It’s such a catchy title that I couldn’t improve on it for my post, and frankly, Ron DeMiglio’s entire book continues to live up to expectation! It’s easy to read and hard to put down, makes you laugh and makes you think. What’s not to love?
Ron spent twenty-five years traveling the world selling coffee for a living but following Jesus for a life. His book, Coffee, the World, and Jesus, But Not Necessarily In That Order, is a collection of 28 loosely spun tales with clever titles like “The Hypocrite Oath,” “A Tale of Two Pities,” “His Grapes, My Wrath,” and “An Affinity for Salinity.” Ron not only has a way with words, he can spin gold from coffee grounds!
Each reflection starts with a title geared to pique your curiosity and then lists a location (which pretty much includes every continent but penguin territory) and the purpose for his trip. With that fabric, he weaves tapestries from around the world (super fun for me as a travelogian), explaining what he learned with insightful charm and light-hearted transparency. Every story made me smile; every object lesson made me ponder; every chapter ended with this mantra: “Shun Common!”
If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur (or church planter or missionary), I’ll share one particularly helpful bit of wisdom from the book to whet your appetite. In the context of explaining how businesses are unpredictable and don’t all succeed despite outward expectations, he mentions what makes for a prime location: “High visibility, easy access, ample exterior signage, adequate parking, great foot and drive-by traffic, a high per capita income, and good mix of residential and retail, low crime, some form of mass transit nearby, and a favorable lease rate.” Obviously, if you have ministry instead of money in mind, then your CEO is the Holy Spirit, and He might direct slightly otherwise in some areas, but even thriving ministries have to be financially sustained somehow, so I think this list is worth considering no matter what your objective.
Last, but not least, a few quotable quotes. I hope you read the book (if you’re local, you can borrow mine), but if you don’t, I know Ron has a heart to share the abundance God has given him, so here are a few samples from his espresso bean:
“Spotting the Savior’s hand in the obscure and trivial makes me feel uncommonly loved.” (And, I hope it does that for you too!)
“Correction without a Holy Spirit-led concern for the individual is as useful as barbed-wire dental floss.”
“The history of a person has absolutely no bearing on the authenticity of their salvation. If they have truly repented and taken and passed the Jesus-acceptance exam, they are clean and right before God.”
“Life and joy are in the obedience, not the outcome.”
“I don’t feel intellectually inferior for recognizing the divine. I refuse to cower to fiction dolled up as logic.”
“Only the ethically blind can’t recognize and acknowledge their own duplicity.”
“But grace isn’t an excuse for me to bleed my casual sin all over those around me. Based on my acknowledgment of the monumental sacrifice that was made on my behalf, grace should be the tourniquet that stems the flow of my unholy activity.”
One last pearl of wisdom, not from Ron’s coffee table but from our Father: “Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established”