Visual Psalmists

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Beautiful photography — visual psalms — grace the pages of Alive Now both in print and on our website. If you pray with your camera in hand, join our Visual Psalmists group on Flickr. (flickr.com/groups/visual-psalmists/.

Behind the Photographs in the March/April 2014 Issue

Order a copy of the March/April 2014 issue, “Priorities,” by calling 1.800.972.0433. Download the digital edition.
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kayak

“Last year I had the wonderful experience of kayaking in the intercoastal waters near Destin, Florida. I carried my iPhone with me in the kayak, safe in a waterproof float, secured to the boat. I have never been much of a water person, so I was surprised at how spiritual this experience was for me. I took a few pictures during the trip, carefully pulling my phone out of the case, snapping the picture, and then securing it back. I wrote this meditation about the experience:”

- Beth Richardson, about her photo on the Contents page. Beth got her first camera when she was in 5th grade. She follows in the footsteps of her dad, a United Methodist pastor and avid photographer who set up a dark room in the guest bathroom of the parsonage. One summer when she home from college, her dad took her to the camera store to get her first SLR — a Pentax ME — which she still owns. She loves to pray with a camera in her hand — whether it’s her Nikon D90 or her iPhone. “Praying with a camera in hand helps me see things in a different way than I do when I’m just walking down the street. It makes my seeing full of holy moments. Taking pictures is about my favorite activity.”

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worship

“This image was taken during a time of worship at my niece Whitney’s church called Christian City Church, originally out of Australia. It was a beautiful time of worship that reminds me that finding times to offer worship to our Father God need to be a priority. When we stop and find times to sit at the feet of Jesus, He will guide our priorities.”

- Marie Nease, about her photo on page 3. Marie is a six-time award-winning member of the Roswell Photographic Society. Her expertise in photography is mixed with a passion that can’t be tamed. The love of photography spans multiple generations in Marie’s family. Marie has published articles and short stories and enjoys expressing herself through creative writing and poetry.

Marie is a mother of four wonderful young men and grandmother to six. She lives near the mountains in Cornelia Georgia. Visit her website, wingdreamer.com.

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butterfly

“I took this photo of my daughter during a family outing to the local botanical gardens to enjoy the beauty of growing things. The gardens were hosting a special butterfly tent at the time. She loved watching them dart and flit about the tent!”

- Lauren Richwine, about her photo on page 3. Lauren is an artist, photographer, and writer. When she isn’t changing diapers or cooking, she is the creative force behind “Portrait of a Lady,” to visually tell the stories of women’s spirituality and beauty. Lauren lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana, with her husband, daughter, and sister. See Portrait of a Lady on Facebook.
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Rosslyn Chapel

“Did you read The Da Vinci Code or see the movie? Then you might recall that the final scene takes place at the Rosslyn Chapel, a small medieval church outside of Edinburgh, Scotland. While many of the churches and monasteries from the period lie in ruins, the Rosslyn Chapel is a marvel. It is a nearly perfectly preserved 600 year old structure in which every interior surface is ornately carved with some biblical allegory. The Chapel has been called “a Bible in stone.” Ordinarily, there is no photography permitted inside the chapel – an understandable policy: nobody would leave if they were permitted to use their camera inside. However, by a fortunate happenstance, I was given permission to photograph a concert of Celtic music that was performed inside the chapel in May, 2013. Once inside, I was given free reign to photograph whatever I wanted. This carving of the the Madonna and Child appears in the main vault, but is not medieval in origin; it was probably placed in the chapel during the Victorian era. On the edges of the photo, and in the arch adjacent, you can get some sense of the elaborate detail of the original carvings. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime privilege to make photos of this sacred and historic space.”

- Paul Schatzkin, about his photo on p. 3. Paul is an author, entrepreneur, and photographer based in Nashville, Tennessee. For more about his work, go to cohesionarts.com.

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sunrise

“I got up early to get some sunrise photos. The fog had everything draped in dew. The sun came up, shining through the trees and fog. It reminded me of the glory of God!”

- Kevin Main, about his photo on p. 8. Kevin is a landscape photographer whose photos have appeared in a variety of places, from scientific journals to religious publications to art fairs. His love of God’s creation is also beautifully expressed in his children’s book, I See You There: My Father’s Love.

 

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cross

“This photo was taken on a very foggy day at Mount Davidson, the highest natural point in San Francisco, California. The concrete cross was completed in 1934 and stands 103 feet tall.”

