I know I’ve been MIA on the blog recently, but I’m guessing you’re out seizing summer joy and don’t mind a little less in your “in box”! As a result, this is a looooong post!
I’ve been prioritizing speaking, prepping a new set of devo cards, and another writing project I only recently have had the courage to call a “manuscript”. Yikes it’s scary to say that, and yet I also feel total peace regarding what happens with it. If God can use it “out there” I trust it will get published. If He has other plans I’m fine with that. I’m thankful for friends and mentors who have been coaching me along in this process!
Speaking of needing each other… John and I always do a lot of hosting in the summertime because our back yard provides a great space for gathering folks. We have had a big tent I told you about before, but it’s so old it started to leak when there was rain, and since rain was predicted last week when we were hosting 32, we bought another tent. Here was the problem. It was a LOT more complicated to set up than our previous one (I am so thankful for a husband with infinite patience!).
It was super hot with one million percent humidity as we struggled to get it set up. At one point I asked John what time it was, and he said, “No worries, they’re not coming tip 6:30.” Imagine the look on our faces when we had just finished the job and were sweating like pigs and our guests walked around the corner of our house at 6:00!
Anyway, one of the benefits of hosting a lot of potlucks is GOOD RECIPES! My friend Michelle brought this amazing salad and was gracious enough to give me the recipe, so I thought I’d pass it along. It is delightfully different!
Wheat Berry and Fruit Salad
1 Cup wheat berries
3 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs water
1 ½ Tbs cider vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp each salt & pepper
¼ Cup dried cranberries (craisins)
1 large apple cut bite size
1 Cup seedless grapes halved
½ Cup diced cheddar
- Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan.
Add wheat berries; reduce heat, cover and cook for
45-55 minutes until tender. Drain well.
- In a large bowl, whisk oil, water, vinegar, mustard, salt
& pepper. Add dried cranberries and warm wheat berries.
Toss to coat. Let stand 10 minutes, tossing occasionally,
for flavors to absorb and wheat berries to cool. (If you want
to make ahead and serve cold, cover and refrigerate up to
3. Add remaining ingredients to bowl; toss to mix and coat.
Serves 4 (Can be served on a bed of lettuce.)
I preached at CPC on Jesus and the feeding of the 5,000 a couple weeks ago, and I wish I had thought to use this video! With Jesus everybody’s welcome, nobody’s perfect, and anything can happen!
I’ve been reading a lot this summer, but I really hate to review books because I think personal taste, values, your current season of life, and circumstances can skew how you feel about a book.
However, my talented friend Steve Wiens has a new book coming out August 22nd called “Whole”.
The description of this new book is: “For Christians who lament the brokenness in themselves, their neighbors, and the world around them, Whole offers a rallying cry to pursue wholeness together.”
I think Steve’s strength is in the questions he asks – the 5 questions of restoration he addresses in the first half of the book, and the discussion questions at the end of each chapter make this a read that would be good for group discussion. Steve models a commitment to self-reflection and vulnerable sharing throughout which will encourage others in your small group.
If you like considering the different meanings behind the original Hebrew text, looking for new connections, you will like this book. If you like contemporary retelling of ancient stories that highlight the movement from brokenness to wholeness, you will like this book.
If you are into spy novels, I recommend this complicated, intriguing book, ” I am Pilgrim: A Thriller”. It’s excellent, but be forewarned…there is some graphic violence and the pieces don’t start to come together til about page 245. I can’t imagine the time that went into researching this book!
One last thing…I’ve been doing more on Instagram, and recently posted this quote. I have several friends who are in very, very hard places where it seems their thoughts and prayers kept spinning in a circle of despair. Can anyone else relate?
I’ll close with part of a blessing from Suzie Larson:
May you be honest with God about the hurts in your heart. May you discern the difference between grief and self-pity. May you be okay with not always being okay. God will one day wipe away every tear from your eyes, but until then, He wants to help you walk this journey with peace in your heart and assurance in your soul. He is with you.