Gabe's wisdom rather than mine today

Today I am using a blog from one of the greatest guys in the world, my best friend Gabe Riefer. It's an awesome example of mercy and compassion and love, proving once again that love never disappoints and never fails. (Don't ask me why he refers to Mick Jagger as a reverend)

As I make my way home, dejected and alone, contemplating how horribly I hit and how ghastly we played, a dry feeling in the back of my throat begins to grow. Then I feel it; the rumbling of my stomach reminding me how little I have eaten. Up ahead in the distance I see a glowing yellow light. As I grow closer the light begins to take shape, two arches coming together to form the shape of an "M".
Ah yes, McDonald's. Not only can I quench my hunger and thirst, I can also win large sums of money. Say, five million dollars.
I drive in to the parking ot and begin making my way to the drivethru, when out of the corner of my eye I see a man rise and begin walking toward me. I look at him and he stops. I begin to study him: thin, scraggly greasy beard and hair, worn leathery skin, dirty ripped jeans and t-shirt, and a jacket hanging over his fragile body. But it is his eyes that draw my me in. I see in his eyes, pain and hunger. I wave him over and with each step I see his growing hope.
I ask him if there is something I can do for him. All he wants, he tells me in a slurred Southern drawl, is a little spare change, maybe a dollar or two. My heart, now full of compassion for him, begins to speak for me. I tell him I can go through the drivethru and I will get him whatever he wants. Just a burger and some fries. A drink, maybe a Coke or a Sprite? No soda, he replies. He can't drink soda. Makes him sick. I tell him to give me a few moments and I will return to him as soon as I can.
"Go ahead with your order." Okay, a double quarter pounder with cheese, large fries, a Dr Pepper, two double cheese burgers, and two apple pies. "10. 84, drive around to the next window."
I collect the food and drive back over to where my newest dear friend is sitting, shivering in the cool October air. I remove a cheeseburger from the bag and hand him the rest. He looks at me, astounded that a person could even be so kind. I sit with him and eat my cheeseburger, and he begins to tell me his story.
He was born in a small town in Tennessee. His family was never wealthy, had never been wealthy, and, as he said, probably never would be wealthy. He lived there until graduation, when he joined the Army. Fifteen years he spent in the Army, before he was honorable discharged. He then met a woman, fell in love, and got married. They moved to Zephyrhills, Florida, and had lived there nearly seven years when she kicked him out. See, after he left the Army, he didn't know exactly what he was going to do. So while he thought about it, he would drink. The more he thought, the more he drank, until one day he had spent nearly all of the money they had on alcohol. Not knowing what else to do, he began walking until he ended up around Nebraska Avenue and Fowler. He would find places to sleep at night, most of the time behind restaurants or in alleys. He would eat whatever he could find that was edible from dumpsters or garbage cans, and he would ask for spare change. Any change he received went towards a bottle of beer or Jack Daniels. He was a drunk, an alcoholic, and he had no reservations in telling anybody this. Yes, he admitted, drinking had torn his life apart, but he had no idea how to quit or even what to do or how to go about quitting.
He was a man, helpless and hopelessly lost, ashamed of his past but willing to take responsibility for his actions. I told him to walk in the morning down Nebraska to The Salvation Army ARC. There he could have a warm bed to sleep in, a place to wash and shower, and a hot meal. And he could start turning his life around. He shook my hand and thanked me for my kindness. Then with a tear in his eye, which (being a man) he tried to hide, he said, "God bless you."
That hit me hardest of all. God had blessed me that night. He took my desire to win a meaningless prize (albeit five milion dollars), and replaced it with the desire to help a fellow human get his life back on track.
"You can't always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, you might find you get what you need." -The good Reverend Mick Jagger with some words of wisdom.


614 Starbucks... I like the sound of that

Grande, Double, White Mocha, non-fat, extra hot with whip cream. Why anyone orders something non-fat and then puts whip cream is something that I probably won't understand anytime soon. Those are the types of orders I hear all day because I work at Starbucks. I love it too. It's definitely a step up (or five steps up) form working at McDonald's in Bangor, ME. I did have fun working at McDonald's (even though I told everyone I hated it) but I just needed a place where I have a little more interaction with customers and it's not a boring routine type job, I almost ended up going back there if I didn't get hired anywhere else. So, after applying at fifteen different places and doing only two interviews Starbucks became was my last hope. I turned in my application talked to the manager and prayed for the best. Two weeks later I'm doing an interview and loving every minute of it...well it wasn't that exciting but I did think about painting my toenails the day before so I would have this constant smile on my face during the interview. Even if I don't get hired I would still be laughing saying to myself I know something you don't know, but I didn't have any toenail polish. Anyway, one of the best things about working there is the girl I was hired with (Bonnie) said she just became a Christian a few months ago. So right there I've got the beginning of a Starbucks cell group. I made everyone here in Charlotte (by everyone I mean Jesse, Jaime, Rob, and Heather) very excited, because every week I get a pound of Coffee for free. So every week we get to experience a new flavor caffeine buzz. The only person that is not a fan of coffee is my room mate Leo. He doesn't even like the smell, ba ha ha ha. I'll get him conver...I mean addict... I mean acclimated to the taste soon enough. Then he'll be one of us, a true Salvationist. So God has definitely blessed me with one of the best jobs I could ever and it's perfect place for ministry. When I help open the store, when there is a slow point of the day, or even after work, I love it. By the way, for Christmas everyone gets a Starbucks gift card and a Frappacinnoin the mail (because that's all I know how to make right now) the ones going to Canada and Bangor should stay frozen, the ones I send to Florida...well, thats a different story. I'll just say I don't want to be there when you open it up.


I miss you Martyrs

I miss you Martyrs. The Revolution Session of TWC has started up here in Charlotte and when I'm hanging out with them and laughing hysterically (you remember that laugh?) I start to remember all the things we did the first few weeks in Vancouver...before we wanted to kill each other. Everything was gubmnt', we said “of course” after every sentence...some of us still do (Lucy Jane, Linsey). {sigh}The memories. With the new...first TWC session here in Charlotte new memories are being formed and new inside jokes are popping up almost all the time (HOT FORK HOT FORK!!). Leo is my room mate from Arkansas. He actually lived only half an hour away from where I lived when I was in Arkansas. His Junior High football team actually played mine on Thursday night (my team won). He usually carries a knife with him (not hear obviously) and wears sandals with the rebel flag on them which is probably not great attire for this area, but he's working on that. He's great with the kids and is a really active guy like me so I'm not the only one getting beat in basketball by these kids. He's like the little brother I never had and I love him. Jesse is the second TWC student (but she was actually the first one to apply and be accepted and confirm she was coming). She's from Australia and is really awesome to be around, but even more awesome when she opens up and we actually talk about real stuff rather than just trying to make each other laugh. She has no problem connecting with the kids and, she will do whatever she can to make sure they have something for their birthday. She has aheart to make a difference in theses kids lives and that is a beautiful thing. I think I might cry when these guys leave...if they do leave (dramatic music duh duh dun). Jaime Riefer is also here, but most of us know about her, and she's awesome. I love The War College.