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7 Fall Festivals You Won’t Want to Miss

September 18, 2014 No Comments 9

Despite an occasional haboob and a recent record-breaking downpour, the blazing Arizona summer drags on. Day after day of high temps take their toll on us all.  But, anticipation is in the air and the questions grow from small whispers to loud groans. When will the cool weather come? When can we stop being simply the “dry-heat desert” and once again become the envy of the country? In a few short weeks, the anticipation and waiting will come to an end. All will be forgotten. Temperatures will fall and doors will be thrown open. Individuals and families will emerge from their summer cocoons, hitting the hiking trails, outdoor malls, golf courses, resorts, and parks with fervor as intense as the recently dissipated summer heat. As most of the country begins its exodus from the outdoors and migrates toward furnaces, we begin to stretch our legs and explore anew all this city has to offer. And yes, the sixth largest city in the country has a lot to offer—thanks in large part to the wonderful diversity of our metro area. Central High School in Phoenix boasts a student body representing over 60 languages, the Arizona Department of Economic Security reports a refugee population of nearly 63,000 in Phoenix last year, and foods like injera, kimchi, tortillas, halal goat, veal wieners, tom yum paste, and ceviche are all readily available. Diversity awaits us all, if we open our eyes to see who our neighbors are. The fall in Phoenix ushers in the eight months of the year which make us proud to call this city home. And with it comes festival season. It’s my favorite time of the year—when the richness and variety of cultures in the Valley are at our fingertips. Having lived here nearly my whole life, I’ve discovered that our neighbors have...

Despite an occasional haboob and a recent record-breaking downpour, the blazing Arizona summer drags on. Day after day of high temps take their toll on us all.  But, anticipation is in the air and the questions grow from small whispers to loud groans. When will the cool weather come? When can we stop being simply the “dry-heat desert” and once again become the envy of the country? In a few short weeks, the anticipation and waiting will come to an end. All will be forgotten. Temperatures will fall and doors will be thrown open. Individuals and families will emerge from their summer cocoons, hitting the hiking trails, outdoor malls, golf courses, resorts, and parks with fervor as intense as the recently dissipated summer heat. As most of the country begins its exodus from the outdoors and migrates toward furnaces, we begin to stretch our legs and explore anew all this city has to offer. And yes, the sixth largest city in the country has a lot to offer—thanks in large part to the wonderful diversity of our metro area. Central High School in Phoenix boasts a student body representing over 60 languages, the Arizona Department of Economic Security reports a refugee population...

Despite an occasional haboob and a recent record-breaking downpour, the blazing Arizona summer drags on. Day after day of high temps take their toll on us all.  But, anticipation is in the air and the questions grow from small whispers to loud groans. When will the cool weather come? When can we stop being simply the “dry-heat desert” and once again become the envy of the country? In a few short weeks, the anticipation and waiting will come to an end. All will be forgotten. Temperatures will fall and doors will be thrown open. Individuals and families will emerge from their...

Despite an occasional haboob and a recent record-breaking downpour, the blazing Arizona summer drags on. Day after day of high temps take their toll on us all.  But, anticipation is in the air and the questions grow from small whispers to loud groans. When will the cool weather come? When...

Despite an occasional haboob and a recent record-breaking downpour, the blazing Arizona summer drags on. Day after day of high temps take their toll on...

Despite an occasional haboob and a recent record-breaking downpour, the blazing Arizona summer drags on. Day after day of high temps take their toll on us all.  But, anticipation is in the air and the questions grow from small whispers to loud groans. When will the cool weather come? When can we stop being simply the “dry-heat desert” and once again become the envy of the country? In a few short weeks, the anticipation and waiting will come to an end. All will be forgotten. Temperatures will fall and doors will be thrown open. Individuals and families will emerge from their...

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Finishing the Story

September 17, 2014 No Comments 5

When I go to a football game, I expect to see four quarters. A baseball game? Nine innings. When I took my 12-year-old daughter to see Wicked last year on Broadway, we paid to see two acts, not one. Imagine the frustration, then, when you attend church and rarely hear any mention of the “final chapter” in story of God. Paul Harvey would not be pleased. It certainly is not true of every church in our city or elsewhere, but too many well-intended churches often promote a truncated view of the scriptures. Most churches faithfully teach that the world is fallen into sin and that only through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus are people redeemed from this sin. That, however, is where many stop. Repent of your sin, turn to Jesus, and inherit eternal life when you die. While as a pastor I’d affirm that this is all true, it is not complete. The Bible tells of a time when there was not sin in the world. Through the creation account in Genesis, the first book of the Bible, we learn that God created man and woman in His own image and issued what is often referred to as the “cultural mandate”: be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and tame it (Gen. 1:26-28). In other words, “Take what I have given you and make the earth like what you see in the Garden of Eden, a place of peace, order and beauty.” We call this first chapter in the story of God, Creation. However, the story of God does not end with Creation, but is soon followed by the Fall, where man and woman disobey God and thereby bring sin into the world. This second chapter is well known both inside and outside the church. But the story of God does...

