, but we, of course, went to the one in Charleston. However, at all three locations Bitty & Beau’s hires people who are intellectually challenged or were born with Down Syndrome. This, alone, will make your day. The coffee is just icing on the cake!

Overall: Honestly, the coffee was good, but had it been through-the-roof great I wouldn’t have noticed. The joy I received from watching people do their jobs with such enthusiasm and pride; being reminded as I stood in line that even though the world sees a disability, those with Down Syndrome are #notbroken; the visit alone made the coffee worth it.

9. Caviar and Bananas

51 George St, Charleston, SC 29401

Honesty is the best policy, right? Well, if so, I must tell you the truth about Caviar and Bananas: It’s NOT a coffee bar.

Maybe it was all about other things, but we were really looking forward to visiting this establishment. My son-in-law’s brother made a big deal of the place and told us we “had” to put it on our list. I mean, if “caviar” is in the name, why not? But it was not too long after we walked in that we were disappointed with the lack of “coffee shop” atmosphere. Oh, don’t get me wrong! The place was pretty nice and hip – it was like a scaled-down Whole Foods store meant for a college campus crowd, but it had little charm.

Here’s probably the biggest difference between Caviar and Bananas: the counter staff. Haley and I both felt no love from the people who served us – to them we were just another customer. Basically, the people that work there seem to do a good job, but they aren’t there because they’re passionate about coffee.

Overall: This is a great place to stop for a quick sandwich or salad, some pastries, a cold beer, a cup of coffee, and then get on about your day. It’s not a place to bring your laptop and sit while you enjoy an espresso.

10. Tricera Coffee

41 George St, Charleston, SC 29401

If you want to visit a cute little coffee bar that pays homage to one particular extinct dinosaur, look no further than Tricera Coffee. As a matter of fact, all you have to do is walk out of Caviar and Bananas and turn right – it’s not even a stone’s throw away! Ironically, I asked a couple of ladies who were grabbing a bite to eat with their kids at Caviar and Bananas if they’d ever been to Tricera Coffee. Neither one had heard of the place, even though both had lived in the area for 3 years! Seriously?

Anyway, there is a whole triceratops theme going on at this place, and it’s pretty cute. As a matter of fact, if you want a good laugh, make sure you go to Tricera Coffee’s website and look at the pictures.

Overall: The coffee was acceptable, but not the best. Maybe it was just the roast they had that day. Haley thought it tasted like “mud.” I thought that was too harsh of a comparison. It might have not been my favorite coffee, but it was nice and had a sweet finish.

11. Kudu Coffee & Craft Beer

4 Vanderhorst St, Charleston, SC 29403

Kudu Coffee was the only coffee establishment that was recommended to us by at least four other coffee shops. Literally, at least three other baristas asked, “Have you been to Kudu’s, yet?” I mean, if the other coffee shops are telling you to go there, what else do you do?

Kudu Coffee and Springbok Roasters were both started by the same South Africans. Actually, the names Kudu and Springbok come from the names of South African animals – the long-horned antelope type. Therefore, there is a horn theme to some of their logos and decoration. When we found out about the animal names it all made sense.

On the day that we visited Kudu, we were treated with a creation by the local award-winning barista who made a pretty cappuccino for us (you can watch it in the video I made).

On a funny note: Right across the street from Kudu’s is the offices of an evangelical Lutheran church. I told Haley that I’d bet a dollar the staff of the church drinks more than coffee when they step over for meetings 😉

Overall: Some parking on the street. Plenty of sitting room inside, plus a beautiful and spacious coffee/beer garden outside. And since the other coffee shops recommended this place so much, it really doesn’t matter what I think the coffee tastes like, right?

12. Broom Wagon

1630 Ashley Hall Rd, Charleston, SC 29407

Let me share with you the exact words I wrote in my notebook just seconds after walking through the doors of Broom Wagon, a coffee shop that wasn’t even on our initial list until it was also recommended by other coffee shop owners: “Pretty, lively, happy, fresh, upbeat music.”

