Saturday, February 18, 2006


Windfall by Rachel Caine - The continuing adventures of the Weather Wardens and the Djinn who serve them. In this book, the Djinn are on the verge of an all out war with the wardens. It seems they're tired of a life of servitude.
I've enjoyed these books for the urban fantasy that they are. Sometimes there's a bit of romance thrown in (which makes them a bit too Chick Lit for me) but she writes action better than most female authors I know. I'm sure I'll keep reading these adventures as long as she keeps churning them out.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Final Wedding Update

Well, the big day is Sunday and family and friends are arriving in trickles. As I write this, Sarah, her best friend and parents are around the corner eating lunch. My parents, sister, and sundry other family members arrive this afternoon. I doubt I will be able to make another entry until after the honeymoon so...anyone reading this, wish us well and send some congratulatory comments. As of Sunday, Marty will be off the market and glad of it. I am looking forward to life with Sarah as my wife. It's going to be fun.

Monday, February 13, 2006

The Green Bean

This coffee shop is 2 doors down from the theatre and run by Sanctuary, the church Sarah and I are attending. Lisa and Hayden are great. They do a good work there.

Lisa Etter and Hayden Smith -- Serving up a Cup of Love
When interest, talent and drive align with resources, need and opportunity, the ensuing "click" is almost audible in its perfection.
Lisa Etter and Hayden Smith are two women in a small pool of blessed beings who have found their purpose in life. The pair met in Chicago while working as a janitor in a homeless shelter and an inner-city elementary school teacher, respectively. Both wanted to do something that involved building community, providing a forum for people to use their gifts and an opportunity for low-income women in transition to gain work experience. They found that all of these fit under the umbrella of a coffeehouse and proceeded to look for the right opportunity.
They heard about a group in Seattle called Sanctuary that had the space and funds to start a non-profit coffeehouse but no one to run it. The two factions joined together and "felt peace in linking arms," Lisa said.
So, at the ripe old age of 23, Lisa and Hayden told their parents that no, they didn't need to go to school and get more experience first.
"We were created to do this and this is what we're going to do," Lisa said.
Three years ago, she had a vision of a coffeehouse and drew a picture of it, right down to the charming mismatched furniture, the vintage chandeliers and the tip jar that now sits prominently on the counter of the Green Bean Coffeehouse in the Greenwood neighborhood of Seattle. The money from the tip jar, along with the rest of the profits from coffee sales, go to support community organizations like the North Seattle Boys and Girls Club and the Greenwood Senior Center, and to hosting community events like open mic night and children's story time.
Hayden loves children and is excited about the programs that "encourage people and children to know that they are wonderfully made, beautiful and loved," she said. "I love watching relationships build."
Lisa, an avid and natural outdoorswoman, leads summer backpacking trips for low-income youth. Her dream is to live out her life's passion and purpose "in a way that encourages full life living and opportunities for women no matter what their income status, circumstance or history," she said. "There is always a new beginning and always hope."
With that in mind, Lisa and Hayden will soon begin a barista training internship program for homeless youth and adults. They are also looking to buy a home in Greenwood to temporarily house women in transition until they can find a place of their own.
The name of the coffeehouse is indicative of its mission.
"When coffee beans arrive from their country of origin, they are jade green in color," the Green Bean Web site states. "As they are roasted a transformation occurs which brings them to their full tasty potential and aroma. Just like the green bean itself, the Green Bean Coffeehouse will exist in order to promote positive transformation in the life of the Greenwood neighborhood and then globally by supporting people groups from parts of the world less fortunate than ours. It's our hope to exist as a community center coffeehouse, serving up a mean cup of coffee, a fantastically inviting atmosphere and programs that encourage and foster community and the individual."
While the main purpose is cultivating relationships in the community, the Green Bean's reach extends far beyond Greenwood. After only a few months of operation, Lisa and Hayden coordinated a benefit concert for Zimbabwe in September to help rebuild the recently demolished shantytowns and orphanages. Local musicians and artists lent their talents and Taproot Theatre hosted the event that raised almost $4,000.
Continuing its global outreach, the Green Bean also displays and sells handcrafted bags and jewelry from Amani Ya Juu, a women's refugee community in Kenya. Women from almost every tribe, tongue and nation in Africa have fled war and ethnic conflicts and come to Nairobi. At Amani Ya Juu these brave women, many from warring clans and countries, live together peacefully. They are taught to sew and to market their wares to build a sustainable future for themselves and their families.
While all of these are noble missions, the Green Bean Coffeehouse wouldn't survive unless it was offering something of value. Rest assured, the coffee is superb, the small menu of baked goods, soups, sandwiches and quiche leave nothing to be desired, the atmosphere is inviting, and the service is more than friendly.
"They're always positive," said Dave Harris, an employee of Consolidated Carpets three doors down from the Green Bean and a frequent (read four or five times a day) customer. "Everyone who works behind the counter has a smile on their face. Everyone pretty much knows everyone. It's a warm atmosphere. It's relaxed. Lisa and Hayden make that atmosphere. I swear by that place. I don't go to any other coffee place. If I didn't like it I wouldn't go in there."
Green Bean Coffeehouse is located at 210 N 85th Street, Seattle, in the heart of Greenwood and two doors down from Taproot Theatre.
"You're going to buy a cup of coffee anyway," Lisa said. "Maybe drive our way so you can contribute to something."
For more information call (206) 706-4587 or visit