When I go to a football game, I expect to see four quarters. A baseball game? Nine innings. When I took my 12-year-old daughter to see Wicked last year on Broadway, we paid to see two acts, not one. Imagine the frustration, then, when you attend church and rarely hear any mention of the “final chapter” in story of God. Paul Harvey would not be pleased. It certainly is not true of every church in our city or elsewhere, but too many well-intended churches often promote a truncated view of the scriptures. Most churches faithfully teach that the world is fallen into sin and that only through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus are people redeemed from this sin. That, however, is where many stop. Repent of your sin, turn to Jesus, and inherit eternal life when you die. While as a pastor I’d affirm that this is all true, it is not complete. The Bible tells of a time when there was not sin in the world. Through the creation account in Genesis, the first book of the Bible, we learn that God created man and woman in His own image and issued what is often referred to as the...

When I go to a football game, I expect to see four quarters. A baseball game? Nine innings. When I took my 12-year-old daughter to see Wicked last year on Broadway, we paid to see two acts, not one. Imagine the frustration, then, when you attend church and rarely hear any mention of the “final chapter” in story of God. Paul Harvey would not be pleased. It certainly is not true of every church in our city or elsewhere, but too many well-intended churches often promote a truncated view of the scriptures. Most churches faithfully teach that the world is fallen...

When I go to a football game, I expect to see four quarters. A baseball game? Nine innings. When I took my 12-year-old daughter to see Wicked last year on Broadway, we paid to see two acts, not one. Imagine the frustration, then, when you attend church and rarely hear...

When I go to a football game, I expect to see four quarters. A baseball game? Nine innings. When I took my 12-year-old daughter to...

When I go to a football game, I expect to see four quarters. A baseball game? Nine innings. When I took my 12-year-old daughter to see Wicked last year on Broadway, we paid to see two acts, not one. Imagine the frustration, then, when you attend church and rarely hear any mention of the “final chapter” in story of God. Paul Harvey would not be pleased. It certainly is not true of every church in our city or elsewhere, but too many well-intended churches often promote a truncated view of the scriptures. Most churches faithfully teach that the world is fallen...

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Interview: Jeff Bisgrove of Arizona Neighborhood Transformation

September 10, 2014 1 Comment 7

Jeff Bisgrove leads Arizona Neighborhood Transformation, which unites churches and agencies with neighborhoods to facilitate wholistic, transformative ministry. One of the communities where Jeff has particularly focused on building relationships is Guadalupe, a small town sandwiched between Phoenix and Tempe. We recently asked Jeff to tell us a bit about Guadalupe and the good things he sees happening there. FP: First of all, not everyone in the Phoenix area is familiar with Guadalupe, even though it’s surrounded by places we all know. What makes Guadalupe unique? JB: Guadalupe is small—less than a square mile, with a population of about 8500. While the town was only incorporated in the 1970s, it was originally settled in 1906 by members of the Pasqua Yaqui tribe after being displaced from their tribal lands in Northern Mexico. The town demographics are mainly Hispanic and Native American, and per capita income is one of the lowest in Arizona. In fact, it’s roughly half the Arizona average. On top of that, the majority of kids in Guadalupe do not graduate from high school. But walking with my friends in Guadalupe, you quickly learn they are proud of their heritage, and are very family- and friend-oriented. FP: You’re not single-handedly trying to bring about “neighborhood transformation” in Guadalupe, are you? JB: I have learned you cannot change another person, let alone a community. Talk to your spouse or good friend if you think that is possible. Transformation is something that happens between you and God. What we do in Guadalupe is listen and develop relationships. We learn about people—their hopes, dreams, fears, and assets. We help them use their assets to make the changes they want to see in the community happen.   We find local leaders that are ready to help make things in their own community and then walk with them...

Jeff Bisgrove leads Arizona Neighborhood Transformation, which unites churches and agencies with neighborhoods to facilitate wholistic, transformative ministry. One of the communities where Jeff has particularly focused on building relationships is Guadalupe, a small town sandwiched between Phoenix and Tempe. We recently asked Jeff to tell us a bit about Guadalupe and the good things he sees happening there. FP: First of all, not everyone in the Phoenix area is familiar with Guadalupe, even though it’s surrounded by places we all know. What makes Guadalupe unique? JB: Guadalupe is small—less than a square mile, with a population of about 8500. While the town was only incorporated in the 1970s, it was originally settled in 1906 by members of the Pasqua Yaqui tribe after being displaced from their tribal lands in Northern Mexico. The town demographics are mainly Hispanic and Native American, and per capita income is one of the lowest in Arizona. In fact, it’s roughly half the Arizona average. On top of that, the majority of kids in Guadalupe do not graduate from high school. But walking with my friends in Guadalupe, you quickly learn they are proud of their heritage, and are very family- and friend-oriented. FP: You’re not single-handedly trying...