- Jackson DeParis, about his photo on p. 9. Jackson was initially trained in scientific photography, but commercial advertising and editorial photography soon became his true calling. Dividing time between San Francisco and Nashville, Jackson is a consummate photographer, shooting everything from high-tech labs, CEOs and artists, to a wide range of editorial and product work. Equally at ease in the studio or on location he brings to each assignment a unique vision and fresh enthusiasm, using all appropriate tools and techniques. jacksondeparis.com
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hands

“In this image, my son, Michael, was reaching down to help his soon-to-be wife from Taiwan. They were married in September of 2013. Their relationship has been challenging for our families as we are learning how to accept and love someone from a different cultural and religious background. In my family, it is a priority to love and accept others, even when it isn’t easy! We know our Father God can love through us. Step by step, even imperfectly, we are learning to love and accept.”

- Marie Nease, about her photo on page 11. Marie is a six-time award-winning member of the Roswell Photographic Society. Her expertise in photography is mixed with a passion that can’t be tamed. The love of photography spans multiple generations in Marie’s family. Marie has published articles and short stories and enjoys expressing herself through creative writing and poetry.

Marie is a mother of four wonderful young men and grandmother to six. She lives near the mountains in Cornelia Georgia. Visit her website, wingdreamer.com.

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girl

“Here we have a joyful and eager new member of the human tribe being literally raised up by her proud and loving father; a joyful celebration and testimonial to the miracle of life in the midst of the tall spires of a natural cathedral of a thousand-year, towering redwood grove. The true priorities of life are right in front of our eyes.”

- Jefferson Braswell, about his photo on page 19. Jefferson’s interest in the visual arts was stimulated by a great deal of global travel, both growing up as well as professionally. He was motivated to actively produce visual works while living at Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada mountains, traveling to Asia as a publisher of limited edition prints of the original works of several fine artists, and spending time in Puerto Rico and Europe in order to produce live music recordings for his small indie label Tahoe Records. He is also a musician and composer with his own body of work of musical compositions and recordings. When he is not doing what he enjoys most (arts and music), Jefferson provides consulting and advisory services to the financial industry in the areas of enterprise risk management and information technology.

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lily

“The wild lilies come back every spring to a section of woods on our farm. I look forward to their arrival every year around Easter.”

- Dan Wray, about his photo on pp. 24-25. Dan teaches Religion, Philosophy, and English at the college level. He also serves as pastor of the Presbyterian church in Badin, North Carolina. He lives on a farm in the Piedmont of North Carolina with his wife and two daughters. See some of Dan’s work at his website: danwrayphoto.com.

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island

“I took this photo of trees on a rocky island from a canoe during a camping trip with one of my sons in northern Maine. We spent a lot of time fishing and taking photographs.”

- Dan Wray, about his photo on pp. 32-33.

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flower

“The summer this photo was taken our family was living in temporary quarters. It was a period of many transitions and a lot of uncertainty. Each evening after dinner, my children and I would walk around the neighborhood attempting to connect to our new neighbors. On one of those walks, we were surprised to find a small flower growing in the crack of a concrete sidewalk. Being someone who has difficulty keeping any plants or flowers alive, I found it inspiring that this seed was able to blossom in unexpected and far from ideal circumstances.”

- Tessa Lemos Del Pino, about her photo on pp. 38. Tessa is a writer and photographer who loves learning and is always reading something. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her family.
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palm

“This palm frond was photographed in our local botanical gardens during a family outing.”

- Lauren Richwine, about her photo on p. 39.

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walkway

“I discovered this walkway in the Philadelphia area while attending a science and religion conference.”

- Dan Wray, about his photo on p. 48.

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{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer Gordon Hayes May 21, 2011 at 2:41 pm

How I love this magazine. It nourshes my life. I sit and read, reread, meditate on its messages. I especially love the Household of God issue. I love seeing photos of all God’s children, reading about all the international faith journeys with the feeling that each of us is part of a web of God’s light. Thank you, staff of Alive Now.

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Beth Richardson June 1, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Jennifer,

How we loved getting your comments. Thank you so much. I’ll pass your words on to the rest of the staff.

Blessings,
Beth

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Brother Camillus, OSB July 5, 2011 at 7:54 pm

Love the publication. I’m passing this site on to others in my community

In Christ,
Brother Camillus, OSB

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Beth Richardson July 6, 2011 at 7:59 am

Brother Camillus,
Thank you so much for your post and for sharing the site with your community.
Blessings!

