Drink your Starbucks

Not too long ago, I was sitting by the entrance of one of my favorite restaurants waiting for takeout. Igods usually dine in and hadn’t paid much attention to my surroundings. The place is clean, good customer service and superb food, nothing to complaint about. This particular day, while having the opportunity to seat there and with nothing more to do than look around (my phone battery was low); I noticed something I had never noticed before. Right behind the bar was an altar to a god. Something inside of me didn’t feel right. Here I was picking up lunch and now I had a dilemma, where am I investing my resources?

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. Matthew 6:24

If we look at social media and regular media, the world has decided that our belief system should accompany our support as patrons to different businesses. If you agree with their policies and their beliefs, we support you, if we disagree, we don’t. That’s actually a great concept.

Many remember the issue with Chic-fil-a a few years ago. A sector of the population disagreed with their views and decided to stop eating there. Others who didn’t even eat there, decided to do so out of principle. Walmart has had the same issues, where some people support them and others not due to their practices.

Which way you decide to go is a decision between you and God.

However, my experience at that restaurant has left me thinking, what businesses do I support? And by support I mean where I spend my money? As a believer, I’m responsible for administrating the resources I’m provided, which are not mine, are for kingdom purposes. “Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. ” Luke 12:34 I will be held responsible for how I used them. No, I’m not cutting everything out of my life, but I’m more aware of the things I do and allowing the Holy Spirit to let me know, where I need to go to do what?

starbucksYou may be asking why you chose Starbucks on your title. Do you have something against them? Aside from the overpriced coffee, not really, I actually love their soy chai latte. But for the last few weeks I have not been able to stop looking at their logo and decided to look into what it meant. It did look like a Hindu goddess to me, but in researching, Starbucks says she’s a siren. A seductive siren…

CEO Howard Shultz has explained the following: “The mermaid was exotic. She was also topless. At first, and despite some complaints, Starbucks just rolled with it. As Schultz later explained, “Bare breasted and Rubenesque, [the mermaid] was supposed to be as seductive as the coffee itself.” But then the time came to put the logo on the delivery trucks, and that was problematic. “The logo was huge,” Heckler’s website relates, “—and so were the mermaid’s breasts.”

Are they selling coffee or sex?

In the Starbucks website the same man describes her as follows:

She is a storyteller, carrying the lore of Starbucks ahead, and remembering our past. In a lot of ways, she’s a muse –always there, inspiring us and pushing us ahead.

And she’s a promise too, inviting all of us to find what we’re looking for, even if it’s something we haven’t even imagined yet.

She means something different to everyone who sees her, who knows her. For me she’s kind of the final say on the spirit of everything I write and everything we do. Even as I’m writing this, I wonder what she thinks. (She likes it, by the way.)

That’s interesting…

Am I launching a campaign against Starbucks? No. I’m just trying to demonstrate a point, which is… There’s a lot that we do in auto pilot without knowing what and who we are really supporting. We should take pause in our lives and see where and how we are investing the resources that were entrusted in us.

 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. Colossians 2:8

Food for thought

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Standing up for NaNoWriMo

I was really disappointed to read this article by Laura Miller, senior writer for Salon (posted at the bottom). I felt I needed to respond because NaNoWriMo is very dear to my heart.  I do respect everyone’s opinion, but I think there’s a lot that is being missed regarding the purpose of NaNoWriMo. The author of this article qualifies this event as a waste of time and energy. There is a lot worse things you can do in November than write a novel.

As an amateur writer, this event has given me opportunities that otherwise would have been difficult at best without it. As someone living in a big city, when you have a dream, where do you begin? Obviously, I’m not yet on the best seller’s list, but through launching myself into this event last year for the first time, I’ve started making baby steps into the literary world.

NaNoWriMo was the tool that saved my sanity last year. When I decided to join NaNo, it was just part of a challenge, not knowing that adversity was around the corner. It was one of the most difficult times in my life on the personal front and yet the eagerness to get this novel completed allowed me to channel my energy there and not focus on the adversity that was going on in my life. Not only did I win, but I ended with a finished product. I understood that there was a lot of editing that needed to be done after finishing the novel and that particular novel is still being edited as I plan to publish it.

I don’t think it’s fair to blame NaNo for people who do not spend the time editing their work and presenting it to a publisher. That would be like blaming Duncan Hines for a cake that didn’t come out right because you didn’t follow the instructions. The NaNoWriMo website and staff are always mentioning December as the editing month. They make it clear that the work done in November is a raw product that needs development and in some cases, it may just need deleting, but it allows an individual to organize their thoughts for a month and be creative.

The other thing that NaNoWriMo gave me was community. I’ve met people that I probably would not have met under other circumstances. We have something in common, the desire to write. We learn from one another, we encourage one another and guess what? we have fun; clean unadulterated fun. I think I’m on the other end of the spectrum thinking that there should be more events like this worldwide.

The author states that writing more novels is a waste of time, as we have too many already. Maybe we should tell Starbucks to stop opening shops as they have one on every corner. Although, by the way, I need one closer to my house or they need to seriously start delivering, especially during NaNoWriMo.

She also states that there are better things to do in November. That’s a matter of opinion. As a balanced person during November, I still go to work, pay my bills, walk my dog (less frequently bless her heart), go to church and participate in those things that I’m involved with, talk to my friends, take care of my Café World and Farmville in Facebook,  go to the gym, visit my family and have Thanksgiving dinner. The only difference is that instead of watching another re-runs of Law and Order or Criminal Minds, I choose to write. How dare I?

Aside from all the creative work that NaNoWriMo promotes, it attracts people to help others through the fundraisers that help charities. That apparently is also a bad thing.

I just felt the need to stand up for an event and a company that I believe in and that encouraged me to go forward with chasing my lifelong dream of being a writer and pursuing the gift God gave me.

About reading, it’s also inaccurate to assume that these 130,000 NaNo writers are not readers as well. I can only speak for myself. I am enrolled in Goodreads where I post the reviews of the novels I read and share those with my friends. I also belong to a book club that discusses a novel every month and that’s on top of all the online reading regarding articles, news, blogs and other things that capture my attention.

With all this said, I think that this article didn’t do NaNoWriMo justice and I have written almost 750 words that I can’t include in my novel…so enough of this and let’s get back to writing!!