Some kind bloggers have linked to me recently, people I respect and people I'm honored to be read by, so in some sort of good pay-it-forward link love, I'm going write this post highlighting a few of my favorite bloggers. Innumerable times over the past several years I've pruned my RSS feed, but these blogs stay, safely nooked in their place, in no danger of being cut off:

Ann Voskamp: It's no secret that I love this girl's writing. Probably more than any other writer (blogger or otherwise), Ann continually blesses me with her juxtaposition of faith and reality. I haven't had the opportunity to get my hands on her new book, One Thousand Gifts, but I anticipate relishing it slowly and carefully, allowing her story to sink more fully into me. Letting her faith infuse my faith. I always say that if you read one blog, let it be this blog.

"Can there be a good God? A God who graces with good gifts when a crib lies empty through long nights, and bugs burrow through coffins?

Where is God, really? How can He be good when babies die, and marriages implode, and dreams blow away, dust in the wind?

Where is grace bestowed when cancer gnaws and loneliness aches and nameless places in us soundlessly die, break off without reason, erode away?"

Tony Woodlief: A few months ago I got some free download codes from an audio book site. I was about to spend a month on the road and what better way to spend it than listening to some spoken word? Somewhere More Holy was the first book for which I looked, the first book to which I listened, and to be honest, I never made it past the first half during that drive. Not because it bored me or disappointed me, though, not at all! Instead because I listened to the introduction and first few chapters over and over again. I was stuck on this story and struck by this transparency. I thought to myself, if you can be as undone as this family was, as this man was, then surely there is hope for me. Tony writes at his blog and also for World Magazine.

"When people think you’re a goat, you hesitate to scribble out whatever might be on your heart or buried deep in your gut or maybe just shadowing your soul, because you second-guess how it will be read, and what it can be crafted into.

When people think you’re a saint, you get afraid to disappoint them."

Nate Spencer: I stumbled across this blog over a year ago and every post I read talked of a Jesus I didn't know, about a gospel I didn't really understand, but it might have been the first time I understood that I didn't know and didn't understand. This articulation of a gospel that was central, of a cross that was principle, and of a Jesus who was raw and edgy, loving and good, I thought: I don't know what this is, but I want it. I want to understand the whole of the Bible in that way, read the gospel as though it gives life to me as it is as I am and doesn't let me get away with anything. He hasn't written a book, that I know of, but I'll be sure to get it if he does.

"The way I understand it, the Gospel of personal salvation continues to be a Gospel of personal salvation day to day, forever. The question to us is, do we still think it's Good News, or have we found better news since then in the promise of having control over our lives and being well-respected by our in-laws? If Christ is as valuable as the Gospel suggests he is, then it's not only possible to "sell everything you have and give it to the poor," it might even be fun. If, that is, we really think it's good news."