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“The aim of God in history is the creation of an all-inclusive community of loving persons, with Himself included in that community as its prime sustainer and most glorious inhabitant.” —Dallas Willard

When I shared with a friend of mine—someone who’s been a pastor, missionary, and is now a retreat leader in the mountains of Colorado—that this issue of Conversations Journal would be on the topic of “community,” he more than rolled his eyes. As someone who helps the burned out and burdened recover from the often unsustainable demands that get placed on those attempting to love and serve God, he is deeply skeptical of Christian buzzwords like community or mission. And like many followers of Christ, myself included, he has been deeply wounded in the name of maintaining or protecting “community.”

As Dallas Willard so wisely points out, God’s intention in history is the creation of the very thing: an all-inclusive community of loving persons with Himself in the center. Yet, how audacious is it to say the Lord’s entire purpose revolves around the thing that—in its currently fallen and broken state—has hurt or alienated so many of us?

To read the rest of this article, you can purchase the entire issue or just this article through our Journal Store.

Gardens of Growth & Grace: What Veggies Have Taught Me About Flourishing

Over the past five years, my husband and I have taken up square-foot gardening in our backyard. Given that we live in a high desert, this isn’t the most cost-effective way to supply fresh veggies for our family; however, the fruit this discipline has produced in our souls is more than worth the added resources we’ve poured into these beds.
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Flourishing in the Digital Age

Dear Readers,
For some time now, we at Conversations have been working behind the scenes to help the journal transition more fully into the digital world. The publishing industry, periodicals included, has been headed in a more digital direction for quite some time, and the number of our e-subscribers continues to grow. We observed, waited, polled our readers to gauge interest, waited some more, and decided that now is the time to join the rest of our friends on the electronic bookshelves. While we weren’t in a hurry to get here—as Richard Foster writes, hurry isn’t just of the devil, it is the devil—we’re excited to be fully embracing digital publication. Well, we’ve actually been there for a number of years in PDF, but now we’re producing the journal in a much more robust format: a fully interactive digital publication, as well as a branded Conversations Journal app in the Apple and Google Play stores.
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The Blessings of the Bitter

A few weeks ago, my husband attended a workshop on Scottish food and drink. It was a recreational class, and he went to enjoy new cuisine and learn a little more about the culinary history of the Scots (for example, how in the world did haggis come about?). After an afternoon of learning about the geography and its effects on the various products that come out of Scotland, the instructor said something fascinating: “Our palates don’t fully develop the ability to appreciate a range of bitterness until we’re in our late thirties or early forties.”

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Join the Conversation- 11.1 “Streams of Living Water”

Dear Readers,

In “Join the Conversation”, we often share feedback we receive from readers on previous issues or ways that you are using the journal for your own spiritual growth. For this issue however, we reached out to our Facebook community (all several thousand of you!) with a “Call for Artwork” that coincided with our “Streams of Living Water” theme. You are one bunch of creative and talented folks! We received many, many original images of paintings, photographs, poetry—and we thought we’d share it with you here:

Be blessed by the creative expressions and reflections on the artwork of those on this journey with you!

Warmly,

The Conversations Team

To read the rest of this article, you can purchase the entire issue or just this article through our Journal Store.

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