Mike Cope's blog

Thursday, April 14, 2005

The One Egg Special. For fourteen years, I've been having breakfast most Wednesday mornings at the infamous Towne Crier. It's been a wonderful time to be with preachers from other Churches of Christ in town. As members have drifted back and forth from one church to another over "major differences," we've just smiled, enjoyed our friendship and remembered that what goes around comes around. It's rare for anyone to order anything other than the One Egg Special. (Yes, it may remind you of the Blue Plate Special that Barney used to order at the diner in Mayberry.) One egg, meat, and bread. It's $2.19 for the breakfast. Yes, those of you in Manhattan, you read that correctly. It's less than you pay for a gallon of gas. (I know there's an easy response based on double-entendre, but don't go there.) We get the same thing. But we order it SO differently! I'm the "normal" one egg special guy: one egg over medium, bacon, and a biscuit -- with water. No bells and whistles. Just pass me the strawberry jam. Eddie orders the same thing, except that he has iced tea. That's right: iced tea for breakfast. When the waitresses see him coming, they know it's time to pour the tea. Terry's one egg special goes like this: one egg scrambled, bacon, and a pancake (believe it or not, they'll substitute a pancake for the biscuit). Water. Don's order adds an interesting twist: "I'd like the one egg special with an extra egg." Now I'm not Einstein, but wouldn't that be a two egg special? Apparently not. Coffee. Phil is Mr. Atkins. He asks for extra bacon instead of the biscuit. Bring on the protein; hold the carbs. Diet Dr. Pepper to drink. So there you have it. We place five "one egg special" orders. But they look very different. It's funny to us that some of our members probably think our churches are vastly different. But we're all just one egg specials. One may be low carb, one may have the extra egg, and another is downing iced tea. But we're way more similar than most people suspect. In small worlds, minuscule differences can look VERY LARGE. Can you imagine how much energy is burned in many communities by members of various churches talking in outrage about what another church is teaching or doing? I'd like to think that in those communities, one morning a week the ministers are getting together for a bit of Towne Crier Koinonia: a one egg special, trust, deep concern, and a little humor.


  • I really like the great metaphors you used in your post today. I hope that this Wednesday morning group continues to stay close and perhaps even grow over time. Blessings to each of you and the parts of the ONE body you each serve. Thanks again for using your gift of preaching to show us how daily life is ministry.

    By Blogger Donald Philip Simpson, at 4/14/2005 07:26:00 AM  

  • Mike,

    You out-did yourself on this one. Thanks for writing.

    By Blogger Frank Bellizzi, at 4/14/2005 07:35:00 AM  

  • Great metaphors!!! One thing they all seem to have in common is they are all made from the same product, a cracked egg. ;o)

    By Blogger Kathy, at 4/14/2005 07:40:00 AM  

  • Thank you brother! This is what it's all about. Blessings.

    By Blogger CL, at 4/14/2005 07:49:00 AM  

  • Enjoyed your eggcellent post, MC.

    By Blogger Greg Taylor, at 4/14/2005 07:59:00 AM  

  • So simple - yet so profound - thanks Mike.

    I find this topic very intriguing the day after I read that Readers Digest has voted Max Lucado the "Best Preacher" in the U.S.A. Wow! - that is awesome. Or, is it some might question. Aren't those the folks that took "of Christ" off their sign and wheel in a piano now and again? Regardless of how profound we consider our differences - I think Christ would beg to differ - and beg for us to get over ourselves.

    By Blogger KentF, at 4/14/2005 08:04:00 AM  

  • For the record, gas in Manhattan, KS (yes that is Kansas - aka the Little Apple - I laughed the first I heard it too.) has been more than that per gallon for a couple of weeks.

    By Blogger Jen, at 4/14/2005 08:12:00 AM  

  • As happy as I found myself while reading this truly special post, I must admit that I also felt feelings of sadness and shame about those communities where there is no Town Crier Koinonia.

    Praise God that you five are really one and may he use you to reach out to those who think that the difference between scrambled and medium is too hard to overcome.

    You inspired many today Cope. This one better make it into the book.

    By Blogger Joel Quile, at 4/14/2005 08:17:00 AM  

  • Mike, my first time to post on your blog. Your "one egg away" comment reminds me of the plague at the path entrance to life size statues of the Garden of Gethsemane at Gethsemani Abbey in Trappist, KY. The plague reads:

    "May we always remember that the Church exists to lead men to Christ in many and varied ways, but it is always the same Christ."

    The statues were donated in honor of a young Episcopal seminarian who traveled to Alabama during the civil rights movement. Witnessing an escalating argument between a young women and a law enforcement officer who raised his weapon to shoot, he stepped in and took the bullet for her, dying.

    By Blogger Tony Arnold, at 4/14/2005 08:36:00 AM  

  • In many ways I wish it was taken one step further. I wish that people would just forget about the name on the sign. That ministers, deacons, members would just come together and praise God with there differences. I see God working in so many ways and I thank him so much. Thanks for your wisdom Mike.

    By Blogger Bj, at 4/14/2005 08:40:00 AM  

  • Mike,

    I really enjoyed this post. I always get a great deal of encouragement from the breakfasts we have up here in NY (though ours generally runs closer to $8, plus about $4.50 in gas to get there and back...it's always worth it!).

    By Blogger James, at 4/14/2005 09:20:00 AM  

  • Thanks again for encouraging and echoing my heart!

    Phyllis Chill

    By Blogger Phyllistene, at 4/14/2005 09:27:00 AM  

  • Mike, is the Towne Crier diner anything like "Bobby's" here in Searcy. Lots of eggs sold and consumed there daily. Standing room only and to all walks of life, all age groups. Those breakfast meetings are special times I'm sure. My order would be the one egg special with the extra egg and the sweet tea! Thanks for sharing.

