Tuesday, December 30, 2014


I didn't inherit a whole lot of tradition from my family. Before we got into Torah, we were sorta non-denominational floaters. Never could really find a church where we felt at home. Didn't really have any special holidays--fireworks for 4th of July and a family gathering for Thanksgiving was about the extent of it. You could say Silver Dollar City was a bit of a vacation tradition. But, it's a struggle to recall much else.

I want my children to have a tradition that they can hold onto and pass on to their children, but I face the same struggle that my parents did. I don't belong anywhere. I'm not a Jew; I don't fit in with the Christians. This whole Messianic thing is, well, a mess. My family took a bit of a Karaite approach to Torah, though we didn't consider ourselves strictly Scripture only. We were not anti-traditionalists by any means.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Comments Always Welcome!

One of the things I've noticed whenever I read articles about blogging is how everyone talks about this "blogging community." To be honest, when I first heard about that, I was a little skeptical. How can blogging (which seems to be quite a solo endeavor) and community go together?

Over time I realized that blogging (and all writing, really) can be lonely. Here I am sharing my thoughts with no way to know if anyone is really reading them or what people are thinking. It's a one-man show, my own little stage. My words go out to the world, but a conversation is supposed to be two-way.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Reflections on HarvestMag

For the past one to two years, I've been a part of the HarvestMag team as a column writer. This was a project originally started by Sonja Langford and Zachary Bruno. My brother and I were among the first to join their team just a few months after they started.

When the first issue came out, I read it and thought to myself that I should try to become a regular contributor. Little did I know that I would soon have the opportunity to not only contribute my writing, but be a part of the team. By the time the second issue came out, Sonja and Zachary were putting out the call for a column writer, graphic designer, and editor. My brother Mark and I filled the first two roles, while Kelsey Bryant filled the third role. We would later be joined by Annie Braught (Kerr), Amariah Pinchback, and Rachel Hamburg. These folks were an amazing team to work with, and I will surely miss our monthly brainstorming sessions.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Redesign (or Mid-Blog Crisis)

After a brief mid-life crisis, the blogger in me decided it was time for a redesign of the site. I'll be honest--I'm still getting my feet wet in figuring out the direction for this whole "Hopeful Heretic" thing. But, I wasn't really liking the direction it was going. The title and background image all conveyed the themes of religion and theology. Which, I love both those things. But, that's only one part of me. I also love stories and life, and have a family I want to share about. I was feeling constricted by my own creation. The blog didn't feel personal anymore. I had violated the rules I set out in "On Blogging."

So, for about twelve hours, The Hopeful Heretic sat as a blank slate (literally...there was no background image during that time). After a good night's sleep, I went to work and came up with a completely new design. It's weird how much a background image can affect your mood when trying to come up with blog posts, but I feel like the new design makes the place seem more personal and homey. It better expresses me.