Healing from Grief Means Allowing It To Help Us Grow

I don’t love the truth of it, but over time I’ve learned that our most powerful learning experiences often occur after a loss of some kind. With loss comes grief, and for a while, grief has a weight to it that can feel unbearably heavy. But whenever we’re ready, which hopefully isn’t too long after the loss, we can begin to work on giving our grief expression through activities like therapy, writing, prayer, honest conversation, and meditation.


Read More
An Approach to Keeping Children Open to Religion in a Secular Age

I was raised in a Protestant Christian household, but after being confirmed at the age of 13 my parents gave me the choice of continuing with the church or not. I couldn’t run away fast enough. The whole thing seemed like a sham and a waste of time. Nothing aligned with the science I was learning in school, and the church’s ideas of God, creation, and heaven seemed beyond ridiculous.

Read More
Brad Benson Comments
The Grace of Enough: A Conversation with Haley Stewart

There is no checklist for living more simply that’s going to fit each person’s circumstances or vocation, but we can all begin with prayer and discernment over what we want versus what we truly need. It’s easy to assume that because it’s the norm to have something, it’s impossible to live without it. There are many things that add convenience to our lives, but we can also handle inconvenience!

Read More
Ryan TahmasebComment
And All The Bells On Earth Shall Ring

It’s Christmas morning, and despite everything painful, sorrowful, and even tragic that has happened to you and to me and to the world this year, the light has arrived. Today we celebrate the arrival of Jesus—the Christ—even though in some mysterious way the Christ has always been present in the world.

Read More
Ryan TahmasebComment
How Parenting Helps Us Better Understand Ourselves

My son was born over a year and a half ago. When my wife and I look at pictures of him from his first few months, we can’t believe how much he has grown. His face has already lost much of that chubby roundness, and he looks and moves like a toddler. We’ve witnessed his first words, his first haircut, and his realization that running, dancing, hopping, and jumping are all more fun than walking. I’ve also started to realize how much I’ve changed, too.

Read More
Ryan Tahmaseb Comment
Holy Light in the Holy Darkness: Advent and Waiting For New Life

As we move closer and closer to the Winter Solstice—the shortest, darkest day of the year—it seems worthwhile to take some time to reflect on what this season of darkness has to teach us. In the Christian tradition, this season is known as Advent. Advent comes near the end of the calendar year, but it also marks the beginning of the new church year. It intentionally pairs what’s happening outside with what’s happening inside each of us.

Read More
Ryan Tahmaseb Comments
The Path of Love: A Conversation With Brian McLaren

At its best, Christianity has called people to move beyond selfishness to caring for their families, and beyond caring only for their families to caring for their neighbors, and beyond caring only for their neighbors to caring for the outsider, outcast, other, alien, refugee, and stranger . . . and even beyond that: to daring to love our enemies.

Read More
Ryan Tahmaseb Comments
Acting According To Divine Truth

My father was born in Iran, home of Rumi, the Sufi master. For years, these words from one of Rumi’s poems greeted my students on the door to my classroom: “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is field. I’ll meet you there.” I’m still searching for this field.

Read More
Ryan Tahmaseb Comments
Responding to Mass Violence: How We Can Turn Grief Into Action

I’ve been an educator for ten years, and I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve had to prepare myself to answer students’ questions about local, national, and international incidents of mass violence. Each time there’s a horrific bombing or shooting, our Head of School sends out an email to faculty and parents. The awfulness of the tragedy is acknowledged, and there are links to resources on how to discuss tragedies with kids.

Read More
Ryan Tahmaseb Comments
Grateful and Grounded: A Conversation with Diana Butler Bass

The spiritual awakening that I’ve described in many of my books – and I am of the opinion that this awakening is the work of the people – happens when each one of us demands that our religious traditions and institutions live up to their own teachings and wisdom.  Without the passion of the people, and our participation in these ancient traditions, institutions will always be uninspired, inauthentic, and hypocritical. 

Read More
Ryan TahmasebComment
What It Means To Have Faith Today: Part III

So many of us, myself included, are obsessed with being “busy.” Our culture is all about efficiency—about getting as much done as possible, as quickly as possible. This is true even in the way we physically move from one place to another. In his essay “An Entrance to The Woods,” Wendell Berry puts it this way: “We seem to grant to our high-speed roads and our airlines the rather thoughtless assumption that people can change places as rapidly as their bodies can be transported.”

Read More
Ryan TahmasebComment
Parenting Forward: A Conversation with Cindy Wang Brandt

I’m so excited about Parenting Forward the book! I didn’t set out to write a parenting book. In fact, I have always been a faith writer, viewing the world through the lens of faith and culture. I was raised in a conservative evangelical faith, and in the past ten years or more of my life, I’ve embarked on the journey of what is commonly known as “deconstruction,” meaning a re-examining of the faith values of my childhood and whether they hold up to be true. 

Read More
Ryan Tahmaseb Comment
What It Means To Have Faith Today: Part II

When I was an English teacher, one of my favorite books to teach was Yann Martel’s Life of Pi. It’s a beautiful story, and it asks big questions about what we tell ourselves about who we are and why we’re here. People who read this book have very different interpretations of what it’s getting at, but this is how the author himself summarized what he was trying to say: “Life is a story; you can choose your own story; a story with God is the better story.”

Read More
Ryan TahmasebComment
Nurture the Wow: A Conversation With Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg

It's not clear to me that we can ever fully comprehend the inner world of any other person.  But we can, with children and adults, reach out in empathy and connection, in openness and listening, to try to receive what the other is willing to share. Even babies are capable of communicating when they're afraid and when they're curious, when they're overstimulated and when they're in need of reassurance--and children even more so.  

Read More
Ryan TahmasebComment
What It Means to Have Faith Today: Part I

For a whole host of reasons, it can be wildly complicated and confusing to be an adult right now, much less a parent. There’s a lot expected of us. Probably too much. Yet, for many of us, this overwhelming world can actually lead to curiosity about—or even desire for—religious faith.

Read More
Ryan TahmasebComment
Helping Kids Talk About God: A Conversation with Jonathan Puddle

I think the most important thing to get right in your mind and your heart, regarding teaching anyone about God (whether kids or adults), is that God looks like Jesus. Throughout the journey of Scripture the picture of what God is like is constantly improving. Details are filled in, questions are answered, until finally Jesus Christ, God in human flesh, comes to earth and shows us once and for all what God is like. And the focal point of that demonstration is God climbing onto the cross to be killed by the very people he is willing to die for. So that’s where I start with kids too.

Read More
Ryan Tahmaseb Comments
The Bible, Kids, & Spirituality: A Conversation with Jared Byas

Our mission is to bring the best in biblical scholarship to everyday people. We feel like scholars tend to speak in their ivory towers and use lingo and phrases that are insider-speak and hard for average folks to understand. And if the Bible is a book for everyone to engage in and find meaning, then it's a shame that some of the best thinking about what it is and what we should do with it is so inaccessible.

Read More
Ryan Tahmaseb Comments
The Art Of Forgiveness

I came to love Shakespeare years ago when I studied his plays in England for a summer. I still haven’t read them all, but my favorite of those I’ve read is The Tempest. This play—which happens to be Shakespeare’s last—is ultimately a story of unwarranted forgiveness and the difficulties we have being merciful to those who have wronged us.

Read More
Ryan Tahmaseb Comments