was successfully added to your cart.

We Are Blessed

By | incubation, Non-profit | No Comments

Lately I have been struck in a more pronounced way than usual by the blessing of being a part of what God is up to in the world. We are doing something that we believe is close to the heart of God, and the fact that He has allowed us to join Him in the journey is a huge blessing.

Flickr image by LeWEB12

But God has done us one better (per usual). He has helped support us along the way and has continued to open doors so that we can open this shop. We believe God will continue to open these doors.

As we have been working to open this shop we have been placed in an environment that allows us to learn about job training ministries, as well as spend time staying connected to the population we will serve. We could not have come up with this on our own. Because of these blessings we are able to start shaping the culture and community that we are trying to create before we open our shop. This is also a huge blessing that we could not have thought up on our own.

The way it is all coming together in a relatively organic way is helpful as we journey deeper and deeper into this project. It’s a fine line of making it about us and our desires, and making it truly God’s ministry. God’s evident work in this project has allowed us to discern that much more readily.

Someone said to me unprompted a couple of weeks ago, “It’s really clear that God is in this project.” That is the highest compliment we could hear. It means that we are not making it about us, and that God is blessing the effort that we putting in, and will continue to put in. Comments like that provide the affirmation needed to keep going.

The fact that we have an audience at all is a huge blessing and incredibly humbling. People actually read this blog! Thank you for that! The fact that people are willing to use their resources for this project is even more incredible. Thank you so much!

We ask that you join what God is up to. If this is something that grabs your heart, or that you believe in please join us. You can join us by connecting us with your community. We really want to tell our story as much as we can to new people, so please let us know if you have a group or individual that would be interested in hearing about us. We need funding right now, so if you have a desire to contribute to our effort please do so here. We can talk with people outside of Denver about who we are via phone and Skype. Please tell the Purple Door story as much and as often as you can, and we believe God will continue to open the doors to provide for Purple Door.

There’s A Huge Need

By | incubation, Non-profit | No Comments

We’ve stated several times that there is a “huge need” for employment for our friends on the streets. But what does that really mean?

Flickr image by Waponi

Just today I had two conversations at a picnic with Dry Bones. One of our friends on the streets asked what I do, and I told him that I am in the process of opening a coffee shop, and as we talked more he asked about what it was all about. I told him our vision and mission, and he kind of froze and was clearly thinking. He then asked, “Could I work there?” I told him, “It’s tough to say. You could apply and interview like everyone else, but I can’t promise you a job. We’re not open yet, and we’ll have a lot of applicants.” He understood, and said, “That makes sense. Everyone out here is looking for a job.”

Another conversation was with a girl that is off the streets now. She already knew about Purple Door and she asked about it. I gave her an update and she said that she wished she had something like Purple Door when she was trying to get off the streets. She talked about how she needed support when she was first working–and still needs support. She’s also currently unemployed, and looking for work.

Our friends need not only employment, but supportive employment. They need grace, challenge, responsibility, love, accountability, trust, expectations. Those are hard things to mix, but growth and change are not easy–so that’s to be expected.

Madison and I also had a meeting with a state employee. She works for the office of Homeless Youth Services. This is an under-resourced agency and the employee we met with was wonderful. She has to work with Non-profits and NGOs to get her job done. She said to us that we are the first employment project specifically for this demographic that she knows of. We are aware of some others that are also in the process of launching; but her familiarity with the population, the issue, and the vacancy of job training for this population speaks volumes. It’s her job to connect with organizations and efforts like ours, but there aren’t many (any) to connect with.

There is a need that is being recognized by everyone that has connection with this population. So when we say there is a “huge need”, please know that what we are doing is addressing only a portion of the need on the streets. The sooner we are able to launch, the sooner we will begin equipping our friends to permanently exit street life. Hopefully we will grow and grow so we can employ more and more people and enact serious change in the culture on the streets.

Join us in the journey. Our primary need for launching is funding right now. Please head to our website to donate if you are able.

We also need and desire your prayers. Please pray for our friends on the streets that are searching for a way out. Pray for the funding to come in. Pray for decisions Madison and I make for Purple Door Coffee. Pray for decisions of our friends on the streets. Please, cover this entire effort in prayer.

If you are interested in helping, but don’t have the financial means to donate, feel free to contact us. We would love to brainstorm and dream about ways to work together.

Passion For The Kingdom

By | incubation, Non-profit | No Comments

This past week I got to share Purple Door’s story with over 600 people at Soul Quest in York, Nebraska. Soul Quest is a High School and Middle School camp at York College that draws people and churches from all over the country. This was a great opportunity to spread awareness about Purple Door, and we were thankful to be a part.

While at Soul Quest I got to teach a class. I spoke about living into your passions and gifts and turning everything in your life over to God. I encouraged the students to use what they have for the Kingdom–whatever that might be. Some of the passions that the students stated were: music, art, basketball, football, volleyball, reading, relationships, cooking, singing, dancing, learning, teaching, writing, poetry, and many others. I asked if they thought if those were useful to the Kingdom. Most sat in silence, others chimed in with a yes, but couldn’t really back up why they said yes. Some even said no.