Jeff Bisgrove leads Arizona Neighborhood Transformation, which unites churches and agencies with neighborhoods to facilitate wholistic, transformative ministry. One of the communities where Jeff has particularly focused on building relationships is Guadalupe, a small town sandwiched between Phoenix and Tempe. We recently asked Jeff to tell us a bit about Guadalupe and the good things he sees happening there. FP: First of all, not everyone in the Phoenix area is familiar with Guadalupe, even though it’s surrounded by places we all know. What makes Guadalupe unique? JB: Guadalupe is small—less than a square mile, with a population of about 8500. While the...

Jeff Bisgrove leads Arizona Neighborhood Transformation, which unites churches and agencies with neighborhoods to facilitate wholistic, transformative ministry. One of the communities where Jeff has particularly focused on building relationships is Guadalupe, a small town sandwiched between Phoenix and Tempe. We recently asked Jeff to tell us a bit about...

Jeff Bisgrove leads Arizona Neighborhood Transformation, which unites churches and agencies with neighborhoods to facilitate wholistic, transformative ministry. One of the communities where Jeff has...

Jeff Bisgrove leads Arizona Neighborhood Transformation, which unites churches and agencies with neighborhoods to facilitate wholistic, transformative ministry. One of the communities where Jeff has particularly focused on building relationships is Guadalupe, a small town sandwiched between Phoenix and Tempe. We recently asked Jeff to tell us a bit about Guadalupe and the good things he sees happening there. FP: First of all, not everyone in the Phoenix area is familiar with Guadalupe, even though it’s surrounded by places we all know. What makes Guadalupe unique? JB: Guadalupe is small—less than a square mile, with a population of about 8500. While the...

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Good News About Environmental Stewardship

September 9, 2014 No Comments 5

(This is the fourth post in a series from contributor Jim Mullins on faith and environmental stewardship. Read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.) The curse of sin is like a haboob. It comprehensively sweeps through, covers everything with its nastiness, and distorts the vision of everyone in its path. When sin entered the world through human rebellion in Genesis 3, it not only affected our spiritual lives, but had serious ramifications for all aspects the physical creation. The perfectly balanced systems of God’s creation that were intended to teem and flourish began to fall apart and became a threat to human flourishing. Now, the physical world can be dangerous, but God pushes back so many of the effects of sin through the human work of building, innovating, and other types of  “re-arranging” of the environment. By design, humans always have an impact on the environment, and that should be a good thing. But as we know, that’s not always the case. We often have a detrimental impact on God’s world, because sin has seeped into our hearts and minds. Human decision making was greatly affected by the Fall and the entrance of sin into the world. The very humanity that was created to steward God’s world, to help it flourish, was drawn toward idolatry and injustice, and these sins have a devastating effect on all aspects of God’s good world. For example, the sin of greed can often lead companies to be careless with the disposal of harmful chemicals, polluting our rivers and having a negative impact on the lives of plants, animals, and humans alike. Furthermore, making an idol out of efficiency can lead to short-term planning and development policies that lead to the extinction of whole species of plants and animals that God has created. Sin affects the physical creation, but God goes...

(This is the fourth post in a series from contributor Jim Mullins on faith and environmental stewardship. Read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.) The curse of sin is like a haboob. It comprehensively sweeps through, covers everything with its nastiness, and distorts the vision of everyone in its path. When sin entered the world through human rebellion in Genesis 3, it not only affected our spiritual lives, but had serious ramifications for all aspects the physical creation. The perfectly balanced systems of God’s creation that were intended to teem and flourish began to fall apart and became a threat to human flourishing. Now, the physical world can be dangerous, but God pushes back so many of the effects of sin through the human work of building, innovating, and other types of  “re-arranging” of the environment. By design, humans always have an impact on the environment, and that should be a good thing. But as we know, that’s not always the case. We often have a detrimental impact on God’s world, because sin has seeped into our hearts and minds. Human decision making was greatly affected by the Fall and the entrance of sin into the world. The very humanity that was created to...

