ReadTheSpirit cover story: Diana Butler Bass asks, Why should we be Grateful?

‘GROUNDED’ AUTHOR TAKES US FURTHER

Click this image to read about Diana’s new book.

WHAT IS GRATITUDE?—As Americans, we love our gratitude! At least, the vast majority of us tell pollsters we frequently feel grateful. But, what exactly do we mean when we use those words? Best-selling author and teacher Diana Butler Bass admits right away in this new book, “I have always struggled with gratitude.” As it turns out, many of us have struggled, as well. Consider this basic question: Is gratitude mainly about stuff we receive? Or is it a value that’s more about others—a way of seeing the world that moves us to share our lives with others and build healthier communities? Then, there’s the truth that many of us have survived loss or trauma. In the wake of such deep pain: Why should we be grateful at all!?! Diana takes on all of these questions in her new book. Please, welcome her back to our online magazine, this week. Enjoy this interview with Diana and this overview of her new book. Then, we’re sure you’ll want to share this good news with friends—so please spread the word via email and social media.

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Click the image to read Ben’s column.

MUST WE BE ENEMIES?

‘A CHANCE TO HEAL’—Benjamin Pratt returns this week with a surprisingly hopeful column that begins at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem—and winds up taking us for a ride on the Orient Express! Over the past decade, Ben has become one of our most beloved writers and, as he tells us, he simply had to share this connection he found on a journey to Jerusalem—and a plane ride back home again. And, yes, you’ll want to share this with one friends as well.

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ROSE CASTLE

FROM WAR TO PEACE—Have you heard of the Rose Castle Foundation? Sponsored by the Anglican Communion, this effort is transforming a centuries-old landmark of war—historic Rose Castle in the UK—into a center for peacemaking. You can read about the effort on the group’s website. Are you in Michigan on May 5? On Saturday, May 5 at 7 pm, Canon Sarah Snyder, Advisor for Reconciliation to the Archbishop of Canterbury, and Bishop James Newcome of Carlisle and Chaplain to Her Majesty, Elizabeth II, will be visiting historic Christ Church Cranbrook, 470 Church Road, Bloomfield Hills, to talk about the Rose Castle initiative.

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Click the image to read Suzy’s column.

SHARING OUR WISDOM

GOD SIGNS—This week, Suzy Farbman invites all of us to consider a practice that many people enjoy—collecting words of wisdom. Some journal. Some blog. Some create hand-written collections of these gems. Writes Suzy: “I love finding aphorisms even more than spotting shooting stars.” One of her own favorites? “Don’t do something you may regret in 10 minutes or 10 years. I don’t like gilt on my chandeliers or my conscience.” Perhaps, after reading her column this week, you will want to try this yourself.

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Click the image to read Susan’s story.

MARKETING YOUR BOOK

FRONT EDGE PUBLISHING—This week, marketing expert Susan Stitt offers a check list of ideas for authors engaged in the ongoing marketing of their work. In today’s column, Susan also shares a 2018 snapshot of Americans’ reading preferences in print, e-book and audio formats from Pew Research Center. Ink-on-paper books remain the most popular format for millions of Americans. Over the years, we have learned that many readers of our online magazine are also writers. Want to learn more about publishing today? Please, share this home address with friends: www.FrontEdgePublishing.com

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HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS

Click the image to read Stephanie’s column.

PLAN AHEAD FOR MOM! You’ve got less than two weeks to make plans for honoring the beloved Moms in your life. Stephanie Fenton recounts the history of the American version of this annual festival—and she offers some very helpful web links to help you make this a special day.

ASCENSION—Christians following the traditional church calendar know that Pentecost is coming. But, before that is the ancient observance of the Ascension of the Lord.

BAHA’I FESTIVAL—Ridvan is the “King of Festivals” for Baha’is around the world. The observance recalls Baha’u’llah’s emergence as a prophet along with his exile from Baghdad and bittersweet visits with his followers in a garden. Stephanie has the story.

THROUGHOUT MAY—Two special national observances honor centuries of American Jewish history and Asian Pacific American heritage. Our column has links to resource-rich Library of Congress websites for both months.

Want to see all the holidays? www.InterfaithHolidays.com

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FAITH & FILM

Click the movie poster to read Ed’s review.

ED McNULTY, for decades, has published reviews, magazine articles and books exploring connections between faith and film. Most of his work is freely published. Ed supports his work by selling the Visual Parables Journal, a monthly magazine packed with discussion guides to films. This resource is used coast-to-coast by individuals who love the movies and by educators, clergy and small-group leaders.

Among Ed’s free reviews and columns are:

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