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Bob Robinson

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Some are Called to Go, More are Called to Stay

Many churches have annual Missions Conferences. For a week, we concentrate on overseas missionaries, highlighting their good work of proclaiming the gospel to those in foreign lands. And with this in mind, our sermons often look at the life of Paul the Apostle—the consummate model of the traveling missionary. Certainly, Paul is the epitome of […]
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Amy Sorrells

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Billy Coffey interview and In the Heart of the Dark Wood giveaway!

It’s the week of Thanksgiving, a time when most folks are counting their blessings, and I count my friendship with Billy Coffey as a big one. He’s one of the first real writers I met when I began my own … Continue reading →
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Tom Volkar

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Delightful Work Rides Again at a New Location

Copyright © 2014 Tom Volkar. Visit the original article at post is for all of you faithful Delightful Work subscribers. I’ve been wrtiing again at Please join me to subscribe to my blog there.  Here are some recent posts if you want to know what I’ve been up to. How to Live a […]

Duane Scott

Visit Duane Scott ~ Scribing the Journey

lost in love

Someone once said, “Let my heart be broken by the […] The post lost in love appeared first on Scribing the Journey.
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Glynn Young

Visit Faith, Fiction, Friends

Adam Arenson’s “The Heart of the Great Republic”

This is a strange book to be reading about St. Louis right now.Adam Arenson published The Heart of the Great Republic: St. Louis and the Cultural Civil War in 2011. He’s focused his academic studies on the American west and its settlement; his other books include Frontier Cities: Encounters at the Crossroads of Empire (2012) and Civil War Tests: Testing the Limited of the United States (February 2015). The Heart of the Great Republic is about the role St. Louis played leading up to the Civil War and after, and how the great forces of slavery, abolition and manifest destinyconverged on St. Louis.St. Louis is the prism through which Arenson examines the major American themes of the 19th century, and he largely confines himself to the 19thcentury. What is both strange and surprising is that some of those themes – perhaps all of them – continue to be played out today. For most if not all of the 19th century, St. Louis was a larger city than Chicago. It was the gateway to the west (the theme of the Aero Saarinen’s Arch in downtown St. Louis), the place where all the wagon trains started to head to the promised lands of Oregon and California. Henry Shaw, an Englishman who founded St. Louis’ beloved botanical gardens, made his fortune selling hardware to the settlers traveling west and passing through St. Louis.St. Louis was the largest city in a state where slavery was legal. It became the home of thousands of German immigrants, many of whom left Europe after the failure of the Revolutions of 1848. These Germans brought their fierce notions of freedom with them; they would turn out to be strong supporters of abolition, settling in a slave-owning city. And thus the fusion of the great themes, the ideas that became the realities of conflict, war, and reconstruction. St. Louis escaped the physical ravages of the Civil War, but experienced the psychological and political ravages perhaps more than any other city of the North or border states.Arenson, a professor and historian, discusses how these themes developed Arenson discusses how these themes developed in St. Louis through the great fire of 1849, which destroyed much of the city; the Compromise of 1850, whose popular sovereignty led to Bleeding Kansas and Nebraska; the impact of German immigration; the Dred Scott decision by the Supreme Court (Scott and his family lived in St. Louis); the Civil War itself, and how competing factions battled for control of the city; emancipation and reconstruction; the movement to make St. Louis the new capital of the United States; and what happened when St. Louis County and the City of St. Louis separated themselves in a popular vote marred by corruption. (This separation continues to have a major impact on the metropolitan area today.)Adam ArensonThe author’s point is that the conflicts of the 19th century were a cultural civil war, and St. Louis occupied the physical location where that cultural civil war converged. And more than that: the landscape of St. Louis today still reflects the larger history of that cultural civil war. “The local history is national history, and St. Louisans sense it,” he writes. And that’s precisely where the strangeness of the book is. If Arenson is correct, and I believe he is, then what does the current troubles and tension of St. Louis – arising form the shooting of Michael Brown, a black teenager, by a white police officer – suggest for the larger reality of the United States? What if the themes of the cultural civil war are still being played out on the streets of St. Louis? As I write this, the grand jury investigating Michael Brown’s death is still deliberately, and an announcement could come at any time. The city feels like something of an armed camp. If there is one dominant emotion, it is fear. But there is also the understanding that what is happening is here is larger than St. Louis, extending across the nation. St. Louis history is still American history. Photograph of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis by Yinan Chen via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission.
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Jim Lange

Are You Looking For An Accomplice?

“When we ask for advice, we are usually looking for an accomplice.” Marquis de la Grange Wow, is that quote true! I have the privilege to lead roundtable groups in...

Sheila Lagrand

Visit Godspotting with Sheila

When We Went Down to the River to Pray

[From the archives. I'm on my way back to the river today.] And Talk. And Sing. And Eat. And Rest. Sunday night, late, my dear husband picked me up at LAX. He even parked the car and came inside to meet me at the baggage claim, which I  claim as a love offering. So how was […]

Michelle DeRusha

Visit Graceful

5 Signs That You are Just Plain Burned Out

1. You mumble to your agent out loud, “I don’t think I like my writing life right now.” 2. You fantasize about getting a job at the local greenhouse. 3. You sit in front of your computer screen, scrolling through Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, and at the end of the day, you haven’t written one word. 4. […]You just finished reading 5 Signs That You are Just Plain Burned Out! Consider leaving a comment!
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emily wierenga

