The lady pouring coffee

 

 

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And the lady pouring coffee, she knows the regulars by name

And if she doesn’t know you, she calls you “Honey” just the same

The lady who pours you coffee, knows your name, and calls you “Honey” if she doesn’t, should be the model for all Christians in the marketplace. Think about it.

First, she’s on a personal level with everybody. “Honey,” in some cases is more intimate than your own name. You can talk about anything with this lady and it will be okay. I had a grandmother who used to pat your hand and go, “There, there, dear,” to just about anything you could get riled up about. It’s a similar thing with the waitress. The lady with the coffee has the best therapy. She daily pours out advice, love and understanding. There’s nothing that can’t be put on the table. She’s better than a psychiatrist. She makes you feel normal.

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What do you have to say to folks at Johnny’s Cafe?

 

GRAND OPENING OF JOHNNY’S CAFÉ COMING SOON!!!

Our MemberPartners will soon have a place of their own to gather, find out new information, play games, study the Word, and generally hang out. We will start with an open house so everyone can see what it’s like, but August 1, it will be available exclusively to our MemberPartners.

Here’s just a peek at what’s coming to our Johnny’s Cafe:

What would a diner be like without a jukebox so you can jive to those crazy tunes? We will be changing the songs periodically, but we will be kicking this off with songs from  — you guessed it — John’s album, “Johnny’s Cafe!”

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If you’ve got nothin’ to say to folks at Johnny’s Cafe

You’ve got nothin’ to say at all

These two lines, easily missed, are a very big part of this song. The point here is all about communication. How well can you communicate with those who are different from you? The answer will tell you what you really know about what you have to say.

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Story

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Walk in any day and you find a slice of life at your table

One man leavin’ his wife, another wishin’ he was able

An old man tryin’ to forget — a young one lookin’ for a label

And the stories they tell, you can’t tell if they’re true or they’re fable

Everywhere you go in the world there are stories all around you. Think about it: each person is a story. More than that — each person is a book. And each person is waiting to tell their story, as long as there is someone who really wants to listen.

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A seat at the counter

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Go spend the day down at Johnny’s Cafe

All kinds of people there with plenty to say

If you’ve got nothin’ to say to folks at Johnny’s Cafe,

You’ve got nothin’ to say at all.

 

Walk in any day and you find a slice of life at your table

One man leavin’ his wife, another wishin’ he was able

An old man tryin’ to forget — a young one lookin’ for a label

And the stories they tell, you can’t tell if they’re true or they’re fable

 

And the lady pourin’ coffee, she knows the regulars by name

And if she doesn’t know you, she calls you “Honey” just the same

And we all love to hear it

Even if we have to fake it

‘Cause it’s nice to think that someone really cares —

Someone cares

Welcome to Johnny’s Cafe, Anywhere, U.S.A. Actually, Johnny’s is a metaphor for anywhere you or I as Christians can meet and carry on a dialogue with members of the world we live in. It’s where we engage those who are different from us, and it’s where we discover some of our own needs as well. Jesus said we were to be His witnesses to the nations. That would mean all nations, tribes, villages, religions, tongues; all peoples, like and unlike us, because — humanly speaking — we are more alike than we are different.

Johnny’s Cafe is where each of us, individually, sits next to the world. It’s not where we face people as a group, like turning the corner booth at Johnny’s into a Christian corner. That might be okay once in a while for a Bible study perhaps, but not as a way of meeting those we don’t know. There are so many cultural assumptions these days made about Christians that have nothing to do with the gospel of welcome and grace turned outward, that it’s best not to come as a group. Best to pick a seat at the counter where you can at least be open to a conversation with someone next to you. They might not want to talk, but then again, you never know, especially when the waitress gets going. The whole counter can come alive sometimes if you’re open to it.

The important thing is that we join in. The best way not to judge or be judged is to enter in. When the waitress calls you “Honey,” take it in. That’s you. You need that sense of belonging as much as the next guy, and from that place we will be more able to identify with others and come alongside. And that, by the way, is how we lead people to Christ, by coming alongside.

Let’s Celebrate!

Let’s celebrate our MemberPartners — The Catch Ministry’s army of servant leaders.

As the heartbeat of The Catch, they provide the ministry direction and focus. They know the power of their contribution furthers God’s kingdom, from certified professional counselors, to prayer warriors, to highly acclaimed technicians, to boots on the ground disciples — our worldwide community of MemberPartners cares deeply for The Catch Ministry and its message: Grace turned outward to everyone, everywhere.

