From the monthly archives: August 2016

We are pleased to present below all posts archived in 'August 2016'. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try using the search box.

Andrea Baker: A Daughter's Identity


Andrea Baker’s story is dark and painful. It is also beautiful and redemptive. And she is thankful for every bit of it.

“I don't regret anything that God has brought me through,” she told me during our interview. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Because God brought me through it, I am able to know—deeply—how much he cares for me as a daughter and how he can take care of me. I can trust that he will take care of me.”

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Why We Removed the Post about the 2016 Presidential Election


Last month, we posted a dialogue between Trevor Sides and Vanessa Felhauer, two regular contributors to All Things New, discussing their differing political views and intentions related to the upcoming presidential election. Many of you appreciated that dialogue, but we also know that many of you were troubled by that post and the discussion that followed. We as pastors, therefore, would like to offer a few thoughts related to the post.

First, as we received feedback about the post, we realized there were two courses of action: 1) To address these issues through the vehicle of the blog, or 2) To remove the post and address these issues in different contexts. We have decided to remove the original post and address these issues through different channels for the following reason.

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School's in Session: Book-reading Reports from ATN Contributors

Summer is over. How much reading did you do? Very little, because you spent all your time watching the Olympics and the new Star Wars: Rogue One trailer? We feel ya. That’s why the ATN contributors who posted their summer reading lists now have to face the music—err, epilogue. Get our your red pens. It’s time to grade some book-reading reports.

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Happiness Is: An Invitation to Live Life to the Full

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. — Jesus, John 10:10

All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end. The cause of some going to war, and of others avoiding it, is the same desire in both, attended with different views. The will never takes the least step but to this object. This is the motive of every action of every man, even of those who hang themselves. — Blaise Pascal

Happiness is slippery. Aim for it and you’ll miss it. But if Pascal is right, it is mankind’s fundamental aim. From hiking, to movies, to jobs, to presidents — we are all seeking fulfillment, a deep happiness in our lives. But as soon as you return to the trailhead, as soon as the credits start to roll, happiness has left you again. And you’re left searching for the next fix.

Over the next four weeks, join us as we look at Jesus’ offer to find happiness and life that is abundant and lasting. He offers us a full identity, full significance and full connection.

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Re-reading Is Fundamental to Refreshing Your Life


No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally — and often far more — worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond. (C.S. Lewis)

If C.S. Lewis said it, then it must be true. One hardly need convince me that good literature feeds the soul and that the best books are worth reading again and again. I never leave home without a book at my fingertips or a book recommendation on my tongue.

Over the years I have found what I call “soul books” — kindred spirits that I read yearly, seasonally or simply when I need a comfort read. Not all books reach this status, but I have quite a few on my list. Books by Robin Jones Gunn, Francine Rivers, Lisa Wingate and Louisa May Alcott, to name a few. What I’ve experienced over many years of reading and re-reading is summed up by Louisa May Alcott: “Some books are so familiar that reading them is like being home again.”

When I pick up one of these books to read again, I often times expect a sentimental road trip or a brainless read. But instead, I “always find a new book,” as C.S. Lewis put it. My life experiences have changed. I am older, in a different phase of life, and these books speak to me in a completely different way than when I was a teenager, a college student, young single, young married or young mom.

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