Give Me the Simple Life: Meeting Richard Foster


Despite the fact that there were still snowbanks in shadows  in Grand Rapids, Michigan. . . I was more than a little dazzled at Calvin College’s Festival of Faith & Writing. I kept bumping into gifted and talented writers: James McBride (The Color of Water), Luci Shaw (God in the Dark), Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese), Deborah Heiligman (Charles and Emma: The Darwins’ Leap of Faith), Tracy Groot (currently reading The Sentinels of Andersonville).

And then . . . there was the one and only Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird). She was every bit as quirky and amusing and wonderful as her books.

Courtesy of the Festival of Faith & Writing

But I think I was most starstruck by meeting Richard Foster (Celebration of Discipline). The influence of his work has been said to be measured not by years or decades . . . but by centuries. I read his book years ago, in my early 30s, and felt very affected by it–especially his section on Simplicity. He’s a very modest and self-deprecating man–almost seemed embarrassed by the fuss.

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His son, Nathan Foster, interviewed him in a casual Q&A session. By the way, Nathan has a new release, Wisdom Chasers (IVP), about growing up with a famous father. Am reading it now!

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Nathan Foster and his famous father, Richard Foster. Notice the long pony tail on Richard? Very counter-culture.

The Festival of Faith & Writing is held every two years–definitely worthwhile for aspiring writers and deep thinkers. Publisher’s Weekly did a nice write up on it, if you’re mulling over attending. It’s an excellent conference, from good coffee to inspiring presentations. Me, I’m counting down the days . . . .


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About Suzanne

Suzanne Woods Fisher writes bestselling, award winning fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. Her interest in the Plain People began with her Old Order German Baptist grandfather, raised in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne's app, Amish Wisdom, delivers a daily Amish proverb to your phone or iPad. She writes a bi-monthly column for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. She lives with her family in California and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you can't take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.


  1. Charise says:

    I was sure I was going this year and then it became impossible. 2016!

  2. MS Barb says:

    I LOVE “Celebration of Discipline!” I only wish I would’ve read it when I was younger! (I read it in a Women’s Bible Study group when I was in my late 40’s) I think it should have been required reading when I was in Bible School! Thanks for sharing about your trip to the festival of faith & writing!