The Gift of Hard Things Wins INDIES Book of the Year Award

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WESTMONT, IL—InterVarsity Press is pleased to announce that The Gift of Hard Things by Mark Yaconelli was selected as the 2016 Silver Winner in the Self-Help category of the nineteenth annual Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards.

 In The Gift of Hard Things: Finding Grace in Unexpected Places Yaconelli uses extraordinary stories from his own life and the lives of others to offer a narrative journey through ways in which disappointments have turned into gifts. Anne Lamott, author of Traveling Mercies, said, “To my thinking, Mark Yaconelli is one of this country’s most important and articulate spiritual teachers. Anyone seeking knowledge and union with God will be informed, edified, nourished, and utterly charmed by The Gift of Hard Things. I savored every story and was nurtured by the expression and depth. It is a book absolutely after my own heart.”

 Each year, Foreword Reviews shines a light on a select group of indie publishers, university presses, and self-published authors whose work stands out from the crowd. Thousands of books are entered each year, and a panel of over 120 librarians and booksellers take part in the judging, narrowing it down to a group of finalists and winners that represent the best books, all independently published, in over sixty categories. Winners in each genre—along with Editor’s Choice winners and Foreword’s INDIE Publisher of the Year—were announced during the 2017 American Library Association Annual Conference in Chicago on June 24.

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Come to Retreat In Austin!

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Join Mark Yaconelli for a multi-day retreat at Austin Theological Seminary November 7-10th, 2016 . Titled “Soul Stop,” the four-day retreat is focused on rest and spiritual renewal. Mark will lead morning talks and various spiritual exercises focused on befriending God with mind, heart, soul, and strength. $600 is the fee and includes all the retreat content plus 3 nights lodging, meals for 4 days, individual spiritual direction, and a 1 hour massage! Space is limited to 14. This is a great way to spend election week! For more information go here.


Storytelling and the Soul

I have many secular friends who carry a strong critique of Christianity and religion in general. I agree with most of their criticisms. I have many Christian friends who carry a strong critique of secular, non-religious life. I agree with most of their criticisms as well. All of us are trying to figure it out and there is no easy answer. I did a long interview with Nomad Podcast in the U.K. They talked with me about my present work, the life of the soul, and the dark night. This is one person’s attempt to talk about the spiritual life with integrity. You can listen to the podcast here.

Mark Yaconelli at BBC Wrexham


Reviews and Interviews

I did a number of interviews in the U.K. on The Gift of Hard Things (titled “Disappointment, Doubt, and Other Spiritual Gifts” in the U.K.). Here’s an interview by Christianity Today titled, “The Gift of Failure.” Also a number of reviews of book on Patheos.com. Most recent by Steve Austin, here.

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Mark Yaconelli talks about The Gift of Failure at Greenbelt 2016


The Gift of Hard Things

My new book is out! The Gift of Hard Things: Finding Grace in Unexpected Places. Anne Lamott read it and wrote the following:

“To my thinking, Mark Yaconelli is one of this country’s most important and articulate spiritual teachers. Anyone seeking knowledge and union with God  will be informed, edified, nourished, and utterly charmed by The Gift of Hard Things. I savored every story and was nurtured by the expression and depth. It is a book absolutely after my own heart.”  –Anne Lamott

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A Trip to The Jungle

[On May 10th I sent out a Facebook message seeking to raise $750 to help purchase supplies to help refugees in Calais. I had been invited by The Church in Wales to go and collect stories from refugees for an upcoming event in North Wales. I did not want to arrive empty-handed so I procured a van and asked The Hearth Community to make donations to purchase food. Within twelve hours over $1600 had been raised. Enough to purchase needed proteins (canned fish, beans) and vegetables/fruits (tomatoes, mandarin oranges). Thank you to everyone who gave generously! Here are my reflections on the trip.]

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We were five men from North Wales: a welder, a carpenter, a government planner, a vicar, and me, the lone American. We had procured two vans and filled them with food, lumber, plastic tarps, fire extinguishers, construction tape, and other supplies. We were taking time from work and home to help displaced people in Calais, France. And the feeling? The feeling was good. It felt good to try and do something right, something useful. It felt good to follow the most basic of human impulses—to share what you have with someone who has little. Spirits were high. We shared music we loved, remembered epic concerts we had attended. We smiled while describing our children, talked admiringly of our spouses. We told stories of adventures we’d had in other countries—a speeding ticket in Death Valley, a bar fight in Belfast, a dangerous sheep outside of Liverpool. We were on a mission. We were doing something that mattered. Hearts awake, spirits high, the mind clear with purpose. Continue reading


An American in Wales

Mark Yaconelli at BBC Wrexham

I have been interviewed on BBC Wales, BBC Wales (in Welsh), BBC Wales Television, and now BBC4 (the program for the whole U.K.). There is great interest as to why an American would move to Wales for 6 months. Here is an article from the Anglican News Service on what’s happening here.