Food talks…but do people listen?

java house iowa cityIn the next several posts, I’m going to test a theory.  People can’t resist food.  They love talking about it.  They certainly love eating it.  But what I observe in the world of social media is that people notice food before just about anything else.  I wish it weren’t so.  Try it for yourself.  Post a picture of what you’re having for breakfast – especially if you’re out with others.  You’ll get more Facebook response from your food than you’d get from posting your favorite Bible verse and why you find it inspiring.  Go ahead!  Post both things consecutively.  In whichever order you like.  Food will win!  Here’s the saddest part:  if you actually posted something about how you are doing personally, food still wins.  Lets say you’re really bummed-out about something.  I would bet money that your breakfast post will still get more likes.  Don’t do this for real, please.  It would just make you sadder. 

In my job I spend considerable time traveling to campuses, meeting up with people (yes, over food) and doing my InterVarsity thing one face-to-face conversation at a time.  I was in Iowa for three days last week.  In the next several posts I’ll be giving you a tour of where I was.  Who I spoke with.  And… what I ate!  I hope my food theory works.  After the next seven posts, ask yourself the question “Why did I keep reading?  Was it because of the people Tim met up with?  Or was it because I wanted to know what they ate?”  No judgement here.  Ya gotta eat, right?

Iowa City.  Java House.  Kevin.

Kevin took me to the perfect campus venue.  Two places connected inside by a passage-way.  The Java House on the right.  Heirloom Salad on the left.  Kevin is our GFM staff member at the University of Iowa.  As of October 1st this year, he and his wife Maria have been on staff with InterVarsity for 40 years!  I hung out with Kevin all afternoon – we started with lunch.  I had The Heirloom Cobb Salad.  Grilled Chicken, bacon, sliced egg, fresh avocado, grape tomatoes, croutons, honey mustard dressing.  Kevin had The Waldorf Chicken Feta.

heirloomWe caught up about how ministry is going so far this fall.  I listened in on how Kevin’s family is doing while we had lunch.  Then we took the discussion next door to the Java House.  Kevin is great at taking time monthly to reflect on life and ministry.  I get his notes from his monthly prayer retreat day.  We had a chance to look at them over coffee.  We also talked about his Annual Ministry Plan – InterVarsity staff submit an outline of their ministry objectives for the year.  Supervisors dial into that as we coach, encourage and pray for staff.  Last thing we talked about was a prayer task force our Area has been asked to head up for the South-Central Region.  Kevin will be leading the task force with help from our area team plus other staff from around the region.

It’s fun to go places, but to be honest, I do get tired of eating out.  Kevin and Maria hosted me for dinner and an overnight while I was in Iowa, City.  We had a chance to talk about how we’ll celebrate this 40th year of student ministry with InterVarsity and IFES (International Fellowship of Evangelical Students).   We’ll be planning a couple of events to gather staff and supporters they’ve worked with.  Pray that this will be a fun year of celebration for them.

three and a half stars

So how many stars?  I’ll be giving my company all 5 star ratings.  It’s the people we do this for in InterVarsity.  Everyone I was with last week gets 5!  BUT, if I had to do it for the food…  I’d give Java-House and Heirloom 3.5 stars.  I’m picky.  That’s a pretty good score!  Next up is Ames, my staff worker Tom, a faculty member named Marcia, The Parks Memorial Library and Corn-Bred!  Yes I spelled that right!

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