- Troy Hatfield
- Title Photo by Luke Mattson
Are there any verses in the Bible that might have been meaningful at one point in your life, but seem to have little resonance as you’ve grown older? I remember a passage that was quoted a lot while I was in college and then when I was working at my first church job. It was Isaiah 52:7.
There’s a story we’ve heard all too many times. An influential person, be that a celebrity, a politician, or even a local pastor, somehow falls from grace through a statement made or an act that exposes them to be living and participating in unhealthy patterns of life. Some pounce on these individuals to parade them as case studies of why we should constantly be wary of following any individual with power. Others use the event to turn the light on the masses, as a way of reminding each of us of our own personal shortcomings and unhealth.
Sometimes when I’m praying it’s helpful to grab a handful of colored pens or sharpies and kind of doodle and jot down words. It helps me to stay focused, to listen, and to really dwell in my thoughts and feelings. My journals are full of lime green arrows, indigo verses and phrases, and purple outlines, exclamation points, and stars...
Some of my favorite parts of summer are the impromptu hangs. Anything on the grill is just a little more festive. And if you’re on your back patio or a neighbor’s porch, all you really need is a bottle of Prosecco and a quick snack and it feels like an event. That’s the magic of summer.
And the sangria—a nice cold, fresh, light sangria. Like this one. Not too sweet. Not too strong. Just right...
- Ben Capps
I come from a family of mosquito slapping, chicken raising, back porch sitting, kombucha tea sipping, rowdy hymn singers. We lived our summer months on the planks of wood outside out back door. In fact, to this day, when I visit in the summer my mother sets up a bed for me out on the porch. She knows full well that there is a slim chance of me sleeping indoors.
Sometimes it’s irritating to look for new recipes… ah, another pasta! Wow, you toasted the walnuts?! Ooooh, sirarcha on those veggies? Who could have thought of this!?!? <insert giant eye roll> Don’t get me wrong, I love toasted walnuts, and good, staple recipes… but sometimes it can all feel a bit uninspiring...
The final manifestation of spring that adorns our living room is dramatically less romantic. This last sign is an indicator not only of our external activities but also of our internal sentiments. In the corner of the room is a heaping pile of bulging trash bags full of our “stuff”...