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David Wegmann July 6, 2011 at 6:33 am

I enjoy the upper room, I look forward to reading your new publication

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Beth Richardson July 6, 2011 at 7:59 am

David, so glad you have found us!!
Beth

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Ernie Farrar July 8, 2011 at 5:48 am

This looks like a great site for deepening our faith journey from thought to action.

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Beth Richardson July 8, 2011 at 8:18 am

Welcome, Ernie!!

Blessings,
Beth

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Joyce Kaiser July 10, 2011 at 7:12 pm

I have always liked Alive Now and especially this one for July/August 2011. There is so much to learn, read, soak in, and apply to my own life- I have a purpose ahead of me and I am excited.

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Beth Richardson July 28, 2011 at 10:00 am

Thanks, Joyce, for your comment. I’m pleased that you are liking the July/August issue. Blessings!

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Mel Ridgway July 27, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Beth,I told you that you were in my prayers at SF and will continue. What really touched me during SOULfeast as you led into worship with your clear voice piercing the air for singing “O, God, our God, we search for you as in a dry and barren land”. What a blessing that set the stage for Trevor’s message. Lake Junaluska was as far from a dry and barren as God was everywhere. Thank you for sharing your gift leading us.
Mel Ridgway
Jacksonville, Florida

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Beth Richardson July 28, 2011 at 10:02 am

Hi, Mel,

It was so good to be at SOULfeast with you. Thank you for your prayers — at SOULfeast and continuing. They mean so much.

I really enjoyed having the opportunity to lead worship and to hear Trevor speak. What a great week.

Many blessings,
Beth

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Cheryl Lyon July 27, 2011 at 9:07 pm

I love this concept of “visual psalms.” I like to paint “word pictures” with my meditations, but I will be playing with adding “visio divina.”

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Beth Richardson July 28, 2011 at 10:02 am

Hi, Cheryl,

Very wonderful thought — to do visio divina!!

Blessings
Beth

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Lorraine Romero July 28, 2011 at 6:42 am

I was in my doctors office and read a copy of this magazine. It is beautifully written and I found some comfort in passages that were contained inside.
I cannot afford the subscription at this time but I am so glad there is a website I can go to.

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Beth Richardson July 28, 2011 at 10:03 am

Hi, Lorraine,

How cool that you found us in your Dr.’s office! I’m so glad that you found comfort in the pages of the magazine. I’ll be looking forward to having you here at the website. Take good care.
Beth

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Beth DeLong July 31, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Hi Beth!

I have enjoyed your photos in the SightPsalms daily emails. Thanks so much for your contributions and for sharing your talent through the eye of the camera. I enjoy snapping away myself, and the wonders of nature continue to amaze me on a daily basis.
Now I am intrigued with AliveNow’s visual images.

Thanks again,
Beth

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Beth Richardson August 1, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Beth,

Thanks for leaving this note. I really enjoy looking at the world through the eye of a camera. Have you joined the Visual Psalmist’s group on Flickr? We would welcome you.

I’m so glad you are liking Alive Now’s images.

Blessings,
Beth

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Anthony J. Butler August 1, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Beth,

Greetings from Ireland. May I offer to gift a subscription to Lorraine? I hope she would not be offended. I gift it as my own thanks to God this night. Bill me please if that is ok with Lorraine.
Rev, Anthony J. Butler

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Beth Richardson August 8, 2011 at 2:02 pm

Hi, Rev. Anthony,

Thank you so much for your generous offer. Our staff is attempting to contact Lorraine about this. Thank you so much for your active prayer.

Blessings,
Beth

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Monique August 7, 2011 at 6:13 pm

I bless the very day i came across this amazing magical magazine.Thank all for your most extra ordinary words,they touch my heart to the core and they were an awakening and so rich and meanful to my soul,mind and heart.Thank you all so much.

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Beth Richardson August 8, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Hi, Monique,

Thank you so much for your wonderful comments! Thank you for being on this journey with us.

Blessings,
Beth

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Nancy C. Hardin September 13, 2011 at 12:21 am

Thanks for the wonderful chance to practice the audio lectio meditations on the Scriptures. I especially like that they continue for one week. It really gives a chance for several things to jump out at me. I especially enjoy the different timbres and accents of the readers.

