PEOPLE magazine celebrates the work of ‘Struck by Hope’ author Jeanine Patten-Coble

So many families agree:
The world’s a better place because of Jeanine’s work

Cancer-survival cheerleader, coach and philanthropist Jeanine Patten-Coble is featured in PEOPLE magazine in a feel-good feature, headlined: Mom Who Beat Breast Cancer Gives Free Vacations to Patients and Their Families to Make ‘Priceless Memories’ 

Why did PEOPLE’s editors choose to celebrate her work? Because, as those editors explain: “For the past 12 years, breast cancer survivor Jeanine Patten-Coble has created getaways for thousands of other patients and loved ones.”

The story by Johnny Dodd and Wendy Grossman Kantor, says in part:

The retreats are exactly what cancer patients—and their families—need during their healthcare battles. Charlotte-area youth track coach Toshika Hudson-Canon, 43—who was diagnosed with stage-two breast cancer in January and spent a week at a beachside home on Emerald Isle, N.C., in August with her three kids and husband—found the getaway was relaxing and transformative.

“It was life-changing,” she says, “especially for my children, who became friends with other children in the same situation.”

Care to read the entire PEOPLE feature?

Check it out on PEOPLE’s website.

Click the cover to visit the book’s Amazon page.

Care to learn more about Jeanine’s work?

Get the whole story in her inspiring memoir, Struck by Hope: The True Story of Answering God’s Call and the Creation of Little Pink Houses of Hope.

Waiting for your copy of ‘Healing the World’? Meanwhile, you can see and share the movies.

Two Short Movies to Share with Friends about Dr. Gustavo Parajón

EARLIER, we published the announcement of an upcoming biography of public health pioneer and peacemaker Dr. Gustavo Parajón, complete with glowing endorsements from former President Jimmy Carter and Sojourners founder Jim Wallis.

NOWwe have two short movies about the book—and about Parajón’s dramatic life. They’re both easy to share with friends if you are thinking about organizing a small-group discussion about the upcoming book.

Here they are … 


Introducing ‘Healing the World’

This 2-minute video is easy to find and share via YouTube as part of our Front Edge Publishing channel.


Scenes from the life ofDr. Gustavo Parajón

This 5-minute video also is easy to find and share via YouTube as part of our Front Edge Publishing channel.



Care to learn more?

Now is a great time to pre-order your copy of Healing the World from Amazon.

Keep in Touch on YouTube

If you’d like to learn about our occasional videos as we post them to YouTube, please visit our Front Edge Publishing channel and click “subscribe.

‘Shining Brightly’ Foreword by Dr. Robert J. Wicks: ‘Learn anew about the American Dream’

EDITOR’S NOTE—Just in time for Rosh Hashanah, we are publishing one of the most inspiring books our team has had the pleasure to prepare. With the release of Shining Brightly by Howard Brown, we’re all thinking: New Year? New Hope! In the weeks leading up to that launch, we also are going to take readers inside our publishing house for glimpses of the many ways we share such good news with the world. This week, for example, we are publishing the book’s Foreword by best-selling author and psychologist Dr. Robert J. Wicks. And, over in our Front Edge Publishing website this week, we are sharing a sample email we encourage authors to send to their readers to build excitement about a new book. If you care to help in spreading this good news into the world, please start right now by visiting Amazon and pre-ordering your copy.



By Dr. Robert J. Wicks

Click the cover to visit the book’s Amazon page.

From the opening story in Shining Brightly there are teachings that are both simple and difficult. Filled with tradition and insight, Howard Brown shares stories not only about the persons he describes but, upon reflection, about ourselves and our stories of life. He speaks about the koans (puzzles that have no right or wrong answers) all of us face, the dangers we must confront, and the ultimate decisions we must make each day—sometimes without knowing it!

The lessons in this book stand out even more because the author is not a mental health professional, professor or in ministry. Instead, he is an “educator of life” in the wisdom tradition of mentorship. To accomplish his goals, he communicates through the lives of people that might have lived next door to us as a volunteer fireman, truck driver or as exotic as a war correspondent. In his vivid and colorful description of them, Brown regales us with stories that make us reflect on the relationships in our own lives and even the ongoing developing relationship we have with ourselves.