Visit in the hush of the moon

An Open Letter to Mothers Who Have Miscarried

Dear Mothers Who Have Miscarried,I've lost two, and it's near torn me apart, this longing to be in heaven with my babies, but I've learned the secret to staying on earth.I learned the secret, just weeks ago, and I want to share it here with you, if I may?It was December, a cold afternoon and I was meeting in a church with a prayer team. They asked me about the babies I'd lost and I wept so hard I couldn't speak because this past spring, God had told me my Madeleine would live. And then she'd died. He'd told me about her personality, and then she'd slid from my body, and I gave birth to Stillborn Faith that day.I've been grieving ever since and sometimes it's just a white lace shoe that undoes me. Or a pink dress.  Or the sight of a woman's rounded womb.And I met with the prayer team and they prayed over me, that the Grief would end. I nodded tearfully.Following the prayer, one of the women pulled me aside and told me she'd heard a pastor speak once, on miscarried and aborted babies, and that this pastor had received a vision of a nursery in heaven. In this vision, the pastor saw a nursery filled with miscarried and aborted babies, angels watching over them, and upon reaching heaven, mothers who'd lost their babies would be given a second chance to raise them.Now, friends, I don't know that there's anything in Scripture that talks about a nursery in heaven but I also know that heaven is mysterious and unfathomable and eternal, and that a nursery is something akin to the loving character of God the Father. He may just give us a second chance to raise our babies.I breathed long and hard and fast after she told me this. Because if this nursery does exist, then suddenly God's words to me in the spring made sense: his words saying that my baby would live (even though on earth, she died); his words describing her personality, as though she were already alive.Because no life is lost to Jesus.The night I lost my first child, I had a dream, even as I slept: a little girl with golden curls sat outside my bedroom door playing with toys, and when she looked at me, she had her father's eyes. And then I looked down at my arms and there was a little boy asleep in them, but I couldn't see his face.If this nursery exists, that dream was of my daughter, playing in heaven (and the baby in my arms? My eldest son, who was conceived months later).And my daughter's waiting for me--even as your children are waiting for you.13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139)Friends?Our God does not lie.If he's told you that your baby lives? She does. Maybe not on earth. But nothing can separate us from the love of God--not even death, Romans 8 tells us.May you be filled with hope. This world is not all there is.Hallelujah.Your sister,e.*** Hey guys--I hate asking this, but I guess it's part of being a "professional" writer; I created an Author page yesterday and am wondering if you'll consider Liking me? Here's the link: XOXOSubscribers that had been using the RSS method may have tore-subscribe and choose the non-comments feed. Old (dead) link: (working) link:

Tod Bolsinger

Visit It Takes a Church

Google and Jesus Agree on At Least One Thing

Google might be on to something. But then again, Jesus had it long before Google did. Earlier this year in a New York Times article, a top Google executive said the company’s hiring had moved from typical resume highlights toward something more abstract. “Intellectual humility,” they called it. Without humility,...

Jeanne Damoff


It’s time to play

“We can all see God in exceptional things, but it requires the culture of spiritual discipline to see God in every detail. Never allow that the haphazard is anything less than God’s appointed order, and be ready to discover the Divine designs anywhere.” ~ Oswald Chambers Laura Boggess’ book, Playdates with God, is an invitation […]
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Susan Jones

Visit Just ... a Moment

Thanks-Giving ~

"There is something about the presence of a cat...  that seems to take the bite out of being alone."  Louis J. Camuti *  *  * Wishing you and yours a wonderful time of Thanks-Giving  in the days ahead * * * the pace will continue to  be quiet here as  we move  into the season  of Advent which you can  read about here
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Brock Henning

Visit Lifesummit

Oops! Sorry for the Mess

Sorry for the mess around here. I’m in the process of moving from my old blog hosting site to a new one. I’m still unboxing a few items and finding their homes on the shelves. The good news is I wouldn’t be moving to a new site if I weren’t planning to connect with you […] The post Oops! Sorry for the Mess appeared first on Brock Stephen Henning.

Heather Holleman

Visit Live with Flair

The Smallest Gesture Brought Some Peace

As you know, I struggle with so much travel anxiety. I pray and use all sorts of strategies, but sometimes I just feel all out of sorts. I imagine nothing will ever be right again and that everything is falling apart inside of me.This morning in a little hotel coffee shop, I ordered some coffee. The counter displayed a huge variety of expensive specialty chocolates. My daughter bought a yogurt, but she said, "Let's get chocolates!" I shook my head and said that we don't eat chocolate for breakfast. As we turn to leave with our yogurt and coffee, the salesperson rushes up to us, opens her clenched palm, and offers my daughter a golden-wrapped truffle. "For after breakfast," she says, smiling.She walks away as we thank her, but she returns to find us one more time. "The mother needs one, too."She gifts me this lovely chocolate and tells me to have a wonderful day. The day feels different and blessed. What I order up for it is always less than what God has in store. He runs after me to bless me with what I think isn't allowed or is out of reach.That little gesture reminded me to wait for and observe tiny blessings today. My anxiety lessens and changes to anticipation as I wait for what golden wrapped, lovely treat this day will offer.

Marilyn Yocum


Dumping My Blog

I’M THINKING OF DUMPING MY BLOG - been thinking it a while - but is it one more step away from writing? Or toward it? Unsure. I admitted to these very thoughts while riding to church a few weeks ago and wouldn’t you know it? The morning’s passage included “immediately they left their nets.” I […]

Marni Arnold

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It’s Time to Be Present in His Presence

The other day, my world was flipped upside down. In fact, a week ago today, my world was beginning to flip…but it wasn’t until Friday it completely turned over. Some may read this and roll their eyes wondering “what is wrong with her?” Some, won’t. Either way, the fact is our family cat of 15 years […]