It’s easy to understand why Three Cups of Tea has been on the bestseller list for years, and even easier to understand why schools assign it as summer reading. It would be simple to start a discussion with the question: What did you learn from reading it? And I could imagine someone saying they learned…

Three years ago, I was working at a bank, but it left me unfulfilled. I longed to do something with more purpose. I discovered a YMCA-sponsored mentoring program that partnered with churches to provide literacy training for children in low-income neighborhoods. With the goal of advancing elementary-aged students several reading levels, adult volunteers were paired with the students…

A few weeks ago, a reader wrote and asked how Christians view animals. In particular, she was concerned because she felt that the Bible had been used to justify harm of animals. I’ve been thinking about her question ever since, and I was glad to have a chance to put some of my thoughts on…

The first Christmas after Penny was born, we were singing “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” It contains the lines, about the baby Jesus: “The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.” And I remember thinking about how frightening it was to have hope–to look to the future and expect God…

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Amy Julia Becker

Amy Julia Becker writes about theology, disability, family, and culture. Two major life experiences have shaped her writing and her faith—caring for her mother-in-law as she battled cancer and welcoming her daughter Penny into the world after she was diagnosed at birth with Down syndrome. Both experiences expanded and enriched her understanding of what it means to be human and to receive each and every person as a gift.  A graduate of Princeton University and Princeton Theological Seminary, she is the author of Penelope Ayers: A Memoir, and the forthcoming A Good and Perfect Gift (Bethany House). Her essays have appeared in First Things, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Christian Century, ChristianityToday.com, and Bloom, among other online venues.

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