(This is the fourth post in a series from contributor Jim Mullins on faith and environmental stewardship. Read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.) The curse of sin is like a haboob. It comprehensively sweeps through, covers everything with its nastiness, and distorts the vision of everyone in its path. When sin entered the world through human rebellion in Genesis 3, it not only affected our spiritual lives, but had serious ramifications for all aspects the physical creation. The perfectly balanced systems of God’s creation that were intended to teem and flourish began to fall apart and became a threat to...

(This is the fourth post in a series from contributor Jim Mullins on faith and environmental stewardship. Read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.) The curse of sin is like a haboob. It comprehensively sweeps through, covers everything with its nastiness, and distorts the vision of everyone in its path. When...

(This is the fourth post in a series from contributor Jim Mullins on faith and environmental stewardship. Read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.) The...

(This is the fourth post in a series from contributor Jim Mullins on faith and environmental stewardship. Read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.) The curse of sin is like a haboob. It comprehensively sweeps through, covers everything with its nastiness, and distorts the vision of everyone in its path. When sin entered the world through human rebellion in Genesis 3, it not only affected our spiritual lives, but had serious ramifications for all aspects the physical creation. The perfectly balanced systems of God’s creation that were intended to teem and flourish began to fall apart and became a threat to...

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Interview: Steven Siwek of Q Commons Phoenix

September 2, 2014 1 Comment 21

“Stay Curious. Think Well. Advance Good.” That’s the tagline of Q, a learning community that mobilizes Christians to advance the common good in society. Q hosts events in key cities around the country that engage faith and culture through lectures and explorations by key influencers. Q Commons Phoenix, a one-night opportunity to learn and consider how to advance good in our community, will be held at Redemption Gilbert on October 9 from 7-9pm. The evening will feature three nationally broadcasted talks in addition to three locally curated speakers. Steven Siwek is the host of Q Commons Phoenix, and I recently spoke with him about the event. FP: For those who aren't familiar with Q events, tell us in a nutshell what they're all about. SS: If you've never attended a Q event before, you're in for a treat. Q is different than your typical conference or leadership summit because of its intentionality about gathering a group of like-minded individuals that truly want to change their city through their respective industries. Q is very topic driven. In fact, you may not know the person presenting, but it's their thought-provoking topic or subject matter that will draw you in. One of my favorite parts about the Q model is the 9 minute presentation length. This allows everyone to fully engage with each presenter and contemplate its application in their own life. FP: At Q Commons Phoenix there will be nationally broadcasted talks as well as locally curated ones. Give us a feel for what topics or issues the local speakers will address. SS: Before I ever selected the speakers, or even the topics, I wanted to truly touch on the values of Phoenix. What do we as a city place value in? I thought about our up and coming design community, our leading universities, and our booming healthcare industry...

“Stay Curious. Think Well. Advance Good.” That’s the tagline of Q, a learning community that mobilizes Christians to advance the common good in society. Q hosts events in key cities around the country that engage faith and culture through lectures and explorations by key influencers. Q Commons Phoenix, a one-night opportunity to learn and consider how to advance good in our community, will be held at Redemption Gilbert on October 9 from 7-9pm. The evening will feature three nationally broadcasted talks in addition to three locally curated speakers. Steven Siwek is the host of Q Commons Phoenix, and I recently spoke with him about the event. FP: For those who aren't familiar with Q events, tell us in a nutshell what they're all about. SS: If you've never attended a Q event before, you're in for a treat. Q is different than your typical conference or leadership summit because of its intentionality about gathering a group of like-minded individuals that truly want to change their city through their respective industries. Q is very topic driven. In fact, you may not know the person presenting, but it's their thought-provoking topic or subject matter that will draw you in. One of my favorite parts about the Q...

“Stay Curious. Think Well. Advance Good.” That’s the tagline of Q, a learning community that mobilizes Christians to advance the common good in society. Q hosts events in key cities around the country that engage faith and culture through lectures and explorations by key influencers. Q Commons Phoenix, a one-night opportunity to learn and consider how to advance good in our community, will be held at Redemption Gilbert on October 9 from 7-9pm. The evening will feature three nationally broadcasted talks in addition to three locally curated speakers. Steven Siwek is the host of Q Commons Phoenix, and I recently spoke with...

“Stay Curious. Think Well. Advance Good.” That’s the tagline of Q, a learning community that mobilizes Christians to advance the common good in society. Q hosts events in key cities around the country that engage faith and culture through lectures and explorations by key influencers. Q Commons Phoenix, a one-night opportunity to...

“Stay Curious. Think Well. Advance Good.” That’s the tagline of Q, a learning community that mobilizes Christians to advance the common good in society. Q hosts...

