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The Power of Welcome: Helping Our Kids Choose Love over Fear

You are welcome here. Those words disarm us. We can let our guards down and feel safe when we feel welcome. But we live in a world that is nervous about welcoming others, about risking comfort and security. Kent Annan will tell you to take the risk: choose love over fear. He beautifully describes the power of “welcome” in this story about his son who asks, “Are we for or against them?” We are for them and welcome them, Kent shows, because as the title of his book reminds us, when we welcome o...
Tags: Books, Family, Florida, Love, Religion, Syria, Guest Posts, Faith, Fear, Jesus, Kent, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Annan, Mafraq Jordan, InterVarsity Press


Rare gemstone particles found in an 8th-century nun's mouth shatter a historical misconception

It turns out medieval religious manuscripts were not exclusively the domain of male monks. Fleck of a rare gemstone pigment in fossilized teeth prove women were involved in the making of religious manuscripts. We'll never see these exquisite books the same way again. Surviving medieval religious manuscripts can be quite beautiful, with impeccable calligraphy and adorned with intricately detailed and brightly colorful illustrations. By and large, their authors remain unknown, and they've been as...
Tags: Art, Books, Gender, History, Afghanistan, Christianity, Innovation, Faith, Salzburg, Radini, Anita Radini, Fleck, Max Planck Institute, Ancient World, Badakshan, Alison Beach


Teeth prove women helped produce 8th-century religious manuscripts

It turns out medieval religious manuscripts were not exclusively the domain of male monks. Fleck of a rare gemstone pigment in fossilized teeth prove women were involved in the making of religious manuscripts. We'll never see these exquisite books the same way again. Surviving medieval religious manuscripts can be quite beautiful, with impeccable calligraphy and adorned with intricately detailed and brightly colorful illustrations. By and large, their authors remain unknown, and they've been as...
Tags: Art, Books, Gender, History, Afghanistan, Christianity, Innovation, Faith, Salzburg, Radini, Anita Radini, Fleck, Max Planck Institute, Ancient World, Badakshan, Alison Beach


The Secret to Freedom — and it’s not what you’d expect

A brief conversation with her husband changed the trajectory of her life when he told her, “You don’t make our house a place I want to come home to.” Wendy Pope faced two choices: take the words to the God who loved her, or let the words take root in her heart and sprout bitter resentment toward the man she loved. In trusting God with the painful words, He taught her the life-changing disciplines of Yes to God which cultivates trust in God, No to Self that invites revelation from God, and Maybe...
Tags: Books, Family, Religion, Guest Posts, Faith, Jesus, North Carolina, Facetime, Christ, Wendy, Scott, Luke, Carolinas, David C Cook, Daddy, Eucharistic Living


When Your Marriage & Close Relationships Veer: How to Take a You-Turn

Who hasn’t let unmet expectations with a friend or loved one go unattended until a once-revved relationship slowly stalls? All the more tempting is dodging conflict in the interest of maintaining a peaceful homelife, when the “friend or loved one” is our spouse. Which is why I’m grateful for Kimberly Miller’s real-life example of how she and her husband used a breakthrough approach that I have personally adopted to grow through conflict rather than allowing it to curb their marriage. Kim’s pass...
Tags: Books, Love, Religion, Guest Posts, Harvard University, Faith, Jesus, Kim, Central America, Ken, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Thomas Nelson, Kimberly Miller, Restoring Wonder, Kimberly J Miller


How to Take a You-Turn When Your Marriage and Close Relationships Veer Off-Course

Who hasn’t let unmet expectations with a friend or loved one go unattended until a once-revved relationship slowly stalls? All the more tempting is dodging conflict in the interest of maintaining a peaceful homelife, when the “friend or loved one” is our spouse. Which is why I’m grateful for Kimberly Miller’s real-life example of how she and her husband used a breakthrough approach that I have personally adopted to grow through conflict rather than allowing it to curb their marriage. Kim’s pass...
Tags: Books, Love, Religion, Guest Posts, Harvard University, Faith, Jesus, Kim, Central America, Ken, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Thomas Nelson, Kimberly Miller, Restoring Wonder, Kimberly J Miller