Originally appeared in the Journal Newspapers

Wedding Update

The countdown is ticking away. Less than a week from now, Sarah and I will be hitched and preparing to fly to Orlando for our honeymoon. This week is going to be crazy. Friends and family are going to be arriving constantly and erratically. There's still a few little things to be done but, all in all, it's going quite well. I am excited about the wedding but even more excited about the days after when Sarah and I can relax and begin our lives as Mr. and Mrs. Marty Gordon.

Sunday, February 05, 2006


As I was sitting in church this morning listening to a sermon on the Throne of God and "true worship," I began to think about stages. I'm not talking about the stages of life but actual, physical stages that we erect to put on shows. I'm beginning to think that stages are perhaps not a good thing for a church to have for a worship service.
In my mind, I pictured a stage and thought of the concept of the "Audience of One," meaning God is the audience or receiver fo the praise we focus toward Him. My first image was of a church with band and preacher on stage and congregation seated below. Where was the praise focused? Toward the stage. Now, consider a shift. Let's put everyone down on the floor and picture God on the stage. At least now we can focus the praise where it belongs. (I know God is not on stage but neither is He physically up in the air where many focus their attention during worship...that's an issue for another time.)
Then I began to think of the early church. They met in homes. They had no stages. They had no bands. They had no fancy preachers in modern attire. More than likely, they sat in a circle or stood around and had whatever type of service one has in the early days of churchdom. The key element here is that they were all at one physical level. No one seemingly better than another. No one put on a pedestal to be worshipped. Just folk sitting around praising God.
I do know, from past experience, that this can be a problem. I led a worship team in a church that met in a school with a procenium type stage. Many times we were accused of being divas and attention mongers, which wasn't the case at all. The physical environment caused this assumption. A few years later, we moved to another school with an amphitheatre type feel. The stage was low and the seats rose up around it. No one ever made those comments again. But...there were still levels.
How do we eradicate these levels? How can we put everyone on equal footing (physically) in church to meet with God and worship Him? How do we solve this problem of stages? I don't know but you'd better believe that I'm going to think about it.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is my 44th birthday. Sarah fixed me french toast and gave me a year's subscription to Juxtapoz magazine. While I was in the shower, she had put up decorations and had little party horns. (the cat's hated those) It was fun but short lived. I had to come to work today. The theatre has 2 shows so I have to clean before and after the matinee. I'm taking Mondays off to make up for the lost weekend day. So, not much celebrating today. (Thursday night was my celebration night) I hate getting old but I'm going to make the best of it and try to keep my mind young. Happy Birthday to me!

Friday, February 03, 2006

Oh, The Shame

I don't think I want to live in a country where "Big Momma's House 2" can be the # 1 movie. I'm moving to New Zealand.

One Church Reaches Out

My friend Jon took this photo of an actual church marquee in Waco, TX. I guess this church does give a hoot about evangelism. (Sorry, couldn't think of a breast pun...I must be losing my edge)

A Week of Theatre

Sarah and I have had our fill of theatre this week. First off, it's the opening week of Taproot's "An Inpector Calls." Sarah's been busy all week finishing up costumes and doing last minute tweaks. I attended the invited dress rehearsal on Tuesday night. It's a British whodunnit with a twist.
Last night, we attended the opening night performance of "The Wedding Singer." This show is based on the movie and headed to Broadway after a short premiere here in Seattle. It's a fun show. It's not exactly like the movie. Some changes have been made. But it serves to give the story a freshness. I saw "The Lion King" show and it was so much like the movie that when the awe of the production wore off, I was bored. No so with this one. The songs are written in 80's style but, unfortunately, they haven't included any 80's standards. The characters are engaging. George (as in Boy wannabe) is hysterical. Grandma Rosie is a hoot. Linda (Robbie's ex) is the show-stopper. Her numbers are so hilarious. There's alot to like about the show...just like the movie, it's fun and entertaining. I can see where there might be some more tweaking to do before Broadway but, all in all, I think they're ready. We'll see how they do in the Big Apple.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Renegotiating My Faith

This thought hit me the other day. I feel like I've been on strike from God for a couple of years now. I won't go into why. Let's just say I've been having a crisis of faith. Well now that I'm starting to seek again...I feel like I'm renegotiating a new contract. I just don't believe like I once did. My faith has been shaken. In my renegotiation time, I will be trying to explore just what it is I believe and how I believe. It's all different now. Just like everything else, it will be a journey. So, since no one else is around, I will tell myself to, "Have a nice trip."