Monday, February 21, 2005

the fourbucks phenomenon

okay, i'm just gonna go there. what's up with the Starbucks phenomenon? and how is it that we've all been roped into buying trendy overpriced coffee for the sake of community?

let it sink in for a moment.

really. is it about the coffee? i'm by no means a coffee connoisseur, so heck i have no idea. are those 5-10 minutes it takes to down a Venti of your choice worth $4bucks? how many coffee beans do they have to kill to justify selling a cup of java at the price for which i could buy dinner?

lately i've been struggling with my ability and willingness to spend freely and lavishly on things i don't need, things that are huge luxuries to the rest of this world, things of which i am completely aware are usurping more of God's money than they should. i am an american. in this world that translates to: i am wealthy. its true. with that comes major responsibility.
"To whom much has been given, much will be required." what are we, as the wealthy american Church doing with our money?

as i look around, we are buying coffee.

we're going to movies. eating in restaraunts. purchasing cell phone minutes and mp3 players. buying music "that glorifies God" right and left.

and then we're asking other people to pay for our "mission trips." ouch.

maybe i should just go back and replace every "we" above with "I". i'm blameworthy here. i guess i just thought maybe i'm not the only one.

honestly, God just hit me with the magnitude of this partway through this entry. let me get specific. how am i to go on with my rich american lifestyle as usual throwing down cash for my fun each week and turn around and ask other people to pay my way to Africa?

i guess what i'd like from anyone out there reading this is prayer. pray for me to hold on to this conviction. pray that i would not justify. pray that i will be able to work hard and count it all joy to save the money i'll need to pay for my way. it seems bigger than me, and it is. and for that i am glad, because my Jesus will take center stage.

i'd be happy to hear your reflections. and your prayers. thanks


Beauty4Ashes274 said...

i am also blameworthy in this situation. and i agree with you. and the thing is. i do honestly love starbucks. but through your words. which i believe have been His. i have been convicted. i come back from Africa. a changed person. but little by little all of my selfishness comes back. and it's totally my fault. and i feel terrible for it. i have such a heart for missions. for different cultures. for their salvation. but i think i need to give things up. and go deeper in Him. in order to go. to mexico this summer. and to africa next summer.
thanks for the reminder. i will be praying for you for this.
and please pray for me.

AmyLea said...

Oh, I totally feel you on that.

Kristi said...

I do get you...and I've heard you talke about this before (when you came back from Africa the first time.)

I also believe we DO need to do all we can, individually, to keep track of our finances and the ways we use them.

But another side, what about the blessing it is for someone to have the privelege of supporting you? God has also given in abundance to some, and He lays it on their hearts to give, in turn. They may not be able to 'go', and this is the way they can take part in God's plan of going into the ends of the earth.

I don't say that to negate watching frivolous spending...just to look at it from another angle =o)

emma said...

go amanda go. i'm glad you wrote about it cuz you do much better than me with writing. revolution! hehe.
it should be a treat to go to starbucks etc. instead of daily or everyother daily task. gosh.

G-CUBE said...

Lets consider this Amanda's post as an OFFICIAL DOCUMENT of not spending any money at Starbucks. We will keep you accountable. No more starbucks coffee for Amanda.

ps : Boston Stoker is down the road


Schmanda said...

thanks for the comments, friends. and the prayers. kristi, thanks for reminding me as well about the priveledge it is to give, you're so right. i don't want to give the impression that i need to take it on completely alone, for i know that it has been pure joy for me to give so that others may go. just that there are plenty of things better i could be doing with my spending, even the little spending i do. and what a great glory to God if i can bless others AND fund my trip. i'd certainly be able to do more without all the "extras" we take for granted as the "usual". am i saying i'll never buy coffee again? no. but are there new limits i need to be held accountable to, and will i actually be prayerful about it? yes. i LOVE you my brothers and sisters. and i mean that.

emma said...

schamanda, i love you to pieces but your street and my car don't go nicely together. everything is ok though, ha more later. thank you for stuff.

Mike said...

I think that we go to starbucks for much more than the coffee. although the coffee is great. i find that in many of our lives we need that one place other than work or home to unwind and relax. it is a bonus if we feel connected and a sense of community at that place as well. when we pay 4-5 dollars for coffee at starbucks we are paying for the experience, the conversations, the friendships, the music, the atmosphere.

Schmanda said...

thanks for your comment, mike. i probably should've explored the community part of it more. that is the part i do value, and why i'm certainly not down on starbucks persay, just MY uneccessary spending there and (other places as well). i wonder though, how do you all feel about "paying for community"? how do you feel about participating in the community without paying for the product?? is it ok so long as others are buying? things for me to consider...

G-CUBE said...

update your blog!!!!