What Hanging Off the Edge of a Mountain Teaches Us About the Love of God

Years ago, Kendra Fletcher and I met as homeschooling bloggers. We both wrote about our homeschools, our faith, and our out-sized families. And we both soon found ourselves distracted by the many promises that legalism makes. Somehow, if we homeschooled this way and parented that way and did church this way, we would find that God was really pleased with our good works and might love us better for it. Since then, we can both say we’re deeply grateful for God’s faithful work to undo our own atte...
Tags: Books, California, Religion, Guest Posts, Faith, Jesus, God, John, Ansel Adams, Royal, Pacific Ocean, Christ, Conversations, Robbins, El Capitan, YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK


What You Need to Know About Hearing God’s Voice

If you met Jane Johnson on the street and shared the bare-bones basics of who you are, she would tell you she is a woman who is caught in a passionate love affair with the Word of God. She is a Scripture-digger with a heart for teaching women how to study the Bible. In her debut book Mercy Like Morning, Jane shares the things she learned the hard way. When life broke her heart, Jane turned to Scripture. Through her decade-long journey of infertility, Jane dug in. While grieving the loss of her ...
Tags: Books, Hope, Religion, Guest Posts, Faith, God, Moses, Maui, Mount Sinai, Jane, Zephaniah, Moses Moses, Harvest House, Jane Johnson, Maui Jane


When Your Best Ideas Happen in the Most Unexpected Places

She describes herself as more Malibu Barbie than G.I. Jane, but that doesn’t stop Lenya Heitzig from following God into the world’s jungles and deserts to minister to the broken. I love that Lenya confidently strapped a Barbie to her pack as she entered the jungles of Burma as a reminder when she felt out-of-place or like she didn’t belong that she was exactly where God wanted her. In her book Reload Love, Lenya shares how when her heart was breaking for refugees and children impacted by war, G...
Tags: Books, Religion, Syria, Guest Posts, Middle East, Faith, Burma, Jesus, God, John, Barbie, Conversations, Listening, Bashar Al Assad, Jane, Calvary Church


How to find joy in the land of unanswered prayer

When his oldest son was diagnosed with severe autism, pastor Jason Hague found himself trapped, stuck between perpetual sadness and a lower, safer kind of hope. This is the common struggle for those of us walking through the Land of Unanswered Prayer. Life doesn’t look the way we expected, so we seek to protect ourselves from further disappointment. But God has a third path for us, beyond sadness or resignation: it is the way of aching joy. It’s a grace to welcome Jason to the farm’s front porc...
Tags: Books, Family, Children, Israel, Religion, Guest Posts, Faith, Jesus, God, Jack, Christ, Jason, Joy, Nathan, Isaiah, Center Church


We are all in the process of becoming: how we can learn to accept ourselves

Janice Peterson and her late husband Eugene Peterson are very special people. They have so lovingly given themselves away as they practice spiritual friendship, even with me. Here, Jan talks about the value of hospitality in building rich, meaningful friendships. I think these words will be a literal gift to your heart and soul. Masterful and luminous, you will be inspired and encouraged to do the hard and holy work of digging deep into true community using simple acts of giving yourself away. ...
Tags: Books, Religion, Guest Posts, Peace, Faith, Christ, Douglas, Gertrude, Janice, Eugene, Jan, Quaker, Appalachian Trail, Janice Peterson, Eugene Peterson, NavPress


If You’ve Been Asking for God to Give You a Message: Here it is

Such a traveler has moved on to the far better beyond. I confess, since I heard about Eugene, I’ve often fought tears. I love the man. I met him only once, sat in the Colorado mountains, a few of us in a log cabin, with Eugene and his bride, Jan, for an hour or two. I will never forget his mirth, the way he laughed and his eyes danced. Eugene and his gentle joy.  I thank God for Eugene’s faith battle that helped countless of us win more of ours. We were all graced with one of the great saints...
Tags: Books, Hope, Colorado, Montana, Religion, Time, Guest Posts, Ocean, Faith, Jesus, Pope, John, Christ, Elvis, Matthew, Don