Broom Wagon was not on our initial list, but it was recommended…and it was on the way back from downtown Charleston to the Ashley River area. So, even though we were running out of time that day, I convinced Haley we should stop. We were both glad we did.

John was the one who served us that day, and let me just say that he was full of energy, enthusiastic, and happy to share his knowledge about coffee with us newbies.

Overall: Like I implied  earlier, this is a happy-feeling place with plenty of parking, easy access, and a super friendly, knowledgeable staff. Oh, and the coffee was great, too! The only place that served us nitrogen-infused coffee and took the time to explain it. I’d like to go back.

13. Highfalutin Coffee Roasters

27 Magnolia Rd, Charleston, SC 29407

Here’s a neat article that describes what Highfalutin is all about (since they don’t have a regular website).

If there was an overall favorite with Haley, this was it. I can’t blame her. There was just something about this place that struck a chord with us, and maybe it’s because at Highfalutin Coffee Roasters the main thing is not pastries, ambiance, or craft beer – it’s the art of fine coffee. And we’re not talking about sugary, syrupy, froo-froo concoctions people who don’t like coffee drink in order to make believe they like coffee, either. This place just makes dang good coffee.

When we first walked up to the counter, Haley asked the owner and founder Adam Hunt the following question: “We’d just like to try a sample of your regular coffee.” Adam replied with: “There’s just one problem with what you’re asking. We don’t serve regular coffee; we serve exceptional coffee.”

So, what did he offer us? A small batch from Burundi that he’d imported in an effort to help encourage the quality of the coffee growers there. His description: “Sweet with big fruit acidity and creamy mouthfeel; chocolate, sugar cane, lavender and grapefruit flavors.” Dude, all I can say is that the man knows his stuff and is serious about coffee – and you can taste the difference.

Overall: One of the top 3 coffee shops in all of Charleston. Plenty of sitting area inside and out. Parking could be better, but oh well. The only place we went to where there was live music – and that was good, too!

14. Charleston Coffee Exchange

2875 Ashley River Road, Suite 1, Charleston, SC 29414

This is the place where my son-in-law buys all his coffee. Literally, it’s only a mile or two down the road from his house, so that’s a contributing factor. However, like I told my youngest, no other coffee place smells as nice as this one when you walk in the door. Part of the reason could be the 20 or so bags of coffee sitting out in the open!

Charleston Coffee Exchange is certainly the place to go if you want to buy a good cup of coffee and take home with you a bag of coffee beans. The choices leave little to be desired.

Overall: Really good coffee by the cup. Not as personable as some of the other coffee bars, but still friendly. Plenty of parking and room to sit for a while. In a shopping area, so a little more fast-paced and less-likely to see more than one or two people chilling and chatting.

Conclusion

After all was said and done, even after visiting the most wonderful coffee shops around, the best part of the Charleston Coffee Crawl was spending time with my beautiful daughter, Haley Brianna.

Take the time to do something fun and inexpensive like this with someone you love, especially over a cup of good coffee 🙂

Watch the video I made on my iPhone!

 

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

“One Man’s Sunset; Another Man’s Dawn”

I wrote the following post in June 2011. On June 11, 1991, my father passed away. The following week was Father’s Day, and it was tough.

I repost this, again, in his memory.


Over a two-week period, just over 20 years ago, things started to get a little weird.

I can’t recall all of the moments that led up to me concluding something bad was going to happen, but a couple stand out above the rest.

The Revival Service

It was in June of 1991. The church that I attended was having a week-long series of meetings. My mother and father did not attend the same church as I did, but on the last night of the revival, which was a Friday, my dad came. The evangelist preached on heaven that night and said something that hit me like a brick. He said, “Heaven will never be real to you until there is someone there you want to go see.”

