Anything is Possible if You Work Hard . . . Until it Isn’t

"Anything is possible if you work hard . . . " this is a message that we hear, over and over again, a credo embedded in the ethos of many Americans. I say "many" because the realities of those of us who have grown up in safe, relatively affluent suburbs is vastly different from my brothers and sisters who've grown up in more hope-starved, crime-ridden, opportunity-free precincts of American life. But is the above credo true? Is it biblical? And is it something we should whisper to our kids as we tuck them in at night? I get the sentiment behind it, I really do. I think it's important, vital even, for parents to encourage, support and believe in their kids. However, we are lying to our kids if we tell them that if they work hard they can achieve anything they want. Let me use an example in my own...

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Friday Five: Andrea Palpant Dilley

Andrea Palpant Dilley grew up in Kenya as the daughter of Quaker missionaries and spent the rest of her childhood in the Pacific Northwest. She studied English literature and writing at Whitworth University. Her work as a writer has appeared in Rock and Sling, Geez, and Utne Reader, as well as the anthology Jesus Girls: True Tales of Growing Up Female and Evangelical. Her work as a documentary producer has aired nationally on American Public Television. She is the author of Faith and Other Flat Tires. She lives with her husband and daughter in Austin, Texas. Today I'm excited to interview Andrea for today's Friday Five: You describe your upbringing as a missionary kid, on the mission field. Did the hard life of a missionary at all contribute to your running from the Christian faith?  In the book I poke fun at the fact that, while most kids my age were playing Pac Man and eating pop tarts after school,...

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Teen Devos for the New Year

If you'd like to get encourage your young person to develop a study of the Scriptures in 2012, you can help them along the way with some resources I've developed. I'd like to share about two of them here: Teen People of the Bible, Celebrity Profiles of Real Faith and Tragic Failure  This was my first book and it continues to sell well. It's a unique, 100-day devotional that features the stories of 29 young people in the Scripture. Each day shares a bit about the Biblical teen, offers a contemporary story about a teen and/or a few practical life lessons, then offers journaling space. Each day also comes with a probing question answered from the Bible and some thought-provoking discussion ideas. I wrote this book to help young people get interested in the Bible. Quite often they crack open the Scriptures and might get lost in Leviticus or think that perhaps...

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