“Stay Curious. Think Well. Advance Good.” That’s the tagline of Q, a learning community that mobilizes Christians to advance the common good in society. Q hosts events in key cities around the country that engage faith and culture through lectures and explorations by key influencers. Q Commons Phoenix, a one-night opportunity to learn and consider how to advance good in our community, will be held at Redemption Gilbert on October 9 from 7-9pm. The evening will feature three nationally broadcasted talks in addition to three locally curated speakers. Steven Siwek is the host of Q Commons Phoenix, and I recently spoke with...

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Interview: Tim Wright of Helping Boys Thrive

August 29, 2014 1 Comment 7

“We are, in large part, a culture that expects its boys to initiate themselves into manhood,” writes Michael Gurian, a marriage and family counselor who has written widely on issues related to boys. “But holistic or even minimal initiation into manhood through relatively unguided self-experimentation is rare. Boys cannot become whole men without men and women making them into men.” Gurian, a New York Times bestselling author, is the keynote speaker at the upcoming Helping Boys Thrive Summit™ in Phoenix on September 12, being organized in partnership with the Arizona Department of Health Services, the Arizona Department of Economic Security, First Things First, Community of Grace, and the Gurian Institute. Also speaking at the event will be Tim Wright, pastor of Community of Grace in Peoria, who along with Gurian co-created a popular “rite of passage” program for boys. I recently interviewed Wright about his understanding of what it means for boys to truly thrive, and what he hopes this event will bring about in our community. FP: Help us understand some of the issues involved here. What barriers stand in the way of boys and young men thriving? TW: For the last 30 years, boys in the United States have been falling behind girls in almost every area of life, starting in preschool, through high school, college, and now into the job market. It’s a major shift that has taken place. Back in the ‘60s and ‘70s, we knew that our girls were falling behind in school. And so, as a nation, we made a concerted effort—men and women, in partnership with the government—to invest in our girls so they could catch up to boys educationally. What a lot of people don’t realize is that in the early ‘80s, girls not only caught up but they surpassed boys and have been flying past them...

“We are, in large part, a culture that expects its boys to initiate themselves into manhood,” writes Michael Gurian, a marriage and family counselor who has written widely on issues related to boys. “But holistic or even minimal initiation into manhood through relatively unguided self-experimentation is rare. Boys cannot become whole men without men and women making them into men.” Gurian, a New York Times bestselling author, is the keynote speaker at the upcoming Helping Boys Thrive Summit™ in Phoenix on September 12, being organized in partnership with the Arizona Department of Health Services, the Arizona Department of Economic Security, First Things First, Community of Grace, and the Gurian Institute. Also speaking at the event will be Tim Wright, pastor of Community of Grace in Peoria, who along with Gurian co-created a popular “rite of passage” program for boys. I recently interviewed Wright about his understanding of what it means for boys to truly thrive, and what he hopes this event will bring about in our community. FP: Help us understand some of the issues involved here. What barriers stand in the way of boys and young men thriving? TW: For the last 30 years, boys in the United States have been falling behind...

“We are, in large part, a culture that expects its boys to initiate themselves into manhood,” writes Michael Gurian, a marriage and family counselor who has written widely on issues related to boys. “But holistic or even minimal initiation into manhood through relatively unguided self-experimentation is rare. Boys cannot become whole men without men and women making them into men.” Gurian, a New York Times bestselling author, is the keynote speaker at the upcoming Helping Boys Thrive Summit™ in Phoenix on September 12, being organized in partnership with the Arizona Department of Health Services, the Arizona Department of Economic Security, First...

“We are, in large part, a culture that expects its boys to initiate themselves into manhood,” writes Michael Gurian, a marriage and family counselor who has written widely on issues related to boys. “But holistic or even minimal initiation into manhood through relatively unguided self-experimentation is rare. Boys cannot become...

“We are, in large part, a culture that expects its boys to initiate themselves into manhood,” writes Michael Gurian, a marriage and family counselor who...

“We are, in large part, a culture that expects its boys to initiate themselves into manhood,” writes Michael Gurian, a marriage and family counselor who has written widely on issues related to boys. “But holistic or even minimal initiation into manhood through relatively unguided self-experimentation is rare. Boys cannot become whole men without men and women making them into men.” Gurian, a New York Times bestselling author, is the keynote speaker at the upcoming Helping Boys Thrive Summit™ in Phoenix on September 12, being organized in partnership with the Arizona Department of Health Services, the Arizona Department of Economic Security, First...

