A wonderful place for spiritual and creative energies is the Niños prayer group (yeah, "neenyos," you got it). We've been meeting
for more than TWENTY
years now and it remains fresh: lots of fun; amazing prayer; miraculous answers; wonderful support and
encouragement in our creative endeavors, including a handful of doctoral theses prayed-through and completed.
We are called The Niños because there was an El Niño weather system bringing in big weather drama early in 1998 during the first few months we
started meeting and "niños" means "children." So, as children of God, we are grateful to be His Niños.
2005 Niños Christmas book
2014 Niños Christmas book
2015 Niños Christmas book
2018 Niños Christmas book
2019 Niños Christmas book
2020 Niños Christmas book
2021 Niños Christmas book
2022 Niños Christmas book
New Books by Niños!
's newest book explores eight of the most life-changing Old Testament scriptures and ways the Hebrew
scriptures have shaped and continue to shape our lives. 8 Old Testament Passages That Changed the World
looks at the many ways culture has treated, mistreated, distorted, and brought to life some of the most well-known portions of the Old Testament.
In Dave Milbrandt
's new novel, Fool's Luck
, when high school
teacher Myles Bradford wins the Powerball lottery, he decides to do something truly unexpected: run for President of the United States....
newest book is a collection of short stories called Subtle Man Loses
His Day Job
and I, for one, am excited to read it! Check out the blurbs:
"In this collection of short stories, Thomas Allbaugh has created a cast of complex, fully
realized characters: Neal, Winky, Phil, and others possess an inherent longing for the transcendent with no trace of sentimentality or predictability.
When you walk into the Side Step Bar, where ordinary people discuss the ineffable, you will recognize your co-workers, your neighbors, and yourself.
These tales will woo you, you will read and reread, and your rereading will be rewarded. Subtlety is only one of Allbaugh's many superpowers."
--Susan Delaney Spear, poet, author of Beyond All Bearing
"These searing stories feature characters you'll both love and pity. Allbaugh writes with the sharp vision of a prophet who has seen the edge of the
world and come back with a sorrowful yet honest report. If you lend your attention to this book, it will repay you a thousandfold." --John Matthew
Fox, author of I Will Shout Your Name
"Thomas Allbaugh's richly drawn stories take the reader to places of longing, regret, loneliness, awkwardness, friendship, faith, and love. This is
powerful storytelling about people who seem so real that you'll feel you already know them. Told with subtle humor and a vivid sense of place, these
stories will stay with you long after you finish them." --Joseph Bentz, author of A Son Comes Home
Tom Allbaugh's blog
, and his earlier blog, Plainclothes
Joe Bentz's blog
Diana Glyer's occasional blog
Barbara Hayes' blog, PERKYLESADVICE
Liz Leahy's APU blog, James L. Stamps Theological Library
Lynn Maudlin's occasional blog, Big Blonde Blog
Lynn Maudlin's new faith-focused blog, Too Marvelous For Me
Dave Milbrandt's blog
, and its earlier iteration as
John Barnts' blog, Barnts in the Belfry
Food for thought: C.S. Lewis' We Have No Right to Happiness
is one of the "original Niños" —along with Mike and Diana Glyer, Laura
Simmons, and myself— and when the group started he'd published one book and had another under consideration. Now Joe has a
veritable stable of successful books, both fiction and non-fiction.
Joe's latest book is 8 Old Testament Passages That Changed the World
, a follow-up to
12 New Testament Passages That Changed the World
, both from The Foundry Publishing.
Released in 2015, Joe enjoyed an updated version of his first book,
, and the premier release from Enclave Publishing.
Joe contributed six chapters to a small-group curriculum series called Named
He wrote chapters on Joseph, Moses, Joshua, the Man Born Blind, the Gadarene Demoniac, and Andrew. To quote from the
is a 6-week small-group resource like no other. Through imaginative retellings of familiar stories from
Scripture, powerful videos, and thought-provoking discussion questions, small groups can explore the mysteries of
faith together and learn how God's story finds its place in each of them."
