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It’s Dystopian Utopia! “Bitterblue,” “Insurgent,” and “Pandemonium”

It’s Screen-Free Week, America, which means it’s time for fun summer reading! Here are three new YA novels I’m excited about, two of which release today. Remember: it can’t really be dystopia with such great reading options.
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What Does It Mean When God Talks Back?

This weekend I led several dozen women in trying lectio divina for the first time. Having that experience while also reading T.M. Luhrmann’s fascinating new book When God Talks Back prompted me to ask: What do Christians mean when we say we receive guidance from God?
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Never Enough Time

Lately, when people ask me how I'm doing, the default answer I have to choke back is, "Busy." I quell that impulse because a) who's not insanely busy these days? and b) I'm trying to cultivate some tranquility. For me, a confirmed but recovering workaholic, the "busy" answer just doesn't represent the person I want to become.
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Mormon Women Do Lectio Divina

What happens when a group of modern LDS women attempt an ancient monastic spiritual practice, reading scripture in a contemplative way? This weekend I'm going to find out.
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For Despairing Mormon Feminists: It Gets Better

It's that time of year when many Mormon women despair of ever being treated like equal partners in church (hello, onslaught of Mother's Day pedestal rhetoric!). But I recently took heart from taking a walk down memory lane with a 1948 magazine article that reminded me how far women have come.
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The Top 5 Ways to Score Points with Your Descendants

Rule #1: Give your kids weird names that will get them pummeled on the playground but will serve the family’s greater interest in the centuries to come. Gwyneth Paltrow’s really on to something here.
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Highlights of the Festival of Faith & Writing

For the last three days, I’ve been soaking up the wonderful atmosphere of the Festival of Faith and Writing at Calvin College, a biannual event for writers, publishers, and—best of all—readers. Here are some highlights.
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A Banner Year for Novelist Steven L. Peck

Sci-fi/horror/fantasy writer Steven L. Peck has had an incredible year. Here he talks about his new novella A Short Stay in Hell, reveals what he's learning about book marketing, and explains how a platform as a blogger helped to launch his writing career.
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Oratio: Lectio Divina with David Benner

Author and spiritual director David G. Benner says that oratio, the third state of lectio divina, is not just formal prayer but responding to God--and there are many different ways to do that.
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Festival of Faith and Writing, 2012

I'm getting ready to attend my sixth (!) Calvin Festival of Faith and Writing, where religion and literature collide in the loveliest, most powerful ways. Check out this year's lineup of speakers, including Marilynne Robinson, Shane Claiborne and Jonathan Safron Foer.
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