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Why Good Coffee Matters

August 28, 2014 1 Comment 16

Value can be assigned to any product in a number of ways. Most simply, we can attribute a commercial value—how much we'd be willing to spend on it. More complex, however, are the other values we place on these products—how far we would travel out of our way in order to acquire it or the perception of improved quality of life derived from the product. I would argue that the value of a given product is not entirely based on its commodity status alone or on what amount of trouble we voluntarily endure to receive it. The value of the products we choose to consume is ultimately based on the inherent value of people—those who work hard to produce it as well as those of us who enjoy the end result. In this instance, let’s consider coffee as the product. What value does coffee add to everyday life? What trouble would you endure to get your morning cup? How much are you willing to spend on a simple cup of coffee? Ultimately, why does coffee matter? I have been preparing and delivering specialty coffee to customers in the Phoenix area for almost a decade, and for the majority of people I have served in that time, life would simply not be the same without coffee. That magical and certainly divinely created elixir is not only the motivation to get out of bed, but the driving force of productivity. While caffeine enables many of us to make better use of our morning hours, the value of coffee is not rooted in its energy-harnessing capabilities. In the way that a chef cooks not only to nourish the body, but to fill the soul, coffee's value exists outside the limitations of its invigorating properties. Often, people view the coffee they purchase as a commodity, because that is...

Value can be assigned to any product in a number of ways. Most simply, we can attribute a commercial value—how much we'd be willing to spend on it. More complex, however, are the other values we place on these products—how far we would travel out of our way in order to acquire it or the perception of improved quality of life derived from the product. I would argue that the value of a given product is not entirely based on its commodity status alone or on what amount of trouble we voluntarily endure to receive it. The value of the products we choose to consume is ultimately based on the inherent value of people—those who work hard to produce it as well as those of us who enjoy the end result. In this instance, let’s consider coffee as the product. What value does coffee add to everyday life? What trouble would you endure to get your morning cup? How much are you willing to spend on a simple cup of coffee? Ultimately, why does coffee matter? I have been preparing and delivering specialty coffee to customers in the Phoenix area for almost a decade, and for the majority of people I have served...

Value can be assigned to any product in a number of ways. Most simply, we can attribute a commercial value—how much we'd be willing to spend on it. More complex, however, are the other values we place on these products—how far we would travel out of our way in order to acquire it or the perception of improved quality of life derived from the product. I would argue that the value of a given product is not entirely based on its commodity status alone or on what amount of trouble we voluntarily endure to receive it. The value of the products...

Value can be assigned to any product in a number of ways. Most simply, we can attribute a commercial value—how much we'd be willing to spend on it. More complex, however, are the other values we place on these products—how far we would travel out of our way in order...

Value can be assigned to any product in a number of ways. Most simply, we can attribute a commercial value—how much we'd be willing to...

Value can be assigned to any product in a number of ways. Most simply, we can attribute a commercial value—how much we'd be willing to spend on it. More complex, however, are the other values we place on these products—how far we would travel out of our way in order to acquire it or the perception of improved quality of life derived from the product. I would argue that the value of a given product is not entirely based on its commodity status alone or on what amount of trouble we voluntarily endure to receive it. The value of the products...

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Beyond Color Blindness

August 27, 2014 1 Comment 12

Many of us have been troubled and deeply saddened by the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, beginning with the shooting of Michael Brown on August 9. This tragedy that has captured the national spotlight and we believe it raises important questions about race in our country. Racial reconciliation is an essential part of the flourishing of any community, including Phoenix, so we want to use this platform to ask some difficult questions and seek answers that will move us in the direction we need to go. We begin with a reflection from Brian Kruckenberg, the executive director of Flourish Phoenix. Watch for subsequent posts representing other viewpoints in the coming weeks. – The Editor “What would you do if a huge black guy was threatening you?” As soon as the question was posed to me, I knew something in me had changed. The way I saw the world had been altered. I knew it because I was able to recognize the fabric from which a question like this arises. Because immediately upon hearing the question, my heart leapt with the thought: “Why does it matter if the man is black?” Yet, to most, that detail matters. A lot. I’m a white guy from Kansas who spent the better part of his childhood as what would qualify as poor. My parents had me and my two brothers while they were young. We lived in a trailer house while my dad and mom were putting my dad through vet school. I can’t help but know that people drove by my home and labeled us as trash—of both the trailer and white variety. The good news for me is that those labels didn’t follow me out of that trailer park and into the middle-class existence that waited for me after my dad graduated from school. I went to high school and never once thought about taking a different...

Many of us have been troubled and deeply saddened by the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, beginning with the shooting of Michael Brown on August 9. This tragedy that has captured the national spotlight and we believe it raises important questions about race in our country. Racial reconciliation is an essential part of the flourishing of any community, including Phoenix, so we want to use this platform to ask some difficult questions and seek answers that will move us in the direction we need to go. We begin with a reflection from Brian Kruckenberg, the executive director of Flourish Phoenix. Watch for subsequent posts representing other viewpoints in the coming weeks. – The Editor “What would you do if a huge black guy was threatening you?” As soon as the question was posed to me, I knew something in me had changed. The way I saw the world had been altered. I knew it because I was able to recognize the fabric from which a question like this arises. Because immediately upon hearing the question, my heart leapt with the thought: “Why does it matter if the man is black?” Yet, to most, that detail matters. A lot. I’m a white guy from Kansas who spent the better part of his childhood as what...

