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Bob Robinson

Visit (re)integrate

Wisdom for Graduates: There Is Life After College

One of my colleagues at CCO, Erica Young Reitz, has written a very helpful article for those who have graduated from college, “There Is Life After College.” Here’s a nugget: “More than advice, the best thing I can offer is a little help closing the gap between your expectations of life after college and the […]
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Amy Sorrells

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What’s a cat food factory got to do with it? On research and novel writing and a sample of How Sweet the Sound

I must’ve switched majors at least twenty times when I was in college. I wish I was exaggerating for my poor parents’ sake, but I just couldn’t settle on one subject. I liked them all. Politics and history, literature and … Continue reading →
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Tom Volkar

Visit Delightful Work

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

Joanne Norton’s “The Annie Project”

Many novels contain events, scenes and people taken from the author’s life. “Write what you know” is a familiar dictum from editors and critics, and most writers, even those who write fantasy and science fiction, take that advice to heart. But it’s not often that one reads an introduction to a novel an admission that the author is two of the main characters of the story. Right at the beginning of The Annie Project, Joanne Norton makes that statement: “I am two of the main characters. My official name is Carolyn Joanne, although I’ve been only called Joanne since birth. So, in the book, I am ‘Cary’ and ‘Annie.’”What that statement does, of course, is tell the reader that while this is a novel, it is also something of a memoir, something of an autobiography, and, in Norton’s hands, something of a testimony.But most of all, The Annie Project is a story, a big story, the story of how an elderly woman’s concern about a young girl next door leads to the redemption of a family.Cary Nolan is a recent widow, a former missionary, a mother and a grandmother. After her husband’s death, she moves to a small town called Newton to be closer to her children. And next door is a mother who drinks herself in an alcoholic stupor, a teenaged boy constantly in trouble with the law, and a 12-year-old girl named Annie who’s angry at the world. They’ve been abandoned by the father.Norton on a mission trip in UgandaCary looks at Annie, and Cary sees a lot of herself. Perhaps too much of herself.So Cary decides to do something. She has enough wisdom to know that reaching out to Annie won’t be an all-or-nothing proposition, but more of a little bit here and a little bit there. And it won’t be all victories. Things happen in The Annie Project. Lots of things. Annie’s mother disappears. The father returns. Annie’s brother gets into more trouble. Cary goes on a short-term mission trip to Uganda (and, I suspect, an event in the novel that is clearly autobiographical). Norton writes with passion. She is passionate about Annie’s story, because she is passionate about her own story. She knows the meaning of grace, both receiving and giving it. She’s passionate about sharing the grace she’s been given.And she knows that while this may be Annie’s/Cary’s/Joanne’s story, it is also our story. 
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Jim Lange

Some Advice…About Advice – Guest Post by Bob Tamasy

When you are wrestling with a dilemma or problem, how willing are you to seek advice? And if you do look for advice, who are the people with whom you...

Sheila Lagrand

Visit Godspotting with Sheila

Keep Thinking!

Excellent Improvement. No New Technology Necessary. The world needs your bright ideas. Honest. Yes, I know. We live in an era of astounding technological and scientific advances. Detection and microsurgical correction of birth anomalies? Sure thing. In utero? Yup. In fact, fetal microsurgery is old news. This article, for example, was printed back in November. Of 1992.  The mobile […]

Michelle DeRusha

Visit Graceful

When You Want a Media-Worthy Miracle

I was out front, watering the garden that runs along the white picket fence, when I heard my son Noah yell. “Quick, Mommy! Quick! Come here! Hurry!” His voice was urgent, pressing, so much so that I stopped what I was doing and quickly walked over to where he was crouched at the curb. I bent […]You just finished reading When You Want a Media-Worthy Miracle! Consider leaving a comment!
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Amy Sullivan


Summertime This and That

It's been a busy couple of weeks, and online I've gone missing. Missing in a good way. Missing in a summer is so full kind of way.An update on Sullivan life:Our family drove to Colorado to view the cutest baby known to man, also known as my new nephew. We went hiking and paddle boating and paddleboarding, and while we are talking about paddleboarding, I think I need to share with you that I could be a champion paddleboarder. Really, if there was an Olympic sport in paddleboarding, I would dominate. I love paddle boarding so much that I wish I lived on a lake and had to paddleboard to work every day. On the way home from work, I would paddle over to the grocery store and carry my groceries back. Yes, all on a paddleboard.In other news, my blue slide phone died. Rest in peace, 'ol girl. I walked into Verizon and promptly told the Verizon worker not to even try to talk me into a fancy phone because I didn't want one. No sir, not me. I wanted my old, neon blue, slide phone, and I didn't see it on display anywhere so could he walk to the back room and find one. Poor guy.Apparently, Verizon doesn't make slide phones any more. What? Who wouldn't buy a slide phone? What's wrong with the world?Anyway, of course, I ended up with a fancy phone (although my second choice in phones was the Jitterbug), and now I am on Instagram. Do you see how fast that happened? Fear not, I haven't posted anything on Instagram yet because apparently there is a smidge more to it than taking a picture with your fancy phone and posting. I'm sure my two Intagram followers are disappointed.In other fun news, I also went to an amazing meal put on by one of my favorite organizations and learned more about people shaking it up in my community. I teared up throughout the entire dinner and while listening to the speaker because I am a sucker for stories of hope and people who believe in change and our God who believes in second chance after second chance.These people went with me. They happen to be my favorites.There's more, but that's all for now. Thanks for spending your free minutes here.One more thing: My new and big website revamp is coming soon. I am absolutely giddy to share my new digs with you.Your turn. Tell me what's happening in your world or if you are a champion paddleboarder or if you own a Jitterbug (I'm jealous). Follow @AmyLSullivan1
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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

Seminary Grads Give Schools all “D”s.

“Speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him…” Ephesians 4:15 In my new role at Fuller Seminary, I have been trying to follow the example of our faculty. Academic Dean and Leadership Professor, Scott Cormode teaches his students, “Leadership begins in listening.” And Scott...

Jeanne Damoff


Rising From the Ruin

“For this I bless you as the ruin falls. The pains You give me are more precious than all other gains.” C.S. Lewis If I asked you to define a “good gift,” what would you say? Feel free to press pause on this blog post to ponder that question for a while. It’s an important […]
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Susan Jones

Visit Just ... a Moment

Sunshine & Smiles ~

I do enjoy the daisies outside, inside singly or in bunches all around the house *  *  * "What sunshine is to flowers,  smiles are to humanity.  These are but trifles, to be sure;  but scattered along life's pathway,  the good they do is inconceivable.”  Joseph Addison *  *  * they are having an especially good season
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Brock Henning

Visit Lifesummit

Paying Yourself Extra for Free

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.comAt 4:30 a.m. on a snowy December morning, all I had on my 13 year-old mind was getting each nearly-frozen newspaper off my sled and onto each customer’s porch. The faster I could unload papers, the sooner I could melt back into a toasty bed. But I stopped after ten houses, glancing back.Four newspapers had missed their targets by a mile, each sticking out halfway in the snow. Hey, I was paid for delivering newspapers to the premise, not customized handling. And besides, my toes were cold.I thought of the elderly couple who lived at one of those homes. The next morning I returned to my usual route. This time every newspaper landed on a porch, and I placed a few, the ones I'd went back to the day before, just inside the storm doors. And for the elderly couple, whose storm door was locked, I deposited a plastic bag-wrapped newspaper in the mailbox adjacent the door, same as I’d done the day before. But when I opened their mailbox this time, I found a small package wrapped in Santa Claus gift wrap, with my name on it. Inside was a pair of wool gloves that fit perfectly, and a note shakily written to match the writer’s voice. Thank you for placing the newspaper in our mailbox. Sometimes it’s hard for us to pick it up.And when I got my first real job on a payroll at 16, at the local hardware store, I pushed the shopping cart for a middle-aged woman and loaded paint cans and houseware items into her car. She couldn’t walk very well.I was paid to work in the store, and to load heavier items like bags of sand and mulch and salt rock, and to only go out to the parking lot to retrieve empty shopping carts. I wasn’t paid to push a customer’s cart, but I did it anyway. She thanked me and offered a five for my trouble. I politely refused.I think of the numerous times during my professional career, when I’ve stepped outside of my hired job role to fix a problem that was not my responsibility to fix, but I took a shot at it anyway, foregoing my own work for another. I didn’t always fix the problem, and I certainly didn’t get paid extra for the effort, but it was a chance to communicate something that always pays off, and in some cases can change another’s life. Somebody cares.When a person says ‘no’ to something they are not paid to do, is that wrong? No, it is not. Then should we only say ‘yes’ to those things we are paid to do? After all, we need to make a living, and we’re all limited by time. We can’t be all things to all people. But didn’t Jesus Himself say “…whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant...the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:26-28 NIV)? How do we know where to draw the line?I think you’ll know.I never hand-delivered every customer’s newspaper to their door or mailbox. I couldn't finish my job if I did. I’d offer that 9 out of 10 newspapers flung 30 feet from the curb to the door every morning, most largely missing the doormat. But that 1 out of 10, the one I knew I should help, I gave extra for free.This post is part of The High Calling's Community Post topic, "Working for Free". Click here to read more insightful posts on this topic!

Heather Holleman

Visit Live with Flair

All This and the Romantic Dinner Too

The plan to celebrate our 14th anniversary was to end up at dinner and a movie after browsing bookstores (our favorite things). We're best friends and partners in everything, so we knew we'd have a great night just talking and enjoying whatever came our way. And this is what came our way: All night, we kept running into people we love--like walk-to-school neighbors, friends from church, and even a former student of mine. At one point, we found ourselves visiting a grad student and praying with his family who was in town to help him move out.Everywhere we went, significant parts of our marriage found representation through people sent our way: walking together every day with the Neighborhood Walk-to-School group, ministering together to graduate students, teaching college students, and volunteering with youth ministry and church. It was fun that these encounters kept happening all night.And yes, we had all this and our bookstore, romantic dinner, and movie too!It was a beautiful night out because every half hour or so, we received little reminders of what makes marriage so great. For years, we've been together in life and ministry; it's been so purposeful and connected to others that our night out included a wonderful sampling of what the years have meant to us.It was never just about us.

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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Today, I Lost It

There I was…standing with grocery bags in my hands seeking every bit of patience I had left within me, silently praying to God to find it. Looking at my son, my blood was at a rolling boil when he looked directly at me and refused to listen to me about eating his lunch…and he knew […]