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  • Teaching the Gospel to Children: Foster Intimacy, part 2 by Rebecca Brewster Stevenson

    This is the fourth post in a series meant to be preceded by an introductory letter. Please read that here

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    Foster Intimacy, part 2

    “Shame and death are the two great enemies of the Gospel.” ~Jay Thomas

    “Much dysfunction is a function of denying brokenness.” ~Ann Voskamp

    “Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you. He rises up to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!” ~ Isaiah 30: 18


    As you can see, this post is a “part two.” When I first conceived of writing about intimacy, I thought its value could be summarized in a single post– and then, clearly, realized I was wrong.

    What’s more, writing about it for this series has convinced me that an atmosphere of healthy intimacy in the home might be the single greatest gift parents can give their children and the very best means through which we teach our children the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

    In the previous post, I described many of its gifts to a growing child and their family, and I claimed that intimacy is invaluable for parenting teenagers. I also described some ways in which Jesus’ teaching enables intimacy when lived out in the home, and that this is key for current and future joy.

    But as I said, there’s more to say. So here we go. (more…)


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On Tuesdays during the academic year, I teach a Bible study along with my friend Margaret Thielman. Some weeks it’s my turn to teach, some weeks it’s hers, but in either case, you can listen here.
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The Books

Overview of Healing Maddie Brees

This is the story of Maddie and Frank Brees, seventeen years into a marriage they’ve crafted with honesty and care. When Maddie is diagnosed with cancer, they discover they’re not as honest as they thought, and the burden of her present illness is compounded by the beliefs and experiences of their pasts.

A work of literary fiction, the novel took me many years to write. It’s a story of marriage and of illness, and also of unvisited grief. It questions what we expect from one another and from God, weighs the significance of adolescent love, and examines the perhaps extraordinary demand of our physical beings on our spiritual selves.

And it’s filled with hope.


Overview of Wait: Thoughts and Practice in Waiting on God.

Waiting might be the most common experience of human existence, but some waits are worse than others. Some are longer; and for some, the stakes seem frighteningly high. Whatever you’re waiting for, chances are you’re not enjoying the wait itself. The whole idea of waiting, after all, means to endure in the hope that things will get better.

Meanwhile, we might glean something from our protracted dissatisfaction, and this work of creative non-fiction explores some possibilities. Initially, I drew from my own family’s very long wait, but soon I was including the experiences of friends as well as stories of waiting in scripture and studies of some art and poetry. The book takes a careful look at different aspects of waiting, offering a perspective that might make your own wait something you are actually grateful for.

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Wait: Thoughts and Practice in Waiting on God.

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About author
Rebecca Brewster Stevenson

I was born in California, spent two years of my childhood in Japan, and grew up in Pittsburgh. While Long Island’s North Fork, home to my maternal grandparents and parents, will always be my second home, I have lived most of my adult life in Durham, North Carolina, where my husband and I have raised our three children.

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“Most powerfully, Stevenson links the physical to the spiritual, letting Maddie’s breast cancer open her to a spiritual journey, letting the veneration of the Eucharist open space for understanding illness, letting love for the mortal body open space for love of the divine. A gorgeous meditation on broken bodies, fractured faith, and the soul-wrenching path to serenity.”

–Kirkus Reviews