At that point I was able to share our vision for Purple Door Coffee. I shared that I am passionate about ministry among Street Kids, and I am passionate about coffee. Showing the students that if a passion for coffee could be used for the Kingdom, then so could their passions– whatever they might be.

I encouraged them to live into those passions with a lens for the Kingdom. I encouraged them to not reduce Christianity to a formula or a strict set of rules and times that are used to approach God, but instead view Christianity as a life with Christ that will take you on a journey that you can’t predict–but it is a beautiful journey.

I also encouraged them to do it now. You don’t have to wait to start living a life intentionally oriented towards the Kingdom.

As we continue on this journey with Purple Door we will continue to live into our passions, and allow God to lead. Where we’ll end up is still to be determined, but we’re excited for the beautiful journey.

We hope that you are able to live into your passions with a lens for the Kingdom.

In the end what is most important is that you use what you have–whatever that might be–for the Kingdom. If you have a passion for painting find ways to paint for the Kingdom. If you have a passion for hosting events, host events for the Kingdom. If you have a passion for writing, write for the Kingdom. Whatever your passion is, turn it over to the Kingdom, and God will bless that. Remember that there is no formula for how to do this. If you have a heart that is surrendering to the Way of God moment by moment, you will make an impact when you live into the passions that God has placed inside you.

Some of you may have a passion or gift that could benefit Purple Door, and we would love to talk to you about that possibility. Some of you may have a heart for some other hurt in the world–live into that!

We hope that our time at Soul Quest spurred people on to live passionately for the Kingdom, and to live lives that are about living into the gifts and passions God has placed in each of us.

Thank you for all your support for Purple Door so far in this journey!

We Can’t Do This On Our Own

By | incubation, Non-profit | No Comments

Any time you attempt to change the way things are you will face opposition. Not meaning that people will disagree with what you are trying to attempt (though at times they will), but more that it will be difficult; you will hit road blocks, and sometimes you will even doubt why you are doing what you’re doing.

Flickr image by kk

Days when these thoughts of doubt are prevalent, days when feeling defeated is predominant, days when questioning your motives, directions and decisions is ever present–these are the days that God usually shows up. God delivers when we need it.

God has come along side us several times when we are confused, discouraged, disheartened, and feeling beat. Usually it is in something small–a conversation with a friend on the streets, a success of an employee at Bud’s Warehouse, a donation from an unexpected place. God knows our needs, and tends to show up when he would be the only explanation for the blessing or the change.

He also knows that it is best for us to have a struggle, to work towards this goal, and to realize that we are not doing this on our own. We think that we would want God to just hand over everything that we need to start this coffee shop so we can get moving on the project, but if I had to run a non-profit coffee shop as a job training ministry today, it would definitely be a crash course. As we are raising funds, spending time on the streets, and learning about job training ministries, we are being shaped. We are being changed, We are being challenged.

Somedays we are uncomfortable with a struggle as we move forward in this process, and we have truly been struck by the beauty and growth found in the discomfort. We are wading into waters that on our own we would be completely insufficient to handle. The dependence upon God that is necessary for us to succeed is challenging and beautiful. It is shaping us and growing us. It is moving us to learn, to love, to be loved, to dream and to work hard.

Today I am struck by how beautiful it is to admit my limitations, and lean into the Creator of the Universe. Who better to lean into, learn from, and place our trust in?

Hobbies and Passions

By | incubation, Non-profit | No Comments

There are somethings that people that are close to me know that I love: baseball; music (especially live); hiking; coffee. These are some of the most pronounced of my hobbies and interests. These things are fun and I really enjoy them.

Flickr image by Rafael Amado Deras

Many people that know me well also see my passion for ministry to and among the margins–to people on the edges of our society. During my internship with Dry Bones Denver my passion became more specific to the homeless teens and young adults that are prevalent here in Denver. This is a population that has captured my heart since my first interaction with them.

I have now been in Denver for just shy of 5 months, and each day I think about how blessed I am. I have been moved into a job that allows me to live into a passion for ministry with Street Kids here in Denver. I also get to work in the world of coffee. Non-coffee lovers probably don’t get how awesome this is, but for someone who loves coffee, this is a dream come true.

God is pretty awesome how He takes our interests, hobbies, and joys that are seemingly disconnected from the Kingdom and allows us to combine them with an area of need in our world in a way that becomes a clear demonstration of the Kingdom of God and what He is up to in the world. We at Purple Door Coffee are so blessed to be a part of this journey, and we love how many of you have shown support and are now sharing in our vision. We pray that God continues to be present and more people catch the vision each and every day.

In my process of leaving Dallas to come work with PDC one of my co-workers said to me, “If there is anyone that can use coffee to make a difference in the lives of the homeless, it’s you.” This was affirming. And really it was a calling to live into who God has created me to be. I have always enjoyed coffee, and in the past few years have developed a joy from coffee. I have a passion for street kids, which does not make much sense for a guy coming from North Dakota where the homeless population was minimal when I lived there–but that passion is a part of me. A combination of these two elements of who I am provides for a way to bring the Kingdom to the here and now. It’s who I am, and I can’t really see myself doing much else at this stage of life.

What are your interests and passions?
How can they be used for the Kingdom?
What creative ways can you be active about bringing the Kingdom about by using who you are?