Lent, pt. 24

I met someone at the Olive Garden today.

Wait, I always meet people at the Olive Garden when I am working.

I am a waiter so meeting people is part of my job.

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But enjoying non-food conversations and liking them is a whole other story.

Enter Laney.

Seven women (2 adults and 5 teens) came into the restaurant today.

I had the privilege of waiting on them.

It was a great experience.

And then I learned that Laney has cancer.

Epithelioid Hemangioendothelioma. EHE, for short.

But you would never know it. She was funny and sarcastic. She seemed perfectly healthy.

It is not fair that an 18 year old girl should get a terrible disease.

I always wonder why God lets these things happen.

But I am not going to focus on that. Instead, I want to focus on the goodness of God.

Who am I to doubt the King of Kings?

Who am I to wonder if the Creator of the Universe can handle cancer?

Who am I…?

As I go to sleep tonight, two thoughts will swirl through my mind:

God, please heal Laney

Thank you for being good.

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Lent, pt. 8

God gave me a sign today.

I wait tables at the Olive Garden a few days a week.

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I wouldn’t say it is rare but I don’t see people praying for their meals very often.

Today was different. It was a lady in her early thirties and, perhaps, her mother or even grandmother. Please forgive me if I am way off on these estimates.

After I had set down their salad, they bowed their heads and prayed. I was at another table so I don’t think they saw me.

Until I asked them permission to use their example in this blog.

Little did they know that earlier today, I had been thinking about the following verse:

“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” NIV, Matthew 6:6 

Click here for the entire chapter.

There is much focus on the outward appearance when it comes to Lent.

What are you giving up?

Are you praying more?

Did you attend church/mass this week?

Those things are good so please keep doing them if you have started.

But don’t announce it.

By all means, keep praying at restaurants. These things speak volumes.

What I am saying is that being with Jesus will have a natural effect.

Spend time with Jesus and let him seep out of you.

Overflow with the Spirit because you have let him fill you.

Actions speak louder than words but silence shouts the loudest.

“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” NIV, Acts 4:13

How loud are you talking?

Three Ps in a Pod. part 4

I hope you have been enjoying this Three Ps in a Pod series. It has been very fulfilling for me to write it! =-)

Olive Garden breadsticks. Can you smell them? As you know, (if you have read About me) I wait tables at the Olive Garden. Hopefully, you have eaten at an OG and enjoyed your experience. There is something about the breadsticks that I want to share. Insider information, if you will.

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Breadsticks are served with every meal. You don’t even need to ask. They just appear. Here is the rule: the first time breadsticks are served, the number of sticks needs to equal the number of guests plus one. So, if you and your friend come in for lunch, I would bring 3 breadsticks to the table. If you ask for more, I only need to bring two.

That rule has always befuddled me. Why bring that extra breadstick? What is the reasoning behind it? People usually just fight over it anyway. Why the number of guests plus one? I don’t get it.

What is the purpose?

Have you guessed the last P in the series?

Pardon.

Peace.

Purpose.

As always, let’s go back to 2 Corinthians 5. Here are verses 18-20,

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sin against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors,…”

We are ambassadors. And therein lies our purpose.

Our purpose is the reconcile the world back to God. Does that seem overwhelming? Are you strong enough to handle such a great task? Can I complete this mission on my own? NO! That is why we are ambassadors.

  1. An ambassador for Christ is a citizen of heaven. Even though we live, eat, breath, work, and play on this earth, our homeland is in heaven.
  2. An ambassador for Christ speaks on Christ’s behalf. Everything we say and everything we do should reflect the one who sent us.
  3. An ambassador for Christ has authority because of Christ. You and I may be surrounded by enemies. We may be in the direct line of fire from the evil one. Attacks could be (and are presently) coming from all sides. But we speak with the authority of one who has nailed the powers of this world to the cross!

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There you have it. Purpose. God did a great work in us so we could go out and do a great work for him.

It all started because He loved us.

So if you have been reconciled to God, consider yourself an ambassador for Christ.

And don’t worry, he has your back. You are are covered in the blood.

Go with confidence and let God do the rest.

Top Ten Things I Learned While…

Ever had bad service at a restaurant? It is pretty easy to remember the bad ones. But what about the times when you have an exceptional experience? The service was awesome and the food was fantastic and you tipped 25%, right? Most of my week days are spent at the Olive Garden. I wait tables. Without giving all of the details, I have been a waiter for close to nine years. And all of them at an Olive Garden. In that span, I feel like I have learned some things. Dealing with people, relating to co-workers, smiling when I don’t feel like it are just some of these lessons. In this post, I would like to share with you my Top Ten Things I Learned While Waiting Tables at the Olive Garden. 

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Disclaimer: These reflections stem from my personal experience. The Olive Garden is a fantastic place to work. My nine years speak to that but there are coworkers of mine that have logged many more years than I have. If you have had a bum deal or feel ill feelings towards the OG, sorry but don’t let how you feel discourage you from going back to dine at an Olive Garden. Thanks…now onto the list.


  1. Smile. At the table. In the kitchen. Even if you don’t feel like it.
  2. Be nice and polite to the cooks. They can make or break your day.
  3. Pre-bus your tables more than expected. Your busser can clean the table quicker.
  4. Avoid co-worker drama. In relation to said drama, ignorance is bliss.
  5. If you know first names, use them. If not, use “sir” and “miss”. Never call a woman “ma’am”.
  6. Don’t freak out. When, not if, the host staff messes up the seating rotation and you get double sat, stay cool.
  7. Relationship is key. View people as people, not as something from which you can extract a tip.
  8. Never complain about a bad tip. Sometimes people are ignorant, not mean.
  9. Sometimes you mess up. The tip will reflect it. Move on and do better next time.
  10. Attitude is paramount! My goal, every day, is to make the Olive Garden a better place because I am there.

Here is a picture of my Olive Garden in Green Bay: og In fact, I am going to clean up and head to work soon. Normally, I will attempt to draw some spiritual application or at least a biblical connection. Not today. I am going to let my Top Ten Things I Learned While Waiting Tables at the Olive Garden stand on their own. It was my pleasure in serving you today. We’ll see you soon.