    By Blogger Keith, at 4/14/2005 09:34:00 AM  

  • Great post-may we be able to put our differences aside and "all be one" just like Jesus prayed...

    By Blogger Katherine, at 4/14/2005 10:09:00 AM  

  • Eggcellent post today, Mike...

    I don't intend to get egg on anyone's faces here, but...

    (Sorry, I had to...really...)

    Seriously, though, I think the answer to a lot of our division, bickering, etc., is a renewed vision of how big God's story is. It is so much bigger and older than our little traditions, heritages, life-spans, etc., that we would be rediculous to think it begins and ends with us. John Eldredge does a great job of illustrating the size of God's story in Epic. Read it if you haven't.

    Jesus had some words for people who get all wound up about things and end up getting worn out: "My burden is easy and my yoke is light."

    Pun intended.

    Steve Holt, Jr.

    By Blogger Steve Jr., at 4/14/2005 10:29:00 AM  

  • Wonderful post Mike, love the metophorical story. It is so true, sadly, many do not see it that way. Most are branches off the same tree, wish more would see it the way you put it, can you imagine the unity? can you imagine the love? can you imagine how much could be accomplished in His name?

    By Blogger JP Manzi, at 4/14/2005 10:32:00 AM  

  • Yeah, but which came first...the chicken or the egg? Are you implying the egg is more important than the chicken?!?!?! What kind of warped theology is that?

    Thanks for the wonderful and TIMELY post today. The fellowship I belong to is pretty much the whipping boy in this community...so you have encouraged me today, brother! Truth is all of us eggs came from the same Rooster, huh? Like I heard Don Mclaughlin say once: "The question is NOT who is my brother, but it's who is my Father"!!

    I look forward to having a one egg special with ALL of you in the Heavenly Diner on the other side some day! I hear the cook is the real deal. Who knows, maybe the waitress will even be Juanita! :)

    Love you Mike!

    By Blogger David U, at 4/14/2005 11:22:00 AM  

  • Great post, Mike. $2.19 for a gallon of gas? Where? Why are they giving it away for free?

    James (who paid $2.93 per gallon at the Chevron at PCH and Webb Way last night)

    By Blogger Malibu Librarian, at 4/14/2005 11:27:00 AM  

  • Great post... and I am ashamed to say that I loved all the egg puns. I am so tempted to add some at this point, but I consider it a spiritual discipline to refrain.

    Today I had my weekly lunch with my preaching friend from 20 miles down the road. We have been doing this for a few years (at his suggestion), and it has become a highlight of my week. We usually spend 2.5 hours together, and it seems like 5 minutes.

    Blessings to you.

    By Blogger JD, at 4/14/2005 01:12:00 PM  

  • Mike: Nicely put! That's something good to think about!

    By Blogger FeedingYourMind, at 4/14/2005 01:26:00 PM  

  • Eggcellent and thought pro-yoking piece. You really cracked open some good stuff.

    As always, you cause me to think.

    By Blogger Hoots Musings, at 4/14/2005 04:49:00 PM  

  • Wow! I was working at Towne Crier when they started serving breakfast! Was that really 14 years ago?!?
    I always look forward to reading your posts Mike and enjoyed meeting you at Stream in the Desert. (I was the video girl) Still praying for your family!

    By Blogger Cindy, at 4/14/2005 09:29:00 PM  

  • Mike, Brings back memories of my days in Abilene. I always had the breakfast burrito (potato and cripsy bacon - hold the egg) with ice tea! Iced tea for breakfast must be a University Church thing. Do they still serve the burrito?

    By Blogger Randy, at 4/15/2005 06:41:00 AM  

  • Forgive me for spinning off of your blog to my own, but the statment, "In small worlds, minuscule differences can look VERY LARGE," is one of the most profound I've come cross in a long time. Small worlds can be warm and intimate to the insiders, but cold and hostile to outsiders. Pray that we can have the community of small worlds, while seeing the commonality that a large world perspective brings.

    Thanks for some stimulating writing.

    Oh, like Randy, I was also a Towne Crier breakfast burrito man in my grad school days.

    Anthony Parker

    By Blogger Anthony Parker, at 4/15/2005 07:04:00 AM  

  • I wouldn't be being redundant to say "great post", would I?! And now I'm hungry for breakfast burritos...which I have yet to locate up here in Nashville.

    By Blogger Jana, at 4/15/2005 08:31:00 AM  

  • Try McDonald's, Jana.

    heh heh heh

    By Blogger Phil, at 4/15/2005 01:29:00 PM  

  • re: steve holt jr.'s above comment on "My burden is easy and my yoke is light..."

    actually had a long bible study w/ a friend in Vegas over this passage. She made a number of peculiar comments that were difficult to tie in. When I closed the bible study by talking about how a yoke worked, she chimed in, "oh, I thought Jesus was talking about egg yolks." we were stunned.

    Are Towne Crier's tables still sticky? I remember good breakfasts, but having to peel the bill of the wood tables.

    Great post Mike.

    By Blogger Kevin, at 4/15/2005 02:30:00 PM  

  • Love this post! What a joy to have such a fellowship! I'd be looking forward to Wednesdays too!

    By Blogger Niki, at 4/15/2005 04:11:00 PM  

  • I love your analogy. Sadly, I know too many people that think like this:

    While there may be a certain lattitude with the way the egg is cooked, it is clear from the context of the surrounding menu items that the meat must be sausage and the bread must be toast. The menu doesn't offer substitutions. If you ask for them, the chef will spit in your food. And I won't eat with you because he might spit in my food as well.

    By Blogger tedkeys, at 4/16/2005 11:10:00 AM  

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