In this book, we learn anew about the “American dream” in ways that reflect the character of young and seasoned persons alike who live humbly and share wisdom that allows others to flourish as well. They are persons who enjoy a challenge, love the freedom of independence while simultaneously respecting the import of interdependency. Such persons see themselves as a part of nature and are sensitive to the dangers when they are—even in their minds—apart from it. Moreover, as adults, the “street sages” in this book who walked with Howard Brown, and now journey with us if we let them, model, rather than simply speak about, ways we can impact the young who are the future of America and the world.

In Shining Brightly, Brown’s stories and guidance also help us to meet suffering and uncertainty in new ways. In the pages and chapters that follow, his own story of confronting death is one we now refer to as an example of “post-traumatic growth” (PTG). This occurs when someone facing serious stress or trauma actually deepens as a result of it in ways that would not have been possible had the trauma or stress not happened in the first place. It is very similar to what for ages was known as “the spirituality of suffering” in which the person did not seek the undesirable, play it down, or romanticize it, but was also open to where such frightening events might take them. In other words, they did not see darkness as the final word but possibly the first step in new meaning-making and personal depth.

This new sense of perspective on life, as you will read further on, indicates that it is not the amount of darkness in the world or even in yourself that ultimately matters. It is how you stand in this darkness that turns out to be crucial going forward. As you will also sense in the words of Howard Brown and others, humility—which is not very popular today—is a key element in dealing with vulnerability and fostering resilience.

With a healthy attitude, the author also notes that we shouldn’t be surprised by failure or get discouraged by it because of our ego, but instead to expect it. This is not a defeatist stance but a realistic one because statistically the more you are involved in life, the more you will miss the mark at times. Instead, we are called to energetically march on with respect, compassion, integrity, perseverance, a sense of intrigue and hope.

A contemporary of Jesus, Rabbi Tarfon once said, “The day is short, the work is great, the laborers are sluggish, the wages are high, and the Master of the house is insistent. It is not your duty to finish the work, but you are not free to neglect it.” Ultimately for me, that was one of the messages I took from this book.

Brown, who casts himself like one of his role models, Roger Babson, is truly an “angelic troublemaker” in this work. He seeks to have us face our lives with complete clarity and kindness. Much good can be gained from reading and reflecting or even meditating over its contents. However, in the end, Shining Brightly is more like an unstructured projective device such as the ink blot (Rorschach) projective personality test. What you make of it and take from it will say more about you than the challenging themes and enchanting stories it contains.

And so, in the following journey you are about to take, I wish you well. How you respond will determine which fork in the road you take.


Dr. Robert J. Wicks received his doctorate in psychology from Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital and is Professor Emeritus, Loyola University Maryland. Dr. Wicks has lectured on the importance of resilience, self-care, the prevention of secondary stress, and maintaining a healthy perspective in 20 different countries around the world as well as at the Mayo Clinic, Harvard Divinity School and on Capitol Hill to members of Congress. He has written and edited dozens of books, including Bounce: Living the Resilient Life and Riding the Dragon: 10 Lessons for Inner Strength in Challenging Times.




Care to learn more?

This is a perfect moment to become one of Howard’s growing global community of friends by ordering your copy of his book.

Here are other articles we have published, exploring the launch of this book:

Take a look at the book’s Foreword: ‘Shining Brightly’ Foreword by Dr. Robert J. Wicks: ‘Learn anew about the American Dream’

We ask these timeless questions at each New Year: ‘Who shall live and who shall die?’ In this moving and inspiring column, Howard Brown writes about the powerful spiritual resources in our religious traditions that can help families struggling with cancer renew their resiliency.

Download printable and shareable resource guides for discussing Shining Brightly:





My Unforgettable Encounter with E. Stanley Jones

E. Stanley Jones arrived in India in 1907 and made friends with many other religious leaders and social justice activists including Gandhi and the Nehru family. In this photo from the early 1920s, Jones (with a stole over his shoulders in the front row) posed with a wide diversity of religious teachers.