How discovering and using your voice can change just about everything

I think that when we see others achieve things with such great heights, we assume that every other area of their life is soaring just as high. It seems that for something to be so high-achieving, then everything else around them should be, too. This may especially be true of a singer, whose craft, their voice, is expected to be as polished and perfect and strong on the inside as it is on the outside. You may not expect that a Grammy Award winner with millions of albums sold struggled with her v...
Tags: Books, Hope, Religion, Guest Posts, Faith, God, Voice, Mom, Craig, Don, Mike, Sandi Patty, PAUL, Christ Jesus, Philippi, Zondervan


When things are not as they should be yet still good

One glance at the headlines will tell you that the world is a dangerous, confusing place. Forget the headlines—just look at your social media feed. From global tragedies to interpersonal conflict, it can feel like the only choice you have left is to hunker down and do your best to survive. But what if God wants more for you in this life than survival? Better yet, what if He has a plan to restore the goodness of the world? What if you’re part of that plan? Hannah Anderson invites you to embrace ...
Tags: Books, Family, Virginia, Religion, Guest Posts, David, Paris, Faith, Notre Dame, Montmartre, Louvre, Lewis, HANNAH, Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, Eros, Henri Nouwen


The Invitation to Notice: How my son with Down syndrome is teaching me the richness of a small, unhurried life

Four years ago I wrote the foreword to Micha Boyett’s first book Found: A Story of Questions, Grace and Everyday Prayer, her story of rediscovering prayer in the chaos of motherhood. “The moments all matter,” I wrote of her book. “The daily awareness of the small adds up to the whole of your life, stirring you to wake and walk.” When she wrote Found she was learning how to live prayerfully, how to notice the smallness of God’s presence in her ordinary life. And since that book? Since then she h...
Tags: Books, Family, Religion, Guest Posts, Faith, Jesus, Patheos, Micha, Micha Boyett, Maggie Beadle


When you need to know how to befriend parts of your soul you’ve long denied

You know how hard it can be to reign in your most difficult emotions. And yet God made you to experience strong and powerful feelings. In this post, Dr. Alison Cook shares how her journey to becoming a psychologist was disrupted when she had to face her own overwhelming emotions and learn to befriend them. In her new book, Boundaries for Your Soul, Alison writes with wisdom and compassion about how you can befriend the sometimes challenging parts of your soul and guide them in partnership with ...
Tags: Books, Hope, Boston, Religion, Guest Posts, Faith, Jesus, Salvation Army, Alison, Joe, Matt, Thomas Nelson, Henri Nouwen, Alison Cook, Alison You


October Kindle for Samsung Free Book

If you have a Samsung tablet or phone, you can pick one free book from the list below using the Kindle for Samsung app; additional titles can also be purchased at a discount (generally $1.99), if desired. Samsung Book Deals is similar to the Kindle First program run by Amazon: the picks are from Amazon publisher imprints, but are not “new” books necessarily. Note: This is the LAST month for this deal. The Seventh Bride ($2.99 Kindle) by T. Kingfisher Young Rhea is a miller’s daughter of low b...
Tags: Amazon, Books, New York, Hope, Featured, Romance, Fantasy, Samsung, Kindle Books, Faith, Manhattan, Long Island, NICK, Historical Fiction, Rhea, Morgan


How to Make Peace with Daily Bread

There was a time Shannan Martin thought her hair would turn gray in the farmhouse at the end of a long, gravel lane. She believed her job was to pursue safety and comfort. Back then she didn’t know suffering comes with hidden gifts, or that God’s “more” for her family was going to look like “less.” These days, her ordinary, neighborhood life is a mashup of the magic found when we draw a wider circle around who we call “family” and learn to live in meaningful proximity with the people near us. T...
Tags: Books, Family, Religion, Indiana, Guest Posts, Faith, Jesus, Calvin, Cory, Jeremiah, Goshen Indiana, Shannan Martin, Shannan, Ministry of Ordinary Places


