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Give Me the Simple Life: Meeting Richard Foster

Suzanne Simple Living

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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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