I am a Lay Hispanic Missioner and the idea of “hospitality” is dear to my heart. The people who search me out remind me of the true meaning of hospitality when I visit a family and they bring the one chair in the house for me to sit in and offer me a drink of water.

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Beth Richardson September 14, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Hi, Nancy,

I’m glad to know how you are using the Audio Lectio. I’m so glad you are enjoying the different voices, too.

Thank you for the vision of hospitality that you painted with your story.

Many blessings,
Beth

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Debra Hosmer September 27, 2011 at 10:42 am

Thank you Lord for another day. I ask for prayers for Theresa Buhr my boss who is in the hospital. That she will heal. And for my son who has the demon alcohol freezes him in his tracks. I thank you Lord for all your help and for the inspiration of Alive Now.

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Beth Richardson September 27, 2011 at 10:58 am

Praying for you.

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Marcia the pianist October 19, 2011 at 7:10 am

I have enjoyed Advent, and the daily devotional. I’d like to get Psalms too. No more pieces of paper to deal with!

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Marcia the pianist October 19, 2011 at 7:25 am

I tried to sign up for Visual Psalms. Can’t do those letters and numbers to verify. I would have enjoyed it.

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CAROL November 14, 2011 at 5:47 pm

PUT ON YOUR MAILING LIST

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Beth Richardson November 15, 2011 at 9:24 am

Hi, Carol, were you wanting to receive our daily emails?

Thanks for your interest!
Beth

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Rose Salyers November 20, 2011 at 4:52 pm

I’ve always enjoyed reading alive now. am glad my church provide us with this magazine free for church workers. I always read the Upper Room Discipline & Alive now for meditation ever since that way back issue about “Doors” as I could recall.

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Beth Richardson November 21, 2011 at 8:52 am

Hi, Rose,

I’m so glad to know that your church provides Alive Now. THank you so much for visiting the website!

Blessings!
Beth

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Yohana Siera November 21, 2011 at 1:06 am

this is my first time to read about this article. I am totally love it.
i love to know how God make a miracle to other that give me more spirit in God.
Oneday, i hope i can meet these extraordinary people and sharing with them..

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Beth Richardson November 21, 2011 at 8:52 am

Hi, Yohana,

Thank you for visiting the website. Many blessings!
Beth

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Mechelle Stockett December 31, 2011 at 11:23 am

Your Alive Now magazine says that we can share our ideas and writings with the Alive Now community. How is that done? I don’t see a place for it on the website. Thanks for your reply.

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Beth Richardson January 3, 2012 at 9:19 am

Hi, Mechelle,

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you! The Alive Now community gathers in the Daily Reflections area. Here’s a link! http://alivenow.upperroom.org/category/daily-reflections/

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Many blessings and Happy New Year!
Beth

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Kim Jenkins January 5, 2012 at 10:11 am

Just wanted you to know what a blessing this publication and website are to me! I have just today discovered Visual Pslams and it has encouraged me to purchase a much needed camera that I have been thinking about over the past few months. This discovery today is truly a GOD thing….I have struggled most of my spiritual walk with what I refer to as organized prayer and with the help of Alive Now I am realizing that our lives are to be continual prayer and worship….God wants to be part of EVERYTHING we do! Also, I have recently adopted my three great-nieces and since they have come into my life I am realizing how important it is to have pictures for them to have as they grow. I have been using my camera on my cell phone but it has not been giving me the quality I am looking for, so like I said today was A GOD thing! It has been confirmed that I do need to make that investment in a good camera.

Please keep me and my family in your prayers….My grown children (Zach and Bonnie), as well as my three girls…Tiana, Emma and Breezy!

New Year Blessings!

Kim Jenkins

Please keep me and my babies in your prayers….

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Beth Richardson January 5, 2012 at 10:43 am

Hi, Kim,

Thank you so much for taking the time to tell us about your life and your calling to get a camera. That’s wonderful. You and your family will be in our prayers.

Blessings,
Beth

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Diane Scott January 6, 2012 at 7:57 am

Dear Beth,
I have followed you through Advent and have been incredibly blessed as I have shared with others your thoughts and prayers. It’s almost sad to have it end. Yet, I am over-joyed that it never ends in the heart and spirit of God’s children.
Love and blessings to you,
Diane

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Beth Richardson January 6, 2012 at 9:08 am

Hi, Diane,

Thank you for going on the journey with me during Advent and Christmas — and for taking the time to let me know. I’m so glad to “meet” you.

May you take God’s presence with you into this new year. Many blessings … and thank you.