Traveling a Winding Road from our Suburbs to our Sahara: Going Global as an Ordinary Person

Jeannie Marie exhales possibility to the rest of ordinary us, expectant that Jesus crafted a relational and adventurous role for each of us to find in fulfilling Jesus’ final words to make disciples of all nations. In her new book, Across the Street and Around the World, she gently shows us how to be a beautiful bridge between people of different faiths and cultures. Starting from our own front doors and even reaching across the seas. In this post, you’ll muse along with her, a down-to-earth ...
Tags: Books, India, Religion, America, Guest Posts, Pakistan, New Jersey, Arizona, Faith, Sudan, Humility, Jesus, Christ, Jesus Christ, Phoenix, Peter


What We Can Offer to a World Crying Out (and it’s not what you think)

Shannan Martin  believes every crumb of ministry begins with attentiveness. When her family moved from their cozy farm to a low-income neighborhood in the city, she knew her lens for beauty and belonging was going to have to change, and it did. Before long, her eye was drawn to crumbling things, flowers poking their hopeful faces through chain-link fencing, neighbors who lived grueling lives and loved her well. Shannan knows the everyday power of suffering and celebrating together, of taking t...
Tags: Books, Family, Children, Religion, Guest Posts, Faith, Jesus, Oklahoma, Robert, Mother Teresa, Cory, Jeremiah, Thomas Nelson, Goshen Indiana, Shannan Martin, Eucharistic Living


What to Do When Life Doesn’t Make Sense

Suffering is rarely anticipated. In the midst of the pain, many people are left wondering where they can turn for true comfort and rest. Paul David Tripp is no stranger to suffering. In a season of thriving ministry, he found himself hospitalized with a life-threatening and ultimately life-changing illness. Today he’s taking what he learned from that experience, weaving together wise counsel and biblical insight for others deep in the valley of suffering. It’s a humbling grace to welcome Paul t...
Tags: Books, Hope, Religion, Guest Posts, David, Faith, PAUL, Paul Tripp, Restoring Wonder, Luella, Paul David Tripp, Crossway, Levi Voskamp


ESL #3: Political

Another of the books I'm reading on my ESL is Justin Welby's Reimagining Britain. A couple of days ago the Archbishop fronted the publication of a report by the IPPR Commission on Economic Justice having served on the Commission. You can read ++Justin's remarks at the launch of the report here. ++Justin has copped quite a bit of flak for his involvement in the report, however, he isn't backing down and he explained earlier in the year why he is involved in politics in an article entitled Is Mixi...
Tags: Books, Politics, Church, Sport, Britain, Labour, Faith, Justin Welby, Church Of England, Jesus, Archbishop Of Canterbury, Esl, Jesus Christ, State, Justin, Ian


How to Love Like Jesus in 5 Steps

Les Parrott (often with his wife Leslie) has written some of the most practical marriage and relationship books I’ve ever read. And in his new book, Love Like That, Les takes this same down-to-earth approach in showing us how to love others like Jesus – including our friends, family, colleagues and even strangers. Love Like That makes this lofty and too often our-of-reach ideal more attainable, and more doable. It’s a grace to welcome Les to the farm’s front porch today… guest post by Les Pa...
Tags: Books, Love, Religion, Guest Posts, New York Times, Faith, Jesus, Seattle, Les, PAUL, Leslie, Thomas Nelson, Restoring Wonder, Les Parrott, Les Parrot Ph D


How Relational Cynicism Snuffs Out Hope, and the Antidote

This man is not only a brilliant, fresh voice on the subject of personal growth and health, and a powerful one — he has become one of the kindest and wisest of friends and mentors to the Farmer and I, he and his wife coming to the farm for dinner, and us having the best BBQ at his home with his prayer warrior wife, Toni. Carey Nieuwhof has spent decades leading people in ministry, overcome obstacles that we all face in one season or another, and endured a season of personal burnout of his own, ...
Tags: Books, Family, Hope, Religion, Guest Posts, Faith, Jesus, Farmer, Jesus Christ, Carey, Toni, Carey Nieuwhof, WaterBrook, Toni Carey Nieuwhof, Connexus Church, Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast


