Episode #27: Why Do Goodness, Truth, and Beauty Matter?

Do you ever hear people rattle off the words, 'goodness, truth, and beauty', and wonder what they are talking about? We mention this triad of words from time to time on the Storyformed podcast, but don't often take the time to discuss what we really mean when we say them. So, today I had the opportunity to interview philosophy professor Adam Pelser about this topic!

Adam received his Ph.d from Baylor University where he studied under Bob Roberts, a renown Christian philosopher. Adam is a currently a philosophy professor at the Air Force Academy where he teaches Ethics, Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy of Love, and even a course on C.S. Lewis and Philosophy. He writes on emotions and virtue formation and he is currently writing a book on Emotional Evidence for God where he explains how we can see God with the "eyes of our heart." You can connect with Adam on Facebook and Twitter (@AdamCPelser) and at his website - adampelser.com.  

Topics Include:

  • The value of understanding goodness, truth, and beauty as Christian virtues

  • How goodness, truth, and beauty show up in everyday life

  • How goodness, truth and beauty reveal themselves in stories

  • Book recommendations

Episode #26: Stories From the Farm

In this episode, Holly Packiam talks with her husband, Glenn Packiam, and their daughter, Sophia Packiam about farm life. Glenn shares his first experience of going to the farm, and Sophia talks about what visiting the farm has meant for her childhood. Holly discusses how reading Wendell Berry helped realize the gift she was given by growing up on a farm and having a poet-farmer for a father. Sophia contributes to the conversation by talking about the various farm stories and books set on farms that she’s read and what she’s gained from them.

Topics Include:

  • How farm life can teach us to see beauty in the ordinary and to have patience and persistence through difficulty;

  • What Sophia would tell young people who find farm stories uninteresting;

  • Why reading farm stories are not about nostalgia or idealizing a certain way of life, but rather about learning a new perspective and gaining new virtues.

Episode #25: Reading With Teens

Are you wondering how to navigate reading with teens? Today on the podcast,  Holly Packiam and Jaime Showmaker talk about how to stay connected with teens through books in this changing season of their lives.

Topics include:

  • The kinds of questions teens wrestle with-- from identity to purpose

  • The value in reading together in the teen years

  • Practical ideas for creating space to read together

  • How to help teens recognize and choose good books

  • Book recommendations for teens

Episode #24: Read for the Heart (Picture Book Edition)

In this episode, Holly Packiam and Jaime Showmaker discuss the picture books chapter in Sarah Clarkson's book, Read for the HeartThe book describes how her parents, Clay and Sally Clarkson, decided that one of the primary gifts they would give their children would be a childhood shaped by great stories. Sarah writes from the perspective of one whose own heart, mind, and soul were formed by books, and in doing so, invites us into what she calls 'the reading life'. We share some of her picture book recommendations in this episode. But this is more than an invitation to get through a reading list; it's an invitation into a reading life.

Topics Include: 

  • The value in reading good books to our children

  • Reasons for choosing Read for the Heart as your #1 resource for children's book recommendations

  • Hallmarks of a classic children's book

  • Picture book recommendations from Read for the Heart

Episode #23: Help, My Child Doesn’t Like to Read!

In this episode, Holly Packiam and Jaime Showmaker discuss what to do when you have a reluctant reader. They discuss the different reasons for reluctance and how to be a detective to determine what is going on with your child or student.  

Topics Include: 

  • Specific developmental challenges to watch for in emerging readers

  • Reasons for reluctance in otherwise skilled readers

  • Strategies to apply to encourage a love of reading

  • Ways to build reading confidence

Episode #22: Learning to Love Poetry

In this episode Holly Packiam speaks with Sally Clarkson about encouraging our kids to love poetry. The ability to participate in God's presence through the reading and listening of beautiful poetry is a gift of being created in His image.

Topics include:

  • Practical ways to capture our childrens' interest in poetry

  • The value of putting great works of poetry before our childrens’ eyes

  • The importance of presenting a feast of poetry to our children

  • Books to inspire a love of poetry

Episode #21: Helping Kids Develop Habits of Reading

In this episode, Holly Packiam and her husband, Glenn Packiam, talk about how we can help our kids develop habits of reading. You may remember in episode #11, Holly and Jaime discussed their quest as Christians to become lifelong learners and carriers of widsom. But today, they're focusing this message on our kids. 

Topics include:

  • Why Psalm 1 addresses desires and habits

  • How we can create rhythms-- patterns of practices-- in our lives

  • How to incorporate reading into naptime and/or bedtime routines for all ages

  • Practical ideas for making reading accessible

  • Ideas for reading the Bible as a Story together

  • How the Holy Spirit doesn't often override our habits but helps us form new ones

A Ministry Pivot and a Change for Good


It's time for a new ministry pivot. Every decade or so, Whole Heart Ministries has taken a new road into a new season and new streams of ministry. With the end of our annual hotel conference ministry this year, we're charting a new course for the road ahead of us in 2018.

It always helps to know where we've been, to get a clearer picture of where we're going. For a quick peek at our past year, visit our "Where We've Been in 2017" page. It's been a year full of event ministry (six in the US, one in the UK), writing ministry (five books released, two more written), and online ministry (blogs, podcasts, and a new "Life with Sally" course site). Phew!

Then click over to the our "Where We're Headed in 2018" page. That's where you'll get a descriptive road map for where we're headed in the year ahead (you can also get a PDF of our year end letter there). It's a refocused plan for more books and resources for parents, new books for children and families, growing existing and launching new online ministries, and international ministry to mothers in the UK. It's more than we can do alone. We'll tell you how you can help as a Whole Heart Partner.

This pivot means we'll be changing for good. In both ways--it a whole new season, and a fresh new vision. And it's all good. We invite you to join us on our continuing journey into God's heart for Christian parenting, motherhood, and the family. After twenty-four years of ministry, we're still "keeping faith in the family," and in your family.