Many of us have been troubled and deeply saddened by the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, beginning with the shooting of Michael Brown on August 9. This tragedy that has captured the national spotlight and we believe it raises important questions about race in our country. Racial reconciliation is an essential part of the flourishing of any community, including Phoenix, so we want to use this platform to ask some difficult questions and seek answers that will move us in the direction we need to go. We begin with a reflection from Brian Kruckenberg, the executive director of Flourish Phoenix. Watch for subsequent posts representing other viewpoints in the...

Many of us have been troubled and deeply saddened by the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, beginning with the shooting of Michael Brown on August 9. This tragedy that has captured the national spotlight and we believe it raises important questions about race in our country. Racial reconciliation is an essential part of the...

Many of us have been troubled and deeply saddened by the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, beginning with the shooting of Michael Brown on August 9. This tragedy...

Many of us have been troubled and deeply saddened by the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, beginning with the shooting of Michael Brown on August 9. This tragedy that has captured the national spotlight and we believe it raises important questions about race in our country. Racial reconciliation is an essential part of the flourishing of any community, including Phoenix, so we want to use this platform to ask some difficult questions and seek answers that will move us in the direction we need to go. We begin with a reflection from Brian Kruckenberg, the executive director of Flourish Phoenix. Watch for subsequent posts representing other viewpoints in the...

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Why I Love Sweet Salvage

August 20, 2014 No Comments 12

There are a hundred different aspects to a city that make it thrive and have life. Not every aspect will be someone’s cup of tea, but that doesn’t mean that each one is not needed to make the whole better. This principle comes to mind when thinking of Sweet Salvage. Even if you aren’t into industrial or vintage goods, chances are you have brushed up against them in our local coffee shops, restaurants, salons, urban farms, and retail shops. Sweet Salvage finds are what give our favorite spots around town their unique sense of space that has us returning to them time after time. sweet-salvage1 Sweet Salvage is only three years old, but when you see their influence in so many different aspects of our city, you know that their reach has gone beyond just a store. Indeed, they have become part of our city and culture. They have brought something to Phoenix that was previously missing. Until recently, if you went shopping for décor, you’d have found that we were a town of Hummel figurines, tchotchkes, and other assorted not-so-cool junk. But then Sweet Salvage came and brought with them something that we all needed: beauty. Sweet Salvage has brought about a broad, unifying appeal to our diverse population through the beauty of what they bring to us every month, whether mid-century modern, industrial, country, galvanized farm, neo classical, or eclectic and quirky. sweet-salvage-3 sweet-salvage-4 They are also known for being a friend to creatives, local businesses, artists, food trucks, farmers, chefs, and restaurants. They love to share and collaborate with others. And in a world of brokenness, fragmentation, and self-protectionism, their way of doing business is not only refreshing but life...

There are a hundred different aspects to a city that make it thrive and have life. Not every aspect will be someone’s cup of tea, but that doesn’t mean that each one is not needed to make the whole better. This principle comes to mind when thinking of Sweet Salvage. Even if you aren’t into industrial or vintage goods, chances are you have brushed up against them in our local coffee shops, restaurants, salons, urban farms, and retail shops. Sweet Salvage finds are what give our favorite spots around town their unique sense of space that has us returning to them time after time. sweet-salvage1 Sweet Salvage is only three years old, but when you see their influence in so many different aspects of our city, you know that their reach has gone beyond just a store. Indeed, they have become part of our city and culture. They have brought something to Phoenix that was previously missing. Until recently, if you went shopping for décor, you’d have found that we were a town of Hummel figurines, tchotchkes, and other assorted not-so-cool junk. But then Sweet Salvage came and brought with them something that we all needed:...

There are a hundred different aspects to a city that make it thrive and have life. Not every aspect will be someone’s cup of tea, but that doesn’t mean that each one is not needed to make the whole better. This principle comes to mind when thinking of Sweet Salvage. Even if you aren’t into industrial or vintage goods, chances are you have brushed up against them in our local coffee shops, restaurants, salons, urban farms, and retail shops. Sweet Salvage finds are what give our favorite spots around town their unique sense of space that has us returning to them...

There are a hundred different aspects to a city that make it thrive and have life. Not every aspect will be someone’s cup of tea, but that doesn’t mean that each one is not needed to make the whole better. This principle comes to mind when thinking of Sweet Salvage. Even...

