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Stone Crossings: Finding Grace in Hard and Hidden Places Paperback – March 17, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Books (March 17, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830834958
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830834952
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,009,615 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"[O]ne of the best books I've read in a while. . . . This glorious book is thoughtful without being laborious, literate without being self-conscious. [Barkat] has a great eye for details, and a luminous style that revels in God's presence in the day-to-day." (Byron Borger, Hearts & Minds Bookstore, Booknotes Blog, March 24, 2008)

"Stone Crossings walks the reader through the foggy landscapes of life, arriving at subtle moments of true grace. Barkat's courageous, unblinking honesty is a gift, a gift offered in gentle, delicate, literary prose." (Don Everts, author of Jesus with Dirty Feet and God in the Flesh)

"You are holding an invitation to a table set for two--you and L. L. Barkat. At this table, near a river in my mind's imagination, she will tell you her story of faith. You may not even notice the river, for the storytelling will lift you into a life of faith that will not lead you to gaze at her but to enjoy the same life of faith. The only writer I know quite like Barkat is Eugene Peterson. That probably tells you all you need to know." (Scot McKnight, author of The Jesus Creed)

"With a storyteller's charm and a Bible teacher's grit, L. L. Barkat weaves memoir, humor and spiritual insight together into a satisfying read. She challenges us to open our eyes anew to the amazing graces God lavishes upon us every day, in ordinary and surprising ways." (Edward Gilbreath, author of Reconciliation Blues: A Black Evangelical's Inside View of White Christianity)

"L.L. Barkat tells a painful story of abuse and loss. But it is not her story but God's story that takes center stage in this remarkable book. The beautiful and intelligent writing will pull you in, but the deep and uncommon insights will keep you reading. Here is a book full of the wisdom which can only come when real life meets God's grace through God's Word. It is a book meant to be read slowly." (Steve Hayner, Professor of Evangelism and Church Growth at Columbia Theological Seminary)

From the Author

Grace. That's the centerpiece of Stone Crossings, shared through the hard and hidden places of my life and the bible.<P> <BR> In sun-dappled creekbeds and strawberry fields, in the dark belly of a whale and on parched desert plains, grace makes surprising appearances. Along the way, it calls, "Where have you been, where are you now, where do you want to be?" Then it gives strength to answer, to hope and to heal.

More About the Author

L.L. Barkat is the author of six books, including an experimental fiction and poetry title, 'The Novelist: A Novella,' and 'Rumors of Water: Thoughts on Creativity & Writing'(twice named a Best Book of 2011). Her poems have appeared at Best American Poetry, VQR, NPR, and Every Day Poems. Staff Writer for The Curator and Managing Editor of Tweetspeak Poetry, Barkat can be found at llbarkat.com.

Customer Reviews

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The writing is fine, remarkably fine.
Glynn Young
I enjoyed "Stone Crossings--Finding grace in Hard and Hidden Places" by L. L. Barkat the first time--even when tired and not doing it justice.
Solveig Engh
She possesses an eye for striking detail and a refreshing honesty that draws you in.
Eugene Pratt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Eugene Pratt on April 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
L. L. Barkat is a revelation. She possesses an eye for striking detail and a refreshing honesty that draws you in. In "Stone Crossings," she shares a journey marked by early pain and abuse, but one ultimately redeemed by the discovery of irresistible grace.

She is a poet whose words both shock and heal. She is a teacher whose grasp of the Scriptures and personal acquaintance with God's love make her story resonate. At 176 pages, "Stone Crossings" is a fairly quick read; yet it's one that will prompt readers to pause often for long moments of reflection and to savor Barkat's poetic gift.

For anyone who has felt the hurt and rejection of a troubled upbringing, for anyone who now lives with the enduring shame and guilt of abuse, for anyone who longs for healing, Barkat's story is for you. This is a deep and transforming book that manages to be literary, therapeutic, and theological all at the same time.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By GLJ on April 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
Stone Crossings shimmers with grace: experienced, reflected, and expressed. Writing with great self-awareness (but without self-absorbtion), L. L. Barkat confronts pain and evil with truth-telling and grace-extending realism and hope. She weaves life's threads -- abandonment and abuse, poetry and panic, family and fear -- into a tapestry shaped by faith (without losing the texture of reality.)

Most books of this type fail either (a) because they sugar coat reality or (b) because they gloss over Scripture's ambiguities and tensions. L. L. Barkat engages life and Scripture with fearless (and sometimes fearsome) honesty.

If you enjoyed L'Engle's Crosswicks Journals, Lamott's Travelling Mercies, or Robert Benson's Living Prayer, you'll enjoy this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Alease Brown on May 27, 2008
Format: Paperback
If L.L. Barkat wrote fiction, surely a Pulitzer would be awarded. Not only will you find Grace abounding in these pages, connecting her/our hard memories to larger spiritual truths, but you'll find writing that soars far above anything you've read lately, maybe ever. A very excellent read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Glynn Young VINE VOICE on August 2, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's easy to think of L.L. Barkat's "Stone Crossings: Finding Grace in Hard and Hidden Places" as an autobiography. Like all writing, it is that, but it's also more, much more: memoir, devotional, hymn of praise, song of redemption, conversation with God. And it's in invitation to join her on a journey.

Barkat uses the metaphors of stone and rock to develop the themes of her life - conversion, doubt, shame, inclusion, witness, justice, love, gratitude and completion (there are more). Each "stone" begins with the personal and moves to the spiritual, and in that moment of transition comes a recognition for the reader that we're not just reading Barkat's story but our own. Her story becomes our story.

The writing is fine, remarkably fine. The way she tells the story of the Christmas lump of coal had tears running down my cheeks. Or how her grandmother forgets she made apple cakes. Or how the author herself, determined not to fall in love and not believing it falling in love, does so anyway in spite of herself.

I'm glad I walked this journey called "Stone Crossings."
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on July 10, 2008
Format: Paperback
Everyone needs something to hold on to, in order to brace themselves against the oncoming storm that is life. "Stone Crossings: Finding Grace in Hard and Hidden Places" is L.L. Barkat's reflections on her journey through this terrible storm, finding her comfort in the words of other writers, stories of the people alongside her, and in God. A charming and inspirational story all the way through, "Stone Crossings: Finding Grace in Hard and Hidden Places" is a top pick for community library memoir collections and for anyone who also needs something to hold on to.
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