10 Jul 2016

House on fire!

Sometimes, a comic strip can help clarify a complicated issue. This one is worth sharing this week, via

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Peterson and Bono
29 Apr 2016

Bono. Eugene. The Psalms. (Version 2)

This post has been amended for the sake of clarification. If you read Version One and were offended, I ask you to read Version Two closely. Thank you! • Eugene Peterson, author of The Pastor and sometimes-celebrated/sometimes-criticized translator of The Message, is — in my humble opinion — a national treasure. I may not

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25 Apr 2016

Dreams come true. Be a part of one.

The clock is ticking. You have until May 1 to jump at this opportunity.

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Seattle Pacific University's MFA in Creative Writing Program, Whidbey Island, 2016
26 Mar 2016

Who I thanked on my MFA graduation day

One week ago today — Saturday, March 19, 2016, at Camp Casey Conference Center on Whidbey Island — I was invited to the podium before my special guests, as well as the students, faculty, and staff of Seattle Pacific University’s MFA in Creative Writing. This was the moment: I would

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17 Feb 2016

Terrence Malick’s Zoolander

Thanks to my friend Damian Alryn for bringing this momentous cinematic event to my attention.

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envelope and letter opener - opening mail
26 Jan 2016

Once in a while…

I’m coming up on the tenth anniversaries of my first two published books. The arrival of Auralia’s Colors was a great thrill, a dream come true, a privilege — all the clichés. To see some of my work published and set out on tables in Barnes and Noble… I couldn’t believe

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01 Jan 2016

Looking Closer’s New Year’s Party

Start your 2016 with some inspiration. Turn to the Specialists. This website is brought to you by generous contributors who help cover the costs of its design, production, and resources. I call them the Looking Closer Specialists. We have our own private Facebook group where they influence my vision for

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Ambition books
24 Dec 2015

Bret Lott and the Ambition contest winners

It’s Christmas Eve. I feel like handing out some gifts. A few weeks ago, I invited people to send me their lists of films, books, or songs that speak to them about ambition. Then I asked a jury of Looking Closer Specialists to vote on the lists they found to be

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L0028199 C. R. Darwin, Half Lop Rabbit.
30 Nov 2015

A rabbit’s gospel

I’ve become weary, in recent days, from the aggression, the vitriolic language, and the fear-driven messages coming from professing Christians — in their social networking, their politics, and their protests. I’ve seen so much hate speech. I’ve seen a forceful refusal to make “room in the inn” for the poor

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AmbitionFrontCover copy 2
27 Nov 2015

Ambition book giveaway

Well, it’s not as miraculous as Christmas coming early. But it’s close. New writing by Eugene H. Peterson, Luci Shaw, Scott Cairns, Jeanne Murray Walker, Bret Lott, Emilie Griffin, Dain Trafton, Diane Glancy, Erin McGraw, and Gina Ochsner has just arrived. And it’s all in the same book. Even better:

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