Here are text links to all Joe's books on Amazon (collect 'em all!):
8 Old Testament Passages That Changed the World
12 New Testament Passages That Changed the World
Nothing Is Wasted
Named: The Patriarchs (DVD-ROM),
Named: The Patriarchs (workbook),
Named: The Unnamed (DVD-ROM),
Named: The Unnamed (workbook),
Named: The Disciples (DVD-ROM),
Named: The Discipless (workbook),
Pieces of Heaven: Recognizing the Presence of God,
God in Pursuit: The Tipping Points From Doubt to Faith,
Silent God: Finding Him When You Can't Hear His Voice,
When God Takes Too Long: Learning to Thrive During Life's Delays,
and Joe's novels:
Dreams of Caladria
At Close of Day,
A Son Comes Home,
Cradle of Dreams,
Song of Fire.
is the one God gave the vision for
the Niños; she has always had a strong sense of community and understands that God built us for relationship - both with Him and
with each other. One of our regular prayer focuses in the early years was Diana's award-winning book,
The Company They Keep: C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien as Writers in Community
- a piece of truly inspiring scholarship that every writer would benefit from reading. If you also happen to be a fan of Tolkien or
C.S. Lewis or Charles Williams, well, all the better!
New podcast interview
with Diana by William O'Flaherty at All About Jack
Diana's newest book is Bandersnatch
, a closer look at the collaborations of
C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and all the Inklings.
Clay in the Potter's Hands
, a book on
spiritual formation and Christian growth using the God-given analogy of humans as clay in God-the-Potter's hands. No
bias here but it's a wonderful book!
Here is a nice interview
with Diana on The Tolkien Library
website and here are some of my thoughts
on my blog.
is another talented Niño:
End of September, 2020, Tom's short story collection, Subtle Man Loses His Day Job
and January of 2020 saw the release of a poetry collection, The View From
. Tom's first novel, Apocalypse TV
, was published in
September of 2017, available in trade paperback or digital formats from eLectio Publishing. He has also written a textbook,
Pretexts for Writing
, now updated in its second edition. Tom is a gifted worship leader and teaches English at APU.
You can read his blog at Plainclothes
is one of our newer Niños and has
been publishing novels and other books.
Fool's Luck is Dave's latest novel.
Dave has three published novels featuring his character, Jim Mitchell: Chasing Deception
is the first; he follows
up with a second Jim Mitchell novel, Undue Pressure
and now a third Jim Mitchell novel, Running.
Dave has also published
High School Declassified: An Insider's Guide to Helping Your Student Succeed
and Canada Jones and the True Cross
. Dave also teaches English.
is one of the "original Niños," along with Diana & Mike, Joe, and Lynn, and her excellent book,
Creed without Chaos: Exploring Theology in the Writings of Dorothy L. Sayers
has been reprinted by WIPF and STOCK publishers; there may still be some of the original printing available through
It was developed from her doctoral thesis and, while she's moved out of state to be a professor at George Fox Theological Seminary and
thus is no longer a regular
Niño, she is always in our hearts (and emails!) and we were thrilled to be noted in her thanks.
The current cover and the original cover, both with links, are presented below.
has published her first book,
Under the Influence: California's
Intoxicating Spiritual and Cultural Impact on America
. We've heard her read excerpts out loud at our "Grateful Hearts" celebration and it's brilliant.
The Niños have supported, encouraged and prayed powerfully for me through the years. Fruits of this group in my
life include my musical based on the book of Ruth, House of Bread
and the 2010-2020 (that's ELEVEN
years!) companion calendars to Diana's
Clay in the Potter's Hands
book; some images are viewable on the Clay in the Potter's Hands Facebook
page. I've also written several pieces of short
fiction for the Niños' annual Christmas book; I've posted these on my Fiction
In 2019 the Niños provided lots of essential prayer-cover for me as I chaired Mythcon 50
the fiftieth annual conference of the Mythopoeic Society. Several years earlier one of my big projects was a complete rebuild of the Society's very
large website (The Mythopoeic Society
). Before that I created a large website for
my friends Suuqiina and Qaumaniq's ministry, Indigenous Messengers
. Please take a look; they have a fascinating story and it's told with lots photos. In late 2013 I created a web site for
, the same folks who had been happy with my web
work for Rocky Cola Cafe
, a charming neighborhood cafe which finally closed their
doors after 20-some years.
I sold the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Clay in the Potter's Hands
companion calendars here
, a page on my site replicating Diana's old clay and potter site;
you can see images for some months on that page and view all the earlier calendar images