There are a hundred different aspects to a city that make it thrive and have life. Not every aspect will be someone’s cup of tea,...

There are a hundred different aspects to a city that make it thrive and have life. Not every aspect will be someone’s cup of tea, but that doesn’t mean that each one is not needed to make the whole better. This principle comes to mind when thinking of Sweet Salvage. Even if you aren’t into industrial or vintage goods, chances are you have brushed up against them in our local coffee shops, restaurants, salons, urban farms, and retail shops. Sweet Salvage finds are what give our favorite spots around town their unique sense of space that has us returning to them...

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In Defense of Phoenix

August 20, 2014 No Comments 19

Not too long ago, an article made the rounds on my Facebook feed, dragging with it a comment thread filled with vitriol and passion of mixed opinions. Some agreed whole-heartedly, while others fought back with matched enthusiasm. Like most Facebook quarrels, a few of the arguments got too petty and personal. I avoided the whole thing altogether and didn’t dare follow the link. That is, until today. Yes, I’m late to the bandwagon, but I’m talking about the VICE article, “Reasons Why Phoenix is the Worst Place Ever.” Talk about cheap shots! As a relatively recent resident of Phoenix, I can see some truth in the article’s stereotypical jabs at my city. Summers are hot (but let’s not mention the perfect weather the rest of the year). It is a snowbird destination (we get seasonal visitors because of the aforementioned perfect weather; again, I’m not sure this is a bad thing). Urban sprawl is rampant (even though the grid-like streets and highways make easy commutes). Some political figures make poor decisions out of fear rather, than values of mercy and equality (though perhaps this is a commentary on humanity in general). I get the author’s complaints. I’ve heard them before, and maybe even made some of the same ones myself. Several years ago, my husband and I planned to move to California to be near my family. As we thought more seriously about moving, we made a bucket list of things we wanted to do before leaving Arizona. It was in the process of going through the list that we realized just how much we’d miss this place. We hiked Camelback, Piestewa Peak, South Mountain, and the White Tanks—all easily accessible trails within the city. We took day trips to Tucson and Prescott. Weekend trips to Flagstaff and Bisbee. These destinations showed me the diversity...

Not too long ago, an article made the rounds on my Facebook feed, dragging with it a comment thread filled with vitriol and passion of mixed opinions. Some agreed whole-heartedly, while others fought back with matched enthusiasm. Like most Facebook quarrels, a few of the arguments got too petty and personal. I avoided the whole thing altogether and didn’t dare follow the link. That is, until today. Yes, I’m late to the bandwagon, but I’m talking about the VICE article, “Reasons Why Phoenix is the Worst Place Ever.” Talk about cheap shots! As a relatively recent resident of Phoenix, I can see some truth in the article’s stereotypical jabs at my city. Summers are hot (but let’s not mention the perfect weather the rest of the year). It is a snowbird destination (we get seasonal visitors because of the aforementioned perfect weather; again, I’m not sure this is a bad thing). Urban sprawl is rampant (even though the grid-like streets and highways make easy commutes). Some political figures make poor decisions out of fear rather, than values of mercy and equality (though perhaps this is a commentary on humanity in general). I get the author’s complaints. I’ve heard them before, and maybe even...

Not too long ago, an article made the rounds on my Facebook feed, dragging with it a comment thread filled with vitriol and passion of mixed opinions. Some agreed whole-heartedly, while others fought back with matched enthusiasm. Like most Facebook quarrels, a few of the arguments got too petty and personal. I avoided the whole thing altogether and didn’t dare follow the link. That is, until today. Yes, I’m late to the bandwagon, but I’m talking about the VICE article, “Reasons Why Phoenix is the Worst Place Ever.” Talk about cheap shots! As a relatively recent resident of Phoenix, I can see...

Not too long ago, an article made the rounds on my Facebook feed, dragging with it a comment thread filled with vitriol and passion of mixed opinions. Some agreed whole-heartedly, while others fought back with matched enthusiasm. Like most Facebook quarrels, a few of the arguments got too petty and...

Not too long ago, an article made the rounds on my Facebook feed, dragging with it a comment thread filled with vitriol and passion of...

Not too long ago, an article made the rounds on my Facebook feed, dragging with it a comment thread filled with vitriol and passion of mixed opinions. Some agreed whole-heartedly, while others fought back with matched enthusiasm. Like most Facebook quarrels, a few of the arguments got too petty and personal. I avoided the whole thing altogether and didn’t dare follow the link. That is, until today. Yes, I’m late to the bandwagon, but I’m talking about the VICE article, “Reasons Why Phoenix is the Worst Place Ever.” Talk about cheap shots! As a relatively recent resident of Phoenix, I can see...

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