The Movie

In that very same week, my family went to see a movie. It was a new animated film called An American Tail: Fievel Goes West. In one particular scene, an old hound dog, the retiring sheriff, sat watching a sunset with the little mouse, Fievel. The legendary actor, Jimmy Stewart, speaking as Wylie Burp, said to Fievel,

“Just remember, Fievel – one man’s sunset is another man’s dawn. I don’t know what’s out there beyond those hills. But if you ride yonder… head up, eyes steady, heart open… I think one day you’ll find that you’re the hero you’ve been looking for.” – Wylie Burp

The moment he said, “one man’s sunset is another man’s dawn,” I felt a chill and a heaviness that took my breath. I knew my dawn was coming.

Sunset

Early on Monday morning, June 11, 1991, while working 3rd shift as a security guard in a high-security nuclear facility, my dad felt sick. He asked a cleaning person which bathroom was clean, then went in, took off his gun belt, bent over a sink, and died.

It had only been since Friday the 8th that I had heard that message about heaven. That Monday was when heaven became more real than I could have ever imagined. My dad, Terry L. Baker, went home to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He surrendered his badge, took off his gun belt, and laid down – literally.

Dawn

As the sun rose over the horizon, I sped my Datsun 280Z toward the hospital. When I got there, I asked for my dad, but was led to a room where my mother was sitting. In a sobbing cry, she looked up to me and held out a little plastic bag containing my father’s personal items. She said, “This is all I have left…” That was the exact moment when I found out. That was the exact moment it became dawn.

It may have been my dawn, but it was one of the darkest moments in my life. My dad and I were terribly close. We worked together, played together, worshiped together, and preached together. In the week before my daddy died, I went up to him and told him that I really felt like something was going to happen. He told me that he would outlive my grandchildren. But in case he didn’t, I had to make sure of one thing – would I preach his funeral?

The Funeral

Some people could not understand how I did it, but I did preach my dad’s funeral. You see, I was 24, but I had accepted the call to preach when I was 16. My dad had been a pastor, a lay preacher for years. It may have been just guy talk at the time, but in a moment of male-bonding, my dad and I agreed that whoever died first, for whatever reason, the other would preach the funeral. That is why I asked my dad that question. I needed to be sure he was serious. His response was, “Of course. I wouldn’t have it any other way.” So I did.

My dad presided over a lot of funerals, and he even carried in his Bible a sermon that he used more often than not. The title of the sermon was “The Times I Need Him Most.” So, from his own Bible, from his own outline, I preached his funeral. And unlike I usually do today, I even gave an altar call. Believe it or not, right there to my left, beside the casket, a friend of the family came down to the altar and asked Jesus to come into his life. Never once had my dad led a person to the Lord when he preached a funeral sermon, but this time was different.

The Family Car

There will always be those who think the following is crazy; only coincidence: but God showed up in the limousine as we went to the graveyard. As soon as I got into the car, I asked the driver, who was a Christian friend, to turn the radio on. I wanted to hear some encouraging music. When he did, the DJ on WAY FM out of Nashville played a song by Wayne Watson, The Ultimate Healing. Right after that, the DJ came on the air and said, “I know we usually have songs pre-planned according to a particular format, but I just really feel led by God to play this next song – I don’t know why.”  The song was Where There is Faith, by 4Him. The second verse goes like this:

There’s a man across the sea
Never heard the sound of freedom ring
Only in his dreams
There’s a lady dressed in black
In a motorcade of Cadillacs
Daddy’s not coming back
Our hearts begin to fall
And our stability grows weak
But Jesus meets our needs if only we believe

CHORUS
Where there is faith
There is a voice calling, keep walking
You’re not alone in this world
Where there is faith
There is a peace like a child sleeping
Hope everlasting in He who is able to
Bear every burden, to heal every hurt in my heart
It is a wonderful, powerful place
Where there is faith

Today

Today I went to the grave where my father’s body is waiting for a trumpet to sound. I am comforted by the fact one day we will see each other again (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). But in the meantime, I must carry on in the task that I have been called to do.