He felt obliged to see himself as having responsibility for the whole world, for as he saw it, that is precisely what a Christian is supposed to do.
From the introduction to 30 Days With E. Stanley Jones, by John E. Harnish


Author of God Is Just Love

I was familiar with the name, E. Stanley Jones, but I certainly did not know him, his story—not even his message. Yet two things happened when I found out that we were going to go to church that Sunday evening to hear him preach.

First, I called my parents, fulfilling my promise to them that they would hear from me each and every Sunday afternoon while I was traveling in Mexico. It was December, 1970. I casually mentioned our plans for the evening. Dad, usually quite reserved, burst forth with excitement and a couple of stories of Jones’ influence on his life and ministry—plus no shortage of envy that I would soon be face to face with one of his spiritual heroes.

Second, Alberto, a couple of years younger than me, burst forth with similar excitement when informing me of our plans to meet up with Dr. Jones at church that evening. What I remember best about Alberto was that he was, in his conservative Baptist family, a kind of rebel. He did not like church. But, he loved his beautiful Roman Catholic girlfriend, barely tolerated by the rest of the family. And he knew a lot about E. Stanley Jones.

Jones, Alberto informed me, was not a typical Christian. He respected religious diversity—thus would have blessed Alberto and his finance. He also preached on justice—thus affirming Alberto’s liberal political views, opposed in his family and their church.

Alberto specifically informed me that one of the many books written by E. Stanley Jones was credited by Martin Luther King Jr. with convincing him to use nonviolent resistance to fight the evils of racism in the United States.

Care to meet E. Stanley Jones yourself? Click on this cover to visit the book’s Amazon page.

My hopes soared for our evening of spiritual encounter with one of the greatest missionaries and preachers and prophets of the 20th century.

The next thing I remember about that Sunday evening in December in Mexico City is that a thin and tottering old man was pretty much carried to the pulpit by an usher.

Geez! He was so weak! Could this feeble preacher possibly stand up to our high expectations?

His voice also was weak, though from my point of view, plenty clear because he was speaking in English.

After the service, we shook hands and spoke for about a minute.

That was—oh my gosh—51 years ago. I am 72 now and Jones died in 1973. The one thing I will never forget is that E. Stanley Jones told me that I too am a citizen of the world. After all, I was speaking to him in Mexico—two Americans abroad.

I had felt a similar global tugging at my heart. Among many other possible choices to fulfill my degree requirements at Alderson Broaddus University in West Virginia, I had chosen to plan an international project in Mexico. I traveled alone across beautiful and somewhat fearsome regions, experienced my own version of a great train robbery (I was cross-examined as a possible conspirator), stared in awe over the Copper Canyon, took four weeks of Spanish lesson in Saltillo, rode horses through desert canyons—and unexpectedly met E. Stanley Jones.

Now, I have been a pastor for the better part of half a century. I have participated in or led 16 mission trips in Eastern Europe and Central America, preached and taught in Spanish many times, and learned along the way what an incredible blessing it is to know that I am a citizen of the world.

Thank you, Dr. Jones, for being where I needed you to be at just the right time so that our lives could touch. Thank God you were a citizen of the world, a respecter of all of God’s children and a passionate prophet for justice and peace.

E. Stanley Jones in his 70s. When I met him in Mexico, he was in his mid 80s.


Care to Learn More?

Ken Whitt’s book God Is Just Love explores the theme of this column in much greater depth. What does it mean to be a loving citizen of the world today? How can people of faith foster love and resilience in our children while building sustainable, diverse communities? Through wisdom he has gleaned from scientists, scholars and lots of real families, Ken shows how God’s love is a hopeful compass in our lives. He encourages enjoying stories, songs and explorations of the natural world with children, and closes with “100 Things Families Can Do To Find Hope and Be Love.”

You’ll also find lots of stories, columns and videos at the homepage for Ken’s ministry group: Traces of God Ministries. While you’re visiting that website, please sign up for Ken’s free email updates, which contain inspiring reflections, columns and updates that Ken shares with his readers.

And please learn more about E. Stanley Jones by ordering a copy of 30 Days With E. Stanley Jones through Amazon right now.


Can the prophetic voice of E. Stanley Jones revive a life-giving love of Jesus?


A Prophet for These Times, When Christianity is in Crisis

Editor of ReadTheSpirit magazine

One of the most widespread Christian movements of the 20th Century is in deep trouble. Don’t take my word for it. Search the word “evangelical” in Google-News and you will shake your head wearily at the tragic headlines—from angry public confrontations to rampant bigotry, mud slinging and sexual abuse. In his February 2022 analysis of this crisis for The New York Times, David Brooks writes:

“There have been three big issues that have profoundly divided evangelicals: the white evangelical embrace of Donald Trump, sex abuse scandals in evangelical churches and parachurch organizations, and attitudes about race relations, especially after the killing of George Floyd.”

For most of American history, the word “evangelical” was proudly claimed by Christians who loved Jesus and wanted to make the world a better place. So, this truly is a historic turning point when so many religious leaders across America—including many Christian leaders themselves—are arguing that it’s time to retire the explosive term “evangelical” altogether.

But then, they ask: Where does that leave Christians who still want to follow Jesus’s teachings and do good in our world? Is there a life-giving pathway forward for Christians who deeply love Jesus and see in Christ a welcoming, inclusive and socially just calling for our world?

Meet E. Stanley Jones and Discover His Embrace of the World

Click the cover to visit the book’s Amazon page. Amazon will begin shipping copies of this book on February 15, 2022. The book also is available from Barnes & Noble, Walmart and other online retailers.

Meet E. Stanley Jones. Take a moment to click on the book cover and order a copy from Amazon. You will find yourself surprised—and inspired.

In his heyday, Jones was a global Christian teacher who most Americans considered as important as Billy Graham in spreading the message of Jesus around the world. He was a prophetic voice against racism within Christianity and also had an enormous impact in worldwide interfaith relationships. As we reported earlier, Jones was the catalytic figure who connected the message of Mahatma Gandhi with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Right now, there is a small but growing worldwide movement to revive the message of this humble and deeply compassionate teacher by lifting up the many treasures from this once-best-selling author. Our publishing house is part of this movement. This week, we are publishing 30 Days with E. Stanley Jonesan inspiring introduction to his life and teachings designed for a month of inspirational reading and for small-group discussion. We are launching our book just as the E. Stanley Jones Foundation, which has maintained his literary legacy, closes in on its effort to bring complete editions of the 27 inspirational books Jones wrote during his lifetime into contemporary paperback editions. The year 2025 will mark 100 years since Jones’ first books began circulating around the world. Both our publishing house and the Jones Foundation hope that Jones’ message may once again help to call Christians toward a more compassionate embrace of the world.

“It is our good fortune that a person like E. Stanley Jones came into our world,” said Anne Mathews-Younes, who is Jones’ granddaughter and the president of the Foundation. “What was so powerful about his message and the reason so many people around the world wanted to see him, to hear him and to read his books was that he truly was in love with the whole world. He knew Jesus was his best friend—and, as a result, he saw everyone around the world as a friend.”

“He wanted to put his arms around the whole world,” said John Harnish, the author of the new 30-day reader of inspiring stories drawn from Jones’ life.

“Yes, he did,” said Mathews-Younes as the two spoke by Zoom in an interview about the release of Harnish’s new book. “And that’s what you’ve done in your new book. You’ve put your arms around dozens of stories from throughout his life that show his spirit and his message.”

In the Preface that Mathews-Younes wrote for Harnish’s new book, she puts it this way: “My grandfather was recognized as an evangelist who did not ask you to leave your intellect at the door. Rather, his messages engage the mind as well as the heart with the deeper and eternal matters for our world. … His words brought hope and refreshment to millions of people from every walk of life and I hope that these passages—skillfully chosen by John E. Harnish—do the same for you.”

‘If Protestants had saints, E. Stanley Jones would be one.’

The book’s Foreword was written by Dr. W. Stephen Gunter, one of the leading scholars of evangelism today who is active in the movement to lift up Jones’ teachings for a new generation. In that Foreword, Gunter writes in part:

Shaped in the womb of holiness Methodism, E. Stanley Jones’s writings exemplify this foundational Wesleyan principle: his stories (and his own personal biography) warm the heart, but they are without fail informed by sound scriptural principles. In their very essence, Jones’ writings are theological lessons to live by. That is why I love Jones’s writings, and that is why I enthusiastically accepted the invitation from the Rev. John E. Harnish to write a commendation and foreword for this book. This book is unlike most every devotional book I have ever seen: it both warms the heart and instructs the mind—a unique contribution to the genre of devotional literature.

In these pages you will get to know the heart and mind of E. Stanley Jones. Each of these devotionals stands on its own with the following characteristics:

  1. You look through a window of insight into the mind of Jones.
  2. You read a life vignette that illustrates a foundational concept that informed his ministry.
  3. You discover a pivotal principle that has application to the current context.
  4. You “meet Jesus again for the first time.” And this Jesus challenges your vested assumptions about what it means to be a Jesus-follower. …

If Protestants had saints, E. Stanley Jones would be one. …

E. Stanley Jones would like this book, and I think you will too.


Care to learn more?

Order a copy from Amazon. You will find yourself surprised—and inspired. As of February 15, 2022, the book will be available in paperback as well as a sturdy hardcover edition. Soon, it will be available on Kindle as well. The book also will be on sale this week at Barnes & Noble, including in the Nook version—plus at Walmart and other online retailers.

LEARN ABOUTHow E. Stanley Jones, Mahatma Gandhi and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Are Connected

LEARN ABOUT the ongoing work of author, pastor and teacher John E. Harnish by visiting his website. Known as “Jack” to friends and colleagues, you also can learn about upcoming events and classes Jack is leading about the legacy of E. Stanley Jones. If you are interested in inviting Jack to share with your community, it’s easy to contact him through his website.

LEARN ABOUT how the news of this book launch is moving from American communities to a global audience in this Front Edge Publishing column about the book’s reception.

LEARN ABOUT Anne Mathews-Younes and the work of the E. Stanley Jones Foundation by visiting the foundation’s website.

LEARN ABOUT another Christian author and teacher who has been influenced by the message of E. Stanley Jones: Ken Whitt’s own book is appropriately called God Is Just Loveand tells readers about the many ways families can develop a healthy love of Jesus and the world.

And, please come back next week to ReadTheSpirit online magazine for a column by Ken about the experience of meeting E. Stanley Jones, when Ken was a young man and Jones was nearing the end of his life.

In an era of isolation, a community of writers is a creative catalyst

The statue of the prophet Isaiah holds a pen in Rome’s Piazza Spagna, near the Spanish Steps. This photo is courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.


A Minister, a Psychotherapist and a Football Coach Walk into a Zoom room

Contributing Columnist

What is the value of a community of writers?

Click the cover to visit the Amazon book page for Martin Davis’s 30 Days with America’s High School Coaches.

During this past year of the pandemic, I have learned a great deal about such creative circles, thanks to an unusual friendship that has formed among myself and the authors of two other books in the same series as mine: Larry Buxton (30 Days with King David), and Duncan Newcomer (30 Days with Abraham Lincoln).

Front Edge Publishing Editor David Crumm brought us together. Then, over 2021, we began a dialog that has stretched far beyond the confines of the publishing house. The topics that we discuss in our weekly meetings are broad, ranging from the personal to the ethereal, from the writings and life of William Sloane Coffin to the beauty of a football playbook, and from the mythic power of biblical characters to the long shadow of Abraham Lincoln who led America’s Second Founding.

Mostly what happens is that we—admittedly three older white men who many would quickly stereotype as white, liberal cis males—grapple with the very broad gulfs that exist among us in an attempt to better understand one another.

A brief example from my perspective goes to show what we are teaching one another.

Regular readers know that I have a relationship with religion in general, and Christianity in particular, that can be generously described as troubled. Larry is a retired United Methodist minister. Over the past year, we’ve had discussions about faith that left both of us frustrated, irritated, and yes, at times, even hurt.

In our tensest moments, however, we also have come to a better understanding of our unique experiences. We have reached a point where a minister who truly believes that faith is a critical component to human life can understand how the trauma I’ve suffered in my experiences with faith has for many years made re-embracing faith impossible—while he holds onto his own faith. We both have deeper appreciations for the complex ways people wrestle with faith’s eternal, and ultimately unanswerable, issues.

Into this mix comes Duncan, a retired educator and psychotherapist who pushes me to understand the depths of my own personal struggles with religion, while appreciating the ways that coaching and working with youth has become a critical community for me that occasionally fills religious-like needs.

The results of these interactions are plentiful. The most important, I believe each of us would say, is how our friendship has helped us break down our stereotypes that we came to the table with when we first met, and allowed us to experience a fuller experience of what it is to be human through appreciating one another’s lives.

As I move into 2022, I owe a profound “thank you” to my two new, close friends Duncan and Larry.

In a world where more people than ever are writing to tell others what to think and do, I’ve had the good fortune to wrestle with two other men on a range of issues that have forced me not only to expand my ways of thinking, but have allowed me to write with a deeper knowledge of and appreciation for the people I hope to connect with.

We think this friendship is leading us toward engaging more fully with readers via words that better reflect the potential of shared community.



Care to read more?

ARE YOU INTRIGUED by this column from Martin Davis? Right now, our publishing house is close to a nationwide launch of Martin’s book filled with uplifting stories about high school coaches and players nationwide. In his book, you will meet men and women, black and white, famous and unsung heroes alike.

His book will appear soon in our series of 30 Days With under the title: 30 Days With America’s High School Coaches.

You can follow Martin’s work through his personal website,, which describes his work as an author and editor, as well as his background as a veteran journalist for national publications.

Look around that website and sign up to receive free updates from Martin about new columns and podcasts. You’ll be glad you did!

And, Care to See One of Larry Buxton’s Short Videos on Leading with Spirit?

You’ve just “met” Larry in Martin’s column. We’re featuring one of Larry’s short videos, this week, in our Front Edge Publishing website. Please, take a moment to hear from Larry via this new video. It’s just a few minutes long—and you may want to share this message with friends, as well.

AND—if you are aware of like-minded writers who might like to connect with us, email us at [email protected]



Prayer from Abraham Lincoln for Thanksgiving

LINCOLN scholar Duncan Newcomer has contributed many of the fascinating materials indexed in our Abraham Lincoln Resource Page. Drawing on Lincoln’s own words, from various texts, Newcomer has assembled this special prayer, perfect for use at Thanksgiving—the national holiday our 16th president established. Of course, you are free to widely share this prayer. Click the blue-“f” Facebook button, or the envelope-shaped email icon, or print this page and pass it around.

Inside the Lincoln Memorial Washington DCPrayer from Lincoln
at Thanksgiving

So, we must think anew,
And act anew.
We must disenthrall ourselves.
We are not enemies,
But friends.
We must not be enemies.
We cannot separate.
There is no line, straight or crooked,
Upon which to divide.
We cannot escape history.
No personal significance, or insignificance,
Can spare one or another of us.

The mystic chords of memory
Will yet swell the chorus of union
To every living heart
And hearthstone,
And again touch
The better angels of our nature.








Care to Enjoy More Lincoln Right Now?

GET A COPY of Duncan’s 30 Days with Abraham Lincoln—Quiet Fire.

Each of the 30 stories in this book includes a link to listen to the original radio broadcasts. The book is available from Amazon in hardcover, paperback and Kindle versions. ALSO, you can order hardcover and paperback from Barnes & Noble. In addition, our own publishing house offers these bookstore links to order hardcovers as well as paperbacks directly from our supplier.