Valley of Springs

Valley of Springs - Dan and Jo Acharya

Blog posts : "Creativity Current Affairs Devotional Digging Deeper Interview Poetry Review Videos"

Being Braver in Community:
An Interview With Author Deborah Jenkins

I loved Deborah Jenkins' debut novel Braver. It's a perfect summer read - light enough to lift your mood and deep enough to make you think. At its heart, it's a story about the power of friendship, valuing our differences and recognising our need for each other. I found it joyful and lovely, and rec…

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Manasseh Repented, But the Damage Was Done:
Why Leadership Matters

A woman with red hair leading a man by the hand and pulling him along a track, showing why leadership matters.A long time ago in a land far away, a man named Manasseh was crowned King of Judah, and the people must have been cautiously optimistic. Manasseh’s father, Hezekiah, had been a righteous ruler who had trusted God and led the people well. Judah could still avoid the fate of its northern sister kingdo…

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Facing Uncertainty With Faith:
3 Practical Suggestions

This is part 2 of a short series on God and Uncertainty.

Image of a woman in a baseball cap sitting on the edge of a rocky cliff. The view is blurred as she faces uncertainty with faithIn part 1 of this series we looked at three truths to remember in difficult and uncertain times. These truths can help us to ground ourselves spiritually, and to dwell on God’s wonderful promises to us. But if we want to explore how faith …

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Job’s relationship with God: Discovering Truth in Lament

Image is a painting of Job face down on the ground in pain, two friends sitting by watching and the third with his arms up in anger condemning Job's relationship with God.

What did Job get right about God? That’s the question I’m left with at the end of his story. Job is a good man who has lost everything, and he doesn’t know how to explain his suffering, except to assume that God is against him. He cries out in distress, accusing his creator of cruelty, injustice a…

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How Do You Trust God in Difficult Times?
3 Truths to Remember

This is part 1 of a short series on God and Uncertainty.

Image of an older man with blond hair. He has a look of despair on his face and holds his head in his hand wondering how do you trust God in difficult times.

I can’t remember the last time I felt certain about the future. These last few years have brought crisis after crisis, and so many of the normal things we take for granted have been thrown into doubt. It’s been exhausting, hasn’t it? M…

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Sunday Morning (a retelling)

Picture of Mary Magdalene entering the tomb distressed and crying on Easter SundaySunday morning. Peter is deep in his own thoughts. Going round and round his head are the shameful words he spoke three days ago: "I don't know the man!" John is silent too. He watched the unthinkable happen, watched his teacher and friend die in agony, and could do nothing to stop it. Nine other me…

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6 Prayers for Ukraine (and 3 ways to help)

Hands holding a lit candle in prayer for Ukraine

The invasion of Ukraine ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent shockwaves across Europe. It's easy to feel overwhelmed in the face of such a huge crisis. One of the few things ordinary people can do is to pray, but even this feels immensely challenging for many of us. Perhaps you p…

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"Who Made God?" by Joanne Gilchrist: a colourful adventure for curious kids

Front cover of Who Made God by Joanne Gilchrist - it shows a cartoon lion with a questioning expression and a girl holding a baby, against a backdrop of stars and planet earth.

Today I'm delighted to be reviewing this new children's book, book 2 in the Animals of Eden Valley series, which also includes 'Why Can't I see God?' It's intended for 4-7 year olds, but this accessible introduction to a complex topic may have something to teach grown ups as well!

Roar the …

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'Refresh' Blog Tour Roundup!

If you follow us on Facebook Facebook or Instagram you'll know that my book Refresh was released at last on January 5th! You can buy it from all the usual places, including Amazon, Eden and Waterstones. And of course you can still buy signed copies directly from us in our store, which will co…

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Faith in Everyday Life: why I wrote a Christian wellness journal

Person reading a ook - Refresh: a wellness devotional for the whole Christian life by Jo AcharyaWhat is wellness? Everywhere I look right now, people are talking about it. Some of the wackier extremes might make many of us roll our eyes at the very word, but the basics are sensible, encouraging us to look after our bodies, acknowledge our emotions, recognise our need for connection and meaning…

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Comfort and Joy - a poem for Christmas

Learning to Dance: keeping in step with the Spirit

A man and woman dancing in a dark room. The woman is in mid-jump. There is a chandelier above them.

Have you been watching Strictly Come Dancing? I’ve never got into it before – I thought that as someone with two left feet it wouldn’t interest me at all. But somehow this year I ended up watching the first episode and was immediately hooked. It’s joyous! The colours, the music, the costumes, the …

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A Raincloud in Spring: the blessing of rain

The blessing of rain seen through a London window, with raindrops on the glass distorting the image of cars on the road, and Big Ben in the distance. They say the Eskimos have fifty words for snow. In the UK I think we probably have at least fifty words for rain. Over here it can be drizzling, spitting, pouring or chucking it down. We have light showers, torrential downpours, sheets of rain, driving rain, sideways rain. The Scots have bleeters an…

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Seasons of Life: Autumn

A branch of a tree with yellow and red leaves, showing the colours of autumn against a blue skyThere is beauty in the dying;
as green surrenders to yellow, red and brown,
the bold brightness of summer
giving way to a tapestry of hues, rich and warm.

Trees on their way to winter,
glorying in a last hurrah;
as flecks of gold fall from their branches,
floating towards their end
and their beginn…

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Author Profile: Sabinah Adewole

Author Sabinah Adewole, a smiling Nigerian woman wearing a white faux fur scarf

Today I want to introduce you to author and poet Sabinah Adewole. At the age of four Sabinah’s father died suddenly in an accident in London, forcing her mother to move the family back to their native Nigeria. Sabinah was raised by her older brother while their mother struggled with alcohol and la…

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Creationtide and Eating as an Act of Worship

Satay vegetable noodles in a bowl with prawn crackersA couple of weeks ago I was introduced to Creationtide for the first time. Visiting a local Anglican church, I heard that in the annual church calendar, this period between 1st September and 4th October is dedicated to worshipping God as creator and sustainer of all life, and praying for the earth’…

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Lost and Found: trusting God when the future is uncertain

A woman in a red jacket feeling lost in the woods, walking away from the camera, through bare treesI get lost a lot.

It’s not as bad as it used to be. When someone gave me a lift home as a teenager I couldn’t even direct them to my house! I got a bit better after I learned to drive, and since I’ve been going for longer walks the layout of roads has become more familiar. But our house backs ont…

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How to Pray for Afghanistan When You Have No Words

A ruined building in Kabul, Afghanistan

I’m finding it hard to pray for Afghanistan. Maybe you are too? It feels like a hopeless situation, so overwhelming and so bleak. The words I manage to say seem too small, too weak to do any good.

Let me encourage you. God sees our hearts even when we have no words. We can cry out in groan…

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What It Means to Be a Child of the King

A golden coloured crown on top of a brown box

It was reported in the news recently that by donating eye-watering sums of money to political parties, wealthy citizens can earn a regular audience with high ranking UK politicians.

This isn't a political blog, though. I doubt many of us are surprised to find that the rich and powerful ha…

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A Living Sacrifice

When they say of me, "This one is a follower of Jesus",
may there be no cause for any to say, 
"This one? Are you sure?"

May my spirit be generous.
May my heart be humble.

May my eyes seek light.
May my ears tune in to beauty.

May my mind bathe in truth.
May my lips speak words of …

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20 blog posts