Expect God’s Best and Watch Him Work

I walked right past the little guys — tiny seedlings, half-priced at Home Depot. Sitting on a low shelf behind the “bigger and better” flowering plants, the tiny alyssum barely caught my eye. They weren’t showy enough to give what I get most out of gardening — a sweet release from life’s hard hits. “Vicissitudes,” as our late pastor used to call them, weigh us down. Gardening, for me, softens the hurts. But the tiny alyssum? As a flower friend, it seemed too small to help. But my youngest grandc...
Tags: Garden, Facebook, Gardening, Colorado, Inspiration, Faith, Jesus, John, Flowers, Miracle, Growth, James, Jesus Christ, Peter, Grow, Nazareth


What People Get Wrong About the History of American Judaism Before the Civil War

Steven R. Weisman, author of 'The Chosen Wars,' spoke to TIME about what people get wrong about American Judaism before the Civil Wa
Tags: Books, News, Uncategorized, Faith, American Judaism, Steven R Weisman


How a Pair of Ripped Pants Woke Me Up to the Sanctifying Power of Other People

As the Founder of the fair trade accessories brand Noonday Collection, Jessica Honegger has helped create dignified work for over 4,500 Artisans across the globe, impacting 20,000 family members. When I first met Jessica through IF: Gathering seven years ago, one of the first things that struck both of us was our shared heart for justice. That sense, of finding a kindred spirit in the fight for a fairer and more grace-filled world, is what Jessica offers to all of us in her new book, Imperfect ...
Tags: Books, Religion, Guest Posts, Austin, Faith, Jack, Rwanda, Jessica, Curt, Jessica Honegger, Honegger, Curt Thompson, Repent, WaterBrook


When You Need to Know that Your Story is not Over Yet

I am so delighted to welcome Leslie Leyland Fields again, my sister-friend who is coming all the way from Alaska. She’s inviting us all to take an incredible journey with her — to her island in Alaska and across the waters to Galilee and through the gospels, where she has encountered Jesus in dramatic amazing ways. Be sure and watch the video below of this Bible study based on her award-winning book, Crossing the Waters: Following Jesus through the Storms, the Fish, the Doubt and the Seas. (And...
Tags: Books, Family, Israel, Religion, Guest Posts, Alaska, Faith, Jesus, ANN, Doubt, Christ, Yeshua, Duncan, Galilee, Leslie, Isaac


When Ordinary People Pray Extraordinary Prayers

Dr. Michael Youssef knows what it’s like to have God call you to something that you aren’t entirely sure you want to do. To feel the pull from God… and walk in the other direction. But he also knows the joy that comes from drawing back to God, following God’s lead, and leaning into the plans God has for us. After heeding God’s call to full-time Christian ministry, Dr. Youssef has discovered his gift for boldly bringing Biblical clarity to today’s issues and he’s been granted the ability to sp...
Tags: Books, Australia, California, Israel, Religion, Guest Posts, United States, Egypt, Faith, Jesus, God, Lebanon, Christ, Baker, Prayer, Jonah


You + Hard Thing = Not Talking To God (or The Silence where God Speaks)

When Hilary Yancey first learned that her son would have significant physical differences, she asked God to heal him, expecting to tell a story of miracles. She is telling a story of miracles, yes, but ones far different from what she expected in the quiet nights before her son was born. And as she writes of the journey from ultrasound to NICU, from NICU to home, and from silence with God to a new beginning, she prays that Jesus would walk out on that rising water to meet you. It’s a grace to w...
Tags: Books, Hope, Religion, Guest Posts, Preston, Faith, Jesus, God, Jackson, Prayer, HILARY, NICU, Waco Texas, Junia, Hilary Yancey



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