I got a new book coming out in November called Venti Jesus Please! It’s a small book with a big message. The message? The gospel!
VJP is designed to give away to your friends who don’t know Jesus. It’s all built a conversation that breaks out between three friends at a Starbucks. One of the teenagers is an atheist. The other is an agnostic. The last one is a Christian. They all get into a spiritual conversation over their hot lattes and cold Frappuccinos. Here’s a taste of the book (oh by the way it’s all written from the atheist teenager’s perspective!),
“Now 99% of the Christians that I’ve met over the years at school seemed to fall in one of two categories: they’re either whacked-out or hypocrites. The nut jobs are easy to pick out.These are the kids that wear Christ on their sleeves (some literally!). They generally act like they have all the answers and take on the science teachers with talk of Adam, Eve and stories about “intelligent design” (whatever that is…I wouldn’t call whoever “designed” the Duck Billed Platypus all that intelligent!).
But I digress…
Anyway, these Jesus-loving teenagers stand around flagpoles, demand their rights, and walk the halls in their mostly weird, cheesy t-shirts. I remember one guy in particular who always invited me to go to youth group with him. He was relentless and, to be honest, quite annoying. He would always be telling me that it was bowling night or pizza night or game night. To be honest, it all sounded a little Amish to me.
I know the real reason that he wanted me there was to give me a Jesus sales pitch and convert me from my ‘heathen ways’. I remember thinking that he would have more of a chance if he’d just talked about God with me. I never could understand Christians that try to trick you into saying some words and becoming part of ‘the fold’. It always felt kind of manipulative.
The other kind of Christian is annoying for a whole different reason. Hypocrites are easy to spot. They claim the label of Jesus, but don’t follow a word of what he said. When they’re with their little Christian friends, they look and talk and act like Christians. But I’ve seen many of them at the same parties I go to. They’re usually the first to grab a drink and the last to stagger out. Ironically, more wasted than me…
Like I said, 99% of the Christians I’ve ever met are either whacked-out or hypocrites.That leaves the 1%. That leaves Nick.
It’s kind of hard to describe Nick. Starting freshman year, we were on the track team together—same relay team—so our friendship was born out of sweat and shared dreams.
He’s not part of the ‘in crowd’ of Southern California cool. He’s usually in serious need of a haircut, and his build is more lanky than ripped, but there’s something genuine about him that I like—no, that I respect.
Maybe it’s because when he asks you “how are you doing?” he really means it. He seems to treat everyone like he really cares. Or maybe it’s because I’ve never seen him compromise his values, not once—believe me, I’ve tried to get him to! Maybe it’s because I know that he’s really sold out to his beliefs. I don’t buy it or really understand it, but I know he does…hook,line and sinker. His sincerity draws me in. He’snot fake. This is why I like hanging with Nick.
Now don’t get me wrong, he and I have pulled our share of pranks. But I haven’t seen him cross the line. Well, he got mad once, really mad at me for something I said. I’ll never forget him coming to me the next day and asking my forgiveness. I’ve never had anyone genuinely ask me for forgiveness for anything. Even though we go way back, it kinda left me stunned.
I wish my dad and I could have just one moment like that. But the pride is so thick in our house that if it were smoke, we’d all suffocate.”
This book goes on to give a strong gospel presentation in conversational form between these three close friends. There’s plenty of laughter and tension in this book. It’s kind of an apologetics book meets novella meets gospel tract on steroids. Think More than a Carpenter (one of my favorite apologetics books from one of my favorite guys in the world) in a postmodern context.
My prayer is that youth leaders will get these books in bulk and arm their teenagers with these books to pass out to their friends to let the real life Starbucks’ conversations begin! Maybe youth leaders will sponsor free coffee and latte and Frap nights in youth group where the conversations can happen in a group setting.
I can’t wait for this book to be released! It should be available through www.dare2share.org and www.amazon.com soon! I can’t wait to order a bunch myself and start passing them out to all my neighbors and Barista friends!
*The picture of Jesus holding a latte is something I found on the internet that made me smile. The real cover of my book is a little more subtle than that!