I went to the grave, and even though I know my dad is not there, I read Proverbs 4 aloud. What better words could have been said in remembrance of a committed, consistent, caring, God-fearing, humble father? They were words that I wanted to say out loud because they were being fulfilled.

“He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live. Get wisdom, get understanding: forget [it] not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.” – Prov. 4:4-5

“Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many. I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths. … Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. … My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. … Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.” – Proverbs 4:10-11, 14, 20-21, 25-27

Dad, I just want you to know that I am still in the fight. I haven’t given up. I wasn’t a fly-by-night wannabe, but a real man of God. My Sword is still sharp. My aim is still true. I even have some “arrows” in my quiver that you will meet one day.

Don’t worry, even though I know you won’t – I will keep pressing on and fighting the good fight, until the time of my own sunset. Then, when this life is over, I hope I can stand there beside you when Jesus says to you, “Well done.” You did good, Daddy. I’ll make you proud.

Your loving son,

Rev. Anthony C. Baker

9 Comments

Filed under Future, Preaching, Relationships and Family, salvation, Uncategorized

Eye Phone Photo

Some of you may be unaware of my photo blog, i4Daily.
Well, here’s an opportunity to check it out and subscribe to it.
I believe you’ll enjoy it almost as much as I like posting the photos – especially with my new iPhone, not the original i4 🙂

i4 Daily

Today I found an old souvenir from Six Flags Over Georgia. Unfortunately, I’m a lot older and my eyesight wouldn’t allow me to view what was in the viewer.

So, I held the souvenir viewer up to the camera of my iPhone Xs.

Voila! My iPhone is now my EYE phone!

And guess what? Only when I viewed the photo I took with the iPhone did I see that the problem with my eyesight was that the magnifying lens wasn’t even attached… you can see it lying in front of the picture!

And, yes, those are culottes (LOL/eewww)

View original post

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

What Kind of Friend Are You?

Do you consider yourself to be a good friend? What makes a good friend? More than that, what makes a real, true friend? I believe there is a difference.

A Good Friend

Good friends are the ones you have over to watch a ball game, but don’t worry if the house is messy. He’s the type of friend that you don’t mind bringing along to dinner with the family. She’s the one with whom you don’t mind sharing your gripes and complaints, like when your spouse ticks you off, or your co-worker make you jealous.

A good friend is one that remembers to invite you to a birthday party, a movie, or loans you a pick-up truck to move a piano (God bless’em). They’re the type of friends you get along with, even though you may have different tastes or opinions. You care about each other and say things like, “If you need anything, just let me know.”

Job had Good Friends

Job (as in the Bible, not to be confused with Steve) had some good friends. Really, they were not that bad. Just look at how they acted when they saw Job after the tragedies came about.

And when they raised their eyes from afar, and did not recognize him, they lifted their voices and wept; and each one tore his robe and sprinkled dust on his head toward heaven. So they sat down with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his grief was very great.” – Job 2:12-13 NKJV

Obviously, his friends cared enough about him to break down into tears at the sight of his brokenness. They were good enough friends to even tear their clothes, sit down with him on the ground, and weep with him for seven days. They even cared enough to keep silent seven days so Job could pour his heart out in grief. They were good friends.

Superficial Friends

If the friends of Job had only been the partying type, do you think they would have come to see him after hearing of his loss? No, if they had only been superficial friends, they would have stayed far away from Job and his problems. They would have said, “Oh, that’s so sad…we should send him a Hallmark card…Honey, where are my keys?…I’m going to be late to the gym.”

Religious Friends

Anyone who goes to church has these. Religious friends are the ones who always have a smile and a warm handshake, but never really want to hear about your life. These type of people give a bad name to church folk. Have you ever met any? If you have, you know. They ask, “How are you doing today?” Then, just as you start to give a response they say, “Great, great…love your heart…well, I’ll be praying for you, honey, don’t you worry.” Riiight.