Beth

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Kate February 6, 2012 at 11:00 am

Thank you for these photos! My only complaint is that I have spent the whole morning reading and writing after your site sparked my interest in one of your photographers! I’ll be back!

http://attendanceplease.wordpress.com/2012/02/06/surviving-desolation-two-artists/

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Beth Richardson February 6, 2012 at 11:05 am

Hi, Kate,

We’re glad we could provide you some entertainment. ;-) Thank you for the link to your post. We’ve also fallen in love with Ara and Spirit. Glad you found the video. We’ll look forward to seeing you back here again.

Blessings,
Beth

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Kelly Clark February 21, 2012 at 7:13 am

Alive Now has been an important element in my morning meditations for a number of years, and I have occasionally visited the website. Only today, have I found–much to my delight–Behind the Photographs. This adds another deep dimension to the poetry, prayers, and stories found in my favorite publication.

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Beth Richardson February 21, 2012 at 9:01 am

Hi, Kelly,

I’m so glad you’ve found this page and the stories. Hope it continues to enrich your meditation time.

Many blessings,
Beth

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Molly June 9, 2012 at 8:13 pm

I have been a printed word person most of my life, but these past years, I have become more and more aware of visual influences in devotional life. I love the pictures in Alive Now and the Visual Psalms. I find such stimuli everywhere now. In this collection , I found the P 36 photo from Jackson Deparis, brought back moving memories from a novel by Chaim Potok called ,” My Name is Asher Lev”, which had a great impression on me a few years ago. It was interesting that , when I read the article in Alive Now, opposite the picture, I saw it differently. But when I saw the photo here, it really hit me.
Thank you for the way you expand our perception and challenge our thinking. And I thank God for the limitless ways he has of drawing us closer.

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Beth Richardson July 2, 2012 at 11:32 am

Thanks, Molly. Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I loved that book by Potok …

Blessings,
Beth

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Annemarie Haner September 4, 2012 at 8:31 pm

PERHAPS THREE YEARS AGO, SHORTLY AFTER RETIREMENT, I WAS STRUCK DOWN WITH LATE ONSET MANIC DEPRESSION WHICH HAD KILLED MY MOTHER. I PHYSICALLY SURVIVED, BUT SOMEHOW THE ILLNESS SEEMED TO COMPLETELY SEVER MY DEEP FAITH. A BELOVED NIECE WANTING TO HELP, SENT ME ALIVE NOW!. AFTER PERHAPS THREE ISSUES HAD ARRIVED OVER THE COURSE OF 6 MONTHS, I SAW ONE, AND PICKED IT UP. IT WAS VISUALLY BEAUTIFUL, AND BOTH KIND AND GENTLE. IT BECAME A VITAL PART OF MY NOW COMPLETE RECOVERY. I WILL NEVER AGAIN TAKE FOR GRANTED THE FAITH I SO CHERISH. AND I WILL ALWAYS BE GRATEFUL FOR YOUR WONDERFUL MAGAZINE, WHICH I OFTEN SHARE WITH OTHERS.

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Gina Manskar September 6, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Thanks, Annemarie. We are praying for you.

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Nancy Terzian September 25, 2012 at 9:44 am

Hi Beth,
Just taking a few minutes to look through this visual psalmist section of the web site. I love it! It’s so fun to read about the photographers and their stories behind the photos. More please!!!
Nancy

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Donna M Korba, IHM June 26, 2013 at 6:38 am

Beth,

I was introduced to Alive Now back in 1988 by another sister in my community who had been a faithful subscriber for years. I have a collection of magazines to which I often return for inspiration and insight. It is not by chance that the issues (with their meaningful themes ) seem to arrive at the precise moment when my heart thirsts for some gentle inspiration. I often give Alive Now as gifts so to spread the word!
As an artist, I am particularly grateful for the current issue on Creativity.
Thanks. Blessings. Keep up the wonderful ministry!

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Kathy Martin November 17, 2013 at 9:53 am

Dear Beth,

I was introduced to Alive Now through my church and use it quite often in my counseling practice.
Today, as I sit with my dear cousin and reflect on “Peace” I am ever so thankful for this publication.
Blessings and Peace-

Katherine Martin, M.A., L.P.C.

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J DeShong April 11, 2014 at 7:10 am

This is a marvelous site. Thank you to all the contributors for their visual psalms. Praying for you as you come and go in all life’s moments.

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