Let’s put our hands together for each and every MemberPartner — for they surely deserve our respect.

Citizens of the Catch Community

— Join Us —

with a

Standing Ovation

for

The Catch Ministry’s  MemberPartners

and their

extraordinary accomplishments

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For the next couple of weeks, we are going to spend the day down at Johnny’s Cafe.  Along with our MemberPartner’s celebration we are going to meet all kinds of people with plenty to say. 

Walk in any day and you find a slice of life — the Catch —  at your table. And now that Jesus is here, you’ll find Him today — any day — down at Johnny’s Cafe. 

Don’t miss The Catch during the next couple of weeks. We have all kinds of surprises for our MemberPartners and sometime this week you will be invited to the real Johnny’s Cafe. We’re holding an open house. So come on in!

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The key to love and fear

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You hold the key to love and fear
All in your trembling hand
Just one key unlocks them both
It’s there at you command

       – from the song, “Get Together” by the Youngbloods

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

       – 2 Timothy 1:7

It’s been a learning week. I led you through a dark tunnel where I succumbed to my fears and intimidations. I forgot who I was for a while. I didn’t listen to the Lord. I knew better, but still I had to experience what I was feeling, so I wrote about it and hit “SEND” before I gave myself a chance to find a way out.

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Fear or Faith

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The last two Catches, taken together, make another Catch. Tuesday’s Catch, “Where’s the Reverend Doctor?” was a disaster. Marti thought it was my worst ever. Had I shared it with her first, you never would have seen it. As it was, it served as a request for prayer, which a number of you kindly wrote me that you were taking on my request. The part’s fine. I will never turn down an offer for prayer, and I am seeking prayer for this. Thank you.

This all has to do with a memorial service I’m taking on for my friend Arnold in a couple weeks. As I was beginning to hear more stories about Arnold’s life, and some of his friends, who will probably be there, I was beginning to grow more and more intimidated. On Tuesday, I just couldn’t see past the boulder in the road. I stopped, and couldn’t go farther.

Normally, I don’t write a whole Catch on my depression and leave it there. This time I did. I made you wait a whole day before I could find my way out. I decided to just be honest about what I was feeling, which is what I usually try to do in my writing. I just don’t normally leave you hanging there holding the bag. I was even questioning whether I was the right guy to deliver the message. Get one of those Reverend Doctors they have on the church staff — that’s what everyone will be expecting anyway.

By the next day (yesterday) I had another Catch, “After further review…” that was full of confidence in the Holy Spirit and my spiritual gift, and reestablished myself as the man for the job. (I better be, because I am the one Arnold requested.)

I kind of feel bad about leaving everyone stuck on Tuesday, but that’s where I was at, and maybe we all learned something in the process. It’s pretty simple, really. At any given time, we have the option to look at ourselves; look at the circumstances; look at the dark side; look at the enemy; or look to the Lord and to the empowerment He has promised us. Like the children of Israel in the wilderness: you can look at the giants in the land or look to the Lord who promised to give you the land, who is much bigger than the giants. Choose fear or faith. It really boils down to that.

I love what J.J. wrote me after yesterday’s Catch: “Now that’s the John Fischer I know!!!”

Thanks J.J.! It’s good to be back.

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After further review …

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I’ve been doing a lot of thinking since yesterday’s Catch and I believe I have a few wrongs to right. I’m not quite sure what got into me yesterday; it certainly wasn’t what I truly know or believe. First, I’m not as pathetic as I sounded. You don’t want the white-haired guy I pictured with the robe — the Reverend Doctor — speaking at Arnold’s memorial service; you want me. I’m the guy, and I’m the right guy. I know this probably more than anything I know right now. I’ve been in hundreds of situations like this before, enough to know what happens when the Holy Spirit kicks in with my gift. I know this so well, that no matter how well I prepare, I can’t wait to hear what I’m going to say.

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Where’s the Reverend Doctor?

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The Reverend Doctor, at least this is what comes up if you google images.

I just wrote to someone who said they would be praying for me as I prepare to speak at Arnold’s memorial service two weeks from Saturday, “Thank you so much. I really need your prayers. I’m already nervous about this one — excited, but nervous.”

The more I hear about Arnold’s storied career and the colorful people around him including his friends and his enemies, the more intimidated I become. All of the final services I have taken part in have had mostly believers present. People are sad, but they’re hopeful. They have a belief that sustains them. They welcome the truth about Christ and the resurrection; it bolsters their faith to hear it again. This will be different. This could easily swing the other way.

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