User Friends

This is not a scientific assessment of friendship types, but sometimes I think most friends are only users. When you stop and think about it, how many friends would you have if you had nothing to offer? At least Job’s friends weren’t users. They came around when Job had nothing to offer but tears. They came to offer him something – if only judgmental advice.

True Friends

This may only be my definition, but I think it is a good one:  A real, true friend is one who lets you cuss, spit, and even question God when times are tough. A real, true friend is one who will not only cry with you when you hurt, but stand there by your side as you kick the furniture, throw the dishes, slam the door, or even ask, “Why?!

The truest test of real friendship is how he/she responds when you say things you may regret. This is where Job’s friends fell behind.

Job came to the point where he “cursed the day he was born,” and asked God, “What have I done to you? Why have you made me a target?” Job literally became suicidal and terribly depressed as he struggled with trying to understand the reason for his troubles. But instead of keeping quite, or simply saying, “It will be OK, Job,” his friends started accusing him of wrongdoing. They blamed him for the trouble he was enduring, even though they had no proof. All they could do was pour salt on his wounds.

When Job cussed and spit, these friends said things like, “How long will you speak these things, and the words of your mouth be like a bunch of wind (Job 8:2)?” They called his painful rants “empty talk” and “vain words” which proved he deserved God’s judgment.

A real friend will let you expose your pain in ugly ways, with ugly words. Job’s friends should have understood that his words were spoken in grief. They should have understood that sometimes we say things we don’t mean when we are hurting, but need to say them, anyway. A real friend would have taken it, listened, and given only kind words of encouragement.

To him who is afflicted, kindness should be shown by his friend, Even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty.” – Job 6:14 NKJV

If you know someone who is going through a tough time, don’t be judgmental – just love them. Even if they say things that are wrong, even vulgar, let God be the Judge – you just love them.

Job had to answer to God for the things he said, but the only ones who incurred the wrath of God were Eliphaz and his cohorts (42:7). As I see it, God understood Job, but He found no excuse for the response of his self-righteous friends.

Don’t just be a good friend – be a real friend. You may wish you had one, someday.

  • Friends (anotherchristianblog.org)

6 Comments

Filed under Christian Maturity, Christian Unity, Do not judge, legalism, Relationships and Family, Uncategorized

7 Reasons Jesus Came To Die For You!

7 Reasons Jesus Came To Die For You!

7 Reasons Jesus Came To Die For You!
— Read on debrapedrow.com/2019/05/23/7-reasons-jesus-came-to-die-for-you/

Great post from Debra.

2 Comments

Filed under Apologetics, salvation, Uncategorized

Bianary Moment

It’s been 6 months since I posted a picture on my old i4 Daily blog. But now that I have a new phone/camera, I thought it would be fun to start anew…with something old (like my 1995 Ford).

i4 Daily

It’s not a big deal, but it is. Only – yes, only – 111,111.1 miles on the odometer in a 25-year-old car!

As a bonus, I took the first picture the moment the “.1” came into view while doing 11 mph. Don’t worry, there was no traffic (or police).

View original post

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Brazen Church Girl

This was a shocking piece I wrote for Proverbial Thought. As a father and a pastor, I’m just as concerned for the safety of my children in church as outside. Now, I raised girls, not boys, so we had different challenges. Nevertheless, because the Enemy is clever, we must be on guard for our children (and the children of others), no matter where we are – even in church.

Proverbial Thought (& More)

Proverbs 7:13-15

“So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him, I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows. Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.”

One of the greatest myths is that all church-going girls are “good” girls. These verses are a good example. Not only has this woman been waiting in the dark for her prey, she is openly religious, and uses her surface piety to lure the fool. But let’s break down these verses one at a time.

“So she caught him, and kissed him..”

Look who is the aggressor; it’s not the man. Conventional wisdom (not godly wisdom) has taught us that men are always the aggressor and that women should be wary. However, there are plenty of young women, as young as middle school…

View original post 405 more words

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized