Tag: Spiritual Formation

Better Theology for [Your Job Here]

Better Theology for [Your Job Here]

I love books that urge you to read more books—and I say that honestly as a reader, not just because I work for a publisher. One of our new titles, Toddy Holeman’s “Theology for Better Counseling,” makes a particularly good case for reading more.




Seeing, Tasting, Smelling, Hearing and Touching the Wonders of God

Seeing, Tasting, Smelling, Hearing and Touching the Wonders of God

Thank you to Jeff Crosby, Associate Publisher and Director of Sales & Marketing for this post. The Advent season we have just journeyed through is one in which our senses are often heightened beyond the norm: The fragrance of lit candles and the sound of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite; the taste of eggnog and the brilliance …

+ Read More





Christ, Our Light

Christ, Our Light

A special thank you to Cindy Crosby, co-editor of the Ancient Christian Devotional series with Tom Oden and compiler of On the Way to the Cross. Every summer I work at a wilderness island, Isle Royale National Park, in Lake Superior close to the Canadian border. One thing I love about living so far north …

+ Read More





A Few Books for Your Summer Reading List

A Few Books for Your Summer Reading List

Now that warmer weather is finally on its way, the summer planning begins. Here come the family vacations, backyard BBQs, trips to the beach, church picnics and long, sunny walks with the dog. This warmer weather also means you can finally get around to those outdoor projects you’ve been able to put off all winter. …

+ Read More





We’re In a La Niña Year

We’re In a La Niña Year

In the Pacific Northwest we’re still in the 2010-2011 La Nina year, which means cooler, wetter springs than usual. Mark and I walk Fern Creek’s gardens most afternoons like hovering parents checking on the young broccoli and cabbage transplants to see how they are managing the hardship of a cold wet spring, and to see if more snow peas, arugula and spinach have decided to break ground.
When we aren’t teaching, writing, or preparing talks we’re often occupied with tasks related to food: growing, preserving, preparing or eating it. Last night for dinner I poured a jar of last season’s spicy tomato sauce into a pan, added a few pesto cubes and a handful of oven-roasted tomatoes from the freezer, crushed up half a dried cayenne pepper, splashed in some red wine, and simmered it all for a bit before ladling it over homemade pasta. That we are still eating bounty from last year’s crops while this year’s basil plants are under the grow lights downstairs and the tomato plants are filling out in the cold frame inclines us to give thanks.




Apprentice Series Continues to Impact Lives

Apprentice Series Continues to Impact Lives

When my friend Greg Bowman speaks, I can count on him to shoot as straight as a west Kansas highway—even when I may not like what he says. We all need people like that, right?
So I listened closely when Bowman, a close friend for more than a quarter century and a small group pastor for nearly that long, told me, “No resources have had a more profound impact on my life and ministry than the Apprentice Series,” and went on to declare that “the books are making true life-change possible for the first time for so many.”
I listened. And I liked what I heard.




Preparing for Lent with Juliet Benner

Preparing for Lent with Juliet Benner

Lent is a time of preparation for Easter and the mysteries of life, death and resurrection that we celebrate during Holy Week. Many Christians understand this preparation primarily in terms of things that they choose to give up for the 40 days before Easter. But if Holy Week is a ritual walk through the events of the passion, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, perhaps the most basic way of thinking about preparation for this is to view Lent as spreading our engagement with these Holy Week events over 40 days rather than 7. What if you could use Lent as a 6 week journey with Jesus in which you spend time with him in Gospel meditation, watching his interactions with others and getting to know him?