Guest Post: “How I Became A Hiker Dude” by Stephen Garner

It is my great pleasure to feature Stephen Garner for the first time. I hope you enjoy my father’s unique blend of biblical insights, illuminating anecdotes, and punny repartée. Our numerous hikes together over the past decade have then a powerful connecting force during my young adult years. Read more of his work at https://hikerdude.wordpress.com/. Someone asked me once how I became interested in hiking. I hadn’t really given it[…]

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Are You at Sea Level or See Level?

It’s not often that an offshoot of the Allman Brothers Band starts a conversation about God‘s revelation. I went hiking last week of my father in Shenandoah National Park. As we tackled a particularly steep 800ft ascent, my father began laughing as the iPod he was listening to shuffled across a song by the band Sea Level. I chuckled along with him as we both labored with our legs to[…]

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Travel Journal: a London Layover

The aged tube train rambled down the rickety track. Industrial age brick, lined with miles of colorful wire, rushed by the windows. I was riding the London Underground. I finally arrived to my station, made sure to mind the gap, and took the brisk walk to our Airbnb. I passed by a lonely, stately gothic church that looked more like a museum. Turning into a one-way street lined with trees[…]

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What My Church Never Told Me (Cont.)

In college, I got a group of friends around me that were like me in that they believed in Jesus, but they were different in some surprising ways. They talked about relationship with God in a different way than I’d ever considered. For them, the Christian walk was not so much about getting from spiritual point A to spiritual point B, but rather sauntering through God’s woods. That happened in[…]

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Hosted Amongst the Tribesmen: a Descriptive, if not Humorous, Anecdotal Recollection (Part Three)

Under the tree were a small group of wazee (“wah-zay,” that is, older men). They were sitting around in a circle as we shared with them. One man gazed intensely through his glassy cataract-covered eyes. His forehead was covered with so many wrinkles it looked like a topographical map. We sat with the men as we spoke, which was probably more acceptable to them culturally then standing behind an imaginary[…]

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Hosted Amongst the Tribesmen: a Descriptive, if not Humorous, Anecdotal Recollection (Part One)

– Arrival. It wasn’t that I spent half the ride crammed in the back of a 4 x 4. It wasn’t that the dirt roads were bumpy. It wasn’t even that one of our vans got stuck in the mud and had to be winched out. It was that departure had been delayed several hours in the morning, and I hadn’t eaten since breakfast, so it had been about 10[…]

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Faith Journey, Continued (East Africa pt. 6)

“I’ve never seen hunger for the Word like this before,” I told Samuel, recalling our encounter with the warriors gathered under the thorny shade tree. Off the beaten path, off the grid, and quite off the map, this tribe were as eager and open as children to hear this “Good News,” and I believe that’s just what is required to enter this Kingdom of God. Jesus instructs his disciples for[…]

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Faith Journey (East Africa pt. 5)

Imagine going off the edge of the map with no money, no extra clothes, and no plan except listening to and following Holy Spirit. Then imagine Him putting together the most amazing cultural experience of your life. That’s a faith journey. In Luke 9 and 10, we find Jesus sending out his disciples in a way like never before. “He told them: ‘Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag,[…]

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Teaching: Whose Job is it Anyway?

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. You can lead a child to knowledge, but you can’t make him think. I’ve been thinking about the role of the school versus the role of parenting in the education of a child. For what it’s worth, I have a few *ahem* candid thoughts. The state’s job is not to educate your child; it is to make[…]

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