RAGAN SUTTERFIELD ON ‘THIS IS MY BODY‘
FROM OBESITY TO IRONMAN—Christian author and environmental activist Ragan Sutterfield shares the true story of how his physical life began to fall apart—until his faith led him into a much healthier spiritual journey. Yes, Ragan now competes in extreme sports, but this new memoir isn’t boastful. It’s not designed to make you feel even guiltier than you perhaps are feeling right now. This is a humble, friendly and inspiring story that you’ll enjoy whatever your physical condition may be. As spring dawns across North America, it’s a perfect time to welcome Ragan as a friendly guide.
LOOKING TO ASIA—When you think of Asia, do you you think of competitors or enemies or terrorism? All this month, global peacemaker Daniel Buttry is celebrating heroic interfaith peacemakers from Asia. Want to see all 100-plus stories? Tell friends about www.InterfaithPeacemakers.com
New this week …
- SULAK SIVARAKSA—A Buddhist hero from Thailand.
- WATI AIER—You may be surprised to learn this courageous Naga leader is also a Baptist.
- OUYPORN KHUANKAEW—This Buddhist-feminist leader has emerged from Thailand to share her insights on gender justice with the world.
- PART 1—Is open carry OK at a public high school concert?
- PART 2—First, 5 reasons in support of open carry.
- PART 3—Now, 4 reasons not to allow it.
- PART 4—How important is it to protect the right to own guns?
- PART 5—Is Texas next?
HOLIDAYS and FESTIVALS
ALL THE HOLIDAYS—Tell friends about www.InterfaithHolidays.com. This week …
- ST. PATRICK’S DAY—Fun for the Irish and “the Irish at heart.” Stephanie Fenton’s column reminds us of the legend of St. Patrick and shares some delicious food-related ideas.
- IT’S A NEW YEAR! Did you know that in many regions of the year, the spring equinox marks the true start of the year? Stephanie Fenton takes us around the globe with glimpses of colorful new year traditions.
- CELEBRATING LORD RAMA—Across India and in Hindu communities around the world, this is the time when families recall wondrous events in the life of Lord Rama.
- COMING SOON—Remember that all across America several major holidays are coming: Christian Holy Week, followed by two Easters this year (“Western” Easter is April 5; “Eastern” is April 12) as well as Passover starting on the night of April 3. Stephanie Fenton and contributing writer Joe Lewis will report on these holidays next week.
FILM, FAITH and POPULAR CULTURE
- VISUAL PARABLES—Tell friends about www.VisualParables.org, where you’ll find 1,000-plus free faith-and-film reviews by Edward McNulty and recommend Visual Parables Journal, the monthly magazine packed with complete study guides.
- CINDERELLA—Director Kenneth Branagh and Downton Abbey’s Lily James give us a wonderfully romantic new version of the timeless tale.
- FAITH GOES POP—Want to smile, right now? Enjoy Ken Chitwood’s offerings at www.FaithGoesPop.com
- HECTOR and HAPPINESS—Rodney Curtis reviews this film, available for home viewing on Netflix and other services, and says: “I dare you to watch this movie and not feel better about yourself afterward.”
DOING GOOD IN THE WORLD
GOOD MEDIA builds good community in so many ways …
- TONGUE-TIED? Did you know that “tongue tied” is a real medical condition affecting infants with serious implications for adults as well? FeedTheSpirit columnist Bobbie Lewis tells the true story of her granddaughter and, of course, she shares a recipe, too … for an easy souffle.
- REMEMBERING A FRIEND—GodSigns columnist Suzy Farbman tells a true story of how remembering a departed friend can mean counting signs that his memory is still with us.
- ‘STAY ON THE TRAIL‘—As spring finally arrives, Debra Darvick brings us two inspiring reflections on the natural world. First, Debra takes us out for a walk on a trail in Arizona where ‘Stay on the Trail’ becomes more than an environmental tip. Second, Debra and her husband bring us a new His Lens/My Pen live from the Everglades.
BENJAMIN PRATT—A special “Thank you!” to Peter Wallace and the website for the Day1 radio network for publishing our interview with Benajmin Pratt about his new book. We’ve heard from many readers about the inspiration they’ve found in Ben’s true stories. (STAY TUNED, because next week Ben returns to the pages of ReadTheSpirit with a special challenge to readers who love classic literature about the natural world.)
BULLYING IS NO LAUGHING MATTER—Our anti-bullying comic section, this week, features a thought-provoking comic from Marty and Spud. Remember: We always let readers print out, share and repost our materials, as long as you credit our website. This week’s comic is a great discussion-starter for parents and teachers.
LINCOLN SCHOLAR DUNCAN NEWCOMER published a nationwide call to organize discussions for the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s death (April 15, 1865). We invite you to share news about Lincoln events in your part of the world by emailing [email protected]
- BIG EVENT IN NEW YORK The Lincoln Group of New York will commemorate the 150th anniversary. A symposium on March 28 at the historic Cooper Union will include 2015 Lincoln Prize winner Harold Holzer, Lincoln Forum Chairman Frank J. Williams, a select panel (including Michael Kauffman, author of American Brutus) on the assassination conspirators, an appearance by “Walt Whitman,” and a keynote by the author of Freedom National (2013) and The Radical and the Republican (2007), James Oakes. For more details, read this PDF.
THE THIRD-WAY NEWSLETTER
KEEP IN TOUCH—The new www.ThirdWayNewsletter.com is part of the changing Christian landscape that is welcoming diverse men and women.
- WHEN ONE GROUP IS EXCLUDED—Caroline Kittle’s ThirdWay column explains why this issue of hospitality is so important. Exclusionary attitudes bar many men and women—and their families—from our communities.
- SHARP DISAGREEMENTS—Emily Swan tells us why a “Third Way” approach can help any community deal with tough disagreements.
DAVID GUSHEE—The author of Changing Our Mind spoke on Saturday at A Stirring in Irving, California. Hundreds of people attended and moving stories of both inclusion and exclusion were shared. His next appearances …
- MARCH 19—Speaking at Mercer University’s Center for Theology and Public Life at a colloquium, “Faith, Duty, and Temptation in Intelligence-Gathering: An Interdisciplinary Exploration of the Torture Issue.”
- MARCH 22-23—Boston College at a Corcoran Chair Conference discussing divorce. Also, on March 23, he will speak at Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